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Run Efficient: June 2011

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Robinson Woods

Rather sluggish run in the humidity but more so just feeling sluggish. Lower legs were sore and tight also. This simply must mean a lower mileage week is in the books. I really wanted to ramp it up this week, but staying injury free is way more important. Time to hit the bike and water for some cross train and look forward to next week and next run.

distance: 6
duration: 51:04
pace: 8:31

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Presumpscot and mountain bikers

I was in town today so I hooked up with Todd and Eddie for a run on the Presumpscot river trail while they mountain biked. I hit the out-and-back and met up with them for the loops up the hills. Real fun and quick zipping through the trails, leading on the way up and chasing on the way down.

distance: 5.5
duration: 47:30
pace: 8:39

Monday, June 27, 2011


Hit the Stroudwater trail for a recovery run which started out nice and easy and then a bit more of a slog through the mud and water along the power lines. Nice and hot, and overall a good recovery run.

distance: 6
duration: 52:50
pace: 8:49

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Mt. Agamenticus 6 hour run

Well getting out of bed the morning of the Mt. A run was real tough. Alison and I had gone to the Comcast Center in Mansfield Mass. to see Peter Gabriel the night before and got home about 2:00 a.m. After a bunch of interesting food, a few glasses of wine an awesome show, and a three hour drive home, I knew it was going to be an interesting morning. It was. The alarm went off at 4:45 and after two and a half hours sleep I figured this would be great training for a sleep deprived body during the 100 mile run in over a month. I focused on sucking down a cup of coffee, and the world grew brighter. I had not planned out my gear at all and went with sub-par supplies, clothing and hydration. I was too sick to my stomach to eat breakfast on the way and arrived at the parking lot in pouring rain. I love it!

We started out with about 20 or so people and ran comfortably for the first bit down the road. I really had no idea what I was going to be able to do, but had previously thought if I did 10 laps two years ago, I should be able to do 11. So after chatting with Ian, Emma, Julia, John, Stephen, and a few others for the first loop or so I started running alone. I lagged a bit here and there and was able to chat with a few people, but without stopping at my truck I was kicking it with myself much of the way. The rain was absolutely relentless with sudden downpours, thunder and lighting and cool temperatures. Each lap would bring chills at the peak of the mountain, a muddy slog down the side, pounding down the dirt road and hiking up a river on the back side. Of the sections on the three mile loop, the uphill is my favorite. It was a great time to warm up and get the blood flowing with a rest from the other sections.

Somewhere around lap 4 I decided to kick it in a bit and for the next 4 or five laps quickened the pace. During those laps the deluge was incredible, and so much fun! There were, I think two laps where the entire way up the mountain was flowing strong like a water slide. It was interesting for part of the middle of the run joining a triathlon for some of their running leg and talking with a few of them along the way.

After a quick water stop mid-run, forgetting the Emergen-C I planned on putting in my pack, I grabbed the over-buttered bagel that I skipped for breakfast. Nibbling on that as I ran it quickly got soaked and was much easier to eat along the way. After about two miles carrying the bagel it was completely water-logged and went down like a GU. I reached in my pack to grab a salt tab as I was only drinking water, and all I pulled out was a caked, salty mush which I consumed happily on the way down the mud-slide slope.

The final few laps were rough. I counted wrong so I thought I was going to get in 9 laps, and at this point was OK with it. The legs were feeling sore, and there was a shooting pain up the front of my right ankle I was not happy with. At one point I almost stepped on a squirrel that turned it's back on me abruptly, and instead of running, lifted it's tail as if it was some hybrid skunk about to spritz me. I couldn't help but think, what does this squirrel know that I don't?

I had some great conversations with Joe, Bob, Kevin, Charlie and few others and met up with Emma, Ian, and Blaine for a bit of the final hour. All in all a bunch of people put in some strong miles in those conditions. I was impressed at the caliber, as most people were training for Vermont or another big race, and a bunch continued the run after the 6 hour time-frame to get in another lap, or at least an out-and-back. As for myself I was done after 10 even though I had time for more I called it, toasted. Went of Rich's place after for a quick burger and beer and talked with more awesome, experienced ultra runners. Thanks to all who put on the run, and brought goodies!

efficiency: In retrospect I would have saved a bit more for the end, taking it easier in the middle. Wished I'd had my Bare-Grip's which evacuate water and mud much better than the Mudroc 290's.

distance: 30
duration: 5:32:26
pace: 11:05

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Pineland Brad Connector

I had a few hours today and wanted to get in 20 somewhere. Joe Wrobleski was able to hit some miles with me, and regrettably Val couldn't make it at the last minute. So the plan was to find the connector that links Pineland to the Brad.

Joe and I started out via the Oak Hill area and ran the loop backwards for something different. We skirted a bit through the woods until we hit the train tracks and cruised along for around a mile until the power lines. It was the middle of winter when last I was on these trails and we ran them from the opposite direction. So I was not real sure which set of power lines we were supposed to take and where the actual turn-off is. We passed the first set and took off on the second set which was apparent it was not the correct trail. Waist deep grass and no tracks had us turning around after the first hill. Back to the tracks and a few hundred feet, and we were on the right set of lines.

After what seemed like a long time trudging in the heat and rough grass, and over a bunch of fun little bridges and a few roads we ran right by the connector. I was surprised at this as Jamie and I spent such an intricate amount of time on the cairns and figured there was no way anyone would miss the entrance. Not to mention the time spent by all the TM's on the beautiful trail head. Well we hit the connector and I was a bit bummed as I had to be back by 4:30 which meant turning around at the hour and a half mark. Joe was psyched about the trail and we were both happy to be out of the heat and power lines. The trail is very, very nice and kudos to the Maine Conservation Corps, NEMBA, the TM's and all who organized and created the trail. We reached, and ran along the river and just before we actually hit the Brad I had to call it, and turn around. The run back was OK except for the never-ending train tracks. When we hit Pineland I glanced down and saw ticks all over my legs, in my socks and buried in my shoes. Marching up towards my torso like a platoon of thirsty soldiers they were happy I'd stopped long enough for them to make headway. Not cool. All in all I pulled 46 off of me! Lesson learned, tall grass and the wrong trail are not a good combo. Back at the vehicles I had to go, but Joe headed out to get in his full 20.

With great conversation about Joe's running history and plans for VT100 as well as the 100 Mile Wilderness coming up, it was a good day. I still feel like I have ticks all over me...

distance: 16.5
duration: 2:56:31
pace: 10:42

Monday, June 20, 2011

Out and Back

Feeling a bit lethargic today as I put on the X-Talon's, and was not looking forward to a road run. Headed out in the warm weather with an increasing positive attitude decided to hit the Wohelo Trail parking lot and back. This is my usual road run if I want to get in some miles and am not able to get to a trail. It's basically downhill most of the way there, with one baby hill in the middle and a couple great views of the Scarborough Marsh. The turn around is fun as I'm excited for the incline headed back and of course always try for negative splits, with mixed outcomes. This time was thankfully successful and the run felt surprisingly good, and quick with not much effort until the last flat mile.

efficiency: Focused on forward lean keeping the feet below my center of gravity, pelvic tilt, and 4 count cadence on the way back.

distance: 8
duration: 56:20
pace: 7:03

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Wohelo Merry-Go-Round

Started off nice and easy on the Wohelo Trail loop. It's .4 to the loop junction and .6 around the inner loop. With a third the trail on planks over marshy areas, a third rooted trail and another open field and hard pack, this is my version of a track. I usually hit these trails for some recovery and quick easy workout. Today was not much different and I started out nice and slow and picked it up for the last few laps. Felt real good with the Achilles a bit tighter than I'd like and ran in the Inov Bare-Grip 200's.

efficiency: Focused on feeling smooth throughout the movements and keeping my head along an even plain with minimal bouncing.

distance: 6.2
duration: 51:53
pace: 8:23

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Pemi Loop

Started out the day with a stuffed pack full of Raw Revolution bars, gorp, a few GU's, and a fat, full can of tuna on sesame seed bagel with two slices of pepper jack cheese. That and an additional blueberry muffin and OJ that James bought me and, oh yeah it's on!

We started a smidgen after 7 on a rather humid gorgeous morning. After crossing the bridge the run is relatively flat with a slight incline. Our pace was a bit quicker than I'd anticipated due to the fact speedy Chuck and tenacious James were leading us along. Emma and I looked at each other a few times and smirked at the pace. I'm pretty sure they had espressos. We hit the first climb and started to separate a bit before catching up with James and Chuck at Bondcliff (4265). Absolutely crystal clear day with a slight breeze made the view spectacular, but we were off after a quick bite.

Mt. Bond (4698) was next with more chowing down and stellar views but there must have been a large black fly hatching with all the rain as we were inundated with swarms. The wind barely held them at bay as we cruised along ridge lines and dipped down through mossy, steamy, green wonder worlds of technical trails, smiling scents and colorful conversations. We hit Guyot (4580), and somewhere along the way I stopped to water the trees as Chuck went on ahead. So... I crouched down like an ansty tiger behind a tree and waited for Emma and James to come by. Where... I pounced out of the woods growling and mock charging them. Yup I'm a bastard. James opened his eyes larger than an ultra runner with a Power Bar stuck in his throat, and Emma, well I had no idea a scream could come out that high pitched with a Scottish drawl. Good times.

After South Twin (4902) we crawled our way up to Galehead hut where Chuck was sucking down tatters-in-a-tube and smiling in to the sun. We all refilled water, had a few tasty-cakes (thanks James) and took off again. Starting to feel the downs more now I quivered on some of the descents. However I enjoyed, and looked forward to the climbs to stretch the calves and reach for the views. Garfield (4500) was well deserved and stuffing down my bagel delight sandwich I felt freshly invigorated for the climbs to come. I had consumed over two and a half liters of water and was sweating and peeing well enough after 16 plus miles so I was very happy with my lower-sodium diet so far.

The climb to Lafayette (5260) is nice and tough with very rewarding views. Between Lafayette and Lincoln (5089) I truly felt like I was back home. Growing up in New Hampshire and hiking all through my youth I hit these peaks many times, but Lafayette and Lincoln were my brothers and my yearly tune-up hikes. The ridge line is narrow and perfectly runnable with 360 panoramas of the Whites and the valleys below. Since most trail runs in the woods are quite closed in, and secluded, it is so precious to run in the open. I snuck by Chuck on this section, feeling a bit nostalgic and wanted a clear path in front of me to truly feel some speed and childhood glee cruising over the rocks and dirt with sun on my face, wind on the side and friends all around.

Little Haystack (4780) and I'm out of water. Oops. I decided to down a salt tab to hopefully retain some moisture and denied the urge to pee. The four of us stayed roughly together through the next bit and hit Liberty (4459) with happiness but excited anticipation of the cool river below. Mt. Liberty brings back some fond mountaineering memories of my first bout with frost bite on a super cold blizzard a bunch of years back. Today was a welcome reprieve from that night but the bugs, heat, humidity and now thirst, kept us pushing.

Flume Mountain (4328) came nice and quick with not much decent/ascent and then it was time to go down... We all agreed that the trail down was relatively obvious and Chuck and I wanted to cruise due to thirst (he was out of water as well.) Emma and James were perfectly happy flying down with each others company as James was probably going to take it "gingerly" with his broken toe. After about a mile or so of conversing with Chuck on the semi steep decent we could hear the river below, and Chuck was gone. Once the trail began it's switchbacks, and gradual decent, running became easier, or harder on the knees. I ran alone for a while, lost in my own world and looking forward to the few ups along the way (which were very few, but felt good on the legs). Not too far from the intersection of the Lincoln Woods and Osseo Trails James came blazing down behind me and the three of us (me, James and his tenacity) ran together until the stream where we waded through, and quickly saw Emma powering down for a stream dip herself. The final flat section we steamed along not talking much just motivated to rest the legs and put the epic run in the logs, and in-the-bag. After the bridge crossing the three of us submerged ourselves in the Pemigewasset River, letting the cool water wash away the salt, grime, and bugs, refreshing us enough to make it to the Mexican restaurant in town.

An absolutely incredible time with true and like-minded friends on a picture-perfect day! (Thanks for the pictures Chuck)

efficiency: Only drank water, a bit over five liters (not enough) but kept the sodium solution in my blood at an optimum level and had no blisters, cramping or stomach issues. Also ate way healthier and consumed more protein than usual with "real" foods.

distance: 31.5
duration: 10:42:00
pace: 20:23

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Bradbury and Bill Green

After doing what seemed like a hard 20 for me on Monday I was ready to rest for two days to save up as much mojo for the Pemi Loop on Thursday. However, an e-mail calling all Trail Monsters for a Bill Green interview was in the works for 10:00 the next day. So I hitched a ride with Mindy who was planning on hitting around 8 with Val at Bradbury. I ran with the Bare-Grip 200's and was absolutely pleased once again with them. The trails were slightly muddy on a misty, humid, effervescent morning. The pace was great and just what I needed to actively recover on the super fun trails at the Brad. After the run we met up with a healthy crew of TM's and watched while James, Ian and Val were interviewed for the show regarding the Bradbury series and the 100 Mile Wilderness. We then took off up the mountain for some shots running by the camera both up and down the Summit Trail, as well as a few back-and-forth shots at the top. Fun day that left me a bit nervous about the condition of my legs for the Pemi Loop as I don't full feel recovered from Pineland.

distance: 8
duration: 1:30:00
pace: 11:15

Monday, June 13, 2011

10'll give ya 20

Wanted to run at least 10 miles today, maybe more like 12. Set out from the house and hit the Eastern Trail about two miles away. The shoulder and a bit of road and sidewalk, as well as cars is always a pain, but to get the miles in without driving it had to be done. The Eastern trail is flat and straight, so every chance possible to get on one of the many, many side trails that skirt down to marshes, rivers, and ponds was taken. This was a welcome reprieve from the relatively hard pack for the first 4 miles or so then after four road crossings I reached a new section construction dudes were working on. So the new dirt underfoot was nice and cushy. A stream crossing, a strange rock village with fire pits, a small Hobbit style bungalow, and some fun ups and downs via old bridges and mud holes made for a rather fun run. That being said my 10 or so turned out to be 20 which was a bit tough on the upper thighs for the last hour or so. All-in-all a good run with some fun exploration and interesting new trails.

efficiency: Just ran with water and Raw Revolution Bars. No bonk, no cramping, no blisters, no stomach issues.

distance: 20
duration: 3:07:30
pace: 9:23

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Mount Agamenticus Safety Run

So we'd planned on hitting the Pemi Loop in NH for a fun-filled 50k. The weather however kept us humble, smart, and close-to-home. It was simply too sketchy to put ourselves above treeline for and extended period of exposure in thunderstorms, 40 degree temperatures and driving rain. I think we were all up for it, but there's really no reason to be packing emergency blankets and breaking out the winter clothing with Spring finally here. Jamie, Ian and I coordinated online at 3:45 in the morning and decided to hit Mt. Agamenticus instead. Chuck was smart and went back to bed.

After dousing ourselves with bug dope and sucking down some food we hit the trails thinking we'd do at least 15 but hopefully a bunch more. After a nice circuitous route around two peaks we crossed the road and explored more trails along the reservoir. Some of which were quick turn-rounds, a long old logging-type access road, and some fun twisty-tervy single-double track. After a shorter period of time than I would have liked my quads started feeling it. Probably still not fully recovered from the 50, probably tight from my version of "speed" work. Either way we were all sweating a bunch in the humidity and when we got back to the vehicles Jamie was sticking to his plan to end the run. Ian and I tossed around the idea to head out for more, but we decided to listen to our bodies and call it good. Great fun, great friends and new exciting trails!

efficiency: No more Hammer Fizz, and excess GU's bars and crap.

distance: 14.4
duration: 2:27:00
pace: 10:13

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Hot Back Cove

Wanted to head to the Presumpscot River Trail as I was in town briefly, but ended up just running a bit quicker around the Back Cove. Real hot and fun. I love running in extremes and today it was somewhere around 90 with Ozone, and Pollen counts high. Ran in the Bare-Grip's and they felt absolutely awesome today! I was a bit jealous that some of the crew were going to get a bad-ass style hill workout tonight but I honestly don't think I could handle that as well as the Pemi Loop this weekend.

efficiency: Focused on keeping form and staying quick, with hips out. I find speed sometimes harder than hills or other workouts, as I'm simply not used to them.

distance: 7.1
duration: 52:00
pace: 7:20

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A Road Run?

Went to the Wohelo Trail head and back on the road today just to get a quick run in without driving, or biking to a trail head. Ran with the Inov-8 X-Talon 212's and felt pretty good mixing up road and shoulder the whole way. I definitely want a road pair of Inov-8's though as I could feel the heat of the asphalt, feel the soft rubber and aggressive lug pattern. Not real used to road running and although it felt good and peppy at times, it's a whole bunch different than the trails. All-in-all it was real good to feel the warm day, slight wind and smell the marsh along the way.

efficiency: Kept on the balls of my feet, still consciously working on forefoot striking.

distance: 8
duration: 1:02:20
pace: 7:48

Monday, June 6, 2011

Winnick Woods

Good run at Winnick Woods with legs that aren't quite 100% yet. The cardiovascular system was a bit sluggish today, possibly from getting over a bit of a low immune system bug, but no bother. Did the three mile loop with a few inner loops and some linked switchbacks. Heard a loud Eagle that sounded like it was fending off territorial Crows. Stopped a few times to try and get a look at it but no luck. The run was so much fun streaming through the woods on semi-technical trails. I kind of forgot how different it feels than Pineland's wide open running surface.

efficiency: Really focusing on "light" running.

distance: 6.5
duration: 58:17
pace: 8:58

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Back to Pineland

Headed back to Pineland to run with Ian during his long run. After helping out so much during the previous weeks for the race, he wanted to get out and put some miles in for himself along the course. My legs were not feeling too bad, but were definitely heavy and I felt my immune system working through something. I wanted to get in at least an hour, but hoped for two.
Ian, James, Julia, and later another runner (I think Don) ran the 3.5 Campus Loop in what seemed a bit quick for my legs to "wake-up." We continued along the start of the 25k and I decided to really listen to my legs and body and make sure I did not injure myself. I turned off at the dirt road junction before heading out on the major loop and walked the road back to the truck to cool down.

distance: 5.25ish
duration: 50:00
pace: 9:32

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Scarborough Residential

Had an easy run with the Bare-Grip 200's on the side of the road to the Conservation area in Scarborough. A short out and back on grass and a small trail, and then back on the shoulder was just what I needed to loosen the legs.

efficiency: Light, forefoot striking with tall, relaxed upper body.

distance: 3
duration: 30:00
pace: 10:00