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Run Efficient: August 2011

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Fort Williams

Had a bit of time today to get in a run on the way to pick up Alison after a job. I decided to run around Fort Williams, as it was on the way, and I wanted some ocean views.

I started off a bit sluggish but warmed up nicely, and quickly realized I hadn't checked out all the fun areas around the Fort. There are some short steep climbs in and around the bunkers and old concrete structures. That, mixed with the scenic, undulating ocean trail, and some relaxing level grass sections, made for a visually, and physically entertaining time. I hit a few of the stairs, did some random loops in and out of the woods, up and down, and between buildings. Finished off the run with a refreshing jump in the ocean and was on my way.

efficiency: This area will definitely be my new "gym" for some mixed terrain, short steep climbs, and safe stride workouts.

distance: >4
duration: 36:32

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Twin Brooks

Great run with a bunch of Trail Monsters at Twin Brooks. I was surprised how many were there and it definitely made me want to get out and hit the trails on Tuesdays more often. The atmosphere seems very different and more relaxed than Saturday runs. I'm sure because it's nice and short, people are mellow from the day, and were not all groggy and doing a full-on training run. I ran mostly with Jim, Jaimie and Zach, with a fun pace and I was happy nobody decided to do any sprints, as I was not feeling particularly speedy today.

It was good driving up with Mindy and hearing how well prepared and excited she is about her little run on Saturday, and equally good hearing stories of fun Fall runs.

distance: 5.5
duration: 47:25

Monday, August 29, 2011

Oak Hill Repeats

Not exactly the hill repeats I had in mind but wanted to get in a quick hard workout without driving. That led me to the closest hill around which is also on the road.

I ran easy to the spot, a bit over a mile, then picked my landmarks, glanced at my watch and began the fun. I had in my mind 8 repeats but quickly wanted to end it sooner. Each repeat is a gradual hill with almost a level end, so it was not necessarily hard, but at somewhere between a quarter and a third of a mile it's sustained. Ran each one around two minutes with number six the slowest. They actually felt real run even with evening traffic rushing by. All said and done had a nice recovery jog home and was happy to get in a structured workout.

efficiency: Worked on running through, and over the hill. Smiled a bunch running down.

distance: 7.5ish
duration: 59:03

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Bruiser Plus

Ran with Blaine and Scott today on the Bruiser and felt much better than last week, especially on the O Trail. However the time was almost the same as last weeks weak effort of about 2 hours. After, Blaine and I hit the mountain for a quick 3.5 loop.

distance: 15.5
duration: 2:30:48

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Fun Road Run?

Had a bit of time today between surfing, work and house projects, with no quick way to the trails, I hit the road.

I decided to do my usual road run to the Wohelo Trail Head and back for a quick 8. The run felt good with a constant focused effort to keep going the whole time. Slightly sluggish at a few times during the run, with the end just killing me, but all in all good and fun.

efficiency: Really tried to take advantage of the slight downhills and work the uphills as much as possible.

distance: 8
duration: 57:48

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Bruiser Tester

Met up with a bunch of TM's this morning to hit the Bruiser and such. Started with Nathan, Blaine, Jamie and Ian but ran most of the course with the later three. I knew I'd have a hard time today and it began this morning with my choice of shoes. I wanted to wear the Mudclaw's but they were drenched still, tried on the 212's but they didn't feel right and I picked up the 280's but they seemed archaic. So I stuck with my favorites, the Baregrips. I was quite dehydrated and a bit weak in the stomach to start, in part from a few too many margaritas, and my first surf session in 8 months. I decided to err on the side of caution and bring 2 liters with me and make it pay.

The first bunch of miles ticked by nicely enough and the humidity wasn't too bad. However later in the day when I thought we'd done an easy 7 or 8 the crew was stating we'd only bagged 4 to 5. Yeah. I commented at one point how much I love the O trail, as most people don't but by the time we got to it today I wasn't amused with it's switchback, up and down tom-foolery.

A good run though and quite what I was expecting after having an awesome Friday with friends in the ocean and enjoying the summer. I'm thinking I may be still feeling a bit from the previous weekends efforts as well so I'm not thinking too much about the sluggish day.

distance: <12
duration: 1:59:00

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Stroudwater

Went for a quick 4 today a few days later than I would have like to have run after the Breaker but no worries. Felt a bit sluggish and ended up taking it easy.

distance: 4
duration: 35:15

Monday, August 15, 2011

Bradbury Breaker Report

Went in to the Bradbury Breaker not really knowing how my body would respond after last weeks hard effort on the 100MW. I strongly felt I'd beat my time from last year of 1:24:13, but didn't really care beyond that. I was mostly excited to run with friends and be around "race" energy. I chatted a bit in the beginning with TM's about previous runs and races, and was excited to see Ryan Triffitt out of the penalty box and donning running shoes.

I've had a hard time changing my mind-set to a racing mentality. It's been no real problem wanting to better myself and my own times as I'm a competitive person, but racing other people is a bit foreign. So I decided to start in the front of the pack and test running with the big dogs. The pace started out quick and I still had some kinks to get out so found myself lopping along for a bit in the beginning. Ran with Ryan for a while, then was able to say hi to Ian Parlin on the back of the Boundary Trail. Alan Morrison gave me a shout out as we climbed a section stating I was in 13th place, which made me a bit trepidatious. I came up on Jamie Anderson and thought it would be good to try and keep up with him for a bit. I was nervous however that I was pushing it too much and he was running a smarter race when I didn't see him after the South Ridge Trail.

After the pounding decent down to the parking lot I really felt as though I'd blown out too early and Peter Keeney easily passed me running up the Summit Trail, as I sucked wind. At the top it was great to see Emma Barclay cheering people on and spouting words of encouragement. Down the Tote Road I wanted to relax a bit but heard someone coming up behind me (later to find out it was Bob Poirier). I figured I'd let him pass and continue to rest a bit, but when he got right up next to me the race juices kicked in and I said to myself "nope, don't let him pass, make him work for it." I caught back up to Peter, who shortly thereafter stopped dead in his tracks thinking he was going the wrong way. I went past him, but told him to pass back to keep his place, but he wanted to follow me down the Switchback Trail. I was super impressed with his speed down the trail and thought I'd lose him but no avail.

Second lap and I felt real good. Peter was right on my tail for most of the first few miles but I knew I had to get some space on him with the Summit Trail coming up. I figured 30 seconds would be enough for me to walk and him to run it, and still keep my lead. But Peter is tough! He blew by me again and I struggled to keep up with him running a bit as well as hiking.

Along Tote Road we ran together again and I found out he's recovering from an ankle injury. Just then I was surprised to see Jeff Walker way up ahead and told Peter, "let's go get Jeff!" Peter exclaimed it was all the speed he had as his foot was keeping him at bay. So on to Jeff. I absolutely could not believe I was going to get to run close to Jeff and was excited to finish next to him. Then I figured I'd change my mind-set and decided to, race. Got a bit closer to Jeff towards the mountain and as Jeff turned the corner to head down he looked back and exclaimed something like "holy shit!" I took this as an absolute compliment and figured now I'd really have to hold on. Jeff blazed the down hill grunting and puffing like a stampeding wildebeest hungry for the finish line. With about a half mile to go we shared encouragements and headed for home.

One of my better trail races for sure, and quite fun. Very thankful for all the work Ian and the volunteers do and good to see Val, Mindy, Blaine, Danielle, and all the other TM's.

efficiency: Changing the mind-set to racing when actually racing encourages faster feet, go figure.

distance: <9
duration: 1:11:44





Friday, August 12, 2011

Stroudwater

Hit the trails for the first time since the 100MW and was cautious not to go out too fast and risk an injury on tight legs. The run felt surprisingly good and quick with no real issues on the legs. Quite surprised by this and figured the long walking sections toward the end of the jaunt last week must've done the body good.

distance: 4
duration: 32:08
pace: 8:02

Thursday, August 11, 2011

100 Mile Wilderness

Maine's one hundred mile wilderness is a stretch of the Appalachian Trail which starts in Monson, and finishes in Millinocket at Abol Bridge. I've hiked a few sections of the AT, mostly in the White Mountain range, but running what is considered an isolated section was far from my mind when I was asked by fellow Trail Monsters if I wanted to give it a go. We were running it from North to South as had a few others in the past.

Abol Bridge

We woke at 3:30 and my crew Alison Eads and Bulldogge, Francesca helped me on my way. I clearly remember trepidation as I crawled out of the tent, which quickly turned to excitement as the java flowed. Twelve of us started, and morning sleepiness as well as pre-run jitters were apparent as I shook everyone's hand and mumbled, "good luck, have fun." The pace was nice and easy on the first section of runnable trail, but it turned nasty real quick. Pine needle footing was replaced by moist roots with muddy, cavernous spaces in between that threatened to bear trap a misplaced foot. Rocks dotted the trail in sections, while mossy-slick wooden planks made for careful movement over quagmired areas.

Ian, Emma, Joe, Julian, Roger and I ran together for a bit then mostly just Emma, Ian and I. Gorgeous sections of fun meandering trails with mellow ups and downs and pretty views of Rainbow Lakes, Ledges, Lean-to's and Campsites. On one section, I'm assuming close to the Pollywog Gorge, Emma let out a blood curdling scream and jumped back a few feet with Ian and I looking for the Sasquatch that attacked her. A pretty bird fluttered off the ground and in to the air, and laughter followed. We were not even close to fatigue or any sort of deprivation, but the mental break was fun, at least for Ian and I.

At the Gorge Mindy and Pete tended to Ian and Emma, and Alison worked like a Nascar pit crew to refill my bladder, stuff my pack with more goodies and hug me on my way.

Pollywog Gorge, 20 miles

Nesuntabunt Mountain, our first real climb and a reminder this was no joke. We were still moving pretty well at this point and feeling good starting to get in to a groove. I had a bit of a headache and my lower legs had been hurting a bit more than I would have liked for the first bunch of miles. I didn't give either any energy though and knew it was just the kinks working out. We refilled out bladders somewhere along Nahmakanta Stream and continued on strong until a sand beach at Jo-Mary Lake. We could not resist a quick refresh in the welcoming water and gorgeous views.

On the way back up the trail we saw Mindy and were delighted to have company, fresh talk, and a report on the rest of the runners. Mindy let us know it was about 5.7 to the transition area and she passed the rest of the runners on the way to us. This absolutely elated us, and for some reason we thought we'd be seeing our crew, and the rest of the runners shortly. I didn't quite contemplate that we actually had a good hour and a half of run time. Even though the terrain was quite runnable on this section, the effects of fatigue were creeping in.

Jo-Mary Road, 40.9 miles

At the transition Alison had java love waiting for me and a fatty tuna fish, cucumber and potato chip sandwich! Love her. Change of clothes, and shoes, bit of Body Glide and we were good to go. Now I started feeling better and in-the-game. Our conversations flowed, we were running well and hitting the nice and slight incline to the next transition. We met up with Joe and Julian at a Spring shortly after Little Boardman Mountain and I took this opportunity to drop some ballast in the woods before filling my other bladder. Everyone was in good spirits and trudging on through, enjoying the moments until the tail end of the leg. With night ensuing, we donned headlamps and focused on spotting blazes while the incline wore me down. On and on, up and up the trail went until finally we saw glow sticks hung from trees signalling our crew, and home base.

Logan Brook Road, 54.7 miles

Longest, most difficult 15 miles of my life!

OK, here we go. Some soup, some pep talk, and our very own glow sticks on the back of our packs and we were off in good spirits. At this point I was tuckered and a bit fatigued, but very determined to finish this thing. Our expert crew watched as we meandered our way up White Cap Mountain like glow worms inching their way up an outstretched slinky. The humidity, which was thick in the morning, and had abated during the day, was back as night mist.

Over the exposed and windy White Cap, over Hay Mountain, West Peak and on to the moist brush of Gulf Hagas Mountain where the glorious red sun began to rise. During those ups and downs, we experienced ups and downs, at least I did. Extreme fatigue and tired legs made the range quite interesting. At a few points we all sat and laid down on the trail and fell asleep for a few minutes. Emma woke to me snoring, and Ian woke to ants biting his ass. At this point my body was not happy with me and I remember lightly trying to talk Ian in to stopping for another quick snooze. He was quite right when he stated we probably wouldn't get back up again if we stopped any more.

On the way down the relentless final 2000 plus foot drop the sinking feeling crept in that this was it for me. I was quite sad about the prospect, but knew the section ahead of us was worse (or better, depending on your perspective) than this one and very dangerous to try and get out safely should one of us get injured. Positive thoughts, positive thoughts Jeremy... No luck. Hours of conversing with the mind, body and spirit leave you only so much wiggle room for bartering. Time to stop. The message crawled off my lips like a 4 year old heading for a root canal. I voiced it, "I think I'm done up here guys. I don't mean to sound defeatist, or give energy to the thought, but I'm done." Another long slog downhill on weak legs and an upset stomach led us to a rather runnable couple of sections as the day grew warmer. I definitely thought strong about making sure it was the right decision to stop, and waiting until the next transition to make the final decision. It was real hard to contemplate asking Alison to crew for me again on such an adventure, so I truly thought it was now or never.

We finally reached Gulf Hagas and were greeted by the Pleasant River and all its gloriously cool, flushing, rushing water. Sitting down on submerged rocks, we all bathed in the finalized feelings, letting the sun warm our faces. Alison and Pete appeared out of the woods, packs filled with rations, and a happy bulldogge splashed toward us. With smiling faces and happy hearts we all stated our intentions.

I really want to state just how fantastic this event was and sharing it with Ian and Emma was very rewarding. Those two are impressive athletes with great endurance, attitude, and passion. Adam, Ryan, Hogan and Joe that completed this run are definitely heroic, as are all who managed any part of the trail. I am also incredibly grateful for Alison and Francesca for their excellent crewing abilities, warm smiles and intuitive actions.

efficiency: Switched out the Mudclaw 272's after 40 for the Mudroc 290's as they fit more snug. Later in the run I was peeing every 20 minutes which tells me the three salt pills I took as well as the minimal Nuun used and minimal salt in my food was still too much and made me retain water early on. Very minimal blisters, ordinary chaffing.

duration: 28:00:00
distance: 69.5
pace: 24:11