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Run Efficient: October 2011

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The week in review 10/24 - 10/30

This week marked the beginning of my training for the McNaughton 100 mile run in May.  I'm taking it, and my training seriously now and want to find out just how well I can run this winter and the coming year.  I'm still having a bunch of fun, but for the first time ever following a structured running plan.  Here's how it's going:

Monday 24th - Cross Training.  Well, something like that:

Tuesday 25th - Winnick Woods.  5.3 miles, 46:29.  Hit the inner, then outer loop pushing all the hills. Ran the inner loop to finish and cruised in. Felt great and was a solid effort.

Wednesday 26th - Portland Track.  6.5 miles, 49:20.  Warmed up around Deering Oaks for about two miles with a few laps on the track. Did 8 x 400's at around 85 seconds a piece, give or take 5s. The last was definitely fastest at 80s. Jogged 200 in between. My lack of track work showed as I didn't time correctly saving each lap.

Felt surprisingly good and not nearly as hard as I thought it would be, but challenging enough. Cooled down with 2 miles around the park.

Very interesting to work out on the track. I have not worked out on a track in twenty years. It was fun, controlled and great to feel consistent movement for instant physiological feedback.

Thursday 27th - Rest

Friday 28th - Eastern Trail.  5.5 miles, 48:07.  Easy run on the Eastern Trail albeit later and colder than I would have liked, around nine. Lower legs a bit sore still from deep tissue work yesterday with Garry Bracken of the Sports Therapy Center. Cut it a bit short wanting to keep the miles as close to goal as possible and to take er easy.

Saturday 29th - Wohelo Trail.  .8 mile.  A nice jog/walk with Alison and Francesca as she gets in to the running groove.

Robinson Woods.  7 miles, 58:38.  Started at the Church and ran quick to the inner loop where I did 5 laps alternating direction, then finished with the outer loop before heading back. Charged all the hills and inclines (if you can consider them hills).

Sunday 30th - Fore River.  10 miles, 1:29:00.  More interesting run than expected after the storm, power outage and cold wet feet. Met up with Zak at his house in Portland. Ran the roads to Fore River and did a large circuitous loop to the Congress St. entrance, then back. Three to six inches of wet slushy snow and muddy puddles with dripping trees.

Tested out the Mudcalw's for winter use and determined they're too breathable and cold for wet, winter conditions. They'll be fine for crunchy shorter runs.

I forgot my water bottle with a GU but it was no bother in the cold conditions. Nice and slippery ups and downs on various single track. Zak is tapering for Stone Cat 50 but you would not know it with the final two mile sprint to his house. Great run!

Summary:   35 miles this week with the legs feeling good and a bit tired from the new track workout.  Perfect.

Monday, October 24, 2011

A week in review 10/17 - 10/23

I've decided the repetitious blog entries of similar local runs are not that glamorous to read.  So with the exception of bad-ass runs and races I'm going to follow the weekly review that other bloggers and some TM's do (thanks for the inspiration). 

Tuesday 18th - Stroudwater.  4 miles, 33:23.  Nice easy run out and back in comfortable weather.

Thursday 20th - Scarborough residential.  6.5 miles, 51:54.  Road run on mostly dirt and grass on the shoulder.  Thick, misty conditions in slight rain.  Kind of a pain running along busy roads, but wanted to just get out and run without a drive.  Went for short walk with Alison and Francesca in the afternoon.

Friday 21st - Wolfe's Neck.  Short walk with Alison and Francesca with a great lunch and chill along the ocean.  I will probably hit a run here next time I'm in the area.  I've been to WN a bunch of time's but never run the trails.

Saturday 22nd - Bradbury West.  13ish miles, 2:10:00.  Hit the South Ridge to Summit - Tote Rd - Summit - Ski - North. Met up with Val and hit the connector trail to the power lines then finished on the Tote Road. Great run Achilles a bit sore still but fun run with a tougher beginning to warm my ass up.  Real fun to chat with Val and catch-up, and great to see a bunch of TM's coming and going at the parking lot.

Sunday 23rd - Stroudwater.  4 miles, 31:33.  Nice run with perfect weather.

Efficiency:  I've been doing a lot of massage and work on the lower legs with specific light stretching to alleviate lingering Achilles soreness.  Some random rock jumps (like box jumps) and heel walking to help with strengthening.

Distance:  27.5 miles total this week.  Nice and mellow as I begin to ramp back up.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

First mile since high school

I've been real curious for the past few weeks what it would take me to complete a mile.  Every time I drove by a track I'd watch for a break in the practices and games to test myself.  Each time I drove, or ran by though the field was busy and it just wasn't the time.

Today I was determined to figure out where my legs are at.  I drove by 4 tracks, all busy, and finally decided to just hit the Back Cove.  After a mile warm up I nervously glanced at my watch at the 1 mile marker and took off.  Took off being a very loose statement here though.  Damn sprints are hard, and I forgot that the mile ended on a bit of an uphill.  After the struggle I cooled down for the final 1.5 miles and was happy to have the baseline.  The mile took about 5:40.  That's definitely a rough number as I'm not 100% sure of the accuracy of the course markings.  It honestly didn't feel that fast so I'll be curious what the numbers will be on a real track.

distance:  3.5
duration:  25:12:32

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Easy at Wohelo

Ran and walked with Alison and Francesca at the Wohelo Trail today as an easy recovery.  Just did four laps and ran with the local pooches who love to try and run me off the trail and wooden planks.  It always makes for a fun bumper car type jaunt.  This time I had Fancesca with me on one of the laps and she was able to keep them off my heels for a bit.

distance:  3.2
duration:  27:36

Friday, October 14, 2011

Pineland fun house

Ian and I planned on a 'long' run for Friday.  I was not real sure what his idea of a long run was these days as he's captain 100.  Was he thinking 12, 20, 30?  I didn't really care so much as I was ready to run with a TM again after having a real mellow September.

Turns out Ian was thinking 30 would be nice but we both decided 20 would be sufficient for his training and for where I was with my fitness.  We headed out with Nathan packs, shorts and short-sleeved shirts in the wind and rain.  I think we both may have become a bit chilled during the run which affected our performance.  We decided to hit the trails in random directions from the way we usually run, and find anything that could keep us excited and bring a freshness to the sometimes daunting land of the pines.

We had a diverse run, hitting trails backwards to how the TM's usually run them.  Finding some single-track kept us enthused, and even headed directly up hill at the campus loop bisecting all the trails, then bombing back down.  This actually may have done us in.  Afterward we were both sucking wind and the thick air was taking it's toll.  At a few points in the run the leaves underfoot seemed transcendental, and gave us a strange sense of vertigo.  We'd come around a corner, or head up a hill and suddenly the brown mud would be replaced with bright red splotches of Autumn leaves.  It felt a bit like being at a circus fun house.

It was real good to catch up with Ian and hear first-hand his 100 mile report from Virgil Crest.  We talked about more group organization for 2012, and goals for ourselves and possibly helping TM's out in their own planning.  We also brainstormed on a number of winter running subjects including ingenious ways at keeping hydration bladders from freezing.  (I think I've got it.)

We ended a bit earlier than we thought, judging our run by perceived effort instead of mileage numbers.  Heading directly up the hill on the road from behind the barns was supposed to be the quick easy way back to the truck, but it proved a tough never-ending hill climb in the cool rain.

efficiency:  Too little hydration today, and a bit more food would have kept me going stronger.  The seasonal transitions always take a bit of getting used to.

distance:  17.1
duration:  2:50:00

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Presumpscot Trails

In town again today and wanted the legs to work a bit more than yesterday so I took off on the Presumpscot Trails.

Switched the shoes up today to the old stand-by's, the Mudroc 290's.  My Achilles have been a bit sore lately and I wanted to give them a break from the more minimal shoes in my arsenal.  I love the Mudroc's, but have become very used to the grip of my Mudclaw's, and the Baregrip's in particular.  It was a bit slick out there today and I almost went down a few times. 

I hit the out and back to the road/bridge construction and on the way back hit all the loops with a bushwhack and an extra loop mixed in. 

distance:  5.5ish
duration:  46:04

Monday, October 10, 2011

Back Cove

I was in town today and always like to hit some of the old trails and routes to mix up the repertoire.

I decided the day was simply too gorgeous not to hit the BC and enjoy the heat and sunshine. 

distance:  7.1
duration:  50:39

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Scarborough residential

After a lackluster couple of weeks I was excited to get back-in-the-game.  I took off around my house to get the legs moving after a busy weekend of birthday and Halloween party excitement.  Nothing too extravagant but definitely feel like I've taken a bunch of time off of running.  Legs are a bit heavy...

distance:  3.5
duration:  27:36

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Riverton Trolley Park

Explored the Riverton Trolley Park as well as part of the Presumscott extension which I've never been on. 

The park side is fun and quick with a few ups and downs for interest.  I went a bit off trail and hit the golf course for a bit and darted off in to the woods for some more fun exploration.  Found the trail again and ended up looping around a bit to get the legs on some inclines. 

I was feeling real tired and was going to end the run back at the road but decided to explore a bit more and head on up the river.  This trail was real nice with undulations, a few bridges and a nice mix of field, water and wooded views.  Really wanted to keep going and explore more but headed back just to be safe.

distance:  5
duration:  42:04

Kingdom Trails - East Burke VT

Over the weekend I had the fantastic opportunity to travel with my friend Jeff Scher to East Burke VT and help him with photo shoots.  Jeff's itinerary was a shoot on Monday in VT, Tuesday in NH, and then back to Maine to wrap it up.  While in VT I was able to take advantage of the spectacular Kingdom Trails.

We arrived at The Inn At Mountain View Farm in East Burke during a rainy Sunday afternoon.  Once we checked in, I checked out, and hit the trails with a water bottle and sectioned map of the area.  I started off on the West side of the hill (1444ft) and headed down the Loop Trail for an easy warm up.  The quick down grade was a bit steeper than expected and eventually turned in to the River Run Trail.  With wet leaves underfoot and picturesque fall foliage above, these trails were a magical inception to the area.  Running along at one point the landscape changed to evergreens and pine needles covered in florescent lichen, glowing in the evening light.

After a few bridges, twists and turns, and glorious views of the swollen river I turned on to the Meadow Wood Trail.  This ascended a bit to pastures with horses, cows and the occasional busy birds darting back and forth.  I glanced at the map a few times to keep my bearings and was going to turn around at the 30 minute mark, but could not avoid checking out what was around the next bend.  The Old Webs Trail was my next landscape change and this trail lived up to it's name.  Snaking back and forth like the Bradbury O Trail but with clear views of the surrounding area dotted with pines and needles strewn throughout.  This trail cleared to an amazing view of the area from a chapel at the top of a hill.

I cruised down a dirt road to the main road and decided to check out the other side of the area.  My map however was torn off at that exact spot as I had not intended to go this far out.  I took a chance and headed right.   Shortly thereafter the Vast Trail came in to view.  This, according to the map, was the only trail that went back relatively straight to the Inn.  It was getting darker and the rain started up again so I figured I should b-line it back.  The Vast Trail turned quite fun as well with quick double track and undulating hills keeping me alive.


With the rain coming down hard my water running out and my belly grumbling I turned on to the Kitchel Trail (830ft).  I saw a few mountain bikers here (for the first time) and after saying 'hi' glanced at the 'one way' sign and noted I was going the wrong way.  One of the bikers yelled out a caution that people scream down the trail, and to watch out.  The Kitchel Trail was absolutely crazy twisty, with jumps and technical berms.  (see You Tube video from mountain bikers perspective.)  I ran up as quickly and cautiously as I could listening through the pounding rain for anyone coming down the steep incline.  The plan was to take a left off the trail and hit the road for the final quarter mile to the Inn.  However my last look at the soaked map made it clear I'd missed the turn and was headed back in the woods.

On to another trail which read 'Worth It' and I agreed as I ducked under sugar lines crisscrossing the trail and surrounding woods.  Like a well laid spider web the white, blue and black lines seemed to glow in the fading light and pouring rain.  My last look at the map appeared as though the trail came close to another road and I should be able to bush-wack my way out.  After turning around at a sugar shack I ended up on the Bill Magill Trail which lead me right to a road.  The question was, which road?  It was dirt and not the road I thought it might be.  I headed up, figuring the Inn was at the top of basically everything in the area.  After passing a half dozen gorgeous farm houses, stables, barns and rainy vistas I ended at the Inn.

The trails in the North East Kingdom are on my top 3 list of best places I've ever run.  I thoroughly enjoyed the diversity, grooming, and elevation profile of the area.  It's clear to see why this is a mecca for mountain bikers, skiers, snowshoeing, and running alike.  I will definitely head back there, and look forward to bringing Alison for a getaway, and the Trail Monsters sometime for another bad ass run.  Next time though I'll hit Burke Mountain for some challenging elevation gain.  Jeff also had a great time and could appreciate the trails as he'd been there 3 times before.  He had a great shoot the next day and the client was real happy with the pictures.  A special thanks to him for inviting me along and sharing the love.

distance:  >10
duration:  1:34:45