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Run Efficient: November 2011

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Turkey week 11/21 - 11/27

Monday - Prout's Neck.  10 miles.  Ran with Todd and Eddie while they were on roller blades from Camp Ketcha to Prout's Neck. They then donned shoes and we all did the ocean loop then ran along Scarborough Beach. At that point I took off and ran back home on the road and they continued back to switch to roller blades again.  Fun run with a bit quicker pace at the start trying to keep up a bit with the wheels.

Wednesday - Stroudwater.  6 miles.  Rainy, snowy, slushy, muddy, wet, windy and cold run. Just awesome! Stroudwater was about two inches covered in snow and slush and the extension along the power lines was 50% mud puddles to continually soak the feet. Took it nice and easy and still manged to slip a bit on the bridges. Fun, fun winter run!

Friday - Bradbury West.  8 miles.  Hit the Brad with Alison, Louie, and Francesca for a wonderful post t-day run. The trails were snow, slushy and nice and muddy with a bunch of people and their pooches out stretching their legs. I ran a few random backwards and forwards loops to get in 6 summits, 3 of which up and down the summit trail. Great fun with Francesca joining me for the final ascent and descent.

Saturday - Scarborough Downs Loop.  6 miles.  Nice and easy loop. Didn't push it even though I felt good and really wanted to get back to T-day leftovers and pie.

Sunday - Kennebunk.  15.4 miles.  Planned on 10 but Mindy and Tim were heading to the Bunk and I really wanted to check the area out and have some company.  Real fun, chill run on the new-to-me trails.   We hit a 7+ mile loop twice with a few offshoots checking out some other trails.  Great area with nice undulating trails that meander switchback style through gorgeous woods.

We had a fantastic time chatting about the usual upcoming races, past events and future workouts.  It was good to catch up with Mindy as the last time I'd run with her was her 40 for 40.  It's especially fun talking and planning about a race coming up that we both have in common.  Tim had some interesting stories about some of his world travels and his future running endeavors as well.

The run began relatively warm with overcast skies and by mid-run it began to get cool with a heavier feel to the atmosphere.  It felt a bit strange as if this ominous, oceanic wave had rolled in to the area.  We joked that it seemed Jamie Anderson and Stephen King must be conspiring together for their next novel about the Kennebunk Killa's.

Summary - 45+ miles.  Actually intended to step back this week in mileage with T-day and all but since last week was fewer miles than anticipated I just flip-flopped rest weeks.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Training week 11/14 - 11/20

Monday - Winnick Woods.  7 miles.  This is the run I've been looking for, really great. A bit cool at the start after talking with my cousin for a while on the phone as he trains for a fast Florida marathon. Hit the trails with gusto and didn't let up much running the outer loop twice. Felt nice and strong on much of the climbs and it felt good to charge up the tiny hills for a cardio workout.

Tuesday - Rest

Wednesday - Portland to Scarborough.  6 miles.  Ran home from Jeff Scher's house after helping him on a photo shoot. Filled my Nathan Synergy pack with my clothes so it was a good run to feel some weight on the back again. The route is all roads via Congress St. to Maine Mall Rd. and on to 114. Not the most ideal run but it worked efficiently enough and was over quick.

Thursday - Ossipee Hill.  7 miles.  I really wanted something fresh in terms of hill today and did not feel like driving to Bradbury twice in one week, or all the way down to Agamenticus or Sawyer. So poured over some topo maps and found Ossipee Hill to be a bit closer by and some moderate elevation.

The drive took a bit longer than I really wanted, but when I saw the hill at the end of the drive I got real excited. The only problem was I had little time left and could not find a trail head. Private Property signs dotted the couple roads I drove searching for a good pull-out and I finally just settled on a gas station for base camp.

Starting on the road, about a half mile in to the run the hill starts and climbs gloriously up for about another half mile. With a nice descent on the back side and a bit of undulating along I noticed a road that went straight up to the right. This road turned out to be a residence but was a great but kicker and forced me to power hike up the remainder.

Back on the road again there appeared a logging road to the right with a number of off-shoots ascending the hill. This was an absolute blast and had me working hard again on the soft and uneven terrain. I never found the actual top to the hill and assumed it had a tower on it as viewed from the road.

The way back seemed a bit more grueling than I remembered but I kept the pace as quick as possible as the chill was setting in. At the bottom of the first climb I looked at my watch and realized I had a few more minutes to go to fit in the full 7 I wanted. So it was back up the hill for another excellent climb.

Friday - Rest

Saturday - Planned 12.  Didn't get out on this run as Alison and I were gallivanting around New England and it just never happened.

Sunday - Shutesbury Mass.  14 miles.  Ran from our friends house Shutesbury Massachusetts on an excellent, hilly trail system. The run started out with about two miles of downhill on dirt roads. The first possible trail I found I took and it led me to the Houston and Gage loop of about 1.5 miles. A great meandering loop up and down, in and around a ravine with a tough climb up some power lines.

Next I took off in the woods along more single track and came out to another set of power lines which I headed right by down a small slope of loose, sharp rock. I took a right and headed up a gradual slope of double track which seemed to stay fairly low on the right side of a hill. This took me through some gorgeous areas with a lot of downed trees due to the recent storms in the area. After about an hour I curved back to the power lines and looked left up the hill. It was just too good to pass up with the steep, rocky, and sandy sectioned ascent, I had to hit it. This climb was an absolute butt-kicker with about a mile of climb and a crazy fun semi-out-of-control descent. I was rewarded with a 4 or 5 point deer about fifteen feet from me as I raced down the incline toward the sun.

Then it was back to the original trail for a tough undulating climb up rocky sections hurdling downed trees and limbs, and sloshing through muddy sections. At the end of the trail and now back on the road I had the two mile climb back to the beginning which proved an excellent burn to end a fantastic run.

Summary - 34 miles.  Except for intending to hit 44 miles this week, it was filled with great quality, butt-kicking workouts.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

An interesting week 11/7 - 11/13

Monday - Stroudwater.  6 miles, 56:10.  Real relaxed run hit the extension of the trail to the road for a bit before turning around.  Took it nice and easy.

Tuesday - Robinson Woods.  7 miles, 1:02:00.  Due to time and proximity I ended up running in the dark with headlamp and on a trail not very suited for pushing the hills like I wanted. The trails are technical with rocks, roots and undulations as well as difficult to navigate with the leaves and denseness of the woods. That said I ended up hitting a dirt road after a while to get the workout in as safe as possible. Could have been much faster in the daylight, but no worries.

Wednesday - Rest

Thursday - Fort Williams.  6 miles, 51:47.  Not quite what I wanted with the hill workout but once again time, location and safety played a big role. I was only able to get out at dark and decided to hit Fort Williams thinking the open spaces and grassy fields and hills would be a good safe workout. However I really didn't get that much of a burn due to sketchy footing, slower speeds and misty rainy conditions.  It was a fantastic night next to the ocean though and fully enjoyable.

Friday - Scarborough Downs loop.  6.1 miles, 44:34.  This run had a bit more gusto than previously planned due to lackluster runs earlier this week. The legs just felt like moving and it's a relatively flat route so it was fun to cruise through the workout.

Saturday - Rest.  Planned 15 but decided to flip flop days.

Sunday - Cathance.  15 miles, 2:24:00.  Cathance and pancakes! Great run with the Trail Monsters from Ryan and Danielle's house with a solid crew. Gorgeous trails up and around Mt. Ararat, crossing the Cathance River and running along it for a while. Wonderful area with excellent trails that meander across roads, train tracks, through rocky areas and undulating soft terrain. Had some great conversations with all who were there and of course hilarious times.  It's real great to hear plans for the coming year and look back at accomplishments from 2011.

After the run Danielle and Kate had pancakes, sausage, bacon and fresh coffee and beer at the ready. What a way to end a fantastic run with the crew!

Summary -  40 miles for the week.  Except for the couple of hill workouts which never really materialized it was a great week and capped off by an incredibly great time with the TM's!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Stone Cat pacing and the weeks training

This week was fun, diverse and had a really great surprise end to it.

Monday 31st - Rest

Tuesday 1st - Eastern Trail.  6 miles, 49:04.  Hit the Eastern Trail with Dave on his bike for a quick easy run. Perfectly flat and a gorgeous day. Might've been a bit quicker than anticipated.

Wednesday 2nd -  Presumpscot Trails.  7 miles, 1:04:00.  Bit tougher run than expected. Lower legs felt sore but hit the hills with vigor. Probably could have squeezed a few more hills in toward the end but listened to the legs and took it easy for the last 1.5.

Thursday 3rd - Robinson Woods.  6 miles, 54:05.  Nice easy run to the ocean, checked out the swell at the cove and hit the Greenbelt extension for a bit before turning around.

Friday 4th -  Deering Oaks and Portland Track.  4 miles warmup/cool down, 39:00 2 miles 11:58.  Warmed up for two miles real easy with Alison walking and jogging for the first mile. Hit the track and ran two consecutive miles. I was shooting for 6:20 to 6:30 but ran the first at 6:04, and the second 5:54. Felt pretty good and relatively consistent. Cooled down a lap on the track and then ran around Deering Oaks again for 2 miles.

Saturday 5th -  Stone Cat.  12.5 miles, 2:07:xx.  I had the great honor to pace someone for the first time and Zak Wieluns was the guinea pig (well more like a jack rabbit).  We got up stupid early and Zak was nice enough to pick me up.  We then proceeded to try and find Ian and Emma to carpool and drive down to the race.  I got us a bit mixed up as to which park and ride we were meeting at so it cost us 15 minutes getting down there.  Not a good start as 'pacer.'

After all the Trail Monsters (around a dozen) were off on their respective marathon or 50 mile race, the significant others and friends hunkered down in the cold temps.  This is the first time I've hung out at a long race like this and it was very interesting to be on the other side of the scene.  I got to help Ian and Emma out on their transitions a bit and helped Nathan tie and untie his shoes due to his frozen fingers, as well as a few other runners with their transitions.  Zak had his sister and a friend crewing for him and he was in and out of the area in no time.

When Zak came through for his fourth and final lap it was time for me to get to work.  Zak had said he'd love to get under 9 hours and he was already well on his way with a buffer.  He had gone through his first two laps in around 2 hours and took it easy on his third lap.  With three laps under his belt Zak become a bit of a tour guide as we ran the gorgeous course with it's fun meandering, undulating terrain and a few muddy and watery spots.

We chatted for the first seven miles about randomness and basically kept his mind off the effort.  It was really just as though we were going out for a long run together and we were relatively chill.  We did however take inventory of his fluid, electrolyte, and food intake, and began to make a mini-game plan for the end.  After the last aid station at 7.5 we took off.  I took a chapter out of the James Demer book of pacing and put the hammer down.  It was quite the experience to give energy, feel his energy and judge the pace accordingly.  Now Zak was not racing, and was in no danger of missing his 9 hour mark, but I figured he was strong enough to get a great time.  He was.

I learned a bunch from pacing Zak and found the exercise revealing.  While he ran I listened intently to his breathing (especially because he was not talking for the final 6 or so miles).  It was clear for us which hills we could push and which he needed to recover on.  He did not complain at all, although his face often told me he was thinking about it.  I was very impressed at how strong he is and was during the race, especially the final 5 miles as he dropped to 9 minutes per. 

It was an excellent experience and I look forward to doing it again soon.  It has definitely bread more respect and admiration for the crew, pacers and spectators at these wonderful events.

Summary:  37.5 miles this week.  Only issue is slightly sore Achilles still but working on that.