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Run Efficient: February 2012

Monday, February 27, 2012

To The Brink... 20th - 26th

I've decided to loosely keep track of the elevation gain for my weeks.  I always want to get the best bang-for-the-buck when I drive to a mountain for repeats, or get a solid hill workout in a long run, and usually take note of the gain.  I figure it's time to start increasing the elevation in preparation for the 100 miler, and knowing where I'm at for the entire week is a good starting point.

It's a bit laughable though as most of my runs are relatively flat and what little elevation I get is in one or two workouts.  So take all these figures with a grain of salt, especially because every tracking software out there gives different figures.  I've gone with the lower end and use this data as reference just like time on feet, or mileage acquired.

Monday - Rest

Tuesday - Sebago to the Sea:  1:34:24, 9m, 594ft.  Started off at the Riverton Trolley Park and hit the Sebago to the Sea trail via the golf course and beyond. Ended up bushwhacking a bunch when the trail ended and explored a bit to find more trails. Slipped a few times due to no screw shoes but otherwise the trails were OK.

Wednesday - Mt. Agamenticus:  1:41:10, 10m, 2160ft.  Drove down to Agamenticus with Dave L. today for a little hill fun. Dave is getting ready for a hiking trip and had never been to the mountain so he explored the area while I ran. I decided to use the screw shoes knowing there probably wasn't much snow and ice left. It turned out to be about 70% mud, rocks, and ground and the rest ice and snow, mostly on the back side of the mountain. Running randomly I bumped in to Dave a few times and at one point slipped after chatting with him a bit. I was surprised, and my right toe starting hurting so I inspected my shoes to find the majority of the screws gone. The trails are just too rocky in some sections to avoid losing the screws, but it's still just too dangerous to not have them in.

The run went well, although I was definitely slowing down at the end and ready for some caloric replenishment.

Thursday -  Scarborough: 1:20:46, 9.2m, 333ft.  Real nice and scenic run from the house on the road/shoulder over to Scarborough Marsh area. Took a bunch of roads I've not been on that much and had an enjoyable time looking at the houses, the marsh, trains, birds and seeing the sky change. Took it nice and easy in my old Mudroc 290's and felt relaxed most of the way.

Friday - Eastern Trail:  49:41, 6m, 99ft.  Nice mellow run along the Eastern Trail with only a few icy spots.
Scarborough:  44:05,  5m, 250ft.  Tried out the Inov-8 Road 233's with some slippery results. It's probably been three years since I had on road shoes and I was definitely not used to the hard rubber on slippery snow and slush. I bit dangerous in the conditions and darkness on the roads.

Saturday - Bradbury:  3:23:31, 18 m, 3292 ft.  Really low energy run. Struggled to maintain pace and keep fueling and hydrating to make it through.  We started with the usual healthy pack of Trail Monsters Jim, Ian, Zak, Blaine, Jamie, Mindy, Val, Dave, Jordan, and thinned out as the day went.  We ended with Ian, Zak and I, with Mindy and Val getting 20.

After 8 miles in really great crunchy, snowy conditions hitting Tryon Mt. and cruising on part of the Beautiful Loop I knew the last half of our run was going to be tough.  We hit 6 hill repeats on Lunch Break Hill.   Due to whatever combination of the weeks workouts, poor diet the day before and just feeling blah, I was a sack of uselessness on the hill.  My heart was racing so much and my breathing was so labored that I ended up just walking most of the final three laps.  All smiles though as I knew there was no chance of quitting the workout, that this day was going to be all mental acuity for "the bank," but not much for fitness.

It was great to see Ian having an awesome day and fully charging all the repeats and looking light and strong.  Zak as well didn't walk any of the hills and stayed solid throughout the workout, even though he ran out of water and bonked.  It turned out Val and Mindy had great days also and by the sounds of it so did the rest of the TM's.  I finished the day well, stuffing my face in front of the fire, but I want to make sure I don't overdue it as I feel I'm on the brink of over-training.  Time for a nice recovery week.

Sunday - Scarborough:  2:26:09, 17.3m, 680 ft.  Surprisingly nice road run on a sunny, windy day. I took it nice and easy and ran down past Higgins Beach then did the Scarborough Downs loop and a bit around the neighborhood to round it out. Felt a bit tight from the previous weeks runs, especially yesterday's, but didn't feel too bad running 95% on the road with the 233's.

Time:  12:00:00
Distance:  74.6
Elevation Gain:  7408

Monday, February 20, 2012

Feb 13 - 19 and a FatAss

Monday - Rest

Tuesday - Back Cove, 7.1.  Feeling a bit tired today and slightly sore from last weeks efforts. It took a bit of motivation to get my ass on a run and it wasn't until I ate some sushi and had some coconut water that I was finally feeling 'alive' enough to get moving. Didn't really feel like messing around with screw shoes on an icy trail today so I just took it easy around the cove.

Wednesday - Blackstrap, 8.  Met up with Ian and Zak and hit a few repeats on the three bitches before doing a nice loop around the tree farm. Really great to have company on a weekday run and the workout flew by, almost too quickly.

Thursday - Wohelo Trail and back, 8.  Tried out the New Balance MT110's today on the road/shoulder with great success. They definitely promote mid-forefoot strike and feel nice and minimal with great room in the toe box. Took it relatively easy on the run although the amount of traffic was annoying and it made me speed up a bit to get away from the noise.

Friday - Robinson Woods, 10.  Not really a stellar run. I thought it would be warm enough without gloves, but it was cold, and I figured I could manage without the screw shoes, and I didn't. I also felt real low on energy and actually a bit tight. The run did not bode well for any sort of long run (Vals Fatass) tomorrow. But I slogged through it and made the best of it. Done and done.

Saturday - Val's FatAss, 50k.  Valerie, Rick, Linda, Jerry and the help of a bunch of Trail Monsters put on a wonderful Fat Ass 50k. There were close to 40 runners out doing various loops, with various goals and a bunch more people spectating and hanging out.

My plan was to run the full 50k but I had some trepidation as we started off and my legs weren't feeling up for the challenge. The group started big, led by Val for quite a while and then thinned out to Blaine and Nate way up front, and Ian, Zak, Jamie, Jim, Dave and myself running together. The conditions were rough to say the least. Between running on small sections of land ice-bergs, with frozen ground feeling like bowling balls covered in grass, snowy, slushy, mashed potato style areas, crusty icy areas, and muddy wet spots, the route had it all.

After a tiring snowy section I glanced at my watch and was surprised to see we'd only gone three miles. It was going to be a long day. The first loop was definitely the most social, with all the TM's running, and various sections crisscrossing, it was a great way to see everyone, feel the energy and see the smiles.

On the second loop we thinned out a bit, picked up Emma and slogged through another loop. Back at the "aid station" at Val and Rick's place there was a plethora of food, liquid, spirits, and smiling faces. After a brief check-in on Val's spreadsheet we were back on the trail, ready for the sun, wind and interesting conditions.

I think on lap three it was Ian, Jamie, Zak, Emma and I and Dave might have been with us here and there. This was a rough loop for me. Knowing that we weren't even half way and I was feeling tired isn't a great mental place to be. Nonetheless it was over before we knew it and off we were again for another loop.

Right near the beginning of the fourth loop Zak went down, hard. He crashed through the ice and banged his knee to a bloody mess. He toughed out the loop, but was unable to continue on. It was around this point that Jamie was feeling both satisfied with his mileage and a bit tight and blistery, so he was calling it quits at the end of the lap as well. The trails started thinning out, and we saw fewer and fewer people on some of the out-and-backs and it seemed the wind picked up, and the cold set in.

Fifth lap and It was Emma, Ian, and I with Nate here and there. We put our heads down and headed out, a bit more quiet than usual. Ian and Emma seemed strong on this lap and I lagged in the back most of the way focusing on their feet and keeping relaxed for the ride. The sun popped out here and there which felt great on the face and forced hat removal. Then we'd round a corner and the 20mph winds would chill us back to reality. The course was definitely getting easier to travel due to the numerous footfalls, but the energy required to keep moving was still high.

Final lap and I felt great. I decided to 'feed-the-feel' and took point to lead us to the promise land. It was Emma, Ian and I and it was quite reminiscent of the 100 MW. This was an exciting lap for me as the most I've run in the last half year is twenty two miles. Mentally it felt good to get through a tough day and put some mileage in the bank. It's hard sometimes to wrap your head around running one hundred miles when the thought of 30 seems so tough.  I would say, oddly enough, this lap felt best for me. It really lays credence to going through the highs and lows of a long run, being prepared for it all, and knowing that whatever you're feeling, it's gonna change.

Almost directly after the run I had a chance to go up in Jerry's helicopter. This was a crazy finish to such an epic day. Being able to see the course from above and have a spectacular view of the entire area. What a rush! I finished the day eating, hydrating and hugging the remaining Trail Monsters and friends. The Mockingbird crew put on a fantastic FatAss and it was so comforting to be with everyone!


Sunday - Eastern Trail, 6.5.  Nice and easy recovery run on mixed icy and muddy trails on a gorgeous day. A bit tight from yesterday but not too bad.

70 miles for the week.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Spring and the "White Out"

Really gorgeous, and unseasonably warm week, actually running on dirt, and rocks a bit!?  Then turning nice and cold for the Bradbury White Out race.

Monday - Sat on my ass

Tuesday -   Mount Agamenticus, 9.4 miles.  Hit Agamenticus on an absolutely gorgeous day and mixed terrain. Little bit of ice, little bit of snow, and a surprising amount of rocks and mud. After replacing a few IceSpikes in my Mudclaw's I meandered up the mountain and was shocked to see the entire top has been clear-cut. It's very dramatic, but the views are as well. Before you could see relatively far from the observation towers, but now you can see 360 from anywhere on the dome.
Wednesday - Stroudwater 9 miles.  Kind of a pain-in-the-ass run. I opted for my X-Talon's today because over the last two runs I've lost 7 screws in my Mudroc's with the varied rocky/icy conditions. I wanted to take a break from them and glue in the screws I have left for this weekends race.

So the first few miles were real icy and I took a tumble and slid around even though I stayed off to the side in as much snow as possible. I continued on the trail and then decided to explore a bit off the power lines. Well this led to nowhere but post-holing and wet feet. So back to the trail and a little road to fill in the miles. It felt real good to actually 'run' on the road and not play patty-cake with the ice.

Thursday - Blackstrap/Skillins Tree Farm, 9.5.  Really excellent run in absolutely gorgeous weather! Today Zak and I were going to run together but it didn't quite work out. I was a bit bummed as I was looking forward to the company today, but no worries.

I hit the trails, this time with the screw shoes, and had great snow conditions with no slipping. The day warmed up nicely and fantastic views of Washington and the Whites made it really feel like spring. I decided to do a figure eight route at the Skillin's tree farm instead of repeats on the far side of the hill, and had a rewarding and tough, but fun workout in the soft snow.

Friday - Beach and Back, 10.4.  Nice and mellow run on another gorgeous day. I just ended up running on the road/soft shoulder to Scarborough Beach and back. Great to run in to Mindy four miles in and chat with her a bit. I thought it was pretty damn cool that the only other runner I saw out today was a Trail Monster!

Back Cove, 10.  My first real double run in the books. I've heard a lot about running doubles, the benefits, and the crazy people who do them. I never really thought I would bother with it as I figured I'd always be able to get the mileage in throughout the week. Well I wanted to give it a shot and see how it felt. It was not nearly as arduous as I anticipated and actually quite enjoyable.

I hit the Back Cove in moist air and a few stars poking through. Val and I were possibly going to meet up for a bit and it turned out she was finishing her run. So we chatted for a mile or so and I continued on my way.

Saturday - Robinson Woods, 10.5.  Nice and slow in an inch of newly fallen snow. The trees were dusted in beautiful white blankets making the run very enjoyable.  Ran nice and easy.

Sunday - Bradbury White Out Race, 4, 2.5 warm and cool down.  Good race on real fast trails. After a nice warmup with Zak and Jamie I took off a layer and milled around a bit before the start. The field size looked solid and a bunch of excited faces filled the paddock. I decided to hold on as long as possible to Judson Cake and whoever else was going to be quick today. After Ryan and gIANt's opening commentary we started, and started fast. It was clear that I was not going to be anywhere near Judson today on the icy, flat, and quick course.

After about a mile Judson was no longer in sight and I held on to my pace as best I could. I felt kind of heavy and not as full of energy as I would have liked but just pushed as hard as possible. I kept envisioning someone coming up behind me and it kept me going throughout.

After about 2.5 miles I was beginning to tire and with a few softer sections here and there it was challenging to keep pace. The course was real fun with slight undulations, some double track, some toboggan style single track, icy spots and softer areas. The cold temps made sucking air pretty interesting with coughing fits the whole way but otherwise great conditions.

At around 3.5 miles I saw Blaine and Erin cheering people on and he stated that he (Judson) was right ahead of me and I almost "had him." This gave me about 10 seconds of adrenaline, thanks Blaine, and I quickly laughed and realized I was nowhere close to Judson today.

I finished as strong as I could and really had a blast on the course. I did miss running with people a bit though and actually thought I went off course a few times. Yet another great race put on by Ryan Ian and all the TM's who helped, support, and cheered!

65+ for the week.

Monday, February 6, 2012

A diverse week 1/30 - 2/5

Monday - Rest

Tuesday - Presumpscot Trail, 7.1.  I started out today's run feeling sluggish and unmotivated, and just a few hundred yards down the trail didn't even feel right in my own legs. The ground felt hard, my ankles felt like unmovable oak stumps, and my mind was elsewhere. By the time I got to the river, picked my head up, looked around at the beautiful wet snow falling, the quiet water flowing, and felt the gentle fluff and crunch underfoot, I'd gotten out of my funk. If only I'm able to remember this at mile 77 in May.

Just took 'er easy today and did both out-and-backs with all the loops. By the end of the run I was real cold from the wet snow and brushing up against all the trees, but was happy to be running on such a fun trail making fresh tracks.

Wednesday - Scarborough Downs Loop, 8.6.   I originally wanted to do an interval workout around the Back Cove, but opted for a run from the house later in the day when the sun came out. I thought I might run to the Scarborough High School track but decided the roads were good enough.

After a two mile warm up I did 4 x 1 mile repeats with a three minute jog in between. Cooled down about a mile and a half. The repeats went well and were tough at the end. On the third I thought I heard my watch beep so I slowed then realized I was hearing things and had to pick up the pace again which messed with my head. (I think I was already getting loopy). It was a bit interesting doing a speed workout during rush hour traffic by Scarborough Downs, Payne Rd. and Rt. 1, but might have pushed me a bit.

Thursday - Blackstrap, 8.1.  Hit Blackstrap today and hung out on the power lines for a few miles until wrapping around the back side of the tree farm. Did a few repeats on a beautiful day with snow still on the trees and just the right under-foot crunch.

Friday - Robinson Woods, 7.  Easy run on icy trails which made the IceSpikes a bit annoying underfoot. Really tried to take it easy in preparation for the runs coming up this weekend.

Saturday - Kennebunk, 14.2.  I planned on doing 15 today and wanted to hit the Kennebunk trails for some diversity and freshness. I definitely should have brought snowshoes, or done the Beautiful Loop with the Trail Monsters as the conditions were rough. After the first mile or so of icy trails the yellow loop was mostly crunchy, weeble-wobble post-holing footing making the going real hard, slow and taxing. I looked for a trail Jamie and I had run on that was more like double track and hoped there would be more traffic or a snowmobile track. I never made it though and ended up going back to the yellow loop and headed back to the truck.

My watch was playing tricks on me today and it was only showing laps. After resetting, it continued to only show laps, so when I decided to hit the road to finish the run I had to do a bit of math and figure out the out-and-back on top of what I'd already done in a couple entries of the watch. Yeah right. So to the ocean I went, on the road which wasn't all bad except for the strong winds on the way back. All said and done I was happy to have finished the workout and ready for some food. I was disappointed though when I got home to find I'd only run 14ish, and of course done the math wrong.

Sunday - Winnick to the Sea, 22.4.  The goal for today's run was negative splits. I decided to hit a loop that Zak and I cruised on a few weeks ago and add a few miles in. It basically connects Winnick Woods, a golf course, Robinson Woods, Greenbelt Trails and Fort Williams.

I went out real conservative on tired legs from yesterdays' post-holing and the weeks efforts. Deciding on my screw-less Mudroc's instead of the Mudclaw's due to harder conditions and a small road section may or may not have been a good idea. The Mudroc's are real worn, ripped and no longer a two arrow cushion.  However on the last few runs with the IceSpiked Mudclaw's my feet have felt the metal underfoot.

At 11 miles I picked up the pace as I circled the gorgeous views at Fort Williams. The weather was just about perfect with sunny skies and a gentle breeze and I was very appreciative to be enjoying the unseasonable February temps. At about mile fifteen I wasn't really paying attention and went down on an icy decline. I smashed my wrist and elbow and rolled to a grunting halt. Damn, wish I had the screws in right now. No real harm done though just a real cautious couple miles to avoid any further mishaps.

I finished well enough and was happy with the effort on not-so-fresh legs with the first 11 miles in 2:10 and the final 11 in 1:58. Nice and slow, conservative pace but I really wanted to run the negative. Fun, fun.

67+ for the week.