Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Three (again)

Three easy miles @ 8:48 pace.  These short runs are murder.  I feel so good during them and wish to keep going and it’s quite disappointing to stop.  It must be psychological.

Monday, December 29, 2008

4 weeks in

Rest day today.

Week 1: 40.2 miles @ 8:45 avg pace

Week 2: 47.2 miles @ 8:29 avg pace

Week 3: 52.2 miles @ 8:38 avg pace

Week 4: 60.2 miles @ 8:23 avg pace

8 weeks left in prep phase.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Birthday at Boyden

I turned 37 today, so I started my day with a 20 mile run with a good friend. I felt great the whole way and was very pleased on how it went. The weather was very mild at 45+ degrees but the roads were still a little icy. Poor Mike slipped and slid a few times and although he avoided a fall I hope he didn't aggravate his hamstring.

Mike had another installment of the chocolate balls at the finish to celebrate my success in lasting another year.

20 miles @ 8:46 pace.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Poking in the snow

Half inch of snow made for footprints this morning. Followed Eric's prints and found him at about mile 5. We were running the same course today and the same mileage so we finished up 8 miles together.

Mild out this morning at 32 degrees. I'm hoping to run a long run with Mike tomorrow if I can find him.

8.1 miles @ 9:30 pace.

Friday, December 26, 2008

I have to get this clothing thing worked out

Checked the thermometer this morning and it was reading 20 degrees.  Checked the computer for the relative wind chill and it said 1 degree due to the NNW wind.  I opened the door to let a cat out and it felt pretty cold.


So layered I did.


And it seemed to work as I wasn’t uncomfortable and I scooted along at an average 7:50 pace feeling pretty good.  Two out and backs today to make up the mileage with water at the 7 mile mark.


But when I got home I was ringing wet from so much sweat and I found myself extremely dehydrated this morning.  I’ve been drinking copious amounts of water today and it seems to have done the trick.


I tend to dress for the first mile instead of the last and I need to balance this out.  The first few steps I always feel underdressed but over the course of an hour and three quarters I was cooking myself with those special ‘high-tech’ materials that trap all the body heat inside the shell.


Besides waiting until 7 miles to get a drink (which didn’t help), another problem is sleeping too long this morning.  I must have awoken dehydrated and the two cups of coffee this morning in the 30 minutes before the start didn’t do anything for me.  So starting a 13 mile run under-hydrated, overdressed, with insufficient water, at too fast a pace is not good.  Don’t do it.


The run was nice.


13 miles @ 7:50 pace. 

Thursday, December 25, 2008


I got new running shoes last Christmas.
I meant to replace them during the year.


2,322 miles later, today I found a new pair of running shoes under the tree.

3 miles @ 7:18 pace.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


The miles rolled off with ease this morning as I covered 13 miles in balmy 22 degrees with a fine mist of snow.  The roads were slightly slippery but I felt better today than I have in the past three weeks.  I don’t know why I felt so good today. 


So far the contrast plan seems to be keeping me on the roads.  The goal is to get to the end of February without succumbing to the winter blues.  So I am on week 4 of the ‘preparation’ phase – a phase that is to prepare me for the 7 weeks of structured work prior to my May marathon.


13 miles @ 7:41 pace.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Cold Three

-7 degrees with the windchill.  Almost took me as long to dress for it as it did to run it.  Times on these days are slower as I start my watch inside the house before I layer over it and put on the mittens.
3 miles @ 9:06 pace.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Waiting for my blizzard

When I awoke I found the forecast had changed from a winter storm warning to a blizzard warning:

A Blizzard Warning remains in effect from 3 PM this afternoon to
5 am EST Monday.

Snow will overspread the area this afternoon and become heavy at
times until around midnight. Snowfall rates of 2 to 3 inches per
hour can be expected at the height of the storm. Expect total
snow accumulations between 10 and 18 inches... before snow tapers
off late tonight.

Meanwhile increasing winds of 25 to 35 mph... with gusts of 40 to
45 mph... will create whiteout conditions.

All interests across the Blizzard Warning area should rush to
completion preparations to be made in advance of the storm.

A Blizzard Warning means severe winter weather conditions are
expected. This storm will have an extreme impact on the warning
area. Very strong winds combined with heavy snow will create
potentially deadly outdoor conditions. Whiteouts... deep snow
drifts and frostbite of exposed skin can be expected.

Taking their advice, I rushed out the door to complete my preparations... namely my long run. Rushing out the door is the only rushing I did however. The rest of the run was done at a relaxed pace. Mike had to be somewhere else early this morning so today I was going to be running solo. I decided to stay in town and left a couple of hours later than usual. Lucky for me, I met Eric just before the two mile mark and I turned around with him and ran back into town. He wasn't as lucky as I was yesterday and ran into the frozen sea smoke I blogged about yesterday. Icicle man.

I ran another 6.5 miles out of town before I turned. While not as comfortable as going by the house occasionally, I know when I make the turn the mileage for the day is locked in. Run, walk, or crawl, the distance will be the same. Felt pretty good the whole time and much warmer with the wind to my back heading back to Eastport.

I am pleased with another successful week of my plan. - 52 miles.

Tomorrow is a scheduled day off so I'll miss running in the blizzard. No doubt I will still be outside digging my car out so I can travel a treacherous 45 miles to work. I think it will take me over 2 hours to get there. The road between here and Machias is notoriously 'crowned' from all the heavy logging trucks and makes for interesting commuting during the winter months.

17 miles @ 8:53 pace.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Close escape

I narrowly avoided a potentially frightful event during my very cold run this morning.  The temperature was 10 degrees as I embarked on a 7 mile run in the darkness and a strong, cold wind was blowing out of the north with the first half of the workout into its teeth.  With the wind chill down below zero, I labored to the 3.5 mile mark for the turnaround and the return trip was faster and more pleasant with a rather cold tailwind.  I didn’t realize my good luck until I was driving off the island this morning and onto to the first causeway which happens to be just beyond where I turned around this morning.  With the sun now rising behind me, there was light enough to see that the cold wind I had battled earlier was blowing a squall of sea smoke across the causeway - icing the wires, poles, guardrails and road.  The ¼ mile across was a swirling arctic tempest.  As I drove through, I could only think that if 8 miles was on the schedule this morning it would have meant a good dousing of super cooled moisture – and in the darkness I would not have known what was happening until it was too late.


I shiver just thinking about it.  In fact, I’m shivering anyway as I haven’t quite recovered from this morning’s chill.


7 miles @ 8:12 pace.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Cold running in a cold economy

Ripped Eric from his planned workout this morning as we met going opposite directions at mile 6.5.  He kindly turned and ran the final 4.5 back with me into town.  Chilly at 22 degrees but the highway was clear of snow and the skies were clear.


Felt better in the 2nd half of the run than the first.  In fact, I almost didn’t get out in time as I was reading about the demise of NPR and MPBN broadcasting here in Washington County.  They had to make cuts and they chose the least populated areas to cut I guess.  A sign of the times around here.  The Unobskey School (a local college) is on the way out too as the government pares more jobs.  At least we don’t have to worry much about private industry.  That was driven out of here long ago.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Fresh as the new fallen snow

I felt great from the get go crunching along the snow covered roads.  The sky was starry and the air crisp - just beautiful.


Nevertheless, feeling great didn’t do anything for the pace.  3.1 miles @ 8:52 pace.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Snow at 10

It's common knowledge, you hear about it, and you sometimes ponder, but reading this running conversation made it clear that people in California need to expand their weather horizon just a little bit. Poor souls.

The expected snowfall came at mile 10 this morning. Eric and I missed each other in the dark it seems. While he only saw light geese, I watched a fox pass from one yard to another looking for the odd cat.

Extremely cold water can make you nauseous. At least that's what I think it was at mile 6.

11 miles fit the bill today as the plan continues. 8:20 pace.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Sort of appreciating the plan today

With just three miles on the schedule today and a day of rest yesterday, I’m feeling rather rested.  The groin was sore yesterday after Sunday’s 17 miler.  So a day off was handy.  And today, I slept right up to the alarm at 5am so I must have been tired.  But I am looking forward to tomorrow’s longer run.


Felt ok today (no soreness).  Did 5k @ 8:58 pace in 50 degrees.  Having to log these shorter runs really highlights just how slowly I begin a workout.  All my other workouts begin the same way but the average pace gets better as the miles progress.  These short runs are over before I even get going.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The First Cold is the Freezest

We were not 5000 feet into today's run when only the prospect of hot coffee and chocolate balls at the finish line kept my spirits from sinking. It was just 10 degrees at the start and except for some bright sun rays to warm the face now and then it remained cold throughout the run - particularly in the dips and valleys where the cold air had gathered to test our fortitude.

It will get colder as the season progresses but the first bite of old man winter certainly stings. At mile 8 I had the scarf up over my face as the pain was just too new to deal with. Add my stomach discomfort and a slight bonk near the end and what you have, in Mike's words, is a run "that ended with a whimper."

Whimper or no, we logged the 17 miles in 2:27:38 which included several woods stops for me. Too much coffee and no breakfast was not a recipe for a comfortable long run. Also, my stashed water at mile 7 had turned to ice. So beyond a few drops I ran the course sans hydration. This I am sure added to my trouble. Any winter running requires preparation but how short the memory is! The solution to the water issue is, of course, parking a car at the half-way mark with water inside. This also serves as a necessary safety measure. We discussed this and we will probably re-institute this measure on our next Sunday run.

And so ends my vacation. I've been off for a week here at home relaxing. Back to the pressure pit tomorrow - which reminds me of the following:

There were three young snakes hissing in a pit. All were quite happy hissing in their pit when their mom came to the door and said, "I'm going to the store - I'll be right back!" "Aww, Mom! What are we going to do while you are gone?" cried the snakes. "Just stay and hiss in your pit. And if you get tired of hissing in your own pit, go next door to Mrs. Pott's pit and hiss." So the snakes hissed in their pit and were quite happy hissing in their own pit but eventually got bored and decided to go to Mrs. Pott's pit and hiss. But while they were hissing in Mrs. Pott's pit, Mrs. Pott came out and said, "What are you doing hissing in my pit? If you want to hiss in a pit, go to your own pit and hiss!" Dejected, the young snakes slithered back to their own pit to hiss. And they were hissing in their pit when their Mom came home. She inquired, "Did you have a nice time while I was gone?" "No!" they all cried at once. "We did what you said and hissed in our pit but then we got bored of hissing in our own pit so we went to Mrs. Pott's pit to hiss. But while we were hissing in Mrs. Pott's pit, Mrs. Pott came out and said, 'If you want to hiss in a pit, go to your own pit and hiss!'" "Well I'll be!" exclaimed their mother. "I can remember when Mrs. Pott didn't have a pit to hiss in!"

47 miles was week's mileage total - right on schedule.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Easy Six

Forcing the low mileage still. Six miles this morning - a couple of those miles with Eric. Feeling better and better all the time. I find I am looking forward to running the longer workouts each week - a good sign.

6 miles @ 8:26 pace.

Friday, December 12, 2008

And the ice melted

Another swing up in temperature melted the ice that covered the roadways last night so this morning's run was fairly tame. Except for the thick rain and northeast wind, it wasn't so bad.

I ran out the highway this morning to avoid the mud puddles in the pitch dark but I had to deal with some traffic. All in all, the training is still on track.

9 miles @ 8:09 pace.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Doo, doo, doo, Can't get it out my back door.

A wild temperature swing froze the back door shut. The cats were piled up three deep but nothing could be done. Luckily, the ice wasn't so strong at the front door and with a rebel meow we rushed the door and spilled out onto the front porch.

Then I ran 3 miles.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Warm 9

Seemed tropical out there this morning. Nine miles in wet, blowing conditions with temperatures in the 50's. Temps will drop tonight and change the rain to ice.

Three miles yesterday.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Crossing the Line

Wild swings in temperature as the arctic bus made a short tour of the neighborhood. Frozen flakes peering through the window looked liked they might want to come back for a longer visit. Luckily, I had today off according to a hastily drawn up handwritten plan that has yet to be released and I was listening to some dogs leaving the island and congratulating myself on my frozen escape when I saw the forecast overnight lows - single digits. This means an even colder outing tomorrow - and all for 3 lousy miles.

Last week saw 40 miles. Right about where I planned it.

13 miles was the kick off to the '08/'09 winter edition of Sundays with Michael. This week: Crossing the Snow Line

A swirling mess of atmospheric moisture whirled its way into Downeast Maine tripping Winter Weather Warnings and blowing a gale just offshore. An oddity with this region is our ability to maintain 33 degrees on one side of the street yet plunge to 31 degrees on the other. The result - a distinct line in the sand between rain and snow. Michael, Ozzie and I crossed the line several times in our loop around Boyden Lake. We started in the snow, then rain. Then snow. Then rain. It makes for difficult, wet footing. Add a constant, cold, wet snizzle out of the sky and you get the full picture. Coffee and cookies at the finish brought the spirits back. Next week: Return of the Balls.

And finally, poor Maddie goes to Dr. Booster tomorrow. But I told her Big Girls Don't Cry.

Friday, December 05, 2008

The cold dark winter is approaching

Very pleased I got out again today.  Trying to get mentally prepared for 4 months.


7 miles @ 8:48 pace.  Felt fine.  Roads were dry, the air mild.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Cold Crust

The air was mild but the footing slippery this morning as the course was covered with black ice.  Rising frost from down below came up and froze this morning’s roads making an interesting drive to work too.


This week so far has me testing the waters again.  Tuesday 3, Wednesday 7, Thursday 3.  Feeling ok – just a little creaky and sore.  Pace characteristically slow.

Monday, December 01, 2008


Running last week:

Last week: 6.1 miles. 3 miles on Tuesday, 3.1 Turkey Trot in 28:11 on Thursday. I've been tired, cold, and not very motivated.

Reading update for November:

War and Remembrance by Herman Wouk - Wonderful story, sequel to Winds of War.

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen - Felt the need to read her books again. I generally wait until the new year but a quick look at the book log shows I skipped last year and I'm overdue.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen - An old favorite.

Mansfield Park by Jane Austen - Probably my least favorite of her books but once you are into the story it really smooths out.

In Secret Service by Mitch Silver - a paperback I picked up at Borders last Saturday when I took Meg in there to get a book. Fast paced, far fetched, and of no literary value whatsoever, it was a mindless break. Sometimes you need it. I overpaid at $7.99.

Ham Radio

Cleaned out the clutter from the home office and rediscovered my radios. Had some fun this weekend tinkering with antennas and radios. My blind try at a center loaded shortened 80 meter dipole didn't work out. Time to learn the math I guess, but it was a fun experiment anyway.


What credit crunch? Crazy crazy crazy.