Friday, July 31, 2009

Recovery Day

Had a really hard day at work yesterday and went to bed exhausted.  Opted for a full night’s sleep to recuperate.  0 miles today.

Thursday, July 30, 2009


The general definition of junk miles is mileage or workouts that serve no purpose. Most of the time I've seen it referred to slow mileage. I generally disagree with that since slow mileage does two things for me: 1) accumulates total mileage for a good foundation to work from and 2) recovery. However if running lots of slow miles is at the expense of (or instead of) quality work then I see how those miles could be classified as junk.

Junk is relative to each of us and it's relative to where you are in the training cycle. So in my case, today's workout not only did not serve any useful purpose, it will end up being at the expense of the rest of this week's quality.

You see, today's run was too fast, too slow, too long, and too short. Pure junk. I didn't intend on running junk, it just ended up that way. And that's the silver lining. At least I learned something and that's always a good thing.

What did I learn? I learned that I wasn't recovered from Tuesday's great tempo run. And now I'll have to wait until next Monday or Tuesday for my next quality workout.

After a good foot soaking last night, I felt motivated this morning to run 20 miles at around 6:45 pace. Or basically 2hrs 15mins which is what was on the schedule. A little more or a little less mileage wouldn't make a difference. The goal was general. The foot felt good and I felt ok but not great. The fog was thick, the air a humid 60 degrees, and the sun was sleeping in. So for the first 5 miles I did not have any splits and was running by feel alone. This can be a good thing so you don't press for arbitrary splits.

As I was running, I was clipping along at a good pace and it felt fast - faster than 6:45. In fact, I was pondering just backing off slightly so I wouldn't ruin the second half of the run. But overall I felt good. The wind was light and occasionally gusted from my left. Completely manageable.

So when I got to mile 5 where I could finally see my watch, I was just a little pained to see that I was exactly at a 6:45 pace - when I thought I was running a little stronger than that. And then the shocker came when I turned and found a very healthy wind had been blowing at my back the whole time and now was full front.

The run suddenly was a lot of work to maintain pace and by 7.5 miles I knew I was just working too hard. My legs were not recovered from Tuesday. So I pulled the plug and jogged it home.

I ended up with 10 miles w/7.5 @ 6:45 pace. I can't count it as recovery because that's too fast. I can't call it easy since I was working too hard. I won't classify it as one of my aerobic workouts because it wasn't far enough. And running easy tomorrow won't provide enough recovery in time for my planned intervals on Saturday. If I had known or suspected as much, I would have run recovery today and Friday and then ran quality on Saturday. But now I can't. So junk is what it is.

The bright side is that at least I won't try to run quality on Saturday in spite of this. That would lead to getting stale and inhibiting improvement. I'll know for next time that I need a longer recovery from a good tempo run (for now).

On a lighter note:

I have a rule at the office. It's a simple one. When I show up, I liked to be asked, "How was your run?" Then I get to talk about it. The staff humors me.

Yesterday, they decided to humor themselves. When I got back from lunch the vandals had been in my office -

It might be time for new rule.

10 miles: 1:09:31.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Keeping My Head Down

Something’s up today.  I ride my motorcycle 46 miles to work each day on a winding road that skirts the peaceful inlets that populate the coast of Downeast Maine.  Normally the ride is a pleasant part of the day.  Not today.  The first 23 miles of this ride made me feel like my number might be up.


First, a truck from Louisiana passed me by surprise in a no passing zone.  A mile later as we approached the stop sign, he veered left and drove the wrong way up the “off ramp” (I don’t know what else to call it) surprising a truck coming down it.  Luckily the two trucks missed one another and he sped off.  I was thinking about this when a large delivery truck for Johnson Controls passed me going up a hill.  I was doing the speed limit so I’m not sure what was going on.  He pulled in front of me rather close but I suppose it was to avoid smashing into the car that crested said hill.  He sped off.  Around one more corner and a deer jumped out of the woods and came to halt at the edge of the tree line, fear in its eyes.  I had time to beep the horn and that is it.  Luckily, the horn scared it back into the woods.  All of these near misses were starting to concern me so I shouldn’t have been surprised when two minutes later an elderly guy decided to back his pickup truck out of his driveway and directly into my path.  I hit the brakes, I hit the horn and he darted out of the way just in time.  I was seriously considering calling it a day when a dump truck pulled out of side road just ahead.  No problem slowing for this one but he starting belching the blackest smoke out of the pipe and I had to hold my breath.  He then turned off at the next turn.  My head swiveled like crazed man the rest of the commute but I arrived in one piece.  Time to close the office door and avoid sharp objects.


So I guess it’s no big deal that my little toe hurt today on my run.  I’ll soak it tonight.


13.2 miles / 8:05 pace. Easy.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Breaking an Hour

I had a very good tempo run this morning.  10 miles in 59:19.  I felt pretty good throughout but the 2nd half took a little more concentration than the first half.  The 5 mile splits, while positive, were fairly close: 29:32 / 29:47.  The foot behaved itself.  A little discomfort through the first half mile and then it evened out nicely.  For a warm up I did some striders to get the heart rate up and afterward I did a two mile cool down.


I felt surprisingly good through most of the workout.  I was pleased that my running felt controlled and the breathing easy.  Aerobically I was strong but the legs experienced some progressive fatigue as the miles passed.  I hit a little low spot on the 7th mile but that passed for the final three.  The first mile was the slowest at 6:19 and I know mile 2 was the fastest but it was too foggy to see the split with accuracy – my guess is somewhere between 5:20 – 5:30.  However, when I crossed mile three (uphill) with the clock still under 18:00 I knew I was going to like this workout.  Miles 4 through 6 are flat and they went very well.  Finishing out mile 7 at the top of a hill was a little tougher than I’d like (split around 6:15) - but I was still 15 seconds on the good side of 42:00.  I knew then that I had the hour broken.  The final three were 5:58, 5:57, and a 5:39 to finish.


This workout was a good confidence booster.


12.3 miles total with 10 miles @ tempo (59:19 / 5:56 pace)

Monday, July 27, 2009

Hot Cold Recovery

I knew today would be an aggressive recovery day since I dreamt I had a sore foot.  And when I awoke, I did.  So prior to the run I iced it and soaked it in hot water.  Then I ran an easy 2 miles in 20+ minutes and then repeated the care.  The soreness is on the left side of the left foot midway toward the little toe extending to the toe itself.  It’s been sore ever since I changed to these shoes.  So I think all the miles in these shoes are the culprit.  It hurts mainly when running slowly and hardly noticeable with a good pace on.  All part of the fun of training.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Peak Week

Today's run ended a great week of training. After this morning's long run with Mike and Jon, I finished out the week with 114.28 miles. The schedule drops the time (and therefore the mileage) next week and since there are only two training weeks left before the next scheduled cutback, I believe this will be the peak until possibly late August.

I met up with Mike and Jon at the usual corner at 6:30 after having run an hour by myself. My schedule called for 3hrs and Mike's called for 15 miles. So I added my extra portion ahead of time. In the end, the run turned into quite an over-time run as I ran for 3hrs 19mins. A real skeletal workout - particularly for the feet. Icing and hot soaks are in store. In fact, I'm icing as I type this.

A great run with the guys. Jon is recently returned from Greece and he had lots of stories to share. Mike was his crazy self as usual. Especially when he roared up in his Honda with Elvis Pressley blasting from the stereo. I was about to make a comment when just then Jon came barreling up in his beat up Jeep like he was escaping the constabulary on a some Greek mountain road. He careened up, one light out, and spun a U-turn (his mode of parking). He got out of the truck sporting a new hole in his knee from a recent fall. The swelling had just gone down so he (naturally) was up for 15 miles.

We did the loop around Boyden without mishap. Of note was Mike noticing the Leland Cemetery for the first time even though we've run this loop for years. He then proceeded to rip off his shirt and start a conversation about nipples. These runs are never dull.

With my lonesome 6.6 and the 15.3 with Mike & Jon, I posted 21.9 for the day. Average pace was around 9:06.

Last week I ran three recovery runs, one 20 miler with a fast finish, one speed session, two aerobic runs (15 miles / 20 miles), and one long run. A good full week of training. One of the most pleasant results of the training so far has been conquering the 20 mile psychological barrier. By virtue of time and pace, more of my workouts are extending beyond 20 miles. Of the past 20 training days, seven have been greater than 20 miles.

I created my training plan as a 'time plan' to ensure recovery running. It has also had the effect of increasing my mileage and as I get into shape. So far the percentages of workouts look like this:

Aerobic workouts (easy running): 27%
Recovery workouts (short/slow): 32%
Long runs (> 2hrs 45mins): 18%
Tempo/hills/speed workouts: 23%

From a mileage perspective:

Aerobic miles: 33%
Long run miles: 31%
Recovery miles: 19%
Tempo/speed: 17% (Most of the speed & hill miles are easy but they are included here)

These percentages are since the Eastport 7 mile race but a quick check since the Cobscook 10k shows very similar percentages. The change that I envision will be that the Tempo/Speed mileage as a percentage of total miles will increase as my overall mileage actually decreases between the upcoming Blueberry 5 miler and the September race (which is to be determined). I am hoping to become more specific in my training during that period which I think will neccesitate a greater recovery regimen. That's my guess anyway.

And finally, Mike brought the remains of his birthday cake for snack time afterward and I brought brownies left over from last night's dinner party. A good reward for hard work!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Ham Radio Run

I did a double today to break the 2hrs 15mins on the schedule into two runs. Recovery day and a weekend so I took advantage of being able to run two recovery workouts.

The first was 90 minutes in the cool morning air. 10.81 miles @ 8:20 pace. The second run was in the awful afternoon heat (probably 70 or 75 degrees) so I was a little warm. Got in 5.75 miles @ 7:59 pace. But this run was much more fun.

I was on my first mile when I saw Victor (callsign N4VIC) up on Hollis' (WB1EZU) roof installing a ham radio antenna. So naturally I stopped to help. After hanging out there for awhile, I completed my run and finished back at Hollis' to see how they did. Antenna was installed, the radio hooked up and they were working Europe on 20 meters. Ham radio gatherings are always a lot of fun. Then Ralph (KA1FUE) showed up and the shack was full. 

Total mileage for the day: 16.56.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Stamina Training

It took about two hours, and then the workout began.  And all without changing anything I was doing.  The schedule called for 2.5 hours of running this morning and I was feeling really good when I went to bed last night so I thought 20 miles might be the thing to do.  So I did.


Easy pace hovering around 7:30 with skies threatening an oncoming storm.  Gusty winds from the east and thick cloud cover but no rain while I was running which I appreciated.  At about the two hour mark I started to feel yesterday’s workout.  Not just in the legs but pretty much throughout.  I kept the pace steady and got some training in stamina.  An energy drop was coupled with overall fatigue but I got it done and I’m no worse for the wear.  I can see why some run lots of speed work or even back to back speed work to get the same effect.  It takes less time.  But my method is the one I’m comfortable with and seems to work as long as I’m patient enough to run the necessary time to get to the point of fatigue.  Plus it has an element of specificity to it.


To answer Ewen’s question about why I didn’t run a more manageable pace yesterday, the answer is this: Because I don’t know what I’m doing.  Ha ha!  Plus when it comes to speed work I just want the d**n thing over with as soon as possible.  And I like 10 minute breaks.


Speaking of breaks, in the winter time, Eric and I sometimes do hills as a way to keep running when the temperature is below 0F.  We park a car at the bottom of a ¼ mile hill.  We keep it running with hot coffee inside.  We do a repeat, jog back to the car and sit inside sipping coffee for 5 minutes until the next repeat.  It’s the only way not to die of hypothermia and still get a workout in.  We were discussing a plan recently to put this on our schedule come January.


But for now, with temps at 55 degrees, I’m enjoying getting the mileage in.  Tomorrow is a recovery day!  Hoping to break the run into two.


Mileage today: 20.1 (7:28 pace)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

3 x Tough

I was completely undecided where to run this morning when I was pondering it last night.  I wanted to run my first speed session of this training cycle and was unsure where to do it.  I wanted to have a least a mile or maybe more for the distance.  The causeways are flat and stretch for a mile or more but they are 4 miles out the road.  This would mean a healthy warmup but a killer cooldown and time would be a factor as well.  I could take the car I suppose but for some reason I didn’t feel like it.  In town the flat stretches aren’t really flat and they’re about ¼ mile long.  So run any distance and you’ve got hills and corners.  So naturally, I decided on this.


And I know why I chose it but I’m not sure if it was very wise.  The main reason I chose in town is because I like to be close to home when doing these horrid workouts.  There’s something about just being down the street that provides a little comfort knowing that if I blow up, I can crawl home.  Plus doing a loop course in town means a nice central location for my water and gear.  If I was on the causeway I’d have to leave water at both ends of the interval distance.


Anyway, I tried to choose a loop that minimized the hills and corners as best as I could.  I wanted to end without cornering or climbing so that meant the start of the interval was straight up a hill.  Then it leveled off and rolled for a mile with some sharp ups and downs but nothing drastic.  The final .7 goes down a nice hill for ¼ mile than gradually climbs to the finish.  Normally, this grade is not even noticeable until you’re trying to run it hard.  The distance = 1.7 miles.  And it produced enough lactate to last me a few days.


Loop 1: 9:11 (5:25 pace)

Loop 2: 9:32 (5:37 pace)

Loop 3: 9:32 (5:37 pace)


I ran loop #1 way too fast.  I charged up the initial hill and then ran as hard as I could for the rest.  I slowed down quite a bit in the final stretch and was feeling poorly when I finished.  I recovered by walking, drinking water, and doing some drills (skipping, bounding, high knees etc.).  After 10 minutes, I went out again.  I wanted to go fast but found the initial hill was much harder this time.  I struggled through the loop and knew I was much slower but at least I didn’t feel quite so bad at the finish as I did during the first one.  Same recovery and then #3.  For some reason this loop was my best.  Not the fastest but I felt more in control of my pace, my arm carriage was better, and I felt all around good.  I credit even pacing for this.  I finished and felt relatively good and could have done another.  But I decided to quit while I felt decent figuring I could run myself into the ground if I wasn’t careful.


As you can see, speed work is not my specialty.  I don’t look forward to it, I don’t enjoy it, and I feel all wobbly when I’m done.  I’d rather run a hard 20 miler any day.


2.1 mile warmup / 2.1 mile cooldown.  9.3 miles total.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Two for One?

Can you get two benefits out of same workout?  Probably not but that’s the way it sometimes feels.  Take today for example.  The schedule called for 2 hrs 15 mins.  Since I did the 20 with the fast finish yesterday, the pace I ran today was at recovery pace.  About 8:44.  It was foggy and rainy and I felt my usual sluggishness that I feel when I run these paces.  The run was all recovery right through the 10 mile mark in 1:29:00.  Then I ran the last 5 at the same effort/pace but this part of the run felt didn’t feel like recovery.  It felt like an endurance workout albeit at a slow pace.  This was especially noticeable after the watch turned 2 hours and I got thinking that two hours in the rain is a long time.


Without the benefit of doubles, I can’t run a simple recovery and maintain the mileage.  I either completely recover with a drill workout or short jaunt or I maintain my mileage for the aerobic benefit.  It’s a balance.  My general rule is to keep the effort between hard days easy and if I feel up to it, keep the mileage high.  If I feel like I need more recovery I reduce the mileage.


Nevertheless, I recovered today for 10 miles but ended up with a low aerobic workout after I went beyond the 2 hour mark.  This worked well for today since yesterday’s run wasn’t that hard.


15.46 miles / 2hrs 15mins

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Look Who's Back!

Boyden once again came alive with running and laughter as Mike was back to run the loop. It was so good to restart the Sunday tradition! I was so excited I woke up at 2am thinking it was time to run.

Finally, time ticked on and I was off to Perry for another Blind Moose run. When I pulled up to the usual corner he was already there and ready to go - but first we must get a photo of the famous scar!

We fell into our old tricks right away and the miles just slipped away. Mike's recovery program calls for Galloway style walk breaks every 10 minutes. Two problems with this method:

1. Mike walks twice as fast me
2. It's kind of hard to get going again

After each walk break I'd have to run a little harder to catch up with him. At one point I suggested we carry radios so during the walk breaks I could continue my story. I don't understand how people can walk so fast.

We finished the 13 mile with fudge and fig newtons. Some habits never die.


Double Sunday

After breakfast, a nap, and lunch I went out for some additional miles. Nothing serious. I jogged a two mile warmup and then 4x hill. After my 4th hill Margaret wanted to run. Sounded good to me. We did .8 miles and I finished with another 1.1 w/some easy striders. 5.5 total for the second session. Felt very nice but it was too warm for comfort being the middle of the day.

Week total: 90.9 miles.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Lazy Hills

10 miles this morning. The skies opened up and it was a good soaking. Met up with Eric after 30 minutes and ran the remainder with him. We ran up Eastport's steepest hill 4 times (Eric had already done two) at a normal training pace and let the hills do all the work.

Friday, July 17, 2009

A Killing Fog

Someday the pain will be too much and I just won’t survive.  I blame the fog.


I don’t talk about it much, but there’s one little thing that high mileage combined with a thick fog does that could send one to an early grave.  And you don’t notice it until you start to enjoy that refreshing hot shower.  And one of these days the initial shock will kill me good.


Very thick fog this morning as I went out for an easy 2 hrs 45 mins.  The run went well.  Very easy and enjoyable but not very scenic.  A little warm too.  It was 57 degrees at 3:45.  But I had a nice time and finished with 20.58 miles.  Felt good.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Quality requires recovery

Just an easy hour this morning - 6 miles. Felt ok but took the safe route and kept the time to 60 minutes. Will probably run easy but longer tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Bees to the Rescue

I solved the fueling issue this morning by eating a couple of spoonfuls of honey when I got up.  And I think it did the trick.  My stomach felt much better and by the time the run started I was feeling like I would have a good workout.  I also ate ½ piece of white bread just before I left.  I find white bread digests very easily and can be eaten before and/or during the run without mishap.


Today I chose to do a high aerobic workout and run comfortably hard for 20 miles.  It turned out great.  I felt comfortable, smooth, and relaxed.  The legs felt good and aerobically I felt very good.  I hit a rough patch during the 18th mile.  I experienced an energy drop and my form started to deteriorate.  I no longer felt smooth and was working a little.  I decided to hold the pace until the mile marker and then decide whether to keep going or go for a cool down.  And as they usually do, the low point passed and I was back to feeling relatively good by the time I got to mile 18.  I put the last two miles to bed and was done. 


My slowest mile was the first in 7:30 and my best was mile 12 in 6:03.  The 20th mile was done in 6:07.  The rest of the miles were on either side of the final average plus or minus 15 seconds depending where I was on the course.  I felt very good at the finish and walked my cooldown.  It’s always a boost to get in a good workout.  Easy day tomorrow.


20 miles – 2:11:37 (6:35 average pace). 

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Carbo Low Fizzle

The neck feels better after I had the daughters rub the knots out after supper.  Woke up with no pain.  Thank goodness.  But it didn’t solve the carbohydrate deficiency I was obviously suffering from this morning.  The plan was to run a warmup and then do some hills.  That’s what I did but after 3 hills I was ravenous.  I had to stop and go have breakfast.

My normal breakfast consists of the standard egg & kippers on toast with milk, juice, coffee, vitamin & aspirin.  But today I had to have several additional pieces of toast.  I don’t know why I was in such need of carbohydrates but there it is.  I’m feeling better now.

Tomorrow’s another day.

~5.6 miles w/3xhill.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Pain in the neck


Well this is new.  My neck hurts and I suppose I just slept on it wrong.  Made for an uncomfortable run this morning.  The run was a real chore.  Early start, slow pace, dense fog, and the sand fleas had made their way up onto the causeway clogging the airways.  10.3 miles of slog.  A true case of running when there doesn’t seem to be any reward for it.  Glad that is done.  Hills tomorrow.


10.3 miles @ 10:13 pace.  Yes, you read that right.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Summer Rain (and wind)

Gusty one today with the occasional downpour. Temps around 60. Today's schedule called for 3 hours. I felt like doing a steady pace workout at a comfortable effort.

After a great night's sleep and yesterday's drill workout that loosened the muscles, I felt good from the get-go. The only hard part of this type of workout is the final half hour as the you enter the 'long' part of the run. But the pace didn't falter so I was pleased.

I ran two out and backs on the highway for 24 miles @ 7:15 pace (2:54:00) and then a .5 mile cooldown to finish out the time. Total miles: 24.5. Like Thomas, I had to deal with some pretty tough wind gusts on the two return trips back into Eastport. The 2nd return was easier than the first as the gusts had died down some. This one factor gave me a 1 minute negative split.

I'm looking forward to running with Mike next Sunday. I haven't run with him in a couple of months! We're doing 13 around Boyden Lake and he's promised some walking breaks. Sounds like a great time.

97.83 miles for the week.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Local Paper

Here are the results of the 2009 Charles E. Davis 7 Mile Race in the local paper. The scan's a little blurry but it might be readable if you click on the image. Or maybe not.

See my previous post for the race report.

Safe Harbor Drills

I had to work this morning so I didn’t get to catch up on my sleep - which means I was full body tired this morning.  But when I feel weary, energy small, when I’ve run lots and lots of miles, and I can feel them all, it’s time to stride… (Ewen – pick it up)


A nice bridge over these troubles is the drill workout.  It’s my safe harbor workout.  Low mileage and refreshing while doing some nice stretching that I normally don’t get from the normal run.  I did high knees, high kicks, striders, skipping, bounding, and even running backwards.  All on the soft grass of a baseball diamond’s outfield.  I’m guessing 2.3 miles total including the run to and from the ballfield - but I really don’t know.  Total time was 41 minutes.


During my last cutback week prior to the race, this type of workout did wonders to perk the legs back up.  And I can tell that it worked today as well.  I’m looking forward to a nice run tomorrow.


Friday, July 10, 2009

Frightened Fawn Freaks Out

It was lecture time in deerville this morning.  At around the 11.5 mile mark I saw a deer and the tiniest little fawn crossing the road.  The mom deer raised its head at me and gave me the stare as I ran toward them.  The fawn was oblivious to my approach.  After of few moments of watching me, the mom deer naturally leaped the ditch and into the woods – expecting, of course, that the kiddo would follow suit.  But the poor thing was startled the mom’s rapid departure and upon observing me took off on its own - up the street and in the opposite direction.  It just kept galloping up the road instead of jumping into the woods.


It was at this point that I started to wonder if deer were like bears.  What if I got between the two?  Would I be attacked?  My luck held and I passed safely and I bet the fawn got a stern lecture on the matter.


The rest of the run was uneventful.  14.75 easy miles @ 9:10 pace.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Foggy Footsteps

Dense fog this morning.  My glasses kept clouding over and visibility was down to nothing.  But it was cool with temps barely breaking 50 so it was good weather for a run.


Today was a quality day with 2hrs 45mins on the schedule.  It went very well and turned out to be a 20 mile high aerobic workout with a 3.1 mile cooldown at the end.


Miles 1 - 5 @ 7:16 pace

Miles 6 - 10 @ 6:45 pace

Miles 11 - 15 @ 6:42 pace

Miles 16 - 20 @ 6:45 pace


Average of 6:52 for the 20 mile portion.


Then I cooled down for 3.1 miles to finish out the time at an 8:59 pace.  I felt good throughout the run.  Comfortable with minor periodic fatigue lows during the final 5 miles.  They didn’t last long and it’s good to experience these in training as you can bank on feeling these lows in any race.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Low mileage day

Just 75 minutes on the schedule this morning.  Ran it easily @ 7:59 pace around town.  The rain held off even though the radar showed rain just to the southwest.  Kind of chilly these past few days and today was the same (53 degrees).  Wore a heavier shirt for comfort sake and would have been a little too warm if I was going to run any harder.  The city is quiet after the 4th celebration.  For a few days there were people out jogging or walking in the early morning.  These were just visitors though and now that they’re gone I have the streets to myself again.


~ 9.4 miles.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Back to training

Ran two hours this morning and it felt very good to be back on the schedule.  My taper for the race was so severe I bottomed out the 7-day moving average at 34 miles on Saturday.  Today the average is at 53 and climbing.  I should see 90 or so by the end of the week.  Keeping the pace easy until the lingering soreness dissipates and probably just a little bit longer beyond that to be sure.  However, I’ll run according to how I feel as this plan seems to be working well for me – particularly on the recovery side.  The only number I have on my plan is the time requirement.  The pace, type of workout, and length are all determined after I get going or maybe just before.  The risk is that I run fewer harder workouts but the reward is better quality when I’m feeling good.  And even on the easy days, the length of the run will generally provide an aerobic stimulus which is always beneficial.


When I embarked on the second hour this morning I could feel the body thank me.  There’s just something missing with those shorter workouts I was doing during the recovery week.  It set me up for the race but I am very glad that’s over with for a month.  I went looking for Eric this morning but he was nowhere to be found.  So I ended up doing two out and backs on the highway averaging around 8:15 / mile.


14.55 miles.

Monday, July 06, 2009


I got some good info on my condition from yesterday’s race.  The biggest positive was that after the fast 3 miles I didn’t crash and burn worse then a 30 second pace drop.  Endurance won the day after taking the risk of leading out.  The 2nd place finisher is known for an amazing finishing kick.  I didn’t want to be anywhere near him at the finish.  He put that kick on display as he was in 3rd in the final mile and then torched it for a solid 2nd place finish.  I was 55 seconds to the front and well out of danger thank goodness.


Now back to the regularly scheduled program.  Easy paces for a few days to recover but the mileage will climb again in short order.  It’s where I’m the happiest.  The cutback week prior to the race was very difficult.  All those aches and pains which wouldn’t mean very much if it wasn’t for the upcoming race.  Today was 90 minutes.  The run felt like a gentle massage.  The average pace as 9:41 (~ 9.3 miles).  38.43 miles for last week which was about 20 miles less than I anticipated.  This was due to more recovery than planned and a day off due to the thunderstorm.



Race Photos

Here are some photos from the race.

At about 5k:

Coming into the Finish

Sunday, July 05, 2009

2009 Charles E. Davis 7 Mile Race Report


1st place in 40:07.

The temperature was in the mid-60's, overcast skies, and a slight westerly breeze. Pretty much perfect for racing.

We took the school bus out to Perry Corner where the race begins. The course is 7 miles in on Route 190 to downtown Eastport. It is fairly flat with 3 hills located at mile 1.5, 4, and a one mile climb to mile 6.

Before we got on the bus, I ran a slow 2 mile warmup to loosen up. I'm glad I did as there was only 3 minutes after the drop-off and the start of the race. Just enough time to jump in the woods. We lined up and then we were off.

And off we were. The lead pack was pushing like I've never seen. I hooked up on the leader's shoulder and drove it on. The alarm bells were going off inside my head but the legs said keep on pushing. So I pushed.

Mile 1: 5:07

The leader and I broke away and headed up into the first hill. It rises, flattens, and rises to the to top at 1.5 miles. Just before the top the leader eased the pace ever so slightly and I pulled ahead and rolled over the top. Then I opened up down the other side like it was a 5k race.

Mile 2: 10:36 (5:29)

I turned onto the first causeway and with the intent of breaking into a commanding lead I kept it at the redline. Aerobically I was feeling good but the alarms were still sounding in the background. But knowing who was behind me I had to risk it for the chance of a solo finish.

Mile 3: 16:10 (5:34)

Flat for half a mile then up to mile 4. Now it was getting hard. The Eastport police took over escort duty and I locked in on the blue lights and battled the coming fatigue. I had no regrets. I was in it to win and this was my try at it. I told myself to relax but the hill still took its toll.

Mile 4: 22:09 (5:59)

Down the other side. I had to keep reminding myself not to let up. I'd catch myself trying to recover. Then I'd pick up the pace until the next low point. Repeat.

Mile 5: 27:59 (5:50)

The road was twisting and turning and my escort was great. I'd move across the road into the left lane and so did the police car! I ran in an awesome protected envelope! Against traffic with a cruiser right in front of me forcing traffic around me. That was a huge help on this open course. This next mile is a bruiser no matter how you look at it. It climbs gradually for the whole mile just sapping the pace. With under two miles to go I tried to maintain my pace but it was too difficult.

Mile 6: 34:10 (6:11)

Final mile! All downhill and I was spent. I pushed really hard to a sharp left where a quick look back confirmed the race was mine. Enjoyed the final 3/4 mile like a victory lap. Ran through town without stress waving to my neighbors. Loved every step of it.

Finish: 40:07 (5:57)

Average: 5:44 pace.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Pre-Race Easy

Just fog this morning, so I was out the door with a smile. 7 easy miles just over an hour. Looking forward to racing tomorrow. No idea where the pace will come in at but I'm sure I'll have fun.

Today I'm relaxing. Already took my first nap.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Where Green Means No

I was tapping on the computer around 4:30 this morning when the light outside the window went suddenly green.  It was so odd I went outside to check it out.  The wind picked up and I noticed the dark clouds coming from the west.


What followed was a long protracted thunder & lightning storm.  The rain came down in sheets, lightning flashed everywhere, and the thunder was continuous.  It lasted for the entire time that was allotted to my run and I didn’t get to go.


I can run in just about any weather condition except lightning.  So now I’m without my run – even if it was just an easy 75 minutes.  And I feel horrible.  It’s like withdrawal symptoms.  I can’t wait for this day to be over.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Musing about recovery

Just two more days of easy running before the 7 mile race.  Then I get to climb back up to some proper mileage.  With the extra three days of embedded recovery I’ll hit a weekly low around 40 miles I think.  My last low was 55 miles.  I’m feeling fresh now and I’m hoping that by Sunday all systems will be go.


After that I embark on 35 days of training before the next scheduled cutback.  No doubt I’ll throw a couple of recovery days in there after a hard workout.  Plus I might extend the race taper to a full 7 days instead of the 4 days I had written into schedule - like I did with this race.  With some of this quality work I need a bit more than I had envisioned.  And this has got me thinking about the marathon taper.  I’ll need to think this one through so I’m fully rested and fresh when I get to the starting line.  So far the written schedule is conducive for a good taper.  I’ve written in no workouts for the three weeks prior to the race.  Instead, I intend on really focusing on what I need at that point (rest, sharpening, other?).


5 miles this morning with Eric.  Easy @ 9:26 pace.  Legs were tight from two awful Charlie horses that woke me up last night but by the time the run was over I felt fine.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Now that felt better

After three days of recovery workouts, I felt well enough to run an hour tempo.  It felt so good to be back up on pace.  The weather was rainy and a cool 53 degrees which has been the pattern for the past week.  It is expected to continue for a few more days.  I wouldn’t mind this type of weather for the race on Sunday but I have a feeling it may be a little warmer.


I did an out-and-back on the highway.  The workout quickly turned into a progression run.  I ran relaxed with close attention to form and effort.  Practiced “rolling over the top” of the hills.  Very pleased with how the run played out.  First mile in 7:35 with the last in 5:50.  9 miles @ 6:30 average.


1st 4.5 miles: 6:49 avg

2nd 4.5 miles: 6:10 avg


Felt very good.  Finished the 9 in 58:23 and walked the time rest of the time out.  Back to some more easy running and drills while I finish out the cutback.