Saturday, July 31, 2010

Running in Lowell

Headed out to Lowell this morning to run some of the marathon course. Things did not go quite as planned. When I got there I found the bridge at the 3 mile mark pretty easy, but missed my turn later and got a bit lost/turned around. I eventually found the bridge again and just decided to run the course backwards 7 miles and then turn around.

The run itself was great. The road is pretty open so the cars gave me plenty of space and there were a few nice things to look at - golf couse, horses, and the river in spots. As I rounded the "bouncing bridge" the scenery got worse, just some houses, car repair and parts shops (there seemed to be quite a few of them).

As I turned around for the return trip, it was actually even better. For the first half there was another runner a few hundred yards ahead of me to pace off of. I passed him before I hit the bridge again. As I got over the bridge there were two girls running, again a couple hundred yards up, to pace off as well. I passed them about halfway down the road.

The fourteen miles felt pretty good - I even upped the pace for the last mile and ran somewhere in the 7s.

6 mile easy run tomorrow.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Oh my head!

Woke up this morning with a killer headache. I think it is all the stupid benadryl I have been taking the last two days to try to get rid of this armpit rash I have. It's almost gone, but I think I'm done with benadryl. It seems to make me dehydrated seriously, or at least I feel that way. My head is in a complete fog right now.

Easy run today - 3 laps around Horn Pond and then an extra mile at the end barefoot. My right hamstring is still tight. It was actually feeling better last night until I had to climb a ladder to take down some painting tape on the ceiling. Hopefully today helped loosen it up for tomorrow's long run. Still not sure where I am running - either Melrose with Jeanne, the marathon course in Lowell, or I actually just got a call from Reebok to test a pair of shoes but I would have to go to Canton for that and I'm not sure I want to make the drive or whether they can do early tomorrow morning.

14 miler tomorrow morning.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Last minute decision

Out for my 7 mile easy run this morning around horn pond in Woburn and I the whole while I kept trying to decide if I wanted to veer off down a trail that adds an extra 4/10 mile to the route.

Last second I decided to do it so I completed about 7.5 miles today, but I have a little twinge of pain in my rich achilles area. I'm going to ice it and take some ibuprofen, but I have to wonder if it was that extra half mile that did me in.

Overall, it didnt feel too bad, but the humidity was ridiculous this morning. A few drops of rain, and I was praying for it to start downpouring just to cool off - never mind the fact that I was wearing my light grey shorts so it pretty much looked like I had pissed myself when I walked back into the gym.

8 miles tomorrow (going to try to meet up with the Highlanders) and then a long run of 14 on Saturday.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Marathon pace run

7 mile marathon pace run today - with a mile warmup and a 2 mile cooldown for a total of just over 10 miles this morning.

The marathon pace run went pretty well. It took me a mile or two to settle into a groove, and my time slipped a bit on mile two to about 7:48 but the rest were right in there between 7:35 and 7:40 or so.

As for my garmin, I have now come to realize why some people have said that they do NOT use the "current pace" function. It is way too variable. During my marathon pace run, there were times it told me I was running 8:15 pace, and while my pace may have dropped off a bit for a minute or so, I know that it didnt drop off that much.

Legs were still tired today and I am starting to wonder if there is some other reason they are tired. I have a doctors appointment this afternoon so I might mention it. I am starting to wonder a bit about whether I have a 3:20 in me because while I did fine on the 7 mile marathon pace run this morning, I dont think I could have done 19 more miles. But it could just be because of all the hills from last week, who knows? I guess we'll see how the long run goes on Saturday. I am going to try (stress try, because it probably wont happen) to go up and run the 14 miler on the marathon course if I can.

7 miles easy tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Barefoot again

Easy day - 1.1 mile easy run, followed by a 1 mile barefoot run. Actually got my first ever cut on the bottom of my foot running barefoot today. As I was on the return loop, I felt a sharp pain on my left arch. After a few steps it didnt go away so I stopped briefly and reached down and something sharp was sticking out of my foot. I scraped it away but when I got back to the car, my foot was bleeding. Nothing serious though and the barefoot run felt pretty good - weird, but good. I just havent run barefoot in over a week so it felt kind of strange.

I plan to stick to the 1 mile distance barefoot for 2 more runs then I'll increase it - maybe to 1.25 miles.


Had a 3x1 mile speedword session scheduled for today. Unfortunately I had to run at lunch so I couldnt get to a track for it. But I do have my new GPS (Garmin 310xt) so I decided to use that to gauge my speedwork and run it on the road.

It worked pretty well, except for the two times that I hit the stop button instead of the lap button. But I got my three mile repeats in at a 6:18, 6:25 and 6:35 pace. I know, I was slowing down for the last two, but I am still feeling all those mountain runs from last week in my quads. On the upside, my hamstring feels a little better.

Back to civilization

My mother is in the hospital so Saturday we drove back home and went straight down to the Cape to see her - almost 7 hours in the car.

But got a nice run in on Sunday morning along the beach and the bike path in Falmouth. Nice and easy - hoping to get my speedwork session in on Monday.

Tempo Run - Kind of

Today was supposed to be a tempo run at marathon pace - 7 miles. Again, lack of any really flat roads, I started today off with a 2+ mile run straight up the hill on route 108. As I ran back I went the other way past Smuggs and did about 3 miles at tempo pace to finish up. I was happy I was able to hold marathon pace after the 2 mile climb.

Tough run today. I tried to run to the top of the mountain. I didnt make it. I got about half way up and the hill just seemed to get steeper and steeper - must have been coming up on some double black diamond trails. So I turned around and ran back down - man my legs were getting tired by Thursday.

Opted to hit the roads today. Took a right out of the resort onto 108 and it wasnt too bad. It had some rolling hills but nothing unmanageable or too steep. Of course, got about 3 miles out and had to go to the bathroom so I turned around.

Last day at Smuggs so I wanted to hit the trails again. Did a similar loop to Monday but not as long - really nice trail runs there, but again some hiking as the hills were steep and long at some points as you rounded your way up the mountain.

Running the Notch

Sorry for the long time with no posts but I was on vacation in Smugglers Notch, VT last week and had no internet access (kind of nice actually). I am going to throw in a series of posts today on how the training went last week.

Long run went fine - no issues. Hamstring still a bit tight but not too bad

First run at Smuggs - trail run up to find a pond with a floating trampoline for the kids (though we never actually got up there with them during the week)

Trail run around and up the mountain. Up at Smuggs (as they call it) they have "walks", "hikes" and "wikes" which are kind of an in-between difficulty level. Todays run was a "rike" because some of the hills were so steep and long I had to stop running and hike up them.

Easy day - just a couple miles on the roads in the resort.

As you can see, I skipped the speedwork. Given that I had no access to a treadmill (unless I wanted to pay to use it), or a track, or even flat roads of any kind, I opted to skip the speedwork and did a hilly trail run on Monday instead. Because hills are speedwork in disguise, at least that's what I've heard.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Loosening up

My hamstring(s) have been really tight lately and I havent really figured out why. Yesterday's run was just brutal. They hurt for almost the full 7 miles. After the run I stretched for about 15 minutes and then I iced them up last night.

Today they weren't as bad. But I can't figure out if it is because I stretched, because I iced them last night, or the third reason - I have taken a few days off from barefoot running.

For now I am going to go with it being that I have stretched and iced them up, but still wonder whether it is the barefoot running that caused the tightness in the first place. I dont want to stop running barefoot and have been happy with my progress over the past three weeks, but even more so I dont want to hinder my marathon training. I will stop barefoot running if I think it is getting in my way of running a solid marathon in the Fall.

So I'll give the barefoot running one more week. I plan to take the weekend off anyway to rest up some foot pain I had a few days ago. On monday I will ease back to about a mile barefoot again. But this time I will continue to ice and stretch my quads and calves every day. If all goes well, the aches and pains will go away and I'll be on track again.

Long run of 12 miles tomorrow - going to call Jeanne to see if she wants to struggle through it with me. This will be the longest run so far in my Hanson Training Plan.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Weather sucks

Okay, I dreadmilled it again today. I was exhausted when I woke up this morning at 5:00 and went back to bed again till 5:30. Got up, still tired but this morning was my only time to get my run in today.

I start the drive to the gym, ready to do the same marathon pace route I did last week and the week before. About halfway to they gym, the sky opens up, the lightning and thunder start crashing and the humidity seems to jump 10 points during the drive.

I opted to just hit the treadmill instead of braving the storm. Though by the end of the run I was wishing I had just gone outside. Eight miles on the treadmill was torture. I watched an episode (or most of) of Mythbusters on my ipod - pretty good episode testing whether a styrofoam cup thrown from a moving car could go through a windshield and kill another driver. It couldnt, but you really wouldnt believe the damage the thing did do.

Anyway, the run felt like crap and I almost just stopped a few times, but sucked it up for just over an hour to finish up the run. Next week the marathon pace run moves up to 7 miles.

Easy runs for a few days and then my first 12 miler on Saturday for my long run.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Resting up

Today was my rest day so of course I got up early. I've been having some serious trouble sleeping lately - which makes me tired, but at least I am usually up to get in my morning runs.

So just a bit over a mile today adn I am happy to say that my barefoot running is now over a mile so all my Tuesday runs from now on should be completely barefoot. I did 1.3 miles today - actually a little farther than I had planned. The bottoms of my feet tingle, but I think that is what it is supposed to feel like as you condition them for longer running.

6 mile marathon pace run tomorrow. I never did get a chance to pick up a Garmin. I went to REI last week, but they didnt have the Forerunner 110 that I wanted to try, and I wasnt ready to splurge for the new 310xt. I have to do a search to find a place nearby that carries the 110. For tomorrow I'll just pick up the pace for the 6 miles.

I'm not planning on using the dreadmill for it, but it would be a good way to set my pace. I'd rather run outside.

Monday, July 12, 2010


Seems like I haven't run on a treadmill in months. I am sure if I checked it is not quite that long, but I opted to use the treadmill today for my intervals.

I had to run at lunch and since I cant get to a track during a lunch-time run, I used the treadmill to get accurate miles. It also helped me hold the 6:22 pace I was supposed to do. I did 3 x 1 mile at 6:22 with a 3:00 rest in between.

Hopefully I wont have to use it too many times during my training as I really feel that you get a better workout and feel for pace on the road.

Rest day tomorrow - about a mile and a half barefoot, then another 6 mile marathon pace run on Wednesday.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Sad Day

Today is a sad day so no running post.

A week ago a friend of mine's wife, Dina, was tragically killed in a bicycle accident on Martha's Vineyard while vacationing with the family. Their daughter Ella was on my son's baseball team this Spring, and I was co-coach with her father John.

Words can not describe how I feel every time I think of their two adorable, sweet daughters and what they must be going through right now.

My heart, thoughts and prayers go out to all of them today as I head out to the wake.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

My Short Long run

Well, at 8 miles long I thinK I actually ran longer yesterday.

My mother is in the hospital (heart attack - she'll be okay we think) so I headed down to Cape Cod this morning early. I left around 5:00 and got there about 6:30. I couldnt visit her yet so I decided to get my 8 miler in running the Falmouth Road Race route. It really is a favorite of mine in the summer when I visit my parents because it runs by the beach and the harbor.

It was hot again - no surprises there but it felt much better than my run yesterday.

Biggest issue today was that when I got to my turn-around point I really had to pee. No bathroom there. I did run by a bunch of small beach shacks - each with their own porta-potty. But figuring that these were actually the bathrooms for these houses, I decided to try to make it back to the Surf Drive Bath House. I made it but it was still locked up - too early in the morning I guess. So I sucked it up and ran the last 3 miles back to my parents and nearly burst as I ran into the house.

TIP OF THE DAY: If you have to pee on a run, do it as soon as you feel it coming on. It will save you a ton of discomfort and could save you some even worse stomach cramps later in the run.

Easy 6 miler tomorrow before my next track workout on Monday. Monday looks tough - 3 x 1600 on 6:20-6:30.

Friday, July 9, 2010

I am the Man of "Lead"???

Holy crap, my legs just felt like dead stumps of wood this morning. We were out pretty late last night at a baseball game - didnt get home till 10:30, and probably didnt get to bed till midnight. That is like the 4th night in a row that I got to bed late and still rolled out of bed at 5:00ish to run. So I give myself props for getting out of bed, but I really think I need a good nights sleep.

Started off my 8 miler and it was just slow and painful. About 2 miles in, the left earpiece on my headphones gave out and started giving me static and jumping in and out of the song. So i tore the wire in half and just used the right earpiece. I have another set at home that I'll find tonight.

Around mile 6, I dropped the shoes for a mile and ran barefoot. It felt okay but I had only wanted to do about 3/4 mile and did a mile and was feeling it in my feet and big toe at the end. On the upside, the last mile and a half when I put my shoes back on felt a little better.

Maybe I'm just tired, maybe it is all this humidity and heat we have had lately but my legs just didnt have it today. Here's hoping for a better 8 miler tomorrow.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

And... recover

Today was an easy/recovery run. I took it really easy after yesterday's hot tempo run, keeping the pace around 9:00mpm. It felt pretty good and the weather was nicer than yesterday - still a bit warm, but the humidity was down which made it much more comfortable.

Starting to think about my running on my vacation and wondering how I am going to get a long run in when I am up in Vermont with the family in a few weeks. It might be tough to tell the wife I am leaving for two hours on the last day at Smugglers Notch.

Easy 8 miler tomorrow, which seems weird because my "long" run the day after is also 8 miles.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Feeling hot, hot, hot

But still running.

I did my 6 mile (well, 6.5 mile actually - stupid Nike+) marathon pace run again this morning. I ran teh same course as last time.

First 2.75 miles I was right on 7:30 pace (too fast), next 2.75 miles I was at 7:34 and the last mile I was back at 7:30. I figure this was decent considering it was already 74 degrees and the humidity was rising with every step.

I ran a total of 8 miles (then .6 miles barefoot after) and the NIke+ showed me at about 7.5 again. Time to invest in a Garmin.

A couple easy days until my long run on Saturday.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

I'm Meeeelllllttttiiinnnnggg!!!

Seriously though - it was pretty hot out today. 97 degrees and humid according to Luckily it was a rest do so I just went out and did my token one miler at lunch.

What worries me is tomorrow because today it was 87 degrees at 8:00 am. I am supposed to do another 6 mile marathon pace run tomorrow and am a bit worried about the heat in the morning.

I am going to reset the Nike+ to the factory settings, given how far off it was last time. Maybe that will help. I will probably use the same route I took last time for lack of a better route.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Racing with the sprinklers

Holiday today!! (Well, day off from work at least)

Got up early anyway and ran down to the Melrose High School track - which honestly is in pretty crappy shape and floods if someone spits on it. But since we are at the beginning of a heat wave here in New England, it was dry at least.

6:40 in the morning and it was already pretty hot out. There is one quarter of the track that had some shade when it passed near the High School and lo and behold, the sprinklers were on. After the first few laps I found that if I was on the right pace, I would come around that bend each time just as the sprinklers were hitting the track and could get a nice shower every lap. I was off on a couple laps and missed and really felt the heat when I did.

Pace was slightly slower than the Hanson plan describes (4:42) for the 4 x 1,200 workout that I had planned for today.

0.75 0:04:41
0.25 0:02:20
0.75 0:04:48
0.25 0:02:20
0.75 0:04:49
0.25 0:02:20
0.75 0:04:44

But overall I was pleased with the workout and the hamstrings were tight for the run home but they held up for the workout.

Looking forward to my rest day tomorrow - may try to recalibrate the Nike+. If it craps out on me again for Wednesday's marathon pace run then I am going to take my birthday money and test out a Garmin Forerunner (either the 305 or the new 110).

Sunday, July 4, 2010

On Fire!

Nope, not my running - more like my skin. Last two days at the pool and woke up with a slight sunburn today. Now, usually a "slight" sunburn wouldnt worry me too much, but we are heading to the beach for the whole day today so I am just cringing at what it is going to be like after 5 hours in the sun today.

Run today was rough - took it easy and was actually trying to avoid even the early morning sun. Did 5.7 and may throw in some barefoot running at the beach later today for a half mile or so.

Tomorrow morning I'll make my determination as to whether I am going to do speedwork or not. The plan calls for 4 x 1200 on 4:45ish. It's only four repeats so I dont think it should be too bad, but we'll see how everythign is feeling tomorrow.

Now, off to pack and go to the beach - slathered up with sunscreen SPF 50 today.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Long Running

Long run today - 10.5 miles. I found a friend (Peter) to run with this morning. He only wanted to do 8, so I ran the 2.5 miles to his house and then we ran 8 together.

After that I remembered two things. First, today is my day to do some more barefoot running, so I did another half mile barefoot when I got home. Second, last night I was supposed to do pushups for the 100 Pushup Challenge that I started last week. But I am cutting myself some slack - it was my birthday and I had just eaten 3 pieces of cake, so I probably wouldnt have finished the workout anyway.

6 easy miles tomorrow before we hit the beach for the 4th. After that I'll make a determination as to whether my hamstring (which is still tight) can handle some speedwork on monday.

Friday, July 2, 2010


Happy Birthday to Me!

Okay, I turned 39 today - not feeling too old this morning at least.

Easy 6 miler this morning. Hamstring was a bit tight. Not painful, just tight - felt like I needed to stretch it out more (which I know I do). I'll ice it a few times today and get in a good stretching session tonight before bed.

10 mile long run tomorrow. Was hoping to run with my friend Jeanne, but she is going away for the weekend so I guess I'm on my own. Maybe I'll download an audio book to listen to while I run.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

When did I get so old?

And I'm not even talking about the fact that tomorrow I turn 39. I'm talking about the fact that after an hour of playing kickball at my nephews birthday party last night I have all kinds of aches and pains that I didnt have yesterday. My right knee feels weird. There is a weird muscle in my left hip that is tender to the touch and the ribs on my right side hurt. I don't even remember getting knocked around that much.

Run went fine this morning - 7 miles with the last half mile barefoot. 6 easy miles tomorrow and then a 10 mile long run on Saturday. I am thinking about taking tomorrow off and taking the kids to see "The Last Airbender" though I am worried that it will be super-packed there so maybe we should wait a few days. We'll see - need to do something fun for my birthday.