Sunday, September 29, 2013

MMXIII - Week 39

MON.- 5mi. -- easy wandering on trails.  Got a little worried when near the end of the run felt a "pop" and burning sensation in right Achilles area.  Not terribly painful but felt more sore like a bee sting.  Weird.

TUE.-3mi. - just a short run to test out the nagging Achilles.  A little bit of pain but more a nuisance.  Not quite as sore as yesterday.

WED.-2mi.- another test run.  Achilles felt better (still there though).  This was terrible parenting 101- left 10 yr old in charge of 3 yr old while I quickly scampered to end of our road and back.  Everything was fine, both the spawn and the Achilles.

THU.- 5mi. - Tomaquag Valley loop at nice base pace.  Even managed a CR on Tomaquag Valley segment (unintentionally).  Good to see that I feel pretty much normal again. Ahhh, the power of pills, ice, and beer.

FRI.- 3mi.--really anxious to just run a tiny one and get it over with.  Went out to chase bass with Mason.  We got a bunch but they were only dinky schoolies.

SAT. - 12+mi. -- met up with a bunch of guys from WTAC to run in Carter Preserve.  Nice relaxing run.  Really perfect weather for it.  We all took a rip on the Grassland Mile Loop (CCW) just for shits and giggles.  Then Nate and I tacked on some more with a Shannock loop on roads to get in some more miles and conversation.  Really enjoyable run. Around 1100 the kids and I took out the vessel briefly.  Despite Layla getting sick and cutting the trip really short, there were birds and fish EVERYWHERE, from east of the lighthouse all the way west of Deep Hole and Nebraska Shoals.  Gotta get Layla-Lou on Dramamine or something. Get your damned sea legs, kid! How dare a 3 yr old interfere with my pursuit of linesiders?!!?

SUN.- 8+mi.-- ran aggressively, but still in base pace zone (just on lower end).  Ended up COVERED in gnats when I ran through the numerous sunny glades along farm country roads.  Tried to push it a little bit (around MP) on Pinewoods Drive segment.  Got a little tired at the end but I didn't mind.  All in all, today was a great day.  Caught a lot of HEALTHY stripers off of Pt. Judith Lighthouse on the boat with my old man and brother (all were 30-38").  Tough to beat on light tackle (7' medium rod and 15 lb test).  Many of the fish were 12-15 lbs. Sunny fall weather is always an added bonus.

TOTAL: 39 miles
So close I can almost taste it...
-->low totals for sure although this was an expectation I had going in, the weird tendon thing had me on edge and cost me some miles in the middle of the week.  Oh well.  Nothing to be gained this week anyway.  Next week is Smuttynose 26.2 and I'm ready physically and mentally. Just hurry up and get here (so work will be over AND I can go back to running carefree and relaxed)!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Achilles Last Stand...

Well, I've broken my dry streak.  Last Friday the family and I took the boat out to a small beach in Pt. Judith pond and enjoyed ourselves immensely.  The hangover Saturday, (while back out at 0530 fishing) was very much not enjoyable....but if you wanna soar with the eagles, you've gotta shit with the chickens sometimes too.

However, things are not all glitter and unicorns right now.

Unfortunately, on yesterday's recovery trail run I was climbing back up a short hill and felt a "pop" and then slight pain with a burning sensation.  It felt just like I had been stung on my Achilles by a bee.  This happened to me briefly about 5 weeks ago on a run and after a small period of minor burning pain it went away. I finished the run yesterday without too much discomfort yet now my Achilles tendon and surrounding area burn, mildly ache and are generally sore.  This feeling is especially pronounced when climbing or descending stairs (stretching it out/using the tendon).  Hope it is nothing serious.  I did an easy short 3 miler just to see and all was ok.  But even after gobbling 750mg of Vitamin I and icing 2x for 10 mins each, it still bothers me. 

Adding to my Goth-like attitude is the fact that my Pagan Pale Ale homebrew is rather disappointing.  It is nowhere near as crisp and clean as I was expecting and has a faint taste that, although not bad at all, is weak and less than desirable. 

In summary, I've got 99 problems but a bitch ain't one.  I'll continue to ice, stretch lightly, take Ibuprofen, and drink my less than stellar homebrew and see what happens.

Smuttynose in T-minus  11 days and counting......

Monday, September 23, 2013

MMXIII - Week 38

MON.- 5mi.-- easy "surfcovery".  Tried to keep it slow and easy day after the 1/2 marathon.  Didn't feel as bad as I thought I would.

TUE.- 5mi.  -- tried out new pair of kicks.  Felt like I earned a new pair based upon my effort on Sunday.....that and the fact that all of my other shoes are POSs with a lot of miles on them.
Victory is mine!!

WED.- 7mi. -- just me and the moon for a very dark and early 6 x 800 workout at WHS before school.  Chilly (started in a long sleeve tech shirt).  Felt pretty good for these.  Tried not to overdo it  (2:44ish) but I got a little excited for a few of them.  2:42/2:41/2:44/2:38/2:37/2:38

THU.-6mi. -- Tomaquag Trail loop.  Hustled this one (due to time constraints).  Felt a little tired as a result but I was super excited to find that someone (Hopkinton Land Trust?) has been blazing some more single track in here. Good!  I think I'll do the same.

FRI.-3mi. -- slow and easy.  No time for running--had to get the family out on the boat for an evening beer festivus and outdoor pahty.  Very fun.  My legs thanked me for a slow, easy joke of a run. Pagan Pale Ale is weak but still good.

SAT.-6mi. -- ran and explored across the street in the woods/private property.  Found a bunch of trails, most of which were obviously deer trails but they're runnable.  Fun times.

SUN.-15mi.-- 2 mile w/u then 10 miles at a spicy MP with 3 miles cooldown.  I felt great until about mile 5-6 of the MP portion.  Started to tire and question my ability and fitness at that point but managed to hang on and buckle down (last two miles were the fastest: ~6:17ish).  Not sure, once again, how it is possible to run a full marathon at that pace but I'm going to give it a go anyhow.

TOTALS: 47miles
-->as it was foretold, mileage is starting to dip down but that's cool.  As long as I can get in a couple of honest runs and shorten/easy up all the others, I'm ok with that.  Sunday's run was encouraging yet discouraging at the same time.  It was positive because I know I'm fit and think next to nothing of rolling off 15 miles.  It was negative because, as I stated, I felt tired and still don't see how 26.2 at that pace is doable.  But....whatever. Crash and burn is better than trying to pussy your way through it.

PS- check out this video from Surftown 1/2 marathon.  Scroll to the 1:34 mark for an awesome picture of someone we know.  Great shot!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

MMXIII - Week 37

MON.- 4mi. -- easy recovery after Sunday's 20 miler.  Also stumbled across a private property care taker of land across the street from me (approx. 150 acres) who granted me permission to run on the trails.  Not much there in terms of running opportunities but I'm sure I could explore and covertly add a few more "deer path single track" trails there without getting noticed.  Awesomeness.

TUE.- 10mi. - pissed off about my truck and lack of repairs.  Rolled an aggressive 10 spot but felt a little better after.

WED.- 3mi. - legs felt tired which is just as well.  Wife had evening classes again so I only had a very small opportunity to run.  Plus, it was warm and humid and I felt like shit.  Synchronicity I guess.

THU.- 10mi. - still waiting on the cool, dry weather I roamed both sides of the Pawcatuck River in Grills Sanctuary and Grills Preserve.  Space watch lost me for a bit and claimed I ran a 10:30 mile, much of which was on the roads.  Moved along at low 7s/high 6s throughout.

FRI.- 4mi. -- slow and easy. Real Life Part I

SAT.- 4mi. -- again, slow and easy.  Real Life Part II.  Barely even got this one in before putting on my ResponsibiliDad cape and mask.

SUN.- 19mi. - Surftown Half Marathon.  Results here.  Finished in 1:17:07.  1st O/A.  Ha!! You can only race whomever shows up I guess. Whatever....I'll take it.  Strange talking to reporters (The Westerly Sun and New England Runner) after the race. Ran even splits for most and then slowly picked it up and ran fastest miles the last 3.  Smart race.  Strong WTAC showing.  Probably write up separate report later in the week, seeing as I have more free time with no beer drinking going on.

TOTAL: 54 miles

Happy with my effort and overall results!
--> Well, real life finally caught up with me this week.  I knew I was going to have just start to cut back a tiny bit and sort of begin tapering for Smuttynose. But I certainly didn't anticipate going about it the way I did.  With my better half taking courses and labs at night, coupled with my lack of wheels, I really struggled to get out there and get in good efforts.  Plus, my legs felt like shit all week long--just an overall worn out/run down feeling.  I guess that's how it goes near the end of marathon training.  I did get to volunteer at bib pickup for Surftown on Saturday where Gazelle was gracious enough to let me borrow his car for the evening to transport my spawn around town and home.  Big thanks again.  My enjoyment was tenfold when I remembered/realized that he drove  a 5speed!! Manual transmissions are the shit! I love (and miss) them so much! At any rate,  I'm super pleased with my PR at Surftown.  I ran well and never died/faded.  Strong showing by WTAC as well!

Hope I have very little lingering fatigue and soreness as I continue to cut back this coming week. Although I'll be reducing mileage I do want to make sure that I get in two quality runs that are semi-stressful and focus on turnover and marathon pace.  Most importantly, beer time is almost upon us.  The world will be a better place for it when I crack open my new homebrew. 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

MMXIII - Week 36

MON.- 6mi. -- super moist Tomaquag Trail recovery.  Slow going after previous day's long run with Team Davenport.

TUE.- 10mi. -- ran a good base pace around RI/CT border.  Felt pretty good.  Fun to upload run and see several miles in high 6:00s without trying to over do it.  My base pace for normal runs on non-hard days has definitely improved/lowered.

WED.- 12mi. -- 8 mi. (a.m.) - track workout solo at WHS really early (0510 start). Ran an up & down: 400,800, 1600, 1600, 800, 400.  Hard keeping track of pace, fiddling with space watch buttons in the friggin dark.  80/2:44/5:30/5:27/2:41/76.  Broke into locker room after for quick shower (again, in the dark) before donning my professional cap and starting the teaching day. //// 4mi. (p.m.) - easy recovery run.  Legs were really fried.  Ugh. Ugly but necessary.

THU.- 5mi. -- had a very small window to run here.  Had to eek out only 5 miles before Mrs. Puddin' and Mrs. Hammett could run.  Actually is ok because legs still feeling worn out.

FRI- 12mi.  -- rolled off a weird run.  "3:1 ratio" -- 3 miles at low base pace followed by one quicker mile at MP.  Good, fun run (banged a couple of stupid Strava segments also).  Felt pretty good and although slightly uncomfortable, wasn't too taxing on the ol' legs.

SAT.-6mi.-- lazy, easy run on roads and trails of Caroline Mgmt. Area from my parents' house.  Took it easy in preparation for Sunday's long run/workout.

SUN.-20mi. -- solo run but had an unfortunate "wardrobe malfunction".  "The Plan": run solo from home, 0700 start and rattle off 11 miles at aggressive base pace then finish last 9 miles at marathon pace.  "Real Life": slapped on Garmin too find that it was frozen at 1638 on 7 September.  Plugged it back in and charged it "fully" and finally headed out the door a little after 0800.  3 miles in the Low Battery sign flashed and I only had one tiny bar.  Fugg it, keep going, who cares?!?  Stopped at gas station in Shannock for a water and Gatorade (around mile 11) before starting the faster part of the run.  Snapped off some good miles until the space watch finally shit the bed at mile 16.5.  I reciprocated by dying almost immediately thereafter.  It was foolish to think I could maintain hard mp up the long hill on Collins Road and further small climbs back up to home. I tried to keep going by talking to myself: "You pussy! Think of how much Gazelle is suffering right now with Firmman! This is nothing!!".  Instead I bailed on the 6:15-6:20 pace and went into "just get there mode/pace" (felt like 7:45ish).  Even though I quit (sort of), still a solid run and workout. 

TOTAL:71 miles

Oops! Stupid wardrobe....good thing it doesn't
-->pleased with my resourcefulness this week.  Knew going in I was going to struggle to get miles in but I still managed.  The track workout at zero dark thirty on Wednesday was actually pretty fun and now that I (creatively) have the logistics down and can pull off the workout and still get into school and get going, I plan on doing it again (and again, and again perhaps). Also feeling excited for Surftown 1/2 marathon next Sunday.  It'll be interesting to see what I can do this year (1:19:33 last year).  Both streaks are still alive and well (one good, one not so good).

The space watch malfunction today was slightly annoying but I'm also glad that I was able to put it in perspective and group it into that cohort with many other "life things" (i.e. work, money, society, etc.)-- it doesn't matter.  Time to dose with vitamin I, roll my legs, stretch a little, and settle in to watch my fantasy football stink up the universe.....they're really so bad.  How did I draft so poorly?  Oh yeah, that's right--it doesn't matter!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013


The word brings a slew of diverse images to people's minds, dependent upon their moods at the time (or maturity level).

In Level Renner, Dave Dunham wrote about the art of streaking--running everyday without taking a day off.  Sounds daunting but when you're rolling and feeling good (and very smart about it), it is not that difficult to do.  Technically, the rules state that to be "official" one must run at least one continuous mile every single day.  Hmmm....I've no interest in such a trivial distance just for the sake of keeping a streak going.  However, I'm bringing this up because on today's run it occurred to me that I actually have two streaks going right now.  Incidentally, both of them involve clothing at all times.

Streak A: Although it is not necessarily intentional, (at least it started out that way), I haven't taken a day off from running since 15 July.  I know, not a big deal now, yet what had initially started as a half-assed bid to just get mileage in, has now turned into an addiction of sorts.  I don't want to stop.  My runs have ranged from very short and really easy three milers to long and hard paced 20+ milers, with a bunch of varied paces, terrains, and workouts in between.  I've always questioned the necessity (intelligence?) of everyday running.  Isn't it stupid?  Don't you get tired?  Can't you get hurt? Don't you get worn the fu*k out?  Essentially, yes to all of those. I'm exhausted, but not necessarily from the everyday thing.  The fatigue stems more from the types of runs and distances I'm running.  Heck, I could do easy 4-6 milers everyday for a long, long, long time (I think). Ultimately,at the unsolicited "advice" of others, I've realized that if you're careful, it can actually be really fun, healthy, and an excellent form of stress relief.  It's become a more crucial part of the day for me than brushing my teeth.....almost.  I've finished off coffee before and realized "Shit, I forgot to brush my teeth" but I've yet to think "Shit, I forgot to run".

Gearing up towards the marathon (6 October) I'm not sure if I'll keep it going during the final two taper weeks or post marathon.  At this point, the habit has become so entrenched that I think I probably will--as long as I'm not a dumb ass about it. 

Streak B: At the behest of my wife, "we" decided that, after an unbelievably decadent summer, to forgo drinking for a month.  After some hard thinking, soul searching, and serious negotiating, I managed to whittle it down to three weeks.  My reasoning was simple: 1.) a month is sooooooo looooong [in whiny little kid voice] and 2.) after looking at a calendar I realized that 3 weeks would coincide with the second most important day on the Pagan cycle of events-- the autumnal equinox.  As such, it is timed perfectly that this suffering will end in an act of amazing synchronicity and dare I say synergy: autumnal equinox + Pagan Pale Ale homebrew ready?  At the same time?  If I believed in that God guy I'd claim that this was part of his divine plan.  Amazing!! 

So, as I type this day 9 is winding down and this stupid lime flavored seltzer water I'm sipping out of a can just ain't cutting it.  However, just as with running at the end of a long, marathon paced twenty miler, I know I can grind this one out.

Monday, September 2, 2013

MMXIII- Week 35

MON.-10mi. -- 3mi. (a.m.) - easy in morning before first day of "school".  Professional development with no students is worse than death itself. //// 7mi. (p.m.) - legs feeling a little beat up. Small ascents on Tomaquag weren't enjoyable.

TUE.- 6mi. -- sticky icky humid. Forgot, (until running) that it's still August and therefore still summer, ergo still can be ridick in the humidity department.

WED.-7mi.-- *Race*: Roger H. Schonning 5K.  Results here.  Warmed up with WTAC President and solo.  Then ran smart, even race.  SNERRO screwed up start line so course was a hair short (3.06) but whatever.  Finished 2nd O/A (behind FiveK) in 17:04, so probably about 17:12 or so?  Cool down was the largest I've ever been a part of after a race with a mix of WTAC, NRA and unlinked runners (14 people).  First day of "real" school with students.

THU.-10mi. -- my shortage in miles over recent days lead me to run my Boombridge Road loop through mounds of cow patties in the road.  Felt good until last 2 miles. Is it normal to just always feel tired and run down?

FRI.-10mi. --  afternoon mix of roads and trails but this time forced myself to go a bit easier (~8:05 pace).  Nice and unplanned, the way I like it during marathon training.

SAT.-7mi. -- more road and trail mix.  Parked at Bradford Boat Launch and ran down into Grills Preserve. Forced myself to go even easier.  It is hard to run consistently slow pace (for more than 1-2 miles), especially when excited by trails and thoughts of upcoming runs and races.

Representing myself quite well....
SUN.-20mi. -- accepted an offer from fellow Strava creep, Ryan D. to go on a marathon training workout with his brother and his wife -- all three of them former runners at Providence College  and she was an All American and Olympian. YIKES! Oh yeah, well I won a medal once at some huge party at URI for deviant behavior so there!! Given that I'd recently began following RD online as well as BARELY snuck in before his sister-in-law at the Blessing, I was a little apprehensive for their proposed workout -- 13 miles @ 6:50 and then 6 miles @ slightly under MP (sub 6:20 ).  Oofda! It was fun and I'm really, really pleased by my effort and more importantly, how I felt.  Ryan planned it well with gels and water stop (one at a store).  Perhaps this is why I felt so good--am I always under-fueled on long efforts?  1 mile cool down solo (I have a hard time just shutting off the engine immediately after running) and it was over.  Super humid, super wet and sweaty but super fun. Thanks to them for welcoming me into their fold. And I can tell everyone "Yeah...{yawn}, I train with Olympic athletes.  NBFD or anything."

TOTAL: 70 miles

-->good week again and my confidence is building.  Struggling to get in miles during school, coupled with my perceived fitness level has me itching to run Smuttynose right NOW!  Bring it on next weekend.  If this sounds overly confident, it is not.  I'm just feeling ready and not sure if I can wait another month.  The next two weeks in non-taper mode will be taxing as I'll be itching to get it done but still forced to be patient and run/train smart and gobble miles.  Surftown 1/2 marathon in two weeks.  A good test to see where I'm at. Yet this presents another quandary: run hard and try to blow the doors off that thing, run pretty hard yet keep training through it (be smart), OR just run it as a training/uncomfortably  long MP run?  Pretty sure if I'm dropping the cash for it I have to "go for it" and see how fast I can do it.