Thursday, July 30, 2009


Last November or December, I finally discovered Malmo's Manifesto and the Summer of Malmo. So I planned on implementing double's this summer. But I forgot. Until last week. When another thread on two shorter runs v. one long run made me think that I could possibly up my mileage without further aggravating my butt or injuring something else by doing doubles. So I've started. Slowly. Short and slow. 4 miles in the morning and 5-7 miles in the afternoon. I'm starting with two doubles this week. Then 3 next week. If I'm still feeling good, I'll then do 3-4/week. What I will likely leave out for a while is a long run. Probably nothing over 8-10 miles (except the first half of the grafton notch loop which I'm doing next week - but that be more like a fast hike than a long run). I'm also leaving out intervals for a while. And hill repeats. I left out a tempo last week and I'm still considering leaving out a tempo this week. But next week I'll start tempos back up and maybe a couple of light progression runs.

Malmo pushing doubles is one example in a long list of runners who emphasize running alot. Wejo's Why I sucked in college is another example. I think my favorite example is from Bernd Heinrich in Why We Run: A Natural History, when he replaced all routine walking (through parking lots, down hallways, etc. etc.) with running when training for ultramarathons.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Quick Start

The image above illustrates my weekly running mileage in 2008 (red) v. 2009 (blue). In 2008, I was coming off of injury that kept me out all of 2007 so I started very slowly, with lots of walking and bike commuting (neither shown), so there are more exercise hours, just not running hours. The shuffle was my first race but I ran it at a moderate to tempo pace. I had no week with more than 31 miles until August 11! But late August through early December I was doing 40 to 50 mpw. My two fall road races were PRs.

This year I started off much more quickly, raced from the get-go, and got my butt injury the week before Pineland. Continued racing in June and July seems to have slowed any kind of recovery. And my July road race was 1 minute slower than predicted by my Fall 5K and 10K times. Now I'm trying to ramp up the miles using doubles instead of longer runs. And no races, intervals, or tempos for another few weeks. I'm running the breaker but not racing it (like the scuffle last year).

Friday, July 24, 2009

Florida trails

The beach got boring after two hot and clammy runs so yesterday I tried something different. I noticed many, many dirt roads on the satellite images and asked my dad about these and he said to go run at Moses Creek conservation area, which the county purchased several years ago. This turned out to be exactly what I was looking for; old logging roads through sandy pine/live oak forests with some shade (but still hot and clammy). These logging roads aren't made of fill and gravel (like those in Maine) but are simply packed earth. But because the soil is so sandy, the drainage is awesome and they aren't filled with huge rutted pig wallows like the snowmobile trails. Speaking of pigs, they are supposed to be common in these woods but I didn't see any. I did surprise a little doe as I rounded a corner and chased her down the trail a short way and also had to run under a huge Osprey nest with 4 osprey, one flying around with something in its talons, and also came across a nice gopher tortoise on the trail.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Clam Festivaln't

Official time: 32:13. A good 43s slower than what I thought was a modest goal. Splits 6:18, 6:21, 6:27, 6:29, 6:31, 0:07 - The rising numbers means this wasn't a good race. I didn't bonk, and wasn't hurting; I just wasn't in the groove. Maybe Mt. Washington gave me a false sense of my fitness level. Still, it was good to be out there with son Sam and brother in law Chuck. I don't get to see him often.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Off the grid

I missed James' rocking the ultra of ultra races as well as the badassest of badass 6 mile trail races. Instead I was running, hiking, rowing, swimming, reading, eating, and drinking at Cacky's family's little slice of heaven.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Presumpscot River Trail

TMR needs to either mix it up and explore other trails for our TNR or maybe do a thursday night run too (at a trail near you). Today, my son Will and I met up with the xc team at the Summit St. trailhead of the (Presumpscot) River trail. Sasha tSB and I took off alone, while the team was still waiting on stragglers. The trail itself is fun because it has little dips up and down the streams (very little compared to say, Twin Brook) and a narrow single-track section with some really tall brush that made me feel like I was running from the Pirates in the Swiss Family Robinson. The trail is in pretty awesome shape given the rain and above flood stage river. But the flooded streams made the creek crossings fun and the amount of mud was just enough to make it fun but not so much to be a bother. The Indian Pipes are beginning to bloom on the Summit St. segment and the acre of Equisetum near the Rt100/26 end of the trail is spectacular. But the falls were stunning. Really big, really fast, really scary water.

Back Cove 5K aggravation

(notes for training log...). My left butt/piriformis soreness has finally started to really recover despite the fact that I've not done anything but run (that is, no stretches, no massaging, no strengthening, no spinal adjustments, no ibuprofen, no icing, no orthotics, etc. etc. etc.). This has been about 6 weeks, which isn't bad for a musculoskeletal injury. But I still have more recovery to go and there will be setbacks.

Like today. The last two weeks I've included two semi-hard sessions per week in my training: (1) a treadmill climb (10-12%) at threshold pace and (2) a little interval or 5k race pace at the back cove 5K. Since I'm likely to do a 5 mile road race next week (Clam festival), I decided to do only a single hard run this week - a three mile threshold pace run at the back cove 5K. My goal was about a 6:35/mi pace but I did 6:31, 6:26, 6:24. I also decided to kick the last 75 meters or so, which I haven't done at all for 6 weeks. The good news is that the threshold pace seemed pretty easy, which means that I'm in better fitness than I thought or my threshold runs from the past have been too hard, or maybe it was just a good night.

The bad news is my left butt is a little worse for the wear. I definitely feel it more while sitting on the couch and watching the Tour de France than I have the past few days. Not bad but I aggravated it a bit. Since I did a mile at 6:00 last week, I don't think it was the pace but maybe it was 3 miles at 6:30 or maybe it was the kick? Never add/subtract two things if you're trying to figure out what works!

Ah well. Nothing but easy runs until next Saturday's race, although running at Mountainy pond will require some steep downhills and running on very uneven terrain.

Sunday, July 5, 2009


Nothing really exciting to report because I'm basically in maintain mode following the Pineland 25K and Mt. Washington RR. Not running didn't seem to help my piriformis so about 1 week ago I finally decided to just keep running, but generally slow and not too many miles. So this week I got in 36 miles, my most since the week prior to Pineland. Sad huh? My long run this week was 9.75 miles. Even sadder. And my strength/speed work consisted of doing a threshold run on the treadmill and doing an 8-7-6 min/mi progression at the back cove 5K. My new issue of Outside mag (the June issue which arrived July 3rd) has an article stating that the new wisdom in the sports med world is to train through injury (not intensely but to maintain activity). Already doin' it.

M - Threshold on treadmill all at 10% incline. 20 min easy, 15 min hard, 10 min easy, 5 min walk.
T - TMR TNR @ Twin Brook 4.4 miles, 51:53
W - Back Cove 5K, laps: 7:52, 6:52, 6:01
Th - Back Cove 3.75 mi, recovery pace
F - Back Cove 5.5 mi, easy pace
S - Pineland, 9.75 mi, easy pace, last mi was barefoot in grass
Su - Back Cove, 5.3 mi, easy pace

Thursday, July 2, 2009


Born to Run is like the female eunuch. But instead of burning bras we're burning shoes. Woohoo! Burn the shoes. Burn the shoes!

For those of you that want to waste a lot of time eavesdropping on the good, the bad, and the ugly of minimalism, I'd suggest the message board. It's an endless circus over there. Particularly fun are the threads from the 2005 and earlier with the indomitable Trackhead. The everpresent Jaguar is always lurking too. But HRE and Nobby I think are the real stars; they join the fray frequently, and bring in tons of experience and wisdom.

One thing that I find especially interesting is that the shoe companies don't make heavy, over built bricks for the Japanese market. If the shoe companies are really convinced that motion control, cushioned, high heel shoes prevent injury, do they not care about the Japanese?

My life as a comic

I just spent 2 hours making my first joke. I don't think I'll go on tour. The punchline is not very funny, but I like the lead-up...

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

mixed training

I'm probably going to run the Clam Festival 5 miler in a couple of weeks with my bro-in-law so I've been trying to maintain my running without wickedly aggravating the piriformis. Taking a day or two or eight doesn't seem to help much. In fact, running seems to keep everything a little looser. What really hurts is sitting on my ass all day.

I combined my uphill theory of recovery with a strength workout and did a threshhold run on the treadmill Monday - my second treadmill run in my life! 20 minute warm up, 15 minute threshhold (88-90% HRmax), and 10 minute cool down, followed by a 5 minute walk. All at 10% grade. Total climb was 2241 feet. Yesterday I ran an easy TMR TNR @ Twin Brook with Erik and Jim. Then tonight I ran the back cove 5K. I wanted to take it pretty easy but work in a little workout to continue the alternating hard-easy days. So my mile splits were 8, 7, and 6. The 6 min/mi pace should be about my 5K pace but I don't think I'm there. Good to see Ian, Lily, and Randy W. at the 5K. Also, my son Will had his fastest back cove run this summer even though he said he was going to take it easy. And my other son Sam bonked because he didn't eat all day until snarfing down 3 bagels just before the race. Typical 16 yo.

The golden ass award

At least for this week goes to ...