Sunday, October 25, 2009

I got Altenburged...

at the Great Pumpkin 10K this morning. I also got Panaccioned, Bottomleyed, Dugased, Ryaned, Wued, Goetteled, Deckered, Weatherbied, and Gooded. But I Walkered 240 runners.

This morning was a race directors dream. Ok maybe this is. Regardless, the weather was absolutely perfect for a race. Bluebird skies, peak fall colors, indian summer temps, good breeze. Nevertheless, I almost didn't run it. Last night at 11PM, I was contemplating driving to North Conway for the White Mountain Milers half-marathon. I really wanted to, but then I realized that I've done exactly zero road runs > 8 miles in length this year and my handful of trail runs longer than this have been at easy paces. So a half-marathon wouldn't have been pretty. I really wanted to do the Franklin Park 5K at the Mayor's cup, but I had to be in Gorham at 12:30 for a USM open house for HS students. So I stuck to my plan and did the Great Pumpkin 10K.

The Great Pumpkin course is flat. Very flat. But it's very open and there always seems to be a good breeze. I don't really race road races. I time-trail them with the Garmin 305 as my rabbit. McMillan gives me my expected time and pace and I take of like a very steady robot. It's not pure but it gets the job done.

Over the first 3.5 miles, I steadily passed a few runners, more from them slowing down then me increasing my speed. I felt great and in control. Somewhere after the 4th mile was where I got my side stitch last time I ran this course (2006) so I really focussed on my breathing at this point. Near the end of the 4th mile I could feel a very slight stitch but I kept it under control. I picked up my pace after mile 5 and passed my last runner. At 5.2 miles, I looked at my watch and saw that I had exactly 6 minutes to break 38 flat. This assumes that there really was 1 mile left and not 1.0xxx miles. I was running as fast as I could and paying a steep price in oxygen debt. Turns out I had 1.03 miles to go, which at a 6:00 pace should take 6:11. My time crossing the finish line was 38:10 or maybe 38:11 but my official time was 38:12.

I'll take it - 38:12 is a 51 sec PR. 11th overall, 7th age-group (wtf?). And for the 1st time in my life, in a Portland-area race, I was the first masters runner not running in a Dirigo singlet! So I guess I got Dirigoed.

And my glutes-hamstrings have staged a coup.

5:50 (for .23 mi)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Ready for Rest, Ready to Race

I have tended to focus more on trail reports, the occasional race report, and weird training minutiae over the last couple of months rather than day-to-day training summaries. But I am happy to report that I've done my last (ok maybe 2nd to last) threshold run of the season. Fast running over the last two months, especially at Twin Brook, has taken its toll on my ass and it needs a break. In fact, the soreness has spread down into my hamstring. So, I need some rest, which may be actual days off, or maybe just easy five mile runs to stay mentally sane.

But first, I've got to run a 10K and I think I'm going to dip my toes into the Great Pumpkin in Saco this Sunday. Given this is the morning after a big Fall party :) maybe this isn't the best choice. But my the only other 10K is the Great Osprey in Freeport 2 weeks later. I just don't want to keep running fast for another 2 weeks.

Plus the pumpkin course is supposed to be faster than the Osprey course and I'm trying to log a solid 10K time. What time? Well McMillan claims my time should be 38:11 (6:08/mi), at least based on my Dan Cardillo 5K. I'm not sure I'm trained for a 10K, given that I have a lot of 5-7 mile runs in from this summer and fall but very, very few over 7 miles. Indeed, I felt sore-ish during the last mile of an easy 8 mile run yesterday - my body is not even used to 8 miles! That and my ass injury is spreading.

McMillan also says that I should be doing my tempo (or subthreshold) runs at between 6:13 and 6:29. Last week I did 5 back cove miles at 6:19/mi and it felt pretty easy. Today I did 3 back cove miles at 6:12/mi and this was much harder. Back Cove is a surprisingly slow course (given its flatness); regardless, running 6:08 for 6.2 miles seems optimistic.

My strategy will be to take it out slow and see how I feel after 3 miles. If ok I'll ramp it up and reassess at 4. Ditto at 5. Unfortunately, 10K is the distance where sidestitches have hurt me. I can run through piriformis, plantar fascitis, osteitis pubis, morton's neuroma, and posterior tibialis tendonapthy with little pain, but a sidestitch stops me in my tracks. Like a knife in my side. And I've got the stitch in 2 of my 5 10Ks.

Given that my 10K PR is 39:03, I think I'm in good shape to beat that, unless I get the stitch. But I'll be disappointed if I don't break 38:45. I'll be happy breaking 38:30 and ecstatic breaking 38:15. I'll wait till next year to attempt sub 38 : )

Monday, October 19, 2009

Piscataqua River Trail

The Piscataqua River Trail from River Point Conservation Area to Community Park is now connected thanks to a hardy crew of volunteers who set a big aluminum bridge across the River on Saturday. There is still more work to do, but stage I of a major trail corridor is nearly completed.
I thought briefly about running the Physical Therapy 8K Sunday morning but I was too excited to run the new 7 mile loop from my house, on to the Presumpscot River trail starting at Blackstrap Rd. then to the River Point and Piscataqua River trail, then to Community Park, then 1.75 miles home along the roads. I finished the run with a good 1.25 mile at 10K pace.

After a quick shower and breakfast, I headed up to Brunswick to cheer Ian on in his last lap of the MTC 50K. Actually I didn't cheer much because I didn't want to pressure him to do the last lap - he wasn't looking to good and he's got a big race coming up in a couple of weeks. But he persevered and won the race! Erik and I got to hold the tape (toilet paper) for him to run through. Awesome run Ian.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Blackstrap trail report

I've been avoiding Blackstrap hill this fall because 1) hard downhill running aggravates my butt and 2) Ian & Emma reported back from their Bitch to Bacon warmup that the trike trail was being logged. But I was in the mood to run with Rodney & Sasha so we ran the Blackstrap Heaven side of Hardy Rd. I was pleasantly surprised. The trail was widened, certainly, and there is some slash on the trail but overall it wasn't nearly as bad as, say, the Bitch to Bacon side of Hardy Rd. Indeed most of the trail was left untouched (the west side of the three little loops) and a (logging) road that I didn't follow may connect up with the east side trails, which would be a big box of positives! A little work clearing slash this weekend and these trails will once again be my goto dog runs until the snow flies.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Connecting Falmouth's Trails

A long term goal of mine has been creating connections between the different trail systems in Falmouth. In west Falmouth, this is greatly facilitated by powerlines and the snowmobile trail network but the town has also been able to make some key parcel purchases in the last year precisely to create open space corridors. East Falmouth is too built up to completely connect the in-place trail systems. Several groups are working on connecting these with purchases/easements but I'm also trying to figure out the shortest road route between each system.

Yesterday, I walked Maine Audubon's lovely trail system with my parents and Cacky. Then they took off in the car and I took off in my New Balance 790s. I did the mile long North Field loop then ran along route one until I ducked into a short, very squishy trail that connects route one and a new development called Tidewater Farms. The Audubon trails, both woods and fields, were in remarkable condition given the rain. The US1-Tidewater trail was cut last year by Portland Trails as part of their vision of a Presumpscot Estuary loop. I'll blog more about this as it progresses and the trails go online. Just across US1 from the connector trail is a nice little trail network in Pine Grove cemetary. I've not run these but hope to sometime this fall.

From the Tidewater Farms I had to take about 2.5 miles of road to the Summit St. trailhead of the Presumpscot River Trail. I ran this all the way to Blackstrap, where I was only 1/2 mile from my house. The section from Rt 100 to Blackstrap is part of a Sebago to Sea vision and the proposed public trail may go on either side of the river. There are advantages and disadvantages to each but the ultimate decision will come down to where we get easements.

Actually, the whole run is part of an envisioned Falmouth/Portland section of the Sebago to Sea. There will be a public meeting discussing this section of the Sebago to Sea project on Wednesday October 21, 5:30-7PM, with a place to be determined.

Run distance 10.5 miles. About half trail/half road.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Way Running Should Be - The Craig Cup

This a little over 1.5 miles into the race. That's Mike Payson in front of me, who was running easy because of recent ankle surgery.

Clearing skies, wet grass, and some mud greeted runners at he 7th Annual Craig Cup xc race yesterday at Twin Brook. I both ran and ran the race. Since I was running the race, I was pretty stressed about it's execution but this was greatly facilitated by a big group including Steve Ballou, Mary Ballou, Bill Landis, Cacky Sexton, Tom Bottomley, two Greeley HS runners, and trail monsters Jamie, James, Stephen, Carter, Kevin, Christine, Blaine, and Val. Four was also on the course taking photos including the one above. And since I was running the race I didn't have any time for a warm-up prior to running the race.

I finished 14th, 6th in Age Group. My goal time for the race was 19:23 (1 minute slower than Dan Cardillo) and my official time was 19:35. That's a 6 second PR but I admit to being slightly disappointed. There's an interesting 1 minute gap between the slowest Dirigo masters runner and the rest of us (ignore Garth Sukalot, a pseudonym for a guy out on an easy run with friends). That's a big gap to try to close!

Because of the wet grass and mud in sections, I raced in my inov8 mudroc 280s instead of the NB 790s. They performed well, but I'd really like a pair of x-talons.

Finally, congratulations to Sara Hellstedt who finished 3rd overall among women.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Been there done that

Cacky and I have been in Seattle for a few days and have missed all the fun at home, including the BruBreakerUffle or whatever it's called, the final DINK memorial run, the Trash run, and the pain in the rain. But we did enjoy Pike and Elysian brew pubs, one 160 draft taproom, coffee eden, Gearhead Nirvana, and much else. My three runs along the waterfront were uneventful if not forgettable. On Friday, I was up and in the lobby surfing the internet by 4:30AM. I waited until 6:30 to sneak out for a run. In the cold rain. The way running should Seattle. Saturday and Sunday were more of the same except that it wasn't raining. The run to the waterfront is down a big hill and with lots of zig-zagging through the city while trying to catch green lights. Cities suck. The first mile on the waterfront was on concrete. Just past the really fun SAM sculpture park, the concrete turns to blacktop and winds through a narrow grass park. We did have a gorgeously sunny afternoon today after I got out of my meeting and we had lunch at a little park at Pike Place with a stunning view of Mt. Rainier and the Olympic peninsula. I found it hard to not keep looking at Rainier; it's simply stunning in it's isolation.