Summary Jan 14-20

Monday Jan 14 AM 4.7 Miles, 860′ :37 Local neighborhood loop with a couple of decent hills thrown in. This is usually a lame cop-out for a seven mile loop when I’m not feeling so spry.
PM 2 Miles, :16 Treadmill
Loosening up before hitting the weights for the legs. I’m beginning to recognize that the rhythm of the treadmill has some small advantages in pace-location.
PM 2, 1 Mile :9 Treadmill
“Official” shakeout mile after weights.

Tuesday Jan 15, 7 Miles 940′ :50 Slow-ish jaunt through the local roads, adding weight training is definitely having an effect on my recovery-time, as well as the general weightiness that my legs are feeling

Wed Jan 16, AM 5 Miles 1480′ 42:30 Power line trails. Trails were covered in a mix of ice, sleet, and snow, I probably should have worn spikes, but the roads accessing the trail were completely clear.
PM 2 Miles, :16 Treadmill
Typical pre-weights loosening
PM 2, 1 Mile :9
Shakeout

Thurs Jan 17, AM 3.5 Miles 1150′ :33 Power line trails, abbreviated version. Trying to get a good “recovery” pace in my legs (it turns out that I’m really awful at forcing myself to run at a sub-maximal effort)
PM 5 Miles 720′ 44:15 Broken Shin Loop at a true recovery pace. First time in quite a while that absolutely no one was looking to push the pace the slightest bit. Good recovery run.

Fri Jan 18, 6.6 Miles 4880′ 1:22 Mount Tammany repeats with Bob and Dave. I’m hoping to get out for a lot more in the way of hill-specific training (in spite of the fact that most of the courses I run are rather hilly) in an attempt to feel more comfortable on uphills, and not lose strength as quickly. Trails were icy and snowy, which in spite of using micro-spikes made a 3rd loop (when already fatigued) seem like a bad idea.

Sat Jan 19, 9.2 Miles 1400′ 1:14 Colombia Trail>Schooleys Mountain. I thought this would be a rough/slow run, and at times it certainly felt like it, but overall the pace was pretty spot-on. I still need to work out my pacing however, since I definitely was feeling a little ragged on the final 5k back to the car

Sun Jan 20, 4.7 Miles, 860′ :38 Planned to do 7, but as soon as I got out of the neighborhood, that started looking like a bad idea. My legs just weren’t having it, and in actuality, felt like they had already run 30 or 40 miles today, which certainly isn’t a good thing.

Totals: 51.7 Miles, 12,290′ 7h31m

Overall I was definitely feeling pretty well beat-up this week, which is to be expected anytime I change my mileage/workout plans as much as I have in the past several weeks. Weather permitting, I’m hoping to increase my trail-mileage, and subsequently my vertical change, but it may take some time to balance things out with the semesters beginning coinciding with these plans.

Photo: Dave Franz

Photo: Bob Skorupski

Photo: Bob Skorupski

Photo: Bob Skorupski

Photo: Bob Skorupski

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Summary Jan 7 – 13

Monday Jan 7, AM 7 Miles, 940′ :47 
 Very average run through the neighborhood. Feeling rather fortunate that I have a quick local route that lets me pass a couple of farms as well as spend over a mile running directly uphill (albeit at a rather modest grade).
PM 2 Miles :16 Treadmill
Shakeout at the gym followed by some weights on the legs.

Tuesday Jan 8, 7 Miles, 940′ :49
 One of the unexpected side effects of adding weights to my routine is the inherent deadness in my legs. Granted, only losing 2 minutes on the course isn’t really a big deal, but being able to run the route with leaden legs is definitely useful as far as endurance cash in the bank for later.

Wed Jan 9, AM 5 Miles, 1480′ :40
Power-line trails. I wish I had bothered to bring spikes, but the ~mile or so of road running required to access the trails was enough to make me leave them at home (seeing as if I wear them on pavement, they’ll quickly be worn down to nubs, and I’m so incorrigibly opposed to carrying shit while I run). Unfortunately the trails themselves proved to be a combination of slush, hard packed snow, and ice, forcing me to rely on a combination of luck and balance to not faceplant in the snow.
PM 2 Miles :16 Treadmill
Shakeout at the gym followed by a slightly less ambitious leg workout.

Thurs Jan 10, AM 3.5 Miles 1150′ 29:30
Woke up feeling unusually lethargic and leaden, so even getting out for a run seemed like pulling teeth. Although, once I hit the trail, things quickly became a lot more enjoyable, even if my legs were feeling heavy.
PM 5 Miles, 720′ :43
Broken Shin Loop, at a miraculously recovery-oriented pace. Sprinted the last 1/4 mile or so with Butters, which is always a good time (and damn, can he move)

Fri Jan 11, 2 Miles, 16:30
Really run-down today, tired, heavy-legged, and generally not feeling like doing anything.

Sat Jan 12, 7 Miles 940′ :48
Much more like my “normal” self, and really enjoying the runs where I’m comfortably under 7:00 pace.

Sun Jan 13, 10 Miles 1100′ 1:15
 I think this by default counts as my “long” run for the week, although calling a 10 miler “long” seems like a bit of a stretch. I think I’ve only broken double digits 3 or so times since last May’s injury, and hitting it at a reasonable clip is really encouraging. Every time I start getting near higher distances, I find myself afraid of the inevitable swings in energy levels, but in actuality, they’re never as bad as I think it’s going to be.

Totals: 50.5 Miles, 7270′ 6h20m

Finally in the fifties. So far, so good, it feels like training, but right now I’m seeing no signs of any previous injuries coming back (knock on wood). I’m starting to really look forward to hitting bigger miles, and beginning to add a legitimate long-run into my plans. It seems that my brain goes a little haywire prior to adding the big run into my routine, mostly a result of fear with regard to the inevitability of bonking, GI issues, and the litany of unexpected troubles that seem to be inevitable over the course of a training season, but I know I’ve done it all before, and it’s really not that bad, so bring on the beast.


Summary Oct 14-20

Sunday Oct 14, 7 Miles 220′ :58 Early morning run with Gene and Dave. Both Gene and Dave are “getting back into shape” which translates to training extremely cautiously after having some bouts with injuries. Part of their plan it seems, is to run a lot of rail trails, for while I’m more than happy to tag along, after all, they’re great company, and even when they’re “getting into shape” they’re pretty quick (trust me, even though this time doesn’t reflect speed… it also started before dawn)

Monday Oct 15, 7 Miles 410′ :49 Solid feelings through the back-roads. The sunrises over fall foliage have been great, I really should start bringing the camera on my road runs as well.

Tuesday Oct 16, 7 Miles, 410′ 46:48 Quick repeat of Mondays course, time would be near a personal best on course, but I had to make a pit stop at mile 5 or so, which required stopping the watch, and finding some leaves (fortunately it’s autumn) which functionally invalidates the time as a continuous effort. The stopwatch does however reflect total time spent running.

Wed Oct 17 AM, 4 Miles, 175′ 29:56 Feeling lazy, short run. I’m still grappling with the whole running in the morning thing, and the requirements of…. getting out of my bed.
PM 2 Miles, 16:18 Guilt miles, I couldn’t let myself get away with a light morning when my legs felt good.

Thurs Oct 18 AM 3 Miles 21:45 Light loosening up before the day starts. I’m finding that I really prefer not to leave the house for “life” until I get in something at least resembling a run.
PM 5 Miles 360′ 38:47 Highlands Hashers “Ace of Pace” night. Basically, state the finish time you expect, and then try to get as close as possible without using a watch. I finished +27 from my estimated total of 38:20. John won overall, with +7 (or was it -7) Bob got the broken clock award, being off by several minutes (although he was admittedly racing Luis, and ignoring the prediction part)

Fri Oct 19 1 Mile, 8:54 Tired/beat up/lazy/no real good excuse. I suppose since I’m not “really” training for anything I’m allowing this day to be a mulligan… plus it’s probably good to rest a bit while I have the chance.

Sat Oct 20 11.6 Miles 1500′ 1:48 Allamuchy in the late morning/early afternoon. Yea, that’s more like it. This is what running is really about for me, single-track, trees, vert, rocks, mud… Really positive on the first couple of splits, with a 15:57 ascent, 7:19 from peak to the scout parking lot, and back up to the peak in another 8:30 or so. Unfortunately, my over-zealous first hour came to wreak havoc on my energy levels on the final 5k or so, proving that I’ve lost all sense of pacing on trails. It does seem, however, that babying my right knee for the summer, especially while hitting major vert in ME, has made me incredibly more confident in my left leg, which made for some snappy and exciting descents, as well as adding to an overall cavalier attitude on the most technical portions.

Totals: 47.6 Miles, 3078′ Vert

Me Gene and Dave Sunday morning

Back in my natural state

Summary Sept 9-15

Sunday Sept 9 AM 10 Miles 410′ 1:20 Ran through Parsippany with John, started by hitting a few hills, then running around the lake. Longest consecutive run in months, I’ve hit the distance over the summer, but usually on technical trails requiring at least some hiking, but being on a road leads to really consistent pacing/effort for the entire duration. Knee feels good, also, fantastic sunrise over the lake… should have brought the camera.

Monday Sept 10 AM 5 Miles 740′ :41 Short morning jaunt through the powerline course, the overall run-time is slowly decreasing, and my body seems to be adjusting to the cup of coffee>run>then eat for real schedule.

Tues Sept 11 AM 7.1 Miles 410′ 50:28 Sort of hilly run up the ridge and back down using the local roads. Feeling a bit rough from the get-go after a night hanging out with some orchestra folks. Really content with the time though, letting my stride open up a bit, and trying t get more consistent rhythm/effort over slightly longer distances
PM 1 Mile Barefoot 8:53 Shakeout evening, whenever I’m starting to pile on “real” mileage, the barefooting seems to keep me in-line.

Wed Sept 12 AM 5 Miles 740′ 41:39 Solid effort over the power-lines, sadly it’s taken me this long to feel comfortable/consistent on what is really a very pedestrian course. More importantly, the longer-sustained climbs are becoming relatively easy, and I’m gaining a lot more confidence in my overall foot placement/trusting my right leg to sustain the amount of abuse required for serious trail-running.
PM 1 Mile 8:44 Barefoot When my barefoot miles start to get consistent, I stop feeling like a liar when I tell people I’m a runner…

Thurs Sept 13 PM 5 Miles 360′ 40:25 Broken Shin Loop with John, Bob, and Brian. First time in a while that everyone ran as a cohesive group, conversational at ~8min pace. Pumped up the pace for the last quarter while joking around with Bob, he still has a much better kick than I do.

Fri Sept 14 AM 5 Miles 740′ :41 Another Power Line trip, feeling reasonable.

Saturday Sept 15 AM 5 Miles 550′ 1:14 Pseudo-tempo road-run. I wanted to nail down a baseline 10-mile time/pace on semi-shitty legs so I have an idea of what kind of work I’ve got cut out for myself. Surprisingly happy with the outcome, since the base for this course was in the 1:15 range last April as well…
PM 3 Miles 645′ 28:19 Allamuchy TH>Summit and directly back via yellow>blue blazes. Too nice outside to not get some hill time, even though it was probably ill-advised.

Totals: 52.1 Miles, 4585′ 6h54m
Longest mileage week since May, (although my week in Maine came close in overall time, it was much more vert-oriented, without the actual distance). I think I can begin to consider myself a runner again, as opposed to some sort of recreationalist/hobby jogga type. More encouragingly, if I can continue on this trajectory without re-injuring myself, I should be in much better shape at the turn of the year than I was last year. With the temperatures cooling, and the leaves starting to change, I’m really hoping that I can stay healthy, and begin to enjoy what’s certainly my favorite part of the year to be on-trail.

Summary August 26 – Sept. 1

Sunday August 26
5 Miles 740′ 42:10
Trying to nail down a consistent time/effort on the Power Lines, but things keep on fluctuating well beyond what I’d prefer, both in actual elapsed time, and perceived effort. Averages seem to be in the 42:xx range, which is definitely slow for the course, but it’s still early in the recovery process.
PM 1 Mile 9:06 Barefoot It’s nice to have a proper mile course right around my neighborhood…

Monday August 27
5 Miles 740′ 42:06
Two days in a row with a really similar time… I’m starting to feel the groove again

Tuesday August 28
5 Miles 740′ 42:27
Still a slow ride through the trails, but 3 times in a row with a total diff of 20 seconds is pretty consistent by my (non-GPS wielding) book.
PM 2 Miles 100′ 14:55 Jaunt down to the park and back, feeling too soggy in the legs to really go for a run, but it was just too gorgeous out to not be running. I’m longing for the kind of fitness where I could have gone out for a couple hour run on my second trip of the day… in time… in time.

Wed Aug 29
4 Miles 700′ 39:40
Allamuchy TH-Summit in 16:42 then around the rest of the hill back to my car. It’s nice to be finally getting back on my usual stomping grounds, even if the runs are still much shorter. Hopefully in the next week or 2 I can give a test on the 11.6 mile route, and hit the downhills I’ve been missing on this truncated loop.

Thurs Aug 30
5 Miles, 360′ 38:34
Ran ahead of the pack for the first time in what feels like ages (and quite simply has been ages). Bob reeled me in on the top of the first hill, but as our usual game seems to go, we only got faster from there. I didn’t set out to run sub-8s but it’s nice to know I can. Even better is knowing that I can hang on with a little bit of friendly competition (although Bob most likely could have dropped me with relative ease at any point)

Friday Aug 31
5 Miles 740′ 43:23
Feeling rather sluggish, and battling some gnarly heartburn.

Sat Sept 1
4 Miles 700′ 40:33
Allamuchy TH>Summit around and back to the car. Feeling really awful after the first 10 minutes, dead legs, heartburn, upset stomach, really the whole works as far as shitty sensations on the run. Also it’s the first time in a LONG time I’ve seen any runners on these trails, A group of  8 or so were descending on my first sustained climb…. looked like road runners judging by the hesitation, and most of them had dogs with them. Can’t complain though, there’s only one way to get comfy on that terrain, and that’s to run it, and the more people doing so, the better for the sport.
PM 1 Mile 8:40 Barefoot

Totals: 37 Miles, 4820′ 5h21m

Still a little low on totals, but mostly out of laziness, general tiredness, and getting myself ready for the upcoming semester. Overall, my legs have been feeling really dead, but in the sort of way that I know is temporary, once my body adjusts to running consistently the recovery time should quicken up, and allow me to confidently start raising my mileage from there. Even with that in consideration, it’s encouraging to look in my log book and see several consecutive 30-something mile weeks and not have any knee pain…..

Summary: August 19-25

Sunday August 19
???? Miles, ???’ ??:??
Hash day, I honestly have no clue how much distance we covered, in what time we did it, or how much vert there was or wasn’t. Course was laid by Road Scholar and Hairy Palmer, and was definitely one of, if not the best laid hash of the year. Forded a river for about a mile, ran some pretty ideal trail, bushwacked up a decent size hill (tourne?) then bombed back down it with Roadie afterwards. Left my ITB strap at home, which proved to be of no disadvantage, since everything was solid for the duration… drinking beer the whole time might have been helpful though….

Monday August 20
5 Miles 740′ 43:42
Really pedestrian jaunt through the Power Line trails, nothing spectacular to mention on either the positive, or the negative side of things.

Tuesday August 21
5 Miles 740′ 41:35
Busted out my (now very beat up) Trail Gloves to try to make lemonade with regards to my slower times. The lack of protection (these do have a rock plate, but it it’s the protective equivalent of putting a band-aid on a bullet wound when you’re trying to run really rocky trail) usually forces me to go a lot slower, and concentrate much more on my footing and foot placement. While no shoes I wear are particularly clunky, these are by a long shot my lightest pair, which, I think in turn makes me a better runner in the long run. Much to my surprise, this is my fastest time on this course since the injury (and still… ~4 mins behind PR)
PM 1, 1.24 Miles 15:00 Ivan Drago Secret Training Project
PM 2, 1 Mile 9:08 Evening Barefootin’

Wed August 22
5 Miles 740′ 42:27 
Another very average Power Line run. Becoming more consistent overall, but positive splitting pretty heavily, and not really taking advantage of the topography the way I should (struggling uphill, being a wuss downhill)
PM 1 Mile 9:20 Barefootin’

Thurs August 23
1 Mile 335′ 13:40
Local park/powerlines over by Mooney Mountain. Really direct line up the hill, followed by some nonsensical switchbacking on the descent. Probably would have been a lot faster had I not consistently lost track of where the trail was, but really, I can’t complain about a proper mile with 335′ of ascent and descent….
PM 5 Miles 360′ 40:30
Broken Shin Loop with the usual suspects. Dave and Bob went ahead while Luis and I slogged our way through the loop. Feeling sluggish, tired, and generally out of shape. I guess it’s a good sign that feeling like crap I’m still running what would have been an average time on course… although I’d prefer to still be feeling fresh with such a modest weekly mileage.

Friday August 24
5 Miles 740′ 41:53
Finally feeling comfortable, and consistent on the power lines… no good news, no bad news… no news is good news.

Saturday August 25
6 Miles 290′ :48
Roads around town, no pain, no real discomfort at all. Legs felt a little heavy (did a leg workout Friday evening)   but otherwise no worse for the wear.

Totals: 35.24 Miles, 3945′ 4h47m
Finally feeling like I have some semblance of a groove going on. If you add in the hash, which should have been ~5 miles, then I’m actually over 40 for the first time in months. (of course, I don’t count hash mileage as part of my log) Although my legs seem to be taking a long time to warm-up (I usually don’t feel good until 3 or 4 miles into a run) it’s fantastic to simply not be suffering, and not have any knee pain. I figure that if I can maintain this sort of volume for another couple of weeks, then I can finally begin doing some more ambitious runs, and behaving more like myself on the trails.

An older video of a buddy of mine from college. Gotta represent some UNH music now and again.

Summary: August 12-18

Sunday August 12
 4 Miles, 700′ 40:14 Short jaunt through Allamuchy: TH to summit, then skirted around the backside of the hill and directly back to the trail-head. It’s nice to finally get back on some technical trails and not feel beat up about it. Overall a slow 4 miles, although the trip to the summit was in the ~16min range, which is pretty spot on for average runs, even during heavy training.

Monday, August 13
 5 Miles, 740′ 42:10 Powerline trails. This is probably the hardest “short” course for me to run right now, since I ran it so much during the spring that even without a GPS, I know all of my “typical” splits for the major course landmarks. Since I’m very much not in the shape I was in, it’s incredibly frustrating to see how far behind my times are (average time on course was ~38m)

Tuesday, August 14
 5 Miles, 740′ 44:16 Dead legs, humidity, general suffering while running.

Wed, August 15
 5 Miles, 740′ :43 More dead legs, some gnarly heartburn as well. Trying to remember how to run first thing in the morning, and my stomach seems to not be agreeing with coffee quite yet…. or it’s still lagging behind from the previous nights dinner… all in all, very frustrating.
PM 1 Mile, Barefoot 9:14 Barefootin’ always feels good, trying to get the biomechanics back in line, and get the two-a-days feeling normal.

Thurs August 16
 5 Miles, 360′ 39:39 Broken Shin Loop with the usual suspects. Luis flew ahead right out of the lot, so I ran the loop with Bob at a semi-recovery pace. Felt good to pound the pavement for a bit, gaining some confidence in my legs.

Fri August 17 
5 Miles, 740′ 44:52 Hearburn, dead legs, ran in the heat of the day. All in all, a bad idea.

Sat August 18
5 Miles 740′ 42:23 Back to a semi-normal run time on the course, and not feeling like complete and total crap the whole way. I think my body may be adjusting to the consistent running, I’m also starting to find my (slow) groove again.

Totals: 35 Miles, 5500′ Vert, 5h6m

So, we’re back to normal, sort-of. While I’m really excited that I can grind out a 35 mile week, and not re-injure myself, it’s tough to think about the mileage I was able to put in, as well as how long it may take me to get back to that sort of consistent volume. I’m also still wearing the ITB strap, although Sunday’s hash seemed to prove it unnecessary. Ideally, I’ll hang out at this ~35mpw range for a bit, add in some more barefooting, and eventually start to push the volume up (this time in a much more prudent manner).

No pictures, so here’s something that’s been on repeat in the car for a while now…

Review: Merrell Road Glove

The efficient road shoe is elusive. How do you find the right combination of lightness, ground-feel, and protection from pebbles whilst not interfering with the natural motion of the foot, and subsequently the remainder of the kinetic chain up the leg? When looking for a road shoe, I often find myself making compromises, some are too squishy, others too stiff, do I want a Zero-Drop shoe? or would I be better off with a bit of a heel?

The Merrell Road Glove is Merrell’s answer to the minimalist road running shoe dilemma. Based on the same last as their incredibly popular Trail Glove, the Road Glove is really a result of some minor alterations to its trail-oriented brother. Here are the Stats:

Weight: 6.6 oz (men’s size 9)
Cushioning: 4mm EVA foam
Vibram Outsole
ZERO drop

Okay, so that’s the boring part, and precisely what one would expect from the Merrell “Barefoot” line of shoes, so I’m really not telling you anything new right now. The fit on the Road Glove is exactly what any barefoot/minimalist runner would be looking for, snug in the heel, wide in the toe box. This allows the foot to feel attached to the shoe (in fact, it eventually feels like the shoe is molded onto your foot) while giving the runner enough toebox room for the toes to splay naturally. There is a piece of foam that touches the arch directly, much like the Trail glove. This is NOT an arch support, it’s foam, and is there to lock the foot into place within the shoe. This foam has no rigidity, and collapses easily when your foot flattens out, so it is in no way taking any load off of your arches.

The ground feel on these shoes is fantastic. Merrell has taken an approach that concentrates more on the outsole than the midsole of the shoe, so there’s only a small layer of EVA (4mm) between your foot and the outsole, but the outsole is present for the entirety of the sole of the shoe. While this makes for a very consistent ground feel, and prevents any squishiness in the shoe, it does feel a little stiff when compared to the outsole designs using pods (like the NB MR00). However, this is such a minor complaint, it’s barely worth noting. In fact, the Vibram outsole combined with the modest amount of cushioning seems to take the edge off of any pebbles you may encounter, while not sacrificing the overall ground-feel (a major upgrade from my VFF’s which leave my feet sore on any run <5miles)

How are they different from the Trail Glove? Simply stated, they have a different (less aggressive) outsole, and have eliminated the rock-plate. There have also been some changes to the upper, since a trail shoe really needs to be more connected to the foot than a road shoe requires. These handful of changes makes for a lighter shoe that will hopefully last longer on roads (the trail glove is reported to wear out very quickly on the roads… although it was never intended for road use).

Conclusions? I like them… a lot. While I don’t run exclusively in Zero-Drop shoes (I’ve found that I prefer a 4mm drop in my trail shoes) These have found themselves used heavily in my rotations. I would definitely consider racing in these, and am looking forward to putting some 20+ mile runs on them in the near future.

Note: These shoes were provided to me as part of my Merrell Sponsorship to Participate in the Outdoor Nation Summit.

Summary April 15-21

Sunday April 15 1 Mile, 7:52 My legs are still feeling pretty beat up, and with Saturday being the last concert of the season, complete with all of the associated after-party-effects, doing very much running today just wasn’t in the cards.

Monday April 16 AM 10.1 Miles 550′ 1:19 Usual road loop around town. Typically I like this as a tempo run, but with some latent fatigue/soreness, moving “quickly” requires hurculean effort, and that’s assuming that I can run with any sense of quickness on my legs as they feel presently.
PM 1 Mile Barefoot 8:44 Nothing seems to cure the leg soreness than a bit of barefootin’

Tuesday April 17 AM 10.2 Miles 1480′ 1:23 Aside from struggling with the unseasonable heat, this felt like a pretty good jaunt through the power line trails. Legs are still a bit soggy, not quite 100% but feeling generally better than the past couple of days.
PM 1 Mile Barefoot 9:06 Trying to be more diligent about letting my characteristically tight left achilles tendon release fully to the ground, which, when I’m succeeding, generally leads to less soreness in the lower calf as a whole. (note: I’ve tried to concentrate on this while wearing zero-dropped “barefoot” shoes, but nothing seems as effective as going unshod)

Wed April 18 AM 1 Mile Barefoot Typical Wednesday, long day, keep the streak alive… see above for barefoot justification.
PM 2 Miles 14:39 I suppose moving a bit at the end of the day could help flush some of the mucky muck out of my legs.

Thurs April 19 AM 5.1 Miles 740′ 39:38 Quick jaunt up the power lines, everything is feeling normal, almost good (well, as good as it can when you’ve been stacking miles without a proper break for 4 months)
PM 9.2 Miles 700′ 1:11 Columbia Trail and outer loop of Schooley’s Mountain. Fantastic afternoon, albeit a tad on the warm side. Running uphill felt surprisingly strong, and I’m beginning to get more used to the summer-esque weather, and associated shirtlessness, brow dripping with sweat, and insatiable desire to jump in nearby streams (but they’re still cold, so maybe in a few weeks). I finally brought a camera with me, but to my chagrin, when I reached the summit, two young lovers decided to treat it like an hourly rate motel room, which… was rather hilarious, but robbed me of photographic opportunities, as well as a chance to thoroughly enjoy the view.
PM Part Deux 5 Miles 360′ 35:08 Broken shin loop at an unusually quick tempo. I’m unsure of exactly how we ended up dropping a minute per mile on our usually low-key ~8min pace Thursday night recovery run… I can only presume that with Dave having just run Boston, Jeff being en route to a <3hr marathon, and  Bob aggressively training for 5/10k's that no one thought twice about running faster. I'm pretty sure Jeff landed a CR in the 34:xx range, and all 4 of us PR-ed… not a bad "recovery" run

Fri April 20 11.6 Miles 1500′ 1:46 Allamuchy loop. Feeling generally like crap, heavy legs, tired, lethargic, hot, fundamentally every imaginable runners discomfort seemed to rear its head within the first 2 miles. Such, I suppose is another day on the trail, be wary he who feels too comfortable.
 PM 1 Mile Barefoot 9:02 Typical shakeout-like thing

Saturday April 21 15 Miles  1300′ 2:03 Road loop with a power line extension. Again, feeling like complete and utter shit. I think everything is subject to a certain ebb and flow, and I’m encouraged by the fact that when I feel legitimately bad (sour stomach, legs made of lead, tired etc etc etc) I can still manage ~8 min pace.

Totals: 73.2 Miles, 6,630′ Vert, 9h54m

Overall, kind of a frustrating week, and at the risk of being obvious, last weeks 30 mile run, without fully recovering certainly weighed in substantially this week. Admittedly, I did try to capitalize on the residual fatigue, and have never previously run this hard (or even remotely close to this hard) immediately following an effort of that length (both time, and distance). With that in mind, I really can’t be too frustrated, I did set a PR on the Broken Shin loop, and had some reasonably good runs, ion fact, none of my “bad” runs were even remotely close to my SKT (slowest known time) but rather were just on the high-end of average pace (or perhaps a few minutes slower than average…).  As for what’s next? I think I need to do some serious foam-rolling (and “The Stick” using) and have a beer. Next week begins some “front” tapering, where I’ll probably concentrate on some more highly specific terrain, but with a bit lower gross mileage, so that I’m only moderately sore leading into the taper proper.

Master Chef

Thinking Space

Summary April 8-14

Sunday April 8 5.1 Miles, 740′ 39:25 Easter Sunday, and feeling unusually sore from the previous days effort. In fact, I can’t recall being this sore after a 20-ish mile run in quite some time. Noticeably, my times have been getting faster, and I’m sure that the moderate increase in tempo has been both advantageous, and the root of my lingering soreness.

Monday April 9 10.1 Miles, 550′ 1:17 Running through the local roads. relatively typical time, perhaps a couple of minutes slower than my usual splits. Nothing particularly substantial, although I have found that running up-tempo-ish road miles in  a zero dropped shoe seems to be good for tightening up form, and working my lower legs a little more than my typical 4mm dropped trail shoes.

Tuesday April 10 5.1 Miles, 740′ 39:57 Exhausted, in fact, unreasonably exhausted. I can’t pinpoint any major change to lead to such a degree of fatigue, so, listening to my body, I took a rather light day (especially considering the lack of other commitments).

Wed April  11 2 Miles, 14:18 Wed is an extraordinarily long class day, so a quick couple of miles before I set off to campus was all I had time for.

Thurs April 12 15.2 Miles 1340′ 1:50 Tempo run on the roads with 5 miles up up-tempo trail tacked on to the end. In the front 10, I dropped 4 minutes off of my previous course PR, which is no small feat. This was also one of the first runs where I didn’t NEED to hydrate/fuel but chose to do so to practice eating on the run, and carrying a handheld. While I’m intent on maintaining my “rule” of not bringing food/water for anything that’s <2hrs (really I don't take anything unless I expect to be in at least the 2:30 or greater zone…) it was very nice to not have a dry mouth, or any drops in energy.

Fri April 13 30 Miles, 2700′ 4:06 Finally, a true “long” run. I ran mostly on the Columbia trail, with two sets of Schooley’s Mountain loops. This was the first “fully” fueled run in a very long time, although crewing from my car is much less than ideal for hydration purposes (and I’m still only consuming 1 GU per hour, at maximum, compared to 1 every 30 mins during race conditions). I did find out that the bathroom in the park was open at around the 3 hr mark, which was enough of a morale booster to keep me feeling great through the final hour. While the soreness from this run is still lingering in my legs (3 days after) I’m very pleased with the time, and general comfort level over the course, especially having run rather hard the day prior.

Sat April 14 3.2 Miles, 24:13 Total recovery run, rather happy with how my legs felt, which I can only describe as somewhere far below good, but definitely not like complete crap. Tolerable, really, not overly heavy, although going much faster than ~8 min pace was definitely not a possibility.

Totals: 70.7 Miles, 6070′ Vert, 9h11m

A week without doubles… This is really my only substantial complaint looking back at the week in review, although I did seem to have rehearsals/class until rather late most nights, which was certainly prohibitive with regard to getting myself out a second time for some shaking out. Vert was also rather low, which is of some moderate concern going into the NF 50, and with the next couple of weeks looking extraordinarily busy, I’m not expecting to be able to get onto any more serious trails between now and the race, which means I’ll have to rely on some hill repeats (groan) and a bit of strength training (double groan) to boost my confidence leading up to the race. Otherwise, I’m still riding a bit of a high from Friday’s successful 30 miler, which is an initial confirmation that my training plan has been paying off.

No pictures, so enjoy some sounds from a couple of my buddies from college.