Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Training 02-20 - 02-26

Weekly Wrap Up: 53.8 miles on 5 days.  One near death experience on the high NH peaks (but fun) and one race that was a test and a wake up call.  This will be it for running for a while. Will bike and will be backing out of all races until probably trails and mountain series and Washington (IF I am OK by then).

2-26 - Sunday: 13 miles (roads). Amherst, MA.  3 mile w/up (2 with some CMS guys and then 1 with strides and other loosening (or trying) up.  Then 10 mile race.  56 high or so.  Not a disaster of a race considering how banged up I am but enough to tell me that I'm done for a while.  I need to stop running, go to the doctor, and heal.  It means dropping out of Boston, New Bedford, and probably all of March and April but it has to be done.  I will miss 3/4 of a year if I can salvage getting back by May. It sucks, but I'm seriously injured.  My fitness is good.  I wasn't even breathing running near 57 minutes.  It was almost comical how easy 5:30-5:50 felt up and down those hills, cardio-wise.  Never once did my heart rate climb to anything remotely close to me being taxed.  My calf on the other hand was horrendous.  It was painful, tight, and just plain unmanageable.  I am quite frankly shocked I broke 57 minutes or even an hour. I thought for sure I'd be walking by 6 miles.  This is it for me for a while unfortunately.  But coming in 60-something place or whatever it was is just not going to be a habit with me. I'd rather not be running and just see if I can fix this rather than just keep running on it hurt and never be able to race again.

2-25 - Saturday: Off. Up in Madison and then over to Center Harbor all day.  Was out at 7:30am and not back until 7:30pm. Lots of walking around the new property and about a 2+ mile hike up to the Cascades via the well house and then back.  Calf hurt just walking.  Trying to salvage DH Jones.

2-24 - Friday: 6 miles (snowy, icy roads).  Around and in between Ivanhoe and Great East in Wakefield, NH. Calf hurt the whole time.

2-23 - Thursday: 12.5 miles in two runs.  Lunchtime: 8.3 miles on roads around the house including some icy/snowy roads out and back into the house plus paved roads around the area (including the big loop up Perkins Hill) - [54:38]. After Work: 4.2 miles in two lake bangs (2/3rds icy and muddy roads - 1/3rd clear paved road) [29:52].

2-22 - Wednesday: 11.7 miles in two runs.  First just after lunch. 7.1 miles.  Was going to do 10 (out and back) but made the shorter loop and added on near the house after the calf got sore.  Didn't want to be 5 miles out and have to walk back.  Once I got back around the lake (where there is still a ton of ice on the road, but now a lot of mud too), it actually loosened up. By the end, I felt OK.  Iced and massage.  [47:53].  Then, later after work, w/ headlamp, went out for another 4.6 miles around the lake (2 bangs) plus a little extra. [33:44]. Calf felt 'OK'.

2-21 - Tuesday: Off.  Calf and hamstrings really sore.  Looking towards racing this weekend (or trying to anyways) I need to try to heal up as much as I can.  Lots of stretching, some lifting, and ice and massage.

2-20 - Monday: 10.6 miles (mountain, frozen tundra, hell, and back).  with Kevin Tilton - Crawford Path from near the Highland Center in Carroll, NH up to the summit of Mt. Pierce and then across to Eisenhower summit and then down the back side of that.  We ran into a bunch of people on Pierce and the visibility over to Eisenhower and Washington was amazing.  When we got up to Eisenhower, it started to get very windy and the blowing snow made it 'interesting' to say the least.  We started to make our way down over to Monroe but the wind and blowing snow got ridonkulous. Visibility went from great to near zero quick, and the snow and ice blowing into our faces was too much to bare.  My eye actually froze OPEN (no joke).  At that point, we had to turn back. On the way back, my other eye froze OPEN.  We had to hide behind cairns every once in a while because the wind was so bad on the way across (it was all exposed).  The trail became blown in with snow and we couldn't find the trail that cut around the summit of Eisenhower.  It was all packed in so we had to go back up and over the summit again and this time it was horrendous.   We we wearing our microspikes but we were underdressed for the weather for sure.  No goggles or heavy duty facemask was a mistake.  I got pretty nervous as we tried to make it back over to Pierce and then back down. We took refuge behind the summit cairn on top of Eisenhower as the wind and blowing snow became near unbearable.  We slid down the back side and down and up again to Pierce and by that time we ran into a few others who were going to start over to Eisenhower and they were all VERY impressed w/ us.  I think they thought we were nuts for sure.  They were dressed like they were going up Everest and Kevin and I were dressed like we were going to go running in Whitaker Woods.  Once we got back up on Pierce, we turned and looked to see that Eisenhower, Monroe, and Washington were all gone behind storm clouds, which means we would have been screwed if we kept going.  It's amazing how quickly weather rolls in up there. And how different the weather is from base to summit or just from one summit to the next. I didn't really respect it before. I do now.   My GoPro camera was ON the entire trip up there so when we got there it was basically dead, which sucks because it would have been the greatest disaster movie ever, if I had been able to capture what Kevin and I went through.  I did get very little footage w/ my iPhone and it was all BEFORE the weather got bad.  The beginning was great.  The end was scary and I wasn't about to try to take my phone out of my pack to film anything. I needed both hands to hold on for dear life.  10.6 miles. 3500 ft. of climbing. Most of the scramble across the top and high peaks were in packed and deep snow we would punch through on occasion.  The run was very slow indeed. [2:25:27].

Friday, February 17, 2012

Training 02-13 - 02-19

Weekly Wrap Up: 70.1 miles with one decent workout (to test the situation) and one awesome long run.  I did get to do some exploring too on Monday just up the road in Maine on some sweet snowmobile trails.  The snow took a hit this week but the trails are still good (for running). Nice and packed.  The trails that don't cross lakes are still good for the machines.  70 miles is the highest since last summer and my calf is still a huge problem. It just hurts all the time.  But I'm still able to do some running and didn't miss a day this week.  Glad I got a chance to get up in the Whites for the run Saturday.  Good week all in all as I kind of went on-off-on-off.  My racing is a huge question mark but the miles are coming regardless of the calf situation.

02-19 - Sunday: 2.5 miles (ice road and paved road).  Quick lake bang instead of taking a zero.  This got me up to 70 for the week.  Added on a bit near the beginning and just scuffed along over the ice packed road out to the paved road and then back in on the other side.  Stopped to take in the absolutely amazing skies tonight.  Over in front of the campground the skies were absolutely insane.  It's so dark in these skies compared to back down south.  It was a complete horizon to horizon view of stars.  Deeper than I've seen in a long time.  Due to the distance away from any decent size city and the lack of lights in the area from houses (there is NO ONE living here right now) it was just amazing.  There is 2 street lights in the entire 2 + miles around the lake and maybe a half dozen houses that have lights on.  It was crystal clear and dead quiet...all except for the cracks and bubbling of the water beneath the ice (which is quite loud every once in a while). [18:28]

02-18 - Saturday: 25 miles (snowmobile trails).  Bartlett, Albany, Livermore, Hart's Location NH.  With Kevin Tilton.  From north gate on Bear Notch Rd. --> Rob Brook Rd. --> Birch Hill Trail --> Sawyer River Trail --> Sawyer River Rd. --> Conway Scenic RR Tracks. Only about 1/4 mile on pavement and ALL nicely packed to slightly loose/wet snow.  Ran with the trailrocs on and only almost broke my back once at the very beginning on an icy downhill.  Legs held up (barely).  I was very stiff and hurting in the hamstrings and calf(s) by the tracks (about 4 miles from the end).  Beautiful day to be outdoors.  Tons of snowmobilers out there but it was still great to get out on the nicely packed trails and run for over 3 hours.   [3:37:05].  Kevin's Garmin data here.  We ran for 3:37:05 (actually running time).  His Garmin was ticking through pee/water/GU stops.  2034 ft. of elevation gain on snowmobile trails.  Not a bad day.

02-17 - Friday: 12.1 miles (roads).  Dover, NH.  1.7 or so w/up wth Nathaniel Huppe over to start of Red's course.  Then starting at the starting line, we did the first 4 miles of the Red's course with the intention of running 5:45s (Nate's coach had given him this workout).  Nate jumped out to a strong start and I struggled to catch on for a bit.  I was trailing behind a couple steps and it took me a bit to get going at that pace, as it was quicker than I've run since probably November.  The Red's course is not fast (especially the first 4 miles). The last mile is 99% downhill but we were obviously not doing that mile in the tempo.  I managed to move up next to Nate and we passed through the first mile together in 5:22, which was good for that mile (especially because it's got a couple hills).  It was much faster than he wanted, but he's fit and we worked together to cruise through in 5:22.  At that point, I felt better and moved up ahead and came through the 2nd mile in a 5:18 split.  This has some rolling hills but some decent downs.  The third and fourth miles are tough.  Some climbing at the beginning of the 3rd and end of the 4th make them the slowest 2 miles.  There was no visible mile marker on the road for the 3rd mile (unlike all the others).  So I only got my 2nd - 2 mile spllit (3rd and 4th together) which was 11:15.  So that meant I was about 5:37 or so average for the third and fourth miles.  I came through the 4 mile mark in 21:55 which was a shock to me because my calf held up 'ok' (it got very tight late).  I also am not particularly 'fit', as the 3rd and 4th miles KILLED me physically.  I was in the hurt box trying to run that pace and my lower back got very tight.  Overall I think it was a good test, but it was too short to really dictate whether or not I can 'race' 10 miles next week.  I know I can't do 5:30s or maybe 5:45s...I am thinking sub 60 is going to be a good goal for me IF I don't run into a calf issue again.  After the 4 mile tempo, we ran the rest of the course, back to the car, did a quick shoe change, and then headed out for a nice long cooldown around Dover.  [1:24:12 total].  Stomach was a disaster during the cooldown.  Barely made it home in one piece.  Was in the bathroom for a LONG time tonight.  Another fun fact.  This was the furthest south I've been since Jan 6th (when we closed on our place).  Since then I haven't been south of the Wakefield Town Dump and have only been north when I actually leave the house.  Still haven't been back to Assachusetts.

02-16 - Thursday: 5 miles (ice road).  The weather was near 50 degrees today but the ice road was still completely impassible without the Orocs.  I got out the door as the sun was just about to set (because work has been killing me) and did a couple of lake bangs + an out and back for 5 miles (so another easy day).  Back and forth this week with light days and decent days.  Starting to have some bare spots in the yard (on the grass that is in the sun all day) believe it or not.  Makes me think that the Spring is coming soon.  Took out an axe to the ice today to see how thick it was.  I was able to walk out on the lake and cut a hole down until I broke through.  Even after all the 40 degree days we've had recently, the lake was still 9 inches thick in the front of the house.  Got some new Inov-8s in the mail today which also makes me want to get out there and get running for real.  This in-between stuff is good but I'd rather the trails be clear at this point, than all icy snow.  If I can't use my Dions, I'd rather just be able to run in my trail shoes.  The Orocs have been a saving grace though.  I picked up some new Inov-8 footbed inserts as well.  They may make them a bit more comfortable on the longer runs. [33:18].

02-15 - Wednesday: 10.5 miles (ice packed dirt road for first and last 5 minutes,  nice clean paved roads the rest of the way).  E.Wakefield.  House out and up Perkins Hill, and down to Canal Rd. but then down further to the next turnaround and back the way I came.  Good solid run.  Not talking about aches and pains...just focusing on the positive, which was that I got out the door and was able to run.  [1:09:09].

02-14 - Tuesday: 5 miles (ice packed dirt road and snowmobile trail).  House out to the 7 lakes trail that cuts over to Balch Pond.  Short section but I had limited time tonight after a brutal day in front of email.  Decided to take a rest day but still got 38:00 in just before it got too dark to see.  Nice temps out.  Orocs again, as it is way too icy for anything else unless I drive out to a main road, leave my car, and run on the roads.  Got back to the house and got the news that my Aunt had passed after a long battle w/ cancer.  She's in a better place now and can once again be with my Uncle who passed away when I was in college.

02-13 - Monday: 10 miles (snowmobile trails). Newfield, ME, Acton, ME and Shapleigh ME.  Drove about 4 miles up Acton Ridge from my house and parked at one of two trailheads for the Mousam Valley Snowmobile Club trails that cut over to Square Pond in Shapleigh, where my brother and sister-in-law own a house.  Ran on awesome hard packed and fast trails with hardly any climbing (only a few rollers and one big climb on the way back).  Wore the Orocs again because they are the ONLY shoe you ever need in the winter on ice and packed snow.  Ran 36 min out and then 41 on the way back (even though I was coming back faster) because I took a wrong trail off of the last junction (they were all marked fine, I just forgot what trailhead I parked at off of Acton Ridge).  Filmed the entire run w/ my GoPro but probably won't use anything...just archiving for my own personal reference.  There were only very few bare spots and way more snow on the trails over there than I ran on yesterday out in Brookfield. I may drive over to Boonies Country Store in Shapleigh this week and pick up a trail map.  [1:13:51].  Could have been a bit longer than 10 because I didn't dally around, but calling it an honest 10.  Calf sucked on the way back but at this point, I am going to stop talking about it and will ONLY mention it if it tears and I have to be picked up or carried back on a run. My plan now is to get fit, around this injury, and see what happens.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Tumble Down Dick Mtn. Video

Just posted some video of yesterday's run in Brookfield, NH on the Seven Lakes Snowmobile Club trails from Moose Mountain.  I love snowmobile trails up here.  It's like having your own private network of rail trails back home except way better ....they are everywhere... they go up mountains... they weave up and down and left and right.... they dart across lakes (which sometimes can be bad)... and they dip out into some deep woods... something I just didn't get back down in the MV.

I was pretty miffed to see however that Youtube decided to hit me with a Third Party Content ID Match with this video simply because their ID system sucks-arse.  They misidentified my video music loops, which I got straight out of iMovie '09 that I PURCHASED 2 years ago, as being copyrighted (which they are NOT...they are royalty free music that is included with the suite and is meant for incorporation in videos just like this!).  Boy did that fry my rice. I submitted a dispute and we'll see how long it takes them to right this wrong.  If they tell me to go back to Apple to dispute, rather than FIX their Content ID system, I will be p*ssed. You can't really contact Youtube directly about anything as far as I can tell.  They just have these dispute forms which are buried, and lame forums which don't offer too much help. I've been trying to figure out Adsense for years.  Somehow they have matched my account up with a 'disapproved' application and there is virtually NO WAY to fix it.  Unless I happen to know someone who works at Youtube (if it's even a real compay), I can't get it addressed.  I may just have to look into some other host for these super informative and incredibly viral videos I am posting!

I am also sitting on hours of footage from a few other runs, but just don't have the motivation to edit them into watchable videos...maybe one of these days when I get snowed in...oh wait, I just may have to wait until next November/December for that.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Training 02-06 - 02-12

Weekly Wrap Up: 66.7 miles on all singles. If I wasn't lazy I could snowball the mileage into the 80s or higher w/ short shakeouts in the morning but I'm not quite there yet.  This is my highest week since September of last year and things are progressing I think. The calf was ok this week for a change... It feels great when I'm not running (like completely normal)...but on the uneven stuff or on pounding downhills it starts to suck.  I had a great solo road run on Saturday and an awesome run out of nowhere on Sunday, as I just wanted to wander and ended up stumbling upon a great vista of southern Carroll County. All the usual snowshoe races I've wanted to do have been cancelled or made into trail races, which has been perfect for me because it has meant I really haven't missed anything yet.  The one snowshoe race on the GSSS schedule so far has been a success for me and I hadn't planned on any WMAC races this year, but they've hardly had any anyways, so it's all good.  Didn't miss any days this week, which is also good.  Trying to find the positives...

02-12 - Sunday: 10 miles (snowmobile trails).  Brookfield, NH. Snowmobile trails from Moose Mountain Rec. Area north on Corridor 22 and then northwest on Corridor 26 up Tumble Down Dick Rd. and then up Tumble Down Dick Mountain.  It was cold as hell but the trails were awesome. Super packed snow meant essentially road-fast conditions (with the Orocs on of course).  I was just going to do a 30 min out and 30 min back but decided to just keep wandering.  I strayed a bit down Corridor 22 until it hit near 109 first, but then turned and headed up Corridor 26 towards the Wolfboro trails and eventually up to the 1150 or so feet to the top, where the views of Kingswood lake to the east and Rust Pond/Winnipesaukee to the west.  I spent some time at the top wandering around and then headed back down the icey/snowy trails.  Right before getting back to the parking lot of Moose Mountain, my phone died (I was taking some video along the way). Then, as I pulled up to the car just a few ticks shy of 80 minutes on the watch, I noticed that my shirt pocket was wide open.  That meant that somewhere out on the trails was my g*ddamn car key.  No key, no phone, and single digit windy temps meant I needed to head inside to ask to use the phone. It's a good thing I have become friendly w/ the owner (she is great) and have shown my face around.  It was also a good thing I timed it when I did, as they were about to close!  She let me use the phone and stay inside while I waited for Kristin to drive over my spare key.  While inside, I bumped into Max Thomas who is working there for the winter. I haven't seen Max since the good ole' days a couple yrs ago when he was a regular on the mountain circuit and in the local area road races.  Kristin finally showed up w/ the key and I made it out of there relatively unscathed.  A great, quiet, solitary run in some great trails was the perfect ending to an otherwise boring weekend.  I only saw two snowmobiles the entire time (a mother and young son about 8-10 years old, on the smallest snowmobile I've ever seen). [1:19:49]

02-11 - Saturday: 13.1 miles (icy roads/paved roads). E. Wakefield, NH, Newfield, ME, Acton ME.  Beautiful HILLY road loop through the back roads of western Maine and East Wakefield.  I have run most of this loop across various runs over the last couple years but never pieced it together.  Awesome rolling back country roads through farms and thick woods and along Balch Lake on both sides. Calf got a little quirky at 46 minutes exactly.  Stopped and stretched near some sweet looking snowmobile trails w/ perfectly groomed trails.  Would have loved to explore but the loop was already pushing too long considering my calf.  Stopped at near 1:11:00 to stretch again, as my calf started to go again w/ tightness and dull pain.  Was good the rest of the way.  Slowly but surely.  Baby steps. If I can keep squeezing in runs like this and my calf doesn't get any worse, I think I can slowly get back to being somewhat fit.  [1:29:54]. Maybe 3 cars passed me over the last 7+ miles and 1 of them was the same old timer (with Maine plates). He beeped and smiled and waved both times he drove past me. No clue who he was. I LOVE running up here.

02-10 - Friday: 10.6 miles (icy roads/paved roads). E. Wakefield, NH to Newfield, ME.  house out to Perkins Hill and then down into Woodman and up to Stevens Corner and into Newfield Maine.  Up the road a bit and turned around once I realized it was getting dark.  I totally spaced on the time of day but I did get a late start.  Turned and headed back up the way I came.  Most of the way back is uphill.  Calf felt good on the first half. Kept looking at my watch and the magical 50 minute came and went as I climbed on the way back and no issues.  I had the normal slight tightness but no tweaks or pain at all.  60 minutes came and went.  Then 70 minutes and I felt GREAT.  It was like a dream.  I finished up just as it was getting dark at 5:30! (which is awesome in itself).  Calf felt (and currently feels) fantastic.  The best it's felt on a run since I've been here.  [1:10:42]

02-09 - Thursday: 11 miles (icy roads/paved roads). E. Wakefield, NH. - house out to Acton Ridge then up Perkins Hill and around down to Canal Rd. then back up and back via the longer Dearborn Rd. /N.Shore Rd. loop.  First .6 and last 1.6 were with Yaktraks as the ice road I live on is treacherous without the Orocs or some sort of cleat on your shoes.  The rest was clean road.  Felt great for first 50 minutes.  Then around 51 min or so I had to make a pitstop with massive stomach problems, right at the top of Perkins Hill. Dipped into the woods there and took care of business.  Then back out onto the road I immediately started to get dull pain in the calf.  It was on and off the rest of the way back.  I call this a step in the right direction though, as it took 50 whole minutes of decent paced running before it started to hurt.  I pretty much tried to ignore it over the last  few miles. [1:14:20].

02-08 - Wednesday: 6 miles (snowy/icy roads/paved roads). E. Wakefield, NH. - house out to Wansor, down to N.Shore Dr. then back out and up Perkins Hill and the full loop down 153 and back on Acton Ridge Rd. and back.  Just wandering around.  Mostly on ice and snowy shoulder of the main road.  Coyotes howling on the way back.  Could hear them all the way across the lake when I got back. [45:00].  Calf 'OK'..a little sore and tight on the way back and that 'sensation' is just always there.  Feels like I have zero chance of getting up on my toes and running fast, which sucks.  But I can run 6 miles a day slow. Not sure when that will get old, but I'm sure it will.

02-07 - Tuesday: 10 miles (snowy/icy roads/paved roads). E. Wakefield, NH. - house out to Dearborn and up to Perkins Hill and out to Canal Rd. and then back. Calf started getting tight/sore 55 or so minutes in. [1:09:32]

02-06 - Monday: 6 miles (snowy roads/snowmobile trails).  E. Wakefield, NH. - house out to Acton Ridge and across the snowmobile trails up to Balch Lake and back.  Calf was brutal.  Had to stop and stretch in the middle.  Not a good run at all. Cut it short. [41:40].  Stretched and massaged the hell out of my calf all night.