Friday, January 31, 2014

January 31 (Friday)

January 31 (Friday) - As is the day before a supposed snowshoe race, I was going to take it easy today and back off the miles as I did last week.  I was planning on going 6 at about mid-day. I did just that but threw on the Dions down at the junction of Lead Mine and Black Brook Rd. and headed into the snowmobile trails out to the old airstrip and then looped up and around to Trout Pond in Freedom, NH and then back down.  6.2 miles on the 'shoes' in perfect conditions.  The trails were amazing and the temps were even more amazing.  Packed, beautiful snow... It was actually warm in the sun.  I had actually forgotten that the sun did that (warmed things)...it has been so long.

The conditions tomorrow for the race down in Hollis look to be awful.  I'm tempted to skip so I'm not sure...it may be a game time decision.  I don't want to destroy my snowshoes on exposed rocks, roots, etc.  We'll see.

Snowmobile Trails leading to the airstrip (looking north towards Madison).

The airstrip (looking south) - Freedom, NH

The airstrip (looking north) - Freedom, NH

Pond off of the airstrip - Freedom, NH 
Pond off of the airstrip - Freedom, NH

Trout Pond from the east side... Freedom, NH
Lead Mine Rd. about a mile from this spot...

The junction of Lead Mine and Black Brook Rd. in E.Madison

Thursday, January 30, 2014

January 30 (Thursday)

January 30 (Thursday) - 8 Miles easy on the mill (60:00) mid-day.  Then another 8 Miles later on, on the mill in the same slow 60:00.  Just chasin' miles.  Very uninteresting.  It was a beautiful day out compared to what we've been dealing with temperature-wise... but I still ran inside.  16 Miles total. Glad I snuck it all in though... The first 20 minutes of the run tonight went by quick as I got to talk to Downtown Darin Brown. He was just finishing up his workout in there and was lifting and stretching.  We talked training, racing, goals, and a little bit of Mt. Washington (for Nick, not for him).  I also told him he's slacking on the blog front and told him to blog about his nice win this past weekend in the 3k over David Principe (aka DJ's dad)...

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

January 29 (Wednesday)

January 29 (Wednesday) - Again, probably could have doubled but I chose to get some additional work done during the lunch time hour and only got out to The Mill after work.  I arrived at the gym precisely at the same time a girl was just about to push start on the good treadmill....ahh my battles continue.  I spent a minute or so trying to decide if I should wait 15-20 minutes or so for her to get off (because I know her workout by now...she's there every once in a while and does a little mill, a little bike, a ton of lifting and other things like burpees, etc.).  I bit the bullet and hopped on the crappy treadmill instead so I could just get out of there.  It was hotter than hell in there and of course the bad treadmill has no place to put a water bottle.  Needless to say it wasn't pleasant but I got it done.  10 Miles in 67:17.  Started off easier and moved into a rhythm.  Felt really good despite sweating my arse off. Moving foward like this in January in the White Mountains is a win.  Any time I can get 10 in like this at night in January I'll take it.  It's almost time to renew my membership for another couple months...It's hard to believe the 3 months there are almost up. I'm making the most of it for sure.

In other news, I signed my contract from Inov-8 today for the 2014 season.  I'm really honored once again to represent this amazingly innovative company and be part of an awesomely talented racing team.  It will be my 5th year on the team.  I am really grateful that they considered me again and gave me a spot considering the down year I had in 2013.  They have been incredibly generous with support, shoes, gear, etc. over the years.  I look forward to another great year of racing for them and representing the brand.  I went to the winter conference in November again this past year and got to see some very exciting things that are coming later this year in the product line...

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

January 28 (Tuesday)

January 28 (Tuesday) - Had bigger plans for a run today but in the end I ended up getting lazy.  If lazy is still getting in a solid 10, then I'll take it.  I got out the the Mill after work for 10 Miles in 69:43.  I didn't feel great but didn't feel awful. I just felt.  I guess that's how I can put it. Around 8 miles I started to get some digestive distress...I toughed it out to 10 then paused the mill right at 10 miles and ran to the bathroom.  When I got back, I lost interest and called it a night. I wanted to go 12 but I just figured chasing 2 extra miles after a solid 10 wasn't crucial at this juncture of my career.  I still feel a little run down from the head cold that is lingering.  Will just keep up 10-11 per day this week...maybe a double...maybe not... we'll see.  I'll try to get a longer effort or two in on the weekend if everything works out....we'll see.

Monday, January 27, 2014

January 27 (Monday)

January 27 (Monday) - Got the 'Honey Badger' award from work which was pretty cool.  We had an 'All Hands' today which is a meeting of all the engineers, support team, SEs, product team, marketing team, partner team, etc. to go over last year's numbers, this year's road map, etc.  One of the things they do each year is have an award they give out to the member of the business unit who goes above and beyond.  I was the guy who shared this award w/ two other guys on the engineering team this year. I'm not sure I've ever gotten it before.  Very nice to be recognized for sure.  Hard to believe I have been at the company now for going on 15 years.  Unreal.

For a short time this afternoon, I watched my girl while my other girl went to the store... here is Tabby in her jail...err I mean 'play area'....


After work I headed down to The Mill for a spin on the treadmill.  I wasn't sure how my legs were going to hold up after yesterday, but they were actually pretty much back to normal.  I felt really smooth.  I did an extra mile just for kicks and ended up going a very easy 11 Miles in 82:30.  After that I got ready to head out and noticed there wasn't a soul around so I went down and jumped in the pool for 10 laps + the hot tub for stretching and relaxing.  I feel like a million bucks when I get to swim and go in the hot tub afterwards.  I haven't been using them lately because there is usually now at least one person down there, but not tonight.  It was like old times.

Sun setting from my living room window...

The hot tub at the mill (which had been shut off before taking this photo)

The pool at The Mill - Purity Spring Resort - East Madison, NH USA


Sunday, January 26, 2014

January 26 (Sunday) - Weekly Recap and Sidehiller

Photo courtesy of Joe Viger


Weekly Recap:
Days Running: 7
Total Runs: 12
 - Treadmill: 9
 - Road: 2
 - Snowshoe: 1
Total Races: 1
Total Miles: 93

Good solid week of miles. My best week mileage-wise since August of 2012 (when I went down with my foot issues) believe it or not.  I'd like to try to keep a range of 80-100 and be smart about it.  We'll see how it goes. I feel like I'm getting slightly stronger. I've been able to drop a couple lbs as well.  Just need to keep it up and keep chasing miles wisely (when I have time).  I need to renew my membership to the gym soon.  Who would have thought I would have utilized the mill so much this winter. I figured I'd signup and then just go a few times and bag it.  That hasn't happened.  I've put in some solid miles since the beginning of November (solid for me).  I've run 56 times on the treadmill since I signed up in November (with certainly at least 4 more runs or more in the last few days of January).  That is pretty solid indoor training (I've also mixed in some outdoor runs in there as well obviously).  If anything else, it's getting me in the habit of running again.  I have said it before and I'll say it again though. I cannot wait for Spring... I also know how Casey Moulton feels now about RIP....'Running in Place'.  Perhaps treadmill running isn't going to set me up well for a hilly snowshoe race or Nationals for that matter, but it's keeping me motivated and getting me a good base.  Sure I'll probably suck at climbing and single track grinds, but I'm kind of looking past snowshoe and focusing on just getting back into road racing shape, which seemed to treat me well in years past.  I found I could do well at the trail and mountain stuff on some good miles and road training (like DD has done).  I'm hoping all the flat treadmill miles will at least get me ready to go in the springtime.  For now, snowshoe racing is going to help me get some strength work in and have fun at the same time...

January 26 (Sunday) - Sidehiller Snowshoe Extravaganza (10th Annual) - Center Sandwich, NH, USA

Woke up very early after only a couple hours, collectively, of sleep.  Head cold in full swing but amazingly my body doesn't feel too bad.  Just a mile headache and congestion (that is obviously worse when I'm just laying still).  As I moved around and got ready for the day, I got more comfortable.  My back was a little stiff but nothing I'm not a little used to by now.   I headed down to Center Sandwich, NH for the Sidehiller Snowshoe race which this year once again, serves as the US National Championship qualifier (one of them anyways).  It's the only qualifier in NH so the only one I would probably make it to...so I had to go.  The roads were packed with a thin coating of snow and ice from a little snowfall from the night before, so I took the 'scenic' route over to Sandwich. It is always scenic, but I went a little longer and took the more roads rather than risk the slower, windier back roads (which were technically still state roads, but they were slick).  I got there in plenty of time and started to see a slew of fast guys piling into registration, including Brandon Newbould, who I knew was going to be the man to beat.  There was a great CMS presence there as this is setting us up to take a run at the overall team title at Snowshoe Nationals this year in Woodford, VT.

Before I headed over to my car to get ready for the warmup, I talked with RD Paul Kirsch about the course.  Sidehiller changes nearly every year in some way (at least the years I've been doing it).  Some years it's the classic course that goes across the street and up into some climbing and across fields, etc.  Some years it's entirely contained in the fair grounds.  This year was one of those years where it was all in the fair grounds (2 laps of 2.0 miles each for 4 miles).  Ahead of the race I kept thinking it's going to be super fast.  They had an xc ski race the day before so I was envisioning a fast, groomed course and a 'track meet' of sorts.  On the contrary...  Paul used some of the xc ski trail but ventured around some buildings, across some open (ungroomed) fields, and into the woods a little here and there.  The ungroomed sections were SLOW.  Lumpy, soft, sugary snow that would take the wind right out of your sails.  Some of the course had blown over and filled in with snow from the previous night's flurries and wind.  It was a good mix of fast and slow with a couple of ups and downs mixed in.  It would prove to be a great course with a little something (except an extended climb) for everyone.

I threw on my Trailrocs and headed out on the roads for a warmup w/ Steve Dowsett (Whirlaway) who's in great shape right now and putting in some good consistent training.  We headed up and down the usual warmup on Grove St. and talked about the race and training, etc.  It was COLD.  Negative temps with windchill.  When we got back I threw on my Dion orange racing top (which I forgot I had actually stained a piece of furniture in a year or so ago and it had splatters of jacobean stain on it which I covered up with my race bib) and about 4 layers of clothing total, and headed over to the line for some last minute strides and loosening up on snowshoes.  Then we all lined up for some last minute words of wisdom from Paul and we were ready to go.

Photo courtesy of Joe Viger
Photo courtesy of Joe Viger
The race went off and immediately I found myself out front but it wasn't going anywhere fast.  Everyone seemed to be content with letting me lead and so I took it real easy at first.  Very different than my normal snowshoe start.  It seemed about a quarter of the way into the race that it was going to be a tactical race for at least the first lap.  The course went from a mix of fast xc ski/snowmobile trail to sugary slow single track snow across open fields.  A very strange mix of fast/slow/fast/slow.  For a few sections, Brandon looked like he wanted to go around me and would pull up on me but then drop back behind when we hit the single track.  Because weren't blasting, the entire field was catching back up on the single track sections, so the race was playing into the hands of just about anyone at this point.

I continued to lead for about 80% of the first lap including a dicey turn on the end of a steep slope where Brandon had warned me that he crashed through a hole up to his waist on his warmup.  As I made the turn I looked down about 2 snowshoe widths from where I planted my foot and saw the ridiculous hole.  He yelled right as I was about to lean into it and I quickly pivoted away from it.  I was sure someone behind me would wreck themselves there.

There was one more interesting section where you drop down a steep hill and then take a 180 degree turn and head back up.  This is where Brandon went passed me and made his initial move. I let him go, almost settling into 2nd place where I thought I should naturally be.  This proved to be the race.  He was probably 5-6 seconds up on my through the first lap after that as we came up into the main part of the fairgrounds and looped around to start the second lap.

At the start of the second lap I had an OK lead on Kevin Tilton and a surging Bob Jackman who was right on Kevin's heels.  The rest of the pack was spread out a bit.  I was thinking that Kevin could definitely catch me on the second lap if I didn't continue to push at least at the speed I was going at.  So I kept pushing through but thought the second half was going to be slow with the single track.  Amazingly, the second loop proved to be faster by nearly 30 seconds or so.  The single track was now trampled down further from all the traffic from the first loop.  So it made for slightly quicker running even though I was tired.  I was able to hold off Kevin and the rest of the field, but never really closed on Brandon.  He opened up a lead about halfway through the second loop.  I felt like I was closing a little on him, ever so slightly at the end, but it just may have been that he was not pulling away any longer and we were both just reaching for home.  It must have been the easiest win for Brandon he's had in a while it seemed.  One move and then just hang on.  Amazingly on the second loop, the hole looked to have been either filled in or covered over and to my knowledge, no one went down...I am shocked that there wasn't a major issue there.

Photo by Far North


After the race it was up Grove St. again with a good crew of guys including Todd Callaghan (yes, the Todd Callaghan), Jim Pawlicki, Bob Jackman, Ben Nephew, Ken Tripp, DD, and some others.  Good to see everyone again for sure.

The skinny:

Time: 27:39
Pace: 6:48 pace
Elevation Gain: 59 Feet
Place: 2nd

Splits: 6:32.7 / 7:12.3 / 6:32.5 / 6:59.3 + 22 additional seconds for last .07 I had.

This shows how even I ran the first and 3rd miles (essentially identical) and how much quicker the last lap was for me.

Results Here.

Top 20 + CMS in Blue:

PLACENAMEAGESEXCITYSTATETIMECLUB
1Brandon Newbould31MNottinghamNH00:27:25Whirlaway
2Jim Johnson36MMadisonNH00:27:37CMS
3Kevin Tilton32MConwayNH00:28:11CMS/Dion
4Robert Jackman31MWarwickRI00:28:21TNT
5Ethan Nadeau40MAmherstMA00:28:51aR
6Todd Callaghan44MBeverlyMA00:29:03GCS
7Steve Dowsett25MNewburyportMA00:29:12Whirlaway
8Dave Dunham49MBradfordMA00:29:14CMS
9Nate Bassett26MNorthwoodNH00:29:24
10James Pawlicki39MLynnMA00:29:27CMS
11Ryan Welts34MNorthwoodNH00:29:29aR
12Ben Nephew38MMansfieldMA00:29:48CMS
13Phil Erwin46MWading RiverNY00:30:02aR
14Ken Tripp44MAmesburyMA00:30:07CMS
15Tim Cox40MNorthwoodNH00:30:47aR
16Peter Keeney47MBar HarborME00:30:49aR
17Kenneth Willey31MClaremontNH00:31:29aR
18Jeffrey Litchfield54MHopkintonNH00:31:48aR
19Scott Mitchell44MGreenlandNH00:31:49aR
20Sam Wood27MLaconiaNH00:32:08CMS
25Paul Bazanchuck59MCenter ConwayNH00:33:30CMS
27Abbey Wood28FLaconiaNH00:33:53CMS
29Melissa Donais30FNorth AndoverMA00:34:00CMS
34Ernest Brake52MSuttonNH00:34:20CMS
38Dave LaPierre49MChelmsfordMA00:34:56CMS
111George Boudreau44MDudleyMA00:57:55CMS

119 Total Finishers.





Saturday, January 25, 2014

January 25 (Saturday)

January 25 (Saturday) - Sick as a son of a b*tch.  Went to bed last night feeling a little sniffly and sneezy. Had a horrendous day today w/ congestion and a head cold.  Hopped down to the mill for a planned easy (very easy) jog on the mill.  6 Miles in 48 minutes to just shake out and try to rest up for tomorrow without taking a zero.  Legs feel fine...just struggling w/ congestion and an itchy throat.  The roads were horrible on the way home from the mill tonight.  Driving snow and covered roads.  I cannot wait for the spring at this point.

Friday, January 24, 2014

January 24 (Friday)

January 24 (Friday) - LONG day at work.  Meetings all day long. Between the time I logged on and logged off, I only had a total of 90 minutes where I wasn't in a meeting.  I actually had to cancel 2 additional meetings because I was double booked during those times.  Crazy day.  I knew that was coming though, so I anticipated just getting 1 run in today after work.  Friday's are brutal.  Seeing it's a couple days until Icehiller, I mean Sidehiller, I think 1 run is good enough.  I hit up the mill after work for a 10 spot.  I ended up going 10 Miles in 69:35.  Chasin' miles...

Coffee Talk courtesy of LevelRenner ...

Thursday, January 23, 2014

January 23 (Thursday)

January 23 (Thursday) - AM 8 Miles on the mill.  53:44.  Started out slow (7:30) and eased into a quicker pace. Finished off the last few miles in about 6:11 pace.   Then PM 8 Miles on the mill again but this time, no funny business.  Just a 60 min easy run to round out the day.

Total on the day: 16 Miles.

In other news... my baby girl turned 13 whole months today!  That's her today in her jail...err... I mean 'play pen'.


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

January 22 (Wednesday)

January 22 (Wednesday) - Everything was frozen solid including my desire to leave the house...I still got out for a lunch run at the mill. 10.5 miles in 75:00.  Ran the first 8 in 60 and cranked 6:00 pace for the next 15 minutes (2.5miles).  Felt pretty 'chipper'.

Then after work, another 10 miles in 75:00 .  Easy does it.  Chasin' miles n' chippin away at my winter weight when time allows...

Total on the day: 20.5 miles all on the mill.

Below is a good video from Whirlaway legend Eric Narcisi (who used to blog a long while back) and the LevelRenner crew regarding the Whitaker Woods Snowshoe race this past weekend in NoCo.  I didn't realize how large my cup of coffee actually was.  I need to cut back on the joe for sure...




Another mention is the New Hampshire Road Race Hall of Fame that race announcer legend Andy Schachat is organizing.  I can't think of a better person in recent times to spearhead this to be honest.  Andy has been around the NH racing scene (road, mountain, track, tri, etc) for a long while now and he knows his stuff when it comes to NH runners and accomplishments.  Should be interesting to see how this works out.

And lastly, speaking of NH runners, Kris Freeman has been named to another US Ski Team for the upcoming Olympics.  Kris, like his brother Justin (also an Olympian) is a beast on the snow and in the mountains for running.  Both brothers ran awesome last year on 'the hill' and have both won the Crossan Cup as top NH runner at Mt. Washington. Hopefully I'll see these guys on the hill again this year!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

January 21 (Tuesday)



January 21 (Tuesday) - AM: 10 Miles in an easy 75:00... just chasin' miles.... The above is actually what the view from the treadmill (at The Mill) looks like. I NEVER see this because it is pitch dark whenever I do my runs after work.  This is really the first time I've been able to watch this view while running on the mill.  In the summer time I occasionally motor past here on the road, but I've never watched this view during the day.  I can certainly hear the flow of the river (which is very loud) while I'm on the mill at night but never been able to really watch it.

Then PM: 10 Miles in another easy 75:00.  Again, just chasin' miles.  Followed by 5 minutes of jogging/walking as a cooldown.  Then stretching and the stick.  The stick has been my best friend lately and is keeping my calves and hammies happy.  I've also been working w/ a spikey ball on my upper and lower back, which is helping loosen everything else up.  Total for the day: 20 miles.

Publically calling out the following for not updating their blogs in eons.  Chris Mahoney (who likes training in secret), Michael Quintal (blog offline), Dave Quintal, Sam Wood, Darin Brown, and Kevin Tilton (even though he technically blogged a week ago or so, so that may fulfill his quota for the winter).


Monday, January 20, 2014

January 20 (Monday)

January 20 (Monday) - The mill again.  A very easy 10 miles. 75:00.  No funny business.  Just getting it done and getting the time on the feet.  Less Killer, More Filler...wait...strike that. Reverse it.

Some more candids from JoVi below.  This is what distant second place looks like in North Conway.



Sunday, January 19, 2014

January 19 (Sunday)


January 19 (Sunday) - As much as I wanted to sleep in and just stay warm and toasty, I got my sore/tired ass out of bed this morning at 6:30am, quickly got dressed, scraped off the car, and headed up the road to Paul Kirsch's house for the 7am tour-de-Madison via snowmobile trails.  The snow was falling pretty good and it actually continues even now at 9:15pm.  It made it very pretty in the woods w/ all the trees freshly covered.  We hit the 12 mile loop clockwise this time.  Didn't see one snowmobile the entire time.  Did the entire run nice and easy.  It was Paul, myself, his two hounds, and a couple other WM Milers.  12 miles in 2:00:20 all on about a couple inches of powder on top of packed snowmobile trail.  Good times.  I got home at around 9:30am and then had Tabby all day as I gave Kristin the 'day off' from parenting.  She went up to the village and did some shopping.  Right as she was leaving (around 11am) the power went out.  A car hit a pole up on 113.  I was out for almost 5 hours.  No internet, no tv, no HEAT.  It made daddy-daughter time very interesting.  We survived pretty well until it started to get cold in here.  I had a fire going in the living room but that was only really good if you stood right in front of it.  At around 4pm the electricity came back on and all was well.  We survived....just like people have done for 1000s of years before us...and people have done for 100s of years before us in this house.

Below is a great sequence of illegal photos I ripped off of Joe Viger's site from yesterday's race w/ Nick and I.  We only 'battled' for about a half mile... but here's the evidence.






Saturday, January 18, 2014

January 18 (Saturday) - Whitaker Woods Snowshoe Race

Running up the down escalator - courtesy of Dave Dunham.  Mount Washington should look awesome in the background but the camera didn't pick it up due to the lighting.


January 18 (Saturday) -  3.75 miles (3.5 w/up + strides and staying loose) over the Whitaker Woods Snowshoe course with Dave Dunham (on microspikes).  Then 3.5 mile snowshoe race.  Whitaker Woods Snowshoe Scramble (results pending) - North Conway, NH. Race #1 of the Granite State Snowshoe Series.  2nd OA behind a strong performance by Nick Wheeler (BAA).  The course was super fast.  Mostly all ice and packed/groomed ski trail and rock solid single track.  Very quick.  Whitaker has got a couple of hills, the majority of which happen during mile 2.  This year's race was 3.5 miles (so a little shorter than previous years).  I was never in contention for the win.  Nick ran hard early and I ran about how I've been running snowshoe races for a while now.  Looking at my splits I don't think I could have done much better if I was 100% back.  If Nick wasn't there and didn't hand me one of my worst 'non-Nationals' ass-kicking I've ever had in a snowshoe race, I would have probably thought I ran strong...so I'm looking at this as a good race for me (especially lately).  Tough not winning after being 1st at Whitaker for the previous 3 years.  Nick is just far far quicker than I am and it showed today.  He's a lot stronger too as his marathon PR is a lot faster than mine.  Perfect storm for a good snowshoer.  I hope he decides to give Nationals a go in March.  Did a 3.1 mile cooldown with Nick over the streets near the base of Cranmore.   10.3 miles total.   All in all it was a good day.  It felt good getting a snowshoe race done finally.  It also was good catching up on some of the usual folks I haven't seen in a while.

Race Splits:  6:43 / 7:01 / 6:24 / 3:07 (last .5)

The start...already losing to Nick.




Friday, January 17, 2014

January 17 (Friday)

January 17 (Friday) - 10 miles on the mill in 69:46.  Got it over with earlier in the day than usual... Surprisingly I bonked 25 minutes in.  Felt really empty for some reason.  Recovered about 10-15 min later and was fine the rest of the time.  Weird.  When I got home I was wiped.  Felt kind like this (my daughter had the right idea):


Thursday, January 16, 2014

January 16 (Thursday)

January 16 (Thursday) - Work was busy but I was determined to get away and got out right at 5 and headed over to the mill early.  I hopped on the mill with my stomach not quite back to normal, but far better than 2 days ago.  I actually ran on the bad mill tonight because I got in there right as the girl who did the incline workout a couple days ago came in.  I technically beat her to the good machine but offered it to her.  She said she may use it but was going to use the elliptical first, so I just hopped on the sh*tty treadmill as it's really not all that bad now that I've used it a few times.  The good thing again is that it doesn't have a time limit (the other one does).  The bad thing is that it is furthest from the window and it's hot as frig when you get a few miles in.  I was sweating bullets.  Ripped 10 miles in the now normal 6:40 pace (I sound like Joe Navas, except his is 5:40 pace).  66:41.  It's funny, had I not run an embarrassing race last weekend, I would think I am in OK shape....but knowing how I ran last weekend, I feel like I'm a slob again.

Word about the Sidehiller Snowshoe race that was supposed to be next weekend on Saturday...it is now on SUNDAY (Jan 26) instead.  Not that the snowshoe season is even going to really happen this winter, but that is a qualifier for the National Championship that is in VT.  There are others, but that is one of the closest ones for most of the NH and Eastern MA folks.  It's a shame they made Paul Kirsch move the race because it may either prohibit some from running the qualifier due to other plans on Sunday, or infringe on some other things people had planned to race (like Derry Prep, which I kind of wanted to run for a good hard training run).  It also overlaps another WMAC series race (Curly's).  So I'm sadly hoping Curly's is cancelled so Lauren Shortel retains her streak of consecutive WMAC races for the past million years :).  I would assume if 2 WMAC races are held on the same day, that they would count her going to one of them as keeping the streak alive technically.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

January 15 (Wednesday)

January 15 (Wednesday) - Another awful day to get my running in.  Worked from sunrise right up until about 4:45pm and got completely dressed to head over to the mill to try another run on the t-mill (with hopes of not repeating Tuesday night's fun)...I even had my bag ready right beside me.. but just as I was starring at the clock waiting for it to move past 5 (so I can officially feel good about leaving my email box), I got an invite to a 3 hour troubleshooting session from 5:30-8:30 from my manager.  It was a hot issue (actually 4 hot issues) and it was ready to boil over, so I had to unpack and sit back down to help out a team of engineers try to figure out what these issues were.  I didn't hang up the phone until 9:45pm.  I flirted with getting out for a few but then realize it was almost 10 o'clock and my stomach was still not 100% so I went to bed instead.  Work has been very good to me (especially lately) so there was no way I was going to leave my guys high and dry, even though my manager told me I could head out if I wanted to...priorities for sure... family / work / running...gotta remember...

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

January 14 (Tuesday)

January 14 (Tuesday) - Day two of being sick as a dog.  I did manage to run but it was a horrorshow.  My body was definitely fighting something from head to toe yesterday worse than I've felt in a long long time.  Today, when I woke up, I felt better but still awful.  Work went better and I wasn't feeling the shakes and sweats and cramping I had yesterday, but I still had stomach issues and a headache and my glands in my neck were swollen and sore.  It reared it's ugly head when I went to the mill.  I got in there about 6:00pm and there was a girl doing an incline workout on the good treadmill.  It was the first time I've ever actually seen someone legitimately using that good treadmill (besides me).  I didn't hesitate to get on the bad t-mill next to her.  She only went another few minutes and got off.  I could have hopped over to the good mill when she got off, but I was about 8 or 9 minutes into my run so I figured I'd just stay on it.  About 5 minutes later, the 'walkers' came in.  They were probably shocked that I wasn't on the good treadmill hogging it... The usual girl got on the good mill and did her walk while I just continued on my way.  About 25 minutes in I started to get intense waves of digestive distress.  I didn't want to get off the mill halfway (or not even half way) through but it was one of those horrendous 'sick' feelings that you really need to take a crazy dump and it ain't gonna be pretty.  If I was in the woods or on the roads, I'd have pulled off and into some bushes far sooner... but I was stubborn and continued on.  The waves of distress came over my bowels repeatedly.  They would come, last for a minute, then go away for a minute and then come back again.  Dan Vassallo once told me on a run one night in Andover, that you can only 'hold it in' like that I believe 7 times in a row and then it starts to do permanent damage.  So I had that on my mind too.  I went probably 20 minutes like this...sweating profusely and making all sorts of awful faces...I could feel myself tensing up (especially my butt cheeks) and getting really stressed out.  Finally I hit the pause button and ran the hell out of there...embarrassed because the other 4 people in there (all ladies) all obviously knew what was wrong.  I ran down the hall and to the locker room where there is just one stall and it is immediately by the door and directly across from the sink and mirror.  It is intimate in there to say the least.  Obviously as soon as I opened the door, the g*ddamn place was packed with people.  Young kids, etc.  I wanted to cry.  The only thing that could have made it worse was if the stall was occupied.  It wasn't though and I threw open the door, whipped my soaked shorts down, and proceeded to clear the place out.  It was horrendous but it was also sweet relief.  I held my head up high as I walked out and ran back to the mill.  It was all I could do.  I got back up on it like nothing happened, and I just hoped any prayed that the scent of the murder scene in the bathroom didn't follow me back into the gym.   I hit the pause button again and restarted the workout.  I got 5 minutes in and it friggin' started all over again.  I let it go again for maybe another 20 minutes.  This time it came back worse.  The walkers were milling around by this time and stretching and picking up things and putting them down, etc.  Right after they finished and walked out, I gave it like 1 minute until I figured they were in the locker room and I hit pause again and shot back down the hallway.  Right before I got to the men's locker room, the women's door opened and they started to walk out and I almost bowled over one of them.  I quickly apologized as I shot around her and hit the head again for round 'two' (no pun intended).  This time, on the way back to the t-mill, I knew it was going to keep happening so I figured I'd get to 9 miles and call it.  I was planning on doing 10 and was clipping 6:40s as a set pace.  When it hit 9, I got off for good and ran again down to the bathroom and this time barely made it.  9 miles in 60:40.  Good enough for being sick.  One more time as I sat there in the bathroom, and it started again to fill up with people coming in from the pool, I proceeded to have no shame.  I quickly got dressed and headed home.  But even before I hit the start of East Madison Rd., I had to go again.  I raced up and over the mountain and back down to my house, literally pinching my ass closed as I drove.  I kicked open the side door of my house, threw my bag down, and flew up the stairs and into the back bathroom.  I have a feeling I'll be in there for a while over the next day or so.  I'm blogging this right now from the throne.  Running definitely makes it worse. As I sit here now, it's bad but not as bad as if I start moving around.  I dread trying to run tomorrow. I may have to try to do something outside so it's not as stressful.  Hopefully in a day or 2 I'll be over this.  I hope it's just something I possibly ingested and not a stomach bug/flu of some kind.  Time will tell.


January 13 (Monday)

January 13 (Monday) - Sick.  I woke up feeling OK but then as the morning progressed I got very ill.  I struggled to focus on my work and by late afternoon and a couple of calls I could barely sit still.  I felt nauseous, had an awful headache, and had chills, tremors/shakes, and aches all over my body.   I couldn't eat or drink anything and felt so bad I just had to take a sleeping aid and lay down.  It felt like somewhere between the flu and possibly food poisoning because of the shooting, sharp pains in my stomach as well.  I went to bed early and planned on being up all night throwing up, but that fortunately didn't happen.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

January 12 (Sunday)

January 12 (Sunday) - Road trip 'out west' to Dartmouth Relays w/ KT.  Plan was to try to run a 3k in lieu of the cancelled snowshoe race this weekend.  I haven't run a 3k since 1999 so I was pretty sure it would be ugly. I also haven't 'raced' since October and really have raced sparingly since the summer.  I have been doing OK miles but have done zero workouts so I knew that trying to run race pace (or UNDER race pace as a 3k requires) would be tough.  5k pace is about as quick as I'm used to.  The sad thing is that I entered the meet with a seed time that equated to my 'normal' 5k pace (at least my 5k pace from 2008-2012 ish).  I really want to get back into racing and I just need to dive in and work my way up. So this was a great wakeup call. I seeded myself at 9:20 (KT did as well).  That would be the 2nd slowest 3k I would have ever run, but it was equal to about a 10 minute 2-mile so I figured I could shoot for that.  Even though I've been running 50-60 miles per week for a while now and have been running everyday and getting good work in, 5 minute miles right now is just not in my wheelhouse. I will get it back, but right now it's not there.  For some reason though, part of me thought I could squeak out a sub 9:20...yet another part of me though 9:30+ wasn't out of the question either.  I just have zero speedwork with just access to treadmills and awful roads and snowmobile trails.  So I really wanted to just treat this as a chance to get on the track and hammer.  Worst case, I run slow but get a good workout session in on a track.  It only cost me 12 bucks to enter....and it's kind of fun to dip my toes back into a track meet....even though I am not ready to run fast.

KT picked me up at 7:15am and we hit DD's (Dunkin Donuts not Dave Dunhams') and then shot over to Dartmouth in Hanover, NH.  We got there just in time to file into the field house with Williams College and BC.  It was intimidating right away because it was all college guys and very very few open runners.   We did see Downtown Darin Brown when we walked in.  He had run the 1500 earlier in the morning and then was waiting to run the 800.  KT and I headed out for a warmup after watching Darin run his 800 and Darin joined us after a strong 2nd place in his heat.  We did 3 miles outside around downtown Hanover and then headed back inside to get ready.


There were 3 sections of the 3k and 57 total guys who checked in.  KT and I were put in the old man heat (but it was really just us and 20 other 18-21 year old guys).  I was absolutely the oldest one in the heat and most likely the entire race by a lot. I think KT was next and he's almost 5 years younger than I am.  We were hip numbers 12 and 13 ( I got lucky 13 ).  They put 22 in our heat.  Staggered start.  KT and I were on the outside.  The gun goes off and I immediately find myself in about 4th position up in the stagger group.  By the cut-in, I was deep in the pack, further towards last.  It took another lap before I found myself wanting to pass Kevin and a couple other guys who were in front of me.  I went wide and around them, settled into the rail, and immediately felt like death.  I wanted to drop, only 3 laps in.  I left my watch in my bag, as I knew it would do me no good.  But immediately I found myself in no-mans land for almost the entire race.  I lost touch w/ the front pack right away but never really fell back too much after the first few laps.   I am just so unfamiliar with racing and running that fast (sub 5) that I really just felt awful and awkward.  I didn't think there was any way I was going to get through it.  It's 15 laps.  When it said '11' on the laps to go counter, I wanted to stop.  10, 9, 8, 7, 6... I just felt awful.  But I didn't feel I was slowing down all that much. I did slow, but I didn't die a horrible death.  I just couldn't go any faster and wanted to actually conserve enough to get through it without doing a death march on the last couple laps.  There were guys in the first couple of heats that looked way worse than I did on the last few laps I think. I started to pass a few guys over the last bunch of laps and felt like I was going to be able to do it when I saw 4 to go.  I knew no one else would pass me because the guys I had gone passed were really rigging up.  On the last lap, I actually lapped a guy but I actually may have lapped 2 based on the results.

I ended up finishing in 9:26 and was horrified.  It actually wasn't my all time worst 3k though. I actually ran slower in 1999 at the GBTC Invite.  It was my only indoor track race (I think) of senior year because I got hurt right after cross country and it lasted until I graduated (which was basically why I didn't run again until 2006).   I ran 8 seconds or so slower at GBTC that year.  So this wasn't an all time PW but it was close....but it was what I was expecting.  I'm looking at being 37 in a few months and I haven't been running good miles for very long and have done zero speed work.  So really I'm not all that disappointed and I know that I can no longer fake a 9:00 3k. I need to be in shape and I'm not there yet.  In the back of my mind, I knew I'd be right around there anyways.  The sad part about it is that 9:05 won my heat and my PB (granted that was when I was in college) would have put me 5th OA in the first heat...so really there were only a few guys total, that did something today that I hadn't done before....  But it is what it is now and I know where I am and what I have to do to get better.

4+ miles or so cooldown w/ KT on the back roads around campus and then we were out of there.  Subway subs on the way home and lots of talking about the upcoming year... good times.  Oh yeah, I wore the old school white/blue/orange CMS Reebok kit.  I may have disgraced it slightly, but either way, it was dusted off and dragged along for a 3k today in western NH.

One other observation....I was one of only 2 guys out of all 57 who did NOT wear spikes.  Just me and one of the guys I lapped, were wearing road flats.

One last observation....Unless I KNOW I am fit and can handle it, I don't think I'm doing another indoor track race any time soon....unless they have a 10k or something longer :).  But I am glad I went and it's a great indicator of where I am fitness-wise, which is very valuable to be able to work off of now with my training.



Saturday, January 11, 2014

January 11 (Saturday)

January 11 (Saturday) - Horrible day weather-wise.  The valley was flooded and iced over at the same time.  The roads were brutal.  I had a lot of errands to run early in the day and traveling was pretty slow going.  I did manage to pick up a new iPod Shuffle which is a bonus.  I hit the mill at The Mill around 4pm and planned on just doing an easy 5 but when I walked in, I had literally missed the good treadmill by 1 minute.  One of the women who works there had just put her stuff down on it and was getting ready to use it.  So I had to get on the 'toy' treadmill they have.  I was a little bummed.  So I juiced up the volume so I could get out of there earlier.  I set it for 35 minutes and just ripped into a steadily increasing tempo.  Last mile was under 6 and I squeezed in 5.5 miles exactly in 35 minutes.  Then I got the heck out of there.  I figured out one more awful thing about the bad treadmill.  Besides having no cup holders and having the potential of shutting down if you go to hard for too long, it is not next to the window like the other one is.  So if you are on the bad mill and someone is on the good mill and they don't have the window open (or if they don't want it open), you're basically screwed.  It got HOT in there.  It was a good effort though, on a day in which I really didn't want to run too much. I plan on trying a hard effort tomorrow at the Dartmouth Relays.  Just going to try to get a hard run in and see how much work I really have to do.  I haven't raced on the track in a few years and haven't raced indoors since 2008.   I haven't really raced at all any time recently so this is just going to be a day to dust off the webs and see how my body reacts to uptempo work for a change.

Friday, January 10, 2014

January 10 (Friday)

January 10 (Friday) - Back to ...you guessed it.... The Mill.  More Killer....Less Filler is what I always say... I got there and it was a full house about 5 minutes later. Every machine was being used at the same time. A first.  Must be all the New Years resolution people still holding onto the dream... I had just beat the 'walkers' to the punch and got in there about 5 minutes before they strolled in.  I got in a solid easy-to-moderate 10 miles in 69:35. My iPod died completely about 20 minutes in.  It's the third one I've gone through. Time to get ANOTHER one.  It's probably because I had too many songs featuring Al Jourgensen in some way or another...after a while even Apple devices can't handle that much awesome.


Thursday, January 9, 2014

January 9 (Thursday)

January 9 (Thursday) - Remembered that I needed gas.  Drove to Albany and filled up.  Then hit The Mill for a spin on ....the mill.  Got there and saw Darin Brown just finishing up.  Luckily there were no walkers in there and I was able to jump right on the mill and get to work. I felt phenomenal for some reason.  Started slow and just cranked up the volume as I went and finished up feeling strong.  10 miles in 65:38 (so almost a normal Casey Moulton t-mill run...).  Got home and went straight to the fire station to fill up 4 big buckets with sand so I could try to bury the ice skating rink that is my driveway.  My hands are now borderline frostbit and killing me.  I can barely type so I'll end this here.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

January 8 (Wednesday)

January 8 (Wednesday) - Sometimes for some reason the longest blog entries are on the days you do the shortest runs....and most of the time the trend seems to be that on the days you take a zero, the explanation and excuses add up and you end up typing more for that zero than any other day.  I didn't take a zero but almost.  Last night after leaving The Mill, I noticed that my gas light came on.  Now there is no gas station anywhere near The Mill and there are no gas stations at all in the entire town of  Madison.  There used to be.  But now the only one we had is closed.  So that means when I got home, I was pretty much on empty and I told myself that I would get out today during the day at some point, and get gas (basically so that when I got out of work and hopped in the car to go run, I wouldn't be surprised that I needed gas).  I'd have to drive to West Ossipee or Albany to fill up.  Either direction, the gas station is about 6 miles or so.  Well, needless to say I forgot, and the scenario above happened.  I got in the car tonight at about 5:45 and turned the key and noticed the light.  No way I was going to make it to The Mill and back without first going in the complete opposite direction to either W.Ossipee or Albany.  So I did the next best thing and I headed back inside, grabbed Kristin's keys, and tried to take her car.  She told me as I was heading back out the door, that she was almost out of gas too.  But her light was not on yet.  I still thought it was a better option than mine, so I tried to take her car but our driveway is just a sheet of about an inch + thick ice.  I slid her car down into the side of the driveway and couldn't get it out. I revved the engine, rocked the car back and forth....all to no avail.  Finally, in all my efforts to get her car out, her gas light came on.  I ended up having to get out and pile a ton of salt and sand under the tires before I was eventually able to free it.  Then, I had to do what I just should have done initially with my car, and took hers up to Albany to get gas.  Finally, by the time I got back into Madison and then all the way down to The Mill, it was 6:35 or so.  I ran in and to my delight, that same person was on the treadmill again WALKING.  She was only 15 minutes into her walk.  So I had to sit there and wait.  I stretched and massaged and milled around (no pun intended) until she finally got off right after 7pm!  Unreal.  I hopped on the treadmill completely not interested in running.  Knowing I had less than an hour, I figured I'd just get in a short run and have a rest day, which is always a good thing I guess.  I suppose I was just glad I got out and dragged myself there after all that crap... it was completely one of those days where I'd have normally said 'screw it' to the run...almost as if God was telling me to stay home.  So I actually ran slow and built up for 2 miles into a 5 minute pace (12mph) sprint for exactly 1 mile and then back down to an easy run for about a mile and then a tempo effort back down near 6 for the last mile.  Total of 5 miles in 35:14 (completely not intending to do any sort of workout).  Let me just say that this is the first time I've ever run a mile at 5 min. pace on the treadmill...and it sucks.  For me, it is just uncomfortable.  It seems SO much easier on the track or road.  I was almost falling off the back.  My cardio was ok, but it got very hot very quickly in there and my legs were barely able to keep up with it.  I decided to do it when I started the first couple miles, but about a quarter mile into it, I wanted to stop it .....then I told myself, 'no, go to at least half'...but when I got to half a mile I decided to just grind it out.  By .75 in I started to actually settle in and knew I could go more if needed (which was a good feeling).  The pathetic thing is that I haven't run a full mile under 6 minutes probably since the WMM half in October and I haven't run a 5 flat mile since probably Cranmore's first mile in July (downhill).  I am definitely getting fit because I've been doing honest miles for two and a half months now... It was just a shock to the system running at 12mph for 5 minutes indoors off of zero speed.  At least now I know my legs can handle it.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

January 7 (Tuesday)

January 7 (Tuesday) - It is just plain gross outside.  Everything is ice and it's just miserable to be outdoors.  I had to go out to the shed to get something and I almost died out there.   I seriously don't know how animals who live outside, get through the winter.  Fur and fat aside, they wear the same thing in the winter that they do in the summer.  I feel sorry for anything that has to live outside right now.  After work I shot over to The Mill again and had to 'mill' around for 15 min. or so while someone finished their walk on the treadmill (which kind of irks me).  There are 2 treadmills... one is better than the other of course...but if you are WALKING, you should be on the lesser of the two for two very good reasons....  I understand everyone pays their money, etc. but seriously...when you only have 2 treadmills and one has cup holders and one doesn't (the good one has a place for my water bottle), and one is known to shut down if it goes to hard (also the one sans cup holders).... it doesn't take a genius to figure out that runners should use one and walkers should use the other... I think this girl was actually a runner too because she looked pretty fit... But it happens to me a lot lately... Walkers love that good treadmill for some reason.  That said I waited around, stretched a bit, and then was barely able to squeeze in my mileage before the place closed.  I actually got a warning from the staff that the place was closing (which has never happened to me before and I usually am there until close, just lifting and stretching)... I was just able to get in 10 miles in an easy 75 minutes with 2 minutes to spare to get out of there before they hit the lights.

Monday, January 6, 2014

January 6 (Monday)

January 6 (Monday) - What an awful day weather-wise.  The temps were way higher today but that meant rain and ice...  We have a couple feet of snow and now there's a nice coating of ice on top.  Kristin slipped and fell in the driveway on her way out today.  Not too long after, Darin, Nick, and Alex Brown delivered some nice sand to my driveway as they have to go past my house to get from the town hall sand pit to their own house.  Today was exactly the type of day that I would have normally said 'screw running' if I had not gotten that membership to the gym.  Just the fact that I planned on spending the winter there, made the decision to pay the membership, and have put together some decent months leading up, made me not even think twice about heading out tonight.  Now, I really don't have any excuse.  After work, I slip slided away down to The Mill and hopped on the t-mill for a solid 10 miles in 70:40.  Nothing crazy. Started out easy and increased the tempo a little each mile.  I have been using the same iPod playlist for like 2 months now. I now hate EVERY song on that thing... I need to spend a little time and pop some fresh tunes on there for next time...

Sunday, January 5, 2014

January 5 (Sunday)

January 5 (Sunday) - Substantially warmer temps today (in the high 20s) meant another run outside was possible for my delicate frame.  I passed on a morning snowmobile trail run w/ some folks in lieu of a longer possible run later in the day either on the mill or on the roads.  I ended up going from my house w/ Downtown Darin Brown at about 2:30pm (so we had temps in the high 20's) and doing the High Street loop.  I tacked on just over 2 miles on my own on E.Madison Rd. while waiting for Darin (who had to dig his car out before heading over).  The roads were completely snow covered.  Even 113 (which Paul Kirsch says is a State road and should be clear) wasn't.  Darin and I headed out for initially an out and back but I convinced him to do the High Street loop (in Madison/Tamworth) which is normally nice and free of any traffic (you are lucky to see more than 2 or 3 cars the entire time).  The problem with that loop is that a vast majority of it is dirt roads so it was a little slick.  The worst part of the loop actually happened to be the middle paved section, which was covered in very soft snow, making it really slow going.  On the last couple of miles Darin rigged up a bit with a nagging injury coupled with the fact that he doubled at BU yesterday (mile/800).  So we jogged in the last mile or so.  It made for a 12.9 mile loop for me total in 1:38:36 with 845 ft. of elevation gain.  This gave me me 54.4 for the week which is amazing considering just one week ago (Sunday) I was thinking I may have had to take this week off.  I only did 1.5 miles on Monday and Tuesday/Wednesday were only 5 mile days... all because of my calf/hamstring.  To salvage 54.4 for the week was great.  Also to put almost 3hrs and 50 minutes in, this weekend (outside), with the conditions we've had was a great achievement.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

January 4 (Saturday)

Me looking towards Mt. Washington (snowcapped in the background).  From near Goe Hill - Madison, NH
January 4 (Saturday) - After temps dropped to -25 below zero overnight, we waited a little longer to get out in the a.m. (to let the temps warm up to within single digits below zero) I met up with Paul Kirsch (and his two dogs) at his estate at 9am and we were joined by Sarah Hernandez as we ventured out for a 12 mile (12.01 on the Garmin) loop from Paul's backdoor all on snowmobile trails in Madison.  The Scrub Oak Scramblers had groomed last night, so everything was fresh and firm.  It was almost as perfect as the conditions could have possibly been.  The frigid temps made the snow very runnable and I was able to just cruise along with micro spikes over my 312s. We took it pretty easy and just enjoyed the day.  Sarah wanted to bail about a mile in as we climbed up a pretty steep hill behind Paul's, but Paul somehow convinced her to stick it out.  She hung tough and finished the whole run.  We ended up with a total time of 2:10:59.  1,452 ft of climbing, which is decent for not going up any major mountains...just a bunch of ups and downs.



4 miles in...Photo by Paul Kirsch

Now it's staying warm indoors the rest of the day...

Friday, January 3, 2014

January 3 (Friday)

January 3 (Friday) - 2 hours of shoveling snow in the afternoon followed by 10 miles on the mill at 'The Mill'.
The amount of snow piling up here has been ridiculous over the last couple weeks. I have just about run out of places to put snow.  The path out to my shed had a half a foot of new snow this morning and there is already 2 feet everywhere else.  The driveway is the real nightmare though.  I'll try to get a pic of what I'm talking about for tomorrow.  It's insane how much snow is now lining the driveway and the entrance to the driveway.  I can't see over the snowbanks now when I'm pulling out onto the road.  The snowbanks are higher than me now.  And my poor mailbox is just probably days away from being taken out by a plow.  I still got about 2 hours of shoveling mostly powder, in sub zero temps (but nice bright sunshine).  Fresh air is good, but when it is accompanied by back breaking work, it sucks.

After work I headed down the groomed snowmobile trail...I mean East Madison Road to The Mill for a spin on the treadmill.  I took my time getting on, and used a few extra minutes to massage and stick my calf before getting to work.  The calf was sore because of all the work I've been doing to it over the past couple days, but I was able to rip an easy 10 miles in 75 minutes without any issue.  The only thing that bothered me was the intense boredom that comes with staring at a wall and empty/unused exercise equipment for over an hour, while not going anywhere.  There's been a guy there using the elliptical lately and he's always on it when I get there (or comes in during my run)...either way, we always seem to overlap.  He's a good guy who I think is doing it to cut weight, but he does a lot of work on that thing.  90 minutes to 2 hours most days.  It's crazy.  Most people rip in and out of there in 20 minutes or so, but he gets to work on that thing and just doesn't stop.  Tonight he bailed early and stood and talked to me for about 15-20 minutes so that made the time go by a little quicker.  Other than that, it was me and the iPod and a hot, empty room.  Looking forward to a long snowshoe w/ Paul and maybe a couple others tomorrow.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

January 2 (Thursday)

January 2 (Thursday) - First day back at work.  It was a very slow day but I was expecting that.  I had two meetings which both got cancelled because most people are probably still on vacation for the last couple days of this week.  I spent a good deal of time feeding the small fireplace in my office as I worked on an application I am building for a couple of customers.  I also iced and massaged/stretched the hamstring and calf as well as heated it most of the day to try to loosen it up. I've had this before and it just goes away so I am not terribly worried about it.

The snow has been falling all day (since I got up anyways)...  As of mid day we already had a few inches and a big storm is on it's way. With no functioning snowblower, I'm going to be huge (upper-body-wise) before this winter is over.

I headed over to the Mill even though the weather and roads were completely trashed.  I left the house around 5:30 or so and it took me over 20 minutes to go just 4 miles up/down East Madison Rd. to the Mill.  The road wasn't plowed and almost looked groomed for skiing.  Not one tire track and a completely white stretch of road all the way to King Pine.  There was surprisingly a lot of people there in the pool but no one in the workout room.  I hit the treadmill after sticking and massaging the calf a little and I had absolutely no problems at all. I did 8 miles in 60 minutes without any issues other than a slightly sore calf from all the massage and prodding I did to it all day.  Zero knee/hamstring issues.  I think we have isolated the source of the issue.  I couldn't remember how I fixed this last time..but now it is coming back to me.   I think there was just a knot or tightness up high in my calf that is pulling a bit on the portion that connects behind the knee.  I felt great and it was a real pick-me-up after the last couple of days of almost being depressed about it.  I walked/jogged for 5 minutes afterwards and then stretched out a bit before hitting the snow, I mean road.  The ride home was even worse.  No plows out for some reason...maybe it's because it's snowing like hell out and it's going to keep coming for the next day or so.  The temps are also supposed to be awfully cold over the next couple days or more so it looks like I'll stick to the mill.

Fed this thing all day long...directly behind me where I sit for work all day...

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

January 1 (Wednesday)

January 1 (Wednesday) - We'll see how long I keep up the 'post-a-day' thing on here...


This was my last day of my winter vacation.  Every year I am off from just before Christmas (we don't work on Christmas Eve) through the work day after New Years day.  This year we were fortunate to have Christmas on a Wednesday...which meant that Christmas Eve was obviously on Tuesday (which we normally have off)...so they gave us the Monday as well (Dec. 23).  I got zero accomplished in the way of 'epic' runs or anything of note 'running-wise' during this time...nor did get anything of mention done around the house.  I didn't really peak bag or redline or do any extensive snowshoe run of any kind.  I mainly stuck to the house (as it was bone chilling cold out the entire time) and kept my girls company.  There was far too much snow around to do anything outside in the way of work.  We did have an awesome first birthday party for my daughter Tabby at the start of the vacation (her birthday is on 12/23).  My entire family was up for the first time all at once for the day.  Then we travelled down to  Kristin's parents in Pembroke, MA for Christmas day.  That made for a long day for us.  The rest of the vacation was basically entertaining the baby and staying warm.  Right at the end of the vacation I managed to push a little too long on the treadmill and aggravate my right hamstring.  That led to the first few days of this year being definitely down days.  I have been stretching, icing, massaging, etc. I have been using some prescription anti-inflammatory, and keeping it compressed.  It's still tweaked for anything over a few miles so I'm watching it and giving it the rest it needs.

I managed to get over to The Mill for a very easy 5 miles in 40 min on the mill, watching my hammy the entire way.  It wasn't bad and I managed it without any issues so I used caution and got off before something happened.  I walked for a bit as a cooldown and then did some lifting.

Tabby destroying her birthday cupcake


Tabby destroying her birthday cupcake