Monday, January 30, 2006

map your run

I found this really cool web site to plot out and map your running routes. As you click to follow the road, it calculates the distance. Slick.

A free site, registration required. Elevation is planned for a future release.

Allows for comments and ratings of the routes. This will be good for use with the running club, the Pacers.

In fact, the Pacer run yesterday inspired me to look for something like this. We did a 10 mile route for the first time and it turned out it was not 10 but rather 8.5. Oh well... things could have been worse.

So anyway, now with this web site, the route has been adjusted and calculated to be a full 10 miles.

I am already putting together a wish list for the site:
  • the ability to make mile markers
  • the ability to post the route on a window where it can be viewed without scrolling
  • the ability to resize the route/window to print
You can check out the Pacers running routes here.

If you ever find yourself in Franklin, you'll have a choice of running routes.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Solo safety, winter running

It is good to see other publications providing advice similar to what I have put forth. An article covers how to be safe when running alone in the dark and dressing appropriately for the winter weather.

Read the full article here.

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Cross training marathon plan

The newletter has this article on Cross-training Marathon Plan.
Here's your conundrum: You want to run a personal best marathon, but every time you build up to the running mileage you believe is required to achieve this goal, you get injured. Should you just give up and find another goal to pursue?

Not at all! By taking a cross-training-based approach to training, you can run a lifetime-best marathon on just three or four runs a week. Incorporating non-impact cardio workouts and functional strength workouts into your program will reduce your chances of getting injured not only by limiting your running mileage, but also by increasing the stability of your joints (as joint instability is the primary cause of most running injuries).

Your cross-training workouts will also enhance your running performance, more than making up for the running miles that are cut from your program to make room for cross-training.

Yes, this sounds just like the FIRST plan we have been using since September, 2005. You may recall it was written up in Runner's World July issue.

Must be a good thing especially if someone else has come up with it in their own way.


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Tuesday, January 24, 2006

5 Guys 5 Miles

No women tonight to keep us company for the Pacer workout. Some of them had a nutrition presentation to attend to. The guys would have offered to come by for snacks but the thought of carrot sticks and tofu without washing it down with some good cold beer wasn't all that appealing. We stuck to the work at hand on the hills. :-)

The night was good. In the mid-30's for temp. No breeze to challenge us on the long hill corner. The ups and downs were covered. The warm up and warm down were talked through.

5 miles. 5 guys.



Then it was over like that!

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Glorious 10

Yes, the wind abated. The fears of yesterday were relieved of their duty. The day dawned gloriously here in MA.

Some of the Pacers joined with the Wampanoag Roadrunners and the Hopkinton Running Club for a joint club run today. We started at D&B Sports in North Attleboro, the meeting point for a good bunch of the Wamps' runs.

There were about 15-20 of us that headed out for the 10 mile run. Another group was starting later to go 6. Others also joined along the way to do their runs and all finished back at D&B Sports for coffee and chatter.

I felt really good. It was a new route for me. A couple of good long risers but nothing I would classify as a real hill compared to what we do at TriCounty or along the Big Apple routes.

I was in a group of about 5. 2 split off and went ahead of us. 1 of them we reeled in on the way home as the 3 remaining runners talked and made our way along the roads.

Traffic was light. There was ample room on the shoulder so we mostly ran two or three abreast.

On the return, there was one short "hill" section and as we topped out I caught up with and then stayed with the one we reeled in. I knew we were heading back but really did not know the mile marks or what we had left. I was surprised to hear him point out that the stop sign there was the 8 mile mark. I looked at my watch and saw 63 minutes and change.

Are you sure?

Yup, this has been wheel measured.

Wow! sub-8 minute pace and I feel good.

We continued to hold the pace and finished in 79 minutes and change.

I am mighty pleased. This was a glorious 10.

I hope your run today was a good one!

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Weather or not

The wind is blowing. There is a high wind advisory for our neck of the woods through midnight.


It was almost 60 degrees again today. This is not what one would call "normal" New England winter weather. But you know, times have changed. Recall it was a year ago, we got buried with a blizzard.

The weather changes are here to stay so runners need to adjust. Bundle up, change time of day, change direction, whatever works to keep on running.

And hope the forecast is accurate: that the wind will dimish overnight. I got a long run scheduled in the morning and it would not be fun in this wind.


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Get Your Geek On

Wil and Tri-Geek Kahuna have put together a podcast, the first of a series.
Some fun stuff! Have a listen!
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Thursday, January 19, 2006

Another tempo run

Two in a row... yes, but that's okay. It was not as much a pushed tempo tonight as it was Tuesday but still good. More conversation along the way. More steady conversation than the halting one Tuesday. Covered 5 miles so that was good.

Discussion for a portion of it was on the first mile. How especially in winter it is tough to get started. One to get loose. Two to be dressed properly. I mentioned that I liked Joan Nesbit Mabe's suggestion of putting her clothes into the dryer for about five minutes to warm them up before going out the door. This helped her be warm to start and then not have to peel off a layer once she got going.

It was the getting going part where the conversation got interesting. We seemed to conclude that it is pretty much a matter of your fitness level that helps to determine when you are warm. Do you follow that?

That if you are capable of doing 3-5 miles, you might reach your warmth point further a long the way than if the same person was capable of running 8-10 miles. That your warmth point, ready to run point, is related to your level of fitness.

I'd be curious to see what you think about this.

What is your experience in this area?

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Quick Tempo Tuesday

A couple of Pacers gathered on Tuesday and we opted out of the hills to do a good tempo run along Pond St. We managed to have a halting conversation part of the way out and then more of the way back. The rest of the time we were moving too quickly to converse haltingly or otherwise.
Weather called for rain after midnight but we caught some sleet on the return. I had my head band on to catch my sweat as it was mid-30's and I did not think I needed a hat. It was okay until it started sleeting then I was wishing for my visor cap to keep the sleet off my face.
Clocked out at 6.5 miles it felt good.
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Monday, January 16, 2006

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Sunday, January 15, 2006

Not so bad after all

There were hardy Pacers out there with me today. A couple of buddies joined me for the 10 miles. The first part of the first loop was the most difficult as it crossed an open stretch and the wind made things difficult but not impassible.
We were joined by two others for the 6 mile section and changed our course to go out into the wind instead of the normal loop. This was a good move. Coming back with the wind behind us was almost pleasant.
One draw back was returning via Pond Street. We were faced with a long gradual hill. Yes, it is long, it runs over a mile but as it is gradual it just wears on you.
Back to the start for coffee and those cinnamon things to bring home for my ladies. At home, I got out of my wet stuff and took a shower in my daughter's bathroom. (They have a tub/shower. Ours is a shower stall.) I let the water run hot and fill up the tub. This warmed my toes very nicely and I came out feeling much better for having done the run.
The weather really wasn't all that bad and the forecast calls for the temp to continue to drop and the wind to continue to increase. Knowing that made it easier for me to go out the door this morning. This was a good as it was going to get today!
I hope you have "runner friendly" weather for your runs today!
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Saturday, January 14, 2006

Running forecast

The National Weather Service has this from its most recent update for Franklin:



The Pacers are scheduled for their loopy runs in the morning starting with the first loop at 7:00 AM. It could be interesting weather to run.

I hope your weather will be more runner friendly!


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Thursday, January 12, 2006

Great finish

Bob Schul won the 5000 meters at the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo, one of only 4 American track distance medals. Via Joan Nesbit Mabe at Songs of Experience, you can view this short video clip of the finish.

Truly inspiring!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Craziness of Idle

Joan Nesbit Mabe writing at Songs of Experience got me to comment as follows:

Two trains of thought come to mind: (1) There was an article recently that went on to elaborate how the greatness of individuals in sports is usually debatable, except for track & field. Was Joe Nameth a better quarterback than Tom Brady? Wilt Chamberlain a better center than Shaq? There could be and endless discussion. They were from different eras, never met on the field.

But in T&F, that is a different story, the race was run in a time recorded for all to compare with or a distance, or a height. No dispute, sure there can be discussions around the conditions and training methods but the performance is recognized and comparable to today.

(2) Running allows for more participation than other sports. You are one of nine in baseball or you spend time sitting; one of five in basketball or spend time sitting, and so on. But when you run, even if you don't compete for the varsity, you still run. You still sweat. You still get from here to there...

Teenagers are just one segment of the population that needs this but they are not the only one that benefits from running!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

3 x Mile on the hills

The Pacers had two groups out on the hill at TriCounty tonight. One group (3 runners) did the "normal" workout, 3 times each up the long hill and short hill. The other group (4 runners) did 3 times the mile which was up long, down short, turn around up short and down long.

It was a good workout for all. Both groups got together for the warm up, the start of each mile and long hill run, and then the warm down. The weather was cooperative. The temp was in the low 30's. The traction on the roads was much better than last week.

I felt good. I probably could have done a fourth repeat on the mile although I hesitated to say it out loud for fear someone would actually say, let's do the fourth! It is too early in the training to add some extra pushes to the workouts. Nice and steady is just fine.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Good Sunday Run

A bunch of Pacers were out on the loops today; some doing the three loops (10 miles), some the two (6.5 miles), some joined us for the last loop (3.5 miles) and some hung around for some conversation over refreshments at Panera's.

Cool start. The temp was in the 20's F.

A light snow was falling, helping to quiet the world for us to make our footsteps in the early morning.
  • Catching up on what happened over the holidays.
  • Sharing the Chris Smithers/Stephanie Corby concert at the Circle of Friends Coffehouse last night.
  • Discussion on the merits and drawbacks of running on a tredmill versus the wild outdoors.
  • Discussion on the coming running year; what events would be targeted, renewing some old favorites, trying some new events.
And 10 miles went by quickly...

I had something left at the end.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Mileage log available

I have redone my Excel spreadsheet for the new year and have a clean copy if you would like one to track your miles run. The main sheet allows for the entry of the miles on the date. The second and third sheets are charts built with automatic calculations to show the miles per week and days run per week.

If you would like a copy, let me know via comment or email and I'll send it to you.

May the roads/trails be kind to you!

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Tempo run & then some

There were going to be 4 Pacers for the tempo run tonight. The tempo run usually varies in distance from 4 - 7 miles. We were going to start a half hour later. With the late start, I was not sure what distance we would end up with so instead of driving over to our meeting place, I decided to run over. Running to and from the meeting place would give me 4 miles plus whatever we did.

We started out to do a 3.5 loop and then changed to do a 6 mile loop.

No problem, I felt good and did 10 overall.

Longest night run for me!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Frozen Hill

3 other Pacers joined me in the endeavor as we went back to the hills tonight at Tri-County High School for the first time in several weeks. Jogging in the parking lot we realized that it could be an interesting evening. The surface was very slick with ice. We strode gingerly along keeping our center of gravity low and our strides short.

As we went down the long side of the hill on our warm up loop, it became readily apparent that we would not be using this side of the hill tonight. You know that I like to run but I do not like to ice skate when I should be running.

Fortunately, we made it down without incident and the rest of the loop through the neighborhood was fine. Oh, snowy, with icy spots here and there but nothing like the sheet of ice we just were on. We made our way around to the short side of the hill and started up, checking it out as we went. It was okay, clearly not as exposed as the long side, less windy and with a better surface.

Hence we decided upon reaching the top (completing our warm up loop) that we would adjust the workout and only use the short side of the hill for our repeats. We would extend every other run up the short side by going towards the front entrance of the school to still give our workout a "long" run and a short one. This did shorten the overall workout a little but considering we were still slipping some here and there, as cold as it was, in the dark (okay, queue the violins....) I kept the record for my log as 5 miles. No need to quibble about a quarter mile or so in these conditions.

A good workout, one to talk about now as the one where the ice was so bad...

How bad was it?

So bad, that we did not do the long side of the hill!

Snow today - Updated

The almost four inches of fluffy wet snow shoveled this morning was lighter than the almost one inch of slush that I cleared (with Carolyn's help - thank you!) at lunch time.

It is still snowing but little or no accumulation is expected while the temperature will drop into the 20's over night.

So we dodged this one...

Running tonight will be cold. My shoes and socks will likely end up wet from the slush. I should bring some dry ones to change into when I finish.

Snow today

Yes, the wintery mix is upon us. Some forecasts call for 4-7, others 8-10... stay tuned and we'll let you know how much we really end up with.

I completed the 1st pass at shoveling the driveway and moved 3-4" already. It is coming down steadily. A heavy wet snow that shovelers have to really be careful with but kids will love to play in. School has been called off for Franklin today.

Scheduled to run later today. Running in this will be a challenge. Hopefully most of the roads will have been cleared by then.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Initial race outlook for 2006

This is what the year looks like thus far:

no races, plenty of training

Old fashioned 10 Mile, Foxboro (PDF)
Hyannis Half-marathon

Groton 5K

The Pacers have not decided if there'll be a grand prix this year so that will factor into some planning.

The Corp Challenge in Boston (June), Crackerbarrell 5K (September), CVS 5K (September) and others are all possible. I'd like to do a minimum of one per month. So we'll see how the calendar develops this year.

Different road to close 2005

Spent the last few days out in Danville, PA with some long time family friends. This gave me the chance to run a new route through their neighborhood on Saturday. I combined their regular "walking route" (almost 3 miles) with an out and back section along their main road.

Carolyn came along for the first part. We did the "walking route" easily. She had her MP3 player on and we just cruised along completing the loop in 22 minutes (hence it should be less than 3 miles as we were doing about an 8:30-9:00 minute pace). I left her at the house to do the out and back. This interested me as it would take me to the bridge where their road crossed over Route 80. This turned out to be conveniently about 2 miles from the house. I went out in 18 minutes and returned in 16. It felt good and comfortable. I continued past the house to redo the first loop, this time without Carolyn to keep me company. This time around it took me 20 minutes.

Allowing for some rounding, I logged it as a 10 mile run.

A good rolling course. Mostly broad gutter along the road to run away from the traffic (although there was not much to speak of) without running on the road itself.

A good workout in a different place to close out 2005.

A total 980 miles
Ran in 13 races
5 races had been run at least once in previous years.
In all those 5 races, my best time came down about two minutes from the previous best.

I have moved to a new level of running.

A good year.

Now I am ready for 2006!

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy New Year

Welcome to 2006!

Check back often, there will be a lot to write about this year.

May the roads/trails be kind to you.