Sunday, February 26, 2006

Go Pacers!

A good bunch of Pacers are in Hyannis, MA today for the Half-Marathon which is due to start soon. It is 16 degrees here in Franklin with wind chill down to 1. According to it is slightly warmer there, 25 degrees with wind chill to 7. Good ol' ocean temperatures!
I wish you all the best today Pacers!
PS - I would be with them but need to take my daughter up to VT to spend an overnight on campus at St Michael's College so she can help to make her decision as to where she will end up next September.
Yes, it is a tough life but someone needs to lead it.
I did my run already this morning. I started at 7:00 AM and ran the alternate 10 mile route for the first time. It is a good course. A couple of good rolling hills in there to make it interesting but nothing unbearable and not as hilly as our Big Apple loops. I took me about 88 minutes to cover the 10.2 course so I did pretty well for a cold day alone.
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Thursday, February 23, 2006

Skipped hills Tuesday

My legs were still heavy and sore from the run on Sunday but I went to Tri-County willing to do the hills if any of the Pacers were there. No one showed up, so it gave me an easy excuse to back off. I did the warm up mile to see if any one would arrive late and then shifted to Horace Mann to run the Charles River loop from there.

Yes, I could have easily done about the same from where I was but the thought of going back up the hill to the car was a motivating factor.

The three mile loop was okay. I took it easy. My legs warmed up and stretched by the end but were still heavy and sore.

The legs are feeling more rested today. Looking forward to a good run tonight.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Foxboro 10

I ran the Old Fashioned 10 Miler yesterday put on by the Wampanoag Roadrunners. They did a wonderful job. I have run the 5K there several times and this year moved up to the 10 mile.
A good course, challenging, rolling, and very well done. Police and volunteers at all the key points. Good water stops. It was cold enough, 20's F, I was wondering if we would get ice but we got good cold water.
One Wamp running buddy I saw dispensing water at the 3 stop and then again at the 8 stop, nice double duty buddy!
A group of Pacers were there (as well as my daughter and her friend to run the 5K).
If you have followed my progress, this was going to be a good workout on the race course. I ran 10 in a "fun run" with the Wamps a few weeks ago in about 79 minutes so I want to do just better than that. Especially since each of the last two weeks, I had run 13 on Sunday, this seemed a reasonable goal.
Better pacing would have provided that result.
I started by working my way through the crowd, about 400 runners, to get into my rhythm and found the first mile at 7:30. Well, it was better than 8:00 so that was good. The second came along the same way as I hit two at 15:00. That was good, consistent. I did feel good. Not sure what happened during the next mile, maybe I was thinking of the 5K my daughter and friend were going to run. I hit three in 22:00 (7:00). Not good. So I backed it off a bit and hit four in 31:00 (9:00). Not good, backed it up too much, or did the rolling road have something to do with it? Back to concentration time and I found five at 38:30 (7:30). That's better. The rolls got a bit more pronounced but they were really only rolls. And whatever went up came down the other side so it was good to work. Six came by in 46:00 (7:30). Not bad, some consistency. The rolls continued and seven came by in 54:10 (8:10) Starting to feel the cold. There was a long hill during the eight mile and I felt it coming to the mile mark at 63:00 (8:50). Only two to go, let's get back to it. Started feeling a bunch coming up on me. For most of the past few miles I had been trading places with folks with little overall movement of folks going by me. But this pack was coming, or I was slowing, and I realized it was more me than them so that helped the concentration. I found nine at 71:00 (8:00). Better. Another group approached and as I stayed with some, some just went by that I could do nothing about. The home stretch was welcome and I finished but was glad it was only ten today. 78:54 (7:54). Halleluiah, now for some soup!
The first three at 22:00, the last three at 24:40. Not the negative splits I would have preferred.
Some of the stretches were into the breeze and I tried tucking in with whatever running buddy happened to be near to let them take the breeze. Some of them clearly did not appreciate this. They altered their stride to get ahead or fall back. I talked with one of them who did this drastically. I encouraged them to tuck in to me, but they grunted and fell further back. I will need to watch this in other races this season. Where is the cooperativeness on the road? Will also need to help reinforce this with some of the Pacer practices. If we get practiced at it, it will help us all, and maybe by example we can share the road better.
All in all, a good day. Cold yes but it has been colder.
Carolyn's cold bothered her so she did not run well. Her friend Laura ran real well in the 5K taking first female overall in the 99 finishers. Way to go Laura!
What's next? Back to regular workouts for a couple of weeks in preparation for the Run to Remember in Boston. Nice irony in that title, I'll need to remember my pacing advice to do this 13 miler.  :-)
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Saturday, February 18, 2006

New template today

What did you do?

Yes, it was about time. I needed I new look.

Work is busy or quiet, on or off, in or out, up or down, debit or credit.
Hey, all technology is even ones or zeros.
You get the idea.

So the new template is color themed green/white.
Green for the outdoors, the natural world where I run.

But rest assured, I will continue to try and run between, amongst, around, above, below, the line, etc.

With your help via comments, emails, and overall cooperative collaborative inspiration of course!

So that said: what do you think?Is this a keeper?

Let me know.

PS - with a little luck both Passionfor the Good Customer Experience and Steve's 2 Cents will get new looks this weekend also.

PSS - and many thanks to Thur Broeders for the template!

Friday, February 17, 2006

Long Weekend

Missed the normal Thursday run due to a work party for some folks leaving the company. Needed to hoist a few for the brave. Planned on running this evening to make up for it but the weather (i.e. Mother Nature) had other ideas. Something about 60 MPH gusts kept me indoors. Dinner was quiet (Chinese leftovers) listening to the wind howl and rattle the doors/windows.
Glad I was not running, I may not have been able to stay on the roads. May have even ended up like Dorothy. Toto, I don't think we are in Kansas any more.
So the log will be short a day and a few miles, oh well. The long run Sunday should be a good one. 10 Miles in Foxboro with the temperature at sunrise forecasted to be in single digits (6 F). It will take me a bit to get warm for sure but it will be better to run 10 in the cold than in 90 plus humidity. (Remember Falmouth?)
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Wednesday, February 15, 2006

More Route Mapping Software

For example, I found and then heard about two other route mapping tools using Google maps.

I found Google Map Mania which is a collection of sites extending Google maps to applications you would not normally think of. On this site the "new" two route mapping sites are listed, and guess what, they are not alone.

There are more!

Check these out: Favorite Run Walk, Jog, Run

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Two for 6 on Tuesday

A little fun with numbers and alliteration tonight.
Two Pacers out on the roads.
Exploring. In the dark.
Found a new section of a development that I had not known existed before.
Well, yes, it was, but not bad. Still in the 30's.
Roads wet, no ice to worry about.
No breeze to fight against. A nice night to run.
The moon was rising.
Waning but still almost full. Peaking through the trees at first.
Above the trees as we finished and we were not gone long.
Approx. 6 miles worth to add to the log book.
The schedule starts to get a bit crazy.
I won't make it Thursday.
Foxboro's 10 Mile and 5K run on Sunday (2/19).
School vacation follows.
Then Hyannis is the Sunday after (2/26).
Some Pacers are going to each of these runs.
We may not see some folks until the dinner in Providence on March 4th.
May the roads and trails be kind to you.
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Running Community

For my entire adult life (and maybe even before, if you count my high school XC team) I have found/chosen/created an intentional family through running that has helped me feel seen and known and safe. Currently, my running brothers and sisters are the Trailheads and seejanerun, but at any given time in my life, it was always a running friend - out there on the trails or track or road, with real-life flesh and blood and sweat - “who was there to listen and be sorry with me, to be happy with me, to share all that there is to share.”
Read the full posting here.
In preparing this, I checked for the link to her About me and it was different from the last time I visited.

So, what does the future hold? At the Freihofer’s Master’s 5k National Road Championships in Albany, NY, I met a 75 year-old runner named Toshiko d’Elia. What an inspiration! Toshi ran a sub 3-hour marathon at age 50, a sub 7:00 mile at age 65, and is still going strong at age 75 … breaking the National 5k 75+ record with a 27:02. I told her a little bit of my story, mentioning how I once participated in an “elite distance runner’s” test study, only to discover the one category where I was near the top was foot plant. Not very glamorous, I laughed, foot plant. Toshi’s eyes glistened like Yoda’s when she prophesied, “You will have perfect foot plant in eternity.”

I left that meeting knowing the full impact of her words. Yes! Yes, Toshi, I know who I am and where I’m going. I will always be the “loser” who tries too hard and who risks having beer cans thrown at her, but I will keep on running – with perfect foot plant – into eternity.

Read the full About me section.

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Sunday, February 12, 2006

FIRST Program - 1/2 Marathon Plan

Dave Kuehls writes at Runner's World in the March 2006 issue:
Last August we published a three-day-a-week marathon-training program developed by researchers Bill Pierce and Scott Murr called the Furman Institute of Running and Scientific Training program, or FIRST plan. After 16 weeks on this no-frills program, 13 veteran marathoners improved on their most recent times by an average of almost 20 minutes at the December 2004 Kiawah Island Marathon in South Carolina.
It was the August issue where the FIRST program was written about by Amby Burfoot.

Avid readers are aware I have been running the FIRST program since September 2005 and doing quite well with it. I took my 5K PR down twice since I started and in addition ran PR's on 2 courses, bettering the previous year's time by almost 2 minutes in both cases. My mileage this year has been averaging over 20 per week and over 7 per day. The speed/pace day (Tuesday), the tempo day (Thursday) and the distance day (usually Sunday) have combined to bring my fitness level to a point where I was in my 20's. (Note, regular readers may recall that I am in my 50's now.)

The Pacers switched the long run from Sunday to Saturday this week, in advance of the blizzard and it was a good thing they did so. This was my second run at 13 miles since 1978 (the first was last week). We ran the same time as last week but this one felt so much better. After ensuring the group at the back of the pack knew the course, I used Vine St to catch the front pack. It felt good to be able to pick up the pace and catch them. It felt even better to be able to stay with them for the remainder of the run. It felt still better to feel that if the push came to it, I could still have found another gear.

So the FIRST program works. If you have not looked at it closely, I would encourage you to do so.

Only three days to run per week?
Yes, but the days are quality runs.

What kind of mileage can you reach?
Look at the marathon plan, they peak at 32 miles in a single week and then look at the results!

What about the results?
13 marathons improve their times by 20 minutes and in the second test, 14 of 17 marathons run PR's.

But I need the longer mileage?
You think you do, but you would better without it!

Why is the program successful?
Let me ask you this: Have you ever seen a home without doors or windows?
Good, I did not think so. Did you ever get hurt from resting?
Good, I did not think so.

What is the secret?
The secret to the program is proper rest. A big house doesn't do you any good with out a door to get in or out, or windows to open and let in the light and breeze. So the logic goes with the FIRST program: The days you run, you run quality. The days you rest, you are better prepared to run quality the next time you lace your shoes.

So it comes down to your choice: high mileage, multiple days, with results that depend upon staying healthy or three days, quality mileage, results almost guaranteed. (Nothing is ever a guarantee, even if they say so... there is no such thing in life as a real guarantee!)

This issue of Runner's World has a half marathon plan according to the FIRST program.

I also crafted a 10K plan and a 5K according to the FIRST program. Both were of shorter duration and based upon a fitness level of about 20 miles per week. If you need any modification to these plans for your own goal, let me know and I would be willing to craft one for you.

Wise choice

The Pacers made a wise choice to switch the long run from Sunday to Saturday this week. As the forecast started appearing Thursday and evolved into the major blizzard that is upon us today, the email was almost as quick as good pack running; each new instance, another runner pushing to the front, drawing more attention, drawing another runner to challenge the pack and continue to the push the pace. Ah the glories of pack running! Competitive in the good sense, together we accomplished more than we could have pushing alone.
This was pack running on Saturday. Three of us met early for 3 miles and joined up with four others for the 10 mile loop. Good conversations over the first 6 miles, the pairs changing amongst the seven of us. The hill on Arnold St separated the pack for the final time, four leading, three behind.
The coffee, hot chocolate and Gatorade was refreshing and enjoyed over some more relaxing conversation in Dunkin Donuts after we finished and joined with those who ran the 6 mile or 3 mile loops.
Now we can relax and enjoy the warm, cozy interior of our homes away from the blizzard raging outside today.
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Sunday, February 05, 2006

2006 - New Milestones

The first 100 miles was covered this year as I completed today's 13 mile run with my buddies from the Pacers. I am running better than last year averaging over 7 miles per day on the 3 day a week FIRST program.

The 13 miles today was also the longest single run I completed since... well, since 1978! Yes, lots of reasons for that but it felt good to do it today.

I had registered for the Hyannis Half-Marathon but won't be able to run it now that Carolyn has an accepted students overnight at St Michael's the same day. Instead, the week before, I'll run 10 mile course at the Foxboro Old-Fashioned 10 Mile put on by our partners at the Wampanoag RoadRunners.

Boston's Run to Remember in March will be my new race attempt for the half-marathon, not so much for the race but for the workout.

May the roads/trails be kind to you!

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Running Route Maps

Thanks to some comments and email, we now have three different running map software/web sites to use. They are all based upon Google maps but each takes a different turn.

As I continue to explore them, I'll compile my thoughts on the pluses and minuses of each.

You are most welcome to join in this discussion. Let me know what you like/dislike about each of these.

So far we have:


America's Running Routes

Gmaps Pedometer

If you have another one, let's throw that into the mix as well.

The more the merrier!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Two for the tempo

There were three guys on Tuesday but only two for the road tonight. The ladies must be busy. I'll look forward to the stories when they return. In the mean time, it was just the Pacer guys cruising the Franklin roads in the dark.
The weather Tuesday was icy, chilly and a fine "almost frozen" mist. We bagged the hills and went exploring this way (through Charles River and back) and that (along the hill ending up on Daley Dr) covering about 6 miles before we were done.
Tonight the two of us found our Pacer jingle bell route in the dark successfully again and cruised along conversing about oil changes and stolen cars (no, we weren't think of doing it... just because we were running in the dark doesn't make us hoodlums, crazy maybe, but then that's another story!).
We appreciated the warmth tonight (still in the 40's at run time) and that there was no breeze to challenge us. Really can't complain thus far about winter. Haven't really had to run in bad weather too often. But winter isn't over yet. Punxatawny Phil saw his shadow today so we get at least six more weeks of winter, assuming his forecast is good.
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