Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Pace Workout

four guys, three halves, tonight
light misty drizzle, 60 degrees F
got dark early with the cloud cover helping hide the sunset
good pace work; my 800's were 3:23, 3:24, 3:21
the other three were all in and around those times and within a second or two on each split.
nice and consistent
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Sunday, August 27, 2006

Running with Steve, not!

Taking my own advice, I began to work out how to finish two books reviews that I have in progress while running this morning. One with a draft already with some words to it, the other still being drafted in the grey matter. I was alone for the first loop but a Pacer buddy apparently had just missed me at the start and ran the loop in reverse, so we caught up to each other and finished together. In the time alone, I managed to work out my approach to the pending reviews. I also determined that I need to work on one at a time. One review a week for the next several weeks to catch up on reviews that are overdue.
Back to running, with tongue in cheek, feet planted in quicksand, I joked with him that I was thinking of re-doing the link on the Pacers web site from "Run with us" to "Run with Steve". I really wouldn't do that. I like the company but am not that forward.
No one joined us for the second part of the run (maybe I should rename it) and we did have a good run together. About half way out, I remarked that my legs were not feeling great at this point. The process of saying so forced me to think about why this was so. We were doing a good pace. granted still a talking pace but quicker than other weeks. This was confirmed when we finished and I checked the watch to find I had covered the same ground quicker than I had the previous week.
Part of the benefit of running with someone, you can push each other. Subtly, I was tagging on his pace for the later half after sharing the pace for the first part. Next week, the tables may be turned. Either way, the pace was better for us than if either of us had singly gone out. On your own, you can get into a rut. You keep the pace and work at it, and think your doing well, when in fact, you might indeed be slowly down. The companionship provides the subtle incentive for the common goal, finishing together.
Help your buddy and they'll help you. Leave no buddy behind!
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Thursday, August 24, 2006

Oh, no its dark again

The temp run tonight was a good one with my Pacer buddy. We reversed our usual route for a change of pace. The roads passed quickly as the conversation kept us going; both of us have daughters going away to their freshman year of college next week.
The other harsh reality is that it is getting dark as we complete the run now. Next week, we may need to go back to our safety vests. That means autumn is coming, summer is almost over.
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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Complete Running Network (CRN) now Live!

The Running Blog Family has grown up and expanded to a new Complete Running Network.
And if you do, please leave a comment to let them know you heard about it from me.
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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

FHS Track Workout

FHS Track
Originally uploaded by

On the track tonight for the workout with the NC Pacers. Two other buddies showed up, one to walk (Achilles problem) and the other to run.

The night was perfect for running. Sun setting coolness, temp dropping into the 60's. Plenty of folks on the track, most walking, some doing their running/jogging, etc.

Coming to the track, I was planning on 3 x 800's. As I warmed up and was the only one doing so, I decided to start with the 800 as planned and the condense the other 2 x 800's into a single mile. I had not run a mile on the track in a while and felt it was about time.

After the Pacer buddies arrived, and got ready, we determined to keep this new plan. The first half was evenly paced at 3:25. (1:42, 1:43). We did a half walk, half jogged one lap for recovery and went into the mile turning quarters at 1:42, 1:45, 1:43, 1:42 for a 6:52 (and negative splits). Not bad for an old guy!

An easy mile warm down completed the workout.

May the roads/trails be kind to you!

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Sunday, August 20, 2006

Falmouth - Postings Gathered

Here is the gathering of entries from our Falmouth weekend:
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Falmouth Results - Column Heading Error

The column headings for the Place Overall and Place Gender appear to be switched in the Unofficial 2006 results.

Maybe this is why they are still unofficial a week later?

Maybe. I happened to notice that my Place Overall was listed as 1137 and my Place Gender as 1501. How could I have done this? I couldn't but if you switch the column headings it makes perfect sense.

I checked this with some other results where I know for example that three people finished together. Their Place Gender are sequential but their Place Overall are all over the place. It really should be the other way around.

So fair warning for the results. They appear to be good but the column headings are crossed for the Place Overall and Place Gender.

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Friday, August 18, 2006

Falmouth Results Ready

Yes, the Falmouth web site has been updated with the chip times.

The setting still says "Unofficial Results" but they are updated from what was there previously.

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Thursday, August 17, 2006

Tom's Tavern - Joint Club PubRun

The Wampanoags, HopkintonNC Pacers and some other runners got together tonight for a good run on the Crackerbarrel course with some food and refreshments at Tom's Tavern in Wrentham.
At least 50 runners set off in a stagger start based upon their predicted finish times. Some had not yet done this method of running and it does have some advantages over the common mass start. With the mass start (everyone goes at once), you need to find someone running your pace. It can be hit or miss. With the predictive finish and staggered start, those attempting to run the same pace are theoretically already with you. There is still some variation but it should be easier.
It seemed to work well tonight. About 7 of us were in the 8 minute per mile pace category, although 3-4 were actually trying to go just faster at 7:40 or so. They split from the rest of us right at the start. The remainder stayed pretty much together. I ended up finishing about 20 seconds faster than the 24:00 predicted finish. I probably could have picked it up a little more at the end but wanted to see how close I could come and held the pace.
The other benefit, it tends to reduce the time gap between the first finisher and the last. The wait is instead seen on the front of the race as the slower runners get the head start and the fastest runners start last. If it worked perfectly, all would (by running their predicted times) create a mass finish. it usually does not work out that way, some one has an off day and some go a little faster than expected, but the overall gap between first and last finisher is less.
The Crackerbarrel course is a good one especially for 5K. It seems like you are always on a slight down grade until the last turn and you go up a bit before flattening out to the finish. How it works that way on a loop course is interesting. It does produce some fast times.
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Shoelace Update

Since I wrote about my proper method of tying my shoelaces, I have found a couple of other shoelace tying references that I think you would appreciate.
From Rocketboom, Joanne Colan shows us the quick way to tie the knot on your shoelaces. Yes, it looks complicated but it is easier than it looks.
Also from Rocketboom, a web site with hundreds of the variations to tie your shoes. It claims that mathematically there are 2 trillion ways to do so and only shows some of the more prevalent methods.
If you want to do something different, pick a new way to lace your shoes.
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Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Easy day today

A nice easy run today for the Pacers. 6 of us gathered to do the easy run through Charles Rivers Estates here in Franklin. We talked about the Falmouth race and the lessons learned. Some of these lessons will be the topic of a separate posting to help document and share them for future first timers to Falmouth. There are some logistical considerations when attending and participating in a race of this size, especially when it is point to point. Were it a loop course, most of the logistics would go away.

The Pacers will join the Wampanoag and Hopkinton running clubs for a Pub Run at Tom's Tavern in Wrentham this Thursday evening. The course is the flat fast 5k commonly known as the Crackbarrel course with some liquid refreshments at Tom's Tavern post run.

May the roads/trails be kind to you!

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Monday, August 14, 2006

Falmouth First Mile

Originally uploaded by

You are still in a crowd. You have come out from a tree covered portion of the road as it drops down and opens up to show the Nobska Light ahead and to your left. One of the most picturesque first miles in any races I have run.

You come along a strand and then start the incline shown here and follow the curve of the road around the Nobska Light. Last year it was some Bruce Springsteen playing. This year it was Rocky's Theme. If you are not into running by now, well you should get a check up and step to the side to let others pass.

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Falmouth Globe Photo

Originally uploaded by shersteve.

From the Boston Globe, 8/14/2006; Nearly 10,000 runners wound their way toward the one-mile mark at Nobska Lighthouse yesterday during the 34th annual Falmouth Road Race.
(Globe Staff Photo / Matthew J. Lee)

I was in the crowd somewhere. Can you see me? I was wearing my white hat and white NC Pacer shirt. Clearly not the only one with that combination amongst the 10,000 runners. According to the unofficial results, about 8400 runners finished behind me.

Falmouth Starting Line

Originally uploaded by

Yes, that is moi on the line with a bike. The picture was taken on Saturday when Dolores and I rode out to Wood's Hole via the Shining Sea Bikeway, a glorious and easy ride.

I was on the line on Sunday without the bike to do the 7 mile run to the finish line in Falmouth. It was a great day to run.

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Sunday, August 13, 2006

Falmouth - Early results

It was a great day to run. Cool, sunny, just picture perfect beautiful here in Falmouth. The crowd of about 10,000 runners behaved well and found their way along the scenic course to the finish line 7 miles away from the start in Wood's Hole. The race is really three-in-one. There are the elite runners, the middle group is the average runners, and the third group is the party runners many of whom seem to do this just once a year.
The course is lined with spectators who are quite helpful and enthusiastic. They provide cups of water, orange slices, sprays of water, sponges... and above all they cheer. Quite an experience if you have not experienced this before to be cheered for the whole race and not just at the finish stretch.
I am pleased with my results. Unofficially, the overall clock time read 57:11, I had my watch start when I crossed the starting line and stopped it as I crossed the finish line for about 56:11 which makes sense as it took me about one minute to get to the start from where I was in the pack. The official chip times should be available on the web site tomorrow so we see then.
I managed to do about 8:30 for the first mile which was a little better than I expected given the crowd and working my way along. I then succeeded in getting splits of 7:50 for the next four miles before slipping to an 8:00 and then coming back to sub 8 for the finish mile. Not bad at all for a 7 mile race in a large crowd.
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Saturday, August 12, 2006

Falmouth - 4 Mile Mark

Falmouth - 4 Mile Mark
Originally uploaded by

The weather is just delightful here the day before the race. This is the 4 mile mark, freshly painted. The camera angle is deceiving and it appears to be on an up hill. It is not, this section is flat along the beach. The sun ahead of us at this point is still rising at about 7:00 AM. It will be higher in the sky and slightly to our right when we get here on race day.

Good luck to all the Falmouth racers!

May the road/trail be kind to you.

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Friday, August 11, 2006

Falmouth - On the lookout

I will be heading to Falmouth shortly. If any of my readers will be in and around whether running this race this weekend or not, if you happen to see me, stop me to say hi.
Now, how are you going to find me in the crowd?
Well, you will have an advantage.
    • My picture is available.
    • I will be wearing a white baseball cap with either the NE Revolution logo or that of Franklin High School (the Panthers).
    • I will also try to wear my white Pacer t-shirts with the big P (for Pacers). One has it on the front, two have it on the back.
There will be other Pacers around this weekend. We do have a good representation going to the race.
I figure one or two of you anyway will help make my day by getting lucky to see me and talk.
What's the prize?
Well, obviously our conversation and meeting face to face. But there can also be a mention here if you'd like.
Good luck!
PS - the Pacer logo is the same as found on our website.
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Thursday, August 10, 2006

Good timing

The Pacers managed to get out between the storms rolling through the area as the cold front moves on by. On the train out of Boston, as we stopped in Norfolk, the skies opened up and were dropping buckets of rain. A couple of us gathering to get off in Franklin said, let's hope it lessens by the time we get to our station. We were fortunate to have that happen. It was just a light rain as we got off and then turned heavier as we made it to our cars. It was definitely a localized storm as by the time I got home, only a mile away, the streets were still dry. They did not stay dry long, opening up in our neighborhood at 6:00 PM and tapering off by 6:30.
The Pacers gathered at 7:00. It wasn't raining and we made it through our easy three mile loop without significant rain. A cloud or two did sprinkle as it passed.
Just now however, the next band of storms passed by with the usual artillary of thunder and lightning. Could be in the clear from here on according to the radar. I hope so.
I am looking for a good nights sleep tonight. I have the day off on Friday to drive out to the Cape and get settled in our B&B for the weekend. Another good nights sleep on Friday will help for the race on Sunday. You have heard me talk of the importance of the night before the night before! Saturday should include a good pasta meal and a good nights sleep as well before the race on Sunday.
Then it is all up to what kind of day will it be?
  • Have all the preparations been completed?
  • have all the stars lined up?
  • Do you really want it?
  • Is it a Good day?
  • or is it a not-so-good day?
May the road/trail be kind to you!
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Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Falmouth Prep

Final preparation for Falmouth this weekend are underway. I had a good distance run this past Sunday. A good track workout tonight in the coolness that is now around us. Temp reported to be dropping to about 50 in some spots tonight. Perfect running weather for me. Let's hope it hangs around for the weekend!
Sunday I added a 1.5 mile loop to our normal 6.5 mile course to create an 8 mile run. Why 8? It is longer than 7. The Falmouth distance is 7.1 miles. Psychologically going a little longer provides confidence of being able to finish the race.
On the track tonight with my Pacer buddies we did 3 x 800. I finished with splits of 3:23, 3:23 and 3:18. I stayed comfortable, I did not get up on my toes to finish, just maintained a good stride and felt good doing so.
The tempo run comes up on Thursday, then good food and rest will almost complete the preparations for race day.
One key part of race preparation now is visualization. Think about the start, working through the crowd but maintaining control. Don't go weaving from one side to another of the road to make your way through the crowd. All that will do is add distance to the course you are running and add effort. Neither will help produce a good time.
By the time you get to the two mile mark, you should have some running room so you can settle in on your pace. There are big mile markers painted on the road and clocks at each mile. You should be able to calculate your splits on the run. Maintain your pace through 5, then you can think about picking it up. Once you get to 6, this is the last mile. The crowd will be lining the sidewalks cheering folks on. This should provide extra incentive to get a good finish. Maintain control through the hill. Coming down the other side of the hill to the finish line, you can let go. And then celebrate!
May the road/trail be kind to you!
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Tuesday, August 01, 2006

4 in the heat

No, the weather did not stop us tonight. 3 Pacer buddies joined me for our scheduled track workout. I was kidding when I mentioned that in honor of the almost 100 degree temps forecasted that we would do 100's. Probably 100 of them. Kidding! really!
We did a good moderate step ladder; 400-600-800-600-400 with good recovery between. Including stop for water on the head and a swig to drink.
We are getting comfortable with our respective pace. We stayed consistent. The first 600 was the same time as the second 600. The last 400 was slightly faster than the first. Good stuff.
Consistent pace will help us race.
Hey, I rhymed that time.
A good workout. The Falmouth Road Race is coming and I believe we will be ready for it.
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