Saturday, March 31, 2007

Busy Sunday

A joint club run has some of the Pacers heading to Hopkinton for the morning run. Then I head to Nashua, NH for a workout on the 5K run.

Updates (and pictures) later!

Friday, March 30, 2007

4 on the hills

It was supposed to be 50 F Thursday but didn't quite get there. The temp was dropping by the time we got out on the hills that night at Tri-County Regional Vocational in Franklin.

2 of us arrived together, both arriving late, I caught a later train than I should have (and it ran late to compound the matter), the other was slowed on the drive home due to a brush fire along the center media coming south bound on RT 495.

None the less, it was time to run. Late or not, we got started with the warm up loop. A one mile route down and around the hill through the neighborhood. We were just getting started on our first, when we saw 2 other Pacers running towards us. They had run over from the Horace Mann Middle school as their warm up. So 4 of us did the workout.

I only did a portion to target finishing the night with 4 miles. As you may recall, the full workout would be 5 miles. It was a chilly breeze but the workout went well.

It was good to have company to run the hills in daylight, at least to start. Hills are good for you.

May the roads/trails be kind to you!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Passionate Runner: Running in the Dark Safely

one in a series of podcasts on running, this one focusing on 5 tips for running in the dark safely.

Time: 6 minutes, 38 seconds

The text for this podcast was originally published here.

Other writing on running in the dark can be found here and here.

May the roads/trails be kind to you!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

3 for Tempo Tuesday

2 other Pacer buddies joined me for 3 miles tonight. It was warm, 60 F and still light out. I ran with a long sleeve and shorts, left the flashlight and reflective vest in the car.

The conversational pace was good. It was a real workout for me. I am getting comfortable with 3 but the pace was going to be the key tonight. How long could I hold it?

Fortunately, as we were leaving the development and heading back to the parking lot, just about where I could have packed it in and shuffled home, we were also heading into a down hill stretch. Not a real big one, just a nice gentle down slope for 3/4 mile or so. Knowing this was ahead, I hung in there and focused on the big Pacer "P" on the back of the front runner's shirt.

Pacer. Pacer, Pace. Pace.
Rhythm. Stride. Breath. Maintain.

I was able to hang just off his shoulder and a stride or so back for safety sake. The road was not really wide and there was no sidewalk on our side. We managed to stay together, the third doing just about the same thing behind me, until we got to where the road flattened out and curved to the right. We checked for traffic and crossed over. That broke my concentration and I let them get a bit ahead of me for the last quarter mile or so.

I was huffing when I got in but it was a good run. Thanks for the company and pacing guys!

So the lesson for today; even when you think you may not have it, use the course. I used the down hill stretch to maintain contact with a minimum of effort. A great confidence builder as well as a great physical workout. It could not have been done alone!

May the roads/trails be kind to you.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Boston's Race to Remember --- 5/27/07

I received an email (having participated last year) alerting me to the fact that:

Registration for the 2007 Boston’s Run To Remember is now open. Don’t miss out on the third running of this world class event taking participants on a beautiful, historic and scenic tour of downtown Boston.

>Register Now

>Race Information

>Course Videos

Proceeds benefit Kids At Risk Programs throughout the City of Boston.

  • It's a 5-mile road race.
  • It's a half marathon through the city of Boston.
  • It's a tribute.
  • It's a celebration.
  • It's a run to remember fallen heroes.

  • If you are going to run, let me know. We can meet somewhere there before or after the race.

    Sunday, March 25, 2007

    Spring Portrait

    the first day of spring came and went already this week, I decided it was time to do a new set of portraits. A set to continue the main theme of Steve's 2 Cents, 2 heads are better than one, whatever...

    I have set my self up for doing another set each season... oh well, such is the life!

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    Passionate Runner: Marathon Preparations

    One in a series of podcasts on running, this one focusing on the last couple of weeks before the marathon as you taper.

    Time -> 4 minutes, 51 seconds

    Other links of interest:

    Marathon Mistakes - my blog posting and link to an article in Runner's World

    Marathon preparations - my blog posting with links to articles preparing for Boston 2006

    The night before the night before - sleep considerations

    Running Boston, beware the downhill before Heartbreak!

    Wednesday, March 21, 2007

    Passionate Runner: Layers in Winter

    One of a series of podcasts on beginning running. This one focuses on the layers to wear to successfully run during the winter.

    Time --> 5 minutes, 41 seconds

    During the podcast I mention finding glittens. The glittens link is really at the National Running Center (not Road Runner Sports as mentioned in the podcast, oops!).

    The basic text of this podcast was initially posted here at Passionate Runner on March 17, 2005 but first posted on Steve's 2 Cents on November 14, 2004.

    Tuesday, March 20, 2007

    BiM - Bones in Motion

    Saw this in a CRN posting.

    Unfortunately, two problems with this: one it doesn't support the phones we currently use, two; rather expensive at about $10/month (US dollars). Compared to a watch or other GPS device, you purchase it and in some number of months, you have recovered your expense with the service it provides. Here, $10/month on going.

    I have a separate user experience problem with their web site. It advertises a "free" online training log. Yes, it is free if you are a paid subscriber. I don't know about you but for me, if you have to pay to get something, then the something else they give you is not FREE.

    But if you carry a phone with you on your run, this may be a consideration.

    Sunday, March 18, 2007

    Passionate Runner: The FIRST Plan

    One in a series on beginning running. This one focuses on the FIRST Plan from the Furman Institute of Running and Scientific Training as published in Runner's World (Aug 2005).

    Time: 6 minutes, 16 seconds

    Additional writing on my running with the FIRST Plan can be found here.

    The direct link to the FIRST Plan at Furman is here.

    Thursday, March 15, 2007

    5 on the hills

    Five Pacers braved the mixed precipitation to do the workout on the hills tonight. We broke into two groups, my group did a shorter workout. It was good to have company on the hills.

    The weather had been light rain showers but of course, as we gathered in the parking lot the wind picked up, and the precip changed to mixed rain/snow. Undaunted, although complaining out loud, we headed out to get started. The mile warm-up (with multiple conversations going to catch up on business since we had previously gathered) went quickly.

    Given the weather, we decided to do half miles rather than the shorter 3 tenths / 2 tenths splits we would normally run. Less stops would keep us warmer. This was a good choice. During the first one, the mixed precip stopped (someone was watching over us) and the remainder of the workout proceeded well.

    Mile warm up, half mile hard, half mile easy, mile warm down; three miles total for my group.

    The other group did the same warm up/warm down but did three half miles hard.

    A good workout. The hills adding good resistance to the effort.

    May the roads/trails be kind to you!

    Tuesday, March 13, 2007

    Happy Blogversary!!!

    Two years ago, March 12, 2005, the first post appeared here.


    I have been blogging since September 2004 and some of the posts were my thoughts on running. To make it easier for runners to find these posts, I have created this blog to focus on running.

    I have been running for over 30 years so I some experiences to share, some advice to offer. I'll post my running thoughts, advice on running, good information on running, favorite links, etc.

    I coached at the high school level for 6 years and left high school coaching only because I switched jobs (from substitute teacher to call center operator). The "real" business world provides a better income for the family but does not have the same time allowances that the teaching schedule did. I have been unofficially coaching myself and others since then so I never really "left".

    If you have any passion about the running you do, then we have something in common and you should like what you find here.

    If you want to start running, this will be a place to get some good advice.

    Effective blogging is a two-way conversation. I look forward to your feedback. Feel free to comment or send me an email.

    May the roads be kind to you!

    What has changed in the last two years?

    I have received my coaching certificate.
    I started the Passionate Runner podcast series which is now available at iTunes.

    There are miles to be run, let's go.

    Monday, March 12, 2007

    Sunday morning studio time

    I missed a weekly podcast session due to a work commitment but got to the track this Sunday morning to record a couple more podcasts for the ongoing series on beginning running.

    It is quiet. No one is around. A few birds can be heard in the background of my "studio" out on the Franklin High School track.

    I feel comfortable there talking about running. If anyone saw me, they would see me talking and gesturing, which used to be a strange sight but these days, I could be in a phone conversation. Little do they know, I have my podcast kit in use.

    I will be sketching out the series in a separate "summary" post. If you have any topics, or questions that your would like me to address, leave me a comment or send me an email.

    May the roads/trails be kind to you!

    Sunday, March 11, 2007

    Podcast: The warm-up

    One in a series of podcasts on beginning to run. For this session I talk about the warm-up.

    Time: 4 minutes, 35 seconds

    Podcasts: Beginning to Run Series

    A series of podcasts on what to do as you begin to run and as you improve you running. The podcasts where they begin with "PR #" are the re-issued, enhanced version with music at the beginning and close.

    Music featuring Matthew Ebel

    PR #1 - starting running

    PR # 2 - foot exercises

    PR #3 - The Warm up

    PR #4 - the FIRST Plan

    PR #5 -


    Original podcast releases:

    Session 1 - Setting the goal, deciding on the plan, and then execution

    Session 2 - Basic foot exercises

    Session 3 - The warm-up

    Session 4 - The FIRST Plan

    Session 5 - Layers for the winter

    Session 6 - Marathon Preparations

    Session 7 - Running in the dark

    Session 8 - Hill running

    Session 9 - Running in the heat

    Session 10 - Track Intervals

    Session 11 - Race Day - Final preparations

    Session 12 - Foot Care Basics

    Session 13 - Creating running routes

    Session 14 - Tying your shoelaces

    Session 15 - The blahs are okay

    Session 16 - Response to question: Training for the race surface

    Session 17 - Response to question: What are shin splints?

    Session 18 - Running with a club

    Session 19 - Music on the run

    Session 20 - Intervals

    Session 21 - Tempo Run

    Session 22 - Calculating Your Pace

    Session 23 - Distance run

    Session 24 - My history - Part 1

    Session 25 - My history - Part 2

    Session 26 - Summer Road Race Ideas

    Session 27 - Book Review - Running with the Buffaloes

    Session 28 - Book Review - Once a Runner

    Session 29 - Narcessians

    Session 30 - RW's Best of Marathon Plan

    Session 31 - Book Review - Harriers

    Session 32 - Pace and Order

    Session 33 - Carolyn with Music on the Run

    Session 34 - Feedback on the FIRST Plan

    Session 35 - Local Runner Letter

    Session 36 - Response to a new Listener

    Session 37 - Worst Thing About Running

    Session 38 - Exercise for the Brain

    Session 39 - Route Mapping Tool Survey

    Session 40 - Beginning Anew

    Session 41 - Beginning Anew 2

    Session 42 - Reader Response, Tupelo MS

    ----- new feed started here forward ----

    Session 43 - What is Speed? or Tupelo MS 2

    Session 44 - Tale of Two Runners

    Session 45 - Runner Response - Mental Exercises

    Session 46 - PodCamp Halloween

    Session 47 - Life Long Running

    Session 48 - John L Parker Jr

    Session 49 - Reader Response: High School Pressure

    Session 50 - Reader response: Personalized Plans

    Session 51 - Feed Logistics

    Session 52 - Happy Feet

    Session 53 - Running in cold, dark, winter

    Session 54 - Birthday run

    If you have any suggestions, or questions that you would like me to address in one of these podcasts, please leave a comment or send me an email (shersteve at gmail dot com).

    May the roads/trails be kind to you!

    Podcast: Foot Exercises

    Another in the series of podcasts covering beginning to run. This time I talk about basic foot exercises.

    Time: 3 minutes, 33 seconds

    The text version of the foot exercises were originally posted here in March 2006.

    Friday, March 09, 2007

    Into the wind

    If you have run for awhile, you should have heard or realized that you should run into the wind as you start your run on a really windy day. Presumably, you will have the wind at your back as you finish.

    Today was one of those days when if you didn't follow the guidelines, running into the wind to finish your run would not have been pleasant.

    I would much rather face this unpleasantness at the beginning when I am fresh and eager to go, than when I am tired and just "wanna go home!"

    When the wind is at your back, the temperature can change improve dramatically.

    When summer rolls around, the heat becomes a factor and in some cases, running into the breeze is better when you are finishing. The breeze can help you stay fresher. Of course, you will still loose some effort to the resistance but the benefit of the breeze may tip the scale. (You should also avoid the mid-day heat and run either early in the morning or late in the evening.)

    So let's end on that warm thought. I need that now. Instead of the cold biting wind, recall the hot sun of a summer day, and the warm breeze that evaporates your sweat just about as it appears.

    May the roads/trails be kind to you!

    Thursday, March 08, 2007

    Runner's World - April Issue

    I can't provide links to the articles as most of them are not online so if you really want to read these, you will need to pick up a copy on your local newstand or subscribe.

    Warm-ups - C'mon get happy
    The article reviews body chemistry, positive thought, and how it creates the "runner's high".

    Enduring Questions - What's the perfect plan?
    I was expecting Amby Burfooot to determine whether the Lydiard method or the First plan or ??? was going to be the best plan. No such luck. The article instead provides the 10 factors that will help make a great plan for you. Still valuable but not what I thought I would find.

    Personal Record - Plenty of Time
    A nice essay by Fran Skennion Reilly on running in each stage of her life.

    The Making of a Marathoner
    Kenny Moore profiles Dathan Ritzenhein. Well worth reading!


    Wednesday, March 07, 2007

    RW Workout Wizard

    On the front page of the Runner's World web site, they have introduced a new personalized coaching program. (So why did I get my USATF Level 1 Certification?)

    I input 24:20 as my recent 5K time.
    It was the time for the recent run as a workout as part of my recovery plan.

    Selected a 5K as the race I am preparing for.
    I do mostly 5K's as they are popular but will run from the 5K up to the half marathon.

    Selected 11-15 miles as what I currently do.
    Which is a little more than I am at now, but less than I normally run (20-25/week).

    Selected the "moderate' level of effort for training.
    Clearly the "middle of the road approach, but for grins, let's see.

    It came back quickly with a 16 week plan of workouts mostly following the 3-day FIRST plan but for several weeks adding a fourth day (Friday) with some easy runs.

    So this tool should be good to use. I would skip the 4th day and up the effort on the other days to compensate.

    Try it out. See what the wizard says for your inputs. If you want to review that with me, let me know.

    May the roads/trails be kind to you!

    Tuesday, March 06, 2007

    Bundled up

    Originally uploaded by shersteve.
    Yes, even inside South Station, folks were bundled up against the cold. It was bitterly cold here in New England today. Except for the funky folks dancing to their iPods, but then they are a figment of someone's imagination anyway.

    How cold was it?
    So cold, I did not go running. Yes, hard to believe but true.

    Sometimes it happens. One day missed will not make or break my recovery plan.

    May the roads/trails be kind to you!

    Friday, March 02, 2007


    The Pacers were unable to gather a quorum for the hill workout we normally do on Thursday's. I took the opportunity to run a route I had not in a while around my own neighborhood.

    Three miles, mostly flat with some nice stretches of telephone poles along the return that are spaced very well for some pickups.

    I am still coming back from injury and a four month layoff but some pickups over the last mile were a good way to start getting some quality effort on the road.

    I did pick up the pace for 3-4 utility poles then notched it back to recover for another 2-3 poles before picking it up again.

    It made the final mile go quicker and while the legs struggled a little on the last stretch, it was a good struggle and not entirely unexpected. It will take time to get the legs and lungs back. The next time I do this pickup set on this loop, it should be easier. And the time after that still easier. That is how progress is made, a little effort at a time.

    May the roads/trails be kind to you!

    Thursday, March 01, 2007

    Running a Fast 5K

    From Active Runner and leading runners Steve Scott and Jessi Stensland come some valuable tips on preparing for a fast 5K.

    How valuable?

    While these are clearly geared to running really fast times, the principles are those that drive the Norfolk County Pacers' track and hill workouts. Repeats of 400 to 800 meters close to your pace. The track workouts are run during during the good weather. The hill workouts are run during the winter as the location we have is ideally suited for safe winter running.

    It is still too early to run really hard. But not too early to ensure that you get some quality mileage in your legs to prepare for some fast races later this year.

    May the roads/trails be kind to you!