Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Universal rules for running on windy days

It is quite cold and windy today in New England. Temp in the single digits F wind the wind gusting 20-40 MPH.

Did it stop me from running?

Should it stop you?
No, as long as you follow the three universal rules for running on windy days.

1 - dress appropriately - On cold weather days, this usually means in layers. At least a good warm layer that will wick the sweat away from your body and a good wind shell layer. Depending upon your preference you can additional layers. On a warm day, it may be a minimum of shoes/socks and a bathing suit. Or perhaps, if running along the surf, discard the shoes/socks and go barefoot.

2 - run into the wind going out - pick an out and back course or a loop course and head into the wind to start. It may be cold but you'll be fresh and ready for it, as ready as you would be at least.

3 - run with the wind on the return - at the end point of the out and back, or farthest point on the loop, you should be able to turn and run with the wind at your back. This will increase the warmth immediately and you may start to undo a layer or two. It should also reduce the resistance that you were feeling as you ran into the wind. Coming home now, you can run more easily without fighting the wind.

What are your running on windy day secrets?

Monday, December 07, 2009

Shoes but no running

Even though I got my shoes all tied properly and ready to go, the snow came and I wimped out. This turned out to be a zero mileage week. Not good but the schedule conspired against me :-)

At least that is what the log will show!

2 pair of shoes; laced  key pocketed and ready for the next run

I hope you had a good run Sunday, snow or no snow!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Jordan Road well

One of my favorite routes in Franklin runs along Jordan Road. I prefer to come in from Chestnut St. It is a set of rolling hills until you reach this well. Just passed, about a 100 meters or so, the road declines finally and stretches out to RT 140.

I find it very symbolic to 'go to the well' just before the peak of the climb. This is a good run and one I come back to frequently.

(1) What is your favorite run? Why?

(2) On this Thanksgiving Day, it will soon be time to go to the family well, give thanks, and draw sustenance. Enjoy!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Six miles for Sunday

A great weather day to run. I created a semi-new route combining pieces of other routes to get a longer one in today. Longer in that I wanted more than 5 which I had been doing the past couple of Sundays and a change of scenery. 

As it was Sunday, going out along 140 wouldn't be too bad. The traffic was much lighter this morning than it would be on a Saturday or evening time period. Heading out from Parmenter to 140 starts out mostly downhill and then I end up working up gradually pretty much all the way back. Good for a work out.

Note: while the distance is calculated at 7, I rendezvoused with Dolores at Cafe Dolce for coffee and the walk home. A good six miler for today!

Leave no buddy behind!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Pink leg day

My run this morning was very wet. My shirts weighed quite a bit when I got home. The temperature was in the 40's but it felt like in the 30's. My legs were pink when I finished. Not due to any special support for #breastcancer, (I do support #breastcancer) today was purely from the weather conditions.

With my return to a work schedule, I need to figure out how to get back to running regularly. It was easy to do three days a week with the time schedule all of my own making. Now, with winter approaching, it is dark early, dark late, and colder. No fun there, just complications.

I just need to juggle my priorities and make time for running.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

In memory only

I choose a different six mile route to run today. I had called this the MelDivas 6 as it used to start downtown at the MelDivas Coffeeshop but it has been closed for almost 2 years now. Fortunately, Cafe Dolce has opened right across the street so the route mileages still apply. So MelDivas is in memory only.

It was raining as I started and raining a little as I finished but most of the run was without the rain.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

300 miles this year!

The heat has broken finally. The remains of Tropical Storm/Depression Danny left behind plenty of liquid and now we have a cool spell coming. Just in time to get some good runs in.

I had gotten to the track Friday for the first time in awhile. I did some easy strides up and down steps in increments of 100 meters (100-200-300-400-400-300-200-100). It felt good to stretch the legs out. It was also good to feel pleasantly tired for the remainder of the day.

I ran 5 this morning choosing a good rolling course. I ran slower than I thought I might although considering I did the track on Friday and this was the first long run since the beginning of the month, it was a decent one.

Turned out to be a milestone in that I ran my 300th mile this year during the run this morning. The return to conditioning is well underway. With some New England autumn weather to look forward to, I should be able to get some good runs in.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Don't like the humidity

Yes, humidity is very high on my running "Don't like" listing. Actually, the only thing higher on the listing is not running at all.

So I do.
Under duress.

  1. appropriate clothing
  2. appropriate hydration
  3. a shortened or shaded route
  4. earlier in the day (or even later in the dark)
and it is not that bad after all. A good workout is going to generate some sweat anyway. Running in humidity just means you get wetter sooner. But as some said, you only get wet once.

Just two easy miles for the log today. I didn't run last Thu or Sun. I really have missed my last two long Sunday runs due to the heat/humidity and quite hopeful that this weekend, I'll be able to get a good run in.

What do you do to run in the heat?

Sunday, August 02, 2009

6 miles today

I did a 6 mile run today and rendezvoused with Dolores and her walk to met at Cafe Dolce. The juice and coffee will pick me up for the walk home together.

Note: these flowers were in the hanging basket outside Cafe Dolce

Sunday, July 26, 2009

the summer breeze feels so good

the summer breeze feels so good, originally uploaded by shersteve.

Altered my route today due to the high humidity. I shortened the length and changed to one where there was lots of tree cover. I was hoping the shade would help and it did. The course change did add a big element of more hills but that was the price to pay today.

I took a couple of stretch and water breaks, lengthening one to Twitter about the hope for rain. It turned out to be a passing cloud, nothing more than that.

I added a stop at the Dunkin Donuts on the last stretch to enjoy a nice coolatta but alas their machine was down and nothing of that sort was available. I passed on the coffee as it was already too hot.

Walking the final stretch home by Spruce Pond, I enjoyed the breeze. You can see evidence of it in the ripples on the water surface.

Weighing myself I found I lost about 7 pounds of water weight. I have been hydrating myself all afternoon and am not quite back to normal yet. Good excuse for a second beer today!

What is the lesson from running in the heat?

Adjust to the conditions. I ran slower, took a shadier course, and carried water. All things that Amby Burfoot covers in his recent Runner's World article on running in the heat. It is good advice to follow.

May the roads and trails be kind to you!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Misty day

Sunday, Father's Day, out for a good run to ultimately rendezvous with Dolores at Dunkin Donuts for coffee and walk the last bit home together.

She went her way to meet at time certain. I went mine. She walked. I ran. Would the calculations work out correctly? I spent too much time worrying about that on the run. It was distracting me from focusing on the stride, keeping a good pace, working the up slopes and cruising down slopes, letting gravity provide the extra boost.

It did work out. We arrived within a couple of minutes of each other. The mist timed itself to make a bigger appearance as we left with coffee in hand to walk the home stretch. Enough to coat my glasses making it harder to see. This is one of the reasons I run without my glasses. I carry them in a glasses case with a hook and tucked into the band of my shorts. Light enough not to bother me on the run. Handy enough if they are needed to really see what's happening around me.

I hope your run today was a good one!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

there be days

When you just don't feel like running (last Sunday)

When you feel like running forever (today)

When the hills don't matter (today)

When the hills do seem insurmountable (last Sunday)

When you reach a good milestone (today, 202 miles year to date)

When you achieve a milestone (everyday)

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Parmenter 5K results

Not a bad run for starting out too quickly. When I hit the first mile in about 7:00, I knew I was going to be in trouble. That normally would be a good pace, but I knew I had not done the work to keep that pace going. I slacked off to about 9:00 and then came on stronger in the 3rd mile. It helped that the course was all through my neighborhood. I knew the streets well.

I come up Peck or Wachusetts to King to finish all runs anyway. Coming up Peck to King was an advantage mentally and I caught a couple of places there. The final turn on Wachusetts coming into the front of the Parmenter School was a nice down slope so I could stretch it out and leverage gravity. I needed it by that point.

I did finish about 40 seconds better than the 5K at the St Patrick's Race in Providence. A good improvement for the amount of work I have done to date.

I need longer runs on Sat/Sun and some good track work to continue to work on building the pace strength. The pace is there, the strength is not (yet).

The official results are available at Cool Running

Friday, May 29, 2009

Parmenter 5K Run/Walk 5/31/09

The web site for the Parmenter 5K Run/Walk can be found here

On the web site you'll find links to the course map, a registration form to print out and other race details.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The other son John also left his shoe

I found one shoe the other day on Union St in Franklin.

Running this morning, I saw one along RT 140 but I was in stride and didn't want to stop. I turned the corner onto King St heading on the home stretch and saw this second shoe. It made a pair with the one on RT 140. I had to stop for this one now.

If CSI: Franklin were involved, I could speculate that the boy, strapped into his car seat, sitting by the back window of an SUV, playing with his shoe managed to take one off and either accidentally or intentionally it went out the window. This one on King St was the first. As he realized what he had done, he went to take off the second one and tossed that also. That was the second shoe along RT 140.

By the time, they arrived where they were going, the mother was left with a son with no shoes and no idea where they went.

I had a good run avoiding the rain today.

Three shoes in less than a week? Creative kids or inattentive parents?

Monday, May 25, 2009

Milestone Sunday

I achieved a good milestone with the 6 mile run on Sunday. I have run 51 days this year which while it is ten less than all of last year, has allowed me to cover 4 more miles than last year. It is only May.

Good bye last year! We've left you behind for sure now.

Thank you ankle brace. Keep up the good work!

We have miles to go before the year ends!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Are you on track to do what you need to today?

Hopefully, you did not leave a sock at the starting line?

Down at the track for my pace workout this morning, I saw one sock near the starting line and another about 20 yards away. I guess it was warm and they decided to remove them.

Socks are good to absorb sweat and reduce friction which can create blisters. Yes, there are arguments for running barefoot too but that doesn't work very well in an urban environment.

Bottom line: be prepared for your workout. Make it a good one!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Mount St lesson

No matter how steep the hill you still take it a step at a time. This is especially true for Mount Street. It has a sharp slope. Fortunately, it is less than a half-mile long.

It demands attention.

Pick 'em up, pick 'em up!
One step at a time and soon you can hear the peacocks crowing as the take the slight bend to the right.

Soon, you'll turn right on Upper Union and just a little more of an up slope until you crest by the water tank.

Then it is a good ways down. Let the gravity do all the work. Your legs can stretch out and hug along the soft sand to help cushion the down steps.

A good work out!

Saturday, May 02, 2009

I find the Bean delightful on an early morning run #sobcon

here in Chicago for SOBCon

Monday, April 20, 2009

Good luck to all the marathoners!

The men are underway, the women's elite group were off ahead of them, over 26,000 folks running to Boston.

May the roads be kind to you this day!

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Once a Runner - now available

For fans of Once a Runner by John L Parker, you know that it was out of print for a long time and only available here and there via a used book seller. The wait is over. It is now available in hard cover in a new printing.

Here is the link to the Amazon page.

My book review of Once a Runner can be found here

5 miles, felt like 10

How is that?

I did this route a couple of weeks ago and felt great. Today, I did it but not easily.

Maybe biorhythms do have something to do with it. According to the calculations on a couple of web sites (here and here), they all agree that my physical rhythm is low but rising. Which would make sense.

The charts also showed that two weeks ago, it was much higher. Which also makes sense to have had the great run at that time.

Have you mapped your biorhythms to your runs? How do they work out? Does it make sense?

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I cast a long shadow on the early morning run today

3 miles in the coolness of the morning brings me to a total of 100 year to date!

No ankle problems.

The workouts will progressively get harder as I work myself into good running condition on the 3-day per week FIRST Plan.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

clothing dripping to dry

I realized that running in the rain is a progressive resistance workout. As I got out of my wet clothing, I realized how much it weighed. That was a lot of water it held, as evidenced by the dark shadow on the floor, the puddle the rain left as it dripped from the clothing.

It was a good 6 mile run today. One of my favorite routes. The rolling hills along Pleasant St provide a short slope up, incentive to maintain stride, hold the pace, keep the rhythm going. Then the road flattens out a bit, allowing for a brief respite before slopping up again. The slope and flat pattern occurs about four times, then you turn into downtown where is rises again and then on King St the last slope before home.

The rain didn't bother me. Didn't really notice it while running other than keeping watch for the road puddles to avoid.

A nice warm shower after getting out of the wet clothes gave me a good start to the day!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

In the groove now

Thanks to a quick stop at the Dunkin Donuts on RT 140, to give an additional meaning to "America Runs on Dunkin", I had a good run this morning.

It was cool and breezy but I managed to head into the breeze for the first mile or so. It was tough to start as I was cold starting and it was a cold breeze but as I warmed up I got closer to the turning point and once the wind was behind me, it felt so much better.

Just after two miles, I realized I wasn't going to make it without a pit stop. Fortunately, Dunkin Donuts had a location along my route today. The bathroom was open so I was in and out quickly. I did turn a few heads with my running stuff on but hey, it's morning. They hadn't had their coffee yet so they may forget about it.

I had estimated the route to be about 4.5 miles. When I mapped it out with MapMyRun, it turned out to be 5. Nice.

It feels good to be back in the groove. The run wasn't taxing. I will be able to get into the real three day workouts according to the FIRST Plan. Today will count as my tempo run. I'll do some track work on Thursday. Then the distance run on Sunday. Two days of light weight work and some walking on one or more days will complete the routine.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Providence: St Pat's Finish Medal

A close up of the finish medal from yesterday's St Pat's 5K Race held down in Providence, RI.

A great event, well executed and for the first time run, it attracted about 2600!

I was waiting patiently for the results to be posted to CoolRunning and shortly after they were, I also received a personalized email with my specific results. Nicely done!

I'll likely return next year. It was a great experience!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

St Pat's 5K - Providence, RI

I ran the St Pat's 5K down in Providence, RI today for a good timed workout. It was a good course, out and back. Slightly uphill going out and then on the turn around but the best part was the slight downhill all the way back.

Rough estimates for my splits were
first mile - 8:20
second mile - 8:20
third mile - 8:00

See that downhill came in handy!

The gun time at the finish was 26:02. I estimate about 40-45 seconds lost at the start between the gun and crossing the actual starting line. The chip time could come in at about 25:20 if my calculations are correct.

Not worrying much about it. This was a good first workout. I really haven't gotten into speed work yet as I have primarily still been building up the mileage and only in the past couple of weeks did I get 5 miles on Sunday. This result is great considering.

Have a good run today!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

First track workout

Are you going to stagger to the start today?

Or take the inside track with focus and determination?

I did my first track workout this morning. It felt a little strange at first. It has been several months since I was on a track. The ankle and new brace have continued to behave well. Knock on wood, I hope it continues that way.

I started with some simple strides working my way up a small ladder. 100-200-300-300-200-100. With a walk/jog recovery of the same distance for each step. Then I ran home from the track (another 2 miles) for a total workout of about 3.5 miles.

A good work out. I will sleep well tonight.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Sunday, March 15, 2009

the face and effort is focused on finishing five miles!

Yes, the second week for 5 miles on Sunday. The ankle brace is continuing to do its thing. The ankle feels normal.

The run was good today. An out and back route, little breeze, warmer so I only needed the headband. I also rolled up my gloves and carried them most of the way. Helped to concentrate on good arm carry and good rhythm.

I'll run 3 on Tuesday, do some quarters for the first time on the track on Thursday and then go down to Providence for the St Patrick's 5K on Saturday. It won't be a race effort for me, just a good run in plenty of company.

If you are going to Providence, let me know and we can meet somewhere along the way.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Thank you!

To whomever picked this up downtown and took the time to return it to me. This is much appreciated.

I had dropped it when running last Thursday morning. I know I had it in my pocket at the corner of Summer and East Central. When I checked again on Wachusett it was gone. I completed my run, got into the car and retraced my route. As I went along Union, I was dismayed to find that the DPW crews were out street sweeping. Good for them and cleaning up the town but that also meant that if I had dropped it on Union, I had no chance of getting it back. It would have been gobbled up in the sweeper.

With it returned, it must have fallen out somewhere along East Central before I turned on Union.

Anyway, my thanks to the person who picked it up and was kind enough to return it. Franklin does have fine people living here. Don't let anyone say otherwise!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

5K uses Marathon finish line

Posted Mar 02, 2009 @ 04:31 PM


The Boston Athletic Association announced today plans to host a 5K road race on the day prior to the running of the 113th Boston Marathon. The 5K will offer a fun and competitive course for athletes, and for those who have always dreamed of crossing the Boston Marathon finish line, a 'non-qualifying' chance to do so.
"The record closeout for the Boston Marathon registration is a testament to the popularity of the event and we are happy to be able to offer athletes another race in which they can participate in on the same weekend," said Guy Morse, B.A.A. executive director. "We look forward to the response and participation of runners in this year's 5K, as well as the competition and excitement it will bring to participants and spectators."
DATE: The B.A.A. 5K will take place on Sunday, April 19, 2009
TIME: Start - 8:00 AM
FIELD SIZE: Event limited to first 4,000 who register
5K COURSE: Start on Boylston St. between Exeter and Fairfield Streets, left on Tremont St., left on Park St., left on Beacon St., left on Arlington St., right on Commonwealth Ave., left on Hereford St., left onto Boylston St., finish at marathon line.
ENTRY FEE: $40.00 non-refundable, online only
MINIMUM AGE: 10 years old
ONLINE REG. Online registration at www.baa.org begins Thursday, March 5, 2009 at 10:00am. It is anticipated that the race will close out quickly.
* Finish at the actual BAA finish line on Boylston Street
* Seating for 3,000 spectators
* Friday, April 17th from 12:00 Noon - 6:00PM, Hynes Auditorium, Boston
* Saturday, April 18th from 9:00AM - 6:00PM, Hynes Auditorium, Boston
AWARDS: Top three in each age division (19 and under, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70-79, 80+).
The 113th Boston Marathon will be held on Monday, April 20, 2009, Patriots' Day, in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The race follows a 26.2-mile point-to-point route from the town of Hopkinton, Mass., to Boston's Back Bay. This year's race will begin with the Elite Women's Start at 9:32 a.m.
Additional information about the B.A.A. 5K, the Boston Marathon and the Boston Athletic Association can be found online at www.baa.org.

This was originally posted on the Milford Daily News here

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Shoe netting

Shoe netting, originally uploaded by shersteve.

What's with the nylons?

The new brace creates a couple of pretty good gaps between the brace and the shoe, enough for pebbles to slip inside on the run.

Not a good thing as the pebble will then create pain in a greater preportion than its size would normally indicate as it presses against the brace.

Fortunately, the nylon (cut from some of my wife's older ones) creates a lite and effective screen. I had been using the old reliable, Duct tape to seal and hold the nylon to the shoe/brace until I could find these velcro like hooks. With a little luck, they'll stay in place and I can then stretch the nylon over each time.

Should be a little more sustainable than the duct tape. Tried today for the first time and learned that I need to keep the velcro sticky side on the plastic or leather. It doesn't hold well against the cloth parts of the shoe.

Monday, February 23, 2009

One World Running

One World Running is an international program promoting an awareness of health, fitness and nutrition by providing running shoes to those in need in the United States and around the world.
More from the website:

Since 1986, a group of runners in Boulder, Colorado, has collected, washed and sent to Third World countries new and "near-new" athletic shoes, T-shirts and shorts, along with medicine and school and art supplies. Shoes for Africa was started after sports journalist Mike Sandrock returned from a coaching and racing trip to Cameroon, West Africa, sponsored by the U.S. Information Agency. Many of the runners from Cameroon ran barefoot (and were still able to beat Sandrock), and afterwards, a group of Boulder elite runners including Lorraine Moller, Steve Jones and Arturo Barrios began shipping shoes to West Africa. Since then a group of runners in Boulder has collected, washed, and sent shoes, T-shirts, and shorts to needy athletes and children around the world. The project continues to grow with shoes and athletic equipment being sent in from around the United States. Now called "One World Running" the group is a 100-percent volunteer organization, and the program has now expanded globally.

I have boxed a bunch of shoes for shipment to a regional collection site.

Do you have shoes hanging around that you could send?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Charity Runner comes to New England

Received this announcement via email and thought it would be worthwhile to share with all.

The American Cancer Society Charity Runner program is now available to New England running enthusiasts looking for the opportunity to make their miles more meaningful. Through the Charity Runner program runners are able to dedicate their run in honor or in memory of a loved one with cancer, while raising funds for the fight against this devastating disease. The American Cancer Society has a select number of entries for partner races around New England for those wishing to run as a Society Charity Runner.
Fundraising minimum commitments vary by race. Since 1996, more than 5,000 athletes nationwide have helped raise $5.2 million through Charity Runner, enabling athletes of all levels to turn their passion for half-marathons, marathons, triathlons, or cycling races into a lifesaving effort to fight cancer. The American Cancer Society dedicates funds raised to fuel the most promising research; to spread lifesaving cancer awareness messages; to advocate for screening opportunities for all people; and to ease the cancer burden for people facing the disease through practical, day-to-day emotional support. In return for their fundraising efforts, American Cancer Society Charity Runners will receive many benefits, including:
  • A personalized Web site to assist in fundraising efforts
  • Complimentary local training
  • Exclusive American Cancer Society racing shirt
  • The opportunity to dedicate their participation in memory or in honor of a loved one touched by cancer.

Official 2009 race partners of the Charity Runner program in New England include:

  • The Hyannis Marathon, Half Marathon, and 10 Mile; Hyannis, MA; February 22
  • Great Bay Half Marathon; Newmarket, NH; April 5
  • Cox Sports Marathon, Half Marathon; Providence, RI; May 3
  • Sugarloaf Maine Marathon; Carrabassett Valley, ME; May 17
  • Boston's Run to Remember; Boston, MA; May 24
  • KeyBank VT City Marathon; Burlington, VT; May 24
  • Patriot Triathlon; East Freetown, MA; June 20
  • Cranberry Trifest; Lakeville, MA; August 29
  • Pumpkinman Triathlon; South Berwick, ME; September 12
  • Manchester City Marathon, Half Marathon; Manchester, NH; November 1

Previously qualified and registered runners for the Boston Marathon (April 20) may also choose to raise funds for the American Cancer Society through Charity Runner.

For those unable to run but interested in getting involved with the efforts of the American Cancer Society through Charity Runner, Click Here to request more information.
For additional Charity Runner opportunities nationwide, please visit http://www.charityrunner.org/ or contact the American Cancer Society, 24/7, 365 days a year, at 1-800-ACS-2345.
The American Cancer Society is dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by saving lives, diminishing suffering and preventing cancer through research, education, advocacy, and service. Founded in 1913 and with national headquarters in Atlanta, the Society has 13 regional Divisions and local offices in 3,400 communities, involving millions of volunteers across the United States. For more information anytime, call toll free 1-800-ACS(227)-2345 or visit http://www.cancer.org/.