Sunday, December 31, 2006

REPORT: Week One - Boston Marathon Training

2007 First Snow

Easy on the first Bowker Flats as we got our first snow. The neighborhood streets are packed snow, ice, patches of bare and few sanded spots. Next ten went fine trying to maintain 145HR and above, leisurely trying. Last 2.5M on the flats was still slippery and finished up the street at Suffolk to have Garmin say it’s an even 15.0 M.

1st 2.5M@7:30 (18:46)
10M@6:39 (66:30)
2nd 2.5M@6:52 (17:10)

Weekly Review

Total Miles: 75.0
Number of Workouts: 7
Stretching: light on pre-run and most post-runs
Yoga: One
P\U, S\U: falling off

Notes: One week down fifteen to go!
Issues to Note: virus lingers with dry throat through the night and excess phlegm buildup in the morning, pulled right lower back muscle around the 24th, right front shin muscle defined as approximately 1” wide and two inches long of tight\hardened it will hurt if pressed on too hard while thumb massage. Feeling a little from the faster pace and increased miles.
Next Week Goal: See my Training Log

Training: am, 19, fair, BF, Willow Guzzle, BF 15.0m, 1:42:25, 6:49\mi, 150 HR

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Daybreak. . .

Early enough run where it was too dark to see the lap button and mistakenly pressed stop starting the 4th of July Course. It’s a good thing the HR monitor wasn’t interrupted so I could calculate out the time minus Morse Road. The 4th came out to 25:37 for a pace of 6:34 distance being 3.9M. Total Garmin was 42:48. Came across two small deer on Peakham, sun trying to break on Water Rowe, very icy in the flooded area and must’ve been around 25 turkeys on Lincoln Road. Post run weight at 158.

Yesterday was an easy shakeout in the rain, counted 18 turkeys on a lawn at the corner of Mossman and Farm Lane.

Sun-Dist-Water Row Original, am, 37, clr, felt good little icy, 25:37 on 4thCourse, 10M, 68:25, 6:50 pace, 154 HR

Sat-Rest-Mossman Variant, am, 47, rain, shakeout, add Suffolk & Kendra, 3.79M, 29:47, 7:51 pace

Friday, December 22, 2006

One Starry Morning. . .

Boston Marathon training begins early today by getting out the door at 5 a.m. I am usually fortunate that most of my runs are in the daylight. This mornings darkness brought out a few notables that are worthy of at least a few electrons.

To start, the w\u was short as my GPS locked onto its satellites amazingly quick. Clear skies, you better be ready to run. Soon after starting I missed the first turn, after a quick circle in the street it was on with the mistaken path up the hill. There goes the 2.5m on the flats.

I finished off the flats, with bump hill, while getting one glance at current time\pace under a street light in the neighborhood. It’s dark and cold. Changed from hat to headband and grabbed a water bottle to head off to the Haynes Loop. A mile into it I see a four-legger cross the road. Either someone let their dog out or its one of the suburban coyotes. I wasn’t taking any chances by making myself known and a good little kick in quickening the pace. A few over the shoulder glances left me cruising down the hill to the next turn. On the back side of this loop I needed to consciously tell myself to keep the pace up as it’s a progression run as the miles tick off. This happens on the long slow uphills that sneak up on your pace as it looks flat but it’s not.

Changed out water bottles, for a non-leaker, and off to Pratts Mill for the eight miler. This leg should be even faster. Let’s see, the goal was 7:12 and then 6:36 for progression loops based on a 6:00 marathon pace from Pfitzingers book. Without light I could only go by feel and as miles went by it just gets harder to tell the pace.

A beautiful sunrise brought in the last five miles. Having the sport-beans on these last two legs was the needed sugar kick to keep the gait. At the house grabbed the last bottle and pushed the effort for a true Bowker Flats in 16:10 for a 6:28 pace. Nice. Later downloaded the GPS and scratched my head as to why ForeRunner and SportTracks come up with different time and distance from the same device. Also, further analysis could be had with a better understanding of the two software programs and possible spreadsheet analysis. All can be done at another time as of now it’s Holiday Preps!

Training: am, 23, clear, Bowker\Haynes\Pratts 18.5m 2:07:46-6:54 pace, no complaints, last 2.5m@6:28, 148 HR

Thursday, December 21, 2006

10K Marathon Predictor: ARNWR Charlie Loop-Outer

“If you can bring your 10K time down 30 seconds, you can bring your marathon time down 2 minutes”. As quoted in the Mercury News article Runners Race Against Clock. Would this mean if I ran my last two marathons at 2:52 and a recent 5 + miler in a 5:45 (35:43 10K) pace to achieve sub-2:40 I need to run a 32:43 10K at a 5:15 pace? Come on now Coach Jack Daniels surely I must be applying this wrong. Maybe I am taking this out of context. My planned races thus far to build to the Boston Marathon are a 10-miler and a half-marathon. An unexpected 10K could be in the works for January.

My wife talked me into dropping my run from 9 miles to 7 miles today. It went very well on the reservation. Passing a hunter on the Patrol Road, sitting on the guard rail admiring the marshland, put a small surge in the pace. It wasn’t until the last mile when I ran the extension out to busy Route 27 to sprinkle on a few fartleks that this route was a keeper.

Training: am, ARNWR, 7m 49:02, 7:00 pace 145 HR

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Speed-Strength Workout

Today was the sixth speed-strength workout. Good progressions so far with only the DNF hiccup from two weeks ago. The incline was at 1% the whole time including 6:00 quarters. Total workout 1:53:10.

Training: am, treadmill, 8m 60:45, 7:35 pace 133 HR

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Double Run: With A Virus?

Seems the bug is finally working its way out of my system. Two loops on the flats with one stop to retrieve the tossed over milk bottle. Felt good. HR had the time at 33:04 for a pace of 6:36. Garmin time listed.

Training: pm, 5m, 33:59, 6:46 @153 HR

Boston Marathon 2004 Video

Watching this purchased film in its entirety on the treadmill put a cyclist mindset twist to this mornings run. Picture one running the course while seeing it on the mill, what a concept. Too bad, it’s too short. Maybe, I can cut the old VHS over to digital.

Training: 4.1m, 29:32, 7:12 pace

Monday, December 18, 2006

Feel The Warmth

It’s very nice to be in New England and do a run wearing shorts a week before Christmas. Morse Road OutnBack-Hills

Training: am, 50 fair, 6.13m 44:47 @7:18, one stop to drop off NYC Marathon Video

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Weekly Report: Marathon Time Run

This morning’s family runner (stroller incl.) put us in the ARNWR for a variety of roads\trails. I was more than happy when we exited to find a smooth roll ahead without the stones and roots to bounce things around. We had a total of 8 minutes rest time for stops. I finished the run today sans stroller for one mile at a sub 7:00 pace.

I loaded up SportTracks, Google Earth and downloaded Garmin Forerunner 201 data. My wife doesn’t agree with the Garmin pace or distance results. Boston Marathon training starts on December 24. I will plan to do the scheduled long run of 18m on the 22nd due to family commitments.

Weekly Review
Total Miles: 58.5
Number of Workouts: 6
Stretching: light on pre-run and most post-runs
Yoga: Two

P\U, S\U: Routine
Notes: I would like to do the max HR next week.
Issues to Note: Biggest ailment was contracting a virus that left me lethargic and forced a rest day.
Next Week Goal: Mileage 60-70

Training: am, ARNWR 17.0m, 2:36:22, 9:11 pace, 155 (can’t be right for avg.) HR w\stroller

Saturday, December 16, 2006

We Were Running. . .

At a 9:37 ambling pace through the sun shining neighborhood. Haynes Loop modified to explore Kendra Lane and see some of the new homes (very large) being put up in Willis Estates.

It felt good to get out there but the lack of energy is holding me back. I promise today to look at the calendar to see when the official kickoff day is for the Boston Marathon training. Maybe we will celebrate with a cake or something.

Friday, December 15, 2006

“what are you 130 pounds soaking wet”?

A shipping driver guy comments to me on the loading dock

I tell him 160 as of this morning.

He says “I haven’t weighed that since the service.

I say “I came out of boot camp at 160 while going in at 140”.

That was over twenty years ago. . .

Its amazing things people say to runners. Today is rest and looking at the calendar for when the Boston Marathon training truly starts. Worst day yet of the virus.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Start Fast and Finish Slow

Exploratory starting in ARNWR ending up in Memorial Forest, lots of deer trails ending up in marshy areas. The morning fog provided for an interesting view of the natural scenery. This run started fast and finished slow. At the end I was lucky to hold 118 on the heart rate monitor. Woke again feeling some of the virus, despite a ton of pasta at last nites dinner the energy reserves depleted within forty five minutes and I was glad to get the run over with. Hopefully tomorrow’s speed-strength is better.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Took littleun out on WG route, it was colder than what we heard. Pushed the pace, had four stops and still managed a pretty decent time. Woke up with somewhat of a virus feeling as the littlun has been coughing the last two days.

Monday, December 11, 2006

The Weaker Leg

A blogger posted an article recently concerning lower leg pain. It was a study of two; put the runners in thin hard type soles and find improvement. I somewhat equated it to barefoot running. A research piece that is drawing attention to having too much cushion misbalancing the muscles and slowing blood flow to areas.

Anyhow, focusing on my lower right leg gives me a feeling that it’s been going along for the ride for quite some time. Probably from it being flat and suffering plantar fasciitis in the past, requiring orthotics. The left leg and foot seems to do the majority of the work from strength to push off. Today I focused on the right toes as a claw gripping the dirt and trying to feel the leg work. It wasn’t far and I could feel the quad and ankle. The ankle felt warm to the touch at the end of the run. Using the right leg is reminiscent of how I used to run with both legs, and faster. It’s like going from two wheel drive to four wheel drive on the Great Point sandy beach of Nantucket.

Training: am,35 lt rain, ARNWR 14m, 1:47:41, 7:41 pace

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Weekly Report: It Takes More Than One Bowl of Cereal

This morning’s post-run feast required two bowls of cereal. The first left me hungry for more, as I indulged my two year old hit the “Easy” button and we both smiled.

Weekly Review

Total Miles: 61.50
Number of Workouts: 7
Stretching: light on pre-run and most post-runs
Yoga: Two
P\U, S\U: Routine
Notes: Explored more trails
Issues to Note: Sunday’s marathon like effort took its toll this week. There were quite a few ailments and a solid four days to recover. Reschedule max HR for next week. I found a nice pine needle lined hill by the Firefighting Academy.
Next Week Goal: Mileage 60-70

Training: am, ARNWR 16.5m, 2:07:28, 7:43 pace, 134 HR

Friday, December 08, 2006

Taking It Easy

As of yesterday I decided to keep all runs easy until the ailments clear. Yesterday’s flu shot can still be felt in my arm this morning. The treadmill gave up ten miles to me. Entertainment started with ChasingKimbia, a few YouTube videos and finished with ChasingKimbia. I never spent the time to learn YouTube, it’s probably well organized, but if you click randomly on the videos that show up next it takes you all over the place. There is some really weird stuff on their. I’ll say no more.

Our future champ got a kick out of seeing Santa Claus riding on a fire truck through the center of Concord on his way to - Lighting of the Tree and Collection of Unwrapped Gifts for Charity. Burger and fries, lots of cookies, cider and hot chocolate was the evening dining. The little adventure did help the little buckaroo’s earlier pouting fit. Later it was up and down for a not so good night’s sleep.

Training: am, Treadmill 10m 1:19:35, 7:57 pace, 144 HR

Thursday, December 07, 2006

What Ails Me?

Inflammation of left hamstring tendon
Delicate upper left hip flexor
Stiff right ankle
Mild right shin splint

The bothersome are keeping me from performing a max HR test today. Currently researching how best to take care of them, it’s amazing the wealth of information on the net. I am reading ICE is one of the best methods and to work on prevention. Also, should determine the cause to not let it happen again, especially with the Boston Marathon training starting in two weeks.

I opted for an easy exploratory trail run. I purposefully kept the HR low enough as to not aggravate the above. A new discovery is the physical fitness course, with exercise stations, for the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy located in the Marlborough State Forest. Also, some nice long trails that border the Patrol Road, keeps you off the pavement and on a soft bed of pine needles. It’s sweet to run on. What spoils me are the wooded sections with tree roots, rocks or branches where your forefoot lands and jams your ankle. Ouch! Almost, makes it not worth your while. So, must choose carefully, no daydreaming and heads up running at all times. Garmin battery went dead at 1:36 with three miles left. I’ll have to see what data I can get once it’s recharged.

Deer Hunter Report: NSTR. Only two days left!

Training: am, ARNWR 15m 2:04:14, 8:15 pace, 124 HR

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Suburban Coyotes

Yesterday morning’s close encounter with a coyote on Belcher\Willis has brought my wife indoors to run on the treadmill. She feels threatened and certainly has good reason as the beast was staring her down only fifteen feet away. As the weather gets colder and food scarcer the probability of a rare coyote attack increases.

About a month ago I harassed and tried my best to run over a coyote lurking on the side of Longfellow at dusk. A coyote can run 30 mph and my vehicle is faster but its maneuverability and quickness far escaped my aging Volvo. If only I had a turbo.

DNF on this morning’s Speed-Strength workout. I missed the last 13 platform lunges, 400 meters and cool-down. It feels like I strained a muscle at the top to the left hip flexor on a lunge. It just kind of went as I was moving the pace along a little quicker than usual. I tried another and thought, oh no better not! It feels like one of those muscles that are for doing leg kicks in swimming. Split the dips into sets of five reps and back extensions to three sets of ten.

Training: am, treadmill, Speed-Strength 5m 39:44, 7:56 pace

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Managing Recovery

This past Sundays run brought immediate fatigue, tissue breakdown, glycogen depletion and dehydration. What I am looking to do is manage recovery by focusing on how well I feel after a hard workout. What ails me, energy level, diet, quantity and quality of sleep, health and life stressors are all factors needing attention. The type of workout will also make a difference.

For now, let’s focus on this one long run of 23 miles (includes a 5.2m race) and when I feel ready to run long again. I am estimating four days of recovery. Yesterday was easy on the trails for 7 miles, no pain just soreness. Back of the left knee some kind of ligament thing, will need to research. Left hamstring felt sore and right ankle used.

I did self-treatment in the bath today, both nights about 7.5 hours sleep first night not the best quality. Yesterday was yoga, finally after a long break. Been considering a second run today, but just realized that would be a stupid idea. Also, it would wipe out the atta boy my wife just gave me for only running three miles today.

Training: am, treadmill, 3m cold start, 23:44, 7:54 pace

Monday, December 04, 2006

First Snow

My wife said 0 to 3, my body was saying rest and my mind said here is an opportunity to explore another trail. I ran a shakeout recovery run (active rest) in the ARNWR.

Markers 9-8-10-5-9, Craven Lane, Trail C and Patrol Road return. After the water Craven and through to the middle of trail C is paved as in the really old stuff. Nice thing though is there are no vehicles or bicycles allowed. Left the HR monitor at home to purposely not go too fast. Lingering issue with left lower ham and right ankle feels used.

Training: am, 34, light snow, ARNWR C Loop, 7m 60:00, 8:30 pace

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Conditioning – Race Report-Missed The Plan

Weekly Review
Total Miles: 77.0
Number of Workouts: 7
Stretching: hit or miss
Yoga: None-bad
P\U, S\U: 250\500, not keeping good track as they are routine

Notes: Returned to the ARNWR to explore trails, 162 weight
Issues to Note: Saturday brought a strained sensation on back of left knee, tendon? I could still feel it on Sunday and a concern for race. Right ankle twists on trail routes
Next Week Goal: Mileage 60-70, Max HR, Plyometrics

Race: 28th Annual Scott Bailey

Date: Sunday, December 3, 2006, 11:00am
Location: Framingham, MA. Marian H.S.
Course: Rolling city streets
Conditions: fair, 41
Shoes: Saucony Fasttwitch
Final preparation: BOBOJ minus the banana
Notes on the race: Missed the Maynard Street turn, added on but kept same place
Notes for future: Know the course!
Distance: 5.1M
Time: 29:52 (5:52 pace)
Place: 3rd of 84 overall, 2nd Master
Adjusted Mileage and Pace: 5.2M? 5:44 per mile

Hit first mile at 5:26, 2nd at 6:06 I am thinking the markers may have been off. Felt really good, caught me several times not relaxed and legs not pulling underneath me. Missed mile 3, at this time the course had a few curves and hills. Did my best to speed up if the lead runner and police car left sight and hanging onto the runner in front of me, but after the railroad tracks 2nd runner missed the Maynard Street turn and I followed. This meant we ran around Framingham State College instead up the hill and down. When we got to Franklin I hollered to him to just go back as we were off the course. Soon enough we spotted the cruiser ahead and realized the distance loss but kept the same position. I probably relaxed my push here wanting just to get it over with.

At the finish the guy ahead apologizes for missing the turn. I explained there is no need as I should run faster. He was far enough ahead of me to keep better track, oh well I only have myself to blame, slowpoke. Also, the first place woman went off the course at some point. The timer said “didn’t you see the pink signs”, later I ran back on the course and found a pink sheet of paper stapled to a telephone pole at waist height. It had a simple arrow and said race course. Problem was it folded over in the wind. So, if this is your 28th running of this race wouldn’t you have something better?

Okay, now stupid plan, hang out in the gym for an hour before picking out a gift certificate for award, covers the entry fee. Then run home the ten miles. After 7 miles I decided to skirt off into Nobscot to run the trails on a shortcut. Problem was I winged it, got lost, and ended up in the neighborhood of $90,000 Range Rovers. I had to ask permission to go through someone’s backyard and climbed wooded hills on deer paths that were too much for running. I finally got picked up by my wife a half-mile out on her worried search for me. I had gone past my two hour time limit. I am now in the dog house! I later cooked up excellent steaks and potatoes on the grill.

Look for this as they were at the race today, “camera crew for the Today Show who followed father and son team Dick and Ricky Hoyt for a special profile to air on NBC later this month”. They are truly inspirational.

Training: am, 41 degrees, 23M 8:12 pace est.

Here is one of the trail photos from the ARNWR, highest peak.

ARNWR Weather Station

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Morning Shakeout

Nice sunrise on the ARNWR Patrol Road 9-5 out and back course. The cooler weather brought out the stiffness in my muscles. Back of my left knee is the most memorable and twisting on a tree root was no treat for my right ankle. I flirted with the notion of doing some striders on the return but felt it wasn’t worth the risk. Must do yoga today!

Deer Hunter Report: One p\u at #9, 7 at #5 a friendly wave to the NWR staff member

Training: am, 43, fair, ARNWR Patrol Road 9-5, 5.5m 46:00, 8:21 pace, 139 HR

Friday, December 01, 2006

Plyometrics? When?

The future safari explorer and I ran Willow Guzzle after the rain and before the high winds. Task today is to look into plyometrics. I have it on my header and really haven’t done any in the six months of blogging and running. It’s time to call myself out on this one and get it together. Look for a coming post on ideas of what this might entail.

Note: Comcast internet not available for 12 hours at least, cable was ok.

Training: am, 61, hazy, Willow Guzzle, 10m 1:14:51, 7:29 pace, 140 HR

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Risky Running

This morning’s run was an exploratory out in the ARNWR and the Sudbury State Forest. With my wife out in Minneapolis, she says it is very cold there; I spent part of a sleepless night poring over Google Earth topography maps.

Let’s regress why, last summer I wimped out when the deer flies arrived and my trail running were abandoned. This led to the roads, boredom, injury and a major slump. With this cycle the beast to take on is snow and ice, when it arrives. For now a few flying shots of deer slugs isn’t going to stop me.

There is something about getting older and taking fewer risks, my history is slightly conservative. Growing up in WI deer hunting was common, here it’s not even allowed on Sundays throughout the State. Heading out in the first mile I spooked two six-pointers grazing in a pasture. The smart ones, they stay close to dwellings away from the hunters. Should also mention that my Dad took a bullet in the back hunting growing up and it never stopped him. Those were the days of wearing red plaid versus blaze orange and the norm was to have a flask of brandy to keep warm.

I wore five different articles of hi-vis clothing to be seen. With the tech-toys I must look like a running yard sale.

Back to the trails, the plan was to explore more dirt! As my outer loop is only one third trail and the rest looks like some army road from 1944. I wore the Garmin 201, Polar HR monitor and my Adidas racing watch. I think one too many gadgets flopping around. I should’ve replaced one with another bottle of water as I ran out around ten miles. Also, the GPS came in handy when I crossed over into new territory and got all turned around.

Garmin 201 1:55:42 15.16 miles
Polar HR 2:14:30 138 HR avg
Adidas 2:14:24

What does the GPS do with the missing 18:42 minutes? It displays it as 1.02m rest giving a total of 16.18 m for the run. There were a number of stops and backtracks as I got my bearings. My navigation skills are pretty rusty and trying to memorize the topo map wasn’t working. Also, tried printing a topo and the printer printed a memory error, will need to look into this.

Deer hunter report: one mini-van and one SUV w\deer sled North Side, South had four vehicles. One truck alongside Hudson Road. Only shots heard were far off in the distance.

Training: am, 2:14:24, 16m 8:24 pace, 138 HR, distance exploratory

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

“Sometimes Life Is Hard”

I am borrowing this title from Chasing Kimbia who is borrowing it from a song sung by KT Tunstall. It turns out my eleventh place master finish at Cape Cod did not produce any Grand Prix points (only top ten) as I was hoping an unattached runner wasn’t a USATF member. This is just more fuel to drive the mental training to push this cycle to a higher level. It hurts but life goes on and Spring will be here before you know it.

Today was the speed-strength workout. This is starting to come along nicely as the flow between exercises smoothens. The incline was at 1% the whole time including 6:00 quarters. What's killer is the call for 24 dips! That's allot for skinny runner arms; I better check the program to see if that's right. Total workout 1:46:16. Last night I did some light Yoga which helped loosen things up. I noticed skipping the week before that I really miss the good long stretches.

Training: am, treadmill, 7.5m 58:40, 7:49 pace

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


I noticed the use of the word distance comes up quite frequently in my marathon program. It’s a day where you run how you feel and can be used as recovery. The range is typically 5-10 miles depending on the week’s demand.

This morning treadmill had one interruption at four miles which broke my groove. At 5.5m I lowered the incline from 1% to 0.5%. At 6m lowered to 0% and finished off the last 0.75m at 7:00 pace.

Training: am, treadmill, 7m 54:07, 7:43 pace

Monday, November 27, 2006

American Marathoning

Click the above title to listen to VOA's take on marathoning in 2006.

Grass Work

What a beautiful sunrise leading to a gorgeous warm day. The air temperature was about 57 degrees with fair skies! I got together at the Haskell Fields for some grass fartleks. This was a solo effort imagining everyone leaving me in their tracks. It went very well all things considered and now I may actually do next weekend’s road race.

The workout:

4 x 3 mins.
2 min rest

4 x 2 mins.
2 min rest

4 x 1 min.
1 min rest

A five minute rest between sets at a slow jog.

The first repeat was slow; the legs just weren’t turning over. I am still working on relaxing and running fast. The second one of each set seemed to get things coming back to my legs and I could spin them over and felt a lot more at ease on the grass. There were a few where I was just hammerin’ right along like old times. This is one workout I would like to try on a small grassy down slope to quicken the turnover.

Training: am, 57 degrees, 8M, fartleks, nice work!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Recovery Week 4

Weekly Review

Total Miles: 68.50
Number of Workouts: 8
Stretching: light on the pre-run, better on post-runs
Yoga: None
P\U, S\U: 250\500

Notes: Thanksgiving trip interrupted normal training patterns.
Issues to Note: None.
Next Week Goal: Mileage 60-70, Grass Work, 5.1 M Road Race!

I am really enjoying the unstructured training time as it’s a mental relief from following a regimental schedule. It’s nice to be creative and dabble in a few different workouts for variety. My concerns are to add enough work and work hard enough so that when the 16 week Boston program starts I am ready. It’s only a month away and my recovery has run its course so now is the time to get the legs in motion.

Wd = easy 3m on treadmill
Th = 2x5k program on Cybex International treadmill, 7:00 pace and then a 6:30 pace for a total of 7m, rain all day, raw, my Wife ran the race.
Fr = Easy 11m on Ocean Drive
Sa = Easy 8m out to Second Beach, second run on treadmill 3m

Today’s run was 3x Hayne’s Loop progression. 1 - 34:41 (6:56), 2 - 33:19 (6:39), 3 - 32:23 (6:28) for a total of 1:40:25, distance is 15 miles (6:41). This does not include the w\u and c\d as I am not going to be tracking it anymore. HR came out to an average 156; take this reading for what it’s worth, allot of the time the monitor was displaying 0 or 228?, etc. Oh yeah, one wild turkey scuttled out of the road on my first loop to join his seven friends that were eating in someone’s backyard.

Training: am, 41 degrees, 15M 6:41 pace, progression, this is good work

Here is one of the trail photos from last weeks run.

Puffer Pond - ANWR

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Impossible is Nothing

This quote is from a Boston Adidas poster hanging in my gym. Inspirational and motivating.

Happy Thanksgiving to all as I am going to be spending some time away from the blog to focus on family and friends through the weekend. Maybe, I will get that 5 mile race in.

Today’s training was the Speed-Strength circuit. I lowered the quarter mile pace to 6:00. That’s as fast as our treadmill will go. Once this feels real comfortable I will need to increase the incline to make it a challenge.

Training: am, 6M, 49:39, 400m at 6:00 Speed - Strength Circuit

Monday, November 20, 2006

Lactate Test -- What Does This Mean?

I ran this one at LSRHS instead of Maynard. The track is further away from home. It seems the straights are shorter so the turns aren't as tight. This may help alleviate the issue I had before with my shins. The LS track could use a new surface, several areas the topcoat sounds hollow and there are a number of dips and rises.
This test was done with an air temp of about 40, cloudy skies and a slight breeze that stiffened a little for the last two runs.

I need help interpreting what some of the data means.

Lactate Threshold Testing
2400m Actuals


140 11:34 7:45 slow pace hard to not go fast
150 10:40 7:09 still slow, keep track of laps
160 10:02 6:43 a little quicker
170 9:27 6:20 at 169. breathing, fear 180
180 9:03 6:04 at 176. This is allot of work I can feel the legs, heavy breath, lower energy, had enough


140 10:36 7:06 easy
150 10:12 6:50 okay pace
160 9:27 6:20 at 159 moving along
170 9:02 6:03 at 168 this can be work
180 9:01 6:02 at 171 slow start, enough strong finish
I dropped off trying to achieve the 180HR. After six weeks of training my HR improved versus running at all intensities. A pace that used to require 170 HR now required less than 160 HR.


140 10:35 7:03 at 139 anxious
150 9:54 6:36 at 149 okay
160 9:15 6:10 at 158 form focus
170 8:50 5:53 at 165 tough
180 9:06 6:04 at 164 mentall challenge
The 160 HR was most comfortable. 170 and 180 were difficult to achieve and the 180 was with a stiffer wind and loss of energy. Working on breathing, form and mental. 2 minute recovery.After the 170 I had enough, when I got home I was starving and cold. Only water and no breakfast before the run.

Training: tests 11.5m, no issues

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Recovery Week 3

Weekly Review
Total Miles: 49.0
Number of Workouts: 6
Stretching: light on the pre-run, better on post-runs
Yoga: One
P\U, S\U: 250\500

Notes: Muscle recovery feels like it’s done. Running, stretching, yoga, push-ups and sit-ups are coming along nicely.
Issues to Note:
1. None. Strength training is paying off. Core muscles are improved and noticeable on longer distance running.

Next Week Goal:
Up the mileage to 50-60, 1600M mini-lactate test. 5M Road Race!

Out the door for an easy four miler with a few fartleks sprinkled in for variety. I had the urge to go for a MLR, but decided recovery is the better option. It’s nice to finish up three weeks illness and injury free.

Training: am,45,4M 8:11 pace, recovery few fartleks felt fine

Here is one of the trail photos from yesterdays run. BTW, it was only 16 miles, quite a few stops for photo taking and light stretching before the tempo run.

NWR Trail

Saturday, November 18, 2006

NWRA Pre-Gun Deer Hunting Season

So, next week starts gun deer at NWRA which means this was my last run there for the next month. It was fantastic, pulled in the weekly long run, roughly 16.5m with a 42 minute loop tempo. Took some photos that I will post later.
Just thought I would post this piece. It's an excellent read for mental training. Food for the mind!

If you think you're beaten, you are;
If you think you dare not, you don't;
If you'd like to win, but think, you can't
It's almost a cinch you won't.
If you think you will lose, you're lost;
For out in the world we find,
Success begins with a fellow's will,
It's all in the state of mind.

If you think you're outclassed, you are;
You've got to think high to rise.
You've got to hustle before
You can ever win a prize.
Life's battles don't always go
To the stronger or faster man,
But sooner or later the man who wins
Is the one who thinks he can.
-Walter D. Wintle, "The Man Who Thinks He Can"

Friday, November 17, 2006

I Am Getting Beat. But Upbeat

Our True treadmill and the gym environment are getting the best of me. This will only get better as improvements are made.

Changes so far:

  1. Kept the gym door open
  2. Positioned a 3” fan nearby
  3. Setup portable shelving for drink cups
  4. Wired speakers for the laptop
  5. Switched to thinner socks

The results are this mornings 5-miler was ran at an average pace of 7:39 which includes a warm-up. The goal is 7:00 minute pace. Last run was 8:11. Air temperature only increased from 70 to 71 vice the four degree rise last time. The wet test came at the end by my shoes not being soaked.

Changes to be made:

  1. Position a second fan
  2. Mount the speakers on the wall
  3. Change from plastic to paper cups

I have more ideas but as I have learned from project management and marathon training it is best to break the whole down into smaller pieces.

About 1.5 miles into the run I realized too much work was being expended to maintain 7:30s. A quick correction to relax and loosen up helped. Around three miles it came to me that one must control the machine instead of just going along for the ride as the belt spins endlessly. This is part of the focus on running. Continually check and recheck all systems. A certain desire and thought put into the details will reap rewards long term.

I am changing yesterdays run from the recorded 10 miles to 11 miles based on a recent New England Runner article about the Battle Road Trail written by Chris Spinney. Chris I do not know other than he is a faster master than me, for now. That will change. It reads like he used a pedometer. He writes it is 5.5m end to end. So I did 11 miles for a pace of 6:29.

Training: am, 5M, 38:18 7:39, treadmill incl w\u, 1m c\d not incl. felt good.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Race-Specific Training – Devising Training Routes

In my last marathon build I laid the groundwork for some training routes. To build off of that I am now going to adjust them to be more race specific.

In recalling my PR year at Boston many of my low-mileage double runs were done on a hilly course. Even though, it was only a 4-6 mile run the grade was never flat. Our townhouse was on a hill and the loop of the compound circled from top to bottom. These repeats were done early in the morning without eating and maybe with a water bottle.

What do I need?

Running at a constant pace over an extended distance

Practicing drinking from a cup during a long run


Nature of the terrain?

Affect of traffic?

How can the route be measured?

Is there any protection from the wind?

How can I arrange to take drinks during my run?

Seek out stretches of preferably flat relatively traffic free running. Use riverside towpaths, disused airfields and roads, dirt roads through forests.

Repetitions other than the track. Repeated laps can induce injury. Measure out beforehand by bike or car, can also check with Garmin and USATF site. Choose a sheltered area which might allow you to run in both directions while keeping your times/efforts constant.

Taking drinks on the run (drink once every half hour during a 2 1/2 hour run) rely on a coach\friend on a bike or in a car. Use a loop course that brings you past a station setup beforehand.

*loosely drawn from Richard Nerkurs book on running. I am thinking hills, hills, hills. My last program I backed off on them thinking the hills led to injury. Now, I am leaning toward my overall strength was on the lower side and the feet, ankles , shin s had a harder time tolerating them.

Yesterday was rest to recover from three straight days of running. This is my third week of recovery so I am being cautious. I did the Abs of Steel part one to see how my core strength is coming along. The video is a good measure based on feel and something I did on a regular basis when I ran my PR. Later was a two mile hike on a local trail with the boys. With the rain the little guy was squirming to get down and hike the length of it despite the rocks, roots, mud puddles and other hazards.

Rain was coming down hard this morning on my way over to the Battle Road Trail. I quickly shagged the hat and gloves after the first mile when it finally let up as the temperature was nearing 60 degrees. Lots of mud and puddles out there. I timed what I believe to be the largest hill at 200 seconds. I need to check the mileage on the trail as I am probably short changing myself.

My right glute could be felt yesterday, but after today’s workout its fine. Tomorrow will probably pull in 5-6 miles and the long run on Saturday. Slight change over the weekend to get more recovery for the race on Thursday.

Battle Road Trail, 11M, 1:11:26, 6:29 pace 150HR?am, rain, felt ok, heavy towards end, yoga

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

This Isn’t Going To Be Easy.

Planned eight miles on the treadmill starting at 7:00s and seeing how well I held up. Going into the run I could feel a little soreness in my glutes, mostly on the right side. This may be attributed to yesterday’s platform lunges. The first mile was on the mark but felt the HR creeping up so backed off to 7:30s.

Had to stop and make some gym adjustments for water. I was spilling the cup of water all over the place. By the time I hit three miles the sweat was pouring off of me. Realizing the lack of airflow and the more I ran the warmer the room which led to a higher HR. Settled for backing off the pace to keep the HR low and not self-destruct.

With the slower pace I had to focus more on my running economy. It seems I am out of practice in running relaxed, smooth and focused. My arms seem to cross over too much and swing too high. I realized my breathing was mostly through the mouth. I adjusted this by including breathing through my nose and filling the lungs by expanding the abdomen.

Finished the run finally in 65:30, 8:11, 159HR

Monday, November 13, 2006

burning FAT for endurance

I took another look at Fuel on Fat For the Long Run that has been brought up in run blogs. My comment on Mike’s blog was this is a crazy idea when he first posted it. It seems Eric also got onboard and the topic surfaced again several weeks ago.

For long workouts and marathons I have my own creation to stockpile the carbs within two hours. I use BOBOJ, banana, oatmeal, bagel (w\peanut butter) and orange juice. If time allowed I also had a green tea with a small amount of non-fat milk. This is actually a lot of food to take in, but I have always believed it gave me the source of energy for endurance length runs.

This time I read and analyzed the article. Based on my notes there are several questions that I would ask. But, the bottom line is it all started to make sense. I reflected back in my running experience to days that correlated and ones that did not and their outcome. In addition the book I am reading by Richard Nerurkar he writes about not eating two hours before a workout. He does not go into the why or help you understand the reasoning. Another item I caught was watching the chasingKIMBIA during my workouts that their pre-marathon breakfast was something like 4-4:30 in the morning, well before the race.

My second marathon this year was to be a PR even though on a more challenging course. Seeing how it wasn’t, like any major sports team, something has to change. Becoming a fat-burner is just one small ingredient. When my wife caught on to what I was doing with my diet the last couple of days she dismissed the notion.

Today’s workout was the Speed-Strength Circuit. A total time of 90 minutes and average HR of 133 with peaks around 168 during the 400s. I ran the program the whole way through twice. I lowered the 400 meter pace from last week’s 6:40 to 6:18. This effort seemed to be okay. The back extensions and bench dips are the toughest; I’ve had to break them down into shorter sets. Also, I restricted to drinking water only from a cup to practice for racing.

Training: am, 6M, 47:07, 400m at 6:18 Speed - Strength Circuit

Sunday, November 12, 2006


Weekly Review
Total Miles: 33
Number of Workouts: 4
Stretching: 2
Yoga: 1
P\U, S\U: 250\500
Notes: Ready to start training but holding back.
Issues to Note:
1. None. This is awesome compared to my post ROC.
Next Week Goal:
Up the mileage to 36 per Pfitz, This I feel is too low. If the pace is in check and all is a go I am looking for 40-50.

I skipped my opportunity to three-peat today on the local 5K to be on the conservative side. I need to spend some time planning for the five-miler on Thanksgiving.

Training: am, 60s drizzly, Willow Guzzle, 10M 1:09:36. This is a key hole course that has a four mile loop progressively ran faster each leg, (3m,4m,3m).

Thursday, November 09, 2006

"You must be crazy - just thinking of it makes me tired"

A rest day and here are some Cape Cod Marathon pictures. I am just busting to get out there and run some miles with the break in the rain. Today’s workout was all cardio in the gym and a yoga session.

The Start

Drafting off of Joe

Trying to keep the pace

Last 200M!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Speed-Strength Workout

Here is my Speed-Strength workout. I think I pulled it from an Owen Anderson article back before the web. He now has a DVD on this subject going for $100+!

Warm Up with 10-15 minutes easy jogging
Stretch for mobility
Jog for a couple of minutes
1. 400 meters at 5k pace
2. 15 squat thrusts, with jumps (burpees)
3. 4 Chin=-ups
4. 20 side situps, each side
5. 15 Push-ups
6. 24 body-weight squats
7. 400 Meters
8. 10 squat and dumbbell presses with 10lb dumbbells
9. 30 low-back extensions
10. 10 feet-elevated pushups
11. 20 platform lunges
12. 24 Bench Dips
13. 400 Meters
14. Repeat 2-13, cool down 2 miles of light jogging

I went through the program yesterday substituting the bike for the run at an easy pace. In the afternoon a brisk walk to vote with the stroller for one hour. Today, I ran once through it with a treadmill pace of no faster than my last marathon (6:40) keeping the heart rate below 160. Since I am still within two weeks of recovery I am taking it easy and will most likely feel some sore muscles from this tomorrow.

It’s actually a dynamite program when in full training to push the treadmill to the max and fluidly flow between exercises. This is a strength builder that also enhances speed and if that isn’t enough you feel and look good afterward. Now, it’s a matter of where to fit it into the program. Do I dare put it on Monday after Sunday’s long run?

I read the resting heart rate is a good indicator of one’s fitness and if tracked shows recovery. My first check I came up with 48 and the second day 50. Based on this chart of seven levels, athlete being the highest, I am at the low end. That’s good. It will be interesting to track and see how the numbers come out as I progress towards Boston. For now I use the carotid artery finger check method. The thought of sleeping or strapping on a heart rate monitor has crossed my mind as it may be more accurate than my multiply by 6 or 10 method.

Monday, November 06, 2006

The Boston Marathon 2007 Plan

Week 1 54
Week 2 68
Week 3 65
Week 4 69
Week 5 65
Week 6 68
Week 7 72
Week 8 70
Week 9 63
Week 10 73
Week 11 62
Week 12 73
Week 13 79
Week 14 66
Week 15 55
Week 16 49

Total Miles: 1051
Weekly Average: 65.69

There are seven runs of twenty miles or longer, weekly intervals on the track, two tune-up races, hill training, simulating race conditions and running on the race course.

This is an increase of five miles per week average over my last marathon build. The program has a peak week of 79 miles. Speed seems lacking in my last two marathons while endurance is already built on a large base of marathons and some ultras. Taking two weeks off the overall plan may help my focus and comply better with the New England weather.

Our National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) is now open to hunting for small game and archery deer. Stick to the trails and wear some orange should suffice. Do not run the NWR during shotgun or muzzleloader deer (Nov 27 - Dec 30). Check the numer of vehicles in the parking lots and be watchful are my words of caution. Today I heard two gunshots and saw one other runner.

I ran to the Assabet River and turned where a beaver took down a 20" diameter tree.

Yesterday we went out to Leominster State Forest and viewed the 11o' ledge with the climbers, we didn't climb it but hiked some of the trails. Excellent weather, clear skies and clean air.

An excellent inspirational piece aired on the public radio show "only a game" about Kenyan runners. Wouldn't it be neat to spend a month at Lornah Kiplagat's high altitude training camp there in Iten?

Training: AM-8M 62:49 HR 137 NWR 39-ptly cldy Resting HR 48 Weight 162

Sunday, November 05, 2006

2:38 Boston - Age 35

Marathon Miles

In preparation to create a plan for Boston 2007 I included my 2001 Boston on my two recent marathon progressions.

A key difference I notice in the chart is the number of weeks less than 40 miles highlighted in yellow, taper excluded.

The 2001 included the following breakdown:



7-Runs while wearing snowshoes

11-cross-training efforts

3-PR Races

16-0M days, complete rest

12-Less than 4M days.

33-Doubles (one triple) run days

My take away is there were many days of 4-6 mile runs. I created a road fartlek method to maximize my work lunch hour. It consisted of a mile warm-up. Three miles of fartleks by accelerating on an approaching vehicle or passing vehicle until out of sight and then resting on the next one. Finish with a one mile cool down. This run is equivalent to having a gel at mile 22; a huge boost in performance. We had weekly intervals performed on the track or roads ranging from 200m to 2000m.

The 2001 followed a 16 week BAA created club marathon program tailored to the course. I am not sure what improvements have been made in the last five years, if any. I see this program as the cornerstone of my 2007 Boston.

Weekly Review
Total Miles: 16
Number of Workouts: 3
Stretching: assorted
Yoga: Two
P\U, S\U: 300\600

Notes: First week of the recovery per Pfitzingers Advanced Marathoning. I ran 16 to his 16 schedule.

Issues to Note:
1. Residual DOMS subsided by Thursday allowing three runs at the end of the week. Left hamstring seemed most tight. My right ankle early on felt a little worn. Interestingly, the inner right shin stuff, mild, disappeared since the marathon, possibly speed related.

Next Week Goal:
Boost mileage to 30, cross-train, stretching and strengthening consistency.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Golden Raisin Scones


I baked these scones with golden raisins off a recipe from our Town Crier. The baker won a second place blue ribbon on this submittal. Inspiration to bake came from Mike. Interestingly, the Crier's photo also came out of focus like Mike's in the foreground.

Running has been five easy yesterday and four easy today.

SCONES with Golden Raisins and Pecan Nuts
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 large egg
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/3 cup chopped pecan nuts

2 teaspoons lemon juice
3 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut up
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or a silicone sheet, or grease and flour it. Combine milk, cream, egg, in a small bowl and beat with a fork. Add golden raisins, pecan nuts and lemon juice. Stir dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Add butter and cut it in until almost incorporated. Stir in milk mixture just until it holds together. On a lightly floured surface, turn out the dough and knead very quickly and gently. Pat into a round one- to one-and-a-half inches thick and cut scones. Place on baking sheet, glaze with egg-white and sprinkle with a little sugar. Bake for 15 minutes until golden brown. Serve with butter, jam and cream.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Personal Running Coach

  • Whether I coach myself or someone else does:

  • Coaching Program

    First Name: Mark

    E-mail Address:

    City: Sudbury

    State/Prov: MA

    Your age: 40

    Running Since: 1985

    Distances you'll be racing (and goals)

    **5K ( 15:50\5:04 )

    **8K/5 miles ( 26:48\5:20 )

    **10K ( 33:20\5:20 )

    **Half Marathon ( 1:13:45\5:36 )

    **Marathon ( 2:34:30\5:52 )

    Short term running goals (within the next year): Establish Master NE Grand Prix points. Sub 2:40 marathon

    Long term running goals (beyond one year): sub 2:30 in the Marathon

    Any injuriesillnesses in the past year? If yes, what type and length of training missed? One week for PF, two weeks for flu.

    Average miles per week the past three months: 60 mpw

    Do you cross train? If so, what type and how often? yes, once a month

    Most recent race times: Marathon 2:52:28, 5K 17:50, 5M 27:40

    Have you had any previous experience with a coach? If so describe what was good or bad about it. Some, more of a group setting than tailored experience.

    What do you hope to get from this coaching relationship? Goal achievement, understanding of suited training method.

    Anything else you'd like us to know about you? Results driven.

    Thursday, November 02, 2006

    King of the Roads

    “Bill Rogers” was my exclamation as I rounded the bakery section of our local supermarket to the King on the Roads. Hopefully some of his speed from our handshake will get into my system to set some PRs before the end of the year and beyond.

    Today brings more yoga, walking, sit-ups, push-ups and thinking of a plan. This creativity phase involves online research, books we have and training logs from past years. Thoughts are leaning toward the Kevin Beck 12-week, BAA 16-week, Pfitzinger 18 week 70+ programs and a blend of Martin\Coe techniques. For some reason the Lydiard stuff didn’t get me very far; or I haven’t given it enough time. The Daniels programs were just too confusing that I don’t want to go back and look at them. Maybe, when PRs start landing these tossed aside experts will get another look. For now, it’s going to be what’s proven to work.

    Wednesday, November 01, 2006

    Recovery: This Requires Time Off!

    “Resuming training is much like pulling an onion out of the garden and discovering that it is not yet fully grown. One cannot thrust it back in and expect more growth! Physiological and psychological fatigue must be fully resolved if the total approach to beginning another training cycle is to be one of excitement, anticipation, and willingness to rededicate one’s life to training.”
    Better Training for Distance Runners, 2nd Ed. Martin & Coe

    I have been waiting for major Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) to settle in and it’s just not happening in an overwhelming way. There are residual muscle aches that are keeping me from running (mentally). I try to hold to, the older the runner typically the longer the recovery adage. Based on my ROC Marathon in the Spring this may take a month, but I have two races scheduled for November.

    The first is my chance to three-peat at the Doc Adelson 5K in Wayland on November 12 and the second is a 5-miler on Thanksgiving in Newport, RI. Should I race both of these? Could I run 5:30’s at both events or faster?

    Active recovery is consisting of stretching, walking and yoga. CCM taught me for any hill race you need to work on the arm strength. This is why push-ups are important. The last ten weeks of the marathon build I fell off that wagon even though I looked at them everyday and knew better. Better discipline next time.

    The dropout phase in the middle may be attributed to overtraining and staleness. The mileage build was a record, the pace was too slow, it was hot and I got burned out physically and emotionally. Tomorrow’s post may address the start of a plan and ideas.

    Almost forgot, I am to keep tabs on the NE Grand Prix results as I may have scored points which will put me in New England Runner and achieve one of my marathon goals.

    Monday, October 30, 2006

    2006 Cape Cod Marathon Race Story

    Monday, October 30, 2006
    Some report the Falmouth Track Club sincerely tries hard to put on the annual Cape Cod Marathon and I agree. Overall, considering the conditions I recommend this race to anyone looking for a challenge. After reading their!!Important Stuff to Read!! Handout I discovered that it may not be until the end of the week until the official race results are posted. Results listed are unofficial

    The 2006 CCM Story
    Run under 2:50 to get published in NE Runner. Beat my May 2006 Master PR. Finish high on the masters list.

    A Saturday arrival allowed us to pick up the bib number and a new pair of Stickman gloves from the New England Runner table. We ate a hearty lunch at Liam Maguire’s Irish Pub and Restaurant. They have an excellent chili stuffed baked potato. Next we toured the course by car, from what was passable.

    We started driving through a flooded section on Menauhant Road and decided best to back out as the water was getting deeper and we didn’t want to get stranded or flood the car with salt water. Six miles driving to the point from the other side we came across a barricade blocking access to the seaside drive.

    Through the rest of the course we found plenty of deep puddles, downed power lines and branches. See my previous post for photos.

    We spent a sleepless night at the Hyannis Marriott, unbeknownst to us there was a Halloween Party that evening. Our room was sandwiched between party-goers fully dressed in costume and revelry. Glad they had fun. Breakfast was a simple bagel, oatmeal, green tea and water. A twenty mile drive, a few rain drops along the way, gave us an arrival at the race headquarters 100 minutes before the start.

    Too much time was wasted in the cozy gym atmosphere which led to a rush to do race preparations and get to the start line on time. They had free coffee and donuts compliments of Dunkin Donuts, a handful of vendors and fellow racers to chum it up with. Once outside, a half-mile of jogging and light stretching left me drawn back to the shelter of the school.

    Outside one could hear the wind howling through the trees and buildings of downtown Falmouth. Fortunately the sun was nice and bright and clouds would quickly get blown away helping the 40 degree temperature feel warmer. Racing attire was shorts, singlet, cotton gloves and the Saucony Fastwitch racing shoes. The use of a visor hat would only have been a nuisance with the wind; this became apparent in the race as I observed another runner carrying his mile after mile in his hand. Five bandages, three on the left foot, two on the nipples and some Aquaphor in chafing areas rounded out the preps.

    At the 8:30 a.m. start line, I somehow positioned directly behind last year’s male and female winners. Both were expected to finish ahead of me so it was my obligation to yield toeing the line. But, on our right a young Ipod runner felt it was his prerogative to toe the start line of the New England Grand Prix Championship race; he was rightfully passed within the first mile never to be seen again.

    At the sound of the canon we were off, like most races runners sprint for some unknown reason and I trying to stay contained in self-imposed limits to my ability. Ahead I spotted my Wife and future Sprinter with the stroller cheering me on as the wind blew us off of Main Street and onto Shore Street.

    Mile One: 6:07:28
    Many runners passing through and I almost missed the split. We experienced a strong cross-wind and heavy influx of relay runners. I did a double take on the split time and tried to slow down. Too fast as this course honors those that mentally and physically conserve the first half.

    Mile Two: 6:21\12:28
    It’s hard to run slow early on a flat course with following winds and all the hype. This area is the “townie” and “harbor” area. It was the first chance to duck in behind another runner and start the drafting game that would be a tactical strategy for the remainder of the race.

    Mile Three: 6:42\19:11
    That’s a better split, but it’s so hard to gauge pace with all the wind. This should’ve been easy as the course has been primarily flat so far. An exception is the memorable uphill leading to Falmouth Harbor, The number one photo spot on the course. Everyone looks good being early on and the view is fantastic. I was flanked by a shirtless runner (only one that day) and a shadow, with shirtless ahead. I slowed to allow shirtless open the gap to keep him out of my photo, but he kept slowing. Finally, I surged past with the two following and got on with the race and hopefully a good photo.

    Our first downhill brings us into Falmouth harbor with a spectacular view of the sea. The wind is whipping high waves, whitecaps and blowing sea spray across the horizon. The relay exchange is off to the left at mile 2.6 and not a bother to marathoners. I spotted one of the previous years winners, also a master, on the sidelines and nodded as it was one less that would be ahead of me.

    5K: 20:00
    From what I can remember that was the time and I was pleased as it was a good benchmark to hold. From the back I thought I heard a runner chatting on a cell phone or narrating his race, it turned out to be another runner in a group of nine. They appeared to be club runners and one International (possibly Japanese). Listening in on the conversation and gauging their running I decided to hang on as drafting is very key on a windy day.

    Mile Four: missed the split
    The race was just settling in and I had a group to tag along with, we pushed the pace along Menauhant Road. This wasn’t hard as it was next to the beach and primarily a tail wind. This strong wind blasted sea salt and sand. I was surprised how well they were able to pump out the water. The heavy duty grader, front-end loader, dump truck and street sweeper were still on the scene as they worked up until the race came through. My hat is off to Falmouth to making a clearing, albeit still a little wet sand, through this stretch.

    Mile Five: 12:22\31:33
    This marker is by the turn heading up Davisville Road away from the beach. Split time was a minute faster than the 6:30’s . I noticed the group slowed slightly as we passed the clock, but then in a quarter mile picked it up and I let them bridge a gap.

    Fan support thus far has been really good with locals and the relay providing plenty of distraction. The scenery is fantastic. On my right I heard a small bell ringing, I looked over and saw this little old lady in her house with her hand reached out of the partially opened storm door ringing away, such dedication.

    Mile Six: 6:34\38:07
    Another master caught up to our group and was chatting away about how they may place well for their team the BAA. The chatter from before, Joe (2:57:07), said he planned on running under three hours. Well, this guy, John (3:08:06), I know of him from other races inquired of who was ahead, BAA, and then he surged ahead. My thoughts are he felt three hours was too slow. Then again why was Joe running 6:30’s if he wants to break three hours, too fast? So, I pass Joe and hung behind the pack.
    At this time looking way ahead you could see the lead vehicle, it’s a long straight stretch.

    10K 40 Minutes
    Right on track.

    Mile 7: 6:37\44:44
    Joe catches up to me and is now running strong and talking less. We will work together from here on as runners are starting to spread out. The group is well ahead and we comment they will later come back to us. So, the pace is finally right about on overall, the course is now away from the ocean and wicked winds. We have tree protection but a strong crosswind. I pull out a gel and squeeze a little in my mouth. Water is at eight so I think I am safe.

    Mile 8: 6:34\51:19
    The rolling hills are here, we just passed a cranberry bog. I thought it was interesting they were harvesting cranberries on a Sunday morning with high winds. This section was real tough to break the wind, I tucked in behind Joe.

    I have had water and one Cytomax up to this point. Never before have I had Cytomax another runner commented it tasted like lemonade. All my training was with Gatorade. Around this time I developed a small side stitch on the right side that would last for seven miles. Perseverance to run through it and keeping the long goal in mind would help. Also, trying to do the belly breathing and stay away from the Cytomax. Sometimes the volunteers hand you, or you the racer grab Cytomax and you take it in because you need the fluids. Typically, they were calling out water or Cytomax. I was to rely on gels and water for replenishment for the rest of the race.

    Mile 9: 6:35\57:54
    Joe and I share the load breaking the wind, mostly Joe breaking. I notice one of the earlier pack runners stopping for water.

    15K 1:00:00
    This is really starting to come together.

    Mile 10: 6:28\1:04:23
    The course is flatter, had to avoid relay runners walking at us to get to their station. Do they know how much harder it is to run 21 miles farther than their five? The earlier pack runner is walking through the water station, our first casualty.

    Mile 11: 6:51\1:11:14
    Time to start giving a little back as there are three memorable hills here with plenty of headwind. Joe and I continue to work together.

    Mile 12: 6:54\1:18:08
    We get passed by three, appears two were picked up by a strong master. This makes it interesting as I have finished ahead of this master in the years past; he is a very strong and consistent racer.

    20K 1:21:00
    We gave up a minute due to the wind and hills.

    Mile 13: 6:36\1:24:44
    We continue to push wind the course is rolling turning flat. This is a nice relief from the last battle.

    Half Marathon 1:25
    We hit this and I think that running negative splits is going to be tough.

    Mile 14: 6:32\1:31:16
    Joe asks to tuck in behind. What’s that, ask? Such courtesy, I feel like I am running with a British Harrier. I reply with no problem as I squeeze a little more gel in to try and hold my part. The course turns rolling and Joe fades back. That’s a shame; he really supported a good consistent pace, now I was on my own.

    Mile 15: 6:40\1:37:57
    Pass the relay and start to look for my bride. There she was with much needed water and a packet of Jelly Bellys. It was great to see her and our boy. They had taken Gifford to Brick Kiln, a six mile run to meet me. Our scheduled time was 1:37:30; later she told me I was off by 20 seconds and didn’t look good.

    25K 1:41:40
    I was surprised of another loss of 40 seconds.

    Mile 16: 6:48\1:44:45
    I grabbed the much needed water bottle from my wife and took in a good twelve ounces. Time was slower, indicative of my water station transitions on this race. This is something to work on in the future. I have always thought it was a trivial matter, but it’s not.

    Mile 17: 6:33\1:51:19
    Back on track. Water does the body good! Rolling hills and wind through here. A big mental boost was passing a highly ranked NE Runner from NY, Mike (3:22:12). Pacing is off the pack of three from earlier that has split with the master leading the two as they continue to work.

    Mile 18: 6:48\1:58:08
    Wind and hills, I made a decision last mile to not let any runners take me from here on. I am starting to build confidence but the wind and hills keep coming, uggh.

    20K 2:02:55?
    I gave up some more time and it’s getting harder to focus on the 5K splits.

    Mile 19: 6:51\2:04:59
    I pass the master(2:57:54 actually a senior) as he was slowing. Each runner you come up on isn’t necessarily someone to pace with. I crested one hill and it felt like all forward motion stopped from the headwind that kept me running in place. Where is Joe when I need him?

    Mile 20: 6:44\2:11:43
    That is got to be the toughest hill on the course. A very hard one as it comes in two stages late in the race. I grabbed a gel from a volunteer. The package was new to me and it had an interesting tingly feeling on your tongue with a citrus flavor. Later I try another one. The race “officially” begins here.

    Mile 21 and 22: 13:36\2:25:20
    Spotted the “hot shot” master that surged from earlier, John. He was well ahead but slowly coming back to me. The course is rolling as it takes you through Woods Hole.

    Mile 23: 6:42\2:32:03
    I decide to pass John rather than pace with him as were coming off the uphill from Nobska Lighthouse. Vineyard Sound is in full sight and it is gorgeous. Most of the course from here on is along Surf Drive. Another runner, George 2:52:41)comes up and passes me and I say “hey, way to go”. I draw that imaginary line to have him pull me along. He offers encouragement of “only 5K to go” to other runners that we are passing.

    We pass the hill with the Elvis water station. Thankfully, as I believe this was the last hill of the race and it’s a flat ride here on in. I have had enough hills!

    Mile 24: 6:33\2:38:36
    Cruising along feeling good, it’s a tailwind!

    Mile 25: 6:08\2:44:45
    This is very cool as I hang onto this runner about ten yards ahead of me. We cross a flooded section that is deep up enough to get your socks wet. We passed a number of runners along here that I recognize from the earlier pack. I love running with a tail wind at mile 25 it was faster than what I wanted to go but gauging what I had left it was working.

    Mile 26: missed the split (last 1.2M=7:43\6:25 pace)
    We turn off the beach and start heading for town. Mentally I am thinking there is only a mile to go and start to draw confidence from my track repeats. This is all flat running and the gap is closing on my pacer. A gentleman on the side of the road calls out “number 31, number 32”. Are these marathoners, relay runner numbers? I power past my pacer before the turn from Walker to Main Street.

    Finish: Unofficial 2:52:28, average pace 6:35
    Once on Main Street the finish line and cheering crowd is just ahead. I don’t hear any footsteps and my Wife is somewhere yelling to pick it up as there is another runner there. I dodge the photographer in the street and coast across the line. Then I noticed the chip mat was positioned another ten feet away.

    So, the start chip line mat was behind me in the beginning and after the finish line. This is a little deceiving to me and not quite understood. I eased up at the finish and it may have cost me a few seconds. A few seconds that I believe would have beaten my Master PR from May.

    I hear Joe’s name being called as I was chumming it up with my pacer. I hope he got his three hour break. He did.

    For me, it’s a rush off to the gym to use the facilities and a quick massage. We quickly turn that around and make the two hour drive home in time to get our future sprinter dressed up in his monkey costume. At last, a cool down, walking the little one in a traditional neighborhood parade led by a local fire truck.

    I didn’t achieve any of the goals; which is slightly disheartening. This will only provide fuel for further, smarter, faster training.

    In retrospect, given my training with injury\illness, barely 60 mile week average, hills and wind I ran decent. Fair is fair and lessons are learned in every marathon. It’s the experience that will bring on faster times for this master.

    I give plenty of thanks to my Wife for her enduring support and encouragement. Also, thanks to friends, family and fellow running bloggers. CCM you did a wonderful job putting on this race and I hope to be back to run another year.