Running

Countdown begins

 

Time to start tracking this whole thing again. Winter was pretty slow. Started doing the gym. Wish I had more to report but there just wasn’t anything exciting going on.

This week was first week after having a cold. I got most of my runs in and got to the gym three times.

Trails are finally clear and a lot drier than expected. I wore my Sportiva’s tonight and punched through some thick mud a few times. Workout was a 6 miler with 4 X 60 sec
hill repeats thrown in for fun. Legs were heavy but I picked it up after the repeats. I can’t wear the sportiva’s anymore this year. Ripping my feet apart. I love them but
I’ll just suffer with wet feet moving forward. Need to order a few pairs of N2’s for the first half of the summer. I’ll get more later in the summer and hope to go into the
hundred with at least two semi fresh pairs.

Workouts were strong this week. Shoulder is a little tweaked after yesterdays power pyramid workout. We started with two min of pullups. That’s always fun.

It was nice to get on sketchy today. I’m pretty lucky to have that thing right out my door. Food intake wasn’t as much as I was supposed to eat today. I’ll need to make up
for it tomorrow and Sunday. I have 16 miles scheduled for tomorrow. Going to try and hit all three peaks at pawtuck tomorrow.

Daily workout: Sketchy Trail Hill Repeats

6.3mi Distance
1:01:06 Moving Time
9:34/mi Pace
Elevation 428ft
Calories970
Elapsed Time 1:07:13

Food:

Breakfast – Works bagel with Ham and Cheese / coffee
Lunch – Salami/ ham/ cheese on pita- Lime corn chips – seltzer – 1 cup almonds 1 cup peanut M&M
dinner – Lentil-Crusted Salmon with Spinach-Yogurt Dal & Apricot Chutney – 1 Beer – 1 seltzer
Snack – 85% chocolate with Peanut butter

Short on calories today.

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Guess it’s about that time

For the five or six awesome readers I have out there.  I apologize.  I realize I posted all summer leading up to the Vermont 50 and then..nothing.

So let’s just keep it simple..Most of you know I finished.  It was an amazing experience made even more so by being with a fantastic group of people.  It will be something I will never forget ..and to be honest remember..So much of it was a blur.

Ok now that the apology is over time to buckle down and get ready for the up coming season.  Two goals this year.  First –  going to get pottymouth to her first Ultra finish.  Right now the sights are on the Pineland 50K at the end of May.  Training begins in earnest Jan 6th.  Second-  Need to get my volunteer hours in for the VT100.  I qualified with a sub 12 hour finish at the 50 so I should be all set to get into the Vt100 in 2015.

Two other minor goals.  Run the 32 mile Pemi-loop in the WMNF  and run up Loon again.  Other than that it’s really about just enjoying being out doors this year.  My wife is going to be competing in a road 10k and her first 10k trail race the pineland weekend.  Super excited to help her get there.  I’m going to be working on setting up two weekly workouts and she will be joining a running group.  Just picked her up a new set of snowshoes so we will be doing lots of snowshoeing around the hood.  She is playing hockey several times a week so she already has a good base so I know she will make strides.

I’m sort of coaching and helping Heather with a training plan also.  It should be interesting to see how this works out.  I think I’m more of an accountability coach than a running coach.  Key is keeping her focused on the goal, making sure she is keeping up with the work and keeping healthy.  Piece of cake….

Steve is going to help with some of the home work out routines.  I plan on adding more weight workouts , at least two a week for myself.  I might even join a gym (GASP) – Crossfit will continue to be tuesday nights – body weight/dumbell workouts another night and I might want to add a third day.  We’ll see.  Going to wait until February to decide.

I’m trying to keep track of my caloric intake this time.  Going to push to keep weight on and add a few pounds of muscle.

That being said..should be hearing a lot more from me.  It’s been a nice break from it all but time to start focusing on the up coming year, setting my goals, setting the routines and having fun.

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I’m a lousy blogger

I need to update more…right now everything is all about Vermont.  This weekend is another short run weekend (20 Miles total)  I have new shoes I’m trying to break in.  Next weekend is the big 20/20.  Still trying to find some routes to do.

After that I will be tapering down and focusing on Kismet and then the following weekend my first ultra.  I won’t lie.  50 miles seems impossible right now.  I think if I get this second pair of shoes broken in and get a few pairs of new socks I will be all set.

I’m starting to feel the effects of all the running…developed a plantar issue just in time for the big run but I don’t think it will impact me.  I need to improve my rolling and really start doing the yoga twice a week.

I’m increasing food intake into the silly realm now.  Keeping steady and actually gaining a tiny bit of weight.

My blood work came back from the doctors and it was fantastic.  Now to just eat more , it’s getting pricey but whatever..it’s just money..

 

 

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Stillness and silence

Lately things seem overwhelming. Things around me seem to be happening at a feverish pace and there is the constant sound of a jet engine in my ears day and night. April seemed to drag on forever and then May hit and I can’t remember June or even July. Someone hit the fast forward button on me when I left the room to take a piss. I struggle to cram more into my schedule everyday and it somehow makes the time go by faster. Speeding up, out of control, no way to get off at the next stop and take a break from it. Moments of clarity sometimes break through and threaten to silence the chaos around me. I keep trying to discover these moments and grab a hold of them when they do appear.

Being on a mountain top and watching a rain cloud pass through the valley below me. Taking a minute to soak my hat in a stream, feeling time come to a crawl as the cold water freezes the nerve endings on the surface of my skin. I feel nothing but the cold relief and thoughts slip away…the noise lessons..the jet engines get shut off.

The dampness in the woods sat like a blanket over the trees. I watched as Heather disappeared way ahead of the group, I watched as Steve soon disappeared ahead on the trail. Katie and I stopped at an overlook and stared at the curve of the mountains before us. We just took the view in. No words are usually needed when confronted with the truth of our selves in this world. Alone, or not, we are so small. Up there, even with a breeze, the world around you seems frozen in time. A large painting that slowly changes if you stare long enough.

A lazy sunday afternoon in the summer. Morning spent watching the gold finches fight over the seeds. The chipmunk that stands below enjoying the fruit of the fight taking place above him. The absence of traffic and people, the sound of the cicada ushering in the heat of the afternoon. Placing the harness on the dog, you step outside to feel the warmth of the sun, the humidity hanging in the air. Invisible fog, heat radiating off of the front walkway. You walk down the road and you realize you are the only people around. Yards, green with thick grass and shade, stand empty. Toys left abandoned in the driveways and sandboxes. You wonder where people are. You don’t miss them. You are thankful for the silence. You hear nothing, it’s as if a switch was thrown, and you were granted peace and serenity for the rest of your day. I am thankful, thankful that the roar of the jet engine is silent for a few moments. I can almost imagine what the world was once like before we created this circus that we are all part of. Simpler times, simpler pleasures.

The soft landing of my feet on the forest floor, my breathing controlled and almost silent. It becomes a form of meditation. I can pick out the different smells of the forest and time slows, my mind quiets down, the feel of my pulse , the sound of my heart fills my head and I am brought into a moment of stillness, even while my body continues to move. I stare at the trees, the birds, the rocks. I can see the painting now that surrounds me and I enjoy the silence.

I’m starting to realize changes that need to be made, time to disconnect more. I’m in it too much now. The more time I spend out in the woods the more I realize how unbalanced things are. The news, the tv shows, the ugliness of everyday life.

I don’t need it.

I’ll be running more, hiking more, taking a book and sitting by a lake, enjoying silence and being still. Time is too short to be so caught up in the chaos of everyday life that you forget all of the good simple things that surround you.

I don’t want to wake up one day and wonder where all my time went. When I stare at the wrinkles that will eventually form I want them to tell the story of who I am, where I was, and what I did. I want the memories of the moments of silence and stillness to fill my head, my dreams. I don’t want to dwell on what could have been or what I should have done…

That is just the chaos speaking, and I want it silent.

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I just ran a swim race….

Tonight was the first race of the inaugural  Harmony Hill trail series and the weather has been pretty damn crazy the past few days.  Hot- super high humidity.  Today was a little cooler and lots of rain.  I’m still suffering from Chipoltes revenge, Steve’s crossfit and whatever else you want to throw in there.  I left work early because I wasn’t getting anything done and felt like a truck had rolled over me.  I got home and fell asleep for 3 hours. I don’t think I moved.  I wasn’t sure I was going to make the race but I somehow found the strength to get up.  I stumbled around the house trying to decide what to do.  Heather sent a message telling me to get the fuck up and get dressed.  Fine.

Lise came home and asked how I was doing and if I planned on running.  I felt better so I figured what the hell.  I told pottymouth to come pick me up.  Amanda (Who is waaaay cooler than pottymouth) was coming along too.  She just started running this year and just finished a beginner 5k group.  She also started running at a local park and really likes running on the trails.  We figure she is a prime candidate for the cult.  She did great tonight and says she’ll come back for more so I think we have a new convert.  It will be nice to have someone cooler than Heather around.  (Right now I’m guessing Heather is saying things like “Fucker”  “asshole” etc etc)

The race is being organized and run by a local runner Kristina Folcik.  Kristina has been doing some big ultra’s lately and just won the Women’s Overall at the Cayuga 50 in New York.  Her boyfriend Ryan is a hell of a runner also.  Finishing in the top 10 at 50 milers.  It’s pretty cool to have some them sort of in the same running circles.  I might have a chance to run with them this saturday as prep for the Bear Brook Marathon in July.  Ryan and Kristina are co-directing the race.

There were about 50 people there and they gave some instructions and then they  said go!  I wasn’t where I wanted to be but with such a small field it was easy to zip up to the front.  I settled in about 12 th place  (I’m kind of guessing…I forgot to start my watch and they won’t post results until friday.  I could have been further back not sure.  The run starts in a big hay field and all the rain made the grass heavy and hot.  I was watching the lead runner pull away and looked at my watch and I was running a mid 5…and they were pulling away.  Needless to say I didn’t keep that pace.  Once we got in the woods I knew the trail really well. I run this course partly at least once a week.  I was able to overtake one runner entering the woods and then settled in trying to recover my heart rate and breathing.

It was all for not. The humidity was too much and I couldn’t slow my heart rate or breathing without slowing down so I just decided to suffer.  I kept pace with the guy in front of me for a good portion of the race.  My legs were beat though and I heard someone catching me.  I thought it was the guy I passed but it was someone else.   I tried to keep up the pace but I knew the last mile was all uphill so I let him go and just settled in for the grind.  I knew I had at least a minute on anyone behind me so I ran the best I could until the finish.  The water in the air was so thick…I wish I had gills..it was that bad.  It really did feel like I went for a swim.

It was a lot of fun.  The course is a nice 3.5 miles and everyone did great considering the conditions.  Looking forward to how much I can improve over the rest of the races.

More hill work is in my future.

 

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Exeter 10K Trail race- Lessons in humility

This weekend I participated in Acidotic racings 10k Exeter trail race.  Originally it was going to be a few of us but due to injuries and schedules Katie and I are were the only two going.  At some point on Saturday I decided I was going to actually race and see how well I could do among the crazy elite runners that were going to be there.   It was about this point everything went downhill.  I guess I made the mental decision to go fast but I did NOTHING and I mean NOTHING to prepare to go fast.  I did everything wrong and I know better.  I was pretty upset with myself after the race, but I need to chalk it up to making that one mistake..not taking it serious.

At first it’s easy for me to dismiss this as a mistake but having chewed on it I need to own up to what it could represent which is self sabotaging my attempt at the longer distances.  I know better , and I know me too well.  To be honest it’s not like my time was bad or I was slow, it was the execution of the event and my thought process during it that was all wrong. I did the opposite of everything I preach.  I’m disappointed in myself and know I have to make up for it.  I want to know that when I say I am going to do my best , that I truly do exactly that.  I don’t want to look in the mirror and know inside that I could have done better.

Now for the details…if anyone cares feel free to read on.  Some of it may not seem like a big deal but to me some of this is.

1.  Pre-pack- have my shoes and socks picked out, I don’t want to be scrambling in the morning.   (Grade  F)  I didn’t pack shit.

2.  Know what I am going to carry for food/drink and have a plan.  (Grade  D)  I knew I was going to carry tailwind but no idea how much

3. Get plenty of sleep. Get up early.  Eat a good breakfast – get fuel in me.  (Grade C)  got sleep, had my shake but didn’t eat more which I should have.

4. Get to race early -r register  (Grade A)  Thanks to Heather I am now one of those eager beavers

5. Pee even if its close to start…(Grade F)  I held it..sucked…had to stop and put on a show

6. Start up front with faster racers  (Grade FFFF—–) I was almost last person into the woods…bottleneck…walked first half mile because we were so bunched together.  Then had to try and pass on really skinny trails and just took way too much effort.

7. Tech mistakes – wore my hr monitor…forgot to shut off the audible HR zone alert.  My hr spiked to 169 and kept bouncing so every time I passed someone I sounded like an ambulance WWEEEEWOOOWEEWOO.  I kept apologizing saying it was my watch telling me I was about to have a heart attack.

8. Keep up fast pace, pass when you catch people.  (grade C)  I kept pacing people..worrying I wouldn’t be able to keep a pace to pull away.  Every time I glanced at my watch I saw I was running too slow.  I think my problem was I kept listening to my watch telling me my heart rate was too high but IT WAS A RACE, that alarm is for training…GAH  Stupid…

I ended up ripping my hear rate monitor off 3/4 of the way through..I caught up with a local runner I knew and paced her for awhile..the trail got super technical and I had nothing left..mentally I had fried myself.  Jen let me pass with about 1 mile left and I put the hammer down and finished the last mile with a really fast pace, passed 5 more people and then went to the corner to sulk.

I knew I could have done a better job at race management..how much better I would have placed…no idea..wouldn’t have made much difference in the scheme of things.  The top racer finished the 10 miles in 64 min.  That’s insane for the crazy rocky terrain so I have know I am not in the running for any prizes.  It’s the personal failure that I’m trying to wrap my head around.

Next event is the start of a local trail series but I am not going to run the first few too fast.  I want to get a feel for the people and atmosphere.  My next race that I want to walk away from knowing I put it all out there is the Loon Mountain race.  5.7 miles up.  I have this stupid idea that I can run upper walking boss (40%) grade but regardless I just want to put forth 100% of me.  July 7th.

 

Here is my training peaks summary for the race.

Race Summary

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Dear Jimmy-

Serious case of the potty mouth…You have been warned…

 

I have been reading a bit from the running sites I follow about Jimmy Kimmel’s show where he was poking fun at runners and how much they boast.  I find this ironic coming from a show that makes you watch the same fucking commercials over and over again.  Forcing me to see shit I have no interest in ..day in and day out. FUCKING ironic that this is coming from an industry that does everything it can to force you to watch and buy shitty stuff that they think you should want.  Yea ..Fuck you Jimmy.

Thing is I’m not even angry.  In fact I laughed, because he is 100% right.  Social Media is a sewer (a sea?) of useless information.  There was a time that I used to get upset about some stuff I saw on facebook.  I soon realized it was like screaming into a hurricane.

Here is the deal…I like to be active.  I’ve played hockey and baseball since I was kid.  I ski, I snowboard, I hike and I snowshoe.  I used to ride horses, play basketball and go to the gym. I even used to race mountain bikes and dirt bikes. Now,  I’ve learned to run, and now I love to run.  It frees me from life’s everyday challenges.  It allows me to challenge myself on my own terms, it allows me to go into the woods and move along in the world fully in control, me at the wheel.  It makes me tired, it makes me sweat and it brings me a peace and sense of accomplishment I don’t get in other parts of my life.  It’s what I do now.  I love it.

So what if I post about something I love?  If you aren’t interested I don’t know..maybe don’t fucking read it?

I try to picture Jimmy sitting there on his face book feed saying.. “Jesus fucking christ Tony..I don’t care if you ran 10 miles today ..oh and look here you are again..you ran 13!  What you only did 5 today? AGHHHHH”    Is that what people really do?  Is that why they are so annoyed?

Sorry- maybe I should just do what everyone else seems to do.   I’ll rant about how the goverment/god/worldiscomingtoafuckingendweareallgoingtodie.   I’ll tell the world how shitty of a day I had and how people annoyed me all day.  ( I used to do this)

I really wonder what the animosity is towards runners.  I don’t know…I have no desire to try to understand it right now.  Maybe I’ll write about it more later.  Probably not.

I realize re-reading this that I am ranting, and doing everything I complain about above.  The difference here is that YOU reader came here and seeked this out.  This is the space I feel free to do all those annoying things knowing full well that you want to be here.  Coming along this far and hating it is like opening the fridge and smelling sour milk..instead of closing the fridge you start drinking the milk anyways.

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Day 5

You would think I would have come up with a better naming scheme by now.  I mean it’s been five days right?

Today was our planned run/hike of Mount Major . Started the morning with some coffee, 3 eggs, avocado, salmon, parsley, a cup of my green drink.  Felt good, got warmed up waiting for the crew to show up.

Weather was low 30’s but a strong wind.  Got to the base of mount major and we started freezing our asses off.  We all had our speedcross 3 running shoes with yak trax and looked like uberdork’s .  Bill went all New Hampshire legit on us by making his own gaiters out of old wool socks.  He was off the hook for looking like a dork.  Heather wins the award for matchng top and sneakers.  I need to create a new award the needs to be worn and earned every run for the overachiever.

We bundled heavily and thought we were going to be stripping down in no time , surprisingly only thing that changed out all day were gloves.  We took the northern trail and it imeddiately headed up so we did the first .5 mile or so at a quick hiking pace.  After continuing west on the brook trail it flattened out a bit and we started off at a nice running pace for a bit.   There were several water crossings and things got steep as we got near the top.   The wind was relentless and I was cool for most of the trip.  We broke out of the trees and got our first view of the lake.

mtmajor1

We took a few pictures and shuffled quickly to the summit.  I was keeping an eye out for the beaver brook trail but we were never able to find it on the way up.  Pretty sure no one has travelled it yet.  We found it on our way back or at least what we thought was it and there were no tracks so we figured it was safest to head back down the way we came up.  When we go to the top the wind chill was too much for me to take pictures and we dove into the old house that was built up there and found a few other hikers taking shelter in there also.  We had a good time chatting and eating our snacks.  I think the folks in there were a bit disturbed as we kept joking about how we were going to leave Bill’s body up on the mountain because he came less prepared than Heather.  Actually, The only hiker more prepared than Heather was the guy carrying a 60lb pack.  I think she was pissed that he had more gear than her.

billmajor

Bill trying to convince us he was worth saving.

Someone just ate her baby food!

Someone just ate her baby food!

Amazing Day, clear, but very windy.

Amazing Day, clear, but very windy.

We headed out a little cold so we started off at a brisk trot.  Heather started to take off as she learned the joys of running downhill in the snow.  Something really fun about it.  We took a few breaks, mostly to make Heather and Meggan laugh in hopes of making their bladders explode.  Trail conditions were fantastic and the sneakers and Yak’s were great.

major trail

We got to the parking lot and took a few post run shots and headed off to Dunkin Donuts to get some coffee.  We decided to stop at Johnsons for food after we found Bill in the car trying to eat the steering wheel.

Great day .  I was thinking of another short run but decided to sit on my butt.  Tomorrow is snowshoeing.  Legs feel great, ready to go for more.

Run stats

http://app.strava.com/runs/36017689/embed/fa3c6be66000dceba7ca4568dc8e78d68435f36f

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