Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Inov-8 310s in search of Mr. Right

Hi, my name is Flyroc and I’m looking for a new owner.  My current Master purchased me at the Merrimack River Trail Race and one week later took me on a 10 mile jaunt in Blue Hills Reservation. It’s the only time I was able to run wild since April. Although he told me he was very pleased with my performance, he said my low heel caused pain to his plantar fascia. I told him to stop being a candy-ass sissy-boy and to man up. He responded by tying me up and stuffing me into a dark, cramped cardboard box. I haven’t seen the light of day in four months. I really need to feel the earth beneath my endurance rubber soles and the wind through my breathable mess uppers. Won’t you please help me?

I am extremely loyal and require very little care. I do not need to be watered or fed and only need an occasion bath when I become so stinky that your significant other will make me sleep out on the back porch. I will protect you from all harm (below the ankle) and will bring you hours of freedom and joy. I am most happy when running over gnarly roots, ridiculous rocks, wading through water and muddling in mud. Sorry, I do not enjoy long walks on the beach, unless maybe it’s at the Cape Cod Frozen Fat Ass. In that case, you better be moving faster than a walk or you’ll freeze off more that your ass.

If interested in a mutually satisfying, long-term (as in 400-500 miles) relationship, please contact me here.

PS If you're one that believes size matters, then I'm a size 10.5.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Moose On The Loose Training Run

I haven't had much success trying to run any distance over 5-6 miles on the trails of my usual training grounds.  The constant changes of elevation in Breakheart Reservation takes a toll on my ailing ITB.  I thought the nearly flat trails in Mine Falls Park in Nashua, NH might be the way to go.  I had no plans to race here, just maintain a steady pace and get through 10 miles pain-free, or as close to it as possible.  RunninRob came along for the ride but he ended up being much more than an "also ran."

I'm not sure how this race came to be named "Moose on the Loose Trail Race."  I'm sure there hasn't been a moose sighting in the city of Nashua in quite some time.  I do know, however that this was the best weather I've encountered  in the three times I've come to this race, 70 degrees with some humidity.  My first run here was in the year of the "Monsoon Moose" with four inches of rain falling during the race.  I will say running through all the large puddles and mud created by the rain only added to my enjoyment.

My second run here was not so pleasant as I had the misfortune of running in the year of the "Melting Moose" with 90+ degrees and high humidity.  Moose was also a NH grand prix race that year and it was first time I ever heard a runner in a race yell to others, "Slow runners to the right!" so she could pass without weaving her way through traffic.  Needless to say, I planned to stay to the right this year.

As the race went off I started out slowly an soon found myself just one runner away from DFL. Not that I cared.  I was admiring  the scenery and fantasizing about running through the river we just crossed instead of taking the bridge over it. Shortly after, I ended up in a cluster of chatty Cathys who's conversations were a distraction... to put it politely. After running with them for a half mile or so I determined I would either have to pick up the pace and escape or take my own life.  I chose the former.

The course, which is a 2.5 mile loop run four times, is great if you're looking to run a fast time but can get boring if your just out there on a training run like me. The boredom factor was compounded since I ran the rest of the race on my own. My only contact with other runners was when I passed the ones that went out too fast, and they weren't in a talking mood.  I did get lapped a few times, or passed by the relay runners, it was hard to tell which race people were running.  I just know they were moving way faster than me when they went by. They were talkative though and offered encouragement to me.  I guess I looked worse than I felt.

I ended up having a decent 10 mile run.  Sure I was slow, but not as slow as I thought I would be.  I ran progressively faster "slow" 2.5 splits:
  • 23:18
  • 22:37
  • 22:02
  • 21:57
I felt a little fatigue setting in about one mile from the finish but I expected that.  Most of my runs have been in the 3-5 mile range so this was bit of a push for me.  The good news is no knee pain during or after the race.  That's all I was hoping for. As for RunninRob, he ran a PR and finished second in his age group!  Not a bad day for the north shore boys.

Run safe...

Monday, August 16, 2010

Summer Lost

I can hardly believe summer will soon be coming to an end.  Even though it's not my favorite season (especially for running) I still hate to see it pass.  Speaking of summer running, I haven't done much of it.  My ITB injury is proving to be as stubborn as Garry Harrington's ass (as in burro) and it's healing oh so slowly. In fact, I only ran 110 total miles during the months of May, June and July. I know Vermont 100 finishers Steve and Streph would call 110 miles in 3 months over training but I like to train more for my mental health than physical. August is starting out slightly better but I still have knee pain whenever I run more than 5 or 6 miles.  It's been, and continues to be, a long process but I hope to be fully recovered by the spring of 2011 so I can run a few ultras that interest me.

Not running so much has freed up a fair amount of time to pursue other past times such as camping, hiking, biking, gardening and volunteering at the weekly races in Lynn Woods.  It's also allowed me to check off a few long-standing items on the honey-do list.  Still, the list just seems to grow longer each year.

Base camp at Mt. Desert Narrows

The ocean was about 20 yards from our tent.

The ocean breeze did a good job of keeping the mosquitoes at bay.

Scorpion rock.

Watching the sun set.

We got to witness this every evening.

Off to hike Cadillac Mountain.

Up and away.

Taking a look behind.

But this is where we're heading.

From here these islands look like stepping stones.

Closing in on the summit.

We stopped smiling after we realized we had to hike back down to our car.

Biking on the many miles of fine carriage roads in Arcadia National Park.

These gravel carriage roads are in better condition than most of the roads in Massachusetts.

A tranquil pond.

And rushing water.

Eagle Lake

Taking a break at Eagle Lake.

This is a good place to start your hike around Eagle Lake.

Back home tending to the salvias and celosias.

And impatiens

An osteospermum draped swan.

It's a yellow rose but it ain't from Texas.

Yes, I've been keeping busy but damn, I'd rather be running.
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