I know that I’m really hitting that spot in blogging when I’m not feeling that there’s anything to really pipe up about. I would love to have fresh ideas every morning, but sometimes there just ain’t much to jabber on about. Yesterday however, I had a fantastic run with my buddy John, We did a long out and back on a local rail trail. 7 miles up, 7 miles back. The whole run was enjoyable, including the sights and weather. We did a 12 miler back a month or so along the same trail, just not as far up. It’s crazy, but in just the extra mile we extended up the trail, we saw parts of our “back yard” neither one of us had been to before. I wanted to take some pictures, but it just didn’t feel right. I’m definitely going back up there with the DSLR to crack some shots, but I’d like to do it on a hike, when I don’t mind taking the time to relax for a minute or ten. Overall, great conversations, great miles, great weather and a new feeling that I haven’t explored all there is around here. (note, I’ve stopped linking my daily runs since I added the Strava widget to the right.)
Now on to the other hogwash. First, I haven’t written much about it here, but I’m super deep into pc gaming and have been for a long while now. It doesn’t stop there though, I’ve also played World of Warcraft for nearly 9 years and always get excited when they have there near annual convention in Anaheim, California. It was a blast following the attendees blogs and tweets over the weekend. This is definitely a “bucket list” event. The new expansion for the game is released this Thursday, and I’m giddy like a drunk donkey waiting to get my hands on it.
MORE hogwash. When I found Ethan Newberry’s Ginger Runner and began devouring all of his old live shows, I also came across a couple of other cats that are also making running movies. One of those runners is Billy Yang. Besides being a tremendous ultra runner himself, he’s made some fantastic films. His film “Sky High Flag: the Town | the People | the Race” about the running community in Flagstaff, Arizona and the Flagstaff Skyrace was superb. Well, we all knew he was working on a film that follows Sally McRae during her Western States 100 race. The trailer for the film has been on Billy’s YouTube page since July and I’ve been waiting for the final product. WELL, WELL, WELL… What did I see this morning in my feedly? Why it’s a review of the film by iRunFar.com. I was so stoked thinking that we were getting close to a release date. Up until this morning, I thought that Billy was only doing local premiers for the film and that being out here in New Hampshire, I’d have to wait even longer to see the final product. What’s this I read? Going live on his YouTube channel Tuesday, November 11? OUTSTANDING! I’m so excited to watch this movie and hope that you all head over there and check out his other films.
This morning’s little 3 miler went real well, I was able to keep my pace down at 8:55 which is right where I wanted it for today. I’ll try to keep that pace tomorrow for the long run. I’m thinking about just squeezing some bananas into some baggies and using those as fuel, but then again, I might shoot down to the store and buy a couple packs of Gu. I’m still trying to figure out the water situation, I’ll work on that tonight. Here’s the route I’m going to attempt tomorrow:
There’s some decent hills, but nothing too worrisome. I had looked at a route that takes an old railway trail all the way to the Connecticut River that I will most definitely run sometime, but it is almost all in the woods, and since I haven’t run this distance before, I didn’t want to be out in the woods somewhere if something went sideways. Besides that thought and the fueling, I don’t really think there’s much more to do. Just have a good dinner and not get drunk tonight. That and a good breakfast. I’m excited for this, I’ve run all of tomorrow’s route before except the middle climb, which is an extension of a trail system I run regularly, so I know where I’ll be and what’s coming up. Looking forward to taking some pictures and having a new experience.
I’ve been looking forward to this morning’s run for the last 2 weeks. I did that surprise race with my sister last Saturday, so I didn’t get my 6 miler in. Today was back up to 7 and I was really looking to cut some time off of my last 7, which I did in 1:03:07 at an 8:57 min/mile pace. Today the weather was amazing, I brought a little snack for mid run and didn’t imbibe last night. I also tried out a new route that took me along an old train track and into the next town over. Something cool about running out of your town and back, mentally satisfying. I decided that I would try refueling during my run today. I cut a homemade energy bar that the wife made from my Runners World Cookbook (which rocks, by the way) in half and stuck it into a baggy and tossed that into my FlipBelt. I know 7 miles isn’t all that far, but I remembered that by the end of my last 7 miler, I was pretty woozy and felt a little more wobbly than I would like. all saddled up, headphones synced, Garmin Connect Live Tracking not working again… and out the door.
My route took me downtown and through the college where I was to hit the trail and continue for 5 miles or so. When I got to the college I quickly realized that I hadn’t been back there in a while and there were some newer buildings and I had to double back and find the path I was looking for. No big deal, I kept moving and finally hit the path. When I looked up the route last night on Garmin Connect, I didn’t notice an incline, but on the way out there was a slight one that lasted almost entirely to the turnaround. It wasn’t that shitty and I kept thinking that it would be real nice on miles 6 and 7 running downhill, and it was. The only problem I had was eating that damn energy bar. I had no idea how difficult it would be to eat while running. I dropped half of it immediately after opening it. “Well, fuck. Whatever.” I was able to get the rest down, but it took me 3-4 bites and swallows. When I start upping my longer runs this fall, I’m going to have to look into gels and gu and all that jazz.
I planned on doubling back to about the college and meet my wife and daughter at the gym so I could grab the car and the wife could hit her spin class. Timing was perfect, I got in a little 3/4 mile walk after the run and felt strong and cool by the time I got to the gym. I also band-aided the nips this morning. It was a nice, cool morning and after I was finished with my run and walking to the gym, I was really glad I tucked those fuckers away.
I was able to shave off 2.5 minutes and bring my pace down to 8:34 min/mile. The run today capped a solid week for me. Besides this pig-fucker of a herniated disc in my back, I feel amazing and ready for my last week of training leading up to my race next Sunday. I have a 45 minute recovery run tomorrow and then some 2 and 3 mile runs before taking Friday and Saturday off. I’m getting nervous and excited and can’t wait to get out there. Such a weird feeling competing against yourself.
Saturday Long Run
I kind of thought this week’s long run might be a tad slower, and I was right. I had the week off, and didn’t really keep up with the healthy eatin’ or limiting the beer intake. It was friggin vacation and I’m not training for a team. I know that all sounds like excuses, and maybe they are, I don’t know. I do know that I ran 7 miles today, which is a personal record for me. I also now know that I can run the distance needed to complete a 10K, and that really excites me. I’ve also been taking the week to help my brother-in-law put up a new fence. I’ve been running for a few months now, but the constant hunching over and ax swinging (this is New England, land of a thousand roots) has taken a good smack on my back and hammies. I know, I know, more excuses.
My pace wasn’t terrible. I did have a little problem feeling like I was running faster than I actually was running, and think that has a bit to do with my diet this week. My legs didn’t quite have the quickness that I thought I was putting out. Next week my long run is only 6 miles, followed by another 7 miler. I’m really looking forward to improving my time over the next 2 weeks.