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Downtown Temple,NH

Sunday, March 30, 2008

1st 40+ Mile Week in 2 Years!

I went for a nice long run on Sunday (12 miles), averaging just under 8 min/mile pace. Very easy effort, no pains and generally felt really good. Even my heart rate was surprisingly low (132). All in all it was a really good training week, racking up 41 miles for the first time in over 2 years.

I have a non-traditional approach to training: I don't really pre-plan any runs. For example, I don't do tempo runs every Tuesday or long runs every Sunday. I do have a rough goal to get in 2 quality runs per week plus a long run but I don't tie myself to any particular days. All my running is based on how I feel a particular day and what type of training I did the previous day. I won't do back to back hard days, for instance. I do tend to do my long runs on weekends though, mostly for convenience sake.

I've been doing my quality workouts (tempo runs, hill repeats) at the gym on the treadmill. Although I've never been a big fan of the treadmill, I started using it more over the last year as a way to reduce the pounding on my legs/knees. I then started using the training programs provided and found it a much easier way to run fast or hard at a constant speed or effort.

Today is a rest day. I have my 1st race of the year on Sunday (1/2 marathon) so I plan to have a fairly easy week of running. I'll probably do a nice tempo run about mid week and a few easy days of running in between.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Tempo Run and 5" of Snow

The bad news: we got 5" of snow today (March 28th). Although I had a great winter snowshoeing, I really really really want to move on. When the heck will this stuff go away?

The good news: I had a nice tempo run in the gym this morning on the treadmill. After a 5 min easy warm up, I did 20 minutes at about 6:25 pace. HR was around 170. It felt really good though, comfortably hard, just like it should. I finished up with 5 minute cool down. I'm feeling much better about my speed, at least for shorter distances. Not sure how it will translate into 1/2 marathon speed, but I'll find out next weekend.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Horse Hill Nature Preserve

Tried going for a run in HHNP yesterday. This is a nice (but wet) 550+ acre plot of land in Merrimack. They've done some nice work laying out (and marking) trails, although it could use a few more. It was a very popular place during the winter with excellent snowshoeing.
I started at the Amherst St parking area and followed the Loop Trail for about 2 miles. 95% of the trail is still snow/ice covered. The other 5% is wet (and cold). The snow wasn't too bad to run on although it was a little soft so it was slow going. Decided to cut over to the Queens Way parking lot and run back via the roads (Peasley to Amherst St). Round trip was probably around 5 miles.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

1st Race of the Year - April 6th 2008

Signed up for the Great Bay 1/2 Marathon today. Race is on April 6th in Newmarket, NH. I checked with a couple friends who ran it last year and they generally liked the race so I'll give it a go. I wish I had a better feeling about my conditioning, especially over long distance. My long run to date has only been 10.5 miles but I've run several runs over 1+hrs.
I did a lot of snowshoe running over the winter along with 4 races so I'd hope my conditioning was decent. I'd probably be better off running a 5k since I probably have decent speed, but I HATE 5k's. I think the hardest part of running a 1/2 marathon at this point is trying to figure out what pace to run at. I know where I'd 'like' to be (around 6:30's) but I don't realistically think I'm there yet. I've only been over 30 miles in a week once all year (I think). I may try for 6:45's to start and see how it feels for a few miles and take it from there.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Mine Falls Park Ice Out

I've been running in Mine Falls for several weeks now. Mostly I've been running the 5 mile trail race course used by GCS during the summer trail series. Each time I go out the trails get a little better. A few weeks back I'd say about 80% was either pure ice or at least snow covered. Now it's down to about 10-20% ice and snow covered, a very doable trail run. I brought my camera along this time and stopped a few times to take some pics.

Gate House entrance to Mine Falls.

Main trail along the canal on Mill Pond coming in from Stello's Stadium. Most of the trail from the Gate House down to the 1st canal bridge is still snow covered.

Single track just east of RT3 which runs along the fence, down to the Nashua River. The river trail was in decent shape and most is easily runnable. The snow is gone in most spots with just a couple areas of snow which can easily be avoided.

River trail along the Nashua River on the north side of the park. One of the few areas along the river trail that is still snow covered.

Looking east from the Wipple St bridge. Trail appears to be clear although I haven't run the entire loop yet.

Events in March/April

Ok, so I want to be a trail runner but....
My all time favorite race distance is the 1/2 marathon. So with that in mind my planned race schedule for the next few weeks is as follows:

April 6th - Great Bay 1/2 Marathon Newmarket, NH. This will be my 1st time running this one. Looks like a decent course but I may ask some friends who ran it last year to comment on it.
April 12th - Xterra Merrimack River 10 mile Trail Race - Andover, MA. Haven't decided on this one yet, I have another race scheduled for the following day. I don't think I want back to back race days so I need to decide on one.
April 13th - Nashua Soup Kitchen 10k - Nashua NH. This race is a club race, part of the New Hampshire Grand Prix series.
April 20th - Xterra Muddy Moose Xduro 14 mile Trail Race - Wolfeboro, NH.

Welcome to my blog

And away we go!
This blog is about what interests me. If you find it interesting...great! If not, no big deal, my feelings won't be hurt. I'm doing it for me, not you (no offense intended). It's sort of like running therapy. I had a tough running year in 2007, struggling through knee surgery in January, a blood clot shortly there after, another knee surgery 3 months later and discovering I had a blood disorder which put me on blood thinners for life. Trust me I'm not complaining, things could have been much worse. It was a disappointing year and I want to come back faster and stronger than ever. I hope to write about the things I do related to the sport I love...running. Sometimes I may deviate from the topic of running and head down some tangent if something is on my mind. Mostly though it will be about running, and specifically my running.
I hope to share info on my training, my favorite races (or least favorite), places to run, my injuries (hopefully not much to talk about) and maybe products I've tried and liked (or maybe not).
Welcome 2008!