Thursday, August 30, 2007

Finally...back to running

My last run...was Saturday. Four straight days with no running. This is probably the longest I have gone without a run since last winter. My life has met the perfect storm in the form of visiting relatives from out of state, huge deadlines at work, planned work day hikes, and preparation for vacation next week. We leave tomorrow night for an 11 hour drive down to VA. We drive at night to let the kids sleep and reduce their anxiety. We did this over Christmas and it worked out really well. I am planning on getting some runs in down there as I packed the jogging stroller and running clothes.

Today I went on moderate run with Ethan at a 7:00 mile pace over a 6.1 mile course. The heat is back which is just as well since I will be running in 90 degrees and humidity next week.

The best news this year came today as my brother, Chris, and sister-in-law, April, welcomed to the world their first daughter, Morgan, and Quinn and Riley's first cousin. We are really looking forward to rolling into VA on Saturday to meet this little girl. Until then.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Attempt at the Bradbury Bruiser 12 Mile Course

Yesterday morning I attempted to run the L.L.Bean Bradbury Bruiser 12 Mile Trail Race course. I first met James Anderson at 6:30 and we ran out to the first loop up the Lanzo trail. This loop is a new section with some wicked narrow trails. These 2.5 miles took roughly 25 minutes and we headed back to meet up with Chuck Hazzard and Blaine Moore at 7 AM. Already I was drenched. The humidity was visibly highlighted by the sun's rays that broke through the tree canopy. As we waited for Chuck and Blaine return from a little jaunt in the woods (they had arrived a little early), Scott Ellis and his friend Rich showed up. Rich was going to do his own thing but Scott joined us.

Everyone decided that they wanted to do the whole course and with this expectation on me as the group leader, I got nervous. I had only been out here once and was led by Ian, so I was barely paying attention. Besides, we did not do the whole course. Luckily Ian has sent me the course map so it should have been as easy as following directions. Before getting too deep into this report I will say that the trails out there are well marked, but the course doesn't follow any course that is already marked out there. I am going to talk to Ian to see about marking the course for anyone that wants to run it beforehand.

So with map in hand we set out. By this time I was soaked from sweat, all the way down to the less than stellar trail shoes I am product testing. The run was going well until Chuck's injury from his Pineland fall a couple weeks back started acting up and he dropped, regrettably, off the back. James, Blaine, Scott and I continued on, stopping at all the trail signs to make sure we were on track. This got increasingly difficult as the deer flies came to life and the sweat in our eyes got thicker. Still, we marched on. It was a blast and we were all enjoying the great trails.

The first and last mistake of the day came at sign post 59 as I was overcome by sweat soaked eyes and completely missed a turn. If you reference the map of the run, this is the bottom most arrow on the left side. Instead of continuing straight through post 59 we should have taken a left. I do remember this section from my run last week with Ian as this was where I took my spill and acquired my bruise. The "O" Trail as it is called is labeled a diamond for most difficult and described by the park as a "very challenging tight trail".

At the end of the run no one was complaining as it was getting late and we were all ready to refill our bottles. All told, James fell and got a nice bloody knee and Scott did a nice baseball style slide down a rock covered descent. Blaine kept his footing despite wearing road shoes as did I. Boy what a week a difference makes! If anyone wants a trail map, let either me or Ian Parlin know. Hopefully we can get some markings such as flags out there to help future runners stay on course. I am on vacation the next couple weekends, so I won't be able to make it out to Bradbury. Hopefully Ian will be there to guide you all successfully!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Anoher quick one

Yesterday's run was another up tempo run alone with Ethan, albeit a bit slower than the previous day's run. Again the weather was perfect and we took advantage of it. We chose to run our old standby course which is the L.L.Bean 10K course, backwards. The first mile of the 6.4 mile run was at a 7:39 warm-up pace, with the next three miles at 7::11, 7:07, and 7:09. Ethan left me at mile 5 to extend his run (he has more forgiving bosses and he runs faster) but I was able to drop the pace over the next couple miles to 7:00 and 6:52 with the last 4/10 of a mile at 6:18. The run, which is typically around 6.1 miles was extended slightly around mile 5.5 as I run through a Freeport cemetery (amazing the names on the headstones in there - it seems like all the major Freeport/Portland family names are there) to enter the woods for a bio break!

It is hard not to take advantage of the great weather that we have been blessed with, although it is not to last as the warmer weather returns today. Which is fine by me as it means I will have at least one more weekend to spend on the water with my family. Today I am off from running as I have a work picnic to attend this afternoon. Tomorrow morning I am meeting James, Chuck, and Blaine to run the L.L.Bean Bradbury Bruiser 12 Mile course. We got a nice rainfall last night and it is supposed to rain a little early in tomorrow morning so it should be nice and muddy again. Can't wait!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Tempo-ing with Ethan

Distance: 5.7 miles
Pace: 6:45/mile
Avg/Max HR: 164/189

So I was left alone to run with Ethan today. And he said he wanted to turn it up a little. I just came off training for and running a 100 miler and here I am running with one of the best 5K-10K guys in the state, if not New England. Ethan is a true champ, extremely likable and friendly, and a good guy. Also a fantastic runner, one who I would love to have run the inaugural Bradbury Bruiser. The only issue is that he is gunning for the Maine Grand Prix championship and the last race conflicts with the Bradbury Bruiser (even though that race was established first, I say it conflicts with the trail race as God laid the forests before people laid the roads). Hopefully he will have racked up enough points for win to skip the Great Pumpkin 10K.

So we started at a pedestrian 7:20, all the while I was selling on the virtues of trail running and why our race is better than his, next we slipped down into Ethan's warm up pace of 6:45 for the next couple miles. He then got tired of listening to me talk so he shifted into his 2nd gear and my 6th gear and started cruising along at a 6:30 pace. During any other phase of my running life this would not have bothered me but after 100 mile training, this was just torture, so after a mile of this I let Ethan get his training going as he slipped by me running a pace somewhere in the mid 5:00s. He is quick. I actually was able to cruise home at a near 6:30 pace for the last mile and a half and felt great doing it. The weather was definitely a factor as we have been blessed with some of the best weather of the season. Although I am looking forward to some warmer weather this weekend.

I did attend the last half of Jamie and Ian's talk at Peak Performance last night. They gave a great talk about trail running that will hopefully be taken on the road to other shops around town and also to some race expos where we can promote the Bradbury Bruiser. It's gonna be good!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Tried and tested race name

So Ian and I are moving ahead quickly to get the new trail race ready for a n October 28th debut. I met Ian Saturday morning to tour the potential race course and discuss details. I was also product testing a pair of trail shoes for L.L.Bean and was told to take them through difficult terrain and get 'em wet as we are testing a new water resistant coating for the vendor. So when rain awoke me at 5 AM Saturday I smiled to myself. Perfect.

Well, the trails at Bradbury were spectacular. 10x cooler than I expected. Why don't more people run on these things! Where are you all? Break free of your road mentality and join us!!! The trail was twisty, featuring lots of nice ups and downs, and punctuated by gnarly roots and too cool raised platforms over boggy areas. Fantastic. This race is going to be awesome. We ended up running somewhere just shy of 10.5 miles in roughly an hour and forty minutes which left us at a 9:30 pace, but with all the turns and undulations I swear I thought we were pushing closing to a sub 8:00 pace. It will be very interesting to see what the winning time will be on October 28th. Ian and I decided that a 20K was the best distance. It will actually be closer to 20K++, a measurement so often used by David Horton that his races aren't measured in miles but in Horton Miles. You know, when running trails, who's measuring?

As for the shoes, they were not so spectacular. The first puddle left my feet wet (that's why people use Gore Tex!!!) and I fell twice, something I have never done before while running. This is where the race name comes from. Ian had suggested "Bradbury Bruiser" which I wasn't sure of until my second fall. The shoes I am testing are the stiffest shoes I have ever worn (at least since being conscious of the shoes I wear) with extremely hard soles (unlike the tacky soles employed by "serious" trail shoes like Inov8 or LaSportiva). So my second fall happened as I stepped on an exposed, wet root and lost my footing. My shin slammed into the root leaving a beautiful bruise. Perfect. The Bradbury Bruiser 12-mile Trail Race was christened. And now we will have an award for best bruise on race day!

I have been off the blog (sorry to my few readers) for a couple days because the stomach virus that Quinn brought home last Thursday swept through my entire house and I was it's last victim. I spent over 30 hours in bed from Sunday to Monday and most of this afternoon on the couch. I had so little energy that even walking down the stairs this morning was a chore. Unbelievable that this was the same body that carried my 100 miles just a month ago. Oh well, I am all better now and hope to make it to Peak Performance to see Ian and Jamie's talk on trail running tomorrow night at 6 PM.

'Til next time.

Thursday, August 16, 2007


So we received word today. L.L.Bean is going to sponsor our trail race this fall. This is a first for L.L.Bean and a first for me, but luckily not for my main partner in this endeavor, Ian Parlin. Ian directs the Pineland Farms 25K and 50K Trail Challenge and is going to be running the show for this race as well. It is looking like the race will be held October 28th at Bradbury Mountain State Park and will be in the 15K range. We are planning to run around Bradbury Saturday morning to scope out a course. Ultimately we hope this "test" race proves successful and we can convince L.L.Bean to enter a more longer lasting relationship with us by sponsoring an entire Maine Trail series next year. More later.

I got out at lunch today with Ethan and Jim for 6 miles. Ethan peeled off at the 4.5 for some extra mileage and speed work. Jim and I came in at 41 mins. for a 7:37 pace. Felt good and had a good time.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Nice late afternoon jaunt through Freeport

So today I repeated in one week what has not happened to me in my many years of running. I crossed train tracks in front of an oncoming train. It wasn't as dramatic as it sounds, but I cross train tracks literally on every one of my runs and I have never seen a training doing so. Saturday I was running in Cumberland and crossed the tracks with the lights flashing and today in Freeport I crossed the tracks within about 100 yards of a very slow moving train. Like the interpretation process after awakening from a very weird dream, I am trying to figure out what message the world is sending me after crossing paths with these iron beasts. What's it all mean?

Anyhow, my run went well. I missed the lunch hour run and sneaked out a little after lunch to run a 5.2 mile loop in 37 minutes, for a roughly 7:12/mile pace. I felt good and got some good time in away from my desk. Sometimes the deck can become stifling and all brain processes shut down. I really don't know how non-runners "rejuvenate" during the day. Humans were not built to sit on their rump facing a computer for 9-10 hours a day. So does that mean I work with superhumans? Count me out. I'll be out running.

Good news on bringing trail racing to Maine today. Hopefully this can be shared to all runners in Maine soon! Also, I was asked to do my first product testing for L.L.Bean today. New Balance is rolling out some new water resistant treatment for their shoes and are trying to sell them to L.L.Bean. I was asked to take a pair of these shoes and get 'em wet! No problem. Can't wait to put them through the Pineland/Bradbury Mtn. test.

And my find of the day: Showdown documentary following five elite runners as they prepare for and run the 2007 US Cross-Country Championship in Boulder. I do not have the DVD but I indulged myself of the very cool promotional clips. Check it out.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Twin Brook Fun...and my first "Fun Find".

So I got stuck at my desk for lunch today, missed my noon run, and was forced (ha ha) to head over to Twin Brook for a trail run with the Monster crew. Ian and Emma were there, as were Blaine and Jim. There was one other runner whose name escapes me - sorry. We ran a 6-mile loop at just under an 8:30 pace. Yesterday I felt very under the weather, as if I was catching a cold, so I was ecstatic to get out tonight and feel so well.

Ian and I talked a little about our "secret" plan to bring trail running to the masses and discussed course and venue possibilities. My negotiations with the "corporation" is going well with one more meeting behind me today. We are getting closer and will hopefully have something to announce next Tuesday at Peak Performance when Ian and Jamie give their trail running talk.

I am hopeful my Vermont 100 race story will be done with editing soon. Time is hard to come by when you are working, trying to squeeze in runs of any distance, and loving your kids. It gets tricky and sometimes things have to get dropped to make time for the others. You really don't have the option of dropping kids or work, and running is what keeps all the bad stuff at bay, so the writing has to suffer. I am making more time for it now, after all these years of really wanting to get things on "paper". It is fun, even though I have no idea if anyone beyond my running buddies is reading this thing. If you are reading this and haven't posted a comment, let me know how I'm doing.

A new feature I would like to add to my blog is my "Fun Find" of the day. Today I would like to introduce a book that I have not read, but whose premise has fascinated me and which is now on order from Amazon. Alan Weisman's "The World Without Us" is unlike any book I have ever seen. The book asks and answers the question: how would the world react if the human presence was removed? While I am a huge fan of anything apocalyptic (with the exception of any actual apocalypse), this transcends the typical product of that genre. Good stuff. Check it out. And check back tomorrow for my "Fun Find"!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Pineland Sunday morning run

Distance: 11.75 miles
Pace: 9:05/mile
Avg HR: 153
Start Time: 6:02 AM

Met up with the Trail Monster crew early this morning at Pineland. Running were my 100-mile compatriot Jamie Anderson, and trail running gurus Ian Parlin and Chuck Hazzard. This was a very interesting crew, even for this early hour. I failed to have my cup of coffee this morning, which I find to be a mistake before an early morning run. While 6 AM would have been considered a late run a few months ago when 4 AM was the usual start time, now I think of it as the early run. It is unbelievable how much of a difference a cup of coffee makes on a long run, particularly for me.

At any rate, the run went well with us heading over to the farm side of Pineland and largely following the Pineland Farms Trail Challenge course. All was going well until roughly mile 5 when Chuck head a root while in his Vibram Five Fingers and Jamie and I took separate bio breaks. As I exited the woods no one was around and I called out for Jamie, to which there was no reply. So I headed up the trail after my group while chanting in my head "Leave no man behind." I finally caught up to Ian and Chuck (who looked fine) but no Jamie. So I hollered out that I was heading back for Jamie. Once reunited with Jamie, we began our attempt to catch up with the others. After a few minutes of this Ian eerily appeared from behind us "Chuckless". Apparently the fall Chuck took left him a bit damaged so he had headed back to the cars. Here's to wishing Chuck a speedy recovery. After a few more miles Jamie signaled that he was done because of not feeling well so Ian and I were left cruising together for the next few miles chatting about how to bring more trail races to Maine. More on that in a later blog, hopefully soon!

The rest of the run went well with Ian and I peeled off at just under 12 miles and two hours while Ian was hoping to get four out of the day. I hope he did well considering the deer flies were about eating me alive. The rest of my day was spent up at a family friend's camp where the kids played in the water all day and dad got to do the unthinkable: read the Sunday paper all on Sunday (usually takes me to Wednesday).

One nice thing that came out of the day is that my wife gave my VT 100 race story a read and not once did I see her eyes drooping during the ten pages of prose. She's so sweet. Hopefully I will have something out early this week. Tomorrow is a rest day as I have had a few days of good runs and my daughter's day care is having all the parents come watch their kids swim practice.

Oh, and thanks Chuck for the demonstration of the Vibram Five Fingers. I am a huge fan of the Nike Frees, which I use for all of my non-long Trail runs. I thought I was running pretty close to barefoot but the Frees are a farce when compared to the Vibrams. I may just have to give them a go!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Dean Karnazes and J.K. Rowling

First let me address my morning road run. It was good to be back doing some longer stuff on my hometown roads of Cumberland, Maine. This morning's run took me from my house to Twin Brook where I ran through the park to the other side and came home. This run in total is 10.25 miles with some good rolling hills thrown in for good measure.

The first 8 miles were spent listening to my favorite Podcasts, and The Competitors Radio Show (although I am going to have to give Steve Runner's Podcast a listen after he gave a shout out to my buddy Jamie on his 8/8/07 show). Of course the topic of a couple of the shows I listened to was Dean Karnazes. More on that later. As this was an easy run after yesterday's tempo run and tomorrow's longer run at Pineland, this first 8 miles was at just under an 8:00/mile pace. Very comfortable with an average heart rate around 145 bpm.

And then my iPod came to the new Bad Religion (don't let the name scare you - they really are nice guys) album and things got interesting. As my pace increased with the tempo of the music, I noticed a few guys about a quarter mile ahead of me on inline skis (like cross country skis bred with roller blades). Then my competitive side kicked in and I thought, "How cool would it be to catch these guys with the mechanical advantage?" I kicked it into high gear and caught then after about a three quarters of a mile of hilly roads and a pace of around 6:15/mile which I had to hold after passing then lest I look like a jerk. So the last two miles were spent at this pace (with a Max HR of 189!) until deliverance came in the form of my wife running with my two kids in the jogging stroller. I least I thought it was going to be deliverance; she did a really professional hand off of the stroller to me and kept on running. So I joined her with me pushing the kids and seeing black spots like I was going to pass out as the roller ski guys approach and laughed at me...

All in all I got in about 12.5 miles, the last couple pushing my kids. I figure they will play into my Western States 100 (if lucky) training as I run hill repeats pushing them!

Secondly, Dean Karnazes. So the interview with him was as expected; him defending his love of running against all his critics while pleading not guilty to self promotion. I say who cares if he is self-promoting. Don't we all do that in some form or fashion and if anyone was to tell us all you had to do to make money and do what you loved was to run long distances, get ripped muscles, shave your legs, look good for a camera, and write one heck of a great book, wouldn't you? As for the ESPY for Best Outdoor Athlete, many, including Scott Jurek (who I think is the Best Ultrarunner) argues Dean should be ashamed for accepting this award (and many others he has been given) and I have read that many other ultrarunners and bloggers feel the same way. To them I say shame on you. Didn't your parents teach you better? What would the everyone else who is not an ultrarunning purist think of Dean if he said no. Besides, the award is for Best Outdoor Athlete and not best runner, ultrarunner, quickest runner or anything specific to running. It was for Outdoor Athlete.

Let's take this argument one step farther. J.K. Rowling. She is the reason that 99% of the world right now is cooped up in their house and not talking to their neighbors, and generally disregarding all norms of social behavior, as they read her latest book. Is she the best writer out there? She sure does sell a lot of books. Many more than the more literary writers out there. She has won a ton of awards but are there better written books out there? Sure. What she does is make big tomes accessible and easy to read and enjoyable. She writes escapist fantasy, which is apparently what the world needs right now. She has brought more families together reading than I would argue any other in our lifetime. For that she deserves a nobel prize for something. She's not the best but she reaches many. Dean does the same thing. He put a face to ultrarunning, but more importantly he put a face to what we can do as endurance animals and showed us that anything is possible if we really want it. Like J.K.Rowling and reading, Dean did that for getting people outdoors and running. For that both he and J.K.Rowling should receive many more awards!

Thanks for reading. Please leave a comment if you read this. I am curious what others think (Jamie, even though I know what you think, I still want to hear from you!!!).

Friday, August 10, 2007

Solid run in cool temps

What a change from last Friday. Today I went out for my lunch run and was greeted by a mostly cloudy sky and temps in the low 70s. This decreased temperature lent itself to an up tempo run with a moderate heartrate average. Run stats are as follows:

Distance: 5.7 miles
Pace: 7:08/mile
Avg HR: 159
Splits: 1. 7:43, 2. 7:13, 3. 7:07, 4. 7:06, 5. 6:57, 6. 6:32 (negative splits are always encouraging)

While not a blistering pace, training for a hundred miler has a cruel way of erasing any speed you might have had before. Having said that, the strength that training for 100-miler provides enables quick access to that speed if a little focus is given to redeveloping it. It also feels really good to be able to open up the hips a little and get back to a more natural gait.

This weekend I hope to get our for 8-10 in the morning on the roads (due to breakfast plans) and then meet up with my famous buddy Jamie for a Pineland run Sunday morning at 6:00.

Onward and upwards!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Race report/story

No run today. I spent the evening wrapping up my race story (I don't believe you can call anything 10 pages a simple report. I prefer to call it a race story.) I am about done, just a little editing is necessary before releasing it to the world. Hopefully people will find it entertaining as well as enlightening. I also checked the Vermont 100 site tonight and it seems there was a race results correction and my position in the race was corrected from 15th to 16th. That's okay because the guy who displaced me saved my butt at mile 85 when he shared his tums with me. God bless him.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Cool lunch run

Exciting news. This morning I mailed off my Western States 100 application. The lottery drawing is on December 1, so keep your fingers crossed until then. Until then I will have to dream and use my imagination to take a run through the Sierra Nevadas...

I was fortunate once again today and got our for a lunch run. I ran with Tom and Ethan and ended up doing a shorter run as we all had to get back for meetings. The run was 5.24 miles covered at a 7:38 pace. My heart rate average was a nice recovery rate of 146 bpm. All in all a very nice run.

I missed the Trail Monsters run out at Twin Brook tonight as I had family obligations. Maybe next week.

Tonight I am going to try and tackle a little more of my race story. I am no longer calling this a race report as I have never seen a race report of 10+ pages. Hopefully I will soon have something posted on the Maine Multisports website.

Until next time.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Easy rain run

Distance: 6.2
Time: 0:47:26
Pace: 7:41
Avg. HR: 151

Got out today for a nice, easy, cool 6.2 miles around South Freeport. Joining me was my left-wing buddy Tom who has been absent from the run scene while training for and riding century bike rides. Tom is a rock solid athlete with tons of talent and quite an attitude if crossed. If you see me running with Tom please do not cut us off in your car or crowd us on the shoulder. I promise you will get a rock through your windshield! Tom is fun and the conversation is never dull. Anyhow, the high temps have abated and we ran in a nice cool light rain which made our run much more bearable.

My Western States 100 application will hopefully be in the mail sometime this week. Exciting stuff. But I still have to make it through the lottery and get through the remaining ultras on my list this year. Next up...the Vermont 50. I am looking forward to getting back to that beautiful part of the country.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Patchouli...and childbirth

Beach to Beacon went well for my wife and I survived spectating with my two kids (with the help of my buddy Jamie). Kelly finished where she thought she would at just over an hour. This is a tremendous time for a working mother of two who, for the most part, sacrifices her running time to support her husband's fanaticism. With the exception of weekend runs, her training is limited. I am working on that by trying to coax her towards a Fall marathon, but we may have to opt for a half. We'll see.

Speaking of my wife, she is what I describe as a "happy runner". Every race she runs she does so smiling. No race ever gets her down nor does she allow an overeager pace to drag her down into the depths of "last mile despair". She finishes feeling as strong as she started, and enjoys every second of her opportunities to join the scores of other recreational and happy racers like herself. This should not come as a surprise to me as I witnessed her birth both of my beautiful children with the help of only a midwife and no drugs or medical intervention. Zero. Au natural. Never once did she ask for any relief. This is why I am always embarrassed when people tell me what an amazing feat running 100 miles is. One thing to note is that I often don 't get this comment from women early enough in motherhood to remember the birth of their children.

So on to my training. This morning I met Jamie, Brian (a crewmember from the VT100), and Blaine at 6 AM out at Pineland. When all was said and done we ran exactly(!) 10 miles courtesy of Jamie (who has to run even training runs). The pace was pedestrian at around 9:20, but at Pineland this pace feels like sub-6s at some points. I kept a nice low heartrate so the run was a good reintroduction to longer distance training. The horseflies were out in force, even given cooler temps and a nice breeze. Blaine pulled out some secret Windham farmer's market bug spray with patchouli which he swore would protect us. Well, apparently there is no escape from the Pineland Pests! Even Brian, who swore off the herb for chemicals (DEET), had swarms eating him.

One thing I found fun today is that our group consists of a bunch of wordsmiths. Jamie's blog is first rate and Marathon & Beyond is publishing an article of his in their next issue. Blaine can't stop his flow of words. I know of no one else who can produce as much writing as this guy. I dabble in words with this blog, the Maine Multisport website, and a longer piece I am writing on how running saved my life for a larger publication to carry (hopefully M&B will bite as I really respect their periodical). The only humble one amongst us was Brian. He didn't mention his writing talents on our run, but I will say here that he is a top notch "haikuist". Hopefully I can convince him to share some with a larger audience!

All for now. Off to the beach to bask in the glory of another wonderful Maine day!

Friday, August 3, 2007

Please send salvation from the heat

I just read my buddy Jamie's blog and I must agree with his assessment of the heat. I also grew up in the south (Richmond, VA which I consider as south as Birmingham, AL) and played sports in weather much worse than this. Boy have I become a weather wimp since moving up here. Bring on the winter! I can take the cold.

I got out at lunch for just over 5 miles at a 7:30 pace and felt like I ran twice that far twice that fast. The good thing was that I got to try out my new Garmin Forerunner 305. Great tool. It is nice to finally have a heart rate monitor and GPS in one package, and the software and web tools for analysis (and making cool maps) is great.

Back to Jamie's blog...he mentioned he got an iPod and was looking for some good podcasts to tune into while running. I do most of my solo long runs listening to Podcasts and some of my favorites include "" (which Jamie plugged), "The Competitors Radio Show", "The Final Sprint Podcast", NPR's "Car Talk" for humor and NPR's "All Songs Considered" for some great music reviews and live shows. (Books on tape are also great for those long runs.) Enjoy.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Cherished Support

Tonight I got a most excellent gift from my wife - her support to enter the Western States 100 lottery. I had been formulating a plan in my head since crossing the finish line at the Vermont 100 and had yet to reveal it to Kelly until tonight. I do recognize that with two kids, the training impact on me from long runs, night run, and sleep deprivation, as well as the challenge of the actual race, is nothing compared to what Kelly must endure as she waits for me to come home after every run while chasing around two young kids who are just coming into their own. Not to mention the challenge of supporting me on a race course while caring for these wild kids. She truly is a saint, as my friend Tyl noted.

The plan is to throw my hat in the ring for the lottery, to be drawn December 9. I have a 37-40% chance at getting an entry. If so, great. Training starts January 1. If not, training starts January 1, just for a different race. I am thinking the Massanutten Mountain 100 is a worthy back up. Mountainous and very difficult, as well as in my home state of Virginia. If I get into Western States 100, Kelly is planning on making the trip with me as a handler and a pacer (pleasant surprise) and we will leave the kids with family for a few days. This is our sick idea of some relaxing days away from the hustle of bustle of two kids - racing and crewing a 100 mile race. I would have it no other way!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Easy run around Freeport...and Beach to Beacon

First, the Maine Multisports website has been updated and now includes an article I wrote a few weeks ago. Check it out. I am almost done my race report which will be posted both here and on the Maine Multisports website.

Took an easy lunch run of just over 5 miles around Freeport with Mike and Jim. No matter the weather or how tired my legs might be, joining these guys is a pleasure. The conversation is never dull as Mike sees fit to throw out topics sure to get us riled up, and Jim's sense of humor is a blast. Good guys to have as running buddies. The weather was hot and humid, but not too bad. My legs were pretty beat up from my two-a-day yesterday, but well worth it.

Tomorrow night we are off to secure Kelly's bib number for Beach to Beacon. I have babysitting duty at the finish line which suits me just fine. If I am going to be a spectator there is no better race than B2B to spectate. Although tonight Kelly started griping about not wanting to run and there is no way I will let her number go unused so I may run. Depends on if her griping is more than just pre-race jitters. Don't worry, I know enough make sure my time isn't recorded!