Monday, July 31, 2017

Training Blog July 24 to 30, 2017 Getting Stronger...

Monday noon road 10 miles 1:08:34, tired, spent most of the day catching up on yard work and errands...

Tuesday AM 5.3 miles with Melissa and Uta, 39:25
PM at rail trail 3 mile warm up, drills and strides, 4x2 miles with 2mins of drills recovery, 10:22, 10:27, 10:15, 10:09.  Actually started to feel good by the last one which was nice.  Getting a bit of endurance back.  2.2 mile cool down

Wednesday AM 7.1 miles in 54:24, pacing Melissa through her 2x2 mile, in 12:40 and 1xhalf mile in 2:55 workout.  We also did some drills and strides during this.
PM 8.1 miles on roads solo, 55:27

Thursday AM at Phillips Academy, 3 warm up, drills, strides, 10x300m with 300m jog, ie full recovery and then some.  This is muscular work so the first one basically felt the same as the last one except I had bit of fatigue in the quads and calves, no acid burn etc...  Averaged 46.9 with fastest at 46.5 and slowest at 47.3, jogs were very slow, mostly over 2mins.  3 mile cool down

Full disclosure I went fishing instead of doing a second run, pretty lazy choice but it was a really nice afternoon and I'm trying not to go too crazy with the mileage...

Friday AM road 10 mile solo, 1:05:37
PM 5.1 miles around Phillips fields with Melissa and Uta, 42:11

Saturday PM 3 warm up, drills and strides, 5x mile on rail trail, 5:21, 5:08, 4:59, 4:52, 4:50.  Goal was to be in the 5:20's then 10's then 0's then 50's then 40's.  Given my current 5k fitness, ~15:00 that was a fairly big ask and by being on the low end of the first 4 reps I pretty much screwed myself.   The first 3 actually felt pretty good I was even having delusions of grandeur that I would bust out a 6th rep in the 4:30's but by the half mile in the 4th rep the reality that running much under 5min pace is pretty hard for me right now settled in.  Rests were 2mins with drills. Actually the rests were exactly 1:59 for every one which I find a little funny, I'm not usually that consistent. 3 mile cool down.

Sunday AM with Melissa on rail trail.  This was here long run/workout.  So we ran 11.6 miles with no stopping 3 miles easy as warm up, then 5 miles of 3/4 in the 4:30's, 6:0's pace, with 1/4 slow jog recovery then 3.6 miles easy at the end, 1:30:16 for the whole thing.
PM road 8.2 solo, 55:19, saw a deer very close up, about 15 feet.  Finished off a good week for wildlife.

Summary 102 miles for the week, three nice workouts.  I'm starting to get to a point where I can see my body wanting to get back to 'normal' paces and abilities.  I'm not there yet but hopefully over the next few weeks it will happen.
  The weather this week was crazy nice, probably the nicest whole week I have ever trained through in a Massachusetts summer.  Generally we have very high humidity and very high dew points so that even 80 degrees tends to feel like a death march.  This week not only was the temp in the high seventies and low 80's but it felt cool.  It really was a nice break.  It looks like the humidity is going to be back this week so we'll see how I handle it.  Generally it doesn't bother me too much for a single session but it grinds me down and I have to start putting in more rest days.  We are however coming into August and often the mornings and evenings are cooler in August giving a chance to work around the heat more effectively.
  This week I'm going to do a couple of workouts and a 5k race.  I'm planning on trying to start racing into shape over the course of this month.  Just hopping into some local races and running hard.  I'm ready for that.  I still don't know for sure what I'll be focused on for the fall, that is going to depend on how the next 6 to 8 weeks go but it is time to start trying to hurt a little for real.
  This weekends race will be the John Leclerc Memorial Wind Turbine 5k in my hometown of Templeton, MA.  It raises money for cross country program which was a power house for many years but fell on hard times right after I graduated with the addition of a lot of other sports, Narragansett is a tiny school.  From the programs inception in 1963 through to 1998 they never had a losing season and won state titles in 1966, 1979, 1983, 1995, 1996.  The titles in '79 and '83 were when Massachusetts didn't have divisions so that was beating schools that were 10 to 20 times larger. Since then they have struggled.
   My expectations are pretty low.  I'm going to aim for 15:00 but I'm not feeling confident that I'll be able to run that.

'back in the day' front page of the local paper from the first state champion team I was on at Narragansett

Monday, July 24, 2017

Training Blog July 17 to 23, 2017

Monday AM road 5 with Uta, 35:41
               PM road 10, solo, 1:03:32

Tuesday AM road 5 with Melissa and Uta, 39:26
PM 3.8 warm up, drills, 30x100m all but one in the 15s, slipped up on 5th or 6th one and ran a 16.1, 3.8 cool down

Wednesday AM 13.3 miles, 1:33:59, first 2 miles and last two miles with Melissa and Anna on Chelmsford rail trail.
PM 4 miles on road, first 2 with Uta, 30:15

Thursday AM 5 mile 37:19, with Uta
PM road 10, 1:05:05

Friday AM on Phillips Academy fields, 2 warm up, 20k fundamental pace tempo, 1:12:55
noon drills, some lifting and massage with Anna

Saturday AM rail trail 5.2 with Melissa
PM road 10, 1:06:27

Sunday AM 3 mile warm up, drills, strides, 200m in 31, jogging, Aussie Quarters goal was to run 50 for the recovery 200's and 68 for the on four hundreds.  I went 46/68/51/67/51/68/50/68/50/68/50/68/50/68/49/67  for 15:49 for the full 3 miles.  A long way off sub 15 and where I want to be but a small step in the right direction. 3.5 cool down
PM road 10 with Melissa, 1:18:14

Summary 115 miles, three good workouts.  All and all a decent week.  Some nice training.  Getting back to some lifting.  I need to get into yoga again in the next couple weeks. Other than that really just trying to string some more weeks together and keep making the baby steps towards some good fitness.

  Hope you are well.
  If you want 10% off some rabbit gear click the link below..

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Fishing with Dick Beardsley; A Day I'll Never Forget

  For my birthday last year Melissa went very over the top and gave me a trip to Bemidji Minnesota to stay at Jill and Dick Beardsley's bed and breakfast,, and to spend a day fishing with Dick Beardsley,  I'm all about delayed gratification but waiting almost a full year for my birthday gift was pretty extreme, even by my standards!  In the end however it was worth it in every way.

  Melissa and I flew out mid morning on Tuesday and arrived in Minneapolis rather quickly.   Then we drove the 3 and half hours to Bemidji.  I really enjoyed the ride as we moved through the city then suburbs then a lot of farm country and then into more of the north woods.   Melissa was less enthused about it. Honestly next time I'll probably fly to Bemidji but having only really been to Minnesota once before it was nice to get out and see some of it.   We were greeted at the Bed and Breakfast by Dick who said he didn't usually play host but Jill was a bit under the weather.  He then steered us to a great little restaurant around the corner for an amazing meal at the end of a long day.  Before we headed out he asked what we wanted to fish for.  Having never caught a walleye and having grown up bass fishing most every weekend I told him either would be wonderful.  We set up a meeting time of 6:30AM and Dick said he would drive us down to a couple of Lakes in the Detroit lakes region where he grew up.

  The next morning Dick was ready go early when we came down from our room.  He informed us there had been crazy storms in the Detroit lakes and there were a ton of trees down so we were going to stay a bit closer and go to a couple of nearby lakes.  I was a bit concerned to hear this as I assumed that plan B was likely not a as good as plan A.  However Dick was all smiles and only wanted to know what kind of sandwiches we would like.  A few minutes later Dick was ready to go with a picnic basket in hand.  Seriously this had to be a dream.

  We popped in for bait around the corner and then to gas up the boat.  In doing so Dick knocked something over and yelled out, "Son of a buck!"  The funny part is that is really what he said.  It was the first of an endless number of exclamations over the course of the day that were both overwhelmingly creative and genuine while never once including even a borderline bad word.

  A few minutes later Dick had us on the water and heading out to a sunken Island to go after some early morning walleye.  He had warned us that the walleye were slow to bite in the mid summer but assured us we would get some and then we would take a mid day break and drive to another Lake to get some heavy action on small and largemouth bass.

  Dick quickly got us set up with some live bait, even putting it on the hook for us, which was good as I didn't see Melissa grabbing a leech and hooking it anytime soon.  He then explained how to cast so expertly that Melissa, who had never been fishing in her life, not even as a kid was casting like a pro in less than a minute.  Once he had us set up and our baits were in the water Dick threw a line in as well.  Almost instantly he was exclaiming "jimminy christmas there's one!"

  Now one time when I was a kid my dad got permission for us to go fishing on a private pond and he caught one on the first cast and that was a start to just about the best day of fishing we ever had.  It is also the only time in my life prior to this trip that I had seen a fish caught on the first cast.

  To say I was excited at this point is the understatement of the century.  Dick however was telling us not to worry and that even though catching one on the first cast is supposed to bad luck he was sure we would do fine and that even tough that one was a bass he was sure we would get some walleye soon.

  Within a couple minutes he was proved right.  Melissa had one on.  The girl who prior to this had never held a rod or been on a fishing boat was hooked up and loving it!  It was a bullhead, much to Dick's delight and surprise.  It made me feel better about not getting one yet because obviously this was a fluke fish and not something Melissa had done with skill.

  A couple minutes later Melissa had another, this one was a bass and I could see a trend starting.  Dick and Melissa kept hitting them and I kept setting the hook on grass and getting my bait stolen.  Though I did get one solid hit and set the hook to have the line almost instantly go slack and found myself biten off which Dick assured me was a pike, which were plentiful here as well.  I was obviously paying a price to karma for underestimating Melissa!

Melissa with her first, of many, bass

Meanwhile as the other two kept reeling them in one after another, Dick even getting one while he was unhooking the one Melissa had just caught, The pole nearly went out of the boat as Dick dove across the bow to get it!  We were having some of the most engaging and fun conversation I have had in a long time.  I knew Dick was a story teller but he is also a conversationalist and we flowed along laughing and going on like lifelong friends.   Meanwhile I was stunned to see the ear to ear smile glued to Melissa's face as she had insisted since telling me about this trip that she was only going fishing to "take one for the team."  Now she was having as much fun as me.
Melissa's Fishing Smile

  Now as we went along Melissa and Dick were catching a great combo of bass, walleye and even a couple of northern pike.  With Dick getting legitimately disappointed each time the fist turned out to be something other than a walleye!  This included when it was a nearly 30 inch long Northern Pike! It was hilarious.  I was still struggling with the fish but positively having the time of my life.  At one point while we were talking Dick actually said "we are like two peas in a pod, you and I."  Now I have received some compliments in my life but that one has to be one of the highest a guy like me could ever get.   It is hard to describe what makes a day like this so magically.  It wasn't perfect weather, it was cool and windy and at times it rained a bit.  I wasn't catching anything, yet, but here I was with the love of my life who was having an unexpectedly wonderful time and talking with Dick it really felt like we had been friends for years.  My cheeks were actually starting to hurt from laughing and smiling so much.

 This is a walleye for those who don't fish
Dick with the largest of the pike he caught.  How this thing didn't bite off his line I'll never know. 

   Before long Dick decided the bite was slowing, though this was not too obvious to me, we had already caught more fish then in any day of my life to date, and we were heading for a snack and the second lake.   This one was down the end of a series of ever smaller dirt roads and we were greeted by a pair of nesting loons and their two young babies. 

  Dick drove us to the middle of the lake to set us up with rubber worms and explain how he wanted us to fish them.  He set up Melissa first and as he was setting up his rod and mine she cast out.  Dick sort of chuckled and said this wasn't were we were going to fish but she was free to try anyway.  Within a few seconds Melissa was hooked up.  First cast again!  Dick was full of fun exclamations for this one.  Amazed that Melissa had somehow caught this bass in 50 feet of water with no structure around.  As soon as he got back to tying his line Melissa had a second one on.  First two casts back to back! Yeah it was that kind of day.

 Melissa's first cast

Melissa's second cast

  All rigged up we headed off to the target spot, but not before Dick geo-located the spot and studied his sonar a bit to get an idea why she was hitting them out in the middle of nowhere.  This was one a few moments on the day when it struck me why Dick was so darn good at fishing.  He is meticulous and he is always learning.  He actually went back to the same spot a couple days later when he had a free afternoon to do some research. 

  On the target spot I almost immediately hooked one and was glad to finally be catching fish like everyone else, except it was a tiny rock bass.  I mean I couldn't believe the the thing could even get the hook in its mouth!  Melissa was taking no small joy in my woes and really it was almost making the trip more fun.  That said with the ice broken now I was now catching them with the same frequency as the other two.  A couple small large mouths and a couple more rock bass came quickly and then off a point I hooked into something I could tell was better.

My first fish of the day!  It was a whopper!

  As it got closer to the boat it really dug in and I realized I was onto a really nice one.  As it came by the front of the boat Dick got a good look at it and he got really excited!  He started shouting his very personal and wonderful string of non-swear exclamations.  Including, I kid you not, "Jimminy Christmas that one is a dandy!"  And it was.  At 18 inches and in the 3 to 4 pound range it was the largest smallmouth I've ever caught and Dick and I celebrated with an off balance awkward fist bump and something like a little dance.  It was a hilarious and wonderful moment in a great day.

  The weather actually turned on us a bit and it rained pretty steady for a little bit.  The thing was we hardly noticed.  We were catching fish left and right.  I actually didn't realize how hard it had rained until I saw Melissa's pictures at the end of the day and saw my shorts were soaked in one picture.   At one point Melissa and Dick caught fish simultaneously and Melissa finished off her amazing string with a largemouth that was about the same size as my smallmouth.   Finally it was time to head home.

  Arriving back at the Bed and Breakfast we were like three kids pouring into the yard talking all at once about the amazing day we had.  Dick wasn't too thrilled with the fishing but all of us had really just loved spending the day together and enjoying the conversation, the sights, from loons to eagles, and the wonderful fresh air of the great North.  Ok for me the fishing was pretty amazing too but Dick has high standards and I had to explain to Melissa that it doesn't normally go that well on the water.  At least not when you don't have Dick showing you the way. 

My big smallmouth

  We enjoyed the rest of our trip.  Jill makes some of the best, and fanciest breakfasts I've ever had.  She made a frittata one morning that I'll be dreaming about and trying to recreate for years to come.  We went hiking in a few different places, including crossing the headwaters of the Mississippi River, with the Beardsley's little mini golden doodle, Scarlett, who Melissa grew so attached to that when we left and Scarlett chased us to the fence and then started barking Melissa started crying.  Believe me we have had some great vacations together but Melissa has never cried when it was time to go home before.   The bed and breakfast itself is very cute with only 3 guest rooms and Jill keeps it SPOTLESS, but the biggest thing was the friendship we built with Dick and Jill.   Melissa and I commented again and again to each other that although Bedmidji is nice it isn't nearly the nicest place we have been but that Jill and Dick made this truly a trip of a lifetime full of memories and stories that we will treasure and share for the rest of our lives. 


Sunday, July 16, 2017

Training Blog July 10 to 16, 2017

Monday AM 3.8 warm up, drills, strides. Attempted Aussie Quarters.  It was a bit windy, a good bit hot and I got kicked off the track, though I don't think the last two would have been pretty had I been able to stay. Goal was 50 for the rest 68 for the rep.  Went 49/67/53/67/50/68/50/69/51/68/51/69- total time 11:58 for 3600 meters, 5:20 mile pace. 3.8 mile cool down

Tuesday AM 5.2 miles solo, 38:53, was planning to go further but heard there was a bad traffic day going so I cut it short as we need to get to the airport.

PM travel to Bemidji, MN

Wednesday Off day Fishing all day with Dick Beardsley and Melissa.  Once in a lifetime experience gonna write a blog about it soon.

Thursday AM 9.7 miles, first 5 with Melissa, in 1:10:07
PM 6.1 miles solo, 39:08

Friday AM 3 mile warm up, first 1.5 with Melissa, then some drills and strides.  Mona Fartlek on awesome rail trail along the lake. covered 3.75 miles, 5:20 pace.  Which is about right for where I am fitness wise at the moment.  3 mile cool down.

Saturday AM 10.1 miles, 1:15, first 6 miles with Melissa.
PM travel back home, got back about 1am.

Sunday Noon 3 mile warm up, with Melissa, drills and a couple light strides.  3x2 miles with bit over 2 mins of drills recovery, very warm and humid. 10:26(5:15/5:11), 10:30(5:21/5:09), 10:24(5:13/5:11) 1 mile cool down, mostly with Melissa.

Summary not much in the way of miles this week but that was planned given that we were traveling and vacationing.  I was real happy to get in three good workouts.   We had an amazing trip. Really something every runner, or fisherman has to do.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Weekly Training Blog July 3 to 9, 2017

Monday AM 6 miles on roads and trails in Saratoga, NY, 46:10, first couple of miles with Melissa and Uta.

PM 4.3 miles on roads and trails in Saratoga, 29:54, solo.

Tuesday AM about 3 miles warm up, some with Melissa, some drills, some strides.  Race Firecracker 4 mile, 6th place 20:08, basically just turned myself inside out trying to stay with Scott Mindel.  Both of us were hoping to slip under 20:00 but just couldn't quite hold it up the last hill before the finish.  Splits 4:52(got sucked out by all the fast starting youngsters.  At 400m I was in about 40th place with 2 or 3 high school girls in front of me), 9:53(5:01), starting to hurt pretty good, 14:55(5:02), I was basically all out at this point.  last mile was 5:12.  I was really struggling.   Good run for where I'm at but I would have been thrilled to slide under 20 at this point. 2 mile cool down some with Melissa and Uta

PM 4 miles on roads back home solo, 28:46

Wednesday AM ~9 miles, I don't have an exact time.  Running with melissa, about 5 or 6 miles in Melissa tripped and really bashed her knee. I ran home to get the car and go pick her up but had shut my watch off for part of that return trip and it wasn't my normal route, I took the most direct way back, so I don't know the exact distance or time.  Melissa got X-rays and nothing broken but the knee was the size of a softball for a couple days.

PM 5.1 miles on road with Uta, in 36:03

Thursday AM 3.8 warm up to track, some drills, 16x200 meters for speed with full 400m jog breaks in about 2mins.  The idea is to be fresh for each 200 as to run with good form and work on the muscular side of things.  averaged just over 31 for the 200's. 3.8 cool down.

Friday AM road and trail 10 solo, 1:09:01
PM road 5 with Uta, 33:07

Saturday Noon 1.5 warm up, very slow with Melissa and Uta as Melissa tested out the knee. Then 10 mile fundamental tempo around Phillips fields, very humid!, 58:00.  Really dehydrated by the end.

Sunday AM road and trail 12, 1:25:20

Summary about 90 miles for the week, three quality sessions, one of which was the race which was a very nice step in the right direction.  Looking back at this week I would say that I'm actually training now which is nice to see.  I should start to progress fairly quickly now.
  This week Melissa and I are going to Bemidji, Mn to stay at Dick Beardsley's bed and breakfast, see the headwaters of the Mississippi and do some exploring.  I'm really excited about the trip.  I love travel, I love got places I've never been.  Melissa has agreed to go fishing with Dick and I which is awesome and the place looks really good for running.  As with any travel week however it means my training plans are quite flexible and we'll just see how things turn out.
  Last fun thing for the week is resting HR.  I don't use heart rate much for training but I have long used my resting HR when I wake up as a gauge of how my body was doing.  I have a pretty low HR after all these years though it does go up when I have a lay off.  Anyway one of the things I love about the garmin watch I have is that it tracks hr and gives you an average resting HR as well as your low for the last 4 hours.  It is just more accurate than checking your pulse as you are getting up.  Generally speaking my average resting is just about 40 bpm.  Give or take 3 or 4 beats.  When I haven't run in a month or more that comes up to the high 40s or even low 50s.  However for whatever reason on Thursday this week it was much lower,
 It isn't the best pic but if you look to you can see my HR at the moment on the left was 47 bpm but my average resting HR to the right was 30.  This is very low for me.  I know when I had surgery on my back the nurse said I stayed pretty steady around 26 bpm, but I sorta figured that was artificially low because of the anesthesia.  Over the years I have often had it down around 30 when I checked it in the morning but this is  the first time since I got the watch that I have had an average this low.  Occasionally it has dipped into the 20's for a minute or two but not had that as a resting average.  Anyway I just find it neat.  Hope you are well.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Training Log June 26 to July 3, 2017

Me in my rabbit kit on the carriage roads in Bar Harbor.

Monday PM road 8.1 solo 51:24

Tuesday AM 3.8 warm up to the track, drills, strides, 8x400m with slow 200 jogs (avg. 65 seconds) averaged 68.4 for the 400's with a few 69's and a 65.9 for the last one. I did a 200 jog at the finish just so I could cover the 3 miles for comparison as I move to Aussie Quarters in the coming weeks, 17:54, ie not fast.  Felt pretty smooth and though it was a shock to the system I felt strong in spite of some real deal humidity. 3.8 cool down. 

Most everyday I since school ended I have been walking a few miles with Uta to keep her exercise up, she doesn't run as much when it is hot, and to get some more volume on my legs.  This week we had my father in laws dog to join us for a few of those walks.

Wednesday Noon 8.2 miles around Eagle lake area in Bar Harbor with Melissa and Uta.  Melissa was doing a workout and I was pacing.  Very nice little run despite the fact that we literally just hopped out of the car after a 4.5 hour drive and did this before going to the hotel.  I was mostly impressed with Melissa being able to do a great workout like that but I was also happy my back seemed un-bothered which isn't always the case after a long car ride.

Thursday AM 10.2 miles around carriage roads, first 3 miles easy with Melissa and Uta, then would do 20 second sprints, jog back to join them and do another 2 mins later when they finished their run I did 20 second sprints and then just jogged back to where I had started and repeated this until I had done 30 sprints.   I did a mile cool down.

a bit later in the AM  we had some car issues and this lead to a lot of walking and I got board with it so I ran about 2k on the roads.

Friday PM road and trail 10, 1:10:46,  felt pretty darn flat.

Saturday AM  on chelmsford rail trail, 1.8 warm up with Melissa and Anna, did some drills and strides and a 30 second effort, then 3 miles in 15:52, drills, .2 miles before realizing I had stopped the watch, so I took 45 seconds did another drill, then did 2 miles in 10:23, drills, and 1 mile in 4:58, drills, then met back up with Melissa and Anna for a cool down of 1.8 miles. After the run we went to the gym where I mostly did some easy mobility stuff but Anna and Melissa suckered me into a circuit which has left me with some sore shoulders.

Uta did not want to get out of bed this morning.  Neither did I.

Sunday AM road 10.5 in 1:11:36, first 3.3 with Uta, but it was too hot for her to do much so I dropped her off and finished solo.  

Summary about 70 miles for the week, very happy with all three workouts.  Resting HR is coming back down to normal which is a good sign for a slow return of aerobic fitness. All in all another step in the right direction.  
  For all of you who ordered the rabbit gear with the link, which I'll provide again below, thanks!  I hope you like it.  If you want to tell me about your experience with it I'd be really interested and you can email me directly, nateruns at hotmail , or leave a comment. I may do a blog on it later or send some feedback to the company or just use it to help me chose what stuff to get myself!  

Link to get 10% off rabbit gear