Saturday, July 29, 2006

Cape Cod

11.1 mile slog in the midday sun, 85 degrees, 70% humidity. Never have I sweated so profusely, seldom have I been so discouraged, just wanted to stop after 6, almost all I thought about, all desire retreated, I don't believe I can run a marathon anymore, how did I ever run a 6:37 pace half marathon last March, it was a fluke. As much as I thought I disliked running in the cold, my performance is apparently much elevated in that environment; I'm not dealing well with the heat. Screw it. I'm going out eat some salmon and drink some red wine.

Friday, July 28, 2006


Thursday, July 27, 2006

Jerry Garcia Memorial 4.2 Miler

7:30pm on the Charles (love that dirty water), warm, humid-ish, but not so bad. Jerry Garcia Memorial 4.2 Miler. 25:32 (6:05 average pace, pretty even splits, I think, laid back hippie mile markings), 11th of 862 (surprisingly high place for me in a race this size.) I gave gave myself 12 seconds for a crazy slow awkward start. 800+ people tearing down a 3 foot wide sidewalk, we were admonished several times to not venture into the road. Nearly rolled my ankle twice, an adventure.

Ran hard but not killing myself, almost relaxing in the low 6:00s at some points. When I start feeling comfortable, I know it's time to push harder. Some points were fairly tough, concentrating lately on more self-awareness, how I feel, precisely, thinking about Siddhartha, suffering, it's okay, face it head on, it's good, it's life. Of course, it's kind of bizarre that my life is so comfortable I need to go out and find artificial ways to experience suffering.

Anyway, I was especially glad I was able to catch and hang with a little pack with the second place female; that's who you race in a race, right, the little pack of peers around you, and I ended up first in that pack, so pretty self-satisfied with this, especially after I had about the worst run of my life on Tuesday, 6.7 miles, Longfellow-Charles-Smoots double loop, wicked bonked at 3, hot, humid, dying, lucky to even finish without stopping; the kind of run where I really felt like throwing in the towel for good. I just can't take the heat like I could as a youngster (by cracky!)

Big post race party, beer, food, tie dye, Grateful Dead-ish band. I'm pretty sure there's a Grateful Dead gene, and I don't have it, I've just always liked music too much to like the Dead, never felt they were about the music, it was all the other hippie shit. While I'm trashing sixties icons, I also never like The Doors or Van Morrison either, fwiw. I do though have a special appreciation for hippie shit, I miss the sixties sometimes, I was a kid, but I remember it well, I had older sisters. I've a vivid memories of me and my sisters, summer of 1968, tanning ourselves in the sun on our farm in Maine (me, 9 years old, working on my tan, good grief), listening to the radio, Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay, by "the late, Otis Redding" the DJ always reverently emphasized "the late", the loss still fresh. My sisters wanted to go to Woodstock, but were blocked by the parental establishment. It was all around me. Anyway, what the hell am I yammering about. Over and out.

I wish it was the sixties, I wish I could be happy
I wish, I wish, I wish that something would happen.

— Radiohead

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Seacoast Seven

A warm, humid, foggy morning at Stage Fort Park in Gloucester. My parents used to take me there when I was little; I've a picture of a 4 year old version of me and my Grandma next to a big green dragon painted on rock near the water - 42 years later, the dragon's still there; I love the passing of time (naive melody).

Ran the Seacoast Seven — 45:22 (6:29 pace); 5th out of 97, 1st in division, trophy (what the hell am I supposed to do with that thing, trophies are for children, gimme a gift card or something.) Hilly, start to finish, literally, start on a hill, down, then back up the other side for a sadistic finish. Wanted to average 6:20, but couldn't. Getting wimpy, losing toughness, need more mileage/speed.

Only one other run this week, Wednesday, 6.8 miles, Longfellow-Charles-Smoots double loop, 6:42 pace. Right shin flaring up again, more typical MTSS though than before, more diffuse, a little higher and deeper, not right up against the tibia.

So check this out, Gobbler's Rock, never heard of it before, a 400 pound up in a tree (more photos). No one knows how it got there. Sadly, the whole tree, rock and all, toppled recently.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Marathon Sports 5 Miler

Catching up. We last left our hero post race at the Take the Lake 5K, 18:20 5K USATF PR. Since then, rest, rest, then Wednesday afternoon, Longfellow-Charles-Smoots double loop 6.7 mile run in the pouring rain (splits: 6:48, 6:37, 6:33, 6:50, 6:35, 6:29). Then, Thursday evening, Marathon Sports 5 Miler — 30:52, 6:10 pace, splits: 5:50, 6:20, 6:19, 6:26, 5:55. Not a PR but close, hot, pushing. More rest, then 10.2 miles on Sunday morning, low 7:00s pace, early, hot hot hot, slogging, thinking, I'll never run a marathon. Then, annual family outing to Mt. Monadnock, hiked to the top and back, White Dot Trail. Legs/shins feeling pretty beat up next day, and today, rest. 6.7 tomorrow or not.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Take the Lake 5K

Take the Lake 5K, 18:20 (5:50 pace; splits — 5:49, 5:59, 5:50). 11th of 586. Sub-18:00 remains ellusive; this is pretty much as fast as I can run I think.

"When I have neither pleasure nor pain and have been breathing for a while the lukewarm insipid air of these so-called good and tolerable days, I feel so bad in my childish soul that I smash my moldering lyre of thanksgiving in the face of the slumbering god of contentment and would rather feel the very devil burn in me than this warmth of a well-heated room." — Hermann Hesse, Steppenwolf

Thursday, July 06, 2006


Wasn't at all in the mood to run, at work, totally engrossed in and obsessed with my custom Lucene HitCollector I'm developing, debugging, had to drag myself away, after two days off, resting, left ankle was sore after Monday's 10.7 miles. But, once I was out there, Longfellow-Charles-Smoots double loop, feeling okay, springy, fast, strong. 6.7 miles, 6:42 average pace. I could really feel the benefit of the long run, need to keep that up and keep increasing, distance really builds strength.

Looking forward to, or not, actually, this 5K this weekend. 5Ks instill dread in my soul. 19 minutes of anaerobic hell (hopefully closer to 18 minutes.) Being dragged along with the pack, thinking, are we really running this fast, that feeling, it's so there, real, visceral, urgent. But I have to do it, that's why I do it, right, to feel, alive. And it's around that freaking lake I'm constantly running around.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

10.7 Miles

Still at the Cape. Rest yesterday, today, 10.7 miles, down the bike path a piece from Brewster to the East and back. Not bad. Told myself slow, anything below 8:00 would be dandy, go easy. Splits: 7:23, 7:12, 7:07, 7:15, 7:00, 7:12, 7:05, 6:58, 6:58, 6:33, etc. I just feel like it's not good for me to run extended periods at sub 7:30 pace, like it'll mess up my form. Hot, but not outrageously so, and pretty decent shade/cover down most of the path. Not bonking this time. Left ankle, inside, just above funny bone tender after. Tough but okay, need more miles, strength.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Cape Cod

Long weekend at the Cape. Beautiful, as usual, organic. 6.2 miles today, in the midday sun, hot, but some breeze diminished the misery. The middle 5.2 was the Brew Run route, which I should really be careful about running at all because it invariably draws me into racing the course, today, 34:03, 6:33 pace, 9 seconds off my 33:54 race finish last August. Shins better after than before.

Tough run, pushing, but not too much, at least that's what I say now, during, I think I was pretty miserable for most of the 4th mile. Though I've no direct experience , I tend to think of running similar to giving birth in that it's painful, but a it's a pain whose memory fades quickly, and fulfilling, enough so that you're contemplating another go at it before too long.

For the record, since last post, ran just 4.5 miles at lunch on Thursday, single Longfellow-Charles-Smoots loop, forgot the total time, but first 5K in 20:35. Hot, tired.

Considering a race on the 4th - Mattapoisett 5 Miler - Idunno, maybe maybe not, see how I feel. Need to get back to longer slower runs, build endurance/strength; racing could be an excuse to skip those.