Saturday, November 30, 2013

A Much Needed 12

I wanted to run the Turkey Trot today, but I didn't sleep well last night.  It was also quite cold this morning and I didn't think I could run a fast time.  Therefore, I passed on that.

I needed to get out and get a double digit run in.  I was feeling kind of crappy mentally, so I needed a good run.  In the afternoon, I headed out to the Nor-Bath Trail.

The weather was nicer by the afternoon.  It was at least above freezing when I started.  The wind was minimal.  I was planning to run an easy 10 miles, so I wore ColdGear with a fleece vest.  I had on tights, gloves and a headband.  I didn't quite need that much in the beginning and ended up taking it off.  As the sun was setting, I put it back on.

I started off from Bicentennial Park.  I ran west toward Northampton to start.  I just figured that I would run the whole length of the trail.  I felt great early on.  The legs were excellent and it felt easy.  It hasn't rained it a couple days, but the dirt trail was sloppy.  I guess I'm going to have to deal with those conditions all winter on this trail.

Some sections were so bad that I had to run in the grass along the trail.  I was concerned that the trail might be too soft and it might bother my legs.  I guess it didn't though.

Running out to Northampton had some downhill, so that was nice.  When I got to Northampton, I wanted to keep going since I was doing well.  I decided to run on the streets.  I ran past the high school and onto Route 329.  I then looped around as I ran down Main Street. 

By now, I had planned on 12 miles, instead of 10.  I hit mile 5 in downtown Northampton.  I did a short out and back by the Community Center to get some more distance.  I got back onto the trail with over 6 miles complete. 

I ran back uphill on the trail and back through the slop.  It was good to get to miles 7, 8, 9 and so on.  When I got to the trail onto a park, I took that paved path to add more mileage.  I saw a couple runners during these miles.  First, was a young lady.  Then a young guy that was running quite fast.  Finally, there was another young guy with his face covered, but also wearing shorts.  That was quite odd.

I decided to run somewhat hard for the last 3 miles.  I didn't run these as well as I thought I could.  The legs felt kind of dead.  It was still solids times though.  The 10th mile was 7:12.  I followed that up with a 7:01 11th.  Mile 10 had been right back where I started, so I went out and back.  I had turned around at 10.8 miles because someone was walking their dogs and I didn't want to have to pass them twice.

I finished up with a 6:40 last mile.  I could've pushed it even more too.  The overall pace dropped below 8 minutes per mile.  It was a great run and much needed.  It was so refreshing.  I finished off the week with 40 miles.

Tomorrow, I'm busy with the Eagles game.  I'm hoping to get up early and run though.  If I feel good, I might even run another short, easy run in the evening.  I'd like to do a 20 mile long run on Monday.  I'm looking for a big upcoming week.  I'm hoping for 70 miles total.

12 miles - 1:34:34 (7:53 pace)

Friday, November 29, 2013

Finally Some Time to Run

My life has been crazy lately.  The last two days, I was working almost nonstop.  Any free time I had was devoted to sleeping.  I didn't get a run in.  That made this a cutback week by default.

I didn't have time to run this afternoon, but luckily I was able to get out there at night.  I wasn't crazy about that because it is below freezing out.  Winter has sure arrived early over the past week.  The good thing is that it wasn't windy.

I'm hoping to run the Turkey Trot 5k in Bethlehem tomorrow, so I needed an easy 5 miler tonight.  I just wanted to be able to run again and enjoy it.  I was going to drive to the Nor-Bath Trail, but then I figured that I might as well run the neighborhoods around my house.

Since I wasn't running hard, I wore quite a bit.  I had on tights and a ColdGear top.  I wore my fleece vest over it.  I also had on a headband and gloves.  I do plan on wearing significantly less for tomorrow's race.

I started off at the end of the driveway.  I ran over to the elementary school and then into the other neighborhood.  I haven't run the long loop in awhile, so I planned on that.  It is about 4 miles.  I could add on after that.

The only thing I don't like about the cold is that my eyes water at first.  I felt great early on though.  The legs were sure grateful for the two days of rest.  They felt sharp.

I didn't pay much attention to my watch at all.  I didn't care about the pace.  Quite a few times, I was running slowly and I still told myself to slow down.  It was a nice and peaceful and relaxing run.

At one point, I ran past two cars with lights on.  I then ended up running past two teenage girls going toward the cars.  I caught them off guard.  A short while later, a guy was walking and I barely saw him.  I can't believe how little people wear in the dark.

This was a good run to just enjoy it and think.  I don't do that often enough anyway.  There were some Christmas lights around, but not much else was going on.  It was good to get to mile 3.

When I got near the end of the neighborhood, I decided to head to a long loop.  I was near mile 4 and that loop would get me close to mile 5.  I opted instead for a shorter loop and that actually worked out perfect.

I crossed the road and ran right past the Blue Eagle 5k finish line.  I finished the run at the bottom of the black path.  It was exactly what I was looking for in this run.  Just some solid and enjoyable mileage.

As I said, I'm probably racing tomorrow.  I might run in the afternoon/night too.  I need to get some more mileage in.  Next week should be a big week.

5 miles - 42:08 (8:26 pace)

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Dark, Cold, Rainy and Icy

The conditions were miserable this evening.  Other than wind, you name it, the weather had it.  It rained most of the day and was getting heavy as I began the 8 PM run.  It was also cold again, only in the mid to upper 30s, although the temperature was supposed to be rising throughout the night.

I would've liked to have got some miles in during daylight, but again I was busy at work.  Night running was the only option.  I headed out to the Nor-Bath Trail.  I was planning on 10 miles.  I started from the neighborhood section near Northampton.

Dressing was a tricky proposition on this evening.  It was cold, but not that cold.  With all the rain, I knew I would be soaked a feel much worse at the beginning when compared to the end of the run.  I wore my jacket with a short sleeve tech shirt under it.  I had on tights and wore a regular hat on my head to go along with my headlamp.  It was warm enough to not wear gloves initially, but my wet hands got cold quite quickly, so I threw them on as well.

Instead of heading the usual direction.  I decided to go toward Northampton.  This is a very short out and back from this starting point.  It is a downhill start which is nice.  Of course, that means it is uphill coming back.  The rain was very visible in my headlamp.  It seemed better when I turned it off later on.

I cruised along.  There was no going fast on this day.  The stone part of the trail was very sloppy.  Occasionally, I got water in my shoes.  It was cold water, which was quite uncomfortable.

Some kids were out playing basketball when I started.  That reminded me of how I used to play basketball in all conditions.  It brought a smile to my face.  Of course they were done 12 minutes later when I arrived back at my car.

I was almost 1.5 miles into the run when I got there.  I was already figuring this likely wouldn't be a double digit mileage run.  I headed out the other direction.  This has some uphill too, until the other side of Savage Road.  I crossed the road without too much difficulty.

The section past Savage Road was complete slop.  It was also kind of hard to see in the darkness.  I actually ran on the grass for a good portion of the beginning of this section.  When I got to about 2.1 miles, I decided that it was too crazy to run on this surface.

The stone was icy.  Almost every time I took a step, my foot slide slightly.  For someone who has trouble with their legs being sore, I figured this could really throw everything off for me.  I decided to head back and run through the neighborhoods.  At least the pavement and sidewalks were better.  I guess I should've taken the icicles on the stop signs as a signal that I shouldn't have been out there running on this evening.

I got to the neighborhood at 2.8 miles.  By now, I just planned on a 5 mile run.  Not great, but at least I got out the door and accomplished something.  The thing I wasn't crazy about with the neighborhood section is that it is hilly.

I ran a short loop in the neighborhood and then headed south for a longer out and back type segment.  I didn't know where I was actually going, but I found a lot of different roads.  When I was around mile 4, I took a turn and decided to go out farther.  I figured that I'd probably end up with 6 miles.  There are already some Christmas light up, so that was nice to see.

Around 4.5 miles, my nipple started to bother me.  It was chafing thanks to my wet clothes.  I opened my jacket up and that really helped.  When I got into the car later, I realized that it had bled down my shirt.  I thought if that ever happened that it would hurt much worse than it actually did.

On my way back, I was disappointed when I came out from one road.  I was much closer to my car than I expected.  I wasn't even at mile 5 yet.  I ran the other way.  As I was going down one hill, a small dog in a yard started barking and scared the crap out of me.  I crossed the road and ran on the other side.

I turned around shortly after that.  I then headed back toward my car.  This had some uphill, but wasn't too bad.  I slipped on a couple icy sections of sidewalk.  The sidewalk and pavement were generally okay.  There was just a lot of water. 

I got back to my car with about a third of a mile to go.  I ran a short out and back and finished up.  I was very wet and cold by the end.  I didn't get as much done as I would've liked, but I was glad I got out there and accomplished something.

Tomorrow looks to be another crappy day.  I'm also busy at work again.  I'm hoping to run, but not sure where and when.  This just might have to be a lighter mileage week than I anticipated.  Only time will tell.  Thanksgiving will be super busy, but I'll have some down time and might be able to run.

6 miles -53:00 (8:50 pace)

Monday, November 25, 2013

Palmer Bike Path Night Run

I was planning on the usual long run on Monday.  However, we are going to be super busy at work on Thanksgiving, so I stayed later than usual to get things together.  I could've rushed in a run before dinner, but instead, I just headed out at night.

I figured that I wouldn't run long after dark, but I at least wanted to run 10-12 miles.  I'm getting kind of sick of the Nor-Bath Trail, so I decided to run the Palmer Bike Path, starting at Mill Race Park.

The wind is much less than yesterday, but it was still pretty cold, especially after dark.  It was in the mid 20s.  With no wind, I just went with a ColdGear top, tights, gloves and a hat.  I wanted to wear my headband, but apparently I dropped it on the walkway in front of my house.

The plan was to run out about 6 miles and then run back.  I wasn't sure if I would quite make it there because I'd have to run some hills.  Early on, I sort of thought about running the full loop around Easton, but that didn't last.  I don't run on pavement much, so I didn't know what to expect and I was sore fairly early.

There was a slight headwind early on, but it wasn't much.  I tried to take it nice and easy.  I still got quite hot and sweaty.  The flat section until I got to Hackett's Park was nice and relaxing.  It was over 2.5 miles until the point.  After a slow first mile, I ran the next couple near an 8 minute pace.

I went up the Hackett's Park hill slowly.  It is quite steep though, so I was breathing fairly heavy by the top.  This section had a lot of elevation change.  Pounding the pavement and climbing was hard on my legs.  I was hoping that maybe they could handle pavement better than they do stone trails.  I guess they did, but it wasn't great.  This was nowhere near as good as the Nor-Bath Trail is for them.  I definitely need some new shoes.  Maybe that will help the legs out.

I ran downhill after Hackett's Park.  This was cool because there is a bridge over Route 22.  It was fun running over that in the dark with all of the cars' headlights.  After that section, there was more downhill and a road crossing.  Then I was running behind the bakery.

I decided that if I could cross Northampton Street without any issues, I'd do just that.  That is exactly what happened.  I ran through the next section by the old Dixie Cup factory.  A saw a cat run down the trail at this point.

The section around Easton High School can get quite busy.  I figured that it wasn't worth trying to cross all those roads at night.  I turned around before I got to 25th Street.  I was at 4.6 miles.  I'd have to add a few miles when I got back.

I tried to focus on just making it up the steep hill to Hackett's Park.  After that, everything would be flat.  There is a park right before the pedestrian bridge over Route 22.  I saw what I thought was a dog in the park.  I then realized that it was a deer.  I looked over and there must've been 8-10 deer in one of the fields.  That was neat.

After the bridge, the climb was difficult.  It is a switchback section with the middle third being very long and gradual.  It seemed to go on forever and ever.  I was breathing so hard by the top.  I hit mile 6 at that point.  I kind of couldn't believe I was only halfway done with my planned miles.

I ran on the road through Hackett's the first time, but this time I was wiser.  I ran through the park itself and avoided the cars.  Going downhill was nice.  Before long, I was back onto the flat part.  I saw another deer by the Crayola Factory.

I just cruised along.  The remainder of the run was mostly uneventful.  I just focused on the next mile and tried to be consistent.  At one point, I ran an 8:08 mile, then another 8:08 one and finally an 8:09.  That was exactly what I wanted to do.

I got back to Mill Race Park at mile 9.2.  I figured that I would run to the end of the trail at Tatamy and back.  I'd still need some distance.  I saw another deer along the creek just past Mill Race Park.  When I got to Tatamy, part of the trail is stone and my legs liked the change.

I turned around at 10.2 miles and headed back.  I now knew I'd need .8 miles to finish up from the end of Mill Race Park.  I was back at the park soon and then I ran a short out and back on the other side of the road.  I wasn't crazy about doing this because it would be an uphill finish, but it was a short distance.

I turned around at 11.5 miles.  I would run to the the far end of Mill Race Park to finish up.  I didn't run hard, but I pushed the pace slightly.  I ran the final mile, with some uphill, in 7:27.  It was good to be done with a solid workout.

Tomorrow, I'd like to do a long run.  Maybe something in the range of 17-20 miles.  It'll probably be on the Nor-Bath Trail, so that my legs can handle it.  I get kind of bored with really long solo runs, so I'm thinking I might focus on running the final 5 miles or so with a moderate effort.  At some point, I'll need to start incorporating some sort of speed element into my running anyway.

12 miles - 1:37:31 (8:08 pace)

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Windy and Cold Sunday Run

I'm usually busy with Eagles games on Sundays, so my week often gets off to a slow start.  I frequently rest on Sunday.  Today, they had a bye and I was free to get a run in. 

Of course it would be super windy and cold.  I waited until the afternoon (since the early football games were terrible anyway).  It warmed up to a windchill of 13 degrees.  I was only planning on 5 miles, just to jump start the week.

The plan was to run on the Nor-Bath Trail.  Rather than fight the wind, I wanted to use it to my advantage today.  I left my car at the east end of the trail and convinced my parents to drop me off at the west end in Northampton.  That way I could run with the wind at my back most of the run.

I told them to wait a couple minutes in case I turned around and gave up early.  I figured that that likely wouldn't happen though.  I had on tights and shorts, a winter top and fleece vest and gloves and a headband.  My mom was worried that I'd be too cold.  I was actually more concerned of the opposite.  I thought it might be too hot and I'd have to peel off layers.

From a temperature and feeling standpoint, the run started off great.  The only downside to starting this way is that it is an uphill beginning.  The hills aren't that steep, but it can be a slight challenge when your legs aren't warmed up.

I just focused on getting to each road crossing.  First, it was the neighborhood section and then Savage Road.  Those come up pretty quickly, within the first mile.  That mile was run at a comfortable 8:09.

I cruised along.  I can't say I was running slow, but I didn't feel like I was working too much either.  The legs felt great.  In this section between Savage Road and Weaversville Road, I saw some people walking.  One was a woman who was 70 or 80 years old.  If she can be out there in that weather at her age and walking around, then what I was doing was easy.  I saw another older guy later on with an Eagles sweatshirt.  Us Eagles fans had nothing to do today I guess.  I sure do hate bye weeks.

There were a bunch of crows making noise in this area, so I had some fun mocking them.  I crossed Weaversville Road with ease.  Amazingly, I didn't have to stop at a single road crossing.  After a second mile of 7:15, I was feeling good in the stretch around Bicentennial Park.

As I sort of figured, this area would be a little more interesting.  It was surrounded by open fields and there was no way to block the wind.  There was almost no wind in the first 2.5 miles, but now it was definitely present.

The wind wasn't too bad because at least it was coming from the side.  It did blow me off the path from time to time and I definitely had to fight it some.  Even with the wind, mile 3 was a 6:59.

I didn't plan on running sub 7 minute miles, but that was exactly what happened.  Maybe I was working a little harder than I should've.  Still, I was far from my limit.  Mile 4 was a 6:53 through the wind.

Before long, I was over Airport Road and onto the last major section.  I got to Jacksonville Road with about a third of a mile left.  I ran a brief out and back on that side of the road.  My breathing had become a little labored.  I guess today was good practice for working on my breathing without overtaxing my legs.  I finished up at my car with a 6:46 final mile.

Much as I suspected, I just needed to get out there and run.  It wasn't the most pleasant run, but it wasn't that bad either.  It was short enough that it was no problem.  I'll take cold running over summer running any time.  At least you can layer up in the cold.  In the summer, I can't run naked.  It would be frowned upon anyway.

Tomorrow, I'm hoping for a quality day.  I'd like an easy AM run and possibly a PM long run.  The end of my week will be busy, so I want to get a lot done in the beginning of it.  I haven't checked the weather yet to see what kind of a factor that will play.

5 miles - 36:01 (7:13 pace)

Saturday, November 23, 2013

BCR and a Short Run

Yesterday was actually a fairly nice day.  However, I just wasn't feeling a run and couldn't drag myself out the door.  A rest day wasn't a terrible idea anyway.

I knew I'd get out there today, I just wasn't sure when.  I had to go to the Lafayette-Lehigh game, so that ruled out the afternoon.  I wanted to go out and run with the BCR before that.  I got up looked at the weather, laid back down and tossed the idea of "to go" or "not to go" over and over again.  Finally, I decided it was too cold and I didn't want to run.  Then, out of nowhere I popped out of bed, quickly changed and drove to the Boat Launch for the run.  I didn't have much time to even get there.

I was sure glad that I made it out there.  It wasn't as cold as I thought it was.  Perhaps most importantly, there was no wind.  I was actually overdressed with ColdGear, tights and even a fleece vest on.  I was planning on a slow run though.

Mertz was there and took off way ahead of everyone.  I ran with Chris D.  I knew I wasn't going to run with Mertz and I didn't want to run alone.  We started off slow and were behind a couple of the others in the group.  Eventually, we picked it up a little and passed all of them.  Only Mertz was ahead of us.

It was a nice and peaceful run along the river.  We talking about running and auto racing.  The time just flew by.  This is exactly why I need to join group runs more often.  Before I knew it, we were over 2.5 miles.  Chris was only doing 5 miles, so we turned around.

I figured that I might as well run 5 miles with him and then finish the run off with 2 miles on my own.  Running back was great too.  I had a headband and gloves on and it got so warm that I took them off.  We passed a bunch of the other BCR on the way back.

Before I knew it, we were back at the Boat Launch.  I continued on by myself in the other direction.  I was on the pavement and my legs felt pretty good.  I passed some guy that was walking and he made a weird noise at me.  I was a little worried about going by him on the way back, but he didn't do anything.

I ran out to 6.15 miles.  I turned around and there was a slow group of women runners that I had to pass.  I wanted to push hard when I turned around and that was just what I did.  That mile's pace dropped from 7:20 down to a 6:33.  It was a nice, fast finish. 

I was so glad to be done and get in a solid 7 miles.  I haven't run with the BCR enough and it is something I need to do more often.  They are a good group and it makes running so much easier.  Time just flies by.  I also need to run more often with other people in general.  I'm upping my mileage and can only run by myself so much.

I was hoping to get to 55 miles for the week.  Therefore, I needed 7 more miles at night.  I got out before 9 PM.  The temperature had dropped and it was super windy. said it was a wind chill of 18 degrees.  There were some snow flurries too and the ground was slick after that.

I decided to just run around the neighborhoods near my house.  I wore about the same attire as the earlier run.  I turned on my headlamp and twice it died and turned off.  I took that as a sign that this wasn't the greatest idea.

I headed to the elementary school near my house to just run a couple loops in the parking lot.  The goal was to run 2 miles and get to 50 miles for the week.  Not as great as I was hoping, but still a nice round number for me.

I did a couple loops and they were interesting.  Part of it was super windy and cold and in the other directions, it was calm and warm.  I went back and forth between thinking "this is a great run" and "this is a terrible run."  When I got 2 miles in, I finally decided to call it a day. 

I want to run tomorrow anyway, so it is good to save myself some.  Really, there wasn't any point in 5 more miles.  It would've just been a good mental challenge with the wind and such. 

This week, I'll be super busy with Thanksgiving and lots of work.  However, I'm hoping I can fit 65 miles of running in.  I want to get my mileage consistently into the 70s and 80s over the winter.  Even though I have a lot of time, that won't be easy to do.  I'm up for the challenge though.

BCR Run - 54:20 (7:46 pace)
Night Run - 18:04 (9:03 pace)

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Road Run and Trail Run

The plan today was two easy runs after yesterday's hard run.  I was busy at work.  I had orders at three different times of day.  That made getting runs in difficult, but I got it accomplished.

I couldn't get myself to run in the morning, which I think was probably a good thing because I don't think my legs could've handled it after yesterday's hard run.  In the afternoon, I didn't have much time, so I ran the neighborhoods by my house.  I hate running there, so I rarely do that.  The plan was a super easy 5 mile recovery run.

I started off nice and slow.  I ran a loop around my neighborhood (which is about a mile).  I then ran down to the elementary school and ran the Blue Eagle 5k loop.  This can be a little challenging with some small hills, but running it with an easy effort was no problem.

My legs weren't killing me, but they sure didn't feel great either.  I'm not sure they cared too much for running on the pavement.  It is actually better for them than stone rail trails are though.

The weather was quite nice.  There was no sun out, but it was in the mid 40s with very little wind.  I would sure take that all winter.  I wore a jacket, but would've had on less if I was running faster.

This run was quite boring and uneventful.  The miles seemed to go by slowly.  That's partly because I'm used to riding my bike in this area and covering the distance at a much faster clip.  I had a couple dogs bark at me, but that was about it.

Even without much effort, I ran quite a few miles around an 8 minute pace.  My legs did come around and the pace quickened as the run went on.  After finishing the race course, I ran a loop in the elementary school parking lot.  I finished the run with a partial loop of the neighborhood.

After delivering a dinner order, I went out and ran again before another order.  Since our store is near the Jordan Creek Parkway, I decided to run there.  I've been waiting to check it out at night anyway (even though I'm pretty sure that isn't allowed).

It was just as nice from a weather standpoint as it was earlier in the day.  I wore a lightweight long sleeve top and shorts.  I was even sweating pretty good by the end of the run.

I parked on the paved lot next to some apartments.  I figured this would be better at night as opposed to the regular lot.  My legs didn't like the idea of beginning on the paved path along the river, but that section didn't last long.  Before I knew it, I was over the "Bridge to Nowhere" and then climbing up the ridge trail.

This was fun, but with so many interconnecting trails, I kept sort of getting lost.  I could see the apartment complex lights below, so I always had a general idea of where I was.  After weaving in and out, I went down the ridge and back to the paved section.  It was over a mile into the run.

My headlamp isn't the greatest and the battery seems to be dieing too.  I couldn't see very well.  Thankfully, this is an easy trail without too many rocks or significant elevation changes. 

After being on the paved path for a bit, I climbed the steepest trail section of the route.  There is a ledge and that made it kind of interesting, but it wasn't too dangerous.  Still, it probably wasn't the best idea to be running this section alone and at night.  I did stumble a couple times going up it and I stumbled a few more times during the run.

When the climb was done, I was now to the tricky section.  I can find my way out of here in the daylight, but evidently not in the darkness.  I kept going round and round.  Every time that I thought I was headed the correct way, the trail would curve back the other way.  I probably even ran a lot of the same sections.  So much looked familiar.  Eventually, I came to the main path.  I then came out to a big cut through and knew exactly where it went to.  It led to one of the disc golf holes and down the hill.

I went downhill and then ran the flat open section through the disc golf course.  I came out on the baseball fields and ran through the course some more.  I'm getting pretty familiar with this section.  I went by a pond and then crossed a footbridge.  I headed back along the creek and was in my normal parking area before long.

By now, I was over 4.5 miles.  Something ran out of the bushes in this section.  It was pretty loud, so I'm thinking it was a deer.  I ran over the main path again and then took a section down the creek.  I came out by the "Bridge to Nowhere" and again ran the main paved path back to my car.

When I was back at my car, there was another car in the lot.  Someone was in it too.  I wasn't crazy about that.  I had some more distance to go, so I ran a short segment through the apartment complex.  The car left as I was running back.  I finished up with 6 miles.

It was a solid day and I was glad to be done with it.  I wanted to run 10 miles for the second run, but the legs weren't feeling it and it was too hard to see.  I'll have to put it two more solid days to finish the week.  I'm hoping to run 12 miles tomorrow, maybe at Jacobsburg.  I would like to go on trails.  On Saturday, I might run twice, but break it up into 2 runs.

Afternoon Road Run: 5 miles - 41:57 (8:24 pace)
Night Trail Run:  6 miles - 1:03:07 (10:31 pace)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Sometimes You Have to Just Keep Going

After a great easy run on the Nor-Bath Trail yesterday, I headed there again for some hard running.  I had a doctor's appointment, so I got there late in the afternoon.  I wasn't quite sure whether I was going to run longer segments or some short and fast repeats.

The wind was much better than a day ago, but it was still quite chilly.  I went with a long sleeve top and shorts.  I definitely developed some minor wind burn.

I warmed up for a mile and didn't feel all that great or fast, so I decided that there was no way I could run half mile repeats.  Instead, I wanted to try a different type of workout.  I've often seen workouts with several consecutive miles of hard running with a break in between and then several more miles of hard running.  That is what I wanted to do.  It was kind of like a combination of a tempo run and repeats.  The plan was to run 4 miles pretty hard, then recover with 2 easy miles and finish up with another 4 miles of hard running.

I started off the fast part by running some decent times.  However, I wasn't sure if I could keep it up.  The legs didn't feel great at all.  My breathing was okay.  Hard mile 1 was a 6:42, but that took quite a bit of work. 

The 2nd hard mile did have a road crossing, but that didn't really slow me.  I just didn't feel strong and this mile really slipped.  It dropped to a 6:48 and I was getting very discouraged.  I was thinking of quitting and came very close to doing so.  I was beginning to think that it just wasn't my day. 

I decided instead that I just had to finish this first hard 4 mile segment.  It didn't even matter what the pace was anymore.  I had to at least get through that and then go from there.  Originally, I was going to run the 2 miles out and then come back.  Instead, I kept going.

The 3rd hard mile is where the magic finally started to happen.  Suddenly, the legs started to come around and I began to feel much better.  I ran a fast 6:36 mile.  I now knew that at least this first segment would be solid.

Amazingly, I made it across Airport Road without needing to stop.  That's a rarity during the busy evening hours.  I continued on until almost the end of the trail.  The 4th hard mile was even better than the previous one and I finished the segment with a 6:33.  I was actually amazed that I had that much speed and I was certainly working hard, but felt like I could've pushed even a little more too.

I do well with shorter repeats, so I was interested to see how my body would handle these 2 recovery miles.  I wanted to see how I'd bounce back.  Neither one was exactly slow, so that was a good sign.  The last one was even a 7:15.

I started up the 2nd hard segment.  The legs took a little time to warmup, but that made for a conservative start.  Although they just felt okay, I was encouraged by a strong pace.  This 1st mile was a 6:37.  At one point, I think I was going downhill because I felt awesome.

Things continued on the same path.  I was in such a groove.  The next mile was a 6:40.  I was running quite consistent now.  With the cold air, I felt a little funny, but I just kept pushing on.  I turned around right before my car and had 2 more hard miles to go.

I had saved up a little and could push a bit more now.  The legs started to feel slightly weird though, so I didn't want to go overboard.  When I had started this 2nd segment, I didn't know what to expect.  I just figured if I could run under 7 minutes for each one, I'd be thrilled.  Now, I was well under that.

My times even dropped for both of these last 2 hard miles.  They went to 6:36 and then 6:33 as I finished up going uphill slightly, but also really pushed myself.  I was so thrilled when I finished.

I was even more excited when I looked at the overall pace.  After 11 total miles, it was 6:58.  That is under my half marathon PR and more amazing is that that is with 3 of those miles run at an easy effort.  After a much slower last mile, the pace was a 7:09.  I could've easily run a half marathon PR today if I tried to do so.

For the first fast segment, my time for the 4 miles was 26:39.  That is an average pace of 6:40.  I was surprisingly even faster on the second segment.  It was a total time of 26:26, with a pace of 6:37.  Those 8 hard miles combined for a time of 53:05 (6:38 pace)

This was an other amazing run that just makes Saturday all the more frustrating.  I guess I just need to get over it.  Maybe I need to sign up for another race.  I obviously love the surface on the Nor-Bath Trail.  I might push myself there and try to run a half marathon PR in the near future.  I do also need to get onto some roads or paved trails and test my pace out there too at some point.  If I can't run well on roads, then I have a lot of work to do to reach my goals.

Tomorrow, I'm hoping to run twice.  Once in the morning and once in the afternoon.  I was thinking of going to New Jersey for the afternoon run, but I have to work at dinner time.  That run will definitely be on a trail.

12 miles - 1:25:47 (7:09 pace)

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Where Was This?

Yesterday was a fun trail run.  Today, I wanted to run hard again.  However, it was just very windy and tomorrow looks like the better day, so I pushed the hard workout back.  I'm going to a basketball game this evening, so I needed a "quick" 10 mile run (as if there is really such a thing).  I couldn't mess with challenging trails and needed something flat like the Nor-Bath Trail.

I started at the far end of Bicentennial Park and headed toward Bath.  Originally, I was just going to wear a long sleeve tech shirt with shorts.  However, it was just too windy for that, so I went with a jacket and short sleeves underneath.

I started off comfortable and nice and easy.  I just relaxed and enjoyed the run as much as I could with the wind blowing.  It seemed more like a side wind than a headwind, but whatever the case it was constant and present throughout a lot of the run. 

I didn't even look at my watch until almost a mile into the run.  Even then, I just glanced at it.  It took me forever to cross Airport Road.  It must've been about 15 seconds.  I noticed something odd shortly after that.  I had seen my pace before the road crossing and overall it was 8:21.  Not too long after the road, I looked down and it was still 8:21 (even after the road crossing).  I thought that was very strange because it meant that I was running much faster than an 8:21 pace for this second mile.

Normally, my easy effort is around 8 minutes.  I had to already be going faster than that.  I ran all the way to the end of the trail and it was about 2.67 miles when I turned around.  I headed back and hit finished mile 3.  I was blown away to see it as 7:37.

I was putting in so little effort and yet the pace was very quick.  I guess that shows how quickly I'm improving and maybe also just how much I enjoy the surface of this trail.  The legs did get a little sore around mile 4, but that was only minor.  I crossed Airport Road easily the second time around.

I wasn't running hard and the only issue I had with breathing was some minor difficulty due to the wind.  Mile 4 was 7:26 and then mile 5 was 7:17.  I had quite a few race miles around 7:17 the other day.  The other awesome thing is that I wasn't even at my favorite part of the trail yet, the fastest section between Weaversville Road and Savage Road.

I made it over Weaversville quickly and had no trouble at any more of the road crossings.  Miles 6 and 7 did have more direct headwind and some uphill and those were still run at 7:25 and 7:35.  I turned around when I got to the neighborhood just past mile 7.

Now, I knew I'd have a nice downhill and non windy next mile.  That was the case and I got into a great groove and ran a 7:20.  I continued to amaze myself and my legs came back too.  I couldn't believe how strong they felt and how night and day it was from the other day.

Even on the section near Bicentennial Park, I still felt pretty good.  I continued to try to hold back.  I was getting annoyed by the wind.  Still, mile 9 was a 7:13 without much effort and I ran most of the final mile on the pavement through the park and that was again a 7:13.

This was such a great easy run and now I'm just more frustrated by the awful results of the half marathon.  I was thinking maybe I overestimated myself heading into Saturday, but I really don't think that's the case.  I hate making excuses, but I clearly hated the surface on Saturday and I certainly love the surface of the Nor-Bath Trail.  I can't believe how much of a difference it makes, but it has a pretty significant impact.  If I ran this hard today, I think I could've had no trouble running a sub 6:50 pace for the 10 miles.

I'm going to run there again tomorrow and run hard as well.  I might do an easy morning run too.  For the afternoon run, I can't decide whether I want to try a tempo run or shorter 800 repeats.  I was actually thinking about doing 4 miles hard then a recovery for a mile or two and another 4 miles hard.  Maybe I'll just start it off and see how I feel then.

10 miles - 1:15:58 (7:36 pace)

Monday, November 18, 2013

No Plan Day

I recovered fairly well from the disappointing half marathon on Sunday.  I had some minor soreness yesterday, but that was largely because I was on my feet a lot of the day watching friends do well at the Philadelphia Marathon.  Otherwise, I felt good.

I woke up feeling kind of weird this morning.  I'm still thrilled at where my training is at.  I had a bad race and it was just a test run anyway.  At the same time, a bad race is still frustrating and hard to shake.  The biggest issue is that you want to get that bad taste out of your mouth, but with it being so late in the year, I won't have a shot at another half marathon or longer race for months.  I have the half marathon in February in New York, but the weather should be terrible for that.  Maybe I just need to focus on getting my 5K time back under 20 minutes as redemption.

After feeling that way, I needed to just get out and get a run in.  I also wanted a fun, relaxing trail run.  I never run on much of a plan, but before I go out for a run, I usually get an idea of how much I'm going to run.  Today, I just decided to totally go on feel.  Of course I would've liked 8-12 miles, but really that didn't matter.  I just wanted to start running and then stop whenever I felt like it.  It was a true no plan day.

I like the trails at Jordan Creek Parkway.  They aren't too challenging and they are a lot of fun.  I just wish they were longer.  I decided to head there and run.

The temperature was great, but it was windy.  That made it a little chilly walking around, but it was fine during the run.  I wore short sleeves and shorts.

I started off on the trail along the creek, like I usually do.  There were a few people playing disc golf, so I didn't want to go that way.  The trail was much different than the last time I was there.  All the leaves are gone and it seems barren.  Thankfully, there aren't many rocks hiding under the leaves.

Before long, I was at the "Bridge to Nowhere."  I ran the path along the creek first.  This is fun, flat and easy.  I was just enjoying the run and taking everything in.  I didn't even think to look at my watch.  I did an out and back in this section and then took the other trail to climb to the top of the ridge.

This is a relatively short hill and not too difficult to get up.  Still, when I was at the top, I was impressed with how high up I actually was.  With no more leaves, I could really see the creek below.  I had fun running through this section and then I headed back down and back across the "Bridge to Nowhere."

I then ran along the paved part of the path.  A short distance later is a lengthy climb.  This actually isn't that hard and I only started breathing heavy at the very top of it.  It is a little tricky because the trail is right on the edge of the ridge. 

After the climbing, it was mostly back to the flat section at the top.  I ran all through there.  I took several different ways and ended up looping back to the same spot several times.  It was fun to explore more trails and also adding some distance.

Finally, I ran down one of the disc golf holes.  Then I ran through the disc golf course area.  I hit mile 4 and decided to look at my watch for the first time.  I had not even given it a thought up to that point.  By now, I figured that I would get back to my car around mile 5.  I figured that I was feeling good and would probably just run 2 more miles at that point.

I got back to my car and decided to head back out the original way again.  The legs were getting slightly tired, but not too bad.  I just continued along.  I decided that rather than do an out and back, I'd go over the "Bridge to Nowhere" and run to the top of the ridge and then back down to the bottom to do a loop.

At the bridge, a woman was calling for her dog.  She asked me if I saw it and I told her I had not.  I was glad to see later on that she found it.  I got back to my car again around 7.5 miles.

I wanted a short out and back to finish up at 8 miles.  I had to wait for a guy to throw his disc.  I continued on until I got to a small pedestrian bridge over the creek.  I then came back and hit 8 miles. 

It was a solid day and more importantly an enjoyable run.  I can't complain at all about the weather or the trail.  It was fun to just run relaxed and easy.

Tomorrow, I'm not sure yet if I'll be running hard or not.  I might go to a basketball game in the evening and that could dictate my schedule.  Eventually, I want to get to the site of my winter 50k that is coming up. 

I thought about biking tonight, but it is windy and I don't think I have the energy to do it.  Maybe I'll change my mind.  I definitely won't be biking as much as it gets colder as I was during the summer.  Hopefully I can keep a solid biking base anyway.

8 miles - 1:18:28 (9:49 pace)

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Delaware Canal Half Marathon

After running well lately, I decided to sign up for the Delaware Canal Half Marathon at the last minute.  I was hoping I could PR, but really I just wanted to test out where I was at.  I still only have about 3 recent hard runs under my belt.

It was an unseasonably warm day.  I was unsure what to wear.  I wanted to run in a singlet, but had to convince myself that it would be warm enough to do so.  Then I saw a guy parked next to me with a Boston Marathon jacket and he was wearing a singlet to race.  At that point, I was sold.

This is a race on a narrow canal towpath from Washington Crossings State Park.  Since it is narrow, they had wave starts.  I predicted a 1:32 finish time, hoping to get into the first wave.  Instead, I was in the second one.

As expected, the beginning was a little quick, although it didn't feel quick.  Toward the end of the first mile, it slowed and I open with a nice 6:59.  I was hoping to run a lot of 7 minute miles and then push toward the end.  This was a perfect start.

My breathing was a little hard during this beginning portion of the run, but I settled in.  Still, my legs didn't feel great.  I just pushed through and tried to be solid.  Some people passed me and I passed a few others.

Around the 5k point, a few people started to slip and I passed them.  I felt kind of good for a few brief moments.  That wouldn't last.  My legs didn't feel strong.  I also was running on feel and instead of 7 minute miles, it was more like 7:10 miles.

I just continued on.  I was hoping that maybe I was going slightly uphill at this point and that coming back would be downhill.  I got to mile 4, then 5 and then 6.  I actually didn't see the leader coming back until I got to mile 6.  I passed a woman right after that.

I was thrilled to be at the turnaround point.  I knew this would make or break my race.  I needed to be running downhill and I needed my sore legs to get a break.  I was hoping that if it was a slight downhill that my pace could be faster too.

That didn't happen however.  My legs were bothering me just as much or more.  This was frustrating because my lungs are so far behind my legs right now.  I wasn't breathing hard though.  It was my legs that were killing me on this stone surface and thus holding me back.

I just tried to survive until the final 5k.  My pace was only slipping slightly.  A PR would've been difficult, but I was hoping I could just push through that last 5k.  That never happened though.

I was running around a 7:11 pace at mile 9.  Then, almost out of nowhere, my upper quad started to bother me.  I've had some slight soreness in this area, but nothing like this.  It got so bad that I had no choice, but to stop and walk.

I tried to stretch, but still had no luck.  Even walking was hard.  I was worried because I didn't really want to walk 4 miles to the finish.  I just continued to walk until it started to feel better.  Then, at mile 10 I was feeling pretty good.

At this point, I decided to run.  I started off very slowly and no longer had any issues.  When I got past a half mile of running, I was thrilled.  I figured if I could just make it to mile 11, I could walk the rest if needed.

I kept going and going.  Every now and then I passed one of the people that had passed me while I was walking.  A few of them had asked about me.  I'm glad I ran a 50k a few weeks back, so I knew how to just survive.

I got better as the run went on and I was now running back to the pace of the people that I was running with.  After a slow 8:38 mile, I ran an 8:05.  Since I felt pretty good now, I pushed it in during the final half mile.  Mile 13 was at least a respectable 7:31.

I was very frustrated with the race, but happy to be done.  I was also very happy that I recovered and finished the run.  I'm still not sure what the problem was, but I guess it isn't an injury.  I didn't drink enough fluids, so maybe it was just a cramp.  After one mile over 15 minutes (thanks to the walking), I still managed a 1:45.

I do like disappointing races because I feel like I usually learn something.  I didn't run stupid though, so I'm not sure what to take from it.  I guess the lesson is never to run on stone surfaces for races.  I sort of already knew that though.

I was somewhat disappointed that I couldn't run faster when I did run hard, but oh well.  I still got a decent 9 mile workout and a little bit better feel of where I'm at now.  I have some ambitious goals for the winter and spring and I'll keep working hard to achieve them.

Tomorrow, I'm going to watch some friends run the Philadelphia Half Marathon and Marathon.  That should lift my spirits a little.  All of my future goal races are more of the fun variety and maybe I need that.  If I feel good, I'll run again on Monday.

13.1 miles - 1:45:06 (8:01 pace) 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Exploring South Mountain (Emmaus)

I had a pretty good, fast run on Monday evening.  Then, we got hit with a cold spell.  It was freezing and windy and I just couldn't drag myself out the door for 2 days.  I did nothing at all.  I could justify it since I signed up for a half marathon this weekend.  Rest before a big race never hurts.

Finally, it was a little nicer today.  It was in the upper 40s anyway with a breeze.  Usually I eat and then run later in the afternoon or at night.  Today, I decided to run right after work, before eating.

Since I was in Whitehall for work, I figured that it isn't too far to Emmaus.  I don't run there often, so I thought that would be refreshing.  A couple months ago, I ran South Mountain in the dark before I realized how stupid that was.

Every time I've run there, I was either out of shape and struggled with the climbing or it was simply too hot.  That certainly wasn't the case today.  I headed out with a long sleeve top and shorts.  I might've even gone with a short sleeve top if I brought one with me.

I often start out at the connector trail, rather than at Apline Street.  I do that because I want a flat warmup.  I don't like that surface though, so I might change that up next time.  After 2 days of rest, the legs felt kind of beat up early.  They weren't as fresh as I expected.  Hopefully it was just the awful stone surface.  It is hard, but also loose and has no grip.

After about 2/3 of a mile, I was on Alpine Street and the real trail.  The dirt was much nicer, although there were leaves everywhere, so the grip wasn't the best.  Some of the rocks were hidden by the leaves and I nearly tripped from time to time.

This is definitely not an easy trail as it climbs up the mountain.  The good thing is that a lot of it is gradual.  I knew it would be tough at the start getting up the trail, but things would get better on the way back as it would mostly be downhill.

My breathing in the cooler air with some wind was a slight problem.  The bigger issue is that I'm still breaking in my trail shoes and the bottom of my foot hurts on the uphill portions of the run.  I just battled though, knowing that it would get easier.

I had started off going to the left.  There were a lot of switchbacks.  It wasn't too long until I was to this neat boulder outcrop.  I then got onto the red trail from the orange one.  The only time I had gone on this section was a hot evening with a group run.  I nearly didn't make it out of there alive.

There was a guy with his dog and later on another guy at the powerline opening.  That part has a pretty nice view of Emmaus.  Before that, I ended up on an unmarked section for a short bit, but it came back on to the red trail.  I nearly missed a turn at one other spot too.  The leaves can hide the trail this time of the year.  In this area, the trail is on a ledge, so I had to be cautious.

When I came to the powerline, I ran up it for some time.  I was caught off guard early on.  One section was a little wet and it was actually frozen.  I realized that it had been cold the last few days, but I had not even thought about things being frozen yet, especially since it was now warm.

The powerline was a bit rocky, but the climbing wasn't too bad.  I went off on what I thought was a trail, but it went to a dead end.  After a slight downhill, I started heading up another powerline.  That became too much of a climb, so I turned around at 2.6 miles.  The plan was for 6 total miles, so I wasn't doing too bad at this point.

I would've liked to have explored more of the trails, but it was time to head back down.  I'll have to do that in the future.  I have still never gone off of the orange trail in the other direction and checked out those sections.

One thing I really love with trails is how focused you get.  You are just worried about the next step and don't look at your watch too often.  That makes the run go by quick.  It sure did on this day.  Before I knew it, I was back on the orange trail.

This time, I headed down the opposite direction to complete the loop.  It wasn't long before I was at the bottom and I was kind of disappointed that I wasn't farther into the run.  I was at 4.5 miles. 
I decided to restart the loop and do a short out and back.  At 4.8 miles, I came to a woman who was hiking and I just turned around.  When I arrived back at the connector trail, I was over 5 miles.

Again, the connector trail was just awful.  I was thankful that I didn't even have a mile to run on it.  I passed a couple that was walking and was back to my car before too long.  I had a short bit to finish up so I ran uphill on the road and then back down.  My overall pace dropped and dropped.  It was right at 10 minutes flat when I finished up.

I would certainly run in Emmaus more often if it was closer.  Even so, I have to get there more often.  I'd like to really get to know all the trails.  They are fun and although challenging, really not too difficult.  I didn't have to walk at all today.

I thought about biking this evening, but I think I'm just going to pass on that.  I haven't rode since Saturday.  I'll probably hop on it for 25 miles or so tomorrow.  It should be nice and easy.  Nothing too hard the day before the race.  Maybe I'll run, but it won't be more than 3 easy miles just to get the legs going.  I'm looking forward to the race.  I think I can run a PR, but I guess we'll see.

6 miles - 59:59 (10:00 pace)

Monday, November 11, 2013

Another Test

Right now, I'm running fast once a week, but everything is just a test to see where I'm at.  I took a much needed complete rest day yesterday.  I would've biked 10 miles, but it was just too damn windy.  This week's weather is going to suck, so I might not ride much.

I wanted to run hard on Tuesday, but the forecast is for very cold and windy.  I decided that I would change it up and run today in better weather.  I wanted to go out in the afternoon, but after a nap, I felt terrible.  I headed out to the Nor-Bath Trail after dark.

I started from the one neighborhood.  This is good because I can park along the street.  About a quarter mile into the run, there's a road crossing, but that is no big deal.  The first mile was a warmup anyway.

The plan was to run a 10K and see what kind of pace I could sustain.  Since my goal for my next marathon (whenever that actually is) is a 6:51 pace, I really wanted to be able to run that pace.  Anything under 7 minutes would be good though.  I've run long and slow and short and fast, but I haven't figured out where I stand in the middle ground yet.

It is funny because I actually hate running really fast, but I look forward to really short and fast repeats like half mile repeats, much more than runs like this.  Even though a 10K is slower, it is still hard and for a longer stretch.  I really enjoy the recovery time during repeats.

I guess going downhill helped, but initially the legs felt awesome.  The warmup almost always tells me whether it'll be a good day or not.  It sure felt like it on this day.  By the end of this mile, I was really cruising.

I took off hard, but not too hard.  My breathing was laboring a little, but I felt like this was a solid pace.  I opened with a 6:48 first fast mile.  That was right on target.

The road crossings are one of the big problems with this run.  If you are focused on time, waiting for cars can really throw things off.  It did as I got to Weaversville Road.  Rather than wait for cars, I turned back around.  Turning around throws off the momentum too though.  I ran back about two tenths of a mile and then tried to cross the road again.

This time, I made it across.  There was a car, but I only had to slow slightly for it.  The good news was that I only had to cross this road one more time and there would be no other road crossings.  As I headed toward Bicentennial Park, I came through a section with a lot of leaves and it might've been slightly uphill too.  My legs suddenly felt slower.

I just pushed on though.  My breathing labored a little more and I wondered how I could hold this pace.  I just kept at it though.  Even with this tough section, I still ran this next mile at 6:49.

I went out to Airport Road and turned around.  I wasn't through my third hard mile yet, but by now I was struggling.  Maybe I should've started out a little slower because my breathing was a problem at this point.  It didn't feel like an issue earlier on, but it obviously was now.

This mile was quite slow when compared to the others.  It dropped to a 6:55.  I thought I was slipping, but figured that I would keep going unless I really slipped up big time.  Somewhere in this next mile, I developed a bad side sticker.  Breathing was part of it, but not having enough of a break after dinner could've contributed as well.  I tried to slow slightly and it seemed like it worked.  My pace stayed pretty consistent.  Maybe I was going downhill or maybe my form was better and my legs were strong.  After bothering me a little earlier, the legs did seem to come around and felt great.

This fourth mile was 6:51.  I was glad to see it back down to where I wanted to be.  With two more hard miles to go, I just focused on running hard and trying to stay consistent.  My breathing seemed to recover a little, although I was certainly still laboring.

Crossing Weaversville Road was clean this time.  This section between Weaversville Road and Savage Road is just awesome.  I don't know if it is because there is mostly soft dirt and little stone or if it is just flat, but it seems much faster.  Even with the breathing trouble, I ran this fifth mile at 6:49.

Although I was feeling like crap and maybe working a little harder than I would've liked, my times were remaining consistent.  That was a big boost.  I could've just run 6 miles, but I wanted to do 6.2 miles to see if I could run under my 10K PR.  It isn't that great of a time, since I haven't run many 10Ks.  By now, I knew I was going to achieve this goal.

Part way through this last full hard mile, I turned around and headed back toward Weaversville Road.  Now, I knew I was almost done and pushed and pushed.  There was a farmer working in the dark to take down his corn.  That made for a nice distraction.  I came through this mile in a 6:44.  Even though the breathing was laboring, I just battled.

I turned around and ran the final two tenths of the hard segment.  I was heading toward my car.  This last little bit was run at a 6:30 pace.  One thing I'm learning how to do well is really finish runs.  Even if I'm struggling some, I know I can go hard for a mile or two and actually run faster than I had been running.

I ended this fast segment and cooled down for 0.8 miles.  That gave me a nice 8 miles in total.  My time for the 10K segment was 42:14.  That's a 6:48 pace.  I was actually hoping I could run that pace with a little less effort than I did.  That is because I was secretly hoping I could run this pace for an entire half marathon.  The good news is that even though it felt hard, my pace wasn't falling at the end.  My official 10K PR is 43:49, so I crushed that.

I guess with where I'm at, I'm going to run a half marathon this weekend.  If I can run a little slower at the start, maybe a 7:00 pace or so for the first half, I might be able to run the final 10K at close to the pace that I did tonight.  I feel like I could've put together a few more 6:51 miles tonight, but not much more.  Unless I have an incredible day, I won't break 1:30 quite yet.  I have a real good shot at breaking my PR of 1:33:11 though.  It will be fun to see where I'm at.  Maybe I'll even go after a 1:30 anyway.  My endurance is certainly great and my legs could easily handle it.  I just have to control my breathing.

Tomorrow, I'd like to run 10-12 miles.  The weather could really dictate what I do.  Whatever the case, this is going to be a relatively light week by my standards.  I won't run or bike nearly as much as I usually do.  I need some rest if I'm going to run the half marathon on Saturday.

8 miles - 57:40 (7:13 pace)
Fast 10K portion - 42:14 (6:48 pace)

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Finishing Up a Big Week with the BCR

I've been extra busy with running and biking this week and today was finally the end of it.  I've been running 40 miles and biking 100 miles quite often.  In the long term, I'd like to run 60 miles and bike 100 miles a week consistently.  Therefore, I decided to try it out this week.

I needed 10 miles of running and 15 miles of biking today.  I decided to split up the run into two runs.  I headed out early in the AM to run with the BCR.  I don't do that often these days.  We met up in Riverview Park

It was quite cold when the run started.  It was in the low 30s.  I went with long pants and a ColdGear top.  I wore a jacket over it too and that actually ended up being too much with the lack of wind.  My gloves and headband came off as the pace was brisk.

Since it has been a big mileage week, I didn't want to run too hard, so I wasn't going to try to hang with Mertz.  I was happy to see Emily there so I could run with her.

We started off heading toward the boat launch.  Emily said she was going to go easy, but of course we took off.  The first mile was just under 8 minutes.  My body wasn't ready and I wanted to complain that the pace was quicker than I'd like.  I bit my tough though.

Mel joined us and we had a nice little group going.  We talked about the usual training and such.  Emily is running her first marathon next week in Philadelphia.  The pace got even quicker.  Time flew by with the conversation.

Mel turned around at mile 2.  Emily was going out to 2.5 miles.  I wanted to go a mile farther, but I figured I might as well turn around and run with her and have the company on the way back.  We turned around on the path to the Boat Launch.

The pace continued to drop.  It was now under 7:40.  I was impressed that my breathing wasn't laboring at all.  It felt quite quick.  At one point, I was wondering if we were going uphill because it felt slower.  We passed a bunch of the BCR people who were walking as well as a couple of the runners.  With the out and back runs, you get to see just about everyone during the run.

The 4th mile was a speedy 7:33.  By now, I was happy with the pace and feeling strong.  We continued to cruise along.  With about a third of a mile left until Emily was stopping, I decided to really kick it into high gear and pull away.  I wanted to see how fast I could go.  I almost went too fast.

Even though most of that 5th mile was the regular pace, this mile ended up being a 6:51 thanks to that fast ending.  It was awesome and felt good to fly.  Once Emily stopped, I ran a slow cool down easy mile by myself.  I finished up still feeling pretty strong, even after running on pavement again.

After breakfast and a nap, I got on the bike.  I ended the week with a windy 15 mile ride.  That wasn't bad, but I was very glad to be done riding.

I went to a football game and then in the evening it was time to run again.  I wanted to stay on a soft surface, so I went to the Nor-Bath Trail.  I just had 4 miles to run.  I decided to start in a neighborhood near Northampton.

I headed out and was across Savage Road pretty quickly.  I had to wait at road crossings a few times.  That was about the only interesting thing about the run.  Otherwise, it was just boring and slow through the darkness.

It is amazing how hard a 4 mile easy run can seem.  It just mentally seems kind of long for some reason.  I've always hated short runs.  I guess I'm not focused.  Usually in a long run, it takes about 4 miles to get into the zone. 

Eventually I ran past Bicenntennial Park and turned around.  It was getting kind of hot wearing my jacket.  I took off the hat and gloves pretty early on.  I was going slow, so I wanted to be comfortable.

I just kept plugging along.  Maybe it was because I was sweating so much, I don't know, but I felt a little lightheaded at times.  The final mile started to get a little tough on my legs.  They were feeling the affects of the big week.  It was great to finally get done.

I know that I won't be biking as much when it gets colder, so I wanted to see if I could put in a week like this.  It was definitely a challenge.  It would've been a lot easier if I could have done a 20+ mile run earlier in the week.  I would like to try to get in a lot of 60+ mile run weeks done.

Tomorrow, I'll take a break.  I would like to hop on the bike.  I'm not running though.  My legs will hopefully thank me for the break.  I'm actually surprised that they aren't too sore at this point.  I guess since I've been running slow most of the time, it isn't too bad.

6 miles - 46:41 (7:47 pace) - Run #1
4 miles - 35:53 (8:58 pace) - Run #2

Weekly Totals

160.18 miles, 17:19:04 - Time in Hours, 11,515 - Calories Burned
Running 60 miles, 8:52:32 - Time in Hours, 7,117 - Calories Burned
Cycling 100.18 miles, 8:26:32 - Time in Hours, 4,398 Calories Burned

Friday, November 8, 2013

A Big Day (Run, Run, Bike)

I've been trying to put in 60 miles of running this week and 100 miles of biking.  After doing nothing on Sunday, it has been tough.  Yesterday, all I did was bike 15 miles.  I went out to the Nor-Bath Trail last night and just didn't feel like running, so I did nothing.  That meant that I needed to do a lot more today.

I still had 27 miles to run coming into today.  I planned to run 13 miles.  I ended up doing even more than that.  Since I had an order in Bangor from work, I figured that I wasn't far from the Delaware Water Gap.  I decided to head up to the McDade Trail.  I've run and biked there before, but was hoping to explore more of it.

I initially parked at Smithfield Beach.  It was rainy and cold.  I sat around and let it pass.  I also let the wings and fries that I had for lunch digest.  I figured I might pay for eating those.  I was going to head north from the beach, but I saw what looked like the trail was roped off.  I decided to head farther up River Road.

I then found a small parking area called Riverview.  I started there.  I wanted to go north again, which was a good idea since I saw a bunch of hunters in the fields to the south. 

I thought I might've ridden through this section, but that was some time ago.  The sun was a out some and it was a little better weather wise.  It went from sunny to cloudy throughout the run.  It was often windy too.  I wore a jacket and headband.

This is an awesome trail.  It is stone and wide and runs along the river.  Instead of a boring flat rail trail, it goes up and down.  There are some small bridges over water and stuff like that.  It's still pretty runnable.  Most of the leaves are gone now.  I'd imagine that it looked awesome a couple weeks ago.  I'll have to head up there earlier next fall.

After a couple miles, I came out to a stone road.  I remembered this area and had been there before.  I was on this road with my bike last time.  This time, I noticed that the actual trail comes out of a parking lot.  I ran up it and up is definitely the appropriate word.  It was a pretty significant climb.  Since it was less than 2 miles into the run, I decided to walk it.

I then came to the park office at the top of the climb.  There was a cool bridge over some marsh lands before it.  If I was hiking rather than running, I really would've enjoyed this area.  After the office, there was a steep downhill.  I didn't want to climb back up it, so I headed back down.

When I got back to the stone road, I ran out on it.  Not long after that, I came to a construction area.  I had to turn around and head back to the car.  It was around 3 miles at this point.  I didn't have many options though.

When I got back to the car, I was less than 5 miles into the run.  I headed in the other direction.  I figured that I would do that until I got near the hunters.  It didn't take long and I heard gun shots.  I turned around pretty quickly since a friend has my orange vest and I didn't have bright colors on.

I just decided to head back out in the original direction.  I figured I might only run 7 miles, but at least that was a start.  Maybe I would run elsewhere.  By now, I was burping a lot and eating the wings was taking its toll.

I came across a guy on a bike.  There were two guys riding today.  Other than them and the hunters, it was rather quiet and peaceful.

About a half mile from my car, there was a hill and trail leading to some restroom facilities and a parking lot.  I ran up there for some extra mileage.  It wasn't far.  I went back out to the stone road.  I got to about 8.5 miles before I turned around again.  I was happy with my progress and now knew I'd at least get 10 miles in.

My back was getting a little sore by now and so were my legs.  That was just another problem in addition to my digestion.  I just sputtered along.  The pace slipped some.

I was just under 10 miles when I got back to my car.  I knew some how, some way I'd get to 13 miles.  I went back out the other way for a short distance and then headed the original way.

I kept trying to go farther and farther out.  The more I got out, the closer I was to the end when I got back.  I turned around after about a mile and a quarter.  Running back was slow and difficult.

I just focused on small increments and eventually I got to my car.  I had another quarter mile to go yet.  I went pretty hard to finish up this final mile.  It was good to get this run out of the way.

This is a fun trail and I hope to run there a lot more.  It is very long and I'd love to run the whole thing.  I definitely need to explore more of it, especially the north end.

After I got home, I ate and watched TV for a couple hours.  I planned on a night ride.  I then decided I would try a short run on the neighborhood roads near my house.  It was a little chilly when I started, but the wind died down.

I took it nice and easy through the dark.  I thought this would be a good area for a 4 mile route.  It is lightly traveled with only a few houses and an industrial park nearby.

It was peaceful and pretty uneventful short run.  The pace was slow, but it was good recovery.  I was worried that my legs might be sore, but they weren't.  There were some long climbs.  They took their toll by mile 3 and I was sore towards the end.

After finishing up, I rode a lot of the same area.  It was very chilly on the bike, but I survived.  I got in a solid 15 miles.  It was nice to use the ride for recovery.  I kept the pace slow.

It was a big day and I'm glad to be done riding and biking.  I'm now up to 50 miles of running and 85 miles of biking this week.  I still need to run another 10 miles and bike 15 more.  I'm going to run with the BCR in the morning.  I might need to add another short run later in the day.  The ride could come in the afternoon or evening.  It won't be long.  I can't wait to be done with this week.  It has been tough.

13 miles - 2:06:54 (9:46 pace) - Run #1
4 miles - 37:04 (9:16 pace) - Run #2    

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Back to Half Mile Repeats

Today was just another speed trial day.  Originally, I wanted to see if I could hold a 6:51 pace for 8 to 10 miles.  I figured if I could, I would enter a half marathon next weekend.  I may still do it anyway.

It was perfect weather this afternoon as I headed to the Nor-Bath Trail.  However, I didn't feel great going there.  I was constantly burping.  I figured it might not be a great day.

I wanted to go out a mile and then back to warmup.  I passed these two little kids walking with their mom early on.  They were cute and must've been twins.  They were fascinated by a runner.

The warmup was okay, but during the second mile, my pace was hovering around 7:30.  Of course I could go faster, but I wasn't even sure if I could sustain that current pace for 8 miles, let alone running faster for mile after mile.

I decided to just change the workout on the fly.  I just need to run any type of speed workouts that I can get at this point and improve my breathing.  I usually do very well with half mile repeats.  I can go hard and then recover within the easy quarter mile segment.  I had no plan of how many to do.  I was just going to go until I felt that I had enough.

I started out at what felt like a pretty comfortable pace for the first fast half mile.  At one point, the pace was well under 6 minutes.  I figured that was too fast, too soon and decided to slow down.  Really I didn't slow much as I finished that repeat up at 3:03 (6:07 pace).

These were definitely tough and my breathing labored from this first one all the way through to the last one.  My legs were pretty good though, so that kept me going.  The second one started out too fast again.  This one had a road crossing on Weaversville Road.  I didn't want to wait for cars, so I ran along the road and then crossed when I could.  That threw me off by a couple seconds no doubt.  This was still a 3:09 though.

I managed to recover well in between segments, but my easy pace was dropping and dropping.  When that happens, I know each repeat is taking a lot out of me.  That was fine though.

The third repeat was more of the same.  I kept trying to start out slower, but it was hard to do.  My pace would begin too fast and then I'd fade, but try to hang on.  At least I was relatively consistent.  This third one was a 3:08.

I started the fourth one as I got closer and closer to Airport Road.  There was no way I was going to even try to cross that road during a fast segment.  Luckily, it ended before that with a 3:07.   

I turned around at Airport Road and headed back.  By now, I knew I was losing it, but still felt that I had one more in me.  With my legs recovering fairly well, that was a big help.  I figured since this was the last one, I could push a little more.  I definitely did just that and bounced back with a 3:05.  This one actually did start out slower.  Maybe that helped.  I was glad to be done with a solid five reps.

I recovered from that one and just figured I'd start a sixth one.  My legs were pretty gone by then tough, so I cut it off very early.  Five was enough and a good start.  I just want to see where I'm at.  I didn't want to overdo it.

I was hoping to run about 12 miles total, so I was very disappointed when I realized that I was only just past 5.5 miles at that point.  It was a long way back too.  I just sputtered along nice and easy.

Right before getting back to my car, I saw the little kids again.  I arrived at the car just before mile 8.  I wanted to try to get to mile 10 anyway.  It was getting chilly now though, so I grabbed a jacket and a quick drink.

I saw the kids again and their mom commented about me still running.  Actually, it was a short day for me time wise.  My legs were very beat by now and my pace was super slow.  I just battled to get the last 2 miles in.  They were slow, but I got it done.

Today wasn't what I had hoped for, but it was still productive.  Any hard running that I do now makes progress for me at this point.  I'm very thrilled with where I'm at and can't wait until I get my breathing down.  My times will really drop then. 

The average for the fast parts of this run was under 3:07.  Not bad for 5 repeats.  If I can do 10 of those at that pace, Yasso 800s predict that I can run a 3:07 marathon.  I don't think that's quite accurate, but I'm not too far off of that and I'm months from any marathon attempt.

I rode a recovery ride on the Saucon Rail Trail in the evening.  That was tough because the stone they use doesn't have much grip.  It was kind of annoying, although coming back was downhill and I flew.  I'm not sure I'll ride there again.

If I recover well enough, I'm hoping to put in another big day tomorrow.  Doing nothing on Sunday has really set me back with my goals for this week.  I have a lot to do in the next 3 days.  I'll probably have to run and ride each day.  If I could get up for a morning run tomorrow, that would be a big help.

10 miles - 1:21:48 (8:11 pace)

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Jacobsburg Night Run and Afternoon Bike Ride

Yesterday was a tough day with a long run followed by a bike ride.  Today, was a little easier, but still a double session.  This time, the bike ride came first.  I did another 20 miles on the bike and the legs felt pretty dead early on, but came around later.  I finished up around dinner time and it was already dark at the end.

I originally wanted to run hard for about 10 miles today and see what kind of pace I could do, but I needed to be more well rested to do that.  Plus, I worked later today than usual and want to travel for that run.  That meant I had to do a short run instead.

I didn't give my stomach too much time to digest the food.  I began the run at 7 PM, about an hour after eating.  I headed to Jacobsburg.  I thought about running South Mountain at Lehigh, but I didn't want a trail that was too technical.  I did need to run on a trail though. 

There is a gate at the main lot, so I didn't want to park there after dark, in case they closed it.  Instead, I went down the road a bit to a small lot.  The trail begins right across from there.  I had a very interesting start.  As I headed on the trail, I saw three pairs of glowing eyes staring at me.  I'd like to think they were deer, but I'm not sure.  In all the miles that I've logged in Jacobsburg, I've never seen a single deer.  They did take off into the woods right away.

I headed toward the main lot.  That meant some early climbing.  Normally, when I do a long run, I walk the really steep hill.  I wasn't going to do that today, since I was only planning on running 7 miles.  Getting up the hill wasn't too bad.  It looks like the new building is now open and that the trail goes to there now.  I'll have to check it out in the daylight sometime.

I thought about taking the fun ridge route to the main path, but that is kind of steep.  If I did happen to fall there and couldn't get up, I wouldn't have been found until the morning at the earliest.  Going the other way to the main lot wasn't as bad, but I had to be cautious there too.

I haven't run in Jacobsburg at night very often, so I never noticed how reflective all the trail markers are.  I'm not used to that and kept thinking that it was animal eyes.  I cruised along and felt better as the run went on.  The food had finally started to settle in.  It was a little cold, but not too bad.

I know that part of the trail is close to Route 33, but you can't even notice it in the daytime.  At night, however, you can see the cars' lights pretty clearly.  That broke up some of the peacefulness of the run.

Most of this run was non technical and easy, but one section between miles 2 and 3 is fairly rocky.  My headlamp is kind of dim and the rocks blended in with the leaves.  I only stumbled once.  Going uphill in this section was much easier than the downhill. 

Something big ran in front of me.  I'm pretty sure it was a deer because it was that size, but I couldn't see it very well.  One odd thing is I didn't hear any small animals like rabbits or squirrels along the trail.  Often, this time of year they scurry away through the leaves.

It was so hard to see that I ended up running through the mud sections a couple times, rather than around them.  The nice thing is that since you can't see up ahead, hills aren't that bad.  They often look worse in daylight than they really are.  I went up the one short, but steep hill and actually didn't even realize it until later.

I crossed all the roads with no problems.  I then headed onto the Sober's Run Loop.  I was past the 3 mile point and closing in on mile 4.  I was really enjoying the run.

I came to the powerline and that was a slightly tough climb.  Again, it was better than in the daytime though (when you can see the top).  I pushed pretty hard up this climb, knowing that it would likely be the last hard part.  This mile (mile 5), ended up being an 8:54 mile.  That motivated me to push on a little.

I cruised downhill.  This is a wide open section, so I could fly.  I didn't have to worry about rocks.  I went past the turn on the one path, but then decided to go back and take that for a bit.  I ran out about 3/10 of a mile.  I figured I'd need something around this distance to get to mile 7.

I knew mile 6 was fast, but I wanted to really push on this last mile.  I was creeping closer and closer to an overall pace of 9 minutes.  Eventually, I did go under this.  I finished up by running on the road a bit.  I hit mile 7 almost right at my car.  The final mile was a very nice 7:26.  My overall pace broke 9 minutes, without too much effort.  Not bad for a trail run.

Tomorrow, I definitely need to get out there and run about 10 miles pretty fast.  If I have a decent pace, then I'll sign up for a half marathon next weekend.  I'm hoping to test it out on the actual race course tomorrow, but that will require an hour drive to get there.  I'd like to squeeze in a bike ride again sometime tomorrow.  I'm in pretty good shape to hit my weekly goal of 60 miles of running and 100 miles of biking.  It'll still take some work though.

7 miles - 1:02:18 (8:54 pace)

Monday, November 4, 2013

Running 16 and Biking 20

It is a good thing I listen to my body.  Some days, I feel great and can put 20+ mile runs in without any issues (like the 25 miles at Jacobsburg a few weeks back).  Others, like today it is a battle.  I had hoped to run 20 miles, but it didn't quite work out that way.

As usual, I slacked off in the afternoon and waited to run.  Now that it is dark an hour earlier, that meant a lot of nighttime running.  I was planning to run 20 miles on the Nor-Bath Trail.  I like the section by Savage Road, so I started there.

Originally, I thought about doing 3 out and back segments of 6 miles each and then just adding to that.  I started off following a woman who began right before me.  I was worried that I might run a little too fast behind her, but luckily I passed her pretty quickly.  She didn't go out very far before turning around.

I just ran along.  There isn't much going on on this flat trail.  Crossing the roads around rush hour was a pain in the butt.  Eventually, I crossed Weaversville Road and then Airport Road.

 To do 3 out and back segments, I would've had to turn around at Airport Road.  I decided instead that I would keep going.  I figured I'd run to the end of the trail and turn around.

It was quite cold today and I had struggled with it in the beginning.  I only had on shorts and a lightweight long sleeve tech shirt.  I was carrying a handheld water bottle and that actually became very cold.

I ended up going out to almost 4.5 miles before the trail ended.  I started to head back and was already developing some soreness.  I got new trail shoes and my back was sore after running in them on Saturday.  That same mild soreness began to develop today too.  I probably should run in road shoes, but I need a new pair of those too.

I cruised along.  The pace was nice.  It was just over 8 minutes early on.  As I headed back, I was amazed at how busy the trail was.  I rarely see very many people running there, but I guess a lot of people were squeezing in runs after work and before it got dark. 

I arrived back at my car around mile 8.5.  I was already quite sore.  I definitely need to adjust to these shoes.  Not only was my back sore, but my legs were too.  I'm also not that used to running long miles continuously like I was doing today.

I headed back out.  This time, I was more prepared.  I put on my headlamp since it was getting quite dark.  I also grabbed my gloves so that my hands didn't get cold.

I was going much slower this time out.  I tried to just focus on short segments.  Getting to mile 10 was huge.  By now, I knew that 20 miles was very unlikely.  I have a lot of 15 mile runs, but not many over 20, so that was kind of disappointing.

At one point, I had considered running all the way to the end of the trail again.  However, with how sore I was getting, I didn't want to risk going too far out.  I figured that if I still felt good when I got back to my car, I could add more miles.

I turned around at Airport Road.  That was over 11 miles into the run.  I ran along.  It seemed like I was going slower and slower.  I was now all alone in the darkness and getting kind of tired of the run.

When I got to the one spot with a turn off into a park, I took it.  That added some short distance on pavement.  I figured that I'd now get to the car around mile 15.

I thought I would call it a day at 15, but then as I approached the car, I thought why not run another mile.  I did a short out and back to finish up.  This mile was tough and a slow go.  I could've pushed through and run a couple more miles, but I didn't want to beat myself up too much this early in the week.  There is plenty of time left to get longer runs in.

After those 16 miles, I went home and ate dinner.  About half an hour after that, I rode my bike.  It was very cold riding through the darkness.  The temperature had dropped into the 30s.  I felt cold in the first 3 miles, but good after that.  I put in a solid 20 mile ride.  After a zero day on Sunday, it was good to put in a productive day.  It was actually just under 4 combined hours of working out.  Amazingly, that is becoming kind of typical for me now.

I'm not sure what I'll do tomorrow.  I'd like to run long and run much faster for part of it.  I want to see how long I can sustain a 6:51 pace or at least a 7:00.  If I can do that pretty long, I may enter a half marathon soon.  I have to see how my body recovers tomorrow and then decide if this is something I want to try.  If not, I'll do it on Wednesday.

16 miles - 2:21:51 (8:52 pace)

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Jim Thorpe Waterfall Run

I love the town of Jim Thorpe and have had fun running there a few times in the past.  I really haven't hit much of the trails though.  I was very excited when I was invited to run about 2.5 hours there on the Glen Onoko Falls Trail.  This guy Swamp, who I met once, was leading the run.

The group was huge.  I knew a few of the people, but many I never met.  A lot of them were from the Pagoda Pacers group out of Reading.  There were 40 people committed to the run on facebook and at least 30 showed up on this nice fall day.

It was quite chilly at the start, so I went with my lightweight long sleeve orange tech shirt.  At times, it was cold during the run, but when the sun was out, it was quite nice.  I wish I would've had on short sleeves.

I knew the beginning of the run along the falls was going to be difficult and technical.  I just didn't realize how hard it would be.  It was pretty much unrunnable for the most part.  We basically just hiked that section.  It was a slow go.

The views of the falls were neat, although they aren't big waterfalls, at least not this time of year.  We stopped a few times to take in some views and also got a group photo above one of the falls.

After the top, it was a technical, rocky singletrack through the woods.  I followed along in the second group of three people.  The first group got pretty far ahead.  This section was kind of fun.  It beat up my feet a little and tested out my new trail shoes.

We stopped at another outstanding view of the mountains and the Lehigh River.  It was one of the best views I've ever seen.  By now, we were only a few miles into the run.

When we started up again, I wanted to make sure to run with the front group.  I didn't want to be caught behind anyone.  There were some good runners there, but not everyone was pushing themselves.

This next part was a woods road section.  This was quite runnable, although they put down some pretty good sized stones in some parts.  These were very annoying.

During one uphill section, some of the faster people like Aaron and Dorf went cruising by Swamp and I.  I started to struggle with the uphill.  The legs were fatigued from all the climbing.  It was only an hour into the run and I was wondering how I'd keep going.  At this pace, it seemed tough.  Right as I was about to drop back, we got to an intersection and stopped to wait for everyone.  This was perfect timing.  A hunter was driving around this area, I think we annoyed him.

We continued on and were on woods roads for a short while.  Then, we stopped again and went through some singletrack.  I let Aaron get ahead of me.  We both followed Swamp.  They almost dropped me on some of the very technical, rocky sections.  Right as I was about to slow again, we stopped again.  Perfect timing once more.

We continued on some more singletrack.  I stayed toward the front again, although I think someone else was ahead of me now.  They were moving pretty good through this section again.  After another stop, we went through singletrack again.  This was very runnable and fairly smooth.  I had to work so hard to stay with the front group.

This ended up being like intervals sessions for me.  Run hard, recover and run hard again.  This time, we were out to some powerlines.  Aaron knew where he was going, so he took off in this section.  It was downhill, but wide open and very fast.  It was also a longer segment than I expected.  I was breathing heavy and dropped behind quite a few more people.

After the powerline trail, we went through the woods roads before heading back onto the rocky singletrack.  I tried to stay with Aaron since I didn't quite know where we were going.  He was long gone though.  My legs were tiring by now and a few more people passed me.

Eventually, we got to a rock and took another route down to the bottom.  This was a different option than the falls section.  This was steep and rocky and still not really runnable, but it was better than the falls part.

I basically walked down most of it with my friend Tim and a couple other guys.  Even walking down it, my legs really started to hurt.  My back began to bother me too.  We were now in double digit mileage.  This was a tough run.

Finally, we came to the bottom and ran to finish up.  I was going to just stop, but my watch was at 10.95 miles, so I ran the other 0.05 miles to finish up.  It was a great workout and good to be done.

We chatted for a bit at our cars and then went into downtown Jim Thorpe to eat at Molly Maguire's.  It was good food and good company.  This was a fun group.  They are such experienced trail runners too.  It seemed like almost everyone there has run multiple 100 mile races.

I rode my bike to recover after dark.  That seemed to help my sore back.  I want to put in a big week this coming week.  I might try to run 60 miles in addition to riding for another 100.  Tomorrow, I might run Trexler with Tim.  That would be a good way to start the week.

11 miles - 2:20:33 (12:47 pace)