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Help me, Clarence! Get me back!

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Re: Help me, Clarence! Get me back!

Post  Michael Enright on Sat Jun 23, 2012 10:56 am

Nice easy bike ride on the day before the HM training run at the Fairfield Half.
I just kept it local, and tried to avoid the hilliest parts, and took it easy. Averaged 13.4 mph.
I wanted to try out the Garmin Fit app on my iPhone, and compare it to what my 205 shows for the data for the ride. I hit the button on the iPhone to start a little earlier than the watch, and then put the iPhone in the little bag underneath the seat. Still worked pretty well. I also turned it off a little after the watch (had to stop, get it out of the bag, and hit stop).
They were pretty close. The watch showed the distance at 13.49 miles, while the phone showed the distance as about a quarter mile farther. The watch is pretty consistent for this route, so I tend to put more faith in it. The odd thing is the comparison of the elevation charts (see below). Both were uploaded to Garmin Connect and show the same roads, and both have the elevation correction feature enabled. Why the difference?

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Re: Help me, Clarence! Get me back!

Post  Michael Enright on Sun Jun 24, 2012 1:58 pm

Ran the Fairfield Half this morning. I ran it as a training run, and really because it's just a nice race and a fun event, and when I signed up for it, I had the morning open on my calendar. Seemed like a safe bet, because I only signed up a couple of weeks ago.

Shortly after I signed up (and spent the nonrefundable entrance fee!) I learned that I might need to cover for someone in church this morning who had volunteered to do something, but wanted to go see a dying friend a few states away. I really couldn't second-guess that, but it was disappointing - I wanted to run! But late this week, they let me know that their plans had changed back, and I could run.

Weather has been nasty hot here this past week. Really hot and humid. But it broke a little yesterday, and only got into the upper 80s, and was less humid. This morning was even less humid, though still pretty hot (I'm guessing it cracked well over 80 during the race), and full throttle sun. I was glad I'd committed to run this as just a training run - the course is hilly, and the sun and the heat would make for a lousy race for me if I was pushing it. Fortunately, the tough 12 miler I ran last weekend (which just exhausted me, even at a very slow pace), had convinced me that I was (of course) in no shape to race so soon after the marathon at the end of May.

I've run this race a couple of times before, so was well aware of the logistics. One part that makes me crazy (besides the traffic getting there) is the fact that after you pick up your bib, you have to walk over this little footbridge to the beach (the race starts just off of Long Island Sound) to get your t-shirt and check your bag. So, you walk through a sandy beach, just before lining up to run a half. Think maybe some sand might get in my shoes???? Always does. But, I had plenty of time to get it out. Why do they do this? The crowd trying to go back and forth over the tiny footbridge is also a nuisance. Would be easy to just set it all up on the parking lot side...

I talked to a couple of guys while waiting for the start, both running their first half. I answered their questions about the course (especially about how the hills go) and encouraged them to take it easy - the heat, sun and hills would take their toll. Hope they listened!

We went off without a hitch. The first mile was not as congested as I remembered. I actually ran that a little faster than I expected. Told myself to take it easy, as I was already sweating like a pig. Drank water, even at the first water station, which I rarely do a mile into a race. I drank water or gatorade at every one, and ran through a lot of sprinklers, and even ate a couple of gus they were handing out (gus don't bother me, so what the heck?).

If you check out the laps (below) you'll see that I turned off autolap and hit the splits myself, so the accurate split time is the second column from the left, not that last column. I ran the first 6 or 7 miles slower than the rest of the race, because the first half is a net uphill, and the second is a net downhill, AND, I figured, if I had anything left in the last few miles, I would crank it up and enjoy the finish, which I did, and it was GREAT.

I had a lot of fun along the way, talking occasionally to other runnerss, shouting out some comment (funny, I hope) to spectators, and generally just enjoying the pretty course, the camraderie and the beautiful (hot) day.

After I crested the hill just after 7.0, I increased my pace some, but kept it in check. I felt really good. Then, when I got to just past 10.0, you get a nice downhill, so picked up the pace nicely, then you get a steep uphill (but it's short), and I kind of powered through that, up the last hill, and jacked the speed up. I figured there was no way I'd break 2 hours at the point I hit 10, and I really hadn't set out to do that on a hot day. But when I hit 11 it seemed like a crazy fast finish might get me there. But why do that? Wasn't the point of this run. When I got to 12.0, I realized I wasn't that far off and what the heck, though I couldn't see getting there, it would be fun to run fast, so I ran the last 1.1 faster. The last lap is for the last 1.1, so the actual pace was about 7:45 or so. I felt absolutely great. What a difference a week makes - last Saturday I could not have come close to this.

Only hitch with the finish was that with about .1 to go, there is a gate you have to go through to get back into the beach parking lot, where the finish is. It is relatively narrow, just big enough for a vehicle to pass through, with room for maybe one person on each side, if they're not obese. Well, as I was just about to get there, they were waving a minivan through this opening, and given the spectators lined up too close on either side, the police were having him drive the van at about 1 mph. I think he was even stopped as I ran by. It was a very confused scene. As I approached the opening, I put my hands out as if to say "where do I go?" and just then they hollered that I should go to the right side, which I did, and cleared it ok. But I was miffed. Here I was, running on relatively tired legs, going as fast as I reasonably could, almost to the finish, and my passage is blocked by a non-emergency vehicle?? WTF?? For a race as well-run as this one is, I was shocked.

Of course, in the end it didn't matter. I sprinted the last little bit to the finish and crossed (by my watch, anyway) at 2:00:42. So, I could have easily broken 2 hours if I'd been a little less lazy on one of those earlier miles. But, so what? The point was not to break 2 hours.

I hung around a bit, got some sand back into my shoes picking up my bag at the beach, and headed back home. Nice run, nice day.



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Re: Help me, Clarence! Get me back!

Post  Michael Enright on Tue Jun 26, 2012 8:29 am

Back to the mid-week five milers this morning. Banged out 5 at a pace of 9:09 per on my hilly road and saw a few neighbors along the way, walking their dog, or riding their bike or getting their truck ready for work - nice to see and be seen. So often, I don't see anyone out and about at that hour who I know.
All felt well this morning. ITB is about the same. Worked on that with the foam roller on Sunday. Need to do more of that. Also, I think it's time to get back to the bowflex and do some easy upper body stuff in the evening. Might keep me away from the junk food and the tv if I give myself something more constructive to do! Surprised
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Re: Help me, Clarence! Get me back!

Post  ounce on Tue Jun 26, 2012 8:53 am

Gratz on the non-intentional good time. There's a lot more enjoyment during a race, when getting a great time isn't the objective. I'm not sure if it beats the opposite (getting a great PR), but smelling the roses along the way sure has its benefits.
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Re: Help me, Clarence! Get me back!

Post  Michael Enright on Wed Jun 27, 2012 4:15 pm

@ounce wrote:Gratz on the non-intentional good time. There's a lot more enjoyment during a race, when getting a great time isn't the objective. I'm not sure if it beats the opposite (getting a great PR), but smelling the roses along the way sure has its benefits.

Thanks. Haven't seen a PR in quite a while, so I'll take whatever I can get in terms of some enjoyment!
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Re: Help me, Clarence! Get me back!

Post  Michael Enright on Wed Jun 27, 2012 4:16 pm

Another easy 5 miles this morning. Beautiful morning. Supposed to get hot as the week goes on, so it was nice to have a cool morning. Averaged 9:14. Felt a little tired all through the run. Could have used some more sleep. My lower back is also bugging me, and not sure why, but I need to keep an eye on that. Hmmm, now that I've said that, I realize it's really hard to keep an eye on one's lower back!
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Re: Help me, Clarence! Get me back!

Post  Michael Enright on Thu Jun 28, 2012 9:59 am

Today was pretty much a carbon copy of yesterday's run. Beautiful morning - the heat hasn't arrived just yet. Nice to be out early (6:00 a.m.) and getting it in. Ran the five miles at 9:07 pace, which is just fine. Surprised I wasn't a bit more tired. The lower back seems to be on the mend, though not perfect yet. That's just a bit of a niggle for now.

The foam roller seems to be helping the ITBS - it felt better this morning. So I need to keep that up.

I do love the summer schedule. All school year, I'm up at 5:30, getting ready to go and taking my daughter to school - in the office before 7:30 - no time for a run, so it ends up being in the evening.

In the summer, I get up at 5:30 or 6:00, get my run in, sit and catch up on news and email, read the paper, have a cup of coffee, saunter into work between 8:00 and 9:00. A man of leisure!

However, the school schedule will return come late August. I need to enjoy it while I have it...
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Re: Help me, Clarence! Get me back!

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Thu Jun 28, 2012 11:46 am

Just read an article that indicated that hip strengthening will also help with ITB pain, and may in fact be more beneficial. Going to look into some hip strengthening exercises myself and I just thought I'd pass that along as it certainly can't hurt.
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Re: Help me, Clarence! Get me back!

Post  Michael Enright on Thu Jun 28, 2012 1:49 pm

Thanks - I saw a link Randy posted on FB about that, but haven't read it yet.
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Re: Help me, Clarence! Get me back!

Post  Michael Enright on Fri Jun 29, 2012 7:08 am

Was threatening to rain this morning, so I did my Friday 5 miler on the mill. Actually was a nice change from the hills! Plus, I got to watch Sportscenter - you can't beat that...

I wore my Kinvara on the mill for the first time. I really liked them for that - felt perfect. I may get some more miles out of them that way (assuming it rains on weekday mornings this summer!).

Everything is feeling pretty good. Looks like a hot run tomorrow - maybe 14 or 15 if I feel good? Then some kind of bike ride on Sunday.
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Re: Help me, Clarence! Get me back!

Post  Alex Kubacki on Fri Jun 29, 2012 8:17 am

Yep going to be a warm one this weekend. Have fun with the run and bike and stay hydrated.
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Re: Help me, Clarence! Get me back!

Post  Michael Enright on Fri Jun 29, 2012 10:53 am

@Alex Kubacki wrote:Yep going to be a warm one this weekend. Have fun with the run and bike and stay hydrated.

Thanks Alex! If there's one thing I've learned over the years, it is I need to STAY HYDRATED!!!Very Happy Very Happy
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Re: Help me, Clarence! Get me back!

Post  Michael Enright on Sat Jun 30, 2012 2:38 pm

I did a good job taking it easy in the heat for my 15 miler this morning. I didn't get started until about 9, and it was already quite warm and very sunny. Fortunately, this course is nicely shaded for about 90% of the way, which really helps. The bugs were pretty bad, though. They don't bite, but they were buzzing all around me, going for the sweat through some pretty long stretches - pretty annoying.

It must have been in the 80s already by the time I started. It was close to 90 when I finished. The good news is that the humidity is getting lower today (and it seemed like it during the run - the heat was bad, but not nearly as bad as it could have been). I very deliberately started out slow. This would be my longest run since the marathon five weeks ago, and it was my fifth run in five days, plus, it was hot. So, I headed out at a really easy pace. At the mile mark, I checked my split. It was 9:50. That meant I was running faster than that at the end of the split (I always start slower), so I told myself to slow down some, because I wanted to keep it really easy and not burn out and stop early. The next mile came in at a bit over 10:00. Perfect.

They just added about an eighth of a mile at the end of the rails to trail trail, so I checked that out. It slowed me down for that mile, because it involves a ramp that goes back and forth, a pretty steep little hill and no where to turn around easily at the end. Then I headed back to the car. I carried water with me right from the start this run (most often, I will not carry for the first out and back, usually 6 or 7 miles, figuring I'll be fine until I get back to the car). I was glad I had it today. I started drinking the half liter as I headed back, and it was gone by about 6 miles. I stopped to reverse hydrate at a tree just off the course at about the 10K mark. So that was a good sign that hydration was effective. Then, when I got back to the car at about 7.3, I chugged about 16 oz of gatorade and grabbed another half liter of water for the out and back the other way, and started in that direction. It was pretty hot. I just kept telling myself to go slow, and I was doing a good job of keeping it at around 10:00, which felt pretty good for the heat. I had little doubt at this point that I'd be able to finish. Between those two stops, I lost about 90 seconds of time.

As I was heading out the other way, I began to ponder whether I should turn around a little early (before the total out and back would bring me to my total planned mileage) so I could re-stock for water at the car. I took a chance and kept going. That worked out just fine, though it's a good thing it was a 15 mile run and not a 16 mile run. It was a little bit close at the end insofar as having enough water goes.

I was starting to feel a little tired on the way back, but just focused and was fine. A good sign - two of the last three miles were among my faster miles (including mile 15, which was somewhat uphill) - so I was by no means wiped. But I was ready to stop, drink some more fluids, stretch, and (most importantly!) get in the car and crank up the AC for the 15 minute ride home. I drank another 16 oz of gatorade plus another half liter of water on the way home. Still, after all the fluid intake, I was still down 3.5 lbs when I got home.

Gotta keep that hydration coming!

Average pace per mile was 10:07, I think, but "moving time" pace was 10:00 on the button - perfect!
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Re: Help me, Clarence! Get me back!

Post  Michael Enright on Sun Jul 01, 2012 1:53 pm

Nice easy 20 mile bike ride today. Hot day (90s and humid), and I didn't get out until after 11, so I hit the rail trail, which is shaded. With the shade and the constant breeze from being on the bike, it was pretty tolerable, I must say. Of course, the trail is a mix of crushed stone, packed dirt, etc., and it slows me down some. And it's not an endless succession of ego-crushing hills, like most of my road rides are. It was a 300 foot rise over the course of about 7 miles, then about the same descent over the next three miles, then turn around and do that in reverse. Felt good. Only hitch was that I put the bike on the rack to bring it over there, and when I do that I take the water bottles out of their cages and put them in my cupholders in the car. Of course, I forgot they were in the car until - wait for it - I got to the 10 mile turnaround and really wanted some water! Fortunately, I must have been pretty well-hydrated to start, and although I was thirsty, I wasn't parched, and had no trouble getting back without having to stress over the water. Just inconvenient. Felt great to chug one when I got back to the car!
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Re: Help me, Clarence! Get me back!

Post  Michael Enright on Tue Jul 03, 2012 7:17 am

My standard 5 miles up and down the hilly road this morning. Another beautiful morning. Heat broke some, and not quite so humid, but typical summer morning here.

Today is a little broken up. Have to go to a funeral this morning for the mother of a friend, then into work, but it'll be a short day there - people leaving early for the 4th, if they've showed up at all this week!

I just might double up my run distance for tomorrow. Morning. We'll see. Supposed to be stormy here tomorrow, said the weatherman. What does he know??? Very Happy
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Re: Help me, Clarence! Get me back!

Post  Michael Enright on Wed Jul 04, 2012 1:03 pm

No big storms here today, just some rain that came through overnight. Got out for a run starting at about 9:30. Not that hot yet (heading up to the low 90s later), but very humid. Up on the rail trail, where it is mostly shaded, it is a bit cooler, but it also is a bit more humid. The canopy of trees and the woods seem to harbor the humidity longer - it doesn't burn off at all in the sun. As I run along the trail, I come to places where it is so muggy it is misty.



I started off running slightly downhill. Felt good, despite the warmth and mugginess. I wasn't sure how far I would go. I wanted to do at least 6, maybe 8, and maybe even 9. I figured I'd see how I felt.



The downhill leg felt good the whole way. I was just taking it easy. I hadn't brought any water with me, or I might have kept going. As it was, I turned it around at the 4 mile mark and headed back. As I was running back (slightly uphill) it was growing warmer, and I was starting to feel just a bit tired. I was drenched in sweat. It ended up I lost 5 lbs on this run. I decided to call it a day when I got back to the car, so 8 miles. And that was the right call. I was tired and in need of hydration, but not wiped. Slugged down half a liter of water, walked it off and headed home with the AC cranked in the car.



When I got home, I jumped in the pool, then sat in the shade, letting the water evaporate off of me. Cooled me off nicely.
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Re: Help me, Clarence! Get me back!

Post  Michael Enright on Thu Jul 05, 2012 7:18 am

Easy 5 miles this morning, averaging 9:10. Supposed to be lowering humidity, but sure didn't feel like it yet.
Going to work today, but I have a feeling it'll be pretty slow.
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Re: Help me, Clarence! Get me back!

Post  Alex Kubacki on Thu Jul 05, 2012 10:19 am

Looks like you're getting the runs in with the weather. Running in this weather will only help later on in the fall. The humidity has been nasty though.
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Re: Help me, Clarence! Get me back!

Post  Michael Enright on Thu Jul 05, 2012 10:32 am

@Alex Kubacki wrote:Looks like you're getting the runs in with the weather. Running in this weather will only help later on in the fall. The humidity has been nasty though.

You are sure right about the humidity, man, I have sweated up a storm.

I don't expect to lose 5 lbs on an 8 mile run, but that's what I did yesterday.

Saturday I plan to run 16 miles, and it's going to be hot and sweaty when I do...
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Re: Help me, Clarence! Get me back!

Post  ounce on Thu Jul 05, 2012 3:15 pm

So what is a usual summer day morning's (pre-sunrise) temp and humidity?

I imagine your feet will shrivel up some from your wet shoes as a result of your 16 mile run.
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Re: Help me, Clarence! Get me back!

Post  Michael Enright on Thu Jul 05, 2012 3:46 pm

@ounce wrote:So what is a usual summer day morning's (pre-sunrise) temp and humidity?

I imagine your feet will shrivel up some from your wet shoes as a result of your 16 mile run.

Probably nicer than Houston most days!

Not much is usual in New England, as conditions vary greatly. But today was not bad. Only supposed to get up to upper 80s for a high today, after low 90s yesterday. Very humid yesterday, and stayed that way overnight. Still, reported temp for just before dawn was probably just over 70 today, and the dew point was probaby high 60s.

Yesterday, the temp was a little higher, and the dew point was about 70 at that hour. I expect the dew point was higher in the woods along the trail. It was misty in certain places, despite a temp in the 80s when I went through.
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Re: Help me, Clarence! Get me back!

Post  Michael Enright on Sat Jul 07, 2012 2:05 pm

I was aiming to do 16 miles today, maybe 17 if it felt right. Conditions suck. Quite warm and humid. Not sure what the temp was when I started at 9:30, but when I finished it was about 90, and the dew point must have been about 70. Even so, the run, with one exception that had nothing to do with the heat, went really well.

I ran this on the rail trail. I headed west at the start, figuring I'd run the first 7 miles out and back that way, and I carried water right from the start. I aimed to start slow and keep it that way. I nailed the first mile, coming in at just over 10:00, which is what I wanted, but after that the pace just kept seeming to want to climb. You can see the splits below. When I hit that 9:19, I just had to reel myself in a little bit, or it was going to turn into a 7 mile run, I worried!

Had a gel and some more water at the car at the start of mile 8, which explains the time on that one, grabbed more water and headed out to the east. I was thinking maybe I should just go out 2 and come back, so I wouldn't get too far from my water. But as I hit the 9 mile mark, I felt like it would be fine to go out 3 and come back, so headed out for another mile. Well, I felt great, and was marveling at how I was not overly affected by the conditions, when I stumbled right at about 9.5 miles, and really came down hard onto the crushed stone path. I tripped on a couple of protruding rocks - I've gone over those like a thousand times with no problem, but not today. I was covered with stone dust, had a pretty good road rash on the heels of my palms, a bruise on my right thigh and I seem to have hyperextended my big toe on the left foot. I got up and washed the road rash off with some of the water I had, and tried running. The toe felt a little weird, but it was doable, so I kept heading east, and then circled back to the car, right after 13 miles. I cleaned things off a little better there, ate a gu, drank some more water, grabbed a water bottle and headed back west. I was thinking I felt good enough to do 17, but as I reached the turning back point for 16, which happens to be a really sunny, hot spot, I felt like there was no good reason to go for 17, and given conditions and the fall, it would make more sense to head back. So I did, and finished feeling pretty strong.

I don't seem much worse for wear from the fall, except my hands are pretty scuffed up and my big toe hurts (based of the toe, at the ball of the foot, really).

Still an ugly day here. Hot and cloudy. Waiting for t-storms to come in and ruin the outside grad party we are going to in a little while...

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Re: Help me, Clarence! Get me back!

Post  Michael Enright on Sun Jul 08, 2012 12:50 pm

Nice 14 mile bike ride up on the trail late this morning. Great day for it - warm but not as humid, and in the shade with the breeze generated by tooling along on the bike, it was really pleasant.
Averaged about 12.5 mph, as usual up there.
This was a good way to get the blood flowing and the muscles some work without taxing them after the 16 miler yesterday and the fall, etc. Riding the bike didn't make anything hurt that felt lousy after the run and the tumble yesterday.
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Re: Help me, Clarence! Get me back!

Post  Dave P on Mon Jul 09, 2012 10:35 am

Looks like summer training is going good for you as well Mike. The Clarence Demar Marathon is another one on my to-do list.
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Re: Help me, Clarence! Get me back!

Post  Michael Enright on Mon Jul 09, 2012 10:46 am

@Dave P wrote:Looks like summer training is going good for you as well Mike. The Clarence Demar Marathon is another one on my to-do list.

Thanks Dave! So far, I'm pleased with my progress.
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Re: Help me, Clarence! Get me back!

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