Thursday, November 3, 2011

In running season, change is only constant | SeacoastOnline.com

In running season, change is only constant | SeacoastOnline.com

By Bob Wiles
November 02, 2011 2:00 AM
As I enjoyed a run through the woods behind Portsmouth High School on Saturday morning, it occurred to me that the last year has slid past me very quickly. It seems like yesterday that the limbs on the trees were just budding and now they are surrendering their exhausted leaves to the autumn winds.

It reminded me that we runners also move through cycles during the year. Parts of the year are centered on training and some months are ideal for racing. Sure, there are folks who race all year long, but even those hearty souls tend to make use of different surfaces and distances that change with the seasons. Road races give way to snowy trail races and outdoor track events move to shorter indoor tracks.

The point is that nothing stays the same. We are always in a constant state of evolution. Hopefully we spend most of that time moving forward, but sometimes things get in our way that cause us to regress. And sometimes we are forced to find the silver lining in those moments when we aren't moving forward as we had planned.

Taking time after the fall races to let our bodies recover is an important part of training. While we may surrender some aerobic fitness during this recovery, we are actually preparing ourselves to be better next year by giving tired muscles and small twinges a chance to fully heal. In this case, it is a very good trade-off to sacrifice some fitness that will quickly be re-gained once you start up again in a couple of weeks.

Want proof that taking a little time off to recover is not going to ruin your chances of running well next year? Look at America's finest track runner over the last decade, Bernard Lagat. He takes the month of October off every year to let his body recover from a long racing season. In fact, he gained 12 pounds in the month of October this year while enjoying his rest! If our nation's best runner thinks that taking a month completely off from running and apparently eats everything that crosses his face during that month, surely us mortals can allow ourselves a little recovery time and a couple of slices of thanksgiving pie in the coming weeks.

And speaking of taking a break, the time has come for this column to go into hibernation for a few months. When we began the Seacoast Running column in March, the goal was to discuss interesting running-related events taking place in the Seacoast during the primary running season, which we decided was roughly March through October.

Over the last eight months I have tried to offer some helpful advice on training and racing and share my strategies for attacking some of our most popular race courses. This summer also saw a handful of rare opportunities to meet and interview running icons who visited us on the Seacoast. Having Dick Beardsley and Dean Karnazes visit our town and running with all of us on our favorite routes is not something that happens every year and we were very lucky to share that.

I think my favorite aspect of writing this column each week is that it created opportunities to meet more runners in the area than I ever had before. I have really enjoyed chatting with countless runners at races all year long. My favorite thing is hearing parents tell me about their children and how they are falling in love with running and enjoying their progress.

I also learned that a ton of people who are not runners follow the running scene on the Seacoast. I found myself discussing races and other running events with people at cookouts, youth soccer games, even at the grocery store, all because they had read this column and were interested in the running community.

The Seacoast Running column will resume in the spring and I will once again try to find interesting and helpful topics to write about each week. There were several instances where suggestions or questions from local runners served as the starting point for a column. That is something I am very grateful for and I'm looking forward to more of that next year.

For now, I'll wish everyone a fun and successful conclusion to the fall and I'll see you next year!

Bob Wiles lives in Kittery, Maine. He can be reached at bob.wiles@gmail.com.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

These are the best months of the year to run on the Seacoast | SeacoastOnline.com

These are the best months of the year to run on the Seacoast | SeacoastOnline.com

By Bob Wiles
October 26, 2011 2:00 AM
A couple of weeks ago I sang the praises of the local running community. Individually we are modest and easy to forget when a car passes us along the side of the road, but collectively we are an awesome sub-culture of healthy and passionate souls.

I was reminded of this over the weekend as I ran out around New Castle and down into Rye with a couple of friends. Exchanging subtle waves with dozens of other runners out on a Sunday morning enjoying the beautiful fall morning along the coast convinced me that we are in the middle of the "Perfect Storm" in terms of running...right now!

We have smoothly transitioned from hot summer days and nights into the cool, dry autumn months. Sure, we now have to wear a shirt most of the time and even a hat or gloves on some mornings, but in my book, October and November are a couple of the best months of the year to run on the Seacoast.

Visually, we get to watch the amazing scenery evolve right before our eyes as leaves transition from bright green to all sorts of beautiful hues, from electric yellow to fiery red. A variety of migratory birds chirp greetings down to us as they pass overhead, destined for warmer vacation spots in Florida or the Outer Banks. Tangent: Geese offer us a great example of working together in packs. They take turns up front and enthusiastically offer each other constant encouragement. They draft off each other and help each other re-connect with the main pack when someone falls off the back.

In terms of weather, there is a reason why fall marathons usually see the fastest times. Cooler temperatures and low humidity offer perfect conditions for comfortable running. My standard approach for dressing to run in the fall is that I want to be chilly standing around before I start moving and after a couple of miles it usually feels perfect.

To really overload your senses with everything that is majestic about the fall, I'd recommend venturing into the woods for a few miles. One of my normal routes consists of a combination of roads and trails, and this time of year it is always a treat to slide into the woods and run along trails lined with freshly fallen leaves.

With trails behind Portsmouth High School, the Urban Forestry Center, Mount Agamenticus, Odiorne Point State Park and countless others, you could check out a new trail system each week throughout the fall and never repeat yourself!

Another great aspect of fall is the opportunity to try cross country racing! For folks who took up running as adults, we missed out on the delight that is XC. However, there are dozens of cross country races within a short drive of us and it is an experience that every runner should enjoy. Something about dashing through the fields and woods with trees close on each side really reinforces the pleasure of just being outside and having fun.

Yes, I'm quite sure that fall on the Seacoast is a perfect combination of ingredients to cook up some amazing running. Great people, amazing scenery and beautiful weather ...; what else could we possibly need?

I've just had a great idea! Anyone who wants to meet me at Portsmouth High School this Saturday can join me for a run through the cross country trails and through the Urban Forestry Center. Heck, maybe we'll run down to Odiorne State Park as well! I'll be there and ready to go at 8 a.m. See you soon!

Bob Wiles lives in Kittery, Maine. He can be reached at bob.wiles@gmail.com.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Great Bay 5K could see season-best times from runners | SeacoastOnline.com

Great Bay 5K could see season-best times from runners | SeacoastOnline.com

Great Bay 5K could see season-best times from runners

By Bob Wiles
October 19, 2011 2:00 AM
With only one race remaining in the 2011 Seacoast Road Race Series, hundreds of local athletes have trained and raced their way through the wet spring, a hot summer and now into a cool fall. The real reward for any race is the journey itself, but the cumulative effects of a well-executed racing season also generally bring runners to their finest form in the fall. That generally being the case, I'm excited to see how many locals turn up for the Great Bay 5K on Oct. 29 and run a season-best time.

To help the well-seasoned SRRS participants demonstrate their fitness, the scenic Stratham course features one of the fastest 5K layouts in the area. By starting and finishing at different venues, the Great Bay race does not have to go up as much as it goes down, making for a fast scamper along flat and gently downhill roads with just one minor bump in the final mile to keep runners under the legal speed limit.

The starting location for this race has been modified in recent years, but the course is certified and is assuredly a full five kilometers. Next weekend, runners will start in the parking lot at Stratham Hill Park, not even a stone's throw from the starting line of the Stratham Fair Road Race just a couple of months ago.

After escaping the parking lot with a couple of right-hand turns, the course offers a fast straight section down the left side of Route 33, turning left onto Stratham Lane just before the first mile marker. And it isn't just any mile marker ... it is the Mackenzie Mile. This race is one of the few races to offer prize money for the first man and woman to reach the mile. Why do they do it? To instigate a fast pace and ensure that runners and spectators enjoy an exciting race!

The second mile on this course is arguably one of the fastest around. With about a third of a mile on Stratham Lane before turning left onto Dearborn Road, there isn't a bump in sight to slow runners down. Just be sure to cut tangents and run the shortest possible route, as Dearborn winds a little bit and staying on the same side of the road the whole time will add distance to your route.

The final mile will turn left onto Orchard Hill road and then right onto Tidewater Farm Road. From there you will have basically a straight shot through some nice residential neighborhoods and down into the driveway to the Great Bay Discovery Center. The finish line is on a quick downhill section, so there is no reason to hold anything back as you cross the line.

With the start and finish in different locations, runners will want to choose their parking spot wisely. There is just over a mile separating the beginning from the end, and the easiest way to cover the span is by taking Depot Road.

When I park for this race, I choose somewhere near the start. This makes registering and checking in very easy, and then after the race I use the mile back to my car as part of my cool-down. Late October can be pretty cool and windy, so someone more clever than I am once suggested taking a jacket down to the finish during your warm-up as a good way to avoid getting chilly immediately after the race ends.

The awards ceremony is at the Great Bay Discovery Center, and being the finale of the SRRS, it usually serves as the awards venue for the overall series as well. Whether she chooses to run the finale or not, Durham's Nicole Toye has already done enough this summer to claim the overall series crown on the women's side. In fact, she has completed the series with the minimum possible points total to emphatically announce her return to the local racing scene this year.

On the men's side, things are slightly more interesting. Nick Crowell of Portsmouth has run just five of the first seven events, meaning he needs to race the Great Bay 5K in order to fulfill the requirement of doing at least six events. If he does race, he needs to finish in the top five to claim the series title. Considering he won this race last year, it is a fairly safe bet that he will be able to complete the task if he undertakes it.

If for some reason Crowell does not race, Somersworth's Rob Levey will win the men's title, having already completed the obligatory six races with a sufficient point cushion over third-place runner Chris Ritchie of Hampton.

Regardless of how the final race plays out, the 2011 Seacoast Road Race Series has been another exciting one, and with the Seacoast Half Marathon serving as the bonus race again this year, the excitement will continue into November for hundreds of the SRRS participants who are registered.

Bob Wiles lives in Kittery, Maine. He can be reached at bob.wiles@gmail.com.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

HubSpot part 2: Crazy in a good way

My thoughts about inbound marketing pioneer HubSpot had to be broken into two installments when I realized that my head was full of too many observations to stuff into one entry. In part 1 I talked mostly about HubSpot’s people and what makes them unconventional. In part 2 I’ll look at some of the remarkable and bold things they are doing that makes them crazy (crazy in a good way, not ‘eating an airplane' crazy).

Traditional businesses might act tough and believe passionately in their goods or services, but how many of them are TRULY unafraid of their competitors? Know many who have the guts to re-tweet their competitors if they see something that would be helpful to their customers? HubSpot will. Every company keeps tabs on the other guys. Most will convince themselves that the other guys aren’t doing anything good. It makes selling this idea to customers easier. But when HubSpot sees an idea from a competitor that they think their customers would benefit from, they’ll share it.

This confidence reminds me of another Boston superstar…Larry Bird. Larry Legend was perhaps the best trash-talker in the game and there is a famous story of Bird telling his opponents exactly where he was going to take the game winning shot from at the end of a close game. Then, moments later he came down the court, got the ball exactly where he said he would and proceeded to knock down the game winning shot in the defender’s face. When you know you’ve got the goods you don’t have to keep secrets. You can throw the other guys a bone and then still wipe the floor with them.

This leads into product confidence. When you believe in your product as strongly as HubSpot does, you can stand behind a simple and firm pricing model without going through round after round of heated negotiations which usually result in relatively meaningless concessions on each side. It generally accomplishes little, other than satisfying an egotistical need to ‘win’ a pricing battle. By putting out products which have the capability to make an amazing impact on customers’ businesses, HubSpot can offer possibly the simplest and most straightforward pricing model I’ve ever seen. And in my opinion the prices are cheap! Combining a top shelf product with a simple and reasonable pricing model means less time squabbling over money and a quicker transition from lead to customer.

Another example of HubSpot’s confidence is their transparency. Not only is the kimono wide open…its laying on the floor around their ankles. I guess a simple example is this blog. Everything I’m writing about is stuff that I saw while walking around at HubSpot and from chatting with HubSpotters. A more tangible example is their content-rich website and the efforts they make to give away content. HubSpot creates and gives away more content than most companies sell. Because they are a software company and not a social media consultancy, they tell you exactly how to do everything it takes to be successful in the new arena. Once you’ve digested all the free content you’ll see that their software tools will help you put your new ideas into action.

In a world where people say, ‘Not my job’ far too often and people get slapped for not driving in their own lanes, HubSpot encourages people to develop new ideas and give them a try. Their VAR program is a perfect example of this, but it isn’t the only one. Employees are constantly thinking like innovators rather than merely punching in each day to do the tasks that are clearly defined in a job description. While traditional companies drive change and innovation from the top down (if at all), Hubspot has a culture of innovation which leads to new ideas all the time. Not every new idea will be a winner, but by encouraging people to be creative and granting them the freedom and tools to test their ideas, HubSpot has greatly accelerated the rate of innovation.

So, from what I can see, Hubspot is complimenting the competition, giving away tons of stuff, telling everyone exactly what they are doing, and constantly trying new things when they already have something that works great. See why I called them crazy?

Injury Causes New Perspective on World of Running | SeacoastOnline.com

Injury causes new perspective on world of running

By Bob Wiles
October 12, 2011 2:00 AM

I used to think that the cliché, "You don't know what you've got until it's gone" applied only to ice cream or playoff baseball, but a recent running injury has shown me that it can hit much closer to home.

Running is such a habit for all of us that we sometimes go through our daily routine without appreciating the beauty of the fall foliage we're running past or even the health benefits we're realizing for ourselves. Sometimes we just run because we're runners.

Like grocery shopping on an empty stomach, I've started noticing great things happening everywhere I turn. For starters, you guys are everywhere! Because I took my own running for granted, I think seeing runners out on the road while driving somewhere didn't even register with me. Now I'm hyper-aware of how many dedicated soldiers are out putting in the miles every single day, and I'm admiring (and envying) every one of you.

My house is 6 miles from Great Island Common in New Castle, and my son insists on visiting the playground there at least once per week. Last Thursday evening I passed exactly 17 runners on our way there! The weather wasn't even that great last Thursday, but you were all out there. More of you like to run in small groups than I realized. Some like to fly solo, but packs of 2-5 are very common as well.

Collectively, our Seacoast running community is a powerhouse. When we put our minds to it, we can turn a first-year event from a smattering of runners who all have a loose connection to the cause into an instant classic with over 1,000 runners. Take the Turkey Trot in Portsmouth as an example. In its first year the new race had nearly 1,000 finishers and then last year grew by 30 percent. I can't wait to see how many folks turn up this year to earn their pumpkin pie later in the day!

The Seacoast Road Race Series is probably the best display of our local running obsession. With almost 900 runners taking part in the series this year, participating events can almost bank on more than 1,000 entries preregistered and another few hundred showing up on race day.

In fact, I was volunteering at the latest installment of the series last Sunday at the Great Island 5K and saw the amazing force of our local running community in action. Hopefully I'm not unique in this regard, but I have to admit that when I show up at a race to run I sometimes get a serious case of tunnel vision. I block out most of what is going on around me as I warm up and prepare for the race. We have all run races with thousands of other athletes but the combination of nerves, focus and preparation usually makes me pretty oblivious to everything else that is going on if it doesn't affect me at the moment.

But as a spectator all of that goes away and I got to take it all in with amazement. In fact, I was able to enjoy some nice conversations with folks that I normally wouldn't get to if I was preparing to race. While I was out on the course and runners started flooding by me, I had a startling realization about the volume and diversity of our running community.

I don't think it really matters if you are at the front of the pack, in the middle, or in the back. When the gun goes off we all get into our own zone and focus on the task at hand. Even if you make an effort to notice the folks running alongside you, you'll notice only a few because for the most part you'll all be moving along together. It wasn't until I stood in one spot and watched the entire progression of 1,200 runners whip by that I appreciated what an awesome army we have.

By taking up a spot on the course, I was able to see the entire forest rather than just focusing selfishly on the singular tree that I am. It gave me a new perspective on the entire world of running, and admitting that is slightly uncomfortable.

While running is a largely individual sport and training can sometimes be a lonely task, I'll never again forget that each of us is an important part of a community of runners on New Hampshire's Seacoast, and that community is a large and powerful force.

Bob Wiles lives in Kittery, Maine. He can be reached at bob.wiles@gmail.com

Saturday, October 8, 2011

HubSpot: Making or Breaking All the Rules? Part 1

Yesterday afternoon I spent a few hours at inbound marketing pioneer, Hubspot's offices in Cambridge, MA to get a tour from UX Director Josh Porter. While I was there I was lucky enough to catch a recording of HubSpotTV and take in happy hour with 20-30 other Hubspotters at a nearby bar. But it was much more than a tour and a beer. It was a shocking flood of ideas and observations that left me wondering if what I had just seen was real, and if so...how on earth is Hubspot thriving despite breaking almost every rule of business that I've learned over the last decade???

Don't get me wrong...I love the company I work for and we do a ton of great things. It's just that almost every rule of office behavior and business practices that I thought were typical from my own experiences and from talking with other businesspeople over the course of my career seem to have been thrown out the second story windows at Hubspot.

Skipping the very obvious low hanging fruit, I won't even delve into the fully stocked beer coolers (yes, plural) that make their home in the cafeteria. At 4 PM on a Friday afternoon when I arrived, dozens of young professionals were congregating in the cafe to watch the recording of this week's HubSpotTV segment. Some were grabbing beer from the complimentary coolers and taking a seat to listen to the panel discussion. Others were having a water or soda and others were quietly working on laptops. But the first striking observation that I made was that this company is made up of young people. At 34 yeras old, I felt (and looked!) like a dinosaur at Hubspot. While I'd estimate the average age at my company to be somewhere north of 45, I'd bet my Return of the Jedi lunchbox that the average Hubspotter is less than 26.

As I was introduced to a few people and started talking with them, I also quickly noticed another common trend...they're all new! Extremely smart and knowledgeable about inbound marketing, but new. Granted, at a company that has only been around for 5 years there aren't going to be people at Hubspot with 10 year anniversary plaques on their desks, but other than CEO Brian Halligan, I didn't meet anyone who has been there longer than a year. At most companies, employees don't even really know what they are doing until they've been there for a year.

Yes, that's right...I met the CEO on my first tour of the building. Its probably because he was situated at a cubicle like everyone else and not hidden in an office the size of my house, far removed from the ground troops. Aren't CEO's supposed to signify their superiority in a multitude of manners, starting with real estate? Not at Hubspot. As Josh walked me around the building I was caught quite off guard when we stopped along a row of desks and he said, "Hey Brian, this is my friend Bob." He stopped what he was doing and we had a brief conversation, but to be honest I spend the whole time trying to wrap my head around the whole scene.

At this point, my head is spinning and I'm wondering, "WHERE AM I???"

Over the last decade I've seen paranoid employees hoarding knowledge, often to the detriment of projects or relationships, in the name of maintaining exclusivity and job security. "If I'm the only guy who knows how to do X, I can't be replaced." Definitely not the mindset at Hubspot. I was talking with a NJ native named John over a Belgian beer at trendy Artbar and he shared an anecdote about information sharing at Hubspot. He called it crowd-sourcing and basically someone had thrown an open question to the rest of the folks via their internal Wiki about a tool to help a customer and he got 4 good answers from co-workers in a matter of minutes. Working together synergistically to get results for customers without fear or hesitation seems to be the collective mindset at Hubspot.

This might be partly because every Hubspotter I spoke to at some point in the conversation said, "Everyone here is smarter than I am." After I heard that statement for the fourth time I stopped the person and said, "You know, everyone here says that. I'm sure someone holds that dubious distinction, but I bet it isn't you or any of the other people who claim ownership of the title." But I think the statement is a manifestation of two ideas that the folks at Hubspot seem to share. First, they are a humble group. I mean, they are only setting the marketing world on fire...why would you get a big head??? And second, they all admire and appreciate the value of their peers. Quite different from companies where the SOP is knocking down co-workers to make sure you look good in comparison, even if you aren't pulling your own weight.

So far we've established that Hubspot is a company made up of young, fresh, smart people with a mutual respect for each other and a willingness to collaborate for the good of the company and their customers.

In part 2, I'll share the other half of my observations from my visit to Hubspot, so stay tuned...

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Ultrarunner Dean Karnazes to share his remarkable story in Portsmouth | SeacoastOnline.com

Ultrarunner Dean Karnazes to share his remarkable story in Portsmouth | SeacoastOnline.com

By Bob Wiles
September 28, 2011 2:00 AM
Earlier this year, ultrarunner Dean Karnazes ran from California to New York, covering almost 3,000 miles in 75 days and raising $178,000 for anti-obesity charity Action for Healthy Kids. In 2006, he ran 50 marathons in 50 days, one in each state. Karnazes has also ran across the five greatest deserts on the planet, and he's accomplished countless other mind-boggling endurance running feats.

Through it all, Karnazes has never lost his joy for running. It's his job and race-specific training can be a grind at times, but he keeps it fresh.

"Sometimes if I need a mental and physical recovery day, I'll just throw my credit card and a cell phone in my backpack and go out wandering for a six- or eight-hour run," Karnazes said. "If I feel like stopping at a coffee shop along the way, I do. I don't worry about pace, I just go exploring. I never run the same route twice."

On Wednesday, Oct. 5, Karnazes will speak at The Music Hall in Portsmouth as part of The North Face "Never Stop Exploring" speaker series. Runner's Alley is also a presenter of the event.

Karnazes' motivational talks are fascinating and inspirational. Through his epic adventures, he has experienced life to the fullest and continued to find happiness out on the roads and trails of America and beyond.

When he speaks about the joy of running, the sincerity and enthusiasm easily sneaks into his relaxed southern California voice, "When you see kids running, they are experiencing joy and being free. They love to race and run fast, and they learn to find joy along the way."

During his Run Across America, Karnazes stopped at 15 schools to speak with children and inspire them to lead active lifestyles and never stop exploring. "Stopping to speak to a group of children right after running 40 miles was an interesting juxtaposition mentally, but their excitement was always unbelievable," he said.

Karnazes started running at age 6 as an easier way to get back and forth from school to help his mom. "I fell in love with running and have continued to explore and push the boundaries," he said.

The thought of running for six or eight hours to help recovery seems insane to most runners, but Karnazes has built his body into an ultrarunning machine over the years. His bones and muscles have adapted to requirements of his activities, and his body's ability to clear lactic acid has baffled scientists. But Karnazes believes that our bodies were designed for running and that by being very active at an early age we can stay strong and help avoid injuries.

In addition to the amazing sights he's seen along the way, Karnazes has also met some amazing people. On day 67 of his 75-day run across America, Karnazes literally ran into the White House to meet Michelle Obama. The two of them teamed up to promote "Let's Move," the first lady's campaign to raise a healthier generation of kids.

Not content to just run across his home country, Karnazes is currently planning a global expedition in conjunction with his 50th birthday next year. "The United Nations recognized 204 countries, and my goal is to run a marathon in each of them."

With a focus on raising money for an important cause in each country, Karnazes hopes political differences among nations can be set aside. "Running unites people," he said. "Some countries will use the money to create clean water systems or to fight malaria and others might focus on anti-obesity programs."

Karnazes ran a marathon in Bristol in 2006 during his Endurance 50 and noticed that New England is a beautiful place. "I'm hoping that the leaves have started changing when I'm in New Hampshire next week."

"We're super excited to have Dean coming to Portsmouth," Runner's Alley owner Jeanine Sylvester said. "Dean is such an inspirational and well-known figure, and we are very happy to be able to share his story with the Seacoast running community."

Proceeds from ticket sales will go to the Portsmouth Track Boosters Club, Sylvester said.

Bob Wiles lives in Kittery, Maine. He can be reached at bob.wiles@gmail.com.

This week's column; Great Island 5K brings out best in runners | SeacoastOnline.com

Great Island 5K brings out best in runners | SeacoastOnline.com

By Bob Wiles
October 05, 2011 2:00 AM
Throughout the spring and summer I have tried to provide useful race previews for the Seacoast Road Race Series events. Well, now fall is upon us and there are only a couple of events remaining on the schedule. This week we'll take a look at the Great Island 5K!

First conceived in 1993, the race will be run for the 18th time on Sunday. Start time for the 5K is 10 a.m., followed by a kids fun run at 10:45.

Like all SRRS events, this race attracts a bunch of people. With over 1,100 preregistered runners, parking will spill out of the Great Island Common parking lots and onto Route 1B as well as some side streets. If you are attending the race as a spectator I would recommend parking to the south of the entrance to the Common, as this is the side that is not on the race route. This will make more room for runners along the course and also allow you to leave early if necessary.

For the runners, registration is standard 5K pricing at $20 for early birds and $25 on race day. You can register and pick up your race number on Saturday evening from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. or on race day starting at 8 a.m. Both take place in the Great Island Common Recreation Building. You can also sign up for the fun run at those times.

When the gun goes off at 10 a.m., runners will make a lap around the common before heading out onto the scenic roads of New Castle. Turning left out of the parking lot onto Wentworth Road (1B), the course gently rolls toward the water.

Hugging the coast as you turn left onto Walbach Street, the first-mile marker awaits immediately after a right turn onto Piscataqua Street. Still running with the water on your right, the course bears left and spills back onto 1B for a moment before cutting back onto the water along River Street. Here is a quick drop in elevation and a great spot for making a move on anyone you're racing against.

A short climb up Oliver Street brings you back onto 1B for another quick section before touring the neighborhood on Locke Road. You will find a water stop and the second-mile marker in this rolling neighborhood before once again taking a few strides on 1B.

The race course goes cross country for a while as it turns onto Neals Lane for about half a mile of dirt road. This is another great place to surge and make a break from your competitors if you like dashing on the dirt.

When the dirt road spills out onto 1B for the last time you can tell the finish is getting close, and a left turn brings you back into the Great Island Common for another lap around the fields before approaching the finish line.

I can't really explain it, but this race is one of those 5Ks that seems to fly by. It isn't a short course and it isn't the flattest course in America, but because you are not on the same road for any long stretches, the time just seems to go by very quickly.

With tremendous community support and a very strong reputation, this is one of the races where you feel the crowd support, particularly for the first and last half-miles on the Common's grounds. Last year I distinctly recall being carried from second place into first by the feverish support of the spectators urging me to pass the out-of-towner who was making a valiant bid for glory on a course that I consider home turf. It is still the most exciting and satisfying finish to a race that I've been a part of.

In addition to the vibe you'll feel before and during the race, the post-race atmosphere is also first class. With great food and the excitement that kids' fun runs bring, a wonderful awards ceremony with the coastal backdrop is among the best around. And with cash and lobsters up for grabs, there are usually some impressive times posted at this race. It isn't uncommon for semi-professional runners to drive up from New York to try for the course record, which is worth an extra $400 for both men and women.

Proceeds from the Great Island 5K have supported great projects such as the skating rink and playground at the Common among others over the years. This year's proceeds will go toward funding two scholarships that have been established in memory of race co-founder Dr. Tom Quinn.

For more information or to register for the race, visit the race website at www.greatisland5K.com.

Bob Wiles lives in Kittery, Maine. He can be reached at bob.wiles@gmail.com.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Krempels King of the Road Challenge

As some of you know I've been doing some cycling lately to cross train and give some lingering running injuries time to heal. I've been having a blast doing it and I'm starting to think that cycling will remain part of my normal exercise regimen even once the abs are back to normal.

Anywhoo...I am putting together a team to participate in a local charity ride taking place in Stratham, NH on October 15th. It is the Krempels King of the Road Challenge and it benefits the Krempels Center, which is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of people living with brain injury from trauma, tumor or stroke.

"Great Bob, what do you want from me???"

Good question. Below is a short list of requests in order of preference. Choose one, all, or none, but keep in mind that the quality of future holiday greeting cards you receive from me may depend on your choice. Choose wisely.

1. Join me! I'm hoping to put together a team of 10 riders and the date is quickly approaching! I can promise you that Team Wilesthing will be the coolest team in the challenge, if coolness is determined by the amount of riders wearing denim bib shorts. If you're interested in joining me, register at www.kingchallenge.org and choose Team Wilesthing from the drop-down menu when you get to the step for joining an existing team. I can promise you that this will be one of the best days of your life, especially if you aren't married, don't have kids, and never saw Vanilla Ice live in concert.

2. Sponsor me! I'm sure somewhere along the way I must have loaned you $10. Here's your chance to pay me back. (I expect at least $20 from you, Paradis!) Even if you loaned me money and you're still waiting for me to repay you, just add another $10 or $20 to my tab and bill me at a later date. Much later please. If you want to help me meet my fundraising obligation, please visit MY PAGE. Any help is awesome, and the more you help the more awesome you are. My goal is to raise $500 and I've only got three weeks left to get there, so if you think that the Krempels Center might be worth skipping a couple of cups of coffee for (trust me, it is), send me your Dunkin Donuts money and I'll buy you a coffee the next time I see you! (It's tax deductible! Here's the receipt form.)

3. If you aren't a cyclist but know someone who is, please forward this to them! Make sure you tell them that local pro, Teddy King of team Liquigas-Cannondale and his brother Robbie King are leading the charge on this and will be riding along with several other pros.

I know everyone gets hit up for money all the time for this various causes, so I appreciate any support I can get!

Thanks in advance for supporting this great cause!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Running Column

Some of you know that I've been writing a weekly column for the Portsmouth Herald since this spring. I'm not sure why I didn't think to post links to them on a weekly basis throughout the summer, but I'll start now.

http://www.seacoastonline.com/articles/20110921-SPORTS-109210385

Writing for the paper has been a good challenge and opportunity for me. I've had the opportunity to meet some new and very interesting people and learned about several topics that I wan't very familiar. I've been able to interview Dick Beardsley and I'll be interviewing Dean Karnazes shortly for an upcoming column.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A Walk on the Wiles Side

Well, I told Jim I'd start blogging again if he posted a recap of Market Square Day and I came home from work this evening to see he'd put it up. I guess I have to keep my end of the deal. ("Quid pro quo, Clarice")

I'm starting to think people like it when I'm not running because that is generally when my alter ego, "The Wilesthing" emerges from his hiding place deep within the darkest recesses of my mind.

Here's the latest drivel...



On a more genuine note, I've not run a step in over a month and have only jogged a few times since Stowe. Part of the reason I wanted JJ to post a recap of MSD is because that is the last time I felt good. I knew I had unintentionally peaked for that race and shortly afterwards began a mental and physical slide. I ran a couple of local races and wasn't able to break 16 minutes, ran a 10K where I was lucky that Dan Hocking was only doing a tempo because he would have killed me otherwise, and then headed into Stowe knowing that I was going to get my ass handed to me and I had already planned some downtime afterwards. That made it easier to just enjoy the weekend, do my best to help the team, and then look forward to recharging the batteries.

Underneath the mental burnout was also the re-emergence of the ab/psoas injury that laid me up last winter. I was ignoring the warning signals because I had some races that I wanted to run well in and that led me to make the same mistakes I made last time. This time the combination of events made the decision easier to just step back and enjoy the summer without freaking out about my fitness.

After a couple of weeks of total rest I started riding a borrowed bike and enjoyed it enough to buy one of my own. Since then I've been riding pretty consistently and have found a few group rides that are pretty challenging for me.

Just this evening I did a group ride that averaged over 40km/hour down through Hampton. I felt like I was going to puke at the end and nearly got dropped a few times but was able to catch a wheel and get dragged back on each time. Pretty intense feeling to whip up the coast in a pack of 15-20 guys at 26-27 miles per hour. I took most of my pulls at the front but did skip a couple towards the end and the last pull I took was pretty brief. I didn't want to slow down the group so I pulled through pretty quickly and tried to latch on. I did get gapped a couple of times by breakaways that Jim Marchese instigated. He made them when I was on the front, so I think he was trying to remind me that I've still got some work to do if I want to hang with the big boys.

Right now my plan is to start running around the beginning of October. Hopefully that will allow the abs enough time to have healed and I'll gradually start running again to get back into shape and the plan will be to work on just aerobic running through the winter with no racing plans and then think about racing again in the spring.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Hockings Kicking Ass

Here is the closest I've been to a race (or even running, for that matter) in about 8 weeks.

On Labor Day I rode by new bicycle over to Pease and caught some video of Dan and Lesley dominating the St. Charles Children's Home 5K. I was second in this race last year behind Joseph Koech so I was happy to see Dan return the favor by smoking him in exactly the same fashion he did me last year. Dropped him on the hill in the second mile. Lesley basically ran away with it after Nicole Toye valiantly hung with her for about half a mile.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Bob bought a bike

Well, I haven't really run since Stowe for a few reasons. Initially it was because I was feeling really worn down, but I was also still ignoring the lower ab/psoas pain that had returned throughout the spring. I had some good races and thought I could keep ignoring it, but it just continued to get worse. So when I realized I needed a break it made sense to give the muscles time to properly heal, which is something I probably should have done last winter instead of rushing back.

So, I started out cross training by borrowing a touring mountain bike hybrid from Charles. I realized how much fun it is and decided to get a road bike of my own. After shopping around and trying out a bunch of different bikes I ended up getting a great deal on a Cannondale CAAD 10 4 at Papa Wheelies in Portsmouth. It is a 2011 and they are starting to get shipments for 2012, so my timing worked out pretty good for a great bike at a clearance price.

I also found a group that rides on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from Portsmouth at 5:15...my kinds of guys! I'm learning to ride in a group and the guys have been really helpful and supportive.

Also, I logged my first long-ish ride on Saturday when Guy and Pam Stearns took me for a 50+ mile ride up through Berwick and over to the coast.

At this point I'm not sure when I'll be running again, but the cycling substitute has be pretty well distracted for the time being!

Summary of my first week owning a bike:
8/17 - 25 miles
8/18 - 40 miles
8/19 - 20 miles
8/20 - 55 miles
8/21 - 15 miles
8/22 - 25 miles
8/23 - 40 miles
First week in the books: 220 miles (355km). Not too shabby.

Still trying to approximate the conversion to running effort. I think that aerobically for me right now the ratio is something like 4/1. Muscularly it is more like 3/1. For the most part right now I'm fine aerobically and even decent hills in our area aren't hurting my lungs much (although the last 15 miles on Saturday in the sun and humidity had me working pretty good). My legs are taking a little time adapting to the different motion.

For now I'm calling this an open-ended experiment. I wonder how long it will take me to strap some aero bars on this thing, register for a triathlon and make a fool of myself doing the doggy paddle in a lake???

Oh, and the picture of reverend Jim in the new logo is supposed to reflect my current state of confusion and uncertainty. I love Taxi re-runs.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Haven't been strutting that ass much lately.



8/1 - 18 miles on bike

8/2 - 24 miles on bike

8/3 - 12 miles on bike

8/4 - 24 miles on bike (18.5 of that in 59:15 is probably about a solid tempo-type effort for me right now, FWIW)

8/5 - 16 miles on bike - Had a very close encounter with three deer (2 doe and a fawn). We stopped to check each other out for about 10 minutes. The mom and fawn got almost close enough to touch, easily within 10 feet, probably 6-8. The mom did some half-hearted foot stomping to make sure I knew she was willing to protect her fawn and then the little guy got even closer to me and copied her. It was really cute. I must not look too intimidating on a bike. They decided I wasn't a problem and went back to eating grass that I could have spit a sunflower seed to with ease. Amazing. The fawn must have only been about 8 weeks old.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Week ending July 31, 2011

7/25 - off

7/26 - 5 miles, felt easy but was a little quick maybe because I haven't been running

7/27 - 10 miles on demo bikes (I want a road bike, BAD!)

7/28 - 13 miles on bike in about an hour

7/29 - 13 miles on bike in about an hour

7/30 - 7.5 miles (47:30)

7/31 - 12 miles with Greg Ward in Ogunquit (84 minutes)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Week ending July 24, 2011

7/18 - off

7/19 - off

7/20 - off

7/21 - 6 miles in UNH trails

7/22 - off

7/23 - off

7/24 - off

Summary: I successfully quit Diet Coke this week. The first few days really sucked.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Week ending July 17, 2011

7/11 - off (but I did get a free Slurpee)

7/12 - 7 miles easy

7/13 - light workout, 1K + 4x400 @ race pace with full recovery (8 miles)

7/14 - 9 miles easy

7/15 - 7 miles easy

7/16 - 5 miles easy

7/17 - Stowe 8 Miler (44:11, 28th!) - 2+ miles warm up with the gang, race was as awful as I expected. Went out fairly conservative and still blew up. 21:15 for 4 miles, almost 23 minutes coming back.

Summary: Time for a break. 46 miles for the week.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Week ending July 10, 2011

7/4 - Friends on the Forth 5K - 16:03, 1st. Scored some big points with the wife, and probably all wives in the greater Portsmouth area. (10 miles) Oh, and this is the women's winner.

7/5 - 6 miles AM, 10 miles PM

7/6 - 8 miles (hotter than tits on a bull)

7/7 - 6 miles AM, 8 miles PM

7/8 - 10 miles

7/9 - Harbour Trail "5K" (16:08, 1st) 4 miles warm up, 3 cool down. Course isn't certified, but I still feel like crap. I don't sandbag like JJ, so when I say I think I'm going to get my ass handed to me in Stowe next week, I mean it. (10 miles)

7/10 - 11 miles with Dan and Leslie

Summary: 79 miles. Still feeling flat. Going to rest up and hope for the best at the next couple of races.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Wilesthing being ripped off

Seriously...you would think America's best marathoner could come up with original material. Nope, he's hoping to become the same internet sensation that the Wilesthing is by copying my training videos. RIGHT DOWN TO THE SAME MUSIC.



I know I'm generally ahead of the curve, but this is just ridiculous. I'm not sure he hasn't violated some copyright laws somewhere in this little video.

Wilesthing = trend setter

Monday, June 27, 2011

Week ending July 3, 2011

6/27 - 11 miles Am (72 minutes), 7 miles PM (48 minutes)

6/28 - 5 miles (35 minutes)

6/29 - off

6/30 - 5 miles AM (40 minutes), 8 miles PM (56 minutes)

7/1 - 6 miles AM (48 minutes), workout PM (6 x 800, no watch, probably about 5K pace with 200m jog recovery) (9 miles)

7/2 - 10 miles (70 minutes)

7/3 - 8 miles (56 minutes)

Summary: 69 miles for the week. HAHAHAHAH...69. Feeling really stale and wondering if this is what over-training feels like. I'm borderline indifferent about running right now. It might just be that I'm enjoying things with the boys so much that I'd rather be doing that than running. Abs are flaring up a little and I probably cranked too hard getting back into shape this spring. Just kind of going to not worry about mileage for a while and try to enjoy running easy most days.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tree house project

Camden and I started working on a tree house a couple of weeks ago. I promised JJ that I'd take some pictures as we went along. I was doing good at first but as you can see I missed pictures of putting up the walls towards the bottom. The base is about 8 feet off the ground. The house itself is 6 x 8 feet and the front deck is 2 x 8 feet.


First, some 2x6 supports anchored to the tree.


Because Camden and I have been doing this mostly alone, I had to build the main base in the tree because I wouldn't be able to lift it on after building it.


Base is just about done...time to put some more support under it.


We used some 4x4s angled into the tree to add some strength.


For the walls I built them on the ground and used a rope to hoist them into place.


The roof will slope from front to back and there will be a door going out to the deck.


Had to make a couple holes for branches to come through...


Obviously I missed a few steps in the photo sequence.

After I finished with the frame we put down the floor. The only tricky part to that is cutting out holes for the tree! Once the floor was screwed down we started working on the walls. Those were a little tricky to get lined up after I measured and cut the sections. I used the ropes again to get them in place and got a couple of screws in them so I could untie the rope and get them on just right. We had to make more holes for the branches to come through.

Once the walls were on we painted them. Camden did a lot of the painting with his roller on a stick. We made quite a mess but got the job done. After the paint dried we started working on the deck railings.

With the railings done it was now kid safe and Camden was able to help me start the white trim. I did get a little help from Uncle Charleie getting the roof up. We had to be careful getting the holes just right on the roof because we don't want too much extra space around the top.

The next step was getting the trap door and ladder in place. That was pretty easy and Camden helped me do that last night. All that is left to do is a little trim on the other side, shingles on the roof and I will build a door. After that just some accessories and decorating and this tree house will be ready for action! To say that Camden is excited about this project is an understatement. Every night when we finish up for the evening he gives me a big high five and tells me how brilliant I am.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Week ending June 26, 2011

6/20 - 10 miles (60 minutes)

6/21 - 10 miles (63 minutes)

6/22 - 6 miles AM (46 minutes), workout PM (3 miles warm up, 4 x 800, 8 x 200 with 400m jog after 800's and 200m jog after 200's, 2 miles cool down. 2:21.0, 2:22.6, 2:22.0, 2:23.7 (fighting the need to find a bathroom on last 800, pretty much from the start), 31.9, 32.7, 31.4, 31.9, 32.0, 31.9, 31.8, 29.5) Last 200 was pretty much all I've got, and there was a slight tailwind. I would probably be able to pace a 4:00 mile attempt for approximately 215 meters. (10 miles)

6/23 - 10 miles (72 minutes)

6/24 - 5 miles AM (40 minutes), 5 miles PM (33 minutes)

6/25 - Bobcat Bolt 10K - 3 miles total warm up, race in 33:39 (1st, course is probably a little long), 3 miles cool down. Nice morning with the Hockings, Al and Diana, despite rain which was heavy at times. (12 miles)

6/26 - off (You guessed it...treehouse work! When your son says, "Dad, can you cancel running and work on the treehouse with me?" there is only one answer.)

Summary: 68 miles, decking on the porch, door made, trim finished, trap door hardware attached, pulley and basket to house completed (this is so mom can send drinks and snacks over, basically looks like a clothesline with a basket attached)

Monday, June 13, 2011

Week ending June 19, 2011

6/13 - 8 miles AM (60 minutes), 10 miles PM (72 minutes)

6/14 - 6 miles AM (48 minutes), 10 miles PM (67 minutes)

6/15 - missed AM run (took Carter for a walk on the beach in Rye at 5:00 AM so Camie could get a little more sleep), workout PM (5 x mile, legs are still a little heavy and achy so I wanted to do something fairly smooth and comfortable.) 3+ warm up, 5:08, 5:04, 5:00, 4:59, 4:53, 3 miles cool down with a good set of 100m strides. Basically the reps cut down from about 10K pace to about 5K pace. I tried to surge on a different 400 in each rep to work on changing gears a little bit. Picking it up was easy but the challenge is not slowing too much after the surge. (12 miles)

6/16 - 6 miles AM (48 minutes), 8 miles PM (55 minutes)

6/17 - same as Wednesday morning but we went to York beach today, 10 miles PM (63 minutes)

6/18 - 8 miles (58 minutes)

6/19 - was going to do a long tempo but skipped it to work on the tree house. Decided I'd rather spend Father's Day being a dad instead of a runner. Almost done. Just needs shingles on the roof, some trim on the other side and some accessories. Camden and I are having a lot of fun building it together. He did a lot of the blue paint and fetches tools for me while I'm up in the tree.

Summary: 78 miles, 1 tree house

Monday, June 6, 2011

Week ending June 12, 2011

6/6 - 8 miles AM (58 minutes), 10 miles PM (70 minutes)

6/7 - 11 miles AM (75 minutes), 7 miles PM (54 minutes)

6/8 - missed AM run (was up in the night with a sick Camie and couldn't drag my butt out of bed at 5), workout PM (3 miles warm up, 4 x 800, 8 x 200 w 400m jog after 800's and 200m jog after 200's, 2 miles cool down. Tried to be mindful of the heat (85 with 98 heat index) and not worry too much about times. Ended up being 2:24.5, 2:23.6, 2:23.4, 2:23.4, 31.9, 32.9, 31.9, 31.8, 32.6, 33.4, 32.8, 31.2) (10 miles)

6/9 - 6 miles AM (48 minutes), 8 miles PM (58 minutes)

6/10 - 5 miles AM (40 minutes), 5 miles PM (33 minutes)

6/11 - Market Square Day 10K - (31:40, 1st) 3 miles warm up including some strides and a couple minutes quicker, 5 miles cool down out onto New Castle with Lesley, Dan, Pat and Katie. (14 miles)

6/12 - 16 miles (1:55)

Summary: 100 miles for the week with a 10K PR.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Week ending June 5, 2011

5/30 - off (built a sweet tree house with Camden)

5/31 - 6 miles AM (42 minutes), 10 miles PM (66 minutes)

6/1 - 5 miles AM (40 minutes), 7 miles PM (48 minutes)

6/2 - workout (2 mile tempo, 2 x 800, 2 x 400, all with 400m jog recovery - 10:28, 2:24, 2:24, 68, 66) (10 miles)

6/3 - 6 miles AM (48 minutes), 8 miles PM (58 minutes)

6/4 - 8 miles (56 minutes)

6/5 - Rhody 5K - (15:18 - 7th) 4 miles warm up with the team and then strides and a couple minutes tempo, course in reverse to cool down during the women's race.

Summary: 70 miles for the week. I'm sort of scheduling recovery weeks around grand prix events as a mini taper. Was hoping to be a little faster at Rhody but whatever. Went out conservatively for me (4:55) and was even the whole race, 9:50 at 2 miles I think. Went from about 35th place at a half mile to top 10 before the 2 mile mark. Good win for the team and a really solid CMS debut for Nick. Al ran really well too! We picked up the slack for missing a couple of guys who are usually in the mix for the team scoring.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Monday, May 23, 2011

Week ending May 29, 2011

5/23 - 11 miles AM (77 minutes), 5 miles PM (38 minutes)

5/24 - 11 miles AM (74 minutes), 9 miles PM (62 minutes) Here's my 11 mile loop out around New Castle island

5/25 - 6 miles AM (48 minutes), workout PM 12 x 400 + 1 x 200 with 30 seconds jog (~100m) recovery (71.3, 69.6, 72.5, 69.8, 72.0, 72.0, 71.4, 71.6, 71.4, 72.5, 71.8, 71.0, 31.6) 14:48.5 for 5K of work. Recovery was all between 29.6 and 33.5. Strong wind on the home straight and first turn on the track which threw me off a little bit. There were a few times when I was pushing too hard and a few times when it felt like I was coasting on the aided back stretch. (10 miles)

5/26 - 6 miles AM (48 minutes), 8 miles PM (56 minutes)

5/27 - 6 miles AM (48 minutes), 10 miles PM (69 minutes)

5/28 - 8 miles AM (60 minutes)

5/29 - Runner's Alley/Redhook 5K - (15:20, 1st) 4 miles warm up with JJ and Ben plus strides, course again for cool down with JJ, Ben and Nick. (10 miles)

Summary: 100 miles for the week with a sharp little workout and a good race in the sun. As I said in my newspaper column, Redhook kicks off the summer racing and it sure felt like it today.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Week ending May 22, 2011

5/16 - RIP Sammy 6 miles AM (48 minutes w/ some short easy strides. Legs are pretty sore from yesterday's workout), 9 miles PM (66 minutes)

5/17 - 11 miles AM (80 minutes), 8 miles PM (52 minutes)

5/18 - 5 miles AM (38 minutes), 10 miles PM (3 miles warm up, 4 mile tempo in 20:52 (5:15, 5:15, 5:14, 5:08), 3 miles cool down)

5/19 - 6 miles AM (45 minutes), 9 miles PM (63 minutes)

5/20 - 8 miles AM (60 minutes), 10 miles PM (67 minutes)

5/21 - 12 miles (77 minutes, started a tempo with Nick Crowell out around New Castle but his stomach acted up so we both bagged it and just cruised. Still was around 46 minutes for the 7.6 miles loop. I'll try to do something to get my legs turning over a little tomorrow)

5/22 - 11 miles (73 minutes with 20 minutes of 1 minute on, 1 minute off in the middle miles)

Summary: 105 miles for the week. Not too much quality work but I want to let the hard 18 miler last Sunday soak in and still keep up the miles so this was a good week. Legs feel pretty fresh and fine. Abs and psoas is still a little sore. Doing light stretching and PT exercises just about every day.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Week ending May 15, 2011

5/9 - 8 miles AM (60 minutes), 7 miles PM (51 minutes) wanted to get in 10 but I've had a headache since I got up this morning plus I'm trying to show a little discipline and give the double psore psoas's psome rest.

5/10 - 11 miles AM (70 minutes), 7 miles PM (55 minutes)

5/11 - 6 miles AM (38 minutes), no PM run, long day at work and no lunch break

5/12 - 6 miles AM (45 minutes), workout PM (Aussie quarters, 8 x 400 w/ 200 quick recovery before each rep: (42.4) 71.5 (43.8) 70.9 (44.2) 70.3 (43.0) 72.7 (45.9) 70.6 (44.3) 71.1 (44.6) 71.4 (43.2) 66.4, 15:16 for the session, so 5:05 average pace) First time I've done this workout so I wasn't sure what to expect. I'm surprised how slow 6:00 pace feels when you are doing it, but I wish I could get the 400m wheels a little sharper. I don't know what I can run for an open 400, but I bet it isn't much faster than 65.

5/13 - 8 miles AM (58 minutes), 10 miles PM (68 minutes)

5/14 - 11 miles (75 minutes)

5/15 - 18 miles (1:47:30) (http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=4508051)

Summary: 101 miles for the week with a sharp little workout (Aussies quarters) and a nice hard long run to finish the week.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Week ending May 8, 2011

5/2 - 6 miles AM (45 minutes), 9 miles PM (58 minutes)

5/3 - 6 miles AM (45 minutes), 10 miles PM (67 minutes)

5/4 - 11 miles AM (75 minutes), daddy duty no PM run

5/5 - 7 miles AM (55 minutes), 10 miles PM with 8 x 200 thrown in (65 minutes)

5/6 - 6 miles AM (45 minutes), 10 miles PM (67 minutes)

5/7 - 8 miles AM (58 minutes)

5/8 - Medical Center 6K (18:44, 4th) - 3+ warm up with strides, 3 cool down (10 miles)

Summary: 93 miles for the week, solid race. Strategizing before the race I was planning to lay back a little for the first 1.5 miles which climb pretty good and then try to make up some ground on the back half of the course which is mostly downhill with just a couple little rollers. That went out the window when the gun went off. I got out really good and found myself up in the front pack and feeling good so I just let it happen. I did fall back a few steps on the first good climb and settled into 4th behind Matt Ely for the rest of the climbing. Once we got over the hump I managed to make contact with Matt and we went back and forth a few times over the next mile and a half. When we turned right at 3 miles I knew it was just a 1200m finish but Matt made a move and I wasn't able to match it. Too bad because I was mentally prepared to really work for this race but he was just stronger and put 7 seconds on me in the last 1200. Still the best finish I've had at a GP event and because I've never run a 6K before, a cheap PR.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Week ending May 1, 2011

4/25 - 5 miles AM (40 minutes), 5 miles PM (33:30)

4/26 - 5 miles AM (36 minutes), 10 miles PM (61 minutes)

4/27 - 5 miles AM (40 minutes), workout PM (2 x mile (4:54, 4:56), 2 x 800 (2:28, 2:27), 2 X 400 (71, 70) 400 jog recovery after miles, 200m jog after 800s and 400s. (10 miles)

4/28 - 5 miles AM (40 minutes), 7 miles PM (47 minutes)

4/29 - 5 miles with strides AM (40 minutes), 8 miles PM (52 minutes)

4/30 - 7 miles (50 minutes)

5/1 - Jame Joyce Ramble 10K (31:47) PR - 3 mile warm up, 4 mile cool down (13 miles)

Summary: 85 miles for the week. Was hoping to be a little faster on Sunday but it was windy and I competed the best I could. Splits (from memory) were something like 4:52, 9:57, 15:07, 20:21, 25:37, 30:42, 31:47. A few faster guys were a little slower than I expected but a few didn't seem to be affected. Tried to work with Brennan Bonner (GBTC) to stay on pace but he did more of the work for the middle 4 miles.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Week ending April 24, 2011

4/18 - 10 miles on Boston Marathon course with Brandon and a couple of his PEA kids (77 minutes)

4/19 - 5 miles AM (40 minutes), 10 miles PM (66 minutes)

4/20 - workout (2 x 2 miles (9:58, 10:00), 1 x 2.25 miles (11:13), 200m jog recovery in 60 seconds) 6.5 miles @ average pace of 5:05 including jog recovery. Tough one. (11 miles)

4/21 - 5 miles AM (40 minutes), 9 miles PM (68 minutes)

4/22 - 5 miles AM (40 minutes), 10 miles PM (68 minutes)

4/23 - Out of Hibernation "5K" - 15:12 (warm up and cool down with Chris, Heather and Brandon, lousy weather) (11 miles)

4/24 - 14 miles (92 minutes)

Summary: 90 miles

Monday, April 11, 2011

Week ending April 17, 2011

4/11 - 6 miles AM (48 minutes), 9 miles PM (58 minutes)

4/12 - 6 miles AM (45 minutes), 10 miles PM (67 minutes)

4/13 - workout (3 x 2400, 1 x 2800 @ 5:00 pace, 200m jog recovery in 60 seconds) 6.625 miles @ average pace of 5:08 including jog recovery. (11 miles)

4/14 - 6 miles AM (48 minutes), 9 miles PM (67 minutes)

4/15 - 5 miles AM (40 minutes)

4/16 - Girls Inc. 5K (15:22) Ran with DD, had fun. (10 miles)

4/17 - off

Summary: 73 miles with a good workout and a good 5K. Stomach muscles are getting a little sore so I took Sunday off and will probably pull back on the miles a little bit for a while and try to make more time to do ab exercises.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Week ending April 10, 2011

4/4 - 6 miles AM (46 minutes), 10 miles PM (66 minutes)

4/5 - 6 miles AM (48 minutes), 10 miles PM (66 minutes)

4/6 - workout (5 x mile + 1 x 2000 @ 5:00 pace w/ 200m recovery in 60 seconds. 7 miles including recovery at average of 5:17 pace) (11 miles)

4/7 - 8 miles AM (64 minutes), 8 miles PM (60 minutes)

4/8 - 6 miles AM (48 minutes), 10 miles PM (65 minutes)

4/9 - 10 miles AM (65 minutes) plus 2 hours of full court alumni basketball madness...very sore!

4/10 - 15 miles (1:37) Wanted to get in 18 at a harder aerobic effort but my whole body was trashed from basketball yesterday

Summary: 100 miles

Monday, March 28, 2011

Week ending April 3, 2011

3/28 - 5 miles AM (40 minutes), 5 miles PM (33 minutes) Wanted to do a tempo today but feel lousy. Too many kids with runny noses around me this weekend I think. Hope it passes quickly.

3/29 - 5 miles AM (40 minutes), workout PM (7 x 1200 + 1 x 1600 @ goal 10K pace (5:00) with 200m jog recovery in a little under 60 seconds. Total workload with recovery of 7.125 miles @ 5:22 pace) (10 miles)

3/30 - 6 miles AM (48 minutes), 8 miles PM (57 minutes)

3/31 - 12 miles (80 minutes)

4/1 - 5 miles AM (40 minutes), 10 miles PM (66 minutes)

4/2 - Todd's Trot (5K) 15:51 - Ran another lap to cool down at about 6:00 pace because I wasn't very happy with the effort. (10 miles)

4/3 - 11 miles (70 minutes) - was planning to get in more but I was still feeling worn down and probably needed a lighter week.

Summary: 87 miles, sort of a recovery week but mostly because I've been a little sick and not sleeping well because the boys are a lot sick.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Week ending March 27, 2011

3/21 - 6 miles AM (48 minutes), 8 miles PM (57 minutes)

3/22 - 5 miles AM (40 minutes), 10 miles PM (65 minutes)

3/23 - 5 miles AM (40 minutes), workout PM (12 x 800 @ 2:29-2:31 w/ 200m jog recovery in right around 60 seconds) (12 miles)

3/24 - 5 miles AM (40 minutes), 8 miles PM (56 minutes)

3/25 - 5 miles AM (40 minutes), 10 miles PM (65 minutes)

3/26 - 20 miles with Seth (2:35)

3/27 - 6 miles (39 minutes)

Summary: 100 miles. Getting back into the swing of higher mileage gradually. Still tired but it will pass.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Week ending March 20, 2011

3/14 - 5 miles AM (37 minutes), 11 miles PM (workout, 6 x mile @ 5:13-15 pace w/ 400m recovery @ 6:40 pace. 5:32 average pace for the 7.5 miles including recovery.)

3/15 - 5 miles AM (40 minutes), 8 miles PM (60 minutes)

3/16 - 5 miles AM (40 minutes), 10 miles PM (65 minutes)

3/17 - 5 miles AM (40 minutes), 11 miles PM (10 mile tempo with a mile cool down. 55:10 total, split 28:20 and 26:50 on Hay St. loop. Probably a little too hard for right now. I'm wiped and my stomach is a little upset.)

3/18 - 5 miles AM (40 minutes), 8 miles PM (58 minutes)

3/19 - 10 miles (70 minutes)

3/20 - 18 miles (1:56)

Summary: 101 miles for the week with some good quality sessions. Doin' the bull dance...

Monday, March 7, 2011

Week ending March 13, 2011

3/7 - 5 miles AM (39 minutes), 8 miles PM (57 minutes)

3/8 - 5 miles AM (38 minutes), 10 miles PM (workout - 8 x 800 @ 5:15 pace w/ 400 quick recovery (6:20 pace) total 6 miles @ 33:40) This wasn't quite as tough as I thought it was going to me with the quicker rest sections. Maybe I could have done the 'on' a little harder or the 'off' a little quicker, or more reps. Interesting session though, got 4 miles at probably current 10K pace and overall 6 miles averaging 5:38.

3/9 - 5 miles AM (40 minutes), 8 miles PM (55 minutes)

3/10 - 5 miles AM (37 minutes), 10 miles PM (65 minutes)

3/11 - 5 miles AM (38 minutes), 10 miles PM (56:40) (Progression run. Started around 7:00 pace, got under 6 quickly and got it down to about 5:10 towards the end. First half in right around 30 minutes, second half in 26:40.)

3/12 - 10 miles (70-72 minutes?)

3/13 - 8 miles (53 minutes)

Summary: 89 miles for the week with a couple of nice efforts. Probably the best week of running I've had in a couple of months. Also, yesterday was the 2nd Annual St. Paddy's Five Miler. This year's champ was Dan Hocking of Northeast Running Services. Winning races is a pretty good way to advertise your coaching and training services! I took a little video of the race. It is a little choppy and not up to my normal film production standards, but I'll try to put together a couple of minutes worth of race footage within a couple of days.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Week ending March 6, 2011

2/28 - 5 miles AM (40 minutes), 5 miles PM (36 minutes)

3/1 - 5 miles AM (38 minutes), 10 miles PM (66 minutes)

3/2 - 10 miles (66 minutes) (workout - 3 x 2 miles @ 10:56, 10:52, 10:48 with 400m jog recovery)

3/3 - 5 miles AM (37 minutes), missed PM run, daddy duty.

3/4 - 5 miles AM (38 minutes), 10 miles PM (65 minutes)

3/5 - 10 miles (65 minutes)

3/6 - 15 miles (1:45)

Summary: 80 miles, getting back to decent mileage.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Week ending February 27, 2011

2/21 - 5 miles AM (40 minutes), 5 miles PM (36 minutes)

2/22 - 5 miles AM (40 minutes), 10 miles PM (65 minutes)

2/23 - 11 miles (6 x mile @ ~5:25 pace)

2/24 - 5 miles AM (40 minutes), 5 miles PM (37 minutes)

2/25 - 5 miles AM (40 minutes), 10 miles PM (66 minutes)

2/26 - 5 miles (34 minutes)

2/27 - 10 miles (57:30) Progression run. Started around 6:15, ended around 5:15. Felt really good today. This didn't feel like much work until the last couple miles.

Summary: 76 miles for the week. Abs are still a little sore after the two faster runs this week but not as bad as they had been.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Week ending February 20, 2011

2/14 - 5 miles AM (40 minutes), 10 miles PM (66 minutes)

2/15 - 8 miles AM (57 minutes)

2/16 - off (I wrenched the crap out of my back loading some wood flooring into the truck and couldn't move all day. Had to get help putting my socks on for work. Thought about going to the ER but decided to see if it loosens up at all today. Kind of scary. Getting old sucks.)

2/17 - 7 miles (49 minutes) Back is still pretty stiff in the lower left side, but being straight up when running isn't bad as long as I keep a very quiet upper body. Should be back to normal tomorrow.

2/18 - 5 miles AM (40 minutes), 10 miles PM (64 minutes)

2/19 - 10 miles (71 minutes)

2/20 - 15 miles (~1:50, no watch)

Summary: 70 miles for the week.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Week ending February 13, 2011

2/7 - 8 miles AM (56 minutes)

2/8 - 5 miles AM (35 minutes), 5 miles PM (40 minutes)

2/9 - 10 miles (67 minutes)

2/10 - 5 miles AM (38 minutes), 7 miles PM (50 minutes)

2/11 - 4 miles AM (30 minutes), 6 miles PM (36 minutes) I was hoping to try a 4 mile hard run @ about 5:15 pace so I did an easy mile and then got through 2 miles before I had to bail. Not the muscles, just out of shape. Did 800m @ 6:40 pace, getting pissed the whole time. Threw in a mile @ 6:00, then was planning to coast in another 1.5 miles @ 6:40 pace. Got through another 800m and Eye of the Tiger came on so I had to max out the treadmill @ 12 mph and let it rip. I'm glad I did. It basically turned into a weird little workout. I feel good though, so hopefully I'll just be tired tomorrow, not overly sore.

By the way, if you want to have a child on 11/11/11, you better get busy tonight.

2/12 - 8 miles (56 minutes)

2/13 - 8 miles (56 minutes)

Summary: 66 miles for the week. Geez, almost feels like I'm actually a runner again. About 2/3 of the runner I want to be.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Monday, January 31, 2011

Week ending February 6, 2011

1/31 - 5 easy miles AM, 5 miles on treadmill PM (all at about 7:30 pace, with a mile at 2%, 2 miles at 4%, 2 miles at 2%) Followed by PT exercises. First double in a while, wanted to see how it would feel to run again after just 6 hours of rest. Seems OK but I can tell it is a little more sore than last week. Tomorrow morning is when it would be sore though if I was pushing it too much. If it feels OK tomorrow I think I will skip the morning run and see if a warm up and then a few miles at about 6:00-6:30 pace bother it.

2/1 - 8 miles on treadmill (2 miles warm up, 2 miles @ 6:30, 2 miles @ 6:00, 2 miles cool down) PT exercises. Feels OK, a little sore but just like after other easy days. This might just be my new "normal", I don't know. I assume this will gradually sort of fade, but i suspect it is going to take quite a while. Going to be really snowy tomorrow and I think it will be a good day to join a gym about a mile from the house for easier access to a treadmill.

2/2 - 6 miles on treadmill, about 7:30 pace

2/3 - 5 miles AM, 30 minutes bike PM w/ PT exercises

2/4 - 6 miles AM (4 @ 6:15 pace)

2/5 - 10 miles with about 4 @ 6:00 pace

2/6 - 6 miles on treadmill 45 minutes

Summary: 51 miles for the week with a little biking.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Interactive Treadmill design idea

I sometimes kill time running, especially on the treadmill by letting my mind wander. I actually get a lot done while running that ins't very obvious. I can think through quite a few things that I might have to otherwise sit at my desk and think through. It is actually pretty good multitasking. It also helps get through everyday runs that can sometimes be boring. Especially lately as I've been just dawdling on the treadmill, having something to think about is the only way I can tolerate it.

The last few days I've been mixing in some incline on the treadmill, which got me thinking about what grade to put it at to simulate different real roads, like Sagamore hill in Portsmouth, NH. That led me to think about Mount Washington. I think the treadmill at work maxes out at 10% so I know it isn't capable of simulating Mt. W, but that got me thinking more about it.

I wonder if there is some existing treadmill or program which allows you to program your treadmill to automatically adjust grade to simulate a road or race course of your choosing? The quick web search I've done since then only revealed one person wondering something similar, but the closest thing I've found is the NordicTrack iFit and I can't tell exactly what that does.

I tend to shoot holes in my ideas pretty quickly, so the first thing I thought is that you can't really simulate downhills on a treadmill, at least with current designs. I suppose you could design one with a rear lift as well as a front one, but I assume that would create some kind of safety issue. For the time being, let's assume it could be done safely. Maybe limit the rear lift to 5% rather than the 10% you can get on the front.

Whatever the format for loading the program, you would have to set it to make adjustments almost constantly if you were being really precise, so you might have to do some feathering to smooth it out a little bit, like make adjustments every 1/100 of a mile rather than every foot. The program would have to constantly compare your distance traveled to the corresponding grade at that distance into the route. It would also have to ignore or limit grade to the constraints of the treadmill, let's say 10% incline and 5% decline. Though to be honest, many people assume you should run at 1% incline on a treadmill normally anyway to more closely simulate outdoor running. Maybe this would be factored in.

Collecting data for inputting programs becomes the next thought. Could something as simple as an elevation profile from something like Google Maps be somehow converted into data that could be programmed and transformed into a format that a treadmill could be set up to decipher and execute? If so, that would be pretty simple.

The other piece of my fantasy treadmill that I would want to add is a handheld remote so I don't have to actually touch the screen. Reaching to touch the screen can actually be a little difficult once you get moving at close to race pace. I'd rather have a small (wireless for safety) remote with just an up/down button for adjusting the pace and an emergency stop button.

The other thing that would be cool, but possibly cost prohibitive would be a video monitor mounted to the front which could show your route as you move. The key here would be making a video of the course at a closely calibrated speed so that it would be slowed precisely to follow along with the distance traveled on your run. You wouldn't want to have the video get too far ahead of you or behind you. Collecting the data for this would be next to impossible, but it is a cool idea.

So there you have it. My thoughts on a programmable, varying course treadmill with interactive grade adjustments and dynamic video route display. Anyone want to help me patent this thing?

Maybe you're thinking "Just go outside and run." Well that isn't always possible for a variety of reasons. And imagine how much more enjoyable treadmill running would be if you could be indoors in Maine during a blizzard and decide you want to run part of the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina, or through downtown Cairo, Egypt? Wouldn't that make your hour on the Dreadmill go by a little quicker?

Who's with me on this???

Monday, January 24, 2011

Week ending January 30, 2011

1/24 - 5 miles on treadmill with about 2000 feet elevation gain

1/25 - 5 miles on treadmill with some climbing

1/26 - 5 miles on treadmill (3 x mile @ 8% incline, 8 mph)

1/27 - 5 miles on treadmill (3.5 miles @ 4% incline)

1/28 - 5 miles in treadmill with some incline (Christ...I'm starting to feel like 50% Moulton)

1/29 - 8 miles around Newcastle loop with Brian and a little bit with Guy. Mostly around 7 minute pace I guess, last mile a little quicker.

1/30 - off, felt fine but had a busy day and figured I should still be smart and take some days off here and there just to ease back into running every day.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Week ending January 23, 2011

1/17 - 45 minutes on bike. "I have a dream that one day I will run again."

1/18 - 5 miles easy

1/19 - 30 minutes on bike

1/20 - 7 miles easy

1/21 - 5 miles with some treadmill incline

1/22 - off

1/23 - off

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The York Independent

Everyone who reads my nonsense knows I used to be a fat piece of trash, right?

A paper in York did a little story about New Year's Resolutions and decided that my transition would be interesting.

Q&A about me starts on page 4.
http://www.e-pages.dk/thehippo/65/

Monday, January 10, 2011

Week ending January 16, 2011

1/10 - 60 minutes on bike, PT in afternoon

1/11 - 5 miles, felt like about 35 minutes but I didn't have a watch on.

1/12 - does snow removal count as XT?

1/13 - 30 minutes on bike

1/14 - PT

1/15 - off

1/16 - 5+ miles, about 38 minutes of running

Summary: I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and gosh darn it...people like me.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A swimming miracle!

I figure if I'm not accomplishing anything lately I can use the space to share the accomplishments of others...

Big day for Camden (my 3 year old son for those who don't know) at swimming lessons today. He's been going to swimming on Wednesdays for about a year and while he enjoys it, he kind of likes to sometimes do his own thing and is reluctant to interact with the other kids at times (though he has a girlfriend, Kelsey who he is deeply enamored with. He got her a doll for Christmas and she gave him a Fisher Price MP3 player!).

He also has been very reluctant to stick his head under water. I think I might have caused this by getting some water in his mouth while washing his hair in the shower quite a while ago, but I'm not sure.

Over vacation we went to the pool to practice swimming with me a little bit and try to show him some more encouragement.

Well, I got a call from Camie after lunch today informing me of a "Swimming Lesson Miracle!" today. Nana takes him because she watches him on Wednesdays. Apparently on the way up Nana reminded him to listen to what Anne tells him (she's the instructor & family friend).

When he got to class he got his clothes off, marched over to the side of the pool, raised one fist in the air and declared "TO INFINITY...AND BEYOND!!!" and then proceeded to jump into the pool all by himself!

I'm told he then proceeded to spend most of the class swimming back and forth in the pool with his head underwater as much as his lungs would allow!

Nana said all the other parents and grandparents (who know he's been rather timid) were quite shocked at first and then were cheering for him and making him feel like Michael Phelps.

Wish I was there to capture it in a Wiles Studios film!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Fireside Race Reports, Episode 2



(Hopefully it is obvious that these are intended as flattery and nothing else. I'll never mention someone in a Wiles Studios production that I don't admire and respect.)

Monday, January 3, 2011

Testicle removal

Karate Bob

Week ending January 9, 2011

1/3 - PT exercises, stretching, 30 minutes fairly hard stationary bike. (I've never done much on it, so I don't really know what the effort should feel like. I was trying to stay above 95-100 for cadence doing a random route that changed the workload a bit. It was harder on the quads than the lungs, but I was breathing hard at the end and sweating a little bit, so I guess it was a good start.) Felt good to at least get the blood flowing a little bit.

1/4 - 30 minutes stationary bike, random workout, tried taking my pulse a few times and at a cadence of 100 I can really only get my HR to about 120. But it doesn't feel like I want to crank my legs much harder. PT appointment in the afternoon went well, and follow up appointment at the physiatrist in the evening was kind of dull, he just reminded me that I should be very slow and careful about building up when I start running again.

1/5 - 20 minutes bike, 1 miles easy treadmill run @ 8:30

1/6 - 4 miles easy AM, 60 minutes on bike PM

1/7 - 40 minutes bike, PT in the afternoon

1/8 - 4 miles

1/9 - 4 miles

Summary: 13 miles running, a few hours of biking for the week. Feels like I might be starting to heal a little bit, but I need to be patient and not push it too much. PT on Friday was tough and my quads, adductors and glutes are still sore from some exercises that involved a skateboard. Plan for next week is to run 5 miles every other day, biking as many days as possible, keep stretching and PT.

2010 reflections

Looks like everyone is doing a 2010 recap, and I hate to be the odd man out!

Well, despite ending 2010 on a sour note with an injury 2010 was without a doubt the best year of running I’ve had. A few numbers and then a brief summary:

4022 miles run. I was hoping to average over 80 miles per week (4160) and was on track for that through the first couple of weeks in December. However, ending the year with 23 miles in the last 21 days brought be back down under that average a little bit. The last few weeks aside, there is no doubt in my mind that the consistent decent volume combined with lots of tempo and strength work allowed me to take my fitness to a new level in 2010.

22 road races, the most for me in a year. Not counting USATF-NE Grand Prix races, I ran 18 races, winning 14, 2 2nd place finishes, a 3rd, and a 4th. I ended up 10th in the Grand Prix but was only able to run in 4 of the 7 races.

Set 18 PRs for the year, counting indoor stuff early in the year. Managed to set a few course records at some smaller races, but still kind of fun to do.

Looking back on 2010, I think the ball got rolling on a chance encounter with Al Bernier in December of 2009. He came along on a Sunday run in Portsmouth after a fresh snow that took us through a bunch of trails and along the beach. We talked about the indoor mile he had run the day before and I became curious about what I might be able to run for a mile. So the next weekend I ended up at the BU mini meet with Al and Diana to give it a try. Not knowing what I was doing, I lined up at the finish line on the 200M track and Al had to tell me that the start line was 9 meters back, where he was lined up. That first race was a blast and I decided to run as much of an indoor season as I could. I started working out indoors at UNH with a few guys and ran a couple more miles, as well as a couple of 3Ks and a 5K, recording times at each distance that I was fairly pleased with, 4:26, 8:35, and 14:56.

Somewhere in there Al suggested I join CMS and I didn’t hesitate to accept the offer. I immediately got very excited about running with a team for the summer and it turned out to be a great decision. CMS is definitely the right fit for me and I get very excited a few weeks before every team event. As much as I enjoy running well, it is great to see your teammates running well also, and I got quite a kick out of Gorman frothing towards the line at Bedford in the 12K, where Fyffe smashed the course record as well. JJ dropping the hammer over the last 5K at New Bedford and the Polar Express rolling along with 6 finishers within 70 seconds in the half marathon, there were just a lot of great experiences though the summer and I’m already looking forward to next year.

On the local scene, I did a few spring tune up races and then started the Seacoast Road Race series in Dover for the Footbridge 5K. Mahoney was still with Whirlaway at the time but we had a fun group and I managed to win with a course record (new course) and beat John Mentzer for the first time, which I was convinced was a fluke but still a sign that I was making progress with my fitness. The next SRRS race was Redhook and another tough field with JJ and Ben Jenkins as well as John to do battle with again. I went out too hard in something like 4:42 and John passed me a little after 2 miles and I thought I was toast but managed to convince myself to see how hard I could go before I dropped and was able to squeak out the win. That was a big race for me because it gave me a chance to keep fighting after I thought I was beat and I learned what emptying the tank really feels like.

Carter was born the week before Market Square Day and I didn’t run the three days before the race and then blew up after going out too hard with Pat Moulton. Mentzer spanked me here and Kevin Tilton ran a great race. I had been hoping to run well here but sometimes things just happen. There was a great CMS crew though, and we had a nice cool down out towards Newcastle Island.

After having to miss a couple more SRRS races I decided to bag the series. I had decided that the Seacoast Half Marathon was my focus for the fall and I didn’t want to get caught up in 5K and 10K races that would take me away from the training plan I was committing to. I did run a couple of 5Ks during the build up and ran PRs both times despite not cutting back on mileage those week. These two races were really encouraging for me and helped break up the training cycle a little bit. In hindsight I’m glad I did this because I was really happy with the half marathon and I know it is because I stuck to the training plan. I am a little bummed that I didn’t get to race John more this summer though, because he is a great competitor and I know he was looking forward to a few more races as well. Hopefully 2011 will allow us to get on the line together a few more times.

I should have shut it down immediately after the half marathon and had told myself I was going to, but for some reason I didn’t. I think I knew I was in great shape and didn’t give enough consideration to the last year of consistent hard training that my body had endured without complaining. I just pushed the limit a little too far and learned that I’m not impervious to injury. For much of the summer I trained through little soreness and small annoying stuff, convincing myself that most of it was in my head. I was feeling this soreness in my abs for the last 6 weeks of my half marathon training but ignored it. It was worst after workouts and then would get a bit better after a couple of recovery days. More warning signs that I ignored.

Looking ahead to 2011, the first thing I need to do is let this thing heal. When injured, it can be tough to think beyond the injury and all seems gloomy, but I know that if treated properly, this will pass. I just have to stop looking at my calendar and wait for it to come. In the meantime I’ve noticed that riding a bike doesn’t seem to bother me so I’ll start biking a little bit to try and get my blood pumping at least a little bit. Right now I feel like I’m totally out of shape. Luckily, I have guys like Dan Hocking and Mark Miller to look at. Guys who have had substantial injuries and were able to return to competitive shape.

I don’t really have time goals established for 2011, but I really don’t see any reason why I can’t set PRs at every distance.

Until I get healthy, I’m having fun spending a little more time with the family. Having more energy is fun. I’m not falling asleep right after dinner right now, and Camden has lots of new toys from Christmas that he likes me to play with him. I’ll also continue to goof around with little Wiles Studios films to keep myself and maybe others entertained. We got a new iMac for Christmas so it is easy to do with iMovie.