Saturday, July 30, 2016

Summer Running Streak, Day #61 (Blessing of the Fleet 10 miler)

Yesterday was day #61 in the streak and the fourth time I have run the Narragansett Lions' Blessing of the Fleet 10 mile road race. This year wasn't the fastest I have ever run this race, but I thought it might be neat to look at the times I've run it and how this year stacks up. These numbers all come from my recorded data on various devices. The official chip times vary slightly, but not by too much.

My first run on this course: July 26, 2013

By the numbers:

Distance (mi): 10.19
Avg. Pace: 7'38"
Duration: 1:17:47
Avg. Heart Rate: --
Elevation Ascent (ft): 62

Back when I started running, I used Nike+ to log my runs on my phone. I kick myself about this a bit now, because I wish I had all the data in one place (like Strava) and that I'd consistently used the same stuff to record. But I wasn't really sure how long I was going to be into running, and so it made sense to do things on the cheap using what I had. I trained in bad weather in old hoodies, I bought my singlets and shorts on clearance at the local hardware store, and I used my phone to record data. Live and learn.

This first time is my fastest time recorded on the Blessing course. It is worth noting that I'd been running for about a year, was at my lowest weight, and had just run my first half marathon the previous May. I wasn't using a heart rate monitor, so I wasn't obsessed on effort, just covering miles.

It's also worth noting that the weather is recorded as rainy, but my memory is that it was overcast and a bit cool. Like, comfortable. That is not really common.

My second run on this course: July 25, 2014

By the numbers:

Distance: 10.1mi

Elapsed Time: 1:19:30

Pace: 7:48/mi

Heart Rate: --

Elevation: 130ft

Obviously this year was a bit slower. A respectable time, though. It was a bit warmer than the previous year, and I was also experimenting with what a good warm up for this distance would be. Given that it was warmer, I figured I would put in a five miler earlier that day to help adjust to the heat. It worked out OK but I probably would have been just as well served to cover three miles in the midday heat, and save something for the race later.

My third run on this course: July 24, 2015

By the numbers:

Distance: 10.1mi

Elapsed Time: 1:19:27

Pace: 7:48/mi

Heart Rate: --

Elevation: 124ft

For some reason, this one doesn't give me an average heart rate. It'll give me a rate for each mile, but not so much for the whole event. Oh well. I did another five mile warm up for this race, because it had served me fairly well the previous year. The five miler I did before this one, however, was much slower, taking in easy and just covering the distance.

This one was a good race. The time is only three seconds better than the previous year, but it was a great race that really lives in my memory and defines me as a runner. I headed down early, freaked out in traffic, got to the check in just in time and got set up. We had a storm pass through earlier in the day, but were expecting a clear race.

Went out fairly strong, figured I might as well see what I could do so I was putting in a really good effort. At about mile four there are some rolling hill climbs, all the way up to mile five, then another gradual climb of about a mile or so. I went into those comfortable, and by the time I got to mile five we heard the first crack of thunder. The race volunteers looked at us and said, "Now it is time to go fast."

I did, I guess. We got rained on and the deluge cooled us all off a bit. I actually was enjoying running in the rain, at six miles in you may as well have fun with it, because otherwise you're just in for four more miles of drudgery. I took my sunglasses off, carried the hat I had been wearing, and focused on form and playing in the puddles. The rain broke by the time I got to the finish line, and I saw some friends from work and caught up for a bit before heading back to the car.

Great race.

This year's run: July 29, 2016

By the numbers: 

Distance: 10.1mi
Elapsed Time: 1:24:30
Pace: 8:19/mi

Heart Rate: 170bpm

Elevation: 240ft

This year it was HOT. We have been having a heatwave in southern New England, so I've spent a lot of time in the house, going out for my runs late at night. I neglected a real warm up this year, which I think really cost me. I also have been having issues with my nutrition lately, and sleep (as comes with being a new parent.) Next year I will try to work to get those things back. It shouldn't be really hard, it just takes focus, and I know I can do that. I have been building a better base, and I know my body better now than I did three years ago, so I should be able to PR on this course in the next couple of years. I also ran a pretty grueling trail race last week, so I'm sure that may have some effect here.

That said, I still had a lot of fun on the course gritting it out through the stretches where the sun was really beating down. The other great thing about this race is that the crowd of spectators it attracts is really big -- it is a lot of fun to hear them and see them all cheering on the runners. Many of them will hand out water and orange slices, and the very kindest of them turn their hoses and sprinklers on the road for the really hot days like this. I ran through every hose in the last five miles. It made life a lot better.

At the end of the race I met up with my friend who was watching baby girl, and held the baby as we watched our friends and my wife come in. She was, as predicted, really upset by us being gone for awhile, but was OK after I came back. She was mad at me when I had to put her back in the stroller for the mile jog back to car, but at that point I think it was more from being sleepy and wanting to go home. All in all, it was a successful day out for our little family.

Next year I will try and plan for this race better. I'll focus on eating well starting weeks before, controlling my weight, and putting in a good warm up. Five miles may be too long of a warm up, but it served me well in the past.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Summer Running Streak, Day #60

Just one and a quarter miles tonight. Crazy humidity. Warm, too.

Feeling like I will take it easy before tomorrow's race, as well. I've run this race three times before, so with regards to the course I know what to expect (more or less) but with the race being at the end of July and in the evening, by the ocean, that means that weather and temperature are often really up in the air. If the conditions are good, I could run it pretty fast. If the conditions aren't great, it could be a real slog. We'll see.

The plan is for one of our friends to watch baby girl while I'm running and my wife is walking. I expect to only be gone about an hour and ten minutes, so that isn't too bad. But we'll see... she has a habit of screaming and crying when one of us is gone for a period of time...

Had a good day otherwise. Have been doing lots of cooking in the cast iron skillet, and looking into new recipes. We always start out with the best of intentions on cooking meals and somehow a couple of days in we end up ordering food. I'm planning to rebound on that, though, and will start making some real meals again this week.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Summer Running Streak, Days #58 and 59

Last night I had planned to go out for ten, but I got swept up in the motion and thinking about stuff and ended up extending it through my old neighborhood to come in at about thirteen miles. I haven't really done a run that long in July, so it was good to get the miles in, but I was foolishly unprepared -- no water bottle, no endurolytes, so I came back really dehydrated. Felt really woozy and took awhile to get right. Overall, though, not a terrible run. Really enjoyed myself and suffered no ill effects until after.

Tonight got out for four and a quarter miles, putting my current weekly total just shy of nineteen miles. That means with my ten mile race on Friday I will easily be able to hit thirty for the week.

Day #60 tomorrow! Planning an easy run to celebrate and allow me to get some rest before race day on Friday.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Summer Running Streak, Days #56 and #57

Did three and a half yesterday as recovery from the trail race. It was hot out, and I was still kind of beat. Upon getting home we packed up the car and headed up to a drive in, where I outfitted the Element with mosquito netting and turned the inside into a bed so we could lounge and watch the double feature of Ghostbusters (2016) and Star Trek: Beyond.

The baby slept on and off, and had fun crawling around in the car and climbing on us while we watched the movie. Good times. Got in really late, and then I didn't end up going to sleep until about five in the morning. Slept for a couple of hours, was up for a couple of hours, and that was sort of how today went.

Tonight I got in a mile and a quarter, slow, taking it easy. We're still in the midst of a heatwave so even at night it gets pretty steamy. Tomorrow is supposed to be my speedwork, but I may change it up depending on how I'm feeling. I'm also interested in getting some distance in this week, and seeing if I can hit 200km for the month, so we'll see what happens.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Summer Run Streak, Day #55 (Run w. the Beavers Trail Race)

Today I ran a ten mile trail race in Northwest RI! The Run with the Beavers is a 5 mile loop with a 10 mile option, and runs around the Pulaski Management Area.

I've run a couple of trail races before -- the Leadville 10k in Colorado, and the Dandelion Half Marathon in Derby, VT. I loved both of those races, but I wouldn't exactly describe them as trails. They were both run on packed dirt roads, and the terrain wasn't super varied. Leadville was something I did more to say I visited and ran there, as it is really storied and important to runners. The Dandy has some excellent climbs and descents, and an awesome race culture, but it doesn't exactly satisfy in the primal "go for a run in the woods like a caveman" factor. This race really satisfied in that regard as the course was a pretty rugged five mile loop.

I've hiked this area, and camped here before, so I was really excited to run this race. Man, was it hot. I tend to do most of my miles at night or (a couple of years ago) really early. This race had a 9 am start time, so I was expecting it to be a bit of a slog. Combined with the fact that I've never done a race with any single-track technical trail, I didn't really know what to expect. But I can cover ten miles easy, so I was confident in my ability to take on the challenge.

The first .3 or so of the loop was up hill at a fairly decent grade, so I dialed in a reasonable effort on it, but made sure to save some effort for the trail ahead. Once we fell into the single track trail I was in the midst of a pretty steady stream of runners, and we were just going along. Found a real stream of consciousness flow state in interacting very immediately to the terrain, and trying to sync up my motions with the motions of those around me as we jumped off and over rocks, logs, and ducked under branches. A couple of places the trail let out onto unpaved roads, and the rolling hills were ongoing but not entirely unpleasant. By the time I was half way through loop one I felt like I was working really hard -- and I was, my heart rate was consistently in Z3.

Some more trails, some plank bridges over swamp, and then a really steep climb and we were done with loop one. There was a cool covered bridge, a beaver damn on the pond and the smell of water lilies as we ran along the pond too. Neat stuff.

About 250 people ran, which was a pretty good sized field but by the time we got to the second loop things had thinned out a bit among the pack, because the five milers had finished. As I started loop two I noticed only a few runners ahead and occasionally behind me. I decided to walk up the steeper hills to save something for that big hill at the end of the loop. With the mounting heat I think that was a good call, but walk breaks are a tough thing because they show cracks in the mental strength, and I have always felt like it is harder to start once you've stopped to walk part of a course. At least that is how it's been for me in the past.

I managed to run walk the last loop, and dial in a strong finish coming through the chute with about 1:47 on the clock. Not too bad considering the heat and technical nature of the course. The other runners were super friendly, and the experience on the whole was really positive. A lot of the time I feel like people in road races find the whole event to be drudgery, and that wasn't my experience with trail runners. They talk, joke, and go like hell the whole time. I could easily see doing more runs like this, even with the heat being a thing to contend with.

You know what else? Mentally I felt really stimulated by this race. I was ready to go out for another four miler last night, and had to talk myself out of it because I had been gone for half the day and really needed some family time. Usually after a road race the last thing I want to do is go out for another run on the same day, but yesterday all I could think about was running more. That's pretty special, and maybe it even means I'm finding the fun in the sport again.

So, overall: fun course, fun pack, great volunteers. I will probably try to run this race next year, depending on what summer plans look like. Next week I'll be running the blessing of the fleet in Narragansett, which is a road ten miler. It is a real classic of races in RI, and is one of my regular races every year.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Summer Running Streak, Day #53 and #54

A couple of days of running here, which I'm writing about after because I want to do a separate entry for my race. Day #53 was a brief three and a half miles, at a pretty easy pace. Day #54 was two miles through an impending thunderstorm. The storm was mostly cloud-to-cloud lightning (we used to call that 'heat lightning' when I was in scouts) but I managed to get home before the storm went into full tilt.

Also did a seven mile hike along RI's "North-South Trail." The total distance of that trail is 78 miles, and it runs from the northwest corner of the state down to the beach in Charlestown. We started at Charlestown and hiked from the beach up into Burlingame Management Area. It seems like a really nice trail, once you get off the road and into the trail part. I am interested to look at the other sections of the trail and possibly plan a thru-hike of the trail for another year. Could be a lot of fun to do it in twenty mile chunks and camp each night.

I'm starting to get frustrated at the summer running stuff. I always run a bit slower in training during the summer because of the heat, and I know that's to be expected. But it is irritating.

Now onto the race report.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Summer Running Streak, Day #51 and #52

Went out and got in a bit over 10k on day #51, and then a mile and a quarter last night on day #52. The speed work was good, and I was focusing on downhill running (got some crazy speed going on) and I obviously need to do more work on my downhill technique. Really feeling the fatigue in my inner thigh muscle.

My speed seems to have dropped a bit these last couple of runs, and I don't think that's a terrible thing. Good to get some rest in through the miles, I figure, finding a way to recover on the move.

Taking baby girl to the beach today! We're going to head to a slightly smaller beach with some calmer water so she can maybe get to experience it a bit more. Should be a good time. I'm also hoping to get another few miles in tonight, on day #53.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Summer Running Streak, Day #50

Easy four miles tonight in the humidity. The humidity is really killer right now, and I'm pretty soaked from the run. Speedwork tomorrow, can't wait to practice some downhill running technique (it is important, isn't it?)

Made a goat cheese/mixed vegetable frittata for dinner tonight in the good ol' cast iron. Baby girl loved it! She's eating more table food and she doesn't protest at trying many new things, so that's good.

Happy to be at 50 days of running, and looking forward to races next week.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Summer Running Streak, Day #49

Six mile hike this morning, then a one mile run in the evening. I will confess that I took a different route on tonight's run just to play around with the Pokemon app, and had some fun with it.

Moving into race gear for the next couple of weeks so Tuesday I will do some more hills, this time focusing on downhill technique and recovering on the climbs. Wednesday-Friday will be easy medium distance runs so I will be in good shape for Saturday's ten miler.

the twitter feed is up to 103 followers! There is a really great parenting/parent blog community on there and I really enjoy reading and interacting there.

Full disclosure if you just came from over there: this blog is more of a running journal that also chronicles my adventures as a new parent. I am not really writing for the audience, and I'm not doing sponsored posts or anything, this blog is really just for me. I am planning to keep it that way, but heading into the fall I will go back to my one big post a week, and otherwise blogging everyday I run during this streak (who knows how long that will go... hopefully a lot longer!)

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Summer Running Streak, Day #48

10.3 miles tonight, just shy of my 30 mile goal for the week so far. I'll get out and run tomorrow, in addition to the hike I have planned, and that will put me well over for the week. Humid out tonight, which made things a bit of a slog but I still had a lot of fun with it. As it turns out, the finale from Tchaikovsky's 2nd Symphony makes for some great running music (finale starts at 25:48):

Big props to Joseph Aknin for uploading this version to YouTube. It's a gem.

Now to get in some sleep before a four mile hike tomorrow! Hopefully we'll avoid the rain in the morning, but I expect to be running in it tomorrow night.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Summer Running Streak, Day #47

Brought the baby to the beach for the first time tonight! I got in a two mile run of the beach before we went in the water -- which she absolutely loved! I dipped her feet in the water first, then put her into this aquatic baby sling we bought, and we waded into the water. She giggled every time we got splashed by the waves. And she slept on the way home -- must have really tired herself out. Watching her experience sand, and the ocean for the first time was really cool.

The run I got in was from one end of the beach to the other -- about two miles. Fairly crowded, humid, but definitely a cool run. Also noticed that the far end of the beach links up very close to the road, so the next time we go I may see if I can sneak away and run the nearby wildlife sanctuary (which is a two mile trail loop.)

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Summer Running Streak, Day #46

3.4 miles tonight. 91% humidity according to NOAA, which made things tough, so I took it easy. Looking to just get in the time on my feet. Planning on a long run Saturday of about 10-12 miles, as I have a big hike the next morning. Will still plan to get in a run on Sunday, although I'm not planning more than a couple of miles just to keep the streak alive.

Then I'm running a ten mile trail race the next week! I don't do much running on trails (there aren't many trails in the city) so I am really excited about it. I'm choosing to not freak over it, as I've spent a decent amount of time on trails hiking, and I have run trail races up to the half marathon distance in the past. I'm pretty excited for it, actually.

Baby girl is crawling and babbling a lot now! She still likes being worn in the boba wrap though, which is nice for me. She slept on there for a few hours today (several one-hour segments) and that was good bonding time for us. But we also have a lot of fun playing and babbling back and forth. This kid is incredible, she's so happy.

My twitter is bustling, too, these days. I have never really used twitter before, and I (may have written this before) am impressed by the parenting community that has sprung up on the platform. I've even found some other endurance/outdoors like minded dads on there! Shout out to my peeps. There is something about showing up to twitter once or twice a week and finding a feed full of parenting articles and endurance sports that makes me feel really at home there. Good stuff.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Summer Running Streak, Day #45

3.6 miles tonight! Put in easy miles. Mostly was feeling pretty good, but as I saw National French Fry Day trending, I made poutine for dinner with home made french fries. Good times.

The baby is crawling today! First time we have seen her crawl on her on, and she can cover quite a bit of ground. Baby-proofing is now a must, so that will be getting done this weekend (L-brackets! L-brackets everywhere!)

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Summer Running Streak, Day #44

Six and a half miles tonight, featuring four repeats on my "Urban Mountain Goat." Had pizza for dinner. Boy was that stupid. The heart burn from that kicked me all the way up and around those hills.

Good time otherwise. Already have in ten miles for the week, planning to get in a moderate long run tomorrow evening, so it should be a good week mileage-wise. Planning a hike at Mt. Monadnock on Sunday, and hopefully I will be in decent shape for that after the seven and a half hours of hiking last week.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Summer Running Streak, Day #43

3.4 miles tonight, late. Having the time sync issue again with my watch, so I'll try out the stuff I tried last time to see what's up. Felt pretty solid on the run, just some easy miles. Absolutely ate garbage the last couple of days so I'm feeling some heart burn. I will need to get my diet in check as I enter this next part of the running streak, which will work more like traditional marathon training.

Baby girl is doing a lot of pulling herself up to stand! It's very exciting, but this new found mobility is also completely terrifying so I'll be running around and baby-proofing my whole existence soon. She's also trying lots of new foods, and is really enjoying all the bonding time we've been getting as a family this last couple of weeks. It is a good time, and one I'll be sure to look back on fondly when things get hard.

Tried out a pineapple upside down cake recipe in my cast iron skillet today! Came out OK, except that the skillet is so big that I don't really have a platter big enough to flip the cake onto. I'll need to get a better platter so I can post some photos of it -- the one from today came out a little mangled. Drizzled with some dark rum, it is still a pretty good cake and an easy enough recipe that I'll certainly make it again.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Summer Running Streak, Day #42

Went out for a mile and a quarter tonight. I know, right? No real "long" run this week. Sometimes we have to listen to our legs, and mine are telling me that seven hours of hiking was just a lot to try and do, while still expecting to get a fifteen mile run in this week. Next week, back to build miles (hopefully!)

Had a good day today with the wife. Got some shopping done, quite a bit of cooking, quite a bit of napping. Good times with our little family.

Heading into a new and interesting chapter, not only as new parents but also as friends of folks who are expecting. Not too long ago we were in that same boat and we were the first in our group of close friends starting a family. Now more of them are talking and some of them are starting families of their own, and so we enter a new phase of reciprocity for all the support they gave us. I'm looking forward to it, and I'm looking forward to real honest-to-goodness commiseration once they know what they new parent sleepless nights look like, haha.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Summer Running Streak, Day #41

Feeling worn down from the hike yesterday, so I took it easy today. Decided to drag myself out this evening for four miles, because I figured the movement would be good for helping me recover. About a mile in, I was feeling in really good form so I focused on coasting in the rest of the way.

May end up being a 20 mile week instead of a 30 mile week. That's alright, I kept the streak going and I believe I am going to see some benefits from the hiking anyway. As it is I really only have two ten milers coming up in July, and then I'm looking towards some half marathons in the late summer/fall. I will run a marathon in the fall, but I haven't picked one yet. Partly I'd like my wife and daughter to be able to be there at the finish line. There's something about the idea of running 26.2 and then driving home all alone that I just don't love.

Had a good day, otherwise. Restful. Went to IHOP in the morning and the baby spent most of the time staring at other babies who stared back. She still loves eggs. This is a good thing. I eat lots of eggs. For dinner I made up a meat sauce in the cast iron skillet for my wife and little one, and I made some veggie meatballs for myself. All in all a pretty good day.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Summer Running Streak, Day #40

Well, here we are at Day #40. I've had a great streak, and now surpassed my holiday run streak, so let's keep it going. If you aren't too bored with this, I'm going to keep journaling here on the blog daily about how my run streak is going. I'll get back to regular "big" weekly posts sometime at the end of August -- I have a few in the hopper, they just need some more polishing. In the meantime the streak provides plenty of content! We'll see how long it lasts!

One mile tonight, after one really epic hike at the Big River Management Area. The trail total is about 18 miles -- we shaved off some because of time and did about 15.6 miles. All told it took about seven and a half hours, but that was a great thing. Lots of long meandering trail miles at a lower heart rate level for me proved to be really good for my nightly mile. In spite of being really wiped I knocked almost forty seconds off from last night's mile time. I wasn't pushing too hard either -- my heart rate actually stayed below my aerobic max of 151 for most of the mile. This bodes well for long very slow distances. I'll have to keep it up and see where it takes me.

The long hike did mean a lot more time away from the family today, and I hated that. But I did get a good nap in with the baby this afternoon and that was awesome. She slept for about 45 minutes on my chest before waking up and going back to her usual chipper self. She's showing a real preference for the dogs now, so we have been working on how to pet them.

OK so now I'm going to sleep for awhile. We'll see what tomorrow has in store (or how I'm feeling after that hike!)

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Summer Running Streak, Day #39

Later than usual social club meeting tonight, so I ended up only running one mile. Built in lots of rest through the day, felt pretty good. Took it easy because of the hike early tomorrow, but I also still have a goal of hitting 30-35 miles for the week. That is pretty do-able with a decent long run on Saturday, so I'm still sticking to my plan.

Starting tomorrow, however, I am making a pretty big change in that I'm planning to lay off beer save for my once-a-month social club. I am hoping between that and increased attention to my hydration I should be able to drop the pesky weight I've been working on for awhile. Here goes nothing.

Planning to hike a section of the Big River Trail in Exeter, RI tomorrow. It looks like it may rain, but I'm hoping that we will at least cover a few miles on foot. Shouldn't have the same crazy elevation changes on the Ell Pond trail, so my legs should have some time to recover on the move.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Summer Running Streak, Day #38

Pretty easy mile tonight. I had planned to do another midweek long run, but my legs are sending off the old "back off" vibes, so I decided to just put in a mile and get some rest. Very little sleep last night, quite a bit of hill work, and then going into work today so my legs needed a break.

Additionally I've been building mileage for the past four weeks straight, so I need to dial it back a bit. This week will hopefully end up being 30-35 miles, and then I'll resume building next week.

On full-time dad mode tomorrow as my wife goes into work for a bit, so I'm looking forward to lots of baby wearing, cleaning, playing with blocks, and drooling (the baby, not so much me.) Should be a grand old time followed up with a 10k run in the evening, and then a social club meeting.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Summer Running Streak, Day #37

Out for about six miles tonight. Tonight's workout featured a two mile warm up, four reps on my Urban Mountain Goat (Urban Mountain Bunny, due to my new companion) and about a mile and a half cool down. Learning a lot from this run already.

Owing to the fact that I have three Strava segments on this course, I get a better sense of my pacing. The entire "Urban Mountain Goat" is an out and back of about a half mile, as discussed last week. I also have a quarter mile segment representing the last two hills (trough to peak) and a segment for the first hill in the segment (which is the third down hill, as well.)

Owing to all those segments, I can tell that I could spread the effort out more. On the first real climb my pace numbers look like this: 8:48/mi, 9:04/mi, 8:41/mi, and 10:22/mi. The last two hills have paces that look like this: 6:47/mi, 6:37/mi, 6:32/mi, and 6:17/mi. I'm happy about the progressive nature of the paces on those later hills, but clearly the effort needs to be distributed a bit more evenly.

As each of the hills is a different length, and grade, that is going to be a big part of the challenge of working out here. But it will keep things interesting for me, anyway, and keep me adaptable (I hope) to the individualistic nature of hill running.

Called it a night early due to the heat and humidity. I'm planning to get out there for five reps on this same set of hills next week -- but with the hiking, responsibilities of being a parent, etc. I'm aware that I need more rest than I am currently getting.

Little girl is practicing some new sounds now -- including "dah" and "gah"! Very exciting. She's also sitting up for long periods of time on her own, playing with toys and the like. I wore her for a good long time today during a nap, and it was nice to have that cuddly baby time. More often than not my wife has been the one enjoying that lately. I thoroughly recommend baby wearing, to new dads, by the way. Good bonding time and a heck of a core workout if you wear them long enough.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Summer Running Streak, Day #36

Just a mile and a quarter tonight, taking it easy before tomorrow's hill work. Once again, crazy fireworks.

Excellent Independence Day today, made a mixed veggie frittata, as well as some home fries with my new cast iron skillet and griddle. I improvised the recipe off one I found in a search, adding in some diced peppers and zucchini as well as squash. I shredded some sharp cheddar on top of it, too, just to give it a little something else. I also had some salsa, guacamole, and sour cream to serve with it. Good stuff.

My cast iron technique is getting really good! I've been practicing a lot using the techniques I found over at The site itself is lacking in recent updates, but the information is timeless and tremendously useful. The food came out well, and even the baby enjoyed the frittata!

Went and spent some time with my family this evening, had a good time playing some cards and introducing the baby to her first ever swing. All she wanted to do was pet the dog, but there you go, she enjoyed herself.

Feeling pretty good about this running streak, and considering lining up some half marathons heading into the fall. I'm thinking about running a smaller, local marathon this fall.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Summer Running Streak, Day #35

Out for 10k tonight during the biggest firework evening of the season. Stuck to some main roads, so for the most part I could just see the fireworks in the distance, but they were audible constantly. I figured main roads made the most sense, because people rarely stop on them, so less chance of running into folks drunk in public or lighting off fireworks in the middle of the road, which happens quite a bit on back roads this time of year.

Had a pretty good day, otherwise. Got some cleaning done, spent some time with the baby and caught up with friends from out of town. So odd to think a few years ago we were visiting and talking about life as recently married folk, then buying houses, and now raising kids. It is a new chapter in life, and one I welcome fully. I really love being a dad, and like seeing that reflected in the social circle as friends also find fulfillment in the new parental role.

Tomorrow is our Independence Day breakfast/brunch, which is a tradition my wife and I have been doing for some years now. I'm planning to make a mixed veggie frittata, some home fries, bacon, maybe some vegetarian sausage for me. We have been introducing the baby to more real food, so she'll get to try the frittata tomorrow -- quite a bit of pressure on me to deliver a good product!

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Summer Running Streak, Day #34

Legs were really feeling the hike yesterday, so I set my long run pace back a few miles to allow me some recovery. Ran about ten miles, in an hour and forty minutes. Pretty decent given how wiped I was. Planning a four or five mile recovery tomorrow, which will give me thirty-seven miles for the week, and keep me well within the ten percent rule. If I continue abiding by that ten percent rule, that means this coming week could be a forty mile week! Exciting stuff to be putting up those numbers again.

Going to see Peter Gabriel and Sting on their "Rock Paper Scissors" tour tonight. Big fan of Peter Gabriel (I've seen him every time he has performed in this region since 2003) so I am very excited. Sting's music I don't know as well, outside of the Police, but I'm looking forward to it.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Summer Running Streak, Day #33

Went on an excellent hike of the Ell Pond/Long Pond trail in Hope Valley, RI. Was a lot of fun -- and quite a bit of climbing. Came home and ran a mile to keep the streak alive.

Legs are really feeling tired after all the hill running and climbing in the past couple of days. Planning on an abbreviated long run tomorrow (ten miles) so that I can take it easy. Going to a concert tomorrow night with the wife! I will write more about that then.