Oct 29, 2008I mentioned a few days ago that Blaine of Run To Win is giving away copies of Run For Your Life, a documentary on Fred Lebow of the NYC Marathon. Today is the last chance to get in on this by simply commenting to this blog post. 2 winners have already been selected over the last two days to receive a copy of the movie. The other option is to sign up for Run To Win's Running Tips Newsletter. 2 more copies will be given to individuals chosen at random who sign up for the newsletter before tomorrow morning. Blaine still has three copies to give away so try to get in on it somehow. I know I will be.
Posted by J Gray at 8:47 PM | |
Crescent Beach Micro
A Crescent Picnic
I'm still sometimes wowed by natural areas that I go to. Though sometimes touristy, the Maine coast has plenty of those wows to offer. You just have to know where to look. I had never been to Crescent Beach State Park before today, but I have to say that I'm already I'm hooked on the place. I'm just sorry I didn't bring my running shoes. I did however bring my Nordic poles, enabling me to get just a slightly better burn in the little amount of time I had.
What most impressed me about the trail I found at Crescent Beach was the diversity. The trail starts with a rocky path through the woods for about a quarter of a mile. It then opens up into a grassy field with magnificent views of the ocean. It's on the border between grass and trees that I found Crescent Beach Micro. It lies directly next to what seems to be a foundation of some sort, long overgrown, in a patch of brush and gnarly little trees. Neat hide and a relatively quick find. What you're looking for is not your typical micro container. Having seen so many 35 mm film canisters I quite appreciate it when a hider uses something more out of the ordinary.
From there the trail winds down through the fields toward the beach where you walk along a small grassy ridge overlooking the sand and the water. It was here that I decided I absolutely must come back here for a run. The sand is darker than I'm used to seeing and a firmer pack. I feel as though I could really dig in here. Following the beach further you find the buildings housing the snack bar and restrooms. These appear to be ripped straight out of the 60s. They look cold and institutional, like a public pool. For some strange reason I actually like the look.
Just beyond there are some picnic benches and common areas for beach goers where you'll find A Crescent Picnic. Another way cool hide. Can't give too much away about this one though, aside from that as a cacher with some experience, when you walk up onto the cache site, you'll know exactly where to look. I used to think there was something wrong with this type of hide, maybe not enough challenge. I'm coming more to appreciate the simple ammo can in the woods. You can show some style with this type of hide, as this one shows. Good placement by the cache owner.
From there it's pretty much just a straight shot back up to the top of the road. I should point out that the park is available year round to foot traffic or skis and snowshoes in the winter, but don't expect to be able to just drive in there this time of year. The gates are closed in the off season. Park at the entrance on Route 77 just before the gate and trek in like I did to the approximately 2 mile loop I made today. I met a runner on the way in and I think he had the right idea. I'll be back, and next time I'll bring my shoes.
Distance : 2.39 miles Speed : 3.4 mph Average heart rate : 120 bpm Maximum heart rate : 143 Percentage of cals burned from fat : 60% Kcals burned : 361
Oct 28, 2008I wasn't sure it was gonna happen for me today. It was raining sideways and the wind was scattering my kids' toys, left on the deck, all over the neighbor's lawn. I had pretty much resigned myself to a cozy afternoon in bed watching season 3 of Entourage. Then I peeked outside. The clouds were parting and the road was beckoning. Sometimes it takes an act of God to get me out on the road. When I see the signs though, I try to acknowledge them. I was supposed to go running today. I was reluctant, but I laced up my shoes and got crackin'.
It's the same route I did for the World Wide Festival of Races, a route I run often. So often I'm actually getting pretty tired of it. It does in a pinch though. I've charted it on Map My Run for your enjoyment. See it here. I'm actually getting much more fond of trail running. There's so much more to see. Since visiting Mackworth Island I find it hard to run on the road. The only real sights there were to see were the businesses, now closed as it's wayyyyy post-season. "Oh, the sushi place closed. That was quick, but I kind expected it. I liked it that one time I tried it though." These were essentially my thoughts along the route. Like I said, hard to take in the scenery when there is none.Today's run was pretty much just for fitness and maintenance, not enjoyment. Now I don't have to feel so bad when I go back to watching my man Ari. Here are the stats.5K, 33 mins 49 sec, 10:52 pace, Average heart rate : 166 bpm Maximum heart rate : 178 Percentage of cals burned from fat : 30% Kcals burned : 415
Oct 27, 2008Blaine Moore over at Run To Win recently reviewed a movie entitled 'Run For Your Life'. You can read the review heah. It tells the story of Fred Lebow, creator of the NY Marathon. When Blaine first published the article he piqued my curiosity on the film. I intend to see it anyway, but he's again upped the ante.
Run To Win will be giving away 5 copies of the DVD. You can make yourself eligible by going to any of Run To Win's daily contest pages (I heard about it at this one) today through Wednesday. To be eligible you must simply leave a comment on the daily contest posts. While you're there sign up for the Running Tips Newsletter.
Really, I would already be saying this about Blaine even if I didn't get an extra entry by doing so (you could too if you link there from your blog). Although we've yet to meet, Blaine and I have competed (chuckle, more like he toasts me and I chuff along) in local races. He's a highly professional and refined runner. His advice is spot on, and if I can't really compete with him at least I can learn from him. Please check out Run To Win for his news, advice, and experiences. Thanks.
In trying to reestablish momentum I've decided to blog all of my workout sessions this week, whether they be in the gym, on the trail, with Nordic poles, or with running shoes. Today it was back into the fitness room. Perhaps 'back in' isn't an apt descriptor. I've been going all along, just not logging it here. Maybe part of my problem with motivation comes from the fact that I've lost the sense of accomplishment I get when I reflect on the efforts of the day and write them here.
Today was a new start (how many is that now?) and I treated it as such when I entered the gym. I decided to push hard and not give up. That meant serious cardio for long stretches. All in all I ended up spending just over two hours engaging my body today. I've never felt better. I've gotten to a point where raising my heart rate and sustaining it isn't as torturous as it once was. If anything my conditioning has gotten to a point of greater comfort, and sometimes the struggle is to raise my heart rate above 145 BPM. Once I pass that threshold it is also much easier for me to maintain a higher heart rate without taxing myself greatly as before.
My 1.5 pound loss this past week kinda bummed me out. Although a loss, I still can't help but feel I can do better. I've issued a challenge to myself to beat that this week though I haven't determined yet by how much. Somehow I feel that 'how much' isn't nearly as important as just trying harder. Expect big things this week as I will be expecting the same from myself.
40 mins. Cross Trainer, Cross Country setting 2, resistance level 9, 120 strides per min.Treadmill, 3 miles, incline 0%, intervals ranging from 12:00/M to 9:22/M5 reps, Push ups, no ball!15 reps, 20 lbs Bicep Curl/Shoulder Press single arm on stability ball15 reps, body weight, reverse bridge w/ stability ball (video below from sutree.com)45 mins Nordic walkingAverage heart rate : 143 bpm Maximum heart rate : 177
Percentage of cals burned from fat : 45% Kcals burned : 1213
Oct 26, 2008Very modest loss this week. I shouldn't feel so bad since any loss is another step in the right direction. I attempted to quit smoking again this week and in doing so released the munchy monsters that I'd managed to lock down before. I also ran a bit more than I have been doing in previous weeks. It just feels great.
I think part of the reason that I've felt down about my efforts lately is the lack of blogging. Perhaps the journaling is such a motivation for me that when I don't follow through with it I lose focus. I know I haven't been keeping you especially filled in. To try to get myself back on track and feeling better about my effort I will be blogging every workout this week. Count on it. It obviously goes a long way toward my motivation as well so I just gotta do it.
Starting weight : 315 lbs. Last week : 262.8 lbs. This week : 261.4 lbs. Progress since previous weigh in : -1.4 lbs. Total weight loss : -53.6 lbs.
Oct 20, 2008I do not think of myself as a motivator. I also find it difficult to swallow that I am especially inspirational. I'm just doing what I need to do in order to get healthier, and it honestly comes down to calories in versus calories out, regulating intake while increasing activity or expenditure. I've not really seen what I'm doing as being that useful to anyone except myself. Until today.In the last few weeks my wife has gotten active herself citing me as her inspiration, a flattering statement in and of itself. Well, today I got the chance to lend a hand a little. I was excited to have the chance to help her on a walk/jog on a trail that I've mentioned before previously in Get the Cache and Run! I was enamored with this trail from the first time I stepped foot on it and so I wanted to share.
It wasn't that long ago I was in the same position, walking/jogging and applying interval training to further my efforts toward aerobic conditioning. After a few weeks of applying this type of training I found that what I was doing was essentially Couch 2 5K without the rigor of the training schedule. My wife wanted to do the same, so today we went to Mackworth Island and did the 4 mile route I had done before. We did intervals of 2 minutes walking followed by 1 minute running. That increased to 2 minutes walking followed by 1 minute 30 seconds running, ending with a couple sets of 2 minute 30 second walks and 2 minute runs.
I felt like a HUGE dweeb. After every running segment I would tell her, beaming, just how proud I was of her. I knew what it was like. What she was going through was not easy, and I applaud her for taking these steps. As proud as I was of her, I suppose I'm also proud of myself. Starting from the same point she is at now, I'm now able to run a few miles readily, and help her in achieving the same. I never thought I would be in the position to instruct someone on the beginning steps of a healthier lifestyle. A true win-win for both of us. Often this blog is about me and my efforts. Today I would like to turn the spotlight over to my wife, Amanda, who I am EXTREMELY proud of today.
Oct 19, 2008Not really too much to say this week. I've been woefully lax about updating the blog, and while I haven't been posting it here especially, I have still been working out. I was interviewed this week for an article in L.L. Bean's employee newsletter on health called Healthy Bean. I was extremely flattered. I've never really thought about how much effort I've put into this weight loss but when asked to list all that I've changed and the efforts made I had to admit that I've put a lot of work in. The hard work has proven successful one more week. Another 2 lbs down!
Starting weight : 315 lbs. Last week : 265 lbs. This week : 262.8 lbs. Progress since previous weigh in : -2.2 lbs. Total weight loss : -52.2 lbs.
Oct 13, 2008With the success of my previous goal, I've decided it may be in my best interest to set another. Similar to my last strategy, I've decided that 2 pounds per week is healthy and attainable. I've set my eyes on 240 pounds, or 75 pounds total. At two pounds per week that puts me at the first weigh-in of 2009, January 4th. That's a great coincidence and I think it could be a great motivator. Here's to the New Year.
Posted by J Gray at 6:50 PM | |
Oct 12, 2008There is power in setting goals. There is accountability. I was quite sure when I set a goal for today's weigh in that it was achievable. The goal I set was realistic. I was not aiming for a miracle, just solid healthy weight loss. Today I thought it was a joke or a dream because when I got on the scale it read 265.0 pounds. 50 pounds total weight loss EXACTLY, on the EXACT day I set the goal for. Today is momentous! I really feel as if I've achieved something wonderful today.
Starting weight : 315 lbs. Last week : 266.6 lbs.
This week : 265 lbs. Progress since previous weigh in : -1.6 lbs.
Total weight loss : -50 lbs.
Oct 11, 2008This is the monumental weekend of the Worldwide Festival of Races. At the time of this post, 1,151 entrants from 41 countries had registered to run this weekend. Have you done your chosen race(s) yet? I picked the Kick the Couch 5K and ran it on a course I plotted a few months ago when I was getting ready for my first 5K. The course is super flat as it's right on the beach. Ideal since I've been giving my calves a break having tired them out at the beginning of this week with that long hike.
I'm extra proud to announce a PR from this morning's run. I ran like I meant it. It wasn't another practice run. This is a race after all. My previous best was run at the Cardillo Memorial 5K at 33:43. This morning I shaved a minute and a half from that time! 32:09! Thanks to all of the other runners and podcasters who participated in the WWFR for constant encouragement.
Regarding encouragement, I would like everyone to go check out SteveRunner's blog and podcast Phedippidations. Steve is a great motivator and originator of the Worldwide Half Marathon and now Worldwide Festival of Races. Most recently on Phedippidations, Steve asked for submissions by listeners and other podcasters as shouts of encouragement to listen to while on your run for the WWFR. As a regular Fdip listener this podcast dropped into my aggregator this past week and I decided to hold off on listening to it until my run this morning. The shouts of encouragement and motivational statements by fellow runners, bloggers, and podcasters were so helpful. If you haven't run your event yet this weekend of if you're just curious about Phedippidations, check out that latest episode here.
I would encourage everyone to participate in the races this weekend. Be part of something bigger. As a runner I'm starting to feel that much touted connection to the community and to humanity. Join us. You'll even get a cool virtual race bib!
Oct 8, 2008GCGH7R - Mountain Division Trail CacheI actually did these two caches a couple of days ago. I've been anxious to get the info up on this. I had a great day! I was looking for a lengthy hike and found it in a place I had stopped by before. As a matter of fact this was my second time attempting to find Mountain Division Cache. The first day it was too cloudy and tree cover as well stopped me from getting a decent signal to my GPSr. Monday I got lucky, not in that I stumbled upon the caches, but that the weather cooperated and I ended up with the perfect conditions to go out for what ended up being a 10.6 mile hike.
The section of the Mountain Division Trail I visited runs from Johnson Field in Standish to the Gambo Recreational Area and Historic Site in Gorham. Following the trail bed of the Portland and Ogdensburg Railway, the path runs through woods, fields, residential area, and near it's end, crosses the Presumpscot River, a waterway I'm coming to love more and more. Guilford Transportation, the previous owners of the railway, abandoned the line in 1994. It was only three years later that the Maine Dept of Transportation saw an opportunity and bought 50 miles of the railroad in order to preserve it for future use recreationally. I'm glad they did.
I felt up to the challenge of a longer walk. I've never put down those kind of miles but felt I was ready. For the most part I was right. Now, two days later, I'm still dealing with sore calves and a few blisters that I've had to baby. I never felt overwhelmed out on the trail though.
Now a little about the caches. There are in fact several throughout the length of the trail. I attempted, with very little background information and no Blackberry of Palm Pilot like other super wired cachers, to find a few micros planted on the bridges of the trail. If you enjoy the feeling of being consternated to the point of wanting to scream, but then finally pulling that tiny cache out, this seems to be the place for you. Difficult micro hides requiring special tools for extraction (which I also didn't have) are what you'll find here.
The first cache I found was deceptively simple. I never realized how well an ammo can could blend with the brush. GCGH7R - Mountain Division Trail Cache is located just 20 feet off the trail and is actually somewhat visible, IF you know it's there. I would say this was a really decent hide. It's hidden well enough that it stumped me the first time I was out here, thankfully the satellite read was a little better this time. The second cache I found was at the exact opposite end of the trail, on the Gambo Trails in Gorham. This place has interesting history as well, and I've seen this cache on several lists of highly recommended caches in Maine. As the name would suggest, GCGJK9 - Gambo Gunpowder Mill Gambit is on the site of a gunpowder mill built in 1824. Despite the safety measures taken in order to prevent sparking within the mills, there were many explosions , which led to 46 unfortunate deaths between 1828 and 1924. I understand why this cache made it on the list of some of the best in Maine. If you're in the area be sure to check it out. Also recommended that you like tricky hides, as this is a well camoed container.
I also think this would be a great place for a run in the future. I was glad to have faced up to the challenge of a longer trek today. It felt fantastic to complete something I would never have done just a four or five months ago. Put this on your list of highly recommended trails when vacationing in Maine. Must try!
Oct 5, 2008Really great week. I'm feeling really refreshed and renewed, and now on track to my goal of 50 total pounds lost by next week's weigh in. I've never attempted to set up a goal like that and knock it down, but feel gratified now that I'm so close to achieving it. It's in sight and totally achievable. I hit the cardio really hard until the weekend when a punishing cold sidelined me for a few days. Glad to say I still managed to put down 4 lbs!
Starting weight : 315 lbs. Last week : 270.8 lbs.This week : 266.6 lbs. Progress since previous weigh in : -4.2 lbs.Total weight loss : -48.4 lbs.
Oct 1, 2008Normally I don't talk about much on this blog outside of fitness, geocaching, running, etc. This struck me a little differently. I'm not one to rave about things but I've found a fantastic podcast and wanted to share. Please check out Tapestry of the Times. This fantastic show is based out of Baltimore and is a collaborative effort of WYPR 88.1 FM and Smithsonian Folkways Recordings. If you are a true fan of indiginous, historical, roots music it's not going to disappoint. Host Aaron Henkin is authoritative, concise, and thankfully not too dry.
The show highlights the music of Folkways Records as recorded by Moses Asch. Upon his death the label was bequeathed to the Smithsonian Institution under the instruction of Mr. Asch that all of the music he produced was to remain in production. Smithsonian has done that and continued to add to the catalog.
I wasn't sure this was going to be my cup of tea, but after just one listen I was hooked. The show is quality. Quality source material and quality production by Aaron and WYPR. Give it a shot. You might just like it.
Posted by J Gray at 5:47 PM | |
GC2A46 - We don't need no education
Awwwwwwwww yeah. Great day today! While I haven't posted in the last few days I've still been working out in that time. My goal is to have lost a total of 50 pounds by October 12th's weigh in, so it's time to hunker down and do it. I've stepped up the intensity of my gym workouts, planned some longer cache outings, putting in longer distances with my runs, and I Nordic walked in some of my downtime from my other activities. Funny thing is, I'm not feeling especially burnt out from all this. I feel great!
I knew I would have a few hours today in between me getting out of work and my wife getting out and needing to be picked up, so last night I went online in search of a course for today's run. I found Falmouth House to Mackworth on MapMyRun. I just found a cool feature on their page where you can download the GPX file! Convenient. So I loaded that into my Garmin so I didn't get lost on my way to finding the route and while looking at the trail saw that I cache I hadn't found was right there on the trail. Super cool. So as I've done in the past, I set out to incorporate running into geocaching.
The course took me from the southern edges of Falmouth Foreside over onto the island where I found that the course was not actually a paved road, but a really nice trail that goes around the island. I've not really learned that much about trail running yet, but am excited to get to trying it. Today kind of broke me in. It was very enjoyable. It's amazing that these quiet places are all around in areas that are just a few miles from the bustle. Running on the trail allows you to disconnect that much more. This is sure to become one of my regular runs.
The cache was approximately half-way through my run and allowed for a nice little breather. The area of the cache's placement is gorgeous. Benches line the trail here and I can understand why. I just stopped for a few minutes to look out at the bay before digging into the cache, which was a standard tupperware container whose placement managed to confuse me, just for a few minutes. Don't get the cache confused with the Letterbox which is fairly close. For more information on letterboxing, see here. Also take a minute to check out the fairy village nearby.
One of my most enjoyable workouts of recent memory for sure. Check out Mackworth Island yourself and you'll be glad you came. Today's average heart rate during my run was 161 bpm. Maximum heart rate was recorded at 192 bpm. Glitchy much? Anyway, it's another 537 calories down, 35% of which were from fat. Great burn, great views, great run. See you out there.