Happy Halloween Run!

It wasn’t that bad but, it felt good to push it today!  It’s great to see that our Porch Zombie is sporting Hokas!

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Some more scenes from a Portland, Maine Halloween:

 

Happy Halloween and see you on the road!

-Mike

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Don’t Beat Yourself Up on Off Days

Yesterday was a scheduled day off from the C25K program, but I had morning aspirations of getting a run in.  As it turned out, we needed to complete our Halloween decorating.  Fun times (although I could not believe stores having Christmas displays up the day BEFORE Halloween -whatever happened to Thanksgiving?), but by night’s end I had it stuck in my head that I should have done that run.  I need to avoid that thinking because it’s a trap that will ruin my willpower eventually.  If I did run, it would have been a bonus, if I didn’t, I was not supposed to anyway.  Here’s a good article with reminders why rest days are important:

4 Reasons Why Rest Days Are Important

Will be looking to push a little harder today to work some of tonight’s candy calories off in advance.

See you on the road!

-Mike

A C25K run through Evergreen Cemetery

I was happy to complete another day of C25K in one of my favorite Portland running destinations, Evergreen Cemetery.  Located in our neighborhood, the cemetery is a fantastic spot to run among dead people some beautiful scenery and be able to be worry-free from traffic.  There are several possible loops on the grounds, but my favorite is a 2+ mile loop that covers the perimeter of Evergreen.  It is beautiful during fall color season, but we’re a bit past peak season this year:

The chapel is an especially beautiful building where during the summer and early fall weddings will be held (although I could not imagine getting married on the grounds of a cemetery).  If you are ever in Portland and looking for a quiet running spot, I definitely recommend Evergreen Cemetery!

The C25K run went well, but I was not expecting the jump from 30 sec sun – 90 sec walk to 90 sec run – 2 min walk.  I adjusted though and was happy with the pace that I was able to maintain during run intervals.  It’s only been two runs, but no doubt running puts me in a better place both physically and mentally.

BTW, adding to a productive afternoon, Addie and I carved a pumpkin for Halloween (well, I did the carving, but Addie did pick the design from “The Nightmare Before Christmas):

Tonight, I’ll be roasting the seeds, which should make for nice running energy snacks.

Happy Halloween and see you on the road!

-Mike

No Better Time To Start Than Today

I look at the dates of our last posts and am surprised.  Over a year!  That’s not a good thing when it comes running.  There’s been too much Breakfast and not enough running.  I wish I had excuses as to why the running has faded, but I don’t.  I put the blame on a career change in August with new hours (it lasted a year, but now I’m back in my old teaching position), an extra cold winter (but no worse than years before), and other lame reasons, but it came down to lack of motivation and laziness.  I tried several re-boots of programs, but then would be frustrated at how far my pace had dropped off and then would quit again.  I’m embarrassed to say that Runkeeper recorded several single-digits of monthly miles this year.

Well whatever.  This past weekend I decided to go back to where I started and begin the Couch to 5K program (C25K).  C25K is a fantastic app for beginners with prompts from a friendly voice telling you when to run or walk in a 8 week training program that culminates with a 5k run.  Here’s the link if you want to give it a try:

Couch to 5k Trainer App

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It seems the first step can be the hardest, but I love starting programs.  For me it’s getting Day 2 done.  I’m wrapping this up, heading home, and lacing up my running shoes to get back to it.

My motivation this time around comes from this quote:

“Every day I say to myself: ‘Today I will begin.'”    -St. Anthony of the Desert

Let’s hope it sticks.  See you on the road!

-Mike

Double Wow! Eastern Trail + Palace Diner = Amazing!

Both of us had recently been suffering from a Running Slump.  My problem has been laziness boredom with the routes in our neighborhood, so we have decided to branch out for some destination runs.  Not far from us is the Eastern Trail down in York County.  It’s an old railroad line that has been converted to a running/biking/walking trail.  A couple of  major pluses are that it has loads of shady stretches which is a plus during July morning runs and it’s really flat terrain.

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We are two weeks into some marathon training that schedules long runs on Sunday, but fortunately the long July 4th holiday allowed us to flip our excruciating long run (7 miler) to Monday morning.  That allowed us some annual Strawberry pickin’ and jammin’ on Sunday.

The newness of the trail for us has been invigorating and has rekindled some passion to log some miles.  It’s also nice to be off well traveled streets and enjoy some quietness other than good conversation which Katie proclaimed that I had to improve upon during our runs (sometimes I get in the zone and put on a thousand mile stare). Our long Monday run crossed three town lines and then this morning’s run gave us some adventures in Saco only.

I got a nice runner’s high from these runs, but the real reward was our post-workout trips to the Palace Diner in Biddeford.  All I can say is Wow!  We had been talking about going here for a couple years and all I can say is that I wish we went sooner! There was a wait to get in since it is counter service for about a dozen people, but they are nice to provide coffee service during your wait. On Monday, despite our 8:30am arrival, I ordered a hamburger and to quote the movie, Cocktail, “Beer is for Breakfast” a Coors Banquet Beer. The burger and fries were amazing and Katie ordered a breakfast sandwich that is beyond compare.  Jalapeños will definitely be a staple for our homemade breakfast sandwiches now.

Then this morning we dragged brought our younger son, Frank, for another Eastern Trail run (Frank did a walk) and Palace Diner adventure. I don’t usually like Tuna, but the Tuna Sandwich I had was pure ecstasy!  Frank ordered the Fried Chicken sandwich and it was Heaven.  Katie was unadventurous and went with the breakfast sandwich again and it still impressed.

Once again, Palace Diner impressed and I know it will be great motivation to run more sections of the Eastern Trail!

FYI: They are cash only for payment, but there is a Bangor Savings ATM nearby on Main Street.

See you on the road!

Errandonne 2017…A ride for some take out pizza from OTTO (Read Street)

Not really a breakfast run, but I did manage to squeeze in my first double digit run of the year after work today.  It had been a while, but I managed to run across to Falmouth on a mild March afternoon, although it was chilly on the way back.

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Was pretty worn out after, but Katie convinced me to set out on our first Errandonnee 2017 Challenge event of the year to bring home dinner from OTTO Pizza on Read Street.  We’re no strangers to OTTO, in fact in my own unofficial ranking of Portland pizza, OTTO is on top (followed closely by Pizzaiolo and Portland’s newest, Tipo).

There was some chill to the night air, but we had a pleasant ride there.  We put in our order for a large cheese and small sausage with Vidalia Onion.  Otto has some fantastic speciality pizzas, but it is their basic pies that really sell me.  Our only concern about the order was securing them to our bike on the way home, but bungee cords did the trick.

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We decided to order at door for the pizza rather than ordering ahead, so we would have an excuse to enjoy a libation or two while we waited it would be fresh and hot for the ride home.  At the bar we enjoyed a couple of local brews and I had an extra special treat of UFF dry cider (more on them in another post soon).  We also ordered the bruschetta appetizer, which was OK.  The balsamic had a nice flavor, but I prefer my tomatoes chopped smaller and the bread was a bit dry.  That did not stop us from eating all though since we earned the calories on our ride.

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We made the ride home and like usual, the kids (and us) made sure there would be no pizza leftovers for lunch the next morning.  OTTO’s pizza continues to impress even when delivered by bike on a chilly March evening.

Saturday Tri…Run, Bike, Eat at Schulte & Herr

This winter has proved to be a tough one to run through.  After finally crawling out of bed we decided to get out and at least do a morning 5k.  Fortunately, our conversation about Katie running this year’s Boston Marathon carried us to 4.5 miles.  After a quick shower for Katie (I tend to go without until Sunday night), we set out on our bikes for Schulte & Herr.

Katie had the spaetzle (think the most amazing Mac&Cheese ever with Emmantaler) and I had the German Breakfast Plate. The ham and sausages were great although I did order some mustard to enhance the flavor.  A hard-boiled egg would’ve been a nice addition, but overall the breakfast was fantastic!