Trail Monster Running

Visit the official TRAIL MONSTER RUNNING website for information on upcoming group runs, local trails, trail races and more, including the Pineland Farms Trail Running Festival and the Bradbury Mountain trail Running Series.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Running with Dogs

A few weeks ago Emma and I got a second dog, Kip, to keep Bolt company. Kip is about 10 months old and is full of energy so we've been easing him into running with us. Friday was a very rainy day and although the dogs had been let out a few times during the day they didn't get much exercise so by the time I got home from work they were ready to release some of that pent up energy.

I've only run with both dogs once before, and that was on trails so they were both off leash, but since it was 6:00 PM, dark and rainy I decided to stick to some of the quiet roads in my neighborhood and keep the dogs on leash. I was a bit worried that the dogs would just take off and leave me standing there with two bloody stumps where my arms were once attached, but after the initial yank they settled into a reasonable pace pretty quickly. Since the sprints at the TMR TNR seemed to set me back in my recovery from the Mtn Epic I was hoping this would be a nice slow run, but the first mile was 7:35 which felt a little too quick for recovery, especially after spending all day sitting down. I guess I let the dogs get carried away with the pace too much.

The remainder of the run was at a more sensible "recover" pace and I was impressed that the dogs did a good job understanding that the purpose of what we were doing was to run in a straight line (more or less), at a consistent pace that was dictated by me and that they weren't supposed to be jumping around and playing games. I think we all had fun, but I'm sure it would have been even more enjoyable if we'd been on trails unleashed.

time: 32:09
distance: 3.98 miles
pace: 8:05

weather: mid 50's, drizzly

gear: Brook Cascadia 3, shorts, long sleeve top, reflective vest, hat

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


The TMR TNR (Trail Monster Running Tuesday Night Run) is run on a 5.5 mile loop on trails built for X-C skiing at Twin Brook Recreation Area in Cumberland. We run the same course every week until snow falls. The trails are wide, non-technical with few natural obstacles, a fairly soft surface and lots of small rolling hills. Apart from one short stretch of a perpetual mud pit leading to a stream crossing the trails are dry. Great for trying out minimalist footwear which is what I was doing tonight, but I can't say too much about that right now...

The hills really aren't that big.

This week I was recovering from the Mtn Epic race at Sunday River, a crazy 12 mile mountain run that absolutely trashed my quads. For that race I wore my Inov-8 Mudroc 290, I needed something with good grip and just a little cushion under the heel for the many miles of downhill running. My plan was to take it easy this Tuesday night, but once I got going things loosened up and I felt good. Our average pace was right around a 9 minute mile until we hit the first of 3 sprint lines. I initially had no intention of sprinting tonight but after about 2.5 miles I felt really good so decided to go for it. I won the first sprint, about 2/10th of a mile up a gradual hill, probably because no one else was trying, I don't usually win sprints.

By the time we reached the second sprint line at 4 miles it was very dark in the woods and I took off despite not having a head lamp. I won this sprint too, this time because I'm probably the only one who knows the trails in the dark well enough to run fast. By the time we reached the third sprint line which finishes up the final 1/4 mile of the run on dirt road I had pretty much run out of quick leg turnover and the others could actually see well enough to run fast so I finished further back in the pack.

time: 49:05
distance: 5.5 miles
pace: 8:56

conditions: mostly dry trails except for the usual mud hole

weather: mid 50's, dark
gear: can't say what I had on my feet, shorts + t-shirt