Thursday, December 31, 2009

Cutting Shapes

To cut a shape is to run 400 meters, or one lap around the track, as fast as you can. You are suppose to go so fast that it looks like you are cutting a shape out of the landscape. Now, I wasn't going that fast but "cutting shapes" is still some cool phraseology for repeat 400's. I did 12 of them w/ an equal 400 meter recovery. This is new for me as I don't usually allow myself that much recovery between reps. This was my first track workout in a couple of months. It felt good to get back on the track even if my legs are a little cranky for it now. The weather was cold, near 20 degrees, but this was little to no wind, so I can't complain.

1- 74 5- 74 9- 74
2- 77 6- 75 10- 73
3- 75 7- 74 11- 75
4- 75 8- 74 12- 73

I did the 400's with a rolling start and didn't click the watch for splits. The above is the time elapsed between when I looked at my watch when I started the repeat and when I looked at the end. Nothing scientific; just good estimates of where I am physiologically. This was not a killer workout. I was not dead at the end of it.

Wednesday 12.30.09
AM: 12 miles in 87:09
PM: core
The repeats were bookended w/ a 4 miles warmup and a two mile cooldown. I threw in some strides for good measure.

Thursday 12.31.09
AM: 10 miles in 76:39
PM: core
Last run of the year. I woke up to snow falling and covered streets. Wasn't completely expecting that. The snow made the run slow--that and my legs were a tad grumpy from yesterday's 12 x 400. I found a golf course and did some running on that (no worries of skidding cars there) but it was a slow go. I had to improvise a loop and when I do that the run sometimes suffers. Just glad to put this one in the books.

Happy New Year! Watch out for drunk drivers.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Run Your Cold Out of Your Body

If you've had a headcold and been struggling with it during your runs, run faster. I'm an experiment of one (I'm paraphrasing somebody famous but I don't know who) but this seemed to work for me on Monday. After struggling through three heavy headed slow runs, I decided I needed to pickup the pace. Once I did that, I started to feel better. One, it made the run go by quicker. Two, it made me concentrate on my legs and form as opposed to my head. I'm glad I did it. Now, I don't know if I could've done it at the height of the cold but I could a couple of days later. It beats taking a day off and stewing about not running. My body actually began to feel better after this run. I think my body broke my headcold. Cool.

Monday 12.28.09
AM: 13.75 miles in 99:31
PM: core
Did this run on Forbidden Drive in Philadelphia. It's a gorgeous place to run. After the first phlegm hacking six, I decided to do half mile pickups every mile for the next six miles. I didn't split them out exactly, but I started slowly and got faster (and felt better) after each one.

Tuesday 12.29.09
AM: 72 minutes on recumbent bike
PM: core
Tuesday continues to be an "off" day for me. I hope to be ready to go again tomorrow.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

This Week in Running

This week started off fantastic. Monday through Thursday my workouts were sharp and crisp. Then on Christmas Eve afternoon my head started to feel heavy. It got heavier and heavier through Saturday night. This headcold killed my runs for the rest of the week. I didn't miss any but they certainly weren't what I wanted them to be. I'm starting to feel better now (Sunday afternoon), so I'm hoping next week will be a good one.

Thursday 12.24.09
AM: lifting routine and 2.75 miles in ~20 minutes
Wanted to do an easy twenty minutes. My legs were a little cranky after Wednesday's hill workout.

Friday 12.25.09
AM: 8 miles in 59:08
On the roads by 05:15 for this one in order to maximize family time on Christmas morning. Not feeling great but it was too early in the morning to realize it. KJ's first Christmas was a blast. She was spoiled by everyone, especially her grandparents, aunts, and uncles.
Saturday 12.26.09
AM: 7 miles in 53:37
Wanted to do 15. Didn't do even half that. The headcold was peaking and a steady rain killed any aspirations for a solid semi-long run. Pretty much dead for the rest of the day.

Sunday 12.27.09
AM: 9 miles in 68:18
Starting to feel better. Pace still on the slow side. Glad to do more than the minimum 7. May do a little core work later tonight, but we'll see how it goes.

Weekly Numbers
50 1/2 miles in 5 runs
60 mins on the bike (indoor trainer)
3 core workouts
1 lifting routine

Last complete week of 2009. Will be compiling miles for the year later in the week.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

3 x 1.5 and Hills

Wednesday 12.23.09
AM: core
PM: 10.75 miles in 77:13
After running for about 5 miles, I started the hill repeats. I did 7x a hill that was about 1/3 of a mile long. I jogged back down for the recovery. It was nice having such a long recovery. I did all of the repeats between 1:38 and 1:44, which really means nothing b/c I don't have an exact measurement of the hill. I did feel good, though, to get going over a hill. Two negatives to this run.
1) It was cold and windy. My hands were numb.
2) There was a holiday spread at work today. I ate too much of it.

Tuesday 12.22.09
AM: core
PM: indoor bike 60 mins.
This piece of exercise occurred much later than I thought it would. Had to go to take KJ to the doctor and then get her some medicine at the pharmacist. Good news: she's feeling better already.

Monday 12.21.09
AM: core and 11 miles in 70:05
On the treadmill for this one. Did 3x 1.5 miles hard w/ 1/5 mile recovery.
The splits
1 - 8:03
2 - 8:00
3 - 7:54
Felt good and in the zone. Initially I was happy for running these pickups in ~5:20 pace. Then I realized that I ran these splits in ideal conditions: no wind, no cold, no hills. That tempered my enthusiasm a bit, but I am still happy that this work felt relatively easy. My body wants more.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

This Week in Running

First major snowstorm of the season put me on the treadmill today, and I'll likely be on it tomorrow too. Now, in years passed without a treadmill in my possession, these runs would have been out of doors. I like running and cold and snowy conditions; they make me feel dedicated but I'm starting to think the 'mill is the better option. This is b/c I clearly remember last year. It was right around this time in December 2008 we had a similar weekend storm, but last year it started on Friday night. That following Saturday I wanted to get in a long run of about 20 or so. I remember running the long way to the gym, running on the treadmill there, and then running home. Two things I remember about that run:

1- I should've taken more layers off when I got to the gym
2 - my calves tightened considerably b/c my feet kept slipping on the snow and ice

That was the start of my calf woes that hung w/ me all the way into mid-May. I still need to give my left calf extra love after hard runs. But all that slipping made my calf tighten in an effort to grip and a knot eventually formed. This year, a year wizened, I'll learn from my mistakes even if it makes me feel less hardcore. Deep in the recesses of my brain, though, I know it's only a matter of time before I run in the blissful bright sunshine of a snow covered street the morning after a nor'easter.

Friday 12.18.09
PM: lifting routine

Saturday 12.19.09
AM: 13 miles in 95:20
Did a long Adams Farm trail b/c I wanted to get in some trail running before the snow covered them up for the foreseeable future. I run this powerline trail about once every two months and was bummed to see developers constructing a neighborhood right through a part of the trail. That sucks. Contractors and land developers suck.

Sunday 12.20.09
AM: core and 7.15 miles in 50:15
PM: bike 35 minutes on indoor trainer
The run was easy. It felt easy. I had in my mind doing double sessions. Although I didn't run twice, I did get in two cardio bouts today, about which I'm pleased. Not to mention clearing the driveway of snow.

Weekly Numbers
49.15 miles in 5 runs
95 minutes of biking on the indoor trainer (60/35)
5 core workouts
1 lifting routine
1 cleared driveway

My mileage last week was only in the low to mid thirties. The jump of 15 in a week didn't feel forced. Next week I would like to make a less dramatic increase.

One last note: the cool bear logo comes from Paul Low's blog. You should check it out.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Run Interrupted

We recently had some electrical work done on the house and the new lights just haven't been working right. Some days they turn on; some days they don't. Well, today when the lights didn't turn on, I called the contractor. To my pleasant surprise he and the electrician said they'd be over in an hour or two. This gave me just enough time to jump on the t'mill and get in my run.

The plan almost worked. 7 miles into it they showed up. Early. Who would've thought they'd be early? So halfway through a pickup I had to put the 'mill on pause and tend to my electrical problem. Turns out the part on the new light fixture is not flush w/ the track line. Apparently, that's why they've been flickering off and on continually and sometimes not at all. The electrician put a "band-aid" on it but told me I need to get a new feed-in from the manufacturer. That should be fun. I do have to hand it to the contractor and electrician, though; I called and they showed an hour later.

So my run intended to be about 10 miles w/ 2 x 2 mile pickups. I got the pickups in but at the 7 mile mark the run was interrupted for a good half hour or so. I did manage to get another 3.5 in and the break didn't affect me too much.

The pickups were well under 6:00 pace but not 5:30 and felt very easy.

Thursday 12.17.09
AM: core
PM: 10.5 miles in 68:21

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


So far so good this week as I start to transition to a regular running routine after a couple weeks of light work. I'm cautious not to up my mileage too dramatic b/c as I know from history this can lead to a setback/injury. I'll spend the next two weeks or so building back up to normal mileage and then start w/ the intensity. I'll do some fartlek stuff and longer pickups on the road, but I don't plan on hitting the track until after Christmas. A non-snow covered outdoor track would be a great gift.

The Footlocker HS championship race was a douzey. Check out all the big running sites, Flotrack, Let's Run, etc to see and read about it.

Wednesday 12.16.09
AM: indoor bike 60 mins
PM: core

Tuesday 12.15.09
AM: core
PM: 8.25 miles in 59:08
Looking for routes that aren't trafficky in the dark.

Monday 12.14.09
AM: core
PM: 10.25 miles in 73:12
Felt pretty good but the breathing was tough. Managed to get 1.5 miles or so on trail before it got too dark. At one point I was at 7:08 then later 6:38.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

This Week in Running

Got some good cold weather over the weekend. Both weekend runs were in the twenties. Not horribly cold; nice cold brisk fresh air that makes you feel alive. Did a little trail running and the paths were partially snow covered. Hearing that solitary crunch crunch crunch as I made my way down the trail hammered home that winter is here.

Thursday 12.10.09
AM: core
PM: 8 miles in 56:07

Friday 12.11.09
PM: lifting routine
Due to a work-related event didn't finish up the exercise until 9:40 or so. Felt good not to skip it.

Saturday 12.12.09
AM: 10 miles in 73:13

Sunday 12.13.09
AM: core and 7.5 miles in 55:12

Weekly Data
33 3/4 miles in 4 runs
5 core routines
1 lifting routine
1 pair of new sneakers: new balance 769

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Night Vision

A couple of times during tonight's run, it was a complete blackout. I could've been stepping into an abyss and not known it. I think my eyes have some adjusting to do. Part of it was that about half my run was on roads w/out street lights. A car would pass, ephemerally light a path, and then the blackout. Right as the car approaches, however, I'm blinded by the headlights, esp when the driver flashes his highbeams. So, I'm a victim of a blindness at both ends of the spectrum: extreme light and extreme dark. All winter runners go through this. It's nothing unique.

That said it was a fab run. Wasn't killing myself, just cruising through and enjoying the crisp early winter air. Once you get that first mile out of the way, winter running can be majestic.

Today's run reminded me of a snippet from a Pearl Jam song on their Backspacer album: "...a path cut by the moon for you to walk on..."

Tuesday 12.7.09
AM: core
PM: 8.25 miles in 56:07

Sunday, December 6, 2009

This Week

This week was a down week. I did core work and two light runs. I'll start picking things up a little this week and in another week really start getting in shape for some winter races. I wasn't planning on running today but I had to do something to release the frustration after the football game. Consequently, I felt like I was going to throw-up for most of the run b/c I ate too much during the game. I did, however, break in a new pair of running shoes, the new balance 769's.

Weekly Data
10 miles in 2 runs
5 core workouts
1 lifting routine

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Jingle Bell Run

Up above there is Bow Jingles, the official mascot of the annual Jingle Bell Run hosted by the Holiday Inn at Westgate Mall in Brockton, MA. The Jingle Bell Run isn't really a run per se; there are no awards for first place and I'm not even sure if the event is timed. What it is is a party on the run. It's only about two miles long but there is a "water" stop. Sure, you can get water but you can imbibe other libations there as well. Hence, the party atmosphere. The Jingle Bell run, which is organized by my father, is, in its essence, a great fundraiser for the Helping Hands fund. Because the run has no overhead costs, thanks in large part to my dad's relentless efforts, 100% --yes 100%-- of the race's proceeds go to charity. On top of that, the event has a pipe and drum band, all the free food you can eat (good unhealthy stuff too: pizza, chicken fingers, sweets) and a great raffle. So, if you're looking for something to do this Saturday afternoon (race starts at 1 pm), put on your best elf costume and head over to the Jingle Bell Run.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Would a Runner Do This?

If you haven't seen the above video, check it out, at least to the 42nd second. I know xc can get nasty, but Lambert is real nasty.

Still on some downtime, nothing but core work today.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

This Week in Running (and Eating)

I think I spent more time eating this week than running. I'm afraid to put my feet on the scale. I overate and under-ran. The under running was planned as I'm on a running vacation. I'll be laying low for the next 10-14 days. I still did a couple of light runs with da brothas. Here's what we did:

Thursday 11.26.09
AM: 3 miles in 26:40
Dave and I had to do something so we wouldn't feel so guilty about stuffing our faces later that afternoon.

Friday 11.27.09
AM: lifting routine at the gym

Saturday 11.28.09
AM: 5.25 miles in 47:58
Easy run w/ Joe and Dave. No worries.

Sunday 11.29.09
PM: core work
I've been eating so much I had to do something.

I was only planning on running two days this week. I have to tell you my day feels a little lost and incomplete without two or three hours dedicated to training. Those light runs were a nice change of routine, especially the post-run as I did not ice my legs. Skipping that step was a rare treat. They feel none worse for the wear.

Weekly Data
22 1/2 miles in 4 runs
3 core workouts
1 lifting routine
1 day completely off
pounds gained ??

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


The above is new trail running ad from New Balance. It's pretty cool.

Speaking of New Balance, I retired my 1062's this week. They served me well. We ran about 500 miles together.

The list of USATF-NE Championship Road Races has been released. Slate C won. Here are the 2010 races:

Jones Group Realtors 10 Mile, 10M, Amherst MA, Sun, Feb. 28

New Bedford Half Marathon, 13.1M, New Bedford MA, Sun., Mar 21

Bedford Rotary Memorial 12K,12K , Bedford NH, Sat., May 22

Rhody 5K (MEN ONLY) ,5K ,Lincoln RI , Sun., June 6

Stowe 8 Miler, 8M, Stowe VT, Sun., July 18

Bridge of Flowers 10K , 10K , Shelburne Falls MA, Sat., August 14

Providence Ronald McDonald House Women's Classic (WOMEN ONLY) 5K, Providence, Sun, Oct. 3

Bay State Marathon, Lowell MA, Sun., Oct. 17, 8:00 AM

Lastly, I looked up some of my prior 4 mile races. Between 1992 and 1995 I ran the Harry Allan Scholarship Road Race. I only have two recorded times.

8.2.1992 - 23:21 for 9th place

8.6.1995 - 22:44 for 11th place

Looks like my 21:10 at the Norwood Turkey Trot last Sunday was a PR. I hope it doesn't last too long b/c I would really like a 4 mile PR to be sub 21:00. Question is: when will I run a 4 miler again?

The last two days I did two easy shakeout runs.

Monday 11.23.09

AM: core

PM: 7 miles in 53:04

Managed to hit the trails before it got too dark. I was happy about that.

Tuesday 11.24.09

AM: core

PM: 7.25 miles in 50:23

On the treadmill for this one. Kept it relaxed. Legs felt fine. Retired the New Balance 1062's today.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Norwood Turkey Trot

The Norwood Turkey Trot is a four mile race hosted by Clay Chevrolet. This year was its 23rd running.

The Skinny
time - 21:10 (officially, :09 on my watch)
place - 8
division place - 6
pace - 5:18
mile 1 - 5:09
mile 2 - 5:24
mile 3 - 5:24
mile 4 - 5:13

The Full Race Report
Bit of a dangerous race for this time of year in that everything was hosted out of doors. Luckily, the weather cooperated with overcast skies, a slight wind, and temperatures in the low fifties.

Did a little over two miles for a warmup and didn't feel great. I know my body well enough now not to read anything into this, so I proceeded unphased.

While stretching on the starting line, a guy looks at me and points. "No good," he said. I gave him a look. He proceeds, "No static stretching thirty minutes before you run. It'll slow you down." I hadn't heard this before. Maybe he was right.

The gun goes off and Joe Navas, Jason Cakouros, Tony DeLonge, et al take out a pack of about ten. I was on the back end of this pack and immediately wondered, "why is this feeling so hard so early?" I clung to the back of this pack for much of the first straightaway which is almost a mile. This certainly wasn't going to be the Canton 5k in which my legs were popping. My legs were heavy, and I couldn't get them moving.

After the first mile marker, the pack started to thin ever so slightly. Thinning was largely due to the uphill slope on Washington Street. I could feel myself settling; my body couldn't respond to any moves.

Approaching the third mile mark, I heard what turned out to be the footsteps of Lee Danforth. He woke me out of my mid-race haze. We battled and I wouldn't let him pass me. We went back and forth and started closing the gap on two other runners, Tom Deeg and Phil Gingras. I didn't realize that at the time, however. Danforth passed me in the neighborhood block before the final straightway. I passed him back on that last long straightaway (I'm guessing between a 1/2 and 3/4 of a mile).

Deeg slowed and actually said, "Go get 'em. I've had enough." I retorted, "Ok." I was working pretty hard now and looking for the finish chute. I was closing the gap on Phil and thought I might be able to catch him. Then, with about 200 to go, I hear the footsteps of Danforth. I didn't want to go just then, but I could hear him so I had to. I was bearing down pretty hard and fought him off the best I could. We were both closing on Gingras pretty good. Lee caught him and I didn't, which means Lee caught me. I went too early but was glad that I did. The last twenty meters were ugly. Perhaps if I waited, I would've caught Gingras but I didn't.

I did a cool down w/ some
HFC guys. Jason Cakouros, a monster of a runner, always makes me feel slow. I should've been up there mixing it up with him and his teammate Scott. I actually think Jason wants me to mix it up with him b/c he told me as much. Found out an interesting fact on the cool down, Danforth is a former half miler w/ a 1:51 to his credit. When recounting the end of the race, the HFC guys laughed and said that Danforth outkicks everybody. This is good information to know for future racing. Apparently, in an HFC DMR Danforth threw down a 49-point split in the 400m.

HFC won the team prize (cash). I think if CMS fielded a team for this event we would be in the hunt. I put CMS as my team affiliation, which the race director interpreted as Catholic Memorial (School). Trust me, I did not go to Catholic Memorial. If I did, I'd be a hockey player not a runner.

Anyway, a somewhat anticlimactic end to what has been one of my best seasons in a long time.
Here are the official results.

By the way, I've only done a couple of 4 milers. I'm pretty sure this time was my PR. I'll have to check my logs to validate.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

This Week in Running

Finished up this week at the Norwood Turkey Trot. This four mile race has lots of ups and downs but nothing major. Never got in a groove today and after about ten steps I knew this was going to be a tough race. Didn't run that bad, but I know I can run better. I'll post a full race report in a day or two. For now, here's the synopsis:

4 mile time - 21:09
place - 8
division place - 6
pace: 5:18

My first and last miles were the fastest; the middle two were in the mid 5:20s. My legs felt good. My body/mind just didn't have the extra gear that I've been able to shift into during other races this season. I wanted sub 21:00, so this one will fester for a little bit. Today marks the end to my personal running season. I'll do a couple of easy runs early next week then take some down time.

Weekly Data
37 3/4 miles in 5 runs
60 mins. on the bike (indoor trainer)
5 core workouts
1 lifting routine

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Taper Down

The last few days have been easy in preparation for my last race of the season. After Sunday, I'll run a couple of easy days then take some time off. Maybe about two weeks or so. It's been tough adjusting to the night running. In the past, I'd be able to complete at least a portion of my run in the remaining daylight, but this year doing that has been difficult. After a hiatus, I'll be fine. So tomorrow is the Norwood Turkey Trot. Don't know anything about the course. It's described as challenging. We'll see.

Here are the last few days:

Saturday 11.21.09
AM: core and 5.5 miles in 42:16
Ran on some trails. Nice and easy.

Friday 11.20.09
PM: lifting sequence at the gym
Did one fewer set of all exercises.

Thursday 11.19.09
AM: core
PM: 6.5 miles in 44:54
Shorts and a t-shirt helped move the pace along. Finished w/ some strides. Ideally, I'd like to do strides on the grass, but it was too dark at the field, so I did them on the road. Wanted to turn the legs over after a couple of days of easy running.

Wednesday 11.18.09
AM: core
PM: 7.25 miles in 52:43
Wanted to get some running in at Bird Park, but it was just too dark. Seems to be the theme of the week. Night running means road running. Trails will be reserved for the weekends.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Don't Forget to Vote

Tomorrow is the last day to vote for your slate of choice regarding the USATF-NE Grand Prix series. Seems like slate d is the favorite as we approach the clubhouse.

Tuesday 11.17.09
AM: core
PM: bike for 60 mins.
Easy recovery day on the indoor trainer. Read a mediocre article on Pearl Jam in Spin. Too much of the author is in the piece and not enough of the band.

Monday 11.16.09
AM: core
PM: 9.5 miles in 68:23
A weird run. I felt like I was cruising at a steady, smooth clip but when I checked my splits they were slow. And they remained slow. Strange b/c when I feel good the pace usually quickens. Only 9.5 today b/c I'm downshifting in prep for my last race of the season, The Norwood Turkey Trot. Have never done this one before but I hear it's good. Did do one 9 minute pickup starting at the 39th minute. Other than that hohum.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

This Week in Running

Sunday 11.15.09
AM: core and 7 miles in 53:14
Easy day at Adams Farm. No stiffness in the legs. The trails were wet.

Happy Birthday Kathy!

Saturday 11.14.09
AM: 11.5 miles in 73:08
Wanted to do this one outside but the torrential downpours and wind put me on the treadmill. Did a short workout. All reps were w/ .25 miles recovery.
3/4 mile - 3:55
1/2 mile - 2:34
1/4 mile - 75
3/4 mile - 3:48
1/2 mile - 2:30
1/4 mile - 75
This workout wouldn't've been possible if we didn't get the t'mill that goes 12 mph. That turned out to be a good decision. Ran the 11th mile in 6:00. Again, this is part of my plan to finish post interval miles at a stronger pace in order to build strength.

Friday 11.13.09
PM: lifting routine
Survived Friday the 13th.

Thursday 11.12.09
AM: core
PM: 10.5 miles in 68:40
After going slow on Wednesday and Monday, I knew I had to get the legs moving. I was also tired pre-run, so I just decided to hit it from the get-go. Did an all road route w/out knowing any mile markers except at the end. Legs still feeling stiff but did the last two in about 6:15 pace.

Weekly Data
51 miles in 5 runs
67 mins. on the bike
4 core workouts
1 lifting sequence

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

2 Pictures and 3 Days of Training

These two pictures are from the Larry Robinson 10 Miler last Sunday. Jamie Doucett took both photographs. He's pretty good. You can check out all his photos at

The picture on the lower left is of my bud Jimmy. You can read my full entry on the race by checking the 11.10.09 post which is just below this one.

The last three days of training have been ok. Nothing great but nothing horrible either. The season is winding down and I have my eye on the finish line. Highlights of autumn include the Clarence DeMar Marathon and the Canton Fall Classic. I'm not starting to work out a plan for the winter. The CMS guys really seem to be into showshoeing but I've never done ventured into that realm. I do know that this winter I'll likely focus on shorter stuff (5 to 15k) and maybe throw a half marathon into the mix. During my marathon training, my legs were begging for some speed and turnover. Now, it's time to give it to them. I just have to watch the left calf to make sure it can handle that workload. We'll see. Here are my last three days:

Wednesday 11.11.09
AM: 14.75 miles in 1:53.33
What my dad would call an LSD. Long slow distance. Probably ranged between 7:30 and 7:45 the whole way. Legs not feeling fast today, so I decided to go with it. Will have to run harder tomorrow. It was nice to get out early and not have to worry about the sun setting and impending darkness. About 50 degrees outside. Good running weather on the trails.

Tuesday 11.10.09
AM: core
PM: 67 minutes on the indoor trainer
Easy day on the bike.

Monday 11.9.09
AM: core
PM: 7.25 miles in 58:10
Legs were sore after yesterday's race. I started on the treadmill for the first mile then headed over to Adams Farm. Started to feel better at around 40:00 but I had to head back b/c of an evening work obligation. Didn't get a chance to ice the legs today, but I did stretch them out.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Larry Robinson 10 Miler

The Skinny
time - 55:44 (my watch)
pace - 5:34
place - 1
mile 1 - 5:21
mile 2 - 5:45
mile 3 - 5:37
mile 4 - 5:34
mile 5 - 5:17
mile 6 - 5:45
mile 7 - 5:42
mile 8 - 5:39
mile 9 - 5:21
mile 10 - 5:44

The Full Race Report
When scouting out the race on the internet earlier in the week, I learned that this course consisted of a double loop. You ran out a mile, did a 4 mile loop 2 times, then ran back to the start for the last mile. The course is not easy nor fast. It's moderately challenging; the uphill miles are primarily 2, 3, 6, 7. The last half mile has a few rolling hills that can zap any remaining strength you have in your legs. That being said, the rest of the race is either flat or downhill. Again, I'd call it "moderately challenging," but much more difficult than the Blessing of the Fleet 10 mile course down in RI.

While listening to REM's Accelerate and stretching, I saw former college x-c teammate and current friend Jimmy Robinson. He was doing the race as a training run and held an even 6:40 pace the whole way. If he was racing, he would've been way under 60 mins.

The race started on time (how refreshing) and three men shot out of the cannon that was the starting line. I found myself in 4th place. After we vacated the campus of Andover HS, we hit some rolling hills and the lead trio dissembled. A minute later I passed a guy and found myself in third. As we approached the 1 mile mark, I could see the clock. The runner in second place could too. It was if as soon as the numbers became legible to him, he panicked and slowed. Turning omniscient, I saw him think: "Oh man, this is way too fast for me." He slowed substantially and I passed him. On the second loop of the course I saw him walking back toward a water stop. I hope he isn't injured.

On the ascent to mile 2, I found myself closing the gap to the leader w/out really trying. Halfway up the incline, I sidled up next to him. He stayed w/ me for a bit but then I separated. I ran the rest of the race alone save for the times when I came upon the 5k participants and people doing the 1st loop of the 10 miler when I was on the second. Seeing these runners made things fun and broke up the monotony of the race.

The fist two miles of the loop are up and the second two are down. They had a clock at mile 5 and my time was 27:24. I thought two things: 1) that's faster than my time for the last 5 miler I did, and 2) I probably won't negative split this thing. I knew the hills the second time around would be tougher, and they were. I also had this feeling that nobody was near me. I didn't feel an urgency to push the pace. Yes, I wanted a good time, but by the time I hit mile 7 I just wanted the race to be over. I wanted to look back but didn't allow myself that luxury b/c I wanted to try and keep pressing.

I was resurgent on the downhill 9th mile and hit 5:21. The race crew had a clock at this marker too (usually only really big races have clocks at mile markers; I was impressed that this race had them) and I was surprised to read 50:00. That's better than I thought it would be. I shifted into another gear and tried pushing. Maybe too aggressively. When I hit the rolling hills leading back to the finish line, I felt my body settle into a pace instead of push it. A cop at an intersection cheered me on and told me nobody was even close. That kind of killed me and was the excuse I needed to cruise it in. I tried not to, but ultimately I think I did.

The directors ran this event efficiently. Kudos to them. When I returned from the race, the 5k awards were nearly complete. When I returned from my cooldown, the 10 mile awards were nearly complete. Generous awards too. I won a coffee cake, a pair of New Balance sneakers, and a gift certificate to Whirlaway Sports for my 55 minutes of work. I was happy.

My 10 mile pr is 55:17 that I ran during the NB halfer a few years ago. So, it wasn't a pr type of day, but still a good effort. I ran 56:52 on a much flatter course in July; I'm glad to be improving w/in this cycle of training. I still think I can run low 55 or even 54 for 10 if I get the right day.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Weekly Numbers; This Week in Running

Wrapped up this week w/ the Larry Robinson 10 Miler. I got the W w/ a time of 55:46 (officially), which turns out to be 5:35 pace. The course was moderately challenging. I'll write up a full race report in a day or two. W/ the warm up and down, I put in 15 for the day, and that allowed me to attain a shade over 50 for the week.

Weekly Data
50 1/4 miles in 5 runs
65 minutes on the indoor trainer (bike)
5 core workouts
1 lifting routine
1 run on the treadmill

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Diaper Run

Saturday 11.7.09
AM: core and 6.5 miles in 50:47
This was a diaper run. Last night, after I got home from grocery shopping, I headed out to the gym for a light workout. It being pitch black when I left, I didn't see or remember leaving two packages of diapers on top of the car. I put them there when I was unloading the sundry items and KJ and simply forgot. Didn't remember 'til I was on the ab machine. Returning home, I kept my eyes peeled for diapers. Nothing. This morning I went out again on foot to try to find two packs of Huggies somewhere on the side of the road. Nothing. Nearly $40 down the drain. Maybe somebody who needs free diapers took them.

Today's run was sluggish, very sluggish at the start. It got better but not much faster as it progressed. Keeping it easy in prep for tomorrow's race: Larry Robinson 10 Miler in Andover.

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!

Friday 11.6.09
PM: lifting routine
Cut back a few reps on each set due to the upcoming race on Sunday.

Thursday 11.5.09
AM: core
PM: 7.25 miles in 54:37
An easy day. This is a cut back week. Got out a little earlier than yesterday which allowed me to run on trail longer. Hoping these easy runs will lead to fresh legs on Sunday.

The below shots are from The Canton Fall Classic. Good job by Christopher's Photography.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Tom Joad

Just finished reading Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath. In it is Tom Joad's famous rally cry. If you haven't read the book, you've likely heard it alluded to by Bruce Springsteen or Zack Da La Rocha. All 600 + pages of the book are worth reading just for this speech:

Tom laughed uneasily, "Well, maybe like Casy says, a fella ain't got a soul of his own, but on'y a piece of one big one--an' then--"

"Then what, Tom?"

"Then it don't matter. Then I'll be all aroun' in the dark. I'll be ever'where--wherever you look. Wherever they's a fight so hungry people can eat, I'll be there. Wherever they's a cop beatin' up a guy, I'll be there. If Casy knowed, why, I'll be in the way guys yell when they're mad an'--I'll be in the way kids laugh when they're hungry an' they know supper's ready. An' when our folks eat the stuff they raise an' live in the house they build--why, I'll be there. See? God, I'm talkin like Casy. Comes of thinkin' about him so much. Seems like I can see him sometimes.
Casy, a former preacher, was murdered unjustly by a cop. I hope that speech motivates people to run fast.
Wednesday 11.4.09
AM: core
PM: 9.5 miles in 67:19
Wanted to turn the legs over today. Did 8 x 2 minutes hard w/ 44 second recovery. Why 44 seconds? B/c I'm trying not to practice # bias. The 0's and 5's get all the attention. There's nothing wrong w/ those eight other digits....Tried doing the pickups on an Aggie trail but it was just too dark. After two, I had to hit the roads and finish up on them. This is my last hard day before I race this weekend. This Sunday will be either my last or second to last race of the season. Things are winding down.
Tuesday 11.3.09
AM: core
PM: indoor bike 65 mins.
An easy recovery day.

Monday, November 2, 2009

3 x 1.5

AM: core
PM: 12 miles in 75:32
After warming up for 4.5 miles, I started my workout. I was on the t'mill today due to the soggy darkness outside. I don't want to get into t'mill dependency, so I think I'll make myself run outside for the rest of the week. Back to the workout at hand: after warming up and getting down to ~6:30 pace, I started the reps. Nothing killer. Just wanted a good hard effort. I started each of the 1.5 mile repeats at 5:27 pace for the first mile. I then picked it up ever so slightly for the last half mile. Maybe got a little below 5:20. The intent of this workout was to do the reps. at a faster pace than 15k race pace. I think I accomplished that. Finished the run w/ another 2.5 miles at sub 7:00 pace. Stretch, stick, and ice ended the day (in that order). A good one.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

This Week in Running

Not a bad week in running. Surprisingly, the best two runs came on the treadmill at odd times. The week wrapped up w/ some good weather and average runs.

Sunday 11.1.09
AM: core and 7 miles in 51:24
Back to standard time. Still woke up earlier than I wanted to get my run done in time to watch the NYC Marathon. Accomplished that goal, but then I couldn't get the computer working to watch it. Perturbing. It was on later in the day and I watched parts of it while switching back and forth between the football game. My fingers, from the clicking, probably got a better workout than my legs. Congrats to Meb on his NYC victory. An American won!

Saturday 10.31.09
AM: 16.5 miles in 1:59.48
I felt best at the beginning and ending of this run. Started off w/ energy but somehow fell into a slow groove. At Rocky Woods, the trails were leave covered which may have contributed somewhat to the slower pace. I was done w/ my run before 0900. That didn't make staying up for the Phils an easy task.

Friday 10.30.09
AM: lifting sequence
Hit the gym for the usual. Did this prework.

Weekly Data
56 miles in 5 runs
60 mins on bike
3 core workouts
1 lifting sequence

This tidbit was from the
Canton Fall Classic website:

On a glorious morning record fields turned out with over 560 finishers. Kevin Gorman led all racers through a 4:58 first mile. Tony Delogne and 3 time winner Jason Cakouros followed together at 5:08. Shortly after the mile the 5k course takes a right turn, while the 10k continues straight ahead. Gorman took the right and crushed the field, finishing in 16:05 over 2 1/2 minutes ahead of second place . In a race between two Canton natives Kara Lynne Kerr (19:24) prevailed by 14 seconds over 2008 winner Emily Gean.

Speaking of the Canton Fall Classic here is a picture of Kerin and me postrace:

Even more importantly, here are a few snapshots of our little one on Halloween. You can see lots more picture of KJ on her latest album, Halloween09and more.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Night & Morning

I got out of work a little later than normal. It was getting dark and it was already raining and windy. Hence, I wimped out and ran on the treadmill. Ten hours after finishing up my Wednesday afternoon, I jumped on the treadmill again for an early morning, pre-work run. Having my run done before 06:30 felt good. I'm tired now, but I enjoyed not having it hang over my head all day.

Now getting up at 04:30 might seem like a heroic dedication but it's not. A moment for some perspective: my friend and colleague, Martin, is the epitome of hard work and dedication. On Wednesday Martin, who ran 2:32 for 26.2 earlier this month, ran to and from work. Before mentioning it was raining on Wednesday, I'll tell you that he lives fifteen miles away from work. On a little ole Wednesday, he was putting in 30 miles! The guy is an animal. He will also make you realize that you're not that dedicated and you're not working that hard.

Thursday 10.29.09
AM: 9.25 miles in 63:00
A revelation occurred during this early morning jaunt on the treadmill: running 6:20s isn't that hard. For a long time now, I've had in my head that anything is sub 7:00 is a bit of a push. I'm starting to think differently. Just b/c it feels fast doesn't mean it's hard. I've been having lots of runs like this lately and these runs have brought me to this revelation. Fast or maybe faster than slow, relatively speaking, doesn't have to be arduous.

Wednesday 10.28.09
AM: core
PM: 13.25 miles in 85:30
Good workout on the treadmill:
5 mile warmup
4 x 1 mile (all in 5:27) w/ .25 mile recovery
3.25 mile warmdown (last two: 6:35, 5:58)
I felt strong on the mile pickups. They went well. But what I really wanted to get out of the workout was the end. I'm trying to finish my runs at a faster cadence. So, the milers were there to tire my legs, and the last mile was there to see what I could do. I was totally in control and running sub 6:00 felt relatively easy. This is a positive development in terms of my strength and stamina.

Tuesday 10.27.09
AM: Dr. Mika appt
PM: 60 minutes on the bike
The good doctor checked out my legs and all is well. Everything feels good to him and he told me to race away. Propped the bike up on the indoor trainer and cruised for an hour. Easy recovery day.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Canton Fall Classic

First thought that came into my mind postrace: wow. Second thought: I'm in better shape than I thought (speedwise). Now, I'm not going to go crazy b/c in retrospect the time isn't that great, but it is better than I thought it would be. Saturday I posted that I wanted to run sub 17:00. Sunday I was five ticks away from sub 16:00.

5k time: 16:05 (04.68)
pace: 5:11
place: 1
mile 1: 4:59
mile 2: 5:24
mile 3.1: 5:40

Little bit of backstory: the 5k and 10k go off together and I was already feeling a little guilty for not doing the longer of the two races, so I wanted to take it out hard. I didn't think about it until about 1/10 of a mile into the race but I heard a spectator say, "Go Jason." He was referring to Jason Cakouros (sp?) of HFC. I thought to myself: "Damn. That would be pretty embarrassing if a 10k'er was ahead/near me if I'm only going 5k." I picked it up and kept the pedal down until the 5k made the right hand turn.

When the kid at the mile yelled "4:57." I actually laughed outloud. I thought that I'd be paying for that soon enough. I couldn't tell you the last time I did a sub 5:00 mile. The second mile was mostly uphill and I knew I'd be slower. I was. At about 1 3/4 the motorcycle cop that acted as lead vehicle started talking to me. He was a pretty cool guy. He kept telling me how nobody was near me. He said it in an encouraging tone but I was thinking: "Hey, are you trying to get me to slow down?"

I worked the last mile. I tried to keep pushing on the last straightaway. Pet peeve of the race (and many others) now surfaces: the third mile was not marked. For my (b)log, I wanted to see the split for the third mile. My best guess is that it was somewhere between 5:08 and 5:10. As I made the final turn and saw 15 minutes still on the clock, I was psyched. In retrospect, it's nothing to get overly giddy about b/c all the big boys were running their tails off at the Mayor's Cup.

Still, it was a good day. The sun was bright and warm. The wind whipped around just a little bit.

Harvey Blonder puts on a good show. Here are the official results.

On Monday, I did a shakeout run.
AM: core
PM: 10.25 miles in 71:23
A little sore in the calves but all else was good. Despite turning the legs over pretty good, I still felt fresh.
Harvey Blonder puts on a good show.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

This Week in Running

This week ended with a race: The Canton Fall Classic. I ran better than I anticipated. I'll post a full race report tomorrow, but the skinny is that I won the 5k in 16:05. I posted yesterday that I hoped to run sub 17:00 and/or sub 5:30 pace. I did that; I guess I underestimated my 5k shape (haven't done one in quite a while). I was surprised I ran that time b/c I haven't done any speedwork. This was my first race since the marathon. My body has been feeling good...didn't know it was feeling so good to be only 14 seconds off my PR. The race marked the end to a good week.

Numbers for the day:
10.7 total miles (5k warmup, 5k race, 4.5 miles cooldown)

Numbers for the week:
53.45 miles in 5 runs
5 core workouts
63 minutes on the bike

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Haunted Hayride

Tomorrow I plan on racing. My legs I have ready for the last week or so. I'm going to try a 5k. I'm excited and curious about it. I haven't entered a 5k race in years. I'm talking many years. Maybe the last 5k I did was CVS back in 03 or 04. Should be interesting. I want to run it hard w/out tightening the calf which has been feeling great. I'll need a good warmup. Don't know what to expect. Want to at least go sub 17:00 and sub 5:30 pace. I'll be p'oed if that doesn't happen.

Still looking for a 1/2 marathon to run. Thought I found one in Manchester on November 1 but they don't have race day packet pickup. I'm not going to travel over 2 hours just to pickup a race bib to just have to do it all again the next day. I wish they didn't think they were the Boston Marathon.

Saturday 10.24.09
AM: core
Had to put in a full day of work today. Got home in time to give KJ a bath and read her a story. Wanted to go to the gym to lift but it didn't open until 7:00 on Saturday and I had to be to work by 8:00. That sucked. I get irked when work doesn't allow me to workout.

Friday 10.23.09
PM: 7.25 miles in 54:03
Started the run in the light and finished it in the dark. If that's not a sign the winter is headed our way, nothing is. This run also reminded me of temporary night blindness. That is, when you're running into the traffic, the headlights of cars blinds you and doesn't let you see where you are stepping.
Highlight of the run: going over to Aggie trails and realizing they were setting up for haunted hayrides. I think I scared some of the kids hiding on the side of the trail. Guess they weren't expected a running to pass by at a medium pace. The hayride looked like lots of fun; we'll surely have to take KJ there in a couple of years. Lowlight of run: major cramps last fifteen minutes killed the overall pace of my jog.

Thursday 10.22.09
AM: core
PM: 11.25 miles in 84:52
Today was a workout:
10 x 3 min hard w/ 1 min recovery
Prior to the run, I'm pretty sure I bumped into a trio of middle schoolers smoking pot in the woods. They looked as guilty as sin and reeked of bud when I passed them. It actually really irritated me. I mean, really, thirteen year olds smoking up?
The workout was good. Prior to it, I was in a slow comfortable pace and could've easily remained in that "groove." The workout, once started, went well. I felt strong. It reminded me of the same workout I did (except x12) in August. My legs feel ready for a race.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Moving Along

Wednesday 10.21.09
AM: core
PM: 10.25 miles in 72:37
Not intentionally but this easy run got quicker and quicker as the run progressed. I was on and out-and-back trail, and when I turned to head home, I picked it up without feeling an uptick in intensity. I felt myself going faster w/out working harder. I fell into a good groove. Nice and smooth. Going to do some harder stuff tomorrow and am ready for it.

Tuesday 10.20.09
AM: core
PM: bike for ~62 minutes
Started the bike on the indoor trainer and finished on the roads. KJ and I kept each other company for the first part of the workout, and when J got home, I had to get outside b/c it was so nice out. Mid sixties. It snowed on Sunday, so I need to savor all the good weather I can get.

Monday, October 19, 2009


AM: core
PM: 13.5 miles in 90:40
From the get-go, I felt strong. This was a good run and that makes two in a row. In the middle of this one, I did 3 x 10 minutes hard w/ 1:45 recovery. I was certainly sub 6:00 on the pickups; the only reason why I might've been slower would be that I was running on trail, and trails are becoming increasingly leaf covered these days. Now, I've been thinking about my conversation w/ Justin Fyffe after the DeMar marathon and he mentioned that he'd been doing lots of workouts on tired legs. On a smaller, micro-scale, I tried to apply that thinking to today's run. Instead of finishing my last 5k at a slow, dead legs pace, I wanted to finish w/ some mojo. I ran all three of my last miles at a faster clip than I normally would. That's a step in the right direction.

I feel completely recovered from the September 27 marathon and am now looking to race. I'm thinking about Manchester City Half Marathon on November 1. My last few runs have been excellent and I feel I have a couple good ones in my legs before the season closes up. I need to do some racing.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

This Week in Running

Sunday 10.18.09
AM: core and 15 miles in 95:00
I am a whip. Did this run on the t'mill. Was thinking about racing but with the recent headcold and poor weather conditions, I opted out. Felt good on the treadmill and did a steady progression run. The last 10k was sub 6:00. My fastest mile = 5:24 and that was w/out major stress. A good run that left me thinking: how would I have raced today? On the upside, I spent the day w/ the family and that was fun.

Saturday 10.17.09
AM: 7.25 miles in 53:40
Headcold is making me groggy and tired. Still thinking about whether or not to race so made today my easy day in case I'm feeling real strong later in the day.

Friday 10.16.09
PM: lifting routine
Feeling like absolute crap, but headed to the gym and threw some iron around for 80 minutes or so. Did some stretches too.

Weekly Data
52 1/2 miles in 5 runs
5 core workouts
50 minutes on the bike
1 lifting sequence

Two late nights at work and a cold left my mileage shorter than I would've liked. Was thinking about a race but that didn't happen. Want to do two more races w/in the next month. I feel like I'm in pretty good shape. I've felt strong in the legs lately.

Just checked the Bay State Marathon results. Congrats to a couple of CMS guys, Justin Fyffe and Jim Johnson, for excellent races in poor weather. Old battery mate Tim Snow ran fast in the half as well.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Quick 8

Thursday 10.15.09
AM: core
PM: 8 miles in 50:44
Another late day at work led to a quick eight on the t'mill. Despite feeling the nascent stages of a headcold coming on (sore throat/runny nose), I had a great run. Middle miles were all sub 6:00: 5:50, 5:40, 5:38, 5:38. Pace felt easy and sustainable. Both of which are good signs. On a day like today, I am happy that we bought a treadmill b/c I think it helped me get the pace down below 6:00.

Wednesday 10.14.09
AM: core
PM: indoor bike 50 mins.
Would've gone longer but an evening work obligation cut this workout short.

Tuesday 10.13.09
AM: core
PM: 10.5 miles in 69:54
Felt good from the get-go. Pace was slow in some spots but I worked to keep it honest throughout. If I felt the pace slow due to wet trails, I made sure to push it in other spots. Again, I didn't feel like I was pressing; I got myself into a good groove. An encouraging run that made me realize that I am now fully recovered from the marathon.

Monday, October 12, 2009

This Week in Running + Columbus Day

It took my legs a good ten days to recover from the DeMar marathon. Got pictures from it in the mail this week and that allowed me to relive the final steps. Still happy about the PR, but now I'm thinking I can lower it even more. My plan now is to start transitioning to shorter distances 5k - 15k for the winter and spring. I'm hoping my legs (esp calf) holds up for the increased speed that this type of training requires.

New pictures of Kerin are available. Newest album is #15.

The rest of last week and the beginning of this week:

Friday 10.9.09

PM: lifting sequence

At work today, I had the delightful experience of a muscle cramp/spasm/charlie horse in my upper right adductor/hamstring. It was uncomfortable to sit and has been for the last couple of days. It hasn't affecting my running.

Saturday 10.10.09

AM: 16.25 miles in 1:57.23

Felt good the whole way. Not worrying about pace too much. Ended with a series of sub 7:00's. This run didn't kill me but I wasn't exactly in the mood to go another eight live I would've in August.

Happy Birthday Stacey.

Sunday 10.11.09

AM: core and 7.25 in 52:48

Easy run at Adams Farm. The leaves are really falling now and it's cool to run through them as they leisurely make their way to the ground. Everyone should experience this.

Monday 10.12.09

AM: 11.5 miles in 84:24

Did a controlled workout at the track today. First time since the 26.2. This wasn't an all-out workout by any means. The objective was to get my legs moving again. Objective: run 6 x 1k w/ 200 meter recovery @ 5:20 mile pace. This isn't ambitious, I know. My splits: 3:24, 3:25, 3:21, 3:20, 3:20, 3:17. I felt better toward the end of the workout. I did not push or press at anytime, so that's good. My breathing told me I could've done more, and I think I could've considering in September I did 7 x 1 mile in only a slightly slower pace.

I hope to do core work this afternoon.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Thursday 10.8.09
AM: core
PM: 9.5 miles in 70:01
Did what I wanted to do today but toward the end felt guilty that I didn't do more. This work out came easy and felt easy. The workout:

3 x 3, 2, 1 minute hard pickups w/ 40-60 sec recovery

The purpose of this workout was to get the legs moving again after the marathon. I feel like I accomplished that w/out any negative repercussions. Nice autumn weather today certainly helped the workout go by quickly.

Wednesday 10.7.09
AM: core
PM: 10 miles in 71:19
Probably slightly over ten. I had one objective for this run and that was to run faster and feel better than the ten I did on Monday. I accomplished that today. Took the first half easy and the second half I opened up the pace a little bit. One of my closing miles was 6:34. Granted, this isn't fast but it's much better than the 10:00 pace I was doing the first two days after DeMar.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Back to Double Digits

Monday 10.5.09
AM: core
PM: 10 miles in 74:20
This run started off real well, and I knew I'd be putting up a ten spot, my first one since the marathon. Feeling good and the pace was gradually quickening over the first five miles. At right about five, my quads started to get sore. The soreness continued for the rest of the run. Pair that w/ some GI issues (too many carrots at lunch?) and the second half was ugly. Almost had to stop a couple of times. Did make it all the way home but just barely.

It's still early in the fall season; I would still like to race but am in need of direction. I've been doing marathon training, but I don't think I'll be doing another marathon this fall (that was the original plan but Philly sold out before I registered). I want to focus on 5k through 15k this winter/spring, and I don't know if I should change directions now or race some longer stuff, i.e. half marathons. Any suggestions?

Tuesday 10.6.09
AM: Dr. Mika appt
PM: indoor trainer 67 minutes.
The bike went well today. Had KJ next to me for half of it and that was fun. This am I saw Dr. Mika for a post-marathon tuneup. The hips were a bit tight; all else is well. He was excited as I was about my PR.