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.