Monday, December 27, 2010

This Week in Running: 12.20 to 12.26.10

I knew that getting in the miles at the the tail end of this week would be a little difficult.  What I didn't anticipate was the beginning of the week.  The snow screwed me on Monday for my run with Ben.  I also had to shovel two mornings which altered the core work.  Shoveling, though, is a different type of core workout.
Monday 12.20
AM: core
PM: 11 in 73
Should've been outside doing intervals but the snow wreaked havoc on the pm commute.  Ended up the the t'mill sans motivation.  Managed to run 5 of the 11 at 6:00 pace but it wasn't great.  Legs a little cranky from the mini meet.
Tuesday 12.21
AM: some core w/ shoveling
PM: 6 miles
Easy run.
Wednesday 12.22
AM: 9 miles
PM: 4 miles
Late start at work allowed for the am run.  Turned out to be a nice progression.  In the afternoon, I ran some miles outside as the snow fell.
Thursday 12.23
AM: some core w/ shoveling
PM: 10.25 in 70
5 x 2 min
Ran w/ Martin Tighe after work.  We did a hard warmup then the intervals.  We were on roads so got going pretty good.  Two of the repeats were on 90 second recovery (instead of 60) b/c we missed the split.  Martin is one tough runner.  He always pushes the pace.
Friday 12.24
AM: 7 in 55
Tried running on some trail but the snow made it slow.
Saturday 12.25
AM: 7.75 in 57
Did this one real early before Santa came down the chimney.  Started slow but got going good.  A quiet, peaceful run.  One of my favorite of the year.
Sunday 12.26
AM: 7.25 in 55
PM: core
Struggling with a headcold on this one but felt good enough to do 4 hard strides near the end of the run.  Knew a storm was coming later in the day and considered running more then considered not running more.  Not running more won.
For the Week
62.25 in 8 runs
about 3 core workouts
no lifting (gym closed on Friday)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

This Week in Running:12.13 to 12.19.2010 and BU Mini Meet

Monday 12.13
AM: core
PM: 13.25 in 93:17
5 x 5 min w/ 1 min recovery
Ben and I did a long warmup before we did the repeats.  Warm enough outside to run in short sleeves.  We killed the last one.
Tuesday 12.14
AM: core w/ calf emphasis
PM: 5.75 in 43:12
Easy jog.
Wednesday 12.15
AM: core
PM: 10.75 in 76:52
8 x 2:30 hard w/ 1:30 recovery
Recovery felt long.  Energy good.  Working on form and rhythm.  The darkness made some of the repeats a little slower than I would've liked. 
Thursday 12.16
AM: core
PM: 10.25 in 75:00
Couldn't get going.  Legs sluggish; stomach not cooperating.
Friday 12.17
AM: core-calves
PM: 2 miles
Easy jog on the treadmill after lifting.

Saturday 12.18
AM: 11.5 miles
BU Mini Meet
3000m time - 9:18
1 mile time - 4:55
After picking up Kevin Tilton in The Wood, we headed directly to BU.  We got there early without any hassle.   The meet was a fun one.  It was good to see a healthy CMS crew in attendance: Jim, Fyffe, Goupil, Hammett, Chris, Kevin, and myself.  I haven't run an indoor race in a few years, but it doesn't take long to get back into the swing of things.
      The 3K was first.  I was seeded in the second heat.  I got out well and ran even splits for the first mile: 75s across the board.  I was in the middle of the pack.  With about 1K to go, Goupil put on a nasty move that I couldn't cover.  The breathing was fine but I couldn't get the legs to turnover any faster.  I really need to work on my cadence and cutting down my stride.  I try but I still need lots of work.  Jim came up on me w/ 800 to go and we battled all the way home.    See the video above for our last lap (thanks to Jim and Krissy for posting it).
     After some jogging w/ Jim and many heats on the 200, the mile was next.  I basically felt the same in the mile as I did the 3K except I fatigued sooner.  I tried to work on my form when I was out there.  The CMS guys shouting at me helped.  I was happy to go sub 5:00.
Overall, a good day for the team.  Fyffe ran a solid 3K; Goupil ran smart and showed everyone how much track speed he has.  Greg showed us all that he is in "pissa" shape w/ a jaw dropping mile time (4:20).  At the very least it was a good workout for the lot of us.

Complete BU Mini Meet Results

Sunday 12.19
AM: 11.75 in 86:05
Finished w/ stride set: striders, butt kicks, high knees, a and b skips
Had a nice run this morning w/ Kevin Tilton.  The conversation made the run fly by and if the legs were a bit heavy.

For the Week
65 1/4 miles on 7 runs
5 core workouts
1 lifting sequence

Sunday, December 12, 2010

This Week in Running: 12.6 to 12.12.10

Monday 12.6
AM: core
PM: 13 in 90:29
12 x 2 min w/ 1 min recovery
Ben and I wore headlamps for this one.  My first real workout since the marathon on 11.21.
Tuesday 12.7
AM: core w/ extra calf work
PM: indoor bike ~25 min
Wednesday 12.8
AM: core
PM: 9.25 in 72:39
2 miles of ins-and-outs on the track.  A cold wind and stomach issues made this one not fun.
Thursday 12.9
AM: core
PM: 11 in 70:31
Much better than yesterday.  Averaged ~5:55 for miles 5-10.  Good tempo.
Friday 12.10
AM: calf work
PM: lift
Saturday 12.11
AM: 13.5 in 1:43.27
5 x hill w/ downhill recovery
3.01, 2.52, 2.50, 2.48, 2.44
After a long warmup, I still wasn't feeling it but after the first one things were okay.  Last time I did this workout (4.13.10), I ranged between 2.48 and 2.40 and did 6 of them.  Today seemed about right given where I am w/ my training.
Sunday 12.12
AM: 10 in 75:23
Easy run in light rain (happy it was warm).  A Sunday is usually 7 or 8 for me, so I'm upping it slightly.
For the Week
56 3/4 miles in 5 runs
~25 min on the bike
5 core workouts
1 lifting sequence

Analysis: Getting back to quality work this week.  Mileage was a bit low, but I was anticipating that w/ only 5 days of running.  Looking forward to the upcoming week (incorporating a 6th day) with a likely trip to BU on Saturday for the mini-meet.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

North Face Video

Came upon a short for the North Face Endurance Challenge. Featured in it is Central Mass Strider Ben Nephew, who just happens to be my training partner. Ben, in case you don't know him, is the topless white dude with the shaved head. All he needs is the CMS Polar Bear tattooed on his chest.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

This Week in Running: 11.28 to 12.5.10

This was another easy/off week.  

Monday: off
Tuesday: 5 miles
Wednesday: off
Thursday: 10 miles
Friday: lifting
Saturday: 7.75 miles
Sunday: 7.25 miles w/ strides
For the Week30 miles
5 core workouts
1 lift

Analysis: I used this week to start thinking about what to do for the winter season.  I am going to try to do a few indoor track races and use them as intense speed workouts.  Plus, it'd be fun to do some indoor track stuff; haven't done that in a couple of years.  Once February rolls around I'm planning on doing some 15K-10 mile stuff.  We'll see what's out there.  Major goal: get in solid shape for the GPS, which kicks off in the city of whales on the third Sunday of March.  

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Jingle Bell Run

The annual Jingle Bell Run in Brockton is set for Saturday, December 11, at 1 pm at the Westgate Mall Conference Center.  All (100%) of the proceeds benefit the Helping Hands Fund.  It's a good cause.  Hope to see you there.

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 on Saturday, December 11, (race starts at 1 pm), put on your best elf costume and head over to the Jingle Bell Run.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Ways to Improve Training

I think it's a good idea to look back on a training cycle once it ends.  When you reflect, you can notice things that  you are sometimes blind to while living in the cycle.  So, here are a few things I need to work on going forward:

1.  More hill workouts.  I don't think I did a single one this fall.  There are three major type of hill workouts that I do: a) short, steep bursts (10-20 seconds long), b) 1:30 to 2:00 repeats, and c) longer hill repeats of 2:30 to 3:00.  I should also do even longer ones, but that would require traveling to bigger hill.

2.  More NMT (neuromuscular training) workouts.  I need to do more "ins-and-outs" or "straights-and-curves."  This, for example, is when you stride hard the straight and jog the curve.  I just read that Reno Stirrat does 40 seconds on 40 seconds off once a week.  It seems to work for him.

3.  Continue doing longer runs at faster paces. 

4.  Continue doing progression and threshold runs while carefully lowering the pace.  I don't want it to be a big deal when I go sub 6:00 on a weeknight.

5.  Strengthen the calves so as to avoid spasms/strains.  Ways to strengthen: a) calf raises straight, toes turned in, toes turned out (3 sets of 20), b) jump rope (3 x 1 min), c) bosu ball balancing on one foot, d) bosu ball squats and bends, e) single foot calf raises.

6.  Start the hard weekend.  Typically, a weekend is one hard day and one easy day.  I'm thinking of shifting this do one hard day and one medium-hard day.  We'll see.

To catch up on my training logs:
11.15 to 11.21.10: 55 1/2 miles w/ marathon and 1 workout
11.22 to 11.28.10: 17 3/4 miles (all easy) w/ 60 mins on the bike

USATF-NE 2011 Grand Prix Series Announced

Clear your schedule for the 2011 Road Racing Grand Prix.

New Bedford Half Marathon, 13.1M, New Bedford MA, Sunday, Mar 20
James Joyce Ramble 10K, Dedham MA, Sunday, May 1
Medical Center 6K, Nashua NH, Sunday, May 8
Rhody 5K, Lincoln RI, Sunday, June 5
Stowe 8 Miler, Stowe VT, Sunday, July 17
Carver Cranberry Classic 5M, Carver MA, Saturday, July 30
Cape Cod Marathon, Falmouth MA, Sunday, Oct. 30

The spacing isn't as good as last year's series with a few quick turnarounds.  It's good to see the James Joyce Ramble on the list b/c this will make me run a race I've always wanted to run.  I'm also glad CCM beat out Newport.  I did the Newport Half this year and the prerace logistics were pretty bad.  "The Great Race" (Carver) is lightning fast but always hot.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Philadelphia Marathon: Unabridged Post

Warning: This is a long post.
The Skinny
2:36.18 (PR)
pace: 5:58 (sub 6:00!)
place: 29 (7 division)
Before I get into a big, long report, I want to say that I am ecstatic with this run.  It wasn't perfect but I attained a major running-life goal of averaging sub 6:00 for 26.2.
5-6.01  (29:26)
10-6.07  (59:49)
13-6.01  (13.1 ~1:18.10)
19,20-11.47  (1:59.06)
26.2-7.42  (2:36.18)

The Full Race Report
Friday--After a delayed flight, we arrived at race headquarters (i.e. Jen's parents' house) at 9:30.  (A special thanks to Joe for installing the car seat).  One concern for the race: a head cold crept into my body.
Saturday--Got up early for a prerace jog of a few miles.  Still with the head cold.  I took sudaphed all-day, which helped for the race.  I also got in a rarity these days: a nap.  Met long time buddy Phil DiRusso at the expo.  It was good to catch up.  Phil also came over to headquarters for dinner.  Mamacita prepared an outstanding meal.  It was great hanging out w/ the whole gang: Grandma, Grandpa, Aunt Nancy, Laurie, Hailey, Joe, Dave, Jen, KJ, and Phil.  
Sunday--4 am wakeup.  The head felt clear and I knew I was ready to go.  Sometimes your body just knows it has to be ready, and it wasn't perfect but it wasn't bad either.  At the expo, a race official notified me that I would have access to the elite facilities.  This was awesome.  We had a heated tent and our own lavatory.  It made my warm-up routine a breeze.  As somebody in the tent said, they are really working hard to make this marathon a legitimate event, and amenities like this certainly helped.

the race  
I felt smooth from the gun.  I checked my watch to get a sense of pace and I was a little fast but not fast enough to slow down.  I basically tried to hold the opening mile pace while trying to stay relaxed as possible.  The first couple miles people jostled for position but it was never crowded.  Clocks revealed themselves at every mile and my goal became keeping it under multiples of six.  I was running very relaxed, watching my breathing and paying attention to arm swing.  Running as efficiently as possible.

Dave handing me my water-Gatorade mix at 25-ish.
The race starts with the half-marathoners and at about mile 5 the two lead women passed me along with a gaggle of men.  This concerned me somewhat, but the mile clocks told me I was running fairly consistently and not slowing down, so I let them go.  At 7, I took water for the first time.  This is when I realized it was a little chilly because my hand got very cold from the water.  I tried to wipe it off on my CMS singlet.

Miles 6 through 8 take you down Chestnut Street and this was the most exciting part of the race.  The road was narrow and the crowds were loud.  The tall buildings seem to reverberate the cheering spectators.  Very cool.  Everybody's name is on his bib and it was at this point I started to hear "Go Kevin."  Even though I didn't know these people, it still helped.  It also helped to hear people yell, "Central Mass," and those in the know even called "Go CMS!"

The hilliest section of the course is miles 9 through 11.  This part goes through the Zoo with one big up and one big down.  Otherwise, the course is mostly but not totally flat.  In the Zoo is also the first of 3 hairpin turns.  At this turnabout I noticed I was closing the gap on the lead women without even trying.  I thought this a good sign.

At 13, the marathoners and halfers split.  I was a bit disappointed to see only a few veer right for the 13.1 finish.  Oh well, I had Jen, Kerin, Dave, and Joe coming up and started looking for them.  A minute later I heard Jen say, "Go Daddy!" and this made me smile.  Dave was there to hand me a bottle and a gel.  Bonus: Dave tore the gel open for me.  This point in the race is the start of an out-and-back.  Mentally, I was in good shape for this.

With mile 14, I found myself saying, "12 mile tempo run.  You've done tons of these."  That really helped.  I was feeling great and 12 miles didn't seem that far to me.  This is where training with Ben Nephew gave me confidence.  One, we do workouts much faster than the pace I was running, and, two, he really encouraged me to run my longs at a faster pace.  I took him up on that suggestion and I think it really paid off.

My legs were starting to tighten a little on the outbound trip to the turnaround, but any feelings of worry were countered with how great I felt aerobically.  DoubleJ posted in his Bay State report that he was fine in his breathing but his body concerned him.  I now know what he was talking about.  At 18, I had my first touch of concern.

Leading into the final hairpin and a pretty long and gradual hill was a huge cheering throng.  I was lifting by them and the knowledge that I was on my home.  Here I was touched with a bit of good luck.  I found somebody to run with.  At the turn, we exchanged a few words (we were both on pace for PR’s) and decided to go to work.  This was my best stretch of the race.  5:53, 5:53, 5:53, and either you clung onto us or we ate you up.  We became a group of four.  I knew I was running over my head at this point, but I said “F— it.”  Sometimes you just gotta go. 

The group ran into some bad fortune at mile 22 GU station.  I was planning on taking a gel here, but that didn’t happen.  All of the water station attendants were tending to the runners on the outbound side, leaving all of us headed inbound in the lurch.  We yelled, “Gel!  Gel!  Gel!” but our pleas fell on deaf ears.

The next aid station seemed a long time coming and I knew I needed some sugar.  I took some Gatorade and kept moving.  At each mile I would spy the clock and see how I was doing.  The numbers were looking good.  Now, all I had to do was keep it together. 

At 23 or 23.5 I started to lose touch with the pack.  I don’t know why or how this happened but it did happen and I am partly kicking myself for it.  I could feel myself starting to go.  I needed to keep it together for a 5K.

The wheels officially started to fall off at 24.5.  I could feel myself doing the skeleton dance.  “Just keep moving,” I told myself, “Just keep moving.”  Jen, Kerin, Dave, and Joe were coming up , and at 25 they gave me the boost that I needed.  It was a big lift to see him.  Dave executed a perfect handoff and gave me the water-Gatorade mix my body desperately needed.   Usually, I wouldn’t take anything so late in a race, but I needed something, so I did.

I started desperately looking for the mile 26 flag.  I never saw it.  My feet morphed into concrete blocks and I felt like I was running in quicksand.  I was working hard but moving slowly.  The crowd was screaming and cheering and I tried to keep digging.  I rounded a corner and the finish line was right there.  I might’ve tried a final sure, but I really don’t remember if I did or not.  What I do remember is the 36.  I clicked my watch and it confirmed what the red numbers said.  I wasn’t hallucinating.  I clenched both hands into a fist.

I took a few minutes to compose myself.  I was already getting stiff.  I managed my way back to the tent and tried to eat something without much success.  When I got to my back, I noticed that Kathy, my sister, had already sent me a congratulatory text.  I also called mom and dad to let them know how I did.  After a quick change, I left the tent to meet up with the support crew.  They were so happy for me.  They made me feel really good.  I have to stop for a moment and give a major shout-out to Jen.  She has been so supportive of me on a day to day basis.  Her encouragement and positivity are bar none and I’m lucky to have her as my wife. 

I ran fast enough to get to the airport in time for my flight.  At the terminal, my head cold returned.  I still have it, but I don’t care.  My body was able to put it on hold for the race, and that’s all that really mattered.  Kathy was right on time for the pickup (thanks to both Kathy and dad for the transport to the airport) and I was home in time to watch Sanders intercept that pass.  A good ending to a good day.

Team CMS
Whether it’s true or not, I feel like I brought my running to the next level on Sunday.  My CMS teammates have something to do with that.  I remember doing a cooldown with Greg after the Rhody 5K and he told me that he thought I could run 2:35.  At the time I thought that impossible, a pipe dream.  Now, I’m not so sure.  For some reason, I held onto that nugget and kept it in the back of my mind while training.  It helped.  Be it Greg, Ben, Fyffe, DoubleJ, DoubleD, Wiles, MQ, DQ, Verrington, Goup, Jim, or any other guy on any given weekend, I am inspired and motivated by this team’s performances.   Your teammate makes you want to run faster.  We may not get the opportunity to practice together every week, but we still hold ourselves accountable.  You post your training every week and you don’t want to embarrass yourself.  It makes you push through. You work hard and you set PR’s.  
Me with my support crew a few minutes after the race.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Philadelphia Marathon: Abridged Post

I just typed up a novel-length entry and it won't post properly. So here's the abridged version. I'll post the unabridged version in a day or two.

2:36.18 (PR)
pace: 5:58 (sub 6:00!)
place: 27 (6 division)

I am ecstatic with this run. It wasn't perfect but I attained a major running-life goal of averaging sub 6:00 for 26.2.

5-6.01 (29:26)
10-6.07 (59:49)
13-6.01 (13.1 ~1:18.10)
19,20-11.47 (1:59.06)
26.2-7.42 (2:36.18)

Dave handing me my water-gatorade mix at 25-ish.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

This Week in Running: 11.8 to 11.14.10

Monday 11.8
AM: core
PM: 12 in 92:42
Dark and rainy.  Ben and I did loops in the park.  Good thing he had a headlamp.  Easy run.
Tuesday 11.9
AM: core
PM: 12.25 in 81:43
Good rhythm run.  Pace wasn't super but it felt good.
Wednesday 11.10
AM: core
PM: 7.25 in 53:51
Easy day.
Thursday 11.11
AM: 11.75 in 92:14
2 x 2 mile, 1200, 800 all w/ about .25 mile recovery
It was cold and windy this morning.  I really think the wind killed any chance of fast splits.  I averaged 5:48 and 5:45 for the 2 milers, 4:10 for the 1200 and 2:39 for the 800.  A good hard workout with slowish splits.  This is the last real hard interval day before the marathon, which is now only ten days away.
Friday 11.12
AM: legcore
PM: lifting
2/3 of normal routine.  Tapering down.
Saturday 11.13
AM: 15.75 in 1:45.07
Easy start and had to go a little slower than I wanted in the trails due to all the leaves, but the backhalf was good.  I was running marathon pace and it was coming real easily.  
Sunday 11.14
AM: 7 in 52:53
Easy run.

For the Week
66 miles in 6 runs
4 core workouts
1 lifting sequence
Analysis: Not concerned w/ # of miles at this point.  This week I wanted to 1) get in quality on the days that were supposed to be quality 2) allow the body to feel ready.  Now is the time to take care of the little things: stretch right, eat right, nurse those little aches and pains, get in the proper mindset to run a fast, hard marathon.  

Monday, November 8, 2010

USATF-NE XC Championships

The Skinny
10K time- 34:20
place- 67
pace- 5:31
CMS team place- 5th
place for CMS- 5th
splits- only the first 2: 5:17, 5:38

The Report
Cold.  It was 40 degrees but felt like 20.  The wind and wide open field contributed to the chill.  Got there in time to watch Greg Putnam run a great race in the master's 8K.  Met up w/ Al Bernier, Ben Strain, Scott Leslie, and Derrick Hamel for a warmup and the main objective was just that--getting warm.  
the race
These XC races start off fast.  My first mile was 5:17 and I was probably in something like 75th place.  At the mile, Al came up on me and I stuck close to him for the next half or so.  Al ran  a great race.  At around mile 2, I came up on Ben and we stuck together for a while through the Wilderness Loop.  My second mile was 5:38 but at the mile Al said that the first one was short and the second was long.  I didn't think much of it.  I just kept going.  After 2 miles, I always get confused at Franklin Park.  There are so many loops and intricacies that it's easy to forget where you are in the race.
At 5K, I was in no man's land and looking to maintain pace.  Over the last 5K, two guys passed me and I passed one back.  I wasn't feeling great.  I felt real slow in some places and couldn't move when I wanted to; I was lacking an extra gear today.  
It was fun talking to the CMS guys on the warmdown.  Scott had some good suggestions about marathon training, and since he just popped a sub 2:30, I think I'll be taking some of that advice.  Greg was good for some gummybears and Al let me know about $$ incentives that the club offers.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

This Week in Running: 11.1 to 11.7.10

Monday 11.1
AM: core
PM: 11 in 81:22
3 x 10 minutes w/ 2 min recovery.
Did this one w/ Ben.  The pace was hard but not bad.  Getting in shape.  Felt easier than 10 x 2 mins we did last week.
Tuesday 11.2
AM: core
PM: 7 in 58:32
Easy day.
Wednesday 11.3
AM: core
PM: 13 in 89:46
Progression run.  Good from the start.
Thursday  11.4
AM: core
PM: 12 in 76:56
3 x 1 mile @ 5:30 pace
3 x 1/2 mile @ 2:40 pace
3 x 1/4 mile @ 77 pace
40-45 seconds recovery between each one
Solid workout.  Felt strong on the intervals.
Friday  11.5
AM: chiro visit
PM: lifting
Saturday 11.6
AM: 10 in 73:56
Easy prerace jog.
Sunday  11.7
AM: 13 miles
Race: USATF-NE XC Championships.  
10K- 34:20
place- 67
CMS- 5th place
Happy anniversary Mom and Dad!
For the Week
66 1/2 miles in 6 runs
4 core workouts
1 lifting sequence
Analysis: After struggling through some harder workouts earlier in the training cycle, this week was better.  I wasn't dying and my pace was faster.  The race wasn't great, but then again this was more like a good hard workout than a race.  That was my mindset, anyway.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

This Week in Running: 10.25 to 10.31.10

Monday 10.25
AM: core
PM: 13 in 97:24
10 x 2 min w/ 1 min recovery
For doing 24 the day before, I felt pretty good.  Especially on the first five.  The second five caught up to me a bit.  And then Ben was there to keep the pace honest.  Good hard day.
Tuesday 10.26
AM: 6.75
PM: 3.25
Attended a conference today that allowed me to get in an easy am run.  Felt like Bob Wiles but no rollerbladers.
Wednesday 10.27
AM: core
PM: 11 in 76:36
Good energy but the pace was slower than I thought it would be.  I was babying the calf which was "talking" to me.
Thursday 10.28
AM: core
PM: 13.25 in 1:45.44
2 x 5k
Ugly.  Sluggish from the warmup.  Thought I might get a jolt once I started the hard work.  It didn't happen.  I slogged through this one at around marathon pace when I was hoping for threshold.  The cooldown was long and slow and dark.
Friday 10.29
AM: legcore
PM: lift
Legs happy to get a break after 71 in 5, which is more than usual for me.
Saturday 10.30
AM: 7.25 in 56:31
Real early.  Started slow.  Fastest at end.
Sunday 10.31
AM: 20.5 in 2:14.28
I talked to Ben Nephew about this one.  I was thinking of doing 23-25 but he convinced me to do a harder 20 instead.  By mile 3 the pace was going good.  By mile 9 I was consistently sub 6:20.  The last 7 were 6:01 or faster.  I'm happy with that.  
For the Week
75 in 6 days (7 runs)
4 core workouts
1 lifting sequence
Analysis: Another good week of miles.  It's odd that I could run faster on the back half of a twenty miler than I could during a workout on Thursday.  I've been having about 2 solid runs per week and the others have been clunkers.  I don't feel like I've had a consistent training cycle.  I want to get into one of those 3 or 4 week grooves where everything is butter.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

This Week in Running: 10.18 to 10.24.10

This week started off pretty poorly but got better.
Monday 10.18
AM: core
PM: 14.25 in 2:05.337
What can you do when you BONK 7 miles away from your house?  Shuffle home.
Tuesday 10.19
AM: core
PM: 8.5 in 72:33
Stopped 3/4 way through the run to do some strides.  Stiffer than I thought I'd be after the half marathon.  Guess that's what happens when you haven't raced in 3 months.
Wednesday 10.20
AM: core
PM: 10 in 81:28
Felt like crap.
Thursday 10.21
AM: core
PM: 12.5 in 82:56
8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 min hard pickups
Biologically this wasn't easy, but I sucked it up and put it down.  The longer pickups were a touch under marathon pace, and the shorter pickups were closer to threshold pace.
Friday 10.22
AM: legcore
PM: lifting
Saturday 10.23
AM: 7.75 in 59:27
Switching today w/ tomorrow b/c I had to work today.  Finished this run before the sun was up, which is getting easier to do now that we're approaching November.
Sunday 10.24
AM: 24 in 2:46.54
A good long run.  I started at a slow, easy pace and got faster as the miles clicked off.  I was really moving and feeling strong on the final four.  Those were the fastest miles of the day with 3 of them sub 6:00.  Tired now but solid during the run.
For the Week
77 miles in 6 runs (year high? if no, close)
5 core workouts
1 lift
Analysis: The half marathon took more out of me than I anticipated.  By Thursday I was sick of the pathetic running and gutted out some intervals.  I pretty much was going to run hard and make it hurt no matter what that day.  I am pleased with today's long run.  Putting 24 down and ending on a positive note gives me confidence for the marathon, which is one month from today.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Newport Half Marathon

place: 2
pace: 5:45
6:05, 5:39, 5:56, 5:49, 5:36, 5:47, 5:38, 5:35, 5:40, 5:46, 5:47, 5:55, 5:30, 39

Things went well until arriving in Newport. Traffic lines waiting to park.  Then more lines to get on the shuttle.  Then a short line to register.  Then a long line to check my bag.  I had to give a girl 5 bucks to check my bag, so I could make it to the starting line on time.  The beginning of the race really wasn't managed well.  The announcer was telling people not to worry about being in line for the bag check or the lavs b/c they all had a chip.  He told us not to worry b/c our times wouldn't start until we crossed the line w/ our bib chips.  The officials knew they were going to start the race without all participants ready and apparently they were okay with that.

All that said, I didn't get in a proper warmup.  Only a couple of strides and a few stretches.

the race
I wanted to go out conservatively.  One, b/c I didn't want anything to spasm due to a lack of a proper warmup.  Two, b/c it was windy.  The first 10K was pretty much a wind in the face experience.  The first mile has the biggest hill of the race.  Combine that with a conservative start and mile 1 was my slowest of the day.  For about the first 4 miles I ran w/ a group of 2 or 3.  I told myself to draft for as long as possible but I couldn't keep the reins on.  By mile 3, I was doing the work w/ the wind.  And by mile 4, I had gained some separation.

At about 6.2, along the shore, we finally took a turn and the wind changed from head to tail.  My splits reflect that.  At this point, I got a little boost and was feeling good.  I was having fun waving at well wishers and complimenting the Jimmy Buffett water stop crew for their outrageous bird hats.  It was also at about the 10K mark that I realized I was in 2nd.  I thought 3rd but apparently one of the guys ahead of me was a member of relay team.  For those next couple miles I thought a group might be on my tail but by mile 10 I sensed that I had a secure hold on 2nd place.

Despite a tough first half, I started feeling better on the second half.  I ran miles 5-10 about 38 seconds faster than the first five.  There were lots of little ups and downs over the last 10K too, so I was pretty happy I felt powerful.  I didn't whimper to the finish.

I had 1:16 in my head at the start of the race and even slower than that in the opening miles, so I was pleased to go 1:15 and change.  I have endurance and stamina.  I need to keep that up and now introduce some speed work.  I wore calf sleeves and I had no issues w/ the calf either during the race or immediately thereafter.   I enjoyed a long 4 mile cooldown, cheering on the runners doing the full marathon.  Post race, I could not find any results.  I looked around and there seemed to be no formal announcements.  I thought that odd.  I got on a bus and headed home.  After all, there was a Pats game to catch.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

This Week in Running: 10.11 to 10.17.10

A well timed cutback week.  A head cold made my planned workouts not go as planned.  
Monday 10.11
AM: 13 in 96:20
Wanted to do a 40 min threshold run but when I tried to get down to t'hold pace, it just wasn't happening.
Tuesday 10.12
AM: core
PM: 6.5 in 48:05
Stonehill trails.  Easy day.
Wednesday 10.13
AM: core
PM: 10 in 72:41
Had to be back at work in the evening, so snuck this one in.  Thought it would be faster.  I started slowly.
Thursday 10.14
AM: core
PM: 5.25 in 34:18
Fast-ish five.  Wanted it to be real hard but I couldn't find a groove.  It's been that type of week.
Friday 10.15
AM: legcore
PM: lifting
Saturday 10.16
AM: 10 in 74:55
Prerace run.  Hoping for some bounce but got none.
Sunday 10.17
AM: race
13.1 in 75:20 + 4 mile cooldown = 17.25
2nd place @ Newport Half Marathon.  Race report to follow.  Ran better than I anticipated.  
For the Week
62 miles in 6 runs
4 core workouts
1 lifting sequence
Analysis: Cutback week is complete.  The half marathon went pretty well.  I was happy that I felt better in the second half of it than the first half.  I feel like I have the stamina but not the speed.  That should come with some faster interval workouts.  

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Go Get 'Em CMS

Tomorrow is the Bay State Marathon, the USATF-NE Marathon Championship Race.  The Central Mass Striders will be there with a nasty team.  Best wishes to all the CMS guys toeing the line for the 26.2.  I attached an inspirational video below from earlier this year.  You'll recognize it and the music as soon as you hit play.


As for me, I wanted to go to Bay State to support the team, but instead I'll be heading down to RI for the Amica Half Marathon.  I wanted to do the Bay State half but it sold out.  That kinda sucks but I need to get one or two longer races in to see where I'm at for Philly.  I've been doing the miles but not the tempo and speed.  Should be interesting.  

Sunday, October 10, 2010

This Week in Running: 10.4 to 10.10.10

Monday 10.4
AM: core
PM: 13 in 93:09
6 x 5 min pickups w/ 1 min recovery.  Did this one at Bird Park w/ Ben.  Pickups were hard but controlled.  The 60 sec recovery came up real quick.
Tuesday 10.5
AM: core
PM: 6 in 48:52
No energy today.  Good thing it was an "easy" day.
Wednesday 10.6
AM: core
PM: 12 in 79:31
Progression run: 7:30 to 5:55 pace.  The right calf started flickering a little bit so I stopped and put on the compression sleeves.  After that things were fine.  I was just tired.
Thursday 10.7
AM: core
PM: 12.75 in 90:28
3 x 12 min pickups w/ 2 min recovery.  Felt pretty good today.  When I finished this one, I said to myself that I'm starting to get fit.
Friday 10.8
AM: legcore
PM: lift
Saturday 10.9
AM: 23 in 2:42.19
Started this one easy but most of my miles were in the 6:50 range.  I tried to finish this run at a fast pace but I didn't have much success w/ that, although I did get a couple in at around 6:42 pace.  I was hoping for low 6:00's.  Next time.
Sunday 10.10
AM: 7 in 61:13
Yikes.  Slow.  Bridge day to tomorrow's run.

For the Week
73 3/4 miles in 6 runs
5 core workouts
1 lifting sequence
Analysis: I felt sick to my stomach after two of my workouts this week.  I consider that a good sign.  It means I'm getting in shape.  My goal for Saturday was to put up 23, so I'm happy I hit that goal.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

This Week in Running: 9.27 to 10.3.10

Monday 9.27
AM: core
PM: 12 in 85:27
Trail run w/ Ben.
Tuesday 9.28
AM: core
PM: 11.25 in 75:45
5 x 5 min pickups w/ 90 sec recovery
Pickups were between 6:00 and 5:46 pace.  Pace felt controlled.  Calf felt good.
Wednesday 9.29
AM: core
PM: 5 in 41:14
Easy, recovery day.
Thursday 9.30
AM: core
PM: 10 in 78:59
5 x 800m w/ 60-70 sec recovery
First time on the track since the calf injury.  Wicked humid out there.  Felt dead.  Splits too slow to post.  Being cautious w/ the calf.  
Friday 10.1
AM: chiro
PM: lifting sequence
Saturday 10.2
AM: 21.5 in 2:39.35
Ran this one at a relaxed pace.  Surprisingly, this run was pretty easy to complete.
Sunday 10.3
AM: 8.25 in 64:09
Recovery run.  Not worried about pace.

For the Week
68 miles in 6 runs
4 core workouts
1 lifting routine
Analysis: I'm continuing to build.  To protect the calf, I've been wearing compression sleeves on the harder runs.  Doing so, I was able to manage two faster days and one long day.  At this point a late fall marathon is looking more and more plausible.