Sunday, February 28, 2010

This Week in Running

This week ended w/ the Jones Realty Group 10 Miler in Amherst, MA. A competitive field on a tough course. As of this writing, the results are not on Cool Running. I plan to post a full race report in the next day or two. For now, an abridged version:

10 mile time 55:59
place 30
pace 5:36

The CMS team put up a good showing. It was nice to see the guys and talk a little running. It was also fun to race as a member of a team. Looking forward to more races down the line. DD already put up some pictures and video of the race on his page. Certainly worth checking out.

I pulled a real boner (use definition as opposed to and erased my splits before I recorded them. Oh well. I have a few from memory and will try to fill in the gaps in my next post.

With warm-up and cooldown put in a bit over 16 for the day.

Weekly Data
59 1/2 miles in 5 runs
73 minutes on the bike (indoor trainer)
4 core workouts
1 lifting sequence

A pretty good month of training.

Of note: If anyone is planning on racing the BAA 5k on April 18 (Sunday before the marathon), registration opens at 0900 on Wednesday, March 3.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Gray Week

Not much sun this week. Lots of rain, which is better than snow.

Monday 2.22.10
AM: core
PM: 13 miles in 90:50
4 x 10 min pickups at threshold pace. Hit the wall in the warm-up. Had to collect myself for the pace work. Ran the pickups based on sensory data/perceived effort as opposed to time. Felt best on the pickups.

Tuesday 2.23.10
AM: core
PM: 11.5 miles in 76:15
5 x 2 min, 1 min, 30 sec hard w/ 1 min, 30 sec, 30 sec recovery
Felt mostly good except the recovery felt short on some of them (mainly b/c it was).

Wednesday 2.24.10
AM: chiropractor visit
PM: 73 minutes on bike (indoor trainer)
Easy day.

Thursday 2.25.10
AM: core
PM: 11 miles in 75:30
Not positive on the exact distance. Pouring outside. Strong steady pace for entire run. Despite rain, glad to be outdoors.

Friday 2.26.10
PM: lifting sequence

Saturday 2.27.10
AM: core and 7.25 miles in 52:40
Shakeout day in prep for the Amherst 10 tomorrow. A couple of strides followed my jog.

Last time I ran the Jones Realty Group 10 miler in Amherst, I jotted this down in my log: "20s, hail, ice, rain." Let's hope there's better whether tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Mileage for the Decade: 2000--2009

Had a chance to sit down with the logs and tabulate my mileage for each year of the decade. The results:

2000 - 2354.75
2001 - 2322.75
2002 - 1737.60
2003 - 2000.90
2004 - 2463.65
2005 - 2139.95
2006 - 651.55
2007 - 1890.65
2008 - 2523.85
2009 - 2358.10

total - 20,443 3/4 miles for the decade

I'm pretty happy that I hit 20k for the decade. It looked iffy after the 650 for 06 (ugly injury that lasted into 07). Only 32 miles separated the yearly totals for 00 and 01, which I thought was interesting. Biggest year came in 08 when I was finally healthy again. I feel that I am in a good place now with a good support system surrounding me that will hopefully keep me healthy.

Next up: compile my miles from 1991 to 1999: my high school and college years. I'm figuring the total will be around 10k, although I'm not confident with that guess. I also logged a number of miles between 1982 and 1990; I don't have them recorded, though. A conservative estimate would be an average of ~200 a year for 1600 total.

A little under 70,000 to go before I can join the six digit club.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

This Week in Running

Mid-week: I was a wet towel. Then, out of the blue, a nasty virus came upon me, punched me in the mouth, and with his two hands rung every last drop of liquid out of my system. It was nasty with a capital ASTY.

Needless to say, that screwed up my week. The mileage ended up being okay but the quality was poor. After Tuesday, everything was slow, recovery pace. Just didn't have the energy to do a workout. Thought I would by Saturday but my body was having none of it. I think that my body needed to rehydrate itself. At the height of the storm, I could literally feel the water being sucked out of my muscles and into the porcelain. I got real achy and stiff. I'm feeling much better now and plan on doing a workout tomorrow. Have been drinking lots of fluids and just chilling out. Wanted to go and watch the NE-Indoor Championships; I hope the CMS runners did well.

Weekly Data
63 1/2 miles in 6 runs
3 core workouts
1 lifting routine

Monday 2.15.10
AM: 15 miles at an easy pace that got faster
PM: core
Tuesday 2.16.10
AM: 13 mile progression run; after 4, 6:52 --> 5:41
PM: the nastiness began
Wednesday 2.17.10
Thursday 2.18.10
AM: 10.25 easy miles
Friday 2.19.10
AM: jogged to/fro gym for 4 miles then did the lifting routine
Saturday 2.20.10
AM: core and 13 miles between 7:00 and 7:30 pace
Sunday 2.21.10
AM: core and 7.75 easy miles followed by strides

...And I've been waiting for this. I knew he couldn't be Mr. Kara Goucher forever.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Run Strong edited by Kevin Beck

Finished reading Run Strong edited by Kevin Beck the other day. It wasn't a waste of money. I picked up a few good tips that may or may not be transferable to others. As the title indicates, the book is about improving your strength, mostly through activities supplemental to running. Below is a list, by chapter, of some of the lessons I learned from this collection of articles.

Chapter 1
core strength aids power transfer from trunk to lower legs

Chapter 2
a key component of leg speed training is the foot push off from the ground; neuromuscular training should be done year round no matter the distance you're training for (straights and curves, sub 30 second strides)

Chapter 3
No matter what the event, include the following in your training plan:
a. long run
b. progression run
c. 800 - 2400 repeats @ 5-10k pace
d. 200 - 400 repeats @ sub 5k pace
e. general training runs
f. recovery days

Chapter 4
dynamic stretches pre-run; static stretches post-run

Chapter 5
do upper body strength exercises at the speed of your stride rate

Chapter 6
lower body strength/core work improves performance b/c it helps maintain velocity and composure

Chapter 7
do the core work, namely squats and bridges

Chapter 8
ribose for recovery; glucose intake while running delays fatigue

Chapter 9
it's important to train at or just below lactate threshold pace; use sensory data/perceived effort to determine lactate threshold pace

Chapter 10
pre-race isn't social hour

Chapter 11
improvement is related to your ability to recover; PR's are the goal not weekly mileage

Chapter 12
don't bother trying to convert cross training miles into running miles

That's it. Those are the lessons I learned from reading Run Strong. You can purchase the book at the Central Mass Striders website.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Paddy Kelly 5 Mile Road Race

The Skinny
5 mile time: 26:27
place: 3 (division: 1)
pace: 5:17
1 - 5:14
2 - 5:31
3 - 5:22
4 - 5:11
5 - 5:09
The Full Race Report
Setting: D.W. Fields Park, Brockton, MA; 11:00; sunny, low 30s, windy

The gun fired and by 100 meters I was at the front of the pack. Immediate thought: no regrets on wardrobe choice, short sleeve tech under a tank and spandex shorts under running shorts w/ mittens and no headgear. I wasn't cold at all.

The first 2.5 featured a blustery headwind that got pretty sharp a few times. The pace felt slow and nobody wanted the lead so I took it. Didn't want to, but I felt like we were going too slow. After cresting tower hill and getting the mile split of 5:14, I thought somebody else might want to do the work of leading. No takers. The pace slowed, but the other two in the lead pack of three (me, Kyle Sousa and Eric Greenspan) didn't seem to want to take over.

I continued a step ahead of the other two. I figured I was running for time and not place, so to slow down would be against my goal. Having done the work for the first two, I was becoming slightly irked that nobody else would get out in front, especially b/c one of the guys kept clipping my leg on my backswing. When this happened for the 4th time, I blurted "What the *#!?" I said it to the air more than anything else. I knew it wasn't intentional, but if you're going to draft off me, give me a little space. Because of all of these shenanigans and posturing, the second mile was the slowest.

Nobody took water at the halfway point. A key left turn was coming in which the wind would switch from in our faces to at our backs. I thought I would make my move here. Well, so did everybody else. At the turn, Greenspan bolted. Sousa followed in tow and I was in third. I didn't have the wheels to cover this move but in a quarter mile or so I was back on their shoulders. This move told me that if it came down to a finishing kick, I'd be in trouble b/c each of these twenty-somethings had good speed in his legs.

At four miles, I was several meters off the two leaders. At the marker, I witnessed Sousa make a move on Greenspan. He gapped him a bit and extended a lead. With about a half mile to go, we recrossed Oak St. and my dad was there to cheer me on. The two in front were in striking distance but it would be tough, esp. given the surge speed I witnessed at 2.5.

With a quarter to go, Sousa extended his lead and would not be caught. At this point, I saw Greenspan momentarily put his hands to his head. I thought this strange and pushed the pace. He then looked back. I reengaged a push. I didn't know it at the time, but he was playing possum. I caught him, momentarily passed him, and then he moved back on me. Man, I now knew he was sandbagging on me, but what could I do? I couldn't not go. There were like 200 meters left. So I pushed it. I held him off. He passed me back. My friend Tim and his wife, Cait, were yelling at me, and I hunkered down. I fought back on him. He had one extra gear that I didn't have and re-passed and crossed the line before me.

I was ticked, but I know what I need to do next time and what to work on in the interim. Now, I didn't know it at the time, but I have tangential connections to the guys who came in 1 -2. Sousa is a fellow Skyhawk alum (class of '08) and coaches at Oliver Ames. Greenspan is an alum, like me, of the Kids Road Races. This made me feel bad for the bleep at mile two, but when you're carrying the fire that happens sometimes. I'm not holding on to it.

Overall, a good first race of 2010. I told J, "I better be under 27 today." Well, I at least did that.

Here's my Paddy Kelly history:
2000 - 25:47 (my PR), first
2001 - 26:36, first
2002 - 26:30, second
2005 - 26:48, first
2010 - 26:27, third

So this year was my second fastest time and worst overall placing.

The 26:27 is my best 5 mile time in recent memory. I ran 27:39 in August 0f 2009 at Runaways and 26:32 in November of 2007 at Billy Kelley. Yesterday was my best time post the dramatic injury of '06.

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

This Week in Running

This week ended w/ the Paddy Kelly 5 Mile Road Race. I'll post a full report of it tomorrow. The Cliff's Notes version: 3rd place, 26:27. It was a good effort. The first 2.5 wind was in the face; the second half the wind was at the back.

Below is a picture of KJ w/ the Paddy Kelly trophy I won for winning my age group.

Weekly Numbers
60 3/4 miles in 6 runs
54 minutes on the bike (indoor trainer)
5 core workouts
1 lifting sequence

Saturday 2.13.10
AM: core and 8 miles in 58:06
Easy prerace day w/ striders during mid-end of run.

Sunday 2.14.10
Paddy Kelly Road Race
12.25 miles w/ warm-up and cooldown. Report to follow.

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Road

The above is a clip from a book not about running but one runners could get a lot out of reading. It's The Road by Cormac McCarthy, one of the best American authors alive today. It's about a man and his boy on a road and not giving up and being good guys and carrying the fire. I think this novel, which won the Pulitzer Prize, can make people better runners.

Wednesday 2.10.10
AM: core, bike 54 mins, run 5 miles in 36:18
Did this workout as a brick. Bike immediately followed by run. Felt good. A nice recovery day.

Thursday 2.11.10
AM: snow shoveling
PM: 13 miles in 81:13
5 x 1 mile
Tuesday's stinker has been erased, effaced, eradicated. Had a real strong workout today. Did the mile repeats w/ .3 mile recovery between each, which turned out to be no more than 2 minutes. The results:
1 - 5:18
2 - 5:17
3 - 5:17
4 - 5:14
5 - 5:12
I felt controlled for the first three. Intentionally keeping the pace just sub 5:20. For the last two, I loosened the reins a little bit and got to feeling the intensity. My body was ready for it. I never went all out. Now for the disclaimer: I did this workout on a treadmill. That probably made the repeats faster than they would've been if I was outdoors. But, still, this workout was encouraging.

Friday 2.12.10
PM: lifting sequence
A good day at the gym.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

What a Difference a Day Makes

Monday rocked. Today sucked. Monday, I was strong and energetic. Today, I was weak and in a malaise. I was due for a stinker b/c I haven't had one all year. At least it's out of the way.

Monday 2.8.10
AM: core
PM: 12.5 miles in 81:37
Could've been closer to 13. After 30 minutes, I started a 43 minute threshold run. I'm estimating that I covered at least 7. The wind was at my back for a good stretch in the beginning of the hard running and that propelled me through for the rest of the effort. Great run. Finished w/ a 6:23 and I was just cruising.

Tuesday 2.9.10
AM: core
PM: 10 miles in --ready for this-- 81:26
Dead legs. No go in them today. I was looking forward to this run all day, but once I was out there my body was having nothing to do with it. I wanted this to be a progression run of 13 miles or so, but I just didn't have it in me today. Don't really no why. Delayed Superbowl hangover? I didn't even drink.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

This Week in Running

Lowest weekly mileage numbers for the year as this was my first cutback week of 2010. Had to work Saturday, which led to the cutback, which led to only 4 runs this week. A little break can be good, but I often feel worse after taking two days off in a row. That's what happened today. Not so fun out there in the wind.

Weekly Numbers
44 miles in 4 runs
73 mins on the bike (indoor trainer)
5 core workouts
1 lifting sequence
1 fall

Will likely race next weekend. Was thinking about doing the Stew Chase today but I wanted to spend some time w/ KJ after only seeing her for a little bit yesterday.

Sunday 2.7.10
AM: 10.5 miles in 78:22
Did some accelerations/striders mid-run to break it up.

Saturday 2.6.10
AM: core

Friday 2.5.10
PM: lifting routine

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Cutback Week

Wednesday 2.3.10
AM: core
PM: 11.5 miles in 78:15
Took a header for the first time this winter. Ironic b/c as it happened I was thinking, "The trail would be that much faster if it wasn't dusted w/ snow." Then BOOM. Down on the mat. Got my arm out and braced the fall. Good welt under the ribcage. Funny, it wasn't the pain from the fall that I first noticed; it was the cold of the snow. It was like falling on an ice pack. I got right up and started running in an attempt to trick by body into thinking nothing bad happened. It pretty much worked. I actually felt better after the gaff. When I got back on the roads I hit a 6:07 followed by a 6:00. I liked this run b/c I started easy and ended hard.

Thursday 2.4.10
AM: core
PM: 10 miles in 62:43
This is where you really see the cutback. The run went by quickly. Felt good to finish up fifteen minutes earlier than normal. Four mile warmup and two mile cooldown. In the middle:

4 x 3/4 mile @ 5:00 mpm pace w/ ~1/3 mile recovery

Lots of recovery to allow any accumulated lactic acid to funnel out of the blood before beginning the next repeat. The repeats were a bit tough, but they should be, right?

There tons of new bios on the CMS Men's Racing Team webpage. You have to check it out. There are some nasty dudes donning the polar bear.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

3 x 2 Miles

This is going to be a cutback week. I have a work obligation on Saturday which will nix my run on that day. It's probably a good time for said cutback b/c I've been building up for a while. I'm being cautious. Hopefully, this is a smart move. The cutback won't start for another day or two, so it'll be more like 1/2 a cutback week. Still, I will get my lowest weekly mileage total for the year. That's ok; I'm trying not to chase miles.

Monday 2.1.10
AM: core
PM: 12 miles in 85:08
3 x 2 miles w/ 2 minute recovery.
I ran to the track and 3/4 of it was clear. The far turn was snowcovered. No track. To the roads. I had one two mile repeat marked and did it in 11:30. I was hoping my pace would be sub 5:40. That didn't happen despite my body feeling good. Didn't have a split for the second one so ran hard for 12 minutes. Same for the third, although I did catch one split, 5:42. Still not what I was looking for. I was feeling good so am a bit perplexed by why the splits were slower than I would've liked. Thought I was in shape to hit the desired splits.

Happy Birthday Dad!

Tuesday 2.2.10
AM: core
PM: 73 minutes on the bike (indoor trainer)