Sunday, March 28, 2010

This Week in Running: 3.22 to 3.28.10

Had some free time on a Saturday night (what's new?) and decided to spruce up the old blog a little bit. It'll be a year old next month. Its birthday is the same day of the Boston Marathon. How fitting. I hope you enjoy the new colors.

Weekly Numbers
60 1/4 miles in 6 runs
50 mins on the bike
5 core workouts
1 lifting routine

Here's what happened this weekend:

Saturday 3.27.10
AM: 12.5 miles in 94:07
4 x 1200m then 2 x 800m w/ 400m recovery between all
3:57, 3:56, 3:57, 3:54; 2:35, 2:32
Had a revelation during the workout. I was doing the repeats about as hard as I could but I couldn't get any faster despite the breathing being fine. My legs just couldn't turnover. I need to do more shorter, quicker stuff. I also need to be careful not to tweak anything. It's my new project. I want to start incorporating some shorter, faster stuff while still protecting the places that may be susceptible to harm. I can do it; I just have to be smart about it. I need to ease my body into the fast stuff incrementally. I need to listen to my body. I've calloused my body to a point where it can handle more miles; now I have to get it ready for miles and speed. This will be a fun challenge. I'm looking forward to it.

Sunday 3.28.10
AM: core and 8 miles in 58:39
An enjoyable run. A stress free run. Legs felt fine after yesterday's track work. I hope to be good for some harder stuff on Monday.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

New Bedford Footage

The league of handsome men travel to New Bedford.

Below are two videos from the New Bedford Halfer. The first one is from Krissy K and rocks. Literally. It's set to music and it's not your mamma's music. Great job putting it together Krissy. Thanks. You have to wait about 2:35 before my scrawny behind comes into the picture.
The second video is an interview w/ Kim Smith, winner in a time that killed mine. She's nasty (in a fast way).

Now onto some training:

It's been a good week so far.
Monday 3.22.10
AM: core
PM: 12.5 miles in 95:35
Ran this one w/ fellow CMS'er Ben Nephew. Good thing too b/c the conversation kept the time moving and turned day after race drudgery into a good time. Not until later that night, I made a mini-epiphany about Sunday's race. Ben and I were talking about glucose and corn syrup and then it hit me four hours later. I may have run out of sugar at NB. I did bonk pretty bad in the last two miles and that could be a reason why.

Tuesday 3.23.10
AM: core
PM: 50 minutes bike then 3.5 mile jog
Still recovering.

Wednesday 3.24.10
AM: core
PM: 11.75 miles in 84:20
Started sluggish. Ended feeling much better. Last mile was the fastest at 6:10. I was pushing it. I wouldn't label this a progression run even though my pace got incrementally faster as it continued. I felt good. Much better than three days after Amherst 10.

Thursday 3.25.10
AM: core
PM: 11.75 miles in 88:12
Maybe longer? Fartlek workout mostly on trail. 4 minutes hard, 1 min rec, 2 minutes hard, 1 min rec. Repeat 5 times. Legs felt pretty good. Hard to judge pace one b/c of squishy trails and two b/c of a whipping wind. Overall, a good day. I'm passed New Bedford now and focusing on the next one.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

New Bedford Half Marathon

The Skinny
13.1 mile time - 1:14.21
pace - 5:41
place - 66
place for CMS - 8
CMS team place - 3

My splits
1 -5:27
2 -5:38
3 -5:35
4 -5:44
5 - 5:24
6 -5:35
7 -5:34
8 -5:32
9 -5:58

The Full Race Report
My sister Kathy and I rendezvoused at my parent's house and trekked down to the coast together. Auspicious weather put us in a good mood. Met up with the CMS guys for a light warmup. We were glad we arrived at the YMCA early b/c the registration line was literally out the door, so much so that they had to delay the start by 10 mins. They announced port-a-potties at the start/finish area but I didn't see any. After stretching and dropping our gear at DoubleJ's suv (thanks, man) we were off to the starting line.

the race
Ultimately, a disappointment. Not my day. Hit the wall at 11 and did the skeleton dance all the way to the finish line. Running on two flat tires isn't all that enjoyable. I thought I'd be hovering around 73:00. To see the clock in the 74's was tough.

The race started off fine. Through 5 in 27:46, which was 25 seconds faster than my Amherst split. That was about where I wanted to be. The next 3 miles were pretty good; I was working hard and passed one or two guys. At 8, however, I felt exhaustion kick in. I remember thinking that it's a little early to be feeling this fatigued. It also didn't help that I felt like I was running hard and smooth and a couple guys came up on me. I held it together to the ten mile mark, sticking with a small group.

I went through 10 in 56:10. Eleven seconds slower than Amherst. Not bad, but I managed a negative split in Amherst. No such luck today. At this point, I told myself I had a 5k to go and thought running 73 and change would be manageable. Whoops. I was wrong. At 11 I felt like I was running in mud. At 12, quicksand. Somebody needed to throw me a rope. I shuffled to the finish line with the help of Jim Pawlicki. I tried hanging with him the last 1/3 of a mile. He finished a second in front. I tried kicking it in with him but my right hamstring seized up and I had to back off.

It was fun to do a cooldown with the CMS guys and talk some shop. Jim Johnson dropped the hammer with a 70 and change to lead the team. Some guys put up major performances: Bob Wiles, Greg Hammett, Alan Bernier, Kevin Tilton, Jim Pawlicki, Jeff Goupil (huge debut), Dave Quintal, just to name a few. Like me, I know Justin and Andy are capable of better work and had a bit of an off day today. Cooling down with the team was a good time. Everybody was analyzing their particular performances and already looking ahead to the next race. The scoring members of CMS did a great job packing it in; the team time from 1 to 5 was pretty impressive. Good work men.

As a team, CMS managed 3rd for the day. The top 5:
Adidas NE

Next steps: I have to assess if this was just an off day for the last part of the race or if I set my expectations too high. Ask myself: what can I do in my training to prevent a fade? In the past, I've been a solid finisher. I'll use this race for motivation.

My NB 1/2 history:
2000 - 74:40 (PR at the time)
2001 - 76:33
2005 - 72:48
2010 - 74:21

This Week in Running 3.15 to 3.21.10

Ended the week with an off day (core only) on Saturday (had to work) and the New Bedford Half Marathon on Sunday. Ended up putting in 17 for the day on Sunday. Beautiful weather down in NB but my race wasn't so beautiful.

Well, last week I posted something like this week would be hellish. It pretty much was. A deluge at the beginning to late nights due to work in the middle and a lackluster performance on Sunday.

Weekly Data
52 1/2 miles on 5 runs
54 minutes on the bike
2 core workouts
(no lifting this week)

Friday, March 19, 2010

Cutback Week

I knew from the start this was going to be a tough week given that I had to work two nights and one weekend day. Good week for a cutback. Planning for a cutback made it that much easier to handle as it was happening. Main goal: getting ready for the NB 13.1.

One of the benefits of being a runner is that you don't have to invest yourself 100% in others to get your sports fix. If I had to do that on Thursday, I'd be a hurtin' camper. Not the biggest hockey fan, but I was looking forward to that Bruins game. What a pathetic performance. Horrible. Simply horrible. I actually missed watching some of the NCAA tourney for that? At least the b-ball was good.

Monday 3.15.10
PM: 11.5 in 72:33
Beware the Ides of March. Torrential downpours put me on the t'mill. Guess I'm lucky the t'mill wasn't underwater.

The workout: 4 x 1 mile w/ 1 min recovery then 2 x 1/2 mile
The data: 5:27 (56 rec), 5:27 (59 rec), 5:26 (58 rec), 5:28 (39 rec), 2:41 (39 rec), 2:42

Kept the pace aggressive but pretty comfortable overall. I was being a bit cautious. Was thinking about doing more but decided to make a cutback week a cutback week.

Tuesday 3.16.10
PM: 10 in 72:00
What's this? Sun?! Finally. Weather was nice but I felt like dog logs. Glad to get it done.

Wednesday 3.17.10
AM: chiropractor visit
PM: 54 minutes on the bike (outside)
The doctor worked on three areas that needed a little seasoning. Bike was short b/c of evening work obligations.

Thursday 3.18.10
AM: core
PM: 6 in 39:45
Finally, core after a week. My body was missing it, craving it. The 6 spot was strong from the start and the ending 6:19 felt very, very comfortable. A good sign. Got out late so happy for daylight savings time.

Friday 3.19.10
PM: 7.75 in 56:17
Finished the exercise w/ 4 striders. Easy day. Sluggish start. Better at end.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

This Week in Running: 3.8 to 3.14.10

Houston 2012. The Houston Marathon beat out both Boston and New York to host the men's and women's olympic marathon trials. The trials will be run on a closed loop course that is not the same as the actual Houston Marathon Course. I think the trials will be run the day before the general 26.2 The Houston Marathon occurs in January over Martin Luther King Day weekend (MLK day is observed on the third Monday of January). I'm going to try to include running Houston 2012 in my long term plans, so I can go out and watch the trials. I watched the '08 women's trials in Boston and it was a pretty cool experience.

Onto this week in running....

61 1/2 miles in 6 runs
60 minutes on the bike (indoor trainer)
4 core workouts
1 lifting routine

Here's how the week ended....

Friday 3.12.10
PM: lifting routine
no running today (planned off day)

Saturday 3.13.10
AM: 16 miles in 1:56.52
The start wasn't so bad but the end was. Rain and a driving wind. Mostly in my face for the final eight miles. The effort was pretty good but the pace wasn't. Felt like the wind was standing me up straight a couple times. Felt like a wet, cold sewer rat at the end of this one.

Sunday 3.14.10
AM: 7.5 miles in 53:17
The George Foreman Grill of runs: set it and forget it. Put the treadmill on 8.5 mph (7:00 pace) and completed an easy run. Did this one on the treadmill b/c of the weather (more driving rain and wind).

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Churnin' Butter

This week's sign that the apocalypse is upon us...Marion Jones, defrocked winner of 5 Olympic medals, has signed a contract with the Tulsa Shock, a WNBA team. She actually ran the point at UNC and they won a national championship. So, I guess she's got some cred. Looks like she's trying to redefine her career. Here's the story. Any chance Tiger gives up his irons for a pair of track spikes? Do we even want him? With the amount of time and energy endurance athletes expend training, he would be too exhausted for any extracurriculars.

Wednesday 3.10.10
AM: core
PM: 12 miles in 81:23
Took a header. It happened in slow motion. Said to myself, I can't believe I'm falling down right now. Second time in two months. Slipped on some mud. I'm partially blaming the ATV that dug up the trail. Good thing about it was I braced myself for impact pretty good. Mud caked in solid under the wedding band but other than that I was up again in a matter of moments and back on the path. Overall, a good (not great) progression run. Made a concerted effort to pick it up at certain points. Glad to be running on trails but I had to slow at points. Things are wet in places. Ended at 6:00 pace. Awesome weather.

Thursday 3.11.10
AM: core
PM: 10+ miles in 78:20
16 x 60 seconds hard w/ 60 seconds recovery.
Hardest part of this run was getting out the door. Wet weather, tired, hungry. Slow warmup. Got to Bird Park and put my head down and did the workout. Felt like I was churnin' butter. Happy I got this one done.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

3 x a Deuce

Monday 3.8.10
AM: core
PM: 13 miles in 92:09
The weather was so good. Perfect for running. It propelled me to a strong workout. I've been meaning to do this one for a while and it finally bore out into reality today. Really did have a perfect day for it. Managed to run in shorts and wasn't cold at all. The track is 98% clear so I was able to get accurate splits; that kept me honest. No excuses.

The workout in theory: 3 x 2 miles @ LT pace w/ 2 min recovery. Goal of no slower than 11:20 for each repeat.

The workout in practice: 11:10 w/ 1:50 rec, 11:03 w/ 1:57 rec, 11:05

The pace was comfortably hard. It felt good. I need to do more work at this pace. Overall, I was pleased w/ how things went. I knew I had worked relatively hard when I came to be starry and delirious over the last mile of the cooldown.

Tuesday 3.9.10
AM: core
PM: 60 mins on the bike followed by ~3 mile jog
Recovery/easy day.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

This Week in Running: 3.1 to 3.7.10

The second half of the week turned out to be a much better half than the first. Monday through Wednesday I just felt like I was bagging miles. Thursday and Saturday were the highlights.

Weekly Numbers
64 1/2 miles on 6 runs
82 minutes on the bike (60/22)
5 core workouts
1 lifting sequence

Saturday 3.6.10
AM: 17.75 miles in 2:03.56
Ran this one at a pretty good clip from the start, even on the trails. By five miles I was sub 6:30 and my last two on the way in were just a shade over 6:00 (:05, :06). Any lingering soreness is about gone at this point and it was a solid effort. Did this run the last weekend of January in 8 degree weather. Today I started in the 30's and ended in the 50's. I also ran it about 12 mins faster this time (but last time I was just taking it easy; I pushed it more today).

Sunday 3.7.10
AM: core and 7.5 miles in 55:53.
Slow and easy. Finished the run w/ 5 strides on Wilson.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Some Training and Some Amherst

Not a lot of quality training going on until Thursday. That's when things started to pick up again.

Monday 3.1.10
AM: core
PM: 14.75 miles in 1:51.56
Stress free recovery run but I bonked over the last 6k or so.

Tuesday 3.2.10
AM: core
PM: 11.5 miles in 84:15
This was a progression run but certainly not at the pace I had hoped. Did get faster at end of run but was pretty slow first half. Battling through some post race soreness. Found some shotgun shells in the middle of the trail. That's always comforting.

Wednesday 3.3.10
AM: core
PM: 60 mins bike on indoor trainer then 2.25 easy miles
Trying to expel any lingering soreness.

Thursday 3.4.10
AM: core
PM: 11 miles in 77:15
It was wet but it was good. Went over to Bird Park for some hard intervals. Things were wet and on the warmup the muddy ground sucked my sneaker right off my foot. Recovered from that to have an awesome workout. I did a "3 minute loop" seven times. Got faster and felt better, stronger, meaner, after each one. The first repeat was 3:03. The last one was 2:43. I needed that.

Friday 3.5.10
PM: lifting sequence
Did things out of order and tried doing some of the lifting exercises on a bosu ball. That changes everything.

Forgot to mention this in my last post:
Last time I ran the Amherst 10 was in 2001. The weather was horrible: ice, sleet, rain. I ended up running 58:17 for 6th place. Nine years later, I ran the course in 55:59 in ideal conditions for 29th place. Needless to say '01 was a non-GPS year.

Below are some more pictures courtesy of Kristen. She did a great job.

me, Wayne Levy (2nd master), and Greg Picklesimer (1st master)

the pack early on; Matt Clark right over my left shoulder

I got to stop running across my body like that

duking it out with Wayne in the concluding miles

The below is some video from Amherst, featuring Central Mass Strider Justin Fyffe. The second video comes from Dave Dunham.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Amherst 10 Miler

The CMS Team. What a handsome group of gentlemen.

The Skinny
I mistakenly erased my splits before I recorded them. I've pieced some things together.
10 mile time - 55:59
place - 29
pace - 5:36
1 - 5:27 2 - 5:08
3 - ? 4 - 6:08
5 - ?, but 28:11 for five, which means the two missed splits equaled 5:44 pace
6 - ? 7 - 5:40
8 - ? 9 - ?
10 - 5:46, the three missing splits in the second half of the race averaged 5:27 pace

Analysis: I ran a negative split. 28:11 / 27:48

The Full Race Report
Met up with Jim Pawlicki just after I picked up my number. He hooked me up w/ the CMS singlet and we chatted with the rest of the CMS guys for a bit. For me, it was mostly introductions. Headed out for a warmup as a team. The weather was fantastic for the end of February and by the end of the warmup I knew I'd just need shorts and a singlet. Jim took us through the finish area, so we all knew it. This proved to be helpful.

the race
Felt good to be on the line surrounded by teammates. We were a mass of "polar blue." Started the race a few rows back and went out comfortably. During that opening mile, I remember thinking to myself: I'm in good position. I have the whole race in front of me.

I was mostly passing people in the first mile. At the marker I came up on teammates Jeff Goupil, Joe Shairs, and Matt Clark. I moved on the downhill (fastest split of the day) and Matt stayed with me. All was well until the road changed to dirt and the hills started to get steeper. Two guys flew by me but I mostly held my own. The dirt road was muddy and strewn with potholes filled with water. I was in a tight pack and realized I had to separate a bit just to avoid rolling an ankle in a pothole.

Somewhere in the middle of the dirt road section, CMS'er Mike Quintal came up on me and passed me. He was looking strong. He said something to the effect of "I'm in way over my head." I told him to go with it. I repassed Mike at mile 5 as he caught a side stitch. I told him to try and hang on. He did. He ran a very strong race finishing up in 56:11, which was a 2 minute improvement over last year. In my opinion, I think he was one of the determining factors in CMS edging out GBTC for 2nd place. Mike was our 5th man.

Back on the road, I regained some momentum. On the dirt, I lost my sense of pace. Readjusting to the road was helpful but I couldn't tell if I was racing well or not. I was hanging with Wayne Levy and Greg Picklemeister (sp?) but didn't know if that was good or not. Interesting sidenote: Greg didn't seem to know the course and asked about it once or twice. Wayne complied and told him the details, namely about the hills. Turns out Greg beat Wayne by a couple ticks. I saw Wayne postrace and he joked that he should've told Greg the little bump at 7.5 was "the hill" b/c Greg beat him for first overall master.

Unfortunately, at just after mile 6, I saw Kevin Tilton on the side of the road clutching his side. I said to myself "Oh no, I better get moving." With Kevin hurting, my positioning/time just got more important. I tried to hunker down. This, to me, is an advantage to running for a team. As an unattached runner that means nothing to you. But if it's a teammate, it means a lot to you and your team. Kevin eventually composed himself and ran a killer last three miles. He would've put down a serious time if it wasn't for the cramping.

Felt good through 7 and 8 but was hoping to be faster. I still can't tell if this was a good race for me or not. The time was disappointing but the course was tough. I thought I could've run faster and need to reflect on where in the race I could've run better.

The hills in the last two miles are marvelously ridiculous. I tried to power up them the best I could. Nobody passed me. I passed one guy. At the crest of the last hill, two guys flew passed me. I stayed close. As we entered the parking lot loop, I started to plan my finish. I waited and went at just the right time to pass the two guys that had just passed me. Down the final straight, I kept telling myself, "don't let anybody pass you." Unlike my last race, nobody did.

At the end of the chute, the CMS guys gathered and analyzed each others' races. We gathered for the team photo. I talked with a bunch of guys about the race and it was cool to hear others' perspectives. What I remember most about the race is how much fun I had. I haven't had that much fun at a race in a while. Replaying and rehashing the race on the cooldown made cooling down that much more bearable.

CMS came in 2nd as a team. Justin Fyffe had a huge day, coming in second overall with a PR. Jim Johnson, 3rd man for CMS, also managed a PR. Greg Hammett was 2nd man for CMS. All his track races transferred nicely onto the hilly roads. CMS is a pretty deep team with a number of guys running fast: Jim Pawlicki, Dan Verrington, Jeff Goupil, Dave Quintal, and Dave Harper just to name a few.