Sunday, May 30, 2010

This Week in Running: 5.24 to 5.30.10

AM: core
PM: 11.5 miles in 86:40
Easy trail run w/ Ben.

AM: core
PM: 50 minute bike then 4.75 miles in ~34:00
Easy day.

AM: core
PM: 11.75 miles in ~77:00
Progression Run. 7:30 to 5:53. Not easy. Labored but gutted this one out.

AM: core
PM: 12.5 miles in ~84:00
4 x 4 min hard; 4 x 3 min hard; all w/ 2 min recovery
Felt horrible on warmup but the workout itself wasn't bad. On trail.

PM: lifting sequence

AM: 13.25 miles in 96:50
4 x 1 mile w/ 1 min recovery; 2 x 300m; 4 x 200m; lots of recovery with the shorter stuff
The miles: 5:25, 5:27, 5:26, 5:21. Running them at threshold pace. The last one didn't feel harder or faster than first three. Good to see my perceived threshold pace effort is now sub 5:30. Plan going in was 4 x mile @ 5:30 pace. Did the 3's and 2's at a fast but not all out effort. Strides followed run. 4 of them barefoot.

AM: core and 8.25 in 64:17
Easy day. Helped a turtle cross a road.

Weekly Numbers
61 1/4 miles in 6 runs
5 core workouts
50 minutes on bike
1 lifting sequence

Friday, May 28, 2010

One Potential Way to Reduce Calf Soreness

You can read about it, you can tell yourself to do it, but sometimes you just have to have a conversation about it to make it resonate, to make it stick. This happened to me on Monday when I went running with Ben.

I was wearing compression sleeves on my calves and he asked me if I ran in them during the race. I told him no and that I was just working out some soreness in my legs. He then asked me if I ever train in my racing sneakers. I hadn't and he suggested the stiffness might be from the heel height differential between trainers and racers. I had read a magazine article about the topic but have never done anything about it. Now I think I might. Seems as though the post race soreness might not be from the race effort itself but from the difference in the sneakers I wear. It's a muscles-trained issue. Sure, the heel height difference between trainers and racers isn't huge but those few millimeters are enough to trigger a slightly variant muscle group in the calf muscles. If you only race in a certain pair of sneakers once or twice a month and those one or two times are your hardest efforts, it makes sense that your calves may be a little sorer than normal, especially if they're not accustomed to sitting a certain way or at a certain height in a shoe.

Doing some training in racing sneakers might be beneficial b/c when doing so the same exact muscles are being recruited, cultivated, and trained. Previously, I've always been of the school of thought that preaches one should train in the worst possible conditions and race in the best possible ones. When training you run in your heavy sneakers and clothes; when you race you run in your lightweight stuff. Well, that might not be the smartest way to go about things. Training in racing sneakers may be the right thing to do as it eliminates the difference between various heel heights and allows for the muscles, tendons, bones, ligaments to have the same exact experience whether that experience be a race or a workout.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Bedford 12K

The Skinny
12k time - 39:35 (:33 on my watch)
place - 14th
pace - 5:19

The Full Race Report
The warmup was an accurate prelude to the main event. I was feeling pretty good. The weather was sweet and as I met up w/ fellow CMS runners, I could feel all the positive energy. The boys were ready to run.

Jeff Goupil and I lined up together a couple rows back. My plan was to start conservatively (unlike DQ[see his blog for details]) and have something left in my tank come halfway through the race. This didn't happen at New Bedford, so I was looking to make up for that performance.

Felt good through the first two miles. Hitting faster than anticipated splits while still feeling like I was keeping the reigns on my legs. Through four, I passed a few people and body was strong.

At around 3.5 the hills start. Nothing huge but the course rolls from about 3.5 to 6. I did not look at any splits after 2 for this reason. Another reason was that I was feeling good and didn't want to fret over a number on a watch in these middle miles. I just kept going and kept picking people off. I couldn't believe I was coming up on some people that usually kill me in races. The first was Joe Navas of Whirlaway. He's a bit out of my league. I think he was hurting from earlier in the week.

The rolling hills slowed the pace but that's relative b/c I was still feeling strong and passing people. I couldn't quite believe it but I came up on some of my teammates. Al was so encouraging in the 4th mile. He helped me decide to go for it. About a mile later I was running w/ Greg Hammett and Mike Quintal. I was in the zone at this point. I offered up a few choice words of encouragement. MQ asked me after the race if I was a member of 2 Live Crew. No, Mike, sorry, just CMS.

I was starting to feel it in the 7th mile. At this point I told myself, "You are having a great race, don't let it go to pot now." I finished okay. I still need to work on the finish. Nobody passed me. But a Whirlaway runner gapped me a bit. I pushed the last 300m, which was on the hs track.

But the best part of the day was post race. The CMS guys were all congratulatory.
Fyffe killed it today. He won the race outright and creamed the course record. Wow. Needless to say, several bodies hit the floor. Let's not overlook, Bob Wiles. He came in 5th. What a strong race. Our third man in the top ten was Andy McCarron. To my surprise, I was 4th CMSer and placed in the top 20. Top 20 in a GPS race. Sweet. It was cool to get high fives and congrats post race. Everyone was so happy for each other. This here is a good team w/ good chemistry and we are always looking to exhort each other and push each other. Talking shop post race is one of the best things about the GP series. Back to the race: Mike Quintal hung tight and finished a couple ticks behind me to be 5th man. Greg and Al took the next two spots. I think they are capable of faster times. Jim Pawlicki, Jeff Goupil, Dan Narioli, and Dave Quintal (not necessarily in that order) rounded out the top ten for the team. CMS won the team championship. We really brought it today despite not having two of our top runners: Johnson and Tilton.

Overall, I was pleased with my performance and top 20 showing in a USATF event.

Check the blogs to the right for other race reports.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

This Week in Running: 5.17 to 5.23.10

Cutback week this week with an eye on the Bedford 12k. Hadn't had a cutback in a while so I wasn't feeling too guilty about it.

Monday 5.17

AM: core
PM: 12.5 miles in 85:50
4 x 8 min w/ 1 min push at end; 2 min recovery between each
Did this one w/ Ben. Training with his is making me stronger. We ran a hard controlled pace for the first 7 mins then pushed real hard for the final 60 seconds. Sadistically delightful.

Tuesday 5.18
AM: core
PM: 10 miles in 70:29
Not easy but not a tempo either. Finished sub 6:30 pace and it felt like I was floating.

Wednesday 5.19
AM: chiro visit
PM: 70 mins bike on indoor trainer
Biking indoors allows me to catch up on my running magazines.

Thursday 5.20
AM: core
PM: 10.25 in 75:19
1200m - 800m - 600m - 400m - 200m w/ plenty of recovery between each
3:45 2:27 1:50 67 32
Not much wind on the track today. For the first time in a while I actually felt like I was moving on the track. Felt like I was turning it over good. Lost focus on the 600 but all others were tight.

Friday 5.21
AM: some weights
PM: lifting and 2.75 miles in about 21:27
Easy shakeout at a slow pace. Not the full gym routine

Saturday 5.22
AM: 13.5 miles
Bedford 12k in 39:35
14th place
Very good run for me. CMS won the team event. Post to follow.

Sunday 5.23
AM: core and 10 miles in 75:53
Easy run on trails. A little sore.

Weekly Totals
59 running miles in 6 runs
70 mins on the bike
5 core workouts
1 lifting sequence

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Faster You Go The Bigger The Mess

Saw this on a banner outside a high school:

The Faster You Go The Bigger The Mess

The slogan is intended to keep kids from driving drunk during prom season, but I think it also holds some weight when applied to running. Let's see if this axiom doesn't hold true at Bedford this weekend. I think the CMS boys are ready to bring it on Saturday.

Speaking of Bedford, Dave Dunham posted a pretty cool history of the race on the Central Mass Striders Racing Team Blog. See you this weekend and don't anybody do a crazy track workout on Friday night.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

This Week in Running: 5.10 to 5.16.10

Key Workouts
Monday 5.10
8 x a hill w/ Ben Nephew
Hill repeats averaged between 88-91 seconds with 95 for the first and 87 for the last. Jogged the down for recovery. Last time I did repeats on this hill (12.23.09), I did them 8-10 seconds slower on average. I guess Ben makes me go faster.
Totals: 10.25 (not chasing miles today) and 77:25

Wednesday 5.12
Meant to be a progression. Started off strong. Blew up and out about 65% into it. Tried to keep the pace honest but it was hard. The first half was great. Legs felt healthy; stomach didn't.
13 miles in 89:23

Thursday 5.13
3 x 55 sec, 2 x 70 sec, 1 x 2:35, 2 x 70, 3 x 55
The workout was supposed to be 3 x 300m, 2 x 400m, 1 x 800m, 2 x 400m, 3 x 300m but there was a meet on the track so I had to go behind it and run on the trails. The workout was still pretty good. Not the same intensity as on the track, and I think that made it go by real quick. Stomach still queasy like yesterday, esp on the cooldown. What fun. 9 strides too.
10 miles in 73:33

Saturday 5.15
3 miles, 2:30 rec, 2 miles, 2:24 recovery, 1 mile
Threshold pace for all on a combo of track and trail. 3 mile and 2 mile averaged at 5:37. 1 mile at 5:25. Didn't feel as good as last Saturday on the first two repeats but I somehow turned it around for the mile and felt spectacular. A good way to end the workout. I actually felt the worst on the recovery periods and cooldowns. Ended w/ 8 x 80 yd strides and did last 4 w/out sneakers. A first for me. Liberating. Still w/ the stomach. I think I drank some of that water from that broken MWRA pipe.
14 miles in 96:51

The rest of the week...
Tuesday 5.11
50 minutes of biking on the indoor trainer then 4.75 miles

Friday 5.14
lifting at the gym...and the yard work begins

Sunday 5.16
Easy, recovery day on trail
8.5 miles

Weekly Totals
60 1/2 miles in 6 runs
4 1/2 core workouts (1/2 = legs/abs only)
50 minutes on the bike
1 lifting sequence
hours and hours of yardwork...beautiful weekend for it

Sunday, May 9, 2010

This Week in Running: 5.3 to 5.9.10

The Numbers
68 1/2 miles in 6 runs
50 minutes on the bike
5 core workouts
1 lifting sequence

Key Workouts
Wed 5.5.10
13 mile tempo that finished ~5:50 pace. Scroll down if interested in description of this one.

Thurs 5.6.10
3 x 1000m, 2 x 400m, 4 x 200m w/ ~2 min rec between each
3:14, 3:13, 3:12; 72, 71; 35, 35, 35, 34
I thought the 1000m reps were a little slow. Happy w/ the rest. Didn't really care about the 200m splits; I just wanted to run them hard.
12.25 miles

Saturday 5.8.10
4 x 2 mile w/ ~2 min rec
Ran the 1st and 3rd on trails, and ergo on time. They ended up being 12:15 and 11:30 of hard threshold running. The 2nd and 4th were on the track: 11:14 and 11:02. Happy to see the last was fastest. I wasn't pushing the pace anymore than I did the first one. Each repeat was a hard, controlled effort. 6 x 80 yd strides to finish the day.
15 miles

The rest of the week consisted of easy runs. I only lifted on Friday-no running. On Sunday I ran 9 easy ones on trail, and a neighbor tried recruiting me to join his team, HFC.

Broke in a new pair of sneakers this week: new balance 1063.
Put the new balance 769s into semi-retirement.

Analysis: Without really chasing miles, my weekly is marching into mid/high 60s. This is an uptick for me as I have traditionally been in mid/high 50s. I feel no worse for the wear. I actually feel better. I'm not even doing a weekend long run right now. That'll start this summer.

Happy Mother's Day Mom and J!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Tempo Run

Wednesday 5.5.10
AM: core
PM: 13 miles in 84:57
A tempo run on trails. Body didn't feel great or particularly spunky but kept pushing pace as best I could through the trails. Lots of stuff in the air; I could feel it accumulating in my eyes. Ended below 6:00 pace, so I'm happy w/ that, especially b/c I ran a similar workout 2 weeks ago and felt great but only ended at 6:04 pace. Tomorrow's plan: to the track.

Monday and Tuesday were easier days.

Monday 5.3.10
AM: core
PM: 14.5 miles in ~1:44
Ben and I ran easy on trails after his 7 Sisters third place showing. Probably around 7:00 pace.

Tuesday 5.4.10
AM: core
PM: 50 minutes on indoor trainer then 4.75 miles in ~34:00
Felt great on the jog. Prolly should've made this the workout day. Oh well.

Analysis: I'm starting to put in more miles on easy days. I feel my body can handle it. For example, last Sunday I logged 14+ when I normally might do only 7-8. 14 might be a little high at this point, but I think I'm ready to do more than 7 on a recovery day. Also, one day a week is usually a straight up bike ride. I'm thinking I might start shortening the bike then getting on the roads for a few easy miles. Not sure if this is smart/makes sense but I might give it a shot. Hoping I'm not recklessly chasing miles.

Monday, May 3, 2010

This Week in Running: 4.26 to 5.2.2010

Key Workouts
Monday 4.26.10
5 x 5 min hard w/ 1 min extra push at end
Did this workout w/ Ben Nephew. It didn't last long but it was tough, esp the last two. Pushing that last 60 seconds really made me feel it. Training w/ Ben is helping. He's got a lot of strength. On those last reps, I just try to hang on.

Wednesday 4.28.10
Progression Run
Started at 7:30 pace and ended at 5:40 pace. Picked up a little each mile over the course of 13. Felt comfortable. Felt good. Nice energy levels. It felt too easy so I tacked an extra mile on at the end.

Thursday 4.29.10
10 x 400m w/ 400m recovery
Hit all the repeats between 72 and 75. A little slow, I thought, but the wind was whipping real strong on the homestretch. I know I need to do more short (sub 400m) speedwork. Will do in prep for Rhody 5k. Must watch legs to make sure they stay strong w/ increased intensity.

Saturday 5.1.10
5k race
Scroll down if you want to check out the full report. Happy to go sub 16:00.

The rest of the week was easy, recovery runs.
I did core work Monday through Thursday and just leg work on Sunday. The Sunday run was an easy 14.75, which is longer than normal on the Sabbath. I like to go a little longer after races. My legs didn't feel half bad. I hit the gym for lifting on Friday.

All in all, the numbers:

65 55/100 miles in 6 runs
70 minutes on the bike (indoor trainer)
4 core workouts
1 lifting sequence

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Architects for Humanity 5K

The Skinny

5k time - 15:53
place - 1
pace - 5:08
no splits (miles not marked)

The Full Race Report
Headed over to the Charles River this morning and got there in plenty of time for the full warmup routine. The race runs between the Arsenal and Eliot Bridges w/ a small loop at the beginning to make it 5k. Jogged the course for a warmup. Did not feel great nor particularly peppy. I trained right through this race so didn't quite know what to expect. Lesson learned: don't judge the race by the prerace warmup; one does not necessarily reflect the other. I've felt great on warmups and have run poorly and I've felt horrible on warmups and run well.

the race
I think the lack of mile markers (and hence, splits) helped me. I ran on feel. There was one guy on a corner who yelled "mile" splits. I went through at 5:38 but believed in my perceived effort and knew that was way off. I think that got me going.

I was in fourth place for the first half mile. After that I moved up into second and was feeling good. The leader was about 20-30 meters ahead. I held my "place" position through the second mile and didn't know if I would be able to catch the leader.

On the backside of the loop course I ran a real smart tangent and realized that I was closing the gap pretty significantly on the guy in first. This gave me motivation and I hunkered down. In another 400m I was at his heels. With a little more than a half mile to go, at the Eliot Bridge turn, I ran another smart corner and was able to make a pass. This college kid didn't go down easy. He hung for a while. I could hear him. Eventually he started to fade but I kept telling myself: he's in college; he's probably got a better kick than you. Better end it now. That really kept me pushing the pace all the way through to the finish line.

When the red numbers came into view, I couldn't believe it. 15:42, 43....I had a chance at going sub 16:00, and I did. I threw down 15:53 officially and was psyched! When I clicked my watch I had 15:51 and high change (.87). 15:51 is my PR. My college track PR. It's also my road PR. Cool. I haven't run a 5k that fast (granted I haven't done many) in about 10 years. Yes. I am not getting slower! This time in my life is probably the smartest I've ever trained.

Did part of my cooldown with some Tufts guys. We talked some track and I encouraged them to join CMS upon graduation. I gave them all the info and told them to check out the CMS MORT blog. I hope that they do. On the solo part of the jog down, I started to think about the Rhody 5k. Today was a real confidence booster, so I'm hoping I can really drop the hammer on June 6. We'll see. But first is Bedford 12k.