Monday, June 28, 2010

This Week in Running: 6.21 to 6.27.10

Weekly Numbers
25 1/4 miles in 4 runs
4 core workouts
1 lifting sequence

A down week. This upcoming week will be another down one. I'll run when I feel like it. Maybe due a couple easy runs on the beach. Monday, July 5, marathon training begins. Have a good week everyone.

Monday 6.21
AM: core
PM: 10.5 miles in 72:15
Started easy kept it easy but pace got faster.

Tuesday 6.22
AM: core
PM: 7 miles in 52:33
Easy trail run.

Wednesday 6.23
AM: core
Planned off day.

Thursday 6.24
AM: lifting sequence & biked to/fro gym.
Another planned off day.

Friday 6.25
PM: 4.25 miles in 33:13
Jogged to the track and then did 11 x 100 yd strides. Working on form and efficiency. 4 strides w/out sneakers.

Saturday 6.26
AM: core
Another planned off day.

Sunday 6.27
PM: 3.5 miles in 38:51
An enjoyable run on the beach w/ Jen.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

What's Next

The Spring Season is over and it's time to start looking ahead. Short term: some down time--about a week to ten days worth. This will consist of days off and light, stress-free running. That's running without self-induced pressure to hit splits or complete a track workout. A good mental break from the psychology of running.

The two highlights of the first six months of 2010 would probably be
1-the Bedford 12K
2-the 5K PR

Everything just came together at Bedford and it was one of those precious times when you fall into the zone and feel unstoppable. The 5K PR was something that I geared my workouts toward, especially at the end of the season. I did more shorter repeats (400/200m) on the track. I was psyched to see this come together at Fairhaven to improve my 5K down to 15:42 (on my watch). This is a 9 second PR over my college best and it exhilarates me to know that I'm faster now than I was 10-12 years ago. Here's to training smarter. Is 15:3X in my future? Maybe.

But for now it's onto marathon training. As of this writing, I'm thinking of a fall marathon double. Bay State on October 17 and Philadelphia on the last Sunday before Thanksgiving. A rough outline of my training plan:
  • long runs at honest paces
  • mid-week medium/long run at tempo pace
  • progression runs
  • threshold work 1x per week
  • short track intervals 1x per week
  • hill workouts 1x per mesocycle
  • run easy on easy days
  • cycling, core work, weight lifting

As I prep for the fall season, I plan to key-in on a few races to monitor my training:

  • Stowe 8 Miler
  • Yankee Homecoming 10 Miler
  • Bridge of Flowers 10K
  • a 20K/half marathon in September

So, that's the plan for now. It'll probably change a few times over. The one certainty this summer is to spend lots of time with the ummpa luumpa pictured below.

It's a beautiful world.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Fairhaven Father's Day Road Race

The Skinny
5k time - 15:44 (:42.89 on my watch)
place - 1
pace - 5:05
1 - 5:07
2 - 5:09
3.1 - 5:27
(time was a PR and CR)

The Full Race Report
Entered the race with one goal in mind: to PR. I usually like to have a tiered set of goals but I fixated on the singular. I really wanted a sub 15:50 PR. The singular focus concerned me a bit (b/c I've come to realize you can have a good race without setting a PR) but I guess it worked out for the best in the end.

A bit hot and humid on the warmup but not quite as bad as Rhody. The 9am start helped, although it did seem to take forever for the race to actually start. I squeezed into a front spot on the line and took off when the blasted the cannon.

the race
I saw at least two known fast guys on the line: Pat Moulton and Joe Navas. There were also a bunch of guys I didn't know who looked fast. I thought many of them would fly off the line but to my surprise that didn't happen. Moulton, of course, was gone, but after probably a 1/3 of a mile I found myself in 2nd place and feeling comfortable.

After a downhill into the mile split, I was about as slow as I wanted to be (5:06 the timer yelled). I did a little push. A guy was on my shoulder and the move gave me a little space. Through two, I was 10:16 or so. Moulton wasn't gaining on me, so I found this encouraging (post race I found out he wasn't feeling his best today).

The last mile starts with a bit of an uphill. This is also where the 10k guys go right and the wimpy 5k'ers go left. Moulton veered right and I was in first place. This is where the lollipop course got interesting. Some participants (this sounds horrible but I will call them participants and not runners b/c I didn't see many of them running) hadn't yet made it to the first turn so I was running into them. One lady feigned left then right then got the deer in the headlights look and panicked. We crashed. She stopped me dead in my tracks. It would've been nice if the race official/officer at the intersection cordoned off a space for the returning runners but that didn't happen. I had to dodge "participants" for the next hundred yards or so before things thinned out. I heard a person scream "You're going the wrong way! You're going the wrong way!" For a second I wondered if the person was yelling at me. This checked me mentally.

I had to regain composure. Crossing the 195 bridge helped. This is where I really bore down. I knew Joe Navas would be coming to get me if I slacked in the least bit. Once or twice I thought I heard him coming. Over the last 1/2 mile I was really mentally sharp. I kept thinking about the goal and not letting up. Outrageously, my arms and shoulders hurt the most. That pissed me off. It's not like I don't do core/upper body work.

I kept pushing and trying to find extra gears. Making the last turn, I glanced at my watch: 14:55. The 3rd mile wasn't marked but I knew I had a straightaway that I thought would be a minute. I started my kick. The froth started to pour out of the cauldron. I was thinking form and PR and pushing through the line. I couldn't see the race clock. I told myself: empty the tank, all out, all out. Don't be a ----. I really wanted to throw down a sub 5:00 last mile. I had been thinking about that for the last day or so. After finishing Rhody in 5:03 I knew it was possible. 1.1 in 5:27 likely means I did it. I've also been putting in the speed work to make it happen. My last couple speed bouts have given me confidence. I knew I could do it. Believe in your training type of thing.

Met up w/ some Skyhawk alums and did a few miles. It was good to see Greg, Josh, and Fran. It had been a while. Also interesting to hear how some fellow alums have either ballooned to 200+ lbs or moved to the left coast and gotten real fast. Also the first time I got a chance to talk to Joe Navas. Good guy. The dude is 39 and bringing it. Masters everywhere better watch out when Joe turns 40. He'll be cleaning up...Drove home to spend the rest of the day with the family. KJ hooked me up with a beautiful picture (crayons were her medium)and some stuff for the grill. A perfect day.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

This Week in Running: 6.14 to 6.20.10

Not concerned with mileage this week. Easing down with an eye on a 5k race this weekend (which went very well). Monday proved that if you ever feel sluggish, crotchety, or tired on a run, you should pick up the pace before slowing down or bagging it.

Weekly Data
50 1/4 miles in 6 runs
61 mins on the bike
3 core workouts
1 lifting sequence

Monday 6.14
AM: core
PM: 11 miles in 84:41
4 x 2 min; 4 x 1 min w/ = time recovery
Ben and I did this just to shake things out and get the blood flowing. Sluggish until we started the hard running. Pickups were good; 2 mins felt better than 1 min.

Tuesday 6.15
PM: outdoor bike 61 min then 2.75 in 23:11
Recovery day.

Wednesday 6.16
AM: core
PM: 10.25 miles in 69:26
Tempo trail run. Quasi-progressive b/c fastest at end. ~6:10 pace and it felt smooth and easy.

Thursday 6.17
AM: core
PM: 9.25 in 60:40
6 x 400; 4 x 200
Had to do this on the t'mill. Would've liked to do it on a track but it just didn't work out--somebody had to watch the little one. Wanted to do the first 3 quarters at 5k pace then the second 3 real hard. T'mill adjustment for 2nd 3: run each on an increasingly difficult incline. I had to do this b/c the t'mill only goes 12 mph and I wanted to do the 400's @ 70 or sub. The workout felt relatively easy.

Friday 6.18
PM: lifting sequence @ the gym

Saturday 6.19
AM: 6.75 miles in 48:54
Easy shakeout. Bounce in the step today. Trying to keep it slow. Strides on grass @ end of jog.

Sunday 6.20
Fairhaven Father's Day Road Race
5k time - 15:44 officially: PR, CR. With w.up and c.down 10.25 for the day. This is a Bob Wiles style race report; I'll post a detailed one tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Walpole Village Fair 5K

The Skinny

5k time - 16:03
place - 4
pace - 5:10

The Full Race Report
Woke up early and went over to the track. I wanted to do a track workout and mentally committed myself to do so but by Friday midday the emails started firing. Ben was thinking about racing then my Stonehill buds, Smokes and Steve, asked me if I was running b/c they were. Inbetween sets at the gym on Friday, I concluded to do both.

Here's what I did before the race:

1200m in 3:45 then 4 x 400m in 70, 69, 68, 68 then 4 short hill bursts

I did all the track stuff with 400m recovery. After I finished I jogged for nine minutes, took a few sips of water and half a gu, then went over to the village fair to register.

I saw Ben at the registration title. We did a brief warmup. After a few quick strides, it was time to race.

the race
Tons of hs kids on the front line. You know what that means. They took it out at a crazy pace--for 200 yards. I settled into 7th place and by the mile I was in 6th. I probably felt my worst during the first mile (a 5:13 split). After that, I got into a pretty good groove and passed two more guys. I was now running in 4th. Very brief uphill at the top of mile two and was surprised to hear 10:23. I was feeling good and tried to go after Ben. Pretty steep but short uphill at 2.5. I was closing on Ben but when he peeked back, I woke him up. He downshifted and I tried to stay with him. I was one or two steps back but we were rolling pretty good. This was probably my fastest pace of the day as we were going down a gradual decline. Ben kicked it in on the final straightaway and I was close but never did catch him.

Did a cooldown with some of the guys from the race, including Phil Gingras who would look good in a CMS uniform (I'm working on recruiting him). Hopefully, he'll join the racing team. Ben, Phil, and I extended the warmdown. It's always fun to talk about training and racing.

Got back to see a completely pathetic postrace spread. Cut up bananas and watermelon rinds. I didn't even see water. They did have dogs and burgers but they weren't ready and you had to pay for them. So unlike the Rhody 5K. They got the official results wrong. "Den" Nephew beat me but they showed me ahead of him in the results. I picked up his medal, which has a typo on it, and haven't decided if I should give him the age group gold or silver.

Jen, Kerin, Smokes, Jenn, Steve, Billie Jo, Maddie, and I all hung out postrace. We brought the little ones over to the moonwalk. They loved it. The gang came over for some bagels and coffee and world cup soccer. After we kicked them out, Jen and I did yardwork for the rest of the afternoon. All said, I put in 15 for the day. A good day. I love my life.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

This Week in Running: 6.7 to 6.13.10

After lower weekly miles the last couple, I was back up to normal this week. A good week of training that ended with a race/workout combo on Saturday.

AM: core
PM: 10 miles in ~75 minutes
Easy post-Rhody 5K day at Bird Park.

AM: core
PM: 13.5 miles in ~88 minutes
A solid tempo run on the trails. Ended at 6:00 pace and it felt pretty easy. In a nice groove.

AM: core
PM: bike 45 mins then 5 miles in 37:04
Easy day.

AM: core
PM: 11.5 miles in ~86 minutes
8 x 3:00 minutes hard w/ 2:00 minute recovery
Ben and I killed it. From the 1st one, we attacked. This was the hardest (pace-wise) workout we've done together. I was really feeling it at 6 but hung on to finish all eight while maintaining pace. This was an excellent workout. I was pumped afterward.

PM: lifting sequence (two/thirds of it) and 2.5 miles in 19:30
Easy shakeout.

AM: 15 miles in ~99 minutes
PM: core
An interesting morning of running. Woke up early and did a brief track workout then went over to the Village Fair 5K to finish off the day. Post to follow. In brief, 16:03 for 4th place.

AM: 8.25 miles in 64:40
Easy run on trail in a light rain.

Weekly Numbers
66 miles in 7 runs
45 mins on the bike
5 core workouts
1 lifting sequence

Monday, June 7, 2010

Rhody 5K

The Skinny
time: 15:50.02 (PR)
pace: 5:06
place: 14
1: 5:05.5
2: 5:11.7
3: 5:03.1
.1: 29.8

The Full Race Report
Upon arrival and meeting up w/ Al, we both noted that the team would not be at full strength today. Tilton, Johnson, Mahoney, and Dunham were at Pack and Fyffe was just coming off at 2:22 at VCM. Wiles and McCarron (2-3 guys at Bedford) would not be making the trip either. Those of us down in Rhody would have to be at our best.

Besides the lack of key players, the most significant aspect of the morning was the humidity. Hazy, hot, and humid. When I finished my warmup, I looked down and my shirt was drenched through--and that was just from 20 mins of light jogging. I did a good job of sipping at water Goldilocks style b/c I had no GI issues during the race.
In regard to the weather, this has been the first consistent week of humidity and people's bodies are still acclimating. As Greg Hammett and I discussed on the cooldown, what seems bad now will be ho-hum come mid-July.

the race

Started 5 or 6 rows back and it took me a couple of seconds to get to the line (more on that later). While on the line, I noticed several guys drenched in sweat. I found this encouraging.

At around a 1/2 mile I realized that for sure the heat was going to make this an uncomfortable one. Fifteen minutes of pain, Jim Pawlicki said on the warmup. I knew I was going pretty good and that was confirmed at the mile split: 5:05. This was about as slow as I wanted to be. With the downhill leading into the first marker, I thought I might be 5:00 or sub.

Tim Van Orden and I were running close to each other at the start of the second mile. I could see Greg, Al, and Mike. I kept pushing and near mile two came up on a pack of about 5 that included Wayne Levy. The second mile was my slowest but I passed a good amount of people. This gave me confidence as I bore down for the last 1.1.

At 2.5 I came up on the CMS crew. Greg, Al, MQ, and I packed it in. Not three strides separated our first and fourth man. I shouted something but don't remember what. As I moved to the front of this barber shop quartet, Al said, Half mile to go. I took him at his word and shifted gears. Just after those words I had a brief illusion of grandeur: could I actually be first CMS man?

Coming up on a 1/4 to go MQ battled back. We must've exchanged positions three or four times in that last quarter. I really think that battle led to the PR. Thanks Mike. In our battle, I came upon something that I'd never see so close at the end of a race: Ryan Carrara. This may be my only chance to ever beat Ryan, so I went for it. Couple that with a 15:20 3rd mile split (I thought I needed to be sub 15:20 in prerace planning) and I knew I'd have to work my a*s off in the last .1. I did. Mike said, Go get 'em tiger, then passed me two strides later. I said, Let's go. Here I come. Kristen took a great picture that capture the moment.

The race was over. I didn't nip Ryan. I was a bit delirious. By the time I looked up, all seven CMS guys were through the chute. My watch read 15:50.02. PR. Yes.


Water. Couldn't get enough of it. In having a drink with Tim Van Orden and Jeff Goupil, they mentioned my stride. I guess it's long. I think I need to work on turnover and shortening my stride. Maybe a shorter stride and quicker cadence will lead to stronger performances. This is something I can work on the track.

Another good cooldown w/ the CMS boys. Greg and I extended it a bit. Interesting to hear his take on road marathons: you got to do some long runs on the pavement to run a solid road marathon. In a similar vein, he and Ben Nephew might've convinced me to run Stonecat one of these years.

The food spread was ridiculous: hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken burgers, Italian sausages, meatball subs, cheese steaks, chips. That doesn't even cover all the snacks, fruits, and desserts. Good times hanging out with the crew and planning for the next one: Stowe Eight Miler.

The league of handsome men at the end of the race. Thanks to Kristen for all the spectacular photos.

A Note about the PR
Official time 15:53. My watch 15:50. Previous PR 15:51. Justification for giving myself the PR: the race had b-tag chip timing. But they only had mats at the finish, not at the start. I was 5 rows back. It took me ~3 seconds to reach the starting line. I trust myself and my watch.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

This Week in Running: 5.31 to 6.6.09

A pretty crappy week of training that ended in a PR. Who can predict these things? Believing in long term training counts for something, I guess. Body hasn't yet acclimated to the heat and humidity. What seemed unbearable and exhausting this week will be nothing mid-July. Pretty low mileage total for the week, obviously not chasing.

AM: core and 10.5 in 74:50
7 x "3 min" park loop w/ ~70 sec recovery
repeat splits between 2:54 and 2:37; faster as I did them

AM: core
PM: 10 miles in 72:35
Never felt good. Humid; rain offered no relief.

AM: chiro visit
PM: outdoor bike 64 mins
Loop shorter than expected and didn't feel like circling the 'hood.

AM: core
PM: 6.5 in 52:52
1 x 800; 2 x 400
splits too slow to print
Workout intended to be 3 of each of the following: 800, 400, 200. Felt horrible and dead on warmup. Tried the workout anyway. Had nothing. Stepped off, jogged 10 mins, called it a day.

PM: lifting
Gave legs a day off.

AM: 7.25 miles in 53:42
Easy trail run. Prerace shakeout out. Ended w/ 5 good strides.

AM: 9.5 miles
Rhody 5k. 15:50 (PR). 14th place. Not bad. Post to follow.

Weekly Numbers
43 3/4 miles
64 mins on bike
3 core workouts
1 lifting sequence