Thursday, December 30, 2010

While I'm at it...

My abs and groin are still too sore to run, so I decided to get in a little speed work by tidying up the basement double time.

Energy to spare

Well, I can't run so I might as well hunt, right? Maybe I'll change the name of my blog to "Bob Wiles: Runnin' & Gunnin'

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Week ending December 26, 2010

12/20 - off

12/21 - off

12/22 - PT in AM, then easy warm up on bike, some stretching and 1 easy mile on treadmill

12/23 - easy warm up on bike, some stretching and 3 miles on treadmill, about 22 minutes. Half a mile at 6:00 pace to see how it felt. Seems OK at the moment, we'll see if it is more sore this evening or tomorrow. If it feels OK I'll try 5 miles tomorrow and then hopefully stay with 5 miles for a few days. Somewhat encouraged that the rest is helping at the moment, but there is still some tightness and minor soreness.

12/24 - 4 miles easy (4:30 AM)

12/25 - Christmas!

12/26 - 5 miles easy

Summary: Still sucks.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Week ending December 19, 2010

12/13 - off (PT am & pm) (pelvic tilts, tilts w/ heel raises, tilt w/ single leg raises, legs squeezes, stretching)

12/14 - off (PT am & pm)

12/15 - off (PT am & pm)

12/16 - 5 miles easy (PT am & pm)

12/17 - off

12/18 - see above

12/19 - see above

Summary: Sucks.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Week ending December 12, 2010

12/6 - 48 minutes AM (6 miles), 64 minutes PM (10 miles)

12/7 - 45 minutes AM (6 miles), workout PM (2 miles warm up, 8 x mile @ 5:18-5:20 w/ 400m recovery, 2.25 cool down) (14 miles)

12/8 - 48 minutes AM (6 miles), 56 minutes PM (8 miles) "Nobody told me there'd be days like these..." - John Lennon

12/9 - 82 minutes AM (12 miles)

12/10 - 35 minutes AM (5 miles), 63 minutes PM (10 miles)

12/11 - off

12/12 - off

Summary: 77 miles for the week, but I'm afraid I'll have to accept the fact that I'm O-fficially injured. Since sometime in October I've been feeling some strain in my lower abs, mostly after harder running and races. It got to the point where I feared the onset of a sneeze or a cough. I tried treating it with some ice and ibuprofen and stuck it out through the fall racing season, figuring I'd give it some rest after the Seacoast Half. Well, I didn't give it rest and it has gradually gotten worse over the last few weeks. To me, it seems like a sports hernia based on what I've read, but recent x-rays and ultrasound suggest is is only a deep strain at this point, which I guess is good. Hopefully nothing is torn, but I've also read that picking it up in an ultrasound can be tough, so I'm not really sure. I really only know that on my run Thursday afternoon it got worse and I actually felt something new pop up in that region. Nothing really sharp, but not good. Since then I have been aware of it all the time, like walking, rolling over in bed, pretty much all the time. I start PT this week, which hopefully will help. I don't really know what to do in terms of running. Before I thought I wasn't making it much worse because after a workout it would subside during a couple of easy days, but now it is there all the time and I feel like I'm making it worse with every run. So I think I've decided to completely shut it down until I can at least walk through a day without feeling it, and we'll see how the PT goes. I've been dancing with the devil for a while now, training really hard and not giving myself any real down time to recover. In hindsight I should have completely shut it down for a little bit after the half marathon but for some reason I didn't. I can't do a sit up right now. The pain/weakness is really deep in the lower abs/right groin. Sort of feels like it is under/behind the pubic bone. Anyone have an experience with this?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Week ending December 5, 2010

11/29 - 60 minutes AM (8 miles), screwed by work PM

11/30 - 45 minutes AM (6 miles), 65 minutes PM (10 miles)

12/1 - 48 minutes AM (6 miles), 63 minutes PM (10 miles)

12/2 - 40 minutes AM (5 miles), 67 minutes PM (10 miles)

12/3 - 48 minutes AM (6 miles), 65 minutes PM (10 miles)

12/4 - 40 minutes (6 miles)

12/5 - 90 minutes (13 miles)

Summary: 90 miles for the week, but kind of a shit weekend. I just kind of felt like we had more important family things to do, like getting our Christmas tree, decorating, and playing with the boys. It was a fun weekend, but I wimped out on the running a little bit. Camden and I watched the Polar Express and had some hot cocoa Saturday night. Pretty happy with the consistency of T-F though.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Week ending November 28, 2010

11/22 - 48 minutes AM (6 miles), 70 minutes PM (10 miles)

11/23 - 48 minutes AM (6 miles), 70 minutes PM (10 miles)

11/24 - 42 minutes AM (6 miles), 42 minutes PM (6 miles)

11/25 - off

11/26 - off

11/27 - off

11/28 - Andover XC (3 miles warm up plus a few strides, race in 18:25, 3 miles cool down) Ran like crap. Went out too hard with Nate and then blew up on the way back. JJ got me on the last hill and I didn't give him a good fight. Great race though, lots of fun. Recommend it to anyone for next year. (10 miles)

Summary: 54 miles, basically I decided to shut it down for a few days and enjoy the family and the holiday. I'm glad I did. It was a nice weekend and we had fun relaxing and getting a few things done. Plus it helped me recharge my batteries a little bit. Time to get back in the saddle though.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Seacoast Half Marathon - 2010

First, the details...

Foster's Daily Democrat article
Quick little video

1) 5:03
2) 5:12
3) 5:06
4) 5:09
5) 5:25 25:55
6) 5:18
7) 5:18
8) 5:12
9) 5:38
10) 5:21 52:43 (10 mile PR)
11) 5:20
12) 5:20
13) 5:24
13.1) :32
Total: 1:09:19

(I'll try to add a few pictures as I get them)

Well, yesterday was the 2010 Seacoast Half Marathon, or as I've been calling it for a few months, "My goal race for the fall." I've been thinking about this race off and on since the week after the 2009 race where I finished 2nd to Whirlaway stud Dan Princic. I started focusing on it in earnest shortly after the USATF-NE 10K. During my cool down at that race I ran with Lesley Hocking for a little bit and decided to talk to her husband Dan Hocking about a training plan. Dan is a great runner, a really smart guy and has a lot of great ideas about training. I decided he'd probably be able to put together a better training program than I'd find in a book or on my own because he knows a little bit about me and my background. I told him that I wanted to try and run under 1:10. Dan certainly didn't disappoint. He put together a great personalized training plan for me. On paper it looked a little intimidating when I first got it, but to be honest I ended up having a training cycle that was just about perfect and the workouts that Dan prescribed showed a pretty remarkable instinct for paces and volume. His plan didn't call for any races in the training but I substituted a couple of 5K's for some of the faster workouts and set 5K PR's in both races despite having done no 5K workouts, just off the strength I was building in the cycle. OK, I'm sure I'm flattering him to the point of embarrassment, but I'm really just trying to give credit where it is due. Dan's been working through a tough summer of injuries after whipping himself into fantastic shape this spring, and my other secret goal for asking him to help me with training was to get him thinking about half marathon training in general, because I think Dan could use his own training philosophies to get himself an OTQ half marathon or marathon next year.

After reviewing the list of entries and looking for familiar names, I had a feeling that I might be the favorite this year unless there was an unknown visiting from out of town or something, which is certainly possible. (The race walking division this year had a woman who would have walked an Olympic Trials Qualifier if the event had proper judges on the course to certify it, and she came in from New York to compete) Also, a few fast guys had been denied entry after the race sold out, including 2008 winner and recent CMS addition Chris Mahoney, which I was a fairly disappointed about. I do almost all of my training alone these days so I tried to prepare for the possibility of a solo time trial while hoping for some company. As I said, training was about perfect in terms of sticking to the program and after a couple of sharpening workouts and a nice little taper, I got to the starting line ready to roll. I felt confident that my backup goal of breaking the course record (1:11:24, Tim Rider, 2007) was a safe bet barring any major problems and that I was capable of running 1:10 if I ran intelligent and hard.

As I was milling around the start I saw Dan, who had come to support me at the race. (and maybe see how his training plan translated to the race! :) ) After a nice presentation of colors and a national anthem, Andy got us off and running on a beautiful morning. Just before the gun I reminded my friend Rob Levey to take it easy in the first mile and not let the excitement take him out too fast in his first half marathon. I then promptly made a hypocrite of myself and skipped out to a 5:02 first mile, which felt like 6:02 in terms of effort. Oops. Well, the course actually sets up for a positive split, with an elevation profile that loosely looks like a wide V. The first 4 miles are downhill and fast. I reminded myself of that while still trying to back off a hair in the second mile, which still felt like a breeze in 5:12. I passed Camie, Camden and Carter, as well as her parents at about a mile and a half, where I executed a perfect ditching of the arm warmers, throwing them across 2 lanes of road and landing them in the stroller, which got a few remarks from the crowd.

This year at Foyes Corner I made sure to stay left instead of running out around the traffic circle like we did last year, which is the correct route. Unfortunately by 2 miles I think I was about a minute clear of Rob, who would run alone for 2nd place and wisely didn't copy my quick first mile. Mile 3 winds a little bit but I was able to run the tangents really well because the course volunteers stopped traffic for us and I split my watch at 15:20 for 3 miles. At that point I made the decision to split my watch without looking for the rest of the race because I knew I was a little ahead of the pace I had in my mind and didn't want to scare myself out of running as hard as possible.

I know this course like the back of my hand (or the front of my hand while I was in high school) and I've always thought that mile 4 was a little short and mile 5 was a little long. After reviewing my splits I'm still convinced of this. Mile 4 is a fairly straight shot down to Rye Beach where I ended up passing most of the race walkers who had a head start on the runners. Almost all of them shouted encouragement as I went by, and I think I startled a couple by practically brushing shoulders with them in my commitment to the tangents. The 4 mile marker is immediately after the course turns left to come back up the coast, with little protection from the wind. It was at this moment that I realized that the weather wasn't quite as perfect as I thought it was while standing on the starting line a couple of miles inland from the coast. The wind was actually pretty surprising and I found myself running mile 5 directly into a headwind with my head down most of the way. I reminded myself that this mile split is always off and that this headwind would be at my back somewhere else on the course. I tried to just maintain effort and looked up ahead to Odiorne Park where the course gets some shelter from the trees, hoping it would bring relief from the wind...which it thankfully did. Mile 5 was passed in 25:55, which actually might be a PR for that distance. I'm not sure if I had a faster split in any other longer races this summer but I can't recall one.

From the mile 5 marker to just after mile 7 the course winds back in towards Foyes Corner for one of the short sections of the course that doubles back on itself. I grabbed a cup of water at about mile 5.5 and got a good mouthful down. I had taken a cup at mile 2 as well but didn't get down as much as I had hoped. Mile 6 was passed at 31:13 and shortly after 10K I had a brief game of chicken with a guy on a scooter. I was on the far left side of the road cutting the tangent and he was trying to stay out of the way as much as possible, so we ended up headed for each other on the wide shoulder. He pulled into a driveway about 20 meters before I got to him and disaster was avoided. (Fat Bob from 2005 probably would have won that battle, but not scrawny 2010 Bob!) Just before mile 7 I ran past the nicest croquet course in the area in Jim McLaughlin's back yard and got some encouragement from Jim from his front porch. Mile 7 clicked off at 36:31 as I ran back by Jim "Muscles" Marchese (that tough sum'bitch once suffered a broken collarbone in the first 1/4 mile of the Great Island 5K and proceeded to finish the race in about 16 minutes!) who was manning the hairy blind corner just before the mile marker.

Foyes Corner is always a good spot to run by with lots of loud spectators and a couple of spirited water stops, which gave me a little boost. To be honest I had started to become aware of my loneliness and I got back to Foyes at just the right time. Winnie the Pooh and Tigger where cheering loudly at the water stop as I went by. You might recognize them the next time you're at Runner's Alley in Portsmouth. Mile 8 goes back up to where I had passed Camie half an hour earlier and then turns right out onto Newcastle Island. I gave the gang a little wave as I went by and got some loud encouragement from that popular viewing spot as well.

Mile 8 was passed in 41:43 for a 5:12 mile, but I knew I was now biting into the toughest mile on the course. Mile 9 is a long gradual climb up past the Ice House, the Wentworth Golf Club and peaking at the Wentworth Hotel. It was also directly into the wind again, as we were once again exposed to the coast. I knew it was a tough mile, but I did look down at the mile 9 split and was a little bit disappointed to see 5:38 for that mile. I tried to tell myself that I'd get that breeze at my back in mile 11 coming off the other side of the island, and tried to get back into a quicker pace once I got behind the trees leading up to the Great Island Common (Camden's favorite playground!). This mile also winds and rolls a bit but I felt like I got back on track a little bit and did look down at mile 10 to see 5:21 and a total time of 52:43. I was getting tired enough to not be capable of much math, but I had gone over the numbers enough in the days before the race to know that if I got to 10 miles in under 53 minutes and wasn't falling apart that I'd have no excuse not to get under 1:10. So at mile 10 when I saw 52:XX, I remember thinking, "OK, you're in position so don't f*ck it up."

I really think that the last 5K was where Dan's training program benefited me the most. He had me do enough pace work that I felt my body would tolerate the pace even when tired. Also, I really think the "long runs" (read "long hard tempos") I did helped build more muscular endurance than I've ever had. I remember the last 5K in 2009 and I could tell my form was breaking down and the wheels were coming off as Dan Princic continued to pull away from me. This year I was able to run the last 5K at almost exactly goal pace, despite climbing from sea level to the highest point on the course over the last 2 miles. This year was certainly a much better experience than last year coming down the stretch.

Mile 11 winds out off Newcastle and back towards Portsmouth. I got there in 5:20 and was at 58:03. I quickly assured myself that 12 minutes was plenty of time for the last 2.1 miles as long as nothing really bad happened and I passed the last water stop (they always win the water stop competition) and had a couple of high school boys tell me they loved me. I think I'm flattered. Mile 12 bumps over a couple of little bridges but is fairly straight and flat. I remember specifically passing the exact driveway with bushes where I fantasized about pulling off the course last year and grinning inwardly as I realized how much stronger I am now. I got to the 12 mile marker with another 5:20.

The last mile on the course is arguably the toughest, except that the wind might have given that honor to mile 9 today. It is almost all either uphill or flat, but there is decent crowd support and you can sniff the finish line. I tried to stay on task and finish hard. There is a nasty little hill about half a mile from the finish that is a real groove buster and I put my head down to march up it, reminding myself that once I felt the road level out again it was time to get on my horse and make a run for the finish. There were a few cars on the course in the last section and I actually ran right on the bumper of a blue car for about a minute trying to run as short as possible but the car was kind of in the way. As I turned left back into the high school parking lot I made my way up the last hill on the course before passing the mile 13 marker (didn't catch the split, I've estimated above) and opening up my stride to hammer back down into the finishing area. As I was coming down at about 800m pace I heard Andy announce something about the course record and I finally allowed myself to get excited and broke the tape in 1:09:19 with a scaled-back "Fyffe finishing the Vermont marathon" celebration, which was fairly exuberant for me with a fist pump and a holler.

After collecting myself and talking with Andy and my family, I caught up with Dan and we chatted a little bit. I really think that he put me in the best shape of my life and prepared me to run a little faster than I did. I tried to picture Brandon and some of the other guys I battled with all summer out in front of me in the later stages of my lonely time trial, but there is something about a fierce battle that allows me to tap into that last extra bit of effort that can't be summoned in a time trial.

I've got mixed feelings about this. It reveals something about myself that I don't like, but also makes me happy to know that I can run faster. It is easy to say on Monday afternoon, but I can run faster. Yesterday's PR only adds to my desire to realize my full potential. This training cycle gave me some permanent fitness gains that I will try to build on for next year to get faster. I'm satisfied with the results but deep down I believe that if someone showed up in mid 1:08 shape yesterday I would have given them a fight.

But hey, at times like this I think back to the talk I had with my step-dad the morning after my junior prom. "Bobby, sure you were hoping to hit a home run, we all are. But you never, EVER, complain about a 69."

(pics courtesy of Cheryl Senter, Seacoast Online)

Week ending November 21, 2010

11/15 - 38 minutes (5 miles)

11/16 - 60 minutes (8 miles)

11/17 - 40 minutes AM (5 wet ones), 68 minutes PM (10 miles)

11/18 - 35 minutes (5 miles)

11/19 - off (having groin/ab thing looked at by doc)

11/20 - Jingle Bell 10K (2 miles warm up, race in 32:14, 2 miles cool down) (10 miles)

11/21 - 107 minutes (15 miles)

Summary: 58 miles, good recovery week. I was hoping Saturday's race would be a bit slower but Connor Jennings showed up and I had to work a little harder than I expected to based on the results from recent years.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Week ending November 14, 2010

11/8 - 37 minutes (5 miles)

11/9 - 65 minutes (10 miles)

11/10 - workout (2 miles warm up, 4 x mile at HM pace with 400m jog recovery (5:18, 5:17, 5:17, 5:16) 3 miles cool down) (10 miles)

11/11 - 52 minutes (7 miles)

11/12 - 32:30 (5 miles)

11/13 - 37 minutes (5 miles)

11/14 - Seacoast Half Marathon (2 miles warm up, race in 1:09:19, 2 miles cool down)

Summary: 59 miles for the week with a nice half marathon CR/PR. I'll try to slap together some kind of summary today. My body is a bit beat up but not too bad I don't think. We'll see how next week feels for recovery.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Week ending November 7, 2010

11/1 - 46 minutes (7 miles)

11/2 - 36 minutes AM (5 miles), 66 minutes PM (10 miles)

11/3 - 40 minutes AM (5 miles), workout PM (2 miles warm up, 4 miles in 19:56 (5:00, 4:59, 4:59, 4:58) 3 miles cool down) (9 miles)

11/4 - 56 minutes (8 miles)

11/5 - 40 minutes AM (5 miles), 55 minutes PM (8 miles)

11/6 - 40 minutes (6 miles)

11/7 - workout (3 miles warm up, then 5 miles @ 26:29 (5:12, 5:20, 5:19, 5:16, 5:22), 4 miles cool down with a set of strides) (12 miles)

Summary: 75 miles with a good hard workout on Wednesday. This felt a little easier than the one last week, especially the last mile wasn't as bad. Sunday's race pace workout was OK, but to be honest it felt a little tougher than I hoped it would. We did a lot of yard work on Saturday and I think I've got a little cold so I won't worry about it. Plus I ran it on the course instead of the track so there was some roll. Here's the 5 miles and elevation, which I'm just looking up to make myself feel better, I think. (OK, I feel better. It is a little long and the slower miles have some elevation gain.)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Week ending October 31, 2010

10/25 - 48 minutes AM (6 miles), 60 minutes PM (8 miles)

10/26 - 55 minutes AM (7 miles), 67 minutes PM (10 miles)

10/27 - 40 minutes AM (5 miles), workout PM (2 miles warm up, then 4 miles in 19:55 (4:58, 4:59, 5:00, 4:58), 4 miles cool down with a good set of strides) (10 miles)

10/28 - 60 minutes AM (8 miles), 60 minutes PM (8 miles)

10/29 - 60 minutes AM (8 miles), 65 minutes PM (10 miles)

10/30 - 75 minutes (11 miles)

10/31 - Structured road fartlek, hard sections of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 minutes with half of previous rep as recovery (11 miles)

Summary: 102 miles for the week.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

funny morning run

So yesterday morning I got up for my normal 5:30 AM shuffle over to Portsmouth and back to Kittery. The Piscataqua river is about 1.5 miles from my house and there are actually two bridges that you go over because Badger's Island is in the middle of the river. So you go over a normal bridge, then go past Hebert Brothers Seafood and Badger's Island Pizza before you go over the Memorial Bridge, which is the beat up old metal bridge that goes up every half hour to let boats and ships through. There is lots of discussion about whether to replace the bridge, restore it, big political topic around town lately, but that's another story.

So I know most of the other runners and walkers who are out at this time of day. Most of them I don't know personally, but they are a familiar part of the day. Well yesterday morning as I'm starting onto the first bridge I hear a funny noise behind me and turned to see a guy skating up and past me on roller blades. Kind of odd for this time of day and not one of the "regulars", but whatever. He was wearing a backpack and talking on his cell phone, which was also kind of odd. So he gets up ahead of me a little big and pulls off the road and skates over to the big menu board at Hebert Bros. to check it out. Again, kind of odd behavior for 5:30 AM, but whatever, I'm hardly one to set international standards for normal and odd behavior. I've been towed with a water ski rope on a sled behind a 1986 Honda Civic at 50 miles per hour (verified by the sober driver) in a blizzard in Maine, which some people might consider odd.

Anyway, after I jog past him he skates back out into the road (I'm now on the sidewalk getting ready to run across the metal grate bridge and using the wooden sidewalk) and up alongside me, still on his cell phone. I said something to him, like "mornin'" in my best hick voice and he says, "Hey, looks like I skate faster than you run." to which I said, "Yeah, you'd smoke me." I realize that isn't the most impressive retort, but I think I was in the middle of a thought about a new phallic nickname and he interrupted me. But now that he got my attention I let "Shamu" slip from my mind and said to myself, "Oh, what the heck!" and picked up the pace. I caught him right before the bridge starts and as I went by I said to him, "UH-OH!" in a playful tone, indicating that he was now losing the race. He's still on his phone, mind you. I had a head start so I passed him easily but I immediately heard his cadence pick up so I knew he took the bait and I heard him say into his cell phone, "I'm racing a runner!" So I'm on the sidewalk and he's gaining on me from the middle of the road (there is hardly any traffic at this time of day) and all of a sudden the poor bastard gets to where the pavement turns to metal grate and he takes a massive frigging dixie right onto his face. I was still ahead of him so I didn't see it, but I sure heard it. His body nailed the metal grate, then I heard a loud, "UURROOGGHHH!!!" and about a second later he tells whoever is on the other end of his phone that he just fell real bad. I actually felt pretty bad so I eased up and stopped to lean out past the green metal columns to peek at him out in the road about 100 feet back. By that time he was standing back up and trying to lift one leg to climb out of the road and onto the sidewalk where I was. I thought about going back and checking on him, but I heard him start to skate slowly again and figured he was still on his phone so he must have survived. I still feel kind of bad about it, but it was pretty funny.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Week ending October 24, 2010

10/18 - 45 minutes AM (6 miles), 65 minutes PM (10 miles)

10/19 - 40 minutes AM (5 miles), workout PM (2 miles warm up, then 8 miles in 41:54 (5:15, 5:14, 5:15, 5:14, 5:15, 5:15, 5:14, 5:12), 3 miles cool down with a good set of strides) (13 miles) This was a pretty hard effort.

10/20 - 40 minutes AM (5 miles), 60 minutes PM (8 miles)

10/21 - 48 minutes AM (6 miles), 40 minutes PM (6 miles)

10/22 - 45 minutes AM (6 miles), 63 minutes PM (10 miles)

10/23 - 45 minutes (7 miles)

10/24 - 1:44 (18 miles)

Summary: 100 miles for the week, ending with a great long run. Finished with a 5:35, feeling strong and reasonably controlled.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Week ending October 17, 2010

10/11 - 7 miles easy

10/12 - 5 miles easy AM, 8 miles easy PM

10/13 - 5 miles easy AM, 8 miles easy PM

10/14 - 18 miles @ 1:47:00, finished before 7 AM!

10/15 - 6 miles easy

10/16 - 11 miles easy

10/17 - 6 miles easy

Summary: 74 miles, good recovery week. Feel healthy, pretty rested and ready for a few more weeks of training.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Week ending October 10, 2010

10/4 - 40 minutes AM (5 miles), 65 minutes PM (10 miles)

10/5 - 40 minutes AM (5 miles), workout PM (2 miles warm up, then 3 x 15 minutes @ 5:18 pace w/ 3 minutes recovery, 2 miles cool down) (13 miles)

10/6 - 75 minutes (10 miles)

10/7 - 60 minutes AM (8 miles), 68 minutes PM (10 miles)

10/8 - 60 minutes AM (8 miles), 67 minutes PM - 10 miles with 8 x 100m hill sprint. Right achilles has been tight so I didn't use a very steep hill. (10 miles)

10/9 - 75 minutes (11 miles)

10/10 - Great Island 5K (4 miles warm up, race in 15:09 (1st), 3 miles cool down) (10 miles)

Summary: 100 miles for the week. Substituted Sunday's planned long run for a hard 5K, so I'll try to get in a long run early next week, which will be an easy recovery week aside from that. Feeling good.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Week ending October 3, 2010

9/27 - 40 minutes AM (5 miles), 48 minutes PM (6 miles)

9/28 - 48 minutes AM (6 miles), 68 minutes PM (10 miles)

9/29 - 40 minutes AM (5 miles), workout PM - 2 miles warm up, then 8 miles in 42:38 (5:20, 5:20, 5:20, 5:21, 5:21, 5:20, 5:21, 5:15) 2 miles cool down with a set of strides. (12 miles)

9/30 - 48 minutes AM (6 miles), 60 minutes PM (8 miles)

10/1 - 45 minutes AM (6 miles), 67 minutes PM (10 miles)

10/2 - workout - 3 miles warm up then 8 x 3 minutes @ 10k pace w/ 1:30 rest, 2 miles cool down (11 miles)

10/3 - last 16 miles of Maine Marathon with Seth, watching him punch his ticket to Boston!

Summary: 101 miles for the week. Finished the week feeling really good, although Monday morning I'm feeling a bit lousy. I think it is just something in the fall air mostly.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Week ending September 26, 2010

9/20 - 48 minutes AM (6 miles), 68 minutes PM (10 miles)

9/21 - 40 minutes AM (5 miles), 68 minutes PM (10 miles)

9/22 - 30 minutes AM (4 miles), workout PM (5x2K w/ 2 min. recovery (400m), 2 miles warm up, then 6:12.8 (1:56), 6:14.3 (2:01), 6:14.2 (2:00), 6:14.0 (2:04), 6:12.2, 2 miles cool down. (11 miles)

9/23 - 40 minutes AM (5 miles), 45 minutes PM (6 miles)

9/24 - 45 minutes AM (6 miles), 63 minutes PM (9 miles)

9/25 - 54 minutes (8 miles)

9/26 - 120 minutes (20 miles)

Summary: 100 miles for the week with two good workouts. I wasn't sure how the 20 on Sunday would go after cleaning the garage on Saturday, but it went pretty good.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Week ending September 19, 2010

9/13 - 7 miles easy

9/14 - 6 miles easy AM, 7 miles easy PM

9/15 - 5 miles easy AM, 9 miles easy PM

9/16 - workout (2 miles warm up, then 10 mile tempo @ 53:31 (5:22, 5:21, 5:22, 5:22, 5:21, 5:21, 5:23, 5:22, 5:23, 5:14) 2 miles cool down with a set of strides) (14 miles)

9/17 - 5 miles easy AM, 7 miles easy PM

9/18 - 6 miles easy

9/19 - 12 miles, most of it easy

Summary: 78 miles for the week. Most of it easy, one strong workout. Good recovery week.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Week ending September 12, 2010

9/6 - St. Charles Children's Home 5K (4 miles warm up, race in 15:12 (2nd), 5 miles cool down with a set of strides) (12 miles)

9/7 - 61 minutes AM (8 miles), 62 minutes PM (9 miles)

9/8 - 60 minutes AM (8 miles)

9/9 - 48 minutes AM (6 miles), workout PM (2 miles warm up, 6 mile tempo in 31:37 (5:17, 5:16, 5:17, 5:17, 5:17, 5:13), 4 miles cool down) (12 miles)

9/10 - 48 minutes AM (6 miles), 58 minutes PM (8 miles)

9/11 - 53 minutes AM (8 miles)

9/12 - 1:47:30 (18.4 miles) Felt much better than two weeks ago. Finished much better this time, staying right around six minute pace.

Summary: 95 miles for the week with 2 great workouts and a 5K PR. Both workouts went great and I'm looking forward to a lighter recovery week to let the training sink in.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Week ending September 5, 2010

8/30 - 0ff (Daddy duty while Camie went to NYC for the day)

8/31 - 40 minutes AM (5 miles), 69 minutes PM (10 miles)

9/1 - 48 minutes AM (6 miles), workout PM (2 miles warm, 8 mile tempo in 42:35 (5:22, 5:19, 5:19, 5:20, 5:21, 5:20, 5:20, 5:14) 1 mile cool down) (11 miles)

9/2 - 48 minutes AM (6 miles), 60 minutes PM (8 miles)

9/3 - 48 minutes AM (6 miles), 68 minutes PM (10 miles)

9/4 - 90 minutes (13 miles)

9/5 - 52 minutes (8 miles)

Summary: 83 miles for the week. A little light, but with a day off I guess it isn't bad. Good hard workout on Wednesday.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Week ending August 29, 2010

8/23 - 37 minutes AM (5 miles), 61 minutes PM (10 miles)

8/24 - 40 minutes AM (5 miles), 45 minutes PM (7 miles)

8/25 - workout (6 mile tempo) 2 miles warm up, 6 miles in 31:42 (5:16, 5:19, 5:15, 5:17, 5:17, 5:18), 2 miles cool down. (10 miles)

8/26 - 40 minutes AM (5 miles), 51 minutes PM (7 miles)

8/27 - 40 minutes AM (5 miles), 65 minutes PM (10 miles)

8/28 - 52 minutes (8 miles)

8/29 - 110 minutes (18.4 miles) w/ set of strides after

Summary: 90 miles for the week. Really pleased with Sunday's long run but I was starting to bonk a bit at the end.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Week ending August 22, 2010

8/16 - 48 minutes AM (6 miles), 65 minutes PM (9 miles w/ strides)

8/17 - 40 minutes AM (5 miles), 63 minutes PM (10 miles)

8/18 - 82 minutes (12 miles)

8/19 - 73 minutes (11 miles)

8/20 - 35 minutes AM (5 miles), 63 minutes PM (10 miles)

8/21 - 57 minutes AM (9 miles)

8/22 - 40 minutes (6 miles)

Summary: 83 miles for the week. Had a long tempo planned for Sunday but had some massive allergies kick my butt and I could barely manage 6 miles. Bummed, but I suppose I was due for a rest week and I'm excited about launching into fall half marathon training!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Bridge of Flowers 10K

Last Saturday was the Bridge of Flowers 10K out in Shelburne Falls, MA. This was the USATF NE Grand Prix 10K, and since I am not planning to run Bay State Marathon in October, this was my last race in the road race GP this summer (I' am planning to do a couple races in the XC series for fun). Unlike Stowe where we made a family trip out of it, this was a day trip so I was up at 4:30 and out the door before 5:00 to meet Dan V. and Kevin T. at the river in Andover. I got there a few minutes early so I put on my shoes and went out for an easy mile or so on the trails to loosen my legs up a little and get the body into gear for the day. Once the other guys got there we hopped into Dan’s truck and headed out.

We pulled into Shelburne Falls at about 8:15 and saw the registration area was pretty mobbed. It didn’t look like the race would be able to start on time based on what we saw, so I wiggled my way inside and used some ninja tactics to reduce the time waiting in line from an estimated 30 minutes down to about 10. I managed to get the chips and bibs for the other guys while I was up there so we snuck out the side and got a little warm up going. We didn’t end up having much time to spare and the national anthem was starting just as we made our way down to the bridge that the race starts on. One of the nice things about the start was that they had a divider in the middle of the road so that guys started on one side and girls starts on the other. This was cool because the women got to be right up on the line as well. And considering they only had gun time (no starting mat), it was a nice move and I think more races should consider it. I snuck into the start line and got back a couple of rows, a new trick of mine to make sure I don’t go out too fast. Before long we heard some cow bell and we were off (I got a fever! And the only prescription is MORE COWBELL!)

The course overview I got from everyone focused almost entirely on the mountain in mile 3, but I found the first couple of miles to be pretty challenging with a few nice hills, quite a few turns, and typical grand prix jockeying for position. At about a mile I got a good view of the field in front of me and quickly counted. I was in 13th place but moving quickly and comfortable right behind Brandon Newbould. I think we hit the mile in about 5:04 which was a little surprising considering the turns and hills but it didn’t seem that bad. Mile 2 was more twisting and turning, but not as much rolling that I remember and we came through in 10:14, after having passed a couple of people. I pulled up to JJ, who was somewhat incognito in a Polar jersey straight out of the early 80’s. He must raid Dunham’s closet before races or something. We ran by some fantastic supporters at several points along the course in the form of Justin Fyffe and Kevin Gorman who both sat this one out with injuries. I’m pretty sure I flipped KG off at one point late in the race for no particular reason, other than the fact that he was on a bicycle and I was wishing I was on one too.

Shortly after the 2 mile marker we came back across the bridge (which was great because it is right in the middle of town and the crowd support was really awesome. You can tell the community really gets into the race and that always makes it a great time.) and after a couple of quick turns I heard a drummer pounding away to welcome us to “the hill”. Critenden hill climbs over 400 feet in a bit over half a mile. I don’t think I’ve ever walked up anything that steep, and I know I’ve never tried to run up anything like it. To be honest, I’d probably be nervous about riding a bike DOWN it. This is probably the one place where having run up Mt. Washington is an advantage. Too bad I never have. I got passed by a good handful of people on the way up the hill, as I had no real choice but to gear it way down and just try to avoid the embarrassment of walking during a championship race. Believe me, the thought crossed my mind. The sickest thing about the hill is that there are several turns on it and without previewing the course I didn’t know when the torture would end. I kept telling myself the peak was just around the next turn. It wasn’t. But finally I caught a glimpse of a man playing the accordion under a bouquet of balloons and felt pretty sure that he was either there to assure us all that we had lost our minds or he was the marker on the course located at the peak of the hill. Thankfully it was the latter.

Shortly after the peak of the hill is the mile 3 marker, which I passed in 17:02, meaning that the 3rd mile was 6:48. Seemed like about 12:48. I was too delirious to do the math at that point but I knew it was slow. I also knew that everyone else was going to start flying down the rest of the course and I had better get the legs back into high gear as well. After focusing on resuming a smooth breathing pattern for a minute while picking up speed, I was soon flying down the quick descents, testing the limits of how fast my legs would let me go. I consider myself to be pretty poor at climbing, but my long legs generally serve me pretty well going down. I gradually started catching up to the guys who had pulled away from me or passed me on the hill. I got to mile 4 in 21:42, which meant that the last mile was 4:40. I was back into about 10th place by my estimate, but wasn’t really sure. Later in the race there were a couple of spectators calling out places to us, which is cool. I started to reconnect with Brandon, as well as Ryan Carerra and Dan Princic. The four of us seem to all be in pretty much identical shape, because we’ve all been duking it out in the chase pack for the last few GP races. While this is good for the clock, it hurts like hell because there is no letting up and the second half of the race is pretty much trading punches and keeping the pedal to the floor.

Somewhere around here I pulled back up even with Dan and we were about 10 meters back from Brandon. We passed Fyffe who was shouting encouragement from his bike and I finally realized it was him. I had heard him a few times before but wasn’t sure who it was. That got me excited to try and make a move on Dan and catch Brandon. Dan didn’t want to give up his position without a fight though, so we both were hammering pretty much all out down the course, trading places several times. You have to convince yourself that anyone around you is the enemy during the heat of battle, but I really value these guys and consider myself to be competing WITH them, not AGAINST them. I know I wouldn’t run as well by myself, and probably most guys rely on good competition to get the best out of themselves as well. Dan and I finally got back into contact with Brandon right around 5 miles. I missed the split but it must have been about 26:50? I was fighting hard but honestly didn’t know if I would be able to maintain all the way to the finish. The course was taking its toll on me.

I managed to pull ahead of Brandon early in the last mile I think and tried to run scared the rest of the way. I was trying to sniff the finish line from a mile out, but it was tough. There was another red shirt about 25 meters in front of me and I went by Justin for the last time who encouraged me to catch him. I tried to put Dan, Ryan and Brandon out of my head and just focus on this red shirt, hoping he would show the slightest sign of weakness. He didn’t. And I could still hear the guys behind me. They weren’t packing it in either. We came down another steep little hill as we turned left before making our way down a little street lined with spectators. There had been nice crowd support for much of the race but I could feel their numbers swelling and knew we must be getting back close to the bridge, which we would cross one more time at the beginning of the final straightaway for the finish line. As I turned the last left hand turn to cross the bridge, I took my only peek back of the race, hoping to see nothing close, but I saw red, and knew that Brandon was trying hard to hunt me down. From there I hammered across the bridge and through the crowded and very loud street up to the finish line. As I approached I saw 32:57 and knew that I wasn’t going to sneak under 33, but it didn’t really matter. This course isn’t about time. The only way to run this course is just the way we did…for place. I finished 6th in 33:03 (1 second ahead of Brandon, who closed most of the small gap I had on the final straight) which I was very pleased with. The goal was top 10, and I was very happy to succeed in that regard. A few of the normal GP contenders missed the race, but I was really happy because I managed to eek out in front of the guys I’ve been doing battle with all summer.

Guys quickly came barreling in and before long the finish area looked like a war zone with guys showing their effort on their faces and smiling at the insanity of the course at the same time. The CMS crew gradually collected and chatted about the race. We figured BAA had won it pretty easily, but we knew it might be pretty tight for 2nd place between us and Whirlaway. It wasn’t until after a nice cool down and a swim in the river with JJ and Mike Quintal that we saw Steve Vaitones walking around with the team scores verifying them with each team. He showed us the report and his tentative results had our team total 1 SECOND ahead of Whirlaway. So with the top 5 guys scoring, that means a total of 50K came down to 1 second! If that isn’t a lesson for everyone to push all the way to the finish, I don’t know what is! I think there may be some obscure rule about going to the tenths of a second when the scores are really close because a day later a few guys had their time changed by 1 second (so probably rounded up to the next second) and the team margin went from 1 second to 2.

After a nice cool down and a swim as I mentioned, we got some snacks and waited around for the awards. I expected them to hand out prizes, and top 10 paid cash, so I wanted to grab that before leaving. Turns out they mail the money and only the top 3 had to be there for the podium, so we stood around for about an hour for nothing. This was probably the only disappointment of the day. After that we got back on the road, stopping for some Taco Bell on our way. For the most part the drive was nice and Shelburne Falls is a really pretty area. All in all, it was a great day!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Week ending August 15, 2010

8/9 - 40 minutes AM (5 miles), 70 minutes PM (10 miles)

8/10 - 40 minutes AM (5 miles), 65 minutes PM (10 miles)

8/11 - 40 minutes AM (5 miles), workout PM (2 miles warm up, then 5 x mile w/ 400m recovery, 5:17, 5:16, 5:16, 5:11, 5:06, 2 miles cool down) Not a real killer, but I was feeling kind of sluggish so the first couple took a little effort to get going. Once I got rolling this felt pretty smooth. According to Joe Vigil these mile reps during base phase should be about 85% of mile PR, so for me that would be 4:26/.85 = 5:13. He recommends 3 minutes recovery, but that seems way too long for someone like me who is mainly an aerobic guy, not a college 800-1500 guy. (10 miles)

8/12 - 40 minutes AM (5 miles), 59 minutes PM (8 miles)

8/13 - 40 minutes AM (5 miles), 51 minutes PM (7 miles)

8/14 - Bridge of Flowers 10K (3 miles warm up, race in 33:03, 3 miles cool down) (12 miles)

8/15 - 100 minutes (16 miles)

Summary: 98 miles for the week with a hard race and a solid 16 miler on Sunday. For some reason I can run the day after a race, it is the second day after that I'm really sore. I'm typing this on Monday morning and my legs are killing me.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Week ending August 8, 2010

8/2 - 48 minutes AM (6 miles), 58 minutes PM (8 miles)

8/3 - 65 minutes (10 miles)

8/4 - 48 minutes AM (6 miles), 67 minutes PM, varying pace (10 miles)

8/5 - 40 minutes AM (5 miles), workout PM (2 miles warm up, then 10 x 1K @ ~15K pace, 3:16, 3:17, 3:15, 3:16, 3:17, 3:17, 3:18, 3:17, 3:17, 3:13, all with 400m recovery in a little under 2 minutes) (12 miles)

8/6 - 40 minutes AM (5 miles), 72 minutes PM (10 miles)

8/7 - 60 minutes (8 miles)

8/8 - 3 miles warm up, Lobster Festival 10K (32:09), 3 miles cool down (12 miles)

Summary: 92 miles for the week, missed a couple of morning runs. Another nice week of base work, with an accidental 10K PR! I went to the Rockland Lobster Festival to meet up with Seth for a fun race and tune up before Bridges of Flowers next weekend. Based on previous years, I thought I could come run a tempo and win. But...ran into Michael Bunker at the starting line and realized that wasn't going to happen. We ran together and chatted a bit at about 32 minute pace for the first 4 miles, sort of agreeing to just run hard for a while and not try to kill each other. His girlfriend was biking alongside us and it was actually a really nice time just running though Rockland at a hard yet sustainable pace on a beautiful morning. The cruiser had ditched us so it really was just like a hard training run with a friend. I call this an accidental PR because normally at the 2/3 mark of a PR effort I want to puke/quit/die and have to gut it out. Today at 4 miles I thought, "Huh, I wonder if one of us should make a move at some point?" So I was obviously still very much in control on the rolling course. A little after 4 miles I picked it up a little bit and got about 10-15 meters on Michael because it just felt like a good idea and I was wondering how Beach to Beacon was feeling in his legs. At about 4.5 we turned right and into a nice long hill which kind of took the wind out of my sails. Michael reeled me in and we stayed together for another couple minutes and hit 5 miles in under 26:20. I told him he covered the move nicely and that I'd got enough of a workout so if he wanted to hammer it in he was on his own. Shortly after that he did drop the hammer and take off, as he was hoping to be under 32 minutes for two days in a row, which he did. I brought it home at an honest but tolerable pace and finished 2nd in 32:09. Nice to know I'm getting stronger and that I can run and PR in the middle of higher mileage than I've ever run and without killing myself.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Week ending August 1, 2010

7/26 - 40 minutes AM (5 miles), 57 minutes PM (8 miles)

7/27 - 40 minutes AM (5 miles), 64 minutes PM (10 miles)

7/28 - workout (legs are heavy and tired from increasing mileage so this was a compromise between not doing a workout and doing something really hard. I did 6 x mile, starting at about half marathon pace and working down close to 5K pace) (2 miles warm up, then 5:25, 5:21, 5:15, 5:09, 5:03, 4:59, all with 400m recovery in about 2 minutes, 2 miles cool down. With 1 minute recovery this would probably be a nice workout under normal circumstances. I like that it started out feeling pretty smooth and comfortable and gradually got quicker. I tried to stay relaxed and focus on breathing smooth and relaxing as the pace got quicker. I also am still working on starting races more intelligently and a workout like this might help with that. All in all, not a killer workout, but a nice "base" workout that should allow me to recover quickly and keep the miles up.) (11 miles)

7/29 - 40 minutes AM (5 miles), 69 minutes PM (10 miles)

7/30 - 71 minutes AM (11 miles), 40 minutes PM (5 miles)

7/31 - 80 minutes (4 miles warm up, 5 miles tempo in about 27:30, 3 miles cool down) (12 miles)

8/1 - 117 minutes (18 miles)

Summary: Back to back 100 mile weeks. Doin' work.

Quote of the week: R.P. McMurphy from One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest "Is that crazy enough for ya'? Want me to take a shit on the floor?"

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Stowe 8 Miler

I noticed that I've done a recap of the previous Grand Prix races, so I figure I can keep that rolling with a little summary of the Stowe 8 Miler up in Stowe, VT this past Sunday.

We decided a couple of weeks ago to make a little family trip out of the race and booked a room at Ye Old England Inn, which was the host site for the race as well. The room was nice, albeit a little small considering the gear that a family of 4 with 2 small kids travels with. Camden brought his trusty cot which he set up next to our bed with his new LL Bean sleeping bag, and we set up the pack-n-play for Carter. That left just about enough room for us to make a small path to the bathroom. We got settled and then did some shopping before picking up my packet and heading across the street for pizza and pasta. After dinner we caught up with some of the CMS crew for a few minutes and Camden and I took a swim in the hotel pool before settling in for the night.

In the morning the CMS crew started rolling in around 7:30 and most of us ended up meeting down by the starting area before heading out to warm up. The sun was out and it was getting warm, so warming up wasn't too difficult. We compared moustaches, some attempts more feeble than others. I basically like anything that fosters team unity and operation Magnum seemed to accomplish that, which was good. However, I know that at least a few of us irked SWMBO with this operation (She Who Must Be Obeyed).

Leading up to the race I've been lacking confidence a little bit because I'm not getting in the mileage I want to and can just feel that I've lost a little bit lately. The last few races I've done weren't really that helpful for getting a good feel either, as I had a couple of races where I wasn't really pushed so I didn't get a good gauge. I had thought that I should be around 42 minutes, but from looking at historical times it didn't seem like a course for really good times. I told Camie before the race to be looking for me somewhere between 42 and 43 minutes, hopefully closer to 42. Luckily, Camden brought his binoculars so he could look for me.

The XC style start was cool, and it was nice to have a little section for each of the teams. I got in the second row for the start to make sure there was no temptation to get out too hard. I've been trying to start more controlled lately and I think it will serve me well in the future. Luckily, the whole lead pack went out pretty conservatively so there wasn't much issue there. I tagged onto the back of a big pack of 15-20 guys and strolled out of the field and through the first mile in about 5:12. This was perfect for me and it felt really good.

Shortly after the mile the front group started to bring the pace down a little bit and things started to string out for me and the rest of the guys on the back of the lead pack. I've cleared my watch but I think I hit 2 miles at about 10:35, still feeling pretty good as the course started to roll a little bit and we were out in the sun quite a bit. I tried to make a point of grabbing water at each stop and at least cooling off a little bit and wetting my mouth. I was rolling along with a few guys going back and forth and came up on Brandon Newbould who came back off the lead pack a little bit. I gave him some encouragement and he hopped on for a while as Dan Princic and another Whilrer were with me. Ryan Carerra was also right with us and we would all jostle back and forth through the next couple of miles. The third mile was about 5:23 I think.

The fourth mile had a nice steep downhill, but it was actually too steep to really rip. I felt myself actually braking a little bit but the fourth mile was the fastest of the day in a little under 5 minutes. On a long straight section I could see everyone in front of me for a couple of minutes. I counted and realized I was in 14th place. There were a bunch of yellow BAA shirts, a few shirtless guys, Justin Freeman and lastly a small pack of 3-4 guys about 25 yards in front of me. I could also see up ahead a left turn with a water stop on the right side of the road. After the leaders came though, a few of the volunteers came over to the inside of the turn with cups, allowing the rest of us to take the short line which was nice. However, there were only a couple of them and I took the last cup from them when I realized that Ryan Carerra was right on my tail. I took about half of the cup and handed it back to him, feeling bad that I took the last one. I spent the next mile wondering how on earth he said "Thank you" so politely and clearly in the middle of a race. I figured he must be pretty comfortable and would be passing me soon.

The second half of the course rolls uphill for the most part with some flat sections. A BAA guy passed me somewhere in mile 5 and I think I had pulled in front of a couple of the other guys I was near. Somewhere after mile 5 (5:27 I think) I think the road took a left turn up a hill and then down onto a hard dirt road. I started to notice Justin Freeman coming back as well as the BAA guy who had passed me a little earlier. I also noticed Pat Moulton up ahead and he wasn't getting any smaller either. A spectator with a camera told me I was #10. I hit mile 6 in about 31:30-40 I think, because I recall thinking that a couple of 5:15's would get me home in around 42 minutes. I took a peek back just as I was coming up alongside Justin and noticed I had a 25-30 meter gap behind me. I relayed this info to Justin as I went by and tried to make a clean pass because I didn't want him to tag on with me. I had been feeling rough for a few miles and the legs just didn't really want to turn over but I felt like I did pretty good on the dirt section. I really think flat is the best for me.

As we came off the dirt and up a hill back to the main road I was working on reeling in the BAA guy and Pat was starting to seem like a realistic target if I could get something good going for the last mile+. I passed the BAA guy right at 7 miles and around that time started to sense that I had some company behind me. I didn't look back but later realized it was Ryan Carerra and Dan Princic who closed the gap on me and had put themselves in the top 10 as well. I was about 20 meters back of Pat and had thoughts of catching him briefly, but figured if I came close he'd just kick it in to hold his position. This is actually what I ended up doing as Ryan got on my heels with about 400 to do. I managed to hold him off and about this time Pat took a quick look back and picked it up a little just to make sure we didn't get too close. I took the last left turn in to the finish line for 8th place in 42:29. I had hoped to be a bit quicker but from looking at where I finished relative to the other guys, I think I was right about where I should have been considering the last 6 weeks of training hasn't been perfect.

I got a high five from Fyffe who had finished second overall and the rest of the shirtless and moustached CMS crew started rolling in pretty quickly. BAA sent a deep team up to Vermont and took the team title by about 4 minutes, with us in second, also about 4 minutes ahead of Whirlaway. After some drinks and snacks we got in an easy cool down and I took a swim in the hotel pool after some ice cream to relax and wait for the awards ceremony which took place out behind out hotel.

On the way home we stopped at the Ben & Jerry's factory for a tour and some ice cream!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Week ending July 25, 2010

7/19 - 40 minutes AM (5 miles), 57 minutes PM (8 miles)

7/20 - 40 minutes AM (5 miles), 64 minutes PM (10 miles)

7/21 - 40 minutes AM (5 miles), 64 minutes PM (10 miles)

7/22 - 40 minutes AM (5 miles), 65 minutes PM (10 miles)

7/23 - 40 minutes AM (5 miles), 61 minutes PM (9 miles)

7/24 - Stratham Fair Road Race (5.7 miles) (3 miles warm up, race in 29:34 (1st), 4+ cool down) (13 miles)

7/25 - 103 minutes (15 miles)

Summary: 100 miles for the week with some good aerobic running and a decent race.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Week ending July 18, 2010

7/12 - 32 minutes AM (4 miles), 58 minutes PM (8 miles w/ strides)

7/13 - 66 minutes (10 miles)

7/14 - workout (3 miles warm up, then 2 x mile, 2 x 800, 4 x 400, all at 5:00 pace) 4:59 (2:01), 5:00 (1:59), 2:30 (59), 2:29 (59), 74 (53), 74 (51), 73 (56), 74, 2 miles cool down. (10 miles)

7/15 - 40 minutes AM (5 miles), 50 minutes PM (7 miles)

7/16 - 52 minutes AM (8 miles)

7/17 - 45 minutes (6 miles)

7/18 - Stowe 8 Miler (3.5 warm up, race in 42:29 (8th), 2.5 cool down) (14 miles)

Summary: 72 miles, decent race. Thought I should have been a little faster but by comparing to other guys, it looks like I ran about what I should have. I've got to find a way to get the miles up and get stronger.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Week ending July 11, 2010

7/5 - 59 minutes (9 miles)

7/6 - 40 minutes AM (5 miles), 63 minutes PM with 2 water stops, muy caliente! (9 miles)

7/7 - workout (1 mile warm up, then 10x1K @ 5:00 pace w/ 400m recovery, 3:06 (1:54), 3:07 (1:52), 3:06 (1:54), 3:05 (1:52), 3:06 (1:54), 3:06 (1:56), 3:06 (1:57), 3:06 (1:53), 3:04 (1:51), 3:05, 1.5 miles cool down) (11 miles)

7/8 - 64 minutes (9 miles)

7/9 - 48 minutes (7 miles)

7/10 - Harbour Trail 5K (4 miles warm up, race in 15:57 (1st), 3 miles cool down) (10 miles)

7/11 - 98 minutes (15 miles)

Summary: 75 miles for the week with a nice hard workout and a decent race. Took a wrong turn in the race and probably lost about 10 seconds, and from there got frustrated and wimped it in. I'm actually happy with the result because I know I could have been in the 15:30's with any pressure.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Week ending July 4, 2010

6/28 - 40 minutes AM (5 miles), 60 minutes PM (9 miles)

6/29 - 67 minutes (10 miles)

6/30 - road workout - 2 miles warm up, then 2 x 3 miles w/ 1 mile recovery (16:13, 7:43, 16:08), 1 mile cool down. (10 miles)

7/1 - 58 minutes (8 miles)

7/2 - 64 minutes (10 miles)

7/3 - 66 minutes (10 miles)

7/4 - 64 minutes (10 miles)

Summary: 72 miles for the week.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Week ending June 27, 2010

6/21 - 59 minutes (9 miles)

6/22 - 40 minutes AM (5 miles), 65 minutes PM (10 miles)

6/23 - workout (3 miles warm up with a few strides then 2 x mile, 4 x 400. I was originally planning to do 2 x 800 in between the miles and the 400s, but after the second mile I was already dead so I modified it. The lack of sleep is catching up to me big time lately, plus I need to ease up on some of my easy days. 4:57.9 (2:05), 4:57.5 (2:16), 72.9 (66), 71.6 (66), 71.4 (68), 70.3, 3 miles cool down) During the workout I was thinking this was a bomb but looking at it on paper doesn't look too bad, aside from the rest between the 400s being about twice what they should be. (10 miles)

6/24 - 60 minutes (8 miles)

6/25 - 42 minutes (6 miles)

6/26 - Strawberry Festival 5 Miler (3 miles warm up, race in 26:23 (1st), 4 miles cool down including a stop for strawberry shortcake!) (12 miles)

6/27 - 100 minutes (13 miles nice and easy)

Summary: 73 miles for the week with a medium effort race. Legs feel better than when the week started. I think because I got a little bit of rest. No race this coming weekend so hopefully I can get in a workout geared towards Stowe and get to feeling decent again before the race.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Week ending June 20, 2010

6/14 - 75 minutes? No watch, pretty comfortable pace (11 miles)

6/15 - 65 minutes (10 miles)

6/16 - workout (3 miles warm up with a few strides, then 5 x 800, 200 w/ 200m recovery after the 800 and 400m recovery after each set. 2:22 (58), 32.8 (1:58), 2:24 (61), 32.8 (2:05), 2:22 (61), 32.8 (2:07), 2:22 (63), 34.1 (2:07), 2:18 (61), 31.9, then 2+ miles cool down. Nice workout. Felt good to push the last couple of reps. I'm regaining some mental and emotional strength after last week's ordeal. Some guys can just run hard but I'm finding that I have to be mentally and emotionally ready to put in the work. Funny thing is...I don't believe in that kind of crap. (10 miles)

6/17 - 38 minutes AM (5 miles), 40 minutes PM (6 miles)

6/18 - 71 minutes (11 miles)

6/19 - 53 minutes (8 miles)

6/20 - Margarita's Father's Day 5K (4 miles warm up, race in 16:07 (1st), 4 miles cool down) (11 miles)

Summary: 72 miles for the week. Not many miles, but the lack of sleep is catching up to me and I'm feeling pretty tired and sluggish most of the time.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Week ending June 13, 2010

6/7 - 55 minutes AM (8 miles), 32 minutes PM (5 miles)

6/8 - 52 minutes AM (8 miles), Carter Kaye Wiles joins the team at 3:04 PM, 8 lbs., 9 ozs.

6/9 - off

6/10 - off

6/11 - off

6/12 - Market Square Day 10K (3 miles warm up, race in 32:19, 3 miles cool down) (12 miles)

6/13 - 99 minutes (15 miles)

Summary: Scariest week of my life. 48 miles

Monday, May 31, 2010

Week ending June 6, 2010

5/31 - 74 minutes (11 miles)

6/1 - 40 minutes AM (5 miles), 62 minutes PM (9 miles)

6/2 - 40 minutes AM (5 miles), 65 minutes PM (10 miles)

6/3 - 40 minutes AM (5 miles), 65 minutes PM (10 miles)

6/4 - off (at the hospital, but no baby yet :( hopefully soon!)

6/5 - York Hospital 5K (4+ warm up, race in 15:56, 3+ cool down) basically 10K effort, finished pretty comfortably. (10 miles)

6/6 - 85 minutes (13 miles)

Summary: 78 miles for the week with a day off. Not bad. Probably would have been over 90 if I ran on Friday, so a good week. Where's my baby???

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Week ending May 30, 2010

5/24 - 40 minutes AM (5 miles), 52 minutes PM (7 miles)

5/25 - 65 minutes (10 hot Moultons)

5/26 - 40 minutes AM (5 miles), 51 minutes PM (8 miles)

5/27 - 40 minutes AM (5 miles), workout PM (2+ miles warm up, then 12x400 + 1x200 @ goal 5K pace w/ 100m recovery (they averaged 32-36 seconds) 71.8, 70.0, 71.7, 71.8, 72.0, 71.5, 69.4, 71.8, 72.4, 71.5, 72.1, 71.2, 32.2, 2 miles cool down. This went pretty well considering my schedule is a little hectic right now and I sneaked this in while Camden was taking a nap. 14:49.4 for 5000m of work. Great workout, hopefully I can stay rested and fresh now for a few days, but that is doubtful. (8 miles)

5/28 - 40 minutes AM (5 miles), 42 minutes PM (6 miles)

5/29 - 49 minutes (7 miles)

5/30 - Runner's Alley Redhook 5K, 4 miles warm up, race in 15:23 (1st), miles cool down (10 miles)

Summary: 76 miles for the week. Nice sharp little workout on Wednesday made me think Redhook might have been a little faster but I went out too hard (4:41) and paid for it in the second half of the race.

Monday, May 24, 2010

USATF NE Grand Prix - Bedford 12K

Saturday morning was my second USATF NE Grand Prix race as the series hit Bedford, NH for the Bedford Rotary 12K. I was excited about the race Friday night and woke up early Saturday morning to get some breakfast into me before a shower and a shave to get me really awake. For some reason that is becoming a habit for big races. I think it helps me get into gear a little quicker in the morning. After making a plan with Camie about checking my cell phone often in case the goes into labor (son #2 is due in a couple of weeks but she’s thinking he might be here sooner than that!), I was out the door by 6:30 and headed up 101 just past Manchester and into Bedford.

As I pulled into the high school parking lot I saw Jeff Goupil and the rest of the crew started rolling in pretty soon after that. The Rotary Club does a nice job organizing the event and we picked up our packets and shirts before meeting up with the rest of the crew outside. This race was the first time I’ve seen and used the new “B-Tag”, which is a race bib that has the chip right inside it, so no chip for the shoe, ankle, or anything like that. That was pretty cool and I didn’t hear about any issues with the timing so it sounds like the technology is pretty solid. The CMS crew + Mark Miller headed out for a few miles over the last part of the course to warm up, and I couldn’t help noticing how light and springy guys like Fyffe and Miller look on their feet, just bounding along looking effortless. After the warm up, guys went their separate ways for the last 10-15 minutes before the start to do their own thing; change into racing shoes, last minute warm up, water some bushes, get psyched up!

The starting line at a Grand Prix race is a pretty intimidating place. There are dozens and dozens of very fit guys with their game faces on. There are pockets of color as teams stand together ready to storm into battle as a group. Guys have their little methods for shaking out nervous energy in the moments before the gun, shaking out legs, touching toes, jumping up and down. Luckily, the starter was merciful and didn’t waste much time before giving the commands. As usual, most of the pre-race thoughts went out the window once the race started. It didn’t go out quite as hard as I thought it might. After a few hundred yards, things seemed pretty sensible. Fyffe, Koech and Miller were up front, then a bunch of us were shifting around settling into pace. There were probably 20-25 guys ahead of me for the first quarter to half a mile and I kind of realized that it felt a bit slow so I started inching up along the outside of the traffic. The pace was probably fine, I was just excited and nervous about having so many guys in front of me.

The first mile cuts into a little neighborhood and by the time we got there, things were thinning out a little bit. Andy McCarron and I were basically side by side and there were a few Adidas NE guys right with us. There may have been a few others around or ahead of us, and there were several CMS guys right on our tail as well. Somewhere in here, Matt Ely and Ben Schmeckpeper zipped by us after starting conservatively. Matt kept pushing right up to the lead pack and Ben kind of stayed with us I think. By this time people were pretty much settled into their paces so there wasn’t as much shifting going on. Andy and I were clipping along pretty good right behind a wall of three Adidas guys (Michael Bunker, Nick Wheeler and Nathan Krah I think). I signaled to Andy that we should stay with these guys, because I was assuming they had a few more guys behind us and the team would need us to cover these guys if they went anywhere and he agreed. I was feeling pretty good, and somewhere around 2 miles or so I though the pace slowing a hair, or maybe I was just over excited. I pulled up alongside Wheeler and told him I’d take a mile in front, and he said OK. In that moment he and I basically agreed to work together for a while. He tucked in behind me and I think we started to pull away from the other few guys just a little bit. I had missed the first mile marker, but I think we hit 2 miles in right around 10 minutes, maybe 10:05. I didn’t split my watch at the mile markers, but I peeked down just out of curiosity. I contemplated not wearing it at all, but I knew I’d be curious about it after the race. I took us through 3 miles in around 15:12 and Nick hopped back in front shortly after that for a turn in the front of our little chase pack. We could still see the leaders, which was a 4 man pack of Justin, Mark, Matt and Joseph.

Somewhere between 3-4 miles the course starts to roll a bit more, with some climbs and also some drops. I’d call it a very fair course because you got a nice little decline for every climb. Up ahead I could see Justin pull away from the others to take control of the race, and about this time Joseph Koech also started to fall back a bit from the BAA guys. Back in the chase pack, Nick was beating me up a little bit on the climbs, keeping the pace steady as he went up them. He’d pull ahead a little bit going up, then coming back down I’d come back even with him and sometimes pull in front again. We were definitely racing each other, but it was great because we were pushing each other to run harder. We were on top of each other for the majority of the race. In fact, Nick actually clipped my heels twice during the race, that’s how close we were. During the most substantial climb on the course, Nick motioned up to Koech and said something about reeling him in. We were both thinking aggressively but that really got me excited because I’d never even considered running with guys like Joseph. The idea of catching him in a GP race seemed crazy to me, even if he was having a tough day. As we were gaining on him, I also realized what my CMS responsibility was for the rest of the race. I needed to “cover” the BAA guys between me and Fyffe. In order to do that, I needed to keep the gap between me and them smaller than the gap that Fyffe had on them. That way, our combined time would neutralize their combined time. I knew Ben Schmeckpeper was close behind me, but I hadn’t noticed any other BAA guys that close to the front so I was hoping that our 3-5 guys would take care of theirs.

Nick and I caught Joseph before the top of a hill somewhere before mile 5. We had passed mile 4 in something under 21 minutes (maybe about 20:40?), which was great considering the main hill is in the 4th mile. He was still pushing the hills and I was still pushing the downhills. On the flat sections we were both pushing as much as we could. Around this time I realized that we were pretty much holding steady with BAA up ahead. They didn’t seem to be getting any smaller up on the horizon, and only slipped out of sight at the turns on the course. When we hit 5 miles in under 26 minutes I think I started to realize that I was in unchartered waters. I think it was about 25:50 and I was beginning to feel it in my legs. I also noticed somewhere in here that it was feeling a little warm. Not hot, but just nice and sunny. I threw a little water over my head and hung on to Wheeler as we kept pushing along. As we came up towards mile 6 we turned right onto the main road that would take us back to the school. We had warmed up out on this road so I had a bit of an idea about how the last mile would be. It winds a little and rolls a little, probably a little bit of an uphill mile, which isn’t really what I wanted, but we were getting down to the final stretch. Shortly before turning onto this road Nick pulled ahead of me for the last time. I would spend the rest of the race trying to keep him as close as possible. It varied from 2 yards to about 15, but I never got in front of him again. We passed 6 miles in 31:08 and I remember thinking to myself, “Well, I know I’m in 32 minute 10K shape now!” so that made me feel good, but I wasn’t really too excited about having another 1.4 miles to go. I tried to remind myself that I couldn’t let Miller and Ely stretch out their 30 second gap on me, and I focused on running the tangents as short as I could. I missed the mile 7 split that was right as we turned left back into the high school. I was hoping to muster an attack on Wheeler as we approached the track but he was also finishing strong. We had to run about 300 meters backwards on the beautiful new track (with a great football field of field turf) and as we came around the last turn with about 100 meters to go I was trying to kick with everything I had, running with my eyes closed and trying to reel Nick in, but it wasn’t happening. I crossed the line 5th in 38:43 and doubled over to suck some air into my aching lungs. I looked over and Nick was in the same position. After a few seconds we both stood upright, smiled at each other and shook hands. We both had a great time slugging it out and pushing each other. Nick is a great runner, along with his brother Curtis and it is great to have guys like that representing Maine at these New England championship races. I came into the race hoping for a top 10 finish, and to finish 5th in a Grand Prix race makes me feel really good about my training and my fitness.

I made my way out of the finish chute as Andy was coming in, finishing up a great race! I started walking back up towards the far end of the track to encourage the CMS guys that were all barreling in towards the finish now. The next CMS shirt I saw coming was Kevin Gorman, who was kicking home for a huge race! I’d call his the performance of the day, to be honest. After a minute or two, our whole team was gathered back up, catching breath and congratulating each other. It was great! I get so excited when I see guys have great races, and I love hearing about it in their own words. As we started to look around at the uniforms, we did some rough math in our heads and started thinking that we had probably done enough to win the team title, unless we had missed anybody from the other top teams who maybe weren’t in their team colors. A few minutes later we were all changed into trainers for a fun little cool down. Guys were chatting about the race and sharing stories. I commented to Justin that it amazes me how we can all be so energized and giddy just 10 minutes after finishing a hard race effort. Like he said, that’s how you know you’re in great shape.

The post race spread was high quality, with a bunch of fresh fruit, bagels, as well as chicken tenders, fries and lasagna. Really good stuff and a bunch of drinks. The awards weren’t the smoothest I’ve seen, and honestly took about an hour to complete and we couldn’t really hear the lady with the microphone. Small criticism of an otherwise great event!

Days like this make me really glad that I’m part of CMS and get to do these USATF NE Grand Prix races with such an awesome group of guys! I can’t wait until the next one! Depending on when my son decides to pop out and greet the world it might be Rhody 5K, otherwise it will be 6 weeks later in Stowe for the 8 miler.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Week ending May 23, 2010

5/17 - 46 minutes AM (6 miles), 55 minutes PM (8 miles w/ strides)

5/18 - 64 minutes (10 miles)

5/19 - 32 minutes AM (4 miles), workout PM (2 miles warm up then 2x1600, 2x800, 4x400 w/ recovery of 400m after the miles, 200m after the 800s and 100m after the quarters, all at goal 10K pace. 4:58.6 (1:59), 4:58.4 (2:00), 2:29.9 (1:01), 2:28.2 (58), 74.8 (34), 74.7 (33), 74.1 (34), 74.9, then 2+ miles cool down) (9 miles)

5/20 - 40 minutes AM (5 miles), 45 minutes PM (6 miles)

5/21 - 43 minutes (6 miles)

5/22 - Bedford 12K (3+ miles warm up, race in 38:43 (5th), 3 miles cool down) (13 miles)

5/23 - 110 minutes (17 miles)

Summary: 84 miles for the week. Very good race at Bedford, though I should have fought a little harder for 4th place over the last mile.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Week ending May 16, 2010

5/10 - 40 minutes AM (5 miles), 61 minutes PM (10 miles)

5/11 - 40 minutes AM (5 miles), 58 minutes PM (8 miles)

5/12 - 32 minutes AM (4 miles), workout PM (1.5 miles warm up, then 10x1K @ 10K pace w/ 400m recovery, 3:09 (1:54), 3:08 (1:52), 3:08 (1:54), 3:07 (1:58), 3:05 (1:56), 3:06 (1:56), 3:06 (1:57), 3:06 (2:01), 3:04 (1:57), 3:01, 1.5 miles cool down) Nice workout, but the recovery felt long compared to what I normally do. Maybe 90 seconds would have been better. I was a bit gun shy after last week's bad workout. 31:05 for 10K of work. (11 miles)

5/13 - 40 minutes AM (5 miles), 60 minutes PM (9 miles)

5/14 - 40 minutes AM (5 miles), 31 minutes PM (5 miles)

5/15 - Bobcat Bolt 5K, 4 miles warm up, race in 15:33 (1st), 4 miles cool down (11 miles) (course map)

5/16 - 80 minutes (13 miles) (route here)

Summary: 91 miles for the week with 5 doubles. Nice solid week.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Week ending May 9, 2010

5/3 - 45 minutes AM (6 miles), 65 minutes PM (9 miles)

5/4 - 40 minutes AM (5 miles), workout PM (2 miles warm up, 6x800 + 1x200 @ 10K pace w/ 200m recovery) (2:34.1, 61 recovery, 2:34.5, 64 recovery, 2:36.0, 67 recovery, 2:34.3, 67 recovery, 2:35.9, 64 recovery, 2:34.7, 65 recovery, 31.5 for 200m, 2+ miles cool down. Total of 5000m work in 16:01. This was a total crap workout. It was supposed to be 12 x 800 but I felt like garbage as soon as I started and really wanted to quit after 2 reps but managed to at least get in 6 before quitting. It was hot out, my legs felt dead before I started, I'm tired...bunch of excuses. At the end of the day I just had a crappy workout. I haven't had many so I won't dwell on it. I knew I would be better off with another recovery day and then a workout tomorrow but I'm traveling tomorrow and won't have any time to run so I took a shot at it today. I didn't even manage to run my goal 10K pace for the 6 that I did. I was hoping to be at about 2:31-32 for the reps.) (8 miles)

5/5 - 60 minutes (8 miles)

5/6 - 90 minutes (13 miles)

5/7 - 86 minutes ( 2 x 3 miles tempo w/ 1 miles in between) (13 miles)

5/8 - 87 minutes (12 miles)

5/9 - off (Mother's Day...first day off since Christmas)

Summary: 74 miles for the week which wasn't bad considering I was in Phoenix for work.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Week ending May 2, 2010

4/26 - 40 minutes AM (5 miles) (Here's a map of my very boring morning run, out and back every morning), 63 minutes PM (9 miles w/ strides)

4/27 - 40 minutes AM (5 miles), workout PM (3 miles warm up, then 12x400, 1x200, 100m recovery, 3 miles cool down) (72.0, 71.0, 74.8, 71.9, 72.0, 72.6, 72.7, 72.9, 72.1, 72.7, 72.3, 70.8, 32.9, all recoveries were between 30 and 34 seconds, 15:00.7 for 5000m of work) (10 miles)

4/28 - 62 minutes (9 miles)

4/29 - 40 minutes AM (5 miles), 65 minutes PM (10 miles)

4/30 - 41 minutes (6 miles)

5/1 - Children's Museum 5K - 4 miles warm up, race in 15:37 (1st), 3 miles cool down (10 miles) results and a nice article

5/2 - 127 minutes (18 miles)

Summary: 87 miles for the week. Couple of busy days caused me to miss a couple of morning runs, but the 5K went really well. A fairly tough course and a very honest time that I'm happy with.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Week ending April 25, 2010

4/19 - 80 minutes (11 miles)

4/20 - 40 minutes AM (5 miles), 65 minutes PM (10 miles) (Here's a map of my normal 10 miler)

4/21 - 32 minutes AM (4 miles), workout PM (3 miles warm up, 6x800 + 1x200 @ 5K pace w/ 200m recovery) (2:24.4, 63 recovery, 2:25.7, 66 recovery, 2:26.0, 65 recovery, 2:27.0, 67 recovery, 2:28.7, 68 recovery, 2:26.2, 65 recovery, 31.7 for 200m, 2+ miles cool down. Total of 5000m work in 15:09, tough workout after a decent stretch of days going back to last week. Splits gradually got slower during the workout which was frustrating but I probably was asking too much of myself with this workout right now.) (9 miles)

4/22 - 40 minutes AM (5 miles), 68 minutes PM (9 miles)

4/23 - 40 minutes AM (5 miles), 48 minutes PM (7 miles)

4/24 - Out of Hibernation "5K" (4+ warm up, race in 15:02 (I don't think the course is certified), 3+ cool down) (10 miles) The course is probably closer to 3 miles than 5K, but it was fun to race on the roads I run every day. I won't be counting this as a PR.

4/25 - 105 minutes (15 miles) (Here's a map for the standard Sunday run with the boys)

Summary: 90 miles for the week with a tough workout and a good race, even if it was a bit short.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Week ending April 18, 2010

4/12 - 40 minutes AM (5 miles), 53 minutes PM (7 miles)

4/13 - 40 minutes AM (5 miles), 65 minutes PM (10 miles) aka "The Moulton"

4/14 - 32 minutes AM (4 miles), 70 minutes PM (2 miles warm up, 6 x mile w/ 400m recovery: 5:12, 2:00, 5:11, 2:01, 5:11, 2:00, 5:10, 2:03, 5:11, 2:05, 5:06, 2 miles cool down) (11 miles)

4/15 - missed AM run, Camie was sick last night and I was up half the night mopping puke off the bathroom floor. She's ain't feeling so hot and I was too tired to get up before work.
58 minutes PM (8 miles)

4/16 - 60 minutes (9 miles)

4/17 - Girls Inc. 5K (4+ warm up, race in 15:32 (1st) 4+ cool down (11 miles)

4/18 - 140 minutes (20 miles) Here's a map of my 20 mile loop

Summary: 90 miles for the week. 5K PR in a 90 mile week is a really good sign of fitness progress.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Week ending April 11, 2010

4/5 - 60 minutes (8 miles) with strides

4/6 - 40 minutes AM (5 miles), 64 minutes PM (10 miles)

4/7 - 40 minutes AM (5 miles), 70 minutes PM (10 miles) light fartlek, felt like total crap.

4/8 - 32 minutes AM (4 miles), 60 minutes PM (16 x 200 @ ~32-33 seconds, 200 meter full recovery) (8 miles)

4/9 - 40 minutes AM (5 miles), 60 minutes PM (8 miles)

4/10 - 75 minutes (11 miles)

4/11 - 92 minutes (tempo workout, 2 miles warm up, 12 miles in 69 minutes, 1 mile cool down) (15 miles)

Summary: 89 miles, another solid week. The Sunday run went really well and I wasn't sure of the splits until the last few miles which overlap a marked course. I was quicker than I thought, which was nice because the effort was what I wanted it to be.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Week ending April 4, 2010

3/29 - 40 minutes AM (5 miles), 60 minutes PM (8 miles with a set of strides)

3/30 - 40 minutes AM (5 miles), 68 minutes PM (10+ miles)

3/31 - 40 minutes AM (5 miles), 63 minutes PM (10 miles fartlek)

4/1 - 32 minutes AM (4 miles), 63 minutes PM (2 miles warm up, 6 x mile w/ 400m recovery: 5:15, 1:58, 5:13, 2:01, 5:13, 2:02, 5:12, 2:01, 5:12, 2:04, 5:09, 1 mile cool down) (10 miles)

4/2 - 40 minutes AM (5 miles), 62 minutes PM (8 miles)

4/3 - 82 minutes (w/ 4 miles tempo @ 5:20 pace) (12 miles)

4/4 - 120 minutes (17 miles)

Summary: 99 miles for the week. I actually thought 17 would get me to 100 when I went out this morning. I must have counted wrong. Oh well. I doubt that one extra mile would turn me into a super hero overnight. Maybe next week, maybe not. Great week of training though. I was tired in the middle of the week and the tempo on Saturday was a bit tough, but I feel OK now. We'll see how the AM run goes tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Week ending March 28, 2010

3/22 - 38 minutes (5 miles) pretty sore legs

3/23 - 52 minutes (7 miles) legs still pretty sore

3/24 - 68 minutes (10 miles)

3/25 - 65 minutes (10 miles)

3/26 - 40 minutes AM (5 miles), 63 minutes PM (9 miles)

3/27 - 72 minutes (10 miles)

3/28 - 97 minutes (15+ miles)

Summary: 71 miles. Nice recovery week. Legs were really sore for a few days, but feel pretty good now. Time for a few weeks of mileage building before I start workouts specific to the GP races.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Week ending March 21, 2010

3/15 - 57 minutes (8 miles)

3/16 - light tempo workout (4 x 1200 w/ full rest) 3 miles warm up, then 1200 in 3:56 (1:50 recovery), 3:56 (1:54 recovery), 3:56 (1:59 recovery), 3:56, 3 miles cool down (10 miles)

3/17 - 50 minutes (7 miles)

3/18 - 56 minutes (8 miles)

3/19 - 49 minutes (7 miles with 8 x 20 second strides)

3/20 - 40 minutes (5 miles)

3/21 - New Bedford Half Marathon - 1:10:50 (18th overall) - 2 miles warm up, maybe almost 2 cool down (17 miles)

Summary: 62 miles for the week, just a solid taper week that was pretty well executed and a very successful half marathon, 2:59 PR. Time for a few easy days to shake out the soreness and then I've got a couple of months to get in some work before the real summer series starts.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Week ending March 14, 2010

3/8 - 37 minutes (6 miles) (No time to run today, had to sneak it in. Picked up some new shoes at Runner's Alley on the way home so I ran the last few miles carrying a Nike Zoom Streak 3 in each hand.)

3/9 - 40 minutes AM (5 miles), 60 minutes PM (9 miles)

3/10 - 40 minutes AM (5 miles), PM 3 x 2 mile tempo (15 minutes warm up, 10:35, 2:10 recovery, 10:34, 2:08 recovery, 10:26, 15 minutes cool down) Average pace for reps was about 5:16/mile. Basically one rep shorter than last week but a hair sharper. This felt pretty fast but smooth once I got rolling and the last mile of the last rep was about 5:10. I tried to focus on feeling relaxed at this pace. First rep felt pretty quick but I think my legs got used to it a bit and the next two felt smoother until I picked it up for the last mile. (10 miles)

3/11 - 40 minutes AM (5 miles), 63 minutes PM (9 miles)

3/12 - 68 minutes (11 miles)

3/13 - 83 minutes (13 miles)

3/14 - 45 minutes (6 miles)

Summary: 79 miles for the week with a nice tempo workout to try and get ready for New Bedford.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Week ending March 7, 2010

3/1 - 63 minutes (9 miles)

3/2 - 30 minutes AM (4 miles), 64 minutes PM (10 miles)

3/3 - 38 minutes AM (5 miles), 65 minutes PM (9 miles)

3/4 - 4 x 2 mile tempo (15 minutes warm up, 10:37, 2:04 recovery, 10:40, 2:06 recovery, 10:36, 2:10 recovery, 10:34, 10 minutes cool down) Average pace for reps was about 5:18/mile. Nice hard workout. (12 miles)

3/5 - 40 minutes AM (5 miles), 60 minutes PM (8 miles)

3/6 - 75 minutes (10 miles)

3/7 - 110 minutes (17 miles)

Summary: 89 miles for the week with a solid workout, a good long run and decent mileage. 51 more of those and I'll be getting somewhere.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Week ending February 28, 2010

2/22 - 68 minutes (10 miles)

2/23 - 40 minutes AM (5 miles), 71 minutes PM (10 miles)

2/24 - 75 minutes (10 miles) Treadmill run...I don't know how the hell Casey does it on a regular basis.

2/25 - 10 mile tempo in 57:17 (28:41, 28:36 halves with 5:16 last mile) (12 miles)

2/26 - 60 minutes (8 miles)

2/27 - 60 minutes (8 miles)

2/28 - 107 minutes (16 miles)

Summary: 79 miles for the week with a hard long tempo and a decent long run. Was hoping to get closer to 85 this week but I think I needed a week to gradually bump back up. Hopefully over 80 next week with another good tempo and an 18-20 miler on Sunday hopefully.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

BU Valentine Invite 5000 race report

Well, I don’t normally write up race reports. It’s mainly because I’m lazy. But I put 8 weeks of training into the BU Valentine 5000m and a race report was actually requested, so here goes…

The idea of trying to run a 5K under 15 minutes was not on my radar until 2 weeks before this race. I began training for this 5000 with the goal of running 15:15-20, which would have been a big improvement over my 15:42 PR from Cigna in August. It wasn’t until I ran 8:35 for 3000m at the BU Terrier meet that I got to thinking that the conversion worked out to about 15 minutes and hell, I’m more of a strength guy anyhow, so I guess I ought to give it a shot.

Things didn’t go perfectly the week of the race. Camden got a nasty cough and cold which caused a couple of tough nights of sleep, including Friday night before the race. I actually ended up sleeping in his bed for a few hours during the night. Then Friday I started to wonder if I was getting a little sick as well. (4 days later I can confirm that I was getting something, because I’m pretty stuffy and full of phlegm with a sore throat) Anyhow, I cut back the miles for a few days leading up to the race and aside from feeling a little stuffy and a sore throat approaching, my legs were feeling fantastic and fresh.

I got down to BU around 2 on Saturday to check in, even though my race wasn’t until about 8 pm. I had to get there before they closed the check in and I also wanted to see a few other guys race, including Colin Ingram who cracked 2 minutes for the 800 for the first time in a while! After taking a few pictures of those races I tried to find a spot to get off my feet, eat some late lunch and chill out for a while. No Camie and Camden at this race because of the late start time but also because Camden was sick. BUT…around 6:30 I got a call from Camie asking me go pick her up at the T stop by BU! She surprised me by having her mom watch Camden and took the train down to watch the race. Also, Todd Hanson and his family decided to take a trip to Boston and watch the race so I had a nice little cheering section for the race.

After warming up along Commonwealth Ave for a few miles I got back inside just in time for heat assignments/check in. I ended up being seeded 8th in the 3rd section of the 5000. Right where I wanted to be, in the middle of a heat with guys who would hopefully pull me along. As soon as the 2nd section finished we were quickly lined up, all 21 of us! Before I had time to think too much we were off with the gun!

I intentionally paused just a moment on the line and let the crowd roar off. I figured two things: with 21 guys in a 6 lane track there is a good chance of tripping up and ruining the race, and also I’d be better off with a 1st lap a second or two slow than too fast. So I immediately settled into dead last but didn’t stay there for long. After the first lap I started inching my way up and after 600m I was actually in about 5-6th place and found a spot to tuck in. The first K seems all about guys finding their rhythm so a couple of other guys passed me and I ended up settling into 8th I think, as we hit the 1st K split in 2:58. Perfect. 5 laps down, 20 go to. Somewhere early in the second K the field started to split into two packs. I sensed I was right on the dividing line and quickly realized that I needed to be in the first pack, even if I was only hanging onto the back. That was my train and I needed to get on board. I got gapped by about 4-5 meters for a little while but gradually scratched my way back onto the caboose of the lead train. We hit the mile in 4:47 and then the second K in 5:57, still perfect. It was, however, about this time that I realized this wasn’t feeling as comfy as I was hoping it would feel at 2K.

Based on the 3K at Terrier in 8:35, I was telling myself that I’d get to 3K tonight in 8:55-9:00 and feel fine. That isn’t exactly how I’d describe it. When I hit 3K in 8:58 the exact though I had was, “Shit, I can’t do this for 10 more laps!” But I plugged along at the back of my train for a few more laps, just waiting for things to really blow up. Somewhere in there I started having a pretty tough conversation with myself. “You CAN do this, you just don’t WANT TO anymore because Dr. Feelgood is knocking on the door harder than he’s ever knocked before and you can either invite him in for a beer or you can go hide under your bed.” I don’t normally hear my wife yelling for me at races. I’m not sure if she just has a voice that blends in or if she usually doesn’t yell, but just as I was getting to decision time I went by her and Todd on the back straight and heard her yell something. That was what I needed to hear. I immediately thought about all the early mornings when I crawl out of bed and wake her up while I’m sneaking out to run alone in the dark winter mornings, and the evening track sessions that have been interrupting her evenings. It was somewhere with about 5-6 laps to go that I decided I was going to accept whatever pain was necessary to get under 15 minutes. Hell, you pass out before you die, right?

When I hit 4K in 12:01 I knew I had fallen off pace just a couple seconds in that last K, but I also knew the end was in sight. I’ll be honest, I did spend a whole lap wondering if anyone had ever called a timeout during a race. Pain is an acquired taste and I was getting quite drunk on it. I actually didn’t panic when I saw that I was a second off pace at 4K. I had recently decided that the pain wasn’t going to dictate the outcome and that if I could just string together a couple more 36 second laps that whether my body was willing or not, my mind and heart would require me to kick the last couple of laps. The leaders started to pick it up a hair as well and had dropped me a little bit early in the last K. I didn’t want to shoot my wad too early so I just focused on the clock for a couple of laps and we began to come up on the first couple of runners being lapped. I was already pretty delirious but seeing these runners confused me a little bit because I hadn’t really considered the possibility of lapping guys. It turned out good though because I managed to use one of them to pull back up towards the lead pack a little bit.

I got to the line with 2 laps remaining at 13:48, so I knew it was time to pour the last of my life out onto the track. On the short track it is a little tough to hit the gas with 2 laps to go but I tried to pick it up a little bit and then got to the bell lap at 14:23. There was a string of lapped runners right around the corner and I passed 4, maybe 5 guys on the last lap. I was too tired to be confused at this point. I knew I had been riding in 6th place for a while so when I passed all those guys I knew something was odd but I couldn’t think to figure it out. I just ran at the line like a fat kid runs to the ice cream truck…with complete tunnel vision. I glanced up about 10 meters before the line and saw 14:54 so I knew I was going to get under by a few ticks, not that I really cared at the moment. I just wanted to stop running. I think I was too tired for satisfaction. My official time ended up being 14:56.28, a 46 second improvement over my 5K at Cigna.

I found the top rail of the track to rest against for a few seconds and suck in air like that dying dish in the Faith No More video for “Epic”, which seemed appropriate. After sort of catching my breath I stood up to walk over to Camie, but had to wonder whether my legs would actually take me there.

I hadn’t been this uncomfortable since my stepdad gave me the “birds and the bees” chat in 7th grade using a Hustler and a Linda Lovelace video as reference materials. Funny, both ended up lasting about 15 minutes. To quote Emil Zatopek, it was the most pleasant exhaustion I have ever known.