Sunday, July 26, 2009

10 Mile Road Race

Hi, everybody. First off, congratulations to my teammate Eric for his 24:22 victory at the Marathon Sports 5miler in Weston, MA. He's had (in his own words, not mine) a rough time with training the last couple weeks and was very gratified to run as solidly as he did. Eric's victory makes the 2nd Flying Jackalope W in July and extends the Club's winning streak to two (a streak I would, sadly, end the very next day). I had a pretty good week myself (albeit very busy, but that's normal for me now). I'm almost looking forward to when school starts, as 20 hrs/week of class and maybe 5-8 hours a week of homework sound wonderful compared to 40 hours a week of work. Anyway, here's the log and an analysis of my first-ever race over 5miles:

Monday- AM- 4 regeneration, 31:33 Tough to convince myself to run that slow but I'm hoping it pays off. PM- 10 easy with Geoff, 70min, last 5 barefoot.

Tuesday- AM- The daycare went to the NE Aquarium today. My morning run consisted of dashing around the aquarium trying to track down my wandering little pukes. They weren't too bad, actually- just unruly hooligans, which is to be expected for young kids around wildlife. PM- 4mi warmup, 5xK on the track at medium effort, 3:06 avg, 400jog rest (untimed). I kept my trainers on to feel clunky on purpose- transitioning from barefoot on the grass to racing flats on the roads has always been a recipe for blisters and feeling crappy for me. Workout was very easy, even factoring in the wind/rain. 3+ mile c/d.

Wednesday- Overslept accidentally; I must have needed the rest. PM- 10 easy in my new Streaks, 66:07, + 4x150m buildups on the grass after.

Thursday- AM- 4 solo before work, 28:36 (out in 14:40). PM- Worked til 4:30, took a bus to South Station, took the T to BU, walked to Ashford, then ran with James in the dark/rain after he got home. 52:38, running in the dark is always faster than in the light.

Friday- Noon- 3mi shakeout with Petah, Kevin, and James.
5pm: Blessing of the Fleet 10mi Road Race in Narraganset, RI. 3 miles up, 10-mile race in 53:27, 2 mile b/f on the beach. More summary/analysis below.

Saturday- Noon- 4 easy with Petah and James from Ashford, 28:56, hot out. PM- 8 easy solo, last 4 barefoot, 60min- felt tired and tried to run slow on purpose (it wasn't that hard, haha!).

Sunday- 4pm- 12 easy, hilly course, 82:46, didn't feel too awful but didn't feel too great either- I'm a huge sissy when it comes to heat/humidity and today had both. Give me 10 below zero any day.

Tot- 91.

Race: Well, the race didn't go as fast as I had hoped, but it was a solid competitive effort. My problem with 5milers has always been that I get to 2.5 mi and my body goes "oh, ok, we have like 800 to go, right? Right?" and then I start with the shit-eating and end up just trying to struggle into the finish. I was apprehensive about a race over twice the distance, but tried to just stay relaxed and compete well. There was a pretty big group through 4 miles and I was never really alone for a significant period of the race. I got my doors blown in in the last 400, but managed to rally ok and pass someone at the line for 5th. Here are my splits:

10:45 (5:27)
15:52 (5:07) Note: we're all pretty sure the 4mi mark was accurate, but the 3mi mark was probably 15ish seconds short)
21:30 (5:38) (the two-mile split from 2-4 makes sense, but not the 3mi)
26:50 (5:20)
32:19 (5:29)
37:42 (5:23)
43:06 (5:24)
48:22 (5:16)
53:27 (5:05).

I had a pretty rough patch from about 6.5-7.5 and considered just trying to shuffle in at 5:30 pace, but decided against it and ended up running a fairly gutsy race in the last 3mi. The Providence trio of McLaren, Yeats, and Barao blew my doors in hardcore but its July and I'm not too angry with my condition right now. If I had broken 53 I would have been very happy, but it's not too vital. My next race will probably be the Falmouth Road Race on August 9th. Unfortunately, my 5th place showing ended the Jackalopes' winning streak, but it was still awesome to compete in the uniform the first time, even if I didn't fuck as much shit up with my baller horns as I would have liked. It was great to run with a teammate for a good portion of the way too, as Petah Gilmore had his own self a very solid race as well, placing 7th with a 53:50.

This week will be another busy one for me- I'm piling on (temporarily) a third job with a stint as a counselor for the Derry Running Camp, a developmental camp for middle-schoolers that goes from about 8-noon this week. I also have my BU orientation on Thursday and Friday where I'll pick my classes, have my class-standing evaluated, figure out my loan situation, and hopefully find an on-campus job for next year. While I'm there I'd like to hop in a workout with Eric and I'll probably take a day off to make this a bit of a down week. I'm certainly not complaining about having two jobs in this economy, but a big part of me will be glad when all I have to do is run, go to class, and study! (and cause trouble with my new teammates, heh heh).

Have a great week, everybody-
oh, and btw, check for a full, free version of the film "The Spirit of the Marathon." It was pretty interesting, I thought, though I have to admit I share many of Parker's ideas about the 5-hour-marathon being more a sign of improper preparation than the indomitable human spirit.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Sorry This is Late (Or: A Tiring Workweek)

Hi everyone- sorry this is a day late, I completely spaced it yesterday. Then again, I'm sure no one was particularly impatient, haha. This week was less quality than last, but I had a pretty tough work schedule and didn't want to push things too much. Nonetheless, I'm very very tired as I write this. The 4th and 5th weeks at a higher mileage start to grind on me; fortunately, I'm racing this week, which means it'll be kind of a down week in intensity except for the race. I'll probably take next Monday off, too.

Anyway, here it is:

Monday- 9AM- 10 easy, 66:39 6PM- 4 easy after work, 27:22. Left achilles was a little tender- more walking around than when I was running, I probably just strained it a little doing those two barefoot workouts last week.

Tuesday- 1pm- 5 miles easy (33:10) from one work to the other. 6:30- Easy/moderate after work, 8 miles 51:04 (26:40/24:24) felt terrible through 4 and great during the last half. Good set of strides after. 11pm- Core/strength. My quest to become strong enough to no longer fear 11 year old girls continues, slowly.

Wednesday- 1pm- 5 easy from work to work, kids were unruly all day. 6pm- 3 miles easy to the track, then a little nueromuscular workouts. I did two sets 4x150, 1x200 with a walk back recovery, then jogged a slow 800 after each set. Didn't time the 150s, just ran fast and relaxed. Did the 200s in 25.8 and 26.0- it felt ok. To be honest, I kinda hoped that with the diligent hill sprints I've been doing, I'd bust out a sub-25, but hey, it's July. Last summer I did a similar workout and hit 27s on the 200s at the same effort, so whatever. 4 miles c/d.

Thursday- 8:30AM- 3 easy before work, 21:47. Legs were trashed from those sprints yesterday! I could hardly believe how sore I was. 7PM- 9 62:32 out and back on a hilly route, tried to keep it slow.

Friday- 7PM- Had today off! (well, except for a short shift 4-7 at the lake). Slept in, lazed about all day. Did 17.5 over very hilly terrain in 1:53, felt pretty good but hungry the last 2-3 miles. I think that's the farthest I've ever run on purpose (not counting, of course, getting lost or that time Shamus shamed me into doing 20 with him at camp).

Saturday- 11AM- 4 easy, 28:45. Noon- went to Whirlaway, got new trainers- Adizero Bostons. At 9oz, they're the heaviest shoes I've trained in for a while, but I want to protect my achilles a little. 7pm- 8 easy on hilly backroads, averaged about 6:30s but ran 54min to be sure it was 8.

Sunday- 12PM- 6 easy, 40:20, hot out for me. I know I'm a huge heat sissy, but once it gets over 80 degrees I feel like I'm cooking, especially in this NH humidity. 7pm- 8 miles easy, 55:38, felt very sluggish, last 2mi barefoot. Achilles was fine.

Tot- 97 miles with one good long run and one good neuromuscular day. I'm exhausted right now but I think it's more to do with dealing with 80 kids who were unusually bratty today than the mileage. Ten mile road race this week, my first race over 5mi ever. I'm not really sure what to expect, but I would hope if the weather is ok that I could at least break 54min (my "PR" is a 54:30 ten mile "tempo but actually we were probably racing" from XC last year). If the weather is nice and the course isn't mega hilly or anything, averaging under 5:20s would be fantastic.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Best Week So Far (Or: Craig Invites a Karmic Ass-Kicking Later On)

Hey, everybody- last cross country season, when I was busting balls all the time and seeing very little benefit during races, I related my frustrations to a much faster friend in an email. He reminded me of a passage from Once A Runner, where Bruce Denton compares training to a geometric spiral. It goes something like "Sometimes you'll work very hard and see nothing, other times you'll surprise yourself with the big jumps you make for no reason at all." I think I've been in one of those "momentum gathering swings" for a while as my body adjusted to the new mileage demands, coaching expectations, work schedule, etc. This week saw what I hope will be only the beginning of the fruits of that momentum-gathering.

Monday- 8:30AM- 3mi easy 21:43 6:30PM- 10 easy with Geoff, 67min, plus 6x150 barefoot on the grass.

Tuesday- 1PM- 4 easy from work to work 27:30 7pm- 9 easy on the R/R beds 62min- kinda my farewell run on 'em, as they're getting paved. 11:30- Very light core/strengt session. I've been really lazy about doing these lately.

Wednesday- 12pm- 13 easy/moderate 83:26, hilly course. Felt pretty good, didn't feel much different than running 7min pace.

Thursday- 8:00am- 4 easy, 28min. 6:30pm- Went to Hood Field, my grass 880y loop, for a barefoot tempo. 3 miles warmup (19:45) right into 7miles tempo in 37:00 (5:33, 5:25 (10:58), 5:20 (16:18), 5:17 (21:35), 5:14 (26:49), 5:09 (31:58), 5:02. When I saw the split at 6mi, I debated going for sub-37 then reminded myself that I was trying that "patience" thing and backed off- with about 600 to go I decided to pick it back up a little and ran about 4:40/mile for the last minute or two. Regardless, I was very gratified with how easy it felt- 5:33 and 5:02 felt more or less identical, and my pulse stayed constant throughout the tempo. A two-mile cooldown brought me to 12 miles in 1:09:02, averaging 5:45s including the easy warmup and cooldown, and a new PR for the farthest distance I have ever run barefoot.

Friday- 9am- mile jog to the Dr's office, had my physical for BU but the forms aren't done because I had to get a TB test. 2mi jog home (my Dr's office is conveniently located at the mile mark of my easy 3mi loop). 7:30PM- 9 easy, 63:30, plus 10xhill sprints. Sluggish for run, felt great on the hill sprints. 11:30- Did my poor excuse for core work- 2x20 pushups was HARD, my high school days of being able to bang out 50 perfect ones without breaking a sweat are long gone. The good news is that 2x20 is 20 more than I managed on Tuesday :p

Saturday- 12pm- 12 easy, 81 min, hot out, didn't feel great. Hilly course but still- one of those blech days.

Sunday- 9AM- 4 easy, 29:02, rolled out of bed and went running after sleeping so hard I barely remembered my name. Spent a good chunk of the day with the family at the beach- sitting out in the sun and searing my Irish behind might not be the best pre-workout time-killer, but it was nice to smell salt air and sit in the ocean. 6:30PM- Back to Hood Field for a barefoot 10x880y. Had another fantastic workout with little effort for no reason- which means, I'm sure, I'm due for a session of hard mile repeats averaging 5:30 pace or something, haha. 3miles up in 19:40, then right into 10x880 off a 4min cycle (so a 2:30 880 = 90 seconds rest). Went 2:37, 2:27, 2:26, 2:26, 2:24, 2:24, 2:22, 2:22, 2:20, 2:19 feeling smooth and unpressed. Ended up passing 7miles in 37:32, which is pretty darned satisfying. Jogged a little, then had some serious intestinal distress (which made me very glad for the portable toilet at Hood Field). Tot workout was 11 in 64:14, 5:50 pace (including about a 3:40 last half mile while I valiantly tried to stave off the skitters).

Tot- 95 miles, two great workouts and one solid moderate run. I want to be really excited about the fantastic workouts I did, but I know as well as anyone that good workouts and bad workouts all come out in the wash. 5:17 pace on a tempo or 5:30 pace, so much of it depends on the day, the weather, etc- especially when you're not running with teammates. I know that my effort level for both workouts were appropriate for the time in my training and what my body was telling me- the watch said they were fast workouts; my body said they were moderate efforts.

Next will be a tough one to get in the quality- I have a few days where I work from 8am-6pm and I'll probably limit myself to doing some easy 150s on the track and maybe one run a little longer than I've been doing (I'm thinking 17miles or so). The volume will be about the same but the lighter quality workload will be good to allow me to consolidate my gains a little and go into August without feeling too sluggish or dead.

All in all, it's a satisfied guy writing this blog right now- a few more months of this and I'll be ready to take a few scalps.

Have a nice week, everyone

PS- I've been told the comments function is all messed up. While I try to figure out what I did to screw it up, feel free to email me at with any comments/questions/angry jeers/bogus internet scams/underwater real estate offers.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Job # 2 Starts

Now I don't want to complain, because a lot of guys my age don't have a job for the summer, but my second job started this week and made it difficult to get the quality I wanted in. Not a huge deal but I was pretty comatose for a few days while I adjusted. Also, the Jackalope Uniform made its debut- Geoff wore it to win the Merrimack Sparkler 5k for the 2nd year in a row (sissy still hasn't gotten my course record, though :p).

Anyway, here's the log-

Monday- AM- forgot work started today, slept too late to run. Fortunately, my second job is a daycare less than 440y from my house, so I made it in on time- barely.
PM- Measured my "ten-miler" and found out it was 10.2 (turns out a lot of my old high school loops are a little off, but off in the good way as opposed to being short). 4 miles warmup, 4.2 mile tempo (22:30, about 5:20 pace), didn't feel hard but my legs were working overtime to power through the thick, muddy trail I was running on. 2 miles down, averaged 6 flats for the entire run.

Tuesday- 7:15AM- 4 easy (29min), barely had enough time- rolled out of bed and ran, didn't fully wake up til 3 miles in. Worked from 8-1 at the daycare (and let me tell you, those rambunctious little kids did not let me rest all that much) then stopped at home for a sandwich, then worked 1:30-6:30 at the lake (inspecting boats for milfoil, if I haven't mentioned that before), then ran a very sluggish, lazy 10 in 69:42 before doing a good set of 6x150 on the grass.

Wednesday- AM- Got the morning off! Ran an easy 5 with my friend Beth, 41:23- she's come a long way from last summer, when she couldn't hold a conversation at 10min pace. PM- 10 easy, barefoot on the grass at Hood Field, 66:37, felt pretty good between the 11 hrs of sleep the night before and the regeneration run.

Thursday- 11AM- 13 easy, 1:30:40, hilly course- first 5 with my brother. I was headed into Boston in the evening to help Eric celebrate his 21st birthday and just got it all out of the way.

Friday- AM- 6 easy, most with Eric, some with Eric's girlfriend. The birthday boy made it through ok- though both of us would have been content without Emily pushing the pace :p PM- 7 easy back at home, ate a huge dinner 30min before and ran after dark, 49:05. Felt pretty badass doing my 9x10 sec hill sprints in the pitch black afterward.

Saturday- AM- 3 easy in the morning before some family 4th of July stuff most of the day. PM- 12 miles moderate, wasn't planning on doing anything much but ended up with a pretty decent fartlek- 23min warmup (passing 3mi in 20:40) then a 2-mile uphill push in 11:23, then jog to the 7mi mark (45, roughly) then a mile of surge the uphills/easy downhills (51:31 at 8) then a 2.5 mile push (13:43, going 5:43 then 8flat for 1.5) then 1.5 jog in for a total time of 1:14:23 (6:12 avg pace, last 10 in 60 flat).

Sunday- 3pm- Hood Field, 2mi warmup (12:26) 4xmile at medium effort (5:06avg) with 800 jog for 6mi in 33:39, then 2mi c/d in 13:30 for 10 total in 59:35. Felt pretty tired but I wasn't trying to bust balls today either. Also, in addition to some merciless winds, the grass is about ankle-deep right now and for once I wasn't running barefoot, but whatever. The important part is that I got it in. 9pm- 4 miles easy, 27 min. Felt pretty good, but still stuffed from dinner.

Tot- 94 miles with a good tempo, a pair of back to back solid fartleks, and a session of hill sprints. All in all a good solid week of work. After sleeping in Wednesday and having that nice regeneration run, I felt pretty good- right now I'm not that tired but I've got to force myself to go to bed soon so I can wake up and run before work. We're taking our troupe of clowns to a Fishercats game tomorrow-- which will be exhausting, I'm sure. However, if I can repeat this kind of volume/quality for another six or seven weeks, I'll be well-pleased.

Also, if you've got the extra time (and, if you're reading some scrub third-tier miler's blog, let's face it, you've got the time) check this out:

It's none other than a year of Mr. Bill Rodgers' training log. Very interesting- though I wish he had written down the elapsed time for his runs more. Thanks to Bob Hodge for transcribing it! I'm sure there's stuff I forgot to say that I meant to, but oh well- I can always do a mid-week update.

Have a good week, readers!