Sunday, August 30, 2009

Settling Into Allston

Hello there guys and gals (ok, guys). It was a very hectic week here- I'm afraid this won't be the usual verbose post. I half-moved into my place on Sunday; I won't be into my actual room until tomorrow or Tuesday. Classes start on Wednesday, so my window to get everything done before then is quite short.


Monday- AM- 11 easy, two laps around Fresh Pond with James, 76 min.

Tuesday- AM- 3+up, 6k tempo at the Brookline Res (20:30, ~5:30 a mile) 3+ cooldown. Felt awful and tired, despite pushing this workout back from last Sunday. PM- 3 mile barefoot shakeout around Nickerson with James, 21:45.

Wednesday- AM- 4 easy with Peter and James, part of it barefoot. PM- First unofficial team run (some of the new guys still hadn't had their physicals and stuff, so this was 100% an optional, unofficial, informal gathering and run. 10 easy out to the Museum of Science, 66min. Felt godawful, vowed to take tomorrow really easy and try to get some life in my legs for the workout.

Thursday- PM- 5 easy + team core work (again, this was entirely an unofficial run that Bruce did not organize at all). I think I must be the softest active 4:08 guy out there- I feel weak and doughy compared to my teammates!

Friday- AM- Very slow 3mi shakeout barefoot around Nickerson, 22:55. PM- Since the freshman and transfers weren't yet cleared (they were still entering us in the system, confirming insurance, reviewing our NCAA forms, etc) we all worked out together, independent from Bruce and the rest of the team. Dave and I took the freshman gals and guys up to the BC Res to do 3 sets of 4min, 2mi, 1min at "approximate date 8k race pace" with 2min rest between each on segment. The entire workout was 37 min, during which I covered a little less than 11k (I split 33:50 through 10k, or 4 laps of the Res). 4 miles up and somewhere more than 2miles down, felt really good- happy to get my legs back under me for the first time in nearly a week.

Saturday- AM- 10 very easy with the team, MOS loop again, 68min. PM- Warmup Loop with Ken and James (3mi) + a 60min core/strength session with the team. My quest to become less pathetically weak and soft continues.

Sunday- AM- To Fresh Pond, a lap, and back from the TTC. Ran moderate with Eric; I'm always surprised at how easy 6min pace feels on flat ground. Averaged 5:50s the last 6mi or so, didn't strain- chatted comfortably. Loop was somewhere between 9mi and 15k- 56:23 tot. 8 really good strides after with 100 jog on Nickerson. PM- River Loop with Eric, real easy- 29min. Capped off a good week here- 87 miles with a 5mi day in there.

I'm a little rocked from the strength routine, but all in all I'm loving life here- Boston is great, my teammates are awesome, and I can't wait to get into the meat of the season. That's all!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Last Week in New Hampshire

Hi, everybody. This week concluded my summer training for 2009. This is my first entry as a resident of the Track House on Ashford St, Allston, MA. I thought I was going to have to keep myself busy until Wednesday when the rest of the guys are moving in. It was then to my great surprise that James and Sean were already here! Before I get into the specifics of the week, here are some stats for people who like stats and a few thoughts (for people who like thinking?):

Summer Training 09:
104 days
1248.3 miles
162 runs

Average per day: 12.00 miles
Average per week: 84.00 miles
Weeks over 80 miles: 11
Lowest week: 46mi (first week back)
Highest week: 97mi (three times)

Thoughts: This has easily been the most consistent and sensible block of training I've ever gotten through. My races weren't amazing, but they served to indicate my fitness was advancing at a promising rate. Bruce is quite happy with the work I've done and keeps reminding me that being race sharp at the end of August isn't the goal of summer training. We have three weeks until our first race in Vermont- time to keep the momentum rolling and maintain the mileage for another month or two. I'm at the point where a 90mi week takes roughly the same out of me as a 75mi week used to- great progress, but it's a long road to get from where I am now to where I want to be as a runner.

The log:

Monday- AM 10 miles easy + a mi worth of striders. Slept in too late and it was disgusting out- hot and humid. Took water at 5 and 8mi. 78 min including the strides PM- 5 easy, weather was worse, if possible, 36:45

Tuesday- AM- 7mi easy, barefoot- didn't have the desire to do ten in the weather. Took water at 3 and 5. 48:39 PM- 8 easy, getting really sick of the heat and humidity (it's been in the 90s with dew points in the 70s the last couple days). 55:52 + 6 short hills after.

Wednesday- AM- 4 easy, 27:44, I wondered if it was even worth trying to work out that night. PM- 3 up, 5x1200 with 400 jog rest (8k total in 27:03). Too hot to push the 400s the way I had planned but I'm happy with the workout overall. Splits:

1200 400 Elapsed Time Mile Split
3:39 (1:42) (5:21) (5:21)
3:39 (1:47) (10:47) (5:26)
3:40 (1:43) (16:10) (5:23)
3:39 (1:51) (21:40) (5:30)
3:39 (1:45) (27:03) (5:26)

Thursday- PM- overslept due to setting my alarm to PM instead of AM. 14 easy 1:35:55 on a hilly course around the lake. Last day of work today!

Friday- AM- BRING ON THE FALL. Slept late, rolled out of bed, went jogging- 30:13, felt terrible. PM- 5 easy during a super intense thunderstorm. A tree not 50 feet in front of me was struck by lightning during this run. Decided it was a good idea just to take a recovery day, in light of the heavy mileage of the last two weeks.

Saturday- AM- 5 easy with Kev, felt ok but for the damn heat and humidity, 34:43. PM- 10 easy, first 5 very slow (36min) last 5 barefoot/cutting down to about 6min pace. Felt pretty smooth going more moderate, sun went down as I started picking it up and that helped, 66:53 tot.

Sunday- AM- 4 easy barefoot, 28:05. Felt awful, decided to delay workout til the afternoon and see if I felt better. Moved into Ashford during the afternoon. PM- 9 easy with James, 59:40, down to JP and back.

Tot- 97.

Have a good week, everyone! Feel to comment or email as usual. Hope everyone's summer was as productive as mine!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Penultimate Week of Summer Training

First, thanks to Mr. Keeley, my middle-school English teacher, for teaching us all the word "penultimate" as part of his "words you probably don't need to know, but might use eyebrows if you use them" vocabulary series. Penultimate is my second favorite one after "defenestrate," from the Latin "fenestra" (window) and means "throw something out the window." Ask about it in Prague (if you get that reference, you, like me, probably didn't have a date this weekend).

Anyway. . .

Monday- AM: Woke up after Ashford, took the bus home, didn't have time to run before work. PM- 10 easy around the lake, hilly course, 67:30- felt better than after the ten-miler but not exactly fresh as daisies.

Tuesday- 1PM- 4 to work, 27:34. 7PM- 10 easy, hilly course, 69:50- felt pretty good but I tried to keep it real easy. It was rainy out instead of humid, which was nice.

Wednesday- 1:30PM- 7 to work, hilly- 47:36, felt fine. 6PM- 9 easy, 58:33, didn't think I was running that fast during the run, definitely felt ready to work out on Thursday (I had been debating pushing it back to Friday if I wasn't feeling it).

Thursday- 9:45AM- Light workout, 3mi up, 8x400on, 200off at the track- averaged 69s for the ons and about 50seconds on the off. Didn't want to push it too hard- still ended up covering 4800m just under 16min. Felt pretty good, especially since I am notoriously bad at rolling out of bed and working out, which is what I did. 3 down, windy and cool out.
7PM- 6 easy, 40min with a nice big group after the Cigna 5k in Manch-Vegas- I just watched and I was treated to my Jackalope Co-Founder Geoff Trethewey run an all-time PR of 14:55- a full 22 seconds under his TRACK 5k pr!

Friday- PM-13 easy/moderate on a hilly course- hit 46:47 through 7 then held just under 6:20 pace or so through the rest, 84:33 tot. Felt fantastic, couldn't hold back any more than that. Tough not to run 6min pace the last half but I tried to keep it easy.

Saturday- 11:30AM- 9 easy out/back on the R/R beds, nice and flat, 62min. Ran solo at noon, it was pretty gross out.
7PM- 5 easy barefoot with Eric and Kev, 35:49, felt great to really chill out.

Sunday- 8AM- With Eric at Hood Field- 3up, 2x2mi, 1xmi with 5min rest. Another great barefoot workout (and while it was gross by the time we finished, it was only about 75 with moderate humidity for the workout itself). Went 9:59 (5:00, 4:59), 9:54 (4:56, 4:57) and 4:51 (2:26, 2:25) and felt pretty darn good doing it. During each 5min rest we jogged half a mile in 3:20-25, grabbed a few sips of water, and jogged a little more. Short cooldown to Hood Pond for a swim, as by that time the weather was quite gross.
7PM- 4 mile solo shakeout, 28:34- was shocked that I was going that fast. The weather sucked, but I hardly felt like I had worked out.

Tot- 97

All in all, a pretty solid week. The quarters really seemed to put some zing in my legs. It got pretty gross out towards the end of the week but hey, we've been lucky this summer. Aside from that, not much is going on. . . I'm moving into Ashford St this coming Sunday, so this will be my last week as a full-time resident of Derry and New Hampshire. From heah on out, I'm a Bawstonian- and moah properly, a resident of Allstahn, chahlie. :)

Have a good week, all- and don't forget to catch as much as the World Champs as possible!!!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Falmouth/Birthday Weekend

Hello, my small cadre of running fans who remain interested in the ramblings of a long-distance-never-was!

This was a solid week of training for me, which is great when there's 10-12 of them in a row, but most be increasingly boring to read about. At the same time, the few emails I've got that say "hey, I like what you have to say and it's helped me" keep me going. Maybe someday, if I get legitimate, these posts will be an interesting study in the development of a guy who clawed his way from mediocrity. Anyway, here's the log:

Monday- AM- At Hood Field with Geoff, 3mi warmup (19:45) 3mi tempo 15:56 (5:18, 5:19, 5:19) 1mi jog, 1.5 mi 7:48 (5:11, 2:37), 1mi jog, 1mi 4:58 (2:31, 2:27) 1.5 mi jog. Felt pretty crappy- my back muscles were really tight and crampy.
PM- 4 easy, felt great.

Tuesday- 1PM- 5 easy to work, 32:56. 6PM- 8 easy, 54:30, cut it short because I felt sick. Sitting in the sun all day at work without drinking anything was probably a bad idea. The laps around the lake I do are hilly as they come, so at least I'm getting in some challenging terrain.

Wednesday- 1PM- To work again, 4 easy in 26:12 (probably slightly short). PM- 12 easy, 79:39, hilly terrain again. Felt pretty good today- probably because I pounded water like it's my job.

Thursday- AM- 4 easy- 28:42 + 5xhill sprints. Goddamn rednecks were up early to heckle me. PM- 3 up, All-Comers Mile at the Greater Derry Track Club Fun Run, 69, 70, 70, 59 (that 59 was the last 409m). I was pleased to close under 60 so easily and was pretty confident I could run at least 14:40 for 5k right now.

Friday- AM- 4 easy barefoot, 28:56.
PM- Travel to Allston, 9 with Eric, Geoff, Gibson, and James- 59 min. Ran up around JP and enjoyed the ghost of Bill Rodgers' footsteps.

Saturday- AM- Drove to Falmouth with Petah, Kevin, and Geoff. Worked for an hour or two at the expo for the Strands Booth (Matt Downin has done more for me than he knows, and God knows I owe him more than a few paltry volunteer sessions could make up for). I got my first edition of Kenny Moore's Best Efforts signed by Frank Shorter, Meb, Bill Rodgers, and Joan Benoit Samuelson. We were near the front of the line so the Olympians weren't burned out from a million autographs yet, so they all chatted with us for a few. I had trouble not blurting out to Shorter that it was his autobiography that inspired me to try to become the best runner I could. Shorter is my hero, and yet I think I avoided looking like a fawning idiot, haha.
PM- 7 easy with Petah, Geoff, Kevin, and Chris from Falmouth High. We wandered around on some trails then watched the Falmouth Mile. I don't want to sound like a fanboy, but it was really cool watching a sub-4 mile in person, especially since there were maybe 200 people at this rinky-dink little high school track with no rabbits or anyting. The women were equally impressive- all 4 women ran within spitting distance of their PRs and Erin Donohue ran from the front, winning in an American soil PR of 4:27. I was lucky enough to get to stay with Max Darrah's family and get totally spoiled by his mom instead of having to book a motel. Again, I don't want to sound like some obsequious fan, but Will Leer was hosted at the same house and it was cool getting to hang out with this guy I'm a huge fan of (as an ex-d3er, Will Leer is even more of a legend to me). Max's mom made a TON of food and I enjoyed it even more than the trash-talking/wii bowling experience with Leer, Petah, Geoff, and Max afterward.

Sunday- AM- 2 up with Eric, Marisa, Mike, and Peter. John Carroll treated us no different from the professionals- he let us start up front, was extremely kind to us, gave me access to the infield of the track at the Mile the night before to take pictures for Letsrun (which they didn't use! booooo wejo!), etc. The whole "Falmouth experience" was entirely world-class and top-notch and I can't wait to come back next year. 7mi race in 36:38 for 37th? 5:15, 10:27, 15:42, 20:55, 26:09, didn't catch the 6mi split. I saw roughly 32:35 for 10k, though. 4mi cooldown with Peter.

Tot- 91.

Race: I'm more of less disgusted with how my race. Now, I have been over every inch of silver lining and every half-baked platitude in the book: it's August, Regionals is in November, this is only my 2nd race over 5mi ever, Regionals is only a 10k not 7mi, it was hot out and I'm a huge wimp about hot-weather running, etc, etc. Blah, blah, blah. The trouble is that this is the 2nd race in a row where I've run 5-8 seconds/mile slower than I thought I was in shape to do. I'm chalking these efforts up to unimportant summer road races and hoping that after a few more months of 13-14 mile days I'll be rolling. I've told countless runners that mileage isn't about instant gratification, that it's about consistency over time and sacrificing short-term goals. Now I'm facing that same lesson in patience and I'm dealing with it extremely poorly, haha. On the other hand, the miserable race was more than mitigated by a fantastic birthday weekend (I turned 20 on Saturday) and the hope that better things lie ahead of me.

I just barely got this in time to count as Sunday!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Down Week

I hate down weeks. Nothing feels to me so useless as purposely running less and easing back on the quality work- it feels ignoble and weak. Yet, I know they're necessary to improve. Between the race and the volume/intensity of the last month, I certainly needed this week to be very easy- that still doesn't stop me from pissing and moaning about doing less. Kenny Moore certainly expressed this frustration better than I have, but once Moore got hit with Bowerman's 2x4 of proof, he was a convert to this crazy concept of recovery. I found myself in a pretty bad mood in the early part of the week, but was saved when I went in to Boston on Wednesday night for BU Orientation.

Orientation, unfortunately, is probably one of the worst parts about college. The only good thing about orientation is that you do it first thing and then it's done with. However, I have to say my group leaders made it much more tolerable than usual, and the fact that my group was made up of other tranfers also helped a lot. I also got news that due to slightly different requirements from BU, enough of my credits from Keene didn't count so that I am now repeating my sophomore year of college. Some of the classes that Keene categorized as distinct fell under the same umbrella at BU (particularly, a few English classes). However, since my financial need is pretty high compared to the wealthier-on-average BU kids, I'm not upset about having 3 years left of undergraduate work; in fact, I'm excited that I'll have the opportunity to spread my remaining two years of eligibility left over the three years I have at BU. Obviously, which season or seasons to redshirt is a huge decision, and one that Bruce and I won't make lightly. I know that as long as I don't get hurt, I will be running XC this year in the BU uniform. It's not really worth it to think beyond that right now; we can cross the redshirt bridge when we need to. As Bruce likes to say, there are a few ideas percolating right now.

The post-orientation time at BU was amazing as well- there's a great vibe with the guys and yet also great discipline. It would have been easy for all of us to mess with our schedules and bang out a brutal workout together. Instead, we worked out as we were assigned and all got in good training without trying to hammer in a huge group. I have about three weeks left until I move into Ashford St and I can't wait! The only thing left to do is secure myself a little on-campus part time job.

Anyway, here's the log for the week (it's hardly an exciting log, but then again, how exciting is my log normally?)

Monday- AM- 4 miles very very slow with my middle-school campers. I have a much more talkative group than last year! PM- Off, needed the rest.

Tuesday- AM- 4 very very slow with campers.
PM- 12 easy/moderate on hilly course, 76:06- averaged about 6:30s through 7 then held 6:10s through the last 5 without straining. Starting to feel my legs come back after Blessing.

Wednesday- AM- 5 very slow with campers.
PM- 9 easy, solo, from Ashford, 59:41. Ran up Comm Ave to the Res, did three laps, ran back a slightly different way. Only came within inches of death three times on this run- I'm getting better at looking for cars before I cross streets!

Thursday- BU Orientation kept me busy. Managed to sneak in an easy 4 with Dave Krinjak (a fellow transfer) and Petah, 26:44.

Friday- AM- More orientation stuff.
7PM- Rain cooled things off nicely, ran up Comm Ave to the Res with James, Petah, Eric, and Dave, then did a fartlek with Dave- 3x3min on, 2min off, then 8x15 second sprints, 45 sec jog, then 3x3min on, 2min off again, then about a 25min cooldown. Felt ok, probably a good idea to do a fartlek on an unmeasured path (I know the whole thing is 2500m, but I don't know any splits) because I'm pretty sure we weren't moving that fast. The strides felt good, though. Whole workout was about 14 in 87:12.

Saturday- 8AM- Medium-long with James and Eric, Peter came the first two miles while he warmed up for his workout. We ran up Comm Ave to the Res, back onto Comm Ave to Heartbreak, down to the water fountain, got a little water, then went home a different way. We started really really slow then picked it up as we loosened up and ended up running just under 6min pace for the last 30min or so- we averaged 6:30s, assuming it was 13 and not a little longer.

Sunday- AM- Back home, 10 easy with Geoff at Massabesic, 67:44.
PM- 5 easy, 33:50, solo before dinner.

Tot- 80.

I like the fact that even my very easy recovery weeks are comfortably above 80mi (even with two days at only 4mi each!). Exactly a week from today I'm going to race Falmouth, which should be a fun time. All in all I'm not upset with my condition right now, but I'm not nearly as fit as I'd like to be. Still, this makes I think this is my 8th week at 80 miles or better. I don't think I've ever been this consistent before, but after Falmouth it'll be onwards and upwards to hit some 100mi weeks before my next down week.

Have a good week, everyone!