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!


  1. How slow is "very very slow" with the campers? 8:30 + / mile?

  2. I'm not exactly sure, I didn't time anything (I was stressing to the kids how important it is to run at a conversational pace on easy days). If I had to guess, I'd say no faster than 9min pace and probably not slower than 10.

  3. ''''''''August 3, 2009 at 12:04 AM

    Wow. Well, that was a real good recovery right? 4+ min slower than your 5k pace?

  4. Well, it isn't really something I would have done on my own, but yeah, I do think it helped my legs come back nicely from that ten-miler. However, I think it's a mistake to relate easy days to 5k pace- there are a lot of sub-14 guys who do their recovery days at 7min pace. To run the equivalent, a 17 minute 5k guy would have to run about 8:30 or slower per mile. It's better just to run easy and recover and not worry about the pace. In the past, I've had "recovery runs" where I averaged 6:00s. I've also had "recovery runs" that averaged 9min pace by myself. However, those are both extremes- the fast majority of my easy days are around 7:00s on flat terrain (Keene was a little different- it was so hilly, sometimes 7:30s was harder than 6:30s in Boston!)

  5. that should read "the vast majority" not "the fast majority." Whoops!

  6. lies, you guys made me double on my 'off' day

  7. Hey, I was forced into doubling on my off day too, Eric!!!