Sunday, September 27, 2009

When Walking Grows Tiresome

Hi, everybody. This week's blog title comes from the fact that I need a darn bike. It's an approximate 25min walk to class from my apartment, so between going and coming back to class and various errands, I'm spending about 60-120min a day walking (usually fast, since I'm not always prompt). This isn't a huge deal, but I'll say it. . . I'm sick of it, ha. I'm working on saving up money for a cheap little road bike.

Monday- AM- 5 easy, River Loop + mile on Nickerson, 34:41. PM- 9 easy, 65min. Slept 9 hours and napped, think I'm shaking that cold.

Tuesday- AM- off PM- 98min easy, got dropped off at the Arb and wandered around for a while before running back to BU and adding on a couple minutes inside- calling it 14 but it might have been longer. Congestion was much much better today.

Wednesday- AM- 5 easy, 36:12, River Loop + b/f Nickerson mile. PM- 9 easy 59min, last 4-5mi around 6:10 pace with Eric. I think I finally got rid of that cold.

Thursday- AM- Off PM- 3 up to BC res via Beacon, strides, Pseudo-Workout (Bruce said he wanted it to be really easy, we deferred to him for once and obliged): 2mi around the Res (~11min @ tempo-type effort- kept the whole team together). 800 jog, 8x15 second strides, 45sec rest. 800 jog, Another 2mi a little harder but not much (ran for ~10:30). 3mi c/d.

Friday- AM- off PM- 11 easy, 75min. Last couple miles were reasonably quick (6:15-20s)

Saturday- AM- 12 easy around Fresh Pond twice (81min) last half a little quicker than normal training pace.

Sunday- AM- Franklin Park workout: 3 mi up, then 3k, 2k, 1k, 3k on the course. First 3k, 2k, 1k was at 8k intensity- 9:38 3min jog rest (~5min at the mile), 6:06, 3min jog rest, 3:01, 8min jog rest, Bruce told us to run the first mile of the 2nd 3k as a pack then run the last half or so at 8k intensity. Stuck with Eric, split 5:22 at the mile then 9:40 for the 3k. Pretty good workout- I felt sluggish and crappy (plus the grass as long and wet) but decided to stop dicking around and grind it out. 3mile down, ran into Dan and Fish. A good workout in terms of sustained effort at race pace with a good total volume.

Tot- 93

Bruce is giving us 3 easy days after today so we can do a long run on Tuesday, then warned us that Thursday would be a pretty hard workout before a lighter one on Sunday. I felt really good once I shook out that cold. The idea is to have another good week of volume and intensity (~95mi with two workouts and a moderate long run) then just hold 80s, raise intensity slightly and ride out the rest of the season. Now I need to stop procrastinating. . . I have a couple papers I need to get crackin' on.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Why Teammates Are Good

Hello- this week ended on something of a sour note. Saturday afternoon I felt myself start to come down with something- headache, congested sinuses, cough, etc. Two miles into my race at Franklin I started dry-heaving and throwing up little gobs of mucus. It certainly made for an unpleasant last three miles, though my incredibly weak 8k XC past allowed me to still end the day with a PR.

The title of this blog is a reference, specifically, to Petah Gilmore- if I hadn't had him to work with during the race, I probably would have dropped out. However, every time I retched and dropped back, I'd look at Peter and force myself to get back up there with him. More on that later, here's the log:

Monday- AM- Easy River Loop, 28:38. Hamstrings sore. PM- 9 easy out River West, 64min, hamstrings got progressively worse throughout the day. The two hours+ I spend on my feet walking to and from class everyday are starting to take their toll.

Tuesday- AM- 3 solo shakeout, 22:08, middle 2mi barefoot. PM- Bruce dropped us off near JP, ran to the Arb with a nice group and ran for 91 min very easy, about 13mi. Light strength/core circuit- legs still rocked from the hills on Sunday.

Wednesday- AM- Solo River Loop, 29:37, felt pretty good. PM- 9 easy/moderate to JP and back through the park, squeezed the pace down til we were running about 5:40 pace, then me and Eric ran the last half-mile in the track in 2:25. 53min tot- really good run, I wasn't straining at all.

Thursday- 11:30AM- I had class 9:30-11, 2-3:30, and 4-7 so this was the only time I had to do my workout. 3mi up to the BC Res, then 8x2min on, 2min off, marking the place where I stopped after each "on" and continuing from there after the jog rest. Covered 5k in 14:55 during the ons, not sure how much I covered during the offs. I took this workout pretty easy- 2min bouts of 4:50 pace isn't really strenuous, and I didn't keep a really hard sustained pace on the rests. 3mi down, ~11 tot.

Friday- PM- 9 mi easy, 61 min, got my first hints of feeling sick.

Saturday- AM- 7 easy, 47min, with a big group + 6 strides indoors.
PM- 5 easy with Ken, 36:23. By this point I was pretty congested and uncomfortable. I didn't sleep but two or three hours on Saturday night because I was so congested that I'd keep waking up in the middle of the night choking on my own snot (is that tmi yet?). All Sunday morning I was wheezing, stuffed up, and queasy from the amount of snot I had swallowed.

Sunday- 3 up, BU Invite at Franklin Park. 25:22 for 8th, 3 down. I felt ok on the warmup and through two miles (10:10, sharing the lead with Eric) but just after the two mile mark, I started dry-heaving pretty bad. I lost the lead group pretty quickly as I spat out mouthfuls of acidy-snot and was about to drop out when Petah and about 8 La Salle guys rolled past. I couldn't leave my teammates out to dry like that and figured I could run with the group until at least 3.5mi before dying off for good. The next several miles were weird in that I'd feel ok, run with the group, then dry-heave, drop back, feel ok again once I stopped, catch back up, etc. Fortunately, I managed to stay with the group until about 600 to go when I made a hard move to drop them all going down Bear Cage. I got my doors blown in in the last 150 or so (two La Salle guys dusted me like I was a JV scrub and a third pipped me at the line). My time was a 16 second PR- which, considering the unplanned fartlek I ran, isn't awful. I'm proud of myself for keeping at it- my back muscles are still sore from all the spasming they endured while trying to keep me from vomiting. Being honest, a year ago, I would have dropped out by 5k, so I'm glad I toughed it out.

Tot- 89

I have until October 10th until we race again (and we'll be at Franklin Park again for New Englands). I'm looking forward to three weeks of solid training without interruption for racing (these last two weeks have kind of been a wash as far as training goes). I'm confident that I can make a run at 24:40 or so if I'm healthy.

Hope you all stay healthy!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Season Opener

Hello, all! We had our first race today way on up in the Green Mountains, so sorry this is a little late. It was a good week for me- I'm settling into a regular schedule with classes, I've got a good handle on schoolwork, and my roommates and I have hotly debated everything from North vs. South (Ken is a Tennessee native) to Ramen or Cup of Noodles (jury still out on that one).

Monday- AM- 9 easy, 63 min, up the Charles to Fresh Pond and back- same 9.xx something loop as a couple weeks ago. Core/strength afterward- I'm starting to become less pathetically weak! PM- 3mi shakeout with James and Jason barefoot on Nickerson, 22min.

Tuesday- AM- 3 easy, 22:30, solo shakeout. PM- 10 easy, 65min, plus strides and drills.

Wednesday- PM- Light workout at the Brookline Res- 3 up, strides, 7x2min on, 2min off (jogging the rest backwards and starting from where we stopped each time to get a rough idea of pace). Ran mostly with Peter, averaged about 4:45/mile on the ons and roughly 6:30s on the offs. Felt great, kept it easy. 3 down.

Thursday- AM- 3 very slow, 23:45 (actually, I just kinda wandered around Allston for that long and called it 3). PM- Longer River Loop easy (50min) then added on some barefoot Nickerson for 62min tot. Real easy run today, felt good. My new mattress FINALLY came in and lo and behold, I slept restfully for the first time in weeks and my growing back pain largely disappeared.

Friday- AM- 3 easy with Ken from the house, 22:30. Sleep was of the highest quality. . .quantity could have been better, though. PM- 67min easy, Res to Res with extra lap at Brookline, last couple miles in the 6:20s range, calling it 10.

Saturday- AM- 9 easy, 61min (last 15 or so barefoot on Nickerson) rainy weather, felt great again. Did 6 strides with Eric indoors; I love that track of ours.

Sunday- Noon- 3 up, strides. 5mi race in 25:49.99 at Vermont. This was probably the toughest course I've run on in college- there were no flat sections the entire time; you're either climbing or descending. The grass was pretty thick, I wore spikes and still slipped around an awful lot. Still, this is probably the most competitive I've raced in college cross country. I learned a lot and gained a lot from racing those two longer distances this summer. Peter and I also got to hear Bruce tell some stories about Jerry "Awesome" Lawson, a former American Record holder in the marathon and BU alum. Bruce said Awesome Larson (which rhymes if you say it with the right accent) used to always go out hard and die, but would fight back again because he conceptualized feeling bad in a race as just "running through a bad patch." Thinking of feeling like shit at 5k in an 8k race as a "bad patch" sort of presupposes that eventually the bad patch will pass and you can run hard again. That idea definitely helped in my race- this is the first 5miler I really felt like I was racing hard the whole way, instead of in the past where I've made it to about 2.5-3.5 miles and thought "fuck, at this point I just want to keep going forward." Anyway, I was 7th overall, 2nd BU guy (Eric won, looking pretty damn good in 25:24). UNH and UVM beat us team-wise but I'm not concerned at all. Eric, myself, and Peter (our top 3 today) raced a little over the summer and we're just a little sharper than some of our teammates. Now that they have a race under their belt, I'm confident the gap between our 2-6 guys will shrink dramatically. 3 down, 4+ hour ride back home. 7PM- Easy River Loop with Ken James and Eric, 29:49, felt great. Probably a good idea to shake the bus ride out of our legs.

Tot- 85

All in all, a good week- one lighter workout and a hard 5mile race with good competitive drive. Next week will be much of the same- a light workout and the BU Invite at Franklin Park. After running pretty well on a tough course, I'm looking forward to seeing what I can do at fast, flat, and firm-footed Franklin (sorry- we're covering Anglo-Saxon poetry in Brit Lit and I can't stop alliterating. How wyrd of me).

Hope all the cross country folk out there had good season openers!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Classes, Tempos, Epic Fails

Between training, job interviews, and classes, this week has absolutely flown by. I'm all moved into my room and I finally got around to buying a mattress- unfortunately, the sweet deal I got on it (500 dollar mattress/box spring for $265!) means that I have to wait until Thursday for them to ship it from their warehouse to the Sleepy's I bought it at. Fortunately, my roommates have helped me save 90 dollars on delivery charges by agreeing to help me carry the mattress the two blocks home. 90 bucks goes a long way in terms of groceries!

I've been living "on my own" (or at least, no longer under the auspices of my mother) for three weeks now. That isn't a very long time, but it is long enough to appreciate just how often I eat in a day and what a pain in the neck it is to do grocery shopping. I've taken to planning out, meal-by-meal, the food I'm going to eat in the next week so I'm not reduced to wandering around the grocery store buying what looks good. For a very unorganized guy like me, this has proven to be an interesting exercise.


Monday- AM-4 mi easy with Eric, Nicki, and Sophie (two freshmen(freshladies?)) 33min
PM- Beacon St w/u to the Res, 24min tempo, 4min easy, 4x15 seconds fast, 45 seconds easy, 3 c/d. Ran with Petah the whole way, covered 7500m (3 Res laps) in 23:50. We used our recent 10mi race as a basis on our effort and tried to run this tempo at the same intensity. Our pace there was just over 5:20/mile but we averaged 5:07/mile at the Res. We were both quite comfortable the whole way and obeyed Bruce's dictum that we should be able to talk in halting but coherent sentences. Our splits were roughly 7:54, 7:58 (15:52 at 5k), 7:57. I should point out, though, that the Res is firm cinder trails and flat as a pancake- in other words, a lightning fast surface.

Tuesday- 9 easy, two laps around JP and home again- nice big group, 61min.

Wednesday- AM- 5 easy including a barefoot mile on Nickerson, ran with Ken and Eric from the house, 36:30. Slept awful and felt that a little.
PM- Somewhere between 9 and 10 very easy with Greg (65min). Felt really flat, dehydrated, and tired. Classes started today.

Thursday- 12noon- Had a class that interfered with practice so Bruce and I headed to Franklin Park for a workout of 7xk. 3 up, then a really weird workout. I ended up doing 4xk averaging 3:18s and 1:50 rest before Bruce pulled me and instructed me to take a day off. It was weird because I didn't feel like I was going slow, nor did I feel tire- but I was running slower for each k repeat than I averaged for the entire time on Monday's tempo. Obviously, the thick grass would slow things down a little (maybe from 4:50 pace on the track to 5:00 pace) but it shouldn't have been that bad. I slept terrible again the night before, but, again, didn't feel like I was running 5:20s. Bruce said it was an early sign of overreaching and instructed me to take a day off.

Friday- First day completely off since June, felt horrible about it all day. Napped and ate as much as possible.

Saturday- AM- 14 easy with Eric, wandered around Harvard then went out to Watertown and back, 95:30.

Sunday- AM- Another tempo, this time at Minuteman in Concord MA. Did 30min warmup including strides, then a 25 min tempo averaging somewhere around 5:15 pace and feeling controlled. My back was pretty sore (I've been sleeping on an air mattress for like a week now) but I think I did a good job of following Bruce's instructions not to push hard. It was tough not to go with Eric and Peter when they broke away, but I tried to be disciplined not to get caught up in stubbornly running with Peter.

Tota- 73 in 6 days (8 runs). I thought about doing an easy 3 later today but I might just take a nap instead.

All in all, I'm really happy with the way the team's been looking lately. Everyone has been all systems go and running strongly (but appropriately) in workouts. I'm sure that a few of the freshman are over their heads (but this is to be expected- they'll learn) but other than that, my shit workout on Thursday has been the only stain on the season thus far. My first race for BU is coming up in a week and I'm EXCITED to get out there and see what happens. Hopefully a few nights on my new mattress will get my back feeling good again by race day!

Have a good week, everyone!