Sunday, December 26, 2010


Merry Christmas, Internet! I hope everyone had a relaxing holiday. For my part, I was something of a blockhead and figured "Oh, sure, week off for a virus that knocked me on my ass, I can just jump back into running and do two hard workouts and a long run." I was dead wrong, of course. I spent all week struggling to train hard and wondering why my body wasn't going along with the plan.

So, genius that I am, I swiftly figured out I should just let things ride until I'm ready to go. . . this afternoon, after 7 days of feeling like shit.

At least I had a nice week at my mother's house in New Hampshire and pulled a B in my Applied Statistics class. Not bad for a guy who skipped two levels of statistics and made it through the first midterm on bravado and dumb luck!

The log:

Monday 12/20- 7mi, some with Matt, all of it with Peter. We headed out on the river in a snowstorm. The wind sucked, but it wasn't too bad otherwise. Mostly it just good to be running again.

Tuesday 12/21- Fresh Pond solo, started clipping along pretty good by the end. Not particularly smart. . .

Wednesday 12/22- Back in Derry, in a mild (1-2inches) snowstorm. I did 10mi easy, ran into my younger brother who had left from the high school for practice, did most of it with him. Good run, steady effort but slower pace due to the snow.

Thursday 12/23- This is when things started to pile up on. Felt weak and dizzy all day, frigid wind, no legs for my planned tempo run. Ended up just calling it at 2.5mi and shuffling home.

Friday 12/24- Stubbornly, I went to North Shore to do some hills. As a refresher, this is about a 1/3rd of a mile of merciless climbing. I managed 4 at an increasingly pathetic effort, then jogged home wondering why on Earth I felt so bad.

Saturday 12/25 Christmas- 10mi easy with my brother, Kevin. Again, felt dizzy and weak for the first 3mi, decided to do 6mi, then got really pissed off at myself, thought about Steve Jones, and vowed to finish this 10 miles or else. Ok, it was a really dumb decision, but at 5mi, I started feeling pretty good, and the last half of the run was great. My brother and I got to spend some time together and by the end, I was really glad I stuck it out.

Sunday 12/26- Drove into Boston in the AM with my brother and Ryan Busby, a high school teammate of mine who runs for Bryant now. Ryan and Kev raced and I was a good little Terrier and volunteered my ace timing skills when the FAT broke down and we had to do things old-school (sorry, anyone who ran today, for any mistakes- we did what we could with what we had where we were, like Teddy Roosevelt recommended). We got back to Derry before the snow hit, but I realized 1) I was bushed and 2) I had been a moron all week. I resolved not to run until the mood to do so struck me, and would run no farther or faster than I wanted. After a coma-like nap, I ate a nice dinner, spent time with my family, and headed out for my run in the middle of the blizzard at 8:30. I had a great 6mi run high-stepping through the snow drifts. My old high school is large enough to warrant a campus, and that campus is always lit. The snow wasn't the slippery kind (any Eskimo readers, help me out- what's the word for snow that's powdery and loose?) and I had solid lighting, so the risk of injury was low. Anyway, it was a great run. Things will turn around soon, and I'll PR this season.

Again, merry Christmas to everyone. See you all next week!

Monday, December 20, 2010

You've gotta be freakin' kidding me

Internet, the title of this week's entry was also my reaction when I woke up Monday morning to find that my tonsils had swollen so badly overnight that they were essentially touching, making swallowing and breathing nearly impossible. I tested negative for strep throat, and the doc decided I had some kind of viral infection that could last anywhere from 1-3 weeks and might be mono. After about 4 days of horrible pain (no other symptoms, either- just the disgustingly infected tonsils, which were covered in puss you could see if you looked into my mouth (hope you didn't picture that)) the doctor gave me some Prednisone (call the drug testers!) which shrank my tonsils to human size again. By Saturday I had regained the will to live and by Sunday I felt good to run. I gave it an extra day, though, and waited until this afternoon to run. I'm pleased to report that it went well, and I got in 7 chilly, snowy, windy, enjoyable miles with Peter and Matt for a little.

Guess I got a little too greedy claiming I could no longer use the "out of shape" excuse last week. Finals are over, thank God.

Have a merry Christmas, everyone!


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Last Week of Classes

Well, another semester is over but for finals. I just wrote that and got a little melancholy, but it is what it is. I won't have time to wonder where time goes when I'm buried in an Economics-coma over the next few days. Blech. Anyway, I had a pretty good week after somewhat of an ugly start. I felt like a zombie all day on Monday, then bonked hard on my long run that afternoon. After that, things got much better, so I'm not too worried. The log:

Monday- 10mi that sucked, planned on 14, got dropped by the group at 3, struggled back home and still averaged under 6:30/mile (so how fast were those first 3?).

Tuesday- River West but in a special Rob Gibson kind of way with Rob, Matt, and Peter. We clipped along pretty good and I felt much better than yesterday. Strides in spikes indoors after plus a short cooldown for 10 on the day.

Wednesday- ~4mi up, 8xHeartbreak Hill with the guys, avg 81 seconds (not that that means anything to anyone who doesn't know BU's secret start/stop point) with jog down in about 2:00, ~4mi fast down + strides and jogging indoors because the warmup/cd is actually a little less than 4 miles. 80 seconds is about the gold standard for this particular version of Heartbreak, so averaging 81 for 8 is a fine workout. Cap'n Peter told me that as a result of hanging with him and Matt without exceeding the effort limit Bruce imposed, my go-to excuse of "I'm out of shape" is hereby retired. Don't tell anybody, internet, but I was getting sick of saying it anyway.

Thursday- 10mi nice and easy with Ken and Terence for all of it and Peter and Rich for some of it. It was cold for this run, first time all I year I wished I had gloves. Weak-ass strength circuit after work.

Friday- Joey's Best Run Ever (sadly, without Joey) with most of the guys through Cambridge, clipping along nice and steady most of the way. We added two miles on the Harvard track (a duel-worthy offense, should we have been caught. . .) and got a pace check of about 6:10/mile. Afterward, we snuck in some strides and a short cooldown to get 10 for the afternoon, then watched the BU Red vs. White intrasquad meet. A few of our mid-distance guys engaged in a race over the classic metric distance of a nautical half-mile, with the title going to Billy Whelan in who knows what time. As low-key as it was, it got my blood boiling from some indoor races.

Saturday- 2:30PM- Short run to Harvard with Kev Gilmore to watch our buddy Cordado compete in the 3000m. Unfortunately, I missed my friend and old Keene teammate Amy provisionally qualify for D3 Nationals with a 5:02 victory in the mile. It cut 9 seconds off her previous best, though hopefully I'll catch her next big mile at Terrier or Valentine. Short run back for a very bootleg 3 miles. 7PM- Got a late start on this one, but so did everybody else. The last week of class was rough on everyone, so we all slept in pretty late. Anyway, after I warmed up for 3mi, Bruce had me do 4mi on the treadmill at 5:10/mile at 1% incline, with the option of increasing the incline each mile as opposed to the pace. For those of you who don't know, when it comes to treadmills, I complain high, loud, and repeatedly. I've run on one maybe twice in my life, and I manage to almost fall off every couple minutes. I tend to either run up the front of the thing or drift to one side and kick the railing. This time, however, I got through the whole thing, sweat, boredom, and a few close calls notwithstanding. 2mi cooldown for 12 on the day.

Sunday- 11:30AM- 10mi easy with Matt to JP twice (9:30, 9:20) and back for 63:48 total. Terence and Rich came for the first lap and headed back. It wasn't too cold out, but man was it rainy. Afterward I did two sets of Bruce's strength circuit with Matt, then made a giant pot of chicken soup from scratch. Every time it goes on sale, I pick up a 3-4lb bird at Star Market and roast it. I usually get 2-3 meals out of it the first time around, then boil the carcass for soup and get another 2-3 meals out of that. It's time consuming, but it beats the hell out of ramen. 6:30PM- I wasn't planning on doubling, but needed company for his rainy, rainy, dark run, so I tagged along for 4 easy miles.

Total miles- 78 in 9 runs
Strength circuits- 2

I'll take it. Good luck with finals, fellow college kids.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Case of the Sniffles, but it's ok

Good evening, Internet! I hope this post finds your tubes unclogged and all the people using you to read this in good health. I had a solid week of training that demonstrated I'm not quite as dense as my second-grade teacher and numerous friends feared. See, I came down with this cold Sunday night, and by Tuesday, felt real ragged. Rather than letting the stupid little sniffle linger and potentially get worse, I just took Tuesday off from running and work and napped before going to bed early. I was rewarded for my bare minimum of common sense with a clean bill of health Wednesday morning. The modification to my week ended up costing me a tempo run and a steady long run, but I was healthy enough to get in a good hard fartlek on Thursday and come back with a solid track workout with the guys on Saturday.

Anyway, here it goes:

Monday- 9mi easy with Elliot, Ken, and Terence, felt pretty sick and was content to just jog today. Strength circuit with Peter afterward.

Tuesday- OFF, as mentioned. At least I made it to class!

Wednesday- 8mi with the first 4 easy w/Rich and the second 4 increasingly moderate through the rain solo. Felt 90% better, still phlegmy and snotty, though.

Thursday- Solo, 3+ steady to Fresh Pond, then a fartlek of 8min hard, 3min float, 4x65 seconds harder with equal rest, 5min starting between 5:10-5:20 pace and increasing intensity every minute until the last minute was pretty much all out. Averaged about 5:30/mile for the whole thing including rest (27:30 for 4.9 miles/2 laps of Fresh Pond, of which the last 3:30 was probably less than a half-mile) then 3mi easy down. I covered just over 12mi (I added on when I got back, since that loop is like 11 and 1/2) in 73min. I knew I hit this one pretty hard when I got jelly-legs doing 7:00 pace on the cooldown.

Friday- 3:30PM- 9mi + with the guys, to Fresh Pond, around once, and back. We were after it pretty good today, since the guys had last worked out Wednesday. We got out to Fresh Pond about 6:20 a mile, ran the lap around in 15:10 (2.45mi) and slowed back down to 6:20/6:30 pace on the way down because we remembered we were working out tomorrow. 700m worth of striding afterward indoors in my milers plus a few min jogging to nab 10 on the day. Unfortunately, I struggled sufficiently with my Applied Stats homework to cause me to miss my Macroeconomics class, which is annoying because Stats is a required class I don't particularly care for and Macro is a class I enjoy a lot. What's an ex-English major taking his first math class since HS to do?

Saturday- 12:30PM: Bruce let me rejoin on the group today as long as I agreed to modify the group workout of 3x(600, 600, 800) however I needed to in order to keep the effort at 8/10. What I ended up doing was 8x600 at the same pace the guys were running (34/lap, or 1:42) with 1:20 jog rest after the 600s and 1:50 after the 800s. I was pleased to be able to handle the paces and stay within the agreed-upon effort limits, though, to be fair, I got an extra ~34 seconds rest after the 3rd and 6th 600, since for the rest of the group was doing 800s on those ones. I figure I was running right about 3k type gear, which demonstrates continued improvement. As much as I dislike missing time, the sharp improvement curve that comes during the first month or two of a comeback is pretty fun. Three weeks ago I'd have been hard-pressed to run 9:00 for 3k; now I think 8:30-8:35 is about where I'm at. In another 2-3 weeks of consistent running, I should be close to PR shape for the 3k, and by the time we start racing in mid-January, I'd like to think I'd be in shape to take a crack at my mile and 800 bests, just like Bruce planned. I just have to avoid holiday pounds and keep using 5th-grade level common sense. . .

Sunday- 2:30PM- 8 mi very slow with James, felt nice to jog along and chat. Beautiful weather for running: high 30s, sunny, no wind.
8PM- After work, 4mi easy with Ken and Peter, then strength before a well-deserved hot shower. Needed gloves tonight!

Tot- 62 miles in 6 days (7 runs) with 2 strength sessions, a good hard fartlek, and an encouraging short interval session. I'll take it over a lingering illness any day. Now begins my last week of regular classes before finals. . . yikes. Have a good week, everyone!

Monday, November 29, 2010


Hello, Internet!

This week saw a) Thanksgiving b) my reintroduction to workouts and c) my internet go down, which is why this is late.

Since this is so late, I'll spare the editorial jacknobbery and get right to the log:

Monday- 9 miles steady with Matt, 54min, felt good.

Tuesday- 3 up, 7.5k tempo at the BC Res with the guys. The group was assigned 10k at 5:20-5:30 per mile and Bruce instructed me to go 5k-7.5k at the same pace. I was pleasantly surprised to manage 7.5k (3 laps) at 5:20/mile quite easily. I was 24:55 for the whole thing, going 8:20, 8:20, and 8:15 for each of the 2.5k laps. This was a good step forward, since prior to this I had been doing mostly moderate running and strides. 9PM- Back to Derry after work.

Wednesday- 10mi on the railroad beds back in Derry, out in 35 and back in 31 (I did what I'm pretty sure was a 10 and 1/4 loop I measured out back in high school). Last 3mi were 6:00 pace.

Thursday- 9AM- 62min easy with friends warming up for, during, and cooling down from the Derry Turkey Trot, which had over 1500 runners this year! I think the first year I ran it, we had maybe 200, so it's really exploded in the last few years. 1PM- 4mi real quick before dinner, since I realized there was no way I'd be running after dinner.

Friday- 4PM- 3+ up, 5x1/3rd of a mile steep hill (for anyone from the area, I did repeats of the hill in the second mile of the Turkey Trot, beginning on Beaver Lake Rd and ending where it hits Old Chester) with jog down recovery and a 3.5-4mi cooldown. Not sure why, but I felt great from the first step out the door today, and ran the hills real hard. 10 tot

Saturday- Noon- 10 mi easy with my younger brother and some of our old teammates from Pinkerton. Strength circuit at the Pinkerton track after.

Sunday- Noon- Back to Boston. 3PM- 14mi easy/moderate by myself from the house. I did 3 laps of Fresh Pond (15:56, 15:28, 15:10) and back, stopping at Harvard to add on a half-mile to make it 14. I ran the last mile hard in 5:28, which was fun because it was way easier than I thought it'd be.

Tot- 75

A good week! I'm rounding into decent form and am looking forward to the end of the semester. Take it easy, everyone!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Mild Progress

Hello, internet! I've been running for three weeks now, and I'm starting to feel like an athlete again. I haven't been up to anything too fancy, just plenty of medium-range running around 6:00-6:30 pace with strides and a strength routine. Unfortunately, my allergies have been bad enough to warrant discontinuing the allergy shots for a few weeks while we wait for a few good frosts to kill off enough of the ragweed and mold to calm my lungs down. The nurse practitioner who administers the shots said we'd be doing more harm than good if we inject more allergens into my system now. However, since I haven't been bad enough to take days off, I'm not too worried about it. After my reaction to being back in New Hampshire last week, though, I'm a little apprehensive about being home for Thanksgiving for 5 days. If I can control the outbreak, I might jump in the local Turkey Trot and see where my chips fall. If I have another really bad reaction, I'll just have to work the finish line or something.

Anyway, here's my log for the week:

Monday: 7mi on the river with a group, 47min, felt good.

Tuesday: 3:30PM- 9+ on the river, ran the last half with Matt and Peter at about 6:20 pace, felt good. 9:30PM- 20min strength circuit after work, really crushed it.

Wednesday: 3:30pm- 11mi hard in 66:08 with Rob, ran to the Arboretum and really drilled the last ~7mi or so. The last mile was 5:34, and I don't think it was much faster than the previous 6 miles. Afterward I put on my spikes and did 5x150 hard on the track. My legs were tired after the hard run, but it was a fun day.

Thursday: 9am- Squeezed in 5mi before class and my allergy shots. I did the last mile on the track striding the straights and floating the turns in 5:26 (8 strides total). When I found out I couldn't get shots and could have run with the team, I was pretty annoyed. Buuut I did see the Deathly Hallows at midnight and it was awesome!

Friday: 2PM- Squeezed in 4mi before Sean and I were supposed to take a bus to his folks' place in New York. We were planning on crashing there, then driving into the city Saturday morning to watch our second squad race the IC4A XC Championships, but it turns out you have to buy Greyhound tickets at least two hours before departure. I screwed that up, but I wasn't too sad about getting to go to bed early and sleeping in.

Saturday: 10:30AM- 9 miles with Eric, Rich, and Matt around JP (9:35) and back, plus an add-on in Allston. Afterward we went to the gym and did a general strength/core circuit Bruce made up for us. It was tough, but that kind of crap is always easier in a group. 7PM- Indoors: 2mi easy, 4x200 w/200 float (31, 31, 30, 29, 5:37 for the mile including rest) in spikes, 1mi easy.

Sunday: 2PM- 9mi easy solo to Fresh Pond, around, and back from the house, plus a little bit when I got back, felt pretty good and got clipping along toward the end. Got pretty groinchilled out there. 8PM- 4mi easy on the river after work, dressed better this time.

Tot- 62 miles, 2 strength/core circuits, 3 good stride sessions of varying lengths, one hard run. I'm going to talk to Bruce tomorrow about getting in on some workouts. Have a great week, everyone!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

2nd Week Back- Reality Sets In

Ok, as happy as I am to be running again. . . getting back into shape stinks. I feel like the 5 or so pounds I probably gained are more like 30, my lungs still aren't totally back to normal, and everything hurts. However, it's a hurt much preferable to the restlessness that comes from a month of couch sitting. The highlights of the week were traveling back to my mother's house in NH for a night, then watching my brother run the race of his life for the third week in a row to snag 17th at the New England Championship.

On Wednesday, I went to the allergist to get scratch-tested for a host of different allergies. As it turns out, I'm EXTREMELY allergic to just about everything they tested for. The allergies that are relevant to my ability to run include ragweed, dust mites, alternia (a family of molds that peak in the late fall), cats, dogs, and cockroach poop. The doctor's theory is that my yearly fall "pneumonia/ breathing illness" is mostly allergy-related, since ragweed and alternia peak at about the same time (mid-October to the first frost). I'm glad I've got a definite diagnosis, but it's irritating to have mistreated it for about five years. It could be worse, but damn, that's a lot of wasted cross-country. I started allergy shots on Thursday, and for the next 8 months, I'll be getting three injections (for the worst of the allergies: ragweed, alternia, and dust mites) one a week. For those of you keeping score at home, that's 96 separate injections. I'm told that I "might" feel a difference in 5 months, but it will probably be next fall before I notice anything. With the cold nights, I find that my lungs are probably about 90% of normal. Once we get a real hard frost I'll be even better.

Unfortunately, going back to New Hampshire for about 24 hours reminded me how much worse my allergies are up there than in Boston. If slept more than hour on Friday night, I'd be shocked. It was worth it to see my brother's last high school cross country race, though, even if it did feel like someone was stepping on my face and making me breathe through a straw. I missed a day of running Saturday because there was just no way I was going to be able to do anything productive through that reaction.

Anyway, here's what I got up to this week:

Monday- 8 mi easy with my friend Beth, ran at night through some gentle rain.

Tuesday- 8mi easy with Ken in a cool rain, around Jamaica Pond in 10:00, which is awesome, because I figured we were running 7:40 pace and instead we were closer to 6:40.

Wednesday- 4:30PM- Weak workout with Ken. I think the scratch-testing at the doc's office caused a mild reaction, because I was wheezier on this run than I had been in more than a week. Ken and I warmed up, then he did a 4mi tempo run at the BC Res, averaging about 5:25/mile. I ran the first 11min with him, then jogged in the other direction for 6min, then finished up the last 5min or so with him. 2+ c/d, almost trampled some sleeping ducks.

Thursday- 5mi easy- went out 18min on the river with James, then turned around because I couldn't breathe at all. This run scared the crap out of me because I thought I was getting worse. Allergy shots in the afternoon.

Friday- 3:30PM- Fears of a relapse put to rest. I was wheezy for the first half of the run, then everything seemed to open up. The group of us who didn't run Regionals went out to Fresh Pond nice and slow, ran around Fresh Pond moderate (15:56, just under 6:30/mile) then coming home I felt good and figured if I was going to run, I might as well get after it, so I ran the last two-and-a-half or so at about 5:40 pace. My last mile was 5:34, and it felt good to run hard and honest again. 45min on the T to South Station right after, then an hour on the bus.

Saturday- As mentioned, off due to a really bad attack up in NH. I might be exiled from there until I advance along in immunotherapy more. It was awesome to see my brother run a smart, tough race to finish off his senior season though!

Sunday- Noon- Mayor's Park with James, shocked that we ran the measured 9mi in under 63 minute, because we were just chatting and shuffling along. 8PM- 23minutes of gentle strides and jogging on Nickerson with James.

Tot- 50 miles, plus pushups, core, and a strength circuit most days after running.
I'd like to get in another two weeks of building mileage and plenty of easy striding before getting down to some serious work after Thanksgiving. Part of the reason I want to take my time is that once I get under 6:00/mile, I start wheezing again, and I think at this point, interval work would only discourage me. Plenty of strong, aerobic running is in order while I wait for a hard frost.

I couldn't end this week without mentioning Boston University's 7th place at the Northeast Regional meet, only 7 points behind Robert Johnson's Cornell team. It was a solid end to a season that saw the team take several large steps forward from last year. Next year's team will miss Eric, but we return our 2nd through 8th men, and I'll be added to the mix, hopefully free of my inability to breathe in October.

Best wishes, internet!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

First Week Back and the NYC Marathon

I think I got a little too used to the hiatus I took the last month. I nearly forgot to write this week's (oh-so-exciting, edge-of-your-seat) entry!

There's nothing very interesting to note about my running this week, but I'm very happy to be running again. My left side is doing its standard out-of-whackiness that it does whenever I build up mileage-- it's a weird weakness/pain in my left lower back, butt, and hip-- but it'll go away in around a week. I think most of it is just from sleeping on it funny.

Before my (hilariously inadequate) log, some comments about NYC:

I hope Geb's retirement proves to be more Favresque than a real retirement. His career as a runner is unparalleled and his decision to use his money to create sustainable middle-class jobs in his home country is a model for other runners from developing nations to follow. The reason I hope his retirement pronouncement was premature isn't because I believe he's going to pop a 2:02 marathon, or because I think he owes running fans anything, but because it's sad to see such a storied career end on such a bitter note. A teammate of mine asked me "Did you see the flotrack video? Did you hear the news?" about Geb's retirement like the Emperor had died (Geb the Emperor, not Palpatine. . .).

As for the Americans, well, look- there's a reason the 2:05 marathoners who come to New York run 2:08-2:10. I hope Meb makes the most of the years he has left, Ritz doesn't get too discouraged, and that Tim Nelson hits a flat marathon on the spring and cuts a couple minutes from his time. On another note, my fellow Pinkerton alum, former national champ, and on-again off-again mentor, Matt Downin, ran 2:20 in what has to be his eight millionth unretirement race.

Anyway, I'll spare the rambling. Here's my first week back:

11/1- 30min easy, 15min out with the team.

11/2- 35min easy, first half with Sean. Ran early in the cold, which was great, because the colder it is, the more allergens die.

11/3- 40min easy with Matt and Eric, including 4x100 strides. We did a loop Eric said was at least 5mi in 34min, and I was conversational, so I'm happy about that.

11/4- 45min easy easy in the rain (sensing a pattern, yet?) after a microeconomics midterm, got down to about 6:20 pace on this one without really noticing it. Pushups and situps after.

11/5- 50min moderate/hard mostly with Matt and Rich on the river. We ran the first mile in about 7:00 dead, then settled into low 6:00 pace until about 5 miles, then ran the last three harder. I went through 8 in about 47:30 then finished off my 50min. My lungs still aren't 100% once I get under 6:00 pace, but the adjustment is only about 10-15 seconds/mile. It felt good to run hard, though, even if it was awkward and not particularly fast.

11/6- 55min easy solo in the early evening, including 3x400 on, 400 off on Nickerson, with the "ons" in 74, 71, and 67 and the offs around 7:15 pace. The loop I did was shorter than I thought it would be, and I needed to add some laps on the track, so I figured what the hell, mix it up a little.

11/7- 8mi easy on the river after work, cold and rainy, left hip pretty annoying on this one. The first 2-3 weeks back are always the roughest, so I'm not displeased with this week being not too bad.

Tot- 45mi

Monday, November 1, 2010

Don't Call it a Comeback! (ok, call it a comeback)

Hello, Internet! I'm back after an (almost) uneventful hiatus with mostly good news.

The first and most important piece is that the Boston University Men won our first America East Conference title in 10 years! It had been far too long since Bruce got a new trophy for his office, and we're all pumped to have reversed last year's injury-wracked 6th place finish. The negative corollary to this is that, unfortunately, I did not get my health issues sorted in time to directly contribute to the victory. The rough order of missed diagnoses went something like this:

1)It's a sinus infection, treat with antibiotics (didn't work)
2) It's viral bronchitis, wait it out, in the meantime, use this albuterol inhaler to breathe well enough to get out of bed (didn't work)
3) I have secret, magical asthma that appeared one day- take 5 days of prednisone and breathe in this nebulized albuterol (didn't do anything except make me hungry and feel like I was cheating, since prednisone is a steroid).
4)Hang on, you say you get weird lung/sinus infections like clockwork almost every fall and beginning of allergy season in spring? Just take this advair inhaler. (also didn't work- but gave me an idea to see an allergy doc)
5) This morning- allergy doc tests my lungs with a spirometer, says I'm at 78% of what the avg sedentary male my height, weight, and age should be at, then says because I'm a runner, it's probably even lower. She scheduled an allergy test for me next week, but observed I fit 100% of the symptoms and timeframe for a ragweed allergy. The next course of action is immunotherapy, aka allergy shots, which likely won't take effect before the frost kills off all the ragweed, but will (hopefully) prevent me from having another spring and fall ruined by allergies.

So, while it stunk that I didn't get to run Conference, I think I've finally got a handle on something that's apparently been ruining my cross country seasons especially for a couple years now. Almost every October, I notice I seem to lose a lung overnight, and all the sudden my pace at every level of effort slows by about 30 seconds a mile. The doctor, who had some experience with runners and undiagnosed allergies, guessed correctly that in the fall and spring I go through weird "funks" where I just stink at running for a month, and that my most consistent, best results are in the mid-summer and winter. She nailed it. Fortunately, my absence didn't make a lick of difference in the team score, because my teammates ran fantastic on Saturday to sneak off with the title. I would have felt horribly guilty if we had lost by a point or something. As it were, it was a little tough to watch the race knowing that in a fair world, I'd be out there, but any frustration or jealousy on my part was more than mitigated by how proud I was of my friends and happy I am for their victory. Since life, of course, isn't fair, I'm glad it was only unfair in my favor, especially after my absence last year cost us dearly.

I can't overstate how well the guys ran, though. Of the 10 BU men who raced, 7 of them set personal records at Franklin Park. I think Eric tied his time from New Englands (he was within one second either way, I hope I didn't shortchange him a slight PR), Peter, our 5th man, managed to come within 2 seconds of his PR despite being a little under the weather (I hope I'm not embarrassing him, but he was like a vomit-zombie after the race- it was an impressive performance) and our 10th guy, Mike, was the only one of us who had off day. I do want to say, though that Mike's "off day" was still about 90 seconds faster than he ever ran for 8k last year, so I hope I haven't sounded like I'm trying to call Mike out. He's improved by leaps and bounds this season, and won't one off race affect him.

With regards to finding out I have an allergy that's bad enough to have kept me from running for about three weeks, I'll say that I have been, in the past, both skeptical and critical of severe allergy sufferers. My foot is now firmly in my mouth on the subject. My best friend, Geoff, used to barely be able to run in the winter due to asthma worsened by exercising in the cold. I used to impatiently tell him to tough it out. Now I feel like a horse's ass, as well as wondering if karma has anything to do with allergies. If I'm going to get anything from the allergy shots, I hope that it's a better capacity for consistency. Looking over my running logs, my best training and racing almost invariably comes in the depths of winter and summer, when allergens are at their most dormant. If controlling the allergies better allows me to carry some of that momentum further into the spring and fall, I'd like to think some good racing results are just around the corner. The colder weather of the last few days has left me feeling a little clearer, and I managed 31 reasonably wheeze-free minutes today. In another 2-3 weeks, I'd like to think I'll be on my way to a nice set of PRs over 800m and the mile.

Lastly, because this entry is 1) disgustingly long and 2) consists of far too much whining/excusing, let me end by saying how proud of I am of my younger brother, Kevin, who finished in 4th place at the NH Division I Championships on Saturday with a time of 15:55 for the Derryfield Park 5k. Not only did Kev's time tie my high school PR on the notoriously difficult course, it also bested my best finish at the meet (4th as opposed to 9th) AND came at a much more significant time in the season (the Division Championships, where his team got 2nd place, as opposed to my early-season performance at the Manchester Invitational). Relative to his 800/mile performances, Kevin is a much better cross country runner than I ever was in high school, and this performance only further supports that observation. He has two cross country races left in his high school career-- the New Hampshire Meet of Champions and the New England Championships-- and I hope to make it to at least one of them.

Regular, less verbose, running-related related posts will resume on Sunday. Best of luck to everyone as they enter their championship seasons!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Goin' Incognito

Just a short little post this week. Here's what you need to know:

1) I have a chest cold at best case scenario, so I didn't race yesterday. I won't be able to get to a doctor until Tuesday. Obviously, I'm upset that I didn't get to race, but sometimes, even when you get your sleep, eat your vegetables, take your vitamins, say your prayers, and give to charity, you can still get sick. Not much I can do about that. The team ran great without me, I hope to rejoin my guys as soon as possible.

2) I'll be taking a hiatus from posting until after the America East meet. Don't forget to check back on Halloween!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Hoist On His Own Porktard

Hello, intertubes. This week was a study in the vagaries of New England weather. We started the week with more or less temperate, late-summer/early-fall weather, transitioned into a weird perpetual near-rain humid agony, and ended up with crisp, cool, dry weather perfect for a good hard long run. My week tended to follow the weather patterns: it started fine, got absolutely terrible for a while, then picked up at the very end to leave me more or less ready for another week of school.

El logo:

Monday 9/27- 3:30pm- 11mi on the quicker side of easy, 70:20, mostly with Matt and Peter around Jamaica Pond twice and an add-on down Ashford St. Felt good!

Tuesday 9/28- Woke up ragged with a sore throat; figured my first day off in 5 weeks wouldn't cripple me too bad.

Wednesday 9/29- 3pm- 4.5 solo, 4mi easy with the team, mile on the track with Peter and Rich including a 100m stride once a lap, jog home, good for 10+. I started a half-hour early today to make time for work before dinner. I got Peter a job, so I got to train him up.

Thursday 9/30- AM- Microeconomics midterm! Turns out I got an 81.5 on the exam, which is .5 higher than the median. I had really hoped to crush this exam, but totally sissied out of studying for it after my unscheduled shift at work the night before. Excuses, excuses. PM- 3mi up, 6x20' strides with 40' jog, 7.5k tempo around the BC Res, 24:52 (5:20/mile). I finally did a tempo run right. I went out just a tad slow, then ran strong the rest of the way, as opposed to going out around 5:05 pace and hanging on. My average pace was slower than last time, but I accomplished a lot more today. Splits- 8:23, 16:41 (8:18) 24:52 (8:11). It was also about 80deg with a dew point of 68-70 (ew, right?) so I was very pleased. 6 more strides and a cooldown for 12.

Friday 10/1- PM- 11mi easy with Ken, James, and Terence. It stayed 80 deg with a similar dew point through the night (which means I did not sleep for more than two or three hours) but when the storm opened up around 2pm, things cooled off and cooled off fast. It was only about 68 and rainy for the run, which was perfect. Also, I cooked up some pork chops for dinner. Though delicious at the time, this proved a poor decision around 3am, when I awoke to be violently ill in all ways it was possible to be violently ill. It was around 7am, empty and still cramping, that I was able to sleep until about 9:30am.

Saturday 10/2- I didn't manage to keep any fluids or solid food down for the day, so I wasn't expecting much for a run. I was shocked at just how bad I felt running 4mi at probably close to 9min pace. I had to stop a couple times on the way back. Fortunately, the run seemed to flush the rest of whatever poison I had fed myself out. After another small nap and hot shower, I was able to keep down water and even managed some dry toast before bed.

Sunday- 10/3 9:30AM- Bruce drove us out to the Minuteman trail in Lexington for a longer fartlek. We did a 21min fast warmup, then 3-6-3-2-4-2-1-2-1 minutes hard with 3min steady between each bout. We covered right about 12mi in 69 minutes, then jogged 9min for a cooldown at called it a very conservative 13. I was pleased to feel ok. My appetite still isn't quite back to normal, but I've gotten some food down today and what feels like gallons of fluid. Now is not the time to push things and get sick.

Tot- 61, plus pushups/core work most days (except Saturday for sure and maybe Thursday), in 6 runs, including a 4mi day. Not a bad week of training considering the circumstances involved. New England Championships 6 days from today!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Author Considers Buying Property Near Franklin Park

The infinite abyss of cyberspace. . . we meet again. I shout my blog post into the merciless void, only to have my roommates wonder why I'm shouting at a laptop. I had a pretty good week. I've got school under control, had some good workouts, and even managed to squeeze in some Red Sox. I've lived about 2mi from Fenway from over a year now, and this Wednesday was the first time I made it to a game! Shameful.

Anyway, here's the log:

Monday 9/20- AM- 3mi easy, solo, plus pushups and core work. Middle two miles barefoot on the turf. PM- 8mi slow on the river with the team, felt pretty sluggish mostly because I was still not pleased about my race. More pushups and core after.

Tuesday 9/21- 8AM- Had stuff to do this afternoon, so I ran by myself on a cool, sunny morning. I ran over to Fresh Pond from the house with a small addition at Harvard, did the 5mi around Fresh Pond moderate in 30:08, as per Bruce's direction, then ran back to the house with the small addition at Harvard to make the run 12 instead of 11.

Wednesday 9/22- Fresh Pond once, easy with the team, plus 6x100m fast strides in my milers on the track. Felt a little tired on the run (it was pretty warm) but great on the strides. A bunch of us went to the Sox game that evening, and who should we see there but Jenny Barringer, who was in town to do some promotional work for New Balance. We didn't want to bug her too much, but we got a picture and talked with her for a few. If she likes the Sox, she's ok by me. A non-runner friend of ours who was there says we were worse than fawning girl scouts over Bieber, but screw you, Polley.

Thursday 9/23- 3:30PM- At Franklin Park with the team. 3mi up, 8x1000m on a 5min cycle; we all ran hard for 3:10 and jogged for 1:50 so we'd all be on the same page. I worked out mostly with Peter and Rich; we went through the 1000 on each rep in about 3:03. I felt good and worked pretty hard. 3mi down.

Friday 9/24- 3:30PM- 10mi on the faster side of easy, because we did one of Rob's Runs and those all include 1) faster paces 2) hills and 3) cool, cool places. This one took us through a bunch of fancy houses in Brookline.

Saturday 9/25- 9AM- 63' easy to and around Franklin Park to watch Kevin Gilmore and the rest of his team race at the Codfish Bowl. Since it was New England cross country, we all saw about a dozen people we used to be on teams with, raced against in high school, knew at camp once, etc. Congratulations to all racers who survived the unnecessary heat of the morning! 6:30PM- 4mi shakeout + core/pushups.

Sunday 9/26 9AM- At Franklin Park again with the team for a little more controlled workout of 5x5:00 hard, 2:30 easy. I hit within a second or two of 5:00 miles for each, and felt like I was holding back quite a bit more than the workout on Thursday. Bruce said I looked like I was moving pretty easy, so that's encouraging. 3mi c/d, feast at Dining Hall, 1xblog post, 1xwork shift.

81 miles, 9 runs, bunch of core/pushups, and the Sox won! A good week, hope you all can say that same.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Cobwebs (OR: In which the intrepid authors refuses to make a litany of excuses)

Ah, hello, my infinite audience of, um my high school coach and maybe the WayBack Machine. This is one of the tough blog posts to write because I had a great week of training up until Sunday, when BU had a dual meet against Florida State. I guess I was a little rustier than I thought, because I really dropped a stinker this morning- 26:25 for the Frankin Park course, one of the slowest 8ks I've raced in college. I could go on about my shoe coming untied, or feeling the sniffles, or the capricious whims of the Western wind, or the stars being all crappily aligned. . . but eh, then my blog title for the week would be all inaccurate and stuff. Instead, I'll say that I ran a slow race, but ran my hardest, which was tough to do knowing how slow I was running. Next time, it'll be the same max effort, but faster. If it's not, well, there's always the time after that. That's the best thing about running! I know training is going well, sometimes races don't click. It sucks, but I'll get another shot at the New England Championships in a couple weeks.

The log-

Monday- 9mi easy on the river with the guys, felt fine once I got going.

Tuesday- 12mi moderate/hard with Rob, Ken, and Peter to the Brookline Arboretum and up all the hills Rob knew of, then back. Really great run today, just cruising along. I really love doing these good hard runs.

Wednesday- 10mi very easy; I would have guessed 75min, but apparently, we were under 70. Who knew?

Thursday- 3up to the BC Reservoir for an easy pre-meet workout. Most of the team ran together and did 4(2)3(2)2(6)4x1:00 (90) min hard (recovery jog). We still averaged a little under 5:40 pace for 3 laps of the Res, so not a bad effort. Had to hammer the 3mi home because I was almost late to work.

Friday- 10mi easy on the Brookline Farm loop with Rob, Elliot, and Terence, felt good; it was almost "chilly" out today, and I love that weather.

Saturday- 8mi easy with Ken and James, including 4x100m fast strides on the track. Felt kinda blah, didn't sleep great Friday night.

Sunday- 10AM- 3up, 8k @ Franklin Park, 26:24.5, 7th BU, not sure what I was overall. In addition to what I said above, it's a starting point- nothing more, nothing less. 3mi down with special guest runners, U-Mass Darmouth's finest.

Tot- 71

I think a day off is in order this week, since I haven't taken one in a couple weeks. Now that I think about it, this was a pretty rough week in terms of non-running stuff; in addition to class, I worked every night this week, meaning I was gone from my apartment from 8:30am-9:30pm most every night. Not sure it meant anything for the race, but I gotta ease back on the 13 hour days before I get sick or something. Another annoying side effect of the busy days was that I didn't have time to do "real" food shopping, so I ate a lot of poptarts and take-out Chinese food. Again, it meant nothing for the race, but I spent all week feeling like a greaseball was growing in my stomach. Fortunately, I got to the supermarket yesterday and picked up all manner of my favorite "not going to make a nutritionist cry on sight" foods- yogurt, fresh green vegetables, unpolished rice, lean meat, bananas. Actually, now that I think about it, I think I'm going to go make a giant salad and eat a frozen banana (try it- it gives 'em the consistency of ice cream! just peel it first, or it's a bitch to get the banana out). Have a great week, everyone!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Feel the Vibe

Hey there, Internet. Has a been a whole week already? I suppose, technically, no, it's only been six days. Splitting hairs won't get you anywhere, though. Lots of fun stuff happened this week: good moderate runs, a date, class, work, some good solid workouts, oh, and BU's first cross-country race of the season. Bruce sat out a rough estimated projection of our top 6 or so, and raced the rest at the BC Invitational over at Franklin Park in Boston. The results were encouraging; our so-called "7-10" runners all scored big personal bests and ran faster than our 4th man ran on this course about the same time in the same weather last year. I also don't think for a second that our "3-6" guys are orders of magnitude faster than the "7-10." What's likely, I think, is a deep pack and varsity spots changing rapidly.

If we throw out the watch entirely, this was a fantastic week of training for me. I feel strong, fast, and fit, but smart enough to balance those feelings out with gentle recovery running as needed. If we consider the watch in evaluating this week, then the work I did combined with how I feel is very encouraging. I'm fit; my primary concern now is taking care of myself and ensuring I'm ready to go when it's time to race. I'm excited to open up a week from today at Franklin Park; I also want to master that excitement and direct it appropriately. Slowly but surely, I'm learning, ha!

The log:

Monday Sept 6- 11AM- 3mi slow shakeout with my friend Beth. Beth goes to Northeastern, so we met at Audubon Circle near Fenway and jogged nice and slow for a while. 4PM- 11mi moderate at Minuteman Trail in Lexington, MA. We went out in a group for 32min or so, came back in about 29min, then I added on some with Peter to get a cautious 11. I was tempted to really blast it on the way back because I felt awesome and the weather was perfect, but Matt, Peter, and I stayed controlled and capped our pace around 5:45/mile. The best part about van rides is that Bruce brings gatorade.

9/7 Tuesday- 8mi very easy on the river, plus some strides at the track. Good recovery day.

9/8 Wednesday- 3mi up to BC Res, 7.5k tempo (3 laps) with Rob and Peter, 24:20, (~5:12/mile) 6x100m strides, 3 down. After last week's awful tempo, I was a little apprehensive about today, but my concern was proven to be unnecessary. I felt great from the first step. The perfect weather got us going out a little too fast (8:00 through one lap, 5:09 pace) but we settled into a more appropriate pace for the middle lap (8:11) before Rob and Peter lit out like crazymen (ok, Crazy Fit Aerobic Monsters) leaving me to run a controlled solo 8:09 final lap, feeling very satisfied with how the watch compared to my effort.

9/9 Thursday- 70' easy, 9 with the team, rest of it solo to run straight home, jump in the shower, and get to work only 3 min late. Felt entirely neutral: neither tired nor fresh, neither good nor bad, neither fast nor slow.

9/10 Friday- My mother's 11th consecutive 39th birthday (heh heh). Rob took Billy, Peter, and myself on an 80min adventure through some awesome trails in Newton. We ran about every pace/effort there was over about every terrain there could be; we had a great time tearing through the woods. Call it 12; call it Steve. It's a run, it can't hear you.

9/11 Saturday- 1PM- 62' easy doing loops (and loops and loops) around Franklin Park with most of the guys who weren't racing today. Another neutral day in great weather to run. So proud of the guys!

9/12 Sunday- 9:30AM- At Franklin Park for some grass repeats. 3mi up, 4x2k in ~6:10 with 3:50 jog, last two repeats in spikes. I packed up with Peter, Matt, and Elliot, and even though morning workouts are often my nemesis, today was surprisingly smooth, easy, and satisfying. I'm really enjoying the vibe on the team this year, as well as the fact that I have yet to run any workouts with less than two people right with me. We eased into the workout a little bit, as per Bruce's orders, and were rewarded with strong work throughout. 3mi down.

76 miles
core/pushups are most runs

Have a great week, everyone!

Monday, September 6, 2010


Well, internet, I was late with this week's post. I don't have a good excuse, so I'll make one up: I was running through the woods last night, came across a 70 year old Brad Pitt wrestling a bear armed only with a knife, and took advantage of their mutually weakened states. After sending both of them off to the taxidermist, I called up the Legends of the Fall people to negotiate some tuition payments, and ended up not being able to write my entry.

So, feats of nascent beard-fueled excellence aside, here's what I got up to last week:

Monday- AM- 9mi steady with the team, ran early to beat the heat, which we did. 7PM- 36' easy shakeout with Joe, Peter, and the Melon (my favorite freshman) around Comm Ave.

Tuesday- 7:30AM- 3mi up, 5k tempo, 17:20, 3mi down. The assignment for today was 7.5k (3 laps of the BC Reservoir at 5:20/mile + or -) but it was already low 80s with a dewpoint around 72 when when we started. Heat + Humidity + Early is the same combo that did me in at Falmouth this year, so I simply stopped when "medium effort" we were assigned became "extra medium" to euphemize.

Wednesday- AM- Had a chat with Bruce regarding balancing volume/intensity. He suggested I keep the volume on the recovery days less aggressive, since I seem to have trouble converting training to racing at > 90 miles a week. PM- 9mi easy with Ken and James on the river, in accordance with Bruce's suggestions.

Thursday- 4PM- 95 degrees out, but very dry, so it wasn't actually that uncomfortable. I ran a moderate 9miler in 56:37 with Peter, Matt, and Billy, and was surprised at how good I felt in the heat. Class for me started today, but I only had one class since there are no discussion sections yet.

Friday- 3:30PM- 11mi easy, first 10 or so with the team. Rainy but very warm, so it kinda felt like getting drooled on for 75 minutes. Certainly a strange sensation.

Saturday- 11:30AM- 3mi up, "mile repeats" at Franklin. I put mile repeats in quotes, because Bruce had us run hard for 4:55 and then recover for 3min, regardless of how much ground we covered in that 4:55. We alternated the first (30m short, flat) mile of the course with the 2nd (30m long, hilly) mile of the course, and I'd say I averaged covering a mile for all 4, even though some were less and some were more. The team looked great out there today; we rolled in a big group most of the time, working hard but not competing. If things keep up, I could PR for 8k this year and not make the Regional squad- which would be bad for me individually, but great for the team, since last year I was our 2-3 man! 6PM- 3mi shakeout with James, "Kenyan Shuffle style" + pushups and pullups.

Sunday- 6PM- 7mi easy with Ken, again in accordance with Bruce's instructions. I didn't feel a hint of soreness, which was surprising.

Tot- 73, core after pretty much every run

I feel lazy only running once a day most days and for only about an hour or so at a time, but looking back over my logs, this seems to be my "sweet spot" in terms of balancing volume, intensity, and consistency. I don't think 70-80 miles a week is an inconsequential volume for someone who fits the mold of the miler a little more naturally than the long distance runner, so my aim is to get in 2-3 very quality efforts a week, let the easy days be, and keep my legs reasonably fresh throughout the season. I'm actually very excited to see everyone race in the coming weeks, because as I said, the way things look now, I could PR and not make the travel squad for Conferences/Regionals. If that happened, I'd be a little irked at myself, but beside myself that BU has such a strong team. I'm hesitant to share all this, lest I reveal too much information, but why engage in mind games? We're doing well now, hopefully we'll all keep that momentum going. For anyone who is racing us, we'll see you out there and see who's better on the given day!

The weather has calmed down now, and I'm off to get in a run. Have a great week, everybody!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Last Week of Summer and 100th Post!

This marks my 100th blog entry. What a milestone to have reached, internet. When I started this thing back in January of 2009, I had no idea I'd still be hangin' around. This week concluded my summer training, which proved an enjoyable, fruitful cycle of building new fitness. I think my mistake last year was that I tried to do too a little too much summer intensity, which left me sharp for my summer races and a little flat by October (and sick as a dog by November). This year, I'd like to think I'm being smarter about preparing for the real races this fall- the America East conference meet and the Northeast Regional 10k.

Here's my training for the week. After will follow some fun number crunching for people who hate soggy numbers.

Monday 8/23- 10:30AM- 4mi easy in cool, pouring rain. But for my glasses getting all wet and making it difficult for me to see, it was a great run. 6:30PM- 2 laps of Fresh Pond from the house, to the TTC for 4x150m strides in spikes, back home for 12 tot. Ran into my buddy Brian Harvey on the way home and ran with him for a bit.

Tuesday 8/24- 1:30PM- Pouring rain continued for my mixed bag of a workout. I did 3mi up, then a lap of the BC Res (2.5k) in 8:52, which was slower than what I expected but right into a 30+mph headwind. I went right into a sustained moderate pace over to Heartbreak Hill, did 4xHeartbreak, right into a sustained run back to the Res, where I finished off by doing 3' 2' 1' HARD with 1' easy in between each section. That lap was 8:35 or so, including rest and contending with the wind. I ran a very slow 3mi cooldown back home and immediately marinated in the shower for a half-hour or so. A good, moderate workout in awful conditions (the novelty of which made the workout kind of fun).

Wednesday 8/25- OFF, as per "Stone Cold" Bruce Lehane's directions. I think during the season I'll put my rest days at every three weeks, since Bruce will be able to better monitor my intensity level.

Thursday 8/26- 11AM- Heat came back with a vengeance. Ran with half the team to Jamaica Pond for a decent 9 in about 58min. 5:30PM- 7mi easy with most of the other half of the team, plus 4 strides indoors. Felt good, it was just a touch cooler out.

Friday 8/27- 9AM- 9mi easy going West on the Charles with the team, felt good. Beautiful weather. 5:30PM- 9mi easy with Billy, who missed the morning run. I had intended on doing 5, missed my turnoff because we were chatting, missed the 7mi turnoff because we were having a good conversation, and ended up doing the full 9 with him. I got in a lot of miles today, but they were easy and I felt fine.

Saturday 8/28- 10:30AM- 4mi easy on the standard morning loop, solo. Felt good! 5:30PM- 3 up to the BC Res with most of the guys, then 6x3min on, 2min off with about half of them (we split into 2 groups to avoid crowding the path). We took the offs very slow and hit 26:50 through 7.5k, which is a touch over 5:45/mile. Since not all of us were cleared yet (our medical paperwork got done kind of last minute, due to forgetful clowns like me not having our insurance cards on us) Bruce couldn't assign and supervise the workout, so we had to self-police. 3mi down- I think it went well for most everyone.

Sunday 8/29- 11AM- HOT OUT. I'm talkin' 97 degrees when we got going. We all paid the price for sleeping in today. We had a large group of guys and Nikki going anywhere from 6+ to 12+ miles out around Fresh Pond. I went just under 12, but was too dehydrated and destroyed from the run to add on the 3-4 minutes I needed to call it a safe 12. Gross run!

90 miles, six days

Number Crunching:

Summer training period: 84 days (12 weeks, 6/7 to 8/29)
Total miles: 1010
Avg miles/day: ~12.02
Avg miles in any given 7-day span: 84.14
High Week: 112
Low Week: 72

A good summer with some minor setbacks. Time to have a good cross season!

Good luck to all cross country runners beginning seasons!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Lord of the Flies

Hey there, internet. Why, don't you look lovely tonight. I hope you had a great week. Mine was nothing special or awful, which I'll take. I finished up my teaching assistant position at the A+ College Prep Academy (it's like a voluntary summer school that was run out of BU this year). I had an 8th grade English class, and we spent our two weeks reading and analyzing Lord of the Flies, which provided me with a convenient title for the week.

A+ Academy was pretty good as far as jobs go; I could wake up at 7:30am and still get to work on time, but since it's a solid 35min walk (fast walk, since I was usually running a little late) I wussed out and didn't wake up at 6:30 to double any of the days. Aside from the low volume, it was a pretty good week for training.

Here's what I got up to:

Monday 8/16- PM- 8.5 moderate; realized I was too frustrated from Falmouth to run slow so I cut the run short of my planned 13.

Tuesday 8/17- PM- Still frustrated, so I let myself go the last 8mi of my 10-miler, then held back around 5:40/mile. I ran 59:30 for ten, with the last 8 around 5:45 avg. I was pretty tired from Sunday + Monday, but it felt good to run hard.

Wednesday 8/18- PM- 3 up, 5xmile w/400 jog at MIT's track since BU's was in use, 5:02 (1:48) 5:07 (1:46) 5:08 (1:50) 5:07 (1:48) 5:05. I wanted to run 5:08-5:12 (77-78/lap), but went out in 2:28 the first half of the first mile, then found my cruising rhythm. This workout felt exactly as hard as it should have, no more or less.

Thursday 8/19- PM- 9 very easy with Joe, wanted to make sure I didn't dig myself a hole in a poorly-thought-out attempt to "make up" for Falmouth.

Friday 8/20- 3PM- 7mi easy with my friend Amy, who I used to run with at Keene. I did most of my easy days with Amy at Keene (Amy is a 4:35 1500m runner) because she would let me go as easy as I wanted. It was really out hot out, but we managed. 10PM- 7 miles solo on the Charles, including 6 strides over the course of the run. Note to self: on beautiful summer nights, hobos like to meet at the Charles to have their fight clubs and cheap wine tastings.

Saturday 8/21- 11AM- Slept in til 9:30, made myself steak and eggs for breakfast, snuck in 4mi solo before my friend Matt picked me up for his graduation party back in Derry. 4:30PM- After a few adult sodas and a game of wiffle ball, I stole away from the party to get in a tempo run at Pinkerton's track. 3 up, 4mi tempo in 21:19 (5:28, 5:23, 5:20, 5:08) ran clockwise on the track for no good reason, quick mile c/d back to the barbecue.

Sunday 8/22- 9PM- Wasted the morning sleeping in, spent (not wasted!) the afternoon with Matt, his girlfriend, and our friend Kevin playing Mario Kart on the wii, got back to Allston at 8:45, watched Russell Crow kill Joaquin Phoenix at the end of Gladiator, then hit the roads for a moderate 14 in 90 minutes (I logged it as 13.5, though, since I wasn't sure on the distance.

80 miles
9 runs
Mini-core after each run this week

Until next week, friends!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Falmouth Road Race

Unfortunately, I don't have good news this week. I dropped a real stinker in the race this morning- I knew things were going to be ugly about a mile and a half in, made it through 4mi ok, then really blew up and ran about 17min for the last 3 miles. My final time was something like 37:35, about a minute slower than the last year. Had I squeaked under 5:20s for the last 3 miles, I would have easily beaten my time from last year, which shows up how bad I blew up.

So, what does All This Mean for my training, my season, my approach? Absolutely nothing! Of course I wanted to run well today. I rested up a little for the race, went into it with a good, tough goal, and gave it shot. I bombed. Obviously, on the ride home, I went through the little mental checklist of What Went Wrong (and mapped out what not-quite-random phrases to capitalize in this entry). Here's what I came up with:

-training has been going well in terms of balancing volume, intensity, and rest.

-my weight is down, but not too down, and is down because I've been eating healthier as opposed to doing something dumb like cutting out water and weighting myself after hot runs.

-my diet consists of a lot more fruits, vegetables, and lean meats and less candy bars. I won't give up ice cream. You can't make me! If I'm honest, I probably haven't been eating enough red meat (someone show this to some New York vegan!) because it hasn't been on sale lately, but I've making amends with a giant piece of barely cooked cow on my plate right now.

This was all a long-winded way of saying I think everything is going fine, and I was probably a little tired from my big ol' mileage week last week. I dropped a huge stinker of a race, and hopefully it won't happen while I'm wearing a BU singlet this year. Life's tough, get a helmet, right?

Anyway, the non-race part of Falmouth was just as fun as last year. Peter, Trethewey, Pat MacAllister, and I stayed with a high school friend of Peter's. I'm not sure how they are on anonymity, but this friend of mine's mother is a SAINT. Every year, she hosts at least one elite runner for the race and a crowd of local scrubs her son befriends. She cooks massive amounts of astoundingly delicious food and makes everyone feel like her kids, then runs the race herself, comes home, and does it all again with a massive barbecue. I can't say enough good things about them. If it weren't for the whole hoopla (does anyone still say "hoopla?") around the race, I'd probably be in a worse mood than right now.

I started a two-week gig tutoring at an on-campus summer enrichment program for middle- and high-schoolers. I have two classrooms of rising 8th graders (who volunteered to go to school for two weeks in the summer!) and we're reading William Golding's "Lord of the Flies." The reason this is relevant is because I've been getting up at 7am and not doubling (boo, sissy, I know, I know). This worked out perfectly, since I wanted to take this past week a little easier to recover from my big week and rest up for Falmouth (some plan, eh?). Tomorrow, though, I'll be setting the alarm and stumbling out the door. At least it won't be hot it!

Here's what I got up to last week:

Monday 8/9- PM- 12mi easy to Spy Pond and back with James, Peter, Joey, and Joe, good clip today- 79min.

Tuesday 8/10- PM- 10 miles easy with Joe and James, touch over 70min.

Wednesday 8/11- PM- 30min up to the Brookline High track to meet Eric for a light workout. We did 3x(800, 600, 400) with (400, 200, 400) sustained jog rest at 74/73/72 per lap, respectively, and hit the times despite being bothered by a bunch of punks throwing rocks and cutting in front of us on their bikes. The cops showed up because a nearby football coach called them, so hah! We ran the sustained jogs between 6-6:30/mile, and ran 8k over the course of the workout in 26:55 (including rest, not including the last 400j). 25min down.

Thursday 8/12- OFF, as per my schedule from Bruce.

Friday 8/13- PM- 11mi easy, first 8.5 or so with Joe and Eric.

Saturday 8/14- 9AM- 4mi very slow shakeout, solo. Felt really great on this run, which proved to be a red herring. 4PM- 50min easy plus strides with Pat and Peter on the trails by Falmouth High School. We watched New Hampshire native Russ Brown beat Nick Willis in the Falmouth mile!

Sunday 8/15- AM- 2mi up, Falmouth Road Race, ~37:35. 4:57 at the mile, 10:07 at 2, 20:36? at 4, explosion, shame. 20min cooldown to the car with the guys. 8PM- 4mi easy with Pat from my place in Allston to shake out the long traffic-y ride from the Cape.

Total- 72

Have a great week, internet!

Monday, August 9, 2010

NEPXC Week 2, 21st Birthday

This blog is late, because I spent the weekend turning 21. Why turning 21 takes longer than a normal birthday, I'm not sure, but I'm told I had a wonderful time. That's all I have to say about that.

I spent the early part of this week in Northfield, MA for a cross country camp. I was assigned roughly ten high schoolers roughly between 17-18min in the 5k. It was a great time leading them through the trails, telling them stories, and watching them try to dance with varying degrees of success. I got in a LOT of miles this week, mostly because my morning runs with the kids were very slow. I made up for it somewhat by running my afternoon runs mostly a pretty good clip.

Here's the log:

Monday- AM 6 PM 11, last 60min HARD, got really dehydrated near the end.

Tuesday- AM 7 PM- 13 including a bunch of short strides and 30-40 second hard surges. Last 20min barefoot on the grass.

Wednesday- AM 5 PM- 14 including a 25min progression run pacing my kids (7:30 down to 5:30 pace, roughly, probably ran just a touch under 4mi) and the last hour or so with Jenkins and Brian, one of the other counselors.

Thursday- AM- 5min up, 10mi over a really hilly course good and hard with Zac Hine, 20min down with Zac and my teammate Colin's high school coach. Brian came with us for the first 12k or so, then cooled down. We ran 55:48, but the loop is a little short. Felt great, but it was 80deg out with a 75 deg dew point. . . so yeah, it was pretty nasty out.

Friday- AM- 8mi easy, back in Derry. PM- 10 easy solo, back in Allston.

Saturday AM 6.5 easy PM 10 easy with James and Joe

Sunday PM- 3up, 7x2min hard, 1min easy, 3 down. Note that the fartlek took me 21min on my 21st birthday!

Total- 112, highest ever by 7mi. Not bad!

Also, I did strides, drills, core, and pushups with my kids each morning, but I didn't want to write it over again 4-5 times. Have a great week, internet!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

New England Prep XC Camp, Pt 1

Hello, friends. I'm posting from a dorm room on the Northfield Mount Hermon Prep campus, having just finished my first full day as a counselor for the camp. So far, things are going awesome- I have charge of the 2nd cohort of roughly 10 high school cross country runners, named "Team Craigslist" in what I'm told is my honor. I have a bed, free food, great trails, and people to run with- what more could a broke-ass, mediocre college miler want?

Most of the early part of this week was taken up be me making extra careful I rested up from my ten mile tempo, then the latter part of the week was taken up by travel from Boston to Derry, then Derry to Northfield. My mother, brother, and I drove through Keene for the first time since I transferred, and even though we only stopped for about 15min at the Walmart to buy me socks, a razor, and one of those travel-shampoos, it was still kind of a strange experience to be back. I'd like to hit up some of the old trails at some point, but we'll see how it all fits into the fall schedule.

I think I had something of consequence to say (zounds!) but I've forgotten what it was. Here's what I put in the bank last week:

Monday July 26- 8:30AM- 5.5, first 3 with Eric up Comm Ave and around the Res. Great weather! 5:30PM- 8.5 easy around Fresh Pond from the house, tired but not sore. Saw Inception with Joe. DAMN.

Tuesday July 27- 9:30AM- 5mi easy, stop at FitRec for 45min of strength/core. 7:30PM- 10mi easy + strides + drills with Jeff, started with Eric. Felt great!

Wednesday July 28th- Noon- 4mi easy, hot but dry. Studied Latin in the morning to try to weasel my way out of a foreign language requirement and save myself 4 classes. 7:30PM- Studied microecon all afternoon to get a leg up on being a late start to econ. Studying in the summer? Gross. 3mi up, 8x3min hard, 1min medium around the BC Res, + 2:17 after the last one to finish up 10k (4 laps). Ran 34:17 for 10k, which is 5:31/mile including the rest. Good workout, but I ran the first 3 hard bouts WAY too fast. D'oh! 3mi down.

Thursday July 29th- OFF, because the Boss Man commands it.

Friday July 30th- AM- 4mi easy with Billy "the Grizzly Bear" Whelan. Noon- Bus back to Derry. 7:30PM- 10mi easy progression run on the Dbl Lane Road loop. Roughly 3.5 easy, 3.5 steady, 3mi a little faster. I averaged ~6:50 for the warmup, ~6:10 for the steady part, and ~5:35 for the last 3mi. I always thought this run was right on 10, but I measured it for kicks and discovered the last 3mi is actually 5k, so my regular 17:00-17:30 finishes are a little faster than I thought there were. 63:12 for the loop.

Saturday July 31st- AM- 6mi easy on the r/r beds in Derry, didn't wake up early enough to do more and pack. PM- 4mi easy on the trails in Northfield, Mass with the other counselors, didn't eat all day, very dizzy.

Sunday August 1st- 10AM- 35' easy with my campers, had to run a little shorter to return a lost youngin' to the track. Call it 4.5 to be safe. 4:30PM- 77' easy with most of the other counselors to start after our camply duties were attended to, then the last 52' with Brian Fuller of Springfield College, who is a veteran counselor and knows the trails. We got down to a pretty respectable pace for the last half hour.

84 miles, one day off
1 strength/core session

Not bad, not bad. This next week will be pretty low on quality, so I'm just going to accumulate plenty of slow miles.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Traffic: the Casanova Frankenstein to my Greg Kinnear

Hello, everyone (ok, hello mom). Unfortunately, I wasn't able to do the complete fitness test I had planned for the Blessing of the Fleet 10-miler. As it turns out, there is occasionally TRAFFIC in Providence at 5pm on a Friday. Last year, we drove a different way, and being 7 confident young men, we were sure we could make the 90min drive in two hours. How wrong we were. Our goals, as we languished on the highway, changed from "ok, we'll still have time to jog 15min, get our numbers, and get going," to "ok, we'll still have time to jog 10min and run the race, we can deal with the numbers after" to "ok, hopefully we get there before the gun goes off."

Ultimately, none of those things happened. We got there 13-14min after the gun sounded, and had to park about a mile away. We ran pretty hard over to the starting line, intending to just time ourselves over the course, when the race director told us to get our numbers, which contained our chips and determined overall finish. I asked if he was sure that the awards/final places were done on chip time and not gun time, and he assured me our times would reflect our late start. We pinned on numbers and off we went, only to find out the next day that most of us didn't end up in the results at all, and my "chip time" just happened to match up perfectly with my gun time. Hmmm. It proved impossible to race while weaving our way through the crowds of runners, so Peter and I settled on trying to run as close to 5:30/mile as we could. It was frustrating to waste the opportunity to crush one of my weaker PRs, but encouraging that I ran a very similar time to last year's blood-and-guts struggle with very little fuss. More on that later, though.

And now for something completely predictable. . . my log for the week!

Monday 7/19- 8mi easy with my younger brother, Kevin. Schedule said 10mi plus strides today, but my digestive system obeys no schedule but its own. Would the words "photo finish" be too descriptive here?

Tuesday 7/20- 11:30AM- 5mi easy from the house, pretty nice out. 7:30PM- 3+ up, 8x1min hills, 3+ down. My schedule called for 6x80 second hills, but Derry didn't have a good Heartbreak equivalent that I could find easily, so I figured 8x60 was close enough.

Wednesday 7/21- 7:30PM- 10mi on the river with James back in Allston, felt good.

Thursday 7/22- AM- Travel to Hanson, MA with James and Joey. 6:30PM- 7mi easy + strides in Hanson with Peter, Kevin, James, and Joey. We crashed at the Gilmores' place and got treated to a delicious pasta dinner by Peter's mom.

Friday 7/23- 12:30PM- 3mi shakeout with Peter and Trethewey, who had work last night and had to show up this morning. 6:00PM- 1mi pretty hard warmup to the car, stop for a second to put on our numbers, 10mi hard tempo. We went out as a group in 5:08, then ran into the back end of the pack of runners and realized racing the whole way was not going to happen. Peter and I ran together until 9.5mi, when he pounced on the chance to set a 10-mile PR (I would have done the same thing, make no mistake!). My splits, from what I could remember: 5:09, 10:38, 16:07, 21:33, 26:53, 32:30, 37:45, 43:??, 48:14, 53:38. It rained a little bit the whole way, thought it really got torrential around mile 7, which was our fastest mile. Going into this, I thought 52:30 was in the cards, and running a pretty comfy 53:38 confirmed 52:30 would have been a reasonable goal. Oh well, though- at least tempo-ing won't interrupt my training too much. 3mi c/d with Peter and Joey.

Saturday 7/24- 2PM- 4mi easy, solo, very hot out. 8PM- 8mi easy, mostly with Eric on the river, quads very, very sore- but more like I squatted lots of weights than racing sore. No broad, system-wide fatigue today- but for the quads, I was about as tired as I usually am after a 5mi tempo.

Sunday 7/25- 7PM- 11mi easy from the house, two laps around Fresh Pond. Felt pretty good, but again, very sore quads. Bruce told me to take tomorrow easy to ensure I'm fully recovered. I think that's a touch on the conservative side, but that's been the name of the game this summer. I'm healthy, fit, and fresh, so no complaints on my end!

Tot- 81mi

Final Results of the Flying Jackalope 10 Mile Time Trial:

Peter Gilmore: 53:30 (PR)
Yours Truly: 53:38
Joey Greenspun: 54:35 (debut)
Kevin Gilmore: 54:58 (debut)
GeoJeffrey Trethewey: 55:20 (debut)
David Krinjak: 57:29 (debut- also, Bruce told him not to race it, since Dave is more of a 400/800 runner)
James Weider: 50min (through 9, then he cooled down the last mile)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Last Full Week in Derry (maybe ever?)

Call me crazy, but I seem to be adjusting to the heat. I had a bunch of runs in 90-95 degree weather this week, and either I'm no longer too soft and doughy for the heat (unlikely, since my mom keeps the house stocked with ice cream. . .) or I'm adapting well to running in it.

Since TrackTalk is brand new and still working out the kinks, my column over there still isn't quite up and running. Have no fear, though! It'll be up soon enough, and I have a couple of pending interviews floating out there on the intertubes. If anyone has any non obvious ideas for interview (hey, I'd love to talk to Salazar but c'mon, like I wouldn't think of that on my own?) feel free to shoot me an email or a comment.

Training went pretty well this week, especially since the heat didn't destroy me and, as per Bruce's orders, I took a non-negotiable day off.

Here' are the Hallowed Secrets (ha!) for this week:

Monday 7/12- 8PM- 10mi easy around Beaver Lake, nice and hilly, chafed up real bad.

Tuesday 7/13- 12:30PM- 5mi easy, put off the tempo I had planned because it was about 95 out. I really, really need to get off my "workin' nights" schedule and start going to bed/waking up at a reasonable hour. 7:30PM- 3 up, strides, 5mi barefoot tempo at Pinkerton's track in 26:33, 2 down. Splits- 5:28, 5:17, 5:20, 5:17, 5:09. Just ran the same effort the whole time and let myself go faster as I warmed up. A very satisfying run, since I ran close to the same pace I raced 7mi at Falmouth last year, only this time, it was a good, steady effort instead of a killer race.

Wednesday 7/14- 10AM- 9 miles easy with the Tretheworm, Dave Berube, and Baby Sears at the Massabesic Trails, felt pretty good. It was cooler and humid, about 75, which was a nice change. 6PM- 5mi easy from the house, felt fine.

Thursday 7/15- OFF as per Bruce's instructions. I'm on a 14 day workout cycle (which is an interesting experience, since I've generally been very much an "improvisational trainer," so to speak) that mandates one complete rest day within the cycle. After my disastrous spring, Bruce wants to be very careful with monitoring my fatigue. I'm just glad one of us is putting our foot down, since I don't take many off days on my own.

Friday 7/16- 11AM- 4mi easy from the house. 1:30PM- Travel to Boston for an on-campus job interview with A+ Academy, a summer enrichment program for 6th-12th graders. I got a job being a tutor/teacher's assistant for the English portion of the program, so that's two weeks of employment in August taken care of. 6:30PM- 6mi very easy in Boston with my friend Beth, who, since beginning running about two years ago, has gotten her normal easy pace from about 11min/mile to 8:30 or so.

Saturday- AM- Travel back to Derry for a friend's high school graduation party/going away party. Best of luck at Seattle, Kopetz! 7:30PM- 4mi up, 4mi barefoot tempo at Hood Field in 21:11.5 (5:18/mile), 4mi down. The tempo was a touch faster than it needed to be- Bruce wanted 4 miles at 5:20-5:30 pace, but I have a thing against looking at my watch during a tempo. Afterward, I looked at my splits and got 5:24.5, 5:18.5, 5:17.0, 5:11.5. Just like Wednesday, I ran with a consistent effort throughout, but ran negative splits as I warmed up and stayed relaxed.

Sunday- 11AM- 4mi easy around Derry, had to turn around early from my planned 5 because some cops had blocked off the road due to a fallen power line. Afternoon- I helped my buddy Owen and his brother-in-law move some furniture around. Always good to see Owen and his family. 6PM- Owen came with me for the first 3-4 or so, but he had run 7 in the AM and I hadn't, so I continued on for an easy 8mi. Hot again, but a pretty good run regardless. My left IT band shut down, though, which it's prone to do. It hurts and it's annoying, but it always goes away with some extra stretching and a little babying.

Total- 73 in six days.

Good quality, good rest, good training week. I'm racing the Blessing of the Fleet 10-miler again on Friday, so that should be a fun time. This year, we have even more BU teammates and random Jackalopes showing up, so it should be a good race and a hilarious carpool there and back.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Kancamangus Cruisin'

Just my luck. The heatwave that started the day before the 4th of July (aka the 3rd of July) followed me from Allston and into New Hampshire. It was HOT the first couple days of the week. I mention this despite the fact that most of New England knows it's hot, and the rest of the country, knowing that it's July, can probably guess that it's HOT. Regardless of the redundancy, it was REALLY HOT, and you can tell how serious I am because there are capital letters.

Anyway, here are the great secrets of what I got up to in New Hampshire:

Monday July 5th: AM- Travel to Derry. PM-Out and back, 8mi easy. Heat index over 90 at 8PM.

Tuesday July 6th: 8PM- Still 90 degrees at 8. . . 12mi over a hilly course, pretty easy. Upset stomach.

Wednesday July 7th: 12PM- 5mi easy. Guess what the weather was like? 6:30PM- 8mi easy with Peter Najem, a guy I ran with in high school and for my first two years at Keene. He's joining up with this post-collegiate group in Syracuse, so congratulations and good luck to him!

Thursday July 8th: 1PM- 5mi easy, I think this was my new record for sleeping in. 12:30? Damn! 8PM- 2mi up, 6x(4min hard, 2min easy), 2miles down. 10mi in 63:00, 5:40 avg for the fartlek. Did this run on a hilly 3mi loop located two miles from my house. Generally, I prefer to warm up longer, but I forgot I was doing a longer fartlek today and cut my normal warmup in half to keep today from being an 18-19 mi day. A little cooler today, but hot enough to keep my "2min easy" segments very slow instead of their normal ~6:00 pace. Still, worked pretty hard and had a good workout- despite dragging ass through my two-mile warmup in near 16min!

Friday July 9th: 12:30pm- 5mi easy, much nicer weather today. 6:30PM- 8mi easy with Najem again, over a hilly course. ~6:20s or so for most of the back half.

Saturday July 10th: 7:30PM- Barn run! 4mi easy, 4mi moderate, 4mi hard over the hilliest course I could make up around Beaver Lake. Last 4mi avg 5:37s over some monster hills, great run. 75 deg and mist for this run!

Sunday July 11th: 1PM- 30min easy on the Kancamangus Highway. Two friends and I drove up north to screw around on the Swift River. We hiked upstream, fell a bunch of times on rocks, rode the river downstream, smashed our butts on more rocks, I went running, we had lunch, I took a nap on a big sunny rock in the middle of the river, we tried to build a dam across the river, then it started downpouring and thunderstorming, we we left. 8PM- I wandered around town nice and easy for ~65 minutes.

Total- 86 miles, no strides, drills, or strength. I know, I know. Next week I'm doing the Blessing of the Fleet 10miler!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

234 Years and Still Kicking!

Well, this entry is pretty late, eh? In my defense, it's because I've recently gotten started on another project. TrackTalk, located over at, is up and running for the most part. I've been working on setting up my column over there, which mostly consists of me emailing anyone in the running world whose email I can find and asking if I can interview them. Also, I headed back to Derry for the week, and the internet here is pretty lame.

Anyway, here's what I got up to the week leading up to America's 234th birthday:

Monday 6/28- 10AM- 30min lifting with Eric, 30min core. Yech. 9:30PM- 4mi barefoot on the turf with Joe after work.

Tuesday 6/29- 7:30PM, waited til it was a little cooler out. 3 up, 5mi tempo 27:30 (first half 14:00), 3 down, felt fine aerobically but TIRED and SORE.

Wednesday 6/30- 3:30PM- 9mi easy on the river James- the weather was beautiful but I was too tired/sore to really enjoy it. 9:45PM- 5 mi easy barefoot on the turf, plus core.

Thursday 7/1- 10AM- 4 mi morning loop, solo. 5PM- Mini-maintenance run on the river, partway with James. First mile in ~7:20, 9th mile in 5:31, last mile as a cooldown. I felt pretty heavy and shitty through ~4miles, but when I switched into ~6:00 pace, I actually felt really good. 63:43 total.

Friday 7/2- 10AM- 4mi morning loop with James before he went back to Long Island. Sloooow this morning. 6:30PM- 20min up, 8x3min hard, 1min medium going West on the river, 9min cooldown. Good, hard run.

Saturday 7/3- 11AM- 4 mi morning loop, meant to stop and lift, but FitRec was closed for the weekend. 4PM- Lap around Fresh Pond from the house + a short add-on to make it 9. Planned on 10 plus strength, but got I got real tired/dehydrated halfway through the run.

Sunday 7/4- 9:30AM- 9 mi moderate with Eric, Paulson, and Krinjak from the house. HOT already. Ran much faster than I wanted to today, but that's mostly because Eric had to get to work and we dallied getting out of the house. Karma. . .

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Buster Poindexter, You've Never Been So Right

Well, I'm getting deeper into the swing of the summer now. It was hot out earlier in the week, which made all the Ashford residents lazier than usual (except for those who work at 6am. . .). I didn't get too much quality in during the hottest days, but I got in a pretty good hill session one night after work. The week ended with Ken leaving for South America for two months and my first epic bonk of the summer. Other than that, not much is going on here. I should try to get into more trouble next week, so I have something to write about!

Monday 6-21: 1:30PM- 4mi easy solo, hot out again. A bird DIVE BOMBED me between the bridges on the river, though! Was it the same bird as the one that tried to get Peter yesterday?! Or is a sparrow conspiracy?! 10PM- After work, slums to Mass Ave on the river, mile barefoot on Nickerson, drills, 6x(100 stride, 300 jog). Felt pretty darn good on the drills and strides.

Tuesday 6-22: 10AM- 4 easy solo, decided to skip my planned tempo today because I was just plum tuckered out. Sparrow dove for me again! 3:30PM- 8.5 around Fresh Pond once from the house with Ken, Jeff, and James. Tired still.

Wednesday 6-23- 9AM: Fresh Pond once from the house with Eric, Ruben Sanca, and Ahmed + a short, solo add-on to make it 9. 3:30PM- 4mi shakeout with Ken and Joe + strength.

Thursday 6-24- 10AM- Heat index of 90deg at 10am. Double you tee eph, mate? And I got dive bombed AGAIN. 10PM- 3.5 up to Heartbreak Hill, 6x Hydrant to Hydrant (82, 82, 80, 79, 79, 77), 3.5 down. Felt pretty good- ran at a good, honest effort with Ken and Eric. The usual standard for the hill is 80 seconds, so this was a good workout. Jeez, though, it was still pretty hot at 10pm!

Friday 6-25- 10:30AM- Late start with Ken today, 4mi easy. Senor Sparrow had no response to my bringing Ken for backup. 6:30PM- 9 miles easy from the house, going west on the river with a huge-ass group. Tired again.

Saturday 6-26- 10AM- 4mi easy from the house with Trethewey and Peter. Eric came with us for the first 3, then did 10. 7:30PM- 8+mi on the river with Peter from the house, then an add-on at Nickerson to make it 9, then drills, then 4x(100 stride, 300 jog) for 10 on the evening. Felt pretty good.

Sunday 6-26- 9AM- First Bonk of the summer. 12 miles with Ruben, Peter, Eric, and Rob- we were about 6:30s through 6mi, then the lads took off and I bonked. Rob had worked out the day before, so he stayed back with me. I was still 77:30 for 12, so whatever. . . just annoying to get dropped.

Tot- 91 mi
2 drill sessions
1 strength session

Sunday, June 20, 2010

More Money in the Bank

Whether it's all the economic textbooks I'm reading in preparation for the fall or just good, old-fashioned American preoccupation with dough, but I could never get the "money in the bank" metaphor out of my head when thinking about base mileage.

I think it was Salazar (but don't quote me on it) who said "Every steady mile [an athlete] runs is like putting a dollar in the bank. Every mile [an athlete] races is like making a $10 withdrawal."

I like summer training, except for the "summer" part, haha. I'll admit I am a HUGE wimp about running in the heat. Usually I can plan accordingly to do my primary run either before it gets hot or after it cools down, but even then- I'll bitch about 80 degrees. Ken and James don't seem to mind so much when I complain, and since Eric's been working like a madman lately, he hasn't had to deal with my whining too much. In all seriousness, though, summer training is always a fun part of the year because no particular run has any great significance.

By that, I mean that if I happen to feeling good, or get caught up in a good running daydream, or get drawn into another teammate's feeling good, I can hammer all I'd like and there's nothing to worry about, because there's never anything tomorrow that's too important to jog through. I appreciate the freedom, even though I'll be missing racing by July.

Anyway, here's the log for the week:

Monday 6/14- 10AM- Out the Riverway with Ken, James, and Eric, around Jamaica Pond, and back, then barefoot drills and 4x(100 stride, 300 jog) with Eric on Nickerson for 10. 9:30PM- 4mi after work with Joe, James, and Ken.

Tuesday 6/15- 1:30PM- 79 deg, low humidity, slight wind. With Eric- 2+ up to the BC Res workout spot, 10k (4lap) tempo in 34:38, 2+ down.

Distance---------- Time---------- Split
2.5k ---------- 8:42 ---------- 8:42
5k ---------- 17:30----------- 8:49
7.5k ---------- 26:09---------- 8:38
10k ---------- 34:38---------- 8:29

Good, solid progression under a very strong sun. We were planning on 15k going 6:00, 5:45, 5:30 pace per mile for each 5k segment, but I screwed up the pacing and took us out the first lap 40 seconds too fast, so we figured 10k was good for today. (11mi tot)

Wednesday 6/16- 10AM- Morning 4mi loop with James, plus a stop on Nickerson to do the strength circuit I skipped last night (blaming the Celtics for the this one). 9:30PM- 8.5 on the river with Ken after work, tired, but glad we beat the heat.

Thursday 6/17- 11AM- 4mi easy, then travel to Derry, NH. 5PM- 10 miles at a good, hard pace through steady rain on one of my favorite rolling loops back home. 31:28 at 5mi, 27:40 for the back 5, 59:08 total- great run, I felt very refreshed afterward.

Friday 6/18- AM- Watched my younger sister graduate from high school. 5:30PM- 5mi nice and easy on the railroad beds, then I turned around and did 1min hard, 1min medium until I covered 4 miles, then ran the last mile nice and easy. I was tired from sitting in the sun all day, and it was 88 degrees for my workout, but the railroad beds offer a little shade and I just ran at an honest but not excessive effort.

Saturday 6/19- 11AM- 8mi out and back on the railroad beds with Trethewey, nice and easy, no watch as usual. Hot out again, decided to take a nice recovery day today and skip doubling.

Sunday 6/20- AM- travel back to Boston. 3PM- 9 miles in brutal heat and humidity (94 deg, according to the thermometer on the porch). Peter was up, and so was a HS buddy of Ken's, so the pace was pretty fast. I had planned on doing 14-15 in one go, but I was just flat out toast by 7mi in the heat. 9:30PM- 5mi barefoot on Nickerson, plus the strength circuit I should have done Friday or Saturday (I let graduation festivities interfere, I admit it).

Total- 83.5
1 session of drills/strides
2 strength/core sessions

All in all, a very solid week. I'm starting to see a little improvement in my general strength stuff and I recovered from the tempo and then the hard run/fartlek combo very well. Also, Saturday afternoon marked a very crucial Meeting of the Minds.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Back to Basics

No word yet on my bloodwork. Not sure what the delay is, but it's getting annoying. It'd be unbearable if I was still feeling terrible, but my running has taken a turn for the better. My "empty well" issues fortunately don't affect my normal base running, since normal base running requires no dipping into the well. Now if only I can get my "normal base running" down to 4:30/mile. . .

Anyway, nothing really special to report on this week. I'm waiting on my blood work, done with my Census work, making a killing on Telefund commissions, and enjoying the beginnings of the conditioning period. I'm also trying to eat healthier and less. I know "eat less" sounds stupid, but by that, I mean eating healthy, good food when I'm hungry, as opposed to eating half a bag of sour gummy worms at 1am because I'm bored. Thus far, though, I'm still less-than-svelte.

The log:

Monday- 9PM- 3miles easy, got back to Boston late and ran with Joe and James on the infield of Nickerson sans shoes.

Tuesday- 10AM- standard 4mi morning loop with a stop at Nickerson for a 30min core/body strength routine. It included a laughably small amount of pushups, lunges, dips, squats, and various core exercises. 4PM- Pretty quick run with James- ~6:20s for the 3mi out to Fresh Pond, did the lap at a good surge (13:32, ~5:25 pace), then went home at ~6:20 pace again, adding on a little at Harvard to make it 9 instead of 8.5.

Wednesday- 10AM- 4mi on the river with Ken. 4PM- Mayor's Run with Ken and James (and Joe for the first 15min), 8mi.

Thursday- 10AM- Maintenance run on the river, by myself. I spent the first 5mi waking up, then got into a really good gear for the back half. The last mile is measured and except for having to sprint through an intersection to make a walk light, I kept the pace as similar as I could to get a gauge on my effort. I was 5:37 for the last mile, so I think I can safely say I was 5:45s or so for most of the last 4mi. 61:44 tot, good strong run in rainy, cool weather. 4PM- 4mi easy on the river, partway with Ken and James, who were doing their primary run. 20min of running drills on Nickerson afterward with 4x100m flat out.

Friday- 5PM- 10mi easy on the river with Ken and the Born-Again Kevin DTP Cordaro, 67:40. Strength routine at the indoor track afterward. Legs very tired today.

Saturday- 5PM- 12 miles down Comm Ave, through the Common, past Faneuil Hall, into the North End for a while, then we wound around the waterfront, through the Financial District, and back home via Comm Ave. Got that? 79 minutes a decent clip through rainy, cool weather.

Sunday- 10AM- 14mi at a decent clip with James, 92:07. We did the first ten on the river in 66:27, then ran from the house to the BC Res and back in 25:40 for the last 4. We were 7:23 at the mile and 14:25 at 2. . . that's all I got for intermediate marks.

Tot- 78 miles, 10 runs, one day basically off, 2 sessions of strength/core, 1 session of drills/leg speed. A solid start to summer!

Lastly, thanks to the couple people who emailed/facebooked me with well wishes. It helped!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Hiatus Is Over

I'm sure my hypothetical readers were wondering what I've been up to. You know that saying "no news is good news?" Well, it doesn't apply to a blog. I haven't written in a couple weeks because I've been too demoralized to rehash how crappy running has been going. Getting through the last two weeks was bad enough, typing it up again was nothing I wanted to deal with.

I'm not sure what's up with me, but my tank, so to speak, is empty. You know when you're about 2/3rds of the way through a race and things start to suck and you can either dig down or slow down? I get to that point, and it's like I'm stuck in neutral. I can hit the gas all I want, but I'm not going anyway. I dropped out of my last two races- a 5k and a 3k. I was running slow as death in each of them, and worse, felt more than maxed out doing it.

Bruce and I talked things over and both agreed I should get back to basics. I also need to get a little leaner and stronger- I've joked before about being a soft miler, but seriously, it's time to do some pushups and situps. I've got probably 7-8 pounds of fat on me that I don't need, despite decent mileage and a good diet.

My mileage for the two weeks I didn't blog were 69 and 61, respectively, with a day off this past Sunday. To spare a little redundancy, here's how most of those runs went: "9 miles slow, felt terrible."

I got blood work done a week ago, so hopefully, I'll be hearing from my doctor today or tomorrow. He tested me for just about everything from ferritin reserves to abnormal hormonal activity. If nothing else, knowing that I don't have any chemical problems will be a huge relief.

Anyway, I hope the end of everyone's seasons was much better than mine. I'm very frustrated, but trying to keep my chin up. At the very least, I can send a congratulations to my younger brother, who just finished his junior year of high school with a 9:36 3200, which was a 13 or 14 second PR.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

When Bloggin's No Fun

This is one of those weeks where writing this thing is a damned drag. That's because I dropped out of my 5k on Saturday after going through 3k ass-slow and feeling absolutely terrible doing it. It didn't feel different than any other race day until I started warming up, but from step one, I just felt terrible. I wasn't dehydrated or unfed or anything, but within a few minutes into my warmup, I was sweating buckets and just felt out of it.

The race went out and a 70 sec opening quarter just felt straaainy. I'm afraid I can't be more precise. I traded laps with a Dartmouth guy for a while, but even then, hanging on to 72s was like life or death. I got through 3k in 8:57 and thought "fuck it, it's not worth it to run 15:10 or worse." I hate dropping out, but I'm sorry to say I'm not one of those guys who puts this huge premium on finishing no matter what. I mean, I'm guessing I could have jogged in, but to what end? I don't think running slow on purpose and just trying to finish makes me any tougher. Perhaps I'm being overly defensive; who knows.

I think I'm going to take another crack at the 5k on June 5th. Bruce's hypothesis (in general, not what he believes led to my troubles today) is that I'm trying to do traditional 5k/10k training, but that I've neglected developing my speed, and could in fact be more competitive at 800/1500 than the 5k. I think the strongest point in his favor is that I can run a much "better" (comparatively) mile than a 3k or 5k off high mileage + tempos with no speed work. Obviously, you don't change horses in mid-stream, so we'll finish out this season according to plan, but it's food for thought for next November when it's time get in gear for track.

In any event, I'm going to do my best to call yesterday one of those shitty days that doesn't have any implications darker than bad luck. Redemption is only two weeks away ;)


Monday- 7:30PM- Fresh Pond from the house with Rob, Eric, and Ellie- felt dehydrated and kinda sick. 8.5.

Tuesday- 10:30AM- River Loop with James, felt ok. 3:30PM- 8mi easy with Joey on the river, drills at Nickerson, short cooldown + back to house for 9 tot.

Wednesday- 12:30PM- 3 up, 1200 in 3:26 (splits 70-63-73, Bruce wanted to go 70-66-70, but I overestimated the 66, then underestimated the 70), 1200 jog, then 5x400 in 66 with an 80sec jog. Easy workout, ready to roll. Windy. 2mi down. 9:30PM- 4mi easy after work, rainy but warm, so I got pretty slimy.

Thursday- AM- 4mi easy solo. PM- Marky Mark with a JP lap with Ken and James. Hot out.

Friday- 3:30PM- 10mi easy down Comm Ave, through the Common, along the waterfront, and back. Perfect weather- I was dying to get at that 5k after this run. I felt ready to knock it out of the park. Guess I should have just done it on Friday!

Saturday- 6:15PM- 3 up at Bentley, 3k in 8:57, nothing after that. The DNF was compounded by Bruce driving out to Bentley to witness the ignominy in person. Just one of those days I hope doesn't happen often, or at all, actually.

Sunday- 7 easy with Ken and James, kept it short as Bruce instructed.

Tot- 69 mi, lots of thinking to do.

Hope your collectives weeks were better than mine!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Whoops, Spaced This One! First Race

I woke up today thinking, "I know I forgot to do something yesterday. . . Let's see. . ." It took about ten minutes before I remembered there was probably a tiny group of bored track nerds who had to waste extra time at cracked or the failblog yesterday because I didn't put this up!

It was a good week of training and racing, as I predicted last week. I eked out a close win over 3000m at the New Balance Boston Twilight Meet held at Lowell in 8:26.33.
They put the video of the race on Flotrack, which you can find here:

Ignore the splits given, not sure why, but they were way off. From the video, I hand-timed my last 400 in 61.5 or so; they announce it as 57 with a 26 last 200. I wish! Things were windy and slow, but I'll take a win any day of the week.

Here's the log for the week:

Monday- 1PM- 10mi easy with Eric and Ken mostly, ran up Beacon through Newton and came back Comm Ave. 8PM- 4mi solo with 8 strides ad hoc over the course of the run.

Tuesday- 1:30PM- 2mi up, 2mi on a measured course on the Esplanade in 9:40 (4:40, 5:00) goal was 10:00 but I was out too fast; managed to find the right gear in the 2nd mile. Still, this was a very easy run. 2mi jog to MIT, quick bathroom trip, spikes, then 4x800 w/400j, taking turns leading with Ken and Eric. 2:13avg, last one in 2:11. I think finally getting to work out with people really helped me today, because I felt effortless. 3mi down, 12 on the day.

Wednesday- 10AM- 4mi easy with my buddy Owen, an old high school teammate of mine who just got back from a semester in Europe. 3:30PM- One lap around Fresh Pond from the house with Ken and James, something between 8.5 and 8.9. Logged it as 8.5.

Thursday- 3 up, 8x200 w/200j, 33.0 avg, nice and easy, 3 down. Ran the whole thing with James.

Friday- 2PM- 4 easy solo, muggy. 9PM- 7 easy solo again, muggy again. I was about 150 yards from my front door when a drunk clown down the street hucked a beer bottle at me. It missed, but landed at my feet and exploded, splashing me with beer. Cheap beer, from the smell of it. Yech.

Saturday- 11AM- 4 mile shakeout. 6PM- NB Twilight Meet, 3000m, 8:26.33 for 1st. Slow pace, windy day- from 1200-2600 it was truly slow going. Surprised, though, how quickly I recovered and how good I felt overall. After my race, I spent most of the evening in the booth with Steve Infascelli, my old counselor from running camp. Infa did a bangup job with the announcing, despite it being his second track meet of the day. I also met a fellow dyestatter IRL, and no one was assaulted or abused, so remember, kids- the internet is a great place to make friends!

Sunday- 2:30PM- Fresh Pond solo from the house, perfect weather again. Is this Boston or the Bay Area?! A safe 8.5 miles. 8:30PM- The standard 4mi shakeout loop solo. Sometime in the intervening hours between runs, my hamstrings and calves tightened up a little, but I'm not concerned.

Week total- 82mi

Somewhere in there, I did pushups and core work and drills. . . but for the life of me, I can't remember which day! I think I have a long way to go with core/drills- the video shows quite a bit of wasted motion in my form which I think I can mostly get a handle on with stronger core muscles. Being the softest sub-4:10 miler I know is a dubious honor at best.

Anyway, hope everyone had as good a week as I did! Next up for me is another NB Twilight Meet, but this time I'll be running the 5000. I'd like to take a crack at 14:40, but we'll see how things go.