Sunday, April 25, 2010

Marathon Week

Hi there, internet. I had a good week of training, starting off with an awesome run on the marathon course early Monday morning/team brunch afterward.

Before the log, however, I have a brief topic to discuss. As many running internet nerds know, the message boards at are getting transferred over to the ESPN RISE format, which I believe was designed in 1993, then put on ice until now. In addition to being vastly inferior boards from a user standpoint, the RISE boards will damage a very important community dyestat has built.

Now, I'm not going to get on a soap box and try to inspire the 41 people who read this blog to make some grand protest to ESPN. The fact of the matter is that they don't give a shit about running and they don't give a shit about dyestat. Fair enough; they bought dyestat fair and square.

Instead, I just want to let anyone know who would be interested in a new running site that some of dyestat users have created a new site to fulfill dyestat's purpose: . This is an entirely user-driven, user-created site for the dyestat exiles and anyone else interested in running. Right now, the message board is the only working part, but the people behind the site are working on a content-, coverage- and news-driven front page, much like dyestat of old. Yours truly has been asked to become a regular contributor to the site, so once the front page goes live, don't be surprised to see a weekly column or two!

There are already several hundred users signed up for the site, but we've got a ways to go before it's a truly national community. Head on over and check things out; if you don't like the buzz there, make your own buzz!

Without further ado, my log:

Monday- 7AM- 11 mi fairly steady over the last part of the marathon course. We got dropped off by our support crew (aka Sean Gallagher, who also cooked brunch, Jeff Trethewey, my old roommate from Keene, and Chris Mercurio, a Terrier on the injury comeback trail) somewhat before the 30k mark and ran to the finish, then ran back up Comm Ave to the track house for the race coverage and a delicious brunch, cooked by Sean. All in all, an exhausting but fun day.

Tuesday- AM- 4mi easy, felt fine. PM- 3 up, solo track workout, 2k-1k-1k-2k with a 600 jog. Goal pace was 70-72, no pressing.

2k- 5:53
1k- 2:55
1k- 2:54
2k- 5:59

After the last 2k, I added a 200j to make the entire workout, including rest, 8k in 26:24 (~5:18 a mile including rest jogs). 3 mi down. All in all, a very tiring but satisfying workout.

Wednesday- AM- 5mi easy, felt tire/tight. PM- 10mi easy- felt inexplicably fantastic and had a real tough time running slower than 6:20s. I forced myself to keep it firmly out of the 6:1xs, but barely.

Thursday- 12PM- 7mi easy after a 2hour walking tour of Boston for a class, felt tired. 9:30PM- 7mi easy after work, very tired, then 8x100 in spikes with 100 jog.

Friday- 3:30PM- Squires Fartlek- I'm beginning to think these runs will be the death of me. Workout was about 20min up and down, with the hard part being 1-3-10-1-3-5 minutes hard (with the 10min section and 5min section being harder than the others) with 5min of steady running in between. In the 48 minutes, I covered about 8.5 mi, or something like 5:40 pace. Very tired/heavy today, glad I wasn't doing anything measured. 14 tot.

Saturday- AM- 4 easy solo, shocked at how awful/heavy I felt. PM- 10mi very easy with Rob and his girlfriend, Marita, who is also a Terrier-ette. We did a nice variation of the Farm Loop through Brookline.

Sunday- AM- 10 nice and easy on the Charles with Ken and James, feeling much better. PM- 4 mi easy, some with James, after work- definitely feeling human again.

Tot- 98mi

This next week will be a busy one. I got a job with the US Census (cheaaaa $22.75 an hour!) and the job training goes from Tuesday-Friday this week from 8am-6pm. The good news is I get paid for this! The bad news is it means running at 7am and 7pm for 4 days, which will include two quality workouts. So it goes. The end-on-a-good-note news is that the America East conference meet is this upcoming Saturday and Sunday, and it's at UNH, so I'm going to head home early Saturday morning, then watch the guys and gals of BU kick ass!

My first race is 20 days from today. . . things are getting close, and I'm getting excited!

Have a nice week, everyone-
and visit tracktalk!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

A Pain in the Butt

This week was my last week of my prepracticum, so it was awesome to get that out of the way. The reasonably tough training of the last few weeks started to sink in this week- I went into zombie-mode for a couple days, then came away from a longer run with a really bad left piriformis. I ended up taking a just-to-be-safe day off, and I think I'm all back to normal now.

The next couple weeks are going to be tough ones- in addition to needing to maintain the training load I've built up to over the last few weeks, I have a bunch of papers due this Thursday, then my job-training for the Census the week after (which runs 8am-6pm, Tuesday-Friday), then final exams the week after that. It'll nice to celebrate being done with school for the summer by opening up with a 3000 at Umass Lowell on the 15th.

I also got a chance to go to the Boston Marathon Expo this weekend with a teammate. We just happened to stumble in on a panel that included, at various times, Bob Larsen (Meb's coach), Bill Squires, Bill Rodgers, Greg Meyer, and Catherine Ndereba. It was AWESOME to hear Rodgers and Meyer reminisce about their training and to hear Squires talk about the way he used to structure workouts and why he did things the way he did. He had some interesting comments on group training and why he wasn't particularly impressed with American marathoning today. He said that while America has some very top-quality talent up front, the depth is pathetic compared to the late 70s, early 80s. As Squires observed, "There were guys running 2:12 and 2:13 who couldn't even get shoes, much less a contract! I had 2:12 and 2:13 guys paying club dues to be in the Greater Boston Track Club. They paid for the uniform and we had two group workouts a week: the speed work on Tuesday and the long fartlek on Sunday. Good things happen in a group; there were local-yokels who were working full time and running 2:15 marathons and weren't even on my varsity squad for xc. We gotta get more guys training in groups like that if we wanna see a hundred US runners go under 2:20 in one year."

All in all, it was electric listening to Squires hold court. It was also a little eerie in the sense that Bruce has inherited a lot of Squires' mannerisms (the good ones!) and points of view. It was funny to see either Keith or Kevin Hanson sitting on the floor of the crowded room, listening raptly to what Squires had to say.

Last thing before the log, I had some unanswered comments:

Ben- Do you need the late-season sharpening stuff yet? How far out is your state meet? Seems to me that it's pretty early in the season to be doing that kind of stuff. For the early and mid-season conditioning, I like to use short intervals at mile pace to start getting a little pace familiarity going, with longer intervals at about 3k type gear to really do the bulk of the conditioning word. Bruce calls these "Marshmallow Workouts." Ex- 4x200 (200j) at mile gear, 4x800 (400j) at 3k gear, 4x200 (200j) at mile gear. That's a solid 3mi worth of work, which is a good work volume for a high school guy.

JJ- Like all things, it takes time and patience. The longer you're an active runner doing training, the more lifetime fitness you'll have. The more lifetime fitness you have, the more consistent you'll be able to be. Just keep training hard and keep your chin up. Sorry I don't have anything sexier to tell you.

Finally, the log:

Monday- 5PM- 3up to Brookline with Eric after a long day, then had to modify the planned workout of 2.5, 1.5, 1 lap(s) of the Res. Instead, I did 2lap, 1lap, 1lap with about a 5min jog rest. Just not my day out there, today- temp was great, strides felt sluggish, wind noticeable but not too bad.

3000- 9:05
1500- 4:29
1500- 4:27

Solid workout, regardless, but it would have been nice to get the whole thing in. Jogged to the bottom of Summit with Eric (who had a good workout and did the whole thing to boot) and 6x15 seconds hill sprints up Summit with a jog down rest, then headed back to the TTC. Time for a down week. Tot 12

Tuesday- AM- Very slow on the River, 4mi, complete zombie mode. PM- River Loop again + 20min barefoot on the turf.

Wednesday- PM- 13mi steady, most of it with Rob, some of it with the guys- ran through Brookline on one of Rob's secret runs. This was the run where my left piriformis just about exploded, which destroyed my stride and tightened my whole left side up.

Thursday- OFF, trying not to push the piriformis or stay in zombie mode too long.

Friday- AM- An easy 3mi that only occurred because I had a class that's about ~1.5 away, I woke up very late, and had to turn in an assignment. Running was faster than taking the T, so my double was born. PM- 4 up, 8xHeartbreak with no watch, 4 down. Left piriformis blew up again, but not during the hills. It shut down exactly when it shut down on Wednesday- just about the 65min mark of the run. It responded well to stretching and didn't blow up as bad as it did on Wednesday.

Saturday- 12:30PM- 8mi easy with Krinjak, then off to the marathon expo. No secondary run today partly because I wanted to baby the piriformis a little and partly because when I was debating going out for the 2nd run, Ken, James, and Sean were leaving for McDonalds. That ended that debate.

Sunday- 11:30AM- 13mi with the first ~10mi very slow with Ken and James, then the last 3 faster, ending with a mile on the track in 5:21. Felt pretty good the whole way, piriformis didn't go at all; hopefully, I've beaten it.

Tot- 72 mi
8 runs
No strength, core, drills, or strides. Bad, bad, Craig.


Sunday, April 11, 2010

Good Luck, Allison!

My boss, Allison, is running the Boston Marathon a week from Monday. Since she's such a nice lady, I thought I should mention that.

Anyway, I had another very good week of training. The volume was solid, the quality was good, and I only had one particularly bad run, which I'm pretty sure was due to the fact that one day we randomly had a 91 degree high.

There isn't much to go over this week, but before I get to the log, Bruce and I figured out, roughly, what my racing schedule will look like this spring. It's a pretty compact series of races, which I'm glad of, since I'll be able to take a couple shots at some PRs, then move right into summer training without needing too much of a break.

Tentative, tentative race schedule:
May 15: 3000, NB Twilight Meet, Lowell.
May 22: 5000, NB Twilight Meet, Bentley.
June 5: 1500, "
June 12: 5000, "

Hopefully I can take down some of my PRs, especially my very weak ones at 3000 and 5000.


Monday- 3 up, 4mi tempo at the Brookline Res (19:27 through 6000, added on 93 seconds to ensure I went 4mi), then a couple minutes of jogging, then 8 strides with equal jog rest, then 3mi down, 11mi total. It was fairly warm out for this one and perhaps I was just feeling the increased volume particularly, because I felt like dogshit on this one the whole way. Absolutely no smoothness at all in my stride; I tried not to fight it and just run the correct effort. Ideally, this baby would have been closer 5:00 pace than 5:15, but whatever.

Tuesday- AM- 5mi easy PM- 9 very easy, first 56min with the Lady Terriers, then a barefoot 2k on the turf to finish off the run.

Wednesday- 6PM- 91 degrees out, tried to go long and bonked hardcore. Managed to get in a very healthy 12 (85min at ~6:40 pace) but good God, I forgot how much I hate running in heat like that. Student teaching didn't help; I'm glad I've only got 2 days left.

Thursday- 3:30pm-BC Res - Beacon - Comm Ave with James, Joey, and Eric. Added on a couple minutes indoors to make it 10, then did 5x150 in spikes indoors and cooled down 5min for 11mi. Spent most of the run at a good clip, maybe 6:20s or so. 9:30PM- 4mi easy on the Charles solo after work, felt pretty good.

Friday- 3:30PM- 3mi up with Eric in a downpour; rain tapered off toward the end of the warmup, so we decided to work out on the outdoor track. By the time we spiked up and strided out, it started pouring again, but we figured, ah, screw it, we're out here and already soaked. I did 2x(1000, 800, 600, 600) with the 1000s and 800s at ~5k type gear and the 600s at ~3k type gear. Kept a continuous 2:30 jog rest in between everything.

1000- 2:53
800- 2:18
600- 1:41
600- 1:40

1000- 2:53
800- 2:15
600- 1:37
600- 1:40

Very good workout, given that I recovered very quickly in between each hard bout. The 600s felt fast, but I think that was more because of the pouring rain and winds than anything. 3mi down with Eric indoors.

Saturday- AM- 10mi easy, 68:30, with Eric on the Charles, very windy coming home (40mph gusts- it was like we were walking!) PM- 5mi easy after work with Eric and his girlfriend, Emily, who is a merciless pace pusher but an all-around nice gal :) Last mi barefoot on the turf. 36:30 tot

Sunday- 1pm- A reasonably-paced 9mi to Jamaica Pond with an add-on at the outdoor track in 59:11, then some barefoot strides and a short cooldown for 10mi. Legs were dead after this run, I was probably a little dehydrated going into it. 8PM- 4mi on the Charles solo, felt much better for this run. Foodshopping afterward, then some homework, and now a failed attempt to be asleep by midnight.

Tot- 93 mi
11 Runs
0 core/strength

I know, I know, I gotta stop talking about core/strength work and start DOING it. Have a good week, everybody! If you're running Boston, good luck!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter Weekend

Hello, handful of readers. The weather turned this week, and I hate to admit it, but so did my mood. It's funny what a couple days of nice weather can do to an attitude. I'm writing this blog while I watch Mr. Holland's Opus. I have to write a review of it from a teaching perspective from my education class. I'm not sure why, but it's been really tough to do schoolwork the last couple weeks. I'm starting to feel a little disconnect between what I'm learning and what I want I do. For whatever intelligence I've been given and developed on my own, I don't think I'm a particularly academic type. Reading about Gardner's Intelligences and Rothstein and Payne and looking at theoretical case studies doesn't give me any particular satisfaction. I like being able to look at a problem, solve the problem, evaluate my solution, do something better, and so on, etc. I don't really know where I'm going with this- other than expressing a little burnout with theory and background. I don't mind doing a lot of reading, or the constant flow of papers and deadlines. I like sitting down and working hard on a challenge that requires intellectual rigor; I don't like working in the hypothetical.

Anyway, no one wants to hear an undergrad whining. Cathartic as it is, it doesn't have anything to do with running!

Here's my log from the week:

Monday: 12:30PM- 7mi east in some miserable-ass wind and rain.
9:30PM- 5mi easy indoors.

Tuesday: AM- 30:30 shakeout indoors, downpouring again. 3:30PM- Bruce and I decided to switch up the tempo and intervals this week so I could work out with Eric instead of tempoing in crappy weather alone. 3 up, 2xmile with Eric, 4:43, 4:41 with an 800 jog (led the 2nd 800 of the first mile and the first 1000 of the 2nd mile) then paced Eric through the 1000 of his 3rd mile (2:54) then jogged 3min, gave Bruce some feedback, and in the end, he told me to run another 1000 at 3:00 and stay in an "easy gear." I ran 2:58 and was surprised at how easy the whole workout went. Bruce originally wanted me to shoot for 4xmi at ~4:45 or so, but I got a little out of hand trying to help Eric out. Still, it was a good, solid 5200m of work at ~5k gear. I'm pleased with the way my fitness is progressing. 3mi down.

Wednesday- PM- 8mi solo after student teaching. The kids were taking exams today, so I got to sit in the back of the room and pretend to read a book while sneakily making sure no one was cheating. I caught a couple texters but no major offenses.

Thursday- 4PM- 10mi easy on the River, got down to ~6:15s or so for a lot of the second half of the run. The weather probably had a lot to do with it! Drills on Nickerson after.
10:30PM- 4mi easy on the River alone, tough to get going but glad I got it in. Core/strength

Friday- 1PM- 6mi easy with Eric to Brookline Res and back. Took the T to the bus station then the bus back home. 7PM- At Hood Field, my old summer standby for workouts. Continuous run with a 4mi tempo section included: 3mi up, 19:46, 4mi tempo, 20:55 (5:26, 5:16, 5:11, 5:02) nice and easy. The field has seen a lot of rain lately, so I ran barefoot and got to splash through the mud in the puddles, which made it fun even if it slowed me down quite a bit. It was pretty dark by the time I finished, so I jogged a mile and headed home for dinner. I averaged 5:14s through the mud, compared to 5:22s two weeks ago for a tempo at the perfect firm dirt of the Brookline Res, so I was pleased to see yet another solid indicator of progression.

Saturday- 12pm- 5mi easy on the railroad beds, warm out. 5:30PM- 10mi easy, through some monster hills on the backroads of Derry.

Sunday- 14mi easy around Beaver Lake and Cross St a couple times, warm with a strong sun. I didn't drink enough (or anything, actually) before this run, so I paid for it.

Tot 92mi
12 runs
1 core/strength session
1 day of drills
0 strides

Getting better at incorporating at the nitty gritty stuff. This week I want 2 of each extra session in addition to continuing the momentum I've built up. On the docket for this week is a harder tempo tomorrow and then some kind of interval work on Thursday, I think. Hope everybody's outdoor seasons are going well!