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.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Careful, but better

Not a lot of commentary this week- but overall it was an encouraging week of training. I say "encouraging" instead of "good" because my workouts weren't anything special in terms of pace, but what's more important is that I felt strong again. I felt like I could push if I wanted to and that I was running with elements of control instead of just hanging on for dear life and trying not to bonk.

Before I do my log for the week, a special congratulations is in order for Ken "Kid Cudi" Haltom, my roommate and fellow miler, who ran 3:50.55 today the New England Championships to qualify for his first ever outdoor IC4A Championship! Ken's been on a roll with PRs this outdoor season, cutting his 1500 best from 3:54 to 3:51 at America East last week, and now down to 3:50.52. It was also his birthday on Friday, which is why he gets an extra-special mention.

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

Monday- 2:30PM- 4mi with James and Eric in the heat, absolutely miserable. 8:30PM- 8mi easy in the cool dark, much nicer out. Did a mile on the track with 100 on/100 off in 5:39

Tuesday- 3:30PM- 3 up, then a fartlek at the Brookline Reservoir- 2.5 laps, .5 lap off, 1.5 laps, .5 lap off, 1 lap. Ran between 5:00-5:10 pace for the hard parts and averaged 5:35s for 9k total. Jogs were really slow, but I was finally feeling like I could work hard without bonking.

Wednesday- 9:30AM- 4mi easy on the river, quads TRASHED. 5PM- 8 on the river solo, plus drills + abs + pushups after.

Thursday- 3:30PM- Rob's Farm Loop with Peter, mostly, some with Billy and Colin. Peter and I ended up running the last 6mi or so at 5:45ish pace. I say ish because it isn't measured, but we ended the run with a control lap on the track at 5:35 pace and it didn't feel any faster than the previous six miles. Drills afterward- quads still awful, but I started to get some bounce back in my step.

Friday- 11AM- 3.5 up to Brookline High's track, mile in 4:30, 800 jog, 800 in 2:16, 400 jog, 400 in 71, then stopped the workout because my quads were really trashed. I was actually really encouraged by this- 4:30 pace was easy, I just didn't want to push my quads.

Saturday- 5PM- 10mi solo on the river, through rain, muggy sunshine, and more rain. My patience yesterday paid off- quads weren't sore, just really heavy.

Sunday- 1PM- 9mi easy with Eric and his girlfriend, Emily. 8PM- 4mi easy solo, more or less out of my funk.

82 cautious miles- 6 days until my 3k at Lowell! Have a good week everybody!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Long Week, Short Week, Hard Blog

Well, this week was nothing if not eventful across a broad scope of topics. Personally speaking, it was an awful week- I had Enumerator Training for the US Census (my brief little summer job) which ran all day Tuesday-Friday and killed consistent sleep and decent training. I had very little time to run and felt awful most of the week- my workout on Tuesday was crap and I got about 1500m into a workout on Friday before I canned it and jogged home. I even had to take Sunday off because I was just spent. However, I'm hoping this week with much better sleep, I'll bounce back fine.

From a team perspective, things went well. We had the America East Conference Champs this weekend at the U of New Hampshire. Since that's only about 40min from my house, Peter, Mike, and I drove up to watch. We were treated to watching Eric lead the whole damn steeple until the last backstretch, then rallying to finish 2nd in 9:02.7, Elliot come back from injury (he's done like one workout in the last three weeks, and maybe half a dozen easy runs) to nab 3rd in the 10k, and Katie make her own successful 10k debut for 2nd. That was just the first day!

On Sunday, our 800 crew ran well, with four of our six entrants setting big personal or seasonal bests. Three of roommates ran the extremely deep, competitive 1500, with Ken leading the way in a 3:51.3 PR, Eric coming back from the steeple, running 3:52 out of unseeded heat with a ~2:01 last half, and James running a PR of 4:03. Rob won a disgustingly hot/humid 5k in 14:48. To give you a hint of how bad it was, Riley Masters, Maine's sub-4 miler, had what I think was a heatstroke and was taken to the hospital. He's ok, fortunately- but it was scary nonetheless.

Of course, I'd be a self-centered fool not to mention the Payton Jordan 10k on Saturday night. I'm sorry it's being used more as a means to bash Rupp than give credit to Solinsky's incredible race. The fact of the matter is that American distance running is better than its ever been. Two Americans just broke Meb's 27:13 standard. Rupp is 23? Solinsky is 25? 24 and 26, maybe? Either way, its fantastic for American running.