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. . .