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.