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!