Sunday, December 26, 2010


Merry Christmas, Internet! I hope everyone had a relaxing holiday. For my part, I was something of a blockhead and figured "Oh, sure, week off for a virus that knocked me on my ass, I can just jump back into running and do two hard workouts and a long run." I was dead wrong, of course. I spent all week struggling to train hard and wondering why my body wasn't going along with the plan.

So, genius that I am, I swiftly figured out I should just let things ride until I'm ready to go. . . this afternoon, after 7 days of feeling like shit.

At least I had a nice week at my mother's house in New Hampshire and pulled a B in my Applied Statistics class. Not bad for a guy who skipped two levels of statistics and made it through the first midterm on bravado and dumb luck!

The log:

Monday 12/20- 7mi, some with Matt, all of it with Peter. We headed out on the river in a snowstorm. The wind sucked, but it wasn't too bad otherwise. Mostly it just good to be running again.

Tuesday 12/21- Fresh Pond solo, started clipping along pretty good by the end. Not particularly smart. . .

Wednesday 12/22- Back in Derry, in a mild (1-2inches) snowstorm. I did 10mi easy, ran into my younger brother who had left from the high school for practice, did most of it with him. Good run, steady effort but slower pace due to the snow.

Thursday 12/23- This is when things started to pile up on. Felt weak and dizzy all day, frigid wind, no legs for my planned tempo run. Ended up just calling it at 2.5mi and shuffling home.

Friday 12/24- Stubbornly, I went to North Shore to do some hills. As a refresher, this is about a 1/3rd of a mile of merciless climbing. I managed 4 at an increasingly pathetic effort, then jogged home wondering why on Earth I felt so bad.

Saturday 12/25 Christmas- 10mi easy with my brother, Kevin. Again, felt dizzy and weak for the first 3mi, decided to do 6mi, then got really pissed off at myself, thought about Steve Jones, and vowed to finish this 10 miles or else. Ok, it was a really dumb decision, but at 5mi, I started feeling pretty good, and the last half of the run was great. My brother and I got to spend some time together and by the end, I was really glad I stuck it out.

Sunday 12/26- Drove into Boston in the AM with my brother and Ryan Busby, a high school teammate of mine who runs for Bryant now. Ryan and Kev raced and I was a good little Terrier and volunteered my ace timing skills when the FAT broke down and we had to do things old-school (sorry, anyone who ran today, for any mistakes- we did what we could with what we had where we were, like Teddy Roosevelt recommended). We got back to Derry before the snow hit, but I realized 1) I was bushed and 2) I had been a moron all week. I resolved not to run until the mood to do so struck me, and would run no farther or faster than I wanted. After a coma-like nap, I ate a nice dinner, spent time with my family, and headed out for my run in the middle of the blizzard at 8:30. I had a great 6mi run high-stepping through the snow drifts. My old high school is large enough to warrant a campus, and that campus is always lit. The snow wasn't the slippery kind (any Eskimo readers, help me out- what's the word for snow that's powdery and loose?) and I had solid lighting, so the risk of injury was low. Anyway, it was a great run. Things will turn around soon, and I'll PR this season.

Again, merry Christmas to everyone. See you all next week!

Monday, December 20, 2010

You've gotta be freakin' kidding me

Internet, the title of this week's entry was also my reaction when I woke up Monday morning to find that my tonsils had swollen so badly overnight that they were essentially touching, making swallowing and breathing nearly impossible. I tested negative for strep throat, and the doc decided I had some kind of viral infection that could last anywhere from 1-3 weeks and might be mono. After about 4 days of horrible pain (no other symptoms, either- just the disgustingly infected tonsils, which were covered in puss you could see if you looked into my mouth (hope you didn't picture that)) the doctor gave me some Prednisone (call the drug testers!) which shrank my tonsils to human size again. By Saturday I had regained the will to live and by Sunday I felt good to run. I gave it an extra day, though, and waited until this afternoon to run. I'm pleased to report that it went well, and I got in 7 chilly, snowy, windy, enjoyable miles with Peter and Matt for a little.

Guess I got a little too greedy claiming I could no longer use the "out of shape" excuse last week. Finals are over, thank God.

Have a merry Christmas, everyone!


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Last Week of Classes

Well, another semester is over but for finals. I just wrote that and got a little melancholy, but it is what it is. I won't have time to wonder where time goes when I'm buried in an Economics-coma over the next few days. Blech. Anyway, I had a pretty good week after somewhat of an ugly start. I felt like a zombie all day on Monday, then bonked hard on my long run that afternoon. After that, things got much better, so I'm not too worried. The log:

Monday- 10mi that sucked, planned on 14, got dropped by the group at 3, struggled back home and still averaged under 6:30/mile (so how fast were those first 3?).

Tuesday- River West but in a special Rob Gibson kind of way with Rob, Matt, and Peter. We clipped along pretty good and I felt much better than yesterday. Strides in spikes indoors after plus a short cooldown for 10 on the day.

Wednesday- ~4mi up, 8xHeartbreak Hill with the guys, avg 81 seconds (not that that means anything to anyone who doesn't know BU's secret start/stop point) with jog down in about 2:00, ~4mi fast down + strides and jogging indoors because the warmup/cd is actually a little less than 4 miles. 80 seconds is about the gold standard for this particular version of Heartbreak, so averaging 81 for 8 is a fine workout. Cap'n Peter told me that as a result of hanging with him and Matt without exceeding the effort limit Bruce imposed, my go-to excuse of "I'm out of shape" is hereby retired. Don't tell anybody, internet, but I was getting sick of saying it anyway.

Thursday- 10mi nice and easy with Ken and Terence for all of it and Peter and Rich for some of it. It was cold for this run, first time all I year I wished I had gloves. Weak-ass strength circuit after work.

Friday- Joey's Best Run Ever (sadly, without Joey) with most of the guys through Cambridge, clipping along nice and steady most of the way. We added two miles on the Harvard track (a duel-worthy offense, should we have been caught. . .) and got a pace check of about 6:10/mile. Afterward, we snuck in some strides and a short cooldown to get 10 for the afternoon, then watched the BU Red vs. White intrasquad meet. A few of our mid-distance guys engaged in a race over the classic metric distance of a nautical half-mile, with the title going to Billy Whelan in who knows what time. As low-key as it was, it got my blood boiling from some indoor races.

Saturday- 2:30PM- Short run to Harvard with Kev Gilmore to watch our buddy Cordado compete in the 3000m. Unfortunately, I missed my friend and old Keene teammate Amy provisionally qualify for D3 Nationals with a 5:02 victory in the mile. It cut 9 seconds off her previous best, though hopefully I'll catch her next big mile at Terrier or Valentine. Short run back for a very bootleg 3 miles. 7PM- Got a late start on this one, but so did everybody else. The last week of class was rough on everyone, so we all slept in pretty late. Anyway, after I warmed up for 3mi, Bruce had me do 4mi on the treadmill at 5:10/mile at 1% incline, with the option of increasing the incline each mile as opposed to the pace. For those of you who don't know, when it comes to treadmills, I complain high, loud, and repeatedly. I've run on one maybe twice in my life, and I manage to almost fall off every couple minutes. I tend to either run up the front of the thing or drift to one side and kick the railing. This time, however, I got through the whole thing, sweat, boredom, and a few close calls notwithstanding. 2mi cooldown for 12 on the day.

Sunday- 11:30AM- 10mi easy with Matt to JP twice (9:30, 9:20) and back for 63:48 total. Terence and Rich came for the first lap and headed back. It wasn't too cold out, but man was it rainy. Afterward I did two sets of Bruce's strength circuit with Matt, then made a giant pot of chicken soup from scratch. Every time it goes on sale, I pick up a 3-4lb bird at Star Market and roast it. I usually get 2-3 meals out of it the first time around, then boil the carcass for soup and get another 2-3 meals out of that. It's time consuming, but it beats the hell out of ramen. 6:30PM- I wasn't planning on doubling, but needed company for his rainy, rainy, dark run, so I tagged along for 4 easy miles.

Total miles- 78 in 9 runs
Strength circuits- 2

I'll take it. Good luck with finals, fellow college kids.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Case of the Sniffles, but it's ok

Good evening, Internet! I hope this post finds your tubes unclogged and all the people using you to read this in good health. I had a solid week of training that demonstrated I'm not quite as dense as my second-grade teacher and numerous friends feared. See, I came down with this cold Sunday night, and by Tuesday, felt real ragged. Rather than letting the stupid little sniffle linger and potentially get worse, I just took Tuesday off from running and work and napped before going to bed early. I was rewarded for my bare minimum of common sense with a clean bill of health Wednesday morning. The modification to my week ended up costing me a tempo run and a steady long run, but I was healthy enough to get in a good hard fartlek on Thursday and come back with a solid track workout with the guys on Saturday.

Anyway, here it goes:

Monday- 9mi easy with Elliot, Ken, and Terence, felt pretty sick and was content to just jog today. Strength circuit with Peter afterward.

Tuesday- OFF, as mentioned. At least I made it to class!

Wednesday- 8mi with the first 4 easy w/Rich and the second 4 increasingly moderate through the rain solo. Felt 90% better, still phlegmy and snotty, though.

Thursday- Solo, 3+ steady to Fresh Pond, then a fartlek of 8min hard, 3min float, 4x65 seconds harder with equal rest, 5min starting between 5:10-5:20 pace and increasing intensity every minute until the last minute was pretty much all out. Averaged about 5:30/mile for the whole thing including rest (27:30 for 4.9 miles/2 laps of Fresh Pond, of which the last 3:30 was probably less than a half-mile) then 3mi easy down. I covered just over 12mi (I added on when I got back, since that loop is like 11 and 1/2) in 73min. I knew I hit this one pretty hard when I got jelly-legs doing 7:00 pace on the cooldown.

Friday- 3:30PM- 9mi + with the guys, to Fresh Pond, around once, and back. We were after it pretty good today, since the guys had last worked out Wednesday. We got out to Fresh Pond about 6:20 a mile, ran the lap around in 15:10 (2.45mi) and slowed back down to 6:20/6:30 pace on the way down because we remembered we were working out tomorrow. 700m worth of striding afterward indoors in my milers plus a few min jogging to nab 10 on the day. Unfortunately, I struggled sufficiently with my Applied Stats homework to cause me to miss my Macroeconomics class, which is annoying because Stats is a required class I don't particularly care for and Macro is a class I enjoy a lot. What's an ex-English major taking his first math class since HS to do?

Saturday- 12:30PM: Bruce let me rejoin on the group today as long as I agreed to modify the group workout of 3x(600, 600, 800) however I needed to in order to keep the effort at 8/10. What I ended up doing was 8x600 at the same pace the guys were running (34/lap, or 1:42) with 1:20 jog rest after the 600s and 1:50 after the 800s. I was pleased to be able to handle the paces and stay within the agreed-upon effort limits, though, to be fair, I got an extra ~34 seconds rest after the 3rd and 6th 600, since for the rest of the group was doing 800s on those ones. I figure I was running right about 3k type gear, which demonstrates continued improvement. As much as I dislike missing time, the sharp improvement curve that comes during the first month or two of a comeback is pretty fun. Three weeks ago I'd have been hard-pressed to run 9:00 for 3k; now I think 8:30-8:35 is about where I'm at. In another 2-3 weeks of consistent running, I should be close to PR shape for the 3k, and by the time we start racing in mid-January, I'd like to think I'd be in shape to take a crack at my mile and 800 bests, just like Bruce planned. I just have to avoid holiday pounds and keep using 5th-grade level common sense. . .

Sunday- 2:30PM- 8 mi very slow with James, felt nice to jog along and chat. Beautiful weather for running: high 30s, sunny, no wind.
8PM- After work, 4mi easy with Ken and Peter, then strength before a well-deserved hot shower. Needed gloves tonight!

Tot- 62 miles in 6 days (7 runs) with 2 strength sessions, a good hard fartlek, and an encouraging short interval session. I'll take it over a lingering illness any day. Now begins my last week of regular classes before finals. . . yikes. Have a good week, everyone!