Monday, October 10, 2011


Well, I haven't kept up with this thing for a while now, and it's not entirely because I've been too busy. The fall is always a tough time for me because my allergies combine with my asthma and my running tends to drop off. I can control either one of those exogenous factors with medication, but when they're both bad at the same time, I'm little better than "entirely useless."

I'll admit, too, I've grown tired of keeping the blog up. I never intended it to be a mere reposting of my training from logarun, and I haven't run well enough to offer any real insight to anyone looking for it.

To very briefly (by my standards) share where I'm at: I've got this semester left of college, and then 2 classes to talk in the spring, then I'm graduating from BU with a BA in Economics. After that, well, who the hell knows? I don't have a job lined up yet and I've got some solid student loans hanging over my head. I still have PRs left in me, though, so I'll be squeezing in as much running as I can regardless of where I end up working. Until we get a hard frost this fall, my running will be reasonably touch-n-go, with good days and bad days dictated by pollen counts. Fortunately, my new apartment is a lot less moldy and damp than my old basement apartment, so I'm doing better than I would be otherwise.

Also, after more than 3 years of waiting for my younger brother to turn 18, my family and I have decided to go back to using my mother's maiden name, McMahon. It was obviously a long process (and we still have to settle everything legally and officially) but we all felt it better reflected who we were, based on our familial situation (upon which I don't really see appropriate to elaborate here). So, since my "clever" blog title is no longer accurate and the pleasure I take in blogging has largely waned, I figured now was as good a time as any to wind this thing down.

Anyone who has interest in seeing what I'm up to are welcome to check out my training calendar on My username is Craig McMahon, so I'll be easy to find. Lastly, I just wanted to say thanks to anyone who reached out to me over the years. It's been an interesting exercise to have to analyze myself a little bit every week. At times, it was comforting and clarifying to write everything down; at others, it felt like a self-indulgent and masturbatory act of ego. Maybe, if after graduating, I become some stud road whore or ultra-marathon geek, I'll feel the need to start something bloggy up again. Maybe I'll get a job at runnersworld, and you can all read about my tips to your best half-marathon on 10 miles a week (please for the love of god, I'm kidding, don't believe that).

Regardless of what happens, I'm sure it'll be an adventure to find out. Take it easy, everybody. Happy Running!

-Craig McMahon

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Drought Ends

You know, internet, I didn't mean to take a long hiatus from this thing. I ran a good 10 miler a few weeks ago and was all set to write a content blog that weekend. Then I missed it, then it was finals for summer classes, then I started a new job. . . and here we are. I'll give a nice long update now, but first, I want to mention that Johnny Kelley the younger is no longer with us. A legend in the New England road racing scene, Kelley won the 1957 Boston Marathon and represented the USA twice at the Olympic Games. He was also an alumni of my school, Boston University. I walk by his picture every time I go into the track locker room. His other highlights are too numerous to mention here and his influence on more than half a century of runners in the area is too vast for me to truly do him justice. I refer everyone who reads this blog to Amby Burfoot's wonderful reflection on Kelley, which you can find at

As for my last month, it began very promisingly after the heatwave and unfortunately went south from there. I ran a ~70 second PR to win the Blessing of the Fleet 10-miler in Narragansett, RI (running 52:08) and thereafter had trouble with my left piriformis and sciatica-like symptoms. I got the troubles under control in time to run the Falmouth Road Race without any pain whatsoever, but fell apart after two miles and ran 37:13, which was some 10 sec/mile slower than I averaged for the 10-miler. It was, as usual, a fun weekend, but I was disappointed to run poorly. Fortunately, the real racing hasn't even begun yet, so I'm focused on making this last collegiate cross country season the best it can be.

Here's what I got up to:

Monday July 25: 2PM- 5.5 mi: up to the BC Res, around once, and home at a sad, crawling short of shuffle. 9PM- 7mi river loop also pretty slow and easy. I wanted to go at 7 but it was rainy and I ate dinner instead. 6.5 total (the loop is short)

Tuesday July 26: 4:45PM- 4mi easy in NH (doctor's appointment, routine checkup)
9:30PM- 3+ up, 3xmile with 800 jog, 3+ down. I did this workout kinda weird(ly?). I did the whole first mile "hard" (about 5k effort) then jogged my 800 in ~3:10, then did the second mile with the first and last laps at ~tempo-y type pace and the middle 800 in 2:24 for a time of 4:59, then jogged another 800 in ~3:10 before finishing the last mile going 77, 75, 70, 67 for 4:49. The workout was 4 miles total in 20:59. It was 70 deg out and windy, so much more comfortable than it's been lately. I gotta get in the habit of running at like 7:30am so mornings stop getting away from me.

Wednesday July 27: 11:30AM- 4mi very slow, felt tired, heavy, but mostly hungry.
6:30PM- 10mi easy with Joey, some with James and Peter. All dizzy and stuff because I didn't eat enough today, but I ground it out.

Thursday July 28: 6:30PM- 81min easy tending toward moderate with Peter, Joey, and guest star Teddy V of Northeastern. I did not intend on running this far or averaging 6:20 pace, but I felt good and it wasn't hot out, so whatever. We ran all around the downtown and saw some attractive ladies. 12+ miles

Friday July 29: 9:30AM- 3mi at about 9min pace, with the middle 2 barefoot on the track. 5:30PM- 22min up, strides, 10-mi road race, 20min down with Joey and his HS teammates. The race went well- after about a half-mile, the pace slowed as people settled in. I felt fine at the initial pace, so off I went. I ran the first 5 miles pretty aggressively for my fitness level and the wheels came off at about 6 miles, but I was able to hold on for a 7 second win after being ~25 seconds up at 5mi.

Splits I remember:

5:04 (5:04)
10:16 (5:12)
15:20 (5:04)
20:35 (5:15)
25:47 (5:12)
31:06 (5:19)
36:20 (5:14)
41:32 (5:12)
46:58 (5:26)
52:08 (5:10)

Miles 6 and 9 had these ~100y long gradual hills, which felt like friggen mountains at that point. Sub-52 was right there had I been tougher on the hills.

Saturday July 30: 11:30AM- 4mi easy with Sean and some with James, ran really slow. My calves were fine, surprisingly, but my quads felt like I had tried to and succeeded in squatting the world. 5PM- 7mi easy with the Trethewey, still felt like my quads had gotten electrocuted.

Sunday July 31: OFF, tired, covered in blisters, and sore- but mostly lazy

Tot- 82

Monday August 1: 2PM- 4mi easy after class, hot out, quads still pretty ugly, but my blisters felt much better. 7:30PM- Fresh Pond once from the house with James, really slow. Quads still sore, stomach upset.

Tuesday August 2: 7PM- Joey, Peter, and Rob were doing a workout, so I ran up to the BC Res and around it a bunch of times while they worked out. Still felt sore, but today was under 7:00 pace. 11mi total

Wednesday August 3: 11AM- 4mi nice and easy before class. 6:30PM- 10 mi easy with Peter and the first half with Eric, 67min total. Left butt/hip was really sore. This was the beginning of the piriformis that hated me.

Thursday August 4: 7:30PM- 10 with Rob on the Fat Cat loop then a short addition to get 11 on the day. Left hip still sore, but not as bad as yesterday. I thought it was cause I was limping on my blister foot, but who knows these things.

Friday August 5: 6:30PM- 3.5 up, 8x~500 section of hilly trail on the Pinkerton course with jog back, 3+ down. My left hip/piriformis was really going nuts today; the cooldown was miserable. Running uphill seems to be good for it (more range of motion = more stretching?) so I did some net uphill surges on trails.

Saturday August 6: 11:30AM- 7mi moderate on a hilly loop, had some pain in the butt/hip but mostly it was just tight. 7:30PM- 8mi moderate on more or less the same course (I went home a different way to get in another mile) with only the odd spike of pain and mostly just moderate tightness in the butt/hip. Going to town on my ass with a tennis ball (. . . ladies) seems to have been helped. I didn't get any numbness or "oh god the white hot pain is making me buckle" feelings and after the run it didn't hurt much at all, so I was pretty hopeful at this point.

Sunday August 7: Did 2, hip killed, turned around and limped home. Sad panda.

Total: 79

Monday August 8: 5:30PM- 13.5 miles: 3 laps around Fresh Pond with Peter at a good clip (6:20 or so for the whole run, I think). After one lap we ran into a runner from Brown and rolled with him for a while. The hip mostly behaved, so that was cool. Today, also, was my 22nd birthday.

Tuesday August 9: 8:30PM- 2 classes, work orientation, didn't have time for shit til late. River loop with Rob, 15min at 2mi, then 6:15 pace the rest of the way, more or less.

Wednesday August 10: 11AM- 7 mile river loop pretty slow. My piriformis doesn't feel "injury" hurt, but it is "holy crap all that rehab" hurt. I looked up some exercises that are supposed to be "challenging" if you have a weak piriformis, and I could barely do more than a few reps. Nice weather, though, and no nerve "buzz" or numbness. 6PM- A lap around Fresh Pond, flying today. 8.5 miles with no watch, but I was wailing on it.

Thursday August 11: OFF. One of those days that sneaks up on you with stuff spaced out so that I could have been late to some stuff and squeezed in two 5-6 mile runs at various points about 3 hours apart, but I never did. Rats.

Friday August 12: 12PM- 6.5 mi easy with my younger brother on the river, nice weather. Last lingering hip stuff was GONE baby! 7:30PM- To JP around and back with 6x2min hard, 1min moderate in the middle just to turn the legs over a little. I went back kind of a different way for a little add-on. 9mi total

Saturday August 13: AM- 4mi easy before driving down to Falmouth with Peter, Rich, and Cordaro the Born Again. PM- 10mi easy, some with Peter and Kev, the other bit with Max Darrah, with whom I stayed that evening before the race. My teammate Rich Peters was one of the pacers for the Elite Mile the day before and therefore I say all the credit for the 10 sub-4 performances belongs to him.

Sunday August 14: Falmouth Road Race- 3 up, 7mi race 37:13 for God knows what place. I hit two miles in 10:10 with one of my teammates, but while Peter went on to roll a 35:45, I fell well off the pace and got picked off by the top two women finishers several miles later. I have yet to beat the first woman at this race, and I suppose I have to wait another year to try. 3mi down. Again, though, Falmouth is too fun a weekend to let a bad race ruin it- but a run like Peter's would have been just the icing to make it perfect. C'est la vie, right?

Total- 84 miles

Monday August 15: 7PM- 10mi very slow, 75min, on the river through a downpour with James. I was in an extremely bad mood, but James refused to allow me to stay that way the whole run.

Tuesday August 16: 6:55AM- Usually I round up to the nearest 15min, but I wanted to brag about getting this one started before 7am. 4mi easy, quads still sore. 6:30PM- Two laps around JP from the house with a stop at the TTC to do 4x150 and a 200 fast. Hip a little sore near the end, very tender after when I was stretching. Quads still sore, but I hit a good pace regardless.

Wednesday August 17: 6:30PM- 4+ up with James, 3x4x200 with 200 jog between reps and an 800 jog between sets. I averaged 31.4 for the first 10 and then ran the last two in 29.3 and 28.1. It felt good to open up a little and to know how easy this workout was, despite the fact that my legs were still rocked from Falmouth. 3+ down.

Thursday August 18: 6:45AM- 3mi easy, mostly barefoot on Nickerson, no time for more because I had to take a dump during the run and it killed like 10min. 8PM- 10mi moderate solo, felt good, last few reasonably hard.

Friday August 19: Woke up late, no time for a morning run. After work I took the bus to Derry. 8PM- No legs or light for a workout (friggin Derry barely has street lights) so I just wailed on it for 9 hilly miles.

Saturday August 20: 3:30PM- 4mi barefoot on Hood Field, 28:24, with Kevin, who is leaving for the University of Portland out in Oregon in 3 days. We had a barbecue for him and I didn't get out to run again, which was fine because frankly, my allergies were going nuts and I didn't want to deal with them.

Sunday August 21: 12PM- 7mi moderate over a hilly course in Derry, crushed the last 4mi without really meaning to, but I didn't have a watch on it. 7PM- 6.5 easy on the river, tried to keep things a little slower today because most of my runs this week have been quite fast.

76 miles, not a great week, but I started tutoring at a summer enrichment program and missed some doubles. This week will be better.

Take it easy, everyone, and rest in peace, Johnny Kelley. You will be missed.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Who Touched the Theromstat?

So America got hit with a pretty nasty heat wave yesterday. I think except for Seattle and its environs, the entire continental US of A was a furnace for most of last week. I'm told that New England, with real temperatures "only" in the mid to hi-90s and dew points in the 70s, got off easy. I mean, fair enough, but during runs this week, I wasn't thinking "theoretically, this could be worse." I was thinking "AAhhhhhhh! My brain is bubbling out of my ears!"

The horrible wet heat aside, I had a decent week of training. I set a personal record for "latest start of run" at 11:30PM. I saw Captain America (I have a weakness for superhero movies). I finished 3rd place at a mini-golf night (of 3 people total). I got a two-week gig teaching summer school in the middle of August. I think that's about it.

Le Log:

Monday 7/18: 1PM- 4mi easy in my new trainers (Asics Hyperspeed IIIs, if anyone is curious). I didn't wear socks and got a big blister, but I still love the shoes.
7:30PM- 3.5 up, 12x32 seconds barefoot on a turf soccer field at Harvard with an 88 second recovery run at a steady pace. After the 4th and 8th reps I took 5min total total. Cool down to 11mi. This was the day the humidity set in, so I was drenched 10min into the warmup.

Tuesday 7/19: AM- Had to get a bunch of work done, no time to run, boo. 7PM- With James and Rob to JP, 6:10-6:25s the last 7 miles or so, started very easy.

Wednesday 7/20: 11AM- 5mi at a snail's pace, 94 deg out but dry. No morning class! 7PM- To Fresh Pond and around (16:17) with Peter and James, add-on at Harvard plus 5x120y strides with jogback. 11 total, felt pretty good, 6:20-6:30 pace.

Thursday 7/21: AM- Two midterms today, studied all morning. Shoulda got up earlier. 9PM- Still 88deg with a 74 dew point. Holy ballsack. 3 and a third up, 4x3min hard, 2min easy + another 1:47 hard at the end to finish 4mi in 21:47, 3 and a third down. The weather was so gross that I decided to do something easy and really baby the 2min easy sections. At least I got something in. I think I counted this as 10 in the log, but it was closer to 11.

Friday 7/22: 4PM- I was up at like 9AM today (no class on Fridays) but spent the whole morning and early afternoon cleaning, organizing, throwing stuff out, making a list of books I'll sell and books I'll keep, etc. Since it was 103 out (109 heat index) I went over to the track and ran 35min indoors for an easy 5mi. 11:30PM- Rob, James, and I headed out for an easy 10 miles around the waterfront and back through Quincy Market. It was still like 93 when we started, and I wasn't sure I'd make it back with like 3mi to go. Yech.

Saturday 7/23: 9PM- 10mi real easy, no watch. Totally fried all day. However, James and I finally got an apartment for next year, so at least I won't be homeless.

Sunday 7/24: 7:30PM- The heat broke! It was about 78 and breezy for this run. I ran about 10mi easy with James, going from about 7:20 for the first 3mi down to 6:20 or so by the time we split, then added on 6mi at about 6:15/mile including an 800 on the track in 2:26 to finish things up. Felt. . meh. It would have been an awful run if the weather wasn't perfect, so I'm thankful that the weather was, in fact, perfect.

92 miles, 10 runs

Oh yeah, I did core most days after the longer run, too (ladies).

Sunday, July 17, 2011


Things had gone too well for too long. After my long run last Sunday, I experienced an interesting injury. You ever get a charlie horse? You know, when your calf just suddenly CRAMPS and turns into a ball of pain and stiffness for like a minute? I experienced, over the course of several hours, a slow-motion charlie horse. Very slowly, over about two hours, my left calf clenched up and stayed clenched/cramped/whatever until bed. Since I was all limpy the next day, I got into the trainer's office and them show me some stretchin' techniques. I ended up talking two days off: one because I was limpy, and the other because it felt mostly better, but it's the summer and I have the luxury of time and used it to nip this in the bud. Other than a little achilles tightness today, I'm fine, and when my new shoes come in tomorrow or Tuesday, I'll be even finer.

Anyway. . .

Wednesday July 13: 10mi easy, 65min, with Peter. Felt good, but a little weird from the double days off.

Thursday July 14: 11mi hard solo, felt too good out the door to take it easy. I knew I'd pay for this later in the week, but I just wailed on this one the last 7 miles. Kinda makes me wish I had run with a watch today. . .

Friday July 15: 1PM- A real crack a'dawn morning run, 4mi slow. 7PM- 10mi easy, last 5mi moving along petty good.

Saturday July 16: 4PM- 7mi easy with Rob and an incoming freshman who was in town for orientation. It was HOT out, but we had fun taking our new teammate down to the Boston Common. 9PM- Hadn't planned on running again today because I was so bushed, but Matt was running an easy 3mi and I decided to join him.

Sunday July 17 7PM- 14mi moderate, really hot out. I felt like crap today, yech. I'm not too upset with this week, though, because the calf thing could have been ugly and instead all I did was miss two measly days.

Now, if you'll excuse me, internet, I have to finish up some Spanish homework and go to Shawes to buy some dinner.

59mi, 5 days, 6 runs. Take it easy, everybody.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

AAwwww yeah double update STEEZ

Things I really should do right now:

1) Put away my leftovers so I have lunch tomorrow
2) Study for my Spanish exam

Things I'm going to do right now instead:

1) Update this blog
2) Watch Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix on ABC Family
3) Eat my leftovers
4) ???
5) Profit.

Here's what happened during the week that went from 7/4-7/10

7/4, America's Birfday: 7AM- Roll off the air mattress I crashed on last night, stumble to bathroom, cripple jog to downtown Keene, register for 4 on the 4th, cripple jog another 2 miles. 4mi race in 20:03, splits 5:01, 5:01, 5:00, 5:01, 5th place. The thing about racing in the Keene area is that even for the rinkiest of dink races, there's a damn good field. I got dropped like a pregnant lady's cigarette habit after the mile and ran the last 3 miles alone, other than two stragglers I picked off. Still, I wasn't displeased with the effort. 30min cooldown with a big group. 3PM- 5mi easy with Trethewey before we started barbecuing.

7/5: AM- travel back to Fitchburg then Boston, didn't have time for a run before my Int'l Finance class. PM- 11mi easy with James, felt good, ran slow.

7/6: AM- 4mi easy, didn't feel like running today and let some school stuff distract me. I'm such a good student. . . unless I feel like running.

7/7: AM- 4mi easy, felt good. PM- With a big group of BU teammates to Fresh Pond and back from the TTC, started easy but ran most of the back half around 6:20 pace or so. After I added on with a few people to get a solid 75min and 11+ on the evening.

7/8: 1PM- 3mi easy, I hit snooze a bunch of times this morning and waited til after my first class to run. 7PM- 3mi w/u with Sean, my gainfully employed and retired from competitive running roommate, then on the track for a long, solo workout. I decided to do mile repeats with a steady 800 run again and just figured I'd stop at some point after I did 4 of them. I felt so good I didn't call it quits until after 7 of them, which, when you add in the 6 preceding half-mile recovery runs, adds up to 10 miles on the track. While the miles and the jogs (and thus the overall pace of the 10mi) was fast, what was really awesome about this workout was how easy it was. I didn't really feel like I was working until after the 5th hard mile. I only cooled down a mile, though, because 14mi on the afternoon and 17 on the day was quite sufficient.
Mile (800 run)

5:02.9, 3:04.3
5:06.6, 2:59.6
5:05.4, 3:01.9
5:06.1, 3:01.7
5:04.9, 3:01.3
5:03.2, 3:01.6
5:01.8, (53:40 at 16k, 100m in 22.0 seconds to make 16k a real 10miles) in 54:02.8

Avg: 5:04.5, 3:01.4 and 5:24.4 per mile overall.

Saturday 7/9: Noon- 4mi super slow, no watch. I didn't feel as bad as I thought I would, but that's probably because I kept it REALLY easy. 6:30PM- 10mi easy solo on the river, kept it really easy again, over 7:00 pace for the splits I checked. I got rolled up by a friendly but competitive pair of gentlemen who informed me they had been on my trail for over a half-mile. As I told them, it's good to get rolled up every so often. Keeps the old ego in check, y'know?

Sunday 7/10: 6:30PM- 17mi starting easy but the last 11 miles were definitely on the steady side of things.

Total- 94 miles with a 4mi day, not bad, not bad.

Ahora- Yo tengo que estudiar para una prueba en Espanol.

Very Overdue Update. . . and there'll be another one this evening!

When I'm a day with the blog, I go "hmm," I should do that. After three days, I tend to think "meh, might as well just do a two-weeker in a few days." After nearly a month with no updates, I think "I have a blog?!" with mild indignation. Anyway, the longer I put this off, the longer the update will be, and the greater the likelihood that I write a Teal Deer post.

It's been a fun, busy, and at times frustrating couple weeks. My first session of summer classes ended, and I missed a B+/A- in my Economic Policy class by like 2 points (there were only 13 in the class, so the curve was murder). I went to Long Island with one of my roommates and took a sweet tour of Theodore Roosevelt's mansion, Sagamore Hill. Hmm, what else. I didn't manage to procure a short term job, so until mid-August, I will be surviving off savings and whatever odd jobs I can find helping people move furniture or whatever. It's not the end of the world, but not an ideal situation either.

Anyway, I have a Spanish exam to study for and I still haven't done my long run yet (waiting for it to cool down a little) so I gotta get caught up on this thing before I do this week's entry after my run.

From where I left off:

Monday 6/20: I woke up today with a fever, so I guess it wasn't just allergies that messed up my long run the day before. I decided to run through it, did a 6.5 mile morning run, then decided running through it was a dumb idea and slept through my afternoon run. Class today SUCCCCKED.

Tuesday 6/21: 11AM- 4mi pretty quick between classes. 5PM- 10+ miles, 66min or so, with a group of BU folk. We were moving along well, which is always nice.

Wednesday 6/22: 11AM- 6.5mi easy between classes, gross day out- it was really warm and humid with that half-assed warm rain that feels like a camel drooling on you. Felt slimy the whole time, yuck. 9PM- 3 up barefoot, 2x(5x200)avg 31 with 200 jog between reps, 14:20 for 4k total, 4ish down. It was downpouring out the whole time and I had basically zero fun, despite spiking up.

Thursday 6/23: 3:30PM- 9mi easy with James, to Mayor's Park in Cambridge. Didn't feel like going out that night and running again.

Friday 6/24: AM- 8.5 miles, one lap of Fresh Pond from Ashford. Drive to Long Island with James, got stuck in traffic and was trapped in the car for 7hrs. PM- 7mi with James in Long Island with some 30 second easy surges near the end to get the car out of my legs.

Saturday 6/25: AM- 3mi easy around the Roosevelt Estate. I highly recommend the tour (it's like 5 bucks) if you're ever in the area. PM- 10 miles moderate with James and Billy on Billy's trails in East Sachem, truly delightful.

Sunday 6/26: 11 miles moderate, with the last 4mi especially moderate (ha!). Allergies pretty bad today, must be all the rain.

Tot- 84.5mi


Monday 6/27: AM- Economics Presentation. My topic was on the possibly damaging effects the imposition of a minimum wage COULD have on the people it's supposed to help. I think the whole class got a B, so that was a little irritating. 4:30PM- 4mi quick before work, 6:15s after the mile or so. 9PM- 3+ up, 4mi tempo on the river in 20:49 (5:12, 5:16, 5:12, 5:09), 3+ down. I was kinda crampy and tired on the warmup, so I was satisfied with this workout.

Tuesday 6/28: 9PM- Between finishing up the paper that was the basis for my presentation, work, allergy shots, and Spanish, this was the first hour I had to run. 10mi steady/moderate on the river, 63min, but I was about 8min at the mile and 15 at 2, so the last 8mi were pretty solid.

Wednesday 6/29: 3PM- 7mi easy, up to the BC Res, around twice, and home. It was warm out and I felt like craap. 9:30PM- 8.5 easy on the river, full of pizza (boss's last day at work).

Thursday 6/30: 3PM- 9 easy, not sure if it was hot out or what, but I had planned 12-13 easy and felt too shitty to finish it out. 9PM- Hadn't planned on doubling, but I was pissed off about earlier and decided to belt out 4 miles without no watch. Ran mostly barefoot on the infield of the track.

Friday 7/1: 4.5 up, 8xKeene 400s, 2.5 down. Warmed up and cooled down with Peter and James. Keene Quarters, which Nate Jenkins mistakenly calls "Aussie 400s" just because the Australians invented them first, are when you run a 400 somewhere between 2-mile and 5k pace, then run a 200 around 6min pace for recovery. The whole session is 4800m/3mi and you want to average something in the realm of a hard 4-6mi tempo run pace for the 3miles. Target: 71-73 for the 400s, 45-46 for the 200s. I started too fast and the session ended up being ~15-20 seconds faster than I wanted. Oh well.

69.0, 45.0
69.2, 46.8
70.4, 45.7
70.9, 48.0
70.1, 47.0
70.9, 47.6
71.5, 46.8,
70.7, 45.1

15:34.0 total, just about 5:12/mile. It wasn't so bad, but I would have preferred to be a little slower on the 400s and a little quicker on the 200s. Good workout, though.

Saturday 7/2: I kinda forgot what I did today- my log indicates I did two runs of 6.5mi and 9 miles each. Good to know.

Sunday 7/3: AM- 4mi easy before I took the train from Cambridge to Fitchburg, where Trethewey picked me up. PM- 5mi easy with Trethewey in Keene, couldn't be bothered to run more.

Tot- 87.5

That's it for now, but after I go running, I'll update this week's training. I raced a 4-miler on Monday, but for those of you who aren't good with The Google, you'll have to check back to see how I did!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

DOUBLE the Update- DOUBLE the HW Procrastination!

Hello internet. Sorry for the lack of the update last week, but I had some summer class midterms and things kinda got away from me. I also gotta get another job, because my normal school year one is about to end and I'd rather have a couple weeks of overlap than a couple weeks with nothing coming in. Anyway, all that's neither here nor there. Here are my last two weeks:

6/6: 11mi easy, took an unplanned detour to find a bathroom and got kinda lost. I ended up feeling pretty good once I got about 5mi in, though.

6/7: AM- 4 easy PM- 8 easy, doctor's appt, pretty sure I did this run around the outdoor track barefoot.

6/8: 7mi easy, still 84 and humid at 9PM after work. I really did not feel like running today, but I know it was more because of the weather and the fact that I put it off so late.

6/9: 2:30PM- 5mi easy, 94 deg or so. 10pm- 10mi steady after work, last 8 pretty damn fast. Got caught in a downpour with a 1mi to go, and of course I was wearing a ratty old pair of white nylon shorts. Good thing I was running at night.

6/10: 4PM- With Joey and Petah on the river, ~4mi up, 5x3min hard, 2min easy, then 20min down or so with a mile added on at Nickerson. We averaged under 5:30/mile including the rest, so we were getting in some good running on the hard parts. Great weather- the heat finally broke. All in all, an enjoyable day. 10PM- River loop, belly a little sloshy from lemonade

6/11: 1PM- 4mi easy, rainy and 50deg, which was awesome after the week we had. 6:30PM- 2 laps of Fresh Pond easy from the house, 11mi, felt good.

6/12: 5PM- 15 miles, kind of a shorter but harder long run than I've done the last month or so. I was clipping along at about 6:15/mile after the mile and ran to the Arb, did about a half-hour there, then ran a pace-check lap at JP (9:06) then came home via the Muddy River through South Campus. The total 1:42:30, but I'm being pretty careful on the distance- I bet I could have added 2:30 and called it 16. Oh, the games we play.

90 miles, 11 runs

Next week:

Monday 6/13: 4PM- 4mi easy with the Gilmore Twins. A mile into the run we stopped at Harvard so Kevin, who hasn't really run in 3 months, could do an 800 time trial. He ran 2:11.3! 8:30PM- 8 miles moderate solo on the river, too full from dinner still.

Tuesday 6/14: OFF, hadn't had one in over 60 days.

Wednesday 6/15: 2:30PM- Perfect weather, good day to tempo. 3+ up, 6mi tempo on the river in 32:08 (two mile splits- 10:52, 10:50, 10:26). I had only planned on doing 5mi, but I felt so good at 4.5 I figured I might as well keep going. 2+ down for 12. 9:30PM- 4mi easy to break in some new shoes.

Thursday 6/16: Back to Derry, 4pm- It was 88 degrees and I picked an obnoxiously hilly route, so this ended up being a very unpleasant 10 miler in just under 70min. After a much needed shower I headed to the Verizon Center in Manchester to watch my brother graduate from high school.

Friday 6/17: Noon- 4mi easy out-n-back: I put a watch on it to see what was up, surprised to head back under 7:00 pace after going out 14:30 at the turnaround. 28:17 total. 5:30PM: 3 up to the Pinkerton track for a nice little workout. I repeated my 6xmile workout, but cut the rest from an 800 sustained run to a 600 sustained run. I wore my new Streak XC 3s and while I like the shoes a lot, I can't wear socks with them and tore my heels pretty good. As usual, everything is rounded up to the nearest tenth, so totals might add up. Dammit, Jim- I'm a doctor, not an accountant!

5:08.6, 2:21.5
5:10.8, 2:20.3
5:07.4, 2:18.6
5:08.1, 2:17.4
5:06.9, 2:15.8
5:05.0, 1:02.2 for 300m and 8 miles in 43:23, or just over 5:25/mile. I'm pretty pleased with this one, it was easy as pie.

Saturday: 1PM- 4mi easy out and back, 28:49 8PM- 10 miles slow, picked another obnoxiously hilly course, 71:03. Tired, heavy. Long day yesterday.

Sunday: 6:30PM- Allergies still all jacked up from being in NH, ran after work, felt pretty good. Last 8-9 miles pretty fast, 15mi total around Fresh Pond, etc.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Another good week

Hey there, internet. I had a pretty good week of training, except for my first ever "bonk" on a long run. I've had bad long runs because of heat, stepping in a pothole, getting lost, and a myriad of other reasons, but had never bonked before today. I didn't eat or drink much all day, and about 14 miles in, I got all dizzy and wobbly. I made the 4 miles home with any major problems, though, and after some GENERIC SPORTS DRINK (can't have the NCAA think I'm endorsing anything) and a snack, I was feeling more or less like my usual chipper, totally-not-sarcastic self. I'm going to squeeze this update in before I do some Econ homework, though, so if you'll excuse me, internet. . .

Monday 5/30: To Jamaica Pond, one lap, and back with James. Hot out again, 87 according to the weather service. My stomach was all kinds of messed up, so it was tough to gauge if this was a shitty run from the long run yesterday or a shitty run because of my stomach. I was absolutely shocked when James said we ran the 9+ miles under 63 minutes. I assumed it was 7:30s tops, and almost told James to truck on without me.

Tuesday 5/31: 4PM- ~3 up to Fresh Pond with James, two lap tempo (just under 5mi, I think one lap is 2.45 mi?), ~3mi cooldown with James. I still didn't have a watch, so I don't know what my time was, but I ran with a little more "urgency" in my stride than the 10k last week, if that makes sense. It was a good hard-but-controlled effort. 9:30PM- 4mi easy after work, tired.

Wednesday 6/1: 4PM- 8mi slow before work, quite tired today. There was a severe thunderstorm warning during this run, and the sky was dripping with anticipation. The rain held off during my entire run, which was surprising, during my bike ride to work, which was frankly astounding, and during my ENTIRE SHIFT, which is a goddamn miracle. Unfortunately, my luck ran out on my way home. The storm blew in from the west, which is the same direction I travel toward from work. During our shift it was upgraded to a tornado warning and I read about how Springfield, MA (maybe 2 hours southwest of Boston) got hit pretty hard by a tornado. All this is a roundabout way of saying I didn't so a second run that evening.

Thursday 6/2: 3PM- To the Arnold Arboretum in Brookline with Rob and James, Rob turned back for 60min, James stuck with me for 75min. We were running pretty honestly the whole time and ran the last 30-40min or so at just under 6:00/mile. James claims I push the pace on the hilly Arb trails, I say he doesn't enjoy the scenery enough! 9:30PM- 5mi easy including 10x15 second hill sprints up Summit Ave, felt quite good again.

Friday 6/3: Noon: 3mi very slow, wanted to prepared for the workout I had planned.
6PM- 4.5mi warmup (a little longer than I wanted, but I was looking for a track that wasn't being used), 6xmile avg 5:11.5 with an 800 at a moderate pace for recovery (avg about 3:06, I think) for 14.4k (basically 9mi) in 49:51, which is about 5:35/mile or 3:28/kilometer. I only cooled down half a mile because that was quite enough, thank you. I was pleased with this workout, since it was the first real quality session on the watch. I was recovering quickly despite running the rest at close to 6:00 pace, which is a good sign for where I'm at right now. Right now my general idea is to revisit this workout a couple times this summer but aim toward reducing the distance of the recovery jog and speed up the pace of the recovery run a little rather than try to hammer out 4:55 miles.

Saturday 6/4: AM- 4mi easy with Terence, who was visiting from New York.
PM- 9mi with James and Joey, with the middle 8.5 or so at 6min pace to Jamaica Pond, around, and back. I felt like trash while Joey and James toyed with me for about 3.5 miles, then my legs kind of woke up and I was the one-stepper for the back half of the run.

Sunday 6/5: 4:30PM- 18 miles moderate, first 9mi easyish with James and Rob, next 9 solo, 6:20-6:30 pace. Like I said above, not eating/drinking much = bonk. I don't much want to repeat that experience again.

Tot- 97 miles, another good week.

I think after next week, I'll probably take a day off or at least really light. I think it's been close to two months since I had one, but I'm not sure.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

First Week of Summer Class

Hey, Internet! Like the title says, this past week saw my first week of summer classes. Thus far, I'm impressed with both the teachers and the class. I'm taking Spanish 2 (sorry, "Espanol Dos") and Economic Analysis of Legal Policy (which I love saying because it sounds so fancy, when really, it could be called "Do Laws Do What They Intend To Do?"). I think it's going to be an enjoyable term.

I was pretty tuckered out this week, so the mileage took a slight overall hit, but that's part of listening to what the body is saying. I also lost a few miles when I traveled to NH on Friday/Saturday to watch my brother's last State Meet, but that's neither here nor there. It was another solid week of training overall, capped by the longest run I've ever intended to do (as opposed to getting lost or knuckling under the peer pressure exerted by certain Foss counselor). Also, the Bostonian Spring occurred this Monday, from the hours of about 10am-6pm. Then it was summer. Lastly, one of my teammates needed a place to store his bike for the summer, so we worked out a deal: he can keep it at my apt if I can use it, which seemed fair. My commute is now cut in half, but I'm learning there is surprisingly little carryover from running to biking. I hate to use a cliche, but I was sore in muscles that I didn't know existed! I'm viewing it as cross-training that'll pay off a lot, especially since I'm perpetually running late and hurrying.

Anyway, here's the logaroo:

Monday 5/23: 9:30PM- 7mi, pretty tired and unmotivated all afternoon after giving a friend of mine a walking tour of some of Boston's more historical areas.

Tuesday 5/24: 7:45AM- 3mi, earliest run in a good while. First day of summer classes. 3:45PM- 2+ up to the Res, 10k on the lighter side of hard, 2+ down. Didn't buy a new watch yet, so this was purely by effort. Hot and humid today, blech. Pretty tired, all my never-used biking muscles in my quads were pissed.

Wednesday 5/25: 11:45AM- 4mi easy/moderate. I gotta figure out my schedule better and leave more buffer, missed my 7:30 alarm today. 4PM- 10 miles easy with Pistol Pete Gilmore.

Thursday 5/26: 1PM- Up Comm Ave and back down Beacon from the house; I had planned to stop off and do 10 sprints on Summit, but I hadn't eaten all day and was too hungry. Sucks to suck. Pretty dizzy the last 3 miles, but I was booking it to make the run end quicker, 4.5 total. 9:30PM- 2 laps of the Not-Quite-7-Mile river loop from Ashford. From about 5 miles on, I was booking it. Felt pretty good, but it was still like 75 and humid out.

Friday 5/27: 11:30AM- River loop + mile barefoot on Nickerson, hot out- 88.6 when I finished. 8PM- After my brother's Divisional meet, 5 hard miles with random surges and short jog breaks before going out for dinner and a few drinks with my old high school coaches.

Saturday 5/28: 3:30PM- 4mi easy barefoot on Hood Field, allergies very bad, decided to go back to Boston a night early to try to get some relief. 9:30PM- (not-quite) 7-mile river loop. Reallllly didn't want to run. Not tired or anything, just unmotivated.

Sunday 5/29: 6:30PM- 3 laps around Fresh Pond from the house, back to Ashford, then the not-quite-7-mile river loop. No watch, but I ran hardish for the last 4-5 miles. The first ten felt quite slow. It was about 85 when I started and about 80 when I finished, so not too hot but enough to work up a pretty good thirst. It's funny how 85min at a pretty hard effort doesn't really phase me, but a little over 2hrs even at an easy pace is one hell of a trip.

Tot- 92 miles

Have a good week, everyone!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Summer 2011!

Internet, let me be clear. The title of this post does not come from the fact that it was the first week after my last final exam and thus the first week of my summer vacation for 2011. The title of this post is because it WAS Summer Vacation 2011. I did some math and figured out it would be cheaper for me to take 4 summer classes (two classes during each of the two summer sessions) and reduce my course load in Spring 2012 to two classes, which I could take through BU's "night school" and be billed at a discounted/part-time rate, which would save something along the lines of 12,000 dollars. The tradeoff is that I have 5 hours of class 4 days a week all summer, in addition my job, so I'm basically a "real person" in that I will be occupied about 9 hours a day, plus running, at least 5 and possibly 6 days a week. Since if I hadn't transferred I would have graduated this spring and been a "real person" anyway, I don't see it as a raw deal, since I've traded my vacation for ~12,000 fewer obligations to the federal government.

Anyway, my summer vacation was AWESOME. I ran a lot, slept a lot, ate whatever I wanted, still worked a few hours to mitigate my guilt over the money I spent, and visited Keene NH to revisit some of my favorite training runs (ok, and a few friends who still live there).

Here's what I got up to this week:

Monday 5/16: 11:30AM- River Loop from the house, solo, nice and easy. 2PM- Harpoon Brewery Sample-thing with the Ashford Family and Senor Joel. 7:30PM- Did Sean's Loop with Sean, then the same loop as earlier today, good for 9 or so. Cool and rainy, a little sore but not bad.

Tuesday 5/17: 2:30PM- 1mi at a cripply-yog, then right into 10 miles medium, 60:51. Felt kinda tired, misty and 50 deg out. Fresh Pond was muddy and I took a few bad steps, which made my left knee sore by the end. Quads heavy, but that's to be expected 9:30PM- To Harvard from the TTC, barefoot drills, 8 strides with jogback barefoot on the infield, back. Left knee pretty sore.

Wednesday 5/18: 3PM- 8mi on the River with James and the Dawwg. Same 50 deg and mist it's been for a while now. Pace check mile about 25min was 6:51, for reference. Left knee sore, tired overall. 9PM- 4mi river loop easy in a downpour, knee didn't hurt!

Thursday 5/19: 12:30PM- From the house to the Muddy River around JP once and back the Goody way, felt quite good today, didn't have the watch going but I was moving along at 6:00/mile or so most of the way. Knee didn't get sore til the last mile and even then it was very slight, so I think it's more or less licked. 9PM- 19' easy to Summit Avenue, 5x15 second all-out hill sprints with walk down recovery, 12' down. Not a knee pain in sight. Rainy out, though.

Friday 5/20: 11AM- 4 miles mit Herr Weider on ze River. 12:30PM- Travel to Fitchburg, MA on the commuter rail, then rode to Keene with Jeff's girlfriend, Eliza. 7PM- In Keene with Trethewey and George for the first bit. George came about 3, Geoff about 4. Hit two laps of Robin Hood Park, which was fun, then got to Keene State's gym and kind of decided to tempo an outnback 5miler like a mile into that section of the run- 6:23, 5:23, 5:03, 4:57, 5:00. The entire distance is legit/measured, but the middle three mile markers are approximate. The first/last mile is measured. I was frankly pretty surprised to be able to put together something like this- my last 4mi were in 20:23. 1mi easy back to Jeff's apt after the tempo. Apparently, my watch wasn't ready for this kind of effort either, because about 10 minutes after I got back from the run, I

Saturday 5/21: 10AM- Ran to the KSC gym with Geoff, did Yale 7 with Amy and Andrea, ran back to Geoff's place. As a sidebar, Amy had run 4:29 for 1500m the day before this run. We ran a loop that's at least a quarter-mile short in nearly 54 minutes. It was delightful. Amy and I used to do all our recovery runs together when I was at Keene, and it was downright nostalgic jogging through the trails again. Felt good, ran real easy. 7PM- From Geoff's place to Robin Hood park, 5 laps of Robin Hood, back. God, I love trails.

Sunday 5/22: 12:30PM- Two hours moderate (calling it 18 miles) in Keene, first 27' with Jeff, then the last 80min or so at 6:00-6:20 pace on mostly singletrack trails and railroad beds. For any Keenyans who are familiar with the area, I did a run through the railroad beds that bisect the golf course, into the woods on what Pete calls HS Ten, around the HS, through Wheelock Park, and back through the path by the Ashuelot River before adding on some miles on the KSC railroad beds. I was pretty miserable the last 30min or so, I was running too aggressively for sure. I felt more or less normal within an hour or two, though- amazing what a shower and a quart of chocolate milk can do.

Total- 101 miles

Have a good week, everyone! I'm going to bed.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Summer Training and the backlog of missed time

Hi everyone. I'm now one week into summer training. It was a pretty uneventful week, just mileage and some drills/strides. Last year I kinda rushed into workouts again and didn't have much of a progression of fitness as the summer went on, so I'm in less of a rush this year. This week is my summer vacation- I'm taking summer classes all summer and working at least (hopefully two, but I'm still working on the second) to the tune of about 50-60 hours of stuff to do per week, so I'm going to enjoy the crap out of this week.

April 11-17
M- Off, achilles.
T- 10 easy, 66:18
W- 12 easy
Th- 3:30PM 10mi, 9:30PM- 4mi including 8x100 around 15 sec w/45sec
Fri- 3 up, 6x800 (avg 2:17) w/400 jog (avg 1:50) 6k in 20:40, 5:32/mile, 3 down. No achilles pain, finally.
Sat- AM- 5mi easy PM- 7mi easy on the trails in Keene. Lupe Fiasco concert.
Sun- 7mi easy, BU Track Banquet, good times.
Tot- 65

April 18-24
Marathon Monday- 12mi pretty fast on the marathon course with the team.
T- 3:30PM- 3 up, 4x400 with Rob and the 800 guys in 62, 63, 64, 62, with 2min jog, extra 2min (4min tot) after the 4th 400, 4x150 in 20.7, 20.2, 20.5, 20.2 with 90 sec jog, alternating leads with Rob, 4 more 400s in 62, yelled at by Bruce, 64, 64, 64 (target for the 400s was 64), 3mi down.
W- 3:30PM- 9 easy 9:30PM- 4 easy
Th- 4:30PM- Princeton NJ, 7mi with Rob on the canal, 4 strides.
Fri- 11:30PM- 3mi easy 8PM- 3 up, 1500 in 3:58.79, 3 down with Andrew H from Sacred Heart. Led til 1100m, 62, 2:06, 3:12 at 1200, 46 last 300, got dusted by like 5 guys.
Sat- 8.5 easy
Sun- 8 back in Derry, last couple miles fast.
Tot- 69 mi

April 25-May 1
M- 3 up, workout fail bad allergies, 1 down.
T- 3PM- 9 easy 9PM- 4 easy, some barefoot.
W- 3up, 8x200 in 30-31 200 jog, 2mi bf. Allergies bad.
Th- 11, last 4mi good, allergies bad.
Fri- 9 mi easy, no motivation, allergies bad.
Sat- 10AM- 3 up, 3x(800, 600, 400) plus one more 800, indoors, no watch, 2 laps in the green lane jog for recovery. Worked out indoors to try to avoid allergens, it kinda worked. 3mi down. 6PM- 5mi easy with James, lot of barefoot at Harvard.
Sun- AM- 3mi easy. 6PM- 10 easy with a group, 6min pace most of the way.
Tot 74

May 2-May 8
M- 3:30PM- 9mi moderate, 58min, 9:30PM- 4mi including 8x100 going 15.2 to 13.4. Allergies bad.
T- 3:30PM- 3 up, 3 sets of (500, 400, 300) avg (81, 63, 45) with 90sec, 90sec, 3min jog. 1mi down (team meeting).
W- 10mi easy, first 7 with Matt. Rainy out. Allergies bad.
Th- 3mi easy, 4x200 in 29, 200 jog, 3 down. Leave for Baltimore.
Fri- In Baltimore. 7mi easy with the team on some sweet trails. Allergies truly terrible.
Sat- 3 up, 1500m prelim in 4:01, no c/d. Allergies scary bad. Top 4 from each qualified, I just ran in 3rd as long as I could hold it. 64, 2:08, 3:12 for intermediates, thought I was going to pass out around 1000m, almost caused a crash because I was all wobbly. Fuck.
Sun- 4 easy with Eric on the trails.
Tot- 54

May 9-May 15

Monday- 11 mi easy/moderate, allergies very bad.

Tuesday- Allergy doctor appt, got some new meds. 3PM- A lap of JP plus an add-on to the house and back to grab a textbook. I thought I was running pretty slow, but my pace check near the end was under 6:20/mile. 9:30PM- 2mi easy, drills, 8x100 strides with a short walk rest, another couple miles down.

Wednesday- 12:30PM- To the BC Res up Comm Ave from the house, two laps, back. It was moderately rainy for the first 35min or so, then it got sunny.9:30PM- 3mi after work, very full from second dinner because it was my boss's last day and we had a going away party for her.

Thursday- 3:30PM- 9 miles with the first 4 easy with Ken and the next 5 increasingly hard, ending up at about 5:35-5:40 pace the last 2.5 or so. Great weather out. 9:30PM- To Harvard, barefoot drills and 8x100 strides on the grass with jog back, and back. A good time was had by me.

Friday- 5PM- 11mi to Fresh Pond from Ashford, around twice, back. Eric came with me for the first half. We were about 7:00 pace the first bit, then I ran the last bit at maybe 6:20-6:30 or so.

Saturday- 10AM- 4mi easy after my last final. Whoo. 6PM- 9mi solo, standard run- start a little over 7, end around 6:20 or so the last 25 minutes.

Sunday- 6:30PM- To the Arnold Arboretum with James, lots of hilly, steady running there, back via the Farm Loop in Brookline. Last 45-50min were like 6:15 pace, but running up crazy steep hills hard is still probably like 8:00 pace, so even though I ran for 2:06, I'm calling it 18. It was about 60 and misty, which was pleasant enough. This went way better than I expected, I kinda expected to struggle more after 90min. Longest run since I did 20 with Shamus/Seamus Nally (naaame drop!) at the end of summer 2007. I had a great time running at the Arb, there are lots of crazy/impossible hilly single track trails there.

Total- 89 miles.

A good start to summer, I just wish I had been able to get the new allergy meds earlier in the season. Oh well, time to prepare for my last year of collegiate competition!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

I'm not dead! (sorry, anyone who was shining up their dancing shoes)

Phew. It's been a long time, Internet. I'm sure you've been fine in my absence. As for myself, I've been in a state of business so profound it makes you forget that other people and things exist. I'm getting to the point in my Econ classes where the fact that I have a very weak math background is getting to be a huge obstacle as opposed to just inconvenient. To combat this externality, I've been trying to teach myself calculus in my spare time (ha, spare time!) and it's going about as well as you'd expect being taught calculus by a burned-out ex-English major would go. Add some final exams into that mix, a search for a job and a new apartment, and travel to some meets, and you've got yourself a long-winded way of saying "I haven't blogged because I've been really busy."

I'll provide a more comprehensive update/summary in the next few days, but a short summary of my outdoor season goes like this: my allergies have been terrible, which means my asthma has been terrible, which means I'm about as athletically useful as Piggy from Lord of the Flies. I ran 3 1500s outdoors, each slower than the last. It's always upsetting to have an absolute, balls-to-the-wall, maximum effort yield times I used to hit on my third race at some rinky-dinky 2nd-rate track meet. Such is life- I'm still getting a handle on the allergies/asthma thing and my expectation is that I'll do better next time. No sense in getting overly worked up some abysmal 1500s when all I can change is how I run in the future.

I will post my training the past couple weeks (summary: ran X, allergies bad, felt shitty, couldn't breathe well) but probably not until my final exams are over. In a couple hours yo tengo una prueba en Espanol and tonight I have a macroeconomic analysis final (blech). In my manic, caffeine-fueled study rampage, I came across a joke that I found funny and will post:

A chemist, a physicist, and an economist, all with phds, get marooned on a desert island. Luckily for them, half the ships rations washed up on shore with them. The bad news is that the food is all in cans. "Let's make a fire and heat the can until the food explodes out of it," the chemist suggests.

"No! We should drop it from one of those palm trees onto the rocks blow; it should accelerate enough to break when it hits!" the physicist says.

"Guys, guys, there's a much simpler solution here," says the economist. "First, let's assume we have a can opener. . ."

Maybe no one else will laugh, but as I'm struggling with all kinds of bullshit functions and assumptions and models, I howled like a coyote last night at about 3am.

Ok, study break over. Gotta squeeze in a run before my Spanish exam (which, due to more pressing exams, I'm only just realizing I have barely studied for, damn). Here's a fun song I was just listening to on the youtube machine:

Monday, April 18, 2011


Too much marathon craziness up in my neck of the woods, I didn't do any HW all weekend. My achilles is better, I got in a good track workout this week. I'll do a full update next week, crazy busy right now.

Valete, omnes!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Goddamn achilles

So I had some minor achilles flareups all week that were going away after about 5min of jogging. I even got in an entire workout on the indoor track with spikes (4x400, 4x150, 4x400) without trouble.

Then I headed to Lowell to race a 1500, got about 600m in, and things started to get ugly with regards to my left achilles. I ended up dropping out at 800 because I was afraid something serious was about to happen. After sticking my left leg in a bag of ice on and off for an hour or so, the pain more or less went away. I took today and will probably take tomorrow off before giving an easy Tuesday jog a shot.

Obviously, I'm less than pleased with this result. The last year has been pretty much an unmitigated shitshow. It's pretty tough to keep a rosy fuckin' outlook when every time I get into half-decent shape, something blows up on me.

Still, the achilles felt pretty good today, and I am fitter than I've been in a while. Two days off won't impact my fitness, I just need to get my head right so when I can race again, I'm mentally ready to do so. I'm not typing up my week of training because I'm pissed off and cranky and don't want to whine and make excuses for any more paragraphs than necessary. Weekly total was 59 with a day off and a 4mi day on Saturday, if anyone is curious.

Things will get better, they have to. Fuck.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Florida Relays 1500

Hi there, Internet. While New England was still in the grips of winter's death throes, a few of us Terriers were given the opportunity to fly down to Florida and test our fitness against all comers. Unfortunately, as fun as the trip was, my performance in the 1500 revealed two things: 1) my racing legs are definitely rusty and 2) my left achilles is acting up. I'm not worried in the slightest about #1, because it has the funnest solution possible- race more! I'm a little more concerned with number 2, since if I'm not careful, it might impede on my ability to race more. However, I've had minor achilles things before, and it's almost always due to running in old shoes. My Asics piranhas hit the 1000 mile mark a week or two ago, and I'm pretty sure everything will be fine when my new shoes get here. As proof of how long-view I'm being, I didn't race on the Distance Medley on Saturday (which was tough to swallow, since it means my air fare went to one so-so race) and took today OFF from running.

Here's what I got up to:

Monday 3/28: 3:30PM- 3 up with the Melon, then a solo track workout.
600 1:36 (2:30jog)
400 63 (2min jog)
800 2:14.5 (4min jog)
600 1:35 (2:30 jog)
400 61.5 (2min jog)
800 2:13 (4min jog)
400 61.5 (2min standing)
400 60.2 Great workout, just felt like I was cruising through. Bruce said that I looked like I was in "MacPherson shape." I don't know what means. 3mi down with the Melon.

Tuesday 3/29: 3:30PM- The Up Run with Rob, Melon, and Brian for some. Great run, plenty of running uphill (duh). We headed up Comm Ave and whenever we came to a hill, we ran up the hill. Pretty innovative, huh? Pace was pretty quick, despite the hills.

Wednesday 3/30: 2:30PM- 4mi up, 2 sets of 6x150 with a 250 jog, 800 jog between the sets, 3mi down with Rob. I ran on the outdoor track with no watch, so I couldn't tell you how fast I was going. Well, I could: pretty fast, but not too fast.

Thursday 3/31: 8PM- 9mi easy with Billy, some with James, from the hotel in Florida. We had a pretty easy travel day; we didn't have to leave BU until 9:30, we only had one connecting flight, and the layover was long enough so we didn't have to rush but not so long that we had tons of time to kill. My left achilles was pretty sore on this run, but it seemed to ease as we ran on. We didn't intend on going 9, but got a little lost on the way back.

Friday 4/1: 10AM- 3mi easy to shake the legs out and see how the achilles was acting. It seemed to be ok, so I didn't mention it. 7PM- 3 up with James, long delay with dozens of strides because the meet was behind schedule, 1500 race in 3:58.43, 3 down. My achilles didn't bug me warming up, but it was pretty tender cooling down. Like I mentioned, this race revealed my racing legs were rusty. I got out fine and settled against the rail in about 5-6th in my heat of 17. I was through 400 in 63.0 and then the pace got glacial. I was around 2:09 for 800 and at that point kinda sighed and tried to position myself for a good last lap. I got the bell in about 2:58 and made a decent move, but at that point I had been boxed too long and wasn't able to get involved in the race itself. It stung that the winner of my heat was an athlete in my conference, but what can you do? Assuming my achilles tendon is ok, I'll jump in the 1500 at the George Davis Invite in Lowell, MA on Saturday and try to chip away at that time a little.

Saturday 4/2: 11AM- 3mi jog with James to see how my achilles held up, and while it didn't hurt, it was tight and tender, so James took my 1600 leg on the DMR for me. 8PM- We were a little shy on room in the van, and rather than try to squeeze in, James and I just ran the 4mi back to the hotel. I was pleased to note my achilles wasn't bad at all heading back, but when I talked to Bruce on the phone, I said I'd take Sunday off just in case.

Sunday 4/3: weren't you reading that last sentence?!

Total- 57 miles plus a season-opening race. Hope everyone has a good week!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

"Believer" Article Response

If you haven't seen it, writer Mark Oppenheimer decided to offer his brilliant insight to the mind of a high school male cross country runner in an article written for Believer magazine. Since his characterization was so off-the-mark (and, being entirely based on his own experiences, pulsating with arrogance) I decided to write a short response to the article. Any of you who know me personally know that "short response" does not compute with my brain. I emailed the response to the editor of the magazine, but I certainly don't expect anything to come of it (what use does a magazine not focused on running have for a rambling refutation of an article? I'm guessing it'll get put into the "file cabinet" with a basketball hoop fixed above the rim. . .) I decided to post it here. I tried to split it up a little better because its length isn't exactly blog-friendly, but anyone interested in reading the whole thing might be better served cutting and pasting it into a word file or something.

Link to Original Article:

Here it is:

Don't Speak For Me: A Response to Mark Oppenheimer's Projection of his Cross Country Experience

It isn't often that distance running is mentioned in a mainstream publication. Outside of our niche publications and the sequestered communities of people who hold court at running websites, the rest of the world doesn't seem to have much regard for distance running. While I won't presume to speak my fellow athletes and followers of the sport, I can say that, for me, this is not a problem. Endurance athletes will occasionally capture the public imagination, and, during the Olympics, polite homage will be paid to any gold medal winners before the public largely turns its eye away from distance running again. The polite acquiescence with which many of my fellow athletes regard being ignored by the public has led to the propagation of the stereotype that distance runners, and high school distance runners especially, are by and large a passive, lonely bunch. Mr. Oppenheimer, certainly, falls among the population of distance runners who came to the sport because they could not jump high enough to play basketball or sustain the agility necessary for the various ball sports. No one should be surprised, then, that Mr. Oppenheimer, in an attempt to give meaning to his own experience as a harrier, projects his own feelings and motivations into the hearts and minds of all runners in his essay “The Race That Is Not About Winning.”

With respect to Mr. Oppenheimer's feelings and memories, I insist on politely asking Mr. Oppenheimer to butt out of group psychology. Perhaps it was his experience that running is some personal struggle for identity that transcends sport and achieves some level of art with which mere victory cannot compare; perhaps Mr. Oppenheimer fears that a majority of runners had the same tepid and lonely thoughts define their careers as harriers as surely as it apparently defined his.
Unfortunately, no matter how many actors and books and mediums of creative outlet Mr. Oppenheimer cites, his thesis ultimately commits the logical fallacy that presumes one or a few cases can be used to draw a broader conclusion about every member of a population. While I'm sure there are runners who can identify with the life of the harrier as Mr. Oppenheimer defines it, I'm equally sure that there are many of us who do not. Ultimately, Mr. Oppenheimer settles for the easy way out; he insists on the stereotype as the frightened, cowardly loser running for something more significant than mere honors in a footrace.

I was compelled, then, to write this response not out of an emotional denial of Mr. Oppenheimer's conclusion, but a need to refuse to allow a fallacy of a conclusion to be perpetuated when there is a more complex truth that deserves to be heard. Yes, Mr. Oppenheimer has a point when he says that running lends itself to self-reflection It can be an incredibly lonely experience, and every runner I know can discuss a time when he felt lonely. The mistake, then, lies not in the observation but in the conclusion Mr. Oppenheimer draws from it. There is a dirty secret that unites a vast majority of high school cross country runners, but it isn't what Mr. Oppenheimer, or the press, or public opinion, or even a few runners themselves would have you believe. Despite what the press and the public believes, despite what a vocal minority of runners themselves insist, and despite what Mr. Oppenheimer posits in his essay, the secret is not that runners are at heart cowards, or otherwise useless athletically, or at heart loners with social anxiety.

The Dirty Secret of which I speak is perhaps only surprising in its absolute banality: male high school cross country runners are nothing more than a population sample of male high school students. Contrary to what so many want to believe, the truth of the matter is this: we are typical adolescents, which is to say we are as nonboringly average as any other high student.

I understand this is as hard a truth for many of my compatriots to accept as it is the general public. To the non-runner, it is inconceivable that any well-adjusted high school boy would choose to go out and run for six or seven or eight miles after school, only to end back where they began, merely sweatier for the journey. To the non-runner, it is inconceivable that, in an age where shorts ending above the knee are considered to be a sign of homosexuality, a sport whose nature encourages a shorter short preference in the name of comfort would not attract the most effeminate boys in school. Perhaps most unforgivably of all, though, is that running is not only a physically miserable experience, it is also the hallmark of the coward. A group of boys who would rather run away than fight must be effeminate, passive cowards desperately seeking acceptance.

It is a convenient narrative, revealing not only of the absurdities of assumptions people will make (exactly what is so latently homosexual about a partially-exposed quadricep muscle, but not, say, a bare bicep?) but also of Western values. Success in distance running is primarily dependent on two factors: the steady, unyielding application of effort over prolonged periods of time, and an ability to disregard challenges and discomfort while pursuing a goal. What could be less sexy than the lesson that success is more based on those two factors than the ability to pour one's “screaming machismo,” as Oppenheimer calls it, into short, glory-punctuated moments? It's true, cross-country races don't often present many flashy moments for the highlight reels.

More important than the highlight reel, though, is the Dirty Secret that high school runners are hardly different, as a group, than high school boys. I too ran cross country during high school, and I don't remember any of us being teenage anti-heroes more concerned with “beating their own 'personal best[s],'” than with beating our opponents, as Mr. Oppenheimer boldly insists. Like any group of competitive young adolescents, we wanted to beat the other teams we raced, whether our goal was to finish top 10 in the state or win the whole shebang. Mr. Oppenheimer unfortunately makes the same mistake so many Americans do: “beat” might carry connotations of an actual physical beating as much as it means a victory, but just because the physical connotation doesn't apply to running doesn't mean the victorious connotation is also invalid. Make no mistake about it: the runner holding the 16th position in a cross country race wants to overtake 15th as desperately as the runner-up strains to catch the winning runner in the final straight.
Unfortunately, many of those who aren't familiar with a racing career don't see the achievement in finishing 6th or 14th or 31st. One runner wins the race, and second place is also the first loser, yes? Ultimately such a reduction is just as convenient as Mr. Oppenheimer's hypothesis and just as absurd. Something even many runners don't want to admit is that sometimes, 25th place can be an excellent result. A runner who is pleased with 25th or 45th or 75th isn't a runner who has resigned himself to mediocrity or reduced to using only an internal metric as a yardstick for improvement. The runner who disgusts sportswriters by being thrilled with a 42nd finish is likely a runner who, in the same race last year, couldn't even muster up a finish inside the top 100. He is now better than almost sixty boys he could not beat a year ago. A year of training out in icy winds, driving rain, and the sticky humid heat of high summer has resulted in two classrooms full of boys who could not match one runner's fierce determination or competitive instinct. Who is Mr. Oppenheimer to say such a result is mediocre? Who is Mr. Oppenheimer to reduce the boy who makes a suicidal surge to drop a pack of pursuing runners with more than a mile of racing left to a coward because the brave and magnificent effort the athlete is making involves running instead of, say, a desperate last-minute shot from half-court.

This isn't to belittle other sports, of course. I just posit that the desperate buzzer-beater attempt or the no-time-on-the-clock fake punt is no more heroic—but no less heroic, either—than the boy heaving himself forward at the finish line, risking a mouthful of mud, to please-God-finish-one-place-higher. Just because Mr. Oppenheimer's cross country team didn't seem to seem to understand that while 40th place is not a winning position, it is still superior to 41st, which is better than 42nd, and so on ad infinitum doesn't mean that other, less self-pitying runners, do not. I know that my cross country team was full of adolescents who desperately wanted to be top-100 if they had finished 110th the week before, or top-50 if they had placed 60th, and so on.

When I joined the team as a sophomore, we were a group of teens from varied sports backgrounds. I had played soccer in the fall and run track in the spring before deciding I preferred running to soccer and made the switch to a full-time runner. Of my closest friends, we had a teammate who planned on leaving us in the spring for baseball before we convinced him to stay with us. Our captain, one of the most friendly and extroverted people I knew, wrestled in the winter and occasionally ran track in the spring, though he disliked running on the track, preferring the undulating terrain and unpredictable nature of cross country races. During the fall, we were united not by our sense of isolation, or our inability to have girlfriends, or our social anxiety, but our mutual affinity for running and our shared desire to win.

As impossible as it is for some of our number to accept, we weren't outcasts or noncompetitive spirits who viewed the races as tests of the spirit. To paraphrase John Parker, author of the cult running novel Once a Runner, we didn't saunter into the woods for crypto-religious reasons. We trained to win races. We trained to cover the ground faster than we thought we could, faster than anyone else we raced. It was as uncomplicated as the football team's ardor to win their games, or as any team's desire to win. We didn't do it while screaming like berserker warriors; we did it one mile at a time, methodically preparing our bodies for a contest of endurance, will, and courage.

We sure as hell weren't an athletic Dead Poet's Society, and neither were the many teams we came to know in our time as harriers. To the short-sighted like Mr. Oppenheimer, it is a difficult concept to process, but just because we were friends with runners from other teams, just because we hung out with them on the weekends and sneaked into their dances and invited them to our spaghetti suppers didn't mean we weren't trying with every fiber of our being to crush them into the dirt when we raced. And likewise, just because we were crushing them in a footrace doesn't mean we were scared of them. Spectators who take the woods during a cross country race are often shocked to see the supposedly cowardly, mutually-respective-of-one-another pansies driving a bony elbow into the gut of a runner who tries to pass on the inside of a turn. I've had dear friends take swings at me during a race, only to have us both laugh about it after the fact.

I believe Mr. Oppenheimer that the anti-heroic waifs who fall into running due to failure at everything else do exist. I also have never met a single one in my years of association with running. The old stereotypes, like most stereotypes, fall away when you meet the individual runners. Runners don't have girlfriends? Most of the ones I know don't have trouble meeting girls, nor did they in high school. Unlike the young ladies in romantic comedies, most real adolescent girls will respond to a boy they find funny, or smart, or worth talking to in any way. Runners are socially awkward and invisible to “normal people?” My cross country team provided my high school class with its Vice-President, Secretary, and one of four Officers-At-Large, and this wasn't a particularly rare occurrence at the schools against whom we competed, either. The football team and the cross country team are natural opposites, and the runners harbor some desire to be football players themselves? Perhaps in the world of “Grease” or Happy Days, but in the world I lived in, most football teams provided a few shot putters or sprinters to the track team in the spring, and both teams had a mutual respect of what the others were capable of.

I'm not saying every football player wanted to hold our hands and sing with us, but in general, the shot putters who played football in the fall held a deep respect for the distance runners as they watched them run lap after lap on a track shimmering with May heat, their faces contorted in discomfort but their gazes far away, breaking imaginary tapes and setting hypothetical untouchable records. Likewise, as we distance runners stopped by the weight roomm to knock back our paltry pushups and chinups, we cheered as our sprinters exploded upwards from under barbells that would take three or four of us to lift. We didn't always get along, but we never got stuffed into trash cans or lockers, either.

The bottom line is that rarely do reductionist stereotypes tell the full story of any community. Rarely, if ever, does poetic license present a complete story. This response, then, is ultimately a boring and inconvenient reminder that people are more complicated than amateur group psychology and the projections of the overly self-reflective. It's telling that Mr. Oppenheimer so whole-heartedly agreed with Alan Sillitoe's characterization of the runner in The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, because Sillitoe, despite his brilliance as an author, gets it wrong, because he was not nor ever was a runner. Sillitoe's characterization is a great hypothesis, but it isn't factual and even it if was, it would say nothing about the actual thousands of American boys who join the ranks of harriers every year.

Ultimately, elevating distance running to some higher plane than mere sport while dismissing distance runners as lost souls, cowards, and anti-heroes is a convenient but useless reduction. The truth, however, is far more boring and uncomfortable. Who are these runners? Why, we're you. We're in your math class, we went to the prom with your cousin, we had trouble with geometry, and last weekend, while the soccer team had Sunday practice from 8am-10am, we did our long run. After practice, both teams went home, showered, did some homework, mowed lawns, ate dinner, went to bed. We're not more or less noble than any other high school student. Like all adolescents, we're figuring ourselves out, and while there's social anxiety and anguish that go with that, we don't have any more of an identity crisis than the kid who dyes his hair black or starts pretending to be a rapper.

However, we are so sorry if you think our shorts are homosexual, or our sport is inherently cowardly, or you think we're trying to make statements about being independent. Whatever you may think of us, the truth is that we're just as boringly average as the rest of you.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Late Blog/Date Blog

Sorry, Internet. I broke my on-time streak- but it was for a good cause! I had a date last night and then had to do my homework like a good student and go to bed at a reasonable hour like a responsible runner, so the blog suffered (besides, who reads these things, anyway?). I had a pretty good week, again. I'm stringing 'em along pretty good, now. I hadn't take a day off in a while, mostly because I hate taking a day off. I don't mean that to imply I think a day off means anything in terms of loss of fitness or anything like that, only that the day AFTER I take a day off, I often feel like shit- all tight and sore and whatnot. So, in an effort to avoid that, I just ran 4mi really really slow on both Monday and Wednesday. I got in some nice recovery, but never had to deal with post-day off stiffness. I'm flying out to Florida on Thursday (I think at like 3am, woof) to run the 1500m Friday night at the Florida Relays, then the 1600 leg on the DMR on Saturday. I'm excited to race again in the BU uniform!

Without further delay, the log:

Monday 3/21 8:30PM- 30min super slow indoors. Tiired.

Tuesday 3/22 8:30AM- 3mi shakeout in the morning, felt pretty tired (like sleepy, not fatigued) despite a good night's sleep. 3:30PM- 3mi up, strides, solo track workout.

1000 2:51 (jog 3:30)
800 2:13 (")
600 1:37 (jog 2:30)
400 61.5 (jog 7')
1000 2:51 (jog 3:30)
800 2:17 (") (Bruce told me to slow down)
600 1:36 (jog 2:30)
400 60.8 Didn't feel good, like I was stuck in 2nd gear the whole way. 3mi down.

Wednesday 3/23: 4PM- 4mi nice and easy, didn't feel too sore at all.

Thursday 3/24: 10:30AM- 5mi, standard trip to the allergy doc. 3:30PM- Fresh Pond with the lads. 16:15 around the pound, Harvard-Ashford mile in 6:20. Felt pretty good today, had to hold back the last 3-4mi. I was two-stepping the group something fierce, but I wasn't called on it.

Friday 3/25: 3:30PM- Another solo workout. . . forever alone. . .

3mi easy, plenty of strides, 5x400 with 1:40 rest, mostly jogging, in 62 avg, extra 3:20 rest after the 5th one, 4x150 in 20.8, 20.8, 20.7, 20.3 with 1:20 jog (3:40 extra after the 4th) 4x400 in 61, 62, 61, 62 with 1:40 rest, some jogging. Tough workout to do alone, but I was running quicker than the assigned paces by a little, so I'm happy. 3 down.

Saturday 3/26 12:30PM- Spent a few hours helping a friend of a friend with a film project, which entailed me and a teammate doing a series of ~50 yard dashes from the Boston Aquarium to the Mass Ave Bridge on the Charles. It took about 3 hours to get all the camera angles, and it was freezing/tiring. 8:30PM- 11mi indoors, after spending an afternoon freezing my ass off, I desperately wanted to run shirtless and get a good sweat going, so I did. 4mi in the warmup lane, 7mi on the treadmill. Kept things around 6:40/mile at the fastest, 7:00 pace the first 5-6 miles.

Sunday 3/27: 12PM- 4mi easy with James while he warmed up for a workout. My calf was quite sore the first 10min, then it went away. 5PM- First half-mile was really sluggish, so I just turned off my watch and resolved not to worry, but by ~10min in, I felt amazing. I ran to JP from my apartment and decided to pace check the JP lap, which was 5:40/mile. While it felt easy, I slowed down because Bruce told me to keep Saturday and Sunday relatively low key. I'd put the conservative estimate at 10mi at ~6:00 pace, including 5x150 strides in spikes at the track.

Total- 71 miles

Less than a week til I race! Hope everyone is doing well!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Spring Break and Musings about WXC

Good evening, internet. Before I talk about myself AGAIN, I have some observations regarding this weekend.

Shalane Flanagan proved yet again just how good she is in picking up a bronze medal at the World Cross Country Championships. The United States showed good its female distance runners are by putting 4 women in the top 20 and nabbing a team bronze medal. Lisa Koll, in an uncharacteristic off day, STILL placed 40th in the deepest distance race in the world. Without a doubt, this is HUGE for American running. I hope that their performances are given the credit each one deserves. Unfortunately, I think professional cross country gets a bum rap in America and I'm not entirely sure why. Rarely do the very best Americans elect to go, but today is an important insight as to what cant when they DO decide to show up and the chips fall just right. I obviously have no way of knowing this for sure, my wager is that if you asked the US women what they thought of their experience at World Cross, none of them would say "sweet Christ, I wish I had run a road race."

Don't get me wrong, the NYC Half is a great event. I don't think a single American athlete "owes" it to anyone to compete at World Cross. I'm just saying that, as a fan, it would be COOL if the best Americans (men and women) made it a habit to compete there. World Cross is the single deepest race in the sport; what better measuring stick can there be for an athlete? We know that Solinsky, Teg, Bumbalough, and Rupp are all in amazing shape right now. I believe Salazar has already said that his plan this year was for a late spring racing period followed by another rest/buildup cycle for the World Championships. I get that Rupp probably made some serious scratch for showing up to the NYC half, but how sick would it have been to see a ~27:10 shape Rupp (his spring was focused on getting the AR in the 10k) duking it out in the lead pack at World Cross?

Anyway, I understand that elite athletes have their racing schedules for a reason, I just think that it would be awesome to put 5 of America's top 5000m and up guys on the line at World Cross, fit as hell, and see what would happen. (note: I didn't leave Lagat out of this discussion out of ignorance. I just think that as a track focused 1500-5k specialist, he might not have the same XC chops as, say, Tegenkamp).

Enough grasping at what-could-bes, though. I still have some Spanish homework to do and I want to get to bed early, so on with the blog. Wait! One last thing- local yokel Ruben Sanca ran 65:23 to win the New Bedford Half Marathon today. Not too shabby! He's running the Rotterdam Marathon and I'm very interested to see how it goes.

Monday 3/14: 3:30PM- Fartlek on a flat stretch of Lane Rd in Derry, NH. 2.5 up
Run (jog)
2x (80" (80") 65" (80") 46" (3'))

4x 22" (80")

extra 3:40 after the 4th one (so 5min total jogging)

2x (80" (80") 65" (80") 46" (3')), 4.5 down. I was assigned sets of 500, 400, 300 and 4x150 followed by two more sets of 5-4-3, so I had to improvise a little due to a still-snowed-in track. I went back and measured my 80" and 46" segments since both of them began and ended at conveniently distinctive driveways. I got 518m and 312m for each segment, so I was moving pretty fast for wearing a borrowed pair of spikeless XC racers on a road. (total 14mi) Longer cooldown because I ran into an old HS teammate.

Tuesday 3/15: 2PM- 7mi easy with Trethewey, very tired, sore. 8PM- 4mi easy, planned on 7 but cut it short- dark, cold, tired, hungry, whiny. Got a new pair of glasses though! This was much-needed, since my old pair were about 4 years old and barely held together by tape and good intentions.

Wednesday 3/16: 7:30PM- Back in Boston, managed to get into the TTC despite it being closed. 3 up, 2mi on the treadmill, 10:36, half mile jog, 8x100 FAST with 200 jog, 1/2 mile jog, 2mi on the treadmill in 10:36, 1/2 mile jog, 3mi cooldown. Tot 13 Since the workouts were pretty close together, Bruce had me keep it easy.

Thursday 3/17: 4:30PM- 2 laps of Fresh Pond from the house, I had only planned on running 8-9 but it was about 65 and sunny out and therefore too nice to run short. I cooked a traditional New England boiled dinner for some friends and my roommates, and we all concluded that "thank God we're not expected to eat boiled corned beef every Sunday."

Friday 3/18: 11AM- 4mi easy with Amy, who was on her own spring break and came into town for St Patrick's Day. Beautiful out again, 65 and sunny. 4PM- 11mi easy, first 3 with the T-Dawwg, last 8 solo at about 6:30 pace meandering around Brookline until I found JP. I was originally scheduled to work out today, but when I got the Brookline Reservoir, Bruce looked at me and said "I had you work out Monday and Wednesday? What, was I living in a fantasy land? Work out tomorrow, that's makes more sense." I record his exact words because they struck me as funny.

Saturday 3/19: 10:00AM- Nearly overslept for this one, which is impressive considering I was asleep by 11:30PM the night before. 3mi up to the Brookline Reservoir, then surges of 4:00, 3:30, 3:00, and 2:30 with 4:00 normal training pace rest. It was a little different than a normal fartlek in that each hard part was sub-divided into three parts: the first 1:00-2:00 of each rep was at the normal fartlek "hard" level (maybe about 4:30-4:45/mile if I had to guess), the next 45-90 seconds of each rep was at a fast but not so hard gear (maybe 5:20-5:30 pace) followed by a 45 second segment at 1500m pace to end each rep. This was a pretty tough workout, and Bruce gave me the option of doing 0-5x30 seconds at a very fast pace with 90 seconds jog afterward. I did 2 of them and figured enough is enough. 3mi down, 11mi on the morning. 7PM- 4mi easy, 1xlarge cheese pizza, 1xviewing of The Fighter with Sean.

Sunday 3/20: 2PM- 3mi on the fast end of easy for heading out the door with Peter and Joey (both of whom can hit 6:35 pace from stride 1, something I've always been envious of) who were warming up for a workout, then about 6 and a half miles working it pretty good on the river. I was a little grump about 5mi into the run because it was windy and it cooled back down to the low 40s, but I split my watch to get a pace check going and was surprised to see I was running 5:35/mile, which cheered me up. I added on a few minutes inside to get 10 on the morning. 8PM- 4mi at a super slow Kenyan shuffle pace, partly because I was full from dinner and partly because I misbehaved and ran basically 10mi under an hour this morning after 3 workouts in the preceding 6 days.

93 mi on the week. This will be my last "up there" week for a while, since it's time to start focusing on doing some workouts near 1500m speed and preparing to race. I've averaged over 80 miles a week for the last six weeks and have really only had 1 or 2 bad workouts, so I'm feeling very fit and ready to get down to business.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

I'm going to get a stern email for this

Ok, internet. After 3 weeks (a month?) of late entries, I'm back on schedule. BU is this week, and I'll be working on my tan in Derry, NH until Wednesday, when I'll be off to L.A.! (Lower Allston, that is) for my last week of high-mileage conditioning before it's time to get down and dirty with the 1500 again.

The big news this week is that two of my BU teammates, Dickie Peters and Katie Matthews, competed in the NCAA D1 Indoor National meet in College Station, TX. Rich had a rough run, just missing the final by a few hundredths of a second. He'll be back harder than ever outdoors, though, and if I know Rich, he's more motivated than upset. It was kind of strange to see a guy I run and work out with duking it out with the nation's finest on the live stream, but I don't want to gush too much, since I have to see Rich in the dining hall after practice. Katie, on the other hand, ran a great race to grab 6th in the 5k and her first All-American award! If you can catch the race, Katie is the one who stays pinned to the rail the whole way and picks off athletes as they fade rather than go into lane 4 in an attempt to pass as many athletes attempted. Of course, now, until I knock about 10 seconds off my mile PR, I'll have to be patient as she tells me "this one time, at nationals. . ." Proud of both of you!

I'd also be a fool if I forgot to mention my former teammates at Keene State, who traveled to Columbus, OH for the DIII Nationals this weekend. The women's distance medley notched a 3rd place finish, followed up by senior Amy Knoblock's 3rd in the mile and a near-miss 9th place finish by junior Paige Mills. Amy and I were the same class at Keene and often ran together on easy days, so congratulating her on double All-American weekend is something I've looked forward to doing for a long time. Paige is a raw talent who has been bitten by bad luck worse than any runner I know, so for her to make the meet and anchor a 3rd-place DMR in a PR is both a great achievement and indicative of greater things to come.

I had a great week of training complicated only by an annoying little cold. I didn't alter my training any because of the cold, but I felt like crap for a few days and will probably get a talking-to from wiser men than I about skipping a double-run to sleep when one is sick. I know, I know, I know- but this time, it didn't bite me in the butt!

My log:

Monday 3/7- 3:30PM: Decided to give my achilles one more day to rest, even though I felt fine. 9mi moderate, started with the group but just couldn't hold back, 55 and chance for a run that's closer to 15k than 9.

Tuesday 3/8- 3:30PM: Bruce assigned an easy workout on purpose today with the instructions not to hammer it "or you'll be useless for a week." 3 up to the BC Reservoir, 10min hard, 5min easy, 5min hard, 5min easy, 5min hard, cooldown til I was back at school (11mi). I averaged roughly 5:30/mile for the 30min of the workout, figure I was just a touch slower than 5min/mile for the hard parts. Boring workout, since it was so easy, but Bruce knows a thing or two about a thing or two. 9:30PM: 4mi easy on the treadmill after work.

Wednesday 3/9- 3:30PM: 10mi easy around JP twice with Eric. Woke up sick, very sore throat but no swollen tonsils or white spots, so I figured it was just a cold. Vitamin C, tea, etc. 9:30PM- 4mi easy on the treadmill after class.

Thursday 3/10- (still sick, a little worse than yesterday) 3:30PM- To Fresh Pond and back with the group, 7:15s down to 6:15s by the end, 4x150m strides and a 200 in 29.6, plus a short cooldown for 10mi. Billy made a Galaxy Quest reference and I didn't even need 13 seconds to think about backing him up. 9:30PM- 27:23 light progression on the treadmill, 7:30/mile down to 5:30 for the last one.

Friday 3/11- Amber Day! (whoa-oh) Rest all day as much as possible, today was the peak for the sore throat, headache, and congestion. 3PM- 3.5 up, 5x3min on, 2:30 off, 2.5 cooldown. I might have been sick for this workout, but it didn't hurt me as I split 21:06 through a measured 4mi during the course of this workout. That puts me through 5mi at what, 26:30? I'll definitely take it, since I didn't feel like I was pushing above 7.5/8 on a 10 scale. Good day, sir.

Saturday 3/12- 1PM- 7mi easy, Slums to Mass Ave, everybody left Boston :( Ran slow, felt fine, not quite as sick today. 9PM- Same loop, same comments, feeling better as the day wore one. Tired, though.

Sunday 3/13- 12:30PM: 12 mi easy building to moderate. Ran to JP from the house and did 3 laps and came back, just under 78' for a healthy 12. I'm still not sure if Bruce is going to have me work out tomorrow or if I was supposed to do a longer run today, so I hedged my bets. 8:30PM- 4mi out and back in Derry, with 5 good strides incorporated into the run.

Total- 93 mi

No one get in trouble over break!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Catastrophe Averted!

I'm late again, Internet. I've been on quite the streak lately. School has been merciless lately, so I guess I'll have to use that as a blanket excuse. I had what began as a very solid (if notably sluggish) week of training and tapered off when I tweaked my left Achilles tendon a little. It wasn't anything serious, but I cut my running way back for two days and that patched things right up. I ended up with fewer miles and a canceled long run on the week, but things have been going really well for a few weeks now and an easier week is probably for the better in the long run. I had a fantastic run this afternoon and will be working out tomorrow, so I'll chalk this one up in the WIN category.

Here are some specifics:

Monday 2/28: 9PM- 3mi shakeout indoors, tired, but needed to get some junk out of my legs. Definitely settling into that "hard training" mode. 3PM- 3.5 up, strides, two sets of 600, 600, 800 and then two extra 600s with one lap in the green lane (236m, I think) after the 600s and two laps after the 800s. I was pretty tired today and didn't press very hard. Yesterday's triple wiped me out. 3mi down. Bruce kept asking if I was ok to work out, and I was, but boy was I tuckered out.
600- 1:39
600- 1:40
800- 2:20
600- 1:41
600- 1:40
800- 2:15
600- 1:39
600- 1:38

Tuesday 3/1: 9AM- 4mi easy indoors, very tired and heavy, but better as the run went on. 3:45PM- Downtown run with Ken, Chris, and Rob. Felt suspiciously excellent today, given how sore I was when I woke up and how sluggish the morning run was. 6:20s all day after the first 2mi, 57:30 total after a minute or two indoors for padding.

Wednesday 3/2: 7:30PM- 75' easy indoors, some around the track, some on the treadmill, some more on the track but more barefooter. Felt pretty good, the 24 hours off wasn't planned (skipped a morning run and practice to study for a macroeconomics midterm) but it was nice regardless.

Thursday 3/3: AM- Doctor's office for shots and back, like normal. 3:30PM- With Rob and Ken for the first part. 20' up, 6x75 seconds HARD up Summit- Bruce said run the hills "moderate" but you can't run up Summit Ave "moderate." You can't even walk up Summit Ave "moderate." Anyway, Ken ran the hills with us. Then we jogged back to the TTC and Rob and I spiked up for 6x500 avg 81 with 1:40 jog rest. We both thought this workout would be harder than it turned out to be. The first 500 was the worst, but then we were fine. Great to have someone to push with for once. 1mi down since I was rolling in miles today. Walking home from work that night at 9PM, my left achilles started whining a little. I iced it and begged God for mercy, and didn't feel it the rest of the night.

Friday 3/4: 12:30PM- 7mi before traveling all day. Sweet Jesus was I sore and tired from yesterday. Left achilles was complaining, uh oh. 9:30PM- 4mi easy with Owen from his place, achilles was quieter, but still wimpering.

Saturday 3/5: 4mi easy from Owen's place with his roommate, Eric, for some of it. The achilles was still whispering, so I didn't run my planned 14 miler, but I was pretty certain that it was doing better. I've never really had achilles trouble before, so I wasn't too worried as long as I didn't do something dumb.

Sunday 3/6: 36:30' easy from Owen's place again, solo this time. My achilles felt 100% and was displaying no creakiness before or after the run, so I figure I'm good to go. Like I mentioned, today's run was very good, so I'll probably go for some quality running tomorrow. My cautiousness cost me a long run and a one-day workout delay, so, overall, a tiny tiny cost for what could have been a big issue if I had let it. I swear I'm learning- it's only the rate that's questionable.

Total- 74 miles

Ok, everyone, time to start petitioning the weather to begin the en-spring-ening.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Keep it in the Family

Hello, Internet. The big news this week relates to me only tangentially. My teammate, junior Joey Greenspun, executed a well-run tactical race to win a New England Intercollegiate title in the mile. The time (~4:12.8) doesn't tell the story of a race that went out in 2:10.x and saw about 8 guys in it with a shot to win with ~150 to go. Once Joey made his move down the backstretch of the last lap, though, it was the Greenspun Show on every channel. I was kidding Joey earlier this week about "keeping the title in the family" since I won it last year, and the fact that a teammate won somewhat mitigated the sting of being unable to attempt to defend the title. Perhaps next year we'll a battle of two NE champs! (if we do, I'm going out fast- Joey's last 200 was like 27.9, I'm pretty sure, all in the last 135m)

My week was solid- plenty of running, a good workout, a bad workout, and an unplanned mishap that resulted in three runs totaling 18 miles on a recovery day (whoops). Here we go:

Monday 2/21- 3:30PM- 3 up, 4xmile w/3min jog indoors: 4:46, 4:46, 4:44, 4:45. 3mi down. I was just floating today, couldn't be bothered to go any slower. Tot 11

Tuesday 2/22- 10mi moderate, 62:30 with Peter and Eric, mostly. I had planned on running slowly, but we were having a good conversation and I didn't notice we were moving along pretty good.

Wednesday 2/23- 14mi easy solo around Fresh Pond 3 times from the track, no watch because I wanted to keep things easier. Verrry tired today, sluggish.

Thursday 2/24- 3:30PM- 7 miles easy including a pitstop at 5.5, 4x150 strides, 200 in 28.3, half-mile jog. I thought I was gonna to pass out on this run, had no idea how I could feel so bad running 6:45 pace, but after I stopped to use the bathroom, I suddenly felt like I could run all day 6:00 pace. I didn't, of course, but I was relieved to know I wasn't that tired, just. . . burdened. Too much information? Yes.
9:30PM- 4mi easy on the treadmill after work, felt really good but I was disciplined and kept the treadmill on 7:24/mile because the last 3 days hadn't been particularly easy.

Friday 2/25- 3PM- 4mi easy on the treadmill, started my planned tempo run at 3mi, ran a mile at 5:25 pace, felt crappy, figured I'd do it after the meet. (Day one of the New England Championships) 8PM- 3 up, 3mi tempo 15:4? (forget what it was, hit "Delete" instead of "store" on my watch- yes, I'm an idiot), 3mi down. Too tired to tempo right today, I was really hammering and you're not supposed to do that on a tempo. Long day, stressful week, yadda yadda yadda.

Saturday 2/26- 1:30PM- 3mi easy with the newly crowned NE mile Champ, didn't intend on doubling today but couldn't resist the shakeout. 8PM- 8mi easy, some with James indoors while he warmed up for a workout, last 40' or so solo on the river. Cut my planned 12 way back since I doubled and yesterday was a stinker, kept the pace real easy too.

Sunday 2/27- Ok, so here was the shitshow day. I did 6.5 or so with James and Ken on the river at about 1PM. It was perfect winter temperature, about 38 with minimal wind, but there was all kinds of snow on the ground due to a late night storm. It was well packed and not slippery at all though, so it was a nice run. Later that evening, I had planned on running about 7 miles to meet up with a friend of mine from Northeastern for dinner. It took me about an hour to get to her apartment, but I figured ah, no big deal, now that I know where it is, I know it's not much more than two miles from my place as the crow flies. Well, about three hours later, after dinner, I figured it'd be an hour on the bus to get home, 75 minutes on the T, or a 15min jog. I figured I could jog really slow and not be too affected. Well, I got all turned around leaving the Northeastern campus and ended up way the hell down on Mass Ave. I wandered around for a while before I found some direction signs to Fenway and made my way back to my apartment some 28min after leaving my friend's place. I ran at least 18 miles on the day, which is what I logged it as. I was shooting for 13 in two runs, but sometimes, things happen. In this case, "things" was my combination of confidence in my sense of direction and ignorance as to what Mission Hill looks like at night. Whoops.

Total- 89 miles

I am so very tired now, even a day later. And before anyone asks, I didn't go to dinner in my running clothes. I carried regular people clothes with me in a plastic bag, which was both annoying to carry and appreciated by my friend.