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: