Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Baby carrots-n-peanut butter

Not exactly celery and cream cheese, but it managed to satisfy my snack craving this afternoon. I suggest trying the combination some time. These seemingly polar opposites go surprisingly well together - at least I think they do - but those of you who know me well enough probably aren't surprised by this claim, considering some of my past culinary combinations. Either way, give it a whirl, but avoid using cream cheese in place of peanut butter. Just take my word for it on that one.

- So I'm watching the 11 o'clock news right now and Barry Bonds is on my TV screen, in drag nonetheless. He looks kinda like Paula Abdul on the juice, but then again, maybe that was the idea. What a clown - it appears all those roids have shrunk his testicles. That's all I gotta say about him, or her, for that matter.

- The weatherman just took Mr. Bond's place on the screen and said we're due to get 4-6 inches of snow on Thursday. On second though, bring back Barry, even if he's in drag.

- As for running, I successfully completed the bush league 6/4 double today. I ran (no Gallowalking today!) on the roads from home this morning for 43:30, experiencing some minor tightness in my Achilles for the first mile or so before it subsided. The soreness ultimately returned afterwards, but I managed to keep it under control throughout the day and hopped on the treadmill this evening for an easy four miles in 27:30. Again, some tightness but nothing overly terrible. I've been continuing with my icing/ibuprofen routine and began integrating some eccentric calf raises last night. Hopefully all this preventative rehab stuff will help get rid of this annoying bastard sooner than later. I'm gonna continue taking things one day at a time right now and back off if need be. Hopefully that's not the case, but I'll do what I gotta do I guess.

- Lastly, a little equation to tie up this entry: The Olympics are over = Conan is back on NBC = Life is good.

And that's gonna do it for tonight. One more round of icing before I watch Conan do his little jump thingee and head to bed. G'night all.

Quote of the day:

Remember, I ran the 800m and 1500m in college. Plus, brothers are supposed to be sprinters, not distance runners. At least that's what my elementary school p.e. teacher told me.
- Henry Dennis (yet again!), 17th in the 4K and 8th in the 12K at USA XC's

Monday, February 27, 2006

Gallowalking my way back into running

Honestly, it pained me to use that wretched term in the title of this entry. Hopefully, I never have to again. With that being said, end rant.

My Achilles was feeling a lot better this morning so I decided to take it out for a test run and see how it responded. I ran from my house to the top of the street, where I stopped and walked up the first hill in order not to aggravate the little bastard that's been crippling me for the last three days. The father of mediocrity for the running masses would be proud. He might even try to convince me that this is the surefire way to my next PR and that I should engage in the practice more often. In response, I'd likely laugh in his face. But that's neither here nor there.

Moving on - which is exactly what I did after my brief walking break - I covered the four mile loop in 28 minutes and 40 seconds, only experiencing some minor tightness and discomfort during the first mile before finishing things up relatively unscathed. The Achilles and surrounding area were a bit tight afterwards, which I expected, but steady doses of ice and ibuprofen throughout the afternoon seemed to keep any problems at bay. For the record, I've been popping 800mg of ibuprofen twice a day and icing on an hourly basis if I'm able to. I tried a contrast bath this afternoon, an idea I got from Dave Burnham while perusing his log. It didn't seem to yield any immediate positive effects, but I figure it couldn't hurt to try. The rehab plan for the rest of the week is to continue with the I & I routine and (hopefully) add a mile or two running each day for the rest of this week. The key will be listening to my body and making smart decisions along the way, key word here being SMART. As Kevin said to me in an e-mail the other day: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

In the day's other exciting events, I met Brendan for an all-you-can-eat lunch buffet at the Sukura Tokyo. In a word, fantastic. For $8.99 I had a big plate of chicken and vegetable stirfry on my first trip to the bar, followed by a second course of beef, chicken and vegetables over rice.
Dessert was a bowl of vanilla pudding, red Jello and a couple pieces of fried dough. While the main dishes were mainly Japanese, the desserts threw me for a bit of a loop - but I was OK with that. My bill ended up coming to 15 bucks thanks to a conniving waiter who kept asking if I wanted to refill my soda. With the glass being rather small, and at a starting peice of a buck-fifty, I made the assumption that refills were free. Well, a six-dollar drink charge served as evidence of my unwise thinking. Other than the soda scam, though, I'd say I got my money's worth.

Before I forget, a quick shoutout and good luck wish to my Reebok teammate and training partner, Ryan Carrara, as he heads to Ireland tomorrow for a couple races and more than a few pints of homegrown Guinness.

Jumping around even more, I'll be doing an interview on Wednesday with Alan Culpepper for mensracing. It will likely be a few weeks before it gets transcribed and eventually posted, but keep an eye out for it. I plan on grilling him about his recent half-marathon in Austin, preparations for Boston, and the upcoming 15K in Jacksonville, amongst a host of other things. I've always been a pretty big fan of Alan and look forward to picking his brain and sharing my findings with the rest of the online running world. Should be a good one, so stay tuned.

And that's gonna do it for now. It's a very slow night here in the office and I actually don't have much to work on, but I also don't have anything more to add to this entry either. I'll try and create some excitement to report about at some point tomorrow. Take it easy.

Quote of the day:

Bounce back.
- from KG's log

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Sunny Sunday

Quite bright outside right now, but cold as shit - probably won't crack 20 today. Ah, late February in New England. Gotta love it.

Not much going on right now. Achilles was still a bit tight when I woke up this morning, but felt better than the last few days, so I decided to play it smart and give it one more day to get itself back in good working order. Hopefully, I'll be able to test it out with a few easy miles tomorrow. I miss being active and getting out for a breath of fresh air, no matter how cold that air may be. And that pretty much sums up my running - or lack thereof - for the last couple days.

Moving on, or backwards I should say, I covered the high school state track and field meet for work on Friday night. On the whole, it was a slow night for Central Mass. athletes, but luckily the gals from Wachusett Regional gave me something to write about. I'm not sure of the possible copyright violations of the following action, but for your reading pleasure, here's a link my article that ran in yesterday morning's Telegram & Gazette.

I really don't have much else to report. Off to work the desk tonight at 5:30, but not before meeting my good buds Sean and Melissa Kinney for a late lunch at Uno's in Bellingham. I haven't seen the first couple of Stonehill's Class of '04 in a few months so it will be nice to catch up and see how the married life is treating the two of 'em. Coach Skinney's planning on heading to Chi-town the first weekend in April to visit his bro and run the Shamrock Shuffle 8K and I very well may join him if I regain some semblance of forward mobility by then. Hopefully my body cooperates and we can work it out.

And that'll do it for today. Happy Sunday.

Quote of the day:

If you aren't going all the way, why go at all?
- Joe Namath

Saturday, February 25, 2006

My Saturday, in sequence

Not much going on today. Slept pretty well last night, rolled out of bed just after 10 this morning, felt that nagging tightness in my Achilles yet again, decided running wouldn't be in my best interest and met my buddy Tim for brunch at the 'ol Coffee Mug in A-town. Followed that series of events up with a little reading and some college hoops on TV before heading into work this afternoon at 3:30. Now, after an uncharacteristically slow Saturday in the local sports world, it's finally time to go home.

Hopefully, the Achilles continues progressing and I'm able to ease back into running a little bit tomorrow. Stay tuned for updates.

A quick shoutout to loyal blog reader Mark Driscoll and his 4:13 mile in Friday night's unseeded section of the mile at the New England Championships. Also, Stonehill senior stud Erin Smith rocked out in the women's 5K with a 17:22, a PR I believe. Rock on!

And that's gonna do it for tonight, hopefully better stuff to some tomorrow. Night all.

Quote of the day:

Coming into this race I felt terrible. It feels good to feel bad and win.
-Adam Goucher, U.S. indoor 3,000-meter champion

Friday, February 24, 2006

Stumbling out of the blocks

Not a good start to the day. I tried to run a short while ago and made it as far as the top of my street before coming to a stop and walking home - I've never had to do that before. My right Achilles is rather tight and I felt it pulling with every step, so I decided to suck it up and call it a day. Not good. Hopefully I can get this thing licked sooner than later and get back on track in a few days. I've had bad luck with my Achilles in the past and by no means want to go through that shit again. One day at a time, I guess.

And in all likelihood that's gonna do it for now. Maybe the day will finish up better than it started and I'll have something positive to add when I get home from work tonight. Hopefully that's the case, anyways. Take it easy.

Quote of the day:

Perhaps the greatest upset in sports occurred in Japan; Buster Douglas knocking out Mike Tyson. Years later, Tyson would explain that the reason he got beat by Douglas was because "I was f***ing Japanese women like I was eating grapes." You just don't eat one grape at a time. Tyson's an interesting character and I've always been a fan of his, but if there are two things that I've learned from his experiences, they're 1) never let a guy with worst hair than yourself handle your money and 2) never go to Japan for an athletic competition. That being said, I'll stay in Wisconsin, where the women are bigger than the cows, except River Falls, of course.

-Henry Dennis

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Now or never

While its still early in the night and relatively quiet here at work, I'll take the opportunity to get in a quick entry so I don't have to scramble to do so later.

My morning started off on the massage table for my monthly maintenance tuneup with Cathy and her evil elbow, and for some reason she went pretty easy on me today - meaning that I didn't have to hold on to the table for dear life during any part of the session. I'm fairly certain that this is the first time in the six months that she's been working on me that this has been the case. This isn't such a bad thing.

As for running, I was planning on a medium long run this afternoon, somewhere in the neighborhood of 14-15 miles. My right (good) Achilles tendon has been a bit tight since stepping in a hole Tuesday night, so I decided to play it one step at a time (literally) and adjust accordingly. Once I got going, I didn't encounter any major problems or discomfort, but decided to cap the run at 10 miles just to be safe. Once I stopped, however, the tightness resurfaced and I spent the rest of my afternoon packing it in ice. Its a wee-bit swollen down there but nothing overly terrible. Having partially torn my left achilles last winter and spending the better part of two months on the comfort of my own ass, I'm keeping a close eye on this little bugger. Depending how it responds to treatment, I plan on taking the next few days pretty low key, or even completely off if I have to - whatever it takes to let the bastard heal. Actually, Katie G just gave me some good advice: Be smart! Well, the plan is to do just that.

Not too much else to report on this end. Tomorrow night I'm covering the MIAA State Track Championships at the Reg, which should be a rousing good time. My assignment is a 15-inch sider on the top local performer at the meet. Hopefully, someone does something spectacular and makes my job easy. With the way the indoor season has panned out thus far for CMass- athletes, however, let's just say I'll be crossing my fingers and hoping for a small miracle.

Speaking of small miracles, I'm surprised that I'm still able to add to this entry at 10:30 p.m. I think I'll quit now while I'm ahead. Luckily, Josh is the boss tonight and the T&G Sports ship is being run rather smoothly. If all my layout shifts this week could only have been so stress-free.

And that's gonna do it for tonight. Good luck to any and all audience members competing in this weekend's New England Collegiate Championships. Your sucesses will be highlighted in this space as they occur.

Take it easy all.

Quote of the day:

For the distance runner, pain was a stimulus rather than a brake. Mind and will, not muscle and genes, formed his capital. Many athletes could run fast, but only a man of valor could run fast and long, bending pain to his purpose.
- John Brant, Duel in the Sun

Wednesday, February 22, 2006


Another last-minute-just-to-get-it-in entry brought to you courtesy of another late night in the layout chair at work. Not much excitement to report anyway, but just as a heads up, most of the rest of this week's entries will be hurried efforts at the end of a long night.

On the running front, this morning's fartlek went pretty well and spanned 11 miles, which was covered in just over 71 minutes, including 25 minutes worth of hard running. The afternoon jaunt was a rather slow four-mile affair, completed in precisely 28 minutes and 30 seconds, giving me 15 miles on the day.

The plan for tomorrow is a medium long run or a recovery day, depending on beat up I'm feeling come the morning. I have a massage scheduled for 10 a.m., which will hopefully help flush some of the junk out of my legs.

Other than that, not much else to report. Position players reported to Spring Training today, but no Manny till March 1. Like everyone else in Red Sox Nation, I'm not surprised - or worried, for that matter. Let Manny be Manny.

OK, time to go home and get some rest. Hopefully something a bit more insightful tomorrow. G'night all.

Quote of the day:

I viewed every marathon as a test of my manhood. It wasn't enough for me to win the race. I wanted to bury the other guys.
- Alberto Salazar

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Congrats, complimentary books, concentrated easy runs and Castaway look-a-likes

First off, a belated congratulations to my sister Jayme on her new job as the Assistant Technical Director at the Foothills Theatre in Worcester. She's paid her dues and will finally get the chance to utilize her nasty skills in her chosen field. Well deserved.

Next, one of the few perks of my gig as the pseudo-running "editor" at work is the random pieces of complimentary reading material that find their way into my mailbox from time to time. Upon arriving at work last night, I was greeted by a copy of John Brant's new book about the 1982 Boston Marathon, Duel in the Sun - a gift from the publisher, supposedly. To be honest, I don't know the kind folks over at Rodale Press, but a sincere thank-you to them for their generous contribution to my collection of running-related reading material. As for the book itself, it's pretty good so far. A very detailed look into the effects of the infamous 1982 "Duel in the Sun" on the careers (and lives) of Alberto Salazar and Dick Beardsley. Both men were never the same after that day. It's good stuff, give it a read.

On the running front, no workout tonight. With the longer effort on Sunday and my ankle not taking to kindly to the track lately, its been bumped to tomorrow morning. Kevin said to simulate mile repeats on the roads by doing 5-6 x 5 minutes at about 8K effort with 2 minutes recovery. The plan is to start off a little conservatively and really make sure that I nail the last three repeats. My legs are a bit tired from the recent spike in mileage but should be ready to roll come the mornin'. I was just looking at my log and the last 7 days have totalled 104 miles - haven't been quite that high in a while, but excited to be making the jump in my training. I really think the strength dividends are gonna pay off as I gradually shift my focus towards the longer races.

Today was a 10/5 double with some strides on the Millbury High track midway through the morning run. I was pretty tired when I rolled out of bed and was gonna go short early and longer later, but I ended up feeling better as I went along, so I flip-flopped my plans and went for 67:30. After a pretty low-key day, I got back out around 6:40 this evening and ran very easy for 36:15. My last mile was 6:55 (downhill) and that was definitely the fastest I went the entire run. As I begin to up gradually up my mileage, I've really been trying to focus on taking my shakeout runs very easy in order to enhance recovery from the harder efforts. So far, it seems to be helping, BUT - as crazy as it sounds - easy running can be a tricky art to master!

Random thought as I watch the 11 o'clock news: New Sox infield pickup Mike Lowell looks strangely like a cross between George Clooney and Tom Hanks' character in Castaway. Anyone else with me on this?

And that does it for tonight - I'm gonna try to get to bed early while I have the chance. The week-long work parade commences tomorrow. Take it easy.

Quote of the day:

Distance running at an elite level is a bitch. It is hard work. You have to enjoy being tired all the time. If you expect to achieve at a level that is truly elite, then you can not live like a normal young adult in their 20's. Why? It requires abnormal behavior in order to achieve abnormal goals.
-Kevin Hanson

Monday, February 20, 2006

Real quick

Very busy night here at work and time to head home, but I figure a lil something is better than nothing. Ran an easy 7 miles this morning in 50 minutes and 7 more before work in 45:45. My body is a bit tired from a hectic past few days but my legs don't seem to be feeling any ill effects from yesterday's long effort. Sadly, that's gonna have to do it for tonight, but with a rare day off from work tomorrow, I promise an entry with a bit more substance to it. G'night all.

Quote of the day:

Don't give up, don't ever give up.
- Jimmy V

Sunday, February 19, 2006

I've caught the bug

The marathon bug, that is.

First off, I'd like to throw out a big congratulations to the entire New England crew who ran down in Austin today. Casey, Nate, Pat, Terry and Ed all nailed down Trials qualifiers with Casey, Pat and Nate hitting the auto by running 2:15:26, 2:15:28 and 2:15:34, respectively. Helluva debut for Nate and a big PR (5 min) for the Case-man! Terry came in at a PR (I believe) of 2:20:52 and Ed also nabbed a big PR of 2:21:34. A great day for New England running and an inspiration to the rest of us!

The good news from Austin made its way up here quickly and LaRosa, Voce and I spent our entire cooldown at the Old Fashioned 10-Miler revelling in it. Having trained, raced and hung out with all five of these guys at one time or another, I can't tell you how excited I am to see it come together for them on the same day. Simply incredible.

Hopefully, we can get a similarly solid group together in the Boston area this summer as a few more of us prepare to make Trials runs at Chicago in October. Those guys threw down the gauntlet this morning and got the ball rolling for the rest of us. It now becomes our job to keep it rolling. I believe we're ready to do so.

As for the aformentioned 10-miler, it went really well. Going in, my goal was to use the race as a longer threshold run and start off around 5:30-40 pace and cut down to 5:10's or so over the last two miles - finish place be damned. Having not done any tempo-type work in almost a month, I wasn't sure how the pace was going to feel in the latter stages of the race, especially with the wind chill dropping temps into the single digits this morning. Come to find out, nothing really felt all that bad, minus my frost-bitten nose, which I actually couldn't feel at all for a while afterwards. I pretty much hit pace dead-on, finishing in 53:17 with splits of 5:29, 5:15, 5:29, 5:29, 5:11, 5:26, 5:15, 5:20, 5:10, 5:10. We had a nice little pack for much of the race, consisting of myself, LaRosa, Matt Ely and Sean Livingston. Those three threw down the hammer over the last mile or two and I just waved 'em by and did my thing. I felt very strong and in control throughout and believe that this was a good first step in my preparation for next month's New Bedford 1/2 Marathon. The goal is to run somewhere in the neighborhood of 1:08 and most of my specific work over the next few weeks will be geared towards the achievement of said goal. Feel free to check in here and follow my progress.

Another tidbit from today's race....it was the first time I have ever rocked man-tights while running. I'm almost reluctant to admit that I actually kinda liked 'em. As cold as it was this morning, those pups managed to do a good job keeping my legs warm. I don't ever plan on wearing them again, however, unless temps are well below 20 with the windchill. Anything above that and shorts are fair game as far as I'm concerned.

Overall, it was a good day of running. I got in about 16-1/2 miles with the race this morning, then 4+ miles by running back to my parent's house for dinner from my aunt's place, where I'm housesitting this week. All in all, that gave me 21 miles on the day and proved to be a good start to the week. I likely won't do anything all that fast again till mid week, with some sort of tempo run likely on tap for next weekend. The next couple of days will be focused on recovery and getting in some easy mileage. I'll talk with Kevin at some point tomorrow, see what he suggests and then go from there. That usually works out pretty well.

Stepping outside the running box for a bit, today marked the first official day of workouts for pitchers and catchers at Spring Training. First exhibition game is only 10 days away! With all the changes that have taken place in the Sox organization over the offseason, I'm excited to see the new team finally start to come together over the next few weeks. Unlike last year at this time, everyone seems to be healthy and returning in pretty good shape. Schilldawg looks fit and will likely be the ace on what could potentially be a very dangerous pitching staff. Big Papi reported early and was speaking optimistically about the team's offense, which could be a question mark. Either way, its good to see the Boys of Summer back in business. Hopefully, that business is booming for Boston in '06.

Lastly, I caught the Bobby Knight reality show on ESPN tonight. Talk about high comedy. Those poor bastards vying for a walk-on spot had no idea what they were getting into. Some of them, at least. Now, I hate reality shows, but I love Bobby Knight, so this was worth watching. I don't care what people say about his wacky antics, the man is simply a great coach. He produces great players and even greater people - a true teacher of not only basketball, but life as well. He's not afraid to cut out the BS and call a spade a spade. Old school baby.

And that's gonna do it for tonight. I'm gonna hit the hay early while I have the opportunity. Tuesday is my only other day off from work this week, then its straight laborin' till my next day off the following Tuesday. Hope everyone had a good weekend. 'Night all.

Quote of the day:

Hard things take time. Impossible things, a little longer.
- Anonymous

Saturday, February 18, 2006

I finally broke down...

...and bought a pair of man-tights today. I'm a bit surprised at myself by this purchase, but perhaps I shouldn't be. Back when I was in high school, I swore to myself I'd never wear a pair of those "gay-looking split running shorts." Well, after discovering the comfort of CoolMax without the discomfort of chafing, I've been eating those words for the past six years now. I haven't actually donned my new purchase yet, but I can forsee this latest fashion upgrade turning into a similar realization on my part.

So why did I bite the bullet and finally buy a pair of those stretchy half-tight hamstring huggers? Good question. No, it wasn't to showcase my taut hamstrings, but that's a good guess. The most immediate answer I can give is that tomorrow's forecast is calling for temps in the teens, and with a long progression run on tap at the Foxboro 10-miler, I want to be able to move as freely as possible while keeping my lower extremeties warm. Simple as that.

As I just mentioned, I'm running the Foxboro 10-miler tomorrow strictly as a training effort. The plan is to start off at 5:30-40 pace through five miles and work down to 5:10's or so over the last three miles. After having spent a good part of the winter rounding the 'ol indoor track, its time to start introducing some longer threshold work with a few longer races on the horizon.

This morning was an easy recovery run with Hodgie-San in Sterling. We ran for 80 minutes and covered somewhere in the neighborhood of 11 miles. A little colder than it has been, but a good run nonetheless. That gives me 86 miles on the week for six days of running. I'll take that.

Congrats to my Reebok Boston teammate Justin Lutz on a 27th-place finish in today's 4K at the U.S. XC Championships. As far as I can tell, he secured a spot on the U.S. team for the upcoming World Military Championships. In a word, awesome. And best of luck to Ryan and Christy Mae at tomorrow's USATF-NE Indoor Championships. Rock on!

And that's gonna do it for now. Time to head back to my adopted home for the week and get some rest. Until tomorrow, take it easy.

Quote of the day:

Do or do not. There is no try.
- Yoda

Friday, February 17, 2006

This is the life

Until Wednesday, that is. For the next five days I'll be housesitting for my uncle Jim and aunt Denise while they live it up in Vegas. This is actually my second annual sitting stint for them, with the first being last spring as they cruised around the Caribbean. Actually, they apparently have "the life". This little gig isn't a bad temporary diversion, though.

In fact, this is like a mini-vacation of sorts for me. Here's why:

1. I really don't have too much to do here, 'cept maybe water the plants and take in the mail. They have no pets to look after or kids to take care of. This 50-inch flat screen TV hanging on the wall in front of me, however, needs to be watched, I guess. That's where I come in.

2. I'm only 4-1/2 miles from home and I have a full week of work ahead of me. Hardly sounds like a vacation, right? Wrong. Just a small change of scenery, not to mention heated floors in the dead of winter, can do wonders sometimes.

3. It's the coldest stretch of the year thus far and I'm fortunate enough that I can work on my short game on the putting green that's stretched across the living room here. It's a heavenly indoor haven for any serious golfer. But believe me, I'm no golfer. And I sure as hell don't have a short game. Don't tell those real golfers, though, they might get pissed that I'm abusing this privelege.

4. My aunt and uncle left me a fully stocked refrigerator with enough provisions to feed a small army. They loaded me up with fruit, fresh bread, a few boxes of cereal, a gallon of milk, fresh-squeezed OJ and even a chocolate cake to satisfy my sweet tooth for the week. Pretty good deal, eh? I thought so too, until I went to make a PB & J this evening and only found chunky peanut butter in the cabinet? Chunky PB, wtf!?!? I'm a smoooooth kinda guy. Eh, life could be worse.

5. Did I mention the 50-inch flatscreen TV? And the free internet access? Kinda like being in a sweet hotel, minus the high nightly rate. I will, however, have to actually make my own bed. I'll deal, somehow.

OK, that's enough tooting the horn of my temporary good fortune for one night. I'll make sure, however, to play a few similar melodies throughout the coming week. I wish I had a webcam so I could do a Cribs broadcast, that'd be pretty sweet - doesn't look like that's gonna be in the cards, oh well.

As for running, today was chock full of it. Ryan, Mark and Katie all came by this morning for a windy and wet seven-mile tour of A-town, which was completed in a comfortable 51 minutes. Despite the less than ideal conditions, a good time was had by all. Now, I don't wanna point fingers at anyone in particular (ahem, ahem), but the last time two of the three aformentioned names came by to run with me on a Friday morning, they gale-force winds followed them to my house. Coincidence? Nah.

The run was immediately followed by a trip to the The Coffee Mug for brunch - immediate being the operative word - as brunch becomes flat-out lunch at the ungodly hour of 11:30 a.m. Last time we made this trip, our timing was a bit off and we missed that blessed brunch by 15 minutes and had to settle for hamburger soup and grilled cheese. I'm happy to report, however, that we made the proper adjustments and the smorgasbord of scrambled eggs, homefries, raisin toast and pancakes we enjoyed have never tasted better - except when Christy Mae makes them for Ryan and I after Sunday morning long runs. Trust me when I type this, but nothing else even comes close.

The rest of my day wasn't all that exciting. I ran a few errands before heading out for my second run of the day, this time covering 10 equally-as-windy but not-as-wet-miles in 67 minutes. Overall, it was a good day of mileage and I'm happy to report that my ankle held up a lot better than yesterday. I ran in my old Supernova Classics this morning and was so happy with the result that I went to PR Running in Westboro and picked up a new pair this afternoon. Knock on wood, these shoes have never failed me. I've had 20+ pairs of them and they've never given me any trouble. I've been doing most of my running lately in the Reebok Road Lite III's, but those suckers just aren't lasting me very long. They tend to break down pretty quickly and generally aren't as stable as my trusty Classics. Hopefully the familiar comfort and added stability of my old favorites will help keep my nagging pains under control.

And that's gonna do it for tonight. Time for some shuteye so I can be good and rested for the morning. I'm meeting up with Hodge at 10 in Sterling for an easy 10-miler - and even though I haven't heard from them, hopefully Ryan and Christy Mae are able to join us for part of the run as well. Then it's off to work in the afternoon and back here to sit on the house for the rest of the weekend. My good buddy PL is throwing a President's Day bash tomorrow evening in Brighton, which I unfortunately have to miss due to the rigors of weekend employment. Bad planning on my part. It would sure be nice to see those clowns again - it's been quite a while. Hopefully we can meet up sooner than later for some imminent debauchery.

One last thing, a quick good luck to the New England contingent going after OT qualifiers in this weekend's Austin Freescale Marathon: Ed Baker, Pat and Casey Moulton, Nate Jenkins and Terry Shea. Also, my Reebok Boston teammate, Justin Lutz, is running the 4K at this weekend's U.S. XC Championships for the Marine Corps, and will be looking to earn a berth in the World Military XC Championships in a few weeks. He's ready to kick some ass!

OK, that's really gonna do it. Take it easy all.

Quote of the day:

I want my career to be punctuated by consistency. The positive feedback I get from running consistently makes me want to do it every time out. It’s habit-forming.

-Lauren Fleshman

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Everyone's a runner when it's nice out

So said Joao Castilhos to me when I was a wee freshman at the institution which provided me a college edumacation. And today was certainly no exception.

Those same clowns who were rockin' their iPods, hip Oakley sunglasses, blinding spandex and new Nike Shox on this lovely afternoon are the same ones who will be nowhere to be found come Saturday morning when winter makes it's oh-so-triumphant return. I really shouldn't give half a shit, but for whatever reason, this wanna-be-a-runner-when-it's-warm-out syndrome has always irked at me. I'll leave it at that. End rant.

In terms of my own running, today was a medium-long day, spanning 90 minutes and 14.5 miles with three sets of 2 min/1 min/30 sec hard fartlek thrown in for shits and giggles. It was a solid run, though my ankle was pretty dang sore by the end. Hopefully it's back in full working order by tomorrow morning, as Ryan, MD, and KG are all coming by at 10 for a lil jaunt through A-town.

And that's gonna do it for now, because (surprise, surprise) I waited till the last minute again to work on the day's entry. More tomorrow, I hope. G'night all.

Quote of the day:

When you begin to believe, that is when you will be on the right track to try and accomplish whatever you have set out to do.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

So much to say...

...but so little time - which seems to be the theme of a lot of my posts lately. Perhaps I shouldn't wait till it's 11:15 p.m. at work, the AP Wire is lighting up like a Christmas tree and deadline is five minutes away. One of these days I'll learn, I guess.

Before I abruptly sign off and head home, however, a quick recap of the day:

I headed out for an easy recovery run this morning in the beautiful near-50 degree temps, covering eight miles in a hair under 56 minutes. I was only planning on getting in seven, but ran into John Nieskens of Holy Cross and added on another mile with him. I run by this dude all the time and this is the first time we've come up with the bright idea to run together, rather than away from each other. Brilliant! In the words of the almighty Mark Driscoll, former summer roommate of Mr. Nieskens, who wholeheartedly endorses this new training arrangement: "YES! You'll be a better runner, and person, because of it. Trust me!"

The rest of the day was rather uneventful. I watched the A&E Biography on Hulk Hogan, then headed out for four more miles before heading into work. 12 total miles on the day, one new training partner, two fairly fatigued legs, and one slowly improving ankle. I'll take it.

Also got word that the aformentioned Mark Driscoll that he and his main squeeze, Katie Gwyther, will be in the area Friday for a little run-dez-vous of sorts. Looking forward to it!

And that does it for this edition of the daily runaround. Check back tomorrow for some more last-second snippets of menial excitement. Take it easy.

Quote of the day:

The more pain in it, the better it is.
- Anthony Famiglietti

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Lovely day

And it's got nothing to do with it being a supposed 'holiday'.

After a less-than-ideal weekend weather-wise, sunny temps in the mid-30's were a welcome change this morning and provided for a pleasant shakeout run. I ran my standard five mile Tuesday morning loop in a hair over 35 minutes and my legs themselves feel fine after a good day of mileage yesterday. My left ankle is still pretty sore though and it's really starting to annoy the hell out of me. The plan is to hit the track for a workout tonight, but if that bastard starts aggravating me at any point, I won't hesitate to pull the plug. The tight turns of indoor are really starting to take its toll on my lower extremities and have been leaving me quit sore after recent track sessions, even after as few as two miles of intervals. It's not worth pushing through at this point and risking possible long-term injury. We'll see how it goes tonight and take it from there.

And that's gonna do it for now, I've got a few errands to run before heading into the city. We're actually going an hour early this evening, so I may have time for an update later, but no promises. Take it easy all.

Quote of the day:

There are plenty of runners who work hard. But training hard means training consistently, and doing it with patience and confidence.
- Rob de Castella

Monday, February 13, 2006

Flying tires, the immortal Biggie Smalls and the first true sign of Spring

Feeling a bit scatterbrained this evening, so I'm just gonna generate a random list and comment on a few different things. Enjoy.

1. Crazy story of the day, courtesy of my dad. As he was driving home from work this afternoon and about to head under the I-290 overpass, a car tire - complete with rim - comes crashing through the passenger's side of his windshield, shattering it and spreading glass everywhere. Thankfully, he wasn't hurt and luckily no one was sitting in the seat next to him. That sucker came off a car traveling 45 feet above him on the highway. The driver of that car ended up crashing but came out of it OK, according to police. Crazy indeed.

2. As I was driving to my aunt's house tonight, I heard yet another "new" Biggie Smalls tune on the radio, which in itself threw me for a bit of a loop, and was made even more fascinating by the fact that he was collaborating with none other than Mr. Country Grammar himself, Nelly. Surprisngly enough, this wasn't the first such occurence of this nature. He's done similar gigs with P. Diddy, Tupac and Eminem, among others since he supposedly died in 1997. Are you shitting me? The guy's been dead for almost nine years now, yet he still finds the time to collaborate with other artists AND come up with new hits worthy of radio play. Incredible! I'm gonna have my peeps call his homies, I think.

3. After 17+ inches of snow yesterday, the first true images of Spring popped up on my TV screen today, that being Red Sox personnel loading up the equipment truck headed for Spring Training in Fort Meyers this coming weekend. Saturday, in fact, will mark the fulfillment of the four words I've been waiting all winter to hear: pitchers and catchers report.

4. Dick Cheney "accidently" shot one of his buddies in Texas over the weekend while hunting. Not only a bonehead move in itself, but he broke a law in the process by failing to purchase a hunting stamp. In response to reporters' inquiries, White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan said of the situation, "I think you can always look back at these issues and look at how to do a better job." Pretty much sums up the whole Bush administration to this point, wouldn't ya say?

5. Today's running report: 10:30 AM - 77 minutes solo from home, 11.5 miles according to G-Maps. I felt kinda flat, which was somewhat expected given the day off yesterday. My ankle was still a bit sore, but functioning nonetheless. 5 PM - 4.5 mile shakeout in just over 32 minutes this afternoon. Wore my old Supernovas and oddly enough my ankle felt a lot better - maybe I'm on to something there. Overall, a good day of running some fairly easy mileage. We're back on the track tomorrow night and I should be ready to go by then. Hopefully the 'ol ankle shares the same sentiments.

Time for bed, so that's gonna do it for now. G'night all.

Quote of the day:

They came through in 20.08 - that's just stupid fast.
- Tyson Invite men's 400m-winner Bershawn Johnson, on the first half of his race

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Let it snow...

...and snow, and snow, and snow. OK, you get the point. As of 7:44 p.m. there's 12-15 inches of the fluffy white stuff piled up outside, but the good news is that the end appears to be in sight - which is certainly a welcome sign, because this shit has been coming down with reckless abandon for about 18 hours now and hasn't let up one iota. Absolutely relentless, I tell ya.

Not much I can do about it from here - with here being work - so I'll stop my bitching. Now that I'm done complaining about the weather, I'll just suck it up and deal with it. Such is life as a native New-Englander.

In the day's other excitement - well, there wasn't any, really. Hell, I didn't even run today! In fact, it was the first big goose egg on my calendar since July 22nd of last year. Crazy, I know. After yesterday's race, a sore ankle upon getting out of bed this morning, along with a few big weeks of training on the horizon and nearly two feet of snow on the ground, today seemed as good a day as any to give the 'ol body a rest. And I'll be a better runner because of it. I hope.

While I'm on the subject of running, this afternoon I was reflecting back on the past few weeks and months of racing/training to see how my current situation compared to that of a year ago at this time. Since I was barely able to run at all for 14 minutes and 55 seconds this time last February, I'd say yesterday's 14:55 for 5,000 meters wasn't all that terrible. It really helped me to put things in perspective - definitely a step in the right direction. In terms of actual numbers, at this point last year I had amassed a whopping 39 miles since January 1. As of week's end yesterday, I'm at 518 miles over the same six-week time span. I'll take that - just gotta continue to keep the head up and pointed in the right direction. As I'm so often reminded - and it's worth restating here - a little hard work, combined with patience, consistency and the right attitude can take you a long way.

So watch the hell out, cause I'm comin' atcha!

Quote of the day (stolen from Nate's log):

Every day you may make progress. Every step may be fruitful. Yet there will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening, ever-ascending, ever-improving path. You know you will never get to the end of the journey. But this, so far from discouraging, only adds to the joy and glory of the climb.
- Sir Winston Churchill

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Step in the right direction

Only got time for a real quick update cause it's been a long day, there's a big storm approaching and the already early Saturday deadline here at work has been moved ahead an hour because of said storm.

Finished 32nd overall today in the 5,000 meters at BU's Valentine Invitational. I was 5th or 6th in my heat, I believe, losing major ground in the last 100 meters. Gotta work on that. My time was a 14:55, and while 16 seconds off my all-time PR from two years ago and a little slower than I had hoped to go today, this race was a step in the right direction as far as my current situation is concerned. It wasn't a great race by any means, but it was much better than the last two, so I'm happy with the improvement. I felt pretty strong throughout but had a rough 1K stretch in the latter part of the race. Kevin had my splits as 4:45 through the mile and 9:30 through the two-mile, so I was running fairly evenly to that point. I'm feeling very aerobically fit right now, and with my long-term focus being on getting acclimated to longer racing distances, I think I'm well on my way to where I want to be a few months from now, as I look towards nailing a qualifier at Chicago in the fall.

This was my final indoor race for this season. It was nice to get my feet wet again on the track after a two-year hiatus and I look forward to dropping my times during the upcoming outdoor season. The next race of importance will be the New Bedford 1/2 Marathon in March and training over the next few weeks will be focused on longer strength work with a little bit of speed mixed in. Kevin and I mapped out a rough agenda for the next few weeks which will involve a mid-week track workout and a weekend tempo/hill session. I think that arrangement is gonna work out just dandy.

A quick kudos to Stonehill sophomore stud David Metzger for taking out my Stonehill 5000-meter school record with his 14:37 today, including a 30-second final 200. Fellow second-year standout Dickie Gerry ran an impressive 4:12 in the mile, just behind the winner and my Reebok Boston teammate - the workhorse Justin Lutz.

That's it for tonight. More tomorrow while I'm snowed in at home. Take it easy.

Quote of the day:

Remember, a kick in the ass is still a step forward.
-My Dad

Friday, February 10, 2006

Inspired by Alison

Great post the other day here by Alison. For a while now, I've wanted to write a similar piece concerning eating disorders among male distance runners, a topic that doesn't nearly get the attention it deserves.

In the fall of 2004, I happened to be messing around online when I stumbled upon this article that Kemibe wrote for Running Times - an excellent piece full of lots of useful info that really hit home to me. Now, this is something I've only shared with about five people - even though many others close to me may suspected something or even picked up on it - but at the time, I was in the worst stages of my own struggle with eating and reluctant to admit to anyone - most importantly, myself - that I had a problem. Luckily, Kemibe's words, along with a well-timed injury and support from a good Friend, helped me to swallow my pride and get some help - and trust me, I needed it. And believe it or not, there are a lot of other male distance runners out there who need it as well, hence the reason for me sharing my story.

When I graduated from college in May of '04 I made the self-commitment to becoming the best runner that I was capable of becoming. Being the perfectionist that I can tend to be, I decided to cut all all the stops - I joined an "elite" post-collegiate club in Eugene, Oregon, went to bed early, made sure I got at least eight hours of sleep a night, ran twice a day every day, traversed soft trails, did my pushups and situps, got regular massage - you name it, I did it. I also came to the conclusion that if I was gonna be an elite runner, I had to look the part as well. At 5'8" and 145 lbs, I hardly classified as a fat-ass, but dropping a few unneccessary pounds in order to more closely resemble the ectomorphic African whippets I aspired to be like would surely get me going in the right direction.

Well I must've read the signs wrong, because the only direction I was heading in pointed downward.

In the effort to "improve" my diet, I more or less eliminated it instead - I cut out excess calories, ate smaller (and fewer) meals, eliminated unneccessary snacking, refused dessert and put nothing in my mouth after 8 p.m. I mysteriously developed lactose intolerance, all of a sudden couldn't digest meat, and drank more water than a friggin' camel. I counted every morsel that went in my body and capped my day's caloric intake at 2,000 (though usually much less than that) - no matter how many miles I ran. All this just to "drop a few pounds". Scary thing is, it worked.

By the time I moved out to Eugene in August of '04 I was down to 130 pounds. I successfully lost 10 pounds in about three months - Jenny Craig would've been proud. Problem was, I didn't have 10 pounds to lose. It didn't stop there, however. 1,000 miles away from home, not knowing anyone, and being broke to boot, the vicious cycle continued. The focus now wasn't on seeing how fast I could go, or how many miles I could run, but rather how many calories I could burn. It became a game, and a dangerous one at that. I got more excited by seeing a lower number on the scale than I did by seeing a faster time on my watch. And believe me, those numbers got low. I returned back to Massachusetts in September - homesick, broke, and a famished (for me) 124 pounds. Looking back, I was a disgusting mess - but at the time I didn't care. Heck I didn't even notice what was happening to my body - or my mind - for that matter, but luckily for me, I had friends and family who did.

People, no matter how much they care or how close to you they might be, often find it very difficult to approach someone who might be suffering from an eating disorder. In my case, it was no different. My parents noticed changes in my eating behavior, as did my family, friends, training partners and coaches, and the most common comment I received was along the lines of "you look like you've been doing a lot of running." Which I was, but it had a twisted purpose. 10 miles wasn't 10 miles - 10 miles was roughly 1,000 calories. Not the way you wanna be thinking if your true objective is to see how fast you can get, believe me.

Anyways, the downward spiral continued through the fall of '04. I moved back home from Oregon, joined a local running club, ran 100 miles a week, did a few workouts, jumped in some races and performed poorly in almost all of them. I couldn't figure out why this was the case, but surmised that it had to do with a training error of some sorts. I also weighed myself two or three times a day, couldn't fall asleep at night (and woke up starving when I did), continued to count every calorie, skipped some meals altogether and read every piece of nutritional literature - and food label - I could get my hands on. It all caught up with me, however, towards the end of November, when I started feeling some tightness in my left Achilles tendon. Of course, I tried to run through it - tough guys run through everything. A week later, I couldn't run a step. Hell, I couldn't even wear shoes the thing hurt so much. This tough guy had to suck it up and face the fact before him - I was out of commission.

With all sorts of free time now on my hands, I needed to find ways to fill the voids in my day. I bought a gym membership. I cross-trained fervishly. I read massively. I barely ate anything. One day, while gathering all the information I could about caloric needs for the injured, I came across Kemibe's aforementioned article and a light bulb went off in the black hole that was once my brain. I found myself relating to Steve, the subject of the article, and for the first time I questioned myself. Could eating really be my problem? Just a passing thought, but it stuck around long enough to get the wheels turning. While talking to a Friend one day, I was telling her of the Nancy Clark Nutrition Guidebook I had recently bought with a Christmas gift certificate. She blasted me for it and called a spade a spade. "Why did you buy that?", she asked. "Give me an honest answer." I couldn't, so I hung up the phone.

I called my Friend back the next night and apologized for my rude behavior. I also put into words all the thoughts that had gone through my head during the previous 24 hours and admitted for the first time that I had a problem with eating. It was taking over my life and all the free time I had on my hands due to not being able to run helped me realize that. We talked for well over a hour - an eternity for me on the phone - and I immediately felt much better that I had gotten everything out and had the support of a close friend to help me improve my situation. As comforting as all this was, I still had a long road ahead of me and I knew it.

Once I was able to start up running again in late February of '05, the demons inevitably returned - they always do. Those bastards weren't easy to fight off - heck, they still return from time to time - but I did my best to let them know that they weren't going to ruin my life. And ya know what? It worked. I became aware of what I was doing to myself and my body, though I wasn't always successful in recognizing it at first. I slowly started eating more - and more often for that matter. I stopped counting calories. I quit reading nutrition books like they were comic books. I stopped weighing myself. I allowed myself dessert again. And guess what? I wasn't as tired all the time, found myself in a better mood more often and didn't wake up with hunger pangs on a nightly basis. I also started running better and nagging injuries were finally subsiding. Life slowly started taking a 180.

But like I said, those demons always find their way back. They returned again this fall, and at first I wasn't very successful in fending them off. While I didn't completely revert to my old ways, some of my past behaviors did return for a while. Again, I got lucky. With the help of my parents, an old college coach who constantly checks in to make sure I'm taking care of myself, and a few close friends, I was able to recognize their unwelcome presence and get myself out of that downward spiral yet again. I now eat what I want, when I want and as much as I want - without feeling a bit of shame. Don't get me wrong, I still keep a close eye on my diet. As a distance runner, you need to. If you fill your tank with bad gas then the car isn't gonna run as effectively and efficiently as possible. The major difference now though, is that I no longer obsess about it. I enjoy food again. I can't remember the last time I checked a nutrition label for caloric content. The last time I stepped on a scale was a few weeks ago at a doctor's appointment. I'm happy to report that I weighed in at a healthy 134 lbs. But those numbers don't matter any more. The ones that do make their home on the face of my stopwatch. It's freeing, in a way.

But like I said, eating disorders - whether you're a male of female - are a vicious cycle. The trick is catching yourself before you get stuck in the downward spiral, because its a long, hard road that takes a while to return from if you happen to get yourself sucked out to far. The poiont I'm trying to make is this: Don't be afraid to look for help, and make sure to take it, because its certainly there. Slowly take your life back, you owe it to yourself.

This is just my story, and while I wish I never had to do so, I'm glad to share it. The problem of eating disorders among male distance runners is such an overlooked issue that people seemingly just don't want to talk about it. Frankly, this worries me. Hopefully, by sharing my own tribulations as well as triumphs with eating and running, I can bring some much-needed attention to the issue and help others who may find themselves in a similar situation.

That's it for this entry. Take it easy, but more importantly, take care of yourself.

Quote of the day:

All progress requires change. But not all change is progress.
-John Wooden

Thursday, February 09, 2006


Hmmm, not sure where I wanna go with this one, so I'll start off with my daily running update and see where things progress from there.

Being my day off from work, I rolled my ass out of bed at around 10 a.m. and had myself a cup of green tea and some dry cereal before hitting the ground running at precisely 10:44, not a minute later. Deciding that I wanted to kill as many birds with one stone as I could this morning, I ran three miles into work to snag my paycheck - throwing my boss for a loop in the process - and then proceeded to fartlek my way home by way of the bank, finishing up my eight-mile adventure in exactly 54 minutes. At 4:44 p.m. - yes, exactly six hours after my initial take-off (crazy, eh?) - I strapped on my trusty Supernovas and did it all over again - well, half of it at least. 28 minutes was all it took to complete my four-mile afternoon romp around Pakachoag Hill and I managed to git 'er dunn before dark, which never hurts.

But I'll tell ya what does hurt, that being my stupid-ass left ankle. Well, it doesn't hurt so much as annoy the hell out of me. The thing is dead, I think. Well, mostly dead. There's a big difference between mostly dead and all dead. Mostly dead is slightly alive. With all dead, well, with all dead there's usually only one thing you can do (go ahead, name that movie). Anyways, in my case, the thing to do would be to cut the damn thing off and stop running completely. Well, that's just not an option, so for the past couple days I've basically been dragging my left leg behind me and dealing with the discomfort. It's hard to describe, but basically the ligaments down there are very weak and don't want to work for the first few miles of my run. Once they're warmed up, however, I'm able to put together some semblance of a stride and proceed on my way without any further issues. No real swelling or anything to speak of, so I think as long as I'm careful and keep a close eye on it I'll be alright.

In other news, I booked my April trip to Oregon today, which will take place from the 19th through the 23rd. I'll be flying out to Portland with Oscar and Carrie, spending a day or two with Carrie's family before heading down to Eugene on Friday morning, where Oscar and I are signed up for a 25-lap tour of Hayward field that evening. It's advertised as taking around 30 minutes or so if you hang on to the back of the train - hopefully I don't fall off. Either way, it's a great opportunity and I'm wicked excited for it. On Saturday, Oscar and fiancee will head back up to Portland to plan their upcoming wedding while I spend a few more days in Eugene with my mom's cousin Rhoda. Should be a fun trip, looking forward to it.

And that's gonna do it for now - time for a snack, Leno and bed. Longer, more thought out entry and the return of my Top-10 list on tap for tomorrow. Until then, take it easy. (yes, that would be my ever-so-predictable sign-off if you haven't picked up on it already)

Quote of the day: (yep, that movie again)

I do not envy you the headache you will have when you awake. But for now, rest well and dream of large women.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006


...is how I would best characterize last night's workout, and due to time constraints, these same two adjectives will accurately describe this here blog entry as well.

First and foremost, the workout. 5 x 600m w/2:15 recovery, hitting 1:44, 1:43, 1:42, 1:39, 1:39. Mark, Brad and I took turns leading each interval and were pretty much dead-on with the times we were aiming to hit. As usual, the track was rather crowded, but we managed to time our take-offs fairly well and avoided any major disasters. This was a good little workout to hype the system one last time before Saturday's race without taxing the legs too much.

Today's run was reserved for recovery, so I opted to traverse the same 10-mile loop as Monday and covered it in a relaxed 68 minutes. My legs themselves felt fine after last night's effort but my left ankle is quite sore from the tight turns of the indoor track. It still hasn't fully mended from Saturday's new sprain either, so I've been trying to give it some extra attention of late with a couple bags of ice and an occasional dose of ibuprofen. While that bastard will never be 100% - ever - but I do what I can to keep it functioning somewhat normally.

Along these same lines, keeping with the above theme of recovery, and ending this entry at the same time, I bring to you the following quote by Sarah Schwald from a recent interview with Scott Douglas:

A lot of Americans don’t recover properly. Now I know that there’s a value to all components of your training, and that all the little things are just as important as working hard. But we’re brought up with this philosophy that as long as you work harder than your competitors, you’ll be better than them. That’s not an attitude that keeps you healthy.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Tired Tuesday

Talk about taking a 180.

So much for my Monday of rest, recovery and relaxation, because nothing of the sort has held true today.

Because of my duties as the late guy at work last night, I left the office at 1:35 a.m. and was home and in bed by 2 - pretty good timing for a Monday late shift, actually. I figured I'd sleep till around 10 or so, thus giving me roughly eight hours of relative shuteye. Boy, was I wrong.

Now, I've never been a very good sleeper. In fact, I suck at it. But I'm usually able to scrounge together a few good stretches every night, leaving me somewhat refreshed and ready-to-go the next morning. Last night, however, was just one of those nights where for whatever reason, sleep wasn't happening. In a nutshell, it went like this: toss, turn, look at the clock, repeat. Not a recipe for success, believe me.

Anyways, the show goes on. I'm guestimating that I spent about four hours in la-la land before I got out of bed for good at 10:30. After inhaling a brownie and half a bagel, I headed out for my Tuesday late-morning shakeout and actually didn't feel all that bad. I ran comfortably for 33:30, got a good stretch in, showered, and had breakfast before commencing with the day's errands. I would try to take a nap and make up for last night's lost Z's, but I'm doubting the outcome of such an endeavor. Oh well, I'll just deal with it.

Next up on the day's agenda is practice tonight at 7. It should be a fairly light affair, probably some cruise 600's or something similar. Most of us are racing on Saturday morning, so the intensity will likely be kept at a minimum. The next few days will be relatively easy, both volume/intensity wise. I've got 10 miles on tap for tomorrow, then an 8/4 double on Thursday and a 4/4 double plus strides on Friday. The goal for Saturday's 5K is to race well. Simple as that. Not gonna worry too much about chasing a time - just let it rip and the outcome will take care of itself.

On a side note, Scott posted my interview with Jorge Torres here. Check it out. Heck, leave a comment and lemme know what ya think.

And that does it for now. I probably won't get a chance to update later on tonight so this will likely do it until tomorrow. I'm also working on a slightly longer, more thought out entry that I hope to post sometime in the next day or two. Stay tuned.

Quote of the day:

Every excuse pops up just when I am about to head out the door. When I am 30 seconds into the run, I am so glad, just happy to be moving away from it all. I have never done drugs, but I imagine that must be what it is like. Just happy to be there.
-Ryan Carrara

Monday, February 06, 2006


A fair amount of running yesterday, combined with accumulating fatigue and the fact that I didn't have to be into work until 6 p.m. this evening, led me to devote my day to the four R's - 1. running, 2. recovery, 3. rest, and 4. relaxation.

I was fortunate enough to get a jump-start on #'s 2 and 3 by nabbing nine good hours of sleep last night, which left me feeling rather refreshed when I rolled out of bed at 10 o'clock this morning. Upon rising, I proceeded to knock out R # 1 for the day and extend #2 by taking an easy 68-minute stroll through town. The 'ol legs were a bit tired - which was to be expected - but didn't feel all that bad, all things considered. After completing an 'abs & uppers' circuit, I made an afternoon visit to B & N, where I flipped through a few magazines and enjoyed a fine lunch that consisted of a smoked turkey wrap and an IBC root beer, thus taking care of R #4 for the day. I returned home and decided that I could use a lil more of numero quatro, so I plopped my ass in bed and dozed off for a good 45 minutes or so before catching the news, preparing a quick dinner and heading into work for the night.

So, to sum it all up...a good run followed by a pretty rest-filled, relaxing day that allowed me to recover.

Mission accomplished.

And that pretty much sums up my rare R-filled day. Light workout on tap tomorrow night at Reggie, so that should leave me some time during the day for a (hopefully) longer entry. Until then, take it easy.

Quote of the day:

Mind is everything. Muscle — pieces of rubber. All that I am, I am because of my mind.
— Paavo Nurmi

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Super Sunday

And it's got nothing to do with the game on TV right now. Well, not totally, anyway.

The day started off rather early - for me, at least - as I met up with Ryan and Christy Mae in Clinton at 9:30 for a longer run of sorts. The weather was in line with the adjective in the title of this entry, as it was in the mid-40's when we started off and hovered around 50 degrees in the sun when we finished up an hour and forty-some-odd minutes later - well, Ryan and I that is. We ran with Christy for the first 45 minutes or so before going our separate ways, at which point Mr. Carrara and I started cranking it for a little while, but nothing too crazy. I put in six strides afterwards as Ryan added on another 10 minutes or so. I'm happy to report that my ailing ankle held up quite admirably, even if it was at the unfortunate expense of bypassing those blessed trails around the reservoir. Overall, a solid run, followed by an even sturdier brunch courtesy of Chef Christy Mae. Just a super morning all around, if I do say so myself.

I returned home around 2 p.m. and rested for a couple hours before heading out on an easy 31-minute shakeout jaunt around Pakachoag Hill. I wanted to take advantage of the super (there's that word again) weather, as well as get in some mileage because I'll be scaling things back some heading into Saturday's race. I brought out my old Supernova Classics (n.b. best shoe EVER) for this one and actually felt pretty good on my leisurely afternoon stroll. All in all, I got in 20 miles or so miles on the day, and (knock on wood) am still in one piece and feeling pretty good. I've got a 10-spot on tap for tomorrow, light workout on Tuesday and then easy does it heading into Saturday's 25 laps of fun at BU.

Right now, however, I find myself at work until the Mediocre Bowl is over, the story comes over the wire and I slap it on the page so I can head home for the night. Luckily, the rest of the sports world called it quits early today, so if this game keeps rolling right along then it should be a relatively early night for this guy. In keeping with the theme of the day, early = super. Let's just hope I didn't jinx myself.

And that does it for today. Hope everyone out there had a Super Sunday for themselves. Until tomorrow, take it easy.

Quote of the day:

Most of us laugh at these other sports
- Bill Rodgers

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Down, but not out

About time! Unless I'm an idiot, which isn't that unlikely, this website was down a majority of the afternoon/evening so I was unable to update earlier today. Now that it's nearly 11 p.m. and I'm about hto head home from work, I have very little time for an extensive entry of any sort, so please forgive my brevity. A few quick updates:

- Good workout last night: 2K, 2 x 1200m, 400 - all with 5 min recovery. It was just Mark, Ryan and I for this one, so Kev had us work together and run 5 min pace on the 2K, then Ryan did his thing for the 1200's while Mark and I traded off 69-second quarters. We finshed up with a fast 400 - me in 60, and Ryan and Mark in 62, 63, respectively. I felt better as the workout progressed and hit times of 6:12 on the 2K and 3:27/24 for the 12's. It was another good confidence booster heading into next weekend. Easy does it over the next week, just gotta put it all together on Saturday.

- Ran with Ryan and Christy Mae out in Clinton this morning. Nice day out, we got on the trails and of course I re-rolled my left ankle - the same one that's given me trouble for the greater part of a year now - yet again. F'n sucks, but I don't think I did any new damage even though its pretty swollen right now - probably from sitting on my ass here at work for the last 7+ hours. Gotta keep an eye (and ice) on it and I should be fine. We ran easily for 70 minutes and covered about 10 miles. Other than the ankle mishaps - Ryan had a minor one as well - it was a good run. Tomorrow morning we'll go long early in the mornin' and then call it a day.

That's all I got time for right now. More tomorrow, possibly before that football game everyone seems to be talking about. Take it easy all.

Quote of the day:

Good things come to those who wait.

Great things come to those who chase
- Canibus

Friday, February 03, 2006

Rain, rain go away

Well, the floodgates have opened and I can see Noah loading up his ark off in the distance. It is absolutely pouring out there right now! Hopefully it dies down a bit so we can warm up outside later tonight at the workout. I wimped out this morning and banished myself to the rat wheel for an easy 35 minutes of running just to wake the legs up a bit. Other than that, its been a pretty uneventful Friday. I finished up both of the articles I was working on and am going to let them sit until I get back from practice tonight, at which time I will read them over one last time before sending them in to the editors-that-be. I was happy with how both of them came out and look forward to seeing them round into publication circles soon.

Tonight's workout should be a doozy. Unless Kevin has changed his mind from what he told us the other night, it looks as if it will be 2K, 2 x 1200m, 400 all at a fairly quick pace. It will be our last real solid workout before we race next weekend at BU. Hopefully I can nail this one, which will help me to get my head in the right place going into the 5K in seven days. I'll let ya'll know how it went in my entry manana.

And I really can't think of too much more to add right now. I'ma go put my legs up for a bit before I head out of here in an hour-and-a-half or so. Hope everyone's Friday is treating them fantastically. Take it easy.

Quote of the day:

Now, to take that which has caused us to create the world, and include it within the world we have created, is clearly impossible. That is why Quality cannot be defined. If we do define it we are defining something less than Quality itself.

- Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Busy day

And it ain't over yet, but now seems as good a time as any for a quick break.

After getting home from work this morning around 1:30, I got to bed just before two and slept like a wintering bear until 10:30 or so. Upon waking, I headed out for the first of my two runs on the day, covering eight miles on this unseasonably warm February morning in 52:35, while putting in six strides on the paved oval that will one day be the new Auburn High School track. After a quick stretch, breakfast and shower, I got on the horn with Jorge Torres to conduct an upcoming interview for mensracing.com. Without giving too much away, the interview itself went really well and I think people will be very interested to see what Jorge has to say about his training, upcoming races and the like. I should be done editing it by the weekend and hopefully Scott will have it posted early next week sometime. Keep an eye out!

By the time I was done transcribing my conversation with Senor Torres, it was 5:55 and time for me to head out on my second run. The weather was still pleasant this evening and I took a nice lil stroll up to Holy Cross, where I ran a mile on the track before following my tracks back home. The round trip totals about four miles, which was covered in a leisurely 28:15. Upon my return, I stretched out for a bit and did my full 'abs & uppers' routine before splitting a pizza from the Wonder Bar with my ma for dinner. Three slices wasn't enough to refill the 'ol tank so I had some left over chop suey to top things off.

Once I was good and full, I got back on the horn - this time with QU superstar Katie Gwyther - to finish up a Spotlight article for next month's edition of New England Runner. KG is in the midst of a breakout senior season and really is just beginning to tap into her potential. I've gotten to know Katie pretty well through her red-headed accomplice and my good friend, MD, and have enjoyed chronicling her remarkable successes this season. Her enthusiasm for the sport is unparalleled and I really believe that people will enjoy reading her story and seeing what makes this gal tick. This is another one worth reading, trust me (shameless plug, I know).

And this whirlwind of activity brings me to where I am now - back in front of this 13-inch virtual toolbox that allows me to write, rewrite, revise, rework - you name it - words, sentences, phrases, paragraphs and hell, whole articles for that matter. And this was supposed to be my night off from work. Just kidding. No complaints here, this is the fun stuff. I truly consider myself lucky that I can make a small living out of what I enjoy doing anyways - talkin' running with runners - and then sharing those very same experiences through my journalistic endeavors. I hope that my finished products are just as enjoyable for those of you who read them as they are for me when I'm putting them together.

OK, that's gonna wrap things up for today. I'm spent and am gonna take advantage of the opportunity to crash early tonight. Before I go, however, I'll include an abbreviated list of "Today's 10 Random Things About Me", back by popular demand.

Today's 5 Random Things About Me:
1. I never ate eggs when I was younger. I despised them so much, in fact, that if I saw my mom use eggs when she was baking brownies, I refused to eat them. I'm happy to report, however, that I've moved past that stage in my life.
2. My favorite song is "Here Comes the Sun" by the Beatles - has been since I was 5-years-old, no lie.
3. I'm double-jointed in my left hand. It's kinda disgusting.
4. At last check, I still hold the Auburn High School gym class record for the mile with a 5:07. Considering the current state of their track team, I think it might be safe for a while.
5. I tapped rim on a 10-foot basketball hoop once. Only once.

Quote of the day (lil preview of the aformentioned Torres interview):

Every run has to have a purpose. Until you get that concept down, you’re never going to recover. Just to get that idea into your head is tough for a lot of people.
-Jorge Torres

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Cutting it close

Whew! Almost didn't get this one in here. Late (and busy) night here at work and a rather activity-filled day as well, for that matter. A few quick updates, then I'm heading home and getting some much-needed shuteye. Here goes...

- Last night's workout went pretty well. The assignment was 4 x 1200m w/3:30 recovery, 5 minutes recovery after the last 12, then 4 x 300m w/90 sec recovery. Mark, Brad and I teamed up for this one and agreed to switch leads every two laps, which worked out well for all parties involved. Kevin said to shoot for 71's and we were pretty much dead-on throughout, hitting splits of 3:33, 3:32, 3:32 and 3:30. Mark called it a night after the 12's so Brad and I decided to switch off on the 300's. I switched into my Vents for the speedy stuff and started off the anaerobic parade in 47 seconds before Brad disappeared off into nowhere - he has yet to be found. Just kidding. I jumped in with Ryan and Justin for the next three intervals and we motored around the masses, hitting 46, 46 and 47 to finish up a solid workout. I felt very strong and in control throughout which was good for the 'ol confidence. I'm looking forward to racing the 5K at BU on the 11th and seeing what I can do over 25 laps.

- Ran a 10/4 double today to get some mileage in without trashing my legs too much. No real soreness to speak of after last night's effort, though the inside of my right ankle - which has been a pain in my ass in the past - was feeling pretty sore this morning. Luckily it loosened up pretty well during my 10-spot this morning and didn't really give me any trouble at all on the four-banger. As a lil bit of an experiment, I wore my old Rat Racers this afternoon to allow my ankle complete flexibility and it seemed to work out just dandy. All you minimalist advocates should be proud.

- So it looks as if Millrose will be a no-go. As much as I was looking forward to going, it wasn't looking too promising as far as getting back on time for work on Saturday. Plus, we have one of our last key workouts on Friday night (2K, 2x1200m, 400m) and I really want to make sure I nail it.

- And the last NHL game just came over the wire, my page is updated, and my ass is finally heading home. Top-10 list will return tomorrow. G'night all.

Quote of the day:

I do train really hard. I think I train a lot more than some people and if I had to be hurt every year and have a few glimpses of glory I would rather do that than do it halfway and be mediocre.
- Dathan Ritzenhein