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

1 comment:

t.shea said...

Mario -- Thanks for the mention. It was a great day for New England. Quite excited for some of you other guys to add even more to the count. Good luck w/ training.

- t.shea