Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Back on track

Last night marked my not-so-triumphant return after a nearly three-month, injury-riddled hiatus to the weekly Tuesday night gathering of my Reebok (soon to be who-knows-what) Boston teammates to take part in the collective ritual of self-masochism at the oval-shaped structure commonly associated with breakneck, lightning fast, it-will-kill-you-if-you-don't-have-it, speed. OK, that was a bit long-winded - not to mention mildly overdramatic - and to be perfectly honest, this potentially morbid affair didn't go all that bad.

Kevin's assignment for the evening was a relatively light one: 2K, 1200, 4 x 400 with 3-1/2 minutes recovery before and after the 12 and 90 seconds between the 4's. My mission was to hit 75-second pace on the 2K (6:15), 73's on the middle segment (3:39) and 70 for the one-lappers. Suffice to say, I failed miserably. Well, maybe miserably is the wrong word, but let's just say I didn't hit the agreed upon pace. Actual splits were: 6:11; 3:31; 67, 66, 68, 66.

So, I was a bit fast on just about everything, which has both its positives and negatives. On the plus side of things, the actual effort was akin to what I thought the prescribed times would feel like, so I'm encouraged by that. I was never straining at any point - 2K got the legs going, the 1,200 actually felt great and the 400s were more awkward than anything else - which to me was a mild surprise, but a welcome one nonetheless. On the other side of the equation, it's very apparent that my inner-pace clock needs to be recalibrated. I attribute it to a minor case of track rust, much like a boxer suffering from ring rust after a lengthy hiatus from the squared circle. I pride myself on having a fairly metronomic sense of pace and hopefully I can correct the problem fairly quickly as I readjust to running around in circles. Actually, I'm confident that I can, so I'll stop my speculating. Just gimme a few weeks.

But enough about me. Congrats to good pal and loyal blog reader Katie Gwyther who received a well-deserved at-large bid and is currently 13th on the depth chart for the women's 5,000 meters at the NCAA Division I Track & Field Championships that get underway next weekend in Sacramento. Bravo! After never having previously qualified for an NCAA Championship - cross country, track, individually or otherwise - this gal went 3-for-3 her senior year and pulled out an All-American certificate in the process. And she's not done yet! Word on the street is she's been beating on her training partner this spring as if he were a red-headed stepchild. Poor Driscoll, he had to come home and run with me for a week because he couldn't take it anymore. Those girls as Michigan don't stand a chance next year.

And speaking of not being able to take it anymore, I've been staring at this screen longer than I've cared to. But before I go, take my advice and check out this interview with Casey Moulton. Good stuff! Take it easy all.

Quotes of the day:

For me, running's my cup of coffee in the morning. It gets me going, gets me focused and puts me in a mood where I'm much more productive.
- Joan Benoit Samuelson

Running isn't really complicated to me. It's just about getting in consistently high mileage year in and year out, as well as having the drive to keep at it, especially during the tough times.
- Casey Moulton

Monday, May 29, 2006

You know the drill(s)

Today was my first foray into a few alternative exercises that I've been meaning to incorporate into my training routine for some time now, namely form drills. I've never consistently used form drills in the past, although KcoachB made a few unsuccessful attempts to have us do them back in my Stonehill days. My own naiveness, not to mention laziness, led me to conclude that they were nothing but a waste of time, so I just didn't do them. Simple as that.

Since graduating waaaaaaaay back in '04, however, my own training observations and subsequent research have led me to the conclusion that there just might be something to be said about the effectiveness of devoting just a few minutes a week to improving running form, with the results being an increase in power, speed and overall biomechanical efficiency. Despite my revelations, however, I again fell victim to my own laziness and never actually attempted any of the drills that I spent more than a few hours, researching, analyzing and more than anything else, contemplating. Until today that is - thanks to Matty Mulv for the kick in the butt. Here's how the initial undertaking went down:

* 2 mile warmup, 3 circuits, 2 mile cooldown.
* 1 circuit = 100-meter stride/5 squat hops/100-meter stride/25-meter "A" skips into 25-meters bounding/100-meter stride.

Notes: Strides were run as buildups, ie. 25-meter acceleration/50-meter top-speed/25-meter deceleration. I like doing strides this way and believe they're good for practicing a relaxed running form while building speed. The plan is to eventually alternate the strides on an every-other-week basis with 60-meter hill sprints while I'm still in my buildup phase and not focusing on any specific races. About a month before Chicago I'll likely cut out the hill sprints and keep things on the flat side to let some life back in my legs. The squat hops were a failed experiment in themselves and did nothing but make my knees achy and sore, so I'll need to make an adjustment/replacement there. The skips and bounding addressed a knee-lift/power deficiency and with practice I'm confident that I can make great improvements in both these areas. All in all, I'd say it was a pretty good first day. Eventually, I'll increase to 50-meters worth of skips and bounding and a complete drill session will total five total circuits. As with anything and everything else, it's subject to some tweaking, but overall key will be consistency. The idea is to do one drill session a week - no more, no less.

So where did I get these wacky ideas? Good question. The short answer is from a variety of coaches and athletes, including Arthur Lydiard, Renato Canova, Bob Sevene, Brad Hudson, Arturo Barrios, and Nate Jenkins. I've dissected logs, interviews, e-mails, books, message board postings and personally held discussions with some of the aformentioned coaches and athletes that have all contributed in come way, shape or form to the development of the above personal drill package that I hope will improve my running form, speed, strength and overall efficiency. I'll try to update any progress with my new endeavor on a quasi-regular basis. Any other additional insight, comments and/or questions by any informed minds are greatly appreciated.

And that's it for today. Hope everyone enjoyed the holiday weekend.

Quote of the day:

It's a mistake to only do distance, distance, distance. If you don't do things like stretching and bounding drills, eventually your style is going to change and that's going to lead to injury.
- Arturo Barrios

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Top-100 reasons to get excited

Not too much excitement to speak of as we round out the last full week in the greatest month of the year, other than the fact that I just found out my recent entry into the Top-100 corral at this fall's Chicago Marathon has been confirmed. The 40,000 runner field filled up rather quickly, so needless to say I was quite pumped to see that my application had been accepted. With that out of the way, the focus shifts towards sub-2:22 and a Trials qualifier on October 22nd.

On the training front, I tucked another good week under my belt as I continue to build aerobic strength and get my legs back under me for the long haul to Chicago. I totalled 102 miles on 11 runs, my first time over the century mark in '06. I got in a solid faster mid-week effort and ended the week with some up-tempo strength stuff, but neither is worth going into painstaking detail about. A pleasant semi-longer-than usual jaunt through the Lincoln woods on Thursday night with Terry Shea, Carly Graytock and Brendan Prindiville is also worth noting. This coming Tuesday night will mark my first workout back with the team now that the High Performance meets have resumed their normal Saturday structure for the summer. I can't wait.

And that does it for tonight. Time to hit the road. Take it easy all.

Quote of the day:

Him running the 5K is like an 800 (meters). He was born to run 4:45 (per mile) pace.
- Brad Hudson on Dathan Ritzenhein

Thursday, May 25, 2006

All hail the King

I can't believe I forgot to mention the recent retirement of arguably the world's greatest middle distance runner, Hicham el Guerrouj. The guy rightfully went out on the top of his game, complete with countless world championships on the track, a still-standing world record in the mile and capped by double-Olympic gold in Athens. Sounds like a pretty complete career to me.

* I turned the ripe-old age of 24 this past Wednesday. Oddly enough, I'm feeling a bit on the old side these days. It's kind of disheartening. And as my good pal Tim pointed out, "hey, as of tomorrow you'll be closer to 30 then 18". Thanks, asshole.

* Consider this a shameless plug for a little road race in Portland, Maine on June 18th which was brought to my attention by Scott. It's called the New England Mile and it promises a fast course with plenty of good competition and free Friendly's ice cream afterward. Five-grand in total prize money doesn't hurt either if you've got some wheels and need to pay next month's rent. Go up there, have some fun, eat some ice cream and get a PR while you're at it. C'mon, after all it's in Maine, where life is how it should be.

* Check out Matty's Mulv's blog for some good stuff from Renato Canova. Not that I advocate everything that this introspective Italian preaches, but if you're as much of a running dork as I am, it's provides for some interesting reading. Some good stuff there.

And that's it for now. I'm getting up there in age and running quite a bit these days, so as a result I'm rather tired. More tomorrow, hopefully. Take it easy all.

Quote of the day:

There is a big difference between TRAINING and RUNNING : the first has the goal to stimulate your body, AND THE ANSWER OF YOUR BODY IS THE TRAINING. The second is something good for your health, but forget that you can improve with this mentality.
- Renato Canova

Monday, May 22, 2006

Monday mumblings

*A few changes have been made to the general layout of this here blog, albeit small ones. I've added a few new links to my reading list, so make sure to check those out, and also condensed said list into one general category, which will hopefully make things a little easier to navigate. I'm still dumbfounded as to how to load a photo into my profile...for whatever reason its not very easy for me to do. Consider this a plea for assistance (hint hint). I may also change the background tempate up a bit if the itch arises, so stay tuned.

* Speaking of site-related issues, it seems I've been getting a lot of SPAM-ish comments lately. Any idea how this happens and how to put an end to it?

*Barbaro, Kentucky Derby winner who pulled up in the Preakness, has a 50-50 chance of surviving surgery on his shattered ankle. They just showed him hanging in a gurney with a big-ass fiberglass cast on his hoof. Doesn't look promising you say? HA! I'm going to go out on a limb and say Barbaro comes back to win the Triple Crown next year and make Lance Armstrong's comeback from cancer look like an everyday achievement. The latest rumor on is that once he's stablized, Barbaro will head out to Portland, Oregon, where he will spend a majority of his days in an altitude-sealed stall, get a few special shots in his backside from Alberto Salazar and haul ass on a giant horse-sized underwater treadmill until he's able to transition back to land. Come Derby time next year, those other high-strung equines won't know what just blew by 'em. Remember, you heard it here first.

*This billboard bothers me every time I drive by it: U.S. Navy....Este es mi pais. What a crock of shit. Last time I checked, the native language in this country was English. Shame on the U.S. Navy to sink to such lows in order to attract non-native English-speaking immigrants as recruits. Our military and government leaders contradict themselves so much when it comes to issues of immigration, it's pathetic. Just like that damn billboard.

*I've been highly amused by all the hoopla surrounding the recent release of the Da Vinci Code, particularly the criticisms, boycotts and all-around rage from the diehard Catholics who find the film blasphemous. Wake up! It's a f*ckin' movie, it's meant to be entertaining. And IF, just IF, some of Dan Brown's claims regarding the lineage of Christ are true - which, in my opinion, would be nearly impossible to prove anyway - what are these so-called faithful so threatened by? Relax people.

And that's it for today. Time for me to get some shut-eye, take it easy.

Quote of the day:

At the end of every discussion, the question is: What I ask to my training? [Do] I want to try to reach my best potential results, or [do] I want to be fresh every day, running only for my health and my fun ? In the first case you must use long and fast run, with a correct modulation. In the second case, run slowly and enjoy your life, but don't speak about good results in athletics.
- Renato Canova

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Training Log (5/14-5/20)

SUN - AM: 98 minutes, 12 miles. Rainy run at the Rail Trail, and a damn cold rain at that. Driscoll came down for some Sunday fun and we ran for 30 minutes before picking up Hodge for our weekly weekend tour of the Quinapoxet. Fun times.

MON - AM: 66 minutes, 10 miles. All over the place at West Hill with the one and only A-Ten. Recent rains washed out our rustic route, not to mention a small skeleton in the middle of the trail. The latter of the two washouts threw us for a bit of a loop. PM: 35:30, 5 miles. Did six Driscollian strides at the end of this lil jaunt, just to stretch the legs out a bit - and pay tribute to my fantastic friend, of course.

TUES - AM: 36:30, 5 miles. Cold, wet and the purpose of the run was to warm up my muscles a bit. No such luck this morning. PM: 69:35, 10 miles. Went out to Bentley in anticipation of hills-n-drills; ran through the woods with Adam Stu instead and finished up with four snappy 200-meter strides on the track. Oh wait, 37 seconds isn't exactly snappy. My bad.

WEDS - 85:50, 13 miles. Woke up this morning to a weird light in the sky. Ancient folklore commonly referred to it as the sun, I believe. Anyway, I made my way back out to the Rail Trail (surprise surprise) and ran 23 minutes worth of good fartlek, attacking five good hills in the process. Paid close attention to my form and focused on running with an Easy Gait, just like my good pal Ryan. Solid effort this morning.

THURS - 84:30, 12 miles. Felt about as alive as that skeleton that's still making its home on the trail at West Hill. The cheering high school girls along the canal did nothing to energize my legs, but the sight of A-Ten's ass sure seemed to give them a boost.

FRI - AM: 51:35, 8 miles. Went out to Lowell for a rain-soaked run in the woods with Nate and Kevin. We managed to stay on the side of the city that remains above water, but I definitely felt like I was treading water trying to catch those two while doing some strides afterwards. Top-end speed needs a major tune-up. PM: 36:35, 5 miles. Yep, dead-on 7:20 pace. Now that's what I call easy runnin'.

SAT - AM: 14 miles. Early morning misadventure up to Bedford, NH with A-Ten. The object of our journey was to do some tempo running at the Rotary 12K Road Race - which we ultimately (and successfully) achieved - but it wasn't without some driving drama. We arrived at our destination at 8:48 a.m., a mere 12 minutes before the gun was to go off. Adam, who wisely pre-registered, secured his number and took off on his warmup, while I forked over my entry fee, took care of some pressing GI issues and started my warmup with six minutes to spare. A quick four-minute jaunt, a few quick stretches and I was on my way. The idea was to run 5:25-30 pace through 5 miles, then "go" over the last two. I'll admit my legs were a bit dumbfounded over the first couple miles, but by Mile 4 I was comfortably clicking off splits in the mid-5:20's. My pace was a little quicker than anticipated, but the effort was right where it should have been, so on the whole I was happy with how things went. A definite step in the right direction.

Actual splits were as follows: 5:26, 5:18, 5:22, 5:35 (hill), 10:42 (6-mile split, didn't see 5), 5:15 (37:40 through 7 mi) and 2:57 for the last 0.4, apparently. The course was an "unsanctioned 12K", as the original layout was altered due to recent rains. Judging by my split for the last 0.4, I'd say the new course was a smidge longer than 7.4 miles, but whatever, it served the purpose. The adjusted average pace comes out to 5:23/mile, which was good enough to place me second overall, well behind the aerobic monster who drove up both versions of Route 3 with me, Adam Ten. The young stud averaged a touch under 5-minute pace for 7 miles and change, running all by his lonesome. He's fit as a fiddle right now, thanks to his terrific twice-a-week training partner. Or not.

WEEK TOTALS: 94 miles, 10 runs. Good week of training with a couple solid harder efforts mixed in there. I've been a little more aggressive in my buildup since coming off the Achilles injury, but I'm holding up pretty well and have been placing a very strong emphasis on rest and recovery, which I'm finding to pay huge dividends. What good are the harder efforts if you can't recover from them? Volume-wise, this is about as high as I'll go until I begin my specific marathon buildup for Chicago, slated for sometime in mid to late July. Until then, consistency will be key.

Quote of the day:

The world could end while Todd’s doing a workout, and he doesn’t care. He’s going to finish that interval in whatever time he wants to run the interval in, and he’s going to be right on the money.
Anthony Famiglietti on Todd Williams

Friday, May 19, 2006

Saving face

Quick update, considering I'm currently operating on a serious lack of sleep with yet another early day on the horizon tomorrow morning. Adam Ten and I are heading up to Bedford, NH at the ass crack of dawn for a lil 12K fun on the roads, which seemed like a bright idea until I came to the unfortunate realization that I'd be getting my rear end out of bed at the un-godly hour of 6 a.m. What the hell was I thinking!?! Eh, sleep is for the weak, that's what I'll keep telling myself. I'll just suck it up and deal with it.

I talked to Kevin about my plans for tomorrow on Tuesday night at practice and he thought the "race" was a good idea as long as I could keep things under relative control. That shouldn't be a problem. The idea is to hit 5:30-pace through five miles and then bring it down a bit over the last two. I'm not too worried about the 5:30s, but it will be interesting to see what I can do off that pace. That's the challenge at hand. Check back sometime tomorrow or Sunday if you're curious to see how it all went down.

In the meantime, check out this interview, which consequently was the first blow to my beauty sleep earlier in the week.

OK, I'm done my incessant bitching - time to hit the hay. Take it easy all.

Quote of the day:

Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving Day, Saturday, Sunday…it never ends. It is a huge, huge commitment if you are going to train at that highest level.
- Bob Kennedy

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

A few words about respect, or lack thereof

In case I don't have time later, I just want to get a few things off my chest while I have the chance.

1. I respect self-confidence, even to the point where it might be called cockiness. Nothing wrong with that. It ain't bragging if you can back it up.

2. I also respect humility. Humbleness can be an eerily silent killer.

3. I don't respect narcissism. Trust me, the mirror doesn't always tell the truth.

4. Acknowledge those who helped you get to where you are. I respect that too.

This will have to do for now. Take it easy all.

Quote of the day:

I think your generation has found its Jerry Lawson.
- A wise man who shall remain nameless

Monday, May 15, 2006

Where do I start?

First day back at it after a brief hiatus, so let's not waste any more time.

1. Fernando Cabada. Cocky sunavabitch, but he has every right to be. Hell, I like the guy. He's confident, fearless and has been on a silent tear of late. I think this weekend's pending American Record in the 25K is gonna make more than a little noise. From what I understand, a lot of people aren't too fond of him, but his results speak for themselves. And you know what I like to say, you can't argue with results.

2. Speaking of cocky sunavabitches, get a load of a recent brief chat with this guy. The man they call "Fam" has got to be the most eccentric character in a sport thats full of them -- and that's why I like the guy. He says and does some pretty outlandish stuff, but that's him and he doesn't apologize for it. That's cool. Personally, I think Craig Mottram is gonna obliterate him - and the rest of the field at the Healthy Kidney 10K this weekend, for that matter - but I admire Fam's chutzpah and fearlessness. We need more guys with attitudes like him and Cabada on the American running scene. Just my two cents.

3. Check out an excellent interview with this affable Australian, written by this bloody bastard. Lots of good stuff in there. Get out your Hi-lighter.

4. And when you're done with that, check out this Web site, created by a good pal of mine. Kid's talented!

5. Moving on to more mobile activities, here's a brief synopsis of my training last week:

88 miles in 10 runs. Went long with Ryan, Adam Stu and Paul Ryan in the Lincoln Woods on Sunday, ran 5 x 2 minutes up Heartbreak Hill in Newton on Tuesday and got in a hilly 5-mile tempo run in 27:40 on Saturday. The Achilles problem seems to be completely behind me and my training is progressing nicely. Hopefully I'll round into pretty good shape over the next few weeks and be ready to pop some good races this summer.

6. Recently I've had the all-too-uncommon luxury of a mid-week training partner in the form of Adam Ten. Since he redshirted this outdoor season at W&M, he's been pounding out 120 a week rather than taking the post-track downtime some of his fellow Tribesmen are currently engaging themselves in. As a result, he's been wailing on me two or three times a week, which should speed the progression of my ever-improving fitness level. So far he's held back on me, but one of these days I'm sure he'll unleash his fury. He owes me for all the times I dragged him out on 16-mile slugfests when he was an up-and-coming, but unsuspecting 16-year-old HS stud. As they say, what goes around eventually comes around.

7. So it's been raining a lot here lately. Seriously, I don't even remember what the sun looks like. It's more than mildly depressing. Runs are that much more miserable, the Sox cancelled both games this past weekend and there's just an overall feeling of dampness in the air, literally and figuratively. And to think I actually wanted to live in Oregon.

8. Speaking of places I want to live, I think it's about time to start exploring a few different options. I've got nowhere specific in mind, and in all honesty I've got very few complaints about my current living situation, but I'm always up for a change of scenery. The view from my basement suite is getting old.

9. Ridiculous sign from the past few weeks, courtesy of the 7th Day Adventists in Sterling, MA:

May is God's apology for February.

Well if that's the case, then He's got some explaining to do.

Quote of the day:

I have the attitude. I'm not afraid of anybody. I tried to break (the Kenyans). I looked at their faces. I thought they were weak, so I pushed them, tested them, messed with them. Then, one by one, I ran away from them.
- Fernando Cabada

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Happy to be ripped off

I apologize once again for a complete lack of entries recently, but that will change starting tomorrow. I promise. Thanks to Matty Mulv for the much-need kick in the ass. I'm mildly flattered.

Quote of the day:

I never learned I was supposed to be intimidated. I always assumed when you line up, you line up to try to win the race.
- Craig Mottram

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Training Log (4/30-5/6)

SUN - AM: 95+ minutes at the Rail Trail, calling it 13 to be safe. First 42 minutes solo - easy to the gate (2.75 miles) in 19:08, came back comfortably hard in 14:38 [5:30, 3:59 (3/4), 5:09], followed by 6 Driscoll strides and some light jogging till Hodge showed up. Last 7 miles or so nice & easy in 53:55 with the old man.

MON - AM: 50 min nice & easy at West Hill along the canal. Monday's will be reserved for recovery from here on out.

TUES - AM: Morning four-banger in a shade over 28 minutes. Nice & moist out, just how I like it. PM: 60 minutes at Bentley with Adam Stu, followed by six strides on the track. We'll call this one 9 miles.

WEDS - AM: Stone Church fartlek solo, 51:30. Ran the four hills pretty hard and finished up the last 5 minutes on the uptempo side of things. Displayed Hulk-like strength for the first time in a long while this morning. PM: Easy does it on the 'ol four-mile road loop from home, 28:15. 12 for the day.

THURS - AM: Bike Path out-n-back 10-spot from home, 68:15. Did not feel good, at all. Hulk-like feeling of invincibility was apparently a short-term phenomenon.

FRI - AM: 56-minute two looper at West Hill, finishing up with four Driscoll strides. 8 miles, not much more. Not as near-death as yesterday but still a pretty morbid run. Gotta resurrect myself before tomorrow.

SAT - AM: Fresh Pond 'Almost-5-Mile Jump-Over Small Dogs Tempo' in 26:40. Lived up to my metronomic reputation with a dead-on nuts 13:20 clocking for each loop. 5:23/avg. mile, a touch faster than goal pace of 5:25-30 but I'll take it. Solid effort; felt like my first tempo run in 10 weeks. Oh wait, it was.

WEEK TOTALS: 74 miles on nine runs. Bailed on Friday's PM shakeout, which was probably a wise move considering the self-inflicted ass-kicking I gave myself on Wednesday. If all goes according to plan, next week should look eerily similar to this one.

Quote of the day:

I don’t want you to leave here smashing your head against the wall. Be businesslike, patient, and methodical. Do a little head smashing every day for one hundred days.
- Mark Wetmore

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

I'm baaaaaaaaack

Well, sorta. I'll probably have more to say later, but for now I'd like to apologize for a complete lack of entries over the last week or so. A few unexpected things came up and a Kemibe-like blogging hiatus was one of the unfortunate results. All is well however, so no worries. Hope ya'll didn't miss me too bad. Take it easy.

Quote of the day:

I’m not going to let him get it that easy. It’s my course; I run on it every day.
- Anthony Famiglietti

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

State of the Running Address

Friends, family, co-workers, current teammates, former teammates, coaches both past and present, wayward runners, fellow bloggers and whoever else may frequent this space on a quasi-regular basis:

Other than a weekly summation of my daily toils, I've refrained from going into detail about my own running in these entries, mainly because I wasn't doing too much activity resembling forward locomotion and secondly, I wasn't writing about much else other than my pathetic attempts at cross training and the occasional hobble on a bum Achilles. In hindsight, I think it improved the quality of some of my general entries, but took away from chronicling my personal running journey, which is what this blog was originally intended for in the first place. Funny how things change sometimes.

Speaking of change, a lot has occurred in regards to my running over the last five and a half weeks, much of it positive. After battling a nasty achilles injury that shelved me for just about the entire month of March, I've managed to gradually work my way back into a consistent pain-free running routine during the month of April and believe that May will mark my return to the serious training necessary to ready me for a handful of track races in mid-June and early July. From there, it's full steam ahead to Chicago on October 22nd where I'll take a shot at sub-2:22 and a Trials qualifier in the marathon. Of course, this is all just pencilled in at this point, but if all goes well, hopefully I won't have to use the eraser too much.

My approach at this point is somewhat Alan Culpepperish, which is to get in as good of 5K-10K shape as possible within a limited time frame and then begin my marathon-specific preparation. I've talked things over with both Kevin and Hodgie and they seem to agree that it's not a bad route to take. With that being said, the target races this summer will be the New England Championships 5K at MIT on June 18th and Club Nationals in San Francisco roughly a month later. The idea is to get into some sort of decent shape by those dates without rushing it, if that makes any sense. More than anything, those races will give me a starting point from which to base my fall training off of. My optimistic - yet admittedly conservative - wild guess is that I can get down to 14:45/30:30 track shape by mid-July. If that's the case, then I'll be on track for where I want to be in October.

As for what it will take to get there, I think I've finally put myself on the right track over the last five weeks. My mileage totals have evolved from 29 miles of slow shuffling during the last week of March to 66 miles of relatively steady running and the introduction of some snappy strides and fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants tempo runs this past week. The plan is to gradually increase my workload over the next two months and begin incorporating a Tuesday hill workout and Saturday tempo run into my routine starting this weekend. I'll likely follow this pattern until early June and then ease myself into a few track workouts to get my rhythm back before toeing the line. Then it's time to race, ready or not.

So that's where I'm at: happy, healthy and heading in the right direction. Watch out.

Quote of the day:

We have got to have a plan. We must have a plan even if it is wrong.
- Once A Runner (thanks to Ryan for reminding me of this one)

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Swinging away

Gotta break outta my recent slump with these entries; not sure how I'm gonna do it or if I'll succeed, but here goes...

1. Read this article. Comment on it. I'm interested in what you have to say. Seriously.

2. Sox got rained out tonight, which is too bad. But so far we're 1-0 on the year vs. Johnny Demon and his minions, which is the only record I care about to be honest. That leaves 18 more regular season games versus the Bronx Bungholes, and if we went 19-0 againt those clowns while losing the other 143 games, well, I'd be fine with that. OK, probably not, but it would likely be enough ammo to keep their fans quiet, which is half of my battle in life.

3. Stanford 10K. Fast, fast, fast. Not American-record fast, but when was the last time you saw three Americans in the same race around 27:30 on domestic soil? I'm not sure myself to be honest, but I believe it's been a while. A long while at that. Somebody correct me if I'm wrong.

4. I just saw on the news that there's a new musical in Boston replaying the whole Tonya Harding/Nancy Kerrigan fiasco/saga from many years back. It's mildly amusing but overly pathetic, sad and disturbing at the same time. Not to mention grossly outdated and seemingly pointless, which leads me to ask, why?

5. Back to the Stanford 10K. Did I mention that I was impressed? That Webb guy sure has some range. Not a bad 25-lap debut. It will be interesting to see if he sticks with the 1,500 or moves up to the five this summer. Personally, I'd like to see him focus on the 'ol 12-1/2 lapper and take a crack at King Bob's American record. I think he's got a damn good shot. Mottram's run mid-12:50s and I think him and Alan are pretty comparable at this point. Just my two cents.

And let's not forget about Ritz. From what I understand, he led a bulk of the way on Sunday night. This guy's an aerobic monster - the longer he goes, the tougher he's gonna be to beat. I think he's got a shot at possibly going under 27:20 later this year, but I'm not sure if he's got an American Record up his sleeves just yet. Not that my opinion matters, but hopefully he proves me wrong.

Last, but certainly not least, Fam the man had a helluva debut for himself as well. I don't think anyone saw this one coming, perhaps not even the man himself. Then again, I don't know for sure, but I do know that he opened more than a few eyes with his 27:37. I can't help but wonder if this was the beginning of the end of his love affair with the steeplechase or what. If he's gonna move up to some longer flat races though, 27:37 isn't a bad place to start.

6. Everyone take cover and watch out for remnants of broken records being shattered at a dizzying pace by the trackies over at Stonehill College. Personally, I lost another one this past weekend, as super sophomore David Metzger had a rough night at the Penn Relays on Thursday and still managed to slip under my old 5K mark with a time of 15:09. Just so you know, he ran 14:37 indoors this past winter, so that sucker is going way down sooner than later. Trust me. Also, sophomore stud #2, Keith Gill, who actually broke my 1,500 record by .2 a couple weeks back, brought that mark down to 3:52 and some change at Brown on Sunday, taking a full two seconds off the 3:54.48 I ran as a sophomore. On the women's side, Dana D. broke through in the 1,500 at Brown, popping off a 4:38 (a school record by 2 seconds) to provisionally qualify for NCAA's. Girl is rolllllllling. On the whole, these kids just keep raising the bar and dropping times like it's going out of style. It's great to see. And as always, KcoachB is doing a helluva job.

Anyways, that's all I got. Take it easy.

Quote of the day:

He eats and runs, that's all.
- Article about Budhia Singh. Read it.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Whole lotta nuthin'

No pathetic excuses today. I gut nuthin'.

Quote of the day:

Damn those milers.
- Dathan Ritzenhein