Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Spare me

While I have a spare minute - and believe me, they've been hard to come by of late - let's re-cap.

* A belated congrats to the entire New England crew who ran Chicago some 10 days ago. On the whole, we were well represented. One of these days I'm gonna get myself to the starting line in one piece so I can be a part of it.

* My 8 week post-stress fracture "Re-Introduction" block is successfully in the books. Mileage totals were as follows: 6, 12, 12, 20, 26, 30, 35, 42. This week will begin a 4-week "Building" block, by the end of which I hope to be back in the 60 mile-per-week range. No planned workouts, other than the incorporation of 6 x 20 sec strides a few times per week, which I began today. This block will culminate with a 4-mile free-for-all on Turkey Day at the Gobble, Gobble, Gobble in Somerville, which will give me an idea where I am fitness wise before Kevin takes charge of the workouts. The early line from Vegas has me coming in at 22:30, with an over/under of 30 sec. Start placing your bets now.

Other than that, work takes up a good amount of my free time. I don't mind so much, but I do have to close up the store right now, thus ending this brief entry. Hopefully I'll have more to spill sometime soon. Take it easy.

Quote of the day:

It takes a while to figure out the marathon, so I think the earlier you’re willing to give it a shot, the better off you’ll be in the long run.
- Patrick Gildea

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Worthwhile investment

Greetings from Chi-town! This entry brought to you courtesy of the $9.95 I dropped for 24-hour internet access in order to file my column for work this morning. It's been a busy 36 hours since arriving here in the Windy City, mostly consisting of traversing the city by foot and dining at a few of the many fine establishments in close proximity to downtown.

For purposes of preserving anonymity, I won't reveal the identity of the former teammate who is letting me crash on their floor for the weekend, but I will say the two of us are having a grand ole time taking in the marathon weekend festivities. It's been nice to catch up given the fact that we currently live on opposite sides of the country, and that neither of us are actually running the marathon tomorrow. No pressure, despite the fact we're taking up space on the 13th floor!

Speaking of said floor, we both figured that it may have been a bad omen given the unlucky history of the number that typically falls after 12 and before 14, but any chances of ill luck falling upon us this weekend were quickly nixed when a giant gob of bird shit inconveniently fell on me as we were wandering through downtown last night. Hey, shit happens.

Anywho, it's time I hit the hay given an early wakeup tomorrow morning and no internet access again till Monday evening sometime. Hope everyone's having themselves a dandy weekend. Take it easy.

Quote of the day:

"We went 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6 at New England's. We should've swept - it was fuckin' embarrassing."
- Idle chatter this afternoon with former Providence star Keith Kelly about the good 'ol days of New England cross country.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Blown away

Not yet, actually, but tomorrow I am indeed heading to the Windy City for a lil Chicago Marathon action. Well, the only action I'll be partaking in related to the marathon involves spectating, but I'm excited for it nonetheless. This should be a fun lil trip.

With that being said, best of luck to everyone racing this weekend, especially my boys in the Bay State crew. You clowns will be sure to hear me at various points along the course.

Back on Monday - till then, take it easy.

Quote of the day:

Chicago is a fast course, yes. But so many things must go right to run a fast time. You can’t plan on it too far out. Not until the training program is finished.
- Charles Kibiwott

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Status check

No worries, I haven't completely abandoned this space just yet, and believe it or not I have a few changes - albeit cosmetic ones - in the works, so continue to stay tuned if the signal hasn't gone dead already. With that being said, it appears I've got some catching up to do. Here goes nuthin'...

A lot's been going on since I last wrote - nothing terribly exciting, monumental or earth-shattering, but a lot nonetheless. At the forefront is my ever-so-gradual return to running. I've successfully completed Week 6 of the comeback and am two weeks away from being back on a regular 7-day-a-week shedule. Longest run thus far was an 8-mile misadventure last Tuesday evening in Newton, but otherwise I've been sticking in the 5-6 mile range for the last couple of weeks. So far, so good, knock on wood.

Between both jobs, work's been a bit busy, but rather enjoyable given the absurd amount of time I spend trying to make a buck. Nothing new to speak of at the ol' T&G, and business at the running store is hovering on the slow side now that cross country and marathon season is in full swing. The logistics of each operation are so remarkably different that it keeps my ever-shortening attention span somewhat in focus. This, of course, is a good thing.

Speaking of good things, former Chieftain cross country teammate and all-around good guy Greg Saia had a nice marathon debut in Lowell today, clocking a 2:57:24 to qualify for Baaahston in April. Nice work!

And while I'm on the subject of marathons, this coming weekend marks the arrival of the much-anticipated Chicago Marathon. While neither I nor fellow banged-up pals Adam Ten or Nate Jenkins are part of the crew any longer, do take note of the solid New England contingent making the trek out to the windy city for Sunday's 26.2-mile melee: New Balance Boston teammates Ryan Carrara, Brad Klinedinst and Chris Voce, former BAA teammates Terry Shea, Mark LaRosa, Pat Moulton, Ian Nurse, and a host of others I'm unintentionally leaving out. I do believe the whole lot of them will indeed tear things up. I'm disappointed not to be racing alongside my comrades in sweat, but I am uber excited that I'll have the opportunity to watch them all up close.

Random work-related fun fact of the night: The Walpole High School field hockey team is nicknamed the Porkers. You can bet your loose couch change I got that in a headline.

Lastly, I'm not one for political meddling, but this clown is a fellow graduate of the fine institution which also awarded me an undergraduate degree, which isn't saying much. Luckily, he has about as good a chance of being the governor of Massachusetts as George Bush does of making a rational international decision, which also isn't saying much.

Lastly, a shoutout to my boy Mark Driscoll, who should be outlining his thesis instead of pestering me to hit the PUBLISH button at the bottom of the screen. Take it easy all.

Quote of the day:

Eat the cookies, spare the children.
- Co-worker Mike Besaw in a phone conversation with his wife this evening.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Blessed trinity

I sold a pair of these at work today. It's a great running shoe - take my word for it, or better yet, go try a pair on for yourself. This probably doesn't matter to most of you who may frequent this space from time to time, unless your name happens to be Ted Fitzpatrick.

With that being said, how ya doin' Ted? A little birdie in San Diego told me you check in here from time to time. Thanks for visiting - and thanks for the bright-ass yellow Reebok pullover!

Quote of the day:

You've got to be both good and lucky to win at this level. You know that.
- Gary Gardner, coach of UMass Lowell men's cross country, 2006 New England Champions, in a short interview with me today

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Ride of the century

This past weekend I partook in this 100-mile adventure with four good 'ol pals of mine. The weather was great and the ride itself went pretty well, with three out of five of us finishing the trek around in and around Acadia National Park. Even with a slight misdirection - and more idling along than I would have liked - the full 103 miles took Bergs, Reino and I just under 6 hours. To be honest, I felt great, and still do two days later. The effort was long, but none too exhausting. I effectively managed to stay on top of my fluid and fuel intake and I think that played a huge part in the success of my longest ride to date.

Saturday I raced my two-wheeler in the Greenway Challenge relay as part of a corporate team for my primary employer. We finished 6th of 8 in our divison, a bit disappointing, but a fun time nonetheless. Above and to the right is a shot of me starting my leg, courtesy of team captain, Jackie Reis. I finished the 14-mile segment in 40:01 for a 21 mph average on a fairly hilly course. I managed to pick us up 22 spots in the process, which was a huge adrenaline rush.

These two big days on the bike were likely my last cycling hurrahs of the summer/early fall now that I'm successfully running on a somewhat consistent basis. I'm in Week 5 of my return and up to 5 miles, 5 times a week. The plan is to mix these few fairly easy miles of running with equally un-outrageous - but slightly more intense - miles of biking until the first week of November, at which point I will hopefully be covering up to around 45-50 miles a week by foot. If all goes well, maybe a Turkey Day race to see where my fitness is at, but right now, that's nothing more than a very distant thought.

While I'm touching on the idea of races, however, be sure to check out the primative version of my club's new Web site, found here. Same club, same coach, but a new name, some new energy and new life. I'm pumped to be a part of it.

Lastly, I got me some new wheels a week ago today in the form of a 2007 Toyota Corolla S with Sports Plus package, color: phantom gray. A pretty significant upgrade from the greenish-blue Escort, for sure, and it didn't even totally break my bank. However, it's easily the nicest thing I'll likely own - ever - unless I hit it big, that is. Pictures to follow.

That'll do it for tonight. Sorry for the infrequent updates, but in case anyone was concerned, I am indeed alive and well. Take it easy.

Quote of the day:

Wearing number 7, the man nicknamed “Ritz cracker” had never been considered a favourite for the race, just the latest bright prospect of American distance running gearing up for his marathon debut in New York City on 5th November.
- IAAF report on Dathan Ritzenhein at the Great North Run