Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Crashing currently

I'm currently hungry, unmotivated and tired, so I think the logical solution will be to eat, watch TV and go to bed. Before I go, however, a quick shoutout to this speedy sunavabitch for shattering my short-lived Stonehill school record of 4:09.77 in the mile this past weekend at BU. Mr. Gill's 4:07.22 currently sits him atop the D2 rankings, and the scary thing is he's only gonna get faster. Good stuff continues to go down in Easton.

And as Mr. Carrara would say, that's all I got. Take it easy.

Quote of the day:

To run 3:50, you have to train at that pace. Not 3:40-pace! 3:50 is 57.5 per quarter, so you need to be able to float at that pace. Training at 53 or 55 pace does not help on the 3rd lap when you get tired. You have to put in numerous workouts at the desired and attainable race pace -- and keep a training log.
- Jim Spivey

Monday, January 22, 2007

Uneven ratios

Sorry for recent lack of posting, but the proverbial man has had me tied down. Luckily, things are leveling off some it looks that way anyway. Hell, I had my first complete day off today in 15 days, AND I have another one on Thursday. What the hell am I gonna do with my time?

Anyway, last week's mileage topped out at a six-month high of 75 with work hours totaling an even 60. The preceding 6 weeks' ratios looked a bit like this...

1/14-1/20 - 70:49
1/7-1/13 - 70:50
12/31-1/6 - 55:59
12/24-12/30 - 65:64
12/17-12/23 - 60:56
12/10-12/16 - 60:58

Good news is I'm feeling stronger every week. You may notice a bit of a 3 weeks up/1 week down pattern with my mileage which seems to be working out well. There is no such rhythm to my work schedule, however, but if anything, the craziness of holding down 2 jobs keeps me from overanalyzing my running. For now, it's a fair tradeoff.

As for specific workouts, there aren't many. For four weeks, I did a once-a-week basic hill workout prescribed by Kevin and a few fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants tempo runs. A couple races, some 20-30 second strides every now and again and exactly one track workout with 3 miles worth of low-intensity intervals pretty much sums up my last 20 weeks of training since coming off the stress fracture. No magic formula, just overall consistency and enjoying what I'm doing on a daily basis. Then again, that might be the magic formula right there.

Quote of the day:

What I’ve learned is why I look forward to getting out the door everyday. Those two years off had something to do with it. Things work out better when you treat them as they are. Running is just a sport, it’s no longer everything like it used to be. Now I can do whatever I want. There’s no limits — I feel like I’m unstoppable.
- Mike Smith

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Poor planning

I failed miserably in my quest today to progress from 5:40 down to 5:20 pace at the Frostbite 15K in Raynham. As far as mistakes go, however, it wasn't too bad.

After a 5:24-that-felt-like-5:40 first mile, I decided to "not waste good time", as former Kenyan superstud John Ngugi would say, and maintain my effort level as long as it felt comfortable, which ended up being the entire 9.3 miles. I felt fantastic the entire way and I'd like to think I could have went another 4 miles or so without much added undue diress, but I'll wait for March 18 and the New Bedford 1/2 Marathon to see if that holds true.

For you number crunchers, the mile splits from my trusty Timex were as follows: 5:24.77, 5:16.14, 5:15.89, 5:23.93, 5:22.22, 5:17.71, 5:31.52 (hill), 5:15.39, 6:48.73 (5:13 pace for the last 1.3 miles, no 9-mile split) for a total time of 49:37 and a 5:19 average mile.

Although it deviated from the original plan, I was more than happy with today's effort. Placed me fifth out of 413 to boot, out of the money but good enough to win me a heavy duty, full-length ice scraper, which looks as if it will be getting a bit of use this week. More importantly, for the first time in about 2-1/2 years I'm feeling good, feeling strong and having fun. The fire's starting to heat back up again after smoldering for way too long.

That'll do it for tonight - a fine night I might add - as the Patriots booted by the Bolts and move on to face the Colts in an AFC title tilt next Sunday. Fitting, too, that the game was won on a field goal by Adam Vina, er, I mean Stephen Gostkowski. Hey, a Pats' win is a Pats' win. It doesn't matter who gets the credit.

Quote of the day:

At this rate, I'll be in a home in by the end of the year.
- Greg Ward, who is slowly losing it (read the quote closely and you'll see why)

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Here's my plan...

...and I hope to stick to it. I've entered this race tomorrow with the goal of completing a 15K progression run in the following manner:

- 1st 5K @ 5:40 pace (17:30/17:30)
- 2nd 5K @ 5:30 pace (17:00/34:30)
- 3rd 5K @ 5:20 pace (16:30/51:00)

The idea is to get in a longer tempo-ish effort without completely thrashing myself. So why enter a race you might ask? Quite simply, it has to do with productivity. For me, it's much more effective to do such a workout in a race environment than to attempt a similar effort by myself. Banging out long runs, fartleks and interval sessions all by my lonesome has never given me much trouble, but without fail everything goes to shit when it comes to the one-man planned tempo run. Perhaps it's a mental block or some other undiscovered ailment, but a longer, steady workout with prescribed splits has never treated me well. For whatever reason, I'm much more focused when I'm around other people in a race atmosphere, even if I'm not actually racing. Make sense to anyone out there?

Anyway, I'm feeling pretty good about the progression of my fitness over the last 6 weeks, so I believe the biggest challenge tomorrow will be holding back if I'm feeling good. The only exception I'll make to deviating from the aforementioned plan is if I'm within striking distance of a top-3 placing with less than 5K to go. At that point 5:20-pace gets thrown out the window and it becomes a matter of winning back my entry fee. Call it the Road Whore's great dilemma.

Quote of the day:

Type: Easy Run
Distance: 15 mi
Time: 1:33:00 (6:12 / mi)
Comments: ymca track 113 laps
- From Casey Moulton's training log

Thursday, January 11, 2007

How I spent my day off....

No, they're not mine, in case anyone thought I pulled a fast one. These two little monsters are my cousin Anthony's kids, 3-1/2 year old Sean and his 1-1/2 year old sister, Alicia, who my mom just happened to be babysitting today.

"Uncle Mario", as I'm inaccurately -- but affectionately -- called by the two of them, paid his second cousins a little visit today with half a dozen munchkins from Dunkin' Donuts. Well, the two of them were happier than pigs in shit and the three of us had a grand ole time this afternoon watching SpongeBob, Dora the Explorer and playing hide-and-go seek. Ahh, the joys of being young again...

That's it for now; I've gotta go hone my hiding skills. Take it easy.

Quote of the day:

- Me: How many munchkins are in the bag?
- Sean: [Takes out a chocolate one and stuffs it in his mouth] Five, Uncle Mario.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Delectable domination

Photographic proof of me dominating the infamous Italian grinder -- don't dare call it a sub -- from Oliva's Market on my lunch break at PR Running this afternoon. Just how impressive was my maiden mangia-fest with this gargantuan greasepile encased in half a loaf of Italian bread? I finished the entire thing in one sitting, an accomplishment I'm afraid can only be fully appreciated by two faithful readers of this blog, namely Ryan Carrara and Mark Driscoll. They both can vouch for the greasy goodness that only this $3.50 mass-produced Milford marvel can provide. And believe me, it was well worth every penny.

And with that, I'm off to bed in an attempt to sandbag some extra sleep heading into what's already shaping up to be another wacky, work-filled weekend. Take it easy all.

Quote of the day:

Running is who I am. I feel like I've lost part of my identity without it. I'm determined to get it back.
- Michael Mann

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Set me free

About to head home in a lil bit, but my day was just made that much brighter by a 65-year-old woman who came in here looking for the Nike Free to run the Disney Marathon in this weekend solely because her "daughter recommended it." Unfortunately, we don't carry the shoe, but in retrospect I should have referred her to my buddy Nate Jenkins. Now that he's a Saucony guy, perhaps he has an old pair of his beloved Nikes lying around. Oyyyyyyy vei. And with that, I'm out.

Quote of the day:

In my opinion, I had three factors: The first one was the physical part; I was very well trained. Second, I was mentally and emotionally relaxed; I was very tranquil. And third, it definitely was my day! Everything that I did to prepare, and all the sacrifices I made, all came together on that day.
- Marilson Gomes dos Santos

Crawling along

Slow day manning the fort here at PR Running. Granted we've only been open for 45 minutes as of the posting of this entry, I've seen only one customer walk through the door so far this morning and all he bought was four pairs of women's underwear. Yes, he. Sometimes it's just best not to ask any questions.

Anyway, it appears to be shaping up as one of those days, so stay tuned. If this snail's pace keeps up, I just may be able to squeeze a week's worth of entries in as little as a few hours. That's wishful thinking, at least.

Take it easy.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Let's get it started

Yes, those are man tights and yes, this is a recent picture. As recent as this morning, actually, in what was my first race of 2007. So far I'm (laughably) undefeated in the new year with a 26:25 win at the Freezer 5 in Sterling. The name of the race was fitting because I'm not sure I've ever been so cold in my life. With temps in the mid-30's, a steady rain and persistant wind, I came up with the bright idea of wearing a singlet, light gloves and the aforementioned man tights. No problems to speak of until 3-1/2 miles when my arms tightened like a vice grip. I imagine this is what rigamortis feels like. Luckily, the 'ol legs didn't experience any problems and I held a comfortable lead through the chute. The finishing time was in the ballpark of what I thought I was capable of running and, more importantly, I felt strong and in control while clicking off some fairly consistent splits. In case you're curious, said splits looked something like this: 5:14, 10:31, 15:45, 21:10, 26:25.

Overall, I'm happy with the effort and feeling good about where I'm at right now as 2007 gets underway. I'm still a long ways off from where I want to be, but I'm on the right track and confident that I'll get there. To steal a line from Billy Mills: "Believe, believe, believe."

And that's it for today. Happy New Year!

Quote of the day:

Be the dream.
- John Chaney