Wednesday, October 31, 2007


7:50 AM - 4 miles, 31:50 - Hampton 4.
Dead-dog tired. First mile in 8 minutes, last 3+ not much faster.

7:30 PM - 9 miles - Westboro.
14:55 warmup to WHS track, 2 x 1 mile (5:02.44, 5:01.77), 8 x 400m (73.62, 73.12, 72.70, 73.22, 72.59, 73.86, 71.56, 71.63), 13:20 cooldown back to the store. 400m jog recovery (2:18, 2:13) after the miles, 200m jog recovery (1:00-1:10) after the 400s.

I didn't want to work out tonight. After waking up exhausted and putting in a pitiful 4 miles before work followed by almost 10 hours at the store, all I wanted to do was go home, get something to eat and get my tired ass to bed. The workout Kevin sent to me via e-mail earlier in the day would have to wait until morning. To make a long story short, it couldn't wait that long.

Now for the unabridged version.

Around 6:30 I went out to the car and brought in my gym bag after convincing myself I'd go for an easy 4-mile shakeout jog and strides after I closed the store up at 7. Right at the magic hour, Rich called to check in and see how the day went and told me about his workout earlier this morning - repeat 1,200s on the bike path with short recovery, the same workout he did a couple weeks back but faster. It got me fired up. Then I started thinking about my teammates, who at the very same hour were beating the shit out of each other running circles around the BC Res. Since I had to work the whole day and couldn't make it out to Brighton, I was forced to fly solo - never a welcome endeavor - but knowing that my mates were all running hard in the dark after equally long days at work, I had no excuse.

What I did have, however, was a watch whose Indiglo didn't work, which made Kevin's assigned workout of...

5 min tempo (2R) 5min tempo (2-4R) 10 x 1 min w/ 60-90 sec rest

1 min intervals should be in the 5K pace to 5K pace minus a couple of seconds.

...near impossible. So I improvised. Instead of running on effort over a number of minutes I decided to run by feel over a set distance. Since 5 minutes at tempo pace is just about a mile and 1 minute at 5K pace is a few ticks under a 400, and the only place to get accurate feedback when running at such speeds in the pitch-black is on a measured track, that's where I went.

Again, the Indiglo on my trusty Timex was out, so the best I could do was run on feel, click the split timer and look at the damage afterward. I was encouraged to see that although I was a little quick, I wasn't totally reckless. More importantly, I was consistent and under control throughout, and with Sunday's shit show still in the back of my mind, this made me feel a little bit better about myself.

Now that I've got a good workout under my belt and eaten enough to loosen that belt up a bit, I can finally go to bed. Goodnight.

Quote of the Day

"Writing, like running, is as much about faith as it is technique. Like the best runners, the best novelists are a little bit insane. However self-effacing a champion may act off the course, he's got to believe in himself. The best novelists don't just make the story up, they actually think it's true."
- Benjamin H. Cheever in a Runner's World piece about Once a Runner author John L. Parker.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Lucky 13

7:45 AM - 5 miles, 34:50 - Pakachoag 5.
Sub-7-minute pace before 8 AM. I really have no explanation for this phenomenon.

6:35 PM - 8 miles, 55:20 - Millbury.
Pitch-black prowl with Sean through the mean streets of Millbury. Oh how I've missed the two-mile climb at the end of this run. Not.

Quote of the Day

“I don’t think about what was. It was great, but you can’t bring those days back. Life goes on.”
- Ronaldo da Costa, former marathon world record holder

Monday, October 29, 2007

Mundane Monday

6:45 AM - 8 miles, 58:10 - RockPak 8.
Got out early before meeting with the electrician to do a walk-through at the new place. Started out in the dark, didn't realize it was only 32 degrees and underdressed accordingly. Had a pretty good run though - legs were in surprisingly decent shape, but the groin was a bit more uncomfortable than it has been of late.

Quote of the Day

"So in one sense, he's my best buddy and we're great friends, but when it comes to competition, he wants to take out my throat."

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Crossed up

12:00 PM - 10 miles - Franklin Park.
16 minutes up, Mayor's Cup 8K (57th - 26:02), 21 minutes down. Out in 4:52 and it was a steady decline from there.

5:45 PM - 5 miles, 38:10 - Carrara's Trails.
Easy shakeout from la casa de Carrara with Sean during halftime of the Pats game. Took advantage of the trails with what daylight we had left, then finished up on the roads.

Let's put it this way. Two weeks ago I raced 13.1 miles at an average pace of 5:19 per mile. This afternoon, I raced - and I use that term loosely - 8 kilometers, or just under 5 miles, at a not-so-blistering clip of 5:16 per mile. I'm not making any excuses, but deep down I know that today's finishing time isn't anywhere reflective of my current fitness level. To be honest, I'm not sure what it's reflective of, but I do know that I never felt good today - not even for a second. I couldn't make a move, or even respond to one, to save my life. Outside of my 26:11 debut on this course as a freshman in college, this was my slowest Franklin Park finish ever. Bottom line, I had a shitty race. It happens. I'm over it.

Luckily, I had a few teammates who had some pretty good races, so a quick congratulations to Jeff and Justin on their new PRs and Coogs, Brad, Ryan and Fabian on their own solid performances. The women tore it up as well, with Kristen and Erin cracking the top-15 in a stacked field. On the whole, NB Boston was well represented at Franklin Park this afternoon.

So, that's it. The first cross country race of the season is in the books and the fact of the matter is I'm our 7th man, not even taking into account the three studs who sat out for us today.

So what will I do now? I'll lace my shoes back up tomorrow morning, pack away a few more weeks of solid training and have a better race at New England's in three weeks. That's what I'll do.

Quote of the Day

"Aw, it's the same damn hill."
- Chris Voce cementing our decision to avoid Bear Cage Hill on the warmup this afternoon.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Sum it up

7:30 AM - 7 miles, 48:25 - Rockland 7.
Easy run in the rain before work. Threw in a few short random pickups just to stretch the legs out a bit. Hopefully they stretch out a little more before tomorrow.

Weekly Summary: October 21-28
Sunday - AM: 18 miles, 2:00.
Monday - AM: 6 miles, 42:15. 6 x 20-second strides.
Tuesday - AM: 4 miles, 30:00. PM: 13 miles. 10 x Bottom-to-Top on Heartbreak Hill.
Wednesday - AM: 8 miles, 57:40.
Thursday - AM: 7 miles, 48:00. PM: 5 miles, 37:50. 8 x 200m strides.
Friday - AM: 7 miles, 48:45.
Saturday - AM: 7 miles, 48:25.
Totals: 75 miles, 9 runs. Good week, and a busy one to boot. Lots of extracurricular stuff going on so my sleep suffered a bit but I should be OK for Mayor's Cup. I didn't really back off the training any since it's still early in the season, but I'm looking forward to getting back on the grass tomorrow and mixing it up over the shorter-than-usual 8K distance.

Quote of the Day

When you put yourself on the line in a race and expose yourself to the unknown, you learn things about yourself that are very exciting.”
- Doris Brown Heritage, 5-time world cross country champion

Friday, October 26, 2007

Tight squeeze

10:35 AM - 7 miles, 48:45 - Bike Path.
Managed to squeeze in a post-MRI, pre-work trot on the bike path. Felt pretty sluggish for the first 5 miles or so, but eventually snapped out of it.

Busy days, busy nights and no immediate end in sight. Other than posting the day's raw data, providing the occasional witty anecdote and searching high and low for an appropriately motivating or inappropriately funny Quote of the Day, don't expect much out of me for another week or so.

Come to think of it, that's no different from any other day here at the daily runaround, so forget what I just wrote. Don't expect much out of me, period.

Quote of the Day

"Any time you go through adversity, it’s character-defining. It’s an old cliché, but you don’t learn character on the mountaintops. You learn it in the valleys. Going through tough times, that’s what makes great runners."
Todd Harbour, Baylor cross country coach

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Into the black

7:50 AM - 7 miles, 48:00 - Rockland 7.
Reverse Rockland loop before work. Didn't feel overly terrible despite a short night of sleep.

8:00 PM 5 miles, 37:50 - Westboro.
Solo from the store after work. 13:04 up to the WHS track, 8 x 200m w/200m jog recovery in 35.19, 35.62, 33.83, 33.69, 33.39, 33.76, 33.36, 33.58, 12:28 down back to the store.

If you've never run repeat 200's on a deserted pitch-black track at 8:30 on a Thursday night at the end of October, I suggest trying it sometime. There's nothing like the isolated feeling of losing yourself in a rhythmic trance on the track as the crisp autumn air makes its way into your lungs and then escapes back into the night sky. I felt like Haile Gebrselassie in Endurance, only whiter and slower.

Quote of the Day

"I think the reason I did so well in that race is that I wasn't worrying about expectations. And that's something that I've really taken to heart that I've really learned from that experience. I want to go out there and do my best obviously, and I've prepared and done everything I can to do that. But I've learned that you can't allow expectations to get to you...So I love being in this situation. I can just go out there, know that I'm ready, be confident, race my best, and see what happens."
- Josh Rohantinsky, 2006 NCAA cross country champion, on his expectations for the Olympic Trials Marathon on November 3rd.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

World Series Wednesday

7:40 AM - 8 miles, 57:40 - RockPak 8.
Easy run on the roads before work. Legs felt fine but the rest of the 'ol body is a bit on the tired side.

Good news: Dr. Davis was able to successfully appeal on my behalf and my MRI is now scheduled for 8:45 on Friday morning. Hopefully this marks the end of any insurance-related funny business in regard to this medical matter.

Bad news: None, really. Life is good.

And a World Series title would make it that much better. Let the string of sleep-deprived nights begin.

Go Sox!

Quote of the Day

"I would prefer to be 25 with fresh legs."
Khalid Khannouchi. Me too, Khalid, me too.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

No lights necessary

11:10 AM - 4 miles, 30:00 - Lake Park.
Pre-workout shake by the lake. Three big loops on the dirt, then a mile on the track in 5:57 (3:12/2:45) to finish up right at the magical 30-minute mark.

6:15 PM - 13 miles - Heartbreak Hill.
27:45 warmup including an abbreviated drill set, 10 x Bottom-to-Top (1:50, 1:52, 1:50, 1:51, 1:50, 1:50, 1:50, 1:47, 1:45, 1:41), 15:55 cooldown.

Hit the hill hard tonight with Fabian, Ryan, Nieskens and Jeff. It's always an adventure when going full throttle on a grass incline in the dark but we're certified experts in this stuff so we managed just fine. Luckily the rain held off for us but the humidity and wind were unusually nasty for an October night. Still, we had another solid workout as we head toward the start of the cross country racing season on Sunday.

Yep, the crazy three-meet post-collegiate fall cross country season starts this Sunday at Franklin Park with 18th annual running of the much ballyhooed Mayor's Cup. This will be my first off-road race in two years and if you guessed I'm excited, well, you obviously know me pretty well then. This weekend's 8K will primarily serve as a cross country rust buster of sorts, so I'm not gonna put much pressure on myself to hit certain splits or outkick a certain dude. I'll just race hard from gun to tape and let the cards fall where they may. Come to think of it, that's how a cross country race should be run anyway. Forgive me, it's been a while.

Quote of the Day

"I think you've got to have the genetic potential first...then you have to have a great spirit...lastly, you need mental toughness."
- Mickey Hall on what it takes to be a great runner. His son Ryan seems to have all three going for him.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Out of the rough

7:30 AM - 6 miles, 42:15 - Industrial Park.
Same loop as last Monday but about 5 minutes faster, which goes to show just how roughed up I was this time last week. 6 x 20-second strides mid-run to stretch the legs out a bit.

Sox went big, Indians went home. And I went to bed happy.

Bring on the Rockies.

Quote of the Day

"Everyone seemed to think that if I had that clock there, I would have got that one second. But I just ran as hard as I could for as long as I could."
Steve Jones on just missing the marathon world record in 1985 after going through halfway in an absurd 1:01:43.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Good or bad?

8:35 AM - 18 miles, 2:00:00 - Carrara's Trails.
Relaxed romp through the pristine pine needle paths of the Memorial Forest and Assabet River Wildlife Refuge with Ryan and Christy Mae. Legs bounced back pretty well from yesterday's workout. Same old story with the groin.

Game 7.

Dice-K on the mound, World Series berth on the line.

Go big or go home.

Quote of the Day

"Good or bad?"
- Fasil Bizuneh

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Saturday Summation

9:20 AM - 10 miles - Lincoln.
24:30 up, 4.6-mile tempo in 23:44 (4:59, 5:17, 5:16, 3:12 (0.6), 5:00), 15:35 down. Worked out with Fenton and Roland - well, ran with them for the first 2-1/2 miles, fell off the back of the float for a mile or so and then rejoined the parade for the final mile. Solid workout - out way too fast but adjusted accordingly and avoided falling apart.

Weekly Summary: October 14-20
Sunday - AM: 18 miles. Bay State 1/2 Marathon (5th, 1:09:48 - PR)
Monday - AM: 6 miles, 47:00.
Tuesday - AM: 6 miles, 43:30. PM: 4 miles, 30:00.
Wednesday - AM: 8 miles, 57:10. 4 x 200m strides in 35.16, 35.55, 34.59, 34.58.
Thursday - AM: 12 miles, 1:21:45. Light fartlek.
Friday - AM: 8 miles, 54:05. PM: 4 miles, 30:00. 6 x 20-second strides.
Saturday - AM: 10 miles. 4.6-mile tempo in 23:44.

Totals - 76 miles, 9 runs.
Good week - started with a solid race, ended with a solid workout. Groin issue is still an issue but hasn't forced me to scale anything back. As long as that remains the case, it's full steam ahead.

Quote of the Day

"Every runner needs to be a little bit vain. They need to think more of themselves than they are. They need to think more of themselves than anybody else does. Or else you just aren’t going to get to that next level...The time to be in awe of (other runners) is after the race. Until then, everyone’s equal and you go for it."
- Nate Jenkins

Friday, October 19, 2007

Healthcare hassles

10:00 AM - 8 miles, 54:05 - Rail Trail.
Out-n-back 6 on the trail, followed by a train track add-on and another out-n-back mile on the trail. Best run in a week, which isn't saying much.

4:00 PM - 4 miles, 30:00 - Pakachoag.
Afternoon stroll past my new place, down Hampton Street and back home the short way. 6 x 20-second strides on the way in. Hip seems to have loosened up a bit.

I should be laid out horizontally in an MRI machine at the Worcester Medical Center right now but a bunch of bureaucratic bullshit on the insurance side of things has me sitting vertically in front of the computer instead, all the while hoping Dr. Davis can successfully appeal on my behalf Monday morning.

Pissed off would be a severe understatement. Fuck the healthcare system.

Quote of the Day

"I have such a passion for competing, and I hate to lose. I suppose this gets me into trouble sometimes. Mostly I think it helps. I mean, you have to push really hard in running. That's where our greatest moments come from. And the worst. They both spring from the same place."
- Dathan Ritzenhein

Thursday, October 18, 2007

What's next?

9:20 AM - 12 miles, 1:21:45 - West Hill.
Canal path, two loops at West Hill and back. Threw in a handful of random pickups ranging from roughly a minute to 3-4 minutes in duration to stretch the legs out a bit. Left calf is almost back in good working order, groin discomfort held steady at Level 6 but left hip is now annoyingly tight. If it ain't one thing, it's two or three others as well.

So who wants to place a bet on what part of my anatomy will fail on me next? In addition to my midsection malady, tight calf and persistent plantar pain, my left hip has been locked up for two days now. Keeping the aforementioned information in mind, the entire right side of my body and all areas above the waist on my left side are still fair game. I'd go in big before the flop because chances are something else is gonna go before any of the above get much better.

Anyway, I've got the MRI tomorrow night which should shed some light on the gray area around my groin. The other stupid shit seems to come and go and I'll deal with those annoyances accordingly. My midsection is the main concern right now. I'm sick of rolling up in a ball to get in and out of bed, writhing in pain when someone tries to make me laugh, putting ice that close to my (ahem) and running around with a persistent ache in my midsection.

I'm not sure what's left of my fall season but I'm gonna do what I can with it for as long as I'm able to. In the meantime, let's hope nothing else shits out on me.

Quote of the Day

"You know, when Rolling Stone called I said I'd do it. It's a great opportunity, you know, and then I get to the shoot and they want me to do the cover photo topless, and you know, that's not something I normally do but the agent I was with at the time said this is how everyone gets into the business - you gotta do Rolling Stone with no shirt on, so I did it."

- Mike Smith, Central Mass. native and Olympic Trials marathon qualifier, "telling it all" from Flagstaff. Hilarious.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Biding my time

7:15 AM - 8 miles, 57:10 - Rockland 7.
Took a mid-run detour at the AHS track for 4 x 200m strides w/200m jog recovery, hitting 35.16, 35.55, 34.59, 34.58. Left calf has loosened up a bit, but groin noticeably tight and uncomfortable throughout.

Quote of the Day

"Just bide your time. People who are beating you now may not be beating you a year from now - or five years from now, or maybe ten years from now. If you enjoy your running and go at it patiently, you'll be around ten years from now and you'll be the one who is up there...Running is never a waste. Everything you are doing now is part of the grand plan."
- Bill Rodgers, Marathoning, p. 115

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Money well spent

10:55 AM - 6 miles, 43:30 - Rail Trail.
Out-n-back from the parking lot. Left calf still pretty tight but seems to slowly be loosening up, groin no better or worse than it was yesterday.

6:05 PM - 4 miles, 30:00 - Lake Park.
Twilight trot on the dirt. The 'ol legs are starting to show some signs of life again.

I forgot to cancel today's appointment with the orthopedist that I begrudgingly scheduled 12 days ago, so instead of being slapped with a $25 cancellation fee for bailing the day of, I kept the appointment, paid my $20 co-pay and saved myself $5 and a shitload of bureaucratic hassle. I also figured a second opinion probably wouldn't hurt, so in the end everyone except my wallet benefits in some way.

Not gonna lie, I thought this would be one of those appointments where I walked into the exam room, told the doctor what was wrong, confused him with my symptoms and went home $20 poorer than I walked in with only a vague diagnosis of a groin strain and a prescription to "stop running, put some ice on it and schedule an appointment with the PT office on Goldstar Boulevard" to show for it.

I'm happy to report that I was wrong. Still $20 poorer, but very wrong.

After checking in with the receptionist, I was immediately shuttled away to X-ray and had my midsection zapped before being hustled into the exam room where I met with my assigned orthopedist, Dr. Susan Davis. And no, Susan is not a dude, but she is a damn good doctor.

Dr. Davis' own thorough evaluation of the circumstantial evidence confirmed what James told me last week, which is that my persistent lower abdominal discomfort is likely being caused by a sports hernia. To be sure, however, she has me scheduled me for an MRI this Friday and a follow-up appointment a week from today because "we don't want to be guessing with one of these things." In the meantime, she told me to keep with the exercises James gave me and "not to stop running, although that may change a week from now."

Not exactly what I wanted to hear, but on the flip side of things this is the kind of pull-no-punches, up-front approach I've been looking for from a medical professional. Unlike when I suspected a stress fracture in my pelvis 16 months ago and had to fight for a CT scan to confirm it, I didn't so much as have to even mention my own suspicions to either James or Susan this time around because both of them appreciated the ferociousness with which I thrash my body on a daily basis. And while I'd rather not be in this position to begin with, I feel confident for once that I'm in good hands and taking the right steps to getting this newest problem fixed.

Now, if I could only eliminate them altogether.

Quote of the Day

"There is nothing like the feeling of standing on a wind-blown, dew slicked, intramural field awaiting the sound of a gun to send you hurtling forward through a mass of sharp elbows and knobby knees toward your own threshold of pain."
Brendan O'Keefe on the beauty of cross country.

Monday, October 15, 2007

The Aftermath

7:50 AM - 6 miles, 47:00 - Industrial Park.
Short-n-slow slog before work. Lower left leg a tight and mangled mess, felt like it was just being dragged along for the ride. Groin discomfort also made an unwelcome return to Level 6. Hopefully a few easy runs and lots of ice will help solve the first problem and keep the second one at bay.

Quote of the Day

“I’m not too high on expectations, but I’m not intimidated either. I’ll stick my nose in there. And if I blow up, I blow up.”
James Carney

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Run of the Mill

8:30 AM - 18 miles - Bay State 1/2 Marathon.
15 minutes up, strides, Bay State 1/2 Marathon (5th - 1:09:48), 22 minutes down with Jeff and Paul Ryan.

5th place and a 5-second PR for 13.1 miles this morning in the scenic Mill City better known as Lowell, Massachusetts. I was pretty pumped with the end result until I got home and read that Deena spun a 1:09:38 in Udine at the IAAF World Road Running Champions. Bitch.

I'm kidding, of course.

I have plenty more to write about the race and will do so sometime later this week, but for now I've gotta get my tired ass to bed. A quick congrats to Casey on the impressive win today, Keith on a sly second-place showing, Paul on a great debut, Matt Pimental on a solid run in fourth and Kerry on a kickass second-place finish in the women's race. And a BIG thanks to Kevin and Jeff for keeping me going out there when the going itself was getting tough. Much appreciated.

And for all the number dorks out there, here are those mundane mile splits for you to salivate over. Enjoy.

1. 5:12
2. 5:15
3. 5:27
4. 5:17
5. 5:15 (26:26)
6. 5:14
7. 5:20
8. 5:26
9. 5:34
10. 5:32 (53:32)
11. 5:18
12. 5:12
13.1. 5:46 (1:09:48)

Quote of the Day

"Ryan, I know she has pneumonia but go upstairs and pound your wife."
- Uncle Fire to Ryan after the Patriots' first touchdown this afternoon. And for the record, he's referring to a fist pound. No, one of these, you sick bastards.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Ready, set...

7:45 AM - 4 miles, 29:15 - Pakachoag 4.
Slow slog around the block before work. Easy today, hard tomorrow.

No time for writing, only resting. 12 hours till go time.

Quote of the Day

"Ultimately, all I want from the Trials race is to hit the finish line knowing I pushed as hard as I possibly could. All the preparation is aimed to that end. Never hanging it all out on the line in the workout, but always edging up against that razor-thin line between quality training and overtraining. I finish every workout knowing I could have gone a little faster or a little longer. Hopefully I’ll finish the Trials knowing I could not possibly have done more than I did."
- Chris Lundstrom

Friday, October 12, 2007

Quick six

7:45 AM - 6 miles, 40:50 - Fallon 6.
3 x [2 minutes hard/2 minutes easy] mid-run. Last little leg-stretcher before Bay State on Sunday. 4 x 100m strides afterward.

Quote of the Day

"I never expect to lose. Even when I'm the underdog, I still prepare a victory speech."
- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

6 + 4 = 10

9:50 AM - 10 miles, 1:09:05 - Sterling Rail Trail.
6-mile loop in 42:35, then 26:30 for the 'ol 4-banger. Call it a slow man's progression run.

This morning marked the last run of any significant distance before this weekend's race in Lowell. Given that I hit the hills hard on Tuesday night with Jeff, I kept things relaxed the entire way to make sure I get all the shit out of my legs before Bay State. I'll do a short maintenance workout of 3 x 2 minutes at steady clip in the middle of my 6-miler tomorrow morning and follow that up with an easy 4-mile jog on Saturday before thrashing myself for 13.1 miles on Sunday morning. Call me masochistic, but I'm really looking forward to it.

Quote of the Day

"It’s a one step at a time thing. I would like to just progressively keep getting better and stay healthy...I think so long as I stay focused and healthy, I’ll be in the running."
- Paige Higgins, who ran an 8-minute PR to finish seventh in 2:40:14 at Sunday's Chicago Marathon

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Inside and out

7:50 AM - 7 miles, 53:25 - Bike Path 7.
Steadily slow from the get-go; 7:16 and 7:11 for the last 2 miles and that was top-end speed. Feeling a bit tired from a short night of sleep but otherwise no complaints.

The view from the front.

Interior decorating at its best...

...but the landscaping job may be even more impressive.

Quote of the Day

"Seeing Meb cross that line in Athens let me know anything can happen in this sport, as long as you put in the effort and hard work.”
- Good advice from the Black Cactus, aka Abdi Abdirahman.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Examining the evidence

10:45 AM - 4 miles, 30:00 - Hopedale.
One loop of the pond with a small add-on to make it 30 minutes. Easy does it, workout tonight.

6:10 PM - 13 miles - Heartbreak Hill.
28:45 warmup including drills, 10 x Bottom-to-Top (1:50, 1:52, 1:49, 1:51, 1:51, 1:49, 1:49, 1:49, 1:48, 1:45), 16:20 cooldown. Ran with Jeff, who dropped my ass on the last few, but I held my form strong throughout and had a real solid workout. Two more reps and a much faster overall average than the same workout three weeks ago.

Not much to insight to share on the training side of things, but I did finally have my kitchen inspected this morning by James at Ashland Physical Therapy, so I'll offer up those results instead. After 30 minutes of insightful questioning and thorough testing, the circumstantial evidence points toward a sports hernia as the likely culprit causing the discomfort in my lower abdomen. James' theory is that I have a small tear deep in the abdominal wall, which thankfully - albeit slowly - seems to be healing. Since running doesn't seem to make matters worse, I'll continue putting one foot in front of the other on a daily basis, but I'll also start doing the four exercises that James prescribed me this morning in an effort help strengthen the muscles around the sore spot and bring blood flow to the effected area, which will speed up the healing process. As long as the tear doesn't rip any further James thinks I should be able to avoid surgery, which was music to my ears. The whole appointment, in fact, was music to my ears as James was able to provide me the clear explanation and sound treatment plan that I was in search of, and I'm confident that under his guidance I'll have the mess in my kitchen cleaned up sooner than later.

That'll do it for tonight. Gotta get my ass to bed, only to roll out of it again in a little less than 8 hours so I can put in a slow 7 miles before work. Let the mini-taper heading into Bay State begin!

Quotes of the Day

"I don't really get nervous about races anymore or performing a physical test...I've put so much work into training that not performing is not an issue."
- E-mail this afternoon from Brockton Bad Boy James Campbell, the most hardcore motherfucker I know.

"Katie is such a great role model. If I could accomplish anything she’s accomplished, I’d just be so happy. I saw how she came into her career and how she left. It’d be an honor to be mentioned (alongside Gwyther)."
- Current Quinnipiac stud Kristin Stevens on the first lady of QU XC, the one and only KG

Monday, October 08, 2007


7:50 AM - 7 miles, 50:25 - AHS Track.
22:30 down to the high school, 4 x 200m strides w/200 jog recovery in 34.62, 33.90, 34.35, 33.18, 22:22 back home.

It's official, the daily runaround has gone global.

A fella by the name of Patrik from Sweden commented on yesterday's entry, the first such missive, I believe, from a foreign reader. I'm continually surprised that this blog has an audience, much less an international one, but it's cool to know people are stopping by on a regular basis, regardless of how boring, whiny, redundant and rushed some of my scribble tends to be.

So let me offer a quick thanks to those of you who check in regularly, read carefully and comment occasionally. Your feedback is appreciated and doesn't go unnoticed. For the lurkers out there, and I know who some of you are, if I don't inspire, entertain or infuriate you enough to let me know about it, that's cool too. Since you keep coming back, I guess I'll let it slide.

In the meantime, however, I'm gonna slide my ass into my bed and get some shuteye. I've got an appointment here tomorrow morning with James, who can hopefully help clean up the mess in my kitchen.

Last but certainly not least though, a quick congrats to the lightning-fast ladies of NB Boston, second to Hanson's-Brooks squad at the Tufts 10K earlier today. PR's all-around!

That'll do it for tonight. Hasta mañana, hombres.

Quote of the Day

“You just try to survive. (You) keep pushing. When you have stretches where you feel good, you try to take advantage of those. When you get into a tough stretch, you need to be positive.”
- Mike Cox, 8th place at yesterday's Chicago Marathon and the last qualifier for next month's Olympic Trials in an article by the hilariously named Tom Bone, who can be reached via e-mail at No joke.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Chef's special

8:20 AM - 14 miles, 1:36:05 - Rail Trail.
Out-n-back 10 over the hills with Greg, then 4 miles solo on the trail with the last one in 5:20.

Abbreviated long run this morning with fellow chef Greg Ward, who is also dealing with a persistent disturbance in his kitchen. Aside from sharing in each others pelvic misery, we spotted a Bald Eagle about a quarter mile into the run and proceeded to dodge joggers, walkers and other fitness wannabees on our way to conquering the Manning Street mini mountain. After summiting, we tackled a tricky set of switchbacks before doubling back and playing the dodging game again on the main trail. After parting ways, I tacked on another 4 miles while Greg blasted out 50 of his own on the bike. Even if I didn't have to be at work for noon, I wanted no part of tearing up the roads on two wheels with Mr. Ward. Chasing around a guy who can average 20 mph on a hybrid just isn't my idea of fun on a Sunday morning.

Enough about my own running. I had plans to post a weekend race recap but Jeff has already put anything I would have come up with to shame. Close finishes, breakout performances and hot temps were the themes of the day. Props to best bud and former high school rival turned college teammate and eventual roommate, Sean McKeon, on a nice 2:41:32 debut for 26.2 on a sweltering day in Minnesota. And best of luck to the ladies of NB Boston tomorrow as they try to defend their team title at the Tufts 10K.

On the non-running side of things, the Patriots looked good again today in Foxboro, well, they sounded good on the radio at least as they romped over the Browns to push their record to 5-0. That win, combined with the Sox slamming of the Angels to secure a spot in the ALCS made for an excellent day in the Boston sports world. Heck, even the Celtics and the Bruins won yesterday. Anyone know how the Revs are doing?

That'll do it for today, gotta get back to watching the rest of the Yankees game.

Man, I can't believe I just typed that - new low.

Quote of the Day

"In my delirious state I forgot to stop and went right by the stupid thing."
- The aforementioned Mr. McKeon on his apparent desire to take advantage of the aid tent in the latter stages of his first marathon.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Weekly Wrap-Up: September 30-October 6

Sunday - 8:50 AM: 17 miles, 1:55:45. Tour de trails con las Carraras.
Monday - 6:30 PM: 9 miles, 1:06:30. Easy does it in Easton with Bergs and Timmy C.
Tuesday - 10:45 AM: 4 miles, 30:35. Pre-workout shake at the park by the lake. 6:15 PM: 13 miles. Workout: 6 x 4 minutes hard w/2 minutes recovery.
Wednesday - 7:35 AM: 7 miles, 50:00. Slow stroll before work. 7:10 PM: 4 miles, 30:05. Easy shakeout w/Casey after work.
Thursday - 7:35 AM: 10 miles, 1:07:30. Steady as she goes, 26:40 for the last 4.4 miles.
Friday - 7:15 AM: 10 miles. Track workout: 4 x 1 mile w/1 minute recovery (5:10, 5:09, 5:07, 4:56).
Saturday - 7:45 AM: 6 miles, 45:30. Started slow and kept it that way.

Totals: 80 miles, 9 runs.
Good week with two solid workouts. Other than the nagging discomfort in the kitchen, I'm very happy with how things are going. I'm feeling fit and ready to race so I'll scale things back a bit this week in order to freshen up for the Bay State 1/2 next Sunday.

Quote of the Day

"My brother takes his own direction, and I take mine.”
- Casey Moulton in a pre-Trials feature profiling he and his brother Pat, who is now running for Hanson's.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Cruise control

7:10 AM - 10 miles - AHS Track.
21:30 up, 4 x 1 mile in 5:10.58 (57.58 recovery); 5:09.88 (58.56); 5:07.78 (57.52); 4:56.26, 23:15 down.

Solid workout at the track this morning -- yes, the track. Normally the men and women of New Balance Boston wouldn't step foot on one this time of year, and most of them likely still won't, but I was forced to fly solo in lieu of working out with the team tomorrow and wanted to make sure I didn't mess up Kevin's assignment. I figured the most idiot-proof way of achieving this goal would be by making use of the brandy new 400-meter oval at Auburn High School, quite the upgrade from the 357.5-meter cinder diamond we used to race around back in the day.

It proved to be a good choice. An even better choice was waking up 45 minutes earlier than usual and downing a cup of coffee, but those are min.

Kevin wanted me to do a set of cruise intervals, specifically 4 to 5 times a mile at 5-10 seconds faster than tempo pace with a scant minute recovery between each repetition. Since tempo pace for me right now equates to something in the 5:20-ish range, 5:10-15 is where I set my sights this morning. Given the length of Tuesday night's workout and an up-tempo finish to yesterday's run, I settled on stopping at the fourth mile before I even set foot on the track, but my main goal was to keep the effort consistent and make sure I didn't finish the workout any slower than I started it.

Mission accompished, and then some. I started out right at 5:10 for the first mile, then settled in at 5:09 and 5:07 for the next two before bringing it home in 4:56. Most importantly, everything felt good, even the intentional gear change over the last two laps of the final mile. It wasn't a spectacular workout by any means but it was a solid effort and easily the best workout I've done before 8 AM, ever.

The discomfort south of the border still remains though, but thankfully hasn't gotten any worse. It doesn't affect my mechanics or cause me to keel over in pain, but it's there and not getting any better either. Luckily, I won't have to wait 12 days to see a sports med specialist as James Casady over at Ashland Physical Therapy was able to squeeze me in this coming Tuesday morning. James refers a lot of his patients to us at the store, has a great reputation for diagnosing and treating running-related injuries and is a decent runner himself to boot. I'm thankful he was willing and able to fit me in on such short notice and am looking forward to figuring out what's going on down south and then taking the necessary steps to fix it.

For now though, I'm looking forward to a Sox victory followed by a sound night of sleep. Who am I kidding, the win alone will suffice.

Quote of the Day

"I ran as much as I could. I had a dream.”
- Marilson Gomes Dos Santos, Brazilian marathoner

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Step outside

7:35 AM - 10 miles, 1:07:30 - Crack Path 10.
Started slow and gradually picked it up to a steady clip. 40:50 for the first 6 miles, 26:40 for the last 4.4. Kitchen discomfort held steady at Level 4 throughout the entire run.

This morning's trip to my primary care physician proved to be as uninsightful as I imagined it might be. The verdict? No hernia. How about a sports hernia? He's never heard of such a thing. The solution? A referral to go see an orthopedist, who was conveniently able to squeeze me in 12 days from now on Tuesday the 16th at 2:30, and "will run the appropriate tests he deems necessary."

This is load of shit even a bull wouldn't produce. It's unacceptable. I'm no different than any other patient but I'm not waiting 12 days to get a flippin' answer either. In the meantime, I'll make some calls and see what I can accomplish outside the system.

Quote of the Day

"I've been able to start to believe again. Because I'm healthy, I'm able to do the workouts I need to. Because I do the workouts, I have the confidence I need to start to think the way I need to."
- Kara Goucher

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

11 miles down, 11 wins to go

7:35 AM - 7 miles, 50:00 - Rockland 7.
Legs felt fine, kitchen started off as a 6-7 on the discomfort scale but settled in around 5-6 for most of the run.

7:10 PM - 4 miles, 30:05 - Westboro.
Easy shakeout from the store with Casey after work. Discomfort level down around Level 4-5. Fortunately, I think things loosen up a bit throughout the day.

This will be quick since I just got home and need to nourish myself while belatedly relishing in the Sox' 4-0 blanking of the Angels.

The internal strife that I've been suffering through of late still remains a struggle, but I will continue to soldier on, hopefully, until at least Bay State. On the proactive side of things, I have an appointment with my PCP tomorrow morning, and while I don't think he'll be able to tell me something I don't already know, I'm hoping he can set me up for a scan of some sorts to better shed some light on my, uh, situation.

That's all I got time for right now, but stay tuned for a full update tomorrow.

Peace, love and Josh Beckett for the 2008 AL Cy Young Award.

Quote of the Day

"He’s aggressive, competitive, and tough. You play any game with him, and he just wants to kill you. And he takes it personally if you beat him. Running is an aggressive sport, and you need to be out there thinking aggressively. Brian maintains that tenacity in training every day. He might not be the fastest guy over a quarter-mile, but he can take a pounding like I’ve never seen.”
- Clint Verran on Hansons' teammate Brian Sell

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Dirty day

10:45 AM - 4 miles, 30:35 - Lake Park.
3 big loops on the dirt, followed by a mile on the track with 4 x 100-meter strides on the back straight.

6:15 PM - 13 miles - BC Res.
25 minutes up, drills, 6 x 4 minutes hard w/2 minutes recovery, 25 minutes down.

Solid workout on the dirt tonight with both Ryans, Jeff, Nieskens, Fabian and Maloney. Pace was supposed to be at 10K effort but I think we were a bit faster than that, perhaps 4-mile effort, whatever that means. Regardless, I felt good at the pace we were running and just focused on keeping the effort consistent and my breathing relaxed. It was a nice rebound from Saturday's stitch-induced shit show.

No new trouble in the kitchen to write about, just the normal discomfort. I did have a bloody nose after the workout, however, as well as some blood in my spit, and while I don't think it's related to the malady in my midsection, it does have me mildly concerned.

I think I'm gonna bite the bullet and get this thing looked at sooner rather than later, which is unfortunate because I just got my new cross spikes tonight and I really really want to lace 'em up at Franklin Park in a few weeks. At this point though, I've just gotta take things one day at a time and watch out for my well-being.

Quote of the Day

“You don’t understand. It’s not whether you get there. It’s the journey.”
- Al Oerter, Olympic discus champion, who died yesterday at the age of 71.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Final edit

6:30 PM - 9 miles, 1:06:30 - Easton Y.
Some unbelievably good timing and a pure stroke of shit luck allowed me the always welcome company of Easton's newest post-collegiate, Tim Catoggio, for the entire duration of this run. After a quick stroll through the Sheep Pasture we picked up Bergie for the final 30 minutes before joining the rest of the fellas for pizza and wings at Brockton's finest bar, Owen O'Leary's.

The theme of random run-ins over the past few weeks continued this evening as I crossed paths with Tim-may Bellagio back in the Motherland. Salvaging what little daylight was left, we made our way through the Sheep Pasture and added on a short loop through campus before picking up Bergie around the 30-minute mark back at the Y. 36 minutes and a serious lack of sunlight later, we finished up and booked it over to Owen's, where we were men without a table despite the fact we showed up almost 45 minutes before kickoff. I can guarantee we won't run into problem again for at least another year.

As for the run itself, no real disturbances to speak of in the kitchen area except when I laugh or sneeze. Unfortunately for me, Timmy made a funny mid-run and my laughter didn't last very long. The joke was good, but the consequences were cruel. Such is life I guess.
Quote of the Day

"The only way to accomplish anything is outside the system"
- Keith Hanson, speaking the truth.