Friday, December 28, 2007

Doubling my fun

10:35 AM - 8 miles, 58:00 - Millbury.
Out-n-back in Millbury with Sean and Di. Nice to see the sun come out again.

6:15 PM - 6 miles, 42:40 - Industrial Park.
Easy does it in the dark.

Quote of the Day

"I don’t like people messing with me when I’m running. That’s my protective space."
- Brian Pope, U.S. master's stud

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Line 'em up

7:10 AM - 10 miles, 1:09:05 - Auburn.
The week of random road runs around town lives on. Kept the pace easy/steady for the most part, then threw in 6 x 20/40 strides on the way home to stretch the legs out a bit.

Between work, Christmas, catching up with old pals, a whole slew of house-related stuff and an increase in my training load I've been one busy dude of late. No complaints though, as I've got most of my ducks in a row. At least I think I do, anyway.

Due to the aforementioned goings on, the content of this here blog has taken a hit similar to the ones Eli Manning will experience on Saturday night. While I'm trying to scrape my creative juices off the ground over these next few days, let me offer some alternative reading material to make the time pass by a little quicker. Rest assured, this blog will rise again; as for ol' Eli, it probably won't come as easy for him after this weekend.

Quote of the Day

"Like the marathon, I kept putting one foot in front of the other. Whenever I ran up against a wall, I looked for ways around it and ultimately succeeded."
- Jon Dunham, writer, producer and director for the film "Spirit of the Marathon"

Wednesday, December 26, 2007


7:25 AM - 10 miles, 1:03:00 - Auburn.
Same loop as Monday morning but solo and 8 minutes faster this time around. First 6-1/2 miles in 42:29, last 3-1/2 in 20:31 [5:43, 3:23 (0.5 mi), 5:44, 5:41].

Sorry, but I'm going to be boring for a couple more days... if I were ever all that exciting to begin with.

Quote of the Day

"Nilan dika hasara." Whatever happens, happens.
- Kenyan philosophy

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

17 for Santa

9:30 AM - 11 miles, 1:21:30 - Pakachoag.
3rd Annual Christmas Run with KG, along with new additions Sean and Erin. Awesome run, might have to start flying more people in for this one next year.

5:50 PM - 6 miles, 42:55 - Fallon 6.
Easy does it after a day of gluttony. 6 x 20-second strides on the way home.

Quote of the Day

"You look like a Jewish Muslim."

- Dad commenting on the stylishness, or apparent lack thereof, of my new knit skull cap (pictured above)

Monday, December 24, 2007

'Tis the season to be icing

7:35 AM - 10 miles, 1:11:00 - Auburn.
Random road run around town with Rob - 10.25 miles according to his Polar RS 400SD. Might need to get me one of these gizmos.

You know you're in rough shape when you stop at home between family visits on Christmas Eve so you can ice various parts of your ailing anatomy.

No worries though, just preventative maintenance so I can take part in the annual Christmas Day run tomorrow morning. Can't wait!

Quote of the Day

"We've come here to find something out. I want to see what those bastards are made of, and remember this is only a stepping stone on the way to what we're after."
- Peter Coe, to his son Sebastian, before he went out in a blistering 49.3 seconds for the first 400 meters at the Prague 800 in 1978. Coe was eventually passed in the final straightaway by Steve Ovett and Olaf Beyer, who won the race in a world-leading time of 1:43.8.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Sunday stroll

8:30 AM - 12 miles, 1:30:00 - Milford.
Easy first hour with Rich & Rob, then solo for the last 30 minutes w/6 x 25-second hill charges to get the heart rate up a bit.

Quote of the Day

"There's always room for improvement, always something you can do better. I learned that if you can't do everything you want to do, you've still got to keep plugging."
- Alan Webb

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Early 11

7:05 AM - 11 miles, 1:13:30 - Auburn.
Another random road run around town before work, 11.75 miles according to G-Maps. No wind, no traffic and relatively clear roads made this one pretty enjoyable.

70 miles in 8 runs for the first week back after the mini-break. Weather wise it was tough going but I managed to get the miles in without too much trouble. I'll gradually keep building mileage and intensity from here but I've got 17 weeks to get where I need to be so no need to rush anything.

Quote of the Day

"So if you want to be exceptional at something, you have to make hard choices. You have to be brutally honest with yourself."
- Nate Jenkins in this month's New England Runner

Friday, December 21, 2007

A healthy dose of rhythm

12:45 PM - 10 miles, 1:15:30 - Milford.
Rhythm workout w/Rob. 13:03 warmup, 3 miles at 18:45 (6:00, 6:23, 6:22), 6:00 easy jogging, 2 miles at 12:42 (6:15, 6:27) 25:00 cooldown w/6 x 15-second strides.

My day off from work was chock full of a bunch of bank-related house bullshit to take care of, but the good news is that a good chunk of it is finally out of the way and life should be a little less hectic from now until I close on the place in a few weeks.

After a morning full of running around from this office to that bank, signing one document and initialing another, I finally met up with Rob at Rich's house in Milford. Rob's a good friend of Rich's who is up here visiting from DC for a few days, and he's also been training under my watchful e-mail eye for about a month now. My afternoon off from work allowed the two of us to meet up for today's scheduled rhythm workout of 3 miles at half marathon pace (~6:25/mile), 6-8 minutes jog recovery, 2 more miles at HMP. For the first time in his 37 years, Rob is finally training and not just running - yes, there is a HUGE difference - and we pretty much went 3 for 5 today on hitting the prescribed pace while only seriously butchering one of those miles, which was no one's fault but my own. All things considered the workout went very well, and it was pretty neat to do the hands-on coaching thing and see the prescribed training plan in action. Come February, Rob's race results will show if said Rx is strong enough or if the dosage needs to be adjusted.

Quote of the Day

“It's a spiritual thing. It's like breathing to me. It's who I am. I think psychologically, certain people, that's just who we are.”
- Dave Dial, who ran 2:24 at Boston at the age of 19.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Kickin' it old school

8:35 AM - 12 miles, 1:22:00 - Worcester State.
New loop down Hope Ave, past the cemeteries, into Webster Square, across to Mill Street, around Worcester State and back. 7:18 first mile, 6:17 for the last one. Felt pretty good.

Today marked my longest run in the past few weeks and other than slogging through two inches of fresh slush it actually wasn't all that bad. This winter thing is getting real old, real fast but since it's not going anywhere anytime soon I'll just shut up, deal with it and keep my complaining to a minimum. Casey's blowing out the belt on his treadmill, Jeff's sneaking in miles on the job, Terry and Voce are spending their Sunday mornings running in a parking garage, Nate's throwing down 17.6K progression runs at 5:30 average on sloppy roads and I have no idea what Ryan's been up to since he doesn't update his blog anymore but I'm almost positive he's been clicking off sub-6 minute miles on Raytheon's treadmill during his lunch hour.

Bottom line is I've got no excuses. None of the aforementioned fellas make excuses, old-school Mario never made any, and there's no reason for the present-day version to be doing so, either. If I want to bust out at Boston I've got to suck it up and get going, shitty road conditions and woeful weather be damned.

Quote of the Day

"People want to be good -- right now. They think that a couple months of training should put them in great shape. But it doesn't happen overnight -- you're changing tissue: heart, circulatory system and muscle cell tissue. Katie McGregor's running isn't about what she did this year, it's about what she did last year, what she did the last four years. The most important thing in athletic improvement is consistency."
- Dennis Barker, coach of Team USA Minnesota

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

'Tis the season

7:30 AM - 8 miles, 51:20 - McCracken Rd.
First 4 miles pretty easy, last 4 at 5:40-6:00 pace on mostly clear roads. Felt good to move a little faster for once.

It's the most wonderful time of the year - cold temps, accumulating precipitation and sloppy roads notwithstanding. No, this isn't another bitch session about the woeful winter weather we've experienced so far this season but rather a brief acknowledgment of good friends returning home for the holidays, the accompanying increase in seasonal training partners that comes along with those very same friends returning, family coming together, gifts exchanging hands and the general good cheer brought on by all the aforementioned.

'Tis the season, and despite the recent weather woes, it's definitely the best time of the year.

Quote of the Day

"Live the dream."
- Stephen Haas, spreading the universal message of the WHTC

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Enough already

8:20 AM - 10 miles, 1:13:00 - Auburn.
All over town on whatever clear stretches of road I could find, which wasn't many. This shit is getting real old, real fast.

I don't feel much like complaining in detail about the weather, whining about the road conditions or writing about anything else for that matter. I do feel like going to bed though, so that's what I'll do instead. G'night.

Quote of the Day

"Laziness is nothing more than the habit of resting before you get tired."
- Jules Renard

Monday, December 17, 2007

18 and counting

8:30 AM - 6 miles, 45:15 - Industrial Park.
Roads were a sloppy mess but not nearly as bad as I anticipated.

7:10 PM - 4 miles, 30:00 - AHS.
Back-n-forth on a ~150-meter carpeted stretch of the second and third floor hallways at the high school. 6 x 20 second strides during the last 10 minutes to mask the monotony.

I had these grandiose plans of summarizing my summer/fall of racing and training in this entry but it's amazing how fast my motivation waned over the course of 12 hours today. Lots of non-running related life stuff to take care of on my day off from work, but better to worry about those things now than on a Monday in April.

Like the one that happens to fall exactly 18 weeks from today.

That's right, 18 weeks. Let the countdown to Boston begin.

That leaves me 126 or so days to get myself in the most rip-roaring, run-till-I-drop, kickass shape I've ever been in for a long distance race. I'll need to stay healthy and train consistently to get to there, and if I'm able to do that I'm confident I can bust out a big one on Patriots Day.

As far as training goes, the general idea will be to get my mileage back up over the next 6 weeks and follow that up with 10 weeks of specific marathon prep and a two-week taper. I have a handful of races penciled in, including the Frostbite 15K, Paddy Kelly 5-miler, Stu's 30K and the New Bedford 1/2 Marathon. That list will likely change and be amended accordingly depending on how things progress over the next few months.

There will be pretty good-sized group of local studs and studdesses hoping to make a big splash on April 21 and I'm really looking forward to pounding the pavement with some of these fast folks as we prepare for Patriots Day. If you're not part of this crew, it's OK - just give us a good shout on Marathon Monday.

Quote of the Day

"What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from."
- T.S. Eliot (swiped from Casey)

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Bitchy weather

4:35 PM - 9 miles, 1:00:00 - Treadmill.
Round and round on the rat wheel during/after work. Started at 7:30 pace, got down to 5:25-30 for the last couple minutes but kept it between 6:15-45 for the most part.

OK, so the elements didn't stop me today but they sure as hell kept me inside. Six fresh inches of snow, 30 mph wind gusts and freezing rain coming at me sideways forced me to alter my plans of throwing down an hour on the roads this morning. All was not lost, however, because I did have to work today and luckily we have one of those big fancy electric conveyor belts at the store that allowed me to do my best Casey Moulton impression without worrying if I was going to end up flat on my ass or not. I'm very fortunate to have this redundant option at my disposal for inclement occasions such as today but let me tell you that sucker sure is boring as hell. I don't know how you rat wheelers do it with any sort of regularity, but better you guys than me. I want nothing to do with that contraption if I can help it, so hopefully Mother Nature can give the road warriors amongst us a break and quit being a bitch. Judging by the forecast though, it looks to be that time of the month and we're just going to have to suck it up and wait out the storm. Fact of life, I guess.

Quote of the Day

"I think when you're hot and it's your time in the sun you've got to get out there and do it."
- Todd Williams on why you can't be afraid to get out there and race.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Celebratory Saturday

7:40 AM - 7 miles, 47:15 - Rockland 7.
Sub-7's felt pretty easy despite temps in the low teens. 6 x 20/40 strides on the way in. Maybe I need to take more days off, sleep less, or drink more often. Or not.

Work is done for the day and I'm off to the New Balance Boston festive occasion to celebrate a great season, great teammates, a great coach and a whole slew of other great things. It will most assuredly be a great time.

As for running this week, there wasn't much of it. 28 miles, two days off, too much beer, too many desserts and not nearly enough sleep. It's back to business tomorrow morning, weather permitting.

C'mon now, like a little precipitation ever stopped me.

Quote of the Day

"If you work hard, you are sure to improve."
- Ted Corbitt

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Preventive post

A few unexpected occurrences prevented me from posting yesterday, namely a big development on the house front, a nasty nor'easter and a chance encounter with an unforgiving spirit named Patron.

Oddly enough, the aforementioned occurrences took place in the aforementioned order, and by the time Patron cast his spell on me I was in no shape to type a coherent entry. Hey, it's my week off and I'm using that as my excuse - for everything, apparently.

10 inches of snow doesn't help matters either. The excessive accumulation of fluffy white shit yesterday was just that - excessive and shitty - and forced me to crash at Casey and Kate's place last night rather than drive home from Westboro after work. No blog, no problem though. We had a good time.

As for big news on the house, I'll no longer be moving into the cypress green dwelling at 65 Sophia Drive I've pictured on here many a time. My request to upgrade the living room and dining room carpets to hardwood floors turned into something of an entire house upgrade instead. Well, sort of. Let me explain.

At the time of my upgrade request I was informed of a similar style unit to mine with all the same features that was left over from the first phase of the development because the buyer backed out of the sale at the last minute. If interested, which I was, I could give it a look and decide if I'd like to switch houses, close a couple weeks earlier and save myself some dinero in the process.

If I decided not to do it than I probably wouldn't blog about it, so if you hadn't figured it out already, yes, I switched lots to 40 Sophia Drive. What's this mean? Not a whole lot, no pun intended. In a nutshell, I'll no longer have to climb a hill to get to my house, my backyard will require less maintenance and the exterior color scheme has shifted from green to gray. Like I could tell the difference anyway.

Quote of the Day

"Have other activities and interests...Good running alone will end up with you 35 years old and showing up to Sunday road races in a 1972 Volkswagen bus that you live in."
- Mark Wetmore

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Weekend Update, Part Deux

So I left off yesterday's entry with me getting back to the hotel in the wee hours of Sunday morning after an evening of sanctioned debauchery gone bad at the meet's host hotel. After a brief phone chat with my best bud Sean out in San Diego, I got to bed somewhere around 1, woke up to a clattering of beer bottles in the fridge just after 2 and quickly fell back asleep before a thundering knock on the door at the ungodly hour of 4:45 forced me to actually get my ass out of bed. Maloney, the intended recipient of all the commotion, was not getting up. Luckily for him, however, the little lass with the loud knock entered with a vengeance, gave the poor bastard a good tug and after some persuasive prodding, all was again silent. I quickly fell back asleep, only to wake back up again two hours later wondering what in the hell had just happened.

After a quick scan of the room revealed Maloney left behind his Reach the Beach jacket and the clanging I heard some 4 or so hours earlier was my 6 bottles of Sam Winter apparently sneaking themselves out of the refrigerator, I needed to remove myself from the premises. So what does one do first thing in the morning after 4-1/2 hours of choppy sleep? Go running, of course. Luckily for me, Shauneen, who probably slept a lot more soundly than I did and awoke without the stress of worrying about a half dozen wounded soldiers, was down for an easy 30 minutes.

OK, so the easy out-n-back on the deserted roads of Mason actually took 31 minutes, but the good company and good conversation made it well worth the extra 60 seconds. Afterwards, I showered quickly, saw my remaining teammates off to the airport, got confirmation that my six missing soldiers did indeed end up in good hands, packed my bags, met up with Driscoll and K.Gwyth, checked out of the hotel and made the short walk over to Bob Evans for an epic 2-hour-and-45 minute breakfast while waiting for our ride up to Ann Arbor. The atmosphere at Bob's restaurant was comfortably quaint, the food was actually pretty good and the coffee went down smoothly, perhaps too smoothly as evidenced by the half or dozen or so refills the waitress filled my cup with.

Around noon time the three of us hopped in a car with Anna Willard and her boy toy/third-place finisher from the men's race the day before, Jon Pierce of ZAP Fitness, for the 3+ hour drive up to the land of the Big Blue. Despite riding bitch the whole way in a cramped backseat, an increasingly sore ass and pulsating hamstrings the last 45 minutes, the ride north passed by pretty quickly.

In the interest of not further boring those of you still reading this, rather going into sickening detail about the rest of my brief, but very kickass stay in Ann Arbor with Driscoll and K. Gwyth, I'll conveniently provide the Cliff Note's outline version instead. Here goes.

1. Dropped off bags.
2. Stopped by Tortoise & Hare. Purchased souvenir t-shirt.
3. Went out to dinner with Driscoll, K. Gwyth and a 5-foot-4-inch African named Boaz.
4. Sat down to aforementioned dinner in a wet pair of pants. Learned that Boaz is "crazy man, just crazy." He also doesn't like pasta, bagels or french fries, in case you were wondering.
5. Hit up the State Theatre with Driscoll for an 8:45 showing of No Country for Old Men.
6. Crashed hard. Real hard.
7. Up and at 'em by 7:45 on Monday morning, drove out to a dirt road, slid down the hill in Driscoll's truck, realized our original plan of running on soft ground wasn't going to work and elected to run 5 miles in downtown AA instead. Followed an icy little jaunt up with a greasy breakfast at the Fleetwood Diner, which is no Town Common, but more than did the trick.
8. Showered back at the apartment, sat around on the couch and shot the shit for a couple hours, grabbed some coffee with Driscoll, tooled around downtown Ann Arbor for a bit, picked the brain of a fellow running store manager at Running Fit before finally meeting back up with Katie for lunch and gelato at Zingerman's Deli, which gets my vote for the best lunch spot anywhere, ever.
9. Took a couple pictures, dished out some hugs and headed to the airport with Marky Mark, who never fails in keeping me entertained.
10. Checked in for my flight(s), grabbed more coffee, hopped a plane to Baltimore and eventually ended up in Providence where I was picked up my padre at 9:45 PM, thus ending one of the best extended weekends of my life. Definitely a top-3 candidate, right up there with Vermont City Marathon weekend this past summer and Cape Week '04.

And with that, I'll end my second straight day of rambling and get my ass to bed. I hereby excuse myself from any extended entries of any sort for the rest of the week. Goodnight.

Quote of the Day

"You're all nuts."
- K. Gwyth, speaking the fortunate - that's right, no "un" necessary here - truth.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Weekend Update, Part I

The race results and the police reports may indicate otherwise, but let me tell you it was a great weekend in West Chester, Ohio and its surrounding areas.

So without further adue, here's the blow-by-blow, I mean day-by-day, recap of the 2008 edition of USATF Club Cross Country Nationals.

It all started on Friday morning when I was picked up by an identically-dressed sharp looking teammate with an equally awesome Italian last name and shiny silver Saabaru for the quick trip west on I-90 out to Chicopee, where we would meet up with Ned and Shauneen, the charter members of a select faction known as New Balance Boston-West.

After arriving at the East Coast headquarters of Skybus buslines, I mean airlines, we sat around on some of the most comfortable folding chairs you'll ever find in an airport terminal while waiting out a brief travel delay. Before we knew it, the four of us were flying the friendly (and cheap!) skies all the way out to Columbus, Ohio on a brandy new orange jet that was so chock full of innovative engineering even Ryan was impressed. Upon landing in Columbus, Ned took command of a not-so-pimped-out Chevy Impala and kept us wildy entertained (unprepared folks would likely have been mortified) on the relatively non-scenic 90-minute drive down to the strip mall metropolis of the world - Mason, Ohio.

Since a 45-minute wait for dinner and an 11 o'clock bed time don't exactly make for entertaining commentary I'll skip ahead to Saturday, which for me started at 7:30 AM when I rolled out of bed and right into my 767's for a 10-minute shakeout and some easy strides. I followed that up with a quick stretch and my standard pre-race breakfast of a couple mini bagels with peanut butter, strawberry yogurt, banana and well-timed trip to Starbucks with Jess and Kevin for the oh-so-important pre-race cup of coffee. It's a tried-and-true recipe for success, in theory anyway.

The rest of the morning was relatively low key and consisted of me watching Sports Center about eight more times before meeting up with Ryan, Ned and Justin for the short ride over to Voice of America Park. Short might be a gross under exaggeration, but we made it to the race with 45 minutes to spare and had no trouble finding a good parking spot next door to the course at - you guessed it - a strip mall.

As for the race itself, it was a cross between mud wrestling and distance running that had me feeling more like I was an Excitebike rider without his wheels than a cross country runner with 1/2" spikes on his feet. This was not a course for a rhythm runner who couldn't find his rhythm and as a result I was left stuck in the mud, literally.

All things considered, I didn't have that bad of a race. 34:59 for 156th overall certainly doesn't qualify as a good one but it was far from a total disaster and I did have some fun out there while managing to escape in one piece. I can live with that. Fact of the matter is I'm not a mudder - never have been, probably never will be, and while I claimed to more than one person at the post-race party that this was probably my last cross country race ever, in reality it probably wasn't. That was the free Bud Lite talking.

For NB Boston on the whole, it turned out to be a pretty successful afternoon. We finished 13th out of 50 teams on the men's side and the women went home with some silver hardware for their outstanding second-place efforts. Jeff, Justin, Ned, Ryan, Jess and Erin all turned in solid individual performances to round out a good day for the guys and gals in green.

The post-race festivities apparently couldn't wait and 5 minutes into the cooldown the first beer of the day was cracked as a Heineken keg can from who knows where made its way amongst the mud-laden boys of NB Boston. Probably not the most conventional means of refueling after a hard effort, but cross country is anything but a conventional sport so nobody questioned it.

The rest of the evening was full of food, beer, awards, more food and more beer, socializing, dancing, chicken wings, more beer, more socializing, tasering, walking, finding a ride back to the hotel, icing, texting, talking and finally bed. I didn't extend my evening at the Brazenwood like most of my other teammates did and elected to turn in early instead. Getting back to the hotel was an interesting adventure but luckily I was in good company. Besides, the roof rack was the only available seat left in the team van and it was starting to get pretty cold out.

And right now it's starting to get pretty late so I'm going to chop this long entry short and finish it up tomorrow. Like any of you are still reading anyway.

Quote of the Day

"I am not going to bring up who was looking mighty ridiculous dancing with a skinny red head from Michigan who looks like he lost his razor to a funk band in an Irish pub."
- Ryan Carrara touching upon the weekend antics of one of this blog's most frequent commentators.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Weekend pre-Update

So everyone out there in Blogland is waiting for a weekend update - and believe me, there will be a no-holds-barred Friday-through-Monday, leave-no-mile or beer bottle unaccounted for, blow-by-blow report from Ohio, Massachusetts and everywhere in between, rest assured - but it will have to wait until tomorrow evening when I am done working and have hopefully regained some semblance of cognitive function after an assuredly long, but highly entertaining, wildly successful and flat-out fun weekend.

In the meantime, check out Ryan's rousing recap from the strip mall capital of the world, otherwise known as southwestern Ohio. I'm going to not run tomorrow morning and catch up on sleep instead. Goodnight.

Quote of the Weekend

"I was standing there eating chicken wings feeling like I was watching a live episode of Cops."
- Kevin commenting on the post-race melee at the host hotel.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Go Midwest, young man

8:45 AM - 5 miles, 35:00 - Pakachoag 5.
Easy does it before boarding the plane. OK, well before boarding the plane.

This will be the last you'll hear from me for a few days as the ol' laptop is staying put on my desk this weekend. With a little luck, some free time and a convenient internet connection, I may provide an update sometime between now and Monday night, but I wouldn't count on it. Otherwise, expect a full recap sometime on Tuesday, perhaps Wednesday if I'm still feeling a bit knackered. I'm off to Ohio for the craziest cross country race I may ever contest, then spending a couple days in Michigan with two of my favorite transplanted New Englanders. It will be a great weekend. Adios amigos.

Quote of the Day

"If I'm still standing at the end of the race, hit me with a board and knock me down, because that means I didn't run hard enough."

-Steve Jones on the proper way to race cross country

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Ready or not...

8:50 AM - 6 miles, 42:00 - AHS Track.
Out-n-back to the high school, 6 x 20/40 strides on the way home.

...West Chester, Ohio, here I come. The bags are packed, my scalp is freshly shorn, the hay is in the barn and the 1/2" dagger spikes are ready for battle. I'm prepared for whatever this weekend throws at me, whether it's 500 lunatics in long spikes and the expected 10-kilometer slopfest at Voice of America Park to...well, I don't know what else, but whatever it is, I'm ready for it.

And so are my teammates. We've got two solid squads representing New Balance Boston and I think, check that, I know, we're ready to make some noise on the national stage. Get your earplugs ready.

Quote of the Day

"My strategy was to run the best race for me and not worry about what others were doing."
- Good advice from John Mentzer, 24th at the 2008 Men's Olympic Marathon Trials

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Show me the light(s)

7:30 AM - 7 miles, 48:30 - Rockland 7.
Same loop as Monday morning, 5-1/2 minutes faster.

Apologies for yet another short and admittedly boring entry. Lots going on this week and a lot still to get done before making the trek to the not-so-great Midwest on Friday. OK, the race itself and the atmosphere surrounding it will be great, visiting with Mark and Katie in Ann Arbor will be even greater, but the Midwest in and of itself not so much. I'd elaborate more, but I need to go look at light fixtures tonight. Man, I can't believe I just typed that.

Quote of the Day

"The Olympics are always a dream. I just want to focus on becoming a etter runner and improving my times. That’s my main focus right now."
Michelle Gallagher, who qualified for next April's Olympic Marathon Trials with a 2:43 debut at 2:43:31 at Cal International this past weekend.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Tuesday tuneup

7:50 AM - 4 miles, 30:45 - Hampton 4.
Little leg stretcher before work. Butt ass cold out there this morning.

6:10 PM - 8 miles, 59:00 - BC Res.
23:00 warmup, 8 x 1 minute hard/1 minute easy w/Fenton, 20:00 cooldown. Final tuneup before Saturday; felt pretty good.

Quote of the Day

"There is nothing special about training. You have to believe in yourself."
- Marilson Gomes dos Santos, 2006 NYC Marathon Champion

Monday, December 03, 2007

Shit show

7:15 AM - 7 miles, 54:00 - Rockland 7.
Shitty weather + shitty roads = shitty run.

Sorry Greg, I liked this title just a little bit better. Thanks for the algebraic equation, I mean suggestion, though.

I could have sworn it was mid-February when I stepped out the door this morning. The skies were gloomy, the footing was atrocious and I was slipping and sliding all over the place. I'm usually one to keep quiet when running by myself, but I actually yelled "this sucks" out loud at about 5-1/2 miles. Yes, it was that miserable.

While I'm on the topic of misery, hopefully tonight's Pats game is slightly less agonizing than last Sunday night's nail-biter. 30- point blowouts might not make for good TV, but they sure help me sleep easier. Plus, I want to try and keep the flying F-bombs to a minimum this week, especially since I'll be watching the game at someone else's house.

Actually, it's about time I get my ass over to said house. Go Pats!

Quote of the Day

"That's what cross-country's about, it's about racing. And the race is about knowing there's someone who can beat you."
Emily Jones, a youngan who "gets it".

Sunday, December 02, 2007

The trial of the Trials

8:50 AM - 13 miles, 1:34:00 - Hudson.
Sunday morning stroll through the woods with Ryan and Christy Mae. 6 x 15-second strides on the road afterward.

So the qualifying standards for the 2012 men's Olympic Marathon Trials have been changed to 2:19 for the whole enchilada, 1:05 for the half or 28:30 for 10,000 meters on the track. Forget running under 2:20 and the all-expenses trip to the Trials that goes with it, and never mind just settling for a sub-2:22 pay-your-own way "B" mark, if you aren't running 5:18 per mile or faster for 26.2 miles you better hope to hell that you've a damn good half marathon or fast 10K somewhere in your legs or you'll be watching the 2012 race from the same place I did the 2008 edition four weeks ago - the side of the road.

That was a good time and all but I'd really rather not have to do it again four years from now, so what it comes down to for me is this. Instead of chopping 6 minutes and 25 seconds off my debut time from Vermont last May, I've now got roughly three years to shave off that amount of time plus another 3 minutes, or an average of about 3:10 per year at minimum.

My long division may be off but at two marathons per year I think that leaves me about six chances or a 1:35 improvement from one marathon to the next in order to hit my goal.

Forget about the 10K - I won't even go there - and unless I catch one hell of a tailwind some cold March morning in New Bedford, I'm not banking on hitting the half marathon mark either. Fact of the matter is - and I've already accepted it - is that I'm going to have to suffer for no more than 2 hours and 19 minutes on a certified course with a start-finish separation of no more than 30% of the race distance and an elevation loss of no more than 1 meter per kilometer of race distance or I can forget about running in the Olympic Trials.

I've got to have the race of my life sometime in the next four years. Anything less than that isn't going to get me anywhere, anywhere I want to be anyway.

Quote of the Day

"Qualifying for the Trials has long been a point of pride amongst USA distance runners, and with the bar raised for 2012, qualifying will become an even greater badge of honor."
- David Monti

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Week ending

7:40 AM - 6 miles, 43:10 - Industrial Park.
Easy does it to end the week. Legs seem to have some life creeping back into them.

73 miles for the week. 1 good long run. 2 solid workouts. 6 days until Club Nationals. Nothing else to add.


Quote of the Day

"The important things in life are not really things. They are family, friends and the experiences along the way."
- Amy Yoder Begley