Monday, February 25, 2008

Training Log: February 17-23

10:10 AM - 17 miles. Old Fashioned 10 Miler (2nd, 53:03). 22:00 warmup, 30:35 cooldown. Goal for Ryan and I was to start at 5:25-30 pace and cut down from there. The wind altered those plans a bit but the effort was right where it needed to be. Solid effort, felt very strong and in control from start to finish. Full race report is in the entry directly below this one.

8:45 AM - 6.6 miles, 46:45. Note: Mileage totals from now on will come straight off the Garmin. No more Mario Miles so let's all get used to looking at decimal points. As for the run, it was windy and wet but since it was 50 degrees out I won't complain too much. Legs didn't feel all that bad, either.
5:00 PM - 6.9 miles, 48:40. Last run in the Inspire 5 before they get shipped back to Atlanta. These guys served me well during their short stint in my rotation.

8:15 AM - 12.1 miles, 1:20:25. Third day in a row wearing shorts. Looks like it will be the last day for a while, too.

7:30 AM - 8.3 miles, 56:15. Cold, windy and felt pretty sluggish to boot. 6 x 20-second strides on the way home.
7:00 PM - 4.1 miles, 30:00. Same ol', same ol' on the store treadmill.

8:25 AM - 12.5 miles, 1:20:25. Had a tough time getting out the door for this one but didn't feel too bad once I got going. Need to try and get something of quality in tomorrow or Saturday.

7:35 AM - 10.5 miles, 1:13:10. Out-n-back into Millbury by way of the Bike Path. Tried to get out early and beat the snow but was greeted by an unwelcome 1/2 inch of the white stuff when I stepped out of the garage. Almost fell three times in the first 2 miles before finally hitting the ground about a mile later. Nearly went down again about 7 miles in but managed to stay on my feet. Fuck winter.

7:45 AM - 8.4 miles, 53:45. 15:00 easy, 9 x [2:00 hard/2:00 easy], 4:45 easy back home. Hard stuff started at 5:30 pace and got down to 5:00-5:10 effort by the last couple repeats. Felt good to stretch the legs out a bit.

Totals: 86.4 miles, 9 runs. Alright week. Overall quality was less than I would have liked but I got in a good effort at Foxboro on Sunday and Saturday's fartlek was better than nothing. Motivation has plummeted along with the temperature and I feel like I've just been going through the motions of late. Hopefully I can turn the corner again soon.

Quote of the Week

"It's contagious. You don't put up any barriers. Anything's possible."
- Matt Tegenkamp

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Race Report: Old Fashioned 10 Miler

Call me old fashioned but I can't think of a better way to spend a Sunday morning in February than running 10 miles straight into a stiff headwind.

OK, so maybe I'm not thinking hard enough or I need to find a new hobby but that's exactly what I and 427 other people with nothing better to do did this past weekend at the Old Fashioned 10 Miler along the scenic backroads of Belichickville, I mean Foxboro, Massachusetts.

This is the third straight year I've partaken in this preferred form of tomfoolery and considering the absence of arctic temperatures and slush-laden roads, along with the fact I ran 44 seconds faster than last year, I really have nothing to complain about. OK, so the soup offering after the race was a little skimpy, but I'll stop there.

Moving on, the pre-race plan laid out by my running mate, Mr. Ryan Carrara, called for us to cover the first few miles at a 5:25-30 clip before gradually ratcheting things down to a pace we can only one day hope to hold for an entire 26.2-mile footrace. The aforementioned headwind altered those plans a bit but the effort was where it needed to be and nobody left with wind burn so I'd say we executed our strategy pretty well.

A large pack of multi-colored singlets hit the first mile in a dead-on nuts split of 5:30 before someone, likely me, got a little bit excited and towed that very same group through a faster-than-desired 5:13 reading for the second mile. The wind was a blowin' at this point, so much so that Ryan offered me a small sum of money for my NB skullcap, a deal that ultimately fell through, however, due to a lack of readily available monetary funds on the part of Mr. Carrara. I would have proposed a counter-offer for an apple-cinnamon Hammer Gel, but bartering for goods while skimming the road at 11.5 MPH is almost as dangerous as texting while driving. There's just no need for it.

Anyway, Mile 3 came and went in 5 minutes and 22 seconds and our merry little group had been whittled down to a half dozen or so folks at this point, including myself, Mr. Carrara, D3 alums Adam Fitzgerald and Dan Vassallo, Timmy Tapply and a pair of BAAers, Eric "Mountain Man" Blake and Terry "Sandbagger" Shea, who was plotting a blitz of Belichick-like proportions at the back of the pack. Mile 4 dipped back below 5:20 and was marked by idle chatter and idle bodies unwilling to move, but that all changed a mile later when Dan the Man must've got sick of listening to Ryan and I babbling away and dropped a 5:02 fifth mile to take the lot of us through halfway a little ahead of schedule in 26:28.

17 seconds from one mile to the next wasn't enough of an adjustment for Blake and Silent Terry, however, as the two of them kept things up for another mile, putting 10 seconds on the pack with another low 5-minute split for the next 1,609 meters before Eric realized Terry was in no talking mood on this sunny Sunday morning and he'd be best served to rejoin the moving chatterbox that was idling on down the road just a few yards behind him.

And as for the race, my friends, that was all he wrote. I'll keep writing, of course, but by Mile 7 Terry had put his pen and notebook away and decided that this story was over. Our little chase pack stuck together though and took turns breaking the wind until Mile 9, which happened to fall at the appropriately-named Ryan Place, where Carrara got excited to see his name on a road sign and started to pick up the pace. Since I told myself before the race that I was going to do whatever Ryan did -- heck, if he stopped in the middle of the road to do a chicken dance I would have been flapping my wings right behind him -- I just stuck to my guns and went with the move, even though I knew he was only pulling such a stunt so I would break the wind for him the last mile. And if you look at the results, you'll notice Ryan entered the finishing chute exactly one second behind me. Now I'm no strategist, but I'd say his plan worked to perfection.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Training Log: February 10-16

9:25 AM - 8 miles, 57:55. Only had time for an easy hour this morning. Didn't feel like doing much more than that anyway.
5:00 PM - 4 miles, 30:00. Round and round on the rat wheel after work. Started at 8 mph and got down to a blazing 8.5 by the time it was over.

7:30 AM - 10 miles, 1:08:30. Late start this morning but with the wind chill well below 0 I was in no rush to get out the door. Survived with all my limbs still intact, even threw in 6 x 20-second strides on the way home.

7:30 AM - 8 miles, 50:00. Easy running for the first 2 miles or so, 6:00 pace or faster the rest of the way. Left ITB screamed at me for the first 5 minutes before quieting down.
7:00 PM - 4 miles, 30:00. PR treadmill in my 826's. Other than the new shoes, same old shit - short and slow.

OFF. Spent 45 minutes shoveling my driveway this morning if that counts for anything. Planned to run on the treadmill after work but grabbed dinner with Jeff instead.

7:25 AM - 8 miles, 54:45. Plan was to fartlek but ended up ice skating instead. Horrible road conditions. ITB, hips and calves all took a beating.
5:30 PM - 4 miles, 30:00. "Belt of death rumba" on the PR treadmill. Didn't feel like starring in Ice Capades tonight so I went belt dancing instead.

4:20 PM - 10 miles, 1:07:15. Busy day = late run. 6 x 20-second strides on the way home.

7:20 AM - 8 miles, 56:30. First run using my new toy, the Garmin 205. Same loop as Thursday morning, which is precisely 8.39 miles according to the gadget.

Totals: 64 miles, 9 runs. Had a down week on tap which ended up sinking a little lower than planned thanks to a little inclimate weather from Mother Nature and lots of dicking around on my part. Any hope of quality work was washed away with the rain on Wednesday, so let's hope I can get my ass back in gear at the Old Fashioned 10-Miler in Foxboro tomorrow morning. The plan is to start out at 5:25-30 pace for the first few miles and cut it down from there.

Quote of the Week

"You need to train hard for a long time to get good...The most incredible training means nothing if you are not healthy on race day."
- Nate Jenkins outlining his marathon training guidelines. Read this.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Training Log: February 3-9

9:15 AM - 18 miles, 2:06:00. Backward version of yesterday's run with Ryan, Christy Mae and Uncle Fire. Tired, left IT band a bit tight the first mile or two, right soleus twinged on me a couple times but otherwise I didn't feel too bad.

10:15 AM - 8 miles, 56:15. Tried to come up with a clean 8 but fell a bit short and had to add on up the hill. IT band was doing some silly things again the first 1/2 mile or so but didn't act up on me again after that.
4:00 PM - 4 miles, 30:00. Short shakeout before dinner. IT band was well behaved this evening.

8:55 AM - 12 miles, 1:24:40. Bike Path into Millbury, back home via Greenwood Street. 6 x 20-second strides during the run. IT band tight early, then OK. Soleus OK early, then tightened up.

7:25 AM - 9 miles, 1:01:45. Shorts, light gloves and a non-waterproof jacket were probably poor choices of attire this morning. OK, so they were definitely poor choices. And to think it's part of my job to help people decide what to wear outside in this crap. I've only failed myself.

8:55 AM - 10 miles, 1:07:15.
Almost came up with a clean 10 but fell a bit short. Felt like a pile of dung but at least my IT band and soleus didn't give me any trouble. 6 x 20/40 strides on the way home.
8:00 PM - 5 miles, 37:00. Short shakeout on the treadmill after work. First time on this thing in a couple weeks and can't say that I really missed it all that much.

7:25 AM - 10 miles, 1:06:35. Reverse of yesterday's loop with a small addition to make it a clean 10. Tried throwing in a few pickups but they weren't very productive.
7:00 PM - 4 miles, 30:00. If the after-work treadmill shakeout is good enough for Brian Sell, then it's good enough for me.

7:25 AM - 10, miles, 1:04:35. 6 x [2:00-1:00-0:30] hard w/1:00-1:00-2:30 easy jogs for recovery. First quality effort in a week - first time I felt good in a week, too.

Totals: 90 miles, 10 runs. Tough week but I got through it. Lessons learned:
1. Three 18-mile runs and two workouts in the same seven-day stretch is never a good idea.
2. Moving is an exhausting process.
3. There is nothing worse than running in a downpour in February. Nothing.

Quote of the Week

"We haven't had a day over 35 degrees since Christmas, and the other day when we did some speed work it was 7 degrees. We got about four inches of freezing sleet. It took me an hour to shovel the pure slush off of my driveway — we're getting hammered up here."
- Brian Sell, summing up the shittiest winter in recent memory. This week was no exception.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Training Log: January 27-February 2

8:15 AM - 18 miles, 2:01:00. Solo in the snow before work. Felt like hell when I woke up but the legs felt pretty good once I got going and my energy levels weren't too bad either.

9:00 AM - 8 miles, 53:45. Felt kinda sluggish for the first 3 miles, better after that. 8 x 20-second strides on the way home.
7:15 PM - 7 miles, 50:15. Easy does it around Easton with Bergie. Short of 7 miles but I'll make up for it tomorrow.

8:25 AM - 10 miles, 1:06:40. Out-n-back fartlek on McCracken Road, 10 x [2:00 hard/2:00 easy]. Wanted to call it quits after #6 but managed to hang in there for the final four.

OFF. Since I don't have much stuff, I thought moving would be anything but time consuming, tiring or a big pain in the ass. Boy, was I wrong.

8:45 AM - 8 miles, 58:00. First run from the new place. Like the current state of my living area, I was feeling a bit rough around the edges.
4:20 PM - 8 miles, 1:01:00. Easy run around town with Erin. Tired, but not as bad as this morning.

8:55 AM - 10 miles, 1:08:50. Hit the roads before the rain hit me. 6 x 20-second strides on the way home.

9:50 AM - 18 miles, 1:53:00. Squires long run # 2 with Ryan from his place in Hudson. 30:00 easy, 6 x 8:00 on/2:00 off for the next hour, 23:00 easy to finish up. "On" stuff started at ~5:45 pace and got faster from there. Felt real strong which was encouraging given how crappy I was feeling earlier in the week.

Totals: 87 miles, 8 runs. Solid week, even with the day off. Since I had the week off from work my plan was to try and hit the century mark for the first time in a couple years but I didn't think moving would be so time consuming, not to mention tiring. I still managed to hit all my key workouts though, so I didn't miss out on anything other than some nice looking numbers in the old log book. S'alright - no harm, no foul.
Quote of the Week (this one's sticking)

"It just takes something a little more, a lot of faith, diligence. You have to keep at it all the time."
- Jen Toomey