Thursday, August 28, 2008

Race Report: Chamberas 6K

"Always what I thought cross country should be all about. A group of runners meeting in some field some place and racing through ungroomed woods and fields."
- Ryan Carrara, two-time winner of the Thomas Chamberas 6K cross country race
I couldn't have summed the race up any better myself, not to mention this guy's won the damn thing two years in a row now, so who am I to argue with him.

Plus, he doubles as my training partner, so I wouldn't want to piss him off in the event he's feeling good on a Tuesday night hill session or a weekend workout. We've got enough of them left before Bay State and I don't wanna take a chance on getting an unexpected drilling, thank you very much.

Anyway, I will take a quick shot at wrapping up this past weekend's race in my own words. I'm a little strapped for time, so a few key adjectives will have to suffice for now.

Fast. Competitive. Technical. Raw.

And at the risk of reinforcing my reputation as an unoriginal bastard of the blogs, I'll now steal a full line from Jim Johnson and call it a night.
"You don't slow down to conserve or back off while thinking about just hammer."
Like I said, raw. Racing in it's purest form. No mile markers, no splits, no mercy. Real cross country, baby.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Mahone Tone

This rendition of the Star Spangled Banner was even better live on Sunday morning. Just trust me on that, but click the link anyway for your own listening pleasure.

P.S. I swear it won't contaminate your computer, just your ear drums.

P.P.S. Race report by the end of the week. Maybe.

Monday, August 25, 2008


I was going to post a race report today - really, I was - but I ended up getting a lot of other lingering shit taken care of instead. And tonight I had dinner with my sister Jayme, who arrived home in the wee hours of the morning from her first stint as the lead lighting techie on Carnival Cruise Line's Conquest. Plus, just as I was starting to feel good about the 91 miles I ran last week, I came across Nate's most recent training log and any motivation to write about my own running went right down the shitter. With a little luck it will resurface later in the week - my motivation, that is.

In the meantime, here's a couple pics from the race (courtesy of Jim Rhoades and Jim Johnson, respectively) to tide ya'll over.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Training Log: August 17-23

Sunday - AM: 17.5 miles, 2:01:30. Solo through Millbury and Grafton. Last 45 minutes a dehydrated death march.

Monday - AM: 6 miles, 42:25. 6 x 20/40 strides on the way home. PM: 6 miles, 44:00.

Tuesday - AM: 4 miles, 30:00. PM: 11 miles. 12 x 1:00 hills on Heartbreak with the Justins and Jen. Alternated sets of 3 between grass and road.

Wednesday - AM: 6 miles, 44:25. PM: 6.5 miles, 48:00.

Thursday - AM: 10 miles, 1:12:00. Felt a bit rough around the edges.

Friday - PM: 12 miles, 1:23:30. First 5 miles easy with SKinney, then 7 x 2:00 on/1:00 off @ 10K effort.

Saturday - AM: 7 miles, 51:00. PM: 5 miles, 36:00. 6 x 100m strides afterward.

Totals: 91 miles, 11 runs. Finally got the long run up over 2 hours and the overall mileage into the 90's, so I accomplished my two major goals for the week. Tuesday's hill session was short-n-sweet and Friday's fartlek was just enough to keep the wheels spinning heading into this morning's Chamberas 6K cross country race, which I will write about in detail tomorrow. New Haven's next up on the racing docket, so next week's log will be pretty boring - as if this one was all that exciting to begin with.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Training Log: August 10-16

Sunday - AM: 15 miles, 1:46:25 with A-Ten at West Hill.
Monday- AM: 7.5 miles, 57:45 on the bike path with Hodgie-San.
Tuesday - AM: 11 miles. 5 x 1 mile w/1:30 recovery with Ryan at the Morgan Bowl in Hudson. 5:02, 5:04, 5:05, 5:05, 5:01. PM: 6 miles, 45:00 with Casey at West Hill.
Wednesday - PM: 9 miles, 1:07:30 with Casey in Westboro.
Thursday - AM: 13.5 miles, 1:31:00 including 6 x 20/40 strides.
Friday - OFF.
Saturday - AM: 13 miles. 7.5-mile solo PMP in 40:31 at Fresh Pond. 13:35, 13:31, 13:25 for the three loops which works out to an average of 5:24 or so per mile.
Totals: 75 miles, 7 runs. We're inside 10 weeks now till the Big Show otherwise known as Bay State and training is finally getting to where it needs to be. I missed a couple of easy runs because life got in the way, but I nailed all the important stuff so I'm gonna go ahead and call this a pretty good week. I'll try my damnedest to kick things up a bit this coming week and then I'll rest up for a week before New Haven on September 1.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Tuesdays with Ryan

I'd hate for Ryan to have a stressful weekend down the Cape, so to ease his nerves here are our splits from Tuesday morning's 5 by 1-mile workout at Hudson High's Morgan Bowl. Recovery was a scant 90 seconds between each repeat.

1. 5:02.99
2. 5:04.97
3. 5:05.53
4. 5:05.58
5. 5:01.10

This was a solid effort for the two of us, and we successfully avoided the the clown walking across Lane 1 on the final repeat, so no casualties. And the weather was about as cooperative as it's ever gonna be in August, so no complaints there. We've still got a long ways to go, but all in all, I'd say we're off to a good start. Just gotta keep the ball rolling...

Thursday, August 14, 2008


I'd love love LOVE to write in this space much more often, but let's face it, time, or lack thereof, just doesn't allow me to do so as regularly as I would like. I've got a few free minutes this morning as I roll my f'd up foot around on a golf ball, and thought I'd share a relevant little snippet from Marty Liquori's autobiography, On the Run, which I am slowly making my way through a few pages at a time.
"I was a compulsive worker, and maybe I still am. I've only recently learned how to relax, I've only recently realized I never knew how to relax. I still work at it, which may sound contradictory, but that's what I do. I'm still learning that I don't have to feel guilty when I just sit and listen to records. I'm still learning that I don't have to feel guilty when I go off and strum my guitar. I'm a workoholic, and it's a curse."
Boy, is it ever. This "Go! Go! Go!" way of thinking can become so consuming that while we're so caught up in trying to get everything done, we end up missing out on everything else. I'm getting better at trying to reverse this wacky way of thinking, but as my boy Marty alluded to, it's a tough pattern to break.

The lesson here? Relax, folks. I'm still learning how to do so myself, still working at it a little bit every day. Right now, however, I've gotta run, quite literally. Ciao!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Training Log: August 3-9

So there's 10 weeks to go till Bay State which means it's time to stop f'n around and time to get down to business. Pretty much dove in head first this week with the goals of getting the mileage back up and getting the workouts in again, which is exactly what I did. Cumulative fatigue and impending injuries be damned.

The numbers, raw like the skin on this guy's knees.

Sunday - AM: 13 miles, 1:31:15 with Ryan and Christy Mae.
Monday - AM: 8.5 miles, 1:00:00. PM: 4.5 miles, 30:00 including 10 x 30 sec hard/30 sec easy.
Tuesday - AM: 4 miles, 30:00. PM: 8 miles, 1:00:00 with Casey after work.
Wednesday - AM: 4 miles, 30:00. PM: 11 miles. 6 x 2:00 hills @ 85% effort with Ryan & Ceiks on Eli Whitney St. in Westboro.
Thursday - AM: 7.5 miles, 53:55.
Friday - AM: 10 miles, 1:10:00 including 6 x 20/40 strides.
Saturday - AM: 12 miles. 4.6 mile Lincoln tempo run in with Ryan and Justin. Splits - 5:19, 5:23, 5:12, 3:09 (0.6), 5:01 = 24:04/5:13 avg.
Totals: 83 miles, 10 runs. Best week in a long while and a definite step in the right direction. Workouts weren't spectacular, but they were solid and that's good enough for now. I'll continue to build up for a couple more weeks, then scale things back a bit for New Haven on Labor Day before really ramping it up during the month of September, at which point I'll either be in 2:24 shape or very very injured. Let's keep our fingers crossed for the former.

Monday, August 04, 2008

B2B: The Way Racing Shouldn't Be

I've got a race report somewhere up my sleeve, and if I have some free time tomorrow (ha!) I'll be sure to roll up those sleeves up and let that sucker loose, but for now the Cliff's Notes version of this past weekend's Beach 2 Beacon 10K will have to suffice.

(Editor's note: After reviewing the content, the Cliff's Note's version will indeed suffice - permanently.)

Mile 1: Mario got out in about 5 minutes flat, hanging off the back of the women's lead pack and not feeling very comfortable with 5.2 miles of racing still left to go. He turns to former teammate Jeff Caron and says, "This is definitely faster than 33-minute pace."

Mile 2: The course started rolling a bit and Mario's pace slows down to a 5:22. The women's lead pack, which also included local studs Justin Lutz, David Bedoya and a few other hangers-on, pulled away and opened up a little bit of a gap.

Mile 2-1/2: Accepting the fact he was running like a huge pussy and didn't want to suffer any more, Mario backs off his effort a bit, waits for Rebecca Donaghue and Artie Gilkes to catch up (they weren't far behind to begin with), and proceeds to dangle himself like a carrot in front of his teammate, who would later finish as the top American woman in the race.

Mile 3: The net downhill carries Mario to a 5:18 third mile and a 16:18 split at 5K. JC has pulled away and Rebecca is rolling right along like she's out for a Saturday morning stroll. Colin Ingram, Mario's Mizuno rep and all-around good guy, pulls up along side our hurtin' hero with the clashing kit and engages him in the following exchange...

Colin: Let's go, Mario.
Mario: I'm in...the hurt box...dude.
Colin: I'm...way...over my head...too.

Mile 4: What goes down must come up, or something like that. In this case, that something was the pace, which shot up to 5:27 for no good reason. Actually, there was nothing good about this mile, or memorable anyway, so we'll leave it at that.

Mile 5: The clock read 26:35, but the big banner announcing the 5-mile mark about 150 meters before the actual 5-mile mark was enough of a tease that the split didn't mean shit when Mario finally reached the clock. His race well over, Rebecca's was just beginning as he and Artie kept close tabs on the fading Kenyan woman a few yards up ahead.

Mile 6: Resigned to his self-appointed role as domestique, Mario led Rebecca's charge into Fort Williams Park and quickly got the hell out of the way as the Pink Panther went on the prowl. By the 6-mile mark our new hero had boxed up one foreign delicacy and was ready to pick herself off another one, but simply ran out of real estate despite a sub 60-second clocking for her last 2/10 of a mile.

Synopsis: Mario ran a ball-less race. He needs to get his head on straight and his ass in gear.