Sunday, September 28, 2008

I got something

OK, still no Reach the Beach race report, haven't posted a training log in a couple weeks and have just been pretty terrible about keeping this place current in general, but here goes something on a soggy Sunday in September.

Reach the Beach, in a nutshell, was the funnest 24 hours of running-related fun I've ever been a part of. As Captain Carrara put it, "there's nothing funner." Of course, it's always nice to win, too. Luckily, we had all our bases covered going into battle and everything came together for us at the right time.

Of course, preparation is key. We couldn't have done what we did without the help of 2 Chevy Tahoes, 20+ pairs of running shoes, 10 blinking lights, 6 reflective vests, 2 headlamps, a dozen bananas, 10 gallons of water, 2 lbs. of Swedish fish, 2 loaves of bread, 1 large bucket of GORP, a jar of peanut butter and a partridge in a pear tree. And most importantly, don't forget a dozen of funnest, funkiest-smelling, sleep-deprived runners to ever blaze the blacktop between Cannon Mountain and Hampton Beach.

Sadly, RTB '08 is over, but I am already looking forward getting down during the pre-race warmup (see photo below) and defending our crown next year with the same crazy contingent of Kitty Killers.

Anyway, on to the other topic of interest I've failed to touch on in the past few weeks, that being training. The numbers don't lie, and in the grand scheme of things they probably don't matter much, either, but the fact of the matter is I've been packing away the miles in the last month getting ready for this marathon that is now exactly three weeks away.

My last four weeks since the hammy went haywire in New Haven have totaled 71, 104, 80 (6 days), and 93 miles for the 7-day stretch ending yesterday. I've nailed a smattering of solid workouts in the last month, many of them with this guy, including a hearty hill session on Heartbreak, 25 magical miles on the roads of New Hampshire, a solid Squires long run on the trails, a few fantastic fartleks and most recently, a terrific 10-mile in-n-out tempo run on the track - yep, all 40 laps of it - in 53:34, alternating odd miles at 5:27-5:31 with the even ones at 5:11-5:16. Man, did I go adjective happy there. I'll stop now.

Kidding aside, I can say with confidence that my fitness is as good as it's ever been for a 26.2 miler. I've nailed my workouts with hammer-like precision, I'm recovering quicker than I have in recent memory and other than the niggle at New Haven, I've kept the health hiccups to a minimum. My resting heartrate is 5 beats south of 45 and I feel like a lean, mean, running machine. I don't weigh myself or keep tabs on my body fat, but when my grocery bill jumps 15-20 bucks a week, I'm pooping at least three times a day and I'm forced to pull my belt buckle back to the 4th hole so my pants don't fall off my ass, I don't need a scale to tell me I'm rounding into form. Take my word for it from past experience, there's no need to stress over a few pounds. When you're fit, they'll disappear just as quickly as that fourth belt loop does when you're not.

And that just about covers it for my own running-related ramblings of the past few weeks. Maybe - and you know how that goes around here - later this week I'll babble on about this morning's manifestation of brilliance in Berlin. That said, I'm off to San Diego on Thursday to visit this guy and his galloping-girlfriend-turned-fiance for a few days of much-looked forward to R, R & R - running, rest and relaxation - so that babble will likely be put on the backburner.

Hey, the thought's there, along with a 6-hour flight. We'll see what I can do.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Excuse me

Boy, do I suck at updating this thing. In my last post exactly one week ago I laid out these grandiose plans of updating this space more frequently - providing insights, pictures and all kinds of other new and exciting stuff on a regular basis.

In case you haven't noticed, I've failed miserably.

For the record, it hasn't been due to a lack of desire or editing interruptions. More an absence of free time and other unforeseen interruptions than anything else. A full-time job, 90-100 miles a week of running, recovering from those two time-consuming endeavors all the while trying to hold on to some semblance of a social life leaves less than enough time to plop my exhausted ass in front of the computer to release whatever shred of invaluable insight is left up there after a long day.

So if nothing else I'm full of excuses, for the time being, anyway. If I can't even come up with so much as a weekly training log, I'll try to offer at least a weekly excuse until I've got the time to saturate this space with something of substance. For now, however, bed comes before blogging, effective through October 19. Goodnight.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Testing, 1, 2

No, this isn't the Reach the Beach recap, but with any luck I'll have that sucker up by the end of the week. The idea behind this entry is to stretch out my stream of consciousness, something I have a bit of trouble doing when I sit down to fill this space. You see, here in lies the problem. I was an editor before I was a writer. Yes, it's about as backward as it sounds, but it's the truth. Too bad if you can't handle it.

So what's the problem with this reverse way of doing things? Simple. Editing inhibits writing, in my case anyway. In most cases editing in fact enhances writing, but when the editing prevents the writing from reaching it's full potential, you have a shitty piece of writing, even if it's grammatically correct and punctually sound. Too often when I sit down to spew my thoughts onto the screen I'm stopped dead in my thoughts to reverse, re-word or otherwise rework exactly what it is I'm trying to ramble about, and that my friends pisses me off. Why so? The Daily Runaround doesn't live up to his name - bottom line - and I oftentimes give up on an entry before it ever gets onto the screen. Such is the struggle of a perfectionist with an eye for errors.

Time to change that, or try to anyway. Less evaluating, more writing and hopefully more entries to keep everyone entertained. I'll sacrifice a few missed periods, misspellings or other minor miscues if it means I can wade through the muddle in my mind more efficiently and hit the Publish button on a regular basis.

And so far, so good. I'm pulling the plug on this entry at 20 minutes, and that includes a pee break, quick phone call and no major errors that I could pick up on with a quick once over. Next goal: RTB recap by the end of the week. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Training Log: September 7-13

Sunday - AM: 17.5 miles, 2:00:00 with TJ $mith in Bridgewater. PM: 5.5 miles, 36:00 at Lake Park after work. Did two pickups of 6:20, 6:10 at PMP, finished with a mile on the track in 5:22.

Monday - AM: 10 miles, 1:14:00. 6 x 20/40 strides.

Tuesday - AM: 6 miles, 43:15. PM: 8.5 miles, 51:00. First mile in 6:51, then steady as she goes the rest of the way with an emphasis on working the hills. Last mile in 5:35. Solid effort in the dark.

Wednesday - PM: 6 miles, 44:00. PM: 6 miles, 42:00.

Thursday - AM: 8.5 miles, 1:06:00. Really dragging ass on this one.

Friday - 7:30 AM: 4 miles, 32:00 from the hotel with Ryan, Christy Mae and Yvonne. 4:50 PM: 12 miles. Leg # 2 of RTB, 8.9 miles in 50:35 (5:41 pace). 11:50 PM: 9.5 miles. Leg # 14 of RTB, 7.7 miles in 44:20 (5:45 pace).

Saturday - 7:20 AM: 10.5 miles. Leg # 25 of RTB, 9.3 miles in 55:15 (5:56 pace).

Totals: 104 miles, 12 runs. Solid week, first one at 100+ miles in over two years. Very happy to hit 37 of those miles at marathon-ish effort, and even more pleased that everything seems to still be in one piece as of this posting. I've been feeling really strong of late and my overall fitness is finally starting to come around.

As for Reach the Beach, it was the funnest running-related event that I've ever been a part of, not to mention a great marathon workout, and I'm thrilled to have been a part of the first co-ed team to pull out the overall victory. I'll post a separate entry on all that craziness when I get a chance.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Lots o' new stuff...

...coming soon!

Or maybe not so soon, but I swear it's coming sometime. Sit tight!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Training Log: August 31-September 6

Sunday - AM: 6 miles, 42:00. 6 x 20/40 strides on the way home.

Monday - AM: 10.5 miles. New Haven 20K (DNF). 41:27 for 7.5 miles. Hammy went haywire at 5.5, hobbled through the next 2 miles before calling it a day.

Tuesday - PM: 6 miles, 48:00
with Casey after work. Hammy a bit sore but otherwise no issues.

Wednesday - AM: 4 miles, 30:00.
Hammy good - everything else, too, for that matter. PM: 8.5 miles, 1:00:00 with Old Man Willy at the Rail Trail.

Thursday - AM: 10 miles, 1:13:30
with Scott Graham around A-town.

Friday - AM: 4 miles, 30:00. 6 x 20/40 strides. PM: 12 miles, 1:15:00.
1-2-3-4-5-5-4-3-2-1 fartlek with equal recovery. 5-5:15 pace for the fast stuff, 6-6:30 on the recovery intervals.

Saturday - AM: 10 miles, 1:14:00.

Totals: 71 miles, 9 runs. Shitty start to the week, but salvaged it somewhat with a good workout on Friday. New Haven was a big disappointment but very happy that the hammy was back to normal by Wednesday morning. Didn't lose anything, but I've only got 6 more weeks to get where I need to be. Need to get my ass in gear. Now.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Not enough

Like Dave Matthews, I sometimes eat too much, but unlike the musical hero of the Abercrombie & Fitch generation, I apparently don't drink enough. That seems to be the consensus among the hydrationally-educated ones around me after an evaluation of my water/juice/milk/occasional beer method of fluid replacement. Mix in a less-than-adequate sodium intake, chronically tight leg muscles and an alignment even Midas would have trouble getting straight and apparently you've got a recipe for disaster.

Well, disaster struck on Monday, so the past few days have been focused on getting the relief effort off the ground. It started with introducing some massage, moved on to making some changes in my hydration practices and will continue tomorrow with some structural work on my fragile frame.

I've been running easy the past few days and so far, so good, but with a little less than 7 weeks to go until Bay State I really want to make sure I cover all my bases in order to avoid any future cramps, catastrophes or crapping out in general.

Is that too much to ask?

Monday, September 01, 2008

Laborious day

You can save yourself the aggravation and stop scanning the results, because you're not gonna find my name anywhere amongst the 2,090 finishers of this morning's New Haven Road Race.

No, this assclown didn't run off with my race number, and no, my chip didn't fall off somewhere before the finish line mat. My left hamstring went haywire somewhere around the 5-1/2 mile mark and despite two quick stops to stretch the sucker out and salvage some kind of result, I called it quits at 7-1/2 miles.

Shitty thing is that I was rolling right along until that shit hit the fan. Splits before I stepped off...


It sucks, but it is what it is, and hopefully it isn't anything serious.