Thursday, September 10, 2009

Reincarnation Notice

No, the daily runaround hasn't risen from the dead, but part of it has survived and given birth to a new blog at Check it out!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Death Notice

The daily runaround is dead - not mostly dead, or even slightly alive - but all dead, so I suggest you start searching through old posts to see if you can come up with any loose change.

This car hasn't come to a screeching halt, but rather the wheels have gradually fallen off over the last month to the point where the vehicle has just stopped running altogether. I feel terrible that this has happened, and happened the way it did, but quite honestly the motivation to make this page live up to its catchy name just isn't there anymore. I tried to keep the battery charged recently by posting my weekly training log, but let's face it, there's not much excitement in numbers. It's the words I once weaved so wonderfully that made the magic here, but unfortunately I won't be pulling any new tricks out of my hat anytime soon.

That said, I will not bury this blog. I'll keep the casket open so that anyone who wants to get a look at what once was the daily runaround can do so on their own time. And who knows, maybe this thing is really just cryogenically frozen and will eventually come back to life someday. Not likely, but crazier shit has happened.

Thanks for reading.

the daily runaround, 1.1.06-4.16.09

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Training: April 5-11

8:55 AM - Hudson - 15 miles, 1:48:00.
4 x 20-second strides.

9:40 AM - West Hill - 8 miles, 1:00:00.
6 x 20-second strides.
7:45 PM - Yoga, 1:30:00.

8:25 AM - BSC - Bike, 30:00
3 x 2:30 @ 75% effort w/2:30 recovery.
6:00 PM - Bentley - 12 miles.
Track Workout: 1,600m @ 4:50; 4 x 400m @ 68; 4 x 300m @ 50; 4 x 200m @ 32.
27:00 warmup, 28:00 cooldown.
4:49.87 (4:14.27 recovery); 67.13 (1:20.87), 65.7 (1:21.04), 65.84 (1:26.52), 65.21 (4:29.8); 48.25 (1:10.75), 48.31 (1:11.88), 47.62 (1:09.02), 48.54 (4:00.02); 31.99 (57.36), 32.14 (51.68), 31.73 (50.88), 31.82.

OFF - Rest.

10:15 AM - Hopedale - 10 miles, 1:12:00.

8 AM - Westboro - 8 miles, 1:00:00.
8 x 100m strides.

7:40 AM - Marathon Course - 10 miles, 1:05:55.
Tempo Run: 5 miles @ 5:15-20 pace.
24:00 warmup, 15:00 cooldown.
5:15.76, 5:35.88, 5:18.36, 5:25.5, 5:20.2 - 26:55.70.

TOTALS: Run - 63 miles, 7:37:55. Bike - 30:00. Yoga - 1:30:00.

Good week, again. I'm very happy with the overall consistency of my training right now as things are slowly but surely starting to fall into place. The plan for the foreseeable future is to get my feet wet on the track at Brown in two weeks time and then go back to work for a while. I've got about 8 weeks until the real racing season gets going and I feel confident that by June I can round into pretty solid shape. I'm super psyched to have a real good group of guys and gals to work out with on a weekly basis and the energy amongst the entire crew is infectious and exciting.

Speaking of excitement, the most famous marathon on the planet is now only a week away. There's an awesome American field lined up, as well as a handful of local favorites ready to run fast. I'll be parked at Mile 23 with a whole host of others yelling for this guy, his wifey and a few other friends taking the 26.2-mile trek from Hopkinton to Beantown. Should be a fun-filled weekend!

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Training: March 29-April 4

8:45 AM - Hudson - 13 miles, 1:35:00.

10 AM - Auburn - 8 miles, 1:00.
6 x 20-second strides.
5:10 PM - BSC - Bike, 30:00.
Avg. HR: 125.

8:15 AM - BSC - Bike, 30:00.
Avg. HR: 131.
6:00 PM - Bentley - 12 miles.
Workout: 5-mile "in/out" tempo run, alternating miles @ 5:12/5:28.
26:00 warmup, 26:00 cooldown.
5:13.04, 5:28.06, 5:13.01, 5:27.18, 5:10.93 - 26:32. 6 x 100m strides afterward.

OFF - Rest.

10:40 AM - Westboro Trails - 10 miles, 1:15:00.

8 AM - Westboro - 8 miles, 1:00:00.
6 x 100m strides.

7:45 AM - Westboro - 10 miles.
Workout: 800 @ 2:30, 10-minute tempo run @ 5:15 pace, 800 @ 2:28, 10-minute tempo run @ 5:15 pace, 800 @ 2:26. 800's on the track, tempo portions on the road. 2 minutes recovery between all intervals.
17:00 warmup, 17:00 cooldown.
2:24.61, 2:25.99, 2:23.64 for the 800's on the track; 5:15-ish effort for the tempo runs.

Totals: Run - 61 miles, 7:19. Bike - 1:00. Second solid week in a row! Got in a good long run in some shitty weather with Carrara & Co. on Sunday and nailed Tuesday and Saturday's workouts right on the head. Took Wednesday completely off for no good reason but didn't lose any sleep over it. Actually, for what it's worth, I bagged 8 hours of sweet shuteye that night instead of waking up early to make the wheel on the bike go round and round. I'm very happy with my overall consistency since March 1 and am really excited to see what I can do on the track this summer.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Wave Ridin'

In an effort to be succinct, but mainly due to my own general laziness, the last week of training is summarized below. It was solid seven-day stretch complete with one good race, two nice workouts and two hours in the saddle, which is double any previous weekly total I've put up on the bike since early February. There are no foreseeable races on the horizon but I'd like to string together a few more weeks of training similar to this one before I lace up the spikes again in earnest come June. I'm riding a wave of good energy at the moment and hope that with proper balance I can stay on the board for a good while longer.

But enough about me and a little more on a few of my fast teammates this weekend at races around the world. Rebecca ripped it up at the World XC Championships in Amman, Jordan with a 36th-place finish, while Jenn topped the field in the 5K and Laura started off her season with a solid third-place showing in the steeplechase down at the Raleigh Relays in North Carolina. Fast women, indeed.

Sunday, 10:00 AM - 10.5 miles.
23:00 warmup, 32:00 cooldown.
An Ras Mor 5K (2nd, 15:31)
4:05 PM - Lake Park - 4.5 miles, 35:00.

Monday, 10:15 AM - BSC - Bike, 30:00.
Steady 65-70% effort. Full stretching circuit afterward.
2:30 PM - Auburn - 10 miles, 1:16:00.

Tuesday, 8:30 AM - BSC - Bike, 30:00.
Avg. HR: 128
6:20 PM - RLTAC - 10 miles.
Track Workout: 6 x 800m @ 2:26 w/2:30 recovery.
21:00 warmup, 23:00 cooldown.
2:24.33 (2:40.27 recovery), 2:25.01 (2:30.32), 2:23.51 (2:18.55), 2:24.75 (2:25.69), 2:25.13 (2:31.98) 2:21.71.

Wednesday, 7:55 AM - BSC - Bike, 1:00.
Avg. HR: 130

Thursday, 11:20 AM - Westboro - 8 miles, 1:00:00.
6 x 100m strides @ WHS track.

Friday, 8:05 AM - Westboro - 9 miles, 1:04:00.

Saturday, 7:45 AM - Westboro - 10 miles.
Track Workout: 4 x 2K w/400 jog recovery. Start at tempo pace (~5:20) and bring it down with each interval.
16:00 warmup, 15:00 cooldown.
6:36.7 (2:47.26 recovery), 6:32.46 (2:44.41), 6:24.57 (2:56.69), 6:07.52. Went through the mile in 5:19, 5:14, 5:08, 4:56, respectively.

Totals: Run - 62 miles, 7:10. Bike - 2:00.

Battling it out with BP during Mile 3 last Sunday.
(Photo courtesy of Ted Tyler)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Crazy 8's

8:30 AM - BSC - Bike, 30:00.
Avg. HR: 128

6:20 PM - RLTAC - 10 miles.
Track Workout: 6 x 800m @ 2:26 w/2:30 recovery.
21:00 warmup, 23:00 cooldown.
2:24.33 (2:40.27 recovery), 2:25.01 (2:30.32), 2:23.51 (2:18.55), 2:24.75 (2:25.69), 2:25.13 (2:31.98) 2:21.71.

7:55 AM - BSC - Bike, 1:00.
Avg. HR: 130

11:20 AM - Westboro - 8 miles, 1:00:00.
6 x 100m strides @ WHS track.

Lately it's seems that there just aren't enough hours in the day to do all the things I'd like to get done, including keeping this space up to date. And since it's 9:47 PM and I've got about half a dozen other things I'd like cross of my list before bed, I'll make this quick.

In short, the last three and a half weeks of training have been steady and solid. Mileage has been good and workouts have been going well. I could probably stand to kick up the cross training a bit but like I said, there are only 24 hours in a day and I'd like to spend at least 7 of them in bed when time allows.

As far as the last few days are concerned, Tuesday's track session was an encouraging effort given that I was able to average 3-4 seconds faster per 800 than I did during a shorter version of the same workout 9 weeks ago. I've still got a ways to go to get where I'd like to be but I'm making my way there one workout at a time. It's exciting to see my times dropping, recovery quickening and fitness improving. Progress is good!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Wind-Wind Situation

10:15 AM - BSC - Bike, 30:00.
Steady 65-70% effort. Full stretch afterward.

2:30 PM - Auburn - 10 miles, 1:16:00.

Easy run along the wind-strewn roads of A-town this afternoon with this gal, who unselfishly drove all the way in from Brighton just to serve as my wind-blocker for an hour. What a teammate!

OK, so maybe that's a slight exaggeration and she actually made the trek west to visit her mom in Auburn for the afternoon, and I just so happened to have the day off from work and we were able to squeeze in a run, but that's besides the point. Minor details and circumstances aside, that's what you get with an NB Boston teammate -- someone who's willing to go the extra 41 miles to run with you on a windy day. So if you're an unattached open athlete within driving distance of Boston and looking to run fast with a bunch of dedicated teammates who will serve as training partners and wind blockers, as well as potential roommates, possible co-workers, maybe even your husband or wife, but definitely a good group of friends, then get in touch with us.

This message brought to you by NB Boston. Copyright, 2009.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

An Ras and No Mor

8 AM - Westboro - 8 miles, 1:00:00.

8:20 AM - Westboro - 8 miles, 1:00:00.
6 x 20-second strides afterward.

10 AM - Cambridge - 10.5 miles.
23:00 warmup, 32:00 cooldown.
An Ras Mor 5K (2nd, 15:31)

4:05 PM - Lake Park - 4.5 miles, 35:00.

The possibility of the 5K I mentioned in my last post became a reality this morning as I invaded the People's Republic of Cambridge for a road racing war more commonly known as the An Ras Mor. It was my first snow-free contest of 2009 and to be honest I thought it went pretty well. I fell a few ticks short of taking home the win, but I'm happy with the effort I put forth and proud that I stuck my nose in there from the start of the race and mixed it up with a few moves in the middle. In the end I couldn't finish the job and the time was slower than spectacular, but this is a definite step in the right direction and a solid start to the spring season. Hats off to Dan Smith on a well-run race and Brendan Prindiville on an excellent effort to finish third.

I don't know what's next as far as races are concerned but the general idea is to bag a few more weeks of consistent training and take it from there. As far as the immediate future is concerned, it involves my couch, the TV and a cup of tea. Take it easy.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


10:30 AM - Millbury - 11 miles, 1:15:00.
17:00 warmup, 36:00 cooldown. Tempo Run - 22:00, 4.1 miles.

Due to the observance of Evacuation Day on Tuesday practice was pushed back a day this week, and as such yours truly was ringing out customers at the store rather than running around the track with his teammates. Probably for the better, anyway, given I was still stuck in a tired time warp after my weekend on the West Coast. Kevin e-mailed me workout options of 2 x 2-mile or a 4-mile "in/out" tempo run and I chose the latter option, with a twist. Rather than take a lot of turns on the track, I retreated to a traffic-free bike path and tempoed for 22 minutes, switching up the intensity every 5 minutes and 30 seconds rather than trying to hit specific splits of 5:30/5:10/5:30/5:10 as assigned by the man in charge. When all was said and done I covered 4.186 miles, which works out to an average pace of 5:20 or so per mile, so I think it's safe to say I hit the nail on the head with this one. Easy does it the next two days with the possibility of a racing a flat 5K on Sunday in Cambridge. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Sleepless Since Seattle

THURSDAY, March 12

6:40 AM - Seattle - 8 mi, 1:00:00.

7:00 AM - Seattle - 8 mi, 1:00:00.

7:40 AM - Seattle - 9 miles.
23:00 warmup, 17:00 cooldown
St. Pat's Dash (10th place, 20:41 - 3.9 miles)

1:30 PM - Worcester - 15 miles, 1:45:00.
10 x 1:00 pickups w/4:00 float in between.

8:20 AM - Westboro - 6 miles, 45:00.

8:30 AM - BSC - Bike, 30:00.
Avg HR: 130

Seattle was, in a word, fun. Of course, there was also a bit of work involved but even that had its share of fun moments. Each day was a little different, but you could count on two things: it started with a run and ended with some fun. To fill the gaps in between there was a tour of Brooks headquarters on one day and a five-and-a-half hour exchange of ideas amongst the 25 different dealers in attendance on another. Lots of coffee was sipped, many beers were drank and more than a few friendships were forged. It was a great weekend. Professionally, I met folks from all around the country with a vast array of experience and insight on the ins and outs of our industry, and I took home with me a wealth of information and ideas that I hope to implement at the store in an effort to improve what is already a pretty efficient operation. It was also pretty wild to see where the behind-the-scenes business goes down at Brooks headquarters. Think heaven for a Shoe Guy. Personally, I made a lot of new friends who share a peculiar passion for running shoes, and good times were had by all when the day's duties were fulfilled.

On the training side of things, I feel like I've been going through the motions for the past week or so. Traveling across two time zones, combined with a lack of sleep and piss-poor recovery will have that effect, I guess. While in Seattle I ran in the St. Patrick's Day Dash on Sunday morning, and given the conditions -- my own, as well as the wacky weather -- I'm not all that upset with the result. I finished 10th in an announced field of 15,000, a total tally that seems more than a little bit high to me. There was neither an official distance posted nor mile markers on the course, but a few guys from our group had 3.9 miles on their Garmins so that's what I'm going with, not that it matters. I ran hard and got in a good effort, and I can live with that.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Missing Material

If it's any consolation to those of you check in here regularly, I haven't even updated my personal training log since last Wednesday. It's been a busy week of work-related craziness from East Coast to West Coast and back, and there's no signs of it letting up anytime in the near future. This is by no means a bad thing; in fact, it's a very good problem to have. That said, I'll stop the excuse parade right there and promise to post some fresh reading material for ya'll maƱana. Sit tight, and good night.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Funny Business

8:30 AM - BSC - Bike, 30:00.
Average HR: 135-140. Stretching afterward.

6:30 PM - RLTAC - 10 miles.
Track Workout: Mile @ 4:50 w/5:00 recovery; 2 x [4 x 400m @ 68-70 w/1:00 recovery between reps, 4-5:00 recovery between sets]
22:00 warmup, 22:00 cooldown.
4:48.05 (5:04 recovery); 71.01 (55.39), 68.69 (59.99), 68.84 (60.41), 69.43 (4:44); 70.61 (60.01), 68.68 (65.96), 70.08 (56.07), 70.68.

8:25 AM - BSC - Bike, 35:00.
65-70% effort. Stretching afterward.

6:45 PM - Auburn - 7 miles, 52:00.

Kevin Tilton is right, I'm no fun. I know, I know, it's hard to believe, blah, blah, blah, but it's true. As much as it hurts to admit that, I'd be doing the blogosphere a huge disservice to sit here and try to convince my readership otherwise at 10:30 on a Wednesday night. The writing, or lack thereof, is on the wall. Not to mention I've still gotta pack and get my ass to bed at a halfway decent hour, all in an effort to have so much fun over the next four days that when I get back from Seattle the words "Mario" and "no fun" will never eeeeever again be mentioned in the same comment on this blog. See ya on Monday.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Senseless Snow

11:30 AM - Auburn - 8 miles, 1:00:00.
6 x 20-second strides, 5 x 12-second hill charges.

Clad in a jacket, tights, hat and gloves, I snuck out of the house for an easy hour in between the snow falls this morning, a nonsensical endeavor if there ever was one given that I was running in shorts and a t-shirt the past two days. This has been the never ending winter from hell and I think I speak for every distance runner in New England when I say that I can't wait for the final flake to hit the ground so we can be done with this shit for the season. Tomorrow I'll keep my act indoors with a short spin on the bike before work and a trip to the track later on in the day. In the words of this guy, that's all I got.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Electric Feel

8:45 AM - Auburn - 9 miles, 1:05:00.

8:05 AM - Westboro - 8 miles, 55:00.
4 x 35-second hill charges; 20-minute steady tempo @ ~5:30 pace.

8:05 AM - Westboro - 8 miles, 1:01:00.

9:45 AM - Hudson/Marlboro/Sudbury - 13 miles, 1:31:00.

First off, I'd like to apologize to Brian, the apparently anything-but-disgruntled guy who reads my blog from the Government Printing Office in Washington, DC. I was operating under the false premise that all federal employees are dissatisfied and under-appreciated laborers. From now on I will keep any unfounded assumptions to myself.

As for my actual training, this was the first week in about a month that I would classify as 'good'. I got in three solid sessions and totaled 6.75 hours (57 miles) running and an insufficient hour and 20 minutes on the bike for just over 8 hours of total training. This is actually a significant improvement over anything I've put up in the last three weeks so I'll keep the complaints to minimum and try to keep the ball rolling instead.

Lastly, I'm heading to the heart of the Pacific Northwest later this week for the Brooks Sports Symposium, which will culminate in the St. Patrick's Day Dash through the streets of downtown Seattle a few hours before I head home on Sunday. I'm not sure how strong the field will be or how I'm gonna be feeling after the serious business of bullshitting about running shoes over the course of a couple days, but I do know I will run hard for no less than 3.75 miles regardless of who shows and how much fun I had the night(s) before the race.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Hit me!

8:40 AM - BSC - Bike, 20:00
130-35 bpm seated, 145-50 out of the saddle.
Stretch afterward.

7:20 PM - RLTAC - 10 miles.

Track Workout: 5 x 1,200m @ 3:45-48 w/1:00 recovery; 2 x 200m @ 31-32 w/1:15 recovery.
22:00 warmup, 23:00 cooldown.
3:49.58 (1:03 recovery), 3:48.37 (57.25), 3:48.79 (1:02), 3:46.70 (1:04), 3:45.10; 31.17 (1:15), 31.16.

7:40 PM - BSC - Bike, 1:00:00.
130-140 bpm seated, 145-155 out of the saddle.
Full stretch afterward.

This blog has been getting in the neighborhood of 142 or so visits a day on average since Sunday, which sitemeter tells me can be attributed to a variety of factors, ranging from regular referrals by way of other blogs (with Kelrock and DoubleJ leading the charge) to search engine inquires for everything from "Mario runs" to "Brandon Moen calls."

Don't ask, because I don't have an answer for you.

Anyway, on a normal day the usual traffic pattern yields an average of 100 or so hits, many of whom come from friends, internet stalkers or disgruntled government employees in a Washington, DC printing office who otherwise have nothing better to do when federal documents are coming off the press. And believe it or not, people are checking in from Tewksbury, Tupelo, Tasmania and everywhere in between. Yes, folks, the dailyrunaround has indeed gone global. This blows my mind! There's nothing on this site other than some useless numbers, boring banter, lots of links and the occasional off-the-wall rant, and even those have been few and very far between of late. That said, I'm happy to be getting the hits. Keep 'em coming!

As for the main subject matter of this site, my training, it's finally starting to rebound after a fickle February. The sickness has subsided, my mouth is no longer a mess and I've begun the process of re-establishing some sort of regular routine. It's never easy. Practice has been productive the last few weeks and my outlook is optimistic heading into the spring season. We've got a good group of guys fixed on running fast times on the track this summer and I'm definitely feeding off that energy and excitement. Last night, Phil, Chris and I did a couple fast(er) 200's at the end of the workout and I had one of those "remember when" moments that took me back to the days when a 4:15 mile and a 14:50 5K fell into the Bad Day category. On the one hand, I hate looking back at when running fast was something I did without thinking twice about it, but on the other, I like looking in the rearview mirror every so often to remind myself that with a little redirection I can travel down that same road again, perhaps even faster than I did before.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Kel Rocks!

1:30 PM - Auburn - 8 miles, 1:03:00.

"Eh, these guys don't need water, they're eatin' snow!"

The above quote is attributed to the Irish-sounding fella manning the lone water stop just before the 2-mile mark of yesterday's Claddagh Pub Classic in lowly Lawrence. It made for a good chuckle at the summit of a steep hill, a small sampling of the ascent up Mt. Washington, according to my tour guide yesterday, Double J. As far as the play-by-play from the race, it can pretty much be summed up like this: The starter said "Go" and Double J, myself and some other dude possibly named Dave separated ourselves from the field within the first 200 meters. After hitting the first mile in a dead-on-nuts split of 5:30, it was just Double J and I covering ground at a talkatively hard effort till the 3-mile mark, where I cut all communication ties and made some half-assed attempt at a move that did nothing but kick up some extra snow off the ground. The two of us passed back by the Claddagh Pub, told each other to be careful as we took three left turns over the course of a quarter mile and when all was said and done the always generous Double J let me have it in the homestretch. End of story.

Ideal racing conditions for early March.

Elsewhere on the racing scene this past weekend, NBB Boston mates Rebecca Donaghue and Jenn Donovan tore up the track in the 3K at Reggie over the weekend, posting PR's of 9:01 and 9:15, respectively, at the USATF Indoor Championships. Regardless of where she's racing, Rebecca's been ripping it up for the last year and Jenn was just getting back from an Irish adventure where she rocked a road race, killed a cross country contest and drank lots of genuine Guiness. Good stuff from those gals.

Ripping it up on the roads, or more appropriately, shuffling along in the snow, the dynamic duo of Ryan and Christy Carrara took first and second, respectively, yesterday at the rollercoaster ride around the Wachusett Reservoir more commonly known as Stu's 30K. Despite PR Running's donation of a bunch of bags and a shitload of swag I was not in attendance, but for a fantastic firsthand account of the event, you can direct your attention here.

Last but certainly not least, congrats to the Comeback Kid, Keith Kelly, on a super stretch of races over the past week back on the Emerald Isle. A year ago at about this time, I remember sitting in the store sipping coffee with Sir Kelrock, brooding over the bad timing of my before-Boston injury and talking about his own developing destruction that would eventually have him on an operating table instead of the starting line at the World Cross Country Championships later in the month. I went beyond ballistic last week when I saw the results of the Armagh and the Ras and about lost it again over the weekend when I heard the news of victory at the Irish Cross Country Championships. Any injured athlete can relate to and respect the rocky road Keith has continued to travel, even when it looked like it would never lead anywhere, but personally I couldn't be happier for a guy who is genuine, grounded and brings an energy every day that is both infectious and inspiring; for a guy, who after hearing of my Mom's sudden passing last July, offered to take a few unpaid hours out of his day and unselfishly drove all the way up from Providence to cover a shift at the store so my co-workers could attend the services. By way of his recent win, Kelrock has regained the respect of a world-class athlete, but victory aside, he'll always be respected as a world-class dude.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Time To Pretend

7:50 AM - Westboro - 9 miles, 1:03:00.
8 x 200m w/200m jog recovery in 33.58, 33.96, 34.23, 33.59, 33.37, 34.03, 34.06, 32.64.
6 x 10-second hill charges.

7:30 AM - Auburn - 8 miles, 1:00:00.

11:00 AM - Lawrence - 10 miles.
Claddagh Pub 4-Miler (1st, 21:36)
20:00 warmup, 24:00 cooldown.

4:35 PM - Auburn - 4 miles, 32:00.

The drugs finally started working their magic on Friday and the last couple days (and nights) have been sleep-filled and pain-free. I woke up this morning and decided on a whim to head up to Lawrence and run the Claddagh Pub 4-miler since the weather over the next couple days looks like it will be on the whiter side of shitty. I'll go into more detail about the race tomorrow when I am snowed in and have nothing better to do. In the meantime, enjoy the music.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Tooth Talk

12:35 PM - Auburn - 4 miles, 30:00.

Despite the double-dose of drugs the dentist prescribed me yesterday I did not sleep well last night, but thankfully I was able to salvage about two hours of straight shuteye after popping some Vitamin I somewhere around the 7 o'clock hour this morning. I woke up feeling pretty crummy, but have certainly seen some signs of progress as the day has developed. I felt so much better an hour after a second 800mg helping of everyone's favorite over-the-counter pain pill that I hit the roads for some much-needed fresh air early this afternoon. It was euphoric, although that may have just been the meds finally fulfilling their obligation. The good news is the swelling under my lower lip has subsided significantly and as of 7:54 PM I'm feeling a lot better and in a much better mood than I was 24 hours ago. Hooray for Happy Pills!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


8:40 AM - BSC - Bike, 20:00.
HRM: 125-135 bpm seated, 145-155 out of the saddle.
Full stretch afterward.

6:40 PM - RLTAC - 10 miles.
Track Workout: 3 x [1000m @ 3:05/600m @ 1:48] 2:00 recovery between intervals, 3:00 between sets.
25:00 warmup, 22:00 cooldown.
3:06.64 (1:59.25 recovery), 1:47.99 (2:57.90); 3:05.64 (1:56.31), 1:46.79 (3:05.07); 3:03.89 (1:56.45), 1:48.61.

8:20 AM - BSC - Bike, 40:00.
HRM: 125-135 bpm seated, 145-155 out of the saddle.

In the "How You Don't Want To Spend Your Wednesday Afternoon" category, I had to have an emergency root canal today. An abscessed tooth became infected and needed to be treated before the infection spread like wildfire and my chin "blew up to be the size of a baseball." This was all decided and done within two hours this afternoon. Seven hours post-procedure I'm still in plenty of pain despite a pairing of prescription pills I'm popping every six hours. Here's hoping they work their magic soon so I can get some sleep tonight.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Cu-ed Up

12:00 PM - BSC - Bike, 30:00.
65-70% effort throughout.

6:15 PM - Worcester - 7 miles, 50:00.

Tonight was my first time back to the An Cu in over a year for the weekly City Run, where I saw a lot of familiar faces and faced the old familiar challenge of dodging downtown traffic after dark. Got in a steady 3-mile effort in the middle of my 50-minute Monday run, nothing too hard but just enough to elevate the heart rate a little bit.

Speaking of which, I picked up one of these toys today, and the plan is to use it to better gauge my workout efforts, particularly on the bike. This is an entirely new approach for me -- heck, utilizing cross training as a form of training is still a new approach for me -- so it's going to take some figuring out. OK, a lot of figuring out. If anyone has some insight or advice, I'd greatly appreciate it. Thanks!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Slow Sunday

8:20 AM - Westboro - 5 miles, 36:00.
4 x 30-second bursts.

9:00 AM - Auburn - 10 miles, 1:13:00.

Don't feel much like writing right now, but my running weekend can best be summed up by saying that I scratched the race and decided to take a couple extra days of easy running to shake what's left of this crazy cold. Finished last week at 46 miles on 6 runs and one whopping hour of cross training. More to come when I start kicking things back up again. Till then, take it easy.

Friday, February 20, 2009

(Don't) let it linger...

8:10 AM - Westboro - 7 miles, 50:00.
5 x 2:00 @ 10K-ish effort w/2:00 recovery.

The idea behind this morning's short session was to open up the legs and lungs a little bit to see if I'm going to be ready for a 25-lap tour of Harvard's fieldhouse on Sunday. I've still got two more days to get healthy, but right now the prospect of 5,000 meters around the indoor oval doesn't look too promising. I feel a ton better than I did on Tuesday, but like a bad Cranberries song, this crazy cold still lingers. I'm hoping that I can shake this sucker soon and give it a good go this weekend, but the last thing I want to be doing on Sunday is hacking up a lung in Lane 1 while struggling to slip under 16 minutes. You can feel like shit and still fake your way through the East Bumfuck 5K and call it a tempo run if things start heading south, but it doesn't quite work that way at the USATF-NE Indoor Championhips. And since the main goal is to get an accurate assessment on the current state of my fitness, I want to make sure I'm operating at least close to 100% before I put on my racing flats and thoroughly thrash myself for quarter of an hour. So at this point, I'm just gonna sit back and see what the next couple days bring.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Spring Fever

10:00 AM - Westboro - 9 miles, 1:05:00.

Despite the smattering of snow and rain we received last night into the wee hours of this morning, it actually felt somewhat spring-like when I hit the roads of Westboro at the luxuriously late hour of 10 AM. For the first time in about a week my energy levels were good and my attitude optimistic again. Maybe it was the sunshine, maybe not, but it's hard to be happy when you sweat as you sleep, your entire body aches and your head feels like it's going to explode through your eye sockets. Of course, I'm still coughing like a chronic smoker but I'm not sweating through t-shirts and my mucus output has been outstanding the last two days, which I'm taking as sure signs that my body is finally ridding itself of the dreaded disease that's taken up temporary residence inside my respiratory system.

So to sum it all up, today brought about the return of fresh air, good energy, smiles, sunshine and clear snot. Spring is right around the corner!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Off Track

8:25 AM - BSC - Bike, 30:00.
Steady 60-65% effort. Full stretch afterward.

6:15 PM - RLTAC - 8 miles.
Track Workout: 2 miles @ 5:15-20 pace, 4 x 400m @ 70-72.
22:00 warmup, 25:00 cooldown.
10:25 - 5:14/5:11. No 400's.

8:15 AM - BSC - Bike, 30:00.

Steady 60-65% effort. Full stretch afterward.

The plague is still present and last night's workout let me know it. When 2 miles of tempo work on an indoor track turns out to be a struggle you probably shouldn't have started in the first place. Well, I stubbornly started, and then proceeded to hold on for dear life on the final 5 laps of what should have been a relatively easy interval before it became obvious that I was finished. Four more 400s would have been futile, so I changed shoes, relayered, hit the sidewalks for a slow slog around the block and then headed home.

The plan is to lay low the rest of the week in hopes of racing at Harvard on Sunday. If the dark green crap launching itself from my lungs doesn't turn clear by the weekend, then fuggedaboutit. I learned my lesson last night: don't f*ck with the flu.

Monday, February 16, 2009

He's dead. He can't talk.

7:55 AM - Westboro - 6 miles, 44:00.
5 x 10-second hill charges.


3:55 PM - Hudson/Stow - 10 miles, 1:10:00.

8:50 AM - Westboro - 7 miles, 50:00.
5 x 10-second hill charges; 5 x 100m strides.

Well, it turns out I'm only mostly dead, which, as we all know, means I'm still slightly alive. I've been riding a rough stretch of sickness since Thursday night, resulting in a bout of reduced training and the subsequent posting that goes along with it. With any luck I'll get back on the horse, and maybe even the track and/or the bike, over the next few days. Right now, though, I'm getting into bed. In the meantime, please refrain from going through my clothes and looking for loose change. Thanks.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Gentle Joggle

8:10 AM - Auburn - 8 miles, 1:00:00.

Since returning home from my Blue Ridge retreat on Monday night I've been sleeping like absolute shit, and oddly enough the only thing that doesn't seem to be suffering terribly is my running. The rest of my training -- biking, stretching, core work -- has completely gone to shit. I've pretty much fallen off the bike and I fairly confident the supplemental stuff hasn't totaled 10 minutes since Sunday. Need to change that, pronto.

That out of the way, this morning's gentle joggle around town was nothing short of spectacular. The air was mild, the sun was shining and despite my recent lack of Z's, the energy levels were high. One of those mornings where you just want to run all day. My legs showed no ill effects from yesterday's short speed session on the roads, which is encouraging, especially since I haven't done much in the way of stretching and icing of late.

The next few days are pretty involved as far as work and the such is concerned, but the plan is to get in some sort of sustained effort this weekend and kick up the cross training and preventative maintenance measures if time allows.

Check that. I'll make time allow.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Fill the unforgiving minute...

8:05 AM - Westboro - 9 miles, 1:00:00.
Fartlek: 15 x [1:00 @ 5K-3K effort, 1:00 recovery]

...blah, blah, blah and you'll be a man, my son. Or something like that. Let me check with Kipling on the specifics and I'll get back to you sometime tomorrow. Right now, I'm off to bed. Goodnight.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Inside Plans

8:10 AM - BSC - Bike, 1:00:00.
8 x 2:30 @ 85-90% effort w/2:30 recovery.

I wish I had more to write -- or more time to write, rather -- so I'll get right down to the serious business of training talk and save all the funny foolishness for an entry that may never see the PUBLISH POST button.

Got back on the bike this morning for a solid spin session in an effort to give my legs an extra day to bounce back before pounding the pavement again first thing tomorrow. I have a short session of 1-minute pickups on tap, as Kevin and I chatted for a bit this morning and laid out a primitive plan for the next couple weeks, culminating with 5,000 meters on the track at Harvard on February 22.

That's right, indoor track. I had no designs on racing around the ol' 200-meter oval this winter but both Kevin and I concluded that this will give us an accurate idea of where my fitness level lies, if nothing else. I'm kinda nervous, a little anxious but most of all just very excited to finally race again.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Numbas and pickshaz

3:55 PM - Asheville, NC - 8 miles, 1:02:00.

3:30 PM - Asheville, NC - 12 miles.

Track Workout: 1,600-1,200-800-200-200-800 @ 4:50 pace.
26:00 warmup w/3 x 200m strides in 36-37, 12:00 cooldown.

4:49.97 (10:07 recovery w/4 x 100m strides), 3:36.56 (9:24 w/4 x 100m strides), 2:22.93 (3:18), 33.31 (1:34), 33.72 (2:37), 2:24.11.

1:00 PM - Black Mountain, NC - 8 miles, 1:00:00.

11:00 AM - Asheville, NC - 13 miles, 1:34:00.

9:30 AM - Asheville, NC - 8 miles, 1:00:00.

2 x [4 x 20-second strides]

Nothing but the numbers tonight and a couple of pics to take up some space. Tales of tomfoolery and other entertaining anecdotes from my weekend away will have to wait for another entry. My ass is going to bed. Goodnight.

Me and my amigos at about 5,500 feet.

One of the hundreds of waterfalls in Transylvania County.

Gwyth's Brunch of Champions

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Bring on the Blue Ridge

10:50 AM - BSC - Bike, 30:00.
4 x 2:30 @ 80% effort w/2:30 recovery.

10:45 AM - Auburn - 8 miles, 56:00.

6:30 PM - BSC - Bike, 45:00.
Spin class, 80-85% effort.

Sorry for the short hiatus, but I've been a busy guy. Seriously. To say I'm not working a lick on my vacation would be nothing short of a flat-out lie, so let's just say I'm staying away from the store and not putting in any hours on the floor. I did stop in for a bit yesterday, but that was just to pick up and drop off product for an off-site customer to take a look at. Of course, there's also e-mail blast drafts to bang out, events to plan and other loose ends to tie up, but I digress. These tasks are much easier to accomplish from the comfort of my own home and away from the constant of customers, anyway.

As far as training goes, my legs just haven't felt right since Sunday's run, a death march I haven't given much mention to yet, but I'll just cut to the chase and say that it didn't go very well. I ran with Ryan, Christy Mae and Sir Bradford for an hour and 36 minutes, but for some odd reason the standard 7-ish minute-per-mile pace we run week in and week out was a surprising struggle and left me tangled in a web of lethargy the rest of the day.

Monday and Tuesday brought on more of the same, with tight hammys and lifeless legs still the name of the game. The plan was to work out with RC at Reggie last night, but a sucky shakeout on the bike earlier in the day and a shitty storm in the afternoon cemented my decision to stay home and give my body a break. I got out on the roads for just under an hour worth of work this morning and later tonight I'm going to attempt a spin bike simulation of the workout Kevin sent me yesterday via e-mail.

And that'll do it for this entry, my last one by way of New England until early next week sometime. Tomorrow morning I'm escaping to Asheville, North Carolina, to visit this dynamic duo and enjoy a long weekend of element-free running on the terrific trails of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Fair warning, I may never come back.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Manic Monday

11:30 AM - Westboro - 7 miles, 51:00.
4 x 10-second hill charges; 4 x 20-second strides.

12:50 PM - BSC - Bike, 30:00.
60-65% recovery effort.
Full stretch afterward.

So much for a detailed dive into this past weekend's workouts or today's recovery run and ride. One would think that without work to attend to, I'd have more time to write, ramble or otherwise keep everyone entertained, but such is not the case. Before I head south for a few days there's people to see, an article to write, laundry to do, bathrooms to clean, new cell phones to consider and plenty of other loose ends to tie up. So sit tight, this space will regain steam soon!

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Course Work

7:30 AM - Ashland/Framingham/Natick - 10 miles, 1:04:15.
22:00 warmup, 15:00 cooldown.
5-mile Tempo Run: (27:15 - 5:38.17, 10:53.07, 10:44.29)

10:20 AM - Hudson/Stow/Marlboro - 13 miles, 1:36:00.

2:40 PM - BSC - Bike, 30:00.
5 x 2:00 @ 80% effort w/2:00 recovery.
Full stretch, pushups & core afterward.

It's just before five o'clock on Super Bowl Sunday and I find myself drinking coffee and killing time on the computer at Panera before I head back to la casa de Carrara in a short while to watch what should be the greatest night of commercials on television this year. I'll be honest, I have little to no interest in the game itself, as I am an admittedly still bitter fan of the team that put a 40-point pounding on the best the NFC has to offer during Week 16 of the regular season. As for the 23-point plastering we received from the our own conference's representative in tonight's game during Week 13, well, let's just not go there.

Another place I'm not going right now is into deep detail about yesterday's workout or this morning's long run. In short, the tempo run went well, the long run not so much. I'll make an effort to ramble on a little more manana, but right now I've gotta make my way over to the Carrara's couch for a few hours of fun, friends, food and football. Take it easy.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Friday Night Blogging League

8:20 AM - BSC - Bike, 40:00.
60-65% effort throughout.

2:55 PM - Westboro - 5 miles, 37:00.
4 x 20-second pickups.

It's Friday night, and let's face it, if you're reading my blog right now you most definitely need to find something better to do, like joining a bowling league or cruising the strip with your homies. While the daily runaround prides itself on providing instant entertainment, the beauty of the internet is that it's not going anywhere anytime soon, so you can always save your surfing for a slow Sunday night or a dreadful day at work when the TPS reports are sending you into a tailspin.

Plus, I'm neither excited, nor motivated, to write about an easy effort on the bike or a short, slow stroll around town, so there's not much worth reading regarding today's training, anyway. Your local news or old reruns of TGIF will be much more entertaining, trust me. I've got an early workout on tap for tomorrow morning with this guy and possibly this guy, so I'm gonna put the kibosh on this entry, get a good meal in me, put my legs up for a bit and hit the hay at an early enough hour so that I'm feeling fresh when I roll out of bed manana. Take it easy.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Crazy 8

11:15 AM - Westboro - 8 miles, 1:00:00.

I'm not sure exactly how far I ran this morning, but it was somewhere in the range of 8 miles, likely a little longer, possibly a bit shorter, but somewhere in that neighborhood. One of the biggest things I've been trying not to do since I resumed running again post-stress fracture is getting too caught up in hitting X number of miles in a given day, week or month. Instead, I'm trying to focus on nailing my key workouts and doing whatever it is I need to do in order to recover and stay injury-free in between those sessions. Bill Bowerman said the magic is in the man, not the 100 miles, and I've been telling myself that every time I lace up my shoes to train.

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm a huge believer in volume, but given my injury history, it's apparent that the old body just can't handle mileage like it used to. It only took a partially torn right Achilles tendon, bad tendinitis in the left one, a bout of tarsal tunnel syndrome, a nasty case of posterior tibial tendinitis, two sacral stress fractures and various other aches and pains for me to finally reach that conclusion. So, in an effort to keep myself healthy, and since I'm doing a fair amount of my recovery work on the bike, I'm starting to log my total training volume in minutes first, then figuring out the miles afterward. Not exactly revolutionary, but it's a change from the norm and forces me to think less about covering X miles in Y minutes and more about covering Y minutes and letting X miles equal what they may. So far, so good.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Circus Act

8:30 AM - BSC - Bike, 30:00.
8 x 1:00 @ 80% effort w/1:00 recovery.

6:45 PM - RLTAC - 11 miles.
Track Workout: 2 x 800/mile/2 x 800 @ 2:24-25/4:55/2:24-25.
2:30 recovery after the 800's, 3:30 after the mile.
22:00 warmup, 32:00 cooldown.
2:23.63 (2:34.85 recovery), 2:23.68 (2:31.82), 4:53.11 (3:28), 2:24.79 (2:28.00), 2:23.59.

8:00 AM - BSC - Bike, 1:00:00.

2 x 2:30/1 x 5:00/2 x 2:30, all @ 90% effort.
2:30 recovery after 2:30, 3:30 after 5:00.

It wasn't quite as quiet at Reggie last night as it was last week, with bobbing and weaving in and out of Lanes 3 and 4 seemingly as necessary a maneuver as hitting the split button on your watch. I'll keep my bitching and moaning to a minimum, but that place is a circus after 7 PM on a weeknight. It wouldn't be so bad if etiquette wasn't an issue, but apparently people have trouble running single-file, in a straight line, in unison or sometimes even in the right direction. It blows my mind. This guy's, too, apparently. And don't even get this guy started.

As for the workout itself, it was my best one since I resumed running again 11 weeks ago. Scott Munro and I formed our own little dynamic duo behind the two-steppin' tandem of Ragin' Ryan and his Canadian counterpart. I wore flats for the first time in forever and my legs are no worse for the wear as I type this today. I felt easy at 4:50-55 pace, which was encouraging, and has me toying with the idea of fighting it out over 5,000 meters at end of February.

This morning I put a new spin on my standard 60-minute, post-workout recovery ride, simulating last night's effort without the tight turns of the track or the hassle of having to hate on clueless clowns taking up too much space in Lanes 1 & 2. I got this idea of adding in some extra aerobic work without the impact from Jason Jabaut (via Mark Driscoll), who would simulate his mid-week running workout with a similar session the following day in the pool. I don't know if, or how long, I'll continue to keep this practice as part of my regular routine, but it was at least worth a shot at this stage of the game. I figure that since I won't go hard again until Saturday, I've got two full days to get a workout and a half out of my legs. (Hopefully) it shouldn't be a problem.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Back in The Game

11:10 AM - BSC - Bike, 40:00.
First 20 minutes @ 60-65% effort, last 20 minutes @ 70-75%.

4:30 PM - Auburn - 7 miles, 50:00.
6 x 30-second pickups.

An easy hour and a half of easy aerobic activity was all I had on tap for today in an effort to recover from the weekend and freshen the legs up for tomorrow night's track session. My one remaining goal for the day is to get my ass to bed at a decent hour and stockpile some sleep for the week ahead. I won't be back to fill this space again until sometime on Wednesday, so I'll leave you with a link to my first published piece of 2009 -- posted earlier today on the web-only issue of Running Times -- to hold you over until then. Enjoy!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Weekend Update

8:10 AM - Westboro - 9 miles, 1:00:00.
20:40 warmup, 10:39 cooldown.
Tempo Run: (28:41 - 5:42.63, 5:46.89, 5:46.42, 5:44.50, 5:41.21)
Note: 5.3 miles on 1.07-mile loop

9:30 AM - Hudson - 13 miles, 1:35:00.

1:50 PM - BSC - Bike, 40:00.
5 x 2:00 @ 80-85% effort w/2:00 recovery.

I'm currently tied up trying to tie up loose ends on an article I'm authoring for another online outlet, so this will be brief. It was a fantastic weekend of training with a solid tempo run yesterday and my longest long run of the year thus far this morning. I'm very happy with the direction in which things are heading right now. Now I just need to find some races to start working my schedule around.

Speaking of races, the weekend was full of fast ones, many of them run by close friends, teammates and local rivals. Best bud Sean McKeon ripped 2+ minutes off his half marathon PR today, clocking in at 1:11:29 at the Carlsbad Half Marathon this morning. Fellow transplanted Californian and former Chieftain, "Beverly Hills" Matt Mills went the full distance, PR'ing in 3:23:16. Congrats to them both!

Current NB Boston teammates didn't disappoint, either, tearing shit up at the Terrier Classic, with Jenn Donovan stealing the show and qualifying for US Indoor Nationals with a smokin' fast 3K of 9:26 and some change. Sergeant Justin Lutz pulled a full four seconds off his 3K best, crossing the line in 8:12 to lead the charge on the men's side. Last but not least, the men's 5K was full of fast times and phenomenal performances, with the two lads from Lowell, Nate Jenkins and Ruben Sanca, pushing the magical 14-minute mark and BAA badass Terry Shea turning in the race of the weekend with a 20-something second PR of 14:31. Good shit, kids.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Go West, young man

8:25 AM - BSC - Bike, 35:00.
5 x 2:30 @ 85-90% effort w/2:30 recovery.

3:05 PM - Westboro - 5 miles, 37:00.

Hit it fairly hard during a short session on the spin bike this morning, the first time I've upped the non-impact intensity in a few weeks. I got the heartrate high and kept the risk of injury low, and right now I really can't ask for much more than that. I capped off the day with an easy run around Westboro in tropical 40-degree temps. It was magical.

OK, that's a bit of an exaggeration but it was a nice way to break up the work day.

In other news, my spring racing plans have been altered of earlier this week, as the Gate River Run in mid-March will no longer be a reality. For me, anyway. While the rest of my mates from NB Boston will still be heading south, I will be going west, for work of all things. Earlier this week the store received a formal invitation from Brooks to attend their annual Symposium in Seattle from March 12-15. This is a big deal for our little store -- a huge deal, really -- as we were the only specialty running account from the New England region to receive an invitation to this annual event. It's easily the biggest honor and best recognition bestowed upon us by one of our vendors in the four years we've been in business. Personally, I wrestled for a little while about where I should go and what I should do, but professionally this is a too tremendous an opportunity to pass up. It promises to be a great time and I'm very much looking forward to spending a few days in Seattle sipping on west-coast coffee and rambling on about running shoes while watching the puddles gather rain.

As far as races go, there are plenty of other ones out there. Gotta sit down when I get a second, take a look at the calendar, talk it over with Kevin and see what makes the most sense. Stay tuned.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Three's Company

10:10 AM - Westboro - 8 miles, 1:02:00.
6 x 20-second strides afterward.

Easy run from the store this morning with Todd Swenson from Saucony and this old fart from Clinton. The pace was pedestrian but the conversation was comical and the time passed by rather quickly. I was happy to get in my second stride session of the week afterward but I'll be honest and admit that my turnover is pretty terrible at this point in time. I actually commented to Todd that I have a hard time believing I ever broke 4:10 for the mile. Running fast, regardless of the distance, just feels so foreign to me right now. With a little bit of time, a lot of patience and a solid stretch of injury-free consistency, however, that feeling will once again be a familiar one. I really do believe that.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


8:20 AM - BSC - Bike, 40:00.
5 x 2:00 @ 75-80% effort w/2:00 recovery.

6:45 PM - RLTAC - 10 miles.
Track Workout: 5 x 800m @ 2:28-30 w/2:30-3:00 recovery.
21:00 warmup, 23:00 cooldown.
2:29.59, (2:34.35 recovery), 2:28.42 (2:53.51), 2:27.78 (2:39.25), 2:25.94 (2:33.97), 2:26.06.

8:10 AM - BSC - Bike, 1:00:00.
Steady 65-70% effort.

Call me Britney Spears -- on second thought, please don't -- but oops, I did it again. Last night was my second straight week back at Reggie and the second week in a row where I miscounted laps during a workout. Luckily, this time it wasn't in the middle of an interval, but rather when the all the intervals were all said and done - or so I thought, anyway.

Kevin had me cued up for 6 by 800 meters in the range of 2:28 to 2:30 with 2:30 to 3 minutes recovery between each interval. After getting my legs and lungs on the same page during the first two intervals, I settled into a steady rhythm and finished the workout satisfied to have comfortably completed all six reps under 5-minute-mile pace. That is, until I got home and my trusty Timex told me otherwise. Apparently, I never quite completed that sixth interval, or even started it for that matter.

Truth be told, in the grand scheme of things half a mile worth of work hardly matters, but the fact that I unintentionally ignored an interval has me kind of concerned about my seemingly foggy focus of late. Not sure what's led me to lapse twice in as many weeks now, but I've got to get my shit together before it becomes a persistent problem.

And that'll do it for this entry/self-loathing session. I'd write more, but one of the co-authors of this blog had me on the phone for well over an hour tonight trying to convince me to take a trip to the neo-hippie capital of North Carolina. His sales pitch was solid, so much so that I'm booking a flight for the first week of February. Can't wait!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Wise Guy

10:00 AM - BSC - Bike, 30:00.
5 x 2:00 @ 80-85% effort w/2:00 recovery.

3:35 PM - Auburn - 8 miles, 56:00.
6 x 20-second strides.

It's not often that I make wise decisions before 8 o'clock in the morning, but electing to put my run off until after noon time today was nothing less than an act of pure brilliance on my part.

Of course, the fact that I was in a miserable mood after digging out my driveway for the second time in as many days helped make my decision to ride the bike this morning an easy one. A wise man once told me not to run angry, and believe me I was in a much better mood this afternoon with the temperature above freezing and plenty of clear pavement at my disposal than I would have been sliding around in 5 fresh inches of snowy shit earlier this morning.

Bitching and moaning aside, today turned out to be a solid day on the training side of things. Nothing worth noting about either workout, just putting in the time and trying not to tax my legs too much before I hit the track again tomorrow night. I did strides for the first time in recent memory and it felt oh-so-good to open things up a bit and turn the legs over a little. Still got some stretching and core work to take care of tonight, so I'm gonna call it quits on this entry and ensure those things get done. Take it easy.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

No race for you!

9:00 AM - Raynham - 10 miles, 1:11:30.

So what's a guy to do when he shows up to a race and is told the event is canceled? Run the course anyway, albeit at a much lesser effort than he otherwise would have had a gun been involved.

That pretty much sums up a miserable morning of driving down to Raynham, but after an hour and 40 minutes in the car I was going for a run whether the cops condoned it or not. Old rival Andy McCarron shared similar sentiments and didn't hesitate to throw on his Yak Traks to join me for a snowy stroll on the 15K course. With the money off the table, we chose to cruise around at a comfortable clip and called it a day at 10 miles.

I spent the rest of the day brunching in Berkley with the Kinneys, their kid and special musical guests Los Reinos. Many laughs were had, much coffee was consumed and an enormous amount of eggs were eaten. Fun times with friends, minus getting my butt beaten badly in Wii bowling. Gotta work on my hook!

Dani-girl helping her Uncle Mamo improve his core routine.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Quick spin

8:10 AM - BSC - Bike, 45:00.
5 x 1:00 @ 80% effort w/1:00 recovery.
2 x 2:30 @ 85% effort w/2:30 recovery.

Kept it short-n-sweet on the spin bike this morning with a more extensive effort on tap for tomorrow in Raynham. I threw in some short spurts of intensity just to spice things up a bit, but otherwise didn't push the envelope. Plenty of opportunity for that in the morning, and plenty of snow to boot. Should be fun!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Room for growth

8:20 AM - BSC - 6 miles, 41:00.
5 sets of drills in the gym afterward.

Apparently, I need to grow a new pair of balls. It seems my existing set is still frozen from yesterday or something.

Upon rolling out of bed this morning, I fired up the laptop, hopped on to and didn't hesitate to throw a pair of split shorts and a t-shirt in my gym bag when I saw the current temperature for Worcester, Massachusetts reading -2, feels like -10. Jumped in my car, stopped at McD's for a coffee and proceeded to the gym, where I danced the belt of death rumba for 41 minutes with a with a fancily unfanned Precor treadmill. The time flew by, and since I was just putting in easy mileage I didn't feel so bad about staying indoors.

Until I got to work. Come to find out my step-in momma Sherry, a chronic asthmatic, ran outside for almost an hour this morning. Then this gal came in later in the afternoon and let me know that this guy ran 85 minutes today. Outdoors, NOT on a treadmill. And to top it off, during my nightly conversation with my brother-like bossman, I learned that his hands actually started to sweat on his run today despite the temperatures reading well below zero when he headed out the door.

Well, my hands didn't sweat from running outside this morning. They very well may have in my Paradox mittens, but I didn't give them that chance. I left those, along with my balls, in the locker room and ran inside on the trendy treadmill instead. And now I feel absolutely terrible about it.

No, not really, but thought I might as well drum up some drama and keep things interesting around here. Bottom line: stay warm, wherever it is you choose to run. And if that just so happens to be outdoors, I have two words for you: wind boxers.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Timing is everything

10:30 AM - Auburn - 9 miles, 1:04:00.

Coldest day of the young year thus far and despite everyone's bitching and moaning it actually wasn't all that bad of a morning for running outside. Of course, it helped that I didn't have to be into work until this afternoon, allowing me to head out at the unusual hour of 10:30, which is apparently when Mr. Wind takes his coffee break during the winter months. Good timing on my part, I guess.

The run itself wasn't anything worth writing much about, just an easy hour on the roads to get the blood flowing a little bit. I would have liked to to do a few sets of drills afterward, but snot was starting to freeze inside my nostrils so I decided to put those off until tomorrow when I have the BSC gym at my disposal. My legs, and the rest of my body for that matter, feel recovered from Tuesday night's track session, which is encouraging. My next hard effort will be Sunday in Raynham when I take my third straight stab at one of my favorite winter races, the Frostbite 15K. Last year I found myself in pretty good form and pulled out the win with a solid effort and a still-standing PR of 48:40 in conditions very similar to this morning. I'm not anywhere near the shape I was in at this point last year, but I'm looking forward to getting another good workout under my belt and having fun with friends afterward.

As far as where I'm heading in terms of my training and racing, right now the two main goals are to keep things consistent and stay healthy, otherwise I'm not going anywhere. There is no marathon in cards for the early part of 2009, so training for the time being will be geared toward lowering the track times listed along the right side of this page. Of course, the hope is that proceeding in this manner will make my next block of marathon-specific training that much more effective.

In regard to races, Kevin and I decided that the Gate River Run in mid-March would be a good short-term target to shoot for over the winter. Plus, the race directors down there in Jacksonville are really putting a strong emphasis on the club competition this year, providing a perfect opportunity for a handful of us from NB Boston to strut our stuff on the national level. That said, I'm very much looking forward to taking this little sojourn south in a little less than eight weeks time. From there it will be all systems go through the short summer track season, the first time in five years I'll be shifting my full focus toward running ridiculously fast around the ol' 400-meter oval. Not gonna lie, it's got me kinda excited.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


8:20 AM - BSC - Bike, 35:00.

Steady 65-70% effort throughout.

7:30 PM - RLTAC - 10 miles.
21:30 warmup, 34:30 cooldown.
Track Workout: 800-400-800-800-800-400. 800's @ 5K pace, 400's @ 3K pace.
2:26.74 (3:04 recovery), 70.59 (3:07), 2:25.82 (3:11), 2:23.37 (1:50), 2:27.12 (3:07), 69.95

7:55 AM - BSC - Bike, 1:00:00.
Steady 70% effort throughout.
Full stretch afterward.

First indoor track workout in two years last night and you better believe that I managed to f*ck it up. Royally, in fact. A bulk of the distance guys were doing sets of 1000's and 600's at 5K and 3K race pace, respectively. The mission assigned to me by our fearless leader was to piggyback off the group and do 3 sets of 800 @ 5K pace/400 @ 3K pace with ~3:00 recovery between everything. In short, the mission failed.

Apparently, my unfamiliarity with the old 200-meter oval had an effect on my once innate ability to count laps. I messed up on my second 400 and inexplicably ran an 800 instead, thus accounting for the shortened recovery before starting the final set of intervals. Talk about a brain fart. That said, more than 24 hours later I still have no good explanation for why the hell I was running my 800's in the range of 2:25 and my 400's in 70 when I should have been NO FASTER than 2:30 and 73.

Note to self: You are not in 15:00/8:40 shape right now. Not even close.

Inability to count laps and failure to hit proper paces aside, it was great to be back with the group last night. The energy at Reggie was electric! I was beyond thrilled to once again be a part of it all and I look forward to rejoining this weekly ritual on a regular basis throughout the rest of the winter and beyond.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Ghost Ridin'

8:45 AM - BSC - Bike, 30:00.
Steady 70% effort throughout.

4:35 PM - Auburn - 7 miles, 52:30.

Manic Monday? Yeah, it was something like that. Hopped on the bike for a short spin this morning and followed that up with a quick stretch before heading off to Hopkinton to see Glenn for a long-overdue massage. I shot back down Rt. 135 afterward and popped into the store for what was supposed to be a quick visit and ended up staying for well over an hour. Funny how that works, especially when free shoes are involved. Then it was off to Roxbury to renew my membership at Reggie, which would have been much easier to do before tomorrow night's track workout, except for the fact the membership office is only open on odd days of the week, and at odd hours to boot. The important thing is that it's done, and all four tires are still on my car, so I'm chalking it up as a successful trip into the city. I celebrated with a quick pit stop at the NB outlet for some schwag on the way back and still managed to beat traffic through the tolls, arriving home just in time to hit the roads at a decent hour. The plan was to take my brandy new pair of Brooks Ghosts out for an easy 50 minutes and some strides, but a downhill digger in the dark left me thinking that strides probably weren't in my best interest this evening. I popped in to see my Pops post-run, beelined it over to the East Side to visit my Nana before she called it a night and now find myself finally back at home, still not showered, but filling in the faithful followers of this blog on the dull details of my mundane Monday. I've really gotta find something better to do. This looks like a good place to start.

Sunday, January 11, 2009



9:45 AM - Hudson/Marlboro - 12 miles, 1:35:00.

2:20 PM - BSC - Bike, 30:00.
Steady 70% effort throughout.
Full stretch, core and upper body work afterward.

Sunday has always been my most favorite day of the week, even more so of late because it's now one of my regular days off from work. What's so special about Sunday? Nothing, and that's what I love about it. It's such a carefree day, with nothing more to worry about than running with friends in the morning and enjoying a big ass brunch afterward. Of course, an afternoon on the couch watching football is always fun too, unless your team goes 11-5 and doesn't make the playoffs, then that couch just doesn't seem so appealing any more.

But I digress. Football or no football, sun or snow, trails or roads, blueberry waffles or Swedish tea ring, soft leather couch or stiff pleather saddle of a spin bike, you just can't beat Sunday. It's like Ralph Wiggum failing English - unpossible!

On the training side of things, last week was decent despite dropping a big 0 in the log book on Saturday. Volume-wise, I more or less mirrored the week before, with 41 miles running on 5 sessions, totaling just under 5 hours worth of meaningful forward motion. I did increase the overall intensity a little bit, with a solid hill session on Tuesday and an encouraging, but otherwise unspectacular progression run on Friday. I fell one ride short of my intended 3 hours in the saddle, but I can live with that. Stretching, strength and core work was much more consistent than last week, which is another step in the right direction. I just hope to keep heading that way.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Progression Session

8:15 AM - Westboro - 9 miles, 1:01:00.
6:08 warmup, 31:53 cooldown.
4-mile progression run (22:59 - 5:58, 5:49, 5:41, 5:31)

I was a little delayed in getting out the door for my workout this morning, as an argument of the locker room variety kept me indoors for a few minutes longer than I originally planned. The exchange with Gym Guy - who liked to start every sentence with the word "boy" - went a little something like this.

Gym Guy: Boy, big game for the Celtics tonight.
Me: Yeah, the Cavs are perfect at home. Should be a good one.
Gym Guy: Boy, that LeBron is one helluva player, isn't he? They're saying he's going to out-do Jordan.
Me: Well, he's gotta win at least six NBA titles first. But he's young, he still has time.
Gym Guy: Boy, he has a great team behind him, that's for sure.
Me: Jordan's wasn't bad, either, and he kept them together for the better part of 8 years, which is most impressive to me. He had Pippen, Paxon and Ho Grant...who does LeBron got?
Gym Guy: Boy...the center there...what's his name? Ahh, I can't remember. I'm drawing a blank.
Me: You must be talking about Wallace.
Gym Guy: Yeah, Wallace. Boy, is he a force in the paint.
Me: He sure is, but he plays for Detroit.

Now, like any true philosophy major, I love a good argument. But, boy, if you're gonna argue with me, at least get your facts straight!

As for the progression run, the goal was 4 miles starting at 6-minute pace and chopping 10 seconds off per mile to finish at 5:30 for the final go-around. Give or take a few seconds here and there, I pretty much nailed it dead-on. Happy with the effort given the early start and cold conditions, but just glad to get this one in before what is shaping up to be another weekend chock full of crappy weather. I don't mind the cold, but for crissakes can we get one - just one! - weekend where there isn't any white shit falling from the sky? If anyone knows the guy I can file this request with, please let me know.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

No surrender

9:15 AM - Westboro - 6 miles, 43:00.
6 x 20-second strides. 4 sets of drills & walking stretches afterward.

It snowed (again) last night, not a whole lot but just enough to leave the roads a little sloppier than I would have liked to see them when I woke up this morning. I contemplated running on the rat wheel for a while on my drive to the gym, but thought better of it when I could pick out some patches of pavement as I rolled into Westboro. The run itself was unspectacular at best, but I did spice it up with a few strides toward the end to flush out some of the crap taking up temporary residence in my quads. They're still feeling a bit battered from an up-and-down battle with ol' Eli Whitney the other day, but those seasoned soldiers aren't ready to throw up the white flag just yet. They'll be back to fight hard another day, possibly as soon as tomorrow.

In more exciting news, it looks as if I may be taking my running ramblings to other areas of the web on a freelance basis in the near future. I'm withholding details until I get more details myself, but I'm excited about the opportunity to potentially have my name back in a byline sometime soon, so keep yo' eyes open!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

To hill with it

8:05 AM- Westboro - 9 miles, 1:01:00.
17:00 warmup, 16:00 cooldown.
6 x 2:00 hills @ 90% effort w/jog down recovery.

8:10 AM- BSC - Bike, 1:00:00.
65-70% effort for the first half hour, 80-85% by the end.

This space drew a big blank yesterday, and for that I apologize. Hope no one missed me too much. The excuses are a plenty, so let's just bypass the bullshit and get back to business as usual.

Yesterday was my first hill workout since last September, and other than the cold burn of some blustery air trying to burst out of my lungs, it went off without a hitch. I made six 2-minute trips up Eli Whitney St. in Westboro, site of many a similar workout last fall with Carrara and Ceiks, and to my surprise I was able to reach the same mailbox we used as our benchmark back in August and September. I'll be honest, yesterday's effort wasn't completed with anywhere near the ease I was able to handle this hill with last fall, but it was a solid session for where I'm at right now. My fitness level isn't buried too far beneath the surface and with a little more diligence I know I'll have it dug out in due time. The nice thing is, there's no rush.

This morning's solo spin session at BSC was anything but entertaining, so I'm not gonna waste many words on it. An hour is a long time to kill on a bike that doesn't go anywhere, so I found myself working a little harder the last half hour than I otherwise would on the day after a workout. Luckily, the absence of impact helps keep my maladies to a minimum, so I should be no worse for the wear when I roll out of bed tomorrow morning. Just gotta get there first, so that will do it for this entry. Goodnight.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Ice, ice baby

7:45 AM - Auburn - 6 miles, 46:30.

3:05 PM - BSC - Bike, 35:00.
65-70% recovery effort throughout.
Full stretch, core routine, pushups & dips afterward.

The name of the game today was recovery, both from yesterday's jacked up day of training and this morning's root canal. To be totally honest, the root canal didn't take very much out of me, or otherwise leave me feeling as f'd up as a lot of people told me it would. In the end, it more or less amounted to a glorified filling. I had a fat lip for a few hours but nothing that left me even the least bit uncomfortable or immobilized for the rest of the day. Look, I'm a distance runner. I deal in discomfort. The last 10 miles of Boston was much more excruciating. I was popping ibuprofen within an hour of crossing the finish line. As of this posting, 10 hours later, the only anti-inflammatory I've ingested thus far has been ice water. Not sure what all the hype was about!

Speaking of ice, there was plenty of it this morning for my skating session around town. It appears that we got hit with a bit of rain during the wee hours of the morning, which in turn froze itself solid by the time the sun came up and turned the roads into a rink. Never fun. I couldn't find my skates, but the Mizuno Inspires I've been putting some miles on of late did the job just fine. Some strides were in order after the run, but it didn't strike me as the safest approach given the conditions. I'll put those off until tomorrow, road conditions permitting.

Last thing I want to mention in this entry is a bit of great news I received from my buddy Jarrin this afternoon. None of what I'm about to share has any direct effect on any of you, or even myself for that matter, but when news is this good, I can't not give it mention.

First, a little background. Who the hell is Jarrin? Also known as Rob, Jarrin is best friends with my boss, Rich Allen. I met Rob on one of his semi-annual visits to New England a couple years back, and since then we've become close friends and communicate on a regular basis. In fact, when Rob treks up this way from DC, he saves on a hotel and crashes at the 4-0 in what will be renamed the Robert Jarrin Room.

Now to the aforementioned great news. Rob's mom, Rosa, has been in remission from Stage III-C ovarian cancer for almost two years now. Recently, her numbers have not looked good and there was concern that the dreaded disease was returning to her body. Today was a big day, a culmination of tests and much anxiety that have been building over the past couple weeks. Thankfully, as of 4'oclock this afternoon, all bloodwork came back normal, the numbers looked good and Rosa is still in remission and cancer-free. This is most wonderful news for a most wonderful woman.

Jess, Meg, Grandma Pat, Rosa, Uncle Rob & Uncle Mamo, 10.25.08