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.