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February 28, 2006

Hiatus

Well, it is another fricken cold day here in New England. Of course, my few dedicated reader's already know that. The wind out of the west was chilling forcing me to dive into the side roads for today's little French Rd fartlek workout. I did 2 sets of 1 min on, 1 min off, 2 min on. It was at a pretty good clip to get my legs turning over. Must have been going a little quick because when I clocked the last mile it was a 6:15. There have been a lot of rest periods in my training as of late so hopefully it is just fresh legs coming to the front.

An interesting thing happened on my run today. As I headed down French Rd a dog came tearing out of the woods and started running with me. He was a Benji type terrier mix who I thought would die off rather quickly but I was mistaken. I was starting my fartlek's and wouldn't you know when I picked it up, he just jumped right onto the accelerator with me. He spent the whole run looking at me with his head half cocked as if saying "Is that all you got." We did the whole workout together, with two cars giving me dirty looks, with me on the side of the road and him running down the middle. It is not as dangerous as it seems because these are back roads of Sudbury, not rte 20 or anything busy. People should control their dogs with leashes or have command of them but, he wasn't my dog and I didn't have a leash. Screw them if they can't take a joke. Benji II, my name for the dog, did all but the last ten minutes of the run with me. His tongue started to hang out the side of his mouth and he had to start doing mini-pickups to keep pace with me. He took off into the woods just as quick as he joined me. We did a loop so he could not have been far from home. Plus, dogs just know where they are. When ever that dog gets home, he will probably pass out from exhaustion on the kitchen floor in front of his water dish. He looked pretty tapped out when he exited the run. I can hear his owner's now "Benji II didn't come to the door when I got home. Wonder what's wrong with him?"

Well, this will be my last entry for a while. I am heading across the pond for some races in Ireland. I am not going to make too big a deal out of it because lately anything I have made out to be a big deal has morphed into a steaming pile of garbage. Just going to head over, relax, and race on feel. Screw the splits, screw the pace, screw the course, just race what my legs and lungs tell me is the right pace for the moment. That is how I raced this fall and it went well, here's hoping for more of a fall 05 type race and less of a winter 06 type race.

Cheers

February 27, 2006

Not Much here

I missed yesterdays blog and run. It was actually a scheduled day off. I am trying to shake whatever is making me feel so bad when I am racing. Maybe I have just been doing too much. Well, if that is the problem, I am all set now because I have been doing hardly anything. What do I do when I don't run, throw a surprise party for a friend who just turned a certain age. It was a good time to have everyone over. It was a nice last hurrah for Mantown I. Don't worry, Mantown II will be better and badder after a few months of touch up and manification.

Today justin and I did 7 miles in the snow for a nobscott loop. We were supposed to do 1 min on 2 min off, 1 min on, but there was a 0 degree windchill and the temperature at run time was a balmy 15 so we put it off until tomorrow. Just as good. Let's hope for warmer weather.

In the meantime, today I got the fire certificate from the fire department for the house. One of the last hurdles of selling this house and moving on to the next casa de carrara.

I will try to put in an update tomorrow. Take it easy.

February 25, 2006

Heartbreak hill

Today I went for a run with what seemed like the whole state. Justin and I met at Newton North to do a 4 mile warmup to Heartbreak hill. We headed down walnut to beacon and took it east towards BC. My goodness were there a lot of runner's coming at us. It must have been a run for the cure or team in training group. They were everywhere.

Once at the hill we did 8 x 200m heartbreaks in 44, 44, 44, 43, 43, 42, 42, 42. Felt good to be outside again doing some work. It was cold though, 23 on car temperature gauge.

Did the same 4 mile cool-down.

No evening run, so begins the taper for Armagh and Ras Na hEirann.

Congratulations to ex-reebok bostoner Rebecca Donahue who ran a stellar 4:21 this evening at Reggie Lewis which was good for 8th place in the 1500 at USATF Indoor Nationals.

February 24, 2006

Late day

Don't you hate when you are cleaning off your desk and getting ready to grab your car keys and then your program manager comes in and asks for something? All you want to do is say "you know, it's friday evening no one is here, why don't I do that for you first thing Monday morning?" But you don't, because you are a spineless jellyfish and you can already hear the program manager telling your boss that everything went great as long as it wasn't friday afternoon. Or maybe you just want to stay employed. Anyway, today was such a friday and I got out to my night run a little later than I would have hoped.

Today at lunch Justin and I cruised a Counter Nobscott loop with the hill (cross country is coming up so I need the hills) in a steady 47:04. A light bit of lifting afterwards but probably nothing that helped.

This evening was a steady 10k. I must have been worked up because I did it in 40:55 with a 6:40 first mile and a 6:25 closing mile. So much for my promise to keep all non workouts at 7:00 pace.

Tomorrow I am heading to Newton to do some 200m hills. I miss heartbreak hill, it will be nice to be back.

February 23, 2006

Abort Abort Abort

Tonight was an odd run. I was in my driveway in my typical running gear ready for a run just like always. Two steps after hitting my watch I almost kill myself slipping in the driveway. So I say take it easy, nice and slow. Two houses down the road I almost hit the pavement again. After repeating this six more times I realized the road was glare ice. So being the noble valient runner, I just walked home. No use getting hurt. Run aborted.

I got seven in at lunch with a nobscottt loop and did 3 sets of abdominals.

I did get a lot of packing and laundry done because I had the hour I usaully spend running, stretching, and showering being productive at other chores. Once I move into our new place I will be a pretty busy person because the new house needs some TLC. With only a five minute commute I will have a lot more time to get said work done.

Half-Mile mental repair

Training yesterday was nice and easy does it. Exactly what was needed for a track workout. Quality that would not tear up the legs. Since NE's was on Sunday I asked to have the workout moved to Wednesday so my legs could recover a little bit.

At lunch Justin and I did an easy Counter Nobscott Shakeout in 33:20. No lifting or sit-ups because of the odd Wednesday night workout.

The track was nice and calm with the BAA guys and some AE guys working out. It is so nice to workout with groups who know what they are doing. Everyone was looking before stepping onto the track, running single file, and going with the flow of the workout. Here is the damage:

5 x 800m @ 2:14 with 2:15 rest

1.) 2:15.5
2.) 2:14.6
3.) 2:14.3
4.) 2:17.1 (slow 37sec first 200m, fell asleep at the wheel behind another training group)
5.) 2:14.5

Before the workout we talked at length about what the best workout would be and I have always liked doing easy 800's when I have been feeling not so hot. It felt very easy and controlled. So much so that I feel asleep on the 4th one but had no problem getting back to pace. We were discussing 5 or 6 before the workout and I said if I feel great at 5 I am going to stop even if 1 would be easy to do. The next days should be easy sailing until Saturday's workout.

Next update tonight after a shake-out.

February 22, 2006

Actual Running

I was fired up yesterday about the Austrian Formula 1 xc nordic team. I forgot to enter my training, which is the actual purpose of this space.

At lunch yesterday Justin and I did a Nobscott loop in 46:32. The trails are becoming runner friendly and all runners should rejoice. Some ice is still around the edges but the paths are softening up. The trails are my friends. After the run we did 3 sets of abdominal exercises in the Raytheon fitness center.

Last night, before I headed out to the Comedy Connection, was a nobscott shake-out run in 32:35.

Christy and I laughed our asses off last night. We had one of the best hosts I have ever scene at a comedy show. Two of the main liners were pretty lame but the host did a great job getting everyone rolling before the acts. The headliner was really good as well.

Tonight is Reggie. Will let you know how it goes.

February 21, 2006

Cheats and Enablers

I think I am going to be sick. I am not kidding. I just read that the raid of the Austrian ski coach Walter Mayer's apartment yielded 100 syringes, multiple drugs, drug testing equipment, and, the topper, 1 BLOOD TRANSFUSION MACHINE!

WTF is going on with sport and athletes? Seriously, has it come to a point where in order to pass through controls, athletes are willing to have blood pumped in and out of their body as the situation dictates? Is it going to take some guys heart expiring from trying to work the artificially thickened red blood cells through his system during a race? Maybe all we need is a real big name to finally get caught, thrown under the bus, and have him point fingers at all his competitors with proof. How about an athlete convulsing on the track from taking too much EPO, would that make it stop? The medical staff helplessly flails around unable to control his heart rate as he just dies in the Olympic stadium in front of 150,000 live spectators and 100 million television viewers. I truly think that is where we are heading with this.

I can not wait until the gene doping gets up to speed. Things are going to get freaky!

Maybe we should just have two categories like that old Saturday Night Live skit. It will be just like car racing. We will have a Top Fuel/Formula 1 division where money is no object and what ever an athlete can pump into his body, blood, or muscles will be just fine. We can watch has the pole vault goes to 30 ft and the 100m dips below nine. The equipment manufacturers will scramble to make gear that stays together under the huge loads the uber-athletes produce. Everyone once in a while someone would tear his arms off during a dead lift or smash his competitors head into the side of the pool after a tough race. The announcers would laugh and quip "I guess that will happen when you double your red blood cell count and over dose on rhino testosterone." It would be great.

We could balance that off with the stock division. You would be tested every two weeks. Your results would be logged, saved, and tagged for future analysis of yet to be known substances. Any significant change in chemistry or ratio would be studied. Then you would know the people you are competing against are on the same plain as everyone else. Of course there would be no more 12:24 10k's or crazy 3:42 miles for a while, but you can watch a lot of guys in the top fuel category run 3:17.

I would certainly enter the stock division.

Let's hope nothing tragic happens to any of the athlete's over in Turino.

February 20, 2006

Back to Basics

Good day of training today after yesterday's not so hot 3k. I have decided to stop messing around and going back to what works, or what used to work anyway. Today at lunch was a counter Nobscott with the hill in 47:25. 2 sets of lifting after the run. Couldn't do the third set because I had to get to a meeting.

This evening christy and I smoked the ranger loop in 31:25 with a 6:20 closing mile. A tad quick I think but she was feeling good so we went with it.

Tonight will be some pushups and situps to finish the day.

I am now off to look at appliances and that sort of thing for our new kitchen. Adios.

Total Mileage 2/13 - 2/19

Mileage total for the week.
82 miles. 1 single, 5 doubles, 2 races, 0 LSD

USATFNE Indoor

The New England's Indoor championships took place yesterday at Harvard. I raced in the mile and 3k.

The mile went ok with a 4:18 effort. I am a bit used to having a lot of time to think about what is going to happen and you just don't have that in the mile. I was asleep at the back for 5 laps before I started to move up. Once I started moving, a guy got tripped two spots in front of me and hit the track. I had to hurdle him and then stopped when I ran into the guy who slowed way down because his feet got tangled in the mess. A lot of people went around us on the outside. That was with about 470 to go. There was a huge split in the people who were in front of the mess and the people who were behind it. After the little melee, I was in 12th place so I decided to kick as hard as possible until I died or ran out of gas. Never ran out of gas but paid dearly for the effort. I passed 5 people and came in 7th. Probably could have been 4:16 if I didn't get caught up in the mess. Maybe 4:15.

Let's just say the 3k was not my best effort and I had a poor last mile. My legs were a little dead from the long kick I put in for the mile and I ran 8:54 (correction). I didn't even check the final time. I had no push for the last 1400m and was just circling the track with no power left. Maybe should have eaten more after the mile to recharge the batteries.

That was the race in brief.

Before I go, a congratulations to ex-reebok bostoner Rebecca Donahue who came in 8th in the women's 4k cross country at vancourtland park. She is beginning to turn the corner and will be racing the mile at Reggie this weekend after her 4:42 last weekend.

February 18, 2006

Wheat Community Sevices

Today was a big day for racing, packing, and charity. This morning the WHEAT people came to our house pick up some furniture we no longer need to use. It is a great charity right here in clinton that will give people who need it food, shelter, funiture, clothing, and what ever is needed to help someone in a crisis get through and onto their feet. A lot of the stuff Christy and I no longer need or use goes to WHEAT. If you feel the need to discard something that is still in good shape consider giving it to WHEAT and you can get a tax deduction for your trouble.

Down in NYC today, Corporal Justin Lutz of the United States Marine Core represented himself, his service, and his country well again toda. He placed 27 out of 80 in the Winter Cross nationals with a great time of 11:43 across the frosty NY landscape of Vancourtland park. Besides representing the Marines he also moonlights with my two running teams, club Reebok Boston, corporate Raytheon, when he is not doing more important stuff in Iraq.

Another congratulatory shout out goes to Blake Russell who beat out Colleen De Reuck in the open women's 8k. Blake used be a resident of Acton, MA and then wisely followed her coach (my previous coach) Bob Sevene out to Monterey Bay, CA to train like a mad women and make National teams and run disturbingly fast 2:29 marathons. I trained about a year with her husband John when they were out here and always root for any of the old Lincoln Crew.

There is something wrong with me. I can't stop watching curling. This is a problem. I don't particulary enjoy it, find it exciting, or think it is challenging, yet day after day I sit to watch these 10 end matches. Every stone, every point. Today the men and women won there matches. Curling is one of the few games in which you can concede a match before it is played out to it's conclusion. Like a mercy rule in Tee-ball or laying down your king in chess.

Training today was pretty low key as I just want fresh legs for USATF New England's tomorrow at Harvard. This morning I did Ranger loop with christy in a relaxed 32:50. This afternoon I repeated the loop and added on a power line loop for 37:00. 8 strides and some drills should do the trick for the race.

For all you Sunday long runners, bundle up. Winter is back.

February 17, 2006

Run young

I have found the secret to training for a long time.

Run with people younger than yourself and feed off of their energy.

Today's morning run is proof. I went for a seven mile training run with Mario, Mark, and Katie in scenic worcester/auburn. What would have normally been a dismal time, huge wind gusts, a couple of minutes of horizontal rain, and a lot of traffic, turned out to be quite pleasant. When you train with people who have a lot of energy, none of that stuff bother's them. We were gabbing like a sewing circle. A lot of gossip in college athletics which keeps things interesting. It was a great run. Afterwards we had breakfast at the Coffee Mug in Auburn and talked track for an hour. Good times. The breakfast was decent but not as good as christy's brunches.

This afternoon I turned in an easy five with the first mile in 6:39 and the last mile in 6:24, oops. Tomorrow I can not do any of that hot dogging. Just have to be nice and easy like the morning run today.

Congrats to the USA women's hockey team who today lost a hard fought battle in an overtime shoot out to underdog sweden. The ladies' played there guts out all game. The dominated play but were stymied by a stubborn goaltender who turned back shot after shot. Losing in a shoot out is like flipping coin or a tiebreaker in tennis. Someone has to win but after 70 minutes hockey that is a draw, it is a shame someone has to loose. I know the press will play this up as loosing gold but it was a great game. They wil lhave to reload to play finland which had a standard 60minute game today. The poor goalie from Finland probably feels like she has a bullseye on her chest after facing 34 shots in a 6-0 loss to the canadians. I was really looking forward to a USA/Canada showdown. Let's hope USA can get on the podium with a bronze.

Oh yeah, more curling on today, and I watched it, again. What's wrong with me?

FYI, anyone who is looking for something to do tomorrow is welcome to come out to Clinton and help me put my house into boxes and wrap glass stuff in newspaper. Where is the party at!

February 16, 2006

Clinton in the Spring

Another perfect spring day in February. 55 F at lunch today with no wind and a lot of sun. Some melting snow rivers coming across the road but that is about it. Today Justin and I did a reverse Old Lancaster loop which is not typically the direction I do it in. It takes the flats for the first 4 miles and then the remaining 3 are all hills. I typically hit the hilly section first and then cruise the flats. It is a 6.8 mile loop and it took 43:35 to complete. Tonight my training partner is heading down to NYC for the winter cross nationals 4k on Saturday. There will be plenty of competition. Rumor has it Alan Webb heard Justin was racing and bailed. After the run we did our abdominal routine in the fitness center.

Tonight was another gorgeous night to run with a the temp dropping to 45 but still shorts, long sleeves, gloves, and a ball cap. 5 in 32:26 for magnolia rd shake-out. It is much easier to block the lights of the cars at night with a ball cap. After the run I did 8 hard strides to try and loosen up my quads which have been crazy tight as of late.

I wanted to write about Bode Miller but there just isn't time tonight.

Tomororw is an adventure run down in Auburn. Should be sweet. Tonight Christy has class so I have start cooking up those sweedish fish. They aren't going to cook themselves.

February 15, 2006

2nd spring

50 degrees on February 15. What the hell is going on. We have had some really weird weather this winter. I am not complaining, just a little confused. Today was 7 at lunch in 46:13 and 5 tonight in 32:35. One set of lifting after the seven. Not much point to lifting now because we are starting to get close to the real racing.

Today was the first trial run of my new watch. The Nike Speed 50 which my wife gave to me as a Valentines day gift. It is a pretty nice timepiece and has large digits at a funky angle to your wrist. I will have to reprogram my right hand to hit the buttons correctly. After 16 years of Timex triathlons, old habits die hard.

That's it.

February 14, 2006

Comment on a comment

Why are you so bitter?
Posted by: Anonymous | February 14, 2006 10:12 AM

This was posted in my comment section today.
For anyone who is reading this, I am not a bitter person.

In the future please read the posts with more of a sarcastic tone rather than a negative tone. I was trying for humor, not to be a downer. I really and truly don't care which sports are in the winter Olympics. Just making harmless fun of some of the silly ones.

One thing is undeniable, Lava Monster would be a sweet addition to the Olympiad.

Empty Track

The key to a good track workout is space. Tonight at Reggie we got there at 6:00 and were ready to roll as soon as the high school meet ended. The other clubs and colleges did not start arriving until 7:00 so we had the whole track to run the workout. It was a good workout night.

300 @ 45.8, 2 min rest
800 @ 2:09, 5 min rest
800 @ 2:09, 2 min rest
400 @ 62.5, 90 sec rest
300 @ 45.~, done

For all the intervals I ran with Mark and it worked out well. I would give him a bit of a lead depending on the length and then would try to catch him with only 50m to go. He is very good at hitting pace so I knew if I could just time my effort correctly and catch him at the last corner I would be right on. Extremely helpful to have someone to key off like that.

Pretty solid workout. I have been feeling like garbage lately so maybe things will be turning around. I tried to run more relaxed and just let the speed flow instead of trying to force it. It worked well and I will try it again this weekend on the track. Maybe I have just been trying to force it too hard.

Today at lunch Justin and I did the Bent Rd. Shakeout. 5.1 in 32:34. 3 sets of abdominal excercises in the Raytheon Fitness center after the workout.

The weather is looking really good for tomorrow thru Friday. 50 possible on Thursday.

Time for some leftover pizza and some sweets from my sweet.

February 13, 2006

Gold Medal in Tiddily Winks

Today at the olympics I saw the men's curling match of Finland vs. USA. Wow, what a battle. It was stone to stone the whole match. Curling should definitely be an olympic sport. Just like tiddily winks should be one. You aren't just flipping plastic chips into a cup you know. How do you get your little odd game to become an olympic sport? Does it involve a suitcase of money? Some IOC people caught in compromising situations on video camera? My brother and I used to play this sport (it is actually just a fun game but to get the olympics you must call it a sport) in the basement called Lava Monster. We had an orange carpet and you could not touch it. You had to stay on the furniture or strategically placed pillows and get from one side of the room to other without getting pulled in to the lava by the monster. What do you think? Should I petition the IOC for inclusion for 2010? I am serious, skeleton, luge, and curling are laughable. Glorified sledding is what they are. How many luge tracks are there in the whole world? I know every city that has had and olympic games has one. Shouldn't these be sports that normal people know how to, participate, play, and score.

I was very dissapointed to find out that alpine ski long jumping has judges. I always thought it was the guy who flies the greatest distance. That would be too simple, obvious and fair. If you land like fairy (telemarc) you get more points. It is possible to actually jump shorter than the longest guy and still win. Kind of like artistic impression I guess. Just have to pay off the right guy from the right country.

One good thing out of the olympics is 19 yr. old snowboard dare devil Sean White (halfpipe). He is an X-gamer built for the duece who is quite handy to the olympics because they are trying to milk that demographic for the future. The stuff he does in the half-pipe is quite amazing to watch. Not sure if it is a sport but certainly is entertaining. He has the best nickname in sports. The Flying Tomato. He has a carrot top type mane and I guess that is what his friends call him.

Tomorrow there will be hockey on so that should save the games a little bit.

Today was a pretty weak day of training. 7.0 miles on the treadmill in 45:31. I am was going to do seven tonight because the roads looked like they were in really good shape but I felt like garbage and took a nap instead. Pretty noble wouldn't you say?

Christy made some delicious pizza with olives and green peppers for dinner. I don't know what kind of dough it is but it is very good. Some swedish fish and I am off to bed. Hopefully nine hours of sleep will cure what ever is making me feel so lifeless.

What an uplifting entry. Tomorrow I will try to get one in after the Reggie workout. Practice is at 6:00 tomorrow so I hope to be home at a decent hour.

Total Mileage 2/6 - 2/12

Mileage total for the week.
68 miles. 5 doubles, 1 race, 0 LSD.
Does that zero kill the mileage or does it kill the mileage?
Taking yesterday's 15 mile run off really killed my weekly mileage.
Can't control the weather.

February 12, 2006

19" in my driveway

19" inches of fluffy white stuff fell in our driveway today. I think it is called snow. I better turn on the news to find out what this stuff is. Oh my gosh, it is snow. It is snow on the turnpike, snow in Marblehead, snow in Worcester! Oh my, what is happening. Please get an Xtreme weather center eyeopener team together and broadcast from wacky locations. Have your broadcasters pick up the snow and discuss the type of snow. Interview a witty snow plow driver who can mention something clever about "paying the bills" or "trying to stay ahead of it" And please please please have every single person say "stay home if you can because there is snow on the roads." It is as if we are all idiots with no windows, brains, or history with snow. I have lived in the New England my whole life and every year it has snowed. Why do networks need to change every single program to go over the same maps and same stupid thing for six hours. The way they talk to the audience is just insulting. It is what it is, a storm. Not to the news stations, it is a "severe storm." No, it is a "VERY severe storm." As if severe wasn't enough description. Next time I turn on the TV it will be a "really truly very serious super severe storm" ENOUGH WITH THE WEATHER! It is the north east, it snows here. (can you tell I missed the supercross race I was hoping to see at 12:00 on cbs?)

Today was it. The first zero of the year. Not too happy about it either considering my effort yesterday. This is the last winter I go without a treadmill. When we move into our new place in March, and everyone who decided "this is the year I get a treadmill and get in shape" realizes they are not going to get into shape even though they bought the treadmill, I will buy a used one. I think March/April/May is the right time to start scanning the want ads for the "only used twice, paid 2000, selling for 500" ads come out. I think they just want that machine out of the house so it can stop mocking them. I hear most people use them as clothes hangers anyway.

My mileage today was about 400m while guiding a snow blower. Don't know if I will put that in the log.
Here is a photo of today's training.
DCP_0651.jpg

And guess who drops out of the olympics surprise surprise. Michelle Kwan. Not only does she not go to the Olympic Trials like every other olympian, she gets a special petition to break the rules because she's *Michelle Kwan* and nobody chokes quite like she does. I feel really bad for her understudy there who is now snowed in solid in NYC who has get to Italy and get ready to compete. Michelle was really happy she got to represent the country in the opening ceremonies. I bet the young woman who came in third in the trials would have been really happy to represent the United States as well. I hope track and field never goes down such a path. Three spots, three people, those three are the top three in the trials. If your pr is ten minutes faster in the marathon but on that day you came in fourth, well, should have prepared better for that one day. That is what the olympics are. One day your event and competition comes up every four years. You either do it, or don't. That is the way the trials should be. I feel bad for the steve holman's of the world who you know are faster than 3:43, but that is all they come up with in the trails. You need to produce on the day the production is required. Sorry about that, Michelle Kwan just aggravates the hell out me. If she was too hurt to even compete in the trials, why would she be miraculously better by the olympics? I guess she has a better smile and deserves it because she has "paid her dues" whatever that means. Good thing it isn't even a real olympic sport anyway.

This week is New Englands. Lets hope for better racing!

Dismal Performance

What has happened since the last entry has not been pretty. The 5k at St. Valentine’s went worse than I ever would have thought it could have. 4:34, 9:06, 14:55. It was just a dismal performance and actually kind of embarrassing. That is not the way I envisioned the last race at BU going. For all of the work put in this winter results should be a lot better than that. Maybe I have missed my guess and I am not in 14:10 shape and should not be going out as fast as I have been. It should not feel so easy. I just don’t understand why is the last 1500m has treated me so poorly as of late. The last mile of a race is typically my best and the first is usually the worst. Is it just me getting old? Is it the fact I basically took track off last year to get ready for Boston and it takes a season to back into it? Whatever the reason, looks like I will not qualify for nationals again even with standard softened by three seconds this year.

The race started just as I had wanted it with a 69.0 and it split into two groups with one group running about 4:28 and my group running 4:34. In the second mile I worked up the second group and threw in a couple of 66’s to get to the lead pack and make a run at the last mile. Just when I jumped the gap to the lead pack they started to pick it up. I must have used up all my energy jumping the gap because they just left me, then people just started flying past and I was all used up. Not a gutsy race at all.

On some good news, my wife Christy ran a great race in the mile Friday night clocking a 5:08, which is only about four seconds off of her PR.

Next weekend is New England’s at Reggie Lewis. I am not sure which event I am going to do but I think the 5k is out just because I have to get away from that race for a little while. Maybe the mile, maybe another 3k, maybe both, who knows? All I know is I have to snap out of this funk and start to race like I mean it.

Today should be an interesting run. There is 6 inches of snow on the ground right now so I think I will wait until the storm passes to go running. Looks like a late afternoon run for us today. May not be motivated enough to get in the entire long run either if it is really snowy.

February 10, 2006

Mid-Day Report

A rare event on this blog will be an entry at 1:00. Today I have the luxery of such a post because I am off from work today. Last week I did a lot of extra work and built up some modified time for a deadline and today I get to reap the benefits. It is also helpful that I can take that day on the Friday before a big race.

The legs felt very good on the run this morning. I did the Dam loop in 42 minutes for a solid 10k shake out. It will be my only run from the house today because tonight I am heading into Boston for the Ladies side of the Valentine Invitational. My wife will be running in the mile because the other events are too early in the day and she has to work. Tonight's shake-out will be in the city for about 20 minutes and some 200's and 100's to get the legs turning over but not enough to build up the lactic acid.

I am back to putting stuff into boxes. Tomorrow I will have all the race details and little bit of the highlights of the meet.


February 9, 2006

Easy does it.

The day started great today. I thought a little bit of a cold was coming on because I felt congested. Once I brushed my teeth it was all cleared out.

The lunchtime run went very well. Justin and I did Nobscott loop in 48:30 at a very relaxed pace. 3 sets of our abdominal routine in the fitness center after the run.

This evening was the levy loop for 4.5 in 28:45. After the run 4 strides and 20 minutes of stretching. Just trying to get to Saturday’s race as fresh and fast as possible. Tomorrow will be a nice relaxing day with two easy runs.

The entries came out for the Valentines day meet at BU and lets just say some runners were a bit optimistic in their seed times. I guess they want to make sure they make a certain heat. I don’t see a problem with taking some time off of your seed if you are shape to run the time. But if you ran 8:26 in 3k you have no business entering yourself at 8:02. Just something that bugs me because you don’t get the best races that way.

I am off to cook dinner because tonight is class night therefore I am the cook!

Ciao.

February 8, 2006

Almost light

Today at lunch was a solo run effort. Had a lot going on and couldn't meet up with my training partner. Did Counter Nobscott loop with the hill in 47:57. Had to rush through the 2 sets of lifting but still got in the weight work.

This evening was 5.2 miles of Water tower. I almost got a little bit of running in the light. About 4 minutes of psuedo light. Then it was 30 minutes of darkness. Tomorrow I will make an effort to get to work 15 minutes early so I can leave 15 minutes early and catch some trails to run on. Two runs on trails would be nice. Typically when I show up to work early it is just 15 minutes of extra work but tomorrow will be a cencentrated effort to get out of dodge.

See you tomorrow!

Dyno Tuning

A bit of sharpening work before a race is the best way to measure how ready you are to race. When you just go out and do workouts for weeks on end it is hard to know where you stand until you take a workout that is specifically designed to get you ready for a fast race. I compare it to dyno tuning your car. You spend all this time and effort building the drive train, strengthening the engine internals, and making a strong chasis. When it is all put together and running, you tweak the body panels around the edges, give it a nice paint job, and take it to the dyno. The fuel mixture, timing, and spark are all calibrated to just give you that extra few hp you may need coming out of a corner. You don't dyno a piece of garbage car. It is a waste of time to fine tune something that needs to be rough tuned. Same goes for my training. I don't typically do spot on sharpening workouts unless I am ready to be sharpened by a laser, not a grinding stone. If what you need is 8 x 800 (ginding stone), your time would be much better spent doing that rather than 2 x 200, 300, 400 (laser).

Last night at Reggie Lewis for example, 5 x 600m with 2 minutes rest @ 1:37, 1:38, 1:36, 1:35, 1:34. Feeling very comfortable the whole way and surging with no problem around the college kids running in lanes 1 and 2 next to each other. Still managed to nail the times even though the pace was uneven and broken throughout the interval.

This weekend is another attempt at the 5k at BU for the St. Valentines race. I have been placed into the seeded section which will be necessary to run the 14:07 required for qualification into Indoor Nationals. The workouts I have been doing certainly point to being able to run 4:32 pace until picking it up the last two laps. Just have to go out smart and on pace.

Next week the workouts should not be as crowded because I think the college season is starting to wind down and the high school racing season is almost over.

Oh yeah, Nobscott shake-out at lunch for 5 in 34:04 with three sets of abdominals after the run. The trails are drying out and proving as an excellent wind block.

February 6, 2006

Hard Night, maybe not.

Tonight was a hard night to get out the door. Did not get home from work until 7:00 and it was cold and windy out. Today was a meeting day so it sucked the life out me one boring hour at a time. I did manage to put on the pants, short sleeved shirt, long sleeved shirt, jacket, gloves, and hat and make it out for 4.5 miles of fun in the dark, windy, winter evening.

It is always that way for me. The house is warm and the couch is so inviting. I also have tons of boxes to fill and contractors to call. Every excuse pops up just when I am about to head out the door. When I am 30 seconds into the run, I am so glad, just happy to be moving away from it all. I have never done drugs, but I imagine that must be what it is like. Just happy to be there.

Am I spoiled or what? It is February 6, we have had almost 2 weeks of spring, and I am complaining about winter being winter. I will probably pay dearly this spring for such a complaint. It will be some 35 degree race day on the outdoor track with gail force winds and horizontal rain.

At lunch today, Justin and I got on the trails in Sudbury for a counter Nobscott Loop in 47:04. You will be reading a lot about the Nobscott loop because I do it just about every day at lunch. It is 5.5 miles on trails and 7.2 total miles. Just a great loop. Hilly, soft, and scenic. I am so lucky to have soft trails all around. Of course when I look for places to live, I make sure of it, but I am lucky to be able to find places with soft trails all around. 2 sets of lifting after the run. And my little bout with the trots is gone. If I only didn't have to put 11 hours in at work today it would have been a perfect day.

It is 9:19 and I am going to bed. I can not promise and entry tomorrow night but will catch you wednesday if I don't catch you tomorrow night.

February 5, 2006

Total Mileage 1/30 - 2/5

Mileage total for the week.
104 miles. 6 doubles, 1 LSD.
Will bring mileage down to 85 this week for Valentines race at BU on Saturday.


LSD

Another great day for a long run. Overcast and 44 allowed for shorts, long sleeve, gloves and a hat. 16.6 miles 1:50:16 yields around 6:35 pace. Started out with Christy and Mario at 7:10, then christy split off at Redstone Hill Rd. Mario and I picked it up as we started down James and kept it going up Newell Hill rd onto campground rd. A lot quicker paced long run than last week. Must have been the company. We were considering trying out the Reservoir for some trails. My back yard is underwater and every trail we saw was water logged so we just stuck to the roads. Did four hard strides afterwards to get the blood moving a bit.

Tomorrow I hope to run on the trails at lunch to get some of the pounding off the legs.

I am now off to scenic Everett to catch the Super Bowl commercials at my friends house. Since my beloved Patriots will not be in the contest this year, I don't even care if I catch a snap. Enjoy the game!

February 4, 2006

Rough One

I apologize for not loggin in last night. A lot going on right now.
I did not return from Reggie until 10:30 and I wasn't feeling so hot so I just went to bed after a sandwich.

At lunch yesterday we did Garden in the Woods loop for 6.3 miles in 43:01. I wasn't feeling so hot so I skipped the lifting in hopes I would recover in time for the workout. Did not happen. I was Still having issues at 7:00. WIthout being too graphic, for the last two days I couldn't be too far aways from a bathroom. Last night 2k @ 6:12, 1200 @ 3:21, 1200 @ 3:24, finishing with 400m @ 62. Had to take a bathroom break before and after the warmup, between each interval, before and after the cool down. unfortunate because I was hoping for 6:00 3:18, 3:18, 62. Just a rough one all around.

This morning I did 10 miles with Mario in 71:20. The best part was we were on trails! Yes, the snow has melted in this crazy February weather. Tomorrow we will be able to do the long run on trails as well. It will be great.
This after noon run was an easy ranger loop with 6 strides after giving 15 on the day.

In case anyone was wondering what I look like in Raytheon race trim. Alison took some nice photo's of the corporate SMR.

My wife and I are in the middle of moving so we don't have a ton of time. Once the move is over I hope to get a few more details in about the training and what not. I may actually proof read my posts as well. Until that time things will be short and written at a 3rd grade level. Enjoy your long runs.

February 2, 2006

Perfect Evening

Two great runs today.

At lunch ran Wayside Inn Road (7.8) in 50:18 at about 6:25 pace with the last mile in 6:15, with senior Lutz. We finished with three sets of abdominals afterwards in the fitness center.

Tonight I ran a little Magnolia rd shake-out to Bob Hodge's house. We talked track for about 30 minutes. Always a good person to talk to and bounce ideas off of for your race prep and strategy (strategery if you are the president of the United States). Tomorrow he is heading down to the Millrose games in NYC. There is going to be a sick Wannamaker mile with Bekele and Lagat going to head. It is going to be on ESPN 2 during the Super bowl so someone is going to be mad at me when I change the channel to catch the mile. The run was probably just under five in about 31:30. The weather was just perfect for a February night run. 35 F, partly cloudy, no wind to speak of. Just heaven on a run. (ha ha. kind of like heaven on a bun but not as fattening. ok, not funny, will go away now)

All the knee problems I referred to yesterday are gone. Ice, stretching, and care can do wonders if you catch it early enough. For future reference, I have three levels of difficulty:

1. Hurtin’ = Just worn down, tired, and fatigued. Could stem from a hard workout or race, a particularly hard week at work, too much fun the night before a run or just overtraining.
2. Hurt = Sore spot or hot spot somewhere. For example a tight knee, lower back pain, sore Achilles, tight plantar fascia, those sorts of things. Typically go away but could turn into No. 3 if not properly cared for.
3. Injured = can not run. Something is torn, sprained, or otherwise incapacitated. You know running on it is doing more damage than good so humility is the better part of valor and you have to take a zero. I hate taking zeros more than anything in life. If it is a day off, that is a day off. A zero is a day I planned to run on the schedule and did not and those are unacceptable.

There you have my three layers of discomfort. I am typically a pretty healthy runner. I have been gifted with a neutral stride that goes in a straight line from nose to toes. When something does happen to make things go a little off kilter, I give it undivided attention to fix it pronto. One of my teammates in college once said “Running injury free is a conscious effort.” I took those words to heart and have not been injured bad since high school.

Hard workout tomorrow so I am going to fix up some dinner and get some sleep.

February 1, 2006

High Beams

Is there anything more annoying than someone turning their high beams on when they see you coming. Out here in the sticks there are hardly any street lights. When it is dark, your eyes adjust quite well to the conditions and you can see the road fine. Until someone in their RX330 comes towards you and decides to see you they need to put the HID's to "brighter than the sun" level. The road disappears and all you can see is this white blinding light. Then for 2 -3 minutes you see two dots like someone has taken you picture too many times. It may just be me though. I can not wait until we can put the clocks ahead so my after work runs can be done in some sun light.

Today was a standard post workout day.

Potter school rd run at lunch in 47:01 for 7.2. Did 3 sets of lifting in the fitness center after the run.

For the PM run it was Kendall Hill Rd.(7.5) in 47:36. Last mile in 6:13. I was either going to do 8 strides after the run or try to accelerate the last mile of the run. Last night my left knee tightened up a little bit after the workout. It relaxed after some stretching and ice. I figured rather than stretching it out with strides, just use the last mile of the run to stretch it out a little bit more than it has been stretched.

The lifting with the legs today didn't hurt it at all so I think it must just be from tight hamstrings. It is the type of thing that flares up and then goes away. It is isn't an injury, just a little challenge to the overall mission. The body trying to give the mind an excuse to not run. Won't work. It is such a funny balance between hurting yourself and not pushing through. If you are injured you can't, at least you shouldn't run. If you are hurt, well you are just being a wimp if you don't run. You just have to make sure you don't turn being hurt into being injured.

Hopefully all this drama will be over with a good night's rest.

If you have any nagging things bugging you try this site.

Ladies, Hommes, at the track

Yesterday was a good running day. At lunch, Justin and I did our typical 5 mile Bent Rd shake-out loop with 3 sets of abdominals in the fitness center afterwards.

Last night was "how many people can circle the track night" at Reggie Lewis with moi, Justin, and about 60 of my closest training partners. What a zoo! A couple more people and we will have a mess. There are serious crowd control problems with all the various clubs and schools trying to workout at one time. Here is the key to working out with a lot of people on the track. Start your interval with a rolling start, keep moving when you are in lane one, stay single file, and don't move out of lane 1 until your interval is over. That is all you have to know. No one minds going around a person or a line of people. When you have to hit lane 3 or 4 to get around a group doing a bunched up tempo run it is a problem. You do not have to run right off the leader's shoulder. It is a workout, just start your watch when you cross the start and stop it when you are finished. If you stay directly behind the person in front of you, your times will be identical. Seems simple, no?
End rant

Felt very good on the track. The workout was 4 x 1200m at 3:24 (3:24, 3:25, 3:24, 3:25) with 3.5 min rest between. We took an active jog 5 min break after the 1200 set. Went on to 4 x 300m at 46 (45, 46, 47, 45) with 90 secs between intervals. The times were off a bit because the whole time we had to dodge, duck, dip, dive, dodge all around the track. All the movement makes the effort a couple of seconds faster than what we actually ran.

Today is a light day with some weight lifting.
Which way to the beach?