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October 31, 2006

Training Day

A lot of training going on at work so my lunch time jaunts are out most for most of this week. This morning at the crack of dawn I had another run. A solo Memorial Forest run in 46:20 which was pretty quick for that course. I wanted to see how the legs did over uneven terrain at about 6:00 pace. They felt pretty good.

Happy Halloween!

October 30, 2006

So far, so good

5:45 morning run with christy mae. ARWR in 33:01. 2 strides.
Nothing broke, nothing sore.

So far, so good.

Go Pats!!!

That's all I got.

October 29, 2006

Running Blog Dilemma

I have a problem in my post marathon recovery. When a runner is training hard, there is a lot to write about, yet little time to write because so much time is dedicated to running. When it is recovery time, there is a lot of time to write but nothing good to write about.

Today I tore out 8 of the ugliest bushes you have ever seen to get ready for project Farmer's Porch. The people who lived here before us wanted to have the worst looking house on the block and they exceeded their goal by having the worst looking house in the entire town. I am trying to get it upgraded from "condemned" to at least "white trash" status. Let's see how it goes.

Today's Mileage = 0

That's all I got.

October 28, 2006

Not so nice outdoors

Waking up to a downpour this morning, I headed to Weston Fields with Christy Mae to meet up with the crew and do a warm-up + on the trails and grass fields around Weston. Nothing special except for all the soreness in my legs is gone. Really windy wet day today constrained all house chores to the indoor variety.

Recovery is going surprisingly well. All the stretching and foam rollering must be helping a lot. I think tomorrow I am going to take my bike for a spin in stead of run and then run again on Monday.

To bring everyone up to date.

Thursday = 0
Friday = 5
Saturday = 6.5

weekly mileage = 15.5

Easy gaiting for a while.

October 25, 2006

Back at it . . . sort of

Monday = 0 miles
Tuesday = 0 miles
Wednesday = 4 miles

Ouch ouchy ouch. Warmed up to heart break hill with the crew. The first 3 miles were pretty ugly but the last one was ok.

I think I am going to take tomorrow off.

October 24, 2006

Chicago Project: Race Day

Here's how it went down.

Saturday night, before we went to bed, we had the weather forecast on the television. It was predicting driving rain and cold temperatures. Not too good. Sunday I woke up at 5:00 CST to have my customary tea, two bags of oatmeal, and half-bagel pre-race meal so everything goes like clockwork with the internal plumbing. After breakfast I headed outside for a hybrid walk/run 20 minute type of thing to scout my path to the starting line and to check out the conditions. It was frickin freezing outside. I had, hat, gloves, short sleeve t-shirt, zip neck top, jacket, running pants, and was still cold. It was a windy, wet, misty, bone chilling type of day. I was just glad it was not really raining. A real rain in those conditions would have brought hypothermia into play. I thought it was going to warm up, from there, but it actually got colder as the daylight came. Pretty odd.

Make my way to the top 100 tent, do a slight warm up, take a potty break, do some stretching, on to the starting line. Quite a site the starting at Chicago is. I didn’t think there were that many runners in the whole world, let alone Illinois.

Bang, the gun goes off and I am casual about the whole thing trying to just relax. I guess I relaxed too much, because people went flying by me from the corral behind me and was getting passed like I was standing still. Almost all the women were out there cruising way ahead of me. Looked around and saw Ely and Larosa right there and I knew they were looking for a similar start so I just relaxed and checked my watch to see where I was at. 6:53! What the? There is no way I started that slow. My first big race in 18 weeks and I miss the first mile marker, way to focus. Not too worry because I went through two in 11:03 which was just 7 seconds slower than I wanted to. Here I am running through 2.2. I have the white singlet, blue shorts, black hat, and gloves.

2.2.JPG

Intimidating, am I not?

Then we formed a pack of about 15 guys to try and chase the standard. We just cruised along bouncing between 5:19 and 5:35. It was very difficult to find a rhythm with so much wind and the buildings making it swirl every which way but at our back. I took a pull at the front and lead mile 7 because two guys realized we were slowing down and they started to pull away so I closed the gap and went to the front for my turn. Took a Gel between nine and 10. The whole way I was always fueled and confident in my stride. It just felt easy until 14. I noticed a lot of the guys in the group were starting to labor and the pace was slowing. After a 5:31 mile, three of us broke off the front of the pack because someone had said we are 28 seconds above pace. I knew we would have a head wind the last three miles and that it was going to be a challenge to hit 5:20 and real in lost time on the last 10k. We formed an alliance of sorts and went after the standard. Everything went great until mile 22. The wind started to drive and my legs felt like bricks of lactic acid. I was getting no response from the engine room when I called for more power after I saw I had run a 5:28. Crap! Just turn it over and drive I said to my self, 5:38. Double Crap. GO!!! Right there I turned onto Michigan Ave off of 35th and while I thought I was dealing with a head wind before, I was gravely mistaken. No sir, those were breezes, Michigan ave had a head wind. One like you read about. The weatherman on the news later Sunday said it was a 30 mph wind but I am certain it was a 145 mph category 5 hurricane wind. Trust me, I know these things. I do believe anyone who was racing on Sunday would concur that the news was wrong and the wind was indeed 145 mph strong.

That was that.

I ran 5:55, 6:13, 6:15 (I think because I missed the 26 mile mark) and that put the stake through the heart of my 2:21 goal. This is what the total blown out runner looks like finishing up the Chicago marathon.

Finish.JPG

The good news is no one saw me collapse like a house of cards. There were about 10 fans from mile 20 to mile 25.9. I thought it was going to be like Boston with crowds the whole way. Obviously I thought there would be thin spots but not the last stretch. As far as crowd support goes, Chicago can not touch Boston.

After the race and receiving a shiny mylar blanket, about 100 volunteers asked me if I was ok. I must have been looking pretty ragged. I was completely spent but it wasn’t like I was going to keel over and die. I must have looked that way. I got my bag from the bag check put on every piece of clothing I had in that thing. I was shivering and having trouble getting my shoes off and pulling my pants on. It was pretty pathetic. I gave the mylar blanket to some guy who couldn’t find his bag at the check and had blue lips. Poor guy was shaking. How come no one asked him if he was alright?

I was supposed to meet Christy Mae at the fountain but I could make it there because both of my hamstrings cramped up after I pulled my pants on. I called her and asked her to meet me at the lost and found. I do believe I owe the nice people of the massage school there in Chicago a beer. Three students worked the knots and cramps out of my hamstrings and calves for twenty minutes. They summed it well by letting me know, “Your legs are a mess.” I told them they worked almost flawlessly for 23 miles. As I
Got off the table my right hamstring cramped up again and a student saw it happen and she immediately put her thumbs on it and caught it before it got bad. Another five minutes on the table getting the hamstrings worked and I was mobile again. I had forgotten how totaled the legs get after torturing them for 26.2 miles at 5:30 pace. Mario brought me some tea, and Callahan gave me some ibuprofen and I was off and walking to meet Dan and Yvonne at the aforementioned fountain that I now had the mobility to reach. I was not setting any records but it was forward motion. Here is a picture of Dan and me at the finish fountain.

Finish%20Fountain.JPG

He really put a hurting on me on the way back to the hotel. I just have horrible walking speed to begin with, but after a race it is a little sad.

As I have had twenty four hours to tally the + and – of the whole experience I would have to say the project was a success. A PR is a pr and things went more to the good than bad. My goal was not reached but they do not choose those qualifiers arbitrarily. If it was easy we would have more than 150 guys in the race every 4 years. Tomorrow I will talk with Coach Kevin and try to plan the next target to re-load for and aim at.

That’s all I got.

For Reference:
Chicago Marathon data from my watch.

Imperial System
1 Missed Ha Ha. How in the world do you miss the one mile mark!
2 11.03.0 11.03.00
3 5.28.05 16.31.50
4 5.19.30 21.50.80
5 5.20.38 27.11.18
6 5.35.46 32.46.64
7 5.30.79 38.17.43
8 5.24.86 43.42.29
9 5.21.72 49.04.01
10 5.22.51 54.26.52
11 5.18.17 59.45.21
12 Missed
13 10.56.59 1.10.49
14 5.26.87 1.16.08
15 5.31.50 1.21.40
16 5.16.19 1.26.56
17 5.17.43 1.32.13
18 5.24.81 1.37.38
19 5.20.25 1.42.58
20 5.18.78 1.48.17
21 5.26.72 1.53.44
22 5.28.03 1.59.12
23 5.38.94 2.04.51 There goes one wheel
24 5.53.00 2.10.44 There goes the other wheel
25 6.12.58 2.16.57
26.2 7.36.45 2.24.33

International System of Units (For my lone international Italian reader)
5 17.05.00
10 33.59.00
15 50.49.00
20 1.07.36
1/2 1.11.17
25 1.24.29
30 1.41.01
35 1.57.52
40 2.16.04
42 2.24.33

October 23, 2006

Chicago Project: Complete

RYAN CARRARA | Bib #309 | HUDSON, MA - UNITED STATES | Age 30 | M | USA
START 5K 10K 15K 20K HALF 25K 30K 35K 40K FINISH
7:58:59 17:05 33:59 50:49 1:07:36 1:11:17 1:24:29 1:41:01 1:57:52 2:16:04 2:24:33
TIME Chip Time: 2:24:33 Clock: 2:24:33 Pace: 5:30


The Chicago Marathon experiment has been completed. Sunday was a frigid windy day which made the going tough. You really had to concentrate out there or else you could easily drop in a mile 10 seconds over pace on one of the tougher miles. You guys who are still reading probably read the results online sometime ago. I ran a 2:24:33. 2:34 slower than my target goal of 2:21:59 which would have given me the B-standard for the Olympic trials. I was actually on pace through 22 when a killer 30 mph head wind down the final four miles just took me right out of it. Mentally I did not quit and tried to drive the whole way but the more I fought the wind the less effective I was. I really think I could have had the standard if the race was on Saturday. Would have been, could have been, should have been, if not for (fill in lame excuse here). As my college coach once said "We all have excuses and we all know what they are good for." I have a rule which states you can not be dissappointed with a personal record. If you run 11 minutes faster than the last time you raced that distance, who are you to think you could run any faster? Yet, I still am a little bit dissappointed. I will post all the splits and give a whole run down of the race tomorrow when I have some more time to write. You will probably think I am a wimp but, I just got back to the house, I am a little tired, and the legs are a little sore. I am going to ice and massage them a little bit, unpack, have a beer and watch, some of the Giants vs. Cowboys game.

Before I go, thanks to Kevin, Mario, Terry, Mark, Matt, Brian, Hodgie-san, and everyone else I have worked out with and helped keep me on task, relaxed, and so selflessly shared everything they knew about racing. Special thanks to Dan, Yvonne, Christy Mae, and New Balance for putting up with me down in Chicago and making me feel like an elite runner even though I am far from it. Thanks so much.

Full report tomorrow. So that's not all I got.

But for now. . .

That's all I got.

October 20, 2006

Out of here

Last entry before the Lasalle Bank Chicago Marathon. Should be one hell of an effort. For those of you interesting in tracking my effort on Sunday you can do it here. I am Bib # 309.

Today I did ARWR 371 in 34 minutes. A nice relaxing 5. A little windy. I hope it is not this bad on Sunday or I will be finding some big guys to run behind.

I will give a full report when I return from the race. Good luck to the New Balance Boston team as they race Mayor's Cup this weekend.

That's all I got.

October 19, 2006

very little


Tuesday = 9 easy with Dan and Mario
Wednesday = 6 easy with Sergeant Lutz. Abreviated Nobscott. Strides
Thursday = 5 easy solo. Nobscott shakeout

Just chillin'

That's all I got.

October 16, 2006

Yeah Taper

Today was a smoking 10k in 43:18. The first 5.2 I did with Sergeant Lutz through the Nobscott loop. I cut back our normal 48:00 minute loop.

I finally figured out how to send pictures from my cell phone to my email address as I am dragged kicking and screaming into 2006.

Here is the famous Morgan Bowl track that I made up with on Sunday with 1600m repeats.

Morgan_bowl.jpg

That's all I got.

October 15, 2006

Last Dance

Last workout before the marathon was this morning at the Morgan Bowl at Husdon High School. It was another ideal, sunny, crisp, dry, new england fall day. This was a pretty simple affair of 3 x 1600m at PMP pace with 3 minutes rest between the miles. One thing I learned from the effort is I should have no trouble running the first 3 miles of the marathon at 5:24 pace. The last 23.2 are still up in the air, but in 7 days that question will be answered.

Here is the data of the last rehersal.

400m 1.18.51
800m 1.20.26 2.38.77
12000m 1.19.70 3.58.47
1600m 1.21.04 5.19.51

3.02 rest

400m 1.21.00
800m 1.20.29 2.41.29
1200m 1.21.83 4.03.12
1600m 1.21.44 5.24.56

2.52 rest

400m 1.20.57
800m 1.21.98 2.42.56
1200m 1.22.00 4.04.56
1600m 1.16.41 5.20.97

My entries for this week will be some kind of boring as I have a lot of pretty simple stuff on the schedule. I have 6 tomorrow, 8 for tuesday, 5 wednesday, 4 friday, wait for it ....2 on saturday, then a casual 26.2 on Sunday.

That's all I got.

October 14, 2006

Picture Perfect

Today was the picture perfect new england day. About 45 degrees this morning without a cloud in the sky and a dew point of 23%. Nice and crisp the way I like em. With any luck this will be the weather in Chicago, Illinois a week from tomorrow.

This morning I met up with an old college teammate of mine, Uncle Fire, for a nice easy 42:00 through 2 loops at Cold Spring Park in Newton. It was nice to catch up with him over breakfast afterwards a great little breakfast spot on rte 16. Great run and it is nice to be on the easy does it scale. I am just trying to relax a lot in these last few days and let me legs soak up as much energy as possible and expend as little as possible.

That's all I got.

October 13, 2006

Long entry punishment

It has been a long time since my last entry on the Easy Gate. I have been on an east coast tour of sorts. On Friday I headed down to NYC for the Chase Corporate Challenge. I represented my employer, Raytheon, in the International Championships on Park Avenue. I was able to control myself very well considering the fitness I have built up and knowing the whole race I could be going much faster.

1. 5.01
2. 5.01 10.02
3. 5.01 15.03
3.5 2.27 17.30

No kidding. Dead on 5.00 pace. I don’t think I have ever done that in my entire life. Typically when I want to tempo a race it is too fast and I can not control my effort and make it an actual tempo. It is never really a race but somewhere between tempo and race effort. Saturday I behaved and actually did what I planned to do. It was a minor miracle.

After a quick breakfast and award ceremony with the other athlete’s we headed down to Washington DC for the AUSA Convention and the Army 10 miler. Here I was not as successful in carrying out my race plan but I do not think it matters at all. I planned to go out in 5:28 and then run 8 miles at 5:24 and then pick up the last mile but it just felt all wrong. I decided to run 5:20 pace and try to stay steady until the last mile. Well, I have no feel for 5:20 pace because I didn’t hit it once. The thing is I never felt like I was running fast and no acid ever started to build up so I just figure I am in good shape. Here are the splits from the watch.

1. 5.21.15
2. 5.16.84 10.37.99
3. 5.18.04 15.56.03
4. 5.14.06 21.10.09
5. 5.23.50 26.33.59
6. 5.12.22 31.45.81
7. 5.13.84 36.59.65
8. Missed Split. 5:13 I think
9. 10.25.37 47.25.02
10. 5.04.14 52.29.12

The rest of the week was spent at various meetings and convention type things. I came down with a cold on monday that I am just starting to shake. Not a lot of running for me this week of note. On Monday we did 6 miles up around the capital, down the mall, then around the dc monument. Tuesday was 1:00 run through East Potomac Park around the awakening statue to give the poseidon guy a high five and then went back to the hotel. Wednesday Justin and I ran the Roosevelt island run up the bike path and through the marsh boardwalk for 1:00 of running.

Which brings us to yesterday. Justin and I had planned to do a morning workout before our flight to Boston. We found a track on google maps and figured it would work well. Turns out the Washington dc area gets pretty sketchy once you pass 5th street and the neighborhoods are not so nice. Going on my theory that there are no bad neighborhoods at 7:00 am we kept going to the track. It was bolted and fenced tighter than fort knox. I also believe two white guys would be noticed running on this track, in this neighborhood, in not too long. So we aborted the workout and decided to put it off until we reached the safer haven of Bowditch field in Framingham, MA. This unfortunately broke my rule of “no more doubles.” What can you do? We don’t choose these things, they choose us. Plus it was only a 27 minute shakeout run anyway. With all the adrenaline I had after running through that section I didn’t even feel it.

The workout was 3 miles at 5:25, 2 miles at 5:10, 1 mile at 5:50, and 800m at 2:20.
Here is how it went down:

3 miles
1. 5.25.55
2. 5.23.26 10.48.81
3. 5.24.81 16.13.62

3.56.52 rest

2 miles
1. 5.06.27
2. 5.09.50 10.15.77

3.00.54 rest

1 mile
1. 4.48.25

3.05.22 rest

1/2 mile
800m 2.14.94

Thank you for your support if you are still reading this.
I am just over a week away from Chicago and everything is on track.

That's all I got.

October 4, 2006

Work is over rated

There is one truth in this world, work is over rated. Tonight I was supposed to run a work out at the MIT track with Mr. Shea and the rest of the BAA/New Balance Boston hybrid marathon training group but unfortunately things got a little delayed. Long story short I had to stay at work a lot longer than anyone should have to and get some things done for a 7:00 meeting tomorrow. This is a first for me. A 7:00 meeting. I get to work every morning at 7:00 and only about 5% of the people are there and they are not exactly functioning yet. Ok, back on track, had to work late and therefore I headed to the good old Morgan Bowl at Hudson High school for a late night solo 4 x 3200 in the dark and semi-rain. I wanted to hit 5:05 pace for 10:10 but I suck so I couldn't do it. It was a lonely workout to say the least and it would have been nice to have some company to trade off against a heavy wind on the back stretch. Enough complaining, here is the ugly truth from my watch.

1. 5.06
2. 5.09 10.15.11

rest 2.18 (supposed to be 2:00 but I just took a lap)

1. 5.12
2. 5.06 10.18.67

rest 2.23
(little drizzle)
1. 5.11
2. 5.16 10.27.51

rest 2.43
(starting to rain for real)
1. 5.11
2. 5.07 10.18.19 (last lap was 72.3 hurrah)

I was pretty pissed at the world during this workout. Mostly because I think I could have done this workout with a group with little problem if only required to lead 2-3 miles of the effort. The 8 miles in the wind and crappy conditions with it being pretty dark kind of mentally made me weak. Then I got angry at myself for being a wuss so I really tried to dig in for the last one and hit 5:05. Of course, I could not do it. So not one interval was on pace. Again, not quite sure what this means. I am going to just say it was a solid 8 miles worth of work on a miserable wednesday night and look forward to the weekends workout. Enough belly aching from me.

I am tired and going to bed.

That's all I got.

done

October 1, 2006

Progression Session

I thought I had done progression runs before today. Turns out I have not and they were all forgeries of the real thing of which I experienced today. Today some of the BAA guys, Chris, Pat and I met at the Memorial Bridge for a progression run on the river on Artie’s famed 5 mile course out to the Double Tree bridge and back.
Here is the data from my watch:

.5 2.56
1.5 5.58 8.52
2.5 5.42 14.35
3.5 5.52 20.27
4.5 5.38 26.06
5.0 2.56 26.06
.06 29.07 (doubletree turn-around split)
5.5 2.47 31.55
6.5 5.40 37.35
7.5 5.40 43.16
8.5 5.23 48.39
9.5 5.30 54.10
10 2.50 57.01 (took an orange gu with 6 oz water)
10.5 2.40 59.41
11.5 5.21 1.05.03
12.5 5.13 1.10.16
13.5 5.15 1.15.32
14.5 5.09 1.20.40
15.5 2.37 1.23.19
.06 1.23.25
16.0 2.33 1.25.58
17.0 5.32 1.31.30
17.5 2.45 1.34.16

There it is. The whole workout went really well until I tried to drop the last two miles sub 5:10. I had a lot of trouble at the faster paces after about 16 miles. This was my third hard effort in a row at a distance of at least 10 miles and I believe every time I do it I feel a bit more comfortable. All systems go for a 5:24 pace goal at Chicago. I just hope a nice pack forms at the start and I can just tuck in and go unconscious for about 14 miles. As long as I do not run a mile faster than 5:20 for the first 18 miles I will be ok. Now begins the dicey job of bringing my mileage back down below 100 miles per week and starting to ease into my taper. 115 miles this week for those of you scoring at home.

Yesterday was a nice 11.5 in 1:17 with Dan at Walden woods. We took it easy because we knew we would be hammering today.

The best news of day came from the Patriots and their pantsing of the undefeated Cincinnati Bungles at home. Did Laurence Maroney ever put a hurting on those defensive tackles. Just gashing them for over 120 yds. My boy Tom Brady looked like his old championship self hitting more guys in stride and making some touchdown passes. Just when everyone leaves the Pats for dead on the roadside they come back and lay the smack down on a play-off caliber team on the road. The Dolphins lost to the Houston Texans today and they come to the razor next week. Best of luck to them.

That’s all I got.