Thursday, June 22, 2017

Entering recovery week #9

Surprisingly, I got cleared to run! Recovery this time around has gone light-years better than last time and so I'm able to jog a bit.

6/21 - 1.4 miles in 12 minutes out and back on an old railroad bed. Celebrated Lauren's passing of the Family Nurse Practitioner boards at dinner!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Post-surgery #2: Week 7


It's been half a year since my last post, so here's the latest:
  • I had a surgery on my "good knee", identical to the surgery on the "bad knee". I'm a little over 7 weeks into a 12 week recovery before I'm allowed to run. It's driving me a little batty. I can bike though.
  • I'm moving to Northwood, NH in July, so that's cool. 
  • No concrete plans to race this year. Maybe by the fall I'll be up and moving, but that's also a busy time of year with the XC team.

Monday, December 5, 2016

A return to the blogosphere

Well, I have no recent races to speak of but I've been advancing my fitness and overall health enough to feel like it's time to record my activities once again.

It has been an interesting transition taking a teaching position and coaching role up in Durham at Oyster River High School. As head coach of the boys' HS team, I helped ferry the team to the New England Championships and help senior Patrick O'Brien stamp his ticket to footlocker Nationals in San Diego this coming weekend. I have to keep reminding myself how rare that second feat is. Patrick was a 9:19 3200m runner coming into the season... which is very good, but not to the caliber of the typical footlocker finalist. Figuring out what style of training helps him to improve was super interesting and he possessed the right porpotions of determination and intelligence to get to the finish line of the regional in 3rd place, well inside what he needed to do. He also set a course record on the NH Meet of Champion's course at 15:03. I think that one will stand for at least  a couple years.

So I've run a bit with the team and I have been out mostly on the trails on the weekends when I'm not coaching a meet. It has been cool to convey my philosophy about training and racing to young runners and see them have success. The saying, "Do as I say, not as I do" totally applies here, as I definitely don't train myself as I train my athletes. When I train myself, I tend to run too hard, too often, and I'm not patient enough to see the bigger picture. Also, I rarely have the patience to properly warm-up or do the PT that comes along with running higher mileage.  Hopefully having recognized these things about myself can force a change as I am now officially 30-years-old and want to experience a few more years of fast running. What do I have, 8-12 years of my best running left? Some guys are not even so lucky. I'm hopeful that the next few years will be ones I look back positively on in terms of running, unlike the past two years of one step forward, two steps back.

The plan from now to the New Year is just to get in steady miles in the 30-40 range with 3 core or strength workouts a week and a long run of 10-12 miles. I'm also going to experiment with some exercises to help straighten out my hips and lower back. With any luck, I'll feel ready to hit the snowshoes when the NH SS GP begins!

Anyway, here goes an attempt at regular blogging.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Something blog-worthy

Just a quick update to report that roughly 6 months post-surgery I'm fully able to run again without any pain or lingering inflammation or weakness afterwards. I'm not running a lot - fitness and schedule being most of the issue - but I have been able to run up to 10 miles once in a while and yesterday I ran my first track workout. 

I ran with the JV boys as they prep for their state meet on Thursday.

We did 800, 400, 800, 400, 800, 400 at goal 5k pace. I ran with a different kid each time and went 2:33, 76, 2:40, 79, 2:46, 75. I felt a bit like Bambi out there but it was still pretty cool to run fast for a little while.

The goal is to run a turkey trot in late November and maybe help out on a Mill Cities relay squad in mid-December..

Meanwhile, coaching the Oyster River boys team has been super fun! Championship season is here!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Week 17: Hitting the ground... cycling

Monday: 15 mile ride easy. Trying to get back into exercise on the right... wheel? Okay, I'll stop.

Tuesday: 26 miles steady to Topsfield collecting a disc I lost over the weekend. Strangers contacted me and hid it well so I could collect it. Nice!

Wednesday: 43 miles / 2:23 and change, with Sharon weaving to Topsfield and back. Felt good for the first 30 or so and struggled thereafter. Sunburned but satisfied. Off to a good week!

Thursday: 1.6 miles easy shaking the legs out. Good stretch after.

Friday: 6.7 miles / 59 minutes on trails at Ward. It was warm but I felt good after half a mile of shuffling!

Saturday: 6am: 62-63 miles @ 20.1 mph with the breakaway crew. It was cool to do a real group ride for maybe only the 5th time in my life. Hung tough (read: drafted like a banshee) the last 10 miles as the pace picked up. Pulled a few times but mostly just hung onto the wheel in front of me. There was a bit of a sprint finish toward the end which I had no part of. A few maniac drivers on the road but I guess that's just how it is. It's probably stressful for some people trying to get to work and having 16 or so cyclists to get past. Good ride all around!

Week 16: The lost week

No need to itemize this week as I was completely inundated by DC trip duties Monday-Friday. My cousin Colin arrived Friday night and we celebrated his birthday over the weekend. Highlights include 4 rounds of disc golf, a trip to Mohegan Sun, and lots of good food. Starting anew in week 17.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Week 15: Steady as she goes..

Monday: Run with Alex... calling it 5 miles. My GPS had 5.6 and Alex had 4.8 but it was all on trails in the winding and technical Ward Reservation. This was my first time there since surgery and it was soo very good to be back. I'm very unfit, so this was a moderate-to-hard effort for me. Meanwhile Alex is very fit, but coming off of a couple wins this weekend and needed a nice shake-out. I imagine this will be the kind of run we do together for quite some time. Goal is to run 7 miles at some point this week. I also want to run or bike 5 days total. I would also like to see a mile sub-7... we'll see if I can find a nice long downhill somewhere :)

Tuesday: 5.3 miles. Solo run at Ward on the same loop as yesterday. Love that place! Ran a bit slower than yesterday in the 88 degree heat and also probably because I wasn't chasing Alex prancing through the woods ahead of me. I used the downhill coming back to the car and continued past it to get a quicker mile and ended up well sub-7 with a 6:35 dropping 35 feet. My stride felt the best it has yet! Knee feeling almost completely normal!

Wednesday: 6 miles in Ward. Really nice weather for international running day but in terms of energy I felt like garbage. No pop in the legs. This is probably a result of running 3 days consecutively for the first time since maybe October! Tomorrow off for sure. Absorb the work!

Thursday: 4.8 miles roads during coaching.  Couldn't help but run in perfect conditions.  3.4 MI tempo for my 54 yo runner at 7:40 pace. She was pumped! So was I. Tomorrow a jog is not likely with 8th grade promotion. We'll see.

Friday: Off, as expected!

Saturday: 3 miles easy / 21 minutes

Sunday: Off, preparing for DC Trip

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Week 14 - Picking up the slack

Monday: 4.3 miles easy with the HSers at running club. Nice day out. A touch humid but I'd rather ease into the summer weather rather than have it hit all at once. Oh, it's supposed to be 90 on Wednesday? ...Nevermind.

Tuesday: 4 total / 2 miles easy to NAMS to coach a workout in 16 minutes. After coaching I jogged back down the hill in 15 minutes or a hair under. Last mile 7:03 - fastest one yet! Feeling more and more comfortable running quicker. Iced after. I need to be better about continuing my PT. Hitting the bike tomorrow given the heat.

Wednesday: 50 minutes on the bike. Felt good!

Thursday: Off - Job interview consumed all free time. It went well!

Friday: Off - Ran up to the superintendent's office. It went well!

Saturday: Off - Lazy! Drove to Burlington. It was hot. Hung at the beach. Camped at North Beach. Shared a fire with some people from VA. Very fun times.

Sunday: Off - ish. Ran around a bit early on at the marathon but nothing noteworthy. Headed home before the storm hit. Oppressively hot day for a long race!!

Overview: Well, the week started off well and ended pretty pathetically from a training perspective. This has been a bit of a pattern. I have insanity week at school with finals, multiple graduations, a ceremony or two and then prepping for the DC trip I'm leading. Next week I'll be touring DC Monday-Thursday and then our final in-service day on Friday before summer vacation begins. So... t-minus 2 weeks until summer and "real" training can begin in earnest!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Week 13 - Working out the kinks

Monday - jogged for 10 minutes and did my PT from the dg course at Devens. Eventually played a solid 18 holes. The Devens course is built on an old military training course which is has technical footing and is pretty hilly. Hiking around seems to be generally good for the body right now.

Tuesday - 5 miles moderate from the train station at Ballardvale. Took me 44 minutes. Single-track has always slowed me down by about 40 seconds/mi but given that I'm running extra carefully I think it's slowing me by a solid minute. Have to remind myself that the body doesn't care about distance traveled so much as it does time spent running. This is the longest run I've done by 8 or 10 minutes. The aerobic side of things is definitely coming along. Meanwhile the R hamstring has some strengthening to do. No PT today.

Wednesday - drove to Cherry Hill, NJ after work. Got there around 1am. Stiff from the ride.

Thursday - Brother-in-law graduated from Rutger's Law so the day was consumed by family stuff. Saw this coming.

Friday - 3 mile jog before travel to the Jersey shore.

Saturday - 4 mile jog with Greg on the shore. Nice and flat area. Good tailwind... on the way out, at least. Felt good.

Sunday - Return from the shore. 8 hours in the car and prepped for a big week at school. No run >.<

Overall: Not a great week from just about any perspective. 3 runs and feeling good on those, however. Gotta pick it back up for next week, despite the hectic nature of end of year activities.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Week 12 - Recovery Conclusion

I'm entering the final week of the standard healing time forecast for the operation I had done. By no means does that imply I am positioned to return to full activity, but it's encouraging to have gone through the recovery process and seen steady improvement from week-to-week thus far. I have a long way to go before I return to racing, but I'm positioned to run more regularly while I continue my exercises for strengthening the VMO.

Monday: 2.8 miles easy with a few high schoolers at running club. Felt good to jog after a couple days off.

Tuesday: 4 miles moderate solo following "Dan's loop". Getting the HR down to near normal levels while running (171 avg) which is a good sign. The first few runs were reading very high despite the efforts feeling easy to moderate.

Wednesday: Taking the day off. Hitting up the Sox game with Lauren and our friends Brad and Cass. The forecast couldn't be better, and Porcello is pitching!

Thursday: 4.3 miles on the trails and a few roads around Ballardvale. The cooler temps definitely made running more comfortable.

Friday: 60 minutes on the spin bike at the YMCA. HR avg 150. Felt good! Fatigued the last 10 minutes or so. Felt like real aerobic work without aggravating the knee at all. Progress!

Saturday: Walked around Amesbury with dad shooting some disc golf. Played my best game of the season (69) for the Pines. Lauren and my dad tied (lauren got an 18 pt handicap since she can't drive as far)

Sunday: Off. Worked a table at the Alex Fresce meet at NAHS. Gave away 300 flyers for the running camp Amanda and I put together. Evening bash with the Italian in-laws in southern MA.