Thursday, January 27, 2011

Week 2: 1/24 - 1/30

M: Snowshoe recovery day: 7
T: Easy double: 5.3 am, 4.5 pm
W: Tempo (4.45 miles at 5:37) 12 total
R: Recovery: 8.5 on the roads with Ben
F: Recovery take II: 7.5 on the roads with Joe
S: Sidehiller ~4.5 mile snowshoe race. 10th overall, 35:27. 12 total
S: Long run solo: 14

Total: 69.3*

Notes: *I laugh because there used to be a time when if I saw this, I would run out the door to get the extra .7 miles. This was another solid week for me. I felt a little tired on Thursday and Friday. I wasn't sleeping well and work got considerably more busy than it has been. The tempo workout gave me some confidence for the weekend's race, but I really didn't know what I was in for. I ran hard for about 3.5, fell on my face and lost contact with the runners ahead of me, and essentially tried to close as respectably as possible. Snowshoe racing is a whole different animal compared to the roads, but I can see the appeal. I'll probably be back for next weekend's Exeter race!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

1/26 - Workout Wednesday

Goal: 5xmile at 5:10-5:15 with 90 seconds rest.

Actual: 4.45 mile tempo on Bay Road at 5:37. 12 total on the day.

Notes: Ran 1.8 looking for Wes around the fieldhouse. Ended up running with Wes in Newmarket after somewhat of a fiasco involving dead car batteries, baby care, and miscommunication. We warmed up 1.1, and then we tempoed out to the Jackson's Lab turnoaround and went steady back. We went 5:37 pace for the 4.45 out tempo on the hills which was awesome, especially for the headlamps, snowfall, slushy roads, and surprising lack of traffic. The most precarious part of the run was the downhills where a misstep could have sent one of us flying. We tacked on a .1 loop for 9 miles of total good effort, averaging 6:09 pace. Not bad for an evening run! I was happy to get out there since at one point it looked like we might bag the workout and save it for another day.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Week 1: 1/17 - 1/23

M: 14 mi (1:25)
T: 7 mi snowshoe (1:05)
W: 10 mi (4 mi Tempo)
R: Off
F: 7 mi snowshoe (1:04)
S: 5.5 am (NT) / 5.5 pm (37:30)
S: 10 am ( 5+ mi fartlek) / 6 pm (49:30)

Total: 65 miles on 6 days with 2 days of snowshoe, 2 workout days, and one decently long run. The focus right now is consistency and I'm getting there.

1/23 - Morning Fartlek

Goal: 6 x 3 min on, 2 off at half-marathon goal pace.

Actual: 6 x 3 min on, 2 off at half-marathon goal pace.


This was a fun workout. I basically stole the idea from my brother who had done something similar this summer. The ons were supposed to be at half-marathon goal race pace and the offs were intended to be at normal run pace. Now, I don't own one of those fancy shmancy garmin GPS devices, and I have yet to set up any mile markers in Amesbury, so basically all of my pacing is done by feel. Later on I'll use landmarks and gmaps pedometer to get a general idea of the pace. That being said, the workout went well and I averaged ~5:40 pace for the 30 minute effort. Warmed up 3ish, down 2.5ish.

As a side note, Bob Wiles, Brandon Newbold and I swung down to the GBTC invite and watched some exciting races. It was great to reconnect with some old faces as well as to meet a bunch of CMSers (and Whirlawayers) for the first time. Seeing people ripping around Harvard reminded me how much I miss the boards. It would be cool to return to them next winter.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Workout Wednesday

Goal: 4 mile tempo @ 5:30 per mile, 22:00

Actual: 4 mile tempo @ 5:25 per mile, 21:41

Notes: Originally I planned to work out with Wes Dinnan but plans got a bit complicated so I ended up running solo from home in Amesbury. I plotted out a 4 mile stretch which falls in the middle of my favorite 10-miler and set out into the rain and slush. I was trying to be courteous to traffic and run on the sidewalks until about 3 min into the run I totally hit the deck on some ice. I landed on my right knee but I bounced right up and didn't notice any discomfort beyond maybe a little bruising. I stopped 18 minutes in and stretched my calves and hamstrings (the two muscle groups which tend to be the tightest) for about a minute and then headed into the tempo. The course is basically rolling with a few small ups and downs. I felt good and didn't think to look at my watch until 19 minutes in. I jogged it home really slowly since by that point my clothes and shoes weighed probably 8 lbs. Total time for 10 was 65:10. Tomorrow I take the MTEL (5 hour literacy exam for teaching in Mass). Looking forward to the run afterward.

A Return...

What have I been doing the past 9 months since my last post? Where to start... well, I made the classic mistake of attempting to run through a developing injury in late April. The pain was severe post-run but during the runs I could run without limping. With a little iburpofen and a stubborn mindset, I made the ambitious decision to race a 5k in Concord and after running to win the race, the following day my entire calf was swollen to the point that I could hardly walk. Most likely due to my negligence, the injury in my calf and knee was serious and had me limping for about two months.

During those two months I completed the first year of my grad program and made the best of the remaining weeks with my friends at UNH. Many members of "the brotherhood" graduated and are now living very different lives compared to last Spring. Despite my injury woes, it was good to focus on enjoying my last real month of college life.

The injury plagued me to a lesser degree but was still present throughout the summer. I worked for a general contractor in Portsmouth for the first half of the summer in an effort to earn some money before my wedding in July. I was exhausted and the physical work prolonged the lingering tenderness and irritation behind my knee. I recall my knee giving out a few times when I was carrying heavy building materials. I hated the work, but I was most dissatisfied with the feeling that my injury was never going to leave me. I talked frequently about seeing a specialist but inexplicably I never picked up the phone to call. I think perhaps I was too wrapped up in the idea of getting married which was clearly my primary interest at the time.

Finally, the wedding came and it was a wonderful day. This might be cheesey or cliche, but it was seriously one of the best days of my life. Looking around during the reception, I saw so many people I loved. My only regret for that day is not everyone I care about could attend. But, c'est la vie.

I coached for Merrimack Valley Striders youth program all summer, too. This was a fun way to connect with kids and parents and stay involved in the sport which I had somewhat forsaken due to my ailments. Coaching also served as my motivator to really solve the injury problem once and for all. I bought a Scott Addict R4 roadbike with modified parts and began an intense cycling program to build up muscle in and around my quad and calf. To an extent the cycling had a positive impact! It was sweet relief to at least be getting consistent exercise once again.

The fall cross country season started up for many runners and I was assistant coaching at Oyster River High School in Durham. I was forunate to walk onto a team that was well prepared with summer volume and a motivated bunch of kids. I began running with the team on an infrequent basis while continuing to cycle as time permitted. By the end of the cross country season, I was running workouts with Gubby and Jack who were in fantastic shape, and I was feeling pretty good about my fitness despite only running about 20 miles a week. Clearly I had no base, but at least I was on my way to returning to running. All the while, my calf and knee still lingered but to a manageable degree, thanks to the cycling which had balanced out my weak right quad muscles.

All this to say I have somewhat succesfully returned to running. To date, I have had 5 full weeks of training at 65 miles a week on 5-6 days on singles. The injury which plagued me the past 9 months has pretty much subsided. I think there is some scar tissue which occassionally reminds me to stretch. I don't take any pain medication and haven't had to ice since the fall. I am incredibly excited to be joining Central Mass Striders for the upcoming road racing season. The team has so many talented and hard working guys whom I have met over the years. It will be awesome to toe the line with them and push myself to new limits in the coming months. My primary goal this new year is to be healthy. I would also like to PR at distances 5k and above. With a good base from college running, smart decision making and an awesome community of local runners, I don't see why this can't be the best year for me yet.