Thursday, June 28, 2012

Holy Cannoli, it's almost July! Training 6/25 - 7/1

Monday: 6 miles pretty slow and hilly after a big mile weekend. 5x20 pushups, 6x30 sit-up variations, high knees, butt kicks, A-skip, B-skip, 6x100 meter strides. Overall a low energy day but not a poor effort day by any means!
Tuesday: 12 miles; 3 up in the Phillips Sancuary, light stretching, and several strides to elevate the heart rate, then into the workout. 800, 1200, 1600, 1200, 800 on 400m recovery jog and ~15 seconds standing rest; 2:25, 3:40, 4:49 (Ouch!), 3:49, 2:29. Jose, Brandon, Steve and I rolled together for most of it. Out fast leading that 1600 through 800 in 2:23. It was fun to run fast and a nice 4 mile cool down helped clear most of the junk from my legs. Hydrated with lots of water and one Harpoon IPA. Feeling Gooood.
Wednesday: 14 total; 6 am: Up at 5:10 to coach the 6am marathoners. There early so I started running laps in pedestrian clothes, ended up clocking 4 miles and 4x20 pushups. Nice shakeout.
Wednesday 2 pm: 10 miles / 73 minutes Steve came by and  we hit up the Ward reservation. Nice run! 
Thursday: 12.5 easy / 84 minutes + 12 minute shakeout for 14 on the day. Nice loop around Haggets Pond and back home via 133, 28 and downtown Andover. Looking forward to a big weekend!!
Friday am: 9 miles / 64 minutes pretty hilly but felt really good out there this morning. 
Saturday 7:30am: 12 miles, casual 5k warm up in Plaistow. Another 5k with 2x5' a tempo pace, 5:35, 5:27,  cruising 6:30s inbetween. Another mile with strides for good measure. 5k at Plaistow Old Home Days in 16:29, 2nd behind Matt Germain with Natahn Huppe trailing just behind. Solid effort, warm but not crazy humid or hot. 2 mile cooldown and headed out quick to get to work on time. 9 hours at the store and home in time for the trials coverage. Great day, had some unexpected visitors at work and a solid reviemeeting with the boss.
Sunday am: 10 miles steady in Haverhill with a good crew composed of Ortiz, Mallard, Alliette and St. Germain!

Good week overall! Looking for another one just like it. Making the move to daily posts, too!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Training 6/18 - 6/24

Monday: 11 miles / 75 minutes by night with none other than Sir Mallard hailing from Pelham, NH. Eased into it and felt great! Doctor's appointment tomorrow morning.
Tuesday: 9 miles, 2 up, 5x1600 HARD, 2 down. 15 minute active core session afterwards. 
Wednesday: 9.5 miles / 65 minutes of awesomeness around Holt and Boston Hills. Beat the heat by starting at 7:30am. Tired and satisfied by the end! 4x25 push ups. 
Thursday: No run. I was in a low-speed car accident on my way to a group run. Nobody hurt, except for my poor Subaru... the other guy didn't even have a scratch!
Friday: 9 miles easy except for when the dear flies started biting. I forgot how much I loathe those suckers. 
Saturday am: 10 miles / 61:02 on the Yankee 10 course in Newburyport with Steve. 2.5 up, 5 mile tempo 27:40, 2.5 down. Felt good out there. Never too sure about pace since we were using the course's mile markers, yet somehow our first mile came in at 4:5x. Google's pedometer utility confirmed the total distance to be accurate, though!
Saturday pm: 5 easy with Dad and old friend Brent after BBQing all afternoon. Felt good to shake out!
Blood test results are in except for the Lyme's stuff which I knew could take a bit longer. All my levels are basically good. Good Cholesterol super high, bad Cholesterol very low. My Hematacrit is 43.8, RBCs 4.54. No Fe reported. I'm within the normal ranges but on the lower side. I wish I knew more about how endurance athletes compare to the normal population and what our ideal levels are. Maybe a topic to research more... Anyway, I'm really excited to be feeling better and have a clean bill of health!
Sunday: 15 miles / 1:48 after work. 62 minutes of it with Alliette. Positively cooked by the end of the run. Felt great until the last 10 minutes where I good ol' fashioned bonked. 

Total: 68.5 miles on 6 days. Oof... I got a little excited over the weekend, but it feels good to have an awesome week of running under the belt. Lots to do this week but I'll be looking to get a similar number of miles on 7 days instead of 6. 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Training week 6/11 - 6/17

Monday: 0, off. Licking my wounds and resting like it's my job... 
Tuesday: 9 easy road loop with a 3 mile run plugged in the middle with the Whirlaway guys for their warmup. Sill tired, but slept A LOT. Laur and I are working towards removing processed foods from our diet. Salads galore, whole grains, limited simple sugars. 
Wednesday: 9 miles / 64 minutes in Maudslay with new teammate Steve Dowsett. Steve has a cycling background and it was cool to get his perspective on running since he is relatively new to the scene. Felt good towards the end. Still getting lots of sleep. Feels like I may have turned a corner. Meals were so healthy and green it almost made me sick. 
Thursday: 9 miles with a solid 5k in the middle, 16:14. Flat route, worked with Steve for most of it. Certainly not expecting a turnaround so quickly, but I'll take it! I'll be watching this one closely. Happy Flag Day!
Friday: 4 miles easy in the morning. Checked out some trails that turned out to be dead ends. Oh well!
Saturday: 9  miles, 60 minutes cruising right along. 
Sunday 7am: 16 miles / 1:45 with Matt Germain in Reading, North Reading, Peabody and Wakefield. Felt pretty good all around this morning after a solid night's sleep. A little quick towards the end but nothing crazy. 

Total: 56 miles on 6 days and one of those as basically a shakeout. One good 5k effort and one long run. Almost looks like a complete week and feeling so much better than a mere 7 days ago! Keeping a positive attitude and taking care of the nutrition and rest has made a huge impact. Looking forward and up with Carver in mind. I think adding some more local 5ks for some fun and to get the competitive juices flowing will be a smart next step. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Newton 10k

Well, you won't see me in the results because I didn't finish this race. Home late Saturday night from my Nana's memorial service, I was feeling optimistic about competing well despite having a pretty crummy week (running and otherwise). I'd had a few solid workouts in the weeks preceding the event, and I knew I was far more ready to roll compared to the 12k a few weeks ago where I basically ran hard for the first time in a while as an experiment and had closed really hard over the last 1.5. I was thinking that if I could finish well after a cautious start to the 12k that I'd have a 10k in the bag.

I guess I was ignoring a few physical signs that I wasn't ready to roll, though. The lymph nodes on the left side of my body, i.e. head, neck, jaw, and armpit were all blown up and swollen. I hadn't been sleeping well and I was pretty groggy all around. Anyway, my race prep went relatively smoothly, although lots of teammates were running around in a panic since the parking around the school where the race started was less than ideal. 

The gun sounded and I got out to a pretty decent 5:18 start. Not slow and not fast. Perfect. I wasn't breathing too hard but I felt that lactic acid burn far too soon, almost like I was racing a 5k and not a 10k. I tried not to get too nervous despite getting passed in droves beginning soon after the mile mark. Mentally I kind of freaked out and tried to compose myself with a shorter stride and focusing on adopting a rhythm similar to the guys around me. No split at 2 miles but by this point I was STRUGGLING in a way that begged for a premature end to the run. The 2nd mile generally climbed but didn't have anything super tough in it to make me feel so shitty. I made it to about 2.5 where my entire upper body went numb and the my left arm, shoulder and neck area began to pulsate/throb. This on top of running backwards and suddenly struggling to get a full breathe led me to turn off hard left where the race turned right. Failure...

There was a family with kids standing on the corner and more kids riding bicycles up the street so I held in the profanity building up inside and I laid under a tree for a few minutes trying to compose myself. Self doubt immediately injected into my psyche forcing the questions "Do I jump back in and see if I can get moving again?" and "Did I completely just flake out, and if so, why?". But soon after reality set in that I just wasn't physically or mentally prepared to go Sunday morning. I ****ing hate dropping out of races. It happens altogether too often. Had this been anything other than a GP, I'm positive I would have just slept in and taken care of myself rather than try to race. I'm looking at this race as a learning experience rather than a huge black spot on my already spotty year running. 

Some major takeaways: 1) Don't show up to races you're not ready to run. Duh. That one should have already been obvious, but this is a good reminder. 2) Have fun out there even if a race is going to shit, regardless of the reasons. I wasn't having fun. Not a minute of that run was fun and that's probably mostly mental since my heart was back with my family in Southwestern CT. I didn't want to leave the night before, and I really only did so because Lauren had to work Sunday morning, so why not give the 10k a shot, right? Wrong. My heart wasn't in the race at all. And 3) I need to listen to my body more. I know that in running we can't always feel 100% and feeling crappy doesn't necessarily mean you shouldn't run/race. I used to believe the crappier I felt in warmup or the day leading up to a race, the better I would feel as the race played out. Now I have a greater respect for taking care of business in the week leading up to a major effort. My long awaited doctor's appointment is for July 19 and I'm going to push for every test that seems practical: Lyme's, mono, iron levels, etc. Although my calf and hamstring have been feeling better and better, I still want to get some hard answers about what might or might not be going on with that insertion point behind the knee. Hopefully I can see a sports medicine doctor soon. 

Since the race I've had some generous time off of work to get myself back into a healthy condition. I slept 11 hours Sunday night, 13 hours Monday night, and 10 hours Tuesday night. Hasn't been great sleep but the point is my body has definitely been running on fumes and the sleep is already helping me feel more balanced.  My buddy Matt shared this video with me on the lymphatic system: The doctor is sort of a naturalist and has a history in triathlon, and places a minimal emphasis on western medicine, which I'm into. He provides a list of foods that promote lymphatic drainage, so I've been eating the best I have in a while and my lymph nodes have been slowly but surely draining. Positive steps forward are all I'm interested in now. The workouts and miles will come along in time. 

Following a friend's advice, I'm not going to completely shut down the running but I'll definitely be stepping back and listening to my body a whole lot more. Praying for good news following Tuesday's doctor's visit. Anyway, if you read through this entire entry, thank you for listening and your support. New England is a really special place because the running community really helps pick you up when you're down. I'm looking forward to getting out there and seeing everybody again with higher spirits and a better outlook. Meanwhile I'll make an effort to post more regularly. Thanks again,


Sunday, June 3, 2012

5/28 - 6/3

Monday: 10.2 easy, feeling good towards the end.
Tuesday: 10 hard, 6x800m, 2:24 average with Jose Ortiz. Humid. Crazy weather west of us. Psyched about the effort!
Wednesday: 7 easy, 50 minutes easy on trails and roads with the all-too-rarely seen Ben Jenkins. Spotted Dunham and Verrington by Phillips.
Thursday: 10.5 steady with Tim Mallard on Pelham roads. 6:35s the whole way. Tight hammy but otherwise feeling smooth.
Friday: 11.5 hard, ran and hiked the Tripyramids with a few guys from the UNH crew. Uninspiring views from the top, but sweet climbing up the north peak along an avalanche slide, and HARD running on technical terrain back to the car.
Saturday: 0 day off to allow my legs to adapt and recuperate.
Sunday: 23 steady - Tour de Andover with Mallard on a combination of roads and trails. Hit Tewksbury, Andover, N Andover and Wilmington town lines, including 8 reservations. Also hit the two highest points in Andover. Felt strong late in the run. Pizza and brews to celebrate after.

72 miles, one speedier session, one really solid run/hike (with packs), and a great long run on Sunday. Very busy week coming up at Whirlaway coming up with the tent sale and the 10k on Sunday, so rest and consistent yet conservative work will be the focus!