Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Workout Wednesday

Solo mid-week workout: 3.5 up / 25 minutes to Spring Grove Cemetery. Looking for inspiration for a workout and found it in DD and Verrington; Dan told me the wide perimeter of the loop was about 100' short of a mile, and I was feeling like something longer.

So I did 4 loops on 2 minutes recovery.  I measured the loop on the pedometer and it came out to .95. Worked gradually into the first one. Splits were:  4:59 (5:14), 4:45 (5:00), 4:43 (4:57), 4:40 (4:54); Actual (Pace Conversion).

2 minutes standing rest had me pretty much ready to roll for the next one. There was a single longish hill right around 800m in, but the gradual downhill towards the finish was awesome. I'll have to do more work there this Fall. Great workout!

3.5 / 25 minutes down. 11 miles on the day!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Monday and Tuesday

Monday: 8 miles / 58 minutes at Winnekenni after school. Starving by 20 minutes in so I turned it around early and called it a day! Good recovery run.

 Tuesday: 14 miles / 95 minutes around Andover. Tired from work but felt better as the run went on. Hills or something fun like that tomorrow!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Sunday-funday: Marathon workout #1!

Alarm was set for 5:15 to run in Raymond, NH for 6:45. But the train goes by, blowing it's horn at 4:30 and I'm up and getting an early breakfast!

Arrive at Pat Ard's place around 6:20. Brandon rolls in at 6:30, and by 6:45 we're on the road. I basically followed Brandon's lead since he has a lot more experience at the Marathon. The recipe called for 2 miles up, 10 at "general aerobic pace" and then 8 miles at sub-goal Marathon pace.

Ard warmed up with us, but with some tightness going on with his Achilles, he made a good call and worked more gradually into his long run of 14+.

The 10 mile segment was smooth, as we traveled west on the old dirt railroad bed right off Main St, Raymond. Our first split was around 6:20 and then down pretty quickly to sub 6:10. Hit 10 miles around 61 minutes, grabbed the water we stashed and jogged another half mile to avoid a low culvert we needed to pass. The pace was solid but I felt really smooth and it was good to catch up with B, so the miles ticked by pretty effortlessly.

Then straight into the important portion of the workout. Mile 1 right at 5:30, most of it on dirt. Mile 2 again right on 5:30 but moving uphill, now on roads and following a really hilly loop. Mile 3 climbed a bit and then began to roll. we hit 3 miles around 5:25 followed by a really steep uphill that just absolutely crushed me. It hadn't occurred to me that the challenge to this run was not bonking!

 I didn't want to bag the workout or mess with Brandon's rhythm so I ducked out for a 20 second pitty party/attempt to recover from the hill and the miles. Slammed a gel and then back into it. Kept Brandon in sight, but I knew 5:30 or faster was no longer in the cards. I tried to relax my upper body, work the hills with consistent small strides and then open up on the longer, gradual downhills. This worked relatively well and I kept the effort sub 5:50 although I swear I was seeing stars if I allowed myself to lose focus at all. At 7 miles of total of hard running I called it a day and listened to my body by slowing to about 8 minutes pace and began my cooldown. Met Brandon about a mile down the road, jogged to where we threw our bottles and headed back to Pat's place.

Pat was already enjoying his Sunday, showered up and hanging on the couch. He had a great run, moving pretty darn quick overall and just shy of 15. I was satisfied with the effort, but pretty darn zapped. An hour later I was just plain HURTING. My stomach was a mess. Despite pounding fluids, my eyes were so glossy it hurt to move them around. I devoured a turkey sandwich, about $5 bucks worth of grapes graciously offered by Pat, some awesome OJ (extra pulp!) and got to the store in time to veg out in the car for about 20 minutes before my final regular shift. 6 hours on my feet and then home to relax. I'm really glad the guys at the store cancelled the store bball tourney scheduled for the evening!!

It's good to have this effort in the books as I hope it will build my strength and toughness for the marathon distance. It occurred to me for the second time this year that I was only a few miles shy of the full distance at a much quicker pace than my debut last year. Cape Cod is finally feeling more like a reality than just a far-off goal. 9 weeks to go!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Training: 8/20 - 8/26

Monday: 80 minutes / 12 miles steady, right hammy tight!
Tuesday: 7 miles... Stomach bug Monday night into Tuesday morning... blegh. 57 minutes around 10pm, feeling empty. Hamstring less tight though... silver lining! Next time I'll be smarter and just take the zero.
Wednesday: 67 minutes / 10 miles with 6 barefoot strides. Right Achilles tight. Hamstring non-issue.
Thursday am: 62 minutes / 9 miles on trails in Haverhill.
Thursday pm: 61 minutes / 9 miles on trails in Andover solo! Felt better than the morning. Achilles still there but less so.
Friday: 67 minutes / 10 miles, mostly roads with a loop in the sanctuary.
Saturday: 60 minutes / 9 miles steady. Big marathon workout planned for tomorrow morning!
Sunday: 2:17:11 / 21.75 miles with Brandon Newbould and Pat Ard. First 2 warmup, then 10 at 6:10 pace, then 3 miles at 5:30 and 4 miles at 5:45 pace. 2++ cooldown. Bonked pretty hard in the last 4 miles and had to seriously adjust pace. A couple serious hills made it challenging to keep rhythm, which is good since Cape Cod is similarly hilly in the later miles. Tough but good workout.

Total: 87 miles on the week. That might be the highest I've seen in over a year. Good things!!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Training 8/13 - 8/19

Monday: 55 minutes / 8 miles easy with Brent on Mines Falls trails after going very long yesterday. Good run!
Tuesday: 11 miles with workout. The crew was Brandon, Pat, Jose and Alex. Same workout as last week but we got a little faster. 3+ miles up, 800, 1000, 1200, 1000, 800 in 2:25, 3:01, 3:32, 2:57, 2:19, 4.5 down Felt stronger than last week. Had some good laughs on the warmup/cooldown. Things are moving in a good direction for the Fall!
Wednesday: 78 minutes / 11++ miles at Maudslay solo. Felt good and ran easy.
Thursday: off. Out of work, exhausted. Time to rest!
Friday: 73 minutes / 10++ with Matt in Andover before work. Felt good!
Saturday: 21 miles with 17.5 at 5:30 pace broken up over three relay legs in Vermont. Amazing experience!
Sunday: 48 minutes / 6 miles, very very easy at 7am. Ice bathed at a sweet swimming hole after a good breakfast. Then drove home. SORE.

Total: 68 miles on 6 days with two major recovery runs, one workout, and one fun day of relay racing. Had a very good day at the relay and now I'm in recovery mode. Might have to amend the workout for Tueday, but we'll see.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

100 on 100 Relay

Several friends and I teamed up for the 6 man relay through the heart of Vermont this past weekend. The race began at the Von Trapp family lodge and followed route 100 over Killington, finishing at Okemo Mountain. Each runner had 3 legs of varying distances. I was our 5th runner, so I ran the 5th, 11th and 17th legs totaling 17.5 miles. The team finished 6th overall with an average pace of 6:27 per mile. Since there is so much to say about the event, most of which I haven't fully processed yet, let me just say it was an awesome time with an incredible group of people. We ran under the Sisu Project name as my good friend Matt Germain orchestrated the event and majority of the runners wear the Sisu banner. Here's a breakdown of my legs:

Leg 5: 5.3 miles rolling in 28:40. Our team started with the last wave consisting of a couple Hello Kitty teams, Saint Lawrence Alums and one or two other groups. As luck would have it, my team handed off to me at exactly the same time as Hello Kitty's B team came through, so I ran stride for stride with a pretty strong guy for the first couple miles. He also is training for a Fall marathon and coaches a D3 program somewhere in Vermont. Although we were chatting it up, each of us took turns pulling at the front. I got a little rattled on a long incline where he started to pull away, but I turned it on for the following descent and caught him for the flat into the transition area. 5 miles split at 27:08. A little quick I dare say! I was feeling the heat since it was already mid-day, but I relaxed in the van hydrated and ate and soon enough I felt alright. Hips were tight! I elevated at one of the transition areas later on.  

Leg 11: 7.3 in 40:45. By now, there were minutes of separation between the top teams and we really didn't know where we stood. At the same time, we were beginning to catch lots of runners who started in earlier waves. It was more relaxing to see their positive attitudes compared with the earlier legs where it was only us a few other competitive groups. That said, Sisu had last year's race to compare this year's times with. I think we were a tad behind last year when my leg started. It was a rolling road, net even, and completely exposed to the 3 o'clock sun. I got COOKED on this run. As I write this my lips are burning and my forhead will be glowing at work tomorrow. I put in a really hard effort. I took splits at each mile marker. Out fast, or so I thought, then super slow for the second, slow for the third... then a really fast split for 4th and I knew the markers were nearly worthless. I realized that the markers were conveniently placed after each guardrail, and not in the breakdown lane, so they weren't entirely accurate. Splits: 5:23, 6:20, 6:16, 4:57, 5:19, 6:10, 5:09, xx. Everyone I passed was really encouraging, except for a few groups who jokingly shouted "slow down, it's a long day!". I think they were kidding, anyway! I was really pumped with my leg and we put the team back ahead of last year's pace.

Leg 17: 5.0 in 26:55. I have to admit, after watching our masters runner rock a 1000' climb to the Killington auto road, and then watching Matt climb another 600' over 4 miles at 6:15 pace, I was pretty fired up to bring home my final, 50' downhill leg in fast. I hydrated like crazy with Nuun (which I now swear by), a large Gatorade, and 40 oz of water. By the time my leg came around it was really dark. Race organizers required I wear a reflective vest, a rear safety blinker, and a headlamp, so I geared up and jogged a few minutes. Most of my teammates were finished with their work and were losing it, including flash dance parties with other team cars, shirts off, beating chests, primal screams, you name it.  It was awesome. The cool air had rolled in and I took off: 5:30, 5:28, 5:15, 5:47 (hill), 4:54 (downhill!). 

So...1:36:20 for 17.5 miles comes out to 5:30 pace overall. Originally I had said 5:40 pace was the goal and 5:30 would mean I had a really good day. More importantly, I had a blast getting away for the weekend. we stayed in the Okemo Village, ran Sunday morning, and swam/ice bathed at nearby gorge. Vermont is a really beautiful area, almost a different world compared to the business of Massachusetts. And the friendships I've made and people I met made the experience one to remember. Hopefully I'll be coming back next year! Now, back to work!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Tuesday Night Workout

This Tuesday evening I teamed up with my brother and several Whirlaway guys for a workout at Phillips Andover. Newbould, Fullerton and Ortiz were in the mix. We warmed up with a loop in the Phillips Sanctuary, a few strides, flats on, shirts off, and we were ready to roll.

I was feeling a tad flat from the 22++ mile run on Sunday. Alex and I had gotten lost, climbed a lot, and were both feeling it in the quads. The workout was the same as last week: 800, 1000, 1200, 1000, 800 on 2-2:30 rest. I was tired, but to my relief, I felt stronger than last week. We went 2:25, 3:01, 3:32, 2:57, 2:19. Leads were exchanged almost every 400. For the last 800, Dave challenged us not to run any faster than 2:18 and no slower than 2:22, and the group finished 5 abreast all together.

The miles and the workouts are definitely paying off. This kind of pace would have been impossible for me a mere 6 weeks ago. But to feel as in control and aerobically comfortable (for a speed session!) as I did is really motivating. As I continue to build up for the marathon, I'd like to see these workouts increase in volume up to 5 miles or so, but otherwise stay at a similar pace. With injuries and various life circumstances, the Open team found itself in a rebuilding year for the most part. That said, I'm feeling good about our chances for Kerouac and we'll have at least a few guys rolling at the Cape.

Enjoying each daily run. It's all a process and I think I've found the patience needed to steadily improve my fitness all the way through the Fall. It's a good vibe on Tuesday nights; hope to see more guys out there for the workouts in the coming weeks!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Training 8/6 - 8/12

Monday: 78 minutes / 11++ miles at Maudslay solo. Finished with 4x30 seconds hard on the roads. Felt great this morning and the cool breeze helped.
Tuesday: 10.5 miles with workout: 800, 1000, 1200, 1000, 800:  2:25, 3:00, 3:36, 3:01, 2:19 on varying rest (1:50-2:50). Felt awesome! Jose, Pat and I alternated leads. Slow cooldown.
Wednesday 2pm: 99:44 / 15.2 (6:34 pace) with Alex on the roads. Pretty hilly run. Hot as hell. I thought I could handle high 80s at mid-day but I was cramping by 80 minutes. Jumped in a lake to cool off and it helped a bit, but man I was beat.
Thursday 9am: 62:40 / 9 miles with Alex and Matt. Good steady run. Felt a lot better than yesterday. Super humid for early morning, I looked like I had jumped in a lake.
Friday: Off, staggeringly tired from dawn to dusk. Needed the day.
Saturday: 60' / 8 miles easy with Brent out in Hudson. Explored Benson Park and did 3 loops of the perimeter. Hilly.
Sunday: 2:29 / 22.75 miles with Alex. This was quite a run.  3 nasty climbs on the outskirts of Keene, Roxbury, and Marlborough, one of which was 700'+ over 2.5 miles. Honestly, we got a bit lost towards the end which turned the 20-miler into more than that. Felt decent the whole way, hydrated 3 times and luckily brought along an extra Gu. Getting there...

Overall: 79 miles on 6 days. That's huge for me and a major confidence booster for training for the marathon. I'm thrilled, actually, with the workout, the medium-long and long runs and bagging miles the rest of the days. That day off was key. I could almost instantly feel the strength I gained by allowing my body to rest. Relay race in 6 days. I'll see what I'm up for during Tuesday's workout and steady mileage through to Saturday. Next Sunday likely easy or off.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Catching up! 7/30 - 8/05

Monday am: 25 min / 3 mi shakeout on trails
Monday pm: 6 with Brent in N Andover.
Tuesday: 14 with Yankee 10 in 57:00
Wednesday: 61:30 / 8.5 mi with Steve easy recovery.
Thursday: 62 minutes / 9 miles solo on trails. Good second recovery day.
Friday am: 28 minutes / 4 mi morning shakeout!
Friday pm: 67:30 / 10 mi with Jose and Matt St. Germain. It's warm outside.
Saturday 6pm: 75:51 / 12 mi with Jose on Andover roads. Good progression run, 6:22 average. Last 5 under 6:00
Sunday 3pm: 68 minutes / 10 miles solo in the hot hot heat. A little sore from yesterday. Barely beat out the thunderstorms!

Total 76.5 on the week.

A week I'm happy with! This week I focused on each training run and it's purpose, keeping recovery in mind, but not sacrificing a training day either. I'm trying to stay with the recovery doubles, but sometimes it's hard because once I get out there in the morning I start having fun and want to run farther. Some good runs with Steve and Jose. Each of us has a goal race for this Fall. The more we can get together I think the greater our individual races might be. A couple friends have asked, but no Cigna 5k for me this year. I have to work. But I'll be running a relay in VT called the 100 on 100 the weekend of August 18. My legs are 5.3, 7.5 and 5.2. Should be good work for the Marathon buildup! Also hoping to run the UNH Friends 5k XC race in early September. Ready for the Fall weather to arrive, too...

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Yankee 10 Miler

Out of work nice and early to get up to Newburyport before the serious traffic rolled in. Grabbed my number and suddenly realized how big this race actually is. It was my first time running the Yankee Homecoming 10 and I was pumped to see a lot of familiar faces. It felt like Carver part II. The team made this race a bit of a focus this year since there is so much money in the form of team prizes. Given the lackluster year for the open team, my primary goal was to help score the team some dough. I figured about 57 minutes would be a solid effort and get the job done. The quads were a tad tired during warmup, but I also felt good and was excited that the weather was pretty darn nice for a mid-summer race.

Out quick with a big group including the lead female runner. Paul Hammond and I worked together through about 5 miles where I opened up a small gap and began battling with some guy named Nick. He and I exchanged lead at least 30 times over the next 4 miles or so. Then he dropped me really hard and ended up kicking to catch a few guys out ahead of us. I saw Matt Germain up ahead and tried to reign him in around mile 7. Soon after I realized my form had gotten really bad and I really started suffering. Ended up slowing up a bit until about the last mile where I was just straining to see the finish line.

Right around 1200m to go, Al Bernier came flying by me on my right. I tried to tuck in on him but he was moving really well and I just gradually lost ground to him. Al catches a group of guys just ahead of us and suddenly the pack in front of me veers right and into the school. The whole time I had been straining to see the finish clock down the road it was actually much closer than I thought. I started kicking hard and finished a few seconds back of the group.

This was definitely a solid effort and has me looking forward to the next long effort as I build up to the Cape. The team did well as a whole, taking first in a number of categories. The men's Open team is currently listed as third place, but it remains to be seen how the score plays out since the officials missed teammate Steve Dowsett.

1: 5:25
2: 5:33
3: 5:47
4: 5:40
5: 5:35
6: 5:56 hill
7: 5:47
8: 5:55 cramp
9: 5:47
10: 5:30


Looking forward to a good week of base miles!