Wednesday, January 30, 2013


Hardly worth mentioning, but I ran about 5 miles, all around 7:30-9:00/mile while coaching some runners at the N. Andover Common. Amazing that last week it was below 10 degrees and today we all ran in shorts!

Hamstring was better today. If it feels like its continuing to heal I'll go 60 minutes tomorrow. If it feels worse I'll take 2-3 days completely off.


Outside for a run shortly after work, but turned it around after about 90 seconds. Right hamstring was more sore than yesterday, deep in the center of the muscle a little to the outside. I went home and rolled everything out for about 20 minutes.

Coached an indoor track workout and did roughly a mile of jogging there with some light drills. Felt much better!

Not sure what's in store for Wednesday. Probably no more than 60 minutes easy and that's if all systems are go. Things are feeling way better than Tuesday, so far. I'll have to resist the urge to play touch football with the kids this afternoon.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


Easy recovery run at the gym... 30 minutes, 3.5 miles. Right hammy was tight so I threw on my warmest pair of pants and just slogged. Felt good.

After some stretching I ran through 3 sets of: 12x60 lb military press, 40 situps, 25 pushups, 12x100lb lat pull downs, 15x22.5lb curls, 12x40lb triceps extensions. Probably went a little quick so I wasn't fully recovering from each activity, but I was hungry and just wanted to get home!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Boston Prep 16 Miler

After much deliberation, I finally realized I had no choice but to return to Derry and try to defend my title from last year. I've been feeling really good in workouts and I was pretty confident I could handle the distance well despite only a couple "long" runs since the new year. Got an e-mail Saturday night just before going to bed from the race director. Among other things, he insisted that nobody get arrested for peeing in public, that everybody wear pants during the race, and that we all consider a 2-degree windchill factor as we prepare to race a hilly 16 miles. Sounded like good advice overall.

The next morning I dug through the older running gear (you know, the stuff from 2003 with the holes and brittle elastic that you just can't seem to throw away or donate) and luckily found my wind blocking briefs. Good thing too, because it was NECESSARY. Arrived at the race and it was in the high teens but the wind was whipping. I hung around in the gym and waited for my dad to show up. Chatted with Mahoney about who else might be in it up front, but didn't see anyone. Warmed up with 4 easy laps around the school, testing out my racing gear. It was wicked cold whenever the wind gusted, but otherwise I was comfortable in a single layer upper with a singlet. Inside and downed a gel with about 15 minutes minutes to go. Right as I was getting ready to leave, I saw a team RUN guy, Chris Andrews heading out. At that point I mentally prepared for a battle, since I'm pretty sure Andrews has finished ahead of me in the last 3 or 4 times we've met.

I was uncharacteristically calm though. I jogged to the start, did a few easy strides and prepared to ease into the race as the first mile gradually climbs. A guy in a red jacket took it out and I followed suit. Each time I tried to get onto his shoulder and share the lead, he would surge slightly and make sure I was out of sight behind him. Fine... I could hang back a few seconds and relax. I didn't look back, but I sensed it was quickly becoming a 2 man race and I was a little apprehensive to chase this guy because we were taking it out much faster than last year. Garmin was off the mark as we passed the first mile around 5:44. Next mile was around 5:30 and mile 3 was 5:12 for me and I was getting dropped. Runner in red (I'll call him Jordan now, since I learned his name after the race) had maybe a 7 to 10 second gap on me and now I'm just trying to keep him in sight. Mile 4 was flat and I held the gap (21:58), mile 5 hurt like hell as it climbs a long steady hill. Through 5 miles 1:20 faster than last year.

From this point on I knew it would be a real grind. I tried to relax and let the miles tic by with as little resistance as possible. Through 8 miles in 44:05, 9 miles around 49:35 and the hills began immediately after. I was reeling at this point, and the GU I tried to take was frozen in my hand. I decided to swallow the gel whole since chewing and choking on its congealed form seemed like a negative strategy during an uphill mile. It worked, but my stomach wasn't happy. After a steep section, I made substantial ground on Jordan and just before the 10 mile mark I made the pass. 10 miles in 55:46! Yiiikes. My PR for 10 miles is 55:05 and that's on a net-even course, though not a flat one (Jones 10).

Moving on, I tried to stay composed but I was really hurting through the hills of miles 11 and 12. By the half-marathon (1:14:3x) I was pretty convinced I wouldn't match last year's race time. Mile 14 made me want to quit, as I told a few guys after the race. The wind whipping off the open field to the left froze my face. I couldn't feel my lips or my ears and my body felt like it was shutting down. I knew that as I descended there would be less wind and it was all I could do but count the minutes down.

I never looked back, but I felt like I was crawling. Anybody who ran conservative early on might even steal it. To my relief, there would be no last-minute contenders. I hit the final uphill and took the hard right into the parking lot to see 1:30:38 on the clock as I finished. Pretty sweet finishing time, but more than anything I was just happy to be done. My body was rocked. I couldn't even jog for several minutes without calf cramps. Anyway, I jogged back up the hill to the corner about 2/3 of a mile away to cheer my dad in. He ran great! 2:07 and change for second in his age group overall. He has amazed me with his improvements these past couple years.

Alex called and congratulated me, and I was reminded that his 8:10 3k on Saturday was a whole lot faster than my measly 5:39 pace. Makes me want to run a 3k and see if I can break 8:40! Probably not. I have to be honest and admit I am really excited for the strength I have developed over the past couple months. My training has been anything than glorious, but I've realized that I don't have to log huge miles as long as I'm putting in consistent quality work. I've gone on (and on) about this in past blogs, but I truly believe the core work and lifting makes a substantial difference in my strength. If you're not doing regular core work, maybe try it out.

Next up will be the Jones 10 miler where I'll target 53:xx. That would be a huge PR for me on a challenging course. Thanks to everybody on facebook who has already given me a shout out and motivated me to recover quickly and get back to workouts. The next two days, however, will be mighty slow...

Garmin data here: **Garmin was way off relative to the markers on the course. It shows me stopping a few times, too, which definitely didn't happen.**

Friday, January 25, 2013

Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday

Wednesday: 60 minutes / 8 miles, mostly easy with a few half mile pickups around 5:50 pace just to mix it up. Freezing. Wore 2 layers of pants including the Saucony Siberius and 4 layers of shirts/jackets. Only one pair of gloves which felt like a mistake, but I got through it.

Thursday: Off. I always say family comes first and sometimes a run just isn't in the cards.

Friday: 11 miles / 70 minutes on the "dreadmill" at the gym. So boring! But felt amazing. 6:20 pace is such a breeze lately. Then 3 sets of: bicep curls, lat pull downs, triceps extensions, push ups, pull ups, and military press.

Saturday: 9.7-8 / 67 minutes from BU track with a crew of current and former UNH guys. Great run. A little faster than I would have gone solo, but it was great to have company.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Tuesday Workout!

Last Tuesday I had a strong workout with Newbould, but this week I was solo. I've been feeling good lately and the workouts have been coming together nicely. After Saturday's workout I was feeling ambitious, so tonight I targeted 5 x mile on 2 min running recovery (7-7:30 pace), an old favorite from my UNH days. I didn't make the full five miles of work, but I'm pleased with the results!


I kept recovery at exactly 2 min, and with the running recovery I covered 5 miles in 26:55. I developed a stitch early in mile 4 which led to cutting it short. Gotta keep up with the core work to fix that. But, I can honestly say I haven't run a workout of this caliber so steady and relaxed since I was 22yo... Feels like good things are to come. The key is to not get greedy. 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Sunday, Monday


8 miles / 60 minutes easy in Westford before the AFC championship. Pretty beat from the workout, ran very easy.


8.5 miles / 60 minutes, mostly on trails in North Andover. Feeling better.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Saturday workout

Met up with Jose and Steve in Merrimac for 2 mile repeats on the Toys for Tots course. Originally planned 3-4 x 2 mile at 5:15/mile. Warmed up over the course and then a little extra. Pit stop, one hard stride, lost the jacket and then we were off and rolling. After the second repeat, we were all feeling it pretty good. I went with the crowd and decided just to run one more mile fast and cool it down. Good decision. Right hammy is a little mad at me now and to grind out another few miles might have been a poor decision. That said, felt awesome out there, under control and smooth.

2.5+ up
2 mile: 10:23 (5:15, 5:08), 1/2 mile recovery
2 mile: 10:18 (5:10, 5:08), 1 mile recovery
1 mile: 4:58
2 down

11 total on the day. Rolled out when I got home and feeling good after breakfast at Al's Diner.

Thursday, Friday


Easy 60 minutes on trails at Winnekenni. Didn't realize the trails could be such a mess so shortly after a snowstorm, but they were. Awkward footprints in the snow and runoff from the hillside just made things sloppy. Not a great start to the run as the crummy traction was aggravating my right hamstring. Moved out to the roads and was instantly in a good rhythm and no pain. Lesson learned!

Friday: 40 minutes easy after a 3 hour nap after work. Probably should have taken the day off since a cold has moved to my chest. I'll monitor closely.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


What a gift to have the day off from school to relax and wrap up grading for the semester. I began my day by heading to Matt's place for an easy 60 minutes, but realized that indeed the roads were terrible for driving. Turned around about a mile in and just ran from home. Headed out around 7:30 AM and got first snow all over the Skug River, Indian Ridge, and Haggett's Pond trails. 65 minutes of fun, slipping and sliding around.

Also: 3 sets of: 25 push ups, 40 full sit ups, 3:00 planks, 10 pull ups. Felt great.

6 PM: 5 miles with several MVS runners on a hill session. 1/4 mile hill repeats. I ran 5 of them at an easy-moderate effort, plus short warm up and cooldown.

13 on the day.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Tuesday Workout

Met Newbould at Sanborn Regional HS for a short track workout before coaching later on in the evening. I basically followed along with what Brandon had planned for his last workout before racing 3k up at Dartmouth. The workout called for 2 sets of alternating 4x400 at 70, 4x200 at 42-43. I took reps 1 and 3, Brandon 2 and 4. **To be clear, the 200s were the "recovery" intervals, so the splits below are continuous...**

Set #1: 71, 42, 71, 44, 72, 43, 71, 42 = 7:36 5:03/mile
3 minute recovery lap w/ pit stop.
Set #2: 70, 42, 72, 43, 71, 41, 71, 42 = 7:32 5:01/mile

2 miles down for 10 total.

Feeling really positive about the workout. We were a little slow on the 400s and a little quick on the 200s, but overall I think the training effect was good. I think the core work I've been doing has helped improve my efficiency at faster paces. Looking to do more workouts with limited steady recovery periods like this one.

Ran a little over a mile at the MVS track session later on for 11 on the day. Good stuff!


6.5 in 42:10 from Ballardvale. Sub 7 first mile which is a rarity (it climbs 100 ft too!) but I was sure to keep the effort consistent and just have a nice cruise. Felt great finishing up in a few 6:20s and to bed early for a big Tuesday. Working out with Newbould at Sanborn in the afternoon. 

Oh yeah, and I'm fighting another cold, or it never left, or whatever. At this point I've accepted that this is the nature of teaching and I'm not going to whine about every time I wake up tired with a sore throat. I've trained through worse and I'll just have to be purposeful about getting to bed at a decent hour. The only troubling thing about it is determining whether to push a run or workout when you're fighting something. 

Sunday, January 13, 2013


7:30 AM: Annoyed and frustrated that I missed my alarm to meet up with a couple guys locally to run, so I stewed for a while sipping black coffee and looking at the GP schedule for the year. I decided that I'm really excited for this year's circuit. Definitely had the Jones 10 in mind during the workout yesterday. Eventually got out there for a steady 8. Fell pretty hard on my right knee and hand on a slick turn about halfway through, but bounced up and ran it off. It never pays to brood over something that goes wrong. Anyway, it was a good recovery run, but not the long run I had in mind.

7 PM core: 4x30 pushups, 3x1 min left arm, right arm, and double arm planks (9 min total), 4x30 sit-up variations.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Saturday Tempo

I was bummed to greet such a lousy day when I got up this morning, but by 2:30 I was ready to put in a strong effort. I ran steady for 5 miles and then right into 5 miles at tempo. Dropped by a friend's place for some water and to say hi while jogging the remaining 4.3 home. Splits below... 5 miles in 27:22, first 10 miles around 60 min. Felt good to run fast. Ran in Saucony Cortanas which are really soft, but didn't seem to slow me down much.

Tempo went:


Thursday and Friday

Thursday: 7 miles steady from Whirlaway. Hammered out a quick run before a 3 hour shift at the store. I finished and changed up only to find I wasn't scheduled to work! I thought about heading back out snag a few more miles, but by that point I was ready for dinner.

Friday: off. Had some strange stomach cramping most of the day. Left school early and slept from 1-5 pm. Can't believe I slept so soundly in the middle of the day! Barely to Whirlaway on time for a short shift.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Wednesday, 1/8

5.5 miles / NT - I thought running was out of the question today because my schedule was packed, but luckily I had a small group for the outdoor session I coach at the N. Andover common. I ended up pacing a couple guys through sets of 400 on, 200 off, 200 on, 2" rest. Paces ranged from from 6:30 - 5:15 getting progressively faster. When I got home I did an old ConVal favorite, 10-minute plank set, alternating positions of left-arm, right-arm, and double arm plank every 30 seconds but never resting. When time is limited, it's hard to get a better core workout than that!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013


5:15 AM: 9 miles / 64 min headlamp road run with Joe and Matt from Ballardvale. Kept things nice and easy. It occurred to me that I ran twice before the sun came up... once last night and again this morning. Pretty sure that's a first! Feeling pretty darn good after teaching my first three periods this morning. Gaining momentum...

Monday, January 7, 2013


Monday 6pm: 8 miles / 55 minutes, eased into it, some of it on trails with the headlamp which is a lot of fun in snow. I'm craving some fresh powder so I can get out on the snowshoes. Early morning run tomorrow.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Thursday - Sunday

Thursday: 0 off. Cold is still hanging on. No interest in pushing things and the sudafed and nyquil have my brain in the clouds.
Friday: 10 miles solo / 72 min plus 3x10 pull ups, 5x20 pushups, 5x50 sit-ups, and a few variations of medicine ball exercises.
Saturday: 6 mile treadmill run / 38 min, plus 1hr in the weight room, 5x12 set ladder on bench, 5 set ladder military press, 5 set ladder on traps, 5 set ladder on tricep pull downs.
Sunday: 15 miles with Jose Ortiz from my place. Great run! Mostly easy cruising but we picked it up over the last few. Good amount of hills. Looking for 16-17 next Sunday.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Wednesday 1/2

Off. Still sick. I'm also rocking a strong DNS for 2013... Two days down and zero miles. Normally, I'll try to run through most colds, but with basically every scary virus making appearances at school, I'm not taking any chances at slowing my recovery. I'll try to run Thursday afternoon if my energy is up by the time 5 PM rolls around.

The silver lining here is that getting sick always reminds to return to the basics. Simple and clean diet, more sleep, stronger diligence when it comes to responsibilities, etc... such are the things I need to prioritize when I'm healthy and training!!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Tuesday: Off. Sick. My family has the Noro-virus. While everyone else is losing their guts, I only have harsh cold symptoms. My brother's girlfriend even went to the ER . . . Maybe I'll run after work on Wednesday. Happy New Year!