Thursday, February 28, 2013

Thursday, 2/28, Progression

10.2 / 63:20 -- Home late and out the door quickly. Ran in shorts with tall compression socks because the calves have been beat since the 10 miler. Wasn't sure how I'd feel so I headed out Rattlesnake Road for a change of scenery and got into it after a few miles. Holt into Wildwood and Summer to downtown. Back Central and a slight add on. Developed into a nice progression run.

6:50, 6:35, 6:31, 6:25, 6:20, 6:10, 5:56, 6:00, 5:53, 5:50, +

Felt awesome. Hit some good hills in there and kept the pace solid. Easier tomorrow and long on Saturday. Here's to March and the promises of Spring!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Wednesday Easy

5 Miles on the dreadmill at the gym, 33:48. Felt pretty darn easy, but man the treadmill is boring. Core; push-ups, sets of two different sit-up variations, flutter kicks, 1 minute plank sets left arm, right arm.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Tuesday Steady

10 miles on the dot, 64:40 on Andover roads. Couldn't help myself, felt good and just went with it. Coached a session at Andover High afterward.

Monday Recovery

9.5 / 67 minutes. I headed out after a long day back at work for a shake out. Wasn't feeling too bad at all, but was intentional about not letting the pace exceed 7:00s. Then it did. But only on a couple downhill miles so the effort was probably fine. Rolled out for a while at home and and whipped up a recovery meal of sweet potato burgers with kale, chick peas and other delicious things with a side Zucchini fries. Sounds healthy, but with the amount of cheese I threw on there it was just right. 

Monday, February 25, 2013

Jones 10

This Sunday marked my third visit in four years to the Jones Group 10 Mile race in Amherst, MA. I rolled westward with Kevin and Jose through a mixture of rain and snowfall, but there was minimal precipitation when we arrived around 11:30. We arrived a tad early for a change and it was exciting to see strong runners arriving in droves from all over northern New England. Clearly the forecast of potentially a foot of snow hadn't phased the grittiest of runners in the area.

I warmed up with most of the Whirlaway Open Team members and was excessively warm wearing two layers. Returning to the school, I decided to shed my base layer and opted to wear only a singlet and shorts. This ended up being a monumental mistake. Making my way outside to do some last-minute warming up, I saw it had begun to rain. I was chilly, but figured I'd be fine. What I hadn't counted on was consistent rain and heavy wet snowfall in combination with steady wind over much of the course. By mile 2 I was freezing and I was mad at myself for the rookie mistake! Oh well, nothing to do but move forward as best I could.

Newbould and I had planned to attack the race conservatively and move hard once over the big hills in miles 3 and 4. I got through 4 miles intact, maybe 5-7 seconds back from Newbould, but my form had basically fallen apart. My chest and arms were completely numb and I was hunched forward and over-striding. From a performance standpoint, it really hurt me that I couldn't feel anything and finding a good rhythm seemed impossible. I trudged on and eventually got going, but mile 5 was easily my weakest mile on the day. During mile 5 the classic side-stitch set in hard I was slowly getting dropped by the guys ahead of me. Approaching the downhill miles in 6 and 7, I was looking to move up and to try to help Brandon who was falling off his group and we were only a mere 10 or so seconds apart. Trying to forge the gap with the stitch in my side made things worse. I struggled to get a full breath and swore to myself as I reached up under my rib cage to try to force the thing out.

Later on I got passed by one guy moving well (Nick Cooper) and I clung onto him as I felt the presence of another runner who I later learned to be Greg Hammett. There was a short little hill and I refused to give ground, charging the hill with shorter strides and a shallow but fast breathing pattern... and, eureka! Sweet relief that my race wasn't going to fall apart as the stitch subsided. I got into a good groove soon after and gave chase to the guy who had passed me (Nick Cooper). The final hills late in miles 9 and basically all of 10 were facing me and I gritted my teeth and caught Nick but couldn't pass. He and I pressed on and caught Girma who had fallen away from Brandon and the three of us entered the final loop around the parking lot. They were in a dogfight kicking towards home and I finished in tow a few seconds back. Glad to be done and with a new PR of 54:32, I cheered teammates and friends as they came in towards the finish. Tons of great performances and the usual jokes and congrats characterizing the NE road race scene were exchanged.

I cooled down with Kevin, Brandon, Jose, Blake, Ferenc, MacKnight and a few others. MacKnight ran a killer race, by the way. It was crazy the way he went out conservatively (with me at the mile) and gobbled up every runner but two over the remaining 9 miles. Team Whirlaway had a solid showing all around. The Open Team narrowly missed third place. I won't forget the guys who ran away from me mid-race. I also won't forget the potential in our 3,4,5,6,7 runners as several of them are just getting back into serious training. Optimistic about our chances as a team at future races.

My sense is the recovery from this effort won't be nearly as long as the period after Boston Prep... I'm not really sore Monday morning as I write this. My only concern is it's painful to breathe deeply and the area where I had the stitch is sore to the touch. Easy running, stretching, and core work through Wednesday and I'll reevaluate from there.

First time I've worn a watch for this race. Garmin came out to 54:12 at 10, 54:36 for 10.08. Looking at the splits below, I have a feeling mile 9 was not quite a 5:16 considering that a man at mile 8 yelled 43:20, meaning that I ran 11:12 for the last 2 miles according to the official clock. Garmin had me at 10:49 for the last 2 which seems unlikely. Splits here:


Sunday, February 24, 2013

Sunday Race

Jones 10 miler was early this afternoon. 54:32 for a new PR at the distance. Report to come, but just have to say it was awesome catching up and seeing so many familiar faces in the running world. Wishing everybody the best with their training, whether it's New Bedford, Boston, or whatever.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Thursday, Friday, Saturday


5 miles easy, drills and strides after.


Planned day off.


7 miles easy with drills and strides.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Wednesday tune-up

8 AM: Met up with Matt Germain this morning for a tune-up workout on Andover roads (where else?). We warmed up 3 miles, 7:14, 6:37, 6:26. 10 x 1 minute on, 1 minute off. I was looking to basically stride out hard and maintain form throughout. We were running the on-portions at 4:35-4:50 pace and very easy on the recoveries. Cooled down back home for 10 miles in 66 minutes. Felt good. Some tightness in the left quad I'll aim to get rid of by Sunday. Speaking of which, weather Sunday looks awful, not so much for running as for driving to Amherst in the midst of a snowstorm.

6 PM: 4 miles at varying paces while coaching a few brave souls working out at the N. Andover Common.

14 on the day. Time to rest and prepare...

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Tuesday, 2/19 Progression Run

9 miles / 55:30 - Snuck out for a run before rush hour and didn't have much in mind other than to get into a good groove and try to hit about 60 minutes. Ran around Andover. The course generally climbed for 2 miles (13:44), another mile at 6:17 and down to 6:04, 5:50, 5:48, 6:05, 5:53, 5:49. Raining, a little windy, felt the pizza I had for lunch but it wasn't too bad. Good run!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Sunday Workout! Monday Easy

Sunday Workout: 

Warmed up 3 miles, 7:12, 6:38, 6:25. Plan was to run 5:10-5:15 for 5 miles. I was so psyched for this workout I was nervous the day before. After realizing I missed the Bradford Valentines race I almost skipped the effort, but after the fact I'm so glad I went for it.

Went 5:12, 5:10, 5:07, 5:12, 5:05 for 25:46 for 5 miles. Fastest 5 miler I've run in years, actually. Sore on Monday, but otherwise not wasted from the effort.

2 miles down for 10 total.


9:30 AM: 4 x bench press, 12x95lbs, 12x115, 12x125, 10x135. 3x12 reps of military press, 50, 60, 70 lbs. 3x12 lat pull downs, 115, 125, 140. 3x12 of 40 lb triceps pull-downs. 7 minutes of planks, alternating left, right and double arm.

12:30 PM: 7.2 in 49:50 with Mallard in Pelham. Great run. Feeling nice and recovered. Windy.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Saturday: ~10 Mile progression run.

9.8 miles / 57 minutes. 5:50/mile average on Andover Roads. Felt amazing from the start today so I locked into a good gear early and just cruised. Pretty pumped for Jones in a week from tomorrow!

Friday, 2/15

Vacation week started at 3:15 this afternoon! I met up with Tim Mallard who's back in town from a stint in DC. Low-energy run after a long week, so it was great to have the company. We headed out with loose plans and ended up going 10.9 miles in 76 minutes. This was good for me because the quads have been tighter than usual. Back home, stretched, and jumped into 10 minutes of right arm, left arm and double arm planks on no rest. Killed it. 90 push-ups and 30 pull-ups later and called it a day.

I messed up though. I thought the Bradford 5 miler was rescheduled for Sunday and not Saturday. Ooh well, looks like I'll be going hard solo on Sunday... unless someone wants to join for a workout?

Friday, February 15, 2013


Home from school to sneak in a run quickly before working a short shift at the store. I wasn't 6 minutes into my run when I ran into the likes of DD and DV. I joined them on a really confusing jaunt around the neighborhoods of Balardvale and elsewhere. 50 minutes later I was back to my apartment and almost late for work. Good run!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Wednesday, 2/13

60 minutes easy, roughly 8 miles total in North Andover.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Workout Tuesday

Back to school and the kids are already screaming for vacation. It was a busy day but if flew by and before I knew it, I was staring at the Jones 10 fewer than 2 weeks away. Time to work out again for a change!

I warmed up 3 miles, 7:15, 6:38, 6:29. Stretched briefly, hit the john, and then straight into 5 x Mile @ 5:12 with 1/4 mile recovery at 6:40 pace (1:35-1:45).  I hit 6 miles in 32:52 and felt awesome. Cooled down 2 for 10.5 on the day.

Now off to some coaching at Andover High.

Monday, February 11, 2013


School was cancelled... and man I did not see that coming! Met up with Alliette and we cruised 10.3 easy on Andover roads. A little sketchy out there with narrow lanes a bit of traffic, but luckily we got out there after the bulk of rush hour had passed. Protein shake, banana and straight to the gym to meet up with Greg. This is my future brother-in-law and he's a beast on the court and in the weight room, standing at 6'4" 205 lbs. It feels a little odd trading sets and spotting for him, but he's great company and has definitely improved my knowledge for how to lift effectively. I did 4x12 sets of bench press at 95, 105, 115 and 135. 4x12 sets of military press at 70 lbs, 4x12 sets of triceps extensions at 40-50lbs and 4x115lbs lat pull-downs. Finished up with another 3.7 moving down to 6:20 pace on the treadmill for 14 total on the day. Workout tomorrow must happen. Picturing 6 x mile at 5:15 on 2 minutes recovery.

Sunday, February 10, 2013


9 miles / 61 minutes easy on sloppy roads. I was so sore from shoveling yesterday I held off the gym session for tomorrow. Even my abs are sore! Resting HR is below 40 for the first time in a while. Must be getting fit! Now if only I could find the will to resist the enormous batch of cookies from the other night... there are only 2 left! 2 weeks of Spartan focus leading up to Jones should have me primed for a shot at sub-54.

Saturday, February 9, 2013


Snowshoeing the Skuj River Trail this morning was difficult to say the least. Snowdrifts up to my waist and average depth just above the knee while trying to run had me exhausted almost instantly. I was anaerobic within minutes, and ended up powerhiking 35 minutes out and turning around. It was nice to be able to run almost the entire way back following my tracks. The scenery was beautiful and it was refreshing not to hear the constant traffic that usually sounds in the distance. Back home and it was 2 and 1/2 hours of shoveling clearing our cars and then helping a few neighbors out.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Friday: Back on it

Trail run around 6 PM from the apartment. I think most runners I know prefer to hit the roads early before a storm strikes, but I have fun being out there in the thick of it. Hit the trails for 65 minutes of sliding around. Back home to stretch. La and I whipped up a batch of butterscotch oatmeal cookies.

While they were baking I did a quick core session of 3 by:

40 sit-ups,
30 push-ups,
30s side planks,
10 pull ups.

Last 10 pull ups were a struggle, but I got it done with decent form. Good and tired afterward. Looking forward to a sweet snowshoe run tomorrow!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday

Not much to report...

Tuesday was off. Spent the day at the hospital for a procedure (not mine) and simply didn't have the opportunity to get out.

Wednesday was 'better than nothing'. I ran about 5 miles while coaching with several stretches of sub 6:00 pace thrown in there. I don't like to run while coaching but when the option is to move around a bit or freeze, I choose the former! Great session for several athletes.

Thursday was off again. Feeling zapped and run down plus an unexpectedly long work day. No sense in slogging on a full stomach after dinner It's all good, though. I'll be on my game for this weekend's snow festivities... picturing lots of slow snowshoeing and maybe a treadmill workout if the gym has power!

Definitely not a winning mentality. But, I'll be getting after it again soon enough.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Sunday and Monday


Hectic day with church, trying to get work done before superbowl festivities plus spending time with our godson at his birthday party. Knee was aching from the moment I got up so I called off the run and got in a solid lift session instead. Feeling strong. 3 sets of: 15x25 lb curls, 12x100 lb lat pull-downs, 12x60 lb military press, 3x30 push-ups, 12x40 lb triceps extensions.

Monday: 8.5 miles at 6:02 average. Warmed up over 2 miles (13:25) steadily climbing and then clobbered the remaining 6.5. Probably ran too hard, but it felt so good to be recovered from Boston Prep and back in action. Last 2.5 miles at 5:35s over rolling hills. 

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Friday and Saturday


First real run back. Wasn't sure how it would go, but pretty quickly below 6:30s and kept it there. Felt awesome. No issues with the hamstring. 9 miles / 60 minutes


Slow run this afternoon. Had an allergic reaction last night that really had me feeling fried today. Still got in 65 minutes of running on trails. 

Friday, February 1, 2013


This appears to be a week of mediocrity (or recovery)! I jogged for 30 minutes on trails from the apartment. Turned around after 15 because the hamstring was very tight, but no longer sore. When I got home I rolled out for about 10 minutes, then slammed out 3 sets of: 25 push-ups, 50 sit-ups, and 10 pull-ups on about 30 seconds rest.

I anticipate I'll have a real run after work on Friday. I'm aiming for 70 minutes on the reservation trails connecting Ward and Harold Parker. Should be awesome! Glycogen levels are definitely back to normal and I'm feeling ready to start rolling again.