Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Tuesday, 9/30

56 minutes / 6.5 miles very easy running on soft surfaces... It was really good to run again

Tuesday, 9/23 - Monday, 9/30

Tuesday - 1 mile jog, core, mobility

Wednesday - 0 off

Thursday - 0 off - exhausted from a 4am wake-up for dad's surgery. Tried to run with Alex Hall in the evening and made it less than a mile. Hamstring is still catching.

Friday - 0 off - didn't test the hamstring. Feeling better.

Saturday - 2:30 bike ride, tour du Mt. Monadnock. Marlborough-->Jaffery-->Peterborough-->Hancock-->Harrisville-->Dublin-->Marlborough. 17.5 mph. Hilly! Amazing views!

Sunday - 2 mile jog at night. Woof.

Monday - 90 minute triathlete-focused strength class at Breakaway.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Monday, 9/22

Off - No run today as I begin a week of rehab for my hamstring.

I attended a triathlon-focused strength class my friend Sharon teaches and learned a whole lot about how weak I am in the process. It was about 60 minutes of circuit work sandwiched by 30 minutes of warm-up, balancing, and mobility work. It felt like a good workout and I'm expecting to be sore tomorrow!!

No issues with the hamstring. I had to modify a number of the exercises and skip out on some of them entirely.

Saturday - Sunday, 9/20-21

Saturday: Off. Hobbled up. Very sore, unable to fully extend right leg!

Sunday: Off. Hobbling, but less pronounced. Hamstring still barks when fully extended while walking.

I'm surprised it's this bad.

Looking over the last few weeks of training, there has been a lot of fast running followed by a lot of small lay-offs, resulting in minimal fitness gain. Hamstrings have been the root of most issues for me so it's time I really make those a priority if I want to have a good winter!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Friday, 9/19

63:30 / 7.2 mi - met up with Ritchie Spitsberg after work for an easy cruise in the woods. Ankle held up fine, but I realized soon into the yog that playing 90 minutes of capture the flag with 8th graders earlier in the afternoon was a bad move. My bicep femoris was pretty sore down by where it connects at the knee. I'm not training "smart" lately. Time to right the ship!! - and rest the hamstring for a day or two.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Thursday, 9/18

10.15 / 70:39 easy morning cruise with Matt Germain. We took our time shaking out the cobwebs over the first few miles and fell into a nice groove for the last bit. Always nice to get a nice morning cruise in and especially so on a day forecast in the 80s.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Workout Wednesday

3 miles up in 20:50

8x400 on 1" rest in 74, 70, 70, 71, 70, 70, 70, 70

3 miles down in 25:xx with a young runner I coach.

Good first workout... Felt like I was pressing more than I normally would have to for 70+ but the previous 5 days have included considerably more work than I'm accustomed to, so I'm happy with the effort.

Thinking about racing some 8k cross country next weekend at Franklin. A lot will depend on the timing of my dad's next surgery slated conditionally for next Thursday.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


10.1 mi / 65:34 out and back over rolling roads in North Andover before coaching. Nice weather for a cruise.

Monday, September 15, 2014


12.28 / 75:24 - 6:09 per mile - good run with an up-and-coming Gordon College runner at Monday's practice. I had a hard time hanging with him with a fast early pace but eventually I adjusted and had fun talking with him about goals and the NH XC scene past and present. Last few miles we pressed but in control and conversation flowed throughout.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Friday-Sunday, 9/12-9/14


Steady 10 miles from the apartment after work. It was beautiful weather for a run.


At dusk I sneaked out for 11 miles of serious hills from my dad's home in Marlborough, NH. 1250 ft of climbing in the first 8 miles, followed by a very steep descent back to the house. Good, hard run! Strava data here.

Sunday: 6.5 mi / 50 minutes easy with a few reasonably groomed trails to see how my ankle would respond. No problems. Pretty beat from all of the travel and events of the weekend.

No Lone Gull 10k for me today. Sometimes there are just bigger, more important priorities. This weekend I cooked several meals for my dad to have over the week and cleaned up after the place since he's pretty much immobile due to the pins and rods holding his lower leg intact. The timing of everything was unfortunate since I really would have enjoyed racing on such an awesome day, and racing for my team means a lot to me. I'm not sure I would have even scored now that I've looked over the results. It was a fast day! There is only one race left in the GP series; it's a marathon, and I intend to race it.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Tuesday - Thursday, 9/9-11

Off, Off, and 65 slow trudging minutes. Better than nothing!

Monday, September 8, 2014


Good day overall, despite no running. Caught up with the coaches at Gordon and led the runners through core after their maintenance run. Normally would have run with them but I had this Shrek leg preventing me from doing much of anything. I was stung behind the knee and the swelling is pretty bad where the hamstring and calf insert. This is the best comparison shot I could take without help.

My dad (broken leg) is doing well all-considering. He might even be able to go home for a few days before the next operation.

Not a good month, so far, for the McGrath clan!!


On Saturday night my dad broke his leg while running with his dog. I drove to Cheshire Medical Center only to find he had been transferred to Dartmouth for surgery. I crashed at his place before packing up some of his belongings and heading there in the morning, only to be stung in the leg by a wasp when I was getting in the car. Call it karma, or sympathy pain. Call it whatever! My dad won't run for months... I won't be able to run for a few days.

Normally a sting wouldn't be notable but each year I appear to be growing more sensitive despite not being totally allergic. It got me behind the knee and by evening my knee had basically swelled to the point that I had trouble moving it. I took Sunday off and now it's just a waiting game to see when it will clear up. Last time I had a sting like this I was hospitalized due to swelling in my foot. I'm guessing it won't come to that this time around, but to say the least it's inconvenient not to be training with Lone Gull only days away.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Thursday - Saturday, 9/4-6


3 miles with the Gordon XC team. Slight roll of the ankle on some more technical than ideal terrain. Very sore.


Off - resting the dang ankle. It was foolish of me to think I could be alright in the woods. Won't make that mistake again... lots of road running in my future.


9 miles / 64 minutes with Matt Germain. We got an 8am start and that was nowhere near early enough to avoid the heat and humidity.

Good quick core session afterward; 9 minutes of planks, 5x25 push ups, 3 sets of 1 minute abs (jack-hammers, bicycles). Sweating buckets.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Wednesday, 9/3

63:30 / 10 mi on treadmill. Ankle felt okay. The swelling has gone down and now I can see some bruising, but it was stable enough to run on a totally neutral surface; hence the treadmill. Progression from 6:50 down to 6:00 pace.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Saturday - Tuesday 8/30-9/2

Saturday: 4.5 mi shakeout with A. Hall around 6:30-6:45 pace depending on whose GPS you trust.

Sunday: 13.5 mi with 15k race.

Monday: 8 miles / 64 minutes with a really crappy ankle roll.

Tuesday: Off - Resting ankle. Swollen.

Monday, September 1, 2014

GMAA Labor Day 15k

I crashed at the apartment of long time friend, Alex Hall, in Hanover the night prior to the GMAA 15k race. The race served as one of the remaining New England Grand Prix races, which always adds a bit more importance, so we all hit the hay early to try and be rested for the 9am start. The drive to the race went smoothly and I was glad to get moving for a warm up after picking up my bib. We ran to the start and back to the school before jogging to the start again for about 22 minutes of warm up. Eventually I met up with the Whirlaway crew and I could see many of the guys had their game faces on. Ruben especially appeared hyper-focused. I followed suit and hoped to support the team with the #5 position if all went well during the race. The weather was less than ideal; light rain, very high humidity and a steady wind would make for some strategic decisions during the race. I had the loose plan of getting out well but not too aggressive and taking the race one mile at a time.

The race started on time and we were off on a net downhill 5k start. The wind made things interesting and pretty early on we saw a very long double-file train of runners cruising along looking pretty effortless. I felt slightly bad for the taller guys who were getting used for their exceptional draft potential. Around 2 miles I decided that unfortunately the pace of the group I was in had become too hot and I needed to back off or face implosion. I backed off to 5:33 for mile 3 and soon found myself getting swarmed by racers moving up. Mile 4 included a couple decent hills and I expected it to be a slow one. It was. But on the backside the hills I managed to hold pace with those around me. Miles 5-7 were probably the worst for me. I was passed pretty regularly and each time I would try to dig down and find a slightly better rhythm to no avail.

Finally into the latter part of mile 7 I started to get excited for the shallow downhill of the final miles. Finally the last big hill came into view and it was a relief to see it wasn't nearly as steep as rumored. After cresting the hill early in mile 8 I was able to start reeling in runners ahead of me and I finally stopped getting passed. Some guys were coming back while others were still getting away from me. I passed a few guys in mile 9 and made a really hard push up the final hill and into the parking lot for a solid finish. I was a little disappointed not to catch a couple of guys who were coming back to me until I ran out of real estate. Mile 9 was a 5:12 and the final .4 was at a similar pace including a good uphill into the parking lot. Finishing time was 52:02 for 30th place overall in the men's Open division.

I'm pleasantly surprised at holding up strong enough to finish well here in Burlington. I knew that 15k would really be stretching my fitness and I am happy with the decision to back off after the two quick early miles. Amazingly I negative-split the race and the humidity didn't melt my brain like I thought it might be doing in the midst of a particularly brutal mile 6. More importantly, I was able to hang on to my #5 position on the team and help us secure the win in the men's open division!! By our math, we have (unofficially) tied WMDP for 1st in the GP series with only two events left. I have less than 2 weeks to be prepared for 10k and I'm hopeful to make a run at the Manchester Marathon in early November to cap off the year.

After the race, Lauren, Alex, Fiona and I headed into Burlington for lunch, enjoyed a couple good Vermont brews, and some shopping around before heading home. My mission to return home with a VT Heady Topper was not to be.

Garmin data here
Results here