3++ miles up with Jose Ortiz and Ben Pare indoors around the track. While jogging I saw Pat Rich, Chris Mahoney, and a few other guys who I expected to see during the race. Jose, Ben and I all entered the 3000m with a seed time of 9:05 basically guaranteeing that we'd have the opportunity to work together during the race if practical.
I was more nervous to race today than usual. I hadn't run an indoor track race since 2008 and any time I had raced at BU it was high pressure and the competition was intense, usually at meets like Valentine's Invite or the Terrier Classic. I was eager to get started and I felt kind of awkward and lethargic each time I went to do a stride or practice some drills which I haven't done enough of in practice. The old routine is returning, but it's not familiar yet.
Eventually the organizers came out and gave us our heats. I was in the second heat where seed times ranged from 8:55 to 9:25. There were at least 21 people in the heat and I was #10 so I figured at least 9 runners would be mixing it up early on, and probably more. The gun fired and finally we were off. I let the runners go off the line so I could safely fall in toe and wait for the madness as the runners 12-21 fell in after the first turn. Thankfully they weren't vying for lane 1 and I had a clean start in about 4th-6th place through the first lap. We were a tad slower than I would have expected, even through 400 which tends to be a second or two quick. By the kilometer which read 3:01, I felt the pace lagging ever so slightly and Ben, whose shoulder I had been riding, and I moved together into the lead positions.
I had spent the first kilometer in lane 2 and I felt like putting some work in so I went to the lead and clicked off a bunch of 35s, bringing us through the mile in 4:46-7. At 2000m in 5:55-6, Ben resumed the lead and I didn't fight him for it. I tried to stay connected with him which got me to about 2400m before he put his head down and charged away for the eventual win. Losing contact with Ben, I tried to stay composed and push for home but there wasn't a lot there. I haven't done any work below race pace and now I was trying to run laps faster than I have in practice while fatigued, and it just wasn't going to happen. The 67-68s 400m speed-strength combo isn't there right now. With about 300 to go I got passed by Craig McMahon who clearly had that extra gear! I finished 3rd in 8:56, so about 3:00 for the final kilometer. Ben ran about 8:46-7 and Jose ran about 9:05. CMS guys Pat Rich ran 8:52-3 in the fast heat and Chris Mahoney finished just behind Jose in a close kick. Some of the masters guys had entertaining battles and I was pumped for Dave Dunham who ducked in well under 10:00. After the 3k heats I ran 5 miles steady around Fenway and back up Comm Ave to make it a solid 10.5+ on the day.
I'm glad to have race #1 out of the way. Every race after this will be a little more familiar and hopefully less stressful. Whirlaway has a team entering the 4xMile next weekend which should be really fun. I love team relays and especially ones on the track.
13 mi / 86 minutes - Met up with Jose Ortiz and Ben Pare for a nice cruise around Andover after rush hour. Discussion gravitated toward the 2015 USATF-NE Grand Prix race series. To me the most controversial event is the Vermont City Marathon which runs on Memorial Day because so many New Englanders already planned to race Boston a month earlier. However, I have a personal score to settle at Vermont since I DNFed last year and I'm itching to get back and see what those final miles look like in 2015. I'll enjoy the added competitive team race environment the race will have this year.
Recovery run - 6 mi / 46 minutes - slowest run in a while! Absorb the work! Snow started sticking right around the time I got out there and it was cool to watch the landscape's appearance transform in a matter of minutes.
10 mi / 64:20 - With the lovely weather we're having I hit the treadmill at Planet Fitness in Andover. It's annoying to me that the treadmills lock down at 60 minutes there. First of all, I specifically asked if they stopped at 60 minutes and was guaranteed they didn't. Fool me once...
But, the treadmill doesn't kick you off; it has a mandatory cooldown which is predetermined to be about 12 minute/mile pace. Stupid. If the programming was intelligent (i.e. based on a percentage of the pace of your workout) I guess I wouldn't mind a nudge to slow down and ease out of a run... but it forces you to practically walk. If you adjust it to increase the speed a bit, it almost immediately resumes the unnaturally slow pace without warning. So Instead I hit the emergency 'stop' button, wait 10 seconds, and start up running at regular speed again. Fooled you, PF!
Stretched, 2 sets of (30 sit ups, 30 push-ups, 3" planks) and I was out of there. Later that evening I celebrated Gordon College's growth as a program with Pat Rich and his squad. It was a good time and I was grateful to take home a big plate of BBQ as leftovers.
Workout! With the mini-meet no longer scheduled for the 13th I changed up the plan to more of a strength workout; longer intervals, shorter rest. 3 miles up in 19:50. I targeted 6-8x800 on 400m recovery. This too was on a treadmill at PF and I rolled .5 mi on at 5:00/mi and .25 at 6:31/mi recovery for 7 repetitions. This got me to exactly 5 mi in 27:14 and I called it quits there. Good workout. Very similar to the stuff I was doing last winter. There is something enabling about the treadmill as all of the variables are isolated and static unless you want to change them. I focused on form the whole time and felt controlled. During the last interval I thought the afternoon coffee I enjoyed might be coming back which added to the cause of 7 intervals instead of 8. I'm sure the ladies immediately to my left appreciated my decision there...
10.1 / 68:50 - Well, it's a new week and I felt pretty good out there tonight... Not much to say other than I wish I could find my headlamp! Running during rush hour is the pits with a light and without it.. let's say I was able to stay away from cars but it was pretty treacherous jumping into the mysterious black abyss of the roadside every few minutes.
The plan for the week is to run easily tomorrow, ladder workout Wednesday: 2k at tempo followed by 200-300-400-600-600-400-300-200 on equal rest for 3k of work, then a couple easier days before racing 3000m and maybe the mile on Saturday and wrapping up with ~15 miles on Sunday. I should probably dust off the spikes on Wednesday.,, literally.
5++ miles / 40ish minutes with a GPS malfunction it's hard to know, but anyway I took it easy today as the increased workout is catching up with me a bit. After the run my R knee and R hip were oddly achy. I stretched, rolled out, and did some strengthening stuff which didn't aggravate the area.
Planned day off - absorb all of the good work and rest the IT-band area!
10 miles / 65:10 first 5 around 7:00 pace last 5 around 6:00-6:10. High energy run despite cold symptoms. IT-band area better, I'd give it 90%.
Sunday: Mill Cities Relay
With the wind howling and the rain that fell on Andover last night I awoke imagining nightmarish ice covering the roads of the local mill towns. Fortunately though, that wasn't the case at all and the day proved a good one for (nearly) winter racing.
I had leg 1 for the first time and our team of 20-something-year-old Whirlaway guys convened at the Claddagh in Lawrence for a 6:30 departure. Once we arrived in Nashua at the race start I got right into prep mode and was glad to have Pat Ard representing the 30-39 year old division to warm up with. Pretty soon it was go-time and we lined up for 5.4 mi of fun...
Jim Pawlicki, an out-of-shape Ryan Gough, and dozens of familiar faces took off on the gradual downhill start. I was immediately gapped by a young guy repping a Pelham HS singlet. He looked strong and I figured I'd be seeing a lot of him for the remaining miles. I was right. And there was an even bigger, stronger looking guy fully geared up and taking charge after about 1/2 mi in. He would gap us and then grow his lead to something like 60 seconds or maybe even more. It was pretty impressive. The Pelham kid and I traded leads a few times but he was definitely a front runner and eventually I relinquished my claim to the lead and ran immediately in tow to our exchange at the vocational school off 3a. I had run 28:35 for 5.4 mi / 5:17 per mile. The hot pace in the beginning (5:01 at the mile) definitely had me reeling and I think had I been a tad more conservative I might have had a bit more for the gradual downhill portions in miles 4 and 5, where I really stunk it up.
WRT Open team was second to the studs from Tufts who lead almost every step from the very beginning. Valiant effort by Jose running 5:22 pace for the longest leg (9.5ish) on the day and Steve Dowsett closed it out for us with a couple of teams in hot pursuit. It was fun to catch up with so many people and get a good hard effort in the books.
Overall this was a step forward. I have 6 days until I get my butt kicked at BU mini-meet #1. One workout before now and then would probably be smart! I'll try to do something with efforts below 5:00 pace. Meanwhile I'll have to monitor my IT as it's not worse following the relay but it's not 100% cleared up yet. Still operating at 90%. Priority #1: I want to race healthy on Saturday and have a solid long run on Sunday.
10 mi / 67:10 comfortable pace on the treadmill, started around 7:00 pace and progressed down to about 6:30. 9 minutes of planks, 90 push ups, 90 ab variations alternating with no rest which became really difficult toward the end!
Met up with Jose and Ben Pare for a small workout. As we left from Jose's place it immediately began snow/sleeting. By the time we finished our 3 mi warm-up to the track it was covered snow-covered and by the time we got rolling the footing was fine for normal paces but slick for what we planned to do. After a few strides it was go time.
We ran 8 x 400m in 72, 71, 70, 72, 71, 73, 73, 72 on 200m jogging recovery in about 70s. The conditions got considerably worse as the workout played out but we kept a consistent effort and it was definitely nice to have the three of us to trade laps.
Easy 3.35 cooldown for ~9.5 miles on the day. Glad to have the company. Excited for Mill Cities this weekend!
6 miles / 44 minutes - nice and easy recovery jog from the apartment. Felt much better finishing up than when I started. Short core session after; 40 chin-ups, 90 push-ups, 3 minutes of planks, 10 lunges, 2 minutes of ab variations...