Sunday, February 16, 2014

Running Log for Week Ending 2/2/14

Monday – 7 easy.  Ran the loop from home on a decent weather day.  Went ahead and ran after Warren suggested I do so and things were ok as long as I kept it easy on the hills.  Strange that hills are the thing that really sets it off.  Went against Warren’s advice and rolled the lower part of my IT band (avoid my hip) which I think helped a ton.

Tuesday AM – 5.9 easy with Dan, Brayden, Frank, and Beardsley on a frigid (15 degree) day on a sheet of ice also known as the Dump Rd.  Got halfway down it and Dan was fed up so we (smartly) turned around.  Surprised how good things felt even though I was running on ice.

Tuesday PM – 6 easy even colder miles (9 degrees) with Warren and Guinness.  Surprised again that things felt better on this run than the earlier one.  Encouraged but it’s still clear I haven’t figured this thing out yet.  Nice to see Warren not struggle.

Wednesday – 8 miles easy, first 6 around the loop with Tunney, last 2 solo on the track roads.  Tunney was sore as hell from his ultimate tournament and I was a bit sorer than I had hoped following yesterday’s double.  Last couple probably weren’t needed leg-wise, but they were good for the head.

Thursday – 7 recovery miles on the Shore Rd with Beardsley.  Showed up to the school and everyone was either sick, injured, or doing something else so I waited around for Beardsley to show up and we went for some easy miles on the Shore Rd.  Conrad joined for the first part and Frank the second.

Friday – 7.3 easy between subbing and work.  Tried a couple different starts but ended up just running the loop from the school.  No motivation so just happy to get something in the books.  Leg hurts…moving on to tomorrow.

Saturday – 7.8 progressive miles with Louie.  Gorgeous day.  Ended up running much faster than I anticipated.  Started out fast and got faster.  6:20/6:21/6:16 last 3 including one up State St.  Fun to do something a bit faster, but the leg just feels dead.  Weird.

Sunday – 13.7 total.  Was supposed to be a long run but after running 8 with Warren and Guiness, I added on some more up by the hospital before my stomach had other ideas.  Immediately turned back towards the Y and made it just in time.  Not the long run I was expecting, but I’ll take it.

Total – 62.8 miles, one semi-workout, one semi-long run, one core workout, and six days of bands.  All in all not a bad week.  Most miles I’ve run in a while but still absent any great deal of quality.  11 weeks left…

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Running Log for Week Ending 1/26/14

Hello again, loyal readers - all 3(.5?)…of you.  I’ve been absent from the blog for a few weeks now, but I refuse to only blog about the good weeks so I’m attempting to write from memory until I’m caught up.  Here we go..

Monday – 6.4 easy after work.  Day off didn’t really do much to help the leg as I didn’t make it to the end of Christian Ridge before it was hurting again.

Tuesday – 9.7 SLOW miles in the dark.  First experiment with a facemask…gotta be honest, not a huge fan.  Could never really get it in a place where I could breathe somewhat normally.  Eventually adjusted, but as of now, I’m definitely not a fan.  Ran the first 5.3 solo then added on 4 more with Warren before calling it a day.  IT band no different than it has been.

Wednesday-Saturday – After talking with Warren, decided that it would be best to take a few days off so that’s exactly what I did.

Sunday – 5 easy on Christian Ridge.  Threw the new Superfeet in and headed out for the first time in 5 days.  Made it two miles before things were painful again.  Not happy.

Total:  21.1 miles, no workouts, no long runs, two core session, and 7 days of bands.  The band work is about the only positive thing I can take from this week.  That and a pissed off mindset to just run through this thing.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Looking Ahead To (the rest of) 2014

I’m a numbers guy.  Always have been, always will be.  That’s part of running’s appeal to me.  There’s no subjectivity when comparing runners – you’re simply faster than the other guy or you’re not.  Sure, there are factors that influence the numbers on any given day but all in all when I tell someone I’m a 2:46 marathoner that’s, exactly what I am: a 2:46 marathoner.  No “well, if I had gone out a little more conservatively” or “well, if I had had someone to race against.”  I try not to play the “what-if” game and instead am typically trying to figure out how to get faster within minutes of finishing a race (with few exceptions…Boston ’13, Tour du Lac ’13).  So, 2014’s numbers…I’ll get to those.

The immediate goal is to get healthy.  My right IT band has been wonky for about a week now.  It feels like the band itself is about 2 inches too short and I can feel myself starting to compensate and consequently other parts that shouldn’t be sore are.  I’m hoping that with new Superfeet in the shoes tomorrow, things will start to turn around.  Had to buy some orange ones instead of my go-to green ones because apparently green, size E Superfeet are the most popular insoles on the face of the earth.  But I digress…I’ve got some green ones coming in the mail so we’ll see.  I am in such a good place mentally as far as the want/hunger to get out the door every day. 

That’s one of my biggest takeaways from 2013.  My daily training mindset has completely shifted from “Oh, will I run today?” to “How far is today’s run going to be?”  Run of the mill 6 mile runs are now 8-10 miles and I love it.  Setting as many PR’s as I did (6 different distances) has left me hungry to shatter those current marks.  That’s right, now break, shatter.  Now about those numbers…

Marathon – Sub-2:40...Why not?  I took over 5 minutes off my PR last year and this would require a mere 7 minute chunk of time.  Actually, now that I write it out like that…screw it, go big or go home.  Provided this IT band cooperates in the near future, I’ll take a crack at this at Boston.  Man, 2:3x:xx is gonna be sweet.

5k – Sub-16:40…Yes, that insanely frustrating 17 number is still out there but if that doesn’t happen in 2014 I’ll hang up my running shoes and retire.  It’s ridiculous that I haven’t broken 17 yet.  100% mental.  So why16:40?  Well, 16:45 would win me a bet with Warren (I got sub-16:45 before he goes sub-18), but 16:40 would put me on the Dirigo radar.  It’d be very cool to get an invite.

There are certainly goals at every distance I’ll race this year, but those are the two main ones.  Without going into detail about every single one, here they are:

3k – 9:21…just to shut Tunney up.
5-miler – Sub-28 (maybe 27:30?)…really just want to beat Mike the “Colby guy” again at NEH.  Won’t let him gap me like he did this past year.
10k – Sub-35
Half-marathon – Sub-1:16:30

Just to show that I am not completely obsessed and consumed by numbers (Ha!  Who am I kidding?) here are a couple non-time related goals for 2014:

Win my Cabot leg…It’s as simple as it sounds.  I loved my first trip to Cabot and was fine with my 2nd place finish on Leg 11 (4+ minutes ahead of The Black Lungs runner).  I don’t think I’ll totally feel like I’ve earned my place on the Maineacs (the friggin Maineacs!) until I win a leg.  Maybe that’s a bit of insecurity on my part, but its certainly a goal for 2014.

3000 miles…In all honesty, I’d be ok with building on the 2500 I ran in 2013, but 3000 is a nice, round number and its really only a mile and half a day more.  Probably won’t get too hung up on this one, but I find a mileage goal is useful during the parts of the year that don’t fall within a marathon cycle.

Some of these may seem ambitious without factoring in my injured IT band, but I guess I just don’t see the point in setting new PR’s in small chunks.  I’ve been blasting my previous years’ times for 5 years now so why not keep it going?  I realize there will come a time that that won’t be realistic, but I’m 25, now is not that time.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Running Log for Week Ending 1/19/14

Monday – 6.4 easy with the indoor kids backwards around the lake.  Took a nice digger going down State St thanks to Brayden.  Finished on the Shore Rd with just Frank.

Tuesday – 14 wet, dark miles in 1:42(nice to get that amount of time on my feet).  Left from home and ran 8 random miles in town then met up with Warren at the Y (worked out perfectly…to the .01 miles!) for the last 6.  Kept things easy and the legs felt great.  Longest run in a while.  Steady rain the whole time was the only thing that put a damper (yep, pun intended) on things.

Wednesday – 7.1 easy with Tunney at lunchtime.  Absolutely gorgeous day.  Kept things simple – the loop + Guptil – a tried a true route.  Right side (IT band) tight from yesterday’s run.

Thursday – 8.1 miles total w/4 miles at 5:41 pace.  Good weather day for a tempo (30’s and cloudy with little wind) so I headed over to the Middle School.  2 mile warmup followed by the tempo (5:37/42/42/40) and a 2 mile cool down.  Right side felt fine during the tempo but really was aggravated during the cool down.  Overall, good with how the tempo went.  Never really felt “fast” today but was never all-out either.  Kind of a weird spot.  First workout of any sort in over 3 weeks though, so I’ll take it and hope to really nail the next one.

Friday – 10.1 in just under 1:13 all over town.  Started at the track, tossed on the headphones, and went all over town.  Saw Eric on the Shore Rd so I stopped and taked with him for a bit.  Hope he gets back at it soon so we can get some miles in.  Finished the last couple miles up on the track with Beardsley and the kids who were warming up for a 16 x 200m workout (yuck).  Right side still tight from Tuesday’s run…

Saturday – 8.3 solo (sort of) at 6:58 pace on the new Rt 180.  Was coming down the Christian Ridge hill and saw Robert Looker coming off of Grant St so I yelled and he eventually slowed down enough for me to catch him.  Ended up running Christian Ridge with him…always nice to have company.  Definitely started out faster than I had planned and as any runner knows, it’s almost impossible to slow down after that.  Was fine going out, but the way back was LONG as my right side went all wonky.  Worst pain I’ve had there all week.  Not good.

Sunday – Off.  Not happy.  Was planning on finishing out a solid week with 18 (was even going to get up early to do it) but knew when I woke up it wasn’t going to happen.  I would have ended up limping in with my IT band the way it is.  Ticked.

Total: 54.1 miles, one solid tempo workout, one semi-long run, two core workouts, and one frigged up IT band.  Also seem to have regressed in terms of what I’m eating lately (8 year olds everywhere would be jealous) but that’s correctable.  Was really looking forward to a good week and 6/7 days were good but ending on a forced off day due to injury really leaves a sour taste in one’s mouth.

**Edit:  Talked to Warren and he suggested taking some time off (not a chance) in addition to doing very little for my IT band.  No foam rolling or stretching.  Plenty of heat, rest (pfft!), and bands.  Getting new Superfeet tomorrow (Wednesday) so that has to help right?

Monday, January 13, 2014

Running Log for Week Ending 1/12/14

Monday – Off.  Played more basketball instead of running.  Only a couple of hours this time.  Decided that basketball is good for two things: ruining running shoes and getting injured.  Right big toe was pretty sore as a result so laying off the hoops for a while.

Tuesday – 6.4 miles around the lake with Brayden (for the first time in a while) and Curts.  Realized about halfway that Beardsley was in HOT pursuit so we picked it up the last 3 so as not to get caught.  Fun to see the old guy getting after it though.

Wednesday – 8.9 easy in the dark after getting home from work.  Popped the headphones in and ignored the 10-degree weather.  Only thing of a note was a run-in with an eye-level branch while turning back onto State St from the Shore Rd.  Bastard got me good…

Thursday – 7.  Out and back on 1A and RF Jordan Rd.  With Dan and Brayden going out, then Dan and I cranked it up on the way back trying to run everyone down.  We did.

Friday – Off.  Lazy.  Didn’t get up in time to run in the morning and got home from work later than I thought.

Saturday – 9.4 out on Newbury Neck with Dan.  The indoor meet got cancelled so we finally got around to checking out the driveway at the end of the road.  Wicked cool spot.  Really warm day (46 degrees) and super windy on the way out.  Had some fun on the way back…6:30/25/05/5:30 (for last 0.4)

Sunday – 9 easy.  First 6 with Warren (he lives!) around the lake very easy then added on 3 more solo before last night’s ice cream had other ideas.  Emergency stop at the Y was followed by a lack of interest in running any farther so I called it a day.  Should have carried on…gorgeous day out.

Total:  40.8 miles, zero workouts, and a very lackadasical diet towards the end of the week.  Not exactly what I was hoping for but tomorrow makes Boston 14 weeks away.  Getting closer…

Monday, January 6, 2014

Running Log for Week Ending 1/5/14

Monday – Total of 8.2 easy…out and back on the Shore Rd with Dan, then ran into the girls doing a 5 x 3 min workout so I hopped in rather than doing hills with the guys.  Roads were terrible.  Added on a couple more solo after running back to the school.  Fun to see a lot of the kids again.

Tuesday AM – Loop around the lake with Louie and Curts then out a bit on the Shore Rd to make it 7.8.  9 degrees.  Roads still terrible.

Tuesday PM – Ran from Tunney’s to the end of Guptil and back via Grant St.  A robust 7 degrees this time.  Needed 8 exactly for 2500 for the year so I turned up State St, ran to the school and back to Tunney’s.  Wound up with 8.7 and crossed another goal off the list. 

Wednesday – 8.5 easy out to the end of Mill Dam Rd and back.  Foolishly waited until later in the day and the temp dropped from 16 to 8 over the course of the run.  Eyeballs frozen by the time I got home.

Thursday – Off.  Stupidly cold.

Friday – Off.  Stupidly cold again.  Wound up playing basketball for 3.5 hours at the Y with the XC kids and Baby Bron Bron (what a tool…).  Legs sore in all kinds of new places…

Saturday – 9.8 easy to the end of the Dump Rd and back.  Warmed up to a balmy 17 degrees though the roads were still trashed.  Not as trashed my legs, though, from basketball.  Not gonna be doing that too often…Threw headphones on for the first time since my early BC days and actually didn’t hate it.  Tough to run and sing at the same time though…

Sunday – Suffered through 12 slippery miles with Tunney.  Weather was gorgeous (30 degrees!) but my legs were still fried from basketball and the roads were snow covered but wet enough to make things awful.  Fell very softly into some powder coming up out of the river area on the way back.  Wanted to stay there.

Total: 55.2 miles, one ridiculously long session of basketball, and zero workouts.  I’ll take it considering there were two days off in there amidst some insanely cold days.  Did well on the band front (5 of 7), but need to start getting back into the core work and workouts.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

2013 Year in Review

After a breakthrough year in 2012, I entered 2013 on quite a high and consequently higher expectations than ever.  I had specific goals for every distance I planned on racing (who doesn’t right?), but I had three major goals for the year:

sub-2:50 marathon
sub-17 5k
2500 miles total.

As Meat Loaf so eloquently put it…2 out of 3 ain’t bad.

The year started out in NYC for a week with Pier and Co. which made for a nice change of running scenery.  Logged my biggest mileage month (at the time): 256 before getting a bit derailed by the annual ski trip to Killington.  Was in a real training groove up until that point but got sick as a result of that(awesome) weekend.  Rebounded nicely in March with a breakout half marathon (1:19:13) and my biggest mileage month ever: 282.  The first, of many, failed attempts at a sub-17 5k in Lamoine at the Flattop.

BOSTON.  Oh boy.  Race of my life.  One of these days I’ll get around to writing an actual race report as I still remember everything about this race.  I set my sights on 2:45 but deep down knew 2:50 was the more reasonable goal.  Never in my life have I had as much fun running as I did on that finishing stretch on Boylston St.  Unbelievable.  Unfortunately, Boston 2013 will never be though of as just a race given the tragic events that unfolded at the finish line that day.  I look forward to April of this year, as a way to demonstrate the unflappable resolve on runners everywhere.

Following Boston, I ripped off a huge (1:14) 10k PR at Orrington.  I then underwent one of the most enjoyable running experiences one can imagine.  Backtrack with me for a second to February…I went on a long run with Rudolph, Louie, Tunney, and Goode.  We didn’t hammer by any means, but it was the first time I’d run with such elite company (yes, Tunney, that includes you) and I was more than able to hang.  A couple of weeks later, I got an email from Goode inviting me to go run for the Maine-iacs at the Cabot Trail Relay.  After realizing this wasn’t a mistake, I quickly accepted and boy am I glad I did.  I was assigned to Leg 11 – a steady 5k climb, followed by a 4-mile decent down a mountain in the dark totaling 1200 feet, capped off by two half mile climbs up what can only be described as wall-like hills.  Unreal.  Ended up coming in 2nd but a bit of the sting was taken out of that finish by knowing I’d beat the Black Lungs guy by 4 minutes.  Cabot.  This thing simply cannot be oversold.

May and June were spent on the track with the high school team…not quite the same feel as XC, but still a blast.  Definitely a different type of running than anything I’d done before.  Now, just missing my major goals list was the Tour du Lac.  The goal was simple: beat Tunney’s 59:50 from 2011.  That was always the race he pointed to when he talked about his best race ever.  It ended up being a time trial rather than a race, but in the end I crossed the line (one second behind Curts, haha) in 59:26.  Boom.  Tunney’s record gone.

The Tour du Lac as it turns out was the high point of my summer racing.  In all, my mileage slipped each month, there were four failed attempts at my 5k goal (one defeat to Beardsley in Bucksport, a horrible effort in Blue Hill, a bit of redemption in Winter Harbor), though I did have a solid race at the Northeast Harbor 5-Miler.

Things picked back up in September, no doubt as a result of the cross country season starting.  To even attempt to put in to words how much fun this season was is futile so I’ll simply list a few of the highlights: my first Mud Run, Brayden’s improvement, Eastern Maines (boys go 1-2 and all five girls set huge PRs), ping pong, signs, mile repeats, MDI Marathon, New England tempo, Van Cortlandt…the list goes on and on.  With the majority of the boys team leaving, things certainly won’t be the same next year but I will always remember EXC 2013 as an incredibly special group.

One would think that a much spottier training cycle (4 long runs) and an average of 44 miles in the 12 weeks leading up to a race would not translate into a marathon PR.  Then again, maybe it could…?  Well, that’s exactly what happened at the Maine Marathon in Portland this year.  Post-Boston I really had zero motivation to seriously train for a fall marathon, but thankfully Tunney talked (yeah, we’ll go with talked) some sense into me and I signed up for Maine.  Another race I need to write up a recap for, Maine proved to be one of the highlights of my year (and career for that matter).  Just snuck in under 2:47, to clock what is currently my marathon PR.  However, there was no rest for the weary as the sentimentality  of the MDI Marathon got the best of me and I ran it for the 4th year in a row only two weeks after Maine.  Wound up shattering my MDI personal best which in hindsight may actually be the more impressive run of the two races.  Regardless, I couldn’t have dreamed of running two quality marathons this close together.  Running past so many familiar faces at MDI was just the icing on the cake.

While November and December didn’t necessarily yield satisfactory race results, did yield some solid mileage in prep for Boston 2014.  Needed a big December (236.1) to reach my third goal of 2500 miles which was completed with a double on the final day of the year in single digit temperatures.

Chamberlain Half Marathon
13.0 mi
Flattop 5K
3.1 mi
Boston Marathon
26.2 mi
Orrington 10K
6.2 mi
Cabot Trail - Leg 11
8.6 mi
Boggy Brook 5K
5.0 km
Tour du Lac
9.9 mi
Walter Hunt 3K
1.5 mi
Bucksport Bay Festival 5K
3.1 mi
Blue Hill Hospital 5K
3.1 mi
Schaefer 5K
3.1 mi
Northeast Harbor 5-Miler
5.0 mi
Roger Willey 10K
6.2 mi
Maine Marathon
26.2 mi
MDI Marathon
26.2 mi
Brewer Turkey Trot
3.0 mi
Santa Run 5K
3.1 mi

* Races in bold are current PRs

All in all, 2013 was by far my most successful year of running to date.  I set PRs at 6 different distances, something I never set as a concrete goal but is nonetheless exciting to think about.  2014 will undoubtedly be spent taking aim at all of those marks and others.  My second season as an assistant cross country coach was my most rewarding without a doubt.  I became a Maine-iac and cracked the top 800 at the Boston Marathon.  I made more new friends through running than I ever could have imagined and even had one guy tell his wife he was excited to run with me!  (I know, I didn’t believe it at first either)  Look out 2014…!

Total miles: 2500.8
Miles/week: 48.1
Total hours: 295 (12.3 days)