Thursday, January 31, 2013

Maine Running

Time: 42:09
Distance: 9.17 km
Pace: 4:36/km

I had a nice relaxing run from the Maine Running Company on a closed road near the store. It was cold and really windy along the Back Cove, but there was a good size group out putting in work. I was just looking to boost the weekly totals with this run and get things moving after a long day in the car.

Morning Run in West Hartford

Time: 57:26
Distance: 13.28 km
Pace: 4:19/km

I met up with one of the employees of Fleet Feet Hartford for a run through town. We ran in the neighborhoods near the store and in a cemetery that is a popular running spot free from traffic. There was a huge wind storm last night and many tree branches were down. I was expecting there to be more damage given the view outside my hotel last night:
The body was feeling more recovered from the travel, but still a little tired. I could use a really good night of rest which would help my sore legs get back to normal.

NYC Manhattan to Brooklyn

Time: 85:37
Distance: 20.02 km
Pace: 4:17/km

I traveled to NYC this morning for a meeting in Brooklyn. It left me free to visit stores the rest of the day in Manhattan and join up with Jay Holder for a run to his massage therapist in Brooklyn. We met on 21st St. and ran down the West Side Highway to the Manhattan Bridge. The pace was solid and caught up on training, racing and the upcoming track meets. Jay's training for the Boston Marathon is going really well and it will be exciting to watch him race in April.

I didn't feel too spectacular at any point of the run due to the early alarm clock and last night's workout. I was more exhausted from a long day than from the workout. I was glad to have company for the run as I would have likely run just a fraction of what we did.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Salvaged Workout

Time: 77:57
Distance: 16.80 km

W/u: 28:14 for 5.50 km
W/o Target: 4 x 400m, 5km tempo, 5 x 2 mins
C/d: 11:14 for 2.25 km

The workout tonight called for some opening 400s to get the legs and lungs opened up, a short tempo for some aerobic work and then some hard 2 minute efforts to close things out on tired legs. The workout got shot to hell when we had to make a pit stop just before 2 km into the tempo. I had to adjust on the fly at the top of the hill on the Neck to try and salvage a decent workout.

84.3 (76), 84.6 (76), 80.8 (78), 83.5 (2:01);
3:33.8, 2:53.7 for .81 km
3:33.8, 3:35.2, 3:35.9, 3:33.5 for 38:29 total and 9.05 km

I wasn't happy to have to stop during the tempo but those things happen. I inflicted a little punishment by keeping the pace hard for a remaining 4km of work. I was pushing on the uphills trying to build a gap to see how Meagan would respond. She ran tough and was able to get in a good hard effort that will serve her well the next time she toes the line.

Morning Recovery Run

Time: 32:42
Distance: 7.04 km
Pace: 4:39/km

The legs continue to be sore and yesterday's travel out to Provincetown and back did little to flush out the soreness. I'm playing queenmaker this evening during Meagan's workout so this morning's run was to just loosen up the legs. Nice and easy for some time on the feet.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Recovery Jaunt

Time: 45:21
Distance: 10.22 km
Pace: 4:26/km

I woke up somewhat early and headed out for a shuffle around Salem. My legs were in a world of hurt from the hills yesterday, but they gradually started feeling better around 5 km. I ran relaxed and just looked to finish up the run so I could head out to the Cape. Today was a much needed recovery day.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Week in Review

Time: 585:47
Distance: ~142.31 km

I had a solid week of training given the extent of my travel to the colder regions of the territory. I was glad to still get in the quantity, but would have liked to run something a little quicker mid-week. The race on Sunday gave me a better idea of where my current fitness sits. It's coming along and I'm encouraged to know that I could hold 5:43 pace on a hilly course. I do need to hit the 5:00 to 5:20/mile pace more in the coming weeks as part of the progression. Most importantly, I'm healthy and plugging away this winter.

Boston Prep 16 Miler

Time: ~111:15
Distance: ~30 km

W/u: roughly 20 minutes and 4 km
Race: 16 miles of cold, windy and hilly terrain in 1:31:15 for 2nd Overall

This morning I was dragged up to Derry, NH for the Boston Prep 16 Miler by the Craft and Karhu GM who grew up in the town. I shouldn't say that I was "dragged" because I was perfectly willing to partake in what is billed as a "moderately challenging" course. Our GM rowed in college and has completed several races and triathlons, but I wouldn't bill him as your typical runner. Sure, he runs but doesn't get the same thrill that most readers of this blog get when they lace up the shoes. So, I could only try to join in his enthusiasm when weeks ago he started to suggest that we go and run this race. If he was going to suffer through 16 miles of hills, I could too.

We arrived in Derry and the GM immediately started telling me about the town. I learned that the Burger King used to be the biggest in the country only to have that title taken away from presumably some newer location in Texas. The Hood Dairy company also had many of its farms in town and Robert Frost was fired from Derry High School. The rumor is that Frost would walk from his house through the woods to get to school. Perhaps there might have been something other than tobacco in his cigarettes and he would get lost in his thoughts during his walk and never show up to teach. At least that's what I was told.

I could tell the GM was excited and nervous about being back home. The course would run just blocks from the house he grew up in. We even parked at the elementary school where he matriculated. I was only trying to gain an ounce of his energy because I was focused on the fact that it roughly 15 degrees with a 15 MPH breeze.

Of all the days to forget Mr. Garmin, today would be it. I warmed up with my phone out and back on the course for a little over 20 minutes. I was able to get a little loose out on the course and decided that my racing costume would indeed include a jacket. I changed shoes, lost a midlayer fleece and geared up for a good hard effort.

Toeing the line I wasn't sure who would be in contention for the win. I wasn't even sure if I had a shot at breaking tape but just decided to go out at a steady, hard pace and find out where my fitness is at. Off the line, I was joined by a runner who I now know is Scott McGrath and later learned he won the race in 2012. We ran together for about 1.5 miles before I was able to gain a slight advantage on one of the uphills.

It wasn't until the 5 mile mark until I learned the pace I was running. I crossed the mat in 27:39 and calculated that it was just over 5:30/mile pace. I felt decent but was becoming aware that I hadn't completely shaken Scott. I could still hear footsteps and took a peek back on a couple 90 degree turns. Somewhere around the 7 or 8 mile mark I realized that I was in trouble. Aerobically I was completely fine to hold the pace, but my legs were completely lacking any power to climb the hills. I knew at this point if the second half was hillier than the first, then I would be doomed.

I was.

There was a sharp left hand turn and steep hill around the 9 mile mark where I must have given up 40 meters. Scott quickly closed the gap and took the lead with the 10 mile mat just in sight. I crossed in 55:46 just two seconds back and that gap would only grow until the 13.1 mile mat. The wind in the face, uphill sections completely rocked my world. I reached back and grabbed the back of my mullet a couple of times to remove the sweat icicles that had formed. I was not in a happy place.

I gave up 33 seconds from 10 miles to 13.1 miles, but then regained my composure as the course somewhat flattened out the final section. The darkest stretch of the race was perhaps around mile 14 when we were greeted with a brisk headwind that caused my face to cease functioning. I couldn't move my mouth and became a little fuzzy at times. I don't think it was from the effort because I still felt comfortable aerobically, but just wasn't handling the conditions well.

I limped home 37 seconds back from Scott and immediately headed for the gym to get warm. I snapped this photo of myself less than 2 minutes after finishing and posted it to Facebook. The pic pretty much sums up my race.

Here is Scott's recap of the race. Great race by him on a tough day.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Saturday Morning Back in Salem

Time: 82:51
Distance: 20.05 km
Pace: 4:06/km

I left Rochester, NY for home last night around 7:30 PM. It's a 6+ hour drive when the weather cooperates. There was snow again last night. I didn't pull into our parking lot until a little after 5 AM. I did however stop a couple of times to take a nap in rest stops or at a gas station.

I slept from about 5:30 until 8:30 AM when I got up to move the car into the neighborhood. I milled about drinking coffee and caught up on the running scene before heading out the door. My run took me to Marblehead and I did a loop of the Neck. The body didn't feel too bad given the few hours of sleep and long travel time in the car.

I'm scheduled to run the Boston Prep 16 Miler tomorrow in Derry, NH and have no idea how it will go. I guess it will be a check to see where my fitness is at.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Snow Run in Rochester

Time: 42:41
Distance: 10.05 km
Pace: 4:15/km

It snowed a little last night and I didn't want to risk running too much on partially paved streets. I only ventured out for a little over 40 minutes to get in my morning 10 km. I thought that I would run again in the evening with the Fleet Feet training group, but reconsidered when it would mean driving back towards MA in cold, wet clothes.

The run this morning basically repeated what I did yesterday simply because I knew the route. I slipped a little on the snow, but didn't notice anything alarming with regards to my achilles. I've really liked running in the new Flow Trail as it provides enough grip for the snow, has a waterproof guard near the toes and doesn't feel like most clunky trail shoes. Karhu might be onto something here.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Cold Run in Rochester

Time: 68:13
Distance: 16.01 km
Pace: 4:16/km

I popped into Fleet Feet Rochester to ask where I could find a quiet neighborhood to put in roughly an hour of running. While yesterday's run was just cold, today's run would be cold and windy. I was given some instructions and sent out to find a route through the mostly cleared roads. My run took me off in the direction of Cobbs Hill and the surrounding neighborhoods. The first half of the run was mostly into the wind and I could only press on with a cold face waiting until the 8 km mark. It finally came and I turned around with a gentle push back to the store.

This week of cold weather and sometimes slippery conditions have forced me to pay a little closer attention to my calf and achilles. I could tell at the end of today's run my right achilles was feeling a little tender. It's something that I will have to closely monitor while the temps remain below 20 degrees.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Wegman's Trail

Time: 38:01
Distance: 7.93 km
Pace: 4:48/km

After coming back to Fleet Feet Syracuse, I helped get staff in the proper size of the Karhu Fast or Strong. A brave group of about 7 headed out for a 5 mile run along a short trail that ends in the parking lot of Wegman's. I chatted with the general manager about all things running while having to fight the fact that my gloves were freezing. My fingers had warmed the gloves and become a little damp after the first run and become nearly frozen at the tips on the second run. I spent sections holding them in my jacket which helped prevent my fingers from form frostbite. At least that's what I'm telling myself.

On a day when I might have had to take a zero, I ended up logging over 24 km. I'll take it.

Coldest Run Ever?

Time: 68:55
Distance: 16.90 km
Pace: 4:05/km

I've had my fair share of cold runs this winter and braved quite a few while in college at Brown. There were even days back when this blog started in Oklahoma when the temps reached below freezing and the wind whipped across the plains. However, I can't ever remember starting a run when the thermometer read 6. Now I know there are much colder places in the US and on the planet than 6 degrees and understand runners head out the door when it's below zero, but until today I had never had actually had the pleasure.

I left Salem this morning early so that I could arrive in Albany for a footwear showing around 9:30 AM. I had hoped to run with the footwear buyer, but he wasn't running until later in the afternoon. I then ventured on through Utica and arrived in Syracuse to meet with the local store. I had about 90 minutes before a planned staff run that almost didn't happen due to the snow and cold weather. I opted to lace up my shoes and head out for about an hour before the staff run and just see if I could boost the weekly total.

From the store, I headed off in the direction of the Erie Canal Trail hoping the snow was packed down enough to run along. It wasn't. I slipped and fought my way through 100 meters of the surface only to pop back out on the road. I then found the remainder of my run on neighborhood streets and side roads of East Syracuse. Fortunately, there wasn't much traffic and the wind was remarkably calm. I ended up feeling surprisingly good on most of the run despite forming a sweet ice beard.
I ended back at the store with a full 16 km on the legs and was ready to chat with staff and run again.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Snowy Run in Beverly

Time: 54:39
Distance: 13.03 km
Pace: 4:12/km

I dropped Meagan off at the airport early this morning as she's headed out to Salt Lake City for Outdoor Retailer. I drove back to our offices in Beverly and ran an easy 13 km around the snowy streets with a pair of trail shoes. I remember feeling really cold at points of the run, but ended up getting into a rhythm despite my face having a difficult time adjusting.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Ambitious Double

Time: 43:08
Distance: 10.19 km
Pace: 4:14/km

I must have been feeling good if I decided to run another 10 km this evening. I ran a familiar route around Salem to boost the early weekly totals.

Loop of the Neck

Time: 76:04
Distance: 18.15 km
Pace: 4:11/km

Meagan and I started out together with a run out to Marblehead for a loop around the Neck. There must have been some snow or ice still on the ground because we opted to take the shorter road route instead of the trail. I remember feeling pretty good the final 5-10km when the pace picked up. The final 10 kilometers were all run under 4:10/km and finished at 3:40/km.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Week in Review

Time: 617:57
Distance: 141.98 km

I helped out Meagan a couple of times this week doing longer workouts of an 8km tempo and then the 3 mile, 2 mile, 1 mile breakdown on the weekend. I failed terribly when attempting my own workout while out on Long Island. I should probably just aspire to be an elite female distance runner and not anything more.

Central Park Group Long Run

Time: 117:53
Distance: 28.31 km
Pace: 4:09/km

We used Columbus Circle as the meeting point for this long run and had at least 15 people show up. It just so happened that Meagan and I were the connecting points of most people in the group. We were running pretty easy for the first 40 minutes and were just about to head up the first of the Harlem Hills when David Nightingale and I hit the front. With just a little injection of pace the group splintered into men and women.

The guys continued on and the pace gradually quickened, but never got out of control. It was great running with Jerry, Jay and some members of the Urban Athletics team through the park. Eventually the group got smaller as guys returned home or ran off to work. Jerry and I made a few smaller inner loops to fill the time before he took the train back to Queens and I continued back to the hotel.

My run was probably just over two hours and closer to 30 km, but I didn't time the section from the hotel to park.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Pace Setting in Central Park

Time: 83:30
Distance: 20.37 km

W/u: 18:57 for 4.20 km
W/o: Pace Meagan and Sarah. 3 miles at 3:44-3:50/km, (1 mile at 4:20/km), 2 miles at 3:40-3:44/km, (1 mile at 4:20/km), 1 mile at sub-3:40/km
C/d: 15:01 for 3.27 km

I was a part of a large group of runners that descended upon Columbus Circle for a workout in Central Park. We had maybe 15 people and thought the group dynamic for the hard section would provide some relief from the 15+ MPH wind gusts. Turns out that most just were running easy and the only members doing the workout would be Meagan and Sarah with me leading the wind blocking duties.

Sarah, who lives in New York, provided the loop we would be running that tried to avoid the largest hills in the park. We started on a downhill section with the wind at our backs and I was given the instruction to not take us out too fast. Fat chance.

3:36.6, 3:40.5, 3:45.9, 3:41.7, 2:59.4 (for .81k)
(4:23.3, 2:42.9)
3:38.9, 3:39.7, 3:39.6, 43.0 (for .20k)
(4:25.1, 2:38.0)
3:31.2, 2:10.2 (for .62k)

The total running was 49:32 for 12.90 km (3:50/km average).

The girls ran tough into the wind while dodging others out enjoying the park. At times Meagan would get dropped and then battle her way back. It felt good to help out knowing the breeze probably would have slowed their efforts considerably during the second half of the three mile section.

Friday, January 18, 2013

NYC West Side Highway

Time: 71:07
Distance: ~16.1 km
Pace: ~4:23/km

I picked up the Karhu CEO from JFK yesterday afternoon and we had a couple of business visits to make in Brooklyn. We finished up and were able to drive into Manhattan just as traffic was picking up and people were leaving work. I just love driving in NYC, the taxis are just so friendly. We made it to his hotel where I dropped him off and then I went to find parking and drop my stuff at a buddy's house.

Earlier in the week there was talk of trying to meet up with some of my teammates from Brown who were in town for business as well. Three members from the class of '06 met up at Brother Jimmy's across from Penn Station. The location allowed Owen to peace out and catch his train back to DC and for me, Craig and Ari (class of '08) to hang out a bit longer and pick at greasy bbq. The Karhu CEO was invited out and he joined us for a burger. The night was young and we were in NYC, but despite my best persuasive tactics, I couldn't convince Craig or Ari to come with us to SPiN New York.

For those of you unfamiliar with SPiN, think basement of a college frat house. Alcohol. Ping pong tables. Bros. Mostly attractive women.

Now, I'm no ping pong (table tennis to acknowledge the politically correct) wizard, but there were certainly plenty of real life Forest Gumps flailing crazy backhands and putting crazy spin on their serves. We were waiting for a table and actually ended up getting bumped further down the list because a "member" showed up who gets preferred status. Eventually a hostess came around and asked if we were on the list. Knowing that we had just been bumped, I said "yes" and then started shouting out popular names like, "John... David... Michael." She asked if I was Mike and I concurred to which she lead us to our table.

We played for an hour or so and then when our time was up were awkwardly invited to join a young couple on their first date who had met on a Jewish online dating site. One can only assume it was It was terribly late to still be out and I had consumed a fair number of beers on the night. I only recap the night because my run the next morning was absolutely horrendous.

I was out the door right at 6 AM and stood around in the freezing cold for my Garmin to find a satellite. It never did until a couple minutes of running north on the West Side Highway bike path. The wind lashed my face for the first 8 kilometers out. It didn't help that I was tired and had a headache due to the late night and pints. The run never felt comfortable but the pace did finally pick up the final 15 minutes, granted I had the wind at my back.

The rest of my nights in New York wouldn't have nearly a negative effect on my training.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Brightwaters Workout

Time: 64:56
Distance: 15.44 km

W/u: 28:18 for 6.43 km
W/o Target: 4 x 400m, 5km tempo at 3:15-3:20/km, 5 x 2 min
W/o Actual: 4 x 400m, 1km in 3:22, be frustrated
C/d: 22:13 for 5.36 km

I stayed at a shit hotel last night and had a hard time finding a decent place to eat. I ended up at the Peter Pan Diner which sufficed, but made me wonder why the state of New York loves its diners so much. They are everywhere and all have a menu that would put the Cheesecake factory to shame. Page after page of moderately priced, huge portions of food described in poor detail. I guess it's the American way.

My plan was to get up and get after it with a workout through the flat neighborhoods of Brightwaters. It's technically a part of Bay Shore, but I later learned you make it known if you live in Brightwaters. I struggled to find a parking spot and eventually had to settle for a yet to open Friendly's. All of the parks, causeways and lakes that I would soon be running around all had posted signs like, "No picnicking," "No parking anytime," "If you can't find a place to park, you don't live here, so go away!"

I got in a nice warm up and geared up for the workout. The 400s would open my legs and lungs up, the tempo would be some strength work and the final 5x2 mins would be the cherry on top.

73.1 (62), 72.7 (61), 74.5 (62), 71.7 (3:01);
3:22.0 for 1km and called it quits...

I let the wind get the best of me out there and used it as an excuse to stop. I also probably shouldn't have put a time goal on the harder efforts. On the cool down I had to consider if I just didn't have the ability to hurt anymore. Looking back on it now, I do want to run at a high level, but need to make the workouts more realistic. Given the wind, solo setting and colder temps, I was asking a lot out of myself with the current (lack) of fitness I have.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Getting to Know Sayville

Time: 44:29
Distance: 10.47 km
Pace: 4:15/km

I drove to Sayville, NY today after a showing in CT. I don't know Long Island all that well and have only run a couple of times when making the trek out. I arrived in Sayville and walked around the downtown a little, grabbed an apple fritter at Starbucks and scoped out potential running spots on the iPad. Sayville can be summed up as the type of town that can support a lacrosse store. I also discovered it's really flat.

I ran down and around the neighborhood that dead ends into the ocean. If you look at the map you'll see I ran down long streets and wound back and forth to fill the time. Some of the houses were amazing near the water and I wondered how many were affected by super storm Sandy. At one point I stopped and looked off into the sea and couldn't tell if it was high tide or if many of the boat docks had been destroyed. Maybe a combination of both.

The effort picked up at the end of the run, but I found it hard to get the pace to drop. I was forcing it a little too much to only hit just under 4:00/km the final couple of kilometers. I'm sure the long drive today didn't help my legs find their form.

Snowy Morning Run

Time: 30:47
Distance: 6.41 km
Pace: 4:46/km

It snowed last night and Meagan was overly zealous to run too far this morning. It's a good thing we got the workout in last night and didn't have to deal with the conditions today. We ended up just putting in 4 miles around town. It was fun making tracks where people had not walked their dogs yet. It's also nice getting out before seeing all the yellow snow.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Meagan's Night Tempo

Time: 72:59
Distance: 16.85 km

W/u: 19:55 for 4.02 km
W/o: 8 km uptempo, 5 x long stride
C/d: 11:17 for 2.12 km

Meagan's workout tonight called for some pace work in the 5:45-5:50/mile range. I want her to feel more comfortable running under 6-minute pace for sustained periods of time. She has stated goals to run personal bests from 5k to the half marathon this spring/summer. Since she's just getting back to training hard, tonight was meant to reintroduce what running hard for a sustained period of time feels like. The pace was somewhere between her 10 mile and half marathon pace. We looped a section of road down by the Salem Willows that we run frequently.

3:40.3, 3:40.4, 3:41.1, 3:43.2, 3:39.4, 3:39.2, 3:37.0, 3:40.0 for 29:19

(4:00 jog over to the Salem Common)

3 laps alternating hard/easy. Adds roughly 2k of additional running.

I think Meagan quoted me on the cool down as saying, "Yeah, that was just okay." And it was. I really thought we would be able to start in the 3:40/k range and drop down to the 3:35/k range by the end. She was breathing hard the opening couple of kilometers, but by 4k she had settled. I wasn't feeling great either perhaps due to the chilly weather. I was most impressed by her ability to hang on to the pace knowing she wasn't comfortable. I gave her the option to stop at 6400m (4 miles), but she opted to keep going and hit the last two splits perfectly.

Pre-workout Shakeout

Time: 37:24
Distance: 8.01 km
Pace: 4:40/km

This evening Meagan has a workout that I'll be helping to set the pace. I may try to add on or make some adjustments to get in a little more work for myself. We logged some easy running to start the day on a familiar loop. Just time on the feet before the effort tonight.

I should mention that I've been crossing paths with a mustachioed runner every morning who is the least friendly dude ever. Normally, I would expect a little more swagger out of someone braving the cold especially since he rocks a sweet upper lip whiskers. However, I've stopped trying to say anything when we cross paths as he has never even glanced up or made any sort of acknowledgment. My goal now is to get some sort of reaction out of him. It might involve me sneaking up and trying to scare him. But, men with mustaches don't scare easily.

After Work Double

Time: 48:15
Distance: 10.01 km
Pace: 4:49/km

Nothing too impressive to report for tonight's run with Meagan after work. We avoided getting hit by any cars returning home from work which is always a win. I was hoping to feel a little more recovered by this evening, but my quads are still somewhat tender. I think the increased pace and distance from Saturday took a little more out of me than I originally thought.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Morning Monday Run

Time: 46:37
Distance: 10.01 km
Pace: 4:39/km

It was just an easy run to start the week. My legs need to recover after the harder effort on Saturday and the run on Sunday. Despite wanting to run faster on my easy days, some like today just need to be kept truly gentle. The cold of winter from a couple of weeks ago seems to be gone as the temps this morning were in the 50s. Bad for selling Craft baselayers, but good for running.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Week in Review

Time: 675:48
Distance: 157.58

After adding up the weekly totals I can see why my legs were tired the final couple of days. Aerobically there is still a lot to be done in order to have a successful spring. Physically I'm feel good and have been running pain free for a couple of months now. The hamstring exercises that I've been doing have really helped strengthen and stretch my right leg. In the next few weeks I'll be looking to start doing more workouts in the 3:10-3:20/km range.

Boston Course Long Run

Time: 113:16
Distance: 25.08 km
Pace: 4:31/km

Meagan and I drove to Cleveland Circle to run with a group looking to put in their long run. Last week when the BAA met at the same location there were nearly 100 runners in attendance. This week it was all women and me. Then Jenn (Donovan) Lutz and her husband Justin arrived and I had someone to share football with.

Did you see the 49ers game? I expect big things from them this playoff season.

My legs were pretty tired after yesterday's effort so I was content to take it easy. We ran a little slower than I would have liked, but I was able to recover and just enjoy being on parts of the marathon course. I have never raced the Boston Marathon and I'm not sure if I'll ever think the Newton Hills are "easy." The few times I've run the hills have been when I'm: a) out of shape, b) running on tired legs, c) coming back from injury and out of shape. So, today was no different.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Cambridge Workout

Time: 110:26
Distance: 28.28

W/u: 20:39 for 4.61 km
W/o: 77:11 for 21.04 km
C/d: 12:36 for 2.63 km

Meagan and I drove back to the Harvard Athletic Complex for a series of progressively faster loops. Terry Shea of the BAA organized a group run and nearly 20 individuals arrived to run the roughly 1200 meter loop around Harvard's indoor track, football stadium, hockey rink and other arenas. Given the weather and the size of the group we could have ventured out onto the 4.2 mile loop, but most stayed true to running what the email had stated.

I got in a few warm up laps before venturing off to the standard tempo loop with Jared, Alex and Brian Chorney. We decided to pick up the pace just after 20 minutes into the workout instead of gradually cutting down. The target pace was 5:30s with maybe some 5:20s if the group was feeling good.

3:28, 3:35, 3:32, 3:21, 3:21,
3:24, 1:35 (at 3:26/km pace) for 22:16 at 6400m (4 miles)

I stopped with Chorney and we ran back to join the group that was still looping the 1200m course. The pace had dropped to the low 6:00/mile range and would continue to get faster.

4:16, 3:53, 3:57, 3:56, 3:53,
3:46, 3:49, 3:45, 3:44, 3:44,
3:43, 3:44, 3:42, 3:33, 3:21,
1:55 (at 3:19/km pace)

That was pretty much the extent of me running hard. The uptempo section was just over 21 km. I was pleased to have felt better running low 3:20s at the end of the workout feeling better than on the opening faster section.

Friday, January 11, 2013

18 MPH & Syrup

Time: 38:25
Distance: 8.38 km
Pace: 4:35/km

A crew of Karhu North America employees headed out the door for a run at lunch. It was Meagan, Chris who works in customer service and Scott who handles our shipping/warehouse logistics and me. We ran a standard 6-8 km loop that runs around town and just briefly along Dane Beach. To keep the summer traffic in check, there is a speed monitor placed on one of the light poles.

On runs I have noticed it picks up my 8-9 MPH average pace when I'm on the far side of the street. I bet the group as we approached if I could hit 15 MPH. I don't think anyone in the group thought it were possible except me. Rule number one is don't make a bet you can't win. I was confident at being able to flash 15+ MPH on the sign. Plus there is a slight downhill which almost makes it an unfair challenge to make.

To the group's surprised, the sign flashed "18."

If that weren't a big enough victory on the day, a couple of minutes later I spotted a fresh bottle of Stop&Shop syrup on the ground. A full unopened bottle of genuine high fructose corn syrup syrup! My day couldn't get any better. A big batch of flapjacks is certainly in order this weekend.

I ran a few strides after the run to celebrate my speed and syrup.

Icy Marblehead Trail

Time: 60:51
Distance: 14.02 km
Pace: 4:20/km

I haven't run on the Marblehead Trial since returning back from Texas and North Carolina. I wanted to grant it some time for the snow/ice to melt which I figured would be the case given the warmer winter temps. Well, it needs more time to thaw out. Some sections were runnable while others were still sheets of ice. Meagan and I opted to run back on the roads due to the slippery conditions. There isn't too much to report about this morning's run as the goal was to just put some time in on the feet.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Sisu Project Run

Time: 55:14
Distance: 13.08 km
Pace: 4:13/km

This morning my buddy Matt Germain who works at Whirlaway Sports and started The Sisu Project came over for a run in Salem. He's just gaining back some fitness after an injury in the fall and we haven't run together in many months. It's always good to catch up with Matt as he has a good outlook on running, the industry and life in general.

It was cold and much windier than I like, but we were, of course, full of sisu for this morning's effort. I have noticed on Twitter that the Sisu Project is making a bigger push in 2013 and I think there are big things planned for the team this year. If you're unfamiliar with sisu, then you should probably stop reading this blog. I suggest you do a quick google search for the term and follow the Sisu Project on Twitter (@SisuProject). Make it happen.

There was no sisu in the evening and I failed to get in a double run. Tomorrow that won't be the case.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Harvard Parking Lot Workout

Time: 73:36
Distance: ~16.19 km

W/u: 18:39 for 3.79 km
W/o: 6 x 1km, 4 x 500m
C/d: 11:59 for 2.33 km

The first workout back for 2013 is in the books. It was rather light as the main focus was for Meagan and Emily to get in some more serious running. I obliged to drag them around the parking lot of the Harvard Athletic Complex aka the Sheatock Loop. It's a roughly 1200 meter loop that is mostly lit, ice and traffic free. There was a group doing 3 x 2 miles on the Harvard indoor track which might sound appealing except when thinking about it as 3 x 16 laps. No thanks! That's a hip injury waiting to happen for this guy.

The purpose of the workout was to see where Meagan's fitness is at going into a more speed based spring. I used it as a way for me to feel comfortable running uptempo and in control. We dragged a kicking and screaming Emily Kroshus out the door who, of course, is never nearly unfit as she says she is.

6 x 1km
3:32.9 (1:27), 3:31.3 (1:30),
3:25.0 (1:33), 3:26.7 (1:30),
3:24 (1:30), 3:21.5 (3:32);

4 x 500m (estimated by looking at split on Garmin)
1:39.8 (1:31) - 3:16/km pace
1:41.6 (1:31) - 3:15/km pace
1:38.6 (1:32) - 3:14/km pace
1:38.9 - 3:13/km pace

It was a solid workout for both Meagan and Emily. I felt comfortable leading them through the opening intervals. The paces fluctuated just a little depending on the wind and how hard we started off the line. I don't think Meagan is any less fit than she was a few months ago and Emily has to be one of the toughest runners I know.

Light Morning Run

Time: 44:13
Distance: 10.01 km
Pace: 4:25/km

I put in some morning kilometers with Meagan. Nothing crazy to report as the purpose was just to boost the weekly totals. This evening we'll head into Cambridge for a more proper workout at Harvard. The legs are feeling ready to do a little "queen making" later today.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Salem Willows

Time: 73:11
Distance: 17.02 km
Pace: 4:18/km

Meagan was holding me back this morning so I was out the door to sneak in a quick 3 km before looping back to pick her up. We created a loop and improvised to find extra distance before calling it a morning. I'm not sure why I didn't run in the afternoon, but I can't find the data.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Picking Up the VW

Time: 32:20
Distance: 7.10 km
Pace: 4:33/km

I picked up Ms. Nedlo from the airport this afternoon and worked from home. She had been away for just over two weeks which means our cat, Weezy, has probably forgotten her. I am now officially Weezy's favorite. It can't be denied at this point. Meagan will dispute this, but I know the truth.

After a few Turkish coffees in the evening, we suited up in our running costumes and headed off to the KNA offices pick up her vehicle. A coworker and I had used it earlier this morning to empty out the Karhu Airstream. Jyrki, Wes and Joe (drivers of the Bearstream) are lucky that the weirdest thing we found was a box of shoes filled with granola bars. The yellow box of goodies was mixed in with the regular footwear. It's a good thing we found the treats and didn't ship back to the warehouse. Their loss is our gain!

Meagan and I made it to her car just as Alex Dossin was leaving for the evening. If you call for some Craft or Karhu gear, it's likely you'll speak with "Doss the Boss." After a quick chat, we jumped in the whip and headed home just in time to sit in traffic. Brilliant planning on our part.

Short Loop to the Neck

Time: 74:16
Distance: 18.42 km
Pace: 4:02/km

I wanted to hit up Marblehead this morning but figured the trail would be too messy to traverse. I didn't feel like skating on patches of ice that would still remain in the shady sections of the dirt. I'm talking literal shady sections, like no sun, as there are no sketchy sections of Marblehead. Coincidentally, there is a shady section of Salem. It's called The Point and our real estate agent wouldn't even show us property there despite my asking. Anyway, that's beside the point.

My attempt at avoiding the trail and found a more direct route to the Neck. It will be key in future weeks and months for workouts. I can now get to the starting point of a good tempo loop in just over 5 km. It might make the cool down a little long, but the warm up will be spot on.

I ended up running across the causeway and looping the big homes. My legs were a bit tired from yesterday's effort, but I managed to negative split the run. The lack of wind this morning was probably the best part of the effort.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Week in Review

Time: 574:52
Distance: 131.65 km

Starting the year with just over 130 km (~80 miles) is a right where I need to be. The runs this week were all relatively easy and allowed me to gain some slight fitness. It was key being able to catch up with friends from Charlotte and meet some new running partners in the BAA. My biggest take from this week is that I need to run a little faster, a little earlier in my training runs.

Usually, I head out the door around 5:00/km (~8:00/mile) pace and it doesn't get down to 4:20/km to 4:30/km until the 5 kilometer mark. I don't think there is anything wrong with running slow on my easy days, but I do think I sometimes hover in that slower range too long. Also, I'm not running 80+ minutes every morning which would warrant running my preferred slower pace for 20-30 minutes of the run. However, I typically only run 60-70 minutes in the morning.

I have two options: 1) Run 20 minutes more in the morning and keep my normal pace letting me warm up very gradually or 2) Start my runs a little faster and get down to the 4:10/km or faster range earlier in the run and keep my same distance. I think option two will be the one I go with simply because of time restraints.

BAA Cleveland Circle Run

Time: 69:50
Distance: 17.96 km
Pace: 3:53/km

This morning I headed into Brookline to meet up with a crew of BAA members. I arrived to find roughly 50 individuals standing around in the parking lot ready to run. It felt colder than the 34 the car thermometer stated. I couldn't complain too much as others were in shorts and lightweight pullovers.

I wasn't sure how far I was going to run, but I opted to head off with Brian Harvey, Tim Ritchie, Ian Nurse and Eric Ashe. Given my current fitness, I was hesitant to commit to the full run and just wanted to see how I would handle a quicker long run pace. We dipped under 4:00/km by the fourth kilometer and gradually got faster. It has been many months since starting a run at the pace, but I was relatively relaxed until decided to pull off around the 8-9 km mark with Eric.

We headed back along the Boston Marathon course up the Newton Hills. The pace fluctuated given the terrain and I found myself having a solid run. It would have been nice to run longer and go with the top guys, but given my recent training, I'll take it.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Evening Double with Pick Ups

Time: 32:39
Distance: 8.12 km
Pace: 4:01/km

I headed out the door looking for a few kilometers to boost the weekly totals. I included a few strides or pick ups starting at the 3 km mark just to make it more interesting. I starting with doing a few minuters, but soon lost the time because I wasn't hitting the split button. It worked out for the best as it forced me to run on feel and ignore what Mr. Garmin was saying. The hard efforts were hard and the easy were just that.

Hamilton Woods

Time: 75:14
Distance: 14.17 km
Pace: 5:21/km

I drove up to Hamilton this morning to meet up with the Karhu and Craft GM and his buddy. They have been meeting most Saturday's for runs in the Hamilton Woods and trails. It was my intention to arrive about 30-45 minutes early so that I could get in some distance on the roads beforehand, but I actually was able to sleep until 7:00 this morning. I only had about 15 minutes to log 3-4km before linking up with the guys.

We headed off across the park where Gabe's Run is held and ventured into the trails. It was a little difficult to maintain footing on the icy and snowy trails, but I managed to stay bipedal. The pace was gentle but it didn't seem too slow given the terrain. The conversation was good and covered an array of topics including shows like Portlandia and Homeland, the running biz, local restaurants and skiing. It would be useful coming back more times and learning the trails better for this spring and summer.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Connecticut Sound 10k

Time: 43:29
Distance: 10.02 km
Pace: 4:20/km

I drove from Salem to Framingdale, NY in one shot this morning. I try not to do such long single stretch episodes because my hamstrings hate me for it. However, it was one of those drive where I was ready to pull off as soon as I hit traffic to grab coffee or take a break. It just never happened. Smooth sailing around Boston, through Hartford, through New Haven and Greenwich all the way over the Throg's Neck Bridge. It was unheard of and I was never forced to stop. So I didn't. I should be a trucker.

My showing in the morning went well and then I visited a couple of more stores in Connecticut, before deciding to lace up the Karhus. I ran out a little over a mile with the son of the owner and then continued my run. The wind was really intense from 3km until 7km, but I survived. It was fortunately above freezing otherwise the 20 mph winds would have been too much.

After the run I jumped in the car and drove another 2+ hours back to Salem. The total time in the car today had to be around the 8+ hour mark. At least I logged a couple of runs.

Brutally Early

Time: 29:11
Distance: 6.47 km
Pace: 4:31/km

I must be motivated to get fit because I was out the door before 5:30 this morning. I haven't been sleeping well lately and today was no different. I decided to find some baselayers and head out the door for a short morning run. I didn't go far, or particularly fast, but I was out there much earlier than expected before hopping in the car and driving to Long Island.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

NRFTW: No Rest for the Wicked

Time: 55:09
Distance: 12.97 km

W/u: 20:36 for 4.61 km
5k: 17:12 for 5.08 km
C/d: 17:21 for 3.18 km

Every Thursday night in Salem there is a casual 5k group run called No Rest for the Wicked. The Wicked Running Club is the local running group and anywhere from 6 to 45 members show up for this weekly run/race. I enjoy showing up because it's free, there are people to meet, and pizza and beers are involved afterwards. I also find it interesting when some runners gun for a PR and end up getting it at "races" like this. It's run that Meagan and I try to make, but haven't been to in a couple of months. She is still out of town for work, but I put in a short warm up before finishing up at the Salem Common.

When Meagan is around I usually pace her for an uptempo type effort. On one occasion I think I set the course record when I dipped under 17 minutes. Tonight's plan was to run "minuters" for the duration of the 5k. I wasn't too worried with pace and just wanted to elevate the heart rate with some changing of pace.

All was going well until I took a wrong turn around the 2k mark and then penalized my mistake by running around the park instead of through it. My longer detour allowed the second place runner, a newbie to the group, to pass me until my next hard minute. I eventually caught and surpassed Rick, but it wasn't as easy as expected. Rick actually finished second to me at one of the few 5ks I raced last year in Marblehead. We later cooled down together and I need to find out if he's still training somewhat seriously.

It was good to get the legs turning over and the lungs opened up. I have to start putting in some quicker efforts, but balance the cold weather as I typically injure easily when it's frigid.

Even Worse!

Time: 44:46
Distance: 10.39 km
Pace: 4:19/km

The cold got even worse. Today's run was a balmy 6 degrees. It wasn't nearly the coldest in the region so I shouldn't be bragging about how hardcore I am for lacing up the shoes. But, still! My face was frozen at one point about 35 minutes into the run after running into a headwind. It wasn't fun running, but I can say that I was out there.

I heard on the news that the temperature in Worcester was worst-er than Salem. It was reportedly a -17 when factoring in the windchill. No thanks! It's a good thing that I have a minimum amount of Finnish sisu and a maximum amount of Craft baselayers to wear. Yesterday's run of 16 degrees was balmy as compared to today's run. I certainly don't hope this is routine as typically some sort of tendinitis forms in my legs when running in such cold. However, it does feel a bit rugged when you get to boast about running in such frigid temps.

I should note that Mr. Garmin has been acting like a turd and hasn't been registering the first kilometer accurately. I have reported the figures according to the watch, but the opening mark was recorded at a clearly inaccurate 3:50/km. The run was probably off by 200 meters or so.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

16 Degrees!

Time: 67:40
Distance: 16.01 km
Pace: 4:14/km

It's cold. Like not warm at all. Like freezing. I came back from my run this morning and had to move Meagan's car to the neighborhood so as to avoid the infamous Salem meter maids. I didn't believe the car's temperature reading when it told me it was 16 degrees. Surely the car wouldn't register the correct temp since it had been sitting outside all night. Nope. I checked my new Nest thermostat (it's awesome and I'll shamelessly plug it since it looks sweet) which said it really was 16 degrees outside.

(As an aside, that's how lame I have become. I asked for a thermostat for Christmas. Granted it's pretty cool in appearance and is ultimately really efficient. But, come on... a thermostat!? For Christmas!? Yup, that's what I've become. Fortunately, Meagan's parents are awesome and surprised me with it).

The run wasn't anything all that special other than the fact it was really cold and occasionally windy. I'm certainly not used to it yet and shouldn't be complaining too much as I know there are athletes training in MN and CO who deal with similar or worse conditions. However, I'm from California, soft and out of shape. So, I'm perfectly content to complain about leaving the condo in freezing, dark and windy temps.

I have a co-worker who came over tonight who wants you to know that, "Alex Dossin is the best ISR ever!" He wrote that and if you ever call Karhu or Craft to place an order, he might be one of the guys who answers the phone. You should probably call him and do just that, so my blog looks that much more awesome. Just think, if we called your place of business we would be talking to a machine...

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

It's a New Year

Time: 42:25
Distance: 10.05 km
Pace: 4:13/km

It's a new year and time to start blogging again. I have neglected the OK Runner for many months now, but will make a point to start posting regularly as I get back into shape. I'm currently healthy and have been running 60-80 miles a week for the past couple of months. After being dropped by Meagan twice in one day, I was able to pace her through 14 miles of the Philadelphia Marathon. My running since her race has predominantly consisted of easy runs with the occasional day of strides. I don't have any immediate goals for 2013 other than to gain fitness and start racing a bit in the spring. I would like to run a marathon this year and drop the PR of 2:24:46 to the low 2:20s.

Today's run was rather low key back in Salem after a fun NYE with friends in Charlotte. The trip to North Carolina for Caitlin and Garrett's wedding was great. Being able to run with members of the Charlotte Running Club I think made Meagan and I miss the city even more. My legs have been feeling a little sluggish and given the amount of holiday eating and drinking, it was nice running short. If the weather stays nice   this week and the ice continues to melt, I'll consider doing something a little more uptempo.

It's good to be (b)logging runs again.