Sunday, December 19, 2010

First Week Of Boston Training In The Books

Things went pretty well with the first week of training for Boston.  17 weeks to go. My training plan is only a 16 week plan, so I am going to do the first two weeks twice.  That should ease me into it, and get me thru the holiday season.  I started off with the first short tempo run on Tuesday.  Somehow I had my times mixed up in my head, and I was thinking I needed to keep it at a 6:15 pace.  It was a nice afternoon, and I went out with Jeff Petro (original FART member) for an easy 2 mile warm up.  At the top of George Street I started out on my 2 mile at what seemed like a good clip for me.  But every time I looked at my watch, I couldn't get the average pace below 6:30, which is what I clocked for the first mile.  I ran hard the 2nd mile, thinking I needed to pick it up.  But I had been struggling with a chest cold the last couple of days, and giving it just about all I had made it a 6:32 pace (13:05 for 2 miles).  I was a little bummed, because if the first run was this hard, and I couldn't even make the pace, maybe I was in the wrong training plan.  I jogged back to meet Jeff, and we finished up with a couple more miles easy.  When we got back to Brewbakers and I went to log my run, I realized I only needed a 6:34 pace, which is basically (INC) what I did.
The next day was with the Keenyans, and while my chest kept me from doing the last 1600 I had planned, I was able to keep the others right at pace.  Today I went out early in Greenfield for a 13 mile run.  The first mile was easy, with the puppy, then I went out at a 7:45 pace.  Miles 2-4 were uphill to the top of Poet's Seat, and I was having a hard time keeping it at 8.  At the top, my average pace was 8:07, but I figured I'd pick that back up on the downhill back.  When I got back to town at about mile 6, my average was sill only 8:00, so I had some work to do the second half of the run. My head kept calculating and recalculating the paces I need to drop my times.  I figured I had 15 seconds to drop, and 6 miles to do it in, so I had to go down 2-3 seconds/mile.  It was hard, but I kept making progress, and by mile 10 I was at 7:48.  The last few seconds would be hard to whittle down.  But when I finally saw 7:45 back on the GPS, I got a lift and ran the last mile hard, clocking a 6:52. That brought my average down to 7:42. I felt good having run hard and faster the 2nd half, but I keep wondering how I am supposed to run twice as far at 30 seconds faster.  Gotta keep with the plan.

Here are the weekly totals:

MON. : 3 mi & Nautilus
TUES. : 6 mi, 2 @13:05 (6:33/mi)
WED. : 8 mi & workout (2 x 1600m/4 x 200m)
THU. 0 mi
FRI. : 5 mi FART (10 runners!)
SAT. : 5 mi
SUN. : 13 mi, 12 @ 7:42 (1:32:20)

TOTAL : 40 mi

Saturday, December 18, 2010

roll the dice

if you're going to try, go all the
otherwise, don't even start.
if you're going to try, go all the
this could mean losing girlfriends,
wives, relatives, jobs and
maybe your mind.
go all the way.
it could mean not eating for 3 or 4 days.
it could mean freezing on a
park bench.
it could mean jail,
it could mean derision,
isolation is the gift,
all the others are a test of your
endurance, of
how much you really want to
do it.
and you'll do it
despite rejection and the worst odds
and it will be better than
anything else
you can imagine.
if you're going to try,
go all the way.
there is no other feeling like
you will be alone with the gods
and the nights will flame with
do it, do it, do it.
do it.
all the way
all the way.
you will ride life straight to
perfect laughter, its
the only good fight
there is.

Charles Bukowski

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Wednesday Recap

It took a while to warm up for the first Baker Street Runaround, but it was sure a good time.  The word went out that the High School was frozen, and we all made it back to the SBW parking lot.  I hope Clint got the message and wasn't running at the track by himself.  Halfway thru the warmup we joined the Keene State crew.  Or should I say, they joined us(INC). But it seemed like the idea of a workout scared them off, so when we turned towards Baker Street, they headed off to run thru town.  The big guns were doing some fast stuff, but my training schedule called for 3 x 1600.  I wasn't too sure how it would go, I've got a bit of a chest cold and I did a short tempo thing yesterday.  But Brad was up to give it a try, so off we went.  I did 2, right on target at 6:00, with only about 1:45 rest.  But at the start of the third I was really feeling it in my chest, so I bagged it and finished up with a few 200s.  I feel really good about where I am right now, compared to a year ago at this time when I first came out with this group. I think I am about 10-15 seconds faster in my mile pace for training.

2 x 1600, 4 x 200
6:00 / 6:00 / 38 / 36 / 39 / 37

Sad to say there is no obvious replacement for the 17M crown.  There was talk of the best Main Street Mile performance, but that is far too subjective.  This is running, not figure skating or gymnastics.  It will be a long wait till spring. It's all about timing, ain't it Clint?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Wet, Rainy, Icy...Beautiful.

Sunday's weather was not looking so great, but as usual, when you finally got out there, it wasn't too bad. It did make it a bit more challenging, but when we made it onto the trail, the footing was better. I started off with my regular 5 mile loop before meeting the Sunday group at 9.  The roads were pretty slick in spots, and George St and North Lincoln were especially tough.  It wasn't as cold as I had thought it would be, but the rain and sleet were starting to come down a little harder. Back at Brewbakers, I was able to persuade the group to hit the rail trail in order to stay off the roads as much as possible. Nick and I started out, and were soon joined by Jeff. I think we were all thinking of doing about 10 miles, but on the way up towards the dump, it was going so well that we all decided to keep going to the bridge.  The trees gave us a little shelter from the elements, the footing was good, and the conversation helped the miles go by easy.  On the way back we ran past Boj and Goupil looking strong. I stopped to say hi to Beth and Andy later on, and Jeff decided he would make me pay to try to catch back up with them.  The last 1/2 mile or so, past The Colony Mill, was the most brutal part.  I had decided to try to kick it up at the end, and it was like running with a parachute thru freezing sprinklers.  I was running about as hard as I could and I seemed to be hardly moving. I don't know what it is, but sometimes once you make the decision to head out, the worse things get the more fun it becomes.
All in all, it was a good week for me, and feel like I am in a good place to start training.
Here are the week's totals.

MONDAY : 3 mi @ gym, light workout
TUESDAY : 9 mi
WEDNESDAY : 8 mi w/ track workout
THURSDAY : 2 mi w/ Frankie, 3 mi@ gym & Nautilus
FRIDAY : 5 mi FART (8 runners, 1 in a stroller)
SUNDAY : 18 mi

TOTAL : 48 mi 

Next week, about the same, with the start of the Run Less, Run Faster Training Schedule.  Track, Tempo and Long Runs will be hard. 

Friday, December 10, 2010

Wednesday Workout, My Own Wagon Train

Well, I sort of felt like Cleavon Little's character on the wagon train in Blazing Saddles,

"-Well, back in ’56, my folks and I were part of this long wagon train movin’ West. Well, not exactly part of it. You might say we was bringin’ up the rear when suddenly, from out of the West came the entire Sioux nation. And let me tell you baby, they was open for business."

While everyone else was running in a pack, I was left to my own devices, and I had a pretty good workout. Things almost never seem to go as planned, and while I had wanted to do 6 x 800, I felt kinda wiped out in the middle of the second rep. Since I didn't need to convince anyone else to change but me, on the fly I went with 4 x 800/400. I kept all the rests to about 1:20, and that gave me a bit of a chance to fully recover after the 4s. My times were good and consistent for me, and I felt strong most of the way thru. I had wanted to keep all my 800s under 3:00, and I was close. It just gives me something to shoot for next time.

Here are the results:
2:56 / 1:26 / 2:59 / 1:28
3:02 / 1:24 / 3:00 / 1:23

Keeping with the movie theme, we'll call the 17 M titles No Country For Old Men, as the two oldest (Clint and Me) took the surprise crowns. It seemed like no one really wanted the first one, or at least no one was willing to make a break too soon. I felt a nudge in my back from Goupil, "Now. Go now!" he whispered. And while Justin and Greg were eyeing each others every twitch, I took off. I know Justin had a tough week, so maybe I didn't take him at his best. Plus when he turned and saw it was me, not Goupil making the move, I could see the instant calculations going on in his head that if he took me down he would look like the Grinch in Whoville. But hey, a win is a win. The second title was a much more competitive event, with all the big guns firing. A couple of fake kicks got everyones pace moving, when all of a sudden Clint busts out, determined not to be caught. Greg made a valiant effort towards the end, but it was Clint at the tape.
Armadillos was a lot of fun afterwards, and it was great to see Mark doing so well and in such good spirits after his accident. Plus, I think Boj Nick Cashed everyone at the table. Just for him, here's the link to the deer audio clip. Warning, not suitable for young children, which most of us are, so it's perfect.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Not Dark Yet, But it's Gettin' There

I got a little bit of an earlier start on the rail trail today, but it was still pitch dark for the last 2 miles or so. It was a little cold, and the wind in town was strong, but protected by the trees, the trail was great. It was frozen solid though, and the ruts made the footing dicey in spots. I was able to run fairly well up to the dump, but the darkness really slowed me down on the way back. When I usually have about a 1 min/mile difference, today it was almost exactly the same. 37 up, 36 down. It sure feels good to still be out on the trails. Even with the slower times, I know the uneven footing makes me a stronger runner. Plus it's great to be out in the woods.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Mmmm... Hot Chocolate. Damn...20:04

The Hot Chocolate Run in Northampton was a lot of fun, but I was hoping to break 20 minutes, and I just missed. The course was kinda hard, with a hill right at the start, and then a bit of a grade for the first mile. The middle mile was good, and I picked up a little ground, but then there was a hill with a head wind at the start of mile 3. I cruised after the hill for most of the last mile, and I felt pretty good, but then we made the turn for the finish onto the hill from the start, and it was a little to steep for me to let it fly down. All in all I felt good about the race, but I would have liked to been under 20. Something to shoot for next time. And it should be noted that this was the first official race for team FART. It was good to see the team affiliation on Cool Running. Andy came in 4th. I don't think CMS has anything to worry about with FART.
It was a good week besides the race. I got in my best mileage since Boston, and nothing hurts. Roma and I have been trying to get out early in the morning for a few miles to tucker out her new puppy. They aren't the fastest miles I do, but hey, it got me over 40. Plus we have been hitting the gym a couple of nights each week. The Y in Greenfield just got a new 10 person jacuzzi, and it opens tomorrow. More incentive to cross train.

Here's last weeks totals:
TUESDAY : 9 mi
WEDNESDAY : 8 mi, w/ track workout
THURSDAY : 2 mi, in huraches w/Roma & Frankie
FRIDAY : 7 mi, w/ light gym workout
SATURDAY:2 mi am w/Roma & Frankie,5.5 mi pm
SUNDAY : 12 mi, w/ 5K (20:04)

TOTAL : 45.5 mi
Last Week : 37 mi
Next Week Goal ; 40-45 mi / 3 gym work outs / 6 X 800 <3:00 at track

Friday, December 3, 2010

Wednesday Workout

It was cold, windy and rainy at the track, but there was still a good turn out, and I was glad to be out there. I didn't really have a plan as to what I was going to do, but I thought just some 4's and 2's would be good because of the wind. Turning the corner to the home stretch was killer, like running into a wall of pelting rain. I kept my recovery times short, in order to maximize such a short workout, about 45 sec for the 400s, and 30 sec for the 200s. I ended up doing 4 X 400, 4 X200, then 2 more of each. 3600 m of speed work on such a miserable day was easily as good psychologically as it was physically.

Here are the results
1:27 / 1:28 / 1:26 / 1:24
38 /39 /36 / 39 (wind aided, fast one was trying to keep pace with Wilson Perez)
1:27 /1:27
39 / 37

It was a dark and stormy night, when out of the inky shadows (implied Click & Clack).... Goupil cruises to his first 17M title of the fall/winter season. I was hoping for a shot at the second round, but with the rain and darkness, it made conditions too difficult for me to see the mark. Plus, it seems as though someone moved a mailbox into the running lane to slow down any unsuspecting runners(me). My specs were so fogged and wet that I couldn't even tell who took the title. Any help?
Again, Armadillo's was act@&**y a good time as usual.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Run To The Dump In The Dark

I got a late start on my run Tuesday, and I ended up running up to the dump and back in almost total darkness. Not quite epic by Boj's standards, but challenging. It was obviously a bit slower than I had wanted to run, but it is sure a great way to stay focused. I even found it a little addicting. Even though I know if I run on trails in the dark too often I am almost certain to get hurt, it was compelling and almost hypnotic.
I had a fairly good week of running. Nothing too crazy, but nothing hurts, so that is good. I feel like I am just getting my base together, with a little bit of speed and tempo stuff thrown in, and in 2 weeks start some more sustained and serious training.

Here are the weekly totals:

TUESDAY : 5 mi w/ core workout
WEDNESDAY : 4 mi, at the gym
THURSDAY : 9mi, w/4.5mi race(29:15)
FRIDAY : 4mi, at gym & workout
SUNDAY : 15 mi

TOTAL : 37 mi
LAST WEEK : 38 mi