" It's at the borders of pain and suffering that the men are separated from the boys."
- Emil Zatopek

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Recovery 10/19 to 10/25

I came off of the marathon with my legs actually feeling really good. Probably because I was in really good shape, and I didn't run all that fast and beat up my legs. This was the best I have ever felt after a marathon, except for my left hamstring, which was pretty much a mess. I decided that a couple days off were in order and that I would try running again on Wednesday. This was a big mistake. I made it about 1/2 mile before an intense stabbing pain came back to my left hamstring. That was pretty much the end of that run....and any hope of running for the rest of this week.

I decided to really work on my hamstring over the rest of the week. I have been using the heating pad every night and trying to stretch and message the area when I have the time. The hope was that if I really worked on the hamstring maybe I could get back out running next week and have a chance at running the Seacoast half marathon on November 8th.

Baystate Marathon

I apologize for this blog being so late. The reason being is that this race turned out to be a disaster for me. The weather and cold temperatures were not good for my tight hamstrings and as a result brought back an injury that I have been fighting for a good part of this year.

Got up at 5am to get some food in my stomach before heading to Lowell for the race. The weather at this point was alright. It was cold, but there was no rain.....yet. We all knew it was coming, it was just a matter of when. Heather, Caitlyn, and I drove over to Lowell and arrived at about 7:00am and parked in the garage. I then headed over to the Tsongas arena to meet up with coach Dave and some of my teammates. Before long we were heading back to the garage to put on our racing shoes. We did a quick warm up over to the starting area and did some strides and suck as we tried to stay warm. It was cold.......but still no rain.

At last the race started. I went out pretty conservative. I really wanted to be strong in the 2nd half of the race and reel people in as they faded. A bunch of people went out pretty strong and I settled in with Jim Johnson. First mile went by in 5:52, this was good. Not to fast and not too slow. This kept up for a while with Jim and I clicking off miles a little under 6 minute pace for the first 15 miles of the race. I was feeling great, so strong, so controlled, happy to have someone to run with. I was pretty sure this was going to be a great race. Until I hit the 8th mile and I felt something starting to go wrong. It was my left hamstring, the same one that put me out of commission for a couple weeks earlier in the year. At first it was just tightness, I thought no problem...this will go away. It did not, it only got worse. By the time I hit about 10 miles It was starting to get a bit painful, with a stabbing feeling on each stride. I knew I was in trouble, I actually told Jim I wasn't sure I was going to make it. I tried everything to try to get it to lossen up, even pick ups, changing up my stride, nothing was working. I wasn't slowing down yet, but I knew I would soon if the hamstring kept this up. I thought about dropping out at the half way point, knowing coach and Heather would be there. But I kept thinking, what if it loosens up? I can't quit after all this work I have put in! I swore I would never drop out of a race! So I kept going. I hung in there with Jim till about 15 miles.....then things just started getting worse. The stabbing pain in my hamstring was really starting to effect my stride and I was grimacing with each step. At some point it had finally started raining too.....I have no idea when, but now I was soaked, cold, and not having a good time. So I backed if off a little, the stabbing pain would ease a bit, then get worse, so I would back off more. Before I knew it, I was slowing down quite a bit and my race was pretty much over. It was going to be a long painful run back in from there. So I kept running and backing off as the pain got worse, just trying to survive till the end. I also knew that Heather would be up ahead at the 22 mile mark. Once I reached her I convinced her to run with me for a while. It was the best thing to happen to me that day. I was cold, wet, miserable, and just wanted some company. Heather kept me company till the 25 mile mark and then cut off to see me finish. I finished out the race and just wanted to get somewhere dry and warm. I was shivering uncontrollably and my left hamstring was cramping up bad and it was killing me. It was a most miserable experience.

I ended up finishing 18th overall in 2:41:58 (6:11 pace). My worst marathon time ever and no where near what I wanted to run. I know I was in great shape and felt great till hamstring issues cause my race to be lost. The cold and wet weather did not help matters. Once the hamstring started going there was no way I was going to get them to calm down in that weather. See my splits below:

Mile 01) 5:52
Mile 02) 5:42 (11:34)
Mile 03) 5:50 (17:25)
Mile 04) 5:50 (23:15)
Mile 05) 5:46 (29:02)
Mile 06) 5:51 (34:53)
Mile 07) 5:48 (40:41)
Mile 08) 5:45 (46:27)
Mile 09) 5:43 (52:11)
Mile 10) 5:39 (57:51)
Mile 11) 5:50 (1:03:41)
Mile 12) 5:49 (1:09:31)
Mile 13) 5:57 (1:15:29)
Mile 14) 5:57 (1:21:20)
Mile 15) 6:00 (1:27:20)
Mile 16) 6:10 (1:33:31)
Mile 17) 6:24 (1:39:55)
Mile 18) 6:29 (1:46:24)
Mile 19) 6:37 (1:53:01)
Mile 20) 6:48 (1:59:49)
Mile 21) 6:41 (2:06:30)
Mile 22) 6:45 (2:13:15)
Mile 23) 7:03 (2:20:19)
Mile 24) 6:50 (2:27:08)
Mile 25) 6:42 (2:33:51)
Mile 26) 6:41 (2:40:32)
last .2) 1:26 (2:41:58)

I do want to congratulate the my teammate, race winner, and New England Marathon Champion Brandon Newbould who ran a great race and came from behind to take the win! The Whirlaway team as a whole also had a great day coming in 2nd as a open team and winning the masters and Seniors divisions. Nice job guys!! I also want to thank all the Whirlaway guys who were out there on the course supporting those of us who were racing. It didn't matter that it was cold and wet, you guys came out to support your teammates and it is greatly appreciated!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Last week before Baystate Marathon

10/12 Monday: OFF

This was not going to be a day off. But I decided a day off from running to rest up would be good. The work for the marathon is done, "The hay is in the barn" as they say. Time to freshen up the legs and get ready to race!

10/13 Tuesday: 5 miles in 38 minutes

Very easy run. Felt a bit fresher today. Not as heavy as I have been feeling. I had a good talk with Coach Fernando today about nutrition, race goals, strategy, and execution. Its time to start visualizing success and getting myself mentally ready for the challenges of running 26.2 miles.

10/14 Wednesday: 7 miles in 50 minutes

Did this run pretty early in the morning before work. I did a very easy 2 miles of warm up then hit the track for 3 x 800 with 200m in 90 sec rest. Did each interval in 2:40. I then took 1 lap rest then did 1 mile in 5:40.

I will be heading the The Sports Spa this afternoon for a pre-race massage to work out any crap in the legs and get them ready to run fast!

Took an Epsom salt bath later this evening

10/15 Thursday: 5 miles in 39 minutes

Real easy run today. Felt a bit better, not as heavy or tight today. Really starting to think about the race....trying to visualize success!

10/16 Friday: OFF

No running today. Rest and relaxation.

10/17 Saturday: 3 miles in 23 minutes

Real easy run this morning followed by 6 x 12 second strides. Still not feeling very fresh...I think a lot of it is nerves. I hope I am ready tomorrow when the gun goes off!

10/18 Sunday: Baystate Marathon

Warmed up for a mile. Then 26.2 miles in 2:41:58 for 18th place. Race report will be up soon.

Total: 47 miles

The week leading up to the race was good. I thought that I was well prepared and ready to run well. The only thing that was bothering me was some tightness in my hamstrings (but they
always seem a bit tight to me). I guess I should have paid more attention to them as my hamstrings are what cost me at the marathon. More details about the race to follow in my race report.

The next week will be recovery, some days off and then some very light running. I am still planning on racing Seacoast half marathon on November 8th. That's if I recover well and the hamstrings feel good. If not I will just got up and use the race as a training run.

Training 10/5 to 10/11

10/5 Monday: 8.1 miles in 60 minutes

10/6 Tuesday: 10 miles in 65 minutes

2.5 miles of warm up at the track. Then 2000m in 6:30 goal was alternating 75 sec and 85 sec laps. Took 1 lap rest then did 8 x 800m with a goal pace of 2:30 with 90 sec rest. All of the 800's were 2:28 to 2:30. Felt OK, the effort did not seem hard, but I felt sluggish.

10/7 Wednesday: 7.2 miles in 54 minutes

10/8 Thursday: 6 miles in 67 minutes

10/9 Friday: 7.1 miles in 54 minutes

10/10 Saturday: 12 miles in 82 minutes

Easy 5 miles, followed by 4 miles at 5:35 pace, three miles easy. Felt OK, but not easy.

10/11 Sunday: 7 miles in 53 minutes

Total: 57.4 miles

First week of bringing the mileage down a bit. I am feeling OK, but not rested or fresh. I hope the next week of taper really gets my legs feeling good. Onlt one week till Baystate!

Training 9/28 to 10/4

9/28 Monday: 9 miles in 67 minutes

9/29 Tuesday: AM: 9.5 miles in 70 minutes PM: 4.2 miles in 30 minutes

9/30 Wednesday: 10 miles in 67 minutes

3 mile warm up at the track. Then I did 5 x mile with 60 seconds rest in between each mile. My splits were 5:09, 5:08, 5:07, 5:08, and 5:07. I was very happy with this workout and felt pretty solid throughout. Kept the rest right to the 60 seconds too. 2 mile cool down.

10/1 Thursday: 9.2 miles in 68 minutes

10/2 Friday: 8 miles in 60 minutes

10/3 Saturday: 18.1 miles in 1 hour 58 minutes

Went to Bristol for the New Hampshire Marathon and 10k. Heather was running the 10k. So I did this run out on the Marathon course which goes around Newfound Lake. Did 5 miles easy, then 5 miles at 5:48 pace, 60 sec rest, then 5 miles at 5:41 pace, then 3.1 miles of cool down. Felt OK, not great. Heather came in 2nd in the 10K....Nice job!

10/4 Sunday: 8 miles in 60 minutes

Ran this up in campton NH with Heather. Nice easy run.

Total Miles: 76 miles

This was a much better week than last week when I got sick and missed a run and a workout. This week I had two good workouts and some good mileage. Two weeks till Baystate!