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

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Training 1/18 to 1/24

1/18 Monday: 7 miles in 54 minutes

On the treadmill today. Felt a bit heavy and slow due to snowshoe race and hiking on Sunday.

1/19 Tuesday: 10 miles in 77 minutes

Felt better today. Ended up running in a nice little snowstorm.

1/20 Wednesday: 7.1 miles in 53 minutes

Easy running today. Did 6 x 20 sec strides during the run.

1/21 Thursday: AM: 8 miles in 60 minutes PM: 4 miles in 32 minutes

Felt ok but a little tight during the morning run. Hit the treadmill for the evening run. My right hamstring was a bit tight.

1/22 Friday: 6 miles in 47 minutes

Right leg was tight. But better than yesterday.

1/23 Saturday: OFF

Went skiing with my daughter. It was a great day and the conditions were awesome! I was going to run after skiing, but I figured that would be pushing it.

1/24 Sunday: 14 miles in 100 minutes

I had a very good run today. Felt stronger than I have and the legs felt good. Maybe it was that day off from running on Saturday. I started off nice and easy and built into a solid pace by the end of the run.

Total Mileage: 56.1

This was a very nice week of running. I got in some decent mileage and even got in an active day off with skiing on Saturday. I am really starting to feel like I am finally starting to get back into some kind of running shape. But I still have a long ways to go to actually get back into racing shape. I just got to keep putting in the work.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Feel Good Farm Snowshoe Race

On Saturday I headed up to Lyndeborough, NH for the Feel Good Farm Snowshoe race. This would be my first snowshoe race ever, in fact it would be my first time ever trying to run on snowshoes. We arrived at Feel Good Farm pretty early because I wanted to make sure I had enough time to get my loaner snowshoes from Dion Snowshoes and get in a good warm up. After I got checked in and got my loaner snowshoes I headed out for a very easy 3 mile warm up on the roads.

After my warm up I went back to my truck and got changed for the race. I decided on a lightweight trainer for shoes and a single long sleeved shirt as it was feeling pretty warm. The I took the snowshoes and headed for the snow.

After getting on my snowshoes and running around a bit I ran in Kevin Tilton and Jim Pawlicki. We chatted for a bit and I was pretty much told that this race was one of the hardest snowshoe races out there and that the course was a tough one.

After a few instructions about the course we were ready to roll and the race was started. I tried to get out a bit quick knowing the the course would get tight pretty quickly. I got out good and I was in about 6th or 7th place heading into the woods. At this point the course goes up a short hill and I was already having a few issues trying to control these things stuck on my feet. After a few rolling hills we hit the real climb going straight up Moose Mountain. It was here that I started having some real issues. My lack of recent running and lack of experience with snowshoes really started to shine through. I was tripping all over myself every time I tried to run, I was all over the place and could barely stay up right. This slowed me way down and lots of people went by me. I also have only been back running for three weeks and this lack of training really put me in the hurting zone real quick. I had at least 4-5 people go by me going up the hill the first time. It was at this point that I really thought I had made a mistake in not only trying to race so soon, but trying snowshoe racing in general. Once at the top I had a chance to collect myself and get ready for the descent. The descent was crazy......it was steep, rocky, uneven, and with very thin cover. The only good thing was I found descending much easier for myself. I passed a couple of people on the steep sections and rolled on to the flats moving pretty good. I put some distance on those behind me and I caught up to Steve Wolfe just as we started to ascend the back side of Moose Mountain. Steve was holding a decent pace and I decided that I would tuck behind him for a while, try to settle in and see if I could ascend the mountain a little better this time. I think I was a little bit better the 2nd time up, but I also think this trail was a bit easier to ascend. But it also had a very steep section at the very top that really hurt. I stayed with Steve the whole way and made the decent down the front side just staying controlled and following Steve. The first lap went by in 22:18

As the second lap began I decided that I would stay with Steve and try to make a move on him going up the big straight hill section. But before we could even get there I wiped out big time going up a small rise. I fell on my chest and some how managed to get the tail of one snowshoe stuck in the front of the other snowshoe. I let out some expletives while I rolled around on the ground trying to get my snowshoes unstuck. Steve turned around to see what was going on and I can only imagine what he was thinking, because I felt like some snowshoeing menace making a fool out of myself. I did get myself back together and caught back up to Steve. As we hit the big hill for the third time Steve seemed to be hurting and I managed to get by him and put some distance on him. This time on the descent I really opened it up and felt like I was really moving good. I hit the flats and kept it going hard till the last time up the mountain. As I hit the bottom of the climb I could see Chris Dunn and Reeder Fahnestock headed up the climb. I put in a good effort and was closing the gap right up until the top. But it was not to be. They crested the top and still had a gap on me and retained it on the descent into the finish. I knew I wasn't going to catch them and I could see nobody one behind me, so I figured I was pretty much locked into my placing. I finished up the race in 9th place in 43:55. My second lap was 21:37, a full 41 seconds faster.

So in the end I had a great time! The snowshoeing crowd was very friendly and I chatted with quite a few people after the race. I loved the racing and the challenge that this experience presented me. Its something that I think I will try again in the future, and hopefully when I am in better shape.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Training 1/11 to 1/17

1/11 Monday: 6.1 miles in 46 minutes

Easy run from work. Felt pretty good after doing 12 the day before.

1/12 Tuesday: 8 miles in 61 minutes

Easy treadmill run. Installed a TV in front of the treadmill. It was so much nicer than staring at a wall for an hour.

1/13 Wednesday: OFF

Did not plan to take a day off here. But it happens. Probably a good thing at this point. No need to force things this early in the season.

1/14 Thursday: 10 miles in 74 minutes

Ran from work. Felt really good and smooth today. Plus it was much nicer out.

1/15 Friday: AM: 7 miles in 52 minutes PM: 4 miles in 32 minutes

Went really easy in the morning, did 6 x 15 second strides during the end of the run. Felt OK. After work I jumped on the treadmill for 4 real easy miles.

1/16 Saturday: 11 miles in in 90 minutes

Went to the Feel Good Farm Snowshoe race. Did a very easy 3 mile warm up, then raced 9km of very hilly rugged snowshoe trail with very thin snow cover. This was my first snowshoe race and it was an adventure and a learning experience. Did a 2.5 mile cool down. Race report to follow soon!

1/17 Sunday: No running, 9 miles of hiking, 3400 ft vertical gain

Hiked Mt. Moriah with Heather, Emily and Dave. This was another 4000 footer I needed to get in my quest to bag all 48 NH 4000 footers. It was a great day for a hike, despite that fact that I felt like I had been beat up the day before.

Total Mileage: 46.1 miles running, 9 miles hiking

Despite not hitting the 50 miles I wanted, and taking an unexpected day off from running, this week was still a very good week, and a great step in getting back in shape. I got in some very good running and a very good hike. Best of all I tried out something new in snowshoe racing. It was extremely tuff and challenging and that was just the part where I was trying to figure out how to run with snowshoes on my feet. The course was another whole animal. Overall it was a blast and great experience. A race report will be posted soon. The plan for next week is to be out running every day and get in some more miles.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Training 1/4 to 1/10

1/4 Monday: 5 miles in 38 minutes

1/5 Tuesday: 7.2 miles in 52 minutes

Very easy run. I did some very light 10-12 second pick ups in the last mile or so. They were more of just an in run stride to turn the legs over a bit.

1/6 Wednesday: 5 miles in 38 minutes

1/7 Thursday: OFF

Planned day off for some rest and recovery. Trying to be smart right now and stay healthy.

1/8 Friday: 8.1 miles in 59 minutes

Felt pretty good on the run. I saw Jim Johnson and Dan Verington out running, they were looking good in their matching jackets!

1/9 Saturday: 5 miles in 38 minutes

Treadmill run. Was trying to run pretty easy and let my mind wander. But my 4 year old daughter decided that this was a good time to corner me and have an exhaustive chat about her Barbie dolls while I was running.

1/10 Sunday: 12 miles in 84 minutes

The best I have felt yet and a good way to end the week. Went pretty easy and stayed relaxed and let the run come to me. On the way home I have a few miles in the 6:40's which really surprised me. Best part was I felt very comfortable.

Total Miles: 42.3

This was a very solid 2nd week back. The goal was to run more than 40 miles and take a day off. And I got that done, although I did skip out on doing any core or strength work. Got to get on that this week. The coming week I will bring up the mileage a bit more and trying to get in some core and strength work.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

2009 The Raw Numbers and a Summary

Here are the raw numbers for my 2009 running.

The Raw Numbers

Miles run:
Average week: 46.1 miles
Biggest Week: 91 miles
Lowest week: 0 miles
Biggest Month: 349 miles
Lowest Month: 45 miles

The Race Numbers

Races: 21
Races Won: 8
Top 3: 9
Top 5: 14
PR's: 4 (3k track, 5k track, 3 mile road, 12k)

By Race Distance

3k: 1
3 miles: 1
5k (track): 2
5k (road): 5
4 miles: 1
5 miles: 1
10k: 3
12k: 1
7.6 mile: 1
10 miles: 1
1/2 Marathon: 3
Marathon: 1

Highlights by Month

  • Ran indoor track for the first time in a long time.
  • Ran a 3k PR of 8:56 at the GBTC Invite.
  • Ran a 5k PR of 15:29 at the BU Terrier Invite.
  • Ran 148 miles
  • Ran the USATFNE Indoor Track Championships for the first time ever.
  • Ran the 5k at the USATFNE Championships in a PR of 15:28 and 5th place overall.
  • Ran 192 miles
  • Ran Spring Ahead 3 miler in PR of 15:04 beating Wilson Perez for 1st place.
  • Ran Gilmanton 5k, the first race of the CARS series of races. Finished in 5th place.
  • Ran 257 miles.
  • Ran the SEA 5k, 2nd race in the CARS series, Finished 1st in 15:57.
  • Ran the Merrimack Trail Race 10m. Finished 1st in 57:31. The 5th fastest time ever and 3rd fastest person ever, only behind Paul Low and Dave Dunham. Beat a very quality field that included Kevin Tilton and Ben Nephew.
  • Ran 209 miles
  • Ran Children's Museum 5k placing 1st in 15:57 beating John Mentzer
  • Ran Big Lake 1/2 Marathon in 1:12:06 for first place beating Scott Rowe, Wilson Perez and Jim Johnson. This was probably my best race all year and it was against a very talented field of runners.
  • Ran the Bedford 12k, a USATFNE Champioship race. Finished 12th place in 39:19. My best finish ever in a non marathon USATFNE Championship race.
  • Ran the Canterbury XC Challenge (CARS Series) the day after Bedford. I won in 17:35 over a very tough course. But I paid for it. This is where I pulled my hamstring and all my issues started. Too much racing!
  • Ran Redhook 5k. Finished 4th place in 16:05. But was in a lot of pain and it was here that I knew I had some real issues.
  • Ran 198 miles
  • Ran the Run for Rusty 4 miler (CARS Series). Finished first in 21:51. Ran just hard enough to win.
  • Ran Mt Washington Road Race. The most miserable experience of my life. See the write up! Finished 58th in 1:20:44. A very poor performance.
  • Ran 145 miles
  • Ran the final CARS Series race. The Bill Luti 5 miler. I finished 5th place in 27:14. Just enough to seal the Men's Open CARS series Championship.
  • Still constantly getting treatment on hamstrings to allow myself to run.
  • Ran 269 miles
  • Ran my First Beach to Beacon and it was a great time. Finished 44th in 33:12.
  • Ran Sunders at Rye Harbor 10k. Finished 5th in 32:46. This was the first race since May that I actually felt good, with minimal leg issues
  • Got in some really good marathon training.
  • Ran 349 miles
  • Ran run to The Rock 1/2 Marathon in 1:13:29 for first place becoming the first person to ever have won all three races (5k, 10k, 1/2 marathon)
  • Ran Lone Gull 10k, a USATFNE Championship, finishing in 32:49 for 33rd place. Had some pretty bad cramping issue in this race.
  • Ran 308 miles
  • Ran The Baystate Marathon, a USATFNE Championship, ran 2:41:58 for 18th place. This race was a disaster. It was my worst marathon time ever. My hamstrings went bizerk about 10 miles in and the weather was brutally awful.
  • Ran 198 miles
  • Ran Seacoast Half Marathon in 1:14:43 for 3rd place. Another worst ever time for the distance. Legs were gone and it was obvious I was in need of time off.
  • Time off completely from running.
  • Hiked 6 NH 4000 footers
  • Ran 79 miles
  • Tried running a few time early in the month, but the legs were still not having it.
  • Hiked 1 more NH 4000 footer
  • Started running again consistently right at the end of the month.
  • Ran 45 miles

Overall it was a frustrating year. I felt like I was off to great start and I was running better than I ever have. Then injuries made the rest of my year very inconsistent. I still had some good performances, some great training, and even in the fall I thought I was stronger than I ever have been. I just couldn't put it together when it counted. I hope that the time off I took to rest and recover was the right thing to do. I hope to come back in 2010 running smarter and stronger than ever! See you out there on the roads, trails, and mountains!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Seacoast Half Marathon and Time off

So this is wicked late!!!! But I thought I should still be post a quick update about the Seacoast Half Marathon and what I have been up to since then.

I ran the Seacoast Half Marathon on November 8th. This is one of my favorite races in the area. This race is well organized, has great amenities for runners of all levels, has a great scenic course, and gives a very large amount of money (50k+) to charity each year. This is a race every runner should check out at some point.

So this was 3 weeks after the Baystate Marathon. I had considered not running Seacoast with the idea that I should rest up and get healthy. Something I probably should have done since I had been suffering through hamstring issues for months at this point. But I like this race too much and I decided to race anyways and just give it a good effort and see what happens.

I knew that my Whirlaway teammate Dan Princic would be there, and possibly Mark Mayall. So I figured that a top 3 finish would be a good day for me considering my post marathon/injured condition. Before the race I met a very nice guy Bob Wiles who had raced the year before and was looking to run a lot faster this year. So I knew he would be in the mix up front too. Mark Mayall was a no show, as I believe he has been battling injury issues all year.

The race shaped up pretty much as I thought with Dan, Bob, and myself off the front pretty early and separating ourselves from the rest of the field pretty quickly. We stayed together through the few miles with only one little spot of confusion at a rotary. I went left, the short way around, and Dan and Bob went right, the long way around. I am still not sure which way is the right way. But it gave me a quick 10m lead. Once I saw what happened I slowed up to let the other guys catch back up. Considering the confusion it was the right thing to do. At just past 4 miles I was already starting to feel my hamstrings and marathon legs acting up. I decided to put in a small surge to see if i could loosen them up and see what the other guys would do. Dan came right with me, and Bob let us get about a 1om lead or so. By about 5.5 miles we were all back together. This did not last long as Dan started to push the pace and quickly pulled away from me and Bob. The next few miles I was just trying to hang in there with Bob in the hopes he would start to fade. But it was I who started to fade by about 9 miles in. Bob got a lead on me and worked it out to about 50m or so. I managed to keep it there for a couple miles but the race was over for me. I was hurting pretty good, the legs were screaming and I had resigned myself to 3rd place at this point. I ran in the last couple miles just making sure no one was catching up to me. I finished 3rd in 1:14:43, my slowest 1/2 marathon time ever. Yet I still enjoyed yet another year at the Seacoast Marathon.

I do want to congratulate Dan on his first place finish and also Bob for running a great race and getting himself a big PR!

Seacoast 1/2 Marathon Results

Seacoast Online Article

What Have I been up too since then???? Not too much. I tried running a few times but the legs and hamstrings were not having it and the motivation was gone. So I took off a bunch of time to rest up and recover. I also took the time to work on my NH 4000 footers and knocked off a bunch more on my quest to finish all 48. Now I am back at it again....rested and healthy and getting ready for 2010. See you out there!

Training 12/28 to 1/3

Monday 12/28: 5.2 miles in 39 minutes

First run in a very long time. Ran easy with Heather. Hamstrings felt good for the first time in about 6 months I ran with out any discomfort.

Tuesday 12/29: Off

Wednesday 12/30: 8.1 miles in 58 minutes

Ran with Jim Johnson, Dave Dunham, and the Quintal brothers. Felt ok, tired toward the end. But it was the longest I have run since early November. Overall it was a good run. No discomfort in the hamstrings.

Thursday 12/31: 5.2 miles in 39 minutes

Ran after dark on snow covered roads. Went pretty easy. Felt ok...a bit tired from yesterdays run.

Friday 1/1: Off

Saturday 1/2: 6 miles in 45 minutes

Ran on the treadmill today....it was just too nasty out there. Felt alright.

Sunday 1/3: 10 miles in 74 minutes

Treadmill run. Holy hell that was boring. I need to get back outside. Actually felt real good. I even did some strength work after. I hope doing some core work and strength work will help the hamstring situation from occurring again.

Total Mileage: 34.5

Well the week looks pretty damn poor, but I will take it. I am back running again and I just need to focus on getting in some miles and staying healthy.