Monday, December 28, 2009

Update on Training

Since my last post when I reported of an injury, I have been able to train with relatively little pain in my right leg/hammy/hip. I have not gone to any PT or massage therapist and have just been careful with my mileage. Here is a quick summary:

12/17 20 minute jog....2.0 miles

12/18 8 easy miles...64:00

12/19 10 miles in 73:00

12/20 9.0 in 72:30 SNOW TOTAL for week 29.0 miles

12/21 5 in AM/ 4 in PM

12/22 5 in AM / 5 in PM

12/23 7 miles in 53:06

12/24 9.5 miles 66:00

12/25 9.0 easy in PM

12/26 5 easy in 36:00

12/27 33 min on bike followed by 7.5 miles on roads in 52:30 TOTAL for week 55 miles

I am feeling pretty good during my training runs and just have to be careful not to overdo anything. I am planning on racing New Year's Day. Maybe a 4 miler.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Pinched nerve

Yesterday, I went to the doctor and he diagnosed I have a pinched nerve in my hip which is causing the pain in the hamstring and thigh of my right leg. So he set up an appointment for today to go get a cortisone shot which should help relieve the pain. He did not specify if I should run or not so I am just going to see what the shot does for me and go from there. Hopefully, I will be out running soon.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Week ending 12/13/09

M 12/7 8 miles in 60:00

T 12/8 8 easy in 1:04:30

W 12/9 cycled for 25 minutes

Th 12/10 8.5 in 1:05

Fr 12/11 8.5 in 1:04

Sa 12/12 10 in 1:19

Su 12/13 off

Kind of a funky week with the snow on Wednesday and no run on Sunday due to severe pain in my hip/hamstring on my right leg. I am a bit concerned with this so I made a doctor's appointment and I am going to rest until I find out what it wrong. If not for this, then I would say my fitness is very good.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Week ending 12/6/9

M- 11/30 9 miles (1:04:30)

T - 12/1 9 miles (1:04:24)

W - 12/2 off

Th - 12/3 9.5 (1:09:08) included several pickups/hills and 6 x 20/40 to finish

Fr - 12/4 8.5 (1:00:00) w/ MQ

Sat - 12/5 10.5 total (1:20:00) track 1 x 800 in 2:28 (73/75) 4 x 400 (78/77/76/75)
4 x 200 (36/35/34/34)

Sun - 12/6 8 miles (59:31)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Track workout

I got up early and grabbed a medium coffee at DD then went over to North Andover Middle School and did a track workout similar to the Keenyans over in Swanzey. After a 30 minute warmup (nice and easy) I jumped on the track and did a mile worth of strides (backstretch and homestretch) then started the workout. I ran 1 x 800 in 2:28 (73/75) took a 800 rest/jog then did 4 x 400 (78/77/76/75 with 400 recovery between each) and after another 400 rest did 4 x 200 in 36/35/34/34 with a 200 jog/rest in between. Warmed down with 30 more minutes of easy running on grass.

I am very satisfied with the effort and feel I had at least 6 more seconds in me for the 800 time trial. It would of been cool to do the workout with someone. The conditions were decent but cold.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

30th Annual Andover Striders XC race (3.5 mile)

Sunday morning, I met up with my brother Michael in North Andover and he drove us over to the Andover Country Club (ACC) where we raced in the 30th Annual Andover Striders Cross Country race. The distance for this event is advertised as a 6k but due to construction on the normal finish line area the course was changed a bit so the general consensus was that the distance for today's race was 3.5 miles. We arrived at the ACC about 11:00 and had plenty of time to sign up ($20 which includes a buffet lunch and plenty of beer, and a nifty pair of running gloves) and chat with a number of the locals. In fact, Michael and I parked right next to the ageless coach Deke of Double J fame who knew everyone ! Double D arrived and after he signed up, we (DD, MQ and Jim Quadros) went out for a 24 minute warmup. After lacing up the Innovate's, we headed over to the 5th fairway for the start.

David Labrode, a longtime running supporter and race founder, gave everyone a brief rundown on the "new " course layout and at 12 noon, we were off. Ryan Carrarra (new balance- boston) last year's winner took it out with Chad Carr (Cambridge Running Club) and Al Bernier (CMS) in pursuit. They would finish in that order. I got out really well and was settled in about 5th or 6th and was waiting for the arrival of MQ, DD and Terry McNatt (CSU). I was feeling pretty good considering I raced on Thursday but most everyone in the field had raced on Thanksgiving Day so we were all in the same proverbial boat. At about 3/4 miles MQ pulled aside and I encouraged him to take off and chase the leaders. He seemed to float away with relative ease and continued on for a 6th place finish (19:02). As DD and McNatt arived, along with Tomoaki Uchiki (Greater Boston) I tried to relax and settle in but something inside me was posessing me to force a hard pace so I took off really hard and made a bid to go after MQ. All three runners responded and I hung in about 10th place for the entie race always in sight of McNatt, DD and Uchiki. I was feeling the early surges midway but was not losing any ground to them. I was just hanging back and once I got a feel for the finish line I made a mad push down the hill onto the 9th fairway and made some nice footwork back up the final hill to the finish line. It was a sprint to the finish as I held off DD and Uchiki but lost to McNatt by 6 seconds for another Master's runnerup. I fell to the ground as I crossed the finish mat totally exhausted from the effort. My time was 19:38.


Thursday, November 26, 2009

2009 Feaster Five (8k) Andover MA

Thanksgiving morning, I drove over to Andover, MA and ran the 22nd Annual Feaster Five road race. It is advertised as a 5 miler for promotional purposes and every sign and mile marker out on the course indicates it is a 5 miler but in reality it is an 8k. Going into this race, I was not sure what to expect as I still believe I am feeling the effects from numerous fall races and not having a substantial base to carry me through. But I figured I would give it my best shot. After receiving a $5 discount from the $30 entry fee due to the fact that they ran out of t-shirts (there were only 9,000 runners between the 5k and 8k so I don't know how that happened) I went out on the course to warmup. 12 minutes into it I bumped into Double J (Jim Johnson) who was racing in the 8k as well. We went another 8 minutes or so and met up for the jog over to the starting area after lacing up the racing flats (I wore my Loco Banditos and made sure they were good and tied).
After managing to get past tight security we lined up right in the front and I stood next to eventual winner Nate Jenkins and joked that all the slow people should line up in the back and he went along with the joke good naturedly and pretended to move to the back.:) After all the pre race festivities (which get a little played out) we finally got the start to race. I wanted to win the master's division. I am not going to lie this was my goal. I have won the 5k master's division once so I wanted to add the 8k to my resume. My time last year was 27:22 which looking back was one of my best races. I honestly did not think I had 27:22 in me based on my last couple of races but this is why we run the race. Looking at the field I noticed Robert Dabreio (Whirlaway) who I beat at Ollie 5 miler and he beat me at Lone Gull 10k, so I figured he was the guy to beat.
I got out good and actually beat Jenkins, et al to the 50 yard mark but my lead was short lived as Nate took off pretty much uncontested. Matt Ely (BAA) a former Andover, MA resident gave chase but it was clearly a one man race. I was concentrating on staying with Dabreio but I really did not give much of a challenge as I was losing ground early and was about 5 seconds back at the mile (5:52). I felt decent but just didn't have the leg turnover to go any harder early with the long uphill. As we made our way onto Main Street the early morning fog served as a shield and I lost eye contact with the top 8 runners but could see Dabreio the entire way. Turning left and then left again brings us to the top of the hill and then there is a long downhill to the Town Offices and mile 2 (11:38). My second mile was 5:46 and I was giving it everything to stay in sight of Dabreio and actually gained a bit as we winded through the Carmel Woods neighborhood and onto Elm Street. The 3rd mile is very generous and has substantial downhill which helps at this point in the race but wasn't enough for me to get back to the lead master. I ran hard and hit mile 3 in 17:22 and was probably 15 seconds behind. My 3rd mile was 5:44.
Mile 3 to 4 is more downhill to the turn onto High Street and this is where the 8k meets up with the 5k. This can cause problems because several 5k runners drift to the right and hinder your progress at times and also allow runners up ahead to hide in the pack. Of course, this effects everyone so, it is a wash. I actually like this section of the course because I always feel the energy of the pack of runners but it is usually when the pain of the race is starting to hit you. At about 3 1/2 miles Anders Samuelson (Joan Benoit Samuelson's son) went by me and I tried to hang with him. He was running strong and I could not sustain his pace even though I was surging as best I could. I hit mile 4 in 22:53 (5:31) and took the turn onto Lowell St (Rt 133) for the final push home. I actually passed two runners during this long stretch but, as I ran up the final hill to Brookstone Square, they both passed me and I finished the final .91 in 5:30 for a finishing time of 28:22 which put me officially in 13th place and 2nd master overall. Dabreio beat me handily with a time of 27:35.

Jim Johnson took 4th overall in 26:10. As I walked past the finish line his dad took a photo of the two of us. Overall I am pleased but feel I have more in me for the future because my foot is not bothering me and I should be able to start to bring the mileage up and start building for future racing. Next up is the Andover CC 6k XC race Sunday morning.
Story and video from tribune

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A Taste of Track

Today I decided, after a 31 minute warmup, to incorporate some track work and see how my legs and feet would respond. As my route took me through North Andover, I made my way over to the Middle School track (Alvah G. Hayes football field) and decided to do 4 x 400 with a 200 jog rest and 2 x 200 with a jog across the football field as my recovery. Things went well as I hit 85/83/82/82 and 36/35. Finished up with another 30 minutes of easy running. My legs and feet feel good and I am encouraged to keep going back to the track each week in preparation for some future races.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

USATF-NE XC 8k Championship (Masters)

Sunday morning, I drove down to Franklin Park in Boston to compete in the USATF-NE XC Championships. It would be the second time racing in this masters only race as I raced it last year. The distance is 8k and features 4 loops through the woods and trails of Franklin Park near White Stadium. For the masters race, we get to charge up Bear Cage Hill twice through our journey of this course which also serves as the site for numerous collegiate and high school xc championships.
After signing up and conversing with several CMS teammates (Ernie Brake, Scott Clark and Dave Harper) as well as longtime running supporter, Brad Hurst, I warmed up with the elusive Eric Morse who made the three hour journey from Vermont to give a try for a New England title.
Cool temps, little wind and blue skies topped off a beautiful morning and would serve as excellent conditions for racing. And the field that was present would lead to fast racing.
As the 12 CMS runners lined up in the box (5 master/7seniors and vets) we were off at 10:00 AM. My plan was to try to run even which meant not going out too hard. As I could not get my watch to start I went through mile 1 in about 5:30 which put me in about 30th place. The pace seemed fine and I felt good. Along came Mark Reeder and I tried to go with him and John Barbour but could not hold pace and sort of lost a bit midrace. I hit two miles in 11:20 and 3 in about 17:05 and those were the only splits I got for the race. I was battling several Dirigo runners the entire race and passed Chris Teague (HFC) at about 4 miles and started battling with a BAA dude up our 2nd climb on Bear Cage but he pulled away on the downhill. I ran as hard as I could and finished up with a 28:21 about 8 seconds slower than last year. All in all it was a good team effort as we finished 4th overall. We were led by Eric Morse (5th), Scott Clarke (12th), myself, Ernie Brake and Dave Harper. These results are unofficial as no results have been posted on coolrunning or the USATF website. Kent Lemme won the race and Francis Burdett (both of the Greater Springfield Harriers) was runnerup. Greater Springfield won the team title.

I stuck around and watched the men's and women's open races. CMS men's team ran strong and finished in 4th place overall. Congrats to all for a great job!

Results are now on coolrunning.

Above photo courtesy of Krissy K.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

TIP 4 mile, Lawrence, MA

Sunday morning, I went over to Lawrence, MA to race in the TIP 4 mile road race which started and finished at the Claddagh Restaurant. Previous races from the Claddagh usually start on Essex Street and head up Water Street towards Tower Hill and feature a nice out and back course. The course for today was more of a tour of South Lawrence as it crossed the Middle bridge and took us out towards Winthrop Avenue and ended up out on Route 28 and came back down South Broadway and back over the Middle bridge via Merrimack Street with a final loop around the restaurant. It was pretty flat with two minor hills and a nice downhill on Route 28 at the now defunct Nassar Ford. Well,enough about the course and lets get to the race.
It was a small field (117 runners) and with all the other racing going on, the field was pretty slim. I decided to take it out with some effort and hit the mile in 5:15. I was all alone and just kept form and hit two miles in 10:50. As I approached mile 3 (16:47), it was getting very windy and it slowed me down a bit especially as I crossed the bridge for the second time. I wanted to break 22:00 but the quick first mile and the wind determined otherwise as I finished in an over 40 PR of 22:29.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Last two weeks

Week ending 10/18/09

M - 30 min easy (4.0) miles

T - 30 min easy (4.0) miles

W - 5 miles in 37:30

Th - 8.4 miles in 1:06

F - off

Sat - off

Sun - 17.34 in 1:58:34 DNF Baystate Marathon

Week ending 10/25/09

M - 8.5 miles in 1:03 felt great...go figure

T - 7.5 in 1:09:09 SLOW

W - 6 miles in AM (45 min) 3.5 miles PM

Th - 8 miles in 1:00:00

Fr - 8 miles in 1:01:00 HILLS

Sat - off

Sun - 11.5 in 1:26:13

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Bay State Marathon (USATF-NE Championships) DNF

I debated overnight whether or not to post about this race. The fact of the matter is that I gave it everything I had. It was not enough. No one wants to enter a race and not finish. I don't have many in my career. I can think of one in college (an outdoor 5k) when I had a foot injury and once I knew I was off pace for NCAA qualifying I stepped off the track. That would be my last race as a collegiate runner. Not a good way to end a racing career.
My goal for the marathon was to run with DD and see if I could break 3 hours. Both of us entered the race with about the same amount of miles on our legs since our time off due to injuries. I would say that I even had a few more longer runs than he since I had a 2 hour run w/ JJ and one day of 18 (12 in AM/ 6 in PM). His longest run was 60 minutes. Not a good formula for marathon racing. At any rate, I was entered so therefore I will compete.
I could tell from the start that I was low in the tank and it was going to be a long day if things didn't improve as we went along. But we (along with Jeremy Huckins - CMS aka "Huck") started clicking off mile after mile on pace and at times I was feeling pretty good. At about 8 miles (just as we crossed the Tyngsborough Bridge) I had to stop to take a leak. This never occurs in any other race. It has now happened twice at Baystate (2008). It isn't unusual for any runner to have to go it just seems strange that during a race it comes out of nowhere. Well, after stopping I started running with Mike Toomey (UMass Lowell AllAmerica) and tried to run relaxed and concentrate on getting back to DD. My legs were not feeling good as early cramping was taking place. At every water stop I would take both water and Gatorade which seemed to help. Some point between 9-10 "Huck" popped out of the woods after a pee break and we were again together. He asked if I was planning on gapping DD now or later. I told him to go if he wanted to and that I wanted to get back little by little (if possible).
At about 12 miles Toomey got ahead and joined the DD pack. I could see the pack and actually was feeling better as we went over the Rourke bridge and approached halfway. Coming off the bridge, Dave Kazanzian (Whirlaway founder) offered me water and a gel which was helpful and I hit half in 1:29:40. I was back on pace and looking straight ahead to the DD pack. It took me to mile 15 to get back but I think I should of held back more and conserve some energy because the effort took its toll on my legs. They were cramping and every stride on my right leg cause severe pain up through the hip and around to the back. It was very uncomfortable and I was beginning to think it might be wise to cash in for the day. At mile 16 water stop I took water and Gatorade again but was beginning to lose contact with the group. I hung in until mile 17 and things were getting pretty ugly so I stopped for good about 17.34 miles in (1:58:30).

Thankfully, Frank Corsaro (husband of Nancy - Whirlaway) was out supporting his wife and he gave me a ride in to the finish. I would of been in trouble if not for his help. I was getting cold and shivering pretty badly.

In closing, I would like to congratulate all of the CMS runners on their outstanding performances. Justin Fyffe, Andy McCarron, Scott Leslie, JJ, Kevin T, Dan V, DD just to a name a few. Way to go on earning the New England Championship.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Week ending 10/11/09

After racing on Sunday (8k XC) I felt surprisingly geared up to increase my mileage for some last minute cramming for Baystate. I have to admit I am unprepared but, given the circumstances, I feel my fitness is pretty good. I was able to get in another race on Sunday (Bobby Bell 5m) and reach my highest weekly (64.5m) and daily(18m) total in quite some time. These are my weekly totals for the past 12 weeks: 49/33/45/48.5/56.4/50.2/53.6/46.5/52.5/64.5

Here is the week in review:

M 5th 10 miles on roads in 1:12:24

T 6th 10.5 miles on roads in 1:17:40

W 7th 4.75 in 41:21 3.75 in 28:34

TH 8th No run

Fr 9th 12 miles with JJ in 1:30:26 Windham rail trail
6 miles in 45:00 w/ DD, JJ, TiVO, and DV Winni Kinni

Sat 10th 60:00 easy run on river trails w/ TiVO

Sun 11th 22:00 (2.5) warmup w/MQ
5 mile race in 28:16
2.o easy warmdown w/ MQ and TiVO

This week will be low mileage and lots of rest (hopefully).
Baystate next Sunday.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

23rd Annual Bobby Bell 5 mile Road Race (Haverhill MA)

Sunday morning I made my way over to Haverhill, MA to race the 23rd annual Bobby Bell 5 mile road race. Organized years ago by race director David "Icky" Labrode in response to the all women Bonnie Bell mini marathon (now Tufts 10k), it features good old fashioned New England bar/pub style atmosphere and a road race that offers a prize for gender based handicapping. I met up with brother Michael and we registered together then set off for a 22 minute warmup. We ran the first mile + of the course and got a feel for the stiff wind that was coming off the Merrimack River. Temperatrures in the 50's and no rain meant nice racing conditions sans the wind.

I got on my Loco Banditos and jogged to the starting line where I met up with Tim Van Orden, who is house sitting for DD. Tim mentioned he wasn't racing but was interested in running a couple of quick miles for training purposes. After a couple of light strides, I positioned myself up front and got off good but was reluctant to take it out right away so I settled in a pack of about 6-7 which was led by Whirlaway's Chris Spinney. It wasn't long aftr the first 1/4 mile when I decided to take the lead and see what happened. I felt okay, not great, as a matter of fact I felt awful, but I managed to keep tempo and was quickly joined by Kiernon Tumbleton, Michael Quintal and TiVO (who was running in full sweats).

MQ looked good as did TiVO and KT. The time at the mile was given to us as 5:15 but my Garmin had my first mile as 5:31. There must of been some sort of discrepancy because we hit mile 2 in 11:25 and even with the hills after mile 1 and the wind there is no way I ran 6:10. I think 5:31 was more like it. I started to lose contact with eventual winner KT at about the mile and hung with brother MQ until mile 3 (TiVO dropped back after mile 1 1/4). We hit mile 3 together in 17:12 and I looked up and we were about 25 seconds behinfd KT. Just as he made his way onto N. Broadway he grabbed for his right hamstring and I told MQ he should try to go get him. I think both of us were content with our position and pace and we just labored on to a flat mile 4 in 22:53. Once you hit Rt 97 there is a long downhill to Lafeyette Square and you can really make up some time as you head downtown to the finish. I remember telling myself to maintain and get in without incident. I looked ahead and focused on MQ and brought it in for a 3rd place 28:16. This marks the first time MQ has officially beat me in any race. I knew the day would eventually come and I am relieved that it happened. MQ,congratulations!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Week ending 10/4/09

With no race last weekend my body was pretty well rested so my runs at the beginning of the week were better than usual. I decided to race the 8k XC race on Sunday, but with the marathon in two weeks I tried to keep my mileage up (50/wk not exactly high mileage) and run through the race. This left me a little on the tired side and I think it effected my performance Sunday. But I am not complaining because cross country racing is exellant training.

Monday 9/28 8 miles in NYC 1:02:30 roads

Tuesday 9/29 8.5 miles 1:02:44 grass and roads

Wednesday 9/30 Cycled for 30 minutes

Thursday 10/1 8.5 miles in 1:02:19 roads
20 min on bike

Friday 10/2 9.5 miles in 1:10:02 grass and roads

Saturday 10/3 6 miles on grass in 45:35
2 miles in 15:40 barefoot on grass

Sunday 10/4 2.5 miles in 20:00
8k race in 29:13
2.5 miles in 20:00

52 miles in 6 days with 2 cycle workouts
10 total runs
1 race

Above photo courtesy of Tom Derderian 2009 GBTC XC 8k

Sunday, October 4, 2009

GBTC XC Festival 8k at Bradley Palmer State Park

Sunday morning, I drove over to Bradford, MA to hook up with DoubleD and Dan Verrington as DV drove us to Topsfield, MA for the GBTC XC Festival held annually at Bradley Palmer State Park. The women's 5k was run at 10:00 AM and the men's race was to commence at 10:30 AM. After the hard rain overnight and most of yesterday, I was anticipating a very muddy course similar to last year's race. But, after a 20 minute warmup over the first 2 miles, we discovered the course was surprisingly dry and not so muddy.
I just did not have much in the tank today and really struggled out there. After a sluggish 5:42 mile and another scorcher 6:18 I hit 2 miles in about 12:00 and that is where I lost contact with John Barbour and Double D and never really got back into any rhythm and just muscled out a 29:31 finish. Really slow for me considering I ran 28:35 last year in tougher conditions. Just a bad race but you gotta take it because there is nothing you can do about it.
Results can be found on the GBTC website.
Thanks to the two Kristen/Kristin's for their fine photos.
Next race Bay State Marathon. Don't look twice it says marathon October 18th.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Week ending 09/27/09

After the Lone Gull, my legs and feet were pretty beat up so I planned on taking it easy early on and build it up to week's end. The plan worked pretty well but, due to traveling to NYC to St. John's Univ., I took a couple of unscheduled days off. No big deal. It was nice to see ER and the family got to see the Big Apple again.

M/21 7 easy miles in 1 hour on grass for 40 minutes.

T/22 8.5 in 1:09:11

w/23 15.5 w/JJ in 2:04:30 Windham rail trail.

Th/24 8 in 1:02:02

Fr/25 8 in 1:00:38

S/26 40 min on bike

S/27 No workout

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Week ending 09/20/09

Here is a quick recap of last week's training. It started out slow and easy due to the pain following Ollie and I built it up towards the Gull 10k. Ran on a lot of soft surface early in the week and slowly built up my time on the roads.

9/14 5 miles easy in 40:00

9/15 6.2 in 51:00

9/16 7.5 in 1:00:40

9/17 8.2 in 1:07:30

9/18 9.0 in 1:08:59

9/19 6.0 in 45:00

9/20 3 in 24/ 10k in 35 :13/ 2.5 in 20:00

53.6 miles for week.
Feel pretty good after race. No racing this week. Just more mileage and rest.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

3rd Annual Lone Gull 10k 09/20/09

Sunday morning, I drove over to my parent's house in No. Andover and met up with my brother, Michael and we drove to the Cape Ann town of Gloucester to race in the 3rd Annual Lone Gull 10k which served as the USATF-NE 10k road championships. This race is the 6th (out of 7) 2009 Grand prix races with the final being the Bay State Marathon in October. As a result, this race was able to attract a number of the top New England road racers even with stiff competition in the CVS Downtown 5k being held in Providence, RI.

The drive down featured numerous Clash hits as we made good time and had plenty of time to sign up and get great parking in the large parking lot adjacent to Good Harbor beach. After tossing around a nerf football with Double D, Double J, Petey and MQ, it was time for a 22 minute warmup over the first mile plus of the race course. It was a beautiful morning to race with not a cloud in the sky and on top of the fast race field and rolling shoreline course I was optimistic to race well even though I was a little tired from lack of sleep the past two nights.

As the gun went off I immediately was caught behind a sea of runners as the road narrows for the first 1/4 mile. After snaking my way through the pack, I caught up to Mike Q at 1/2 mile and saw in the distance some runners I wanted to be with so I made a brief pickup to get with Double D, Reno Stirrat and John Barbour. The pace seemed quick but I felt good and just went with them through the mile. Our time was 5:33 at the mile and it was right about where I wanted be. I actually wanted to hit 5:45 but it felt good. The 2nd mile featured a little hill and I worked it and everyone I was with responded but we were catching some runners who went out a bit quick and couldn't hold the pace. We hit 2 miles in 11:20 which is 5:40 pace so we were running steady and even. And then it happened. For some reason my left shoe became untied (I swear I triple knotted it) and I was faced with a difficult decision. I wanted to tie it for obvious reasons but did not want to disrupt my rhythm and lose any contact with anyone. So I ran with my left shoe untied for the duration of the race. Fortunately, the Loco Banditos fit pretty snug so it actually did not factor negatively at all. Occasionally I would look down and reconsider but I just ran on. We hit 3 miles in 16:45 and 5k in 17:32 as we made our way back to the first part of the course.

At this point (going to mile 4) I just tried to maintain rhythm and keep pace with Reno, John and Dave. I actually did not realize DD was there until about 5 miles maybe 4.5 as I glanced to my left I saw him running hard. We hit 4 miles in 22:43 and 5 miles in 28:22. Reno and I were making moves on each other but no one got an edge. At about 5.7 (thanks to the Garmin) I started to make some hard surges hoping to crack these guys and I did manage to get a brief lead heading to mile 6 which was at the top of a hill and led to the final .2 off downhill running. My time at 6 was 34:06 and I wanted to get down as close to 35 minutes as I could so I ran as hard as I could. I was rigging up a bit and at about 200 yards to go Reno passed me and I let up for a stride or two and then dug deep for one final push and sprinted to the line ahead of him for a new masters (over 40 and 45) PR 35:13. My final .2 was 1:07.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Week ending 9/13/09

My mileage was above 50 miles and I ran everyday but the effort to go longer and quicker is becoming a challenge. Perhaps I have jumped into the racing game a little premature and the recovery is taking longer than expected. The Ollie 4.91 mile race went well as I placed top 10 in the master's division (sans many notables) but I will take the result. Here is a quick recap of the week:

M 9/7 11 miles in 1:29:00

Tue 9/8 8 miles in 59:30

Wed 9/9 8 miles in 1:00:11

Thur 9/10 4 miles in 29:30

Fri 9/11 6 miles in 42:00

Sat 9/12 2.5 mile warmup/ 4.91 race in 27:58 / 2.5 mile cooldown.

Sun 9/13 5 mile walk with kids / 3.5 mile jog in 35:00

Legs are very sore and also my left foot. I am going to concentrate on recovery and run on grass this week. I plan on racing Lone Gull 10k on Sunday.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Ollie 5 Mile Road Race (USATF-NE Championships) 9/12/09

Saturday morning, six of us (Double D, Dan V, Kevin T, Double J, Mike Q and myself) met up at the Merrimack River trail in Andover to drive to So. Boston to race in the Ollie Five Mile. Driving duties were split between DD and myself and we made it quickly into Beantown considering there was a massive downpour of rain. This annual race serves as the USATF-NE 5 Mile Championships and historically brings out the areas best road racers. Combine the fast collection of runners with a 64 degree rainy morning and you get a recipe for fast times.
The rain was a serious issue up until race time so there were a few puddles out there and a few slick spots but other than that it did not impact the action whatsoever.
After a 20 minute warmup with the CMS crew it was time to change into the Loco Banditos and a new pair of socks for the race. I barely got in a stride as race time approached quickly and after a quick rendition of the Star Spangled Banner it was off to the races.
Right away there was a wave of speedy men and women hitting the streets of Southie and I once again was using my Garmin to help me out with pacing as I cautiously navigated my way through the windy first 1/2 mile dodging puddles and trying to not get bumped around on the tight curbstones. Once we got onto Summer St. I noticed 3 master/veteran runners (Mark Reader, Reno Stirrat and John Barbour) who I knew had beaten me last year and I wanted to stay close to them and see if I could reverse the results from Ollie 2008. I felt pretty good as I am still in a discovery phase with racing/fitness. I hit the mile in about 5:42 and climbed the hill pretty well as we made our way towards the beach and the long stretch to 2 miles. At about 2 miles CMS teammate Jim Pawlicki (JP) went by looking strong and I attempted to go with him but could not hold that pace with any comfort so I settled in and concentrated on hitting 5:40 pace. At the turnaround, I was with Mark Reader and was pleased to see Double D and MQ right behind running very well. I really worked the 3rd mile and I know I was hitting 5:30 pace for a while as that was the last I saw of Reader and the rest of the pack I was with. I was looking ahead trying to maintain contact with JP at the same time looking to make contact with a Whirlaway master who I could sense was coming back to me. I missed the 3 mile split but figure it was around 17:00. On the uphills (there were 2 the last 2 miles) I was laboring but on the flats and downhills I was feeling strong and very within myself. I hit 4 miles in 22:07 and was gaining on the Whirlaway runner. Mile 4 to 5 features a long stretch of Summer St and the final 3/4 mile is a repeat of the 1st 3/4 mile of the race. It was on the final stretch over the bridge when I passed the Whirlaway runner and held off everyone behind me. I did not get passed by anyone after JP (27:24) passed me at 2 miles. This pleased me greatly. I finished strong and wanted to break 28 minutes which I did by 2 ticks of the clock. 80th place overall /10th place 40-49

My Garmin measured the course as 4.96 miles and the official results are giving the distance as 4.91 miles so race pace has changed considering the race distance was supposed to be 5.0 miles.
This race seems to have a funny history with changing courses and questionable distances. With today's change in distance (due to a missed tunaround???) no records can be recognized but special kudos to CMS's Justin Fyffe for placing 3rd in a blanket finish. Justin has been putting in tremendous workouts throughout the summer and is in great shape. His 23:54 effort today is awesome and should give him more confidence to race with most anyone in New England at any distance.

Great job by all CMS runners. DD with a fine 28:36 in his first race in months as he is back running for only 3 weeks. Give it up for the Aqua Jogger. MQ with a sub 6/mile race pace in his first race since his 16:30 5k victory in Cambridge last spring. More Aqua jogging! JJ with a swift 25:27 top 30 effort - just the 1st race of his day as he pulled another daily double with a 3rd in a seacoast 5 miler later in the day. Dan V with an impressive 27:06 (he's 47 yrs old) and Kevin T hitting 25:22 for a near PR (blame the course distance) coming off his recent Pemi Loop record. Next planned race is the Lone Gull 10k (Gloucester, MA) next Sunday which is the USATF-NE Road championship.

Special thanks to Krissy K. who took photos out on the race course and appeared on Smugmug.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Week ending 9/6/09

A pretty solid week with one more race under my belt. I am satisfied with the progress with my overall fitness and the fact that both feet seem to be operating at near 100%. I am trying to run for at least an hour per day and not emphasizing any special pace. In fact, my body just doesn't have the giddy up to train very fast so I run how I feel. I plan on racing Saturday at the Ollie 5 mile.

M 31st AM 6.5 miles in 50 minutes
PM 5.25 miles in 40 minutes

T 1st 7.75 miles in 1:02:30

W 2nd 8.0 miles in 1:00:00

Th 3rd AM 3.3 miles in 27:00
PM 2.5 miles warmup w/ Mark Behan at Atkinson 5k
3.1 mile race in 17:11
1.0 mile warmdown

Fri 4th No workout

Sat 5th 10.0 miles in 75 minutes from Dan V's house to Winni Kinni trails w/ MQ, DV, JJ and KT

Sun 6th Solo 10.0 miles in turtle like 1:25:00

Total mileage for the week was 57.4 miles.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

32nd Atkinson 5k 9/3/09

Thursday night I drove over to Pope Field in Atkinson, N.H. to run in the 32nd annual Atkinson 5k road race. This year's race had special meaning because proceeds from the race would go to help out Mark Kimball and his family as Mark continues to recover from injuries sustained after being hit by a truck on East Road in Atkinson this past June while out on a training run with his wife, Tina. As I walked up to the registration table, I instantly bumped into numerous friends from the past and said hello to David Labrode, Mike Dechane, Mark Behan, Paul McGovern and his daughter Peyton, Mark Kimball, Bob Strout, and Nancy Corsaro. The race also was a fund raiser for the Timberlane High School boys and girls X-Country teams and they were well represented with coach Behan leading his troops into another season. This evening's event was a perfect stage for a community helping out a local family and also for raising funds to support youngsters who enjoy running.
After a 15 minute warmup with Mark Behan, I put on my Loco Banditos and jogged to the start. I got in the 3rd or 4th row and was beside Nancy Corsaro (Whirlaway) who is having another great road season. Mark Kimball was the official race starter and at exactly 6 PM, the race began. As the weather was a bit on the hot side, I planned on going out easy. This did not seem to be a problem because I was boxed in by about 25 youngsters for about the first downhill 1/4 mile who were excited to be racing through their hometown. I just let it happen and enjoyed the beginning of the race instead of pressing too much and burning out. I was in about 6th place for the first 1/2 mile and decided I was feeling pretty decent so I made a bid to get up ahead of Bob Strout as he was showing signs of his HS 880 speed (current Haverhill (MA) HS RECORD -880 1:52 - 1973). Up ahead was Casey Carroll (UNH track coach) who I saw before the race and figured he was the guy to beat. He was being pursued by Weston Forsblad, and Coby Jacobus and myself. I was not going to try to challenge any of these guys so I just maintained my tempo through the first mile (which had a little incline but was very flat to downhill) and hit the mile at 5:36. I had a suspicion that I wasn't going to be passed by anyone so I just tried to relax through to 2 miles which was more of the same (flat with some downhill). I went through 2 miles in 11:26 and that was the last split I got until the finish. Mile 3 was quick with more downhill and flat sections but the finish was a repeat of the first 1/4 mile and was all uphill to the line. I finished strong and was gaining on 3rd place. I managed to pass Coby Jacobus at about 200 yards from the finish and posted a time of 17:11. This was my kind of race - flat with nice downhill sections through quiet neighborhooods (not a car on the roads) and what I think is a short 5k. I will take it, however. It should be mentioned that the neighborhoods were aplenty with water and vocal support from all the residents.
Casey Carroll was the overall winner in 16:13.
2nd place was Weston Forsblad in 16:42.
Race results should be up on but not as of press time.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Week ending 8/30/09

First full week of running only (except for 1 half hour spin on the bike). Ran 6 days for a total of 48.5 miles. One visit to the track to work on some "speed". At this point there is no speed available, but down the road there is a possibility. Just got to keep putting on miles and hope for the best.

M 24th Ran 8 miles in 1:00:41 midday heat. Cycled for 30 minutes in evening in my basement watching Sox game.

T 25th Ran 7.5 in 53:09. Another scorcher.

W 26th Ran 8 miles in 1:00:09. Hot again.

Th 27th 27 minute run to NAMS track. Ran 6 x 200 w/200 jog. Hit 200 in about 38 seconds. Rest was about 1 minute.
27 min run cooldown. 9 total miles.

F 28th No workout.

Sat 29th Ran 9 miles in rain on roads of Andover and Lawrence. 1:04:01.

Su 30th Ran 7 easy miles in 1:00:04 Burdett style.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Week ending 8/23/09

This week I had less trouble with the foot, managed to get above 40 miles (with two days off) and even snuck in my first race since June 28th. Picture at right is at Saunders 10k with my son, Giovanni.

Monday 8/17/09 DAY OFF

Tuesday 8/18/09 PM 1:00:00 water run w/ MQ followed by 45 minute run (6.5 mi)

Wed 8/19/09 1 hour run on grass (7 easy mi)

Thur 8/20/09 AM 5.5 miles in 45 minutes PM 2.5 mi warmup 10k race in 36:55

Fri 8/21/09 DAY OFF

Sat 8/22/09 4 easy in 30:23 w/ MQ followed by 1:07:00 water run w/ DD &
MQ followed by 3 miles in 26:30 w/ DD

Sun 8/23/09 1:18:00 water run w/DD followed by 52:40 run (1st 26 min w/DD)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

2009 Saunders at Rye 10k

Monica, myself and our two youngest boys (Giovanni and Julian) headed up to Rye, NH where I raced the 33rd edition of the Saunders at Rye 10k. In all my years of racing I never raced this event but decided today at 11:50 AM to make a call to the race director and they allowed me to enter via phone. This would be my first race since late June (Cranmore Hill Climb) so I was a bit anxious. On top of not racing since Cranmore and only putting in weeks of cross-training, with limited road mileage, (I actually ran 5.5 miles in the morning so I wasn't exactly fresh), I did not know what to expect. The 2.5 mile warmup with Double J, New Balance -Boston's Kevin Alliete (2008 Saunders winner), Patrick Ard, Seth Williams and Chris Mahoney (all Whirlaway) seemed easy but, right after finishing I was beginning to wonder if racing tonight was a good decision. It was hot and I felt tired but I had entered so there was no looking back.
Double J was well informed on the race course having raced it last year and covering the course twice Wednesday night in training mode, so he filled me in on the course which was basically flat to downhill first mile with short rolling hills up to mile 3 which featured a large downhill that lead to an uphill to the 5k mark and after that it was flat to downhill with a beautiful view of the Atlantic for the final 1.5 miles. My goal for the race was 36:00 and knew that I had to hit 5:50 pace so I really paid attention to the Garmin once the gun went off. I felt good and really enjoyed being in a race environment after such a long layoff. The foot was responding well in the Loco Banditos as I tried to relax
early on and not get ahead of myself. I hit the first mile in 5:46 and was probably in about 28th place. I felt good and started to feel better as we went up a small incline that led to the 2nd mile which I hit in about 11:35. My mission was to pick off as many runners ahead of me as possible and not kill myself in the process. I hit 3 miles in about 17:50 and the 5k in about 18:36. I was passing people and feeling more confident as the race went on. I did start to feel a bit of fatigue around 4 miles (23:30) and fought through until 5 miles (29:30) when we hit 1A (beach route) and I just tried to maintain form and hold my position all the way in. One runner passed me at 6 miles and I tried to go with him but I had nothing left. Finished in 15th place in 36:55 (2nd master).

Article on race

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Week ending 8/16/09

Monday 8/10/09 Day off

Tuesday 8/11/09 Day off

Wednesday 8/12/09 AM 3.5 miles on roads in 33:26
PM 2.5 miles in 25:00 JOG
15 miles cycling in 45:45

Thursday 8/13/09 AM 5.2 miles in 40:00 (7:42 pace)
PM 4.0 miles in 28:41 (7:10 pace)
9.0 miles cycling in 30:23

Friday 8/14/09 AM 7.75 miles on grass in 1:00:06
PM 1 hour aqua run at Stiles w/ MQ

Saturday 8/15/09 AM 3 easy miles in 23:13
1:07:00 aqua run at Stiles w/ MQ & DD
PM 12.5 miles cycling in 37:11

Sunday 8/16/09 AM 18.0 miles cycling in 1:01:00
PM 5.2 miles on roads in 36:00 ( last 2.6 at 5:58 pace)

It was a decent week considering I took two days off. 13 total workouts for a total time of 9:00:45. Ran 31.2 miles in 4:06:26, cycled 54.5 miles in 2:54:19 and aqua ran 2:08:00. My foot is feeling alright but could be better. I ordered a night splint to see if it will improve the pain factor. I also ordered some new shoes (Saucony Omni 7) and some sandals that are supposed to help with bone spurs and plantar fasciitis.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Week ending 8/9/09

This week I worked out everyday even doubling on five days. The total time I worked out was 12:41:34 which must be a personal record for an entire week even when I was training during any racing season. I also water ran a total of 7 hours which included the 3 hour run on Sunday. Both of these represent personal records for this new discipline. No cycling this week but I might substitute cycling for water running this coming week. All things considered , I feel pleased with the workouts and very encouraged that I can begin to handle some running on both roads and trails.

8/3/09 AM 1 hour water swim Stiles pond w/ DD

8/4/09 AM 6 miles in 45:00 roads

PM 1:01:39 water run w/ MQ

8/5/09 AM 6 miles in 45:00 roads
PM 6 miles in 48:00 River trails

8/6/09 AM 7 miles in 57:30 roads/grass

PM 4 miles in 34:30 River trails

8/7/09 PM 1:02:52 water run w/ MQ Stiles pond

8/8/09 AM 1:01:41 water run Stiles pond w/ MQ & DD

PM 7.4 miles in 58:12 roads

8/9/09 AM 3:01:44 water run Stiles pond w/ MQ & DD

PM 5.6 miles in 45:23 roads

42.0 miles running
7 hours water running

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Another Double

7:00 AM Ran same course as yesterday which is about 6 miles in 45:00

5:15 PM Ran 24 minutes out from Merrimack River course and took me 24 minutes back to parking lot for a total of 6
miles. Foot feels ok especially after icing it tonight. I am happy with the progress and hope to keep putting
on more miles.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Daily Double and a Zombie poll

Set out for an early morning run and managed a steady 6 miler in 45:00. Felt surprisingly strong and the foot responded quite well as I took it easy on the uphills and downhills. In the early evening MQ and I water ran 1:01:39 at Stiles Pond. Good way to end the day.

After all the recent zombie talk with DD and the possibility that they may exist around Stiles Pond, I thought it might be fun to see who is a fan of The Zombies. Check out these albums and see if you have a favorite and comment if you wish.
My personal favorite is "Tell Her No" off the album Best of The Zombies. I have a feeling this may not be as controversial as my recent rant but I hope Double J responds because I know he is a big fan of music.

Zombies - Tell Her No
Jan 4, 2008 - 02:04
Zombies on US TV

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Week ending 8/2/09

I started out this week with the intention of increasing my actual "running miles" along with the continuation of water "running" and mixing in a bit of cycling to satisfy my hunger for exercise. My mid week rant was not meant to splinter any relationships with anyone so anyone who became upset shouldn't take it to heart. Just don't ever tell me a race is equal to a workout. Believe me when I say it, I am dying to jump into a race and give all I got but, for now here is my past week of workouts:

M 7/27/09 5:05 PM 6.44 miles at Lawrence reservoir on grass 0:52:00

T 7/28/09 4:30 AM Water run with DD & MQ at Stiles Pond 1:01:01

W 7/29/09 6:30 AM 3.5 miles on Salem/Derry roads 0:30:22
12:00 PM 3.75 miles grass run- Lawrence 0:30:2 2 7:00 PM 13.0 mile spin on Bianchi 0:42:00

Th 7/30/09 4:30 AM Water run with DD at Stiles Pond 1:00:10
5:45 PM 4.0 miles on grass - Lawrence 0:32:00

F 7/31/09 Day off

Sa 8/1/09 7:30 AM Water run w/ MQ and DD at Stiles 1:32:47
7:00 PM spin for 12min/run 1.66 miles in 13:30/
spin for 16 min 0:41:30

Su 8/2/09 6:30 AM Water run w/ MQ and DD - Stiles
out and back 2:06:00
3:45 PM Spin on Bianchi - 17.5 miles 0:56:20

More of the same next week. Hopefully.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Triple workout and a rant

Today, I couldn't hook up with DD for a 4:30 AM water run so I headed out for a 30 minute road run at 6:45 AM. Then at 12:00 PM I went for another 30 minute grass run at the Lawrence reservoir. After dinner I got on the bike and spun hard for 42 minutes reaching well above 120 rpm on many occasions. Tomorrow morning I plan on an early water run and more grass running.

Just a thought... I find it very funny when runners say they are going to use a race as a workout. What are all the workouts for if you go to a race and consider the effort equal to another workout? Too many runners, in my humble opinion, choose to define a race as another workout. I wish for once, I could hear a runner say I am going to my next race and try to kick ass. It is time to bring back old school mentality to racing. Give it your blood and guts. Use your training workouts to achieve a specific goal at a specific race. Workouts breed better performances.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Week ending 7/26/09

I had planned on doing more running but the foot is still not 100%, so I decided to put more emphasis on water running and cycle as much a possible. Here is the rundown:

Monday 7/20/09 Day off

Tuesday 7/21/09 4:30 AM 1:02:12 water run at Stiles Pond with DD and MQ.
5:40 AM 30:22 run in Boxford - felt very strong.

Wednesday 7/22/09 4:30 AM 1:00:04 water run at Stiles Pond with DD and MQ.
6:30 AM cycled 9 miles in 30:22.

Thursday 7/23/09 4:30 AM 1:01:06 water run at Stiles Pond with DD.
6:30 AM cycled 11.5 miles in 45:00.

Friday 7/24/09 6:00 PM 30:22 run about 3.75 easy effort - foot feeling a little sore.
6:45 PM 30:22 cycle about 8.0 miles.

Saturday 7/25/09 8:00 AM 1:03:10 water run at Stiles Pond with DD and MQ.

Sunday 7/26/09 6:00 AM 2:25:34 water run (entire perimeter of Stiles Pond) with DD and MQ.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Week ending 7/19/09

This week was interesting because I started to run a bit more, continued with more cycling, began to aqua jog, and received a cortisone shot in the left foot. Here are the specific details:

Monday 7/13/09
7.5 miles in 56:30 run

Tuesday 7/14/09
20 min easy bike (4 miles) before physical therapy
5.0 miles run in 38:36

Wednesday 7/15/09
20 min (4 miles) on bike
6.0 mile run in 50:00

Thursday 7/16/09
8.0 miles on bike in 36:00

Friday 7/17/09
physical therapy and cortisone shot in foot - doctors orders not to run over the weekend
45:00 aqua jog/water run with DD and MQ 9AM
45:50 spin on bike (13.5 miles) 7PM

Saturday 7/18/09
8.5 mile spin on bike in 30:22 - 7:30 AM
13.5 mile spin w/ 10 x 90 second hard/30 second recovery 45 min total - 5:30 PM

Sunday 7/19/09
2 hour aqua jog - 6:30 AM w/ DD and MQ

Foot feels better. Still need to ice and stretch regularly. Hope to continue this type of training next week.

Water Run at Stiles Pond

This past Friday, my brother Michael and I were introduced to Aqua jogging or as Double D calls it "water running". Double D was the individual who asked us to join him as all three of us are on the injured reserved and are trying to recover in time for some fall racing. DD lent us the equipment necessary to stay afloat and after a 45 minute inaugural run, I think we were hooked on its benefits. So much that we joined him Sunday morning at Stiles Pond in Boxford for a 2 hour run. Lots of laughs and lots of other swimmers and fishermen. I hope to join DD and MQ for some more water running next week.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Week Ending 7/12/09

     This week I ended up not attempting to run until Sunday.  This was the plan and I don't know if I have jumped into the training a bit premature because my foot is sore from an easy 8.5 mile jog on flat terrain. This effort, in addition to lawn duties both Friday and Saturday, has put a bit of stress on the heel.  I don't know what to do except keep trying to work out the stiffness with lots of icing sessions and stretching exercises.  The bottom line is I want to run so I have to expect some pain.  If it gets bad, then I will back off.

Monday 7/6/09
     Biked 12.99 on roads in 47:00
     Biked 43:00 on rollers  10 min warmup/11 x 30 seconds hard spin w/ 30 second recovery/12 min cool down

Tuesday 7/7/09
     70 min steady spin on rollers

Wed 7/8/09
     60 min spin on rollers 30 min warmup/10 x 1:00 very hard w/ 30 sec recovery/ 15 min cool down

Thur 7/9/09
     15 min easy at physical therapy 3 miles
     25 easy at home on rollers 5 miles

Friday No workout
Saturday No workout

Sun 7/12/09
     70 min on roads -RUN - basically a jog 8.5 miles
     51 minutes on rollers  12.5 miles

Week totals

Run 8.5 miles
Bike 82.5 miles


Monday, July 6, 2009

1988 Chouinard Memorial Beach Run

This was a race that my brother John and I competed in over 20 years ago.  I think it is still being held at the Salisbury State Reservation.  Everyone should try a beach run once in their life.  Old timers should recognize a few of the finishers.  

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Week ending 7/5/09

Not much to report on the running/cycling for this week as my foot has not been feeling good and I am taking a bit of a break from serious training. I did run a bit and cycle as well but it wasn't enough to warrant a diary entry. I am disappointed that the foot is giving me trouble but I think I need to rest it while I continue to receive the physical therapy. Blogging about running isn't much fun when you can't run.
The family did enjoy the 4th with Red Sox on Friday night and the beach on Saturday.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Week Ending 06/28/09

Monday 06/22/09
     Day off 

Tuesday 06/23/09
     7:00 AM  45:00 spin on bike (12.5 miles)
   11:00 AM   Easy 7 mile run in 52:44 ran on grass and hills of cemetery
     6:00 PM   45:00 spin very hard (15 miles)

Wednesday 06/24/09
     10:30 AM  Easy 7 mile run in 57:25

Thursday 06/25/09
     11:00 AM Hot Dog Hill course (9.5 miles) in 1:12:30
     6:00 PM   30:22 spin on Bianchi (9 miles) easy

Friday 06/26/09
     6:15 PM  25 min easy spin on bike (8.0 miles)
     6:42 PM  6 mile run in 55:57 shakeout but incorporated 8 x 20/40 and 2 x 1:00 (sub 6 min)
                       concentrating on relaxation and form

Saturday 06/27/09
     5:15 PM   Easy 30:22 spin on Bianchi (7.0 miles)
     5:46 PM   Easy 25:00 (2.25 miles) barefoot on grass
Sunday 06/28/09  
     8:15 AM  25:00 warmup (3.0 miles) before Mount Cranmore Hill Climb (US Mountain                                  Championships)
     9:00 AM  11k in 1:01:08 39th place overall/2nd 45-49 behind David Dunham/Master's US                             team champion
     10:30 AM  26:00 cooldown (2.5 miles)
Weekly Totals   44.1 miles run
                             51.5 miles cycled
                              1 race 11k mountain race in 1:01:08 (very difficult)
                               1 PT session (Friday)  bone spur is improving but needs attention

Monday, June 22, 2009

Week ending 6/21/09

Week ending 6/21/09

Mon 6/15   11:00 AM  5.2 miles easy (41:30) got chased by dog out of cemetery

Tue 6/16     9:00 AM Biked 15 minutes for warm up (3.5 miles) PT treatment
                     6:00 PM  7.6 miles in 58:00 (7:38 pace) 6 x 20/40 pickups

Wed 6/17    6:00 PM 3.02 in 27:59 (9:16 pace) easy

Thur 6/18   Day off

Fri 6/19       8:00 AM  Biked for 30:22 (very easy)
                      8:30 AM  Ran barefoot in grass for 30:22 (3 miles easy)

Sat 6/20      9:15 AM warm up at Mt. Washington
                     10:00 AM 7.6 miles Mt. Washington in 1:14:26
                     11:30 AM  7.6 miles down Mt. Washington in 1:05:00

Sun 6/21     8:00 AM 7.2 miles in 1:00:05 in Experimental Forest, NH

Totals       Run 44.2 miles
                  Bike 11.5 miles

Possible Mt. Washington splits taking Michael Woodman's splits.  I was ahead of Michael for the first 1/2 by about 10 seconds and he finished the race in 1:14:05 - 21 seconds ahead of me.

           MW                            DQ
.9      7:38                              7:15
1.9    9:21         16:59           9:22          16:37
2.9     9:48       26:47          9:48          26:25
3.8     8:59       35:46          9:09          35:34
3.9       :56        36:42          1:08          36:42
4.9    10:31       47:13          10:31          47:13
 5.9   10:25       57:38         10:25          57:38
 6.9   10:08   1:07:46        10:18        1:07:56
 7.6      6:21    1:14:04        6:30         1:14:26

Sunday, June 21, 2009

49th Annual Mount Washington Road Race 2009

     Saturday morning,  June 2oth 2009,  I competed in the 49th annual Mount Washington road race (7.6 miles) up the auto road in Pinkham Notch, NH.  This was my 3rd official attempt at this race and having run in the US Championship edition last year, I knew I was in for a serious test of both will power and endurance.  My goals for the race were sub 1:12:00 and top 30 overall.  Based on my time and place from last year (1:15:28/51st overall), I thought these were reasonable goals for me, but I also had to consider that with my current foot injury and inconsistent training (on top of the fact that Mt.  Washington is probably the most unique race in that predictions can be dicey due to weather and the fact that mountain racing can be unforgiving if one's race strategy is incorrectly implemented) anything could happen.
   After a 20 minute (2+miles) warm up with CMS teammates among many others, including 7 time winner Bob (HodgieSan) Hodge,  I donned on an old CMS singlet once worn by 3 time Mt. Washington winner Dave (double d) Dunham  which Jim (double J) Johnson let me borrow and laced up my Loco Banditos and headed to the starting line.  I wasn't feeling great with all the built up anxiety from the last month of cross training.  Honestly, I was trying to relax but just couldn't help but remember how painful last year's race was for me when at 4 miles my quads tightened up and every climb was so difficult that walking was required.  This year,  I wanted to remain relaxed and stay within myself and concentrate on smooth, short strides and avoid any quick spurts and deny myself the desire to make any unnecessary moves that would take energy away which would put me in early trouble.  Once you are in trouble at Mt. Washington, there is no escape.  Above all, I wanted to finish strong and avoid walking any part of the race.
     As I grabbed a 3rd row position I was right next to CMS teammate, Tim Mahoney and fellow NH resident Ernest Brake.  These were two runners I had finished close to last year so I figured it would be good to hang with them early on and see how things developed.  As the cannon sounded, I felt better and just tried to avoid any trouble crossing the bridge and looked ahead as the leaders took off.  The first 1/4 mile at Mt. Washington is flat to downhill and you could easily forget you are about to attack the largest peak (6,288 feet) in the Northeast section of the US.  But, once you hit the first incline, this quickly changes as you go from running 5:50 pace to 7:15 pace at the bat of an eye.  As the field slowed down with the first incline,  I could see the leaders pulling away and a second pack beginning to form.  I would say I was in about 50th position and went through mile 1 at 7:50.  I was feeling good and was running alongside George (GZ) Zack from Boulder, CO and Tim Mahoney for about the first 2 miles. (Note: I don't have accurate splits as I reset my watch accidentally on the descent down.)
I think I ran mile 2 in about 9:42 so that would mean my time was about 17:32.  I remember mile 3 put me at average pace of 9:11 so I think I hit 3 in 27:33.  I was feeling good sticking to my race plan of steady and smooth strides with no foolish moves and was picking off runners as they slowed.  That is how it happens at this race.   I had hydrated myself well before the race with coconut water and regular water so the humidity was not affecting me like I think it was everyone else.  I took water at mile 2 but not too much.  My breathing was in a good rhythm and my legs were handling the climbs very well.  I maintained my position for most of the 3rd mile to halfway (3.8) which I hit in about 35 minutes.  At halfway I ate a vanilla gel and took some water and just maintained my form and concentrated on the runners ahead of me.  One runner passed me at this point (51year old fromUtah) but I resisted the urge to go with him telling myself to run your own race and don't get caught up in trying to challenge every runner that may pass.  Mile 4 (37:44)  became interesting because the visibilty was about 25 yards at the most.  In some ways this was good and in some ways this was bad.  The positive aspect of the dense fog was that you did not too caught up in the climbs that were ahead and strictly concentrated on the one at hand.  Small steps over a large mountain.  On the other hand, the fog did not allow you to see your entire competition or on the occasion you wanted to see what lay ahead for you, you simply couldn't.
    At about mile 5 (48:44), I was met up with former UMass Lowell teammate and current CMS teammate,  Michael Woodman.  I was pleased to see it was a familiar face and we greeted each other and proceeded to run the next 1.5 miles together.  It was awesome to run with Woody.  He was looking strong and I was trying to hang in there.  I think we hit mile 6 in about 58:30.    I would say he helped me more than I helped him for at about 6.5 miles at the switchback, I felt for the first time the sensation in my quads similar to last year.  The climb knocked me back a bit and Woody gapped me by about 10 seconds.  I tried to maintain contact and hang in there with every climb.  At about mile 7 (1:08:30), I was catching a couple of runners and passed them and knew the finish line was very close. 
      I love the finish at Mt. Washington because it offers everything from energetic crowds to the  natural beauty of the mountain.   This year, with all the fog in the early miles, the summit was clear and sunny.  To the left of the summit the clouds were surrounding the mountain and it looked like you could jump right out on them.  I guess I get pretty emotional towards the end of long races which I am not ashamed to say happened this year.  Maybe its just a sign of getting older and the strain of a difficult race.   I was focusing on "the wall" as I knew it was around the final turn.  The crowds were helpful and offering encouragement every last step.  I kept looking at my watch and knew I had a good chance to break double d's prediction time for me of 1:14:30.  I would, however,  have to bust it up "the wall" which I did finishing in a sprint and crossing the line at 1:14:26.  The effort took its toll on me as I buckled to my knees and was in a serious hyperventilation mode.  The exhaustion made me weep like a baby but I think a lot of it was in the satisfaction of finishing in a PR.  (33rd overall/32nd male/11th master/4th 45-49 age group/12th CMS member/5th masters member in new course record/5th New Hampshire resident/ no walking)

Complete results on www\

Notes:  Just want to thank Jim Johnson, the lovely and talented Kristin Wainwright and John Healy for the ride up and company to the Attitash condo and for Jim for having my bag safely delivered to the summit of the mountain.
Another thank you to Dave Dunham  and his wife Cathy for their hospitality at the condo and for bringing me back home safely to my house Sunday.
Congratulations to all CMS runners who participated in the race.  A particular congrats to CMS master's teammate Francis Burdett for the performance of the weekend in finishing 10th overall in a 7 min PR of 1:06:39.
George Zack it was great meeting you and sharing stories of life during our run down!  Good luck at Pat's Peak!
Thank you to Monica and the kids for putting up with dad during all the training.  I love you.
And Michael Q, thanks for taking care of business while I was away.  Your running the 50th next year!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Week ending 6/14/09

Another week of cross-training (cycling and running) with no racing. I would have liked to have raced in Northfield for the New England Trail Championship or the Market Squares 10k or any other 5k/5mile race on Sunday but family obligations and more graduation/birthday festivities at the homestead curtailed any serious chances, so I have to head to Mt. Washington on Saturday the 20th with one less race but my training is improving even though the bone spur has me still going through PT and limiting my training to a day to day approach.

Monday 6/8/09
7:00 AM 21 minute spin (6 miles)
10:15 AM 9.33 miles in 1:12:30 (7:47 pace) on hilly terrain of Tower Hill plus several loops in cemetary

Tuesday 6/9/09 Day off No workout

Wednesday 6/10/09
7:30 AM 6.2 miles in 44:26 (7:10 pace) with 6 x 20 second strides with 40 second recovery last 1.25 miles
10:15 AM Physical therapy session at Pinnacle PT in Plaistow, NH
9:00 PM 2 miles easy run (17:00)

Thursday 6/11/09
8:00 AM 30 minute spin on Bianchi (8.5 miles)
12:00 PM 7.6 miles in 57:45 (7:36 pace) Tower Hill

Friday 6/12/09
5:00 PM 7.6 miles in 1:08:07 very slow run out and back to Derry rail trail. Felt like absolute garbage.

Saturday 6/13/09
8:00 AM 30:22 spin (10 miles)
No other workout as we hosted our daughter Elizabeth's high school graduation/18th birthday party. Great time!

Sunday 6/14/09
11:30 AM 1:00:17 (19.6 miles) spin on Bianchi in my garage. It was an excellent spin as I sweat a few beers out from the previous evening.
12:32 PM 2.4 miles barefoot on wet grass in my backyard (24:15) not fast, but I really enjoy the benefits of the soft surface.
6:00 PM  5.2 miles in 41:34 easy

Totals for week:
40.3 miles run
29.5 miles on bike

Notes: The foot as of Sunday is still quite bothersome but I am paying a lot of attention to it (i.e. PT (next week 2 sessions), stretching, icing, ibuprofren, soft surface whenever possible, and the likely day off). I would say I am running at about 75% which means I can't run everyday pain-free. The workouts are generally quite good and the spinning on the bike is always well above 110 rpm (revolutions per minute) and is always done in the small ring. It should be noted that I do not ever get out of the saddle because I don't want to add any pressure on my foot. After every ride, my foot is almost at 80% and the following run usually is less pain free. In other words, I feel the cross-training is a personal benefit and offers excellant positive psychological reinforcement.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Street Legal

Sunday 10:30 AM 7.6 miles roads in 54:52 followed by 19:00 barefoot grass run (1.4 miles) 9.0 total miles

This morning, I had no foot complications whatsoever which allowed me to hit the roads for a pretty steady run up Gulf Rd in Derry out to the Rail Trail off Island Pond Rd. Turned around after 3.8 miles in 28:14 and came home in 26:38. I wore some old NB900's which offer a great deal of support and allowed me to push off my left foot in a normal position. I think the grass running is doing wonders for the bone spur. After the road effort, just jogged in the backyard to make it an even 9.0 miles.

TOTAL FOR WEEK (3 days off)

Run 33.2 miles
Bike 29.5 miles

Saturday, June 6, 2009

A little bit of Sean Kelly and Eamonn Coughlan

7:30 AM 4 miles on roads in 33:29 not fast just got some miles on the legs

5:30 PM 50:30 spin on Bianchi followed by 20 barefoot run on grass (2.10 miles)

Friday turned out to be a no workout day but I did get to the doctor's office and was diagnosed with a sinus infection so I was prescribed a 5 day dose of zpac to rid my body of the crap that has wiped me out for the past week. I also picked the xray report on my left foot which indicates Achilles Calcaneal Spur. The doctor has recommended PT with Mass General in Boston. I told him I was still running and planning on running up Mt. Washington in 2 weeks and he just handed me the phone # and said to call them. I will contact them next week, but still plan on "training" through to the race on the 20th.

Saturday I got up and ran an easy 4 before work. After work I arrived home to an empty house as my wife had taken the kids to Cobbet's Pond, so it opened up a window to get on the bike and do a fairly hard spin for 50:30. About midway through I did my best Sean Kelly impersonation and did 2 x 30/60/90 with an equal rest in between 30 seconds for 30 and so on. This got the heartrate up to about 160 and my legs were getting heavy keeping it in the little ring the entire spin and maintaining my rpm well above 110. Good stuff.

After a quick ZICO mango coconut water I ran barefoot for 20 minutes in the backyard covering 2.1 miles. This is my way of putting on more miles but not pounding the pavement. It also gives me a chance to dream of racing indoors like the old Chairman of the Boards, Irish Eamonn Coughlan as the turns around the swingset are pretty tight.

More to come. Later.

PS Best of luck to all competing at the Rhody 5k. I wish I were.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Midnight OIl

8:00 AM  40 minutes spin on Bianchi listening to Beds are Burning among many other 80's hits on my Ipod.  20 minutes barefoot running in back yard (2 miles).  Good morning workout.  I read somewhere that morning workouts regulate your metabolism and improve all areas of health and fitness.  More to come.  Later.

4:00 PM 7.6 miles on roads in 62:42.   Not too fast but course is a bit hilly as it covers portions of Derry NH 16 miler.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

First blog entry of my life

Okay, so Double J puts it out to the entire world that he is waiting for my blog and here it is. Believe me, I don't know what to expect or even know how often you will see an entry,  but I figured that since today is my birthday (46 years young) I should start now.  My wife took me and our four children out to celebrate my birthday so no workout for today.  No big deal due to the fact that I have been sick since Pack Monadnock and could use a little rest.  Also, I am nursing a sore left foot (bone spur) and the running has slowed for the last 8 weeks.  I am still planning on running Mount Washington on June 20th.  Tomorrow I plan on an early spin on the bike, weather permitting.  Later.