Monday, December 31, 2007

Beacon of Hope

The runner, anguished with tiredness and slow runs on snow-covered roads embraces training day one of 112 to the Boston Marathon.

am: Bowker Flats, snowing, 3M in 23:19\7:46 pace

Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

A Broken Runner: Weekly Report

This runner is physically and mentally exhausted. The week was a pull back on training time and mileage despite the weather cooperating before we get whacked with another 8” of snow.

The question is how long until a turnaround?

Weekly Review
Total Miles\Time: 47.3\7.17
Number of Workouts: 6
Stretching: most pre and slacking every post run
Yoga: meager effort at Tae-Bo, stretching
P\U, S\U: slacking
Notes: very low motivation.
Issues to Note:
Strange issues come up with hips not pinned to anything, generally feel all is a go.
Next Week Goal: Boston Marathon training starts tomorrow
AM: 13.75M, Water Row, 2:00:26 , unexpected shifting pace

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Slow Run

more slowness, felt left upper hip-later in the day felt right upper hip, maybe it's all those meatballs I've been eating or cupcakes or cake or lasagna or . . .

am, Haynes Loop, drizzly and foggy 5M in 47:13, 9:26 pace, had to walk at one point

Friday, December 28, 2007

Boston Marathon Photos

HPIM1817I uploaded this and 23 other new photos to my Flickr Boston Marathon set. The new ones are from yesterday's casual run and shoot of miles 16-22 in the overcast drizzly weather.

Training: TM, 4M in 33:24, dropped it down to 7:30 pace only to later decide the effort was too much for what the workout was worth. only three more days...

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Boston Marathon Vote Result 25-7

Majority voted for using the Fall cross country season as a means to a faster Boston Marathon.

Training: Boston Marathon miles 16-22 and back w\Barb. okay to 10M then left upper quad, hip, groin, hammie got cold struggled at 9's for a bit then relaxed until quit. Total of 12.5 miles ~8:41 pace comes out with a time of 1:48:17.

*special treat* stops included photos of mile markers, etc. I'll post later

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

OAR Chapter 17. Breaking Down

"Cumulative physical morbidity that usually built up over several weeks and left the runner struggling to recover from one session to the next."
Once A Runner, OAR -John L. Parker, JR.

Four snow shoeing workouts, shoveling snow, removing snow from the roof, hauling heavy ladders in deep snow, falling with a ladder to the ground, midnight flood prevention and eight of the last ten weeks over 65 miles of running each.

Long run on Sunday was cut to 10.5 miles in 1:13:01 for 6:57/mile. It would have been longer but I promised my wife a two hour run the next morning.

On Monday, the two hour run came up short as I ran out of gas just prior to five miles, a walk\run shuffle settled the next seven miles.

Christmas day being perfect for running with very light traffic and nice weather to boot elicited another dismal effort. First mile at 9:17, walking break at the halfway of five miles to finish in 46:52 for 9:22\mile.

Today is the first rest day since October 24. It seemed so strange to take a shower in the morning without having run. So, contrary to OAR I will not “run through” as Denton suggests, at least for now.

Only 22 hours left to vote on the XC\Marathon training for a fast Boston Marathon. The results are quite interesting thus far.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Once A Runner

If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run --
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And -- which is more -- you'll be a Man my son!
-- Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling was a 4:30 miler!!
(from "Once A Runner" by John L. Parker, Jr.)

Thanks to Mike and Andrew I now have something to read over the holidays.

Training: Treadmill, 8M in 69:55, 8:44/mile, tired legs
Note for the record: the ladder and I fell Wednesday while removing snow off the roof. Minor scrape on shin with bruising on left glute and lower back.

Thursday, December 20, 2007


The sound of more snowshoeing. I really wanted to run ten+ miles after seeing yesterday afternoon's sun thawing the road. I spotted this Olympian getting his run in it yesterday.

This morning out the door there was already four inches of fresh snow and it's going to snow all day.

After one loop I did two at wide stance to break the hard snow edges that were tripping me up. Wide stance is a walking snowshoe pace with high knee lift with a firm force down to break and compact the snow. Was able to run a so-so loop after realizing that I was pretty worn down.

Training: yesterday pm: Treadmill, 5.5M in 40:23
am: Snowshoeing, snowing, Poor Farm Meadow, 1:42:00 ~5 miles

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Screw Shoes

Without hearing the sound a wire snapped on my Yak-Trax throwing me into a face-plant. Not a pleasant feeling being an old guy, feet all twisted together and worrying about oncoming cars. That was last winter and last time for the Yak-Trax. I sent an email to customer service as it was too long of a telephone wait to speak with someone.

Matt Carpenter has a nice write-up on using screws in the soles of your shoes. Read his page for what it’s worth and apply your own method.

I am using #8 x 3/8” sheet metal screws. These have a hexagonal head that a ¼” nut driver fits. My nut driver is an Xcelite that keeps a positive fit with no slipping.
Ten screws are in my shoes and I may add more. They are all on the outer edges and I don’t feel them under my feet. Matt is using 18. Maybe I can get 19.

It may be best to hand screw, the power driver tends to overdrive breaking down the sole. Would you use a power driver on your spike shoes? No, I didn’t think so. Other than pre-drilling a pilot hole one runner mentioned driving a nail in and then pulling it out as a pilot hole. Be sure to do this with the shoe off your foot!

Emil Zatopek - he would train in any weather, including snow, and would often do so while wearing heavy work boots as opposed to special running shoes. How did he handle the ice?

"Essentially, we distinguish ourselves from the rest. If you want to win something, run the 100 meters. If you want to experience something, run a marathon." EZ

Training: am, 15, 9.5 miles, 1:16:36 out-38:04, back-38:32, 8:03 pace, strides last 20 mins. Albeit slow from snowshoeing yesterday.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Very Tiring

44:30 out
49:19 back
Battle Road Trail (partial) deep powder with a hard crust using
snowshoes, out too fast resulting high HR and heat buildup

Monday, December 17, 2007

Track the Time: Weekly Report

All the snow is changing this running plan to focus on minutes or hours of running. Snowshoeing doesn’t add many miles but does provide a robust workout, especially blazing trails in deep powder (about 50% more effort).

There were cross country ski tracks in the Poor Farm Meadow on my loop yesterday afternoon. Using them did make the knee deep fluffy white stuff less cumbersome. I trampled all over the skinny little rails plowing a good swath. I could hear the muffled whoomp of powder compacting under the snowshoes and my jacket fabric swishing with each arm pull. Stopping for a second, admiring a red-tailed hawk swooping in low to the ground heading for a flock of small snow-white underbelly, it was then, the serenity quietly whispered “welcome to winter.”

Through the day the snow turned to sleet, freezing the surface, and then rain; puddling on top. There was no sign of sly red fox hunting for dinner, or the fat gobblers surface walking, only a lone snowshoer breaking a trail and connecting with nature.

Weekly Review
Total Miles\Time: 67.8\9.62
Number of Workouts: 9
Stretching: most pre and almost every post run
Yoga: two
P\U, S\U: ok
Still working on the long run.
Issues to Note: Right hip range of motion totally cleared! It took about twelve weeks. I’ll follow up later with the recovery method. New issue is a left hamstring pull, most likely from the 4:40 pace treadmill run.?!
Next Week Goal: Same as this week, easy does it.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Snow Queen Rejoices!

She must have felt last winter was too light on use mere mortals. It looks to me more snow this year than all of last.self-portrait taken on the way up Widow's Rites Hill near the Water Towers

snowshoeing ~5 miles? 1:00:09 -pace?
Bowker Flats (2.5M was ~27:00)

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Nor'Easter Coming

Advanced the long run to this morning vice tomorrow. Selected streets having lesser amounts of surface ice, got out early-to beat xmas shoppers and storm fear mongers.

We had a good run with a hilly finish. Specifically chose the tougher finish to more simulate what the end of a race feels like. You can never practice it enough.

15 miles at an 8:20\mile pace for 2:05:03. Temperature 19, windchill sub zero-raw.

Friday, December 14, 2007

GOT SNOW??? Never fear more to come!!!

Title emailed to me from America's Vacationland.

am: Treadmill, 5M, 36:32 for a 7:18\mile (6:50-7:20 zone)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Boston Marathon Acceptance Card

2008 - received in the mail!
am: 24, Water Row, 1:13:02, 10 miles, 7:18 pace

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


You probably didn't expect much after yesterday's Herculean effort. It was nice to see the temperatures up in the 40s.

9.75 miles in 1:22:56 for an average 8:30\mile pace

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

4:40\Mile Pace

Pushing the increase button moved the display to read 4:40\mile. Hold back speedy, it should be at a 5:00 pace. After gliding for about a quarter mile the pace slowed to a more “comfortable” 6:00. A couple of long fartleks at the goal marathon pace are highlights of today’s Woodway treadmill run.

Yesterday treadmill: am: 5m avg. 8:31, pm: 3m avg. 7:27
Training: am, Woodway Treadmill, 10M avg. 7:04

This is a first for me of reprinting another bloggers reprint of an article. It’s a good application that I tried the counting part in today’s speed work and it really helped! Now if I can apply it to my long runs.

Just thought I would share it with you. Enjoy, and let me know what you think.

December 6, 2007
Personal Best
I'm Not Really Running, I'm Not Really Running...
BILL MORGAN, an emeritus professor of kinesiology at the University of Wisconsin, likes to tell the story, which he swears is true, of an Ivy League pole vaulter who held the Division 1 record in the Eastern region.
His coaches and teammates, though, noticed that he could jump even higher. Every time he cleared the pole, he had about a foot to spare. But if they moved the bar up even an inch, the vaulter would hit it every time. One day, when the vaulter was not looking, his teammates raised the bar a good six inches. The man vaulted over it, again with a foot to spare.
When his teammates confessed, the pole vaulter could not believe it. But, Dr. Morgan added, “once he saw what he had done, he walked away from the jumping pit and never came back.”
After all, Dr. Morgan said, everyone would expect him to repeat that performance. And how could he?
The moral of the story? No matter how high you jump, how fast you run or swim, how powerfully you row, you can do better. But sometimes your mind gets in the way.
“All maximum performances are actually pseudo-maximum performances,” Dr. Morgan said. “You are always capable of doing more than you are doing.”
One of my running partners, Claire Brown, the executive director of Princeton in Latin America, a nonprofit group, calls it mind over mind-over-body.
She used that idea in June in the Black Bear triathlon in Lehighton, Pa., going all-out when she saw a competitor drawing close. She won her age group (30 to 34) for the half-Ironman distance, coming in fourth among the women.
When it was over, she ended up in a medical tent. “I felt like I was going to pass out or throw up or both,” she recalled. “At a certain point in a hard race, you’ve pushed yourself beyond the point of ignoring the physical pain, and now you have to tell your mind that it can keep going, too.”
The problem for many athletes is how to make a pseudo-maximum performance as close as possible to a maximum one. There are some tricks, exercise physiologists say, but also some risks.
The first thing to know, said Dr. Benjamin Levine, an exercise researcher and a cardiology professor at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, is that no one really knows what limits human performance. There’s the ability of the heart to pump blood to the muscles, there’s the ability of the muscles to contract and respond, there’s the question of muscle fuel, and then, of course, there is the mind.
“How does the brain interact with the skeletal muscles and the circulation?” Dr. Levine said. “How much of this is voluntary and how much is involuntary? We just don’t know.”
But since most people can do better, no matter how good their performance, the challenge is to find a safe way to push a little harder. Many ordinary athletes, as well as elites, use a technique known as dissociation.
Dr. Morgan, who tested the method in research studies, said he was inspired by a story, reported by an anthropologist that, he suspects, is apocryphal. It involves Tibetan monks who reportedly ran 300 miles in 30 hours, an average pace of six minutes a mile. Their mental trick was to fixate on a distant object, like a mountain peak, and put their breathing in synchrony with their locomotion. Every time a foot hit the ground they would also repeat a mantra.
So Dr. Morgan and his colleagues instructed runners to say “down” to themselves every time a foot went down. They were also to choose an object and stare at it while running on a treadmill and to breathe in sync with their steps. The result, Dr. Morgan said, was that the runners using the monks’ strategy had a statistically significant increase in endurance, doing much better than members of a control group who ran in their usual way.
That, in a sense, is the trick that Paula Radcliffe said she uses. Ms. Radcliffe, the winner of this year’s New York City Marathon, said in a recent interview that she counts her steps when she struggles in a race. “When I count to 100 three times, it’s a mile,” she said. “It helps me focus on the moment and not think about how many miles I have to go. I concentrate on breathing and striding, and I go within myself.”
Without realizing what I was doing, I dissociated a few months ago, in the middle of a long, fast bike ride. I’d become so tired that I could not hold the pace going up hills. Then I hit upon a method — I focused only on the seat of the rider in front of me and did not look at the hill or what was to come. And I concentrated on my cadence, counting pedal strokes, thinking of nothing else. It worked. Now I know why.
Dr. Morgan, who has worked with hundreds of subelite marathon runners, said every one had a dissociation strategy. One wrote letters in his mind to everyone he knew. Another stared at his shadow. But, Dr. Morgan asked him, what if the sun is in front of you? Then, the man said, he focused on someone else’s shadow. But what if the sun goes behind a cloud, Dr. Morgan asked?
“Then it’s tough,” the runner conceded.
Dissociation clearly works, Dr. Morgan said, but athletes who use it also take a chance on serious injury if they trick themselves into ignoring excruciating pain. There is, of course, a fine line between too much pain and too little for maximum performance.
“The old adage, no pain no gain comes into play here,” Dr. Morgan said. “In point of fact, maximum performance is associated with pain.”
The brain affects everyday training as well, researchers note.
Imagine you are out running on a wet, windy, cold Sunday morning, said Dr. Timothy Noakes, an exercise physiologist at the University of Cape Town. “The conscious brain says, ‘You know that coffee shop on the corner. That’s where you really should be.’” And suddenly, you feel tired, it’s time to stop.
“There is some fatigue in muscle, I’m not suggesting muscles don’t get fatigued,” Dr. Noakes said. “I’m suggesting that the brain can make the muscles work harder if it wanted to.”
Part of a winning strategy is to avoid giving in to lowered expectations, athletes and researchers say. One friend tells me that toward the end of a marathon he tries not to look at people collapsed or limping at the side of the road. If he does, he suddenly realizes how tired he is and just gives up.
Marian Westley, a 35-year-old oceanographer in Princeton, N.J., and another running friend of mine, used several mental strategies in the recent Philadelphia marathon.
She slowed herself down at the start by telling herself repeatedly that she was storing energy in the bank. And when she tired near the race’s finish, she concentrated on pumping her arms. “I thought about letting my arms run the race for me, taking the pressure off my legs.”
She finished in three hours and 43 minutes, meeting her goal of qualifying for the Boston Marathon. “I am over the moon!” she wrote in an e-mail message the day after the race.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Fuel 600+ Calories: Weekly Report

Add the banana to the 600 to stoke this morning’s long run fire. The first five mile loop went down in 40:59; thinking not bad, let’s notch it up a little and get a progression going. Loop two mile six stopped to stretch hammies. Mile nine at the Poor Farm Meadow distracted as a red fox pulled one field mouse out for breakfast. How rude to stand and watch it forage. It pounce’s another and then alerted by a passing motorist wonders “what’s that slowpoke marathoner doing standing there?”

We both go off in our own direction. Spirited by nature I wasn’t quitting after ten miles; second loop in 42:08. This high was short lived but too late as the third loop was already underway. Next stop home, third loop improved to 41:06. But wait, had to add one mile to make 70 for the week; last mile 9:03 on the Belcher Hill Loop. Glad it was over.

Weekly Review
Total Miles\Time: 70.0\8.99
Number of Workouts: 8
Stretching: most pre and almost every post run
Yoga: one, stretching and strengthening
P\U, S\U: ok
Long run continues to be a chore.
Issues to Note: Slipping on ice didn’t help right hip.
Next Week Goal: Same as this week, easy does it.
Thursday: Willow Guzzle, out-23:10, loop, 29:52, back-22:24 1:15:28 for a 7:32 pace
Friday: Treadmill 38:15 for a 7:39 pace
AM: 3x Haynes Loop + Belcher for 16 miles. #1-40:59, #2-42:08, #3-41:06 (2:04:13) Belcher Hill-1-9:03, average of 8:19\mile

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Virus: Winter.exe

See this guy's blog as a good start to resolving your issue. It's got me down hard, computer will continually restart, will not allow network in safe mode. I am hoping the ComboFix and Hijackthis do the trick.

yesterday pm: Bowker Flats for 5m at a 6:51 pace, ice is slippery
am: about 15 degrees, 2x Haynes Loop first one considered bagging it cause of cold and ice - 37:31 at 7:30\mile for 5M, pulled through on the second 5M in 34:09 for 6:51 pace, 10M at 1:11:40 for an average of 7:10\mile

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

May I Complain?


They all make for lousy training runs; but there is much to be thankful for. This guy has got me thinking of the winter sports cross training. Only problem is time taken away from running and the mileage bank taking a hit.

am: 17 degrees, Morse Road, 6M, 23:31 out, 22:31 back, 7:40\mile

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Rest or Recovery?

Yesterday I felt good enough to do the full Speed-Strength circuit. For some reason the Sunday long run didn’t take that much out of me.

You should stop by to congratulate Mike on his 2:40 Tucson Marathon. He calls it a training run; surely to fire up some sparky comments. Also, this guy just seems to be getting faster. His marathon, 2:38, Fukuoka sounds like a good one to run some day; if you are in Japan.

We got the snowstorm, the snow is pretty, but makes for lousy running. You better buckle down and get used to it as from here until the Boston Marathon expect narrow roads, ice, slush and cold.
Am: 25,cldy,Water Row, 10M at 7:42\mile pace

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Out of Fuel: Weekly Report

Five minutes from finishing a 2:10 run you take the gel that’s been riding your pocket. It’s enough to get home. Something is not right.

I’ve got this desire to ‘burn fat for fuel’ but my body is not ready. A banana and extra drink of water got 15 more minutes of running and a slightly faster pace than last week. Inconsistent water intake on the run, not enough early on, and needing more fuel led to another ‘glad this is over’ run.

Weekly Review
Total Miles\Time: 72.0\8.98
Number of Workouts: 9
Stretching: most pre and every post run
Yoga: one, stretching and strengthening
P\U, S\U: little sporadic
Recovery going well, just want to stabilize at the easy zone and get comfortable at the 70-80 mileage range.
Issues to Note: right hip still limited range, tight groin - both are getting better
Next Week Goal: Easy running-start thinking about a 2400m lactate threshold test
yesterday am: 5M in 36:16\7:15 pace
AM: cold, Local roads and hills for 16.0M in 2:10:19 for an 8:09\mile pace

I baked these fresh for my wife finishing her 24-miler. (this blog should be about her, it would be far more interesting)

Friday, November 30, 2007

Cross Country: 3rd, 2nd, 1st

Bronze: It doesn’t look like an update will happen for the USATF-NE Cross Country Grand Prix points total. One harrier didn’t receive points for a race allowing my closest competitor to come in second, by one point. For third master a medal is awarded.

Silver: My wife takes second master in her USATF-NE XC Grand Prix series.

Gold: Our Town High School girls cross country won the state meet and recently the regional. They are heading to Oregon to compete in the Nationals. Congratulations!

Fall Marathon or Fall Cross Country for a Fast Boston Marathon voting is shaping up with some interesting results; would love to hear your comments.

Training: am, Post Office Run, 6M, 42:07, 7:01\mile, 21:55 out and 20:12 on return burning out some of the carbon in the last 1200m.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Apply This to That

Training for the mind. It's one thing to read about being calm and smooth while striding through the marathon miles and another to see fluid in motion. Sheer power.
Click here for one of my favorite running videos

THAT (see my blog for the video here)

Personally, mental training should be started early to engage thoughts in the end goal. This thinking should bring reasoning to the daily "workout with a purpose."

Didn't have a choice in pulling back this morning as the knees had no lift. Probably a cumulative effect of yesterday's work and doubles. One decent pickup on the hill to the school. Made a mediocre effort to run 7:00\mile pace for the last mile to find myself crashing in the last 100 meters. Mostly a bad run and just wanted it over.
Yesterday: pm,Haynes Loop,5M,34:24,6:53\mile
Training: am,37,Willow Guzzle, 10M, 1:16:15 7:37\mile

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

New Rhode Island Racing Venues

A new marathon in Rhode Island on Sunday, May 4, 2008.
For you tri-guys see July 13, 2008 IronMan 70.3.

My wife and I ran our first ultramarathon at the Nifty-Fifty in RI. What a fun way to spend the day.

Training: am, Morse Road, 44:07, 7:21\mile

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Boston Marathon Tip #1: How to Carry Gels

This is a new weekly series to provide my readers, few there are, and more selfishly me tips for the 2008 Boston Marathon. Generally, they may be tips for any race, but this is my blog so they are called Boston Marathon tips.

Recently I commented on a 2007 Boston Marathon 2:42 marathoner about how to carry four gels during the race. If you like the energy gel boost, flavor, or distraction, four is plenty. You can set a plan to take one before each water station allowing tossing the wrapper in a bucket. Try something like miles 8, 13.1, 17 and 22. It’s best to try this out in training and your tune-up races.

Where to Put the Gels:
Running shorts pocket = maybe two max
Arm pouch = you won’t catch me with one
Pasting to the bib number = never seen it done, it would be too weighty
Pin to the singlet = seen this and it can’t be comfortable
Special shorts with special gel pocket = shows you take gels (RaceReady brand)
Mike recommends using shorts made by Brooks that have small, half-depth pockets on each side just behind the side-seam. They close with a tiny velcro tab and don't catch any air. Pin the gels inside them so they don't accidentally fall out.
Alternative is to sew your own pocket in the shorts.
Put them inside your hat, in the front.
Belt Pouch = recommended by Patrick - something like the Amphipod "RaceLite
From the populace you can read the RunnersWorld forum on this topic.

Mark’s Tried and Proven Method:

  1. Use two medium size safety pins, they tend to stay closed better, one for each inside waist band of shorts pinned off left and right hip adjust for comfort.
  2. Pre-tear a small amount of the gel pouch to make it easier opening in the race.
  3. Each pin can hold two gels. Depending on pouch size, some get too heavy and will pull shorts lower and also have bulky material.
  4. Have singlet tucked in under shorts with gels next and then shorts to prevent chafing.
  5. When grabbing, with two hands, while running the small tab will stay in place while pulled.
  6. Always hold from top to keep gel in the pack and not messing on your fingers, gloves, face, etc.
Training: am, Battle Road Trail, 10M, 1:13:09, 7:18/mile

Monday, November 26, 2007

Take Twelve Minutes off Your Boston Marathon

In about nine weeks starting from my injury recovery on September 13 to Thanksgiving Day’s 5K race.

The Progression:
9/30 Topsfield 8K XC – 30:05 marathon of 2:57:55
10/7 Wayland 5K XC – 18:14 marathon of 2:57:45
10/28 Mayor’s Cup 8K XC – 29:27 marathon of 2:54:11
11/4 Amherst 5K XC – 18:04 marathon of 2:56:08
11/18 USATF-NE’s 8K XC – 28:21 marathon of 2:47:41
11/22 Stow Gobbler 5K – 17:00 marathon of 2:45:44

The above race times are from a changing plan that went from a fast Fall Marathon to half-marathon then cross country and settling on base training with cross country races. The races were used as the speed quality and recovery weeks. Evolvement can be contributed to injuries and available time.

Your equivalent performance at one distance can easily be projected to another with the McMillan Running Calculator. Keeping in mind these are all races less than 10,000 meters and obviously will need marathon training. What McMillan’s calculator does offer to the runner is a moving sense toward a faster time. Stop by Running with Lydiard to get a take on this and my question to the Mystery Coach.

Last year I ran an October 2:52 marathon and a December 5-miler for an equivalent of 2:52. This year’s results were (distance-time-equivalent marathon) 10M-62:03-2:53:47, 13.1M-78:08-2:44:47 and the Boston Marathon-2:49:13. Boston I ran 1:22:20 at the half on pace for a 2:44.

Ahead is four weeks base training of primarily easy running and building the long run allowing a good break from racing. I’ll be shooting for a weekly average of 70-80 miles. Then start a 16-week marathon program the last week of December. This will probably have peak mileage right about 80, but with 2-4 quality runs.

Training: am, 40s, light rain, Morse Rd hills, 45:34, 7:35\mile-not easy pace or recovery pace, it’s in the gray zone, felt fine, skipped doing a double yesterday.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Another 2.5 Miles Needed

Have you tried the new feature at Typically I map a run on the USATF Running Routes being a member. Recently I came across Google’s new drag and drop blue line. Awesome, it saves time, great customization, a real nice service and faster than zoom, pick and poke the old way. Be sure to watch the cute tutorial, it's short and helpful.

Weekly Review
Total Miles: 70.0
Number of Workouts: 11
Stretching: most pre and every post run, new program
Yoga: none, did some speed strength and a new idea
P\U, S\U: coming back around, should try numbers for next week
Last eight days saw two races and one long run of almost two hours, it’s time to cut back.
Issues to Note: right Achilles cleared for NE’s, right hip still limited range, tight groin. Fell on stairs hanging a picture and slid down three treads on Tuesday.
Next Week Goal: Easy running.
AM: 27, Local roads and hills for 14.0M in 1:54:35 for an 8:11\mile ‘ recovery’ pace
A short shakeout will bring the week’s total to 70 miles; my magic mental number.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Run a Relay or Fast Half Marathon? -in Japan-

Look ahead for my Monday post about taking twelve minutes off your marathon. For now, I am providing two links of some phenomenal running on the other side of the earth.

I’ve run a few relays and they were fun with plenty of camaraderie. This one here though is at an all different level. I can say I have heard of the Chiba Ekiden Relays, but never bothered to read about them until Brett’s post. Thanks to another Canadian.

If at any point you think you are fast relative to the field ponder this post by Brett in his recent race. I am sincerely humbled.

Training: AM, Haynes Loop, 17 degrees, 5 miles, 39:22; PM, treadmill, 8 miles avg. 7:25\mile

Friday, November 23, 2007

With Downeast Running

A brisk 30-something morning was my real-world encounter with this fellow marathoner. Starting at the standard street drain cover on the non-standard measured ARNWR long loop we were off running for the next 87 minutes.

The run, consistently conversational took us through McMansionville, crossed a State highway, past the lacrosse field and into the wildlife of the reservation. No half-stepping competitive running here, just sharing the knowledge as two students of the sport expound ideas and experience.

Uneven surfaces, 800 meter pine needle trail, one duck hunter, a bridge under repair, private runway, Kenyan like road, climbing a fence, trail signs, a large gravel pit, the State Firefighting School, a good hill with soft footing to dream about doing repeats, no trespassing sign, parking lot, gate (2nd one), Patrol Road, abandoned homes by eminent domain, pond not-fished much and *secret fartlek training* (only provided in person) with the finish back at the street drain.

Bagels, coffee, tea, more stories and it’s a good way to start the full day of Christmas shopping. Thanks for the run Andrew.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Stow Gobbler 5K

I’ve never met him and it was my second race against Pepi. This time he almost pissed me off, but it’s Thanksgiving. And I am thankful for many non-running related things, although running is on an uptick, so thanks there also.

A damp raw morning with overlying fog provided a sleepy hollow affect on Old Bolton Road for the start of the 1st Annual Stow Gobbler 5K. Two cross country high school brothers came up the idea, planned, certified the course and organized the race held at the new Bose facility.

Obviously, a course record was at stake when Pepi crowds me on the starting line, I shuffle over and wonder what his problem is. "One, Two, Three" shouts the boy’s mom and then a man fires a pistol to start us off. First mile I go from around tenth to fourth. The usual high schools cross country kids are out like a whip only to be winded at the first sign of an incline.

It’s Pepi now in the lead behind the police cruiser with flashing blue lights, some guy who looks like he doesn’t belong, and then me running alongside a kid that I keep encouraging to work together. About halfway, I tell him to stick with it as the two in front are falling off the pace. I am also telling myself that this is already almost half over. First mile went down in 5:20.

We hit mile two around 10:59 and soon pass the number two guy, in a short while it’s me chasing with the thought of sub-17:00 minutes. I mentioned this goal to my old friend Gary at the start and he conceded to a sub-18:00; he has two more races planned for the weekend.

Back across the Great Road and Pepi has begun one of about twelve “look over the shoulders”. What’s he doing? Is he laboring? The gap is closing, still thinking sub-17, but this could be a win.

My wife and son give me a pick up as I am now two strides in front turning left to loop the parking lot in the last half mile. I hug the inside lane running clockwise around the building, Pepi is trying to run on the inclined curb to pass, unusual. More looks from Pepi as he is caught in my peripheral vision as a straightaway opens. It’s not over, this guy is messing around. We have one last left turn at three miles and a slight downgrade to smoke the finish.

Barb is yelling “GO MARK” as the two of us rocket to the tape, my kick is good. But, Pepi’s got another gear and is moving a stride ahead. Seeing the seconds click on the clock was more important than Pepi thrusting number one fingers high in the air crossing first.

I stop my watch, 16:59.55! Unofficially. Back slapping and congratulating my younger competitor and others I realize Pepi kept going. Okay, so he was just playing with me. I figure he was some 16:30 guy, non-marathoner, doing this for kicks and wanted a dramatic finish.

Turns out my official time is 17:00, Pepi gets my 16:59, ouch again, and the course record. Did he run the May Run for the Woods 5K in Stow? Yes, in a time of 16:25, right about that. How about marathon? Could I have him there? Yes, Boston 2007 my 2:49 beats his 2:51! Oh, oh, there he has a Boston 2:32 in 2006 and just ran a 2:31 at St. George in October at age 39.

Pepi, the Canadian living in America will continue to annoy me, only he will be a Master soon. Thanks for my new 5K Masters PR of 11 seconds. Happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Vote: XC or Marathon for Faster Boston Marathon Race?

In just winding down from a "first ever" cross country season I am pondering the title question.

I've ran Boston off and on about ten times with PR of 2:38. All of these races were preceded by a fall marathon. Now, as a masters age runner the intention is to train smarter and run faster.

A huge advantage I see in XC is the quicker recovery. Last year it took four weeks to build mileage up, which only left four weeks of base training. Then it was onto a 16-week marathon conditioning program. It seemed the body wasn't prepared for the work.

With XC, the miles can stay up at base level with every two-three weeks a pullback as a mini-taper for a race. The races serve as a built in rest mechanism and a quality workout.

Feel free to cast your vote on the right sidebar and post comments.

I'll try and put this up on as my first ever post there.

Training: easy 6m on Bowker Flats in 45:40

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

2007 Boston Mayor's Cup Championship 8K

early on, pre-side stitch?
Feels like a sub-4 minute pace kick to the finish!
-note the difference in hand positions-
Photos Courtesy of, 2007 Boston Mayor's Cup Championship 8K Race
***first snow of the season***
Training: am,10.5m at an easy 7:53 pace, pm lt stretching and cardio

Monday, November 19, 2007

How I Ran an 8K XC Race a Minute Faster

Three weeks after my inaugural Franklin Park of 29:27 it dropped to 28:21. There were marathon base training weeks of 76.4m, 70.0m and race week of 62.8m and one 5K XC race (18:04-5:48\mile) the week after Mayor’s Cup.

The training shifted from a daily diet of long singles that were taking longer recover to twice daily easy running. In addition there were 2x\week of yoga, core work, stretching and introduction to speed-strength.

The race tactics itself may have played a major role in allowing the race to develop at a slower effort. The first mile this time was 5:31 vice a 5:18. Second mile was 5:51 then 11:32 for 3&4 while finishing the last in 5:25.

There was no side-stitching this time, determination and focus were the positives. For some reason “pick up the carnage” was quite prevalent as working through the runners spurred the pace along. Oddly enough I heard Brian Sell say something similar on a Runner’s World Video today. Good feedback from Coaching staff and supporters on course also helped.

I passed the salt n’ pepper beard guy around mile two pleasantly striding by him. Thoughts of is this a mistake as in “digging my own grave” and will he come back to haunt me later on the final stretch like Topsfield?

After the second time up Bear Cage Hill I had enough and was thankful for the fast downhill. Across the rooted section under the oak trees with a slight bump three runners in sight, one a teammate.

Around the baseball diamond backstop and floor it to the finish. Over the frozen solid core aeration plugs caught me looking down to keep from twisting an ankle.

The finish line arrived with me closing in on two harriers but not catching them, salt n’ pepper beard guy nowhere in sight! This was a new course PR for me by 66 seconds, nice.

Later in the week the USATF-NE XC Grand Prix results should come out. My wife and I ran our own calculations that put us at 2nd Masters. Awards will be medals. BTW, even after running a tough trail marathon last weekend Barb ran her fastest paced XC race of the series. If only I was half the runner she is!

Finished off the week with 62.8 miles for 8 runs.
Training: am-4m treadmill in 32:59, pm-4m treadmill in 32:29 with light core work and stretching.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Smoked the Votes!

2007 USATF-NE Regional Cross Country Race

Voting Results:

Unofficial Result-28:21 (5:42\mile)! A new Franklin Park PR for this Master. Olympian Mark Coogan wins the race.

It looks like we beat our Mayor's Cup average by 2 seconds. We were the 2nd Masters Team at NE's. Also, we should be 1st for the USATF-NC XC Grand Prix Masters Team.
more to follow later. . .

Video of the USATF-NE XC Championships (open race, not masters)

Friday, November 16, 2007

Thanks For Your NE's Voting!

You can very well change the battery in your HR monitor like I did. It's basically designed like a watch and really does not require sending it in if you have some mechanical aptitude and dexterity.

Thanks for your NE's XC votes. 10 so far. It will be interesting to see how the race comes around.

Observed one coyote in the Poor Farm Meadow Area

am: 41,windy, humid,raw, Haynes Loop 5M in 33:45 for a 6:45\mile pace -HR 139
noon: 46,windy,humid,Haynes Loop 5M in 31:42 for a 6:20\mile pace -HR 143

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Five Minutes Off Your Boston Marathon: Guaranteed!

Dr. Z guarantees five minutes off my Boston Marathon time running in the new orthotics. I took them on an easy five mile Haynes Loop at an average 6:30 pace\mile this morning to break them in.

Second run of the day was a treadmill mix with a few core exercises thrown in to build strength. 40 minutes for five miles with 2x .25m at 6:00/mile.

Yesterday was an easy 10 miles on the soft pine needle trails in the Reservation ranting with Kyle about this w\e’s Championship Race.

I should mention my earlier post about Coach Joe’s program where it looked as if it was upside down. Well, the Coach made a comment that his true goal is to set a Half-Marathon PR prior to Boston! Be sure and pay a visit as he just put up a ton of stuff on post-season training.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Boston Marathon 2007 Masters Awards

Boston Marathon 2008, get the fever...Looking at this 2007 article it places me sixth in the local area with a 2:49:13. Not nearly close enough to take a walk an award in the esteemed Copley Hotel. Take a close look at the race times for the number one and two, see what I see?

Well, just wasted a few minutes to find how many Masters are awarded. Five? Maybe a list somewhere? Bottom line is I need to run faster.

MJ here is my post on the Speed-Strength Workout.

Training: soft, rain soaked trails for an easy hour with mild temps, right achilles still flaring.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Right Achilles Tendon

The Stonecat Trail did a number on my right achilles tendon. You know something is amiss when trying to two leg heel raises and it's painful the first inch up. Time to ice and massage to get the blood circulating in promotion of healing.

I came across this Boston Marathoner's blog who promises a weekly post on his venture. It's good to see others are also starting to focus on the Patriot's Day race.

Coach Joe's training program reads upside down. Here is a coach (also Ultramarathoner) starting with speed workouts then medium distance and finishing doing endurance training for phases. Just the opposite of what I will do.

It kind of reminds me of the OldLobo and his Boston Marathon pursuit last year. OldLobo got injured, poor guy; it's a fine line for Masters runners to put the stops on when things could pull you off track.

Lastly, the timing frequency was interfered at the NYC Marathon losing thousands of marathoner's data. Read about it here. Was it intentional? What would jam the Chip timing system? Darn good reason to wear a watch at your chip races and display your bib number.

Training: Speed-Strength, one circuit, 3.75 miles. 4x.25m at 6:00/mi. pace on treadmill

Sunday, November 11, 2007

REPORT: Boston Marathon- Base Training

REPORT: Boston Marathon- Base Training
A recovery pace for three miles was hard to manage as my right Achilles was flaring from yesterday’s trail abuse. I stretched it about half-way to loosen and continue.

Back to the weekly reports as a tool to help reflect on what happened and plan for what’s next. Consistency will be the theme after next week’s race. Look for an average of 70-80 miles primarily at easy pace.

Weekly Review
Total Miles: 70.0
Number of Workouts: 10
Stretching: most pre and every post run
Yoga: two, been consistent for six weeks
P\U, S\U: pulled back muscle left side from raking\push-ups
Notes: Physically needing quicker recovery to perform at a higher level. Changing to double runs to have higher mileage and keeping the pace slower.
Issues to Note: right Achilles from trail running, right hip still has some limited range
Next Week Goal: Easy running with USATF-NE XC Championship race. Our B.A.A. Masters team is starting to shape up nicely.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Stone Cat 50-Miler\Marathon Trail Race

Another weekend and another race is a common theme this fall. It's exciting to be back in the throes of competition.

Today was sidelines for me as my bride powers through the trails in Willowdale State Forest to finish (unofficially) in second and first master for the women at Stonecat.

After spending two hours in the freezing cold chatting it up with ultrarunning fanatic Jamie it was my time to run a pace lap. My wife ran over 70 miles pre-race and I was having trouble keeping up, at least in the beginning. I had four layers of clothing up top that had to be adjusted before I could get a rhythm.

I found difficulties with the trail’s rocky, rooted, switchback terrain to manage a decent stride. Today will be called a Long Run for “time on the feet”. Tomorrow will be a simple three-miler shakeout to bring the week’s total to 70.

Yesterday: am\pm, double, 30’s, Morse Road @7:50 pace for six miles each.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Still: #2 Master: USATF-NE XC Grand Prix

Only one race left in the series. The New England Championships.

Yesterday: felt lousy as in low energy and no recovery

Today: AM: Easy sub-60 minute run.
PM: laid down 5 miles on the roads at a 6:39 pace. The effort seemed very marathon-like, a good stride pulling the leg under through the hills. It was nice, now how to figure this fits into base training.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Raw Rain

Within the first ten minutes of this trail run the heavens opened up and it poured a cold rain. Dodging puddles was no longer a concern, only the slowing pace. After five miles of the slugging sloshiness I threw in the towel.

Later, on this treadmill four miles were added to the log. What a sweet ride. How much does one of them cost?

Recovery seems to be the name of the game. Last week's mileage, two XC races of late have taken their toll.

9 total miles all at recovery or easy pace

Monday, November 05, 2007

That's Enough

Words expressed at the end of this morning's recovery run.

I've been thinking about the positives of yesterday's race:

  1. 10 seconds faster than previous 5K XC race
  2. Tougher course
  3. More relaxed
  4. Race week mileage came to 76 total miles
  5. Recovery allowed for medium distance morning after
10.5M at 8:06 pace

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Amherst 5K XC

Another USATF-NE XC Grand Prix race for us today. This afternoon Barb walks away with first Master and fourth overall female. A large loaf of bread was awarded to her. As for myself it was unofficialy 10 seconds faster than my last XC 5K.

Freestyle Farm, host site, is the home of our favorite course thus far. It's very picteresque with a beautiful 52 acre pond that the course loops. Described as technically challenging; it is. The water crossings, screaming downhills, and formidable uphills set on wide paths make for a fun afternoon of running.

unoficially, 18:04, 3rd Master and 12th overall.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Hurricane Noel-Nor'easter

We ducked out early this morning ahead of the blustery and rainy storm. Just an easy shakeout before tomorrow's xc race.

After checking the "free" nbc_marathon trials stream we were out the door to run Saturday morning errands. The "free" feed did show up but it was about the size of something I would watch on my cellphone, small.

2pm show was okay, then again, how much can you pack in to 30 minutes. Congratulations to Ryan Hall (2:09), Dathan Ritzenheim (2:11) and Brian Sell (2:11). I am totally impressed with one of our local favorites, Nate Jenkins (2:14) finishing 7th, one ahead of silver medalist Meb Keflizighi.

Our deepest condolences go out to Ryan Shay's wife Alicia and family. Absolutely unbelievable tragic collapse at 5.5 miles into the race.

Training: 4 miles in 30:15

Friday, November 02, 2007

#2 Master: USATF-NE XC Grand Prix

The points came out and the rankings put me right back at the number two spot! It pays to toe the line. The next race is a 5K XC this weekend up in Amherst, NH.

Good luck to the US Olympic Marathon Trials runners tomorrow in Central Park! Severe weather is in the forecast showing temperatures in the 40s, 20-25 mph winds and showers. Sounds raw and blustery which will certainly spice things up.

Training: 13.5M/8:09 avg. extended Battle Road Trail

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Look Like a WhiteTail Deer

A runner wearing a white Long Sleeve CoolMax top could certainly be mistaken for a bounding whitetail deer was my realization this morning. The deer looked like a healthy 8-pointer. I guess the scrapes and droppings are for real smack dab on my running trail, or theirs?

Notched it closer to the McMillan easy pace (7:09 - 7:39) for a 7:40/mile on 10.5 miles. It's acceptable considering there was some wind and I laid down 6.5 miles running with the stroller before yesterday's festivities.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Checking my time it looks like I fell off the pace by running a 7:48 average which is out of the 7:09 to 7:39/mile range. The effort seemed like it was there and recovery is still going on.

I put up a new poll for the USATF-NE XC Championships coming up in two and a half weeks. It's 8K run on the same course as the Mayor's Cup in Farnklin Park, Boston.

Completely forgot about watching NOVA’s Marathon special last night. Was it any good?

AM,39: ARNWR, 10.5M, 1:21:55

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Caught in the Act

Two women walking a golden retriever that just relieved itself on our lawn were caught yesterday. Looking like they just walked out of Macy’s Department Store claiming they didn’t have a bag. Catching my glaring stare they left and returned immediately to remove the doo-doo.

Easy pace today as regulated by The McMillan Calculator. The Mayor’s Cup Race pace now puts these runs at 7:09 to 7:39. 10.5 Miles in 75:27.

Yesterday: 5M recovery on the mill

Monday, October 29, 2007

2007 Mayor's Cup Part 2: 29:27

Please allow me to first start by saying I was running in my most competitive race ever. For a guy with a late start, lots of experience, I felt so na├»ve. It was very easy to get caught up with the very fast pace post-collegiate runners as most were under 5:00 at the first mile. My 5:18 first mile set me far enough back to think I was ok, then, reality hit that sustaining it would be something I hadn’t done in a long time.

So I slowed, then I side stitched. Runners passed, I let them. Later I would try and hang onto some. It was soon enough realizing there were fewer breathing down my back that I was probably running dead last. Seeing a couple others on the side pulled out the thought crossed my mind. Seeing my wife along the course was inspiring to keep me in as she kept yelling “go for the points”. The XC Grand Prix points that is.

The accumulations in the legs set in quickly making the two climbs up “Bear Cage Hill” no fun.
It wasn’t until the last downhill for the pace to turn around. I picked a few runners to pass, paced myself and let the spikes rip up some turf for a very strong finish.

Course was in good shape as it drains well and the strong winds pulled most of the water away.

Analysis: In hindsight, my trying to keep pace with last year’s 28:10 guy was a mistake. I only know his time and not how he races. I would’ve been better off to use a runner that I knew and ran against more often. That mistake was made in the first minute of the race. I just don’t understand why I didn’t stick with my pre-race plan!

Results: 165 out of 180, 11th master of 13, 29:27 for a pace of 5:58/mile
Video: look for me *way* in the back

Sunday, October 28, 2007

2007 Mayor's Cup Part 1: 29:27

Mile 1=5:18 keeping pace with competition, feeling real good
Mile 2-4, slowed and stitched (mile 2@ ~11:18)
Finish exceptionally strong taking two runners on final stretch!

October Surprise = forgot to put on timing chip!
I thought I came across in 29:18 but the timing folks gave me 29:27. That’s okay; I am hanging my head low and will accept it as better than no race time. --more later, gotta go to the Halloween Parade with our little tiger.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Focus on the Task at Hand

Tomorrow will be four loops on the Mayor's Cup Men's Championship 8K course at Franklin Park in Boston. The course will be wet as today it's raining off and on. Good thing we picked up spikes!

My plan is to even pace one mile at a time. By keeping focused on the task at hand should help bring a PR. Now, if there were $100 for every mile split it could mentally drive the race. That's what mental training is about, being able to visualize, break down and perform the never before achieved.

If your training is there and the mind is strong, fast times or placement are to be hadd.
Noon, easy 4 miles in 32:40 on the Bowker Flats with a light drizzle at 61 degrees.

Friday, October 26, 2007

ARNWR Long Loop again

Same Resevervation loop as yesterday. Took out the first mile at 6:48 pace. Seems like I was upset over someone's dog crapping on the edge of our lawn. That's twice now. Leaves keep falling.

Noon, 10.5M, 1:17:47, 7:24/mile

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Easy out on ARNWR

I've been working on a base training plan, right now it's on paper and it will cover the next 11 weeks. There are some details and changes to be made.

This article by Kevin Jermyn is good about base training. It's taken from a site called I think they are not in existence anymore.? The link at the bottom is dead to continue the article; maybe I'll send an email request.

Out on the run today with the first mile at 7:17; suprisingly good feeling throughout the whole run.

Training: ARNWR, 53,sun\breeze, 10.5M in 1:18:23\7:27
Yesterday: 2nd rest day since 9/12, interesting. . .

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

10-4 Boston Marathon Build Wins!

Thanks to everyone who cast a vote. The decision is made: Base Training. I also appreciate the insightful comments demonstrating disagreement with the build phase.

What is base training? Initial thoughts are logging miles to the level of marathon training. The pace is generally easy, one long run (ease back on pace), maybe light fartleks and strides to keep the legs fresh. I better put some thought into this.

"Thinking is the hardest work there is." --Henry Ford.

Time to do the homework and come up with some structure for the next 10-11 weeks of base training. There are three X-C races remaining.

***Mayors Cup=>faster course, (last 8K XC = 30:05) Please Vote on the right===>

Battle Road: 10 miles, 71,sunny,breezy, 73 minutes, felt slo after 30 minutes and upon waking. rest day tomorrow?

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Weekly Report-Battle Road Trail

72 miles with three quality w\o's, also one attempt at strides

All systems holding together but not 100%. That's always elusive.

Strectching, Yoga, Ice seem to be helping situations.

Mayor's Cup Race is Next Sunday, will need to cut back on quality runs and adjust mileage.

Just two days left to vote.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Kilkenny Xc Spike-Saucony

New spikes for this wanna-be cross country racer. First pair ever. How long do they last? Even got blanks! So, cool it's going to be hard waiting a week to let them fly.

Training: yesterday Walden Pond w\sweetheart. today strides at soccer fields.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Tempo Interval: 2M-90-60-30

12 min warmup
~2 Mile tempo -12:26 (gate to river)
3 min jog rest3 x (90s, 60s, 30s @ slightly faster than race pace w/ jog rest 30 seconds, 3 min jog rest between sets
46 min cooldown
Total = 13 Miles, 93 min

This workout came up on a local runner's blog (14:31 on 5k this year). I mistakenly overlooked the rest interval between 90-60-30, they were to be identical to the time just ran.

The two miler was good to get a feel of power along with a vision of running through the hills while running the legs under. This form takes strength and practice to move away from the slow slog hunched over grind of hill running. Running the shorter reps strictly on the flat river trail was excellent for quick turnover, focusing on stride, breathing and flow.

All was done at effort with no set distances, just approximations based on time and feel. All sounds very Lydiardesque to me.

Let's keep the votes rolling in; only 5 days left.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Run to Vote, Vote on Training

Your turn to vote. please slect one of two choices on right---->>>

Ran a nice 65 minute ten miler this morning on the Battle Road Trail.

We received at least a dozen messages to vote in our *special* election for Congressman and to build a new police station. So, off with the stroller this pm for a second run to the tune of 4.5 miles in 45 minutes.

I am struggling with Cross Country specific training of speed for the next month or start the base phase for Boston 2008. The New England XC Grand Prix currently has me 4 points out from being the third Master.

Boston Marathon 2008 is only 27 weeks away!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

You Kick up the Leaves and the Magic is . . .

So, I had a bad day. . . I sung my sad song and now it's time to turn it around.

The leaves are kickin and the feet are flickin in today's new Battle Road Trail PR of 64 minutes for 10 Miles. I'm coming back up and there could be an "October Surprise" at this year's Mayors Cup. Better get your cowbell ready cause were gonna roll strong.

Monday, October 08, 2007

The Wayland XC Challenge

Race management was nice enough to let us know that a delay in the start was caused by the football games in the middle of the track. Apparently it was poor coordination between Park & Rec and the School Athletics. We started on a field next to the track, ran one loop on the track, and then the course. Supposedly the last minute change was measured to be correct.
The course was in good condition. It was evident on our warm-up they added sand on a treacherous downhill leading into the “bowl”. Weather was a humid 58 degrees with a slight breeze.
After last week’s thrashing I decided to strategize my race to the course. This means plan your moves, exertion and know when to kick the finish. After the delay we were off on a “two count” and hit the first Kilometer in 3:40 and mile at 5:50.
Thinking this was a bit slow as my competition was ahead, I continued to bide time on the grassy fields knowing tough running ahead.
The “bowl” downhill was quite dusty when we went flying down in, runners streaming along, about six moves by now to get ahead of slower runners.
Running behind one runner judging their age, form and breathing I decided to pull ahead on a wide turn just before the hill climb to the rim. This allowed the advantage of seeing the trail stones and roots while trying to catch the next runner. It paid off as I crested the hill running through it and moving along past several more runners along the edge.
Surprisingly on the wicked fast downhill the group ahead of me flew right along. Great, keeping pace.
Out of the woods, around the corner and ball diamond saw several more runners go by the side. Next was cross the entrance road over a median and down the parking lot, a couple more passed.
Soon, a short very steep hill, knees dragging the dirt and passing another runner on the backside. Finally perimeters loop around the fields and back to the track. Checking my competition and distance remaining it was evident I could take a few runners but not catch the comp. That I did with an excellent kick out running some young buck to the finish.
This was a strong race throughout, remained in control for breathing and strength. Never passed and always passing runners. It does beg the question of did I run too slow?

Finish time officially was 18:14 (5:52). 28th overall and 5th Master. The current results are amiss by one Master runner.

Results some Master came in 2nd O'all, I've got my work cut out for me!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

USATF-NE Cross Country Grand Prix

USATF-NE XC Standings

It looks like I dropped to fourth in the Masters category. Too bad, there is a 50+ y.o. ahead of me; I better run faster.

We've been putting in some miles on Cape Cod this week. The weather like most of the U.S. has been very summer like.

Good luck to all racing this w\e.

easy four at a 9 min pace this a.m.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Whites Pond and

Easy recovery run for one hour with a 15 minute swim and four lo-effort strides on the soccer field. Discovered some old trails that felt good on the tired legs. Later had some excellent honey-peanut butter on seven grain bread, yum.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Preview Wayland XC Challenge

Look for the white unicorn here and you will find my beautiful wife running the Topsfield Cross Country Race.

amazing!!! is all I've got to say about Haile breaking the marathon world record. Two appreciative reads I came across on the subject are EthioBlog and PJ Morse.

A moderate run out on the Battle Road Trail (10.5 miles) this morning in a tic over 7:00. I certainly do have allot of tender muscles to recover from Sunday's XC battle. Can't wait for the next. Biked 75 minutes yesterday and walked the Wayland XC course. Have a nice day.

Monday, October 01, 2007

GBTC Topsfield XC Festival

1Beautiful sunny 60 degree day for the three races out in the fields and hills of Bradley Palmer State Park. Little jeb finished a full 1K without getting winded; that may be his endurance race for now. Next, our spot for viewing barb and the women’s race was first rate as they did the 1K loop and then the return finish from the long loop. She gave me the tip of an ominous hill lurking on the second loop.2
With that I was off with around 50 other men. I eased into the race; positioned a bit back on the first 1K loop and then put a surge in leading up to the double loop to stay with my competition and get around a pack with a runner who seemed to be slowing us. Around the back side of this loop you start a climb to the clouds that seems to keep on going. I could feel the recent abs and pushup work were helping run this long hill. I was relieved to maintain position. I passed one runner on the downhill. Next was a series of small hills, a small cheering section and then the loop again. Within that three harriers from the earlier group passed me and each I tried to stick with. I was not looking forward to doing the hill again. Following the line of another runner effectively boxed out the guy behind me. But when the opportunity arose he passed me on the uphill. What was I to do? My breathing was like a laboring freight train hauling a heavy load up a mountain. We crested and I just wanted to maintain position. The downhill, long and a little windy helped recovery. First 1K LoopBack on the field someone yelled a half-mile to go. Just maintain position. Half that distance later heavy breathing on my right shoulder wanted to make a move. A little boxing and a quick downhill left us both charging the small uphill in the last turn before the flat field to the finish. Arms were moving quickly fighting for position and judging the finish distance keeping in the race was all I could do from dropping to the earth from heavy legs. A strong finish, but the salt and pepper beard guy finished ahead. 30:05 on 8K for a 6:03 pace finishing 32nd overall.
First 1K LoopThis was my second of the six New England Grand Prix Cross Country race series. I think I may have dropped a place from my earlier second place Masters standing. I was ready to bag this one at 5K as my anaerobic conditioning has been off in the last month. We’ll see what next week comes up with on the grounds of Wayland.

Weekly ReviewTotal Miles: 72.0
Number of Workouts: 9
Stretching: some pre and every post run
Yoga: Two!
P\U, S\U: 190/350
Notes: continue using ice, stretching and abdominal work, Raced at GBTC Topsfield XC Festival. I made Dr. appointments for physical and podiatry.
Issues to Note: ice is helping on right hip and right inner shin; Cold virus ran the course for a full week. Excellent yoga and stretching seem to help the turnaround despite logging more miles. Limited range of stride on right leg, most days shin would hurt on impact.
Next Week Goal: Continue recovery, preview the Wayland XC course and run fast next Sunday.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Bee Honey: Bears, People or What?

The arborist told us to be aware of the inground bees nest located near the old large hemlock they just removed from our property. After mowing over the area one early morning I doused the small bee entrance hole with leftover charcoal lighter fluid that the previous owners left in the garage. It didn't seem to faze the buzzing fliers. The next day, like elves in the middle of the night, some creature dug a five inch diameter hole about eight inches deep exposing the remaining honeycomb. I suspect it was honey they were after resolving our ground hazard in the process. The question is what animal? It's obvious Pooh Bear and humans like honey but what else? Opossum, skunk, raccoon and coyote come to mind; oh and I hear there are fishers in the area.
Ten miles on the trails with Kyle yesterday at an easy pace. I got the first hand report on his Ironman Race out in Lake Placid. Later that day I biked for an hour unhappy with my running and thinking I should just go for the Ironman qualifier to enter Kona, Hawaii.

Training: am,58,Haynes Loop 5M in 40:13, left shin issue, tomorrow race: X-C Festival

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Pork Rinds Hot & Spicy Flavored

I ate the whole bag. Turns out I got a run in on the Battle Road Trail for 10+ miles in the middle of the day heat leaving me dehydrated. I figured with 290mg of sodium per serving the rinds would keep me thirsty. After five servings, the whole bag (might've been better with a beer):
1450 mg Sodium (70% Daily Value)
7.5g Saturated Fat (50% Daily Value)
Og Carbohydrates
35g Protein
Total of 350 calories with 200 from Fat

Not very filling kind of like eating sushi. Wife's homemade Pizza for dinner tonight!
10.5 Miles, 73:07/6:58 Pace, 85 degrees felt ok held back cause of rt foot, shin and hip

Flat Feet

Tuesday and Wednesday seems to have just flown by in time. The running was good the first day with ten + miles out on the Battle Road Trail. Scaled it back yesterday settling for five easy on the a.m. treadmill. As of yesterday it feels like the cold virus is subsiding the remaining sniffle and phlegm buildup should go over the next couple of days.
Summer weather is back, it’s been around 90 degrees and the humidity rolled in. Later this afternoon a thunderstorm is expected. Maybe that will bring the seasonably mild weather that goes so well with the changing of the leaf colors.
Yesterday I made appointments to get a physical and to see the podiatrist. Looking online the inner right shin issue that I have been dealing with for the past year may be a shin splint. My right foot is flat. I only wear orthotics in my running shoes; they are soft and probably have seen their life expectancy. My thoughts are the trouble is related to a mechanical issue. We will see in November.
This morning was an easy five on the mill with a good possibility to get out on the trails for some distance later today. Changed up race plans, the BAA Half Marathon is out. Racing that distance will probably lead to a bigger setback and the training just isn’t there. Also, it’s a fair amount of effort getting to Boston, parking and all that goes with it. What’s in is back to the NE-XC festival. This Sunday, check the race link to find out more.

Monday, September 24, 2007

B.A.A. Half Marathon Course Preview

A fairly slow affair of us this afternoon trotting through Boston’s Emerald Necklace in search of the right turns to keep from getting lost. Our start was near the 11 mile mark of Longwood Avenue. Running Olmstead Park and Jamaica Pond was old hack from our marathon stay (118 days) in Boston when our son was born, released day before the Boston Marathon.

After passing the Arnold Arboretum we were heading to the Franklin Park Zoo, it was broad daylight upon arrival, the West Roxbury District Court had a heavy police presence and we did an immediate about face. Franklin Park is located in or near districts that frequently make the news for stabbings or shootings no matter the time of day.

To make up for lost distance we ran up one of the hills at the Arboretum, possibly Bussey Hill. The route back is similar, this time we went around the Back Bay Fens and finished just after San Clemente Park. Mile 13 was the only marker we spotted painted on the road.

Later at home, safe and sound from the big city it was an easy one mile on the skates and a casual walk. Good news being no more follow up visits at Children’s Hospital!

Training: pm, 77,BAA ½ Marathon Course, a good 2+ hours with stops

Sunday, September 23, 2007

REPORT: Marathon- Conditioning Week Nine

Congrats to the B.A.A. Mens Masters on their overall win (24 minute + margin) at the 19th Annual Fred Brown Relay Around Lake Winnipesaukee, Presented by the North Medford Club.

A return to better mileage is the upside, downside is a cold virus.

This morning’s run called for 3 x 5 mile progression. Haynes Loop one went down in 38:09, slight thoughts of quitting while passing the house. Number two started okay, then around seven miles breathing was laborious, a low knee lift, right hip was acting up and pace slowed to a marathon shuffle. Then a walk. . . Picked it up hearing a car approaching and then stopped to chat with Russ who was heading out on a 70 mile bike ride. Time of 44 minutes for the second loop and I threw in the towel.

Weekly Review
Total Miles: 53.0
Number of Workouts: 10
Stretching: some pre and every post run
Yoga: pilates and abs of steel
P\U, S\U: 200/400 not bad!
physically coming around by using ice, stretching and abdominal work, missed NE Grand Prix Race at Fruiltands in Harvard today
Issues to Note: ice is helping on right hip and right inner shin, Cold virus from our two y.o. started on Friday
Next Week Goal: repeat this week with a B.A.A. Half Marathon Course preview in Boston tomorrow. Looking for 13.1+ miles of pushing the stroller.

Friday, September 21, 2007

“Hold Yourself in, Train not Strain”

A quote from Aurthur Lydiard applies to my current running. As the injuries are clearing, attitude, progressing energy level; the desire to run fast is omniscient. Speed can wait until next week. It’s rather concerning that the B.A.A. Half Marathon is in 15 days for me to go under 78 minutes. Can we do it? Yes, we can!!!
2007_SEP_Walden Pond
Training: noon, 71, 6m at Walden Woods, 20 minutes in the water –nice-
am,71,treadmill, 5 miles around 7:50ish pace
Yesterday afternoon Treadmill: just under 7:00s for 2 miles to break in shoes.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Red Beauty Pepper

Yesterday I got lucky and squeezed in five miles on the Battle Road Trail. A favorite place to run with a wide soft surface and tree cover. Didn't push it for the full ten due to time and conditioning.
The container garden(s) produced an abundance of Juliet cherry tomatoes which the chipmunks got the most. The Scarlet runner green beans came in okay on the rock wall; they taste so, so. The zucchini squash pushed to survive the drought, the one I saw growing is not there now,
some thief must have got it. Top award winner is Red Beauty Pepper. Next year will be produce that the ground thieves do not like.
2007 Red Beauty Pepper
Another easy 5 miles (40:32)on the mill to the sights and tune of RW videos. Ice is helping, new shoes came in yesterday.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Runners World Videos Conveniently Stream!

This morning’s run on the treadmill to the sights and sounds of Runners World videos. Just by chance I looked to see if they have running videos and pleased with how many and that they stream one after another. This is easy to do by just playing the first video allowing you to focus on running and enjoying the show. Saab commercials for their SUV are very obnoxious and loud. They generally put them before a 3-5 minute video. I will not buy that car. What I saw this morning are the races hosted by Bart Yasso. His demeanor stays the same in each while styling a different Hawaiian or Runners World shirt.
I wonder if the other video sites could do the streaming; playlists or something?

Treadmill run: just under 8:00s for 5 miles.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Step in the Right Direction

Yesterday was an easy four miles hooked in to a speed strength circuit, just one time through. It's the next day and some soreness is already set in from those previously unused muscles.
This morning was an easy six miles on the mill to the tune of ChasingKimbia videos.

Looks like a few B.A.A. Half-Marathon course routes are up on USATF. Reading Seebo's blog about his sub-78 PDR over the weekend has got me pumped to run the same in 18 days.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Weekly Report, Diaper Dash, Weston 5K Race

It’s back to being plagued by yet another injury. This one is slow to come around to something healthy. Given due time, proper stretching along with easing back into it this will subside. Hopefully, in time for the BAA Half Marathon.
Diaper dash was cool, my 5K PR is on the Weston course, years ago, it would’ve won in yesterday’s race.
Weekly Review
Total Miles: 29.10
Number of Workouts: 5
Stretching: much needed and coming along
Yoga: some along with Pilates intro
P\U, S\U: 150\300
Notes: mileage fell way off
Issues to Note: major upper right thigh muscle feels pulled; last week caused a limp to walk. It’s starting to turn around as it better now with the cooler temperatures.
Next Week Goal: continue recovery

Friday, September 14, 2007

Pisgah 50K Mountain Trail Race

Jamie linked to this guy that ran the Pisgah 50K Mountain Trail Race this last Sunday. It's a good read from a newbie perspective for anyone wanting to venture down this path.

Tonight is a scheduled playground run with the stroller, the long way, 5.5 miles out, play grab a sub and 5.5 miles home.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Run for the Phone

The little run down the hall to answer the phone gave me the notion that it was time to resume running. It's been five consecutive days of zero mileage. What brought things to a screeching halt is the muscle that is used to pull the right leg forward very close to the top of the hip. Is it the ill-lopsas? Turns out other lower mid-section were also sore and strained.

The cause most likely compounded events of laying bricks, moving deck furniture, ladders, climbing fences and not stretching and no yoga. I had it coming.

Two loops on the Bowker Flats, easy sub-8 minute pace for a total of five miles in a very nice 59 degree temperature.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Gotta Get Back

Today is the first day in a long while of doing the "abs of steel" workout. The first session was tough and evident of poor core strength and tight muscles. Time to check the log to see where the stretching and training went off course allowing "just running" to take over. It seems this has an affect on how well my muscles hold up to different stresses and running conditions.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

50K Pisgah Crew Support

with my running going downhill by the day what's left to write about is my Wife's 50K Ultra Mountain Trail Race, wooohoo, more to follow later

Monday, September 03, 2007

Laborious 10-Mile Race

Laborious 10-Miler 10.00 1 16 15 7:37 am,64,sun,stroller, felt really good
The below photo is from the inaugeral race in 2005 where I was first overall and set the course record that was beat today by ten minutes, hmmph. Very hilly course with Hosmer Street at mile 8 that keeps on climbing. Race entry fee is suggested 10 can goods for the local food pantry.
Laborious Day 10-miler

Long X-C 5K, 2nd Master, Great Brook Farm


Photo Courtesy: Jim Rhoades

Monday, August 13, 2007

REPORT: BAA Half Marathon Training

It feels like running is turning into something good again. The summer doldrums seem to have passed as evident in Sunday’s strong long run. If it wasn’t for the trails I would have bagged it after five miles. I figured the deer flies would push, they did, and then the Minuteman Road Club (MRC) runners in the last two miles was icing on the cake. Good effort guys and thanks for the pickup.

Weekly Review
Total Miles: 55.0
Number of Workouts: 7
Stretching: okay
Yoga: back to none
P\U, S\U: 150/300
mileage returning to regular training
Issues to Note: none
Next Week Goal: nail down a half marathon program and explore the Fall X-C races, same as last week
Training: Easy, Haynes Loop, 5.00M, 36:22, 7:16, noon,stroller, felt slo at first, stop 4 fish and running cell call

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Deer Fly Repellent

Summertime running brings out a little nasty insect called the Deer Fly. Their prime habitats in these locales are forested, shady humid areas typically found on a wooded trail. Mike in Canada prompted me to write this tip and in Maine Jamie posted this photograph from Texas A&M.

This little pesky insect gangs up on a runner causing them to push the pace faster and faster to the point of exhaustion. Their area of interest is mostly the head and shoulders. It’s when the run has progressed along for perspiration to build into a sweet smelling sweat that they are drawn to like a magnet. Its bite is hurtful and may lend itself to swelling.

An easy deterrent is to always wear a hat. If you have a pony-tail that’ll help swats them. I’ve resorted to wrapping a shirt in place of a hat when without.

The best method I have found so far was passed to me by a local fast runner. The secret is by using laundry dryer sheets. He uses Bounty I use Snuggle, they both seem to work. There must be some active chemical in them that the flies do not like.

Take one dryer sheet and wipe it vigorously on your left side of your singlet, hat, shoulder, arms, neck and calves. Then repeat with another sheet for the other side. Focus on previously attacked areas. Final step is to lay both sheets with 2/3 exposed as flaps out the back of your hat. This can easily be done with the hat lying upside down on the ground.

Warning: abide by the dryer sheet package warnings. If someone has sensitive skin this is not for you. The dryer sheets have chemicals that may give someone an allergic reaction.
This lists possible chemicals and their hazards! Click here for the the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for all Bounce dryer sheets by Proctor & Gamble. I accept no responsibility if you follow this tip based on the above warnings.
Otherwise, good luck and enjoy the trails.

Training: am, 8M in 57:56, Fr: 5M on treadmill due to rain, Thurs: 10.5M on the trails.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

REPORT: Two Weeks of Steady State

Not much happening, the details are boring even to me. I did get out for one mile of inline skating and an hour of Mountain Biking in the past week.

A fast local runner tuned me into the secret of “dryer sheets”, Bounty or Snuggle work, in warding off the persistent deer flies. It works great, I had two runs in the Reservation and came out unscathed. This morning I ran one loop, about a kilometer, in the LSHS X-C trail w\out the sheets and I was attacked. Deer Flies do make you run faster, even if you are tired.

Weekly Review
Total Miles: 60.0
Number of Workouts: 8
Stretching: okay
Yoga: back to none
P\U, S\U: some
mileage returning to regular training
Issues to Note: 2nd long run of stopping after 8m and walking
Next Week Goal: nail down a half marathon program and explore the Fall X-C races

Saturday, July 28, 2007

REPORT: 24 Hour Ultra Marathon

Around the Lake 24 Hour Ultra Marathon finished under the skies of thunder and lightning early this afternoon.

My wife won the Women’s overall ultra marathon. She consistently persevered from the start to the time officials called the race on account of runner’s safety. Her finish distance was over nine miles ahead of the nearest women. Her pace reaped 27 laps of a 3.16 mile course for over 85 miles.

Given her pace and time she was on track to beat my 114 mile run on the same course. Whew, thank goodness for the weather! We had fun, I got the opportunity to accompany the new champ for over 30 of the miles. Believe me, she ran better on her own.

I am proud, inspired and awed of her determination and tenacity to rule the roads of Wakefield on this glorious summer day.

Training: Last 24 hours, 30 miles +

Thursday, July 26, 2007

24 Hour Ultra Marathon

Around the Lake 24 Hour Ultra Marathon starts this Friday at 7 pm and my best friend is running.

It seems like yesterday that I trodded the lake path myself, it's been six years. To this day I say you won't get me to do it again. Although the next year I did go back and set the marathon course record. Those were the days.

Anyhow show up and lend a little support; I'll be there no doubt getting a long run in myself.

Last night was a futile attempt to break 17:00 at the Devens 5K. I came up as 1st Master and 2nd overall. It's a good thing there was another runner pulling me as submission to the heat and humidity is easy. 1st mile - 5:37, second mile 5:35 and then crawled the hill to drag down the time for the finish in 6:48 1.2 mile for an overall 18:01.

Tuesday was Rob deCastella's 8 x 400s with a 200 meter float. This was sub-20 something, possibly sub-19 for a total of 5000 meters. Might be a good weekly evaluation workout.

Monday called for an easy three miles on the treadmill.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

REPORT: Breaking the Marathon Training Slump Report

This cutback week is starting to pay off as indicative of tonight’s 5 mile tempo run in 29:46. That’s eight seconds faster than my 5 mile race last week! In reflection the summers can be a real drag if left to one’s self. The need for races, cross-training, group runs and track work can all break these doldrums.

Recent inspiration is from friends in the Lake Placid Ironman triathlon, NYC Triathlon and the Vermont 100-miler this weekend. By competing from 2-20 hours in these events sure is one way to have a good time. Be sure and check for Kyle’s and Jamie’s blog and giving them a good rally of support for their efforts.

Weekly Review
Total Miles:
Number of Workouts: 7
Stretching: okay
Yoga: back to none
P\U, S\U: a few
Notes: mileage cut-back in hopes of returning to regular training
Issues to Note: lower right back, energy level, poor sleep
Next Week Goal: push past 50 miles, possible 2400m eval run on Thursday, attend 5K race on Wednesday eve, show up at the Around the Lake 24-hour ultra (nice plug for myself from the 2001 & 2002 races) to cheer on friends, explore running the BAA Half Marathon this fall

Friday, July 20, 2007

Lydiard Rock

The title is my comparison of learning the ways of Lydiard to the ways of rock moving. Both are new endeavors to me. Both are challenges and take a long time. Patience and strength are solidly instilled in each.

As you can see in the photo there are more rocks and more names to follow. Would you care to nominate a name for the next rock? This is just my sappy way of keeping focus on running through the summer doldrums.

Lydiard Rock on tripod
Lydiard Rock lifted to new heights

Lydiard Rock on rock wagon
Lydiard Rock being lowered to rock wagon, front wheels later to collapse

Training: am, hot & humid, stroller, 10M in 77 minutes