Monday, March 31, 2008

Training - 3/31/08 - 4/06/08

Weekly Training for 03/31/08 - 04/06/08 - Total: 66 Miles

This was a recovery week after Eastern States. Ran harder than I probably should have on Monday and Wednesday and really paid for it. I got to run with Dave Dunham and Dan Verrington a couple times this week and started reading Dave's book. It's a very cool history of the Mt. Washington road race. I can't wait until June 21st now (sounds sadistic I know...). Thursday's workout was a 'sh*tshow' (as Matt P. calls it). I felt horrible running on the soft grass at Phillips. Jon Healey really took it to me out there and was a good 150 meters ahead of me by the last set. I was tight from my hips down. I walked a little after, ran probably close to two miles back to Merrimack College after the workout and had to walk the duration of the campus because of bad leg cramps and tight hamstrings. Not a very pleasant workout by any means. I bounced back ok for an easy Friday run (surprisingly). Had 2 pretty good trail runs on Sat/Sun.

Monday - 3:00pm - 8 miles (56:57) - medium shakeout - Salem, Methuen (roads) - solo in the rain.
Tuesday - 3:26pm - ~ 8 miles (55:20) - medium - Andover (trails) - with Dave Dunham and Dan Verrington.
Wednesday - 5:30pm - 10 miles (65:40) - medium - Wakefield (roads) - solo (in the wind).
Thursday - 5:30pm - 2.5 mile w/up + 7 sets of (2:00 on + 30 sec rest + 1:00 on + 20 sec rest + 2:00 on) with 2:00 rest in between sets - on Phillips Academy grass athletic fields - Andover. + 2 mile cool down - w/ Jon Healey and Molly Taber. - Total - ~ 11.
Friday - 3:26pm - ~ 8 miles (56:48) - medium / easy - Andover (trails) - with Dave Dunham, Dan Verrington, and Matt Pimentel.
Saturday - 2:00pm - 9 miles (65:00) - medium - Andover - Merrimack river trails - with Matt Pimentel.
Sunday - 12:00pm - 12 miles (1:30:00) - medium - Wakefield (roads/trails) - Breakheart reservation - with Matt Pimentel, Jon Healey.

Approx. mileage for the week....~ 66

2008 Eastern States 20 Miler

Sunday I dippped my hand further into the realm of longer races (which I'm still not particularly convinced I like)... I decided on Saturday night to forget about the Run to the Border half-marathon and run the Eastern States 20 Miler (results) / (News Artcle) instead. I'm happy I decided to go with that for the sheer fact that I can say I ran through 3 states...The weather was perfect (maybe a little too warm for the way I was dressed)... There was very little wind, and though slightly rolly, there are no hills that will kill you on this course....So I really have no excuse as to why the 5 guys who beat me, destroyed me, other than to say that I dogged the last few miles and really shut it down over the last 6 or so...This is my ongoing problem in races....I go out a little too aggressive, feel good, but then shut it down when I start to feel the race getting interesting. That is separating me from running good times right now for sure. I ended up with 6th place overall and 1:57:39 (5:53 per mile pace). My goal because of how the last week of training went and how I felt over the weekend, was to just run under I'd consider this an 'ok' effort, which is what matters...It was also fun to run down the entire NH seacoast, over the span of 6 towns and 3 states... a very enjoyable race for sure. Another plus was the fact that I got to see my former high school coach, John Dicomandrea, who was running the half marathon that went over the same course, but left Rye, NH (7 miles ahead of the Kittery, ME start)...I said hi as I went by him (somewhere around mile 13-14 or so...not quite sure) and he surprisingly yelled to me exactly what place I was in, in the 20 miler...'good job kid...5th or 6th right there!'...he's still as sharp as ever and still chugging along at 80 years young. He finished his half in 2:20:32 (10:44 pace) and won his age group (70-99) handily by nearly 4 minutes over a 73-year old kid from Brookline. You can actually see him finish right at the end of the video from the results.

Again, much thanks to the insanely beautiful and dedicated Kristin for snapping some shots at the start and nearly making the finish. Because of the complicated setup of the course, and the attempt to bypass route 1A to get around the runners, Kristin got slightly lost coming back down to the finish and only was able to get a few shots near the end of the race in Seabrook/Salisbury. I love her anyways. :) Also, special thanks to that Salisbury police officer who not only let me use his cell phone to call her, but also let me sit in the back of the police car after my race, to warm up while I waited. It may have looked to passers-by, like some dude from MVS was being busted, but I was just getting warm...I swear!

The damage below:

Mile 1: 5:45
Mile 2: 5:35 (11:20)
Mile 3: 5:35 (16:55)
Mile 4: 5:36 (22:32)
Mile 5: 5:37 (28:10)
Mile 6: 5:42 (33:52)
Mile 7: 5:46 (39:38)
Mile 8: 5:47 (45:25)
Mile 9: 5:48 (51:14)
Mile 10: 6:01 (57:16)
Mile 11: 5:47 (1:03:04)
Mile 12: 5:59 (1:09:03)
Mile 13: 5:59 (1:15:02)
Mile 14: 5:52 (1:20:55)...ok, here comes the wall...
Mile 15: 6:07 (1:27:03)
Mile 16: 6:03 (1:33:06)
Mile 17: 6:12 (1:39:18)...enjoying the scenery...
Mile 18: 6:12 (1:45:31)...enjoying the scenery...
Mile 19: 6:12 (1:51:44)...enjoying the scenery...
Mile 20: 5:53 (1:57:37)...could smell the finish line...

I think now...a week or so off from racing... then start in on the spring time fun...

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Training - 03-24-08 - 03-30-08

Weekly Training for 03/24/08 - 03/30/08 - Total: ~ 72.5 miles (6 days)

Ok week this week (less Friday's fiasco) with an ok race at the end...More on that to come. Got in a trail run, some solo runs, a hill workout, a regular road run w/ someone, a race, and a missed day. The full gammet this week.

Monday - 4:30pm - 11.5 miles - medium with 20 sec. pickups over last 20 min. - 75:48 - Salem, Methuen, Haverhill (roads) - solo.
Tuesday - 3:30pm - 10+ miles (80 minutes) - medium - Andover, Tewksbury, Lowell (Merrimack River Trails) - with Matt Pimentel...tough/technical trail run with some lingering snow, ice, and a little mud.
Wednesday - 5:30pm - 20 min w/up + 12x90 second progressive hills up with 2:15 down + 10 min steady run + 5x30 sec hard hills up with 60 sec. down + 10 min cooldown. (90+min total) - total 14
Thursday - 6:00pm - 9 miles (65 min) medium - Andover (roads) with Jon Healey.
Friday - bagged. Was supposed to meet some guys from CMS and Pims, but I missed them by a min. or two when I got all the way over there...Then got a call from Pims who blew me off (again) and then I realized that I forgot my watch when I got all the way over to Andover. So I came back home in the rain/snow, got my watch, and ran for just shy of 5 minutes before turning back and wussing out. Rested the legs for the 20 miler on Sunday.
Saturday - 4:30pm - 5.5 mile shakeout (40 min) - easy - Salem, Methuen (roads) - solo.
Sunday - 20 min w/ up + Eastern States 20 Miler - 20 miles [1:57:40 - 6th place] - Total 22.5

Approx. mileage for the week....~ 72.5 miles (6 days)

Full race writeup for the 20 miler will come (probably tomorrow) when I upload the few pictures I got and figure out my splits and official time...

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Training - 03-17-08 - 03-23-08

Weekly Training for 03/17/08 - 03/23/08- Total: ~ 66.5 miles.

Lower miles this week coming off the New Bedford fiasco... Legs feel somewhat beat up but I am better off now than I was the week going into New Bedford. My three solo runs towards the end of the week were faster than usual because I was feeling pretty good as the week went on. Now I am beat up again. One good thing that came out of this week was being selected in the Mt. Washington Road Race lottery. This will be the highlight (literally) of my summer season. I promised myself that if I got picked, I'd read Dunham's I have to pick myself up a copy. Also, thanks to Crystal Sineath for having a nice get together on Friday night at her humble abode. I'm going to see how this week goes and decide probably midweek, on whether I will try another half marathon this coming weekend.

Monday - 5:00pm - 10 miles - 75 min - N.Andover (roads, trails) w/ Matt Pimentel.
Tuesday - 5:30pm - 11.5 miles - 81:00 - Andover (roads) w/ Jon Healey.
Wednesday - 6:00pm - 6 miles - 42:00 - Salem, Methuen (roads) - solo.
Thursday - 3:00pm - 9.5 miles - 62:00 - medium - Salem, Methen, Haverhill (roads) - solo.
Friday - 3:00pm - 9.5 miles - 61:40 - medium - Salem, Methen, Haverhill (roads) - solo.
Saturday - 4:00pm - 11 miles - 69:48 - medium - Salem, Methuen (roads) - solo.
Sunday - 6:30pm - 9 miles - 65:00 - easy - Andover (trails, roads) w/ Matt Pimentel.

Approx. mileage for the week....~ 66.5 miles

Monday, March 17, 2008

2008 New Bedford Half Marathon

First attempt at a half marathon this weekend at the 31st Annual New Bedford Half Marathon (results). This couldn't have come at a worse time for me. I have been suffering with severe calf sprain/pain for the past week and a half, as well as a touch of a cold (of which I am still in denial). It affected my trip to Arizona where not only did I have to put up with the calf issues, but I was also pretty sick (stomach and headaches) for the entire time. I also had a couple of travel days this week in which I didn't run. It all added up to a pretty awful debut at the distance for me. Too many excuses I know (somebody call the waahmbulance for me), but I really was not prepared for this at all. I am glad however, that I got it done. This time last year, I got the same calf issue and had to pull out of New Bedford right after I pre-registered for it. I then had to take more than a week off to heal. This year, I struggled through it, but was able to finish in the top 5 for the MVS men's open team which actually finished 4th overall in the Grand Prix standings. The course has 3 hills (2 major ones) and a 2-3 mile stretch down by the water near the end, that is just a complete windtunnel (with all the wind blowing in off the ocean). The last mile is all up hill for the most part. This all made for pretty entertaining time on a crummy, cold day, over a less than scenic half marathon course.

Dan 'the man' Vassallo finished 7th overall with a great 1:09:08. Of course, knowing Dan, nothing short of a win will make that kid happy...but he is my idol for this week for sure. Matt 'I only run on odd days' Pimentel ran a super-strong 1:10:22 for 18th overall. Jon Healey ran a very solid 1:11:32 for 29th overall. I ran a horrendously mediocre 1:13:50 for 57th overall, and rounding out the scoring was the ever reliable Todd Lagimonier who ran 1:17:02 for 102nd overall, after coming back this past fall from an extended layoff from running.

On the women's side, The Lama (Molly Taber) ran a great PR with her 1:17:16 and placed as the 5th women overall. Caroline Bjune also ran very well with a great new PR of 1:17:55 for 6th woman overall. Crystal Sineath rounded out the scoring for the women's open team by running in 8th place overall for the women with a really fast PR 1:19:17. The women's open team finished 2nd overall, right behind BAA. This was a really great effort for the MVS women who could be the team to beat this year in the USATF-NE Grand Prix.

Much thanks to my longtime best bud David Nickerson (aka DJ Nuggets) who braved the cold to go down there with us and take photos in the absence of Mr. and Mrs. Dave Smith and the lovely and talented Kristin, who has been home battling the worst case of the flu I have ever seen. Dave tried diligently to capture all MVS runners, but of course there will be a few who didn't make the cut (sorry finishing evidence of you exists other than the scoresheet....I swear I didn't tell him to deliberately miss you must have ran too fast for the camera). There are close to 400 pictures in total, so I split them up into 5 sets... I linked them below with only the regular set version as the slideshows from Flickr are performing horribly as of late. Enjoy.

2008 New Bedford Half Marathon - Start (View set)

2008 New Bedford Half Marathon - MVS & top overall finishers Set 1 (View set)
- Striders in this set: Dan Vassallo, Jim Johnson

2008 New Bedford Half Marathon - MVS finishers Set 2 (View set)
- Striders in this set: Todd Lagimonier, Molly Taber, Matthew Sullivan, Caroline Bjune, Lars Bjune, Steve Seide, Phil Cootey, Tina Dowling, Holly Madden, Tom Kinneman, Michael Teixeira

2008 New Bedford Half Marathon - MVS finishers Set 3 (View set)
- Striders in this set: Paul Cyr, Larissa Bifano, Jason Kramer, David Dargie, Kelly Lecours, Chris Chetsas, Glenn Simm, Marsha Hogan, Robert Rivard, Deb Sakr, Dan Hill, Karen Deroma, Stephanie Hirst, Marielle Yost, Sarah Prescott, Cristina Winsor, Rich Grobecker, Dave Leonard

2008 New Bedford Half Marathon - MVS finishers Set 4 (View set)
- Striders in this set: Chris Cormier, Charlie Farrington, Ann Domigan, John Adams, Jen Popowicz, Tom Licciardello, Sydney Walsh, Leo St. Louis, Kelly Cenca, Judy Silva, Mark Reeves, Chuck Batchelder, Sarah Hardy, Renee Cammarata, Denise Illsley, Amanda Truesdale, George Tournas, Martha O'Brien, Jane Madore

My really mediocre half marathon splits:

1 Mile: 5:24
2 Mile: 10:51 (5:27)
3 Mile: 16:17 (5:25)
4 Mile: 21:48 (5:31)
5 Mile: 27:07 (5:19)
6 Mile: 32:32 (5:24)
7 Mile: 38:00 (5:28)
8 Mile: 43:29 (5:28)
9 Mile: 49:19 (5:50)
10 Mile: 55:20 (6:00)
11 Mile: 1:01:20 (6:00)
12 Mile: 1:07:21 (6:00)
13.1 Mile: 1:13:49 (6:27)

Total Time: 1:13:49 - pace: 5:38 per mile.

I will now take the next couple of weeks to decide on the Eastern States 20 Miler or Run to the Border Half Marathon. I may just do that as a tempo run and see how it goes. All-in-all, very mixed bag this weekend... I am pretty sure I am 1:11 material at the current fitness level...I'll have to work on the last 4-5 miles of this distance and work on some strength building for these in the future.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Training - 03-03-08 - 03-09-08

Weekly Training for 03/03/08 - 03/09/08- Total: ~ 73 miles (6 days).

Miles could have been better this week, but I ran into some major calf/hamstring/sickness issues. Running at altitude (7000 ft) up in Flagstaff, Arizona provided some interesting runs over the weekend. Matt and I went down to Flagstaff and Sedona from Thursday night until Monday night to run with Molly Taber as she trains for the 2008 US Olympic Trials this April. We were supposed to stay until this Friday, but we ended up calling it quits after the weekend due to many factors including borderline altitude sickness I experienced from pretty much day 1. I had horrendous stomach issues and headaches for essentially the entire trip. Matt was also feeling under the weather and we decided to come back 5 days early to heal up before New Bedford this coming Sunday. The highlight of the trip was the long run (16 miles - 1:46 - 6:37 pace) on Sunday down in Sedona (4000 ft) with the Mcmillian Elite guys (including Martin Fagan), some Indiana Elite guys, and US Olympic Trial qualifiers Desiree Ficker (bio), and Peter Gilmore. For a taste of what the long run in Sedona looks like, check out the video here. This is exactly the ride we took and the place we ran.

Pictures from the trip:

Monday - 5:00pm - (1:08) - medium - 10 miles - Methuen, Haverhill (roads) with Matt Pimentel , Kevin Alliette, and Rob Duffy.
Tuesday - 4:30pm - (1:08) - easy - 9 miles - Andover, Tewksbury (roads) with Matt Pimentel - raining.
Wednesday - 33 min warmup + 14x400 meters as 400 slightly uphill @ 77-78 w/ 30 sec. rest then 400 slightly downhill at 71-72 into a nasty headwind. Effort was much harder than 71-72s. + 10 min cooldown when my calf snapped on me again. Could be big trouble. Total - 9.
Thursday - No running - travel day. Calf KILLING me. Massaged it on the plane out to Flagstaff, AZ.
Friday - 4:00pm - 1:20 - easy (11 miles) - Flagstaff, AZ - (dirt roads / trails) with Matt Pimentel and the Lama.
Saturday - 12:30pm - 75 minutes - medium (11 miles) - Flagstaff, AZ - (dirt roads) with Matt Pimentel and the Lama - Into a very strong headwind over the last half of the run. 6:00pm - 50 minutes - medium (7 miles) with Matt Pimentel and the Lama .
Sunday - 9:00am - 1:46 - (16 miles) medium/hard effort - Sedona, AZ - (dirt roads) with Matt Pimentel, the Lama , Mcmillan Elite guys, Indiana Elite guys, Pete Gilmore, Desiree Ficker (website), and others.

Approx. mileage for the week....~ 73 miles (6 days)

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Training - 02-25-08 - 03-02-08

Weekly Training for 02/25/08 - 03/02/08- Total: ~ 83 miles.

Miles increased a bit this week and thankfully no race. Had a decent workout on Wed (not terribly hard, but cold and windy)...I did cheeze out on a double on Sunday because my legs were killing me from Saturday's late long run. Now on to Arizona middle of this week for the remainder of my pre-New Bedford training at altitude. I'll post some daily logs and pix as time permits...

Monday - 6:00pm - (1:08.19) - medium - 9.5 miles - Andover, N. Andover (roads) with Jon Healey.
Tuesday - 3:00pm - (1:15.14) - medium - 11 miles - Salem NH (roads) solo.
Wednesday - 5:30pm - 20min w/up + 5 x 1200 meters as 400 slightly uphill and 800 slightly down with 400 jog rest + 20min c/dwn. - total 10.
Thursday - 3:30pm - 1:07.24 - (9.5 miles) - Andover (roads) - w/ Matt Pimentel.
Friday - 12:30pm - 43:56 - (6.5 miles) - medium - Salem, Methuen (roads) - solo. 6:00pm - 75min (10 miles) - Andover (roads) w/ Jon Healey and Matt Pimentel.
Saturday - 4:00pm - 2:02 - (17 miles) - medium - Andover, N. Andover (roads) - Jon Healey .
Sunday - 10:30am - 72 min (9.5 miles) - easy - Salem, Methuen, Lawrence (roads) - solo down to Claddagh 4 miler - watched race, then cooldown w/ Matt Pimentel and Linsey Cohen.

Approx. mileage for the week....~ 83 miles