Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Training 12-26 - 01-01

Weekly Wrap Up: 23 miles on just 2 days.  Sick most of the week and moved from Salem, NH up to East Wakefield, NH for the winter.  We sold our condo in Salem and are house-sitting for my parents at their lakehouse in East Wakefield (on Lake Ivanhoe) until the Spring.  We will be looking for a house of our own up north this winter and I will be doing my training here and looking forward to the peace and quiet of the area during the winter months. I just needed to get this move over with, and my illness over with.

01-01 - Sunday: 5 miles (snowmobile trails, dirt roads). Finished the week off (and started the new year off) with a run up in E.Wakefield, NH.  Ran from my house, on ice packed dirt roads, around the lake and onto the snowmobile trailhead over at McCutchon Corners and up through the Cross Lakes Trail North section to Balch Pond.  The lakes are frozen, but I wasn't about to run across, even with my Oroc's on.  The short snowmobile trail section was very nice but most of these trails here in the Seven Lakes Snowmobile Trails cross many of the lakes here in the region. Once the snow starts flying, I'll be able to shoe these in full, including the cross-lake sections. [35:00]

12-31 - Saturday: 0.  Again, moved all day.  Picked up the rental truck (same exact truck as Wed.) at 7am in Salem and proceeded to work with Kristin and my neighbor Peter to unload the rest of my world from our house and into the truck.  We worked until 1pm straight with zero breaks.  I still had waves of awful stomach pains that was VERY hard to work through.  Lifting heavy stuff was getting me winded and with that came waves of awful stomach pains that would cause me to keel over in pain and have to stop.  Went through this all day but thankfully I was no longer throwing up and was beginning to be able to hold down water and rehydrate as I moved.  I also had no more headache, so I could manage through the stomach issues as they came.  Kristin and I hit the road at 1pm and drove the 2 hours north to Wakefield (slow because we had a full truck) to unload.  We started to unload at about 3:15pm and didn't finish until about 5:00 or so.  Then we headed back down to Salem to drop the truck off and get something to eat.  We didn't get back until 7pm or so, then ate, then got back to the house to get our cars and load the cats up at about 9pm or so.  We then had to turn around and both drive our cars back up to Wakefield, NH another 90 minutes in slick and slow conditions.  We didn't get up into Wakefield and unload the cats and last of the belongings until almost 11pm or so.  Once we unloaded the cats and got settled into the house, there was again no way I was going to try to squeeze in a run.

12-30 - Friday: 0. STILL SICK. I slept for most of the day on Friday, as I still had a horrific headache.  Still going through what I think was food poisoning and bad stomach pains all day.

12-29 - Thursday: 0. SICK AS BALLS. I woke up early on Thursday after moving all day on Wednesday without as much as a 2 minute break, and proceeded to go through waves of projectile vomit and...ahem...other stuff. I had a massive issue with my stomach and my head was absolutely killing me.  I had a high fever and was throwing up all morning.  I could hardly stand up for more than a minute or more and had to keep lying down and putting a cold cloth on my head.  I had a migraine that lasted the entire day and I couldn't get out of bed for more than just to purge water and other things in the bathroom.  Definitely a case of food poisoning no doubt from that damn gas station sandwich on Wednesday night.  My puke was green, as was the italian sub.  Needless to say I laid in bed the entire day and slept through until Friday.

12-28 - Wednesday: 0. Moved all day.  I picked up my rental truck at 7am in Salem, NH.  Proceeded to drive back home and fill up with essentially everything I own that was filling my full sized garage.  I filled a 16 foot Budget rental truck and emptied out the garage + some of the house, all by myself in decent weather thank God.  But I didn't take a break, eat, or drink anything the entire time.  My calf started to kill, my back started to ache, my arms, etc. all started to get sore.  I finished loading the truck and was on the road at 1:15pm!  Drove the 2 hours north to the storage unit off of 16 in Wakefield, NH and got there about 3:15pm.  Went inside, signed all the paperwork, and was getting started with unloading (again, solo) at 3:30pm.  I worked for 3 straight hours all alone in cold, windy weather and some light flurries.  I didn't finish and get on the road again to head south until 6:30pm and it had already been dark for 2 hours.  I was exhausted and sore and had zero time to run, as I wouldn't be getting home until 8:30ish.  I stopped at the Irving Station in Wakefield on the way back to initially just grab a snack and coffee, but when I was in there, decided to grab a gas station sandwich.  BIG mistake.  I sat in the parking lot and ate the italian sub that had obviously been sitting there all day if not longer.  Then I made my way back home.  Got back to Salem and had to go drop the truck off and drive home.  Didn't get home until after 9, so I decided to bag the run.

12-27 - Tuesday: 18 miles (trails) - this was a dumb move.  In the midst of moving and coming off of two days of being sick as balls I decide to run for over 2 hours. Not good.  I ran 6 miles (out 3 and back 3) at River trail from hotel.  All was good.  Turned around and ran 3 back to get Matt Pims who was on his way down from his house.  We ran back to hotel to pick up Emery Bickford.  We all turned around and went back for 3 more out and back.  At the turn around on the last out and back, my calf started full blown sucking.  I'm talking as bad as it has ever been.  I had to stop and stretch a bit and it actually lasted the last 2 miles, but it is just super sore.  I am going to start doing some yoga w/ Kristin once we are up at the lake.  Spending the next few days moving, so I'm not sure how much good running I'll get in.  I know right now that my calf is killing me. Icing as we speak (and picked up a new spikey stick roller today to get some deeper massage on the muscles). [2:02:08]

12-26 - Monday: 0.  Sick as a dog on Sat. night/ Sun and didn't get good sleep on Sunday night.  Woke up early to go up to Wakefield, NH w/ my Dad to move stuff up there and go over some last minute things at the house before he leaves for the winter.  I have sold my place in Salem and am moving up to E.Wakefield, NH for the winter to house-sit for my parents while they golf down in Myrtle Beach for the winter.  They go from end of Dec. until April.  Kristin and I will be actively looking for a new house in the Madison/Conway area and should be up there by Spring.  I hope to solve this calf issue so I can start doing some good quality trail and snowshoe runs in the Wakefield/Brookfield/Ossipee/Western Maine area this winter.  On the way back down out of Wakefield, my dad took me over to the Moose Mountains (technically in Brookfield).  I had always wondered what mountains those were right on the border of Wakefield/Brookfield and to the west on Route 16 as you come into Wakefield from the South.  He took me up the road to the old Moose Mountain ski area, which now to our surprise is a new tubing and skating park.  I went in and talked with the owner, who gave me the green light to use the trails all over the mountain and surrounding area, that they groom ( & NH snowmobile corridor 22) this winter for some snowshoe running.  I just hope my calf will hold up.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Training 12-19 - 12-25

Weekly Wrap Up: 32.7 miles running + one small session on the bike and my calf is still an issue.  I also got super sick on Sat night / Sunday. Running has been pretty awful because of my calf but I've also been super occupied with moving.  I will do a write up in a bit, about the move and my plans / goals for 2012.  Right now, just trying to get the move over with and get healthy.  The super warm weather and lack of precipitation (of the white kind) has probably allowed me some more weeks than usual to try to get back to real training before I have to attempt to do some snowshoe races (whilst injured). Woodford already got cancelled (as supposed to be Monday - 26th) and it is not looking good for Beaver Brook on the 31st (although I don't think anything has officially been announced about BB just yet).

12-25 - Sunday: Off.  Sick as a dog all day and down in Pembroke, MA for xmas at Kristin's parents house.

12-24 - Saturday: 6.2 miles (roads) - Salem, Methuen.  Out and back 10k from house (solo). [41:30]

12-23 - Friday: 8 miles (trails) - River trail w/ Dave Dunham and Ken Tripp.  Out and back 6 + out and back to boathouse.  [57:33]

12-22 - Thursday: 30 min (bike)
. Didn't want to aggravate anything so I hammered 30 minutes on the bike.  That is about all I can swing on this thing at this point.  I was a sweating, hurting mess after 30 minutes and that's enough for right now. PF has been bothering me last night and today actually.  Slept with the boots (night splints) last night.  Been busy the past couple days moving and packing.  Spent most of the day up in Wakefield, NH moving stuff into storage... So the runs haven't been long the past week, but the quality was good yesterday and today's bike was a good cross over to make sure I keep somewhat fit and not aggravate anything.

12-21 - Wednesday: 4 miles (roads)  w/ Emery Bickford.  Salem neighborhoods from Emery's house.  Probably my fastest run since my last race.  Since it was a short headlamp run, we decided to work it a bit.  I think it was probably a little further than 4 because we ran pretty damn quick for 14 minutes and turned around...back in 12:20 but we were hammering. [26:20].  Unfortunately my calf and leg were sore before, during, and a bit after.  Not thrilled with how it felt, especially leading up to the actual run.  Did a lot of stretching and massage beforehand.  Thought I was out of the woods after yesterday's run with Chris, but apparently not completely.

12-20 - Tuesday: 8.5 miles (rail trail) w/ Chris Mahoney-Searles.  Salem, Windham, Derry. Don't look now but I had the BEST day 'calf-wise' in what seems like months.  Two days in a row without any calf 'sensation' at all.  I was beaming by the end of this run. Chris and I ran pretty steady.  It was the best run 'tempo-wise' I've done in a long while.  [1:01:51].  Fun talkin' running and racing w/ Chris...it's been a while.  Got each other pumped up for the 2012 GP.

12-19 - Monday: 6 miles (rail trail) w/ Emery Bickford.  Salem, Windham.  Headlamp run from Cycles Etc. Out 3 and back 3.  [42:11].  Calf felt good.  Hamstring barked a little but it was the best I've felt in a while (leg-wise).

Training - 12-12 - 12-18

Wrap Up: 48.6 miles running and 1 short spin on the bike.  The key to this week was running MORE miles than last week as I continue to take baby steps and build back up.  The calf is getting better for sure, but it just may take some time.  Happy with the miles this week.  Would have been over 50 had I not taken a day on Friday, but I think it's wise to ease back in and not rush it.  The difference between 48 and 54-56 is negligible in the grand scheme of things.  Good to see all my CMS mates running well recently though.  Winning XC and road stuff as well as some VERY fast track times this past weekend.  Greg H. blasting a 3k and 800 this early in the season (and he's the same age as me) gives me hope and motivation to get my arse back in the game eventually.

12-18 - Sunday: 10 miles (trails) River trail from hotel w/ DQ. Easy run. No real issues w/ calf but it was stiff for the rest of the day.  I think if I run easy, it will behave.  Eventually I have to start trying to test it though...or just never race again and run easy every day... [1:17:19].

12-17 - Saturday: 7.5 miles (roads/trails) w/ Dave Quintal in N.Salem, Windham, Derry. Up Gordon's hill from Aspen St. and across 111 to some roads and trail on the other side.  [58:00].

12-16 - Friday: 30 min spin (bike) + 10 min stepper (to try to strengthen my calf).

12-15 - Thursday: 7 miles (roads) - N. Andover neighborhoods w/ Dave Quintal. Nice and easy headlamp run in a light misty rain.  Calf felt fine the entire time but a little tight afterwards. [53:10]

12-14 - Wednesday: 8.1 miles (roads) - out and back in Salem, Methuen, Haverhill.  Solo.  Calf was weird the entire time.  I think if I dropped it down to race pace for any amount of time it would go on me again.  Running 8 or so miles at normal run pace seems to put it on that line.  Iced it after and lots of stretching.  [52:42].  This is the biggest 3 days I've had in a long time.  Got to get back to regular running schedule as much as possible.  January is right around the corner.

12-13 - Tuesday: 8 miles (trails) - on the River trail from the hotel. Solo.  Another out and back to the power lines.  Upped the tempo just a bit.  Calf has a 'sensation'...that is the only way I can describe it.  It comes and goes and it's not good but it's not too too bad.  Not sure what it is and why it happens, but it happens.  Right now, it's not preventing me from at least doing these medium runs.  Again a 100% 'Off-Leash' day, as we went 3 for 3 with dogs just roaming free to bite my face off if they so choose.  [55:57]. 

12-12 - Monday: 8 miles
(trails) - on the River trail from the hotel. Solo.  Out and back to the power lines.  Some slight discomfort in the calf midway through but never materialized into anything I was nervous about.  Very nice mid-December day out along the river.  Only saw 1 dog and of course, it was off-leash.  That is one thing I am not going to miss about running in the river trail.  Nice and easy [58:28].  Longest run in a while.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

New Video Footage

Some video I worked on yesterday and today... First is some footage from last weekend up in Conway/Albany, NH with Kevin Tilton on the Lower Nanamocomuck Ski Trails.  If you haven't seen this on FB already, here you go...

Second is a LONG edit of the Baystate Marathon from back in October of this year.  I downloaded the video clips to my computer and forgot about it until today.  Threw up some clips from the 2.5 mile, 8 mile, 13.5 mile, and 26 mile marks.  Also popped this up on FB today but I also need to cater to the blogosphere.

Third video is from today's easy running around some trails in North Salem, NH w/ Dave Quintal...just having fun and enjoying running (even with a bum calf)...

Lower Nanamocomuck Ski Trails:


2011 Baystate Marathon:


Trail Running in North Salem, NH:

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Training - 12-05 - 12-11

Weekly Total: 33 miles for the week as I try to climb back up and run on a regular basis with my calf still a problem.  Got up to the Whites for a run on Sunday which made it all worth it.

12-11 - Sunday: 7.5 miles (trails) with Kevin Tilton. Covered Bridge in Albany, NH to Bear Notch Rd. on the Nanamacomuck Ski Trails. Cold and crisp morning along the Kanc. Calf started aching right away almost...but it never got any worse and I finished without any other issue although I didn't push it too much. Just liked getting out there and running some very nice trails [1:06:08].

12-10 - Saturday: 0 miles. Walked 2 miles around Lake Ivanhoe in E.Wakefield, NH w/ my dad and brother.  Calf actually bothered me near the end. Pathetic.  [46:01 ...yes I timed it].

12-09 - Friday: 5.5 miles (roads) w/ Dave Quintal.  Headlamp run in N.Andover.  Calf started to ache a bit on the way back. [45:58]

12-08 - Thursday: 5 miles (roads) solo.  Salem, Methuen. Same old thing...another eventful run over the same out and back I've done all week (and one of the only runs I've done around here in quite some time).  Not motivated to run in this area any more whatsoever.  I'm getting to the point where I want to enjoy every single run I do, regardless of whether it is a race, workout, tempo, or just a regular short, easy day.  And running around the streets of the Merrimack Valley just ain't doin' it for me any more. Hopefully I won't have to deal with it too much longer...because as soon as the snow starts flying and the roads get narrower and the snowbanks get higher and the dumb, inconsiderate drivers in these parts get even dumber and more inconsiderate, I'll be losing my mind.  At this point I'm banking on these last couple weeks before the holidays being my last to worry about around here. The good news is that I pushed it a little today to see where my calf was.  I am re-evaluating yesterday's run a little.  I have some occasional 'sensation' in my calf but not really pain.  It almost feels like my calf is just weak.  If that's it, I can deal with it and just keep doing my calf raises.  But the good news is that I floated today nice and steady, but a little hard in spots.  Maybe Cape Cod pace ;)...  Today was another confidence booster.  I did a great deal of massaging of the calf last night (ok insert jokes and ridiculous comments) and I believe that helped.  Alternating ice and heat is also key.  Starting to feel like I can keep doing 5s and slowly work my way up.  I am very eager to do some longer runs, including an interesting group run this weekend up on the Northshore, but I really need to take it easy and not rush into things... I am thinking big picture stuff here and at this point, I really don't care about anything 'race-wise' until 2012.  With a lot on my mind lately about living situation, I haven't been focusing on racing but I have been focusing on trying to get healthy and that took some downtime.  Ramping back up isn't really fun, but it feels good to just get back out there!  [31:44]

12-07 - Wednesday : 5 miles
(roads) solo.  Salem, Methuen. More of the same, as I just need to get back used to running every day again.  This time it was raining and colder than previous days but I ran w/ my calf sleeves on again and 2 pairs of tights to make sure my legs were warm enough.  Stuck to the same neighborhoods and the headlamp run again but this time my calf started to ache a bit.  ANY sensation in my calf is worse than the first 2 days of this week and today there were a few sensations for most of the way, but no real 'pain' above maybe a 1 or 2 on the scale of 1-10.  Kind of disappointed that I didn't have a third day in a row of calf-free issues, but on the bright side I ran a little faster and only had VERY slight pain in the calf.  More ice, more stretching/massage, and going to keep doing light mileage until I can start building hurtin' bombs once again. [32:51]. Got a nice pair of Roclite 400 GTX boots in the mail today... Gore-Tex boots for the winter weather we're eventually gonna start having (I think)...

12-06 - Tuesday: 5 miles (roads) solo.  Salem, Methuen.  More baby steps.  Very easy running again in Hampstead St. neighborhoods w/ headlamp.  Warm out and again I felt pretty solid calf-wise.  No issues at all.  Very much the same as Monday.  Starting to get a little confidence back, but still very apprehensive about this.  It has been a LONG time since I've been 100% or even close. [33:33]

12-05 - Monday: 5 miles (roads) solo.  Salem, Methuen. Had a massage last week on Monday and then again on Friday.  A 60 min. session on Monday night and a 30 minute session on Friday during lunch.  I only ran a couple days in between and biked.  I took it really easy last week, as my calf was still a big problem and an obvious issue that I needed to address with rest and applicable extra attention.  My run today was the first time in literally a month that I haven't had any real pain in my calf.  I had typically gotten pain only about 6-7 minutes into each run previously.  I took it really easy today and ran at night w/ headlamp around quiet neighborhoods off of Hampstead St.  I paid close attention to it and got through the entire run without any issues!  I had some tightness in most areas, but no pain.  Stretching and ice after.  Taking it really easy. Baby steps. [33:54]

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Training - 11-14 - 11-20

11-20 - Sunday: 8 miles (roads) with Emery Bickford, Jose Ortiz, Dave Quintal.  First half of Derry Prep course (with my last mile being towards Salem rather than into Derry).  Started off OK. Had my calf (the bad one) start tweaking bad at about 3-4 miles.  Stopped a couple times to stretch. No help.  It started to get bad again, just like at Winni back on Oct. 1.  Ended up stopping and calling for a ride, rather than go on and have it tear on me over the last hilly 8 miles of the course.  Very depressing.  Now I'm limping again and will no doubt be missing some more time.  Not sure what to do at this point.

11-19 - Saturday: 10.5 miles (roads) with Emery Bickford in Salem, Methuen, Haverhill.  Big loop out to  97.  Beautiful weather, good solid run.  Bad calf seemed OK.  Right calf was a little tight.  Everything else played along nicely. [1:11:45].

11-18 - Friday: 5.2 miles (roads) with E.Bick in Salem. Short, easy headlamp run. Both left and right calf bothering me.  Same old story.  [35:26]

11-17 - Thursday: 9 miles (trails and roads) with Mike Quintal, yes, MIKE Quintal in Andover and Lawrence, MA.  River trail from hotel, but went right instead of left to the 'River Trail Less Travelled'.  We ran towards the condos in Lawrence (the technical end/beginning of the river trail as it stands today). I have only been able to actually get all the way through only twice ever. Every other time I try to get all the way out, I always run into a flooded out section before the end, which makes it impossible to pass.  Today, we ran into the same problem. We ended up running around some streets near where the GTD winter workouts happen, and then back around the hotel and surrounding offices. [1:03:51] Calves started to be a pain (literally) again.  But.... 4 days in a row... Do I smell a comeback?

11-16 - Wednesday: 11.2 miles (roads) with Emery Bickford in Salem, Methuen, Pelham.  Good ole' Harris' Pelham Inn loop in the dark (headlamp run).  Took all 4 townlines from Emery.  Calves started getting tight late. [1:18:51]

11-15 - Tuesday: 5 miles (roads) solo.  Late road run when I got home.  Headlamp run in neighborhoods in Salem, Methuen. Calves still an issue. [33:59]

11-14 - Monday: 5 miles (roads) with Emery Bickford.  Salem, Methuen out and back in neighborhoods.  Very uneventful but better than a zero.  Still trying to get healthy.  Calves still bothering me. [34:02]

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Manchester City Marathon

One week removed from my Cape Cod marathon, I decided to hop into the Manchester City Marathon (results) in Manchester, NH to see if I could somehow place in maybe the top 3 if it was a weak field this year.  I figured since I just limped to a 2:42 at the Cape off of no training and being injured, I could maybe run the same time on a slower Manchester course now that I have some confidence that my calves won't go on me.  On Sunday night after Cape, I felt good enough to make a decision to give Manchester a go.  I had 6 full days to recover between marathons and figured I could just go out there and muscle through it.  I took it relatively easy that week between races and ran just enough to stay loose.  I did a bunch of Epsom salt soaks, massage, stretching, proper hydration, used my night splints, and did just about everything I could to make the 6 days enough of a recovery.

On Sunday morning I headed up to Manchester (about 25-30 min drive from my house) and got there in time to talk to Pat Moulton and a few other guys before getting ready to go over to the line for some light jogging, strides, and then 26.2 miles of 'going through the motions'.  I had seen the list of entrants on Saturday afternoon when I picked up my number, and I saw that Pat was running, as was Judson Cake, David Ndungu, and a couple others.  David had beaten me at Cape, Patrick was an obvious choice for an easy win, and Judson was always a threat for a top spot or even the win if he was healthy.  The morning was relatively cool and I went with the calf guards and half tights again to try to minimize the muscles getting cold and spasming on me.

As the race was about to get underway, I glanced around to notice a bunch of VERY fast dudes, but most were running the half marathon, which starts at the same time as the marathon and runs concurrent to the marathon for the entire first half (obviously). As the gun went off, I settled back and went out pretty easy, as most of the guys up front were running the half and you could tell by the color of the bibs.  They all went out fast and I settled back to try to run my planned 6 min. pace for as long as possible.  I did notice that Paul Ryan (BAA) was up with Patrick and it looked like he was running the full.  I missed his name on the registrants list, but it was looking now like a top 3 spot (in the money) was out of the question.  I looked around for Judson and didn't notice him in the race.  By now, we were spreading out as the top half marathon guys were all well out in front and I was hanging back with a few guys including top masters runner Jason Porter (CMS). We went through the first mile a little quick, but it is downhill and flat.  I was running next to Roger Donaghy (BAA) who I also didn't notice on the reg list initially.  I was now thinking that with Roger in the race, David Ndungu (RUN) behind me, and Pat and Ryan up front, I could maybe swing 5th place.  I knew that none of those guys were from NH and the top NH runner got $150, so I was thinking that could be my outside goal.

The second and third miles are slow and there is a lot of climbing, but I hung out with Roger and Jason as I just tried to settle in. There was a long way to go and I didn't want to do anything stupid.  Miles 4 and 5 had some drops, but overall the first half of the course is hilly with constant ups and downs (not quite as hilly as the second half seems though).  Jason and I talked a bit about racing, our goals, etc. as he was cranking along in his half marathon and me in the full.  He was going for the top master and top NH double dip, but Titus Mutinda was lingering up front a bit but within striking distance.  We both started to catch Heidi Westover, who was running the half and was still in front of us.

Somewhere around 4 or 5 miles I rolled up past Heidi on an uphill stretch and Jason and some other folks weren't too far back.  I then caught Titus and went on by as well.   Around mile 7 or so you start to roll on through some neighborhoods and there was one slick section on a sharp turn, where there was ice all over the road.  The volunteer told me to watch out for the ice as I made a wide turn around the corner.  About 10 or so seconds later as I was on my way up yet another hill, I heard someone slip behind me and turned quick enough to see Jason take a bad tumble across the ice.  The volunteer neglected to mention the ice to everyone I guess and Jason went flying.

Between miles 9 and 10, Titus Mutinda rolled on past me with David Ndungu in tow.  I wasn't concerned with Titus, but David was running the full marathon and he had beaten me at the Cape so I was now focusing on being 5th at that point as they passed.  But shortly after they passed me, David seemed to slow up and fell back a bit.  I went past him again and he started to hack a bit, making me think he was having problems...but soon after that, he rolled up next to me again and we talked for a bit.  He said he was just hanging on and was definitely feeling last weekend's marathon.  We ran together down to mile 11 and then up to mile 12.  Him and I discussed just running together and trying to catch the BAA runner up ahead, who was still in view.

Down to mile 13, we went by his coach and he handed David a bottle.  David shared it with me (it was a mixture of sports drink, water, etc.). We ran together through the half, turned onto the second half of the marathon course, and started to roll all by ourselves now, as a spectator on the bridge told us we were 4th and 5th.  At the end of the long Bridge St. section, we looked back and couldn't see anyone at all.  He indicated that no one was going to make up that much ground on us and we started climbing up to mile 14,15.

By mile 15, I had fallen off the back of David a little and started to realize that my calves and hamstrings and back and hips were all getting a little tight.   But my cardio was really playing along well, so I was really only nervous about cramping at that point.  I continued to take water at every water stop and sports drink when I could.  By mile 16, 17, I was probably 20-30 seconds behind David but could see him the whole time.  Once at 17, 18, mentally I knew I could probably get through another 8 or 9 miles and things were looking up.  I couldn't see anyone else behind me and figured that first NH runner would be mine for the taking (and maybe 4th if David fell off the pace, but I wasn't planning on that).

Approaching 19 miles, I was really starting to rig up.  Miles 18 and 19 are a slow, steady climb up to St. Anselms College and I was really beginning to feel my muscles start to get really tight and a dull pain all over.  I got very nervous around this stretch and just wanted to finish.  I got my first real scare of thinking that I'd get through 20 and have to stop due to a pull or massive cramp.  As I hit the turn into St. A's, I could still see David in front and that at least gave me the sense I was still in it.

Through 20 and 21 I was really barely hanging on but was just slightly over 6 minute pace still so it wasn't a total disaster.  I passed by Steve Moland around Mile 21 as he was announcing runners passing by, in front of a pretty group of spectators.  When I turned onto Boynton St. and through mile 22, I thought 'ok, just finish this thing!'... but my legs were pretty much as stiff as I'ver had them while running.  I had been taking my NUUN tabs (2 of them) without water for the past couple miles.  Just popping them whole, into my mouth without water.  It was gross, but I was getting desperate.

Mile 23-24 weaves through some neighborhoods off of the main street and the ups and downs continued.  My 23rd mile was my slowest of the day and I thought it was curtains in that stretch.  I wasn't sure I could do another 3 miles running and got really concerned as everything started to lock up.  6:46 for my 23'rd mile was looking like 7 min. pace was right around the corner.

Mile 24 was some well placed downhill and I was able to drop down to 6:11 again as a lot of the folks on the course started to tell me I was getting close and offering me support and encouragement.  I wasn't even looking at overall time and had no clue what I'd run, but knew it would be faster than the Cape unless something bad happened.  I was back in the city and approaching the footbridge, so I knew I was getting very close.

Mile 25 was one of the hardest miles I've run in a long while.  Over the foot bridge, down past the ballpark, and up to Granite St. it felt like I was barely running.  I hit mile 25 and the volunteer there said ' great job, thanks for running'.  I thought to myself 'whoa lady, slow your roll...I ain't done yet'.  I STILL was not sure I'd be able to finish.  The first part of the last mile feels like it is all uphill and it's ridiculous. I was almost jogging at this point and stifflegging it up the hills because of my calves.  I turned onto Auburn St. and then onto Pine St. and could see David once again up taking the turn onto Hanover St.  I glanced behind again and couldn't see anyone else.  I stifflegged it down the last turn onto Elm St. again and looked at my watch.  2:38 and ticking.  I rolled on past and into the finish in just under 2:39.  I couldn't believe I had actually been able to run faster for my second marathon, one week removed from the Cape, on a slower course!  I was pretty happy that my body held up.

It was really a fun experience to test myself and experiment with my abilities.  I now know that even out of shape, slightly injured, and with little recovery, I can still run at a decent level.  But most of all, it helped me try to get used to running and racing long again, which is going to be one of my goals for 2012.

388 Total Finishers.

1Patrick Moulton     29Providence      RI2:29:315:43
2Paul Ryan           31Boston          MA2:31:425:48
3Roger Donaghy       33South Boston    MA2:35:445:57
4David Ndungu        31Worcester       MA2:37:416:01
5Jim Johnson         34Salem           NH2:38:576:04
6Timothy Tapply      36Sherborn        MA2:46:586:23
7Aaron Ladd          28Lexington       MA2:51:586:34
8Alexsandro Moreira  31Melrose         MA2:58:416:50
9Christopher Lesenski26Northampton     MA2:58:576:50
10Benjamin Pangie     28Augusta         GA2:59:316:51

388 Total Finishers.

For anyone interested, here are the splits for my 2 marathons in one week, off of zero training, a lot of time off, and whilst injured.

2546 (1122)610 (1142) - uphill
3546 (1709)611 (1753) - uphill
4543 (2252)533 (2327)
5555 (2848)544 (2912)
6559 (3447)556 (3508)
7626 (4113) - bathroom stop602 (4111)
8600 (4713)555 (4707) 
9601 (5315)552 (5259) 
10601 (5917)601 (5901)
11613 (10530)556 (10458)
12615 (11145)614 (11112)
13616 (11802)536 (11648)
14610 (12412)603 (12252)
15610 (13022)610 (12902)
16622 (13645)545 (13447)
17617 (14302)602 (14050)
18621 (14924)601 (14651)
19626 (15551)627 (15319)
20622 (20213)613 (15932)
21630 (20843)605 (20537)
22626 (21510)608 (21146)
23631 (22141)646 (21832)
24640 (22821)611 (22444)
25627 (23449)623 (23107)
26616 (24105)641 (23749)
last. 2124 (24229) hamstring cramp111 (23900)

Next year I may try to be IN SHAPE for this one!  I liked the race, had a great time out there, and am starting to warm up to road marathons...  Now just to get healthy!

Friday, November 4, 2011

CMS - 19th USATF-NE Team Championship Title

I am thrilled once again to have been a part of a USATF-NE GP Team Overall Championship.  As we did in 2009, we returned to form in 2011 and took the overall team championship in the USATF-New England Road Racing Grand Prix.  This is my 2nd time being a part of a GP winning team in only 5 years of technically racing in a GP. I spent 2 years running for MVS in the GP and the last 3 running for CMS.  It is Central Mass Striders' 19th title in the 26 year history of the championship series.  That is impressive to say the least.  This year, like in 2009, I was extremely proud of our team and every member who toed the line at the 7 races from March to October.  CMS is a team of friends who work hard and buck the trend when it comes to racing.  Unlike most other clubs, CMS takes to not only the roads and track, but also XC, trails, ultras, mountains, towers, orienteering courses, and snow like no one else.  We are loaded with a fantastic group of hard working guys who just like to show up and race and race often.  We don't have any strict performance standards or guidelines.  Teammates come around from word of mouth and from seeing the CMS presence at races all over New England and the country.  We are made up of members from every New England state, despite being the 'Central Mass' Striders.  The long standing history and tradition of the racing team at CMS, coupled with the true feeling of team and friendship is what attracts the quality membership we have on the racing team.  I am proud to be teammates and friends with all these fine lads and once again we stepped it up with wins at FIVE of the seven GP events this year and two 2nd place finishes in the other events.  Topping the season off by scoring our 3rd straight Marathon team title and an even 100 points was the way to go out.  The only other thing that could have made this season more special is having an individual champion and Patrick Rich did just that, by becoming the first CMS USATF-NE Road Champion at an event since Justin Fyffe did it at Bedford in 2010.  The New England affiliation of USATF has to be one of if not the deepest and most competitive fields around.  It is something special when you can get enough guys together week in and week out to compete at this level and with quality teams like BAA, Whirlaway, RUN, GBTC, etc. it is an honor to be able to put our name in that mix and come out on top.  I have always enjoyed the team concept and nothing excites me more than being part of this team and having won 5 team titles this year has truly been amazing.

This makes CMS titles in 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2005, 2009, 2011.  Move over Canadiens, Yankees, Celts, and Lakers...


TEAM STANDINGS - As of October 31

MEN'S OPEN                    13.1  10K   6K   5K   8M   5M 26.2M PTS
CENTRAL MASS STRIDERS           18   14   13   15   13   13   14 100
WHIRLAWAY RACING TEAM           17   13   11   12   12   11   12  88
TEAM RUN                        12   10   12   14    9    9   13  79
BOSTON ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION     19   12        13   14   12    8  78
GREATER BOSTON TRACK CLUB       16   11   10   11   10   10       68
CAMBRIDGE RUNNING CLUB          14    8    9    9    7    8    9  64
SOMERVILLE ROAD RUNNERS         11    3    8    8    5    6   11  52
GR SPRINGFIELD HARRIERS          7    2        10   11    7    7  44
GATE CITY STRIDERS               9    5    7    6    6    2    6  41
GREEN MOUNTAIN AA               15    7    1         8        10  41
CAMBRIDGE SPORTS UNION          10    4    5    7    4    4       34
GREATER LOWELL ROAD RUNNERS      8    6    6    5    3    3    3  34
HFC STRIDERS                    13    9                   5       27
WINNERS CIRCLE                   5    1    4    4    2            16
NORTH MEDFORD CLUB               4         3    3              5  15
MERRIMACK VALLEY STRIDERS        1         2    2    1    1    2   9
HEARTBREAK HILL STRIDERS         3                             4   7
RONALD MCDONALD HOUSE PROV.      6                                 6
TRI VALLEY FRONTRUNNERS          2                                 2
NORTH SHORE STRIDERS                            1              1   2

On the individual scoring front, I was able to weasel my way into the top 10 overall with 13 GP points this year.  Before this year, I had only ever scored in 1 GP (last year's Baystate Marathon).  This year, I scored in 4 of the 6 events I ran, for a total point value of 13.  Despite having a lackluster year, I call that a great performance for me individually.  We had 8 (EIGHT) different guys score in the GP this year.  That is the most since 2001, when CMS had 9 men score in the overall GP.

FINAL Series Standings after 7 events

MEN'S OPEN                   13.1 10K  6K  5K  8M  5M 26.2 PTS
Justin Freeman        RUN           7   9   9   9   9   6   49
Dan Vassallo          adiNE     9  10  10       7   8       44
Matt Ely              BAA       3   9   8   7   2           29
Kevin Johnson         GSH                  10   1  10       21
Bob Wiles             CMS           5   7   6               18
Eric Narcisi          WRT                   5   5   6       16
Dan Smith             BAA       7               8           15
Brandon Newbould      WRT               5       4   5       14
Jim Johnson           CMS           2   6           4   1   13
Patrick Moulton       BAA       6   6                       12
Justin Fyffe          BAA       5                   7       12
Ruben Sanca           BAA      10                           10
Brian Harvey          BAA                      10           10
Nicholas Wheeler      adiNE         8       2               10
Kevin Alliette        WRT               2               8   10
Patrick Rich          CMS                              10   10
Hari Iyer             BAA                               9    9
Nate Krah             BAA       8                            8
David Johnson         GSH                   8                8
Tom Deeg              WRT                               7    7
Josh Ferenc           BAA                       6            6
Daniel Princic        WRT           1       4                5
Coleman Hatton        BAA       2               3            5
Greg Hammett          CMS                               5    5
Robert Gomez          DIR       4                            4
Nicolai Naranjo       GBTC          4                        4
Andy McCarron         CMS               4                    4
Nick Crowell          CMS                   3       1        4
Danilo Cordeiro       RUN                               4    4
Brennan Bonner        GBTC          3                        3
Ted Breen             GBTC              3                    3
Will Dobbie           BAA                           3        3
Scott Leslie          CMS                               3    3
Terry Shea            BAA                           2        2
David Ndungu          RUN                               2    2
Brendan Callahan      BAA       1                            1
Chris Mahoney         CMS               1                    1
David Bedoya          GBTC                  1                1

Cape Cod Marathon

The blog has been stale lately and it's just that I have a lot going on here and most of it doesn't involve serious running or racing...I have to make some changes and get back into gear, but for now, I'll just discuss my marathon down at the Cape this past weekend.

For starters, the obvious point is that I'm not in marathon shape and have been hurt since just after Pisgah in September..so the last month and a half has been filled (or should I say not filled) with mediocre running, days off, pain and stiffness, and very limited miles.  Almost no races except a trail race and a couple DNFs, and certainly no hard efforts that would have prepared me for a road marathon.  But I did it because I'm stubborn and because I knew I had an outside shot of at least running near 6 minute pace or at least near 2:40 off of limited fitness...that is, IF I could finish without my calf tearing on me.   This is the most 'out of shape' I've been since I got back to serious running and racing.  But I didn't want to let an opportunity to maybe help my team win another marathon title (if they needed me) and secure the USATF-NE Grand Prix Overall Team Championship (the 19th in the 26 year history of the Grand Prix).

I decided to give the GP a go essentially also to be able to try to stay on par with Greg Hammett, who won our internal CMS grand prix last year and was right behind Andy McCarron and I this year.  Andy was stopped at 73 points because he had to have surgery. So if I didn't do the marathon, I'd also be stuck at 73 points, and Greg would jump ahead of us (him being at 67 points) because not only would there surely be enough CMS MORT members at the race to get that many points, but also because the points for the marathon are DOUBLE.  We offer double points for the longer race to entice folks to enter. I think this is a good move, but it kills guys like Wiles-Thing because they 'think' they can't run 26.2 measly miles ;).  The difference between finishing 1st and 2nd is not worth too much, but any time there is a series or internal/external competition in a series, I can't seem to get away.

I rode down to the Cape Cod Marathon (results) with Dan Verrington the morning of the race and we got a very early start (5:15am from Salem, NH).  I was up at 4 (after going to bed at probably around 1am and getting very spotty sleep).  The weather was awful, with the October snowstorm happening as we made our way down to the Cape.  We made good time however, and got down there in time to hobnob with the rest of the CMS guys who were running.  We had a solid team toeing the line, with Scott Leslie (3rd for us at the Marathon last year with a 2:28:13), Greg Hammett (who has been a scorer for us all year), Patrick Rich (my darkhorse for winning this entire thing), George Adams (one of our top master's runners), Dan Verrington (another top master with a 2:21 PR), Scott McGrath (in his marathon debut), and Sam Wood (also, I believe his first marathon).  I felt confident in the squad and knew with Leslie, Rich, and Hammett, we'd be fine without me factoring in to the scoring.

After some last minute prep and too many trips to the bathroom (which was scaring me), I pinned on my #4 bib (which was almost comical at this point) and headed over to the line on a cold and slightly windy morning.

After some strides, we were off and I was immediately toying with 10th place or so as I was completely content with letting everyone who was trying to go for a legitimate time, go on ahead.  I stayed side by side with Greg Hammett for the first few miles as a slew of R.UN guys, a BAA guy, Patrick Rich, and a couple others headed out in a couple of groups.  Greg and I hit the first mile way too quick (for my plan) and the next couple were also fast.  I told him I was backing off to around 6 minute pace and let him go on ahead.  Scott Leslie pulled up and went around me as did Kevin Alliette.  My first 6 miles were all under 6 minutes which isn't what I was looking for (because I knew that was going to sink me later).

During mile 6 I suddenly got another stomach fairy visit and decided for the first time ever in a race of any distance, to stop and use the bathroom.  I hit a porta-john right before the 7 mile mark as I was fading fast from seeing Scott and Greg ahead of me.  I dipped in, did my business, and hopped back out.  I may have lost 30-45 seconds or so.  As I stepped out onto the road, George Adams had caught me and was about to pass.  He asked if I was OK as he pulled up along side me.  We ran together for another mile or so before he started to pull away.  That would be the last individual marathoner that would pass me the entire race.  Other than Alliette and Leslie and Adams, everyone else ahead of me was ahead of me essentially at the start.

After the slow7th mile, I dropped back to a few 6 minute miles again and at one point, as I was trailing George Adams for a while, I came around a corner to find Greg Hammett popping out of the woods right in front of me.  He had stopped himself for a bathroom break but quickly picked up the pace again and was off.  Shortly after that, the same thing happened again, but this time it was Justin Freeman who popped out of the woods.  It didn't take him long to once again get out of sight.

By mile 10, I was in no man's land.  I came through in 59:17 for 10 and it was rather bizarre.  I never would have thought I would be that slow, but it was happening and what was also happening was bigtime tightness and soreness in my calves and hamstrings.  I was beginning to really struggle and wanted to make sure I wasn't going to have that same massively painful issue with my calf again (like I had at the Winni race).  I had been really holding back because of my calf but now it was starting to be an issue (or at least I thought it was at the time) and I really took it easy on the rolling hills.  I started running between 6:10-6:15 for the next 5 miles.

From mile 10 to mile 13 I had major thoughts about dropping out.  I could hardly see George Adams on the long lonely stretches ahead of me and there was no one to be seen behind me.  I was hurting really bad from top to bottom.  My breathing was OK, but my mechanics were suffering and I started to fall apart all over the place.  I was  holding firm in the low 6's but it wasn't getting any easier.  I was 1:18 through 13 and really thought I was going to only be good for 15 or so.

I continued on, for the next few miles with the same thoughts of my calf going at any time.  I was figuring that as soon as it started to really go on me, I would pull off, find a ride back and be done with it.  But the next thing I knew, I was at mile 17.  That was a big moment for me because I knew at that point I'd probably be able to get through it (for the first time all day).  I thought to myself 'I can muscle out another 9 miles'....but in the back of my mind I knew what my calf felt like a few weeks ago and knew nothing was a sure thing.

Somewhere during the 19th mile, I turned and looked to finally see someone behind me.  It took me a bit to realize that it was Scott McGrath (CMS) who was running me down in his first marathon.  Scott had been running only about 40 or so miles a week and wasn't coming into this super fit, but then again, I was not in top form either and he was running me down quick.  He pulled along side me somewhere maybe around 20 miles or so.  It was rather strange because neither one of us were hurting cardio-wise... but my fitness is definitely junk and my legs and hips were turning to stone.  We chatted for a bit and he told me that he had dropped a 5:49 or something like that, to catch me.  He said there was a pack of 4 or 5 about a minute or so back as well.  He pulled away a bit as I told him he was running great and to go catch George Adams.  He then told me that he had been cramping all over and that I should just come with him.  I thought for a second and figured why the hell not.  So I picked it up a bit and stayed with him.  We climbed a hill and up to a water stop.  As he broke left, I went right and I noticed he stopped completely at the water stop.  I ran through the other side and missed a cup as the one woman on the right, pulled it back mistakenly and I missed it.  I ran right through and down the hill.  Scott lagged behind a bit but once out onto the main road and up another climb, he caught back up to me.  As we turned right onto the road that eventually would wind up to the lighthouse, we were side by side....until the start of the downhill....all of the sudden I heard 'OH GOD' and I looked back to see Scott stopped dead in his tracks.  He was in full cramp mode and stopped right in the middle of the street.  I kept plugging and another minute or so I looked behind and he was no where to be found.

At the end of that strip of road, and up near the lighthouse, I looked back again to actually see, for the first time, the pack of runners.  They were too close for comfort.  I knew they were gaining and I had all I could do to keep moving.  I passed Scotty Mason, who was snapping shots at the lighthouse and he offered me some encouragement as I started running through the first of what would be a few flooded street sections.  My hips and lower back and calves and hamstrings and ass and feet and ankles and toes and knees and everything else you can think of was killing me.  I also became very aware of some (ahem) chaffing that was beginning in areas I won't even begin to discuss.

I hit miles 22, 23, etc. Just doing the shuffle.  I slammed 2 gels in a row (my only 2 I took) and started to feel a little better.  When I hit 24, I started running with my head on backwards, waiting for the pack to catch me.  I knew that Scott was out of the picture and now, my hopes of finishing at least looked good, but my hopes of winning the internal GP looked to be going the way of a tie, with Greg most likely having caught Scott Leslie and George Adams being behind Greg as well (but in front of me). I had to stay 3 places or better behind Greg.  Any more and I would have gotten pushed to 2nd in the CMS GP standings.  If I finished 3 CMS places behind Greg, we tie.  I figured at the very worst, it was a tie and I was kind of bummed I wasn't helping the team score, but I knew, barring a R.UN victory, we would have it in the bank with 4 CMS guys up ahead of me.  I also knew that we were going to beat Whirlaway and we had won the overall GP Team Title for 2011. I was pumped.  Lots of emotions running through my mind, but trumping all of that was my wheels blowing apart all over the tarmac.

As miles 24 and 25 ticked by along the ocean, the streets began to get flooded with water...a few inches deep or more in spots.  I slammed right through and passed a lot of people cheering on the sides.  I kept looking back and the pack was lingering. I could make out the singlets now...it was getting close.

I hit a left turn onto a side street and I was now in the last full mile of the race.  I knew for the first time I wouldn't lose a spot and thought I was in 15th place at the time.  I figured I would hold it and it wasn't bad for a GP, but in the back of my mind I was really sad because had I come into this fit and healthy and trained, I could have had an outside shot.  I knew it.  But it wasn't to be and I gave it my best as I hit mile 26. Literally clicking my split on my watch through the 26 mile marker, my hamstring cramped up on me fully and I stiff-legged it over the last .2, through the streets of Falmouth to the finish.

When I came across I was surprisingly fine and not cramping at all.  I was able to walk around, congratulate my mates, and got the GREAT news from Greg Hammett that we had not only won the title, but Patrick Rich won the WHOLE THING!  I wish I could say I was shocked, but I wasn't. I was just absolutely thrilled.  It made my day.  It could not have happened to a nicer, more deserving man and I was elated for him.  It must have been really special coming down that last stretch, winning the race, the New England Championship title, and an extra 1500 beans doesn't hurt either!

I wandered around a bit before heading back to the school and to Dan's truck, where him and I sat and got warm for a bit before heading inside to hit the showers to wash the chill off.  Dan finished a little behind me in 2:48 and Scotty was a bit further back, having had to stop for 4-5 minutes to take care of his cramp.  Sam Wood also finished strong in his first full marathon as well.  Sam has won some big races in New England and NH especially in the past and is getting back into form.

Top 20 Plus CMS MORT Members in Blue

1Patrick Rich      35S. Hamilton MA   2:28:542:28:545:41CMS  
2Hari Iyer         23Cambridge MA     2:31:002:30:595:46BAA  
3Kevin Alliette    30Methuen MA       2:34:212:34:205:54WHIRL
4Tom Deeg          30Eastham MA       2:35:022:35:015:55WHIRL
5Justin Freeman    34New Hampton NH   2:35:512:35:505:57RUN  
6Eneas N. Freyre   35Norwalk CT       2:36:122:36:125:58
7Greg Hammett      34Chesterfield NH  2:36:462:36:465:59CMS  
8Danilo Cordeiro   30Melrose MA       2:37:292:37:286:01RUN  
9Bryan Morseman    26Addison NY       2:37:542:37:546:02
10Scott Leslie      30Rutland MA       2:38:022:38:026:02CMS  
11David Ndungu      32Worcester MA     2:38:562:38:566:04RUN  
12George Adams      41Gilsum NH        2:40:202:40:206:07CMS  
13Titus Mutinda     46Lowell MA        2:41:282:41:286:10RUN  
14Jim Johnson       34Salem NH         2:42:292:42:296:12CMS  
15Jonathan May      42Charlestown MA   2:43:412:43:396:15SRR  
16Robert Cipriano   51Belmont MA       2:43:432:43:426:15SRR  
17Joe O'Leary       43Medford MA       2:43:482:43:466:15SRR  
18Jon Chesto        40S. Boston MA     2:44:222:44:206:17GBTC 
19Jim St. Pierre    40Dracut MA        2:45:192:45:186:19RUN  
20Eric Beauchesne   41Chelmsford MA    2:46:052:46:056:21WHIRL
22Dan Verrington    49Bradford MA      2:48:132:48:136:25CMS  
35Scott McGrath     24Andover MA       2:55:042:55:036:41CMS  
48Sam Wood          25Laconia NH       3:03:023:03:016:59CMS  

909 Total Finishers.

News Article from Cape Cod Online

What I took away from this was renewed confidence in myself that I can run/race on this calf and I shook some demons out for sure by just finishing this thing. It's been a tough couple months (really since the Netherlands) and I was just glad to go down there under tough conditions and circumstances and finish the race.  I now know my calf isn't THAT serious if I can run 6:12s on it for 26.2 miles.  I am hoping to continue to build up fitness and work on my conditioning.  It's going to be a long road back but the timing is good (except for missing out on all the loot that the Cape had to offer).  There really isn't a whole lot going on between now and snowshoe season.  Mill Cities will be fun and hopefully I will be fit by then.  All in all I just really had a ton of fun being part of the marathon and being there to see my teammates and friends run great.  Those guys made me proud down there.  That's what CMS is all about to me.  Good mates who got your back and guys who just go and get it done.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Training 10-24 - 10-30

Wrap Up: 56.5 miles on 6 days including one come-back race that was more of a tempo effort, time-wise (race effort,  fitness wise) but a big step in the right direction for me.  I'm in a better place mentally about running today, than I was even on Saturday before Cape Cod.  I look forward to starting to train again, seriously.  This week I'll take it easy and then decide what I am going to point at.  I need to keep working on getting my strength and conditioning back...and also to be able to get my legs used to the pain and stress of racing and running fast!  Boy did they not remember quite what it was supposed to feel like on Sunday.  That was painful!

10-30 - Sunday: 27.2 miles (roads) - Falmouth, MA.  Light jogging to the start and some strides before the Cape Cod Marathon. Top Goal of this one was to finish.  Second goal was to try to stay within three CMS places of Greg Hammett to try to at least secure a tie at the top of the CMS internal GP standings.  Backup goal was to break 2:45 since I have been injured and essentially not running or training hard (or frequently) much at all in the past couple months.  I just wanted to toe the line and see what I could do on essentially no real training and not anywhere near even 75% physically, and I accomplished all those goals. I ran 2:42 something on basically a 5 mile hard effort initially, and then a solid 'going through the motions' for 21 miles.  I'll do a write up later on, but very happy with just finishing this race and running pretty even splits for most of the race (except for going crazy at the beginning like I always do).  No real bad issues other than just feeling horrible leg-wise.  I didn't blow up or really run into any major issues other than the typical marathon stuff.  I had an awful lot of pain and soreness in the legs, but I was expecting that after one of my longest stretches of downtime and light/easy training.  The calf wasn't any worse than it has been and I held up far better than I thought I was going to.  It gives me a ton of hope for the future now... a big pick-me-up and confidence booster for me for sure.

10-29 - Saturday: 30 min. spin on the bike.  Picked up a trainer so I can 'try' to get serious this winter about training and getting/staying fit.  It's all essentially about trying to get passed this weekend and then get to the gettin'.  Because of the race tomorrow, I just enjoyed a light spin while the snow started to fly outside... enough to get a good sweat going.  Watched the last 30 minutes of the Dirty Dozen which seems to be on some channel at least once every other day.  The marathon attempt tomorrow should be interesting.  The weather is interesting here....down near the Cape I think the snow will probably be a non-factor, but it will be far from dry or fast conditions.  I may still bring the Dion 121's just in case.

10-28 - Friday: 5 miles - Neighborhoods past the golf course in Salem, Methuen (solo). Headlamp run as I didn't get out the door until after dark.  Lonely, cold, dreary run... felt alright although I felt some twinging in my calf and hamstring even though I was just going easy.  I can't wait until Sunday. I hope the weather is absolutely horrendous. I need all the help I can get. [34:54]

10-27 - Thursday: 5 miles - Out and back in Salem, Methuen (solo). First run in the snow.  Another headlamp run in light rain/snow mix.  Wet and uneventful. Still just in taper mode (whatever that means). [35:49].

10-26 - Wednesday: 5 miles - Out and back in Salem, Methuen (solo).  Headlamp run.  Ipod died like 2 songs into the run.  Twisted my ankle 3 miles in and had to stop to tend to what I thought was a badly sprained ankle at first, but it was better in about a minute and hobbled back to the house from there.  Started to actually BONK near the house.  Not a good sign.  My running just sucks right now. [35:55]

10-25 - Tuesday: 8.1 miles - hilly 8 loop with E.Bick and DQ from the manor in Salem, NH.  Ran up Reservior Hill in Methuen, then up to Pie Hill, back down and around some neighborhoods before heading back to the manor.  [56:48].  Good run without much issues to speak of.  Took every town/state line of course.

10-24 - Monday: 6.2 miles - Out and back 10k run in Salem, Methuen (solo) on the roads. I guess let the taper begin? It's kinda useless but I'm doing it anyways. My feet/ankles/calves are junk. I'm not sure what's up but it seems like it is getting progressively harder to feel good while trying to train. I'm barely doing anything and feel beat up more than ever for some reason. [42:43]

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Training 10-17 - 10-23

Wrap Up: 52.3 miles in 6 days.  Pathetic, but my highest week in 5+ weeks.  Screwed dearly for the marathon, but it is what it is.  Looking to finish at this point and get another long run in.  If my calf holds up, I'll be absolutely shocked.  One decent race, but it wasn't without it's problems.  Fun to actually get back out there and finish a race for once though!

10-23 - Sunday: Off.  Feet were killing me when I woke up and calf was stiff and sore.

10-22 - Saturday: 14 miles (trails) - 2 mile w/up w/ a fit Scotty Mason over the trails in Pawtuckaway State Forest in Nottingham, NH then '11' mile trail/mountain race (which was at least 12 miles and had over 1700 ft. of elevation gain) - Vulcan Fury Trail Race - 1st OA of 118. [1:25:30].  Felt nice and smooth and very strong cardio-wise as I tempo'd most of it (because I was keeping a close watch on my calf).  Was never in the hurt box at all as I led almost the entire thing (after the first mile or so, where I had company).  Loads of single track and VERY wet and rocky. Boulder fields, lots of slick rock slabs, slick bridges, and leaf/pine needle covered trails and dirt roads.  The course had a sick climb up rock steps to the summit about halfway in.  Managed to run the entire thing surprisingly, but got lost 8 or 9 times where I had to stop and try to figure out where I was supposed to go.  I also had to stop to tie my shoes once, which came untied after going through a bunch of water early on in the race.  The last couple miles of the course was tough to follow because of the leaves everywhere on the ground, but the course was very well marked and a great event put on by the folks at Acidotic (as usual).  My calf was borderline bullsh*t after 3 miles.  I had my eye on it the entire time and backed way off for most of the hard ups and downs as it was twinging and hurting (down low near my achilles again).  It never went over the top though and by the end, I felt pretty good.  I was able to really hammer the flatter sections.  I could have gone longer, which is a good sign for my calf.  I think being on the roads next week is doable for the race...we'll see.  Good to get the monkey of no race finishes so far in October finally off my back!  Tim Cox (CMS) 2nd place.  Keith Schmitt 3rd.  Bagged Nottingham and Deerfield for the first times.  Good test of my calf and good confidence booster.  I actually felt like a runner today.

10-21 - Friday: 6.2 miles (roads) - Salem, Methuen (out and back) solo.  Hammered the last mile after starting out w/ the normal tempo.  [39:59].  Felt pretty good.  Some minor twinging but holding up.

10-20 - Thursday: 9 miles (roads and trails) - w/ University of Lowell Cross Country All American David Quintal.  Ran from Salem/Methuen line on 97 up to Crystal Gorge trails in Haverhill, MA.  Did some loops in there and ran back.  It was pretty wet in there and some of the lower parts were flooded.  Quintal tried to take a town line (key word is 'tried') and pushed the tempo up to a near race pace effort on the way back. I ran [1:03:04].  DQ was [1:03:34].

10-19 - Wednesday: 5 miles (roads) - w/ E-Bick in Salem, Methuen (out and back) in the pouring rain.  Both of us almost took a zero but decided to get a short, easy run in. [35:07]

10-18 - Tuesday: 10 miles (roads) - w/ Emery Bickford in Salem, Methuen, Haverhill - Spicket Hill / Scotland Hill loop from Emery's house. [1:10:00].  Calf was a little twingy at the end.  Later on (before bed), my right foot started to KILL.  Not sure if it's a foot cramp or what.  Watching this closely.  This is all I need now is another foot issue.

10-17 - Monday: 8.1 miles (roads) - solo out and back in Salem, Methuen, Haverhill.  [51:57].  Felt pretty strong.  Calf twinged a little bit but no real major problems.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Training 10-10 - 10-16

Wrap Up: 52.2 miles for the week on 6 days (with one day being only 4).  OK week for having ZERO miles last week while letting my calf heal.  Slowly built up starting with an easy 4 on Monday and working up, taking Thursday off to be safe, then running a couple good runs (10 and 16.3, which was the highlight of the week).  I didn't want to jump into anything crazy with miles, especially now that Cape is right around the corner. I'm in no way ready for a high 2:20s or low 2:30s effort, but I think maybe a tad over 6 minute pace may be doable IF my calf and hamstrings hold up.  High 2:30s could be achievable on this level of fitness I think, but then again, my luck in marathons and long races lately is anything but predictable.  Baystate video coming hopefully this week....been very busy around here lately with some things happening that have been kind of taking my focus away from running...but I'm looking to re-kindle the love affair with miles hopefully after the Cape is dead and buried.  I did get a little inspired this weekend though, seeing a lot of my mates and locals in big races...Nate, Fyffe, Ferenc, Dan the Man, Patrick, Sully, Joe Mo, MQ, etc.  I wish I was racing again. I haven't finished a race in October (and only attempted 1).  My last FINISH was Pisgah.  Not good.

10-16-11 - Sunday: 6 miles (roads) solo whilst running to and fro during the Baystate Marathon in Lowell, MA.  I ran 3+ miles on the course from about the 3 mile mark before watching Sully and Joe Mo and a few others come screaming by.  I ran a few more here and there as I watched at the 3,8,13, and 26 mile marks.  [45:00]

10-15-11 - Saturday: 16.3 miles (roads) solo.  Derry prep course, Derry NH (plus the start back to the car).  [1:47:41].  Went through the 16 mark in 1:45:00.  Felt really good and had zero problems cardio-wise.  Felt like I didn't miss a beat actually... but my calf started to ache around 9 mile mark (right before Drew rd. hill) and then again after 12, all the way to the finish.  It wasn't too bad, but there is still something not quite right.  It was beautiful at the starts, nice and sunny and warm.  It got really windy in the middle, rained a little bit heading towards the end, and then got sunny and brisk at the end.  Very strange weather-wise, but perfect fall day to run.  Stretching, hydration, and continuous miles until Cape to make sure I can just stay within 8 CMS places of Greg Hammett :).

10-14-11 - Friday: 10 miles (roads and trails) with DQ in N.Andover.  High School to trails, and then loops in town (in the rain most of the time) [1:15:00].  Going through the motions....kind of uninspired running right now...

10-13-11 - Thursday: off.

10-12-11 - Wednesday: 8.7 miles (roads) solo in Salem, Methuen.  Little by little coming back.  Right leg was bothering me a little at first, then it loosened up but gave way to my left hamstring getting a bit tight, but nothing serious.  Bad stomach issues halfway through and had to ditch off into the woods on the way back to take care of business...sweet relief after that for the way back.  Took it pretty easy, needing to make sure I slowly build back up without issue. [59:31]

10-11-11 - Tuesday: 6.2 miles (roads) solo in Salem, Methuen. Almost didn't get this in as it was a super busy day but got out and got a decent run in at the last minute.  Baby steps... need to ease back into this so I don't get hurt and with the Cape all but around the corner, I just want to be able to be in some sort of running shape when I toe the line.  I won't be in fast marathon shape for sure, but that's not really the goal at this point unfortunately.  My hamstrings were REALLY sore from the start believe it or not.  Must have been from no running for 8 days and then starting up yesterday.  It's a good hurt though.  [42:02].  I'll keep increasing a bit before obviously backing off a little right before 'the event' down in Falmouth.

10-10-11 - Monday: 4 miles (roads) with Emery Bickford in Salem, NH.  First run in 8 days and felt pretty decent.  Started out a little tough and found out it was a 6:30 first mile, so that explains it. [27:03].  Baby steps.  Still planning on running Cape but just gonna go do it just to get it done in case the team needs me.  A couple weeks to get back some fitness so that I can just grind through without any issues, will be the main goal.

On Saturday, I did a hike with Kristin up in the Whites.  We bagged Mt. Liberty and Mt. Flume (2 more 4000'ers I didn't have).  My calf held up nicely and only on the way down (6 hours into the hike) did my calf and achilles even give me a hint of discomfort.  My plantar hurt more than anything else.  Amazingly, today I feel absolutely fine.  Amazing what time off will do.  Just glad to be running again...

Monday, September 26, 2011

Training 09-26 - 10-02

Wrap Up:  58.6 miles on 6 days (with one of those days only being 2 miles).  Got injured running and racing on a insanely tight left leg and let it go until it was too late.  Details below in the Saturday writeup. I didn't spend too much time writing this up because I have been super busy here at home and with work and been very unmotivated to think about or write about running when I am not running.  I will be laying out some new thoughts, plans, goals, etc. for my 'comeback' special that will hopefully begin filming this coming week (if I can start to actually move faster than limping around). One thing is for sure though...it's about time I start to pay attention to those little things I don't do like stretching, etc.

10-02 - Sunday: 0 miles (injured).  Couchbound all day.

10-01 - Saturday: 17 miles (approx) trails.  Warmed up at Winni with Dan Verrington, Dave Quintal, and Todd Callahan.  Then ran the first 15K + about a mile and a half of the Winnekenni 25k race.  Was out in front in a big way after running the first lap (5 x 5k loops) with Todd C. and then taking off on the 2nd.  By the third lap I was way out in front and felt completely fine.  Felt like I was almost just doing a tempo and not really in any sort of distress fitness wise but all of the sudden my achilles felt like it was ripped off the back of my foot/leg. I had been struggling w/ tight, clicking achilles on my left leg for a couple weeks. I had to bail out of Codfish Bowl XC last weekend because of it, and now this.  I literally fell to the ground right between the lake and the basin.  I got up, and screamed in pain. I tried to stretch out near a tree but it was no use.  I couldn't even stand on it.  I limped/crawled up the trail and tried to get back up to the start/finish via a shortcut but it was way further than I thought.  No one was in sight when this happened and I had a multi minute lead on Todd, but my day was over.  I staggered up the hill against race traffic and eventually made my way up within a couple minutes of the start/finish before John Pajer's wife saw me, went back to the start/finish, and got help.  Mike St. Hillaire and another gentleman came down and carried me all the way back.  When I got back to the start area, there was a couple of PT people there and they worked on me for about an hour.  My calf and hamstring was very tight and my calf took a huge beating. I had thought all along that it was my achilles and that was it, but it was looking like my calf was to blame.  The session was one of the most painful I've ever had if not the most painful.  My calf and various muscles making up the lower leg were so tight the guy was amazed I was running on them.  By the time I was done getting worked on, I had help getting back over to my car and I drove home (somehow).  That day (Saturday) I couldn't even walk at all. I was on the couch the entire day.  I couldn't even stand.  When I woke up Saturday, my achilles was NO LONGER popping and it really didn't even hurt anymore (first time in 2 weeks) but my calf was brutalized.  I was able to limp very gingerly and basically kept up the ice, elevation routine on and off.  Fast forward to Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and now Thursday (Oct. 6) and it is getting slightly better each day.  I am still not able to even jog on it, but I am almost able to walk without a limp.  My calf is no doubt sprained or strained.  I don't think any permanent damage was done, but I'm not sure.  I am giving it a week, and will try to pickup were I left off with just getting back to running.  Just touching it is so painful.  I can't get up on my toes, can't push off at all, and can't make any sudden movements.  It is getting progressively better though with each day.  With Cape Cod in 3 weeks, I am not going to be fit in any fashion for a fast marathon, but I want to just get to the line and help the team if needed.

09-30 - Friday: 10.8 miles (roads) - w/ Scotty McGrath in Salem, Methuen, Haverhill - spicket hill /north ave hill loop. [1:09:26]

09-29 - Thursday: 10.3 miles (roads) - Salem, Methuen, Haverhill - with Emery Bickford and Chris Mahoney-Searles... yes, that's right, THE Chris Mahoney-Searles (or 'CMS' for short).  My house up Spicket (from Stanwood side), down and back over to the hills up North St. and back down. Hilly loop, poured over the second half and was pitch dark, slogging through deep puddles.  We started moving on the way back from the last of the hills (after Chris and Emery started pushing the pace) and finished up with a pretty solid run considering the weather.  I managed to take every town line however.  Felt almost normal on this run.  The achilles was an issue going up Spicket but other than that it was alright.  [1:13:24]

09-28 - Wednesday: 8.5 miles (roads) - solo.  Headlamp run.  Couldn't get away from work early enough.  Salem, Methuen roads.  [56:16].  Testing the achilles more than anything. It held up 'OK'.  Tight and sore near the end.  I don't think I could have gone too much longer at that clip without it starting to get serious.

09-27 - Tuesday: 10 miles (trails/rail trail) - w/ DQ from Victorian Station in Salem. Salem, Windham, Derry. [1:15:24]  Achilles was junk but didn't hold me back too much on the flats.  I chose the rail trail because there is zero elevation gain (obviously). Good news is that it isn't any worse than it has been.  It actually is probably better than yesterday, so that's a huge plus.

Rant of the Day: They are RUINING the rail trail in Windham/Derry by building more McMansion neighborhoods right up against the trail about halfway between Salem and Windham Depot.  I'm talking right up against the trail.  It looks like the cul-de-sacs (one on each side) will go right up against it.  I couldn't believe it.  In a pretty remote section of the woods, they cut right in and opened it up on both sides.  It looks awful.  I thought the housing market was supposed to be bad.  Do we need more houses going up in what little woods we actually have here?  It really is a shame.  I also noticed that when we got to Windham Depot the beginning of the Derry portion of the trail (that has been unpaved and pretty rugged up until now) was all blocked off and a sign said that the trail was closed.  Of course DQ and I went around it and kept going on it for a bit.  I noticed they had cut back the growth from the sides and it looked to me like they were going to actually start to pave it.  I confirmed this by reading that the work actually started last week and will be done by November.  I kind of liked the unpaved section...but after November, that entire stretch all the way up to the existing paved section at Bower's Rd. will be paved now.  The ATV guys are going to hate that.  That leaves just the small stretch from Salem Depot, over the bridge across 111, and up to the start of the Windham Rail Trail on Lamson Rd. as the only unpaved spots left from Salem Depot all the way up to Hoods Pond in Derry.

09-26 - Monday: 2 miles (roads) - started out w/ guns blazing, thinking I was good to go, after resting yesterday.  As soon as I got to the first hill, my achilles popped bad.  It is super tight and painful.  I had to stop, turn around, and come back down.  Not what I was expecting.  This one little thing seems to be my only hitch right now and it's annoying.  [13:00]