Thursday, September 22, 2016

Training Week: Week of September 12 - September 18

Week of September 12 - September 18

September 12 - [Monday] - PM: 18.3 miles (roads/dirt roads) with Andy. Leg/knee really sore but did this anyways...probably regret it later. 2600 feet of elevation over the backroads of Madison.
September 13 - [Tuesday] - PM: 10.6 Miles (roads) easy with Darin.  Leg and hamstrings really bad.  Paying for yesterday and not stretching properly after Fox Point.  Legs are a mess.  Had to stop and stretch on the way back as I was cramping up.
September 14 - [Wednesday] - PM: 2 miles (roads) super easy late in the day to assess the damage.  Really nervous about Reach the Beach this weekend.  I want to make sure I can make it to the line and finish my legs of the race.  Didn't want a complete zero so just jogged a mile down the road and back.
September 15 - [Thursday] - PM: 6 miles (roads and snowmobile trails) easy with Darin. Legs are a nightmare.  Right leg is very sore around IT / knee area and high calf.  Super stiff and sore.  Can't squat all the way down on my right side.
September 16 - [Friday] - PM: 3 miles (warmup) + 10.9 mile race (Leg 6 of Reach the Beach - 1:00:07 for 10.93 (5:29 pace) ). Leg felt 'ok' surprisingly but stiff and wonky.  It still allowed me to run a good pace on it.  Relay leg was a lot of long, steady downhill (nothing steep but still mostly all down).  There were a couple of small rollers mixed in but it kept steadily dropping until into Bartlett.  54:48 for my 10 mile split.  Solid effort considering my state.  Passed exactly 30 bodies on that leg and handed off in 1st for Six03 teams.
September 17 - [Saturday] - EARLY AM: 1 mile w/up + 5.7 mile race (Leg 18 of Reach the Beach - 33:06 for 5.76 (5:44 pace) with a nasty steady climb for 3 miles of the leg...all uphill). Definitely my most difficult leg with the hill but scalped 58 teams in the process.  The hill was a killer and a lot of people were walking or just barely moving. I did run down 10 people in the last quarter mile into the exchange zone.  Again, passed all the SIX03 teams on this leg.  The leg went off about 12:20am or so and I finished just shy of 1:00am... Definitely my 'earliest' run of the year.  LATER AM: 1 miles w/up + 3.1 mile race (Leg 30 of Reach the Beach - 16:46 for 3.15 (5:19 pace).  Blew up badly after first mile. Kept getting slower and slower.  Was pretty much spent after ZERO sleep and being up since 3:00am on Friday.  Pretty much 32 hours awake with a couple of relay legs already in the bag and super tight knee/IT band/calves/hammies.  My legs just died and I was content for just running it in and then it was beach time!  Held it together for a 5:33 last pretty flat mile as I whizzed past 25 bodies in just that 5k leg alone for a total scalping of 113 runners passed during my 3 legs.  Another 200 meters of running in at the very end of the relay on Hampton Beach with the team... Plus some other milling around on Fri/Sat that probably added up to a mile here and Garmin activity on the running around as I would have had 100 activities and it would have looked ridiculous.
September 18 - [Sunday] - Rest day.  Legs smoked.  Had a birthday party down in North Andover to go to.  Thought about brining my running stuff....thought about it.... but then stopped thinking about it.  May take some serious time off this week to recover from my week of hurt.

62 miles for the week.  OK week of 'training' with 60+ miles on 6 days but it was all over the map. One of those days was a 2-spot and the weekend was a mixture of being all over the place with relay legs, little to no warming up or cooling down, no sleep, and then a zero mile day.   I was very banged up this week.  My right leg is bad.  I held it together for the relay legs which I was stoked about, but I have a serious issue that I felt happen right during the cooldown after Fox Point over a week ago.  I'm not sure what is going on but it's a mixture of IT band, calf, and hamstring.  Nothing knee related I don't think but it's surrounding my knee which is concerning.  Taking some serious time this week to try to recover as I have a LONG race this coming weekend that I am just wanting to try to finish.  Competitive running is out the window for it.  A serious lack of focus on the 'long' runs in prep for a 50 miler (or non-prep for) is going to hurt....combined with a possible right leg injury...makes me 'probable' for the start on Sunday in VT but 'questionable' for a finish.

All in all thought I had a blast at Reach the Beach. This could be one of my favorite events on paper...just the logistics of it is super interesting and the experience is great.  But it's draining I'll admit. Maybe it's because I'm getting 'old'...but it is a lot of fun.  One of these years I'd like to get a competitive team together to try to place high up in the rankings and start towards the tail end of the relay and see how we can do.  Maybe I'll try for that next year.  This year it was all about me getting some redemption on my experience 2 years ago in 2014.  Back then, we rocked as a team but I was a hurting unit.  I had severe stomach issues for almost the entire thing and it made it very difficult and unpleasant.  I couldn't enjoy myself.  This year, it was just my leg that was a concern.  Everything else was fine and I was able to make it to the end with a smile on my face which was a nice change.  The weather was ideal and my legs were awesome.

Olympic relay teams got nothing on our hand-offs....
T-Hoop and I showing how exchanges are done.

Andy telling me to slow the 'F*ck down!'
Van 1 gettin' it done...
discussing strategy with D.Hamel
Ran into my homey Nick Symmonds at the finish line...we caught up on old times...

Monday, September 12, 2016

Training Week: Week of September 5 - September 11

Already losing...Alex and Zac already laughing...

Week of September 5 - September 11

September 5 - [Monday] - PM: 6 miles (roads) easy.
September 6 - [Tuesday] - PM: 11 Miles (roads/trails). New Rd. trails in Madison.
September 7 - [Wednesday] - AM: 5 miles (roads/snowmo trails) easy. PM: 9.6 miles (roads/trails) with Darin. More New Rd. trails in Madison.
September 8 - [Thursday] - PM: 10 miles (113 up into Albany and back).
September 9 - [Friday] - AM: 4 miles (roads) easy. Very hot! Was gonna do 5 but stopped at 4. 90+ degrees on the thermo.  PM: 6 miles (roads/trails) Walmart trails + Westside Rd. and some other rambling around.
September 10 - [Saturday] - PM: 3 miles (warmup) (not all captured on the Garmin) + 5 miles race (Fox Point Sunset 5 Miler - 3rd OA - 26:39 (results)) + 3.2 miles (cooldown). All on the roads of Newington.  Calf/hammy very tight. Locked up during the cooldown.
September 11 - [Sunday] - off

62.8 miles for the week.

Good week although ended with an unexpected day off. Step in the right direction generally. More miles, less laziness, one relatively decent race considering how things have been since the summer.  My hamstring and IT band locked up on me on the cooldown after the race on Saturday night. Sunday I debated running on it but did some detecting instead and a bunch of walking around.  Decided to just take a day.  Seeing last week was so abysmal mileage-wise, I think 62 miles was probably a good enough jump up before trying to hit the normal load again (which is always ideally 70+ if I run 7 days).

Fox Point was a good sign. I've done zero fast work other than the occasional race so to run 11 seconds quicker than last year was definitely a plus.  Considering what little progress I see lately, I'll take it.  I don't have the speed right now to hang with the likes of Zac or Alex just yet (even when they just tempo together) so I had to kind of run in no man's land for the entire race, but it was good to land some more race cash this year ($50 for third) and get my much needed points for the Seacoast Series.  I think I officially may have wrapped it up, as you need 6 of 8 and this was the 6th race (I've done them all so far).  Between 2 different courses and 4 attempts at this race since 2008, I've won twice and been 3rd twice.  Amazingly though, this was my fastest time at this event.  That's kind of another positive.  Last year I won in a slightly slower time.  I also won it in 2008.  In 2008 and 2009 I doubled. I ran the Ollie 5 miler in Boston earlier in the morning (both years) and then ran Fox Point in the afternoon (hence my slower times).  In 2010-2014 I was more focused on trail and ultra racing (or hurt) so I skipped the event.  It's a great race, really nice course (which I really think Strava doesn't do justice with 'elevation-wise'), and a rare 'nighttime' 5 mile race.

Some local NH/ME all stars: Alex Leuchanka, Downtown Darin Brown, Miles Brady, JJ, Kevin St. Laurent, Matt Sawyer, and Amanda DeBlauw.

Stole this photo from Jason Saltmarsh (

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Training Week: Week of August 29 - September 4

Mommy and Daddy with the birthday girl

Week of August 29 - September 4

August 29 - [Monday] - PM: 3 miles (roads) easy.
August 30 - [Tuesday] - PM: 10 Miles (roads) easy with Darin.
August 31 - [Wednesday] - AM: 8 miles (roads) easy with Darin.
September 1 - [Thursday] - off.  Morgan's birthday!
September 2 - [Friday] - PM: 2 miles (warmup) + 1 mile (Millen Mile - 2nd OA - 4:48) + 1 mile cooldown.
September 3 - [Saturday] - off. (I did do a short hike with Kristin's dad and took the kids on a walk in the stroller but didn't get a run in).
September 4 - [Sunday] - off. (I did do a few hours of metal detecting late in the day).

25 miles for the week.  Even worse week than last week as far as running goes but I knew that would be the case.  With Morgan's party over the weekend and a lot to do around the house plus work being crazy (end of quarter), I didn't have the energy to sneak out for miles when I had the chance to sneak them in.   The well project is finally done but the yard and house had a lot to be done before we had all our families over for the weekend and I was literally out working on things in the yard until the sun went down.  Kristin's parents stayed Saturday - Monday.  We had the party on Saturday which was really fun.  It was nice having my family here with all their kids, plus some friends as well.

The Millen Mile was a big shock to the system. I'm surprised I broke 4:50.  I'm also surprised my body was able to ever run faster than this for an opening mile of a 5k with any sort of ease in the past.  It felt awful.  I tried to sit tucked in behind Zac for the first quarter and didn't even make it 400 meters...and he was running conservatively.  He's a 4:10 miler not too far back and is still in pretty good form for the shorter stuff.  I dropped way back on the second lap and just tried to stay moving and in 2nd place the rest of the way.  It was actually really fun as it was at night, under the lights, at halftime during the opening football game of the year at Kennett HS.  It was the 6th annual event and they typically invite a handful of the local top runners (men and women) to make up the one heat that goes off right at halftime of the game.  Roger took video (below).

Two beautiful ladies...