Monday, December 31, 2007

Year In Review

3640 miles

That's exactly 70 miles per week, and just about 10 miles per day. That's 500 miles farther than the distance from Portland, ME to San Diego, CA. Definitely my highest milage year ever. The only part I had to estimate was the month of May at the end of track season that I didn't log. January through April were in my Flotrackr log.

Central Park

Time: 100:00
Distance: 14.5 mi.

The morning after arriving in New York I ran from Craig's place in Midtown up to Central Park (6-7 mins) for a run with Ari, Neely, Sarro, and Jeff and Lena (for part). Most of those guys were running a bit less, but Neely (who is training for the Austin Marathon) was up for a longer effort. No real plan... we just looped around in the park. Starting to get a bit of a sore throat and I was pretty tired, but was happy to get this much in. Don't know how easy it will be to get milage later in the week.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Week In Review

Time: 642:00
Distance: 95 mi.

Good week of milage with no physical complaints. After deciding not to run the race on Saturday in Boston, things feel a little up in the air as to what I want to do. Feeling a little bit overwhelmed with travel and the job search, but (at least potentially) excited about what both will bring. Until I'm back in Austin for good at the beginning of the semester (in about two weeks) I'll focus on milage and get in some intensity whenever I can. There's a good chance that at least one day in each of the next two weeks will be lost due to travel, but I'll just do my best and accept if I miss a little bit of training.

Providence Loops

Time: 70:00
Distance: 9.5 mi.

Morning run in Providence after last night's Brown Cross Country alumni dinner. Wasn't feeling too sharp and I wanted to run with/encourage some of the guys to run, so I went on a 3? mile loop with Craig and Hamel which was about 8 min. pace. When we got back, I picked up Coste for 6+ miles down and back the Boulevard toward St. Ray's.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Moody Bridge, Bay Road, West Street

Time: 119:11
Distance: 18.5 mi.

Quality long run. Switched this to today to keep from interfering with travel plans tomorrow. Headed out not knowing quite where I was headed but I figured out a good run on the fly that ended up being damn close to 2 hours. It took a little time to get warmed up and going, but once I got out to Moody Bridge I started rolling along at a pretty steady place, probably just a bit over 6 min. pace most of the way back. The notoriously fast downhill Station Road mile was 5:45.

To break up the monotony of doing this run alone I took along some music, which I usually don't really like, but was a nice diversion. I just put the iPod on shuffle with everything that is on it, which was a bit weird because I would get a pretty random collection of songs (e.g. Notorious B.I.G. followed by Wilco).

Friday, December 28, 2007

Amherst Loop

Time: 59:00
Distance: 8.5 mi.

On the town common facing Amherst College

Met up with Mr. Gould (Amherst High School coach) for our biannual run from his house, around the center of Amherst and back. Great to catch up with him and get a decent run in. Legs are a little bit tired, but not too bad.

Decided to take it a little bit easy this afternoon and not put in a second run. I'll get a long run in tomorrow before I head to Providence and then a normal distance run on Sunday there.

Update: I forgot to mark when I got new shoes, but it was sometime around here. More Elite 3s.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Pelham Warren Wright Hills

Time: 93:00
Distance: 14 mi.

Target: stready/tempo up the Pelham hills (a classic AR/XC workout)
Workout: 5 x Warren Wright hills (~1100m) (the last one was 100+m short)

Things were not working in my favor this morning... Matt's dentist appointment was earlier than he thought so we left his car at the top of the Pelham hills so that he could drive straight to it, then we realized that part of the road isn't maintained during the winter, then we realized that most of the rest of that hilly road was really icy there so we ran on the other side of Rt. 9 to run on flat roads, then when I dropped him off and went to finish up my run (and hopefully get a good effort in) I was interrupted near the end when a train came through in the middle of the long hills.

I got 40 minutes in with Matt before I had to drop him off and then did a few minutes to get back into it before I started the hill on Warren Wright. I did the first hill in low 3:50s and was mid 3:40s on the rest of them. I measured the last 800m of the hill and was hitting it in 2:50ish. Legs felt stiff and I was rigging a bit on the steep part at the end. Overall it was a little mediocre, but all things considered it was fine. Right now I think I just need to get back running hard.

Leverett Pond Loop

Time: 91:30
Distance: 13.5 mi.

Evening run from Matt's house after breaking the "don't postpone runs until the afternoon, you'll regret it" rule. While I did regret it for much of the day, and my stomach was a little f'd during this run, it was fun running through the woods in the dark. We got going at a decent clip for the conditions and had a good chat.

On further reflection and after a chat with John today I decided to scrap the 3k this weekend. I've got other stuff to focus on, including training, and do not need the hassle or distraction for a low-key meet.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Pelham Hills

Time: 84:00
Distance: 12.5 mi.

Pre-Christmas gathering morning run back into the Pelham hills not far from the hilly sections of my Sunday run. Definitely still feeling the effects of that this morning as my quads seemed totally shot, especially coming back down. Turned around at the church at Amherst Road.

Johnny G used to give us Christmas off, and there was some debate about whether we should really take it off or not...

Monday, December 24, 2007

Echo Hill, Harkness

Time: 48:00
Distance: 7 mi.

Easy evening run with Taylor and John Tyson. Legs were a little bit dead this morning so I was wondering how they might feel this afternoon, but they were definitely better after being "warmed up."

Rosen Loop, etc.

Time: 77:30
Distance: 11.5 mi.

Easy morning run with Matt and Ian. Nice to catch up with both of these guys (and definitely worth dragging Ian out of bed for). Matt and I added on 10+ minutes around the South Amherst common during Ian's pit stop making it longer than the usual loop. Legs pretty stiff/sore from yesterday.

Week In Review

Time: 688:00
Distance: 100 mi.

First of two weeks in New England went well. I got the milage up, hitting 100 miles on the dot and got one okay race in. I need to get at least one good workout in this week if I am racing on Saturday at the 3rd BU Mini Meet and two if not... tempo on Wednesday maybe? Christmas will be a shorter day, so I will need to add some longer runs or more doubles. Will be happy to stay +/- 5 miles of this.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Pratt Corner Loop

Time: 126:15
Distance: 19.5 mi.

"The long run is what puts the tiger in the cat." - Bill Squires

Back up to the two hour mark with a long run through Amherst, Pelham, Shutesbury, Leverett on the roads the run the periphery of Amethyst Brook. The first half of this run is almost relentlessly uphill--never super steep but almost no steps down and coming back down on Pratt Corner was a bit dicey in sections as the dirt sections still had a lot of snow on them so despite a pretty good effort the whole way it wasn't too fast. The pounding coming down wasn't terrible, but my legs started to get pretty tired at 90 minutes. I hit 2 hours exactly at the one mile mark from home on Old Farm Road and ran the last mile in 6:15.

Elevation of the first 8 miles of the run

Saturday, December 22, 2007

BU Mini Meet #2

Time: 77:00
Distance: 11.5 mi.

Goal: 3k - get a good race effort in without focusing on time (but seeded myself at 8:20)
Race: 2nd in 8:25

An okay racing experience all things considered. I would've liked to have been under 8:20, but the pace was a little bit all over the place... we were 2:12 and 2:18 for the first 2 800s (Hanley dropped out at about 1400m) and then I led until about 600m to go when Mark Miller (of Mohawk High School fame) took the lead and ran away from me. I wasn't very focused and didn't go to the well to go after him.

I wasn't really mentally ready to go after it and was out a bit late last night, but still a better start than last year. Got in a nice long run afterwards with Ian and Brian around Fenway and down Comm Ave.

Mixed 3000 Meter Run
Name Finals
Section 1
1 Mark Miller 8:21.06
2 Owen Washburn 8:25.73
3 Jed Christiansen 8:33.46
4 Chuck Woolery 8:37.67
5 Adny Mccarron 8:40.89
5 Steve Meinelt 8:42.33
7 Harry Norton 8:47.43
Full results here.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Rosen Loop

Time: 69:06
Distance: 10 mi.

Easy morning run on the Rosen Loop with Ian before we took off for Boston. Added on a little bit before I met him to make it a round 10'er. Legs stiff and back tight... I really think I need a chrio adjustment. Looking forward to the weekend... I got a surprise message from Brian and apparently he will be in Massachusetts for the week! Good deal.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

UMass, Hadley Farms, Puffer's

Time: 92:30
Distance: 13.5 mi.

Frozen waterfall near Puffer's Pond

Ran with Matt Lacey from his house in North Amherst through UMass into Hadley and then back with a loop out by Puffer's pond. The roads have finally (mostly) cleared, so we were able to run a bit more easily, though I was pretty tired getting out of bed this morning. It was nice to catch up with him and have a running partner who was up for a good long-ish run. He ran the blazing hot Chicago marathon and did not fare well, fading badly in the second half and walking some in a delirious state... apparently after the race he was so out of it that he was berating the medical staff trying to help him saying things like, "God dammit! I'm going to die here and you're just going to forget about me and drink beer with your friends!" Yikes. More incentive to avoid the marathon.

My body is generally stiff, but no specific complaints. The weather has also gotten a bit nicer, up to the mid-30s which makes a big difference in feeling good.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Riverwalk, Brown

Time: 31:00
Distance: 4.5 mi.

Brown's Main Green

Easy solo run in the evening in Providence. Most of the guys were finishing up work or at practice (Lord knows I wasn't going to make it there). It was nice to cruise through the dark streets, get down to Riverwalk where I have done a great many morning runs and then get a chance to head through the campus, which was really nice in the evening. The weather is definitely getting better than it was early this week, which is great. Legs a little stiff but nothing too bad.

Short St. Ray's, 200s

Time: 77:30
Distance: 11 mi.

Nice morning run in Providence with Ari, Graddy and Jacob down the Boulevard for 8 mile St. Ray's. I was looking to do some sort of workout this week, despite the weather, so I figured this morning might be a good time to do it (on Brown's mediocre indoor track). The guys were doing 8 x 200m in 33 with 200m jog so I decided to get in on some of it. I ran 5 x 200m in 33 in flats and then 5 x 200m in 30 in spikes. They felt fast and my legs felt a bit heavy, but I haven't gotten much rest in the last few nights.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Rosen Loop, Kestrel

Time: 88:12
Distance: 12.5 mi.

Woodlot Road... most of the roads in town are still covered in snow

More slogging along on snow-covered roads. Dragged Ian out of bed to hit the roads in the morning and took off on the Rosen Loop. It was a blazing 4 degrees when I headed out the door, but triple shirts and double pants seemed to do the trick. Looped around the South Amherst common while Ian made a pit stop and then added on by Kestrel.

Legs pretty tired by the end of the run and my right peroneal was a bit tight when I woke up, definitely from slipping on the snow.

Monday, December 17, 2007

3 Town Loop

Time: 34:00
Distance: 4.5 mi.

Nice easy slow double run with Ian who is working on getting back on the horse. The snow makes running debilitatingly slow, but the effort is decent.

Tour de Amherst

Time: 92:30
Distance: 13 mi.

Town of Amherst plows were hard at work this morning

Ran from 91 Woodlot north through the main part of UMass and the center of Amherst. There is snow on the road and sidewalks pretty much everywhere, so it was slow going and uneven most of the way. The Station Road mile was 6:45 downhill and on well packed snow and that was almost definitely the fastest mile that I ran... was hopping across the street and on-and-off snowy sidewalks a lot of the way, so despite the pace being slow the effort was decent and my legs were pretty well worked by the time that I got done. When I left it was 14 degrees and when I got back it was 20. Nice.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Week In Review

Time: 580:30
Distance: 85.5 mi.

Getting back on it. Was shooting for 90 miles but the travel day got me a bit. Happy to have an easier day and am not going to try to get hung up on the exact milage for the next few weeks, just try to keep it up. Glad the knee won't be hanging me up... for a few minutes there I thought I was screwed.

Despite the cold and snow, I'm looking forward to a change of pace in New England.


Time: 35:30
Distance: 5 mi.

Very easy IF run in the morning before flying back to New England. Knee was a little tight from yesterday's fall but really bad. Was planning on getting in another run this evening when I got in, but the scene that greeted me at home was not conducive, which I worried about as soon as I saw the runway in Hartford...

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Rub Some Dirt On It

Time: 110:30
Distance: 15.5 mi.

Ran from 0.0 with Hanley and Burnham out onto the Greenbelt. Feeling pretty stiff and a bit sore from yesterday's workout so going to the Greenbelt was nice where we could just roll along and not worry about pace. Not 30 seconds after we turned around I took a dive on some mud-slick rocks and landed HARD on my right kneecap. After a good bout of loud swearing and hobbling around we started running again and it loosened up as the adrenaline kicked in. Ran into Wetzel on the way back and finished up with Hanley and him a little loop downtown after dropping Dave off at the cars.

Knee was tight and sore afterward, but I rubbed some dirt on it (put some ice on it) and used it as a good excuse to sit on my ass all day.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Track 1ks

Time: 80:00
Distance: 12.5 mi.

Target: 8 x 1k in 3:00 (average) with 600m (3 min) or 400m (2 min) jogging rest
Workout: 3:04, 3:02, 2:59, 3:00, 3:01, 2:58, 2:57, 2:56 (avg. 2:59.5); 400m rest (except for the 1st)

Back on track. Worked out with Joe and Birdsong (who thought he was doing 4x800m going in... hah!). Legs felt stiff and heavy pretty much the whole way, but not too surprised by that. Had a hard time feeling the pace, too. These are both the result of tapering, a few mediocre weeks and not working out in a while. Calves sore immediately afterward and both hamstrings tight (particularly the right one). The cold misty rain and wind probably didn't help with all of these things, but then again, it's apparently dumping snow in New England, so I'll take what I can get.

Only a few hours until I'm done with the semester... no more procrastinating.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Warmup Loop, Track

Time: 46:00
Distance: 6.5 mi.

Accompanied Hanley on another Team Terrible evening workout. He was doing a 20 minute tempo at with a target of 5:25 pace. We did the standard warmup loop and then I ran around the track easy while he was doing the workout. I tried to help him on the first mile but was way slow... didn't have the pace in my head. He took care of it though, dropping down under 5:15 pace most of the way. I did one of his two 400s afterwards in 66.

Possum Trot

Time: 67:00
Distance: 10 mi.

Morning run from the track out on Town Lake and up Possum Trot... mixed it up a little bit as I came out on 29th and then ran down to 24th to go back to campus, but that was fine as I didn't have to add on. Hamstrings are both feeling tight and maybe weak, but no specific pain.


In my procrastination from studying for my final exam of the semester I have been investigating the possibility of getting off the grid for about a month on a trip. For the moment, I have my mind set on a bike trip on the Pamir Highway in Tajikistan. I don't know when or how this might end up happening... but if I get a month free in the next year, I think this would be amazing. I'd have to take the time off from running, but biking hours per day at 4,000m couldn't hurt.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

IF, Random Loop, IF

Time: 80:00
Distance: 12 mi.

Easy morning run with Joe and Stanley... started with Stan on IF until Joe showed up, did a loop that included part of Shoal Creek and some roads on the west side of town, then back to IF to finish up with Joe when Stan turned off. Nice to be running with these guys and good to be building up volume with some soft and relatively easy running.

Met with Vig today who advised that I "get used to racing as much as possible... even twice a weekend." Uhm... okay? Maybe I'll try to do both of the BU meets, though it seems that both will just have 3ks. Maybe I can coerce someone into running with me.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

15th, Shoal Creek, IF

Time: 75:30
Distance: 11 mi.

Evening run with Brian, which turned out to be pretty nice. He finished up at about an hour and I did a loop on IF, where I was notified over the loud speaker that the field was closed. Because, you know, running around the outside of a field in the evening when nothing else is going on there can really, um, be bad.

Piriformis remains sore on the right side.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Town Lake, Greenbelt

Time: 86:05
Distance: 13 mi.

Misty morning on the path near the Capitol

Relatively easy morning run. Unreal to think that it was 85+ yesterday, as it was about 40 deg. this morning and misting by the end of the run. Both hamstrings still stiff, but nothing too bad. Went out to Town Lake by Trinity and onto the Greenbelt and back on Congress past the state capitol.

Week In Review

Time: 515:00
Distance: 70.5 mi.

Overall a good week of training to start to get the volume back up. I only ran 6 days, but doubled twice, for 8 total runs. It has been fun running with Hanley more, and I'm really glad that he is starting to take running more seriously again. Body hasn't felt sharp, but feeling less beat up as the week went along and there were no hard efforts.

I'm starting to think about the future somewhat for training and racing. In the four weeks I would like to run somewhere in the ballpark of 90, 100+, 110, 110 miles. The intensity will be pretty low, and as school finishes up it will be a good time to bump it up. Travel, bad weather in New England and whatever else could mess this up, but it's a plan. I'll try to get some workouts from Vig for the break before I take off next weekend.

I've also started looking at the races I want to focus on for 2008. This is very tentative, but I want to start to think big picture a little bit. I think it should be something like this depending on ability to get in, funding, and how things are going:

12/22 or 12/29BU Mini Meet #2 or #3Boston, MA3k/5k (just to get one race under my belt)
1/6OC Half MarathonThe OC, CA1/2 M  (if Jordan runs it)
2/8BU Valentine InvitationalBoston, MA5k
2/15Tyson InvitationalFayetteville, AR5k (only if I am serious about USAs)
2/23USA IndoorBoston, MA3k (last year's qualifying times: 8:03 3k or 14:07 5k)

3/22UT InvitationalAustin, TX1500/3k
4/5Texas RelaysAustin, TX(if I need a race and can't travel)
4/5Stanford InvitationalPalo Alto, CA5k/10k
4/19Texas TwilightAustin, TX1500/3k
4/26Penn RelaysPhiladelphia, PA10k
5/4Payton Jordan Cardinal Invit.Palo Alto, CA5k/10k

Also, I have about 225 miles on my current shoes. It would be good to grab a pair before I take off for winter break.

Town Lake Loop, Trail of Lights

Time: 100:00
Distance: 15 mi.

An OBTC (Old Balls Track Club) run... Hanley and I met Joe down at Town Lake to get some soft surfaces for both of our first long runs in a while (weeks for me, many months for him). Did the 10+ mile loop around and then Brian and I added on up to Zilker where the Trail of Lights holiday display is up. It is one of those kids things that while trying to be cute actually looks creepy to me.

The Trail of Lights in Zilker Park at night

Didn't feel fantastic on the run; my legs were a bit tired and dead feeling by about half way. Hip flexors and both hammys were tight as well. We started nice and easy, got down to 6:15s or so as Joe was finishing at 70 min. and the relaxed a little bit as we were adding on the last half hour.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

West Austin Hills

Time: 74:30
Distance: 11 mi.

Glad that Erik got me going this morning, as I otherwise would have put this off until the afternoon. It was hot enough (mid-70s) in the morning... I wouldn't have wanted to do it in the mid-80s of the afternoon. Just checked the calendar... it is in fact December. A bit tired from staying up late last night, but not feeling terrible.

Map is very approximate as we looped around a little bit on some small trails and were trying to explore a little bit.

There is a surprisingly well-written piece in the New York Times about the physical-mental connection in endurance athletics. Nothing most serious runners don't know or haven't experienced, but a good reminder and a good story for the average NYT reader.

Campus Loop, Lights on Hancock

Time: 43:34
Distance: 6 mi.

Evening run with Hanley after he got out of work. Made a decent (repeatable?) loop through campus out on speedway to MLK and then back past Hancock. Decided to start my practice of drinking more during runs with a peppermint mocha sample at a Starbucks booth on MLK. Yummm. There was a cool display for something Christmas-y on Hancock where paths were lighted up with candles in paper bags all over the golf course, so we ran across the golf course a bit.

Warmup Loop, Infield

Time: 61:00
Distance: 9 mi.

Easy morning run with the guys from the track. Did their warmup loop with a bit of an add-on (30 mins) and then finished up to an hour barefoot on the infield of the track to keep it easy and work the lower legs a bit. Did 6 x diagonal strides as part of it. Overall feeling pretty good, and it was fun to see a bunch of the younger boys that I haven't seen since before NCAAs.

Got into the training room to try to work out some imbalanced leg stiffness, as well. Right hamstring is feeling much better, but my glute/piriformis is still tight.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Northern Loop, IF

Time: 50:00
Distance: 7 mi.

Feeling pretty beat from last night, but had to get out with Hanley before he went to work. Legs starting to feel decent again. Some random loopy-ness and lacrosse ball tossing.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

25th, Shoal Creek, Groovy Lube

Time: 65:00
Distance: 9.5 mi.

Easy morning run with Han an' Stan. Legs tired and stiff, but it was good to run with them. Looped through campus up to Shoal Creek and then back up to Groovy Lube for Hanley to get his car. Finished up on IF.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Team Terrible Cheerleading

Time: 50:00
Distance: 7 mi.

The view from the track over the Austin skyline at night

After a long day of class and work was looking forward to running with and cheering along Hanley in his "Team Terrible" (composed of him, Mark Brissette, and McArdle) workout for the week: 3 x 1k under 3 min with 3 min rest (including some complicated time bonus/handicap scheme). We ran down to the track, I ran around on the grass while he ran the workout (which he aced) and then headed back.

This was the perfect day of running for right now... getting the volume back up with very easy running. Right hamstring still very tight and sore, but somewhat looser.

Handcock, IF

Time: 41:00
Distance: 6 mi.

Easy early morning run with Erik. Feet are pretty much fine and legs (both calves and right hamstring) are tight and sore as I expected, but they warmed up nicely. The weather here is finally cool again (34 this morning), though no indication that it will stay that way (it was 85 on Sunday). Hoping to run again this evening with Hanley and Burnham to watch their workout.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Day Off

While ideally I would've liked to have run today, after the beating that my body (particularly the bottoms of my feet) took yesterday, I never even really considered it. Both the legs and the feet were somewhat better than I expected, so I will shoot to run (maybe double?) tomorrow. Hopefully this will be the last day off for a while... time to get back to the trial of miles...

[I]t had not so much to do with chemicals and zippy mental tricks as with that most unprofound and sometimes heart-rending process of removing, molecule by molecule, the very tough rubber that comprised the bottoms of his training shoes. The Trial of Miles, Miles of Trials.

Week In Review

Time: 284:25
Distance: 43.5 mi.

Got through sickness. Didn't run a lot. Still have right hamstring issues. Got in my first long distance race. Recovering will mean that I don't ramp up my training next week. Ready to just start putting in the miles again, hopefully soon.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Decker Challenge 20k

Time: 83:00
Distance: 14.5

Goal: run conservatively, shoot for 5:30s, get long distance racing experience
Race: 68:41 (?) for 5th

Mile splits: 5:25, 5:23, 5:16, 5:20, 5:36, 5:29, 5:21, 5:35, 5:18, 5:51 (54:38 10 mi.), 5:43, 5:39
5k splits: 16:36, 16:58, 16:46, 17:48 (not exact, calculated from pace)

Overall a good experience, but at the expense of the bottoms of my feet (parental discretion advised) and my digestive system. Felt physically aerobically good running the entire way. The splits aren't representative of my effort because of the hills (PDF), but the effort was pretty consistent through 15k, at which point I was somewhat bogged down by the massive hill and blisters on both feet. Started out just off the leading group of Derek Yorek, Bernard Manirakiza and Lance Parker and ran with Gilbert Tuhabonye for about the first four miles. At that point I went after and caught Mark Farris (who looked like he was running pretty easy) who I ran with until I got dropped heading towards the 10 mile hill. I caught Parker with a mile to go, but as he sensed I was on him, finished quite a bit harder than I was able to. I really had to avoid getting on my toes whatsoever for the last 5k.

Had the worst workout stomach I've possibly ever had for a few hours after the race. This was probably a combined result of not having gotten in this many miles in a single day in over a month and just having gotten over being sick.
Place  Name                Age   TIme        Pace
===== ================== === ========= ======
1 Bernard Manirabiza 28 1:06:06.5 5:20/M
2 Derek Yorek 23 1:06:30.4 5:22/M
3 Mark Farris 23 1:07:49.0 5:28/M
4 Lance Parker 26 1:08:28.3 5:31/M
5 Owen Washburn 24 1:08:41.8 5:32/M
6 Gilbert Tuhabonye 33 1:09:17.7 5:35/M
More: Wish has a write-up at, there should be photos online sometime, and full results are up on the race site.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

24th, Shoal Creek

Time: 50:00
Distance: 7 mi.

Easy morning run with Hanley. Headed down to campus and over to Shoal Creek on 24th. Right hamstring and glute are very very tight, which is annoying... I really can't seem to get it to loosen up. I should probably start doing some strength work on it. This stupid cold is lingering too, and has now lasted a full week.

Friday, November 30, 2007

4 Mile Tempo

Time: 50:45
Distance: 7.5 mi.

Target: comfortable 5:30s for 4 miles
Workout: 5:27, 5:22, 5:37, 5:30 (21:57)

Feeling somewhat better today. I didn't get out early because of an information session and interview and I knew that after those it would be good to go out and clear my head. Started the run knowing that I wanted to do something up-tempo so I wouldn't be totally flat if I do this on Sunday. Overall it was okay, but it wasn't as easy as I was hoping for a few reasons: 1. I'm still somewhat sick, and felt fatigued; 2. my stomach had not taken care of breakfast; 3. my right hamstring and glute are very tight. Oh well!

I heard something interesting from Bob "Wish" Wischnia, a friend of Johnny G's from back in the day (who helped me get connected with RunTex and has been a great running contact since I've been in Austin). In response to an e-mail where I was complaining about the lingering sickness leading up to Decker (which he is also running) he wrote:

don't do a 'gregorek' (i.e., overthink)... as john used to say, my biggest handicap is between my ears. too true.
An interesting perspective.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Day Off, Bowling

Cold was no better and maybe worse in the morning, so I decided to take another day off. Annoying, but at this point for the race on Saturday it is better to be healthy than have run an extra day.

Also, I am going to start putting my bowling scores on here, I think. This is now a running and bowling log. Tonight with Brian and Barry I rolled 5 games... using the spin method my high score was 126 (2nd game) and using the straight method my high score was 130 (5th game). The rest were mediocre. I bowled last week and didn't do much better.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Oregon Coast

I was going through some running pictures and came across some that we took in Oregon a few years ago. A bunch of us who were in Eugene for the summer went out to the dunes and the coast for a run. Afterwards we did some strides on the beach and jumped in the freezing cold water. From my log at the time: "the greatest experience in a while finishing a run: ran across the sand of the beach and into the ocean. amazing."

Bull Creek

Time: 45:00
Distance: 6 mi.

Very easy morning run with Erik. Right hammy very tight from yesterday's workout. Got a pretty good night's sleep, so I'm hoping to start feeling better. Still congested and coughing stuff up, but better than yesterday.

3 Mile Tempo

Time: 55:30
Distance: 8.5 mi.

Target: 3 mile tempo, first and last miles under 5:00 (to help Hanley hit his times), middle mile of "recovery" at 5:30
Workout: 4:57, 5:26, 4:57; 15:20 for 3 miles

Hanley and Tom have apparently started challenging each other to workouts. Since Tom is now my racing arch-nemesis, I was happy to help out with Team Hanley today. I think ideally I would've taken one more easy day to kill this cold, but I was feeling stircrazy after two days of not running and a frustrating day. Despite throat and nose soreness and stuffiness I felt very relaxed through two miles--bringing the pace back down really didn't feel good. It also didn't help that my stomach wasn't settled at all. Oh well... it was fun to run in the cool evening on the dark track.

I also have to get the legs going a few times this week as I am officially signed up for the Decker Challenge 20k on Sunday. It looks like it will be... a challenge.

Also, the Daily Texan finally put up a story from an interview I did a few weeks back. I'm glad they got the final quote in, because it pretty much sums up how I'm feeling these days:

"I will miss being on a team with these guys," he said. "There is something about competing with a team ... an anxious feeling that you are competing for something bigger than your own performance."

Monday, November 26, 2007

Day Off

Planned day off traveling back to Austin and heading straight to class and a group project work session. Cold continues.

Week In Review

Time: 238:00
Distance: 36 mi.

Though the race Thanksgiving day was fun, this week was a big downer. Spent a lot of time trying to figure out what happened at NCAAs and I'm still somewhat miffed. Luckily I was able to get back home and get my mind on other things for a bit.

In the next week I plan on coming up with a tentative race schedule for the next month or two, or at least an idea of where I want the training to go. Immediately I'm looking at the Decker 20k and New Braunfels Running Club Jingle Bell 5k or the White Rock Half Marathon. I don't see a great need to take a lot of time off except to kill this cold, but motivation is not at an all-time high and I've got a lot going on with school.

Day Off

Feeling beat yesterday turned into feeling sick today. Happy to take the day off.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

AC Trails, Bike Path

Time: 39:23
Distance: 6 mi.

The "Rail Trail" bike path

Easy run with Ian from my house out Old Farm Road and across to the Amherst College trails, then back on the bike path. Feeling a bit run down and went after a 2 hour nap. It felt good to get out of the house and get the cool New England air in my lungs. Good to run with Ian, who is a great training partner because he always seems upbeat.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Day Off

Planned day off in Amherst.

Gobble Gobble Gobble 4 Miler

Time: 60:00
Distance: 9 mi.

Goal: win, have fun, go after the course record (19:34) if close.
Race: won, had fun, missed the course record by one second because I misread the clock.

The Start

The Finish

Mile splits were something like 4:53, 4:55 (9:48), 4:56 (14:44), 4:50 (19:34). Had Tom on my shoulder through the first mile, but had to drop him. Apparently I demoralized him so much that he got out-kicked by his brother at the end. Wilson Perez, running for the BAA, was shadowing me thorough about 2 miles but I put on a good gap in the 3rd mile (which was somewhat hilly). I knew that I could be close to the course record (19:34) but wasn't killing it in the last mile... with about 150 meters to go I misread the finish line clock as 19:33 rather than 19:23 and eased up. Luckily that didn't affect the take. Stomach didn't feel great, but not too surprising because we were out last night. Coste ran 23:32 and Nora ran 25:36.

1 19:35  4:54 1 20-29 1 M  861 Owen Washburn   Austin, TX
2 19:55 4:59 2 20-29 2 M 2199 Wilson Perez
3 20:46 5:12 3 20-29 3 M 2062 Mario Fraioli Auburn, MA
4 20:47 5:12 4 20-29 4 M 651 George McArdle Bloomington, IN
5 20:51 5:13 5 20-29 5 M 628 Thomas McArdle Brookline, MA
More: race website, full results.

Elsewhere in the Turkey Trot world, Jokin took 2nd in a 10k in Ohio.

Photos courtesy of enthusiastic supporter JR.

Three Town Loop, Woodlot Loop

Time: 36:00
Distance: 5 mi.

Met up with Ian pretty early at his house and headed out on the classic three town loop that has been an Amherst short run staple since middle school. Ian is just getting back in shape and I'm tapering, so we overlapped nicely. After dropping him off at his place I did a loop around Woodlot with 5 easy strides. They were very slow and my legs are very stiff.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Time: 30:00
Distance: 4 mi.

Very easy run from the track after skipping out of class that I could not focus on whatsoever. Right hamstring and glute sore, but other than that (and being very tired) I feel physically okay.

Flew back to Amherst today and it feels great to be home.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

NCAA Div. I Cross Country Championship

Radiohead - My Iron Lung

I'll actually update this with a post about the race sometime.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Week in Review

Time: 286:30
Distance: 41.5 mi.

LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course

Time: 30:00
Distance: 4 mi.

Course jog with 6 or 7 strides in spikes.

Aerial view of the course (which used to be the remnants of a mine)

10k course map

While we were putzing around in Terre Haute, Jilane (and friends) were rocking out in Philadelphia. JR ran a nice negative split (1:46:52 / 1:37:01) to finish in 3:23:53 (well under the Boston Qualifying time of 3:40, which I think was her goal).

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Crossroads of America

Time: 15:00
Distance: 2 mi.

Spent the morning flying into Terre Haute through Hotlanta. I drove through here back in August but didn't have time to stop, so it's really been a full year since I've been here. The weather seems much more pleasant than it was a year ago, though, and I'm definitely more confident and excited.

Easy shakeout from the hotel with 4 strides. Hamstring feels good and my heel (?!) is a little sore.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Something's coming, sky is purple

Time: 32:00
Distance: 4.5 mi.

Easy 20 minute warmup with the guys. They did 4 x 300m in 48 down to 46 with 200m jog and I did 6 long strides in spikes. Hamstring is feeling MUCH better than yesterday, but no reason at this point to give it any excuse to act up again. Feeling good and the guys were in good spirits. Ran in the afternoon, which made it feel almost like outdoor track (it helps when it is 75 out). And that was my last "real" college practice. Woo.

Tomorrow will begin a 10 day journey... luckily I won't be too concerned about training.

Saturday 11/17 - Austin, TX to Terre Haute, IN
Monday 11/19 - Terre Haute, IN to Austin, TX
Tuesday 11/20 - Austin, TX to Amherst, MA
Wednesday 11/21 - Amherst, MA to Boston, MA
Thursday 11/22 (or Friday 11/23) - Boston, MA to Amherst, MA
Monday 11/26 - Amherst, MA to Austin, TX

Thursday, November 15, 2007

2 x Shakeout

Time: 38:30
Distance: 5.5 mi.

Beacause this was just two easy short runs, I'll throw them together here. Ran in the morning on the track workout warmup loop and in the afternoon a short loop near campus and finishing on the infield. My right hamstring is still very tight and somewhat sore. Tried to warm it up before the morning run, but it was still tight... I was close to limping on it because it was throwing my stride off a little bit. It was somewhat better in the afternoon, and loosened up over the course of the run. In the morning I did some pretty serious stretching and rolling and hit the ice bath. In the afternoon I stretched some and got some ice and stim. By the evening it was definitely feeling better than it did in the morning. I'm sure in the next two days it will recover... it's not like we've got much more work to do!

Now here is a good nationals week video... Keith Kelly, who I had the pleasure of hanging out with the other night, in the 2000 NCAA meet:

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Possum Trot

Time: 60:00
Distance: 9 mi.

Easy 60 minutes from the track. I could tell from the moment I got out of bed this morning that my right hamstring was in rough shape. It was a tight after the race and I felt it a little bit yesterday, but running hard on it with spikes and flats definitely aggravated it some. Often this kind of tightness will loosen up after the first 10-15 minutes, but this lingered the whole run. Tried to take care of it this morning stretching, getting stim, rolling it out and hitting the ice bath, but I am still feeling it for sure. Hopefully the massage this afternoon will help. Not worried that it is really injured but I will need to take good care of it the next few days.

Poncho showed me a great video over at the new Floswimming site with the Michigan swim coach that has some great race-week advice.

Video killed the radio star

TexasSports finally posted some video of Jake and me (with a few workout clips) that they took earlier in the year. The formatting on the TexasSports site is pretty lame (requires Windows and Internet Explorer?!), so I pulled it over to Google Video.

Morris Williams 1ks, Track 300s

Time: 60:00
Distance: 9 mi.

Target: 2 x 1k at "2:25 is too fast and 2:55 is too slow"; 6 x 300m in 50 sec. with 100m rest in 25 sec. (7:30 for 1.5 mi.)
Workout: 2:44, 2:36; 300s between 46-49, 7:20 for 1.5 mi.

A good workout moving the legs a bit faster without going to the well. The second 1k was definitely hard for me, but I think that feeling that faster pace was important. The 300s went fine... the easiest they've felt all season.

Right hamstring still tight, but not too bad.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Hyde Park Loop

Time: 51:00
Distance: 7.5 mi.

Easy run from the track up in Hyde Park, across IF and back down to campus. It was a pretty nice autumn morning (well, what you'd expect in September in Massachusetts, not November). Finished with 6 strides in spikes on the infield. Belly of right hamstring was pretty tight as well as around the inside hamstring tendon by the back of my knee. Not too bad, and I worked on it in the TR afterwards, which seemed to help.

Contrary to popular opinion, I do not have a faux hawk (though I did cut my hair)! I'll leave that kind of stylin' for Jokin.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Week In Review

Time: 428:00
Distance: 65.5 mi.

We took care of business and qualified for NCAAs. Training was fairly good, with a good fartlek on Tuesday and keeping the milage decent while feeling good. The hay is in the barn, as they say, so now it's just a matter of getting to the line rested and ready to go in 8 days.

Town Lake East, Infield

Time: 75:00
Distance: 12 mi.

Met the guys at the track to run from the track down to the east end of Town Lake and back. The pace was pretty steady after we got going... about 6:10-20s out and under 6:00 back until we hit the infield at 65 minutes and ran easy for the last 10 minutes. A bit stiff and tired from yesterday, but nothing major.

I ran across videos of Sebastian Coe (on YouTube) and Haile Gebrselassie (on CNN Video) that are definitely worth watching.

Terre Haute! Terre Haute!

Time: 70:00
Distance: 11 mi.

NCAA Div. I South Central Regional XC Championship

Target: make nationals, run smart.
Race: team 2nd; 14th in 30:18.

We accomplished our goal of qualifying for nationals with no trouble as we just had to beat Texas A&M who finished with nearly twice our score. Our team race wasn't quite as strong as I think we were hoping for though with Kyle and Jake a little bit back but Leo and Erik ran very well taking 3rd and 4th. Jake and I ran together through 3 miles, about when we caught Kyle, and I ran away from them a bit.

I ran the conservative race plan well, but the way the race shaped up, I was running nearly alone for the last 4 miles. There was a pretty strong front pack that Jake and I were off by the first mile and we were in no man's land trying to catch them. In the last 2 miles it really felt like I was almost running a tempo, with almost no one to run with and knowing that we had the nationals bid locked up. Definitely could've closed much harder, which I will have to get ready to do in 10 day--this wasn't even the effort of the Big 12s race for me. Went through the first mile in 4:50, second in 9:41, fourth in 19:32 (4:51ish pace), not sure about the rest but if it is a full 10k (there are questions about the distance) I would've averaged 4:53s (meaning that the last 2 miles were slow).

Bottom line: we're headed to Terre Haute, and I'm especially looking forward to giving both Arkansas and Oklahoma State another run.

With Jake near 2 miles...

and starting the second loop

1 Arkansas  37    5    6    7    9   10   27   41
Total Time: 2:28:59.10
Average: 29:47.82
2 Texas 52 3 4 12 16 17 19 44
Total Time: 2:31:00.60
Average: 30:12.12

1 Shadrack Songok Tex. A&M-Corpus 29:16.3 1
2 Francis Kasagule Lamar 29:23.4 2
3 Leonel Manzano Texas 29:30.7 3
4 Erik Stanley Texas 29:35.2 4
5 Matt Munoz Arkansas 29:36.7 5
6 Chris Barnicle Arkansas 29:37.8 6
7 Scott MacPherson Arkansas 29:39.3 7
8 Joseph Simichimba Lsu 29:52.1 8
9 Tyler Hill Arkansas 29:55.8 9
10 Festus Kigen Texas Christian 30:04.3
11 Steve Magness Houston 30:04.3
12 Shawn Forrest Arkansas 30:09.5 10
13 Nava Luis Texas-Pan American 30:15.3 11
14 Owen Washburn Texas 30:18.1 12
15 Samuel Kosgei Lamar 30:21.5 13

18 Darren Brown Texas 30:44.4 16
19 Jake Morse Texas 30:52.2 17
22 Kyle Miller Texas 30:58.5 19
49 Jay Heller Texas 31:57.5 44

More coverage: TexasSports recap, full results, other NCAA qualifiers.

Also, it looks like the Brown men capped off a frustrating year with a great race at the Northeast regional race (or is it now the New England region?) beating the rest of the Ivys there, which I was very happy to see... looked like great races by Ari and Graddy in particular.

Photos courtesy of two awesome but somewhat conflicted fans.

Friday, November 9, 2007


Time: 37:00
Distance: 5.5 mi.

Dubbed Fayettenam by collegiate running enthusiasts because whenever you're there you're "going into war," Fayetteville, Arkansas embodies the term in more ways than just that one... it's pretty bleak in these parts and people feel very strongly about the way things happen here. (Incidentally, it appears that the term originated for Fayetteville, North Carolina.)

10k Course Map

We headed out to the course (the same one used for the Chili Pepper Invite) when it "opened" at 10am to run it over. I like it a lot... hard-packed ground, wide paths and gradual hills and turns. It reminds me a lot of the course in Grafton, MA at the Tufts Vetrenary School that hosted the Massachusetts State Meet my junior and senior years... and I ran quite well both times there. Hips/glute definitely feeling a bit better and striding out felt pretty good.

As for the race, I am excited about the plan and the race itself. Jake and I are going to run together, hopefully a bit more conservatively than last year when my 5k splits were something like 15:00/16:10. Goals are pretty simple: run a smart race, make it to nationals.

Other stuff:

  • Got a new pair of Elite 3s, which I've been running in all fall. Since my last pair I also wrote a very light review of them for RunTex.

  • Check out the NCAA South Central Regional meet website, the TexasSports preview, hating on us in the LetsRun polls, and this great Lil' Wayne song.

  • Also, the first local news source that comes up in a Google search ( seems like it could be easily confused.
  • Thursday, November 8, 2007

    Town Lake West

    Time: 60:00
    Distance: 9 mi.

    Easy morning run with Kyle from the track. Overall it was fine, but the lingering soreness in my right glute/piriformis doesn't seem to be getting much better. Tara worked on it a little bit and I got a minor chiropractic adjustment this afternoon, so hopefully that will help. Most likely this is just fulfilling the "there has to be something wrong" pre-race thing, so I'm not too worried about it.

    Wednesday, November 7, 2007

    I got the Timbos on the toes and this is how it goes

    Old School ARHS XC (circa-1998?)

    I've been listening to a lot of old Beastie Boys lately which really takes me back to high school cross country... group singing Paul Revere (YouTube) on the bus to and from meets (made Gould-friendly by drowning out the "whiffle ball bat" business), rocking Hello Nasty (Wikipedia) (which had just come out) during the push-up circle, using the "Ali Baba" section of Rhymin' and Stealin' (Wikipeda... look in the "other media" section) for the pre-race chant, and hearing Alex Keene rapping Get It Together (song and samples).

    IF Loops, Neighborhood Loop

    Time: 60:00
    Distance: 9 mi.

    Easy 9 mile morning run with some of the guys around IF. Went 50 minutes, did 6 x 100m strides and then finished with a 10 minute loop around the neighborhood. Hips pretty tight again, and it was definitely one of those days when I felt far better after the strides than before. Right glute sore throughout... hopefully the massage this afternoon will help. The weather is chilly enough that it takes some time to get warm, which is a little deceptive because its not really cold... better pay attention to that on Saturday.

    IF Speed Play

    Time: 66:00
    Distance: 10 mi.

    Target: 3 sets of long interval (4 min), 1 min jog, short interval (60, 45 or 30 sec), 2 min jog
    Workout: ran hard throughout keeping the top group together

    Ran up to IF (despite it not having "good workout grass") for a fartlek doing loops of close to a 1k loop on the field. It was a little weird because it was the first time we've ever worked out up there and it was very windy, but we ran well just on effort. My hips felt very tight and my right glute is sore.

    I wish I could find someone who would pay me just to not get fat between now and next spring.

    Monday, November 5, 2007

    15th, Shoal Creek

    Time: 60:00
    Distance: 9 mi.

    Ran down through Hyde Park and campus to 15th, across to Shoal Creek and back up. Relatively quick out the door compared to many Monday runs... I guess I was feeling good and the weather was nice. Right glute got pretty sore by the end, so I'll have to keep an eye on it this week. I managed to mix up the 3 pairs of Elites that I've had lying around, but they are all a little bit beat so I should just get some new ones this week and chuck the rest.

    This evening I registered for my first post-collegiate race, which I will hopefully be able to make it to... the Gobble Gobble Gobble 4-Miler in Somerville, MA on Thanksgiving day. Just heard from Hanley that Tom will be there, Nora Sullivan is running it, and Jilane will be with me so it should be a good time!

    Sunday, November 4, 2007

    Week In Review

    Time: 582:45
    Distance: 88 mi.

    Bounced back from Big 12s pretty well for a fairly good week of training. Didn't feel too sharp on the hills on Tuesday, but Friday's 2ks went very well. Have to get better rested this week, but that shouldn't be too much of a problem, and getting mentally prepared for both the regional and national meets.

    IF, Track

    Time: 90:00
    Distance: 14 mi.

    An atypical but good Sunday run. Met at the track and headed up to IF where we ran for 30 mins and then ran back to be at the track at 70 mins. Ran 1.5 miles on the track just a little bit uptempo (supposed to be 9:00, we ran 8:40) and then ran barefoot easy on the infield for about 10 minutes to finish up. Despite being a little bit under-rested, I felt good.

    Saturday, November 3, 2007

    Shoal Creek, Town Lake, Congress

    Time: 64:47
    Distance: 9.5 mi.

    Mid-morning easy ("slow as you can go") run with Hanley and Burnham. Met Dave at his house and then headed all the way down Shoal Creek to Town Lake, across to Congress and back through campus. Right hamstring/glute pretty tight at the beginning, and legs were pretty stiff throughout the run and afterwards, definitely resulting from the workout yesterday.

    Before the run I caught the Olympic Trails Marathon, which was broadcast online. Ryan Hall completely dominated the race, followed by Dathan Ritzenhein and Brian Sell. A pretty inspiring performance... Hall's 5k splits: 16:44, 15:41, 15:27, 15:12, 15:05, 14:48, 14:28, 14:56.

    Friday, November 2, 2007

    Zilker 4 x 2k

    Time: 91:30
    Distance: 14.5 mi.

    Target: 4 x 2k in ~6:00 with 3:00 rest
    Workout: 6:05, 6:00, 5:57, 5:51

    Very good workout... the type I didn't have last year (and would've garnered a "green" rating on Flotrack when I was using it). Did the intervals on an 800m loop, so we had 2.5 loops for each. Each interval seemed to feel better than the last as despite my legs getting a little tired I felt I was settling in well. The splits were fairly even and Jake, Leo, Kyle and I all took turns leading some. It was good to see BRD coming around and Jay looked really good too. Even JT Supreme (Joe Thorne) came out, which was a nice surprise.

    Finished up with 6 diagonal strides when we got back to the track.

    Thursday, November 1, 2007

    Scenic, Enfield, Shoal Creek

    Time: 72:30
    Distance: 10.5 mi.

    Ahh... into November, my favorite month of the year, home to years of orange and frosty New England, cross country championships, Thanksgiving, and my birthday.

    The dead leaves their rich mosaics
    Of olive and gold and brown
    Had laid on the rain-wet pavements,
    Through all the embowered town.
    - Samuel Longfellow, November

    Well the weather wasn't exactly like that here this morning, but it is nice out. Ran with Kyle from the track out to Scenic and back on Enfield and over Shoal Creek. Hamstrings were tight, but we were running easy so I got pretty loose after the first few miles.

    Wednesday, October 31, 2007

    There's a reason why you wear this uniform...

    This isn't exactly running related, but I can't help but be pumped up by it. I had heard that the "turning point" of the postseason for the Red Sox was before game 4 of the ALCS when David Ortiz held a team meeting to get the team focused.

    Sports Illustrated has published some details from the players-only meeting, including this:

    "Listen," designated hitter David Ortiz began, "we're not just a good team. We're a great team. And don't you fucking forget that. And let's go play one at a time and go prove that. Because let me tell you something...."

    Ortiz pulled on the sides of his gray road jersey. "There's a reason why you wear this Red Sox uniform...."

    Ortiz paused for a beat, letting the suspenseful silence fill the rapt room.

    "Because you're a bad motherfucker."

    Update: More on it (and more) in Papelbon's interview with Letterman.

    IF, Hancock

    Time: 93:00
    Distance: 13.5 mi.

    A very easy mid-week medium long run. Stayed on the soft surfaces with Erik and it was good to run the whole thing with him. Sore from yesterday and the legs (especially quads/hip flexors) were pretty tired by the end of the run.

    Tuesday, October 30, 2007

    Morris Williams Hills, 300s

    Time: 90:00
    Distance: 13.5 mi.

    Target: 16 steady to hard hills; 6 x 300m in ~48 sec with 100m rest in ~25 sec (~7:20-25 total)
    Workout: 16 hills from 42 down to 35ish?; 300s from 48-49 down to 46 (7:26 total)

    An okay workout, but I was feeling a little off of it on both the hills and the 300s (especially the last one that the guys blazed). Tried to keep under control on the hills, which meant getting dropped a little bit up and then catching up across the top of the hill. These are never my best workouts, and both hamstrings were very tight so I wanted to make sure not to over do it.

    Monday, October 29, 2007

    Town Lake Loop, Infield

    Time: 81:00
    Distance: 12.5 mi.

    Ran in the afternoon after spending the morning studying for a mid-day exam. The weather was beautiful and it was nice to try to clear my head. Some mild stiff/soreness and digestion issues, but overall it was a good run. Did a loop on the east side and ran back around to the Lamar bridge and back on Congress. Finished with about a mile on the grass.

    Week In Review

    Time: 495:30
    Distance: 74.5 mi.

    Overall it was an okay week. Training-wise it was pretty light with just one easy workout and low milage, but it was nice to get in one last two hour run. Still thinking about the Big 12 race and feeling mixed about it, but trying to consider things I can take from it: trust yourself and your fitness to run more conservatively and work on focus before the race. It has basically taken me 2 years to really get back on the horse.

    The Brown guys got 6th at Heps on Friday, which is certainly worse than they were shooting for. Unfortunately for them, it does not look like the coaching situation has settled down much which undoubtedly doesn't help. I wish I could say I was surprised.

    Maybe most importantly, though, the Red Sox sealed the deal as 2007 World Series Champions.

    Sunday, October 28, 2007

    Town Lake

    Time: 120:00
    Distance: 18 mi.

    The last 2 hour jaunt of the season... not going after it too hard. Headed out starting slow (it was hard to see at 6:30) but settled in to about 6:30s and then 6:00-6:10 on the way back. Definitely more sore than yesterday, but not too bad--mostly just tired hamstrings.

    Summer running partners Steve Bogden, Ben Peisch, and Eric Reinauer ran in the Marine Corps Marathon today. Not sure if they were all happy with their times, all in the 2:50s, but it does make me excited to do a marathon at some point. Plus, it looks to me like Jordan must be sneaky-training for a marathon (why else would you do 30k of work in a morning?!).

    Saturday, October 27, 2007

    Shoal Creek, Road Loops

    Time: 81:00
    Distance: 12 mi.

    Easy run starting running down Shoal Creek with Dave and Brian who were doing a hill workout near Duncan Park. Did some loops near that part of Shoal Creek and then headed back up through Hyde Park. Body felt surprisingly good after the race and a late night... guess I'll just have to see if it's delayed-onset soreness. The weather is great, which allowed us to go in the afternoon.

    Erik sounds pretty excited about the regional meet!

    2007 Big 12 Cross Country Championship

    Time: 70:00
    Distance: 11 mi.

    Goals: run for top-10 individually and for the win as a team; give 100% effort.
    Race: 14th (25:10), fairly good effort/race; 3rd as a team behind Colorado and Oklahoma State, who both ran well.

    Stan, Jake and Me

    An okay day, but a little frustrating to be third. We were a little too aggressive early in going for the win as a team (we were leading at 3k and in second just past 6k), which probably kept us from getting second as we all faded a bit after 5k. Leo sacked up bigtime after falling a bit back in the middle, and Kyle and Stan were both solid. I would've really liked to be in the top ten, but felt flat over the last 3k. Overall, though, this still ranks as one of the best cross country races I've run and there is still a lot of room for improvement in our races in the next few weeks. Our team performance was almost undoubtedly better this year than last (despite getting 3rd), with 4 in the top 15 this year and just 1 in the top 15 last year.

    The rumor is that the course was 160m long in the last mile, which seems to make sense from my splits: first two miles were about 4:45, hit 4 miles at under 19:40 (~5:00?) and finished the race in 25:10 (5:30 for 1600m, just about 5:00 for 1760m). The course was surprisingly difficult: all those little bumps added up to making it hard to get into a rhythm. Also, it was dry as hell... and the altitude shouldn't be totally ignored.

    Place   Team            Score   1   2   3   4   5   6   7
    ===== =============== ===== == == == == == == ==
    1 Colorado 34 1 2 4 11 16 17 24
    2 Oklahoma State 48 3 8 10 12 15 25 40
    3 Texas 58 6 7 9 14 22 45 55

    Place Bib # Name Team Time
    ====== ====== ================= =============== ========
    1 52 Brent Vaughan Colorado 24:22.30
    2 45 Kenyon Neuman Colorado 24:36.50
    3 225 Ryan Vail Oklahoma State 24:35.80
    4 47 Stephen Pifer Colorado 24:64.30
    5 110 Colby Wissel Kansas 24:51.05
    6 243 Erik Stanley Texas 24:53.05
    7 241 Kyle Miller Texas 24:55.20
    8 217 David Chirchir Oklahoma State 25:02.60
    9 240 Leonel Manzano Texas 25:04.00
    10 220 Sean Fleming Oklahoma State 25:04.10
    11 43 Peter Janson Colorado 25:04.30
    12 222 David Jankowski Oklahoma State 25:08.50
    13 302 Edwin Sang Texas Tech 25:09.60
    14 244 Owen Washburn Texas 25:10.05
    15 215 Matt Barnes-Smith Oklahoma State 25:11.80

    22 242 Jacob Morse Texas 25:30.75
    46 238 Jay Heller Texas 26:19.40
    57 237 Darren Brown Texas 26:33.50
    61 236 Habben Berhane Texas 26:37.45
    84 245 Robert Wetzel Texas 27:24.80
    Coverage: Flotrack Video | TexasSports

    Lubbock is pretty out there, but now I can't say that I've never seen prairie dogs of cotton patches.

    Thursday, October 25, 2007

    Rawls Golf Course

    Time: 38:00
    Distance: 5.5 mi.

    Checking out the course

    Shakeout run on the Big 12s course after an easy flight from Austin. Body feeling pretty good, despite random soreness in my left foot (as Hanley observed, everything has been going too well... You can't race like that) and the usual stomach business.

    I think we're ready. Not much more to say than that.

    Wednesday, October 24, 2007

    Short Possum Trot

    Time: 70:00
    Distance: 10.5 mi.

    Morning run with the guys on the Possum Trot loop, cutting it a little sort on Enfield to get back to the track for some strides. Right hammy and piriformis tight/sore, but other than that feeling good.

    Also, upon showing Colin the somewhat absurd picture that TexasSports is running right now he offered some fantastic wishes:

    May your dominaysh be swift and thorough.

    Tuesday, October 23, 2007

    Morris Williams Speed Play

    Time: 56:00
    Distance: 8.5 mi.

    Target: 3 sets of 3:00 (1:00) :30 (2:00) - long intervals at just under 3 min 1k pace and short intervals in about 32 sec 200m pace
    Workout: Ran decently hard together and felt good, completed the fartlek

    Morris Williams Golf Course

    A chilly and clear morning in Austin. Got up early to finish an exam and while I was pretty tired heading to the workout, I'm happy to be done with everything up to Big 12s. Did the fartlek approximately on the 1k loop that we've used earlier in the season which at least gave us an idea how hard we were running... from what I could tell we were just about on the target pace. Everyone ran together well. Stomach continues to be an issue, but I was able to run through it fine.

    Shoal Creek, 15th

    Time: 60:30
    Distance: 9 mi.

    Didn't end up getting out until the evening... busy day and my stomach was feeling pretty off in the morning. It ended up being a pretty nice run, especially because we've finally gotten some really chilly weather (under 50 F!) and it almost felt like a Brown afternoon practice run. Brian waited until I was done with class and other stuff and we headed out around 6:30.

    Stomach still a little weird and right hamstring is very tight.

    Sunday, October 21, 2007

    Week In Review

    Time: 572:50
    Distance: 85.5 mi.

    Starting to taper somewhat with Big 12s coming up on Friday. Felt good all week with no major physical complaints and good workouts.

    The goals for the upcoming week (Big 12s) are clear: we are very fit and need to run together to challenge every guy on the course, especially over the last 3k. When the point of decision comes, as it inevitably does in every race, it's time to be confident and aggressive.

    Town Lake

    Time: 82:00
    Distance: 13 mi.

    The east side of the Town Lake trail

    A reduced Sunday run with Big 12s just 5 days away. Just looking to go 80 minutes at about 6:15 pace. A bunch of the guys inexplicably seemed to have trouble running together, which was annoying, but I was happy to run with Jake and Kyle the whole way. The weather was great and we were in good spirits... autumn is actually upon us (just a little bit of a warmer autumn than I'd like). Both hamstrings and right glute got sore... will have to pay special attention to these to get them worked out in the next few days.

    Saturday, October 20, 2007

    Town Lake, Greenbelt

    Time: 80:00
    Distance: 12 mi.

    The Greenbelt is almost completely dried up

    Drove down to Barton Springs with Jilane and did a small loop on Town Lake before the crowds were more than I could bear and then headed back to do most of the run on the Greenbelt. Nice to get out there as we haven't been doing the Wednesday runs there too much this year, but ended up wandering a little bit when I tried some new and somewhat overgrown trails about 25 minutes out on the trail. Right glute/hamstring tight again as on most recent post-workout days, but they loosened up over the course of the run. Really nice to see JR have a good run too!


    Time: 30:00
    Distance: 4 mi.

    Easy afternoon 4 miler before weights (which I incidentally missed due to new draconian rules in DL-8). Loosened up a little bit and got a chance to stretch and roll out, which was good. Right hamstring getting tight again.

    2 x 4 Mile Tempo

    Time: 65:00
    Distance: 10 mi.

    Target: 2 x 4 mile tempo, 21:00-21:20, 90 sec rest
    Workout: 1 x 4 mile tempo, 21:07

    The target was a repeat of the Sept. 21 2 x 4 mile tempo on Town Lake, but with no 300s at the end and a little faster. Vig cut it short after the first one despite everyone being on because... "trust me, you guys are fine." He was a little bit ambivalent about two decently hard workouts this week when I talked to him about training last weekend, so I guess I'm not really surprised.

    I would've liked to have done the whole workout and was definitely ready to do it, despite a few of the guys looking a little flat coming off travel last weekend and Tuesday's workout. We were a little slow through the mile, and I took the pace through most of the rest of it keeping us right on track... it would've been significantly faster than we did it earlier if we had finished it out.

    Right glute was pretty sore, and I was stretching it out during our rest when Vig called the workout.

    Thursday, October 18, 2007

    15th, Shoal Creek

    Time: 63:00
    Distance: 9 mi.
    Map (approximate)

    A little bit of a hodge-podge easy run... Stan and I left our place and picked up Leo and Dave on the way down towards campus. Stopped at the track because I couldn't do a whole run in the Victory's that I am (trying to) wear-test. Not sure that shoe is built for me. Then ran down to 15th, and over to lower and upper Shoal Creek and back to the house. Fine run, but a little disjointed... never got into a rhythm. Left hamstring/glute feeling better today.

    Wednesday, October 17, 2007

    Town Lake, Greenbelt

    Time: 90:00
    Distance: 13 mi.

    The fog over the track when we arrived at 6:30

    Very easy 90 minute run from the track across Town Lake to the Greenbelt and back. Everyone seemed to be a little lethargic or sore after yesterday's workout, and it was pretty muggy out (with a surreal fog). My right upper hamstring / outer glute was very sore again today, which resulted in some hip flexor tightness as well, all as a result of yesterday's harder stuff... not too worried about it coming around by Friday, as it has done this a few times this fall.

    Tuesday, October 16, 2007

    Zilker 1ks, Track 300s

    Time: 91:30
    Distance: 14 mi.

    Target: 6 x 1k in ~2:45 with 3:00 rest; 6 x 100m/300m in 25/48 (7:30 for 1.5 mi.)
    Workout: 2:50, 2:44, 2:44, 2:43, 2:43, 2:39 (avg. 2:43.8); 7:31

    Downtown Austin, Town Lake, and Zilker Park (bottom left)

    Headed out to Zilker with a small group (Jake, Kyle, Stan, and Rob and Jay for a few) for some quick 1ks with solid rest, then back to the track for 300s with quick rest. Overall a very good workout... meant to target an area that we haven't done much training on: intervals pushing VO2 Max with decent recovery. I have a great aerobic base, but didn't feel on Friday that I could push beyond that, which is exactly what this workout was for--and I felt it just as I expected: I recovered quickly, but I had heavy arms and was rigging a bit by the end (got dropped by a few seconds by Jake, Kyle and Stanley on the last one). Happy with the work we put in, though, and definitely an indication that we're in great shape.

    The rankings got shaken up a bit this week after pre-nats, but conference weekend is when things will get really interesting.

    Monday, October 15, 2007

    15th, Shoal Creek, IF

    Time: 71:20
    Distance: 10.5 mi.

    Easy morning run from the house. Ran the 60 min. loop down through campus to 15th, across to lower and upper Shoal Creek and back on 40th and up to 45th across Lamar and Guadeloupe. Finished with a loop of IF. Felt stiff starting off, but not as bad as the last few Mondays, which is probably a good sign especially given that right after the run yesterday I was sitting in a van and plane for about 7 hours.

    Still hot in Austin, but now it feels like we might be on the verge of Texas fall weather.

    Week In Review

    Time: 669:30
    Distance: 100 mi.

    Overall a very good week... we got in a good workout on Tuesday and despite my legs feeling like trash Monday-Wednesday and some annoying stomach issues, got in a good race and am feeling great by the end of the week. It was great to meet Jon and Ryan and see Brendan (who has a Flotrack post up about the week) and good to be out of Austin and clear my head (both physically and mentally).

    Just two weeks to Big 12s. Time to cut back on the milage and be very focused about what we have to do. Also, maybe most importantly, I'm back in civilization to watch the ALCS, which resumes tomorrow night.

    Song of the week: Dwight Yoakam, A Thousand Miles From Nowhere

    Some more pics of the trip from Leo:

    The main Zap Fitness building

    On the side of the Blue Ridge Parkway

    Moses Cone

    Time: 121:30
    Distance: 19 mi.

    Fantastic run at Moses Cone Park, which is just a short drive from Zap, and in fact, I believe it is the primary reason that Zap settled where it is. Miles and miles of dirt and light gravel trails winding through the woods and open fields. We started by Bass Lake, ran past the Manor House and Trout Lake to a fairly high point in the park (someone said we climbed from about 3400 to 4200 feet) at about 65 minutes and then we turned back to backtrack most of the way down.

    Maybe it was the cool autumn air, or the beautiful scenery, but I felt great. I'm totally recovered from the race, and we all seemed to be enjoying ourselves out there, despite pressing the pace pretty much the whole way. Ryan Warrenburg and Jon Pierce guided us along the whole way, and were also shooting for a two hour run.

    The carriage trails wind through the woods and pastures

    The Manor House

    After the run we had to make a pretty quick exit, throwing everything in the cars, saying goodbye to Zap, and heading towards the airport...