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.