Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Year In Review

3015.75 miles

This year was a transition year for my running: the first year that I have done any running without a team, only a few races and no standout performances, and attempting to find out where (competitive) running fits into my life. I ran about 625 miles fewer than last year, averaging just 8.25 miles per day this year. I had a lot more time off, however, and have been very inconsistent about running significant milage since the summer.

I did have a number of great running experiences, though... here are a few highlights: running down a glacier in Alaska, running with Jilane, Meagan and Jordan in the Marine Corps Marathon, racing in the Izumo Ekiden, long runs with the Texas guys in the spring, and one of the only races that I was really happy with, the CVS Downtown 5k.

Central Park Fartlek

Time: 85:00
Distance: 13.25 mi.

Workout: 6 x 4:00 hard / 2:00 easy; shooting for some sub-tempo pace for the hard sections

Morning run in Central Park from Craig's apartment. As I headed out the door snow was coming down just lightly, but in the park there was more serious snow with significantly more wind which made the going a bit difficult. For the Fartlek, I focused on the effort, rather than trying too hard to figure out my pace. For one of the slightly uphill and windy sections I believe I split a 2:40 (5:20 pace) half mile, which is obviously a bit slow for this type of workout, but I was working fairly hard to be there.

I finished the run feeling a bit tired, but looking forward to an afternoon to relax and the New Year's Eve festivities.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Day Off

Last slacker day of 2008.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Brooklyn-Manhattan Loop

Time: 77:10
Distance: 11 mi.

Manhattan from the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, just south of the Brooklyn Bridge

Morning run with Nick on a loop over the Brooklyn Bridge to Manhattan, and back to Brooklyn over the Williamsburg Bridge. My legs were a bit beat from yesterday, but I enjoyed getting a historical tour along the way from Nick, who is becoming an expert on the local urban history.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Week In Review

Time: 495:30
Distance: 71.25 mi.

Six days a week might just be where I'm at right now. Given that and the fact that I've been running from different places almost every day, this was a decent week of training. I would have been much better off had I been able to get the long run in on Saturday, but despite feeling bad after it, I was glad that I was able to get it done on a rough day. Physically I have no major complaints.

Prospect Park

Time: 120:43
Distance: 18 mi.

A path winding through the middle of Prospect Park

After a late night in Manhattan, I waited most of the day to get out the door for this week's long and supposedly easy run. I was overtired, underfed, and dehydrated heading into the run. When I started to feel not so great in the first 30 minutes, I knew I was likely heading towards the well. This was definitely the case, and despite it being a beautiful and warm afternoon in Brooklyn, I struggled throughout a few different loops of Prospect Park. When I could, I raced joggers to keep myself focused. Once I got back it took me about two hours and a lot of water and food to start to feel normal. Yikes.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Not Gonna Happen!

Time: 46:30
Distance: 6.25 mi.

I aborted a 2 hour run after about 25 minutes. It was 32 degrees and raining--black ice city. I guess I will have to try to get it in tomorrow.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Connecticut River Run

Time: 86:30
Distance: 12 mi.

We ran along the near side of this section of the Connecticut River, shown here from Mt. Sugarloaf

A morning loop along the Deerfield side of the Connecticut River and through South Deerfield from Nick's mom's house. We ran south along River Road, looped up on 116 and through the "center" of South Deerfield, and came back to complete the lollipop on Hillside Road. We were running easy, but that was just what I needed today, because the run was fairly hilly and I am a little tight from running in flats yesterday.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

South East Street Fartlek

Time: 47:00
Distance: 7 mi.

Target: easy fartlek to get the legs going a bit
Workout: 8 x 2:00 hard / 1:00 easy

After driving back to Amherst, I got in another run. My parents had my running shoes, however, so I had to throw on some old Streak XC flats for this one. That turned out to be fine, and it was fun to have some lighter shoes on for the harder effort. I don't know how fast I was running in the hard sections, particularly because I'm fairly tired from the last few days with friends and family, but it was definitely sub-tempo pace at least. I started out trying to run on the bike path, but unlike during the last snow, it had not really been cleared. As a result, I just ended up going out and back on South East Street.

I Was Stirring...

Time: 48:30
Distance: 7 mi.

After a mediocre night of sleep, Taylor and I got out for an early morning run before the kids got too anxious about being able to open stockings, presents, etc. It was an easy jaunt, and despite the bad weather of the weekend, it was over 40 degrees at 6:45 am. We went out-and-back on some rural roads in Wayland.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Day Off

Maybe I should've thought about doing some shopping before Christmas Eve?

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Wellesley College

Time: 83:20
Distance: 12 mi.

Afternoon run through the "center" of Wellesley and Wellesley College with Brian. They are connected by a small path along a stream, which had been cleared with a snowblower. Felt good throughout and enjoyed an attempted sword fight with icicles. My legs (knees to waist) were a bit sore from some sliding around on snow during yesterday's run.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Boston 'Burbs

Time: 63:00
Distance: 9 mi.
Cars pushed out of the snow: 2

Morning out-and-back run with Brian in Wellesley and Weston, MA. The roads were finally not too bad, but we were stuck on main roads. It was gorgeous out, though. Unfortunately it was still too cold to make very good snowballs.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Week In Review

Time: 404:45
Distance: 61 mi.

A pretty good week of running, considering that I only got in five days. I was very happy with the long hard effort. My body feels physically fairly good. Again, the focus going into the next few weeks is going to be doing the best I can with consistency despite traveling and holidays.

Day Off

Two parts snow, one part laziness. Glad I got a long run in earlier this week.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Day Off

Snowstorm! (And I'm a little beat.)

Friday, December 19, 2008

North Amherst, North Hadley

Time: 92:30
Distance: 13.5 mi.

Morning run with Matt Lacey, who is back in Amherst for the holidays, from his house. He's just getting started on a training cycle for the Boston Marathon. We went north from his house, which is a nice change of pace for me in terms of Amherst runs, and did a big loop around Teawaddle Hill, across Routes 63 and 116 and back near North Hadley. We overshot our 12 mile goal by a bit, but the pace was easy and it was nice having company, so I didn't mind. My legs were tired by the end but not too sore.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

National Zoo

Time: 63:20
Distance: 9 mi.

I spent my last morning of this trip to Washington, DC looping around the National Zoo and the southern part of Rock Creek Park before running back through the Kalorama and Adams Morgan neighborhoods. Most of the exhibits weren't open this early, but I did see a Zebra and an Emu wandering around. My legs are pretty shot from yesterday's run.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Chesapeake and Ohio Steady Run

Time: 107:14
Distance: 17.5 mi.

Target: 3-4 miles warmup, 10 miles steady, 3-4 miles cooldown
Run: 3.75 in 24:20; 10 miles in 56:33 (28:45/27:48); 3.75 in 26:20

To make sure I got my long harder effort in this week, I decided to do it this morning. I also knew that the Chesapeake and Ohio Towpath would be the a great place to get in an out-and-back long run with measured miles, as I really had no idea how to pace this run based on effort. The goal was to get in 3-4 miles warming up and getting into the pace, 10 miles with the general target of working down to about 5:40 pace, and then running straight through with the same 3-4 miles cooldown.

The towpath runs between the Potomac River and Chesapeake and Ohio Canal (on the right of the path here)

I started from where I parked near M Street in Georgetown and got worked down to about 6 minute pace by the time I hit the 4 mile mark on the path (~3.75 miles from the car, 24:20). I felt very comfortable running the first mile of the steady section in 5:50 and kept bringing it down from there. I ran the first 5 miles up to the turnaround point (which, while flat, has a consistent slight uphill grade) in 28:45 (5:45 average). I kept pushing the pace a bit on the way back, running 27:48 (5:34 average) with a few of the middle miles under 5:30. The total time for the 10 steady miles was 56:33 (5:39 average). I was fairly tired, and ran the cooldown 3.75 miles in 26:20.

These 9 mile markers indicated my turnaround point

I was generally happy with how I felt given that this was my first effort like this in my training cycle. I got into a good rhythm (despite hopping over two trees over the path) and was able to run through a side cramp in the 7th mile of the steady section. I didn't go to the well and stayed aerobic throughout the run. With a bit more sleep and better nutritional preparation I would've felt okay to go 2-3 miles longer hard without too much trouble. That is the pace I will have to average for the whole 'thon in order to run under 2:30. Yikes.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

NW DC Loops

Time: 61:40
Distance: 9 mi.

Loopy early evening run around northwest DC. I did a 40 minute loop around to Connecticut and back through Rock Creek Park and then picked up Colin (who is coming back from an ab injury) for the last 3 miles or so.

Monday, December 15, 2008

RCP, Oregon Avenue

Time: 80:00
Distance: 12 mi.
Map (approximate)

Unseasonably warm midday run to the west side of Rock Creek Park. I wore a t-shirt and could have easily gone shirtless. I stayed on the roads, rather than hitting the usual trails, and picked up Oregon Avenue just north of Military Road. While mapping it out I just kept along the road, I actually ran on the somewhat windy paved path just to the east of it. My legs are pretty beat from the general increase in volume, but I still had enough pop to put in a sprint to make it through the light on 16th Street.

Music: Girl Talk

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Week In Review

Time: 496:45
Distance: 73.75 mi.

A decent week of training with a solid increase in volume (~20 mi.) from last week in 6 runs. I was feeling pretty tired by the end of the week, which will take some getting used to. I haven't gotten in consistent 70-80+ mile weeks for a while, which I should be getting in for the next two months.

National Mall, RCP South

Time: 84:00 (?)
Distance: 12.75 mi.

View of the east side of the National Mall towards the Capitol from the Washington Monument

Nice cool afternoon run from Colin's place in Columbia Heights. I ran down 16th Street to the White House; around the National Mall past the Capitol Building, Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial; towards Georgetown and back up through Rock Creek Park to Klingle Road. Inauguration preparations are apparent around the White House and the Capitol. My legs (particularly my quads) were a bit sore from the get-go, but it didn't get much worse throughout the run. My right sciatic nerve was acting up for a mile or two, and my right IT band is a bit tight. I enjoyed being back down on the Mall, where there are beautiful views throughout. I haven't been down there for a run since Jordan and I ran with Jilane and Meagan at the Marine Corps Marathon.

I messed up my watch, so I didn't get the exact time, but I was able to map the run out.

Music: Radiohead, Live in Saitama, Japan

After the run, I enjoyed a Pop Tart in the shower. This reminded me of being chastised for eating a Pop Tart in the shower after practice at Brown. Luckily Jordan was on my side, and he managed to one-up me by eating chicken wings in the shower soon thereafter.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

RCP Superloop

Time: 112:00
Distance: 16 mi.

Trail near Beach Drive in Rock Creek Park

Morning run with Ben from his house in Kalorama on the biggest trail loop in Rock Creek Park. It was a chilly morning, but I warmed up fairly quickly. It was great to have company and run a lot of the way on trails, which made the run fly by. It was good to bump the volume from last week's long run without raising the intensity, as my legs were pretty tired by the end, but not dead.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Day Off

Thursday, December 11, 2008

RCP Beach Drive

Time: 80:00
Distance: 12 mi.

Easy run in pretty terrible weather (just over 40 and raining). I stayed off the soggy trails and dodged cars on Beach Drive, which runs the length of Rock Creek Park. My left IT band is a little bit tight.

I can't keep myself from posting this spectacular interview with Gabe Jennings that my friend Ben Peisch sent me. Here is Jennings' daily routine:

My daily life when I train seriously is fairly boring from the philistine's point of view. I wake up at 8:30 am, I drink some sugar/fructose water and do 36 push-ups, 225 sit-ups, some yoga lunges, groin stretches, SS wheelbarrows, and SS L pivots; then I go for an hour run, finish with a sharp sprint of a 300 meter hill; directly after my run I drink some more sugar/fructose water with a raw egg on top, then I do another 36 push-ups, 440 sit-ups, variations of the yopa "pidgeon," one-legged quad pelican. While I am doing my exercises I heat up some oatmeal gruel, throw in some broiled cow liver, so that when I am done with my exercises I can immediately sit down to some hot breakfast while thumbing through Eugene's "Register Guard" periodical. After breakfast I do an assortment of chores, musical practice studying and nap. At about an hour before sunset I go for another hour run and repeat the same morning program except this time I eat white rice with my broiled cow liver, and finish my dinner with a raw beet salad with balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. I love liver! It is high in iron, fat and protein. I love its faint urine smell. mmmhhh! I love liver after a hard run! I usually get to bed a little after 10 pm. I wake up at 3:30am every morning to read Aristotle's Ethics in the original Greek, and then I take a nap at 5am until I wake up at 8:30m. If I have a girlfriend I like to make wild passionate love at 9:45pm and 8:15am respectively.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Warren Wright, Bike Path

Time: 60:35
Distance: 8.5 mi.

It was over 55 degrees and raining, which melted all of the snow on the bike path

Early morning run in Amherst. Luckily the temperature has gone up 50 degrees in the last two days, so it wasn't too bad. My legs are shot from the last few days, though, so I went very easy.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

North Amherst, Puffer's Pond

Time: 92:23
Distance: 14 mi.

I was bored. I went running for a while.

Music: Wolf Parade, Apologies to the Queen Mary and At Mount Zoomer

Monday, December 8, 2008

Long Rosen Loop

Time: 67:45
Distance: 10.5 mi.

Nice somewhat uptempo run on a very chilly afternoon (under 20 deg.). I got out the door at about 4:00, which left me finishing just after the sun set. I put on my Ekiden pre-race playlist, a diverse list of good energy music (which, on shuffle leads to some pretty random sequences... e.g. Lil' Wayne followed by Dwight Yoakam).

2009 Austin Marathon Training Plan

2008 Austin Marathon Start

After my terrible coach Tom McArdle screwed everything up for both Jordan and me in our preparation for the Marine Corps Marathon in October, I had to set my sights on a new goal. Because I can't find another coach, however, I'm going to stick with the same general training plan. It is based on five two-week cycles. Week one will have two mid-week workouts and a long easy run and week two will have one workout and a long hard effort. The fartlek, hill, and track workouts during the week will contribute to both aerobic and anaerobic strength, muscle strength and form but should never take me to the well.

Long Runs
Long Easy:build to 2:20 (140 min.) at recovery pace
Long Hard:build from 10 to 15 miles at MP+ (~5:40 pace) with a warmup and cooldown

Fartlek:4-10 intervals of 2-5 min. with 20-30 min. total volume and short running rest
Track:400-800m intervals w/4-5 mi. volume and short running rest
Hills:200-300m (45-70 sec.) hills

Consistent target of 80-90 miles per week (9-12 miles per day, plus long run)

Marathon Pace Reference
(4:22 for every 10 sec. per mile)

WeekLong RunWorkouts
1 (12/8-12/14)Long Easy: 110 min.0
2 (12/15-12/21)Long Hard: 5-10-31
3 (12/22-12/28)Long Easy: 120 min.2
4 (12/29-1/4)Long Hard: 3-12-31
5 (1/5-1/11)Long Easy: 130 min.2
6 (1/12-1/18)Long Hard: 2.5-15-2.51
7 (1/19-1/25)Long Easy: 140 min.2
8 (1/26-2/1)Long Hard: 2.5-15-2.51
9 (2/2-2/8)Long Easy: 90 min.1-2
10 (2/9-2/15)Austin Marathon0

2009 Austin Marathon Course Map

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Week In Review

Time: 370:30
Distance: 55 mi.

Despite a lot of travel (and two days off), I got in some good days of training. I also very much enjoyed exploring on the runs and I definitely saw some interesting scenery and places that I wouldn't have without pounding the ground a bit. Sunday's longer run definitely helped me feel good about getting started with a real training plan. My right glute remains somewhat sore, but definitely not worse than it has been recently. I haven't done any hamstring exercises in two weeks.

Pelham Hills, North Valley

Time: 94:10
Distance: 14.5 mi.

Back to the medium long run, as I start to build my Sundays up past 20 miles. Snow had been lightly falling all morning, but the only sections of this run that were really cold were along Amherst Road where it was very windy. I did this run once at the end of July and decided it would be a good road-based 90-minute run for today. The first 8 miles are very much uphill (I ran about 7 minute pace) and the next 6.5 are predominantly downhill (I ran just over 6 minute pace). My legs and lungs both felt surprisingly good, and I very much enjoyed clearing my head and enjoying the fresh snow.

I didn't have anything to eat before I got out for the run a little after noon, so I was hurting for fuel by the middle of the run, which was a little tough. I listened to some shuffled Radiohead for the run, including "Idiotheque" a few times.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Day Off

Friday, December 5, 2008

Parc Mont-Royal Redux

Time: 77:30
Distance: 11.5 mi.

Monument to Jacques Cartier on the north end of the Parc Mont-Royal

I headed back to the Parc Mont-Royal for my second run in Montreal. This time I found a wide switchback path that lead through the woods all the way to the top of the mountain. I explored the south end of the park as well as the adjacent cemetery. In attempting to find a way all the way around it, however, I got a bit lost near the University of Montreal and after jumping a fence to try to keep from adding on a whole lot more than I was hoping for, I headed back the way I came.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

McGill, Parc Mont-Royal

Time: 70:00
Distance: 10 mi.

View of downtown Montreal from the Chalet du Mont-Royal

Morning run near the center of Montreal starting just east of the Parc Mont-Royal. I ran south past McGill and found a small trail that lead towards the top of the mountain. It was absolutely frigid, but I got my reward for exploring the windy paths when I reached the Chalet du Mont-Royal and got a fantastic view of the downtown area. I headed back mostly the same way and added on for a few minutes around a flat park nearby.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Day Off

Slight sore throat and a bit of achy-ness is back. Preventative (and slightly lazy) day off.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Belt Line Trail, Toronto

Time: 67:15
Distance: 10 mi.

Snowy Belt Line Trail

Morning run along a bike path in Toronto that ran between the entrance to Allen Road and the Mount Pleasant Cemetery. It was a very cold morning, and I was barely wearing enough with a few long sleeve shirts and running pants. Parts of the path were a bit snow-covered and icy, as well, so I was careful all the way along. Once I got to the cemetery I still needed a bit more time to be close to 10 miles, so I headed into it. Unlike many of the cemeteries I have run in (and been kicked out of), using the paved trails between the groves of gravestones recreationally seemed accepted or even encouraged.

I had a very upbeat mix of Girl Talk and Simian Mobile Disco on to get myself out the door, but once I was going I was quite content with this bit of exploration.

Monday, December 1, 2008

South Hill Recreation Way

Time: 61:40
Distance: 9 mi.

Easy run from Tom's place in Ithaca down to the South Hill Recreation Way (I believe) which is accessible from a trail on Giles Street and runs just a bit north of and roughly parallel to Coddington Road. It was cold and a bit windy, but the cinder path was very nice for an out-and-back run.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Week In Review

Time: 196:00
Distance: 28.25

A mediocre week of training. Just 28 miles in four days. At least by the end of the week the cold was kicked.

Day Off

I was supposed to go for a run in Ithaca, but my coach told me to take the day off because he had to go to the library.

Tom's "home" at the Cornell Law Library

Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Brothers McArdle

Time: 45:00
Distance: 6.5 mi.

Morning run with Tom and George from their house in Brookline. We did their most standard loop around the Fens in Boston, and I smoked them both racing back up their hill. It's actually a pretty nice route, though, and I we enjoyed some laughs about hanging out with Tom's high school prom date last night and George losing his cell phone.

Friday, November 28, 2008

IFM in the 413

Time: 45:30
Distance: 6.5 mi.

Ian is in town for Thanksgiving, so we grabbed a jog in the middle of the day. Running around Amherst with him tends to make me a bit nostalgic, but it's nice to go with someone who knows all the routes and trails around as well as I do.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

ARHS Alumni Thanksgiving Run

Time: 37:00 (?)
Distance: 5 mi.

Annual Amherst High School cross country alumni Thanksgiving run from the Keene residence. We did a loop on Mill Lane, the bike path and back through the South Amherst common. I'm turning the corner on being sick.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Day Off

Getting un-sick.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Day Off

I really can't kick this cold. I woke up with the sore throat as bad as it was last week and very congested. I guess adjusting to running in this weather will be harder than I imagined. I am considering taking a lot of this week off, now and running fairly light next week (which will fit with travel plans). That would set me up for rolling out the marathon training plan the week of December 5th, which is about 10 weeks out from the Austin Marathon.

Monday, November 24, 2008

UMass, Amherst College

Time: 68:40
Distance: 10.25 mi.

Finally feeling decent by the afternoon to get a run in. I ran out to UMass on the bike path and then ran back through the center of town and Amherst College. I felt okay throughout the run and it was good to sweat it out a bit and cough my throat clear. Unfortunately, by the evening it was clear that I was starting to feel pretty sick again.

Today's release of Chinese Democracy inspired me to listen to some classic Guns N' Roses on Live Era: '87-'93 during the run. It is clear why there were serious tensions in the band during the Use Your Illusion tour even beyond strong personalities and drug addiction. The 8-minute version of "Move to the City," one of GNR's oldest songs, features full big band backing, including long horn and sax solos--clearly a reflection of Axl's interest in moving the band in a more grandiose direction. A lot of the rest of the material compiled for the rest of the album is GNR at their best, though, including a rousing sing-along version of "Knockin' on Heaven's Door." I was two years old when they formed... I'm not sure if that makes me really old or them really old.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Week In Review

Time: 296:30
Distance: 43.5 mi.

The runs that I got in felt good, for the most part. This week was derailed by being sick, though. Just over 40 miles in 4 days isn't terrible, all things considered.

Day Off

Since this week is shot anyway (I know that is a stupid way to think about it, but whatever) I'm going to rest up another day.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Day Off

I guess I should've waited out the cold a bit more. The run yesterday seems to have set me back to as bad as I felt on Thursday morning.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Ice Age Coming, Ice Age Coming

Time: 75:00
Distance: 11 mi.

Okay, so it's more like winter is coming, but I'm listening to Radiohead's Idioteque while I'm writing this, and it fits well enough. It is going to take a bit to get used to cold weather running again, which I haven't done for any substantial period of time in two years. I waited to clear out my sinuses and throat and for the temperature to go up a few degrees and before heading out in the early afternoon. The run took me up North Valley to the power line entrance to Amethyst Brook. I followed the trail in through the main intersection of trails and explored in the section that has been largely torn up with logging. Part of it was similar to running up a partly-frozen river bed. Instead of heading straight back through Echo Hill when I got to the base of the conservation area, I ran behind Fort River, down South East street and through Wentworth Farm, which is surprisingly only about 5 minutes longer. My hamstring was a bit tight starting around 60 minutes, so I should probably give it some more attention. The cold persists, but I didn't feel as bad as I was going to.

I listened to Only By The Night all the way through before putting on the more uptempo (and somewhat more abrasive) Ghostland Observatory album Paparazzi Lightning.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Day Off

As predicted, I woke up with a decent cold that will probably take a few days to shake. Given that I'm still building back up, I'm going to stay on the cautious side here and take the day off. It would be very lame to be sick for the next couple of weeks, so hopefully I'm nipping this in the bud.

I did find some good running-related reading on this slow day, though. First, Wee Man and Tarpy have jumped on the bandwagon and started online running logs. I learned that Wee Man looks like a guinea pig these days, and that Tarpy is blind from spilling coffee in his eyes. Or something. There's some good chatter over on the LetsRun forums, as well (which might disappear fairly soon). I also finally got around to reading last week's New York Times profile of Tom Donnelly, Haverford's head track coach. He is a model for collegiate coaching in any sport. (And famous for--as I first learned of him--sending handwritten recruiting letters to high school kids.)

Also, I checked out a bunch of new music, ranging form a guy who hasn't put out an album in 15 years (Axl Rose) to a guy who has probably been on at least 15 albums this year (Lil' Wayne).

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Hot Damn I'm Cold

Time: 86:30
Distance: 12 mi.

After waking up early feeling a bit groggy and congested and checking the thermometer (23 deg. F), I decided that I would wait until the afternoon and maybe just get in a shorter effort. I put the run off a little bit too long, though, and once I was out I got a bit anxious and decided to explore a bit which resulted in an 85 minute run instead of the 40-50 minutes that I headed out the door to do. It was all good through about 45 minutes but once I started down Hulst Road, the sun had finally really set and the wind picked up I was very, very cold. At that point I was just running home, though, so I put my head down and finished it out. Now, post-run, I definitely feel a cold coming on. I predict a mild sore throat, headache and stiffness by tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Bike Path Farm Loop

Time: 70:30
Distance: 11 mi.

Dry cornfields along the side of Moody Bridge Road, about 6 miles into the run

Morning run with a slight variation of a run that I did this summer. There were actually two main differences between the two runs: first, that day had a heat advisory and this morning was 30 degrees as I was heading out the door; second, I went back Moody Bridge and Pomeroy instead of past Mill River. Due to the cold weather and some wind coming across the farm fields my legs were a bit stiff the whole way. My right glute and hip flexor were a bit tired and getting sore by the end of the run. I got the pace going a little bit, averaging 6:25 for the whole run, and running the Station Road mile in 6:10.

I listened to Wolf Parade's 2005 album Apologies to the Queen Mary straight through, as well as the first half of At Mount Zoomer, which came out earlier this year. I haven't really given the new album a chance yet, but I was pleasantly surprised with what I heard today--particularly Call It A Ritual.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Amherst Loop

Time: 64:45
Distance: 9.5 mi.

Easy evening loop through the Amherst College trails, past the High School, through the center of town and back on Mill Lane and the bike path. I picked up the pace through town to race some college kid who was running about 6:30 pace. I got ahead of him and then he stopped at the main intersection as I blew through it.

The cool, crisp dusk was well accompanied by the ambient sounds of Radiohead's In Rainbows (and the first few tracks of OK Computer).

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Week In Review

Time: 343:30
Distance: 60.5 mi.

A good week of training, with good runs in Amherst, DC and New York. I would've liked to bump the milage up a bit, but taking a day off and not doing a longer run dashed that plan. Traveling kept me from doing as many of the hamstring exercises I had been doing before this week, but my hamstring felt okay throughout the week. Next week I should shoot for no days off, a medium-long (~90 minute) run, and 70+ miles.

Prospect Park

Time: 71:30
Distance: 11.5 mi.

The boathouse at Prospect Park

The stately Brooklyn Museum, which I ran past on the way back to Eliot's place

Eliot and I ran in the afternoon from his house in Brooklyn. We ran over to Prospect Park and looped around on some trails and fields in the park for about 20 minutes before getting back to the entrance. He headed home and I kept going, this time on the ~3.5 mile road loop that runs around the park (check out the new "automatic" line drawing on gmap-pedometer... very cool). Now, I was planning on doing one loop, adding on a little more and calling it a day, but once I saw markings every 1/4 mile I took my general boredom out on the soles of my shoes and started to hammer. I did the first loop at 6:00 pace and just a bit under and went right into a second loop at 5:45-50 pace. I was over 10 miles by the time I got back to the entrance again, and starting to get pretty tired, so I headed back to his place.

My body felt okay, overall, though the pace did feel like a bit of an adjustment. When I finished I had some soreness behind my right knee, which I suspect is an extension of the right hammy issues.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

RCP South, Georgetown

Time: 68:00
Distance: 10 mi.

My run took me over the Dumbarton Bridge and past the Bison that guard it

Easy morning run from Colin's south in Rock Creek Park to a short loop through Dumbarton Oaks and Georgetown and back. As opposed to Thursday's run, it was humid and fairly hot. Strange.

I spent most of the run listening to the Handsome Furs, who will hopefully have some new material out soon.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Day Off

A busy day in D.C. mandated a day off.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

RCP Middle Trail

Time: 62:50
Distance: 9 mi.

A very hateful morning run in the City of Hate. It was in the low 40s and went from a light drizzle to an outright downpour in the course of the run. I started at Colin's house and went out and back on the "middle trail" heading north in Rock Creek Park, which runs generally along Beach Drive on the far side of the river. The right side of my back and my right glute are both pretty sore from the drive yesterday and my legs felt like they were locking up on the way back as my quads got cold.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Rosen Loop (Middle Street)

Time: 64:30
Distance: 10 mi.

I think this is my first run of the fall where the temperature was below freezing heading out the door. It was a crisp cold, though, and it didn't take too much time to warm up. I decided to head a little farther once I reached Bay Road to Middle Street instead of South East Street to see if I could make this run an even 10 miles, instead of the 9.5 which I have been running it recently. That seemed to do the trick, as the final distance of this run was spot-on. I ran a little bit up-tempo from most of my recent distance runs, getting to about 6:20 pace by the time I was heading towards Bay Road. My legs are generally tired, and my right glute is sore, but nothing major to speak of.

I ran with the boys from Kings of Leon today, shuffling through all four of their albums. Unfortunately the timing of my trip to D.C. this week ensured that I would miss Kings of Leon shows both in the District early in the week and Boston later in the week.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Quabbin Park

Time: 81:30
Distance: 11.5 mi.

I headed to the southern tip of the Quabbin Reservoir to explore the trails/roads in "Quabbin Park" near the Winsor Dam. I looked at both the topo map and Massachusetts DCR map of the area and figured there had to be more trails than I saw on either one. Having no real idea where I was headed made for a bit of a disjointed run, but it was fun to fly through the woods with no idea in particular where I was going to pop out. The run took me out on some trails, I ran right up to the tower at the top without even trying to get there. I finished up running across the top of the dam past the visitor's center.

The Quabbin Tower, which overlooks the southern portion of the reservoir, as well as parts of Belchertown, Ware and Palmer

The Winsor Dam (left) and visitor's center (center)

Again, despite a very hilly run, my right hamstring was in okay shape throughout. It was

Monday, November 10, 2008

North Valley, Amethyst Loop

Time: 60:00
Distance: 8.5 mi.
Map (approximate)

Morning run that I wasn't particularly excited for as I headed out the door. It was a bit chilly, though we really haven't had any truly cold days yet, so I can't really complain. To try to get the good buzz going (and turn my brain off), I took a page out of Keith's book and queued up some DJs on the iPod. I listened to Simian Mobile Disco's Attack Decay Sustain Release straight through, which did the trick for the most part. While some of the songs are a little abrasive (e.g. It's The Beat), others (such as I Believe (SMD Space Dub), Clock) make me want to own the roads. Plus, all of this stuff reminds me of one of the most fun concert experiences I've ever had with Ian and Brian at last year's SXSW in Austin.

It's hard to judge the distance of some of these runs that go through the Echo Hill or Amethyst trails. The half mile I timed on Old Farm Road had me at 6:30 pace, but obviously some of the hilly trail sections were slower.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Week In Review

Time: 411:00
Distance: 60.5 mi.

This was a decent first week back on the horse, with 60 miles in just 6 days. I was pleasantly surprised with how my hamstring handled the increased milage, probably mostly because I kept the pace easy throughout the week.

College Town

Time: 83:30
Distance: 12.5 mi.
Map (approximate due to trails)

I didn't sleep very well last night, so I woke up a bit groggy and decided to wait until the afternoon to run. It wasn't a bad decision, as I was bored and ready for some stimulation by about 2:00. While tying my shoes I was thinking I would just head out for an easy 6-8 miles, which would have made for a perfectly good come-back week. There's something about it being a Sunday, though, that still pulls on me to go on a longer run. Anything longer than this really wouldn't have made sense, so I decided to shoot for about 80 minutes. I was very encouraged with how my hamstring felt through about an hour, but after that it got fairly tired and sore. Still, it is better than it was a week ago, so I should continue to be vigilant about the stretching and exercise regimen.

The run passed right by the UMass library, the tallest library in the United States

The actual run was fairly uneventful, but I felt good covering ground and was content looping through Amherst College and UMass before heading back by way of Wildwood Cemetery and Echo Hill. I'm not sure how this came out to be only 7:00 pace, as all of the measured miles I knew along the way were under 6:40, but few sections of trail were soaked, which must have slowed me down a bit.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Northfield Mountain

Time: 77:00
Distance: 11 mi.

I headed up to Northfield Mountain for a run and to watch the Western Massachusetts High School Cross Country Championships, which has taken place there for decades. I had enough time to get in 45 minutes of running before catching the guys for their 2+ mile warmup and then I tacked on a few more minutes before the race started. The beginning of my run was basically straight up the mountain, so while it was slow I was working pretty hard. It felt good, though, and despite being misty it was a beautiful morning up there on the cross country ski trails. Even the hills didn't seem to get my hamstring too badly, which was nice--I think I'm making some progress on it even while building up the mileage again. During the race I ran about a mile to watch from a few different places, but I managed to stay off the hilly section of the first mile of the course.

The Amherst guys ran well and captured the win, which was the first back-to-back win since we won every Western Mass title between 1998 and 2002 and secured Amherst with eight titles in the last 10 years. The guys ran under control to save themselves for next week's state meet at Franklin Park in Boston and still came away with just 40 points, beating next-up Northampton by 42. For more, check out the full results at CoolRunning.

And for shits and giggles, here's a picture from the 2001 Western Mass meet (taken by Alison Wade), where we scored a near-perfect 17 points before capturing the state title the next week:

James Dietz, Matt Lacey, me and Ian Marcus (left to right)

Friday, November 7, 2008

Back From Northampton

Time: 63:30
Distance: 9.5 mi.

The bridge at the Northampton end of the bike path

Fairly easy distance run back from Northampton where I was dropping off my parents' car to get repaired. I started the first mile on the bike path, before heading over towards Moody Bridge Road. It was nice to zone out mentally on the time/distance knowing that I just had to make it home. The hammy felt surprisingly good, probably assisted by 30 minutes of heated seats before the run.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Rosen Loop

Time: 66:09
Distance: 10 mi.

Easy morning run on the Rosen Loop (with a short neighborhood add-on). It was cool and misting, but the long sleeved shirt I had on was definitely overkill after I warmed up. Hamstring got pretty tight, but I did some good exercises and stretching after I was done.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Fake Track Workout, UMass Loop

Time: 36:00
Distance: 5 mi.

I showed up at the high school to help out with an elementary school meet that Chris Gould puts on. Instead I was immediately roped into a workout with Atticus Brigham who missed the beginning of practice with the team. Despite just putting down some Wheat Thins with hummus and no warmup, I threw down 800m in 2:30, 600m in 1:50, and 400 in 68. After that I ran with Bob Rosen, Atticus, and some of the other high school guys on a slow loop through UMass. Western Mass is Sunday!

The Charles

Time: 28:07
Distance: 4 mi.

Early morning run with Taylor after watching election returns last night in Boston. We had a lot to talk about, but had to try to finish up in time to move our cars. Mine was fine, Taylor's got towed. No fun.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Day Off

Election day in America. Was up in New Hampshire all day working on some GOTV stuff. Ran a total of 200m in approximately 28 seconds away from two Doberman Pinchers at some 92 year-old woman's house.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Echo Hill, Amethyst Brook

Time: 60:00
Distance: 8.5 mi.

Headed out for no particular distance, just starting to get back in the routine (though I finished right at 60 minutes). Headed through the Echo Hill trails to Amethyst Brook and ran back on South Valley and Harkness. Hamstring and right plantar pretty tight on this chilly morning.

I did some post-run hamstring strengthening and stretching exercises which will be part of the regular schedule until this thing starts feeling more normal.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Week of October 27 - November 2

A complete week off from running. I'm not sure when the last time I took 7 straight days off, but it certainly hasn't happened that many times in the last few years. I feel sluggish after doing it, and my right hamstring still seems pretty tight and a little sore. I did get to see some good racing, though, when I was visiting New York. Friday was Heps and Sunday I went out to watch the NYC Marathon. Heps was a bit of a nostalgic experience, as it took me back to a time when I was one of those people singularly committed, with a bunch of teammates, to one goal. Despite some very rough performances the Brown men eeked out 5th place. Watching the marathon solidified my feeling from last weekend that I really have to try to run a good 'thon. There's so much energy at that race, and it was a perfect day for it.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Week In Review

Time: 232:30
Distance: 34.5 mi.

My first "week off" before starting a new training cycle. The two runs in DC were great, but my hamstring is (not surprisingly) still on the fritz.

Marine Corps Marathon

Time: 113:00
Distance: 17 mi.

Finally the Marine Corps Marathon is upon us. Jordan and I came up woefully short in our preparations, but we didn't want to miss getting involved by helping out Team MJ. If Meagan and Jilane ran well maybe we could lul them into a false sense of security about a future OJ vs. MJ matchup. (Okay... kidding, kidding.) The plan for the day was to help pace Jilane and Meagan through the first 16 miles of the marathon just around 3:00 (6:52/mile) pace.

Jordan came over to Colin's to drag me out of bed and head down to the start of the marathon, near the Pentagon. We made it down to the start line in enough time to jog a little bit and get a decent spot near the start before a howitzer shot announced the commencement of the race. The race conditions were nearly perfect, but it did take a couple of miles to get warmed up and going (the race is hilly through about the first 10 miles).

The start of the 2008 Marine Corps Marathon

We enjoyed running together through the first 8 miles at which point Meagan (and Jordan) had to make a pit stop. I ran with Jilane through the next few miles from Georgetown out past the halfway mark over by East Patomac Park. We were a bit quick through the half (1:27:30) but Jilane seemed relaxed and I was even trying to pull in the reins a bit after a few miles under 6:30. I let her go at 16 miles with confidence that she was on the right track, but I wouldn't get any update until I saw her finish. She ran a great second half (about 1:30:50) and finished in 10th! Meagan had a rough stomach day, which I can definitely sympathize with, and had to stop around 20 miles.

Splits: 7:03, 7:04, 6:31, 6:25, 6:34, 6:44, 6:55, 6:31, 6:45, 6:23, 6:25, 6:47, 6:34 (1:27:30 half), 6:42, 6:42, 6:32 (1:46:35 at 16 miles)

I was very glad that despite not fulfilling my marathon goal, I could help Jilane out, and her hard work paid off. I felt fine and was having a lot of fun being in the race, despite a bit of hamstring tightness. Once Meagan reached 16 miles Jordan dropped out as well and we walked back to the Iwo Jima memorial for the finish.

For a lot more on the day, see Jilane, Meagan and Jordan's logs, as well as the full race results.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Day Off

Planned day off... I think.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Rock Creek Park

Time: 57:37
Distance: 7.5 mi.

After driving down to Washington, DC last night I ran with Jordan and Aja who I picked up at the airport this afternoon. We ran from Colin's over to Rock Creek Park and did a loop up the Western Ridge trail and back through the middle of the park. Hamstring was tight, but running slow kept it from getting sore.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Day Off

Planned day off.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Day Off

Planned day off.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Day Off

Planned day off.

I'm going to try to do some exercises to get my hip, glute and hamstring strength and flexibility back. I want to do these every single day that I take off in the next two weeks, and if I can some of the days that I do run as well. Today I did hamstring curls on the ball, face-up and face-down bridge leg raises, hip flexor raises on my back with weights, and side and back bridge glute extensions (great names I just made up there, huh?).

Monday, October 20, 2008

Rosen Loop

Time: 62:31
Distance: 10 mi.

Just for the hell of it, after taking yesterday off, I took a shot at running an up-tempo (6:00ish, probably close to today's target marathon pace--2:37) 10 miler to see how that would feel. Well, it felt nice to run that fast, but my hamstring was tight and sore by 5 miles. I might actually have to try to make this better in the next few weeks.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Week In Review

Time: 349:30
Distance: 50.5 mi.

Race week, travel week, adjusting to the U.S. and life in Amherst week.

Reflecting on Monday's Ekiden race has left me with two major thoughts: first, that I really enjoy running and racing, and that I would like to continue doing both with some degree of seriousness; second, that the next time I set out for a serious race, I'd like to be in good shape. With these two things in mind, as well as the continuing nagging state of my right hamstring, I think that I am going to take a few weeks of whatever I need to get my hamstring right and take a break from the last block of training. That means no Marine Corps Marathon, which would've been fun, but Team OJ was screwed anyway and the odds of hurting myself badly were high. When I get focused again, I'll have a training plan to be in racing shape by late winter or early spring.

"Go read my training log you muppet!" - Tom

Also of note, my friend (and training advisor) Tom McArdle has apparently both decided to live the dream once again and join the world of washed-up runners blogging his "training." What is wrong with Tom McArdle? (No, seriously. Not just the name of the blog. Does anyone know what is wrong with him?) Keith Kelly is also onto the run-blogging with his aptly-named Fitter, Happier, More Productive log.

Day Off

Unplanned day off. I waited until the evening, and then decided to call it off. My hamstring is worrying me more and more as it nags. I may have to actually try to fix this, rather than just ignoring it (my plan for the last 4-5 weeks that I've been feeling it a little bit).

Saturday, October 18, 2008

JV 5000 Road Race

Time: 60:00
Distance: 9 mi.

Goal: Win, don't kill it.
Race: 16:32 (5:23, 5:09, 5:27) for first.

I headed over to West Springfield pretty early this morning to run a small 5k with a little bit of prize money. I've been unmotivated to run since I've gotten back, so I figured that this was a good enough way to get a decent effort in. It was a chilly morning and I was still a little cold after my warmup around the neighborhoods near the school where the race started. I really appreciate the heated seats in my car on mornings like this, though, and my hamstrings got a 30 minute warmup on the drive over.

It was apparent that I would be running with two other guys right away: Carlos Rivera, an icon of the Western Massachusetts road race scene, and Sean Callihan, a younger guy. We ran together through the first somewhat downhill mile in 5:23, which felt like a crawl (despite my side cramp from coffee this morning). The next mile was very downhill, and as we started to reach the second mile marker I made a move to separate from the other guys. Carlos stayed with me for a little bit, but as we started to climb up all of the elevation that we descended in the first two miles I opened up some room and finished comfortably in 5:27.

The whole race was a pleasant experience, and a nice fundraiser for a leukemia charity. The race is a memorial for a local boy who died of cancer a few years ago.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Bike Path

Time: 60:00
Distance: 9 mi.

Easy evening run from the house out-and-back on the bike path. It was getting dark on the way out, and there was a great sunset over some of the South Amherst hills, but it was nearly pitch-black on the way back. Good thing I've run this bike path and the trail that leads to it many times.

I did finally bust out a new pair of shoes (more Nike Air Zoom Elite 3s), as my old ones were just over 500 miles... more than I've put on the Elites before, and probably more than they should be used.

Right hamstring tight throughout the run.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Echo Hill, Amethyst Brook

Time: 52:30
Distance: 7.5 mi.

The view from my bedroom window this morning

I return to New England to find it already deep in true autumn. Seriously jetlagged and having been awake for a good portion of the night, I got out relatively early with no particular intended distance. I wanted to be on the trails, so I headed into Echo Hill and did a short loop in Amethyst Brook. My legs feel like Jell-O and my right hamstring was tight and sore throughout the run.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Shibuya, Tokyo

Time: 40:00
Distance: 5.5 mi.

Easy morning run from our hotel in the Shibuya district of Tokyo. Rather than try to navigate the unbelievable maze of Tokyo's streets, I ran a few loops in a relatively large park less than a mile from the hotel. Hachiko Crossing, the intersection in front of the hotel (featured in Lost in Translation) is apparently the busiest pedestrian intersection in the world. I ran into Sage, who had apparently left just a few minutes before I did. My legs are fairly shot, particularly my right hamstring and left shin, but it was better to get out and sweat it out for a bit.

Daytime view from our hotel, featuring the park I ran in just below the high-rise skyline

Nighttime view of Hachiko Crossing from the hotel

After breakfast and a walk around the area near the hotel we got ready for another 20+ hours of travel.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Izumo Cycling Path

Time: 66:21
Distance: 9.5 mi.

Despite the race and late night festivities yesterday I was up early yet again. Mark and I headed back out on the bike path towards the Sea of Japan. We got out a little farther than last time and looped around on a few neighborhood roads. I felt better than I would've expected for the first half, but we were both pretty beat by the last few miles.

There are small canals throughout Izumo, including along most of the cycling path

Many of the houses in Izumo back up to fields

We saw a steady stream of kids, ranging from elementary to high school ages heading to school along the way. They all wear uniforms and most ride matching bikes with funny matching helmets. I called out "ohayo" (good morning) to a group of young boys who returned the greeting and shouted "gambate!" as well.

In the afternoon we traveled back to Tokyo where we have one night before leaving Japan.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Izumo Ekiden (出雲駅伝)

Time: 70:00
Distance: 10 mi.

Goal: as a team, finish in the range of last year's performance (12th); individually, try to run a smart race aiming for around 3:07 pace (around 26:30) for my 8.5k leg and if possible gaining position
Race: 17th overall; 27:09 (3:11 pace, 25:33 8k pace), but I gained one spot

IVY League Team
Leg 1 (8k): Sage Canaday - 24:47, 19th fastest split, 19th place
Leg 2 (5.8k): Emery Mort - 17:26, 15th fastest split, 18th place
Leg 3 (8.5k): Owen Washburn - 27:09, 17th fastest split, 17th place
Leg 4 (6.5k): Ari Zamir - 19:47, 16th fastest split, 17th place
Leg 5 (5k): Jon-Paul Mandelburg - 15:43,16th fastest split, 17th place
Leg 6 (10.2k): Mark Olivier - 32:29, 16th fastest split, 17th place
Total (44k): 2:17:21, 17th place

This race itself was unlike any other running experience I've had. First, it was immediately apparent how serious everyone involved in this race takes it. The atmosphere around the athletes reminded me of NCAA cross country and in addition the whole town (and many visitors) seemed to come out for it. Throughout my leg there were locals lining the streets cheering in encouragement, usually shouting "gambate!" (apparently meaning "go for it" or "do your best"). I was dropped off at my exchange point (You Me Town grocery) a few hours before I was slated to get the race sash so I waited in a tent with my fellow third leg runners. When the race began we were able to watch the country-wide broadcast on Fuji TV on an HD TV, though many of the runners were tuning into it on their cell phones.

Waiting in the pre-race tent

Sage at the start of the race

From a running perspective it was also quite different. The race is fairly spread out even by the end of the second leg, so a good portion (or all) of a runner's leg might be run alone. Sage ran a tough leg that went out blazing fast (2:41 at the front, 2:44? for him) and passed off the sash in 19th. Emery picked up one place and I took off about a minute back from the closest runner. For the first 5-6k I could only see one runner ahead on the long straightaways and had no idea if I was making any progress. I was not running particularly fast, as despite going out the first 1k in 3:05 I hit the half way mark, which included two hills over bridges, in 13:40 (3:13/k average). With about 2k remaining in my leg I realized that the runner I was chasing seemed to be coming back. Chasing him down I ran a bit faster in my second half (13:29, 3:10/k average). He put up a little bit of a fight as I caught him in the last quarter mile, but I was able to outkick him and pass off to Ari ahead. It was hotter than I was expecting and my stomach was in pretty bad shape by the end.

Short clips of the beginning and end of the race (video by Andy Pitts and Sage Canaday)

We agreed at the end that we were happy enough with our race. While falling back to 17th was not what we had wanted, given the hot weather and our fitness, it was a reasonable result. As Emery said, "not bad for a bunch of 15:00 5k guys." There were some very impressive performances by other athletes, including a number of Kenyans. The fastest time on my leg was 24:37 (2:53/k, or 23:10 8k pace) and the anchor for the winning Nihon University ran 28:28 for 10.2k (27:54 10k pace). See the full results (translated by Google) for more, or if you really want to know the details of the race, check out this blog.

I will also try to post another recap of the trip with more photos as I get them.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Week In Review

Time: 274:15
Distance: 41 mi.

A pre-race and long travel week. The day-long trip from San Francisco to Izumo took a lot out of me (and cost one day), and not sleeping particularly well throughout the last few weeks is catching up to me. That being said, touring the course and the other pre-race activities have made me very excited for the experience.

Izumo Stadium

Time: 31:00
Distance: 4.5 mi.

Drive along the coast up to the lighthouse

Sage and Emery at the Izumo Lighthouse

Ari, Mark and Jimmy with me at the top of the lighthouse

Beautiful rocky coast near the lighthouse

Emery and Jon-Paul climbing down to the water

After driving over the entire course of tomorrow's Ekiden race and checking out the Izumo Lighthouse along the coast, we went for an easy run from Izumo Stadium, a track-only facility where the alternates for the Ekiden (Jimmy Wyner, Jeff Gaudette, and Andy Pitts) will run a 5k tomorrow evening. We ran four miles through a nice small neighborhood that is closer to the mountains that surround Izumo. I did 3 x 200m strides and then jogged barefoot on the infield a bit. We also got a chance to check out the competition, as many runners from other teams were doing workouts at the track. Driving over the course definitely helped me start to get excited and focused for tomorrow's race.

The outside of Izumo Stadium

This evening we had an "opening ceremony" where each team was introduced. We also got to listen to a number of long speeches in Japanese and see a local student dance troupe.

Team with guides for tomorrow's race

Team at the opening ceremony

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Sea of Japan

Time: 64:00
Distance: 9.5 mi.

We got out early in the morning again, with the same group of guys meeting for a run. We decided to run on the Izumo Cycling Road, which goes northwest through the city and towards the Japan Sea. The beginning of the run was similar to the mixed light industrial/small farms and residential areas that we saw on yesterday's run. It got nicer as we got farther out and it got more rural as the path veered away from the Takasegawa River. We unexpectedly ran up to the beach as we were getting close to 30 minutes and ran out to touch the water. Mark and I decided that there wouldn't be much of an opportunity to go in the Sea of Japan again, so we decided to jump in. On the way back Mark, Sage and I started running a little bit harder (maybe 6:20 pace?) which felt good. After a few very easy days my legs were feeling lethargic. My hamstring was tight throughout, but not too sore.

We had a busy and interesting day, beginning with a special tour of the Izumo Taisha Shrine, one of the most important Shinto shrines in Japan. We then went to a very nice lunch reception with the mayor of Izumo and important local cultural and national sporting officials. Finally, we ended the day at a nearby onsen (hot springs), which was fun and hopefully also physically refreshing.

Our primary means of travel around Izumo is a tour bus

Walking up to the Izumo Taisha Shrine

Main area of Izumo Taisha Shrine

Team at the inner shrine

Lunch with the mayor of Izumo and other local officials

(Photos by Andy Pitts and Sage Canaday)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Tour de Izumo

Time: 59:00
Distance: 8.5 mi.

Izumo is on Japan's west coast, not far from South Korea

It was good that we decided to head out for a 7 AM run, because I was up around 5 AM and wouldn't have wanted to wait much longer. Emery got out the door a bit earlier and Jeff didn't come with. Thus, Ari, Jimmy, Mark, Jon-Paul, Andrew, Sage and I hit the roads of the city somewhat aimlessly. We ran through commercial, somewhat industrial and residential areas in a bit of a loop from our hotel. This part of the city is not exactly beautiful, though there is some nice architecture and we ran over a very large red bridge.

We spent some of the rest of the day walking around the city and visiting the museum of the history of Izumo. The food so far, mostly at the hotel, has been very good. We each have our own very small room here that seems to be configured in just the right way as to not feel cramped. There are a few interesting quirks: you have to place the keychain in a port in the wall to activate the electricity for the room, so when you leave the lights, air conditioning, etc. all are automatically turned off. Also, all of the lights, a radio, and the AC are controlled by a very Wes Anderson control panel in the bedside table. And the bottled water has dragons on it.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Day Off

Arriving, finally, at the Izumo Airport

I basically lost this day, as traveling from the west coast I lost 16 hours and traveled 19 hours to get to Izumo.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Day Off

I took off from SFO on Wednesday at 11:30 AM and landed in Tokyo on Thursday at 2:00 PM. Well... that was a short day. I'll blame the International Date Line for no run today.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Golden Gate Park Fartlek

Time: 57:14
Distance: 9 mi.

Target: 4 x 3:00 with 2:00 rest
Workout: ran the whole thing, focusing on trying to feel out "faster than 8k pace"

Golden Gate Park

Knowing that the running for the rest of the week will likely be very light, I decided that despite the soreness and tightness in my hamstring, it would be worth it to get in some sort of harder effort at "race pace" or faster. I ran 4 x 3:00 with 2:00 easy and felt okay throughout. In fact, my legs felt very good on the cooldown, and I think that getting things going a bit harder was a good call.

Monday, October 6, 2008

The Embarcadero

Time: 63:00
Distance: 9.5 mi.

Morning run down Market Street to The Embarcadero and back. The whole run was a lot of tourist and shopper dodging, which I have avoided most of the trip, but it was fun to see this part of San Francisco and run down by the water. I got to a small beach, touched the water, and headed back. My hamstring was still tight throughout the run, as it has been the last few weeks when running in the morning. Funny to think I'll be on the other side of that ocean in just a few days...

Running keeps my head on right.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Week In Review

Time: 348:30
Distance: 51.5 mi.

Very nice to be in San Francisco, but definitely not ideal training conditions, especially dealing with my hamstring. The runs here are very pretty though. Golden Gate Park is great, and running in the city includes repeated "wow" views from the many hills. Somehow I hit the exact same milage as last week.

Tour de San Francisco

Time: 82:00
Distance: 12 mi.

Palace of Fine Arts, located between the Marina and Presidio

Ran up to Ian's, down to the Marina, across towards the Golden Gate Bridge, up through the Presidio (past some road race), back over a few other hills. Fun run, nice to catch up with Ian, but a bit of a pain in the ass... literally... with all the hills. By the afternoon my right hamstring and left IT band were sore.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Day Off

Due to poor logtistics, I missed running with Hanley, Welsh, Chris Mah, and Noah Kaufman in Palo Alto on Saturday morning. And it wasn't really going to happen in the afternoon. And dammit my hamstring is still in bad shape.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Golden Gate Polo Field Tempo

Time: 74:00
Distance: 11.5 mi.

Target: 4.5 miles (6 laps of the polo fields) a bit over 5:00 pace
Workout: 3 miles (4 laps of the polo fields) in 15:49 (5:17 pace)

Ran in the evening, and it was not a great workout. I warmed up 4 miles to the polo fields in Golden Gate Park which have a dirt track around it that appears to be very close to 3/4 of a mile. I was going to try to run 6 laps (4.5 miles), but I only made it 4 (3 miles) before my hamstring and stomach acted up enough to make me call it. It was slow from the get-go, reflecting the conditions (ground was soft and it was very windy on the long stretch) and my condition, as well as a bit of a guess of the true distance.

On my way out I did help a guy on Fell St. heading out whose car ran out of gas about 100m from the gas station.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Day Off

Right hamstring very sore again. Flying didn't help.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Golden Gate Park

Time: 69:00
Distance: 10 mi.

It was a beautiful morning in San Francisco: a sunny 65 degrees with a light breeze. I ran out to Golden Gate Park, which is a great place to run. It is more diverse than many urban parks, as there are a number of different garden areas, a polo field, other sports fields, museums, statues, and monuments. I ran once around the polo field to determine how big the loop around was (probably 3/4 mi.) and found some trails here and there connecting different areas of the park. It was fun to just wander and still not even see a large area of it.

My hamstring is very, very tight. I was hoping it would warm up throughout the run, but instead it seemed to get more sore. I was running very easily, but still was feeling like I was adjusting my stride to adjust for and compensate for its tightness. The focus of the next few weeks will undoubtedly have to be to stay healthy more than to gain fitness.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Morris Williams Miles

Time: 81:00
Distance: 12 mi.

Target: 4 x 1 mile starting around 5:00 and dropping, 3:00 rest
Workout: 5:02.6, 4:53.2, 4:50.0, 4:51.5

Luckily my flight out of Austin wasn't until late morning, so I had time to meet the Texas team for another workout. Coach Hayes had the guys doing mile repeats over at the Morris Williams golf course, which was in the realm of what I wanted to do this week and definitely better than doing something on my own. He mapped out a hilly mile loop on the course and I was surprised how good I felt in general hitting all of these intervals. I ran with Jake, Victor, Kyle who ran six miles and Jacob who did four.

Warming up my right hamstring was very tight again and I felt it right away in the workout. I would've liked to get after it and see if I could run the last two (which the guys hit in 4:47, 4:43) but my stride was starting to get off as my leg and hip got pretty tight. A flatter loop would've been more ideal for this, but I like the idea of running hilly miles.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Town Lake

Time: 42:20
Distance: 6 mi.

Town Lake from my flight out of Austin on Tuesday

Evening run with Brian, Carmody and Ring. We ran from Barton Springs out on Town Lake so that we could finish and jump in the water. We grabbed burritos at Freebirds beforehand, so that we could enjoy dinner after the swim. It was a really nice evening, even though it was dark by the time we were finished. This was a great way to spend my last night in town. My hamstring was a little tight by the end, but running in the evening definitely gave it time to warm up.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Week In Review

Time: 357:00
Distance: 51.5 mi.

I didn't feel nearly as good as I was hoping this week, and taking two days off and getting only one workout was not ideal. That being said, I am ending the week feeling good. In addition, running with the guys in Austin was very refreshing.

Town Lake, Downtown

Time: 80:00
Distance: 11.5 mi.

Brian and I started running with John Ring down at Town Lake. Ring went about 5 miles and Brian and I continued around Town Lake and back up Trinity through campus and back to Larry Lane. My hamstring and legs in general felt much, much better than Thursday, so taking the two days off may have been a good call. Despite being a mild morning, by the time we were done it had gotten fairly hot and we were pretty tired.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Day Off

Somewhat planned day off... my hamstring still feels a bit sore and I really want to get rid of my dead legs.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Day Off

Planned day off.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

East Side, Town Lake

Time: 60:00
Distance: 8.5 mi.

A very easy morning run from Brian, Carmody and Ring's place on the East Side with Burnham, Carmody and Joe. We weaved down the streets on the East Side to Town Lake and then back up. It wasn't the prettiest run, and my legs are totally shot. I probably haven't recovered properly and am dehydrated, but I'm not sure why they feel quite this bad. I think tomorrow will be a day off.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Time: 83:00
Distance: 12 mi.

Fairly easy morning run with Jake. We were supposed to meet the whole team, but we missed them by about 3 minutes. They took a different route back somehow and we didn't see them until we were back in the Barton Springs parking lot. My legs were tired the whole way and my right hamstring and hip flexor are both fairly sore. The next few days should be fairly easy, and I may skip working out until the beginning of next week.

Izumo Ekiden Preview

Taisha Shrine, an important Shinto site in Izumo

The Japanese take road relay races, locally called Ekiden (駅伝, or "station" and "transmit"), very seriously. A number of Ekiden relays attract international-caliber teams from across the world, most notably the Chiba Ekiden. For the last ten years, a foundation has selected and sponsored a team of Ivy League alumni in the Izumo Ekiden, which is run by the Inter-University Athletic Union of Japan. A team selected by Japan's University Athletic Union comes to the United States every year, as well, usually to race in the CVS Downtown 5k in Providence.

The race map, broken down into each leg

The Izumo Ekiden is 44k, divided into six legs: 8k, 5.8k, 8.5k, 6.5k, 5k, 10.2k. The race tends to be very competitive, particularly up front--the record for the 8k leg is 22:30 and for the 10.2k leg is 28:33. The overall course record for this course, used for the last 7 years, is 2:07:14 set last year (that's a 2:53 per kilometer average across all legs). The Ivy League team has finished in the back half of the field, ranging from 12th to 20th out of 21 or 22 teams.

Max King hands off near the lead after the first leg of the 2007 Izumo Ekiden

This year's Ivy League team will have a total of nine members, though three will be managers/assistant coaches/alternates. There were seven runners selected from the CVS Downtown 5k: Emory Mort (Cornell '05), Ari Zamir (Brown '08), Mark Olivier (Columbia '07), Jon-Paul Mandelburg (Columbia '07), Andrew Pitts (Yale '07), and Jimmy Wyner (Cornell '08) and me (Brown '06). In addition, Sage Canaday (Cornell '08, who ran very well at the New Haven 20k on September 1) and Jeff Gaudette (Brown '05) were chosen for the team.

This year's race will be October 13th, and our trip to Japan will be from October 8th through the 15th. For more about the race and the trip, see Jordan's log from the trip last year, Max King's videos from last year, and try to decipher the official race site.