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.