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.