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.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Longhorn Fartlek

Time: 84:00
Distance: 12.5 mi.

Target: 6-8 x 1k or 3:00 fartlek, w/3:00 jogging rest
Workout: 6 x 3:00 w/3:00 jogging rest

I met the guys at the track to crash their workout. My options this week were to run something with a little less recovery than I would've liked, or to do it alone. I opted for the former, as I'm sick of working out by myself. The original plan was to hit Morris Williams for measured 1ks, but there was a golf tournament (?!) so we headed to a trail near a housing development across the street and turned it into a fartlek. We worked into it, and by the 3rd and 4th ones, we were running fairly hard. I was beat and dehydrated from the heat and travel yesterday. Some of the guys went all the way through 8 of them, but I was definitely ready to be done at 6.

Monday, September 22, 2008


Time: 50:00
Distance: 7 mi.

Brian met me at the Austin airport and we headed straight out to the Greenbelt. We had fun catching up and bitching about being sore and tired. I was fairly dehydrated and beat in general, and Brian pushed the pace on the way out (and by pushed the pace I mean dropped us to maybe 6:50). It was warmer than most of my runs recently, but not too bad. We started at the 360 entrance, which I haven't run from before.

Driving back into town it was funny to think how easy it would be to just fall back into the routine here... in a way it feels like I never left.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Week In Review

Time: 331:15
Distance: 48.5 mi.

About three weeks ago I basically totally suspended my real long distance training for the Marine Corps Marathon when I realized that I would be able to make it to the CVS 5k and on the trip to Japan to be on the Ivy League Ekiden team if I made it. I'm very happy with how quickly I was able to turn things around without killing it in training. My 5k at CVS is the best road race I've run in years, and maybe ever, and preparing for it was far from the hardest I've trained. I take two general lessons from this: first, training to the limit is definitely not the best approach most of the time; second, it really helps to have a purpose to be running for beyond just vaguely wanting to have good races.

The next two weeks should provide the opportunity to shore up my fitness with the expectation that I will be running 8k to 10k in Japan on the Ekiden relay on October 13th. I'll be in Austin for the next week and then San Francisco the week after that, so I will at least have some more interesting places to train, though it will require some planning to make sure I get the right stuff in. I should be able to jump in some runs with the Texas guys this coming week, which I'm really looking forward to.

Also worth noting, I haven't been sleeping particularly well recently. I'm going to have to make a concerted effort to get better rest in the next three weeks.

CVS Downtown 5k

Time: 60:00
Distance: 9.5 mi.

Goal: Qualify for Ivy League Ekiden trip; shoot for 14:50 as a time that should make it.
Race: 19th overall; 3rd automatic spot for the Ekiden trip; 14:53.

Despite some serious overanalyzing this week, the race and the goal were straightforward. In order to automatically qualify for the Ivy League Ekiden team, I had to finish in the top four Ivy League alums in the race, as other members of the team were being selected subjectively based on other performances (or other criteria, apparently). Given the guys I knew were in it, I figured that I would have to be a bit under 15:00 to be sure (and Jordan nailed it on the head, saying that 14:59 would go... which would have barely secured the last auto spot). Rather than going into the race focusing on the particular guys, I figured I would just try to run 14:50-55 in a smart, controlled way.

The start of the race, near the Providence Place mall

The race went well from start to finish for Ari and me. I got out pretty well (drafting of Shalane Flanagan through the half mile) and went through the first somewhat downhill mile in 4:41 feeling pretty good. The second mile felt long, heading all the way out towards I-195 and then most of the way back on South Main and while my legs still felt fairly good, I could feel the race hitting my stomach. Ari, Mark Olivier (Columbia), Emory Mort (Cornell) and I were all fairly close nearing two miles in about 9:30 (4:49). As we turned back towards downtown on Canal Street the pack broke up with Emery and Ari pulling ahead of Mark and me. I thought I had dropped Mark, but he was back on and past me up the final hill and it took a decent kick over the top to catch him (and former OU runner Matt Daniels, apparently, at the line). My last mile was probably around 4:55. It was great to know right at the finish line that Ari and I had made it. It was warm and sunny--near perfect race conditions.

Kicking toward the finish line after the final hill

A few of the guys in contention for the trip cooled down together towards India Point, and I also caught up with Chris Gould, whose team looked very strong at the Amherst Invitational yesterday (edging out Brookline) and who was happy with his 16:44 today.

Hopefully I'll know the composition of the entire Ivy Ekiden team in the next few days. The other guys who automatically qualified today were Mort and Olivier. There are full race results at CoolRunning. We're bound for Japan on October 8th. Chobi, anyone?

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Downtown Providence

Time: 34:40
Distance: 4.5 mi.

Very easy run from Barnes Street down to the CVS Downtown 5k course with Ari and Hamel. The course seems straightforward enough... patience in the first mile, focus in the second mile, don't mess it up in the third mile.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Walt Whitman

Time: 44:00
Distance: 6.5 mi.

Easy afternoon run from Puffer's Pond out on the trails towards Atkins Reservoir. Somewhere along here there is a sign indicating that you're on Walt Whitman trail or loop. Who knows? It's Amherst. I felt physically good, and it was a very nice crisp fall afternoon.

Jordan's back on the horse (but running with girls) and Coste is back on the roads... and on we go.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Day Off

Planned day off after another long day of work.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Time: 60:45
Distance: 9 mi.

Target: 4 x 800m near 5k race pace (2:25 down to 2:20), 3-4 min jogging rest (~600m)
Workout: 2:24.0, 2:20.1, 2:21.4, 2:15.9

I was thinking of doing 6 x 400 in 68 here, but Tom suggested that I do some more "race pace" work to try to turn the legs over and feel comfortable there. The ARHS track was nearly deserted when I got there and empty by the time I left. After being all over the place and feeling unsettled on the first one (38, 76, 68) I decided to forget the watch (meaning no splits) and just concentrate on running this relatively easy pace smoothly. I hit it right on and didn't look at my watch for the rest of the workout. I figured the last one would be a little bit fast, but I was feeling very good covering ground.

Downtown Amherst at night

The sun was almost completely down as I started my first interval, and by the last one I could barely see the start and finish lines. I warmed up in Wildwood Cemetery and cooled down through town and Amherst College.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Rosen Loop

Time: 67:55
Distance: 10 mi.

Easy evening run on the Rosen Loop after putting in a full day of work. I am generally sore and was a bit tired, but I felt surprisingly good on the run. It was a cool evening, especially after I lost the race with the sun, which was somewhat refreshing. The headlights of passing cars killing my night vision was not refreshing and made me blind on more than one occasion.

Depending how my schedule goes in the next few days I'll try to get some 400s in, either tomorrow or Thursday.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Amethyst Brook, Wildwood Cemetery

Time: 64:00
Distance: 9 mi.

This is an old map

Easy afternoon run with the Amherst High School guys. They have a meet tomorrow, but nothing too competitive so the top guys are "training through." We ran down to the main entrance of Amethyst Brook and took the trails to North East Street. From there we ran back up Strong with a detour through the Wildwood Cemetary. I did a few field loops while they did a few "green monster" hills, and I finished up with 6 strides barefoot around the football field.

Oh, and I got stung by a bee.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Week In Review

Time: 387:00
Distance: 56 mi.

So I've clearly abandoned my original marathon training plan in favor of focusing on the CVS Downtown 5k. The trip to Japan would be great if it works out, though my preparation hasn't been ideal. Either way, I'm going to be glad to give it a go. All that considered, this was a fairly good week. I was quite happy with the 2 mile on Saturday and will just do strides and a light workout slightly sub-70 pace in the middle of the week when it works out. My piriformis on the right side is bothering me somewhat day-to-day, but without killing the milage or workouts it is very manageable.

Day Off

Pretty tired... no great use for a long run at the moment.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Two Miles

Time: 68:44
Distance: 10 mi.

Target: 2 mile time trial, 9:20-30
Workout: 9:20.7 (2:18, 2:22, 2:21, 2:19)

I drove up to Hanover, NH early in the morning to bang out one last really solid race-prep effort for next weekend's CVS Downtown 5k. We were both planning to come up to watch the Dartmouth Invitational XC race so working together for a good hard effort made sense. After warming up from Dartmouth's track, where we were planning to run, football practice was just beginning so with some quick navigating we made it over to the Hanover High School track down the street. Without much time before the race started, we got going after a few strides... I had no patience for Ari's "warmup drills" or "stretching."

I suggested that we alternate 800s as long as we could run together. After sassing me about my ability to run 2:20s, Ari agreed. He then promptly fell off in the first 200 meters (which was a little fast) and didn't help me with the pace the entire way. I felt surprisingly good and was relatively comfortable through the first 1.5 miles. Ari trailed me by 5 seconds for the entire thing, and finished in 9:25. I think I'll probably smoke him next weekend.

We made it over to the Hanover Country Club for the start of the race and ran around on the golf course and the trails to see the guys run. Brown held out most of the top guys, giving the new freshmen a first go at 8k and it looked like it was a positive experience across the board. BrownBears.com has a recap. Also, check out the end of the results to note the efforts of the Dartmouth Alumni Team, who, if scored correctly, would have beaten Central Connecticut State.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Bike Path

Time: 30:00
Distance: 4 mi.

Easy early morning jog down Woodlot to the bike path and back. My calves are still very sore, but it was good to get a little bit loose.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Quabbin Trails

Time: 71:20
Distance: 10 mi.

I drove back up to the trails near the Quabbin Reservoir where I ran early last week. I went on a left fork of the same trail which took me uphill faster than I expected and the trail ran up to Wendell Road. I ran to the right hoping to meet up with the run that I did out here previously, but up to 37 minutes didn't find it (which isn't surprising, after looking at the map). This was hillier than expected and than my sore calves would have liked. I definitely need to run very easy tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

North By South East

Time: 71:28
Distance: 10.5 mi.

At the end of the day, and after a bit of procrastination, I headed out the door without a plan, but shooting for anything from 6-12 miles. It was barely still light enough to hit the trails, so I ran through Echo Hill to Amethyst. I ended up going through to North East Street and back to South East Street. I cut in on Stanley through Wentworth Farm and went back on Old Farm Road. It was fairly cold... evening runs without a shirt may be numbered. How different this is from Texas...

Also, there's something about hearing "nice run" from a training partner at the end of a jaunt that goes a long way. It would've been nice tonight.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

600s, 200s

Time: 81:30
Distance: 12 mi.

Target: 6-8 x 600m at 70 pace (1:45) w/200m rest (60-70 sec); 4 x 200m in 32 or faster w/200m rest
Workout: 1:45.7 (67), 1:42.9 (71), 1:44.7 (69), 1:44.5 (70), 1:45.8 (75), 1:43.5 (83), 1:43.9 (80), 1:44.2; 31.4, 32.0, 31.7, 31.2

The Amherst College track is nearly a rectangle, in order to accommodate the football field and stands.

It's time to start feeling comfortable under 5:00 pace. I decided that 600s would be a good way of getting at this, and overall I'm happy with how this workout over at the Amherst College track went. The first couple were actually the hardest, as I was fairly stiff this morning and have no concept of this pace right now. Once I settled in it wasn't too bad, and after convincing myself that I was just shooting for 6 of the 600s, I did all 8 just taking the last few one at a time. The rest got a little slower than I would have liked, but I was more focused on hitting the splits. I anticipated the 200s feeling all-out, but after getting loose doing the 600s they weren't as hard as I expected. On the cooldown my calves got very tight. An ice bath would have been nice after this.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Rosen Loop

Time: 64:00
Distance: 9.5 mi.

Easy early morning run. I headed out the door and immediately decided that a long sleeved shirt was in order, due to the morning chill. I felt fairly good throughout and was happy to not feel the effects of yesterday's race much at all.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Week In Review

Time: 471:30
Distance: 70 mi.

This week felt very long. I'm finally getting over this cold, but didn't manage great workouts. The volume is at least decent for 6 days. Next week I will get more volume back and two workouts with work at 4:40 mile pace. My marathon training plan is just basically on hold until CVS, when I'll reevaluate how to get back to it.

JCCRI Road Race

Time: 98:00
Distance: 15.5 mi.

Target: prepare for Downtown 5k in two weeks, finish feeling strong and not dead (4:50s and hold on?)
Race: 15:24 for 3rd; 4:58.2, 4:54.9, 5:01.2; finished feeling too comfortable

Having done almost nothing around or just under 5:00 pace, I was very hesitant from the beginning to take any initiative on the pace, and the result was going through fairly slow in 4:58. In the end this was fine for me, but four of us settled in at that pace until 3/4 mile to go where Ari and Moulton (who took 3rd in yesterday's Ollie race) dropped the pace a bit, probably running under 4:50 for the last mile. Once they dropped me heading up Elmgrove I packed it in a bit. Ari managed to put it down and take the "W", which was well-executed. Also of note: this is the first (and probably last?) road race that I've ever been to that started with both the Israeli and American national anthems. Clearly Ari had the advantage from the get-go.

After the race I was still trying to get some decent volume, so Graddy, Ari and I did a loop south to Hope St. and then Ari and I ran out towards St. Rays for a bit. I recovered very well and didn't even really feel like I had raced during that. This is the best that I have felt running anything in at least two weeks.

Place Div/Tot Name Ag S City Stat Time Pace
===== ======== =================== == = =============== ==== ======= =====
1 1/20 ZAMIR ARI 22 M CAMBRIDGE MA 15:11 4:54
3 3/20 WASHBURN OWEN 24 M AMHERST MA 15:24 4:58
4 4/20 LONERGAN ERIC 22 M N KINGSTOWN RI 15:41 5:03
5 5/20 HAMEL NEIL 23 M BOSTON MA 16:17 5:15

More: race site, full results.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

South Boston

Time: 65:00
Distance: 9 mi.

I met Taylor early in the morning and headed over to the Ollie Road Race, which he was running. It was mercilessly hot and humid, which did not bode well for performances in the race and pretty much everyone coming in looked taxed from the weather. I warmed up with Taylor, ran around during the race, and cooled down with both Taylor and Chris Gould.

While I originally considered running both this and the JCCRI race in Providence tomorrow, I was definitely glad after watching this that I was waiting.

Friday, September 5, 2008

The Charles By Night

Time: 43:00
Distance: 6 mi.

Night run with Hamel and Ari from their place in Cambridge. We ran over the Charles River Dam down the south side of the river to BU and back the north side. I'm still having some stomach issues and coughing shit up, but this was better catching up with these guys and having beautiful views of Boston at night.

Echo Hill Loop

Time: 43:30
Distance: 6 mi.

The soreness from Wednesday's work was even more pronounced today, particularly in my hamstrings. For that reason, plus lingering feelings of sickness and lethargy, I only went short this morning and will try to do something this afternoon. I don't think I've felt particularly good on a run in almost two weeks. What am I doing?!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Moody Bridge

Time: 82:30
Distance: 12 mi.

Early morning run out through the South Amherst common to near the end of Moody Bridge and back. I felt alright, but was coughing up a lot of crap throughout the run still. There was a lot of fog which made the corn fields along this run look eerie. It only started to burn off right as I was getting back around 8:45.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Day Off

After a long day of hard physical landscaping work (really!) I decided that a run while I was beat made no sense and I should take this day off.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Amherst College Mile Repeats

Time: 75:00 (approximate)
Distance: 11.5 mi.

Target: 5 x mile starting at 5:20-25, descending with 4:00 rest, more intervals?
Workout: 5:21.7, 5:20.2, 5:19.9, 5:25.0, 5:14.2; rest between 4:00 and 5:00

Afternoon workout with the ARHS guys. This workout is a staple, going back to before my time in high school. The guys set out for five by one mile loop on the Amherst College trails and I figured that this wouldn't be a decent back-to-it workout, maybe with more miles or some 300s on the track added on. I'm not sure exactly what happened, but some combination of the lingering cold and workout stomach pretty early made me lethargic and I was only good to hang in (and help push) the guys for their target paces. It was also humid and the afternoon. It looks like they've got a pretty good top 3-4 for sure, but will need someone to step up for the 4-7 spots.

Left this not feeling great about where I'm at, but I just need to get rested and get better.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Quabbin Trails

Time: 64:40
Distance: 10 mi.
Map (approximate)

Near the north west corner of the Quabbin Reservoir in Shutesbury there are a few miles of bicycle access trails. While I had heard of these before, I have never explored them. Without knowing them at all, an out-and-back run was in order, but I could have easily gone farther and gotten lost, which would have been nice. The trails are fairly wide and well-maintained in most areas and, for some reason, are in some places listed as real roads on Google Maps. I took New Boston Rd. from Cooleyville Rd. up to Rockwell Hill Rd. and then came back, according to this MA DCR map.

I ran decently hard out in 34:00 and then hammered back in around 30:00. Honestly, this could easily have been over 10 miles.