Training Week 10/1

October 15, 2012

Training for the week 10/1 to 10/21 was about recovering from Smuttynose Marathon, where I went 3:00:38, for 13th place overall of 1000 and my fastest marathon in 5 years. Even better was that this enabled me to submit a faster qualifying time to BAA for Boston Marathon 2013.

Week 10/1

Mon: 1+ mile keep-the-streak-alive run – road
Tues: 4 miles, easy – road
Wed: 4.5 miles, easy – road
Thurs: 6 miles, easy – trail
Fri: 8 miles, social easy – road
Sat: 5.5 miles, easy – road
Sun: 6.5 miles, sometimes tempo– road

Total miles: 36 miles

Quality Workouts

None.

Next Week

Goal for the coming week will be to continue recovering from Smuttynose. Since the race, I have felt pounded, the joints stiff and sore. A full summer of trails and mountains and a last two months of hard core speed work finally caught up to me.

Beer of the Week

Coming in a following week.


Training Week 9/24

October 2, 2012

Training for the week 9/24 to 9/30 was about short, easy runs and trying to get my chronic lower back issues, which had recently flared up, in order for a shot at going sub-3 hours at Smuttynose by week’s end.

Please to say that although my back worried me, with it having locked up my calf the week before when I tried to run hard, I spent the week stretching and trying to loosen the hip (made tight by the back). I stayed positive, visualized myself running strong on race day, and did all the right things to get myself to feel as ready as ever.

On race day, I gave everything I had. I was on pace for sub-3 or very damn near until the last mile, when I willed myself to run faster. All I needed was to run mile 25 through to the end at 6:00 pace… and I couldn’t do it. My lungs would not allow. I was already maxed out and could give nothing more.

Finish came in 3:00:36. It was a great, gutsy race by me, and I’m proud of myself for taking chances early, in the middle, and late and holding on to the end.

Week 9/24

Mon: 4 miles, tempo – road
Tues: 5.65 miles, social – road
Wed: 4 miles, easy w/few strides – road
Thurs: 5 miles, easy – road
Fri: 3.5 miles, easy w/few strides – road
Sat: 3.5 miles, social – road
Sun: Smuttynose Marathon: 3:00:38, 13th place of 1000, 5th AG M40-49, #75 (or maybe 76?) – road (28 miles in total w/wu + race)

Total miles: 53 miles

Quality Workouts

Sunday: Smuttynose Marathon, 3:00:38 (6:54 pace), 13th overall of 1000, 5th place AG M40-49. Marathon #75 (or mabye 76).

Next Week

Goal for the coming week will be to recover from Smuttynose. That’s it!

Beer of the Week

Ommegang Scythe & Sickle — When it comes to Belgian-styled beers, I have always been a huge fan of Ommegang, a tiny but now well-known brewery just outside of Cooperstown in New York. Ommegang does Belgian right, so when I heard about Scythe & Sickle, a limited release by the brewery, being a solid fall beer, I had to try it. And thankfully I did, because I was not disappointed.

Scythe & Sickle was brewed to honor the fall harvest. A typical (but good) Belgian that is stocked but by no means over-powering with malt, this beer brings two worlds together (darker harvest ales + Belgian-styled beers) together rather nicely. It tastes like an Ommegang (read: solid Belgian) with the banana-like earthy notes of the Beligan yeast, yet comes in with a stronger (for a Belgian) malt profile without crossing over into being too heavy.

Beer Advocate users didn’t rate it as high as I thought they would, but no matter, I really enjoyed this beer and would easily pick it up again.


Training Week 9/17

September 26, 2012

Training for the week 9/17 to 9/23 was about tapering for a shot at going sub-3 hours at Smuttynose. Although I had wanted a bit more quality in the week, I had to pass it up due to a chronic lower back issue that has been proving pesky and entirely bothersome.

Worrisome was that en route home after a mid-week mild speed session, my right hip tightened, which cause my right calf to seize a few times. I have since found better stretches and am actively trying to get the back in shape.

The back to this point hasn’t exactly limited me, mainly because of it being a taper week, but I fear it could after, say, mile 18 at Smuttynose.

Either way, I know well enough that race day adrenaline can smooth over many pains and miss-alignments, so I am still holding out hope for a kick ass race. But I am worried.

Week 9/17

Mon: 5 miles, easy – road
Tues: 5.65 miles, social – road
Wed: 9 miles, including 2 miles @ 6:00 pace + 1 mi @ 5:45 – road
Thurs: 6 miles @ Ward, social – trail
Fri: 6.5 miles, social – road
Sat: 11 miles, including 3 miles @ 6:20 pace – road
Sun: 6 miles @ Ward, social – trail

Total miles: 42 miles

Quality Workouts

Wednesday: 9 mile “tapered” speed session in 1:07:
o WU – 2.5 mile run to park (19:27)
o 2 miles @ 6:00 (actual: 6:01, 5:55) w/.5 mile jog
o 1 mile @ 5:44
o CD – 3+ mile run home
*Last speed before Smuttynose. Had to wrestle the mind early on. Felt good when running fast but just okay otherwise even though I hit my paces.
**Lower back starting to act up. Been spending a lot of time doing projects around the house requiring me to kneel, which is never good. Did 1.5 hours like that after work yesterday, so back now at a peak in pain and discomfort. Kind of sucks because I’ve been running so strong and feeling so good.

Saturday: 11 mile run:
o WU – 5.5 miles @ 8:00 pace
o 3 miles @ 6:20
o 2.5 miles jog
*3 mile pace was more like 6:25 for .5 miles, 6:45 for .5 miles, then 6:00 to 5:45 for 2 miles.

Next Week

Goal for the coming week will be to get the back in order so that I can lay down the law at Smuttynose.

Beer of the Week

Slumbrew Flag Raiser IPA – Stocked at 80 IBU (the higher the number the more hoppy), Flag Raiser is a solid IPA hopped to goodness. It comes in at 7.5% alcohol and is only sold in bomber bottles — it is a “big” beer. Flag Raiser is another IPA that although not my favorite is pretty darn good where I find myself going back to it time and again. Flowery to the nose at first, the taste is typical hops with a hint of something that I think is due to the pilsner malt added — malt profile: 2-Row Pale, Belgian Pilsner and Munich Malts. But don’t get me wrong… this is no pils. Aftertaste is ruled by a buttery flavor that I am not a huge fan of, and that I taste in some other beers, but again, don’t let that detract from this very good beer. It reminds me more of a Dale’s Pale Ale over something like Racer 5 or Centennial.


Training Week 9/10

September 17, 2012

Training for the week 9/10 to 9/16 was spot on solid. Mid-week speed of 7 x 1 mile @ 6:00 pace and a quality long run at week’s end of 18 miles with 2 x 5 miles @ 6:30 made up the main work. I hit my paces even though I struggled to do so. Either way, I am feeling confident in my ability to go sub-3 hours at Smuttynose. Only worry from here on out is that my body, which has felt amazingly strong since the Death Race, is now showing signs of fatigue — and a familiar lower back issue is again proving chronic.

Week 9/10

Mon: 4 miles, easy – road
Tues: 5.65 miles, social – road
Wed: 15 miles, including 7 x 1 mile @ 6:00 pace – road
Thurs: 6 miles @ Ward – trail
Fri: 4 miles, honest effort – road
Sat: 18 miles, including 2 x 5 miles @ 6:30 pace – road
Sun: 6 miles, social – trail

Total miles: 58 miles

Quality Workouts

Wednesday: 15 mile speed session in 1:47 including 7 x 1 mile @ 6:00 pace w/half mile recovery:
o WU – ~2.5 miles jog to park (18:59)
o 7 x 1 mile @ 6:00 pace w/.5 mile recovery jog
o CD – ~2.5 mile home (17:39)
*Splits: 6:07, 5:54, 5:50, 5:52, 5:56, 5:59, 6:05
**Felt strong. First few intervals were smooth and easy. Last few were far less smooth and not at all easy. Goal was to get under 6:00.

Saturday: 18 mile quality long run including 2 x 5 miles @ 6:30 pace in 2:07:
o WU – 4 miles
o 5 miles @ 6:28
o 1 mile recovery jog
o 5 miles @ 6:32
o 1 mile recovery jog
o CD – MP home
*Felt pretty good even though that last 5 mile interval was tough. Average pace for entire run, including recovery jogs and water stops, was 7:07, which bodes well for my attempt in two weeks at sub-3 in the marathon.

Next Week

Goal for the coming week will be a tapered version of mid-week speed with a focus on tempo pacing at slightly faster than marathon pace — just a few intervals to keep my legs pumping and confidence high. On top of that I will also get in two other tempo-styled runs. That’s about it, as with Smuttynose now less than two weeks away, it’s time to get the back in order and return zip into the legs.

Beer of the Week

Lagunitas IPA – Lagunitas IPA has become a go-to IPA for me. It can hold its own among serviceable good IPAs, with just enough hops for hopheads, but not too much as to overpower like some others. Like most sturdy IPAs, this one too has a slightly high alcohol content. Lagunitas IPA isn’t my favorite, but since I can get it locally (and you probably can too) and since it is indeed good, it has become something I pick up often enough. For perspective, I’d say it is on par with Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA and a quarter of a notch below Founders Centennial IPA. Maybe even on par with Dale’s Pale Ale, another good one.


Training Week 9/3

September 10, 2012

Training for the week 9/3 to 9/9 was yet again pretty damn solid. I was a good boy with a mid-week jam session of a track workout with long three mile intervals (3 of them!) focused on running economy at faster than marathon pace, and I got in two long runs, one with good quality.

Another week where I felt strong and fast, though I must say that I didn’t feel as smooth, nor as fast, as the last two weeks. Either way, I am feeling confident in my chances at going sub-3 at Smuttynose. Few more speed sessions and one more long run.

Week 9/3

Mon: 6 miles @ Ward – trail
Tues: 5.65 miles, social – road
Wed: 15 miles, including 3 x 3 miles @ 6:30 pace – road
Thurs: 6 miles @ Ward – trails
Fri: 6.5 miles, social – road
Sat: 17 miles, including lots of pace work, much at or faster than MP – road
Sun: 15.5 miles, social – road

Total miles: 71 miles

Quality Workouts

Wednesday: 15 mile speed session in 1:47 including 3 x 3 miles @ 6:30 pace working on running economy at slightly faster than marathon pace:
o WU – ~2.5 miles jog to local park (20:22)
o 3 x 3 miles @ 6:30 pace w/.5 mile recovery jog
o CD – 2.5 mile jog home (18:33)
*Splits:
1 – 6:32, 6:28, 6:25
2 – 6:22, 6:31, 6:30
3 – 6:39, 6:43, 6:38
**Got tired by the third interval.
***Felt okay. Not as great as in previous weeks, but this was hard nailing three 3-mile intervals. Rainy and humid 72F. Hard to breath.

Saturday: 17 mile long run in 2:11 (start to finish):
o WU – 2 miles
o 3 miles @ 7:20-7:30 – stop for water
o 3 miles @ 7:10 – stop for water
o 3 miles @ 6:20-6:30 – stop for water
o 6 miles @ 6:45
*Nice progression(ish) workout for me. Felt good.

 Sunday: 15.5 mile long run in 2:06 (start to finish) w/Clock Striders.

Next Week

Goal for the coming week will be mid-week speed with a focus on snappier intervals to keep the legs turning over fast and a long run by the end of the week. Because of Baby K activities, my weekend will be booked, so I’ll have to cram in speed and long during the week.

Beer of the Week

Bear Republic Red Rocket IPA – Red Rocket is a big beer in many ways. Not only is it hopped (to hell?) in true IPA fashion, but it is also a true red ale, stocked with the strong flavor of malt; not only that but it is also stocked with alcohol. If you like red ales, this is a good one. If you aren’t a fan of red ales, you might want to pass. Me, I love red ales, and Red Rocket combines a sturdy red ale with an abundance — but not too much for you hop heads — of hops. This is yet again another sipping beer. Bear Republic, out of California, makes some really good beers. I have yet to be disappointed or even ho-hum about any of their beers. Hop Rod IPA and Racer 5 IPA are good ones.


Training Week 8/27

September 4, 2012

Training for the week 8/27 to 9/2 went pretty awesome with several quality workouts. Not only did I get in a solid mid-week speed work session of 4 x 2 miles @ ~6:10 pace, but I also romped on trails and got in two long runs, one with some close-to-marathon/marathon pacing and the other a day later, and I felt strong during each.

Speaking of strong, that’s exactly how I’ve been feeling in the body since officially recovering from the Canadian Death Race. It’s been remarkable, really, how awesome I feel. Honestly can say that I haven’t felt this good in many, many years.

Hopefully this bodes well when I make an attempt at a sub-3 hour marathon at Smuttynose. Although I haven’t exactly trained for this kind of performance, I am feeling good about my chances!

Week 8/27

Mon: 4 miles, easy – road
Tues: 5.65 miles, social – road
Wed: 14.5 miles, including 4 x 2 miles @ 6:10 pace – road
Thurs: 6 miles @ Ward – trails
Fri: 6 miles, tempo – road
Sat: 21 miles, including 11 @ marathon-ish pacing – road
Sun: 16 miles, social – road

Total miles: 73 miles

Quality Workouts

Wednesday: 14.5 mile speed session including 4 x 2 mile @ ~6:10 pace in a total running time of 1:42:
o WU – ~2.5 mile jog to nearby park (19:15)
o 4 x 2 miles @ ~6:10 pace w/.5 mile recovery jog
o CD – ~2.5 mile jog-turned-tempo home (17:15)
Interval Splits:
1 – 6:11, 6:10
2 – 6:02, 6:06
3 – 6:03, 6:11 (fatigue settled in on mile 6)
4 – 6:15, 6:18
*Rocked this workout! Felt great in mind and smooth in body, though the last 2 mile interval kind of hurt. 🙂

Saturday: 21 mile long run w/Jay in 2:54:
o WU – 10 miles @ 8:00 pace or faster
o 6 miles @ 7:10 pace
o 5 miles @ 6:45 pace

Sunday: 16 mile run in 2:11 w/Clock Striders

Next Week

Goal for the coming week will be to continue with mid-week speed with a focus on longer 3-mile intervals for yet more work on running economy at faster than marathon pace. That plus a long run at week’s end.

Beer of the Week

Southern Tier Pumking – Between Southern Tier Pumking and Shipyard Smashed Pumpkin (not to be confused with Shipyard Pumpkinhead, which is NOT the same beer — don’t be fooled; you will be disappointed), it’s a toss up as to my all-time favorite Pumpkin beer. Truth is that many breweries are now making better specialties, and Pumpkin beers are following suit.

Pumking is The Great Big Pumpkin in a Bottle. Probably supped up with sugar, this beer is something I’ve been looking forward to for the last few months. The pumpkin is not overpowering. With hints of cinnamon and other goodness, the beer smells good, looks good with a deep orange color, and tastes divine. Although it is stocked with alcohol, Pumking is to be sipped because you’ll want it to last as long as possible.


Training Week 8/20

August 27, 2012

Training for the week 8/20 to 8/26 was about spinning up the wheels again with speed while officially declaring an end to the three week recovery period that was the Canadian Death Race.

Although I had to push back mid-week speed to Thursday because of discomfort caused by a nasty case of poison ivy, I stuck to my guns for a speed session on the track of 5 x 1 mile. It felt pretty good in body even tough my breathing was a bit ragged.

On on top of that I put in a solid effort at Beverly Commons 7.3 mile trail race, where I came in 10th place overall and took 1st Master.

Then on Sunday I joined Jay for his long run with speed, completing a stretch of 3 quality runs in four days.

A great week and a good return to speed.

Week 8/20

Mon: 2.5 miles, easy – road
Tues: 6 miles, tempo – road
Wed: 5 miles, easy – road
Thurs: 10 miles, speed 5 x 1 mile – track
Fri: 4.25 miles, easy – road
Sat: 10 miles, including 7.3 mile Beverly Commons Trail Race – trail
Sun: 16 miles, various speed – road

Total miles: 54 miles

Quality Workouts

Thursday: 10 mile speed session of 5 x 1 mile
o WU – 2 mile jog to local track
o 5 x 1 mile (5:49, 5:53, 5:54, 5:58, 6:01) w/1 lap recovery jog
o CD – 2 mile jog home
*Felt good to spin up the legs again, though I was breathing a bit more ragged than I wanted. All good.

Saturday: 7.3 mile Beverly Commons Trail Race
10th place overall; 1st Master
Loop 1: 27:39; Loop 2: 29:10; Finish: ~56:50
*10 miles total

Sunday: 16 mile run in 2:05 (includes stops) w/Jay
o WU – 3 miles @ 8:00 pace or faster
o 4 miles @ 6:45 pace w/1 mile recover jog
o 3 miles @ 6:30 pace w/1 mile jog
o 2 miles @ 6:15 pace w/2 mile jog
*Jay’s workout — good speed; pace relative. Felt smooth in spite trail race the day before.

Next Week

Goal for the coming week will be to continue with mid-week speed with a focus on longer 2-mile intervals that will take the strength in my legs and convert that over to better running economy at faster than marathon pace. That plus a long run at week’s end. The rest is free-forming!

Beer of the Week

Wachusett Larry – Wachusett Larry is a sturdy IPA local to Massachusetts solid only in big bomber bottles. Hopped and high in alcohol, you will not be disappointed. This IPA has become among my favorites; it’s a nice treat, but you have to be careful, as although it is hopped-up, it is smoother than the taste, or perhaps that’s because of the high alcohol content. If you like hoppy beers, try Wachusett Larry. And I would say this even if Wachusett Mountain was not among my favorite places to train on trails for mountains.


Training Week 8/13

August 21, 2012

Training for the week 8/13 to 8/19 was about recovering from the Canadian Death Race so that I could start up at a later week (next?) with  speed in my workouts. The only real goal was to get back to social runs and perhaps insert a tempo run to test the legs. And that’s exactly what I did. On top of that, I also got back to long runs on the roads, and although my legs felt heavy from around mile 8 on, my fitness easily carried me for duration.

Focus in my workouts this time of year and into the beginning of fall will be speed. I have just signed up for the Smuttynose Marathon, which takes place the end of Sept. I won’t have enough time to train to stomp this, but I will do what I can to at least lay down a decent time.

Week 8/13

Mon: 3 miles, easy – road
Tues: 5.65 miles, social – road
Wed: 4 miles, easy – road
Thurs: 5.5 miles, social – road
Fri: 4 miles, tempo – road
Sat: 17 miles, social + tempo, w/3 @ 6:40 + 4 @ 6:50 – road
Sun: 18.5 miles, social – road

Total miles: 57 miles

Quality Workouts

Saturday: 17 mile run in 2:18 (includes stops)
o WU – 8 miles social
o 3 miles @ 6:40 pace
o 2 miles recovery jog
o 4 miles @ 6:50 pace
*Friend’s workout — just kept her company. First real run since the Death Race.

Sunday: 18.5 mile hilly run in 2:53 (let clock run through stops) w/Clock Striders.

Next Week

Goal for the coming week will be to continue stretching (numbness in toes finally subsiding though still there) and get in, at minimum, at least a weak session of speed.


Training Week 8/6

August 14, 2012

Drinking for the week 8/6 to 8/12 was strong and steady, like the beer consumed. Having just completed the Canadian Death Race my body was not functioning, which meant that it was time to sample not trails and river rapids of the Canadian Rockies but brewpubs and beers.

Started in Banff at Banff Ave. Brewing (very good IPA and Black Pils, not to mention an outstanding Cream Ale that was more like an ESB), continued in Canmore at Grizzly Paw Brewpub (IPA was solid and very drinkable), and finished up thousands of miles away at the Hoffbrau Haus in New York City, where I was for my little brother’s bachelor party.

I did manage to keep the streak alive with the following. Body was just shattered, legs malfunctioning, which was a shame on one hand because Banff, Alberta CANADA has some amazing trails.

Week 8/6

Mon: 1 mile, easy – road
Tues: 2 miles, easy – road
Wed: 1 mile, easy – road
Thurs: 3 miles, easy– road
Fri: 3 miles, easy – road
Sat: 3.5 miles, easy – road
Sun: 3.5 miles, easy – road

Total miles: 17 miles

Quality Workouts

Monday: Banff Ave. Brewing Company
Tuesday: Grizzly Paw Brewing Company
Saturday: Hoffbrau Haus

Next Week

Goal for the coming week will be to continue with recovery, get back to stretching, and hope to get back some zing in the legs by week’s end. If none of this happens, so be it!


Training Week 7/30

August 14, 2012

Training for the week 7/30 to 8/5 was about one thing: getting to the starting line of the Canadian Death Race in one piece, without injury, and with plenty of energy and a good attitude. And that is exactly what I did!

The Death Race was without question the hardest, most grueling event I have ever done. 125K (~78 miles) up and down three major mountains totaling 17,000 feet of ascent over trails so gnarly the running was scattered at best. But I did it. And I will never forget it. Race report coming soon.

Week 7/30

Mon: 5 miles, tempo – road
Tues: 5.65 miles, social – road
Wed: 4 miles – road
Thurs: 3 miles, easy – road
Fri: 2 miles, easy – road
Sat/Sun: 80 miles, Canadian Death Race – trails

Total miles: 100 miles

Quality Workouts

Saturday/Sunday: Canadian Death Race. For the first time in my life, I kept my running streak alive by running at least a mile on two separate days on one run!

Next Week

Enjoy the glow of finishing the Canadian Death Race. Life is pretty good right about now! The dream is complete, the goal accomplished.

Got good beer? 🙂