Training Week 2/25

March 5, 2013

Training for the week 2/25 to 3/03 could be summed up by three words:


The week showed me that I am finally over my recent 2.5 month long chronic reoccurring Soleus (lower calf) injury.

Not only did I get back to speed workouts this week, but I also logged a 3:06 marathon at Black Cat 20. The 3:06 felt good even though it should have due to taking the first five miles socially; what was awesome was that I had logged precisely zero miles at faster than 7:30 to 8:00 min pace from early December until mid-February.

Week 2/25

Mon: 4 miles, easy – road
Tues I: 5.65 miles, social – road
Tues II: 7 miles, TM speed including 2 x 2 mi, 1 x 1 mi @ 6:00 – treadmill
Wed: 8 miles, easy-to-near tempo – road
Thurs I: 5 miles, easy – road
Thurs II: 6.65 miles, TM tempo including 6 mi @ MP (6:48) – treadmill
Fri: 3.5 miles, easy – road
Sat: 27 miles, WU + Black Panther 26.2, 3:06 – road
Sun: 2.5 miles, recovery run– road

Total miles: 59 miles

Quality Workouts

Tuesday: 7 mile speed session on the TM in just under 46 minutes (incline @ 1%):
o WU – 5 mins @ 7:40 w/ a pick up or two to warm legs up
o 2 x 2 miles @ 6:00 w/3 min jog
o 1 x 1 mile @ 6:00 w/3 min jog
o 3 min @ 6:49
*Was hoping to go 3 x 2 miles but just didn’t have it on that third set, so I cut it to a mile. It’s okay, as I’m just getting back on my speed groove. Plus, the way my spring goals are shaping up, I don’t really need speed — but I’ll still try to keep it.

Thursday: 6.65 mile speed session on the TM in 46 min:
o WU – 5 min @ 7:47
o 6 miles @ 6:48 pace
o Done
*Just tried nail marathon pace for 5 miles. Went 6 instead. Got a ways to go to get back to pace. But felt good. Getting more smooth.

Saturday: Black Panther 26.2, 3:06:53
o WU – 5 miles in 38:30
o 21.2 miles @ near MP
o Marathon # 84

Next Week

Goal for the coming week will be to recover from Black Panther 26.2 and get back to building speed utilizing the treadmill. Although I do not need speed for my spring and summer goals, since I am coming off of injury, speed on treadmill allows me to get my legs back under me with turnover in a controlled manner to prevent re-injury.

Beer of the Week

Troegs Nugget Nectar – A model Imperial Pale Ale, this springtime arrival is one I go out of my way to get. It is that good. Pours orange and with a nose filled with hop character, you will not be disappointed. But go lightly, because this gem packs a punch.

Winter Break: officially over!

March 5, 2013

Winter Break and my hiatus from this space is officially over!

New year with new goals. I am committed and motivated.

Since my last post, an October entry last year in Training Week, I have been busy racing and running with a rambling of focus, which is how I always treat the off season.

Notable runs/races (not all races included):

During this time I have been able to keep my marathon-a-month streak alive (as of this writing, streak at 17 months) despite a recurrence of a chronic Soleus (lower calf) injury. I am now on top of the injury, with my streak in tact, and looking ahead to 2013.

Speaking of 2013, although it’s hard to lay out a race schedule now with a newborn at home, this is what I’m thinking:

  • Mar. 30: Bad Ass Fat Ass 50K
  • Apr. 15: Boston Double (Boston Marathon x 2 w/5 am start downtown)
  • Apr. 27: TARC Spring Classic 50K
  • May: Epic Training Runs!
  • June 14: TARC 100

List does not include small races, such as VERT, random 5K’s, etc.


Training Week 10/8

October 15, 2012

Training for the week 10/8 to 10/14 was about continuing recovery from Smuttynose Marathon. I have felt pounded in the body and joints since the race, so with no major race on the horizon, I’m dialing it back. Though there are a few long runs coming up, such as the weekend’s Ultra Border Crawl, a 36 mile slog of touching neighboring border signs, which I completed with two others in 6:28.

Week 10/8

Mon: 4 miles, easy – road
Tues: 5.65 miles, social – road
Wed: 8 miles, semi-tempo – road
Thurs: 5 miles, semi-tempo – road
Fri: 5 miles, easy, super slow – road
Sat: 36 miles, BRC Ultra Border Crawl, 6:28 total time – road
Sun: 6 miles, including Oktoberfest 5K, 18:18, 14th place of 1800, 3rd Master 40+, won Golden Drinking Chalice (what I came for!) – road

Total miles: 69 miles

Quality Workouts

Saturday: 36 miles, Ultra Border Crawl, average running pace 9:24. Total time including stops: 6:28. Had to grab an ice bath and hit up some Vitamin-I (not like me) to assist recovery for tomorrow…

Sunday: Oktoberfest 5K, 18:18, 14th place of 1800, 3rd Master 40+. Two mile split: 11:50. Ran well in spite not having that extra gear due to Ultra run the day before.

Next Week

Goal for the coming week will be to continue recovering from… running mega miles, both Smuttynose and the Ultra Border Crawl.

Beer of the Week

Cambridge Brewing Company (CBC) Great Pumpkin Ale — Sponsor of this year’s Oktoberfest Cambridge 5K, CBC has been making some great beer since around 2005 — it wasn’t always that way, but they turned the corner in a great way. One of the most-sought-after beers in their craft is their Great Pumpkin Ale. This is pumpkin that is worth getting your hands on. On tap it is divine. Made with a crazy amount of pumpkin and spices, the pumpkin is vast but not over powering. Spices round out the harvest flavor. What I like about it most is that it is totally drinkable. This in itself is notable because most pumpkin beers are one or two and done. Not so with this. You have one and you want another, and another. And this weekend it was free flowing from the taps at Oktoberfest. On top of that, the other great thing about this beer is that it is only 4.4% ABV. Most pumpkin beers of note are those that are stacked with alcohol. Not this one. Now served in bottles, Great Pumpkin is a must try for those local to Boston. But do yourself a favor and get down to the brewery so that you can enjoy this on tap. You will not be disappointed!

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


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.