Thursday, November 29, 2012


The title sums up my attempted workout yesterday at CHS track in terms of what I felt like (UGH!) and what I felt like I was wearing for footwear (UGGZ).

After taking yesterday off I figured I could fly solo for an afternoon session at Chariho's track.  I knew there would be kids there training (indoor season) but I didn't care too much.  Laugh at me and my form all you want.  Although I was really wishing that I had a partner or two to help me along, I was feeling confident that it would still be a good workout.

2 mile warmup then jumped into (what I thought would be): 3 x 200, 2 x 400, 1 x 800 up, then reverse order back down the other side--all at somewhere between I and/or R pace.

Clearly I was intimidated by the HS track guys because I went out way too fast on the very first 200 and immediately felt weird in terms of form and body (hamstring and calf knots).  Oh well...easy 200 jog then rip another one.  I knew after the just the second 200 that it wasn't going to be a good day.

Ultimately, I struggled through the first 800, skipped the second one, and dove into the descending portion.  After the second 2 x 400 set,  my body was aching, my head was pounding, my hamstrings were knotted up like baseballs and I just felt like the world's biggest pussy.  I ran a cooldown in annoying clockwise direction around the oval so I could watch other runners and judge them and their forms (damn, they're smooth & fast!), and then called it quits. Despite my split times actually being rather good,  [34, 36, 36/74, 75/2:43/76, 76], I felt awful.  Pretty humbling, especially given my recent runs.  Perhaps I just pushed it too hard.  Who knows?

I've realized that as you're running a 74 second 400 and think "No way could I do that for 3 more consecutive laps!" [to race a hard mile], the day is probably not going to be your best.

Oh well.  There is now a need to shoot for a longish tempo effort run on Friday just to feel better about myself.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Naught Rest (a.k.a. Homer Simpson Is My Shepherd)

Exodus 31:15 -- For six days, work is to be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day must be put to death
In keeping with my general lifestyle of doing pretty much the opposite of what religion tells me to do, instead of resting, I did some track work with Jonny at CHS this morning.  Homer Simpson would approve given that a speed workout on a Sunday clearly makes it "Opposite Day", one of his favorites.

Before you smote me, stone me, or whatever it is that you may intend on doing after judging me, pleast note that I'm NOT condoning murder, theft, or any of that stuff that "God" tells you not to do (yet somehow is allowed to do or lets others do).  I simply find all the crazy stuff in that book to be just that--man made and absolutely crazy.  No need for all the rules and anti-rules, commandments, etc.  I do pretty decent with 3 simple guidelines: 
1. Plant seeds. 
2. Sing songs. 
3. Don't be a dick.
Anyway, about the running.....
I had originally had a loose goal of running something like 3 x 200, 2 x 400, 1 x 800 and then repeat in reverse order back down again, all at hard effort.  Jonny offered a new 10K sort of workout that we agreed would be better, or at least more interesting:  3 x 1600 (@ 10K pace)/ 3 x 800 (@ 5K pace)/ 3 x 300 (@ mile pace).  Although this doesn't sound that hard, it really wasn't easy and forced you to try and stay controlled and work on pace, yet still get progressively tired as the workout went on.  Plus, distance-wise, it is longer than our normal cumulative totals of approximately 3-3.5 miles of hard effort. 
It was a little windy but we did a good job and, after an easy 3 mile w/u,  accomplished a few tasks, in order of increasing difficutly:
1. figure out the complicated running math to determine split times/goals 
2. run the actual intervals 
3. complete the whole workout. 
My splits were as follows:
5:49, 5:41, 5:36 / 2:47, 2:44, 2:44 / 54, 55, 54 
(400m recoveries after each except 200-400 varied between the 300s).
Overall, good fun and I'm really glad I did it.  Those 300s at the end were a bitch (essentially 200s with a N.B.F.D. extra 100m thrown on at the end of each).  The session gives me a little more confidence plus decent mileage for the day (11 total), when, initially, I wasn't really sure what I was going to do. 
Good, honest, hard work on the Sabbath.
Don't tell the Lord......

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Li'l Rhody Runaround 8 Mile Trail Race

A gorgeous day (sunny, clear, 50 degrees) today for yet again another annual installment of WTAC's signature event, L'il Rhody Runaround.  This 8 mile mini-adventure is super fun as it follows the Vin Gormley Trail around Watchaug Pond in Charlestown, RI.

I arrived at 0900 to help the club set up and prepare for the record runners (300+).  Once my duties were taken care of, I was freed to go and run my warmup.  I ran an easy couple of miles with Greg and Jonny then changed into my racing shoes and realized that although I was working registration, I never picked up my bib! The race announcer blared "6 minutes to start" as I frantically tied my shoes and sprinted back to the registration area.  They were just packing up and, after several moments of confusion (forgot I had signed up as Muddy Puddin' instead of  CENSORED, I was able to get squared away. A few strides at the start and I lined up, ready to rock n roll.

At the gun I took off and settled into about 8 or 9th behind Jonny and Gazelle.  The pace felt perfect, exactly what it should've been at that point.  Unfortunately, 2 minutes in I felt my left shoe come untied (no double knots in the panic surrounding registration) so I had to stop for 5 seconds and retie.  Good thing I'm to knot tying what Josh Ferenc is to dominating life (you think you know but you have no idea).

We crossed through the campground (my least favorite part of the race) and entered back into the woods and single track for a long time.  I was right behind Jonny, and although the pace was good/spot on, I became frustrated by not being able to see the trail and its rocks, roots, and who knows what else.  I threw in a short surge to get around him and the next runner ahead of us and then found myself by myself  (Austin Powers?) in about 6th place.  I was glad to be opened up but also nervous because I was already fatiguing.  I'm not sure why but at this point I made a mental note to  catch the guy in the white hat about 30  meters ahead of me.  I didn't think it was realistic at all but it gave me something to focus on besides my tiring legs and fat kid breathing.

 I love some of the short, ankle rolling root and rocky sections.  The guys in front of me (strictly road runners?) definitely slowed down here, and I was able to gain some ground.  However, I was frustrated during the short turnout onto Buckeye Brook Road and its asphalt.  I watched the ground I had made up slip away as the 2-3 guys in front of me pulled away again over this 0.25 mile stretch. Damn it!! Luckily, as you turn back into the woods after this stretch there is some rocky, rolling elevation change and I was able to close the gap again.  On one of the uphills I gobbled up a "leader" and pulled away.  I had to use some precious fuel in the tank to maintain my hard effort here but I felt it was worth it/mandatory--a lot of predators behind me .  Redline the rest of the way?  OK, I guess.  No choice.  6:10-6:15 pace, although slower than tempo pace, is really grueling for me through the technical trail stuff and today was no different.  Just grind yourself down into the dirt and hope to hang on at the end.

I slowly snuck up on the two guys within sight of me as we worked our way along the north side of the pond.  Just before Pastore Liesure Center (and the ensuing turnout onto the final stretch of road) the two runners in front of me exhibited a distinct drop off, albeit minor.  I took the opportunity here, although I was hurting, to throw down another surge (a surge that slows down?!?!?) and moved around them.  Once we turned onto the road for the final 0.7-0.8 miles to the finish I opened up my stride and tried to pick it up to what felt like 10K pace.  With no juice left, it was hard.  I felt like I was in panic mode: "Don't let them get you! Don't let them catch you! They're right f*$&ing behind you!".

Luckily they didn't and as ugly as I'm sure I looked, I was able to kick/stumble home to the finish in 49:17 for a huge PR (last year 51:45) for 3rd OA.  I'm pretty happy but as with every race, it was far from perfect and there were things I could've/should've done more intelligently.  Oh well.

I'm actually more pleased with the huge showing by WTAC teammates and fellow LVL Legion members.  It seems like almost everyone else I'm associated with ran big PRs as well.  It's awesome knowing that my running club is growing in size/membership, fitness, and representation.  If you do the math, ("multiply by two, carry the one, find the linear regression, etc), that equals fun and motivation!  As I stood and scanned down the list of finishers (Results here) after the race, I couldn't help but wonder how many entrants are LVL followers.  I wish there were some way to tell.

Monday, November 12, 2012

NY Cowboy Tearful Tunes With Some Running Mixed In

MON.- 5mi. -- easier run on newly blazed trails in Grills Sanctuary [37:02]

TUE. -8mi. -- 4 x 200,  4 x 300, 2 x 200 @ CCMS track with Galoob, Gunshow, Gazelle, & Jonny.  Varied the pace throughout (gliding vs very hard).  Good workout. Fun with a lot of guys there.  Splits: [37, 35, 36, 30/52, 51, 50, 52/36, 35]. Cool down on trails of Spring Forward course.

WED.- 0

THU.- 11mi.  -- Rhody to Conn. back into Rhody. [1:20:02]

FRI.- 8mi. -- Vin Gormley recon with Gazelle and Crutch.  Legs felt like shit for first couple of miles then we picked it up.  A few blow downs and bad sections left but WTAC Wood Choppaz will take care of it.  Tired and not feeling well but a good run nonetheless.  [62:XX]

SAT.- 4mi. -- looking to double down before leaving for NY, I slipped in a short quicky before the 3.5 hour drive.  No run later in the day.  C'est la vie. FYI: if you're in that neck of the woods, hit up Olde Saratoga Brewery.  They serve free samples (3 oz. glasses) and you can "try" unlimited samples from their 17 brews on tap....I gathered A LOT of data (and walked back to the hotel).  [30:10]

SUN.- 5mi. -- ran with Mandy in Saratoga Spas State Park.  After a few miles, I saw a lot of runners with bibs on.  Holy shit!! I stopped and asked a woman directing traffic if there was indeed a race about to go down in the park.  A Firefighters Veterans 5K (or something like that--no results on Cool Running website).  I sprinted back to the van to get my wallet to sign up for it, given that the start was 8 mins away.  Unfortunately, it was locked (why does my wife run too?--see the new issue of Level Renner out right now).  Oh well.  Continued on around the pathways until I heard fireworks (BIG ONES!) announcing the start.  Definitely strange running around SPAC--the last time I was there it was a Phish show last year...rather different from running, eh?  Several minutes later I met up with Mandy and as we tried to drive out of the park, we had to pause for the race.  We sat in the van and watched the leader go by (at about 6:55-7:00 pace!).  Damn it!  I could've won!  Oh well, at least I got to leave my mark on the park (in the woods) --picture a whiny country music ballad "I Left My Socks In Saratoga".  Followed up the runs with some small but solid mountain treks [36:10]

--> a low mileage week but I still got to escape from my spawn for a few days (if that sounds awful, try raising 3 children), drink a lot of beer, hike some small mountains (2600' or less), and have a few days of peace and quiet.  The world would be a better place if everyone got "high" (elevation) on the weekends.  Interesting side note: I have a doozy of a  chest infection with some hardcore coughing but I try not to let it interfere with my running or decadent lifestyle too much.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

"I will call him, Mini Me(et)".

Finally found (thanks to Level Renner on Twitter) specific dates and times from USTAF-NE regarding this December's BU mini meets. 

Ever since running last year with Boj, I've been intrigued by these mini feats of running fitness and I'm itching to take a stab at one (or maybe two).  I've never raced indoors and I'm thinking that I would probably hate it.  Normally I'd have no desire to compete with "real" runners however, I've been informed that you can jump into heats specific to your goals and abilities.  That is, I'd be able to race in the 5:00 mile heat(s) and not have to embarass myself by running agains 4:10 guys (or lower). Please, someone correct me if this is erroneous. Can I really just show up, register, pay a small fee and try to kill myself by running in ovals?

Why do it? My response would be, 'Why not?'.  I'm really close to breaking five minutes.  In July, I struggled on an outdoor track during warm, humid weather to run a 5:01.  What's 2 more seconds, right?

15 December is the day before the Old Mountain 5k Trail Race so that one is out but the following Saturday looks really promising.  22 December fits my schedule nicely. Anybody up for chasing a fast mile on a tiny oval with me?

No indoor spikes.  No experience on a tiny indoor track.  No clue what I'm doing.  No worries.

4:59 or bust.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Week of 10.29.12 - 11.4.12

MON.- 6mi. -- first 2 miles slow with Mason "in the hurricane". Felt pretty good day after 5K PR attempt [43:00]

TUE.- 6mi. -- CHS track.  10 x 200 @ R pace. Most 35 & 36, but two 34s (wind aided of course!) Could've been worse I suppose (e.g. buried under water and salty sand).

Photo of Misquamicut (Gazelle Country) courtesy of some guy in a plane.

WED.- 8mi. -- a.m.. had fun running at a decent pace in cold drizzle on yet again ANOTHER no-school day (UGH!). [56:01] /// 4mi.--p.m....easier stroll (escape from the house).  [30:05]

THU.- 0

FRI.- 6mi. -- roads around home [42:05]

SAT.- 9mi -- did my husbandly duties by dropping off the van at end point (for Mandy and my sister-in-law's final 20 miler) and then ran home from near Green Fall Pond.  Chilly and enjoyable. [67:50]

SUN.- 16mi.--fun chilly run in Burlingame with Jonny, Sandals, Seekell, and John from C-town. Slow at times and faster for others.   Perfect weather with a minimum of hunters. [2:04:XX]

--> a rather strange yet productive and fun week.  A "super storm", no school for three days, and some Halloween mixed in with running and fun size candy consumption left me feeling happy yet somehow unfit.  It's was really a microcosm of my existance in general.  I drink too much.  I eat too much of my children's candy.  But at least people tend to entertain me by being creative in general.