Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 - Year in Review

2013 is in the books.  Here's a look back:

First the numbers:

- I ran a total of 2,899mi = 55.8mpw average for the year.  This puts me well behind 2012, 11, and 10 where I ran over 3,200 miles in those years and enjoyed a lot of pr's.  2012 was my highest with 3,361miles.  This year's total is very close to 2009, 08, and 07 where I ran 2,890, 2,889 and 2,904 miles in those years.

- My highest mileage month of the year was August with 349 miles = 78.8mpw average.  This is typical for me.  (August is always my highest month)

- My lowest month was April with 152mi = 35.5mpw average.  I got a sinus infection that kicked my butt for 8 days.  I layed around for my entire April vacation and after I finally got healthy, my back was tight and stiff and was a real problem.  This was a huge setback for 2013 and was a major reason for my slower times this spring and summer.  I went into the summer in poor shape and couldn't build my mileage up like I usually do.  I had to DNS Tarc 50K as a result of the sinus infection.

- I raced 27 times.  I won 11 of those races.  My shortest race I won was an 800m and the longest race I won was a 10mi trail race.

- I set 0 p.r.'s this year.  I also did not set any personal bests for races that I had raced before.  This was my first year in a while with no pr's or pb's, it was a little disappointing, but I've been racing a long time and I'm not getting any younger.  I know I still have a few more fast years in me and refuse to admit that I might be slowing down. 

I had some highs and lows this year.  I'll start with the lows:

- Setting no pr's or pb's.  (as mentioned above)

- KSC Alumni race - I didn't finish in the top 5 for the alumni for the first time. (I was 7th) The new alumni keep getting faster and I'll have to work hard to get back into the top 5 next year.

- I have some arthritis that leaves me pretty stiff on some days.  It's something I'm able to manage pretty well, but some days are tougher than others.  I can't complain, there are people with worse problems.

- Wednesday workouts have been a little inconsistent.  We have a small core of guys that try to make it happen, but it's just not what it used to be.  I need to just keep making it a priority to show up and hopefully others will follow suit.

Here are the highs:

- Setting the world record in the 4x800 for 35+ was really a cool experience.  I take the record with a grain of salt.  Obviously, elite 800 runners that are 35 could absolutely crush this time.  The thing is they haven't done that, so I'm happy to have my name in the record books.

- It was cool winning the Run with the Beavers 10mi trail race and having Jonny come in 2nd.  That was our first time going 1-2 in a race and the icing on the cake was Glenn sealing the win for team Hamboj by running a strong race. 

- Winning Lil Rhody for the 7th time was pretty special.  It was a strong field and I had my doubts, but in the end I got the job done.  I'm hoping to win a few more.

- Probably my best race of the year was the New Bedford Half Marathon.  I ran 1:11:10 which was not a p.r., but it was a really great result for me.  I was thinking I'd probably run in the mid 1:12's.  I ran tough and was very happy with the outcome.

- I had a great snowshoe season at the beginning of the year, winning 3 snowshoe races.  It was a great year for snow and Jen and I had a lot of fun at the races.

I have some running goals for 2014:

- Stay healthy

- Do yoga more consistently after my runs.  I used to be so good about doing this after every run.  I've really gotten out of this habit this year, time to get back into it.

- Lift 2 x week.

- Weekly hill sprints

- Weekly speed workouts at Daniel's pace.  Don't train in No Man's Land!

- Run more trail races.  I'd like to try some new ones I've never done before.

- P.r. at the Pisgah 50K.

- Run doubles year round.

- Run over 3,400miles.

- Race some outdoor track events.

I think if I can stick to these goals, I will definitely set some new pr's in the new year.  Most importantly, I want to continue to enjoy every run I do and appreciate the people that I race and run with.  Happy New Year everyone!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Sunday, December 29th, 2013 - End of the Run Log Year

18mi*/2:13 on the Saxton's River trails with Ferenc, Justin M. and Brent.  The trail had a decent amount of snow and ice which made a tough run even tougher.  I was annoyingly tired on all the climbs, possibly from yesterday's double run.  Fun conversations and a great time spent in the woods. 

Total for the week:  53mi - Lifted once and did a long run, but other than that, this week was pretty lack luster.  Christmas festivities interfered, but no big deal. 

Total for the (short) month - 221mi = 53.3mpw average

Total for 2013 - 2,899mi = 55.8mpw average

My paper run log ends today, so this is where I end my yearly and monthly totals.  The New Running Year starts tomorrow and with it new possibilities and goals.  I'll do a year in review soon.

Saturday, December 28th

Am:  9mi/64min in Pisgah with Thomas and Griffin.  We went out and checked out the tracks I saw yesterday.  They were black bear tracks.  I took pictures, but I'm too lazy to post them here.  Thomas took a nasty digger on an ice patch.

Pm:  5mi/45min up Pitcher Mtn with Glenn and Jonny from my parent's house in Stoddard.  Slow run with full bellies.  We ate a huge meal and then immediately went for a run.  No barfing from anyone, but it was uncomfortable.  Great views on top of Pitcher.

Friday, December 27th

10mi/69min in Pisgah solo.  Good run.  There was 2" of fresh snow that covered up some of the ice on the trail which made for some tricky spots.  I saw some good sized tracks out in the woods.  Lifted weights.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Thursday, December 26th

0mi.  Jen and I woke up and left Corning, NY at 3:30 in the morning.  With the intent that I'd get home around 9:30 and take a nap and then get some kind of running or lifting in.  We hit quite a snowstorm which slowed the commute down, and we didn't get into Chesterfield, NH until 10:45am.

All the animals I ate over the holiday and the lack of fiber (did I eat any plants while I was there?) came back to haunt me in the afternoon.  Instead of running, I spent the afternoon and evening with horrible stomach pains.  Where's the Pepto?  Where's the Tums?  Where's the prune juice?  The ghost of Christmas dinner past came back to wreak havoc with my G.I. system.  I think I'm becoming a vegetarian for the new year.  

Wednesday, December 25th

5mi/32min on the roads of Corning, NY solo.  Ugghhh.  My stomach is bloated and painful from all the animals I consumed last night.  I woke up with a meat hangover, feeling quite crappy.  The run was good and the weather was quite cold, 12 degrees.  I would have liked to have gone longer, but the Christmas festivities only allowed a short run. 

At night, I over indulged once again eating a delicious medium rare steak, washed down with a whole Cornish Game Hen. 

Tuesday, December 24th

6mi/53min in McCarthy State Forest - Addison, NY.  I ran with Jen and Griffin nice and easy.  This was a cool little place that we seemed to have to ourselves.  The ground was swampy and wet in spots due to the thaw from the 65 degree they had on Sunday.  When we had a mile left, we encountered a bus with 7 people doing trail maintenance.  We said hello and they seemed friendly enough, but we realized the bus said Dept of Corrections State of NY on the side.  Jen and I were both a little freaked out when we realized that this was some sort of chain gang out doing trail work.  We picked up the pace a bit and kind of laughed about it once we were safely in our car.  Nothing like the thought of a good Christmas Eve massacre in the middle of nowhere, NY to get your blood pumping! 

At night I ate about 10lbs of meet in the form of Roast Beef, Swedish meatballs, shrimp cocktail, bacon wrapped dates, crab blaylock, clam dip, and bacon cheese dip. 

Monday, December 23rd

0mi.  My legs were pretty beat up today from the big weekend of running.  I went for a short hike with Jen in a state park near Corning. 

Sunday, December 22nd

19mi*/2:15 in Claremont, NH with Ferenc, Brent, Justin M., and Heidi.  This was a nice run over the hills and back roads of Claremont.  Brent and Justin played tour guide on this one.  My legs were feeling a little tired from the mountain run yesterday.  The weather at my house was 52 degrees at my house and I almost didn't bring a long sleeve or hat and gloves.  Glad I did, because in Claremont it was 38 and windy.  Drove to Corning, NY in the afternoon.  Total for the week:  52miles with a track workout, hill sprints, long run, mountain run, a lifting session and good yoga session.  I even ran on the snowshoes twice.  Next week will be a struggle to run and lift with the trip to NY.

Saturday, December 21st

10mi*/1:26 - Mt. Ascutney with Ferenc, Lena and Ellie.  Great run.  There was a few inches of slushy snow on the auto road, it slowed us down a bit, but we had ok traction on it.  I felt good on the climb and was really enjoying the run.  We hit miles of 12:12, 12:40, 12:33 and 8:37(.7mi) to the parking lot for a time of 45:58.  We ran to the summit on the trail in 11:09.  We climbed the tower and hung out on top for a bit.  The dogs even climbed the tower!  Once we got to the parking lot on the way down we decided to cruise pretty fast.  The snow seemed to cushion our legs and we were able to descend quickly.  We did the 3.7mi down in 5:14(.7mi), 5:42, 5:35, and 4:59.  It was fun to break 5min on the last mile.  I want to go back a few more times this winter to do this run again.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Friday, December 20th

0mi. I hung out with Glenn, Gina, Jen and the twins.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Thursday, December 19th

Am: 2mi/14min on the roads with J.B. Pm: 5miSS/35min in Pisgah with Griffin. I threw on the snowshoes for another run. I was hoping the snowmobiles had been out. I started out on virgin snow and was working hard but was happy to see that the main trail had just been groomed for the snowmobiles. I always feel a twinge of guilt running on the freshly groomed trail. It's like running on glass. Good run. Ended with the headlamp on. Went out to dinner after with Jen and got an awesome ribeye steak. If I was MacKnight, I'd post a photo of the plate. No photo, but trust me it was bomb. Tomorrow lift and run easy. This is shaping up to a low mileage week. Good thing I'm focusing on the 800 this indoor season. My aerobic base is junk. I'm starting to feel more athletic with this lack of miles, that's a good feeling.

Wednesday, December 18th

10mi*/69min. Track workout at the Monadnock track with George, Boj and James. George snowblowed the first two lanes of the track so we gave it a go there instead of at Baker St. There was still a thin layer of slippery snow on the track but it was fun being on the track nonetheless. 200-200-400 x 4 with 200rest after the 2's and 400rest after the 4's. Result: (35, 34, 72, 33, 33, 70, 33, 32, 69, 32, 31, 66) The effort was a lot faster than the times indicated due to the slipping. I'm pretty happy with how this went. I stayed smooth and kept a little in the tank for the meet coming up on Saturday.

Tuesday, December 17th

3mi/20min on the roads in the morning solo. It was -3 degrees for this early run. I lifted weights in the evening. I had to drop off my truck to get some work done. I didn't feel like putting on the headlamp for a slog on the snowshoes. I'm happy I lifted.

Monday, December 16th

3miSS/21min in Pisgah with Griffin. I was working very hard in the deep snow. I was disheartened to see that the snowmobiles had not been out yet. Ughh. I was planning to go longer, but breaking trail is tough work and I wasn't feeling it. Did 4 x 8sec hill sprints after. Feel good.

Sunday, December 15th

0mi. I spent the day shoveling the 13" of snow. Cleared the driveway and the flat roof and raked the roof. Good man work, but I should have run. Oh well. Total for the week: 41mi. Not a good week. My race was ok, I'm not sure what I would have run on a clear course with warmer temps. My workout was good and glad I lifted. Next week, I'm racing the mile and 800 at the first BU Mini Meet.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Saturday, December 14th - JingleBell 5K

12mi*/1:15. Jingle Bell 5K, Concord, NH - 16:41 (5:22) 2nd place. This is my 4th year in a row of doing this race. I do this race every year, because I like that it raises money to fight against arthritis. Arthritis sucks, and that's all I have to say about that. I proudly wear my bells while running to ring out against arthritis. I originally did this race back in 2010 because I was in awesome shape and looking for a 5K pr. I had run the old course back in 2002 and it was pancake flat and fast. (I was out of shape that year and ran 16:30 or so). Well, they changed the course in 2010 which included a decent hill in the 2nd mile, making it not the pr course I was hoping for that year. I ended up running 15:44 for the win. In 2011, I went out hard with a very fit Fyffe. I faded badly and ran 15:59. Fyffe set the course record in 15:24. Last year, 2012, I won in a hard cold rain where it was 33 degrees. I ran 16:01 which I was pleased with considering the miserable conditions. Fast forward to 2013, I know I'm not in great shape but I'm feeling pretty good in workouts. Najem showed up which is great. I knew I'd be shooting for 2nd once I saw him. We did a nice long warm-up which included the course. The dirt road in the first mile was completely snow and ice covered. It was going to make for a slow day. It was also a bit chilly at 5 degrees. Brrr. I'm not one to complain about the cold though, I will take 5 degrees to 95 and humid any day. At the gun, Naj took the lead with Colin Lee and I sitting on his shoulder. When we turned onto the snow covered dirt road, we got some separation from Colin and it wasn't long until Naj started to power away from me. I was kind of surprised to see how fast he could run on the slippery stuff. I knew he'd be fast on the roads and especially the downhill but I thought I might have an advantage on him on the snow. Wrong! He pulled away, I kept the gap somewhat close on the climb on the road in the 2nd mile, but he really started smoking on the downhill. Colin wasn't far behind me as I could hear his footstrikes in the last mile. I dug down and was able to hold him off. Hitting the line in 16:41 was mildly shocking. I know the snow covered road slowed us down, but I'm not sure by how much. The cold temps probably slowed us down as well, but still, I was disappointed with that slow time. This makes the upcoming indoor season look quite daunting. I'll be back next year to test where I'm at and raise money to fight arthritis.

Friday, December 13th

10mi/67min in Pisgah with Ferenc, Lena and Ellie. A nice layer of snow on the trails. We saw otter slides at Fullam Pond. Flicked on the head lamps for the last 30min. Tired the last mile.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Thursday, December 12th

Am: 2mi/14min with J.B. before school. It was 12 degrees out. Frosty! Pm: 7mi/55min up Mt. Wantastiquit with Ferenc and the girls. We left a little after 9pm with headlamps on. The moon was bright and the snow made for a beautiful night for a run. The trail had some icy spots and wet spots that we had to walk and tip toe around, but it was mostly nice hard packed snow. The view at the top was amazing with Brattleboro, VT lit up below us. The night was cold and we didn't linger long. The high altitude (1,400 ft) was making me feel a little foggy. I knew I was starting to feel the effects of HACE, so we quickly descended back to lower elevations. This night run was a great idea, I would have not done it by myself on that night. Glad to have Ferenc get me off the couch for this one. I think the Bossman would have loved this. The dogs seemed to have a good time as well.

Wednesday, December 11th - Back to Baker

10mi*/68min - Baker St. workout with Boj, Andy, James, and Nick. 4 x 800 with 400rest + 4 x 200 with 200rest. Result: (2:40, 2:35, 2:34, 2:27, 33, 32, 31, 30). This was a good workout. There was a lot of snow on all the turns which made for slow going. I was glad to ease into this workout, it felt really cold out there. There is something special about being at Baker St. I love doing "track" workouts there.

Tuesday, December 10th

0mi. Another day of feeling unmotivated to run. I lifted weights and had a good session. I need to be more consistent with this.

Monday, December 9th

0mi. I had a retirement party to go to right after school. Legs tired from yesterday's long run.

Sunday, December 8th

18mi*/1:59 on Grafton, VT roads with Ferenc, Brent Wilmont, and Justin Montgomery. This was a good run. It's nice to train with some different guys. The conversation made the run fly by. My legs were a bit tired from pounding the roads after about an hour and a half. Total for the week: 54 miles. Next week I need to do hill sprints. I'm racing the Jingle Bell 5K.

Saturday, December 7th

10mi/64min in Pisgah solo. 1" of snow on the ground. Feeling really good. Did a great yoga session after the run.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Friday, December 6th

8mi/55min in Pisgah with Ferenc, Griffin, Lena, and Ellie. Good run. My legs felt great today. I guess I can put that crappy hill workout behind me now. I am still a runner, I don't have to quit, there is still hope. OK, I guess I'm being a little dramatic, but it's funny after all these years, that a bad workout really gets to me (sometimes). Well life is good and balance has been restored to the universe. Jen and I had a great time at Miller's at night. Singing Zombie by the Cranberries was so funny my face still hurts!

Thursday, December 5th

2mi/13min on the roads with J.B. Feel decent. I had a meeting that went very late after school today. When I got home I just didn't want to throw on the headlamp to run. Instead I lifted weights which my weak atrophied muscles have been begging for. It felt great to finally pump some iron. This is exactly what I needed today. I need to build a routine of this.

Wednesday, December 4th

10mi*/67min. Drummer Hill workout. With Andy, Boj, and Thomas. Clint ran the warmup with us but then had to head back. We did the mile again, this time Thomas showed us exactly where it ends. After we did 4 x 400 and then the goal was 4 x 200. My legs were very flat and it was a crappy workout. I decided to pull the plug after the first 200. Here is the result: (6:30, 70, 71, 67, 65, 34, xx, xx, xx). I have to admit that this workout really frustrated and discouraged me. I'm guessing that Sunday's grueling hilly long run was still slowing me down a bit, especially on a hill workout.

Tuesday, December 3rd

2mi/13min in Pisgah with Griffin. Well I was running out of daylight and I really didn't even want to run, but Griffin was having none of that. Did some pushups, crunches, and lunges after the run.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Monday, December 2nd

4mi*/26min in Pisgah with Griffin. Did a moderate progression run. After the run, I did a good yoga session. Legs feel strong.

Sunday, December 1st

20mi*/2:18. George, Ferenc and I ran from Mt. Wantastiquet to my house. This is an epic run with lot's of climbing. It was gorgeous out there. I especially love the view from Wantastiquet overlooking Indian Pond. You can see the 3 big climbs ahead of us and get an idea of where my house is located. Feeling good!

Saturday, November 30th

0mi. Drove back from Corning and feeling lazy. November totals: 206mi = 48.1mpw average. Not a big mile month, heck it hasn't been a big mile year. I had 3 pretty solid races and it's nice to be doing track workouts again and starting hill sprints. I really need to be more consistent with lifting and yoga. My goal for December is to do hill sprints every week, continue good track workouts, lift 2x a week, and do yoga 3x a week. I'd like to do some good long runs with some up tempo running built into the long run. I am just shooting for 50 miles per week during these shortest days of the year. I'm excited to get on the indoor track at a couple mini meets. I will probably not be racing at the URI Alumni Meet because my aunt is coming up from Tennessee.

Friday, November 29th

9mi/60min on the Corning roads solo. Good run. Cold and snowy. Feeling good. Did some short hikes on the Finger Lakes trail in the afternoon with Jen and Griffin.

Thusday, November 28th - Pie and Glove 5K

8mi*/51min. Pie and Glove 5K - 16:05 (5:11) 2nd place. It was cold and windy, 19 degrees at the start. There was also a snow covered road for the first 300m and last 300m which made for slow going. I was in the lead group of 3 for the first mile. There were no mile markers this year so I don't know my splits. James Osbourne made a big move around the mile mark and took off. I tried to go with him, but he was way too fast. I was able to drop the college kid running with me. James continued to pull away easily and he won in 15:35. Last year he ran 14:52 and I was 15:13. I'm definitely slower this year, but the course ran slow this year. The head wind on the way back was tough. I got a pie for winning my age group and Jen won her age group too. I picked up an apple pie and she grabbed a pumpkin pie. The turkey dinner at Jen's parent's house was delicious after the race. Jen's sister, Katie ran and so did her brother John and his wife and two kids. It's fun when it's a family affair. This is my 4th year getting 2nd place. It'd be nice to win, but I'll have to be super fit, James is fast!

Wednesday, November 27th

5mi/33min on the Corning, NY roads solo. Nice easy run. Tomorrow race and eat turkey.

Tuesday, November 26th

3mi/20min. Ran the roads solo in the morning before school. We drove out to Corning, NY right after school to try to beat the snow storm. No luck. We hit snow in Vermont and it was slow going the rest of the way. It took us 7hrs and 20min to get to our destination. 3 inches of snow in Corning.

Monday, November 25th

9mi/64min in Pisgah with George and Griffin. Good run. We had to turn on the headlamps for the last 20min.

Sunday, November 24th

4mi*/28min in Pisgah with Griffin + 3 x 8sec hill sprints. I was going to double but got into watching Dexter and watched way too many episodes. I'm hooked. I love the hill sprints!

Saturday, November 23rd

17mi*/2:01. I ran with Ferenc and his girls. We ran up Putney Mtn then over to Pinnacle Mtn then back to Putney Mtn. Great run, beautiful sunny fall day. Feeling good.

Friday, November 22nd

0mi. Feeling lazy and unmotivated.

Thursday, November 21st

7mi/51min at Waterville Valley. Ran with Pat Ard. Good run. We ran up Snow's Mtn which is a little bunny slope next to Waterville Valley. Great views of the village at the top.

Wednesday, November 20th

9mi*/61min. Keene High track workout with Thomas, George, Boj and Clint. 2miles at T pace (10:44) 400 rest + 4 x 400 with 200 rest at I pace (73, 72, 72, 64). I love these kind of mixed workouts. They're not super challenging but a quality workout nonetheless. Legs feel good.

Tuesday, November 19th

Am: 2mi with J.B. in the morning. Pm: 8mi/53min in Pisgah with Griffin. Legs feeling sluggish.

Monday, November 18th

0mi. Was going to run with Ferenc but he got a flat and had to take care of it. Decided to take a zero.