Saturday, September 06, 2008

Week Recap (31 August 2008 - 6 September 2008) - 90 Miles

I couldn't really expect much more out of this week. I wanted to keep the mileage consistent even though I knew the last couple of days of the week would be short because of the alumni meet. I had a couple of short days early in the week but made up for it by doubling up Wednesday and Thursday and posting some solid mileage for those 2 days. I had a decent fartlek on Tuesday at Franklin Park, nothing amazing but a good effort before Saturday's race. Winning the alumni meet was a nice way to close off the week. The race wasn't that fast but cross country is not really about times and coming out with the win was enough for me to be satisfied with the outcome. I was running by myself for most of the race and there was definitely a lot more left in the tank which is good enough to make me think that my training is heading in the right direction. 

Alumni Meet

I wasn't really sure what to expect coming in this race so I didn't spent that much time coming up with a plan. I knew I was in fairly good shape but far from being race sharp. Plus I hadn't run a cross country race in almost two years (last year's alumni meet doesn't really count) so I was hesitant to get out and hammer from the start. I was content with getting out at whatever the early pace was and figured I would start pushing somewhere between miles 2 and 3. I was expecting Yermie to get out in the lead and was somewhat surprised that I was all the way to the front by the time we rounded the first corner. It was pretty hot and muggy today so that may have contributed to everyone being a little more conservative. For the first mile I was running side by side with Schmeck and we came through in a pedestrian 5:20. It felt like we were running slow but I was secretely hoping that the pace was reasonably fast and just felt easy  because I was in such great shape. Of course that was not the case and once I heard our split I figured I should get moving. I picked up the pace and only Yermie stayed on my heels. That only lasted until we reached Bear Cage where I started building a gap on the way up. Climbing Bear Cage felt easier than ever before and I felt strong topping the hill. I thought that Yermie would try to close the gap on the way down but that didn't happen and I figured I should keep pushing the pace and put the race away early. I came through the 2 mile mark in 10:47 and by the time I got into the Wilderness I couldn't hear anyone close. With no one around to push me for the rest of the way it felt more like I was running a workout rather than racing. I was just going through the motions and didn't really stay focused the entire time. I'm not sure about my exact mile splits, from what I remember hearing I was around 16:15 at mile 3 and 21:50 at mile 4. As Schmeck pointed out, this was the slowest winning time for the Alumni meet since we can get results for. I sure can't argue against calling this a slow race, despite the far from ideal weather conditions. A win is a win, though, I ran as hard as I had to and it's not my fault that Yermie can talk the talk but can't walk the walk. I didn't do anything to prepare specifically for this race and didn't cut back the mileage at all so overall I'm satisfied with how things turned out. After all it's hard to be disappointed after a win, especially since this was my first cross country win ever (excluding high school). 

Saturday, September 6, 2008 [9M]

Alumni Cross Country Meet, 26:58 for the win. I cut it a bit close and showed up at Franklin park with 10-15 minutes to spare before I had to start my warm-up. I ran with Schmeck, going through the usual couple of miles on the course. Despite not cutting back the mileage this week my legs felt fairly fresh and strides felt smooth and fast. The start of the race was rather slow and by the time we rounded the first corner I was in the lead, running side by side with Schmeck. We came through the mile in 5:20, I picked up the pace right away and only Yermie stayed close until we got to Bear Cage. I built a gap going up Bear Cage and continued pushing the pace until I hit Wilderness, by which time I had made clean break. I was all by myself for the rest of the race and didn't really force things much, I just kept the legs turning and got myself to the finish. Only put in a couple of miles for cool-down with Schmeck and headed back to MIT for some pizza. 

Friday, September 05, 2008

Friday, September 5, 2008 [6M]

Newton Center. Out of the door this afternoon by 6:30PM for a short and easy run. I ran to the Reservoir and picked up Beacon St to Newton center. I looped around a couple of side streets and headed back to Beacon then around the Reseroir and back to Lenia's place. My legs were feeling decent and hopefully this easy day will keep them fresh for tomorrow's race. 

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Thursday PM, September 4, 2008 [6M]

Harvard - Reservoir. I got out again around 7PM for my second run of the day. I headed from Lenia's place down Commonwealth and crossed to Beacon over Harvard St. I was only thinking of running 4 miles when I set out but I was feeling good enough to add a loop around the Reservoir and bump it to 6. Taking things easy this afternoon and just putting in the miles at something close to 7:00 pace. 

Thursday AM, September 4, 2008 [10M]

Jamaica through Fens.  I was up at 11 AM again and was planning on going for a regular 5-6 mile morning run but after getting a call from Jake I drove over at MIT at 1PM and met him for a run. We took the route to Jamaica through the Fens so we could have the option of running through shade for most of the run, which was well needed on such a hot day. We were moving fast from get the get go and kept it that way for the entire run. My legs were a bit tired, probably because of  yesterday's 20 mile day, but I got into it after a couple of miles.  We wound up back at MIT in right around 62 minutes and added a lap around the track to round it up to 10. We were just under 6:00 pace for that lap and were probably not that far off earlier in the run. We ran a few good strides on the track before I headed back. 

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Wednesday PM, September 3, 2008 [14M]

Arboretum. I had a meeting again until 5:30PM so I got a late start again and had to run by myself. I decided to run over to the Arboretum and took the shortest way there, heading down Chestnut Hill and making my way to Jamaica. It was about 3.5 miles to the Arboretum and I made it there in 23:30. I ran one loop around the perimeter and was back out at 51:30. I was initially shooting for something close to 10 this afternoon but I was feeling good and thought about extending the run by a couple of miles. Instead of heading back once I got to Jamaica, I continued around the lake and went on in the same way as I would be finishing the loop at MIT. Of course I didn't end up all the way to MIT but turned on Beacon, crossed to Commonwealth over Washington St and headed back to Lenia's place. I ballparked the route back to be around 4.5 - 5 miles but it turned out to be right around 6 so I must have done something wrong in my calculations. I wound up back in 1:28 and I was planning to call this 13 but the trip to the Arboretum and back was about 9.5 and I was moving fast enough in the Arboretum to put in more than 4 miles in 28 minutes so I think I can round this up to 14. I've rounded down a couple of runs this week so I think I have some miles in the bank. 

Wednesday AM, September 3, 2008 [6M]

Reservoir - Harvard. I'm still on West Coast time and didn't wake up until 11 this morning. I got out from Lenia's place around noon and headed towards the Reservoir. I ran around the Reservoir, continued down Beacon then crossed over to Commonwealth over Harvard St and headed back up. Took things fairly easy,  averaging just under 6:50 pace. 

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Tuesday, September 2, 2008 [12M]

Fartlek at Franklin park. I wanted to join the guys on their workout at Franklin Park this afternoon but I had a meeting to dial in to and didn't get out until 5:30PM. I drove over to Franklin Park afterwards and got there while everyone was finishing up their cool-down. I decided to run a fartlek on the 5 mile course and got started after a 2 mile warm-up. My hard efforts were 2:30 long and I kept the rest around 2:00. I started out somewhat aggressively on the first one, mostly because I was excited about running at Franklin Park again and started visualizing Saturday's race. I didn't stay aggressive the rest of the way though and I can't say that I was putting in my hardest efford. I haven't run a workout like this in a long time and I think I'm no longer used to running short and hard intervals. I could have pushed the rest some more but I wasn't focused enough to realize I had recovered. Ended up running the course in right around 28:00, which is nothing spectacular but I suppose not too bad considering how much effort I was putting in. I ran the course backwards for cool-down and called it day.  

Monday, September 01, 2008

Monday, September 1, 2008 [10M]

Ocean. I drove to MIT and met with the guys for their 3PM practice. I made it there just in time and headed out with Jake, Yermie and Khatch. We started out at a decent pace, not too fast but a bit faster than I'm used to. It took a mile or so for my legs to adjust to the early pace but after that I got into the rhythm and was crusing along. I felt good on the climb up G Street, which seemed shorter and less steep than I remember. Coming down from the monument we started rolling some more and we were probably running sub 6 the rest of the way. We added a loop around Boston Common and stopped briefly at the frog pond where Jake took a dip and quacked like a duck to pay off his dues to Khatch. Got back into it as soon as we got started again and took off with Jake  in the last couple of miles. We were probably running 5:30s all the way from  the commons to MIT. Turned out to be a pretty solid run overall, noticably faster than what I'm used to but I was feeling good the whole way. It was nice to get the legs moving and catch up with the guys again.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sunday, August 31, 2008 [17M]

I took the red eye to Boston last night and landed at Logan at 8:15 AM. Not long after I made it to my sister's place in Brighton, Schmeck drove over and we headed out for a run. We started close to Cleveland Circle and first ran to the Reservoir then picked up Beacon and ran past BC. We continued all the way to Washington St and picked up the marathon course on the way back. Schmeck only wanted to run for about an hour but we wound up back in 1:25. We were taking it easy, just chatting and catching up the whole way, so hopefully this wasn't too big of a deal. I was content with not adding any more miles at that point and chilled with Schmeck for a while and had some water to drink. I thought that I could get out again in the afternoon for some extra mileage but eventually I convinced myself to get out right away and keep my afternoon free. I didn't get much sleep on the plane and was pretty tired but I thought I'd rather get the run out of the way and spend the rest of the day resting. I headed back towards the reservoir and went down on Beacon to Summit Ave. I went up the long side, crossed over to Commonwealth and headed back to my sister's place. I was out for another 35 minutes so calling this a 17 mile day is probably a safe bet. Not a bad start to the week considering all the traveling and lack of sleep. I was pretty spent by the end but a 3 hour nap in the afternoon was good enough for me to feel refreshed again.
August Miles: 359