Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Tuesday run with Nate

5.36 miles on the road with Nate in 37:12. Down Grapevine to West Beach, 127 through the center of Beverly Farms and back. Warm and nice outside.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Fourteen miles

Took the day off from work today and spent some time with Heather, Ben, Grace and Emma. Snuck out around 1:00 for a beautiful fourteen-mile loop in just under an hour and a half. Felt pretty good on the longest run in some time. Hoping to start consistently getting in a weekly run at least this long. Grilled some firecracker burgers from the meat house for dinner and what didn't fall through the grate was delicious. Waiting on some tiramisu for dessert. Note: haven't closed in on that goal of 150 lbs. for Mt. Washington. Still hovering about 11 pounds over the mark. Probably going to end up carrying a little extra upper body "strength" up the hill in June.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Past week of life and training

Sunday April 28

Beautiful day!

Up at 5:30 am with Grace to start fire in the yard to cook hotdogs and marshmallows for breakfast. Ben got up a little past 7:00 and joined us by the fire. Guests arrived for second breakfast at 8:30, then caravanned (sp?) to church and Panera afterwards.

After Panera, ran 7 miles at 6:38 pace (recovery?) and had some thoughts:

and then I deleted them, because they didn't sound as insightful this afternoon in print as they seemed in my head on the run earlier.

Saturday April 27

10 miles at 6:08 pace after the Commonwealth Coast Conference meet, where my team made me proud. Ran inspired, but tired.

Camp-out number two of the year in the backyard with Ben and Grace. Not quite as cold as the first night out, but still got below forty. Didn't hear as many coyotes as before, but some nice "who-cooks-for-you-all" from a barred owl just before dawn.

Friday April 26

9.66 at 7:01 pace with Nate on the roads. I was a little sore from going out hard yesterday.

Thursday April 25

almost 8.5 miles, mostly woods; took a dive into a swamp I thought I could jump across; came back to my office half-covered in swamp muck. Made for some good conversations.

Wednesday April 24

Attended "Pop" Brackmann's funeral in West Caldwell, NJ. Nice tribute to a man with a great legacy. Heather and her bro sang "Amazing Grace" beautifully. Heather, Andrew and their Dad all spoke.

Tuesday April 23

5.73 with Heather at 7:16 pace on hilly roads from Mom and Dad Brackmann's in Long Valley, NJ.

Monday, April 22, 2013


10.25 with Heather's brother Andrew around the hills of Long Valley (from Heather's parents house). 7:02 pace felt like a pretty good effort, especially while talking most of the way.


Ran just under 3 miles in a little over 30 minutes in the woods and swamp behind Asbury Grove before heading down to NJ.

Nice afternoon at Heather's grandmother's house in West Caldwell catching up with family we hadn't seen in a while.


No run. Early morning bus to Fitchburg State and late bus home. 3 school records (men's shot, men's long jump and women's hammer). Good day for the team. Found out in the AM that Heather's grandfather passed away, so we planned a trip down for the beginning of the week for the services and to see family.


Nate and I tried to find our way through the woods to Apple Street (the reverse of Wednesday) and ended up on Pond St. and then went back in on Rocky Hill where we had come out on Wednesday. Still need to perfect this loop. Some nice trails and some bushwhacking. Almost 12 miles at a 7:55 average.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

3 x 2-mile

2+ mile warmup up to the track and on the track (8 laps).

First 2-mile: 10:19 (5:06/5:13)

one lap recovery

Second 2-mile: 10:22 (5:10/5:12)

one lap recovery

Third 2-mile: 10:22 (5:11/5:11)

2+ mile cooldown (8 laps on the track then back down to Bennett)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


Nate and I headed down to Apple Street in Essex and attempted to find our way back through the woods to Chebacco. We ended up on Rocky Hill Road in Essex, and then (with some help from a friendly neighbor) we ran up Rocky Hill to Pond Street and then down Wood Lane to the end and into the woods for a shortcut through to Chebacco Road. Then came back through Gordon Woods to campus. Just about 11 miles at 7:27 pace. Nice day out there.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

...and Today

The sun came out again this morning and I felt like going for a run was a pretty important thing to do today. 6-mile loop around the seminary at 6:20 pace. Inspired for sure, but still reeling a bit from yesterday's tragedy.


Sunday night I slept out in the back yard in a tent with my two older kids (Benjamin, 6, and Grace, almost 4). I was overjoyed that they both made it through the night and never talked about wanting to go inside. The temps were pretty chilly (34 degrees in the AM), so that made it all the more of an accomplishment. Because we had gotten out to the tent kind of late on Sunday night, I promised them that we would have hotdogs and smores for breakfast. I woke up around 6:30 Monday morning (I had taken the day off from work) and got a small fire going, so when they woke up we moved some lawn chairs over and got to roasting. Grace was quite the picture in her winter hat and foot-ee pajamas eating a hotdog off a stick that had been cooked over the open fire. After a couple bites, she admitted that this was the "best day ever". I had to agree.

The rest of the morning was spent lounging around indoors waiting for and then watching the Boston Marathon, one of my favorite televised sporting events. I also had fun tracking as many friends and New Englanders as I could think of on the BAA website (never did figure out how to look at more than one athlete at a time, other than the leaderboard).

Even though I had taken the day off, I had to go in to Gordon at 2:00 to meet with some prospective students who would be visiting for a "Gordon Experience Day". I planned to be on campus until about 4, and then go for a run, which is usually of the inspired variety on Marathon Monday. Little did I know I would end up completely losing my appetite to run as the now-infamous events of the afternoon unfolded...

A few thoughts:

I struggle with what to make of acts of terror and how to respond to someone's obvious attempt to harm or kill others, especially when it is done in a way that seems to beg for mass attention.

I didn't have much of an answer other than, "Yes," when Benjamin asked me if someone meant for the bomb to go off.

I know there are people who are grieving for loved ones lost or injured in a way that will change the rest of their lives.

I also understand that people, myself included, are disposed to hurt others when we act selfishly.

It is so hard to figure what goes wrong in someone's life to bring them to the point where they commit such an act. But I don't doubt that a string of messed up decisions, ill-guided plans or hurt feelings can build into something pretty dangerous and disgusting.

I am thankful (and somewhat amazed) that things like this don't happen more often, because of the tendencies of people toward sin. I am grateful to God for His protection and mercies, which are new every morning.(Lamentations 3:23)

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Chase the Gorilla 5k

8:20 am - 2 mile warmup with Nate H. on the first mile of the course.

I saw Jordan Kinley and Pete Asaro who I knew would both be capable of mid-low 15's. Then I saw Jordan changed into his Karhu bear suit, and realized he might not be in contention today.

Went out hard for the (slight) uphill first half-mile and came through one in 4:56. My Garmin beeped just beyond the mark. Mile 2 was 10:08, but I think the one-mile was just a few seconds short, because it didn't seem that I had slowed too much. I took a quick glance back just after two miles (which I never do in a race) and caught sight of Pete only about 30m back. I knew if he was that close with a quarter mile to go, he would catch me no problem, so I tried to keep the foot on the gas for the last 1.1. Ended up closing in 5:27 for the last 1.1, which brought me in at 15:35, comfortably under my goal of 15:40. Pete finished second in 16:01. Cooled down on the course with my dad (who had showed up at 9:15, thinking the race started at 10) and Nate.

Finish line shot:


Friday, April 12, 2013

rainy pre-race

It is hard to believe that three short days ago I was running in shorts and no shirt up on the track. Today was rainy and 39 degrees. Fortunately, we just had an easy 5-6 miles in mind, and that's what we did. Felt pretty good running 5.8 at 6:57. Hoping for a strong race tomorrow.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Thursday lunch run

8.4 with Nate H. on the roads at 6:49 pace. Tomorrow should be easy and short to be fresh for Saturday. Tomorrow sounds like a pretty miserable day to get out, too. Hoping for sub-15:40 for Saturday's race - my course record is 15:42. May have a chance to meet some Kenyans on Saturday night in Boston. I'll have to report on that here if it happens.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Woods with Nate

8 and a half on a cooler but nice day in the woods. An hour and change. First time I can remember running with my Native lowlight lenses in that it didn't end up raining. Getting ready to chase the Gorilla down Argilla this Saturday with Nate (and also Chris Blondin and Pete Asaro, who were up at the track yesterday - Pete did a mile in 4:50, followed by two twelve-minute bouts at 5:20 pace - think he might be the man to beat!)

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

A midsummer morn's track workout

It felt like June up there on the outdoor track with the sun beating down and the temperature approaching 70 degrees. Decided on some 400's while Nate did 6 x 800 @ 2:50. Also ran into masters track ace Chris Blondin doing some repeat miles to build base and get ready for the Chase the Gorilla race this Saturday in Ipswich.

2 miles + for a warmup then did 13 x 400 (66, 66, 65, 69, 67, 66, 65, 65, 64, 66, 66, 64, 65) with a full lap walk/jog recovery. Almost 3 miles for the cooldown, including a couple laps with Chris.

Felt good to run fast (for me), especially after a late night of brownies and cinnamon rolls last night watching the Wolverines lose a close one to Louisville.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Back on the road

11+ miles on the roads of Wenham and Beverly with Nate H. at 6:54 pace. So beautifully spring-like today. Ran back from downtown Beverly along 127 by the water. It felt like a beach day. My forehead got a little fried; looks like I need to grow out my hair or start covering my cranium with sunblock...yeah, I guess it's going to be sunblock.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Gordon Woods with Heather

late this afternoon (around 4:00), Heather and I got some time to head into the woods together and so we explored over across Chebacco and into Manchester-Essex area. Ran Ancient Line Trail to Pulpit Rock Trail to Ancient Line back out. Just about 6 miles of pretty rugged terrain in just over an hour.

Friday, April 5, 2013

I think I'm starting to like this

Another day, another run in Gordon Woods. Today I explored the near side of Chebacco Road a little more thoroughly and discovered some pretty overgrown singletrack and also found both of the isthmuses (or is it isthmi?) that Nate and I ran over yesterday. The one I wasn't sure about before is at the south end of Gravelly Pond. Then I headed across Chebacco Rd./Pine St. into some Manchester/Essex woods. Ran the Ancient Line Trail (very dark with close evergreens) to Pulpit Rock Trail. Turned around after about a mile on the Pulpit Rock Trail because I had to be back to meet someone at 1:00. Ended up going 13.5 in 1:45. I averaged just under 7:00's for the first 7 or 8 miles, but then the terrain got a lot more gnarly with sharp turns and up and down over big chunks of exposed granite, so I was problem running 9:30's or 10:00's for the miles in the Manchester woods.

I couldn't decide if this run was helping me to get ready for Mount Washington or the hike over the Bigelow Range that Heather and I are talking about in May. Either way it was a great time in the woods, and with a meet at UMass-Dartmouth all day tomorrow, I know I probably won't run again until Sunday afternoon. My hope is to bring Heather over to run some of the same trails then.

Back in the woods

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Headed into Gordon Woods with Nate H. Did a lot of talking, running single track and exploring the way less travelled. Found two causeways between bodies of water, one was between round and gravelly ponds, the other, I forget. Also hopped into the network of trails on the far side of pine street/chebacco road and only had a chance to skirt the edge of what is in there; left quite a few stones unturned until the next opportunity (maybe this afternoon). A little over an hour in the woods came out to about 7.5 on the Garmin. Felt like spring, which is awesome.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Exploring Gordon Woods

Took some time to explore the beautiful woods behind campus today. Partly motivated to map out a new cross-country course for next fall and partly just wanted to get off the roads because my legs are a little sore from yesterday's effort on the windy track. Ended up doing just over 9 miles in a little over an hour. Found some nice, well-maintained trails that I would love to work into our 5k and 8k courses. I hope to continue my research in the weeks and months ahead. Unofficial last day of winter today?

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

5 x 1200m in wind

Warmed up with Nate H. up to the track then 2 miles on the track. Did 5 x 1200m with a steady wind. Nate helped out on the last 3, finishing up his 400's while I was on my last lap of each 1200. 3:48, 3:49, 3:46, 3:43, 3:40. 2-mile cooldown on the track then back down to Bennett. Nate did 10 x 400 faster than expected. Kind of a challenge today, great to have some company.

Monday, April 1, 2013

6 miles, 2 times

6-mile loop from Gordon with Nate Hausman around the seminary at 10:20 am, then went out for a second loop after we got back. 6:40 avg. for the two loops. I'm hoping to get on the track tomorrow, and maybe drag Nate up there, too. He and I have been consistently getting out 1-2 days a week and usually keep the pace just under 7:00/mi. He ran 6:04's for the 4-miler on Saturday with no speed training, so we will see how he responds to a little track work...