Thursday, August 15, 2013


met up with Greg K. Wed. pm for some 400's even though he wasn't really that excited about running on the track. Warmed up with 2 and a half miles in the woods, then headed to the track while field hockey camp was going on.

First one was a 68, then a 72 and a 71 which were the two slowest, after that we kept them all between 66 and 69. Greg did the first 6 with me, then ran the last 200 of the last 4 or 5. Ended up doing 13, with full lap recoveries, walking the first 100+m, then jogging the rest. Cooled down a little over 2 miles.

With the morning anniversary run, ended up getting close to 20 miles for the day.

My left heel is feeling a little plantastic (I mean fasciistic); anyway, it hurts. Easy today in the heavily cushioned pegasus.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

late summer joys

Monday afternoon I got my long run in that I missed out on this past weekend. 16 miles at 6:03 pace with a few of the middle miles between 5:50 and 5:55. Felt great cruising along the Atlantic coastline on rte. 127 through Beverly.

Yesterday (Tuesday) I finally got up for a morning run and did 6 at 6:00 am at 7:00/pace.

In the pm I ran for an hour on the roads.

Great anniversary dinner last night with Heather at 15 Walnut in Hamilton. Loaded nachos, complimentary pork belly appetizer (so good - wish I took some pictures: house smoked pork belly with barbecue sauce, mandarin oranges and spiced ginger and something green) and a spicy seafood stew with mussels, shrimp, salmon, calamari and chorizo, julienne vegetables. Washed it down with Green Flash IPA, my new favorite.

Heather and I did 9 miles this morning in honor of 9 years of married life/bliss.

Have some 400's planned for about 30 minutes from now...will update afterwards.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Weekend running

Sorry to all who objected to the departure from running log format.

(Thanks to all who appreciated the departure...)

Saturday I warmed up down to the center of Hamilton for the annual Firefighter "5" Mile Road Race. Not sure why they always have the "5" in quotes. For a small race, they do a nice job organizing, marking and celebrating this event.

Nice to see Dave and EJN from NE Running with a table set up at the start. Did a little pre-race interview with Eric that I guess wouldn't upload (Not sure I said anything too enlightening, anyway.)

Did about 2.6 on the roads and trails for a warmup. It was cool heading down, but it had warmed quite a bit by the 10:00 start gun.

Informed at the start line that the course had changed at that there weren't a lot of volunteers out on the course. Uh-oh. Fortunately, I had a lead vehicle to follow the whole way and the changes were welcome. It was actually really marked, too, and there were people at every critical turn. (Plug for this race.)

The old version of this course, that I've run a handful of times, included a pretty long climb up through Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. This year, we cut straight through the campus, eliminating the toughest climb.

I went through the mile in 5:07, hoping to run sub-26:00, but it was hard to keep myself honest with a sizable lead by that point. Mile 2 was a 5:17, and I kept slipping a little each mile. Mile 3 was 5:18, mile 4 was 5:19 and finished in 26:24 (5:23). Gave the LVL RNNR camera a spontaneous "L" gesture on the way into the finish and talked to EJN a little more with Ben after the win.

My dad was 2nd over 60, 22nd overall in 38:47. Keeping the legs moving at 67.

Earned a nice $100 gift certificate to NE Running Co with the victory, which I turned in for a pair of Karhu Flow Lights and 3 Honey Stinger Waffles. Had a good time shoe shopping with the three kids while Heather got a pedicure. (I'm no hero; she leads the troops everyday.)

Sunday morning I got up at 5:30 when the alarm went off, with my new Karhus next to my bed to help me get out of bed. No dice. Didn't even hit snooze, just shut the thing off. I haven't been sleeping great and I think it's because I've gotten so used to the AC, I can't sleep without the noise of it. Bad. Heather got up at 6:30 or so and went, knowing it would be hard for us to both run in the PM. I commend her again, for this, following on the heels of her 5:15 am workout with Layce and Regina of Team Gloucester the day before.

After church and Panera, I laced up the Karhus and cruised for 10 at just over 6:20 pace. Really looking forward to taking the new shoes a little longer as I try to make up my mind about a fall marathon.

Awesome time in the afternoon riding bikes with the whole family (my mom and dad, Heather and all 3 kids) on the Danvers Rail Trail. Dinner at Betty Ann's Subs in Danvers - great little sandwich place we "discovered" on Tuesday. (It's been there since 1952.)

This week: get ready for pre-season (team returns Friday, we leave for the ADK's Saturday AM).

Get some miles and get some fast running in on the track.

Is that better, Joe?

Friday, August 9, 2013

How to start the perfect band (part one)

Decide what instruments you are going to play and who is going to sing. Make these decisions simultaneously; I could have written, “Decide who is going to sing and what instruments you are going to play.” Instrumentation and vocals must be given equal priority if you really want to be the best.

The vocal component of your band is frighteningly crucial.

I can’t think of a better way to say this.

I find myself deleting everything I type even as I try to expound upon this, so I know I must tread tenderly on the subject.

First, there is the two-fold purpose of the human voice in the perfect band. (And again, these should both be numbered “1”, because they are of equal import.)

1. The human voice is an instrument, like the others, but distinctive, that must contribute to the overall artistic, musical, aural, atmospheric (sound-driven?) goals (don’t really like the word “goals” here, but can’t think of a better one, maybe “ambitions”) of the band.

1. The human voice is the vehicle for the lyrical content (message).

(Even as I read these two number ones, I’m not really satisfied with their juxtaposition because I don’t think the lyrical meaning and the lyrical quality of the vocal can really be divorced from one another.)

Here are my suggestions for instruments:

Drums – real, not synthesized; a bass drum, a snare drum and a couple other things to bang on strategically and rhythmically (note: the kit does not need to fly, hover or rotate);

1-2 electric guitars with several sound-changing capabilities; effects pedals are great, but don’t overdo it; and you will need some pretty loud (but not too loud) amplifiers;

bass guitar and amplifier.

That is enough.

If you want to integrate one more non-traditional instrument such as the violin, or a horn, that may be an appropriate option, provided your player does not have extensive classical training. If she/he has a vast theoretical musical knowledge, it may be more of a hindrance than a help if the rest of the band is just regular people.

If the horn player or violinist or cellist is really down to earth and humble and willing to keep it simple everything will probably be fine.

Just understand the risks.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Too much racing to blog

After Cranmore, I took most of the week running easy in an attempt to recover for Carver on Saturday.

Sunday night (race PM) I did a short shakeout and felt pretty good.

Monday I ran twice, easy, and felt worse.

Tuesday I ran twice easy, and felt still worse.

By Wednesday afternoon I was starting to come around, but the backs of my legs (glutes, hamstrings, calves) were still aching and stiff from the downhills at Cranmore.

Thursday I did 11 miles at 6:20 pace, which may have been too much too fast too soon, but I wanted to try going a little faster than I had been able to run earlier in the week. Felt pretty good, it was a cooler cloudy day.

Friday I did 7 and a half on the roads at 7:08 pace.

Saturday drove down to Carver with the whole family plus Aaron B. (babysitter). Nice morning that got pretty warm just before the start. I don't know if it was residual Cranmore or not being used to being on the roadds with this many fast guys, or what, but the result was not what I had hoped.
5:15 pace for 5 miles wasn't bad, but I had really hoped to be somewhere in the mid-25's. 26:15 was only good for 25th place overall. Heather ran a 5 or 6 second PR with a 31:36 and was 2nd CMS woman, 16th or 17th overall, helping them to a 3rd place finish.

From there I launched into a vicious cycle of recovering and racing which yielded some pleasant results:

I also worked Monday-Friday at Gordon College Basketball Camp. My Celtics were the NBA (age 12-14) Champs!

Sunday - 7 miles at 6:47 pace;

Monday - 6 miles at 6:31 pace;

Tuesday - 53:39 for 12th overall on a perfect night at Newburyport. I came through 5 miles in 26:30 (only 15 seconds slower than my 5-mile time on Saturday), and felt like I might be able to maintain. Slowed a little in the second half with a couple cramps which resulted in two miles in the 5:30's, but closed well the last two miles, catching Justin Freeman and almost catching Jose Ortiz (kind of).

Splits: (5:10/5:14/5:17/5:23/5:26/5:33/5:36/5:25/5:22/5:13)

Wednesday - 8.19 miles at 7:04 pace

Thursday AM - 5.72 miles at 8:00 pace with Kevin Roberts;

decided around 4 pm to run the Beverly Homecoming 5k.

Brief history at Beverly Homecoming:
1999 - 17:48 (8th)
2000 - 16:29 (2nd)
2002 - 17:22 (8th)
2003 - 17:22 (5th)
2005 - 15:44 (1st)
2006 - 15:27 (1st)
2008 - 16:05 (4th)
2009 - 15:27 (1st)
2010 - 15:25 (2nd)

The 2010 race has stood as my road PR, when I finished 2nd to Tim Richard, who I had beaten the year before. In 2011, we were in Texas, and last year I'm not sure why I didn't run, but I made it over to Lynch Park on a beautifully cool August night for this year's edition.

I warmed up with Jordan Kinley, who I always expect can beat me in a 5k, and saw Tim Richard at the start. He looked fit and I asked him what kind of shape he was in.

"Not very good, " he said.

"Sub-15:30?" I asked.

"Not even close." he answered.

The gun went off and Tim, Jordan and I went to the front, with one other guy for the first three quarters of a mile. It felt like we were moving right along, so I just tried to stay relaxed as we took turns fronting the group or running two and three abreast in the street.

We came through the fast first mile in 4:51. I know the second mile is always 10-20 seconds slower here because of the rolling hills, so that sounded about right for a 15:30-ish finish, which was what I was hoping for. Just before two miles is the biggest hill on the course (which isn't saying much), and I tried to put a little distance on Tim and Jordan here. I came through two miles in 9:59 (5:08 2nd mile) and for all intents and purposes, started my kick. I could hear Tim's footsteps for a stretch on Neptune/Pickman and knew if I could hear him on the driveway into the park that I wouldn't stand a chance, so I just continued to push myself into that discomfort and hope that I was back under 5 minute pace.

I made the turn into Lynch Park and resisted the urge to look back (which is a good thing, because I probably would have slowed if I knew that I was 10-15 seconds up on Tim by that point). Instead, I pounded down the hill and wound my way to the finish in a new road PR of 15:23! Tim was close behind in 15:34 (which is pretty close to sub-15:30 - see comments above), and Jordan was third in 15:45.

I definitely wasn't expecting to run quite so fast, so I was pleased with the outcome. What a difference it made to have company through 2, and then to have their pressure behind me the rest of the way.

Cooled down on the course with Tim and women's winner Larissa Park, who ran 17:14!

Congrats to Team Gloucester ladies (and my wife's new training buddies) Layce Alves and Jenn Brooks, 17:59 and 18:08!

Next up: Hamilton Firefighter "5" Mile this Saturday and then Labor Day: Around Cape Ann 25k or the Goose 7k (haven't decided yet).