Monday, June 19, 2023

Hot Cats on band camp

Since I've "retired" from running, I've mostly been spending my free time watching my son Ben improve as a runner in his first two years of high school and writing and recording some songs with some old friends. You can listen at the link above. Thanks!

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Four miles solo today

I'm catching that wave of "return to normality" that's coming through and hopefully getting my butt in gear running-wise. I've had an amazing stretch of regular running (2-3 days a week, 2-3 miles/day, 9:00-10:00/mi.) with Ben which I hope will continue as my personal running dreams come back into focus.

This will be my third week in a row over 20k (which is only 12.4 miles) after a month and a half of half that per week.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Recent Running

Since the beginning of April, I've been running two-three times a week with my thirteen-year-old son Ben to keep him moving in preparation of the imminent 8th grade XC season that begins this September.

I'm hoping to supplement that with a little more solo effort on the side and get back in shape for Mt. Washington '21.

Monday, April 22, 2019

While the mice are away, the cat will run more, I guess

This past week of training was my highest mileage in four years and here's how it shook out:

Saturday, April 13 - Merrimack River Trail Race in Andover, with a couple miles before and after with Heather and long-lost teammate Kevin Tilton (13.4 total). This race left me sore in areas I hadn't utilized since last year's event. My inov-8 trail talon 235's arrived just in time, and I think they probably made the difference from last year (30s faster).

Sunday, April 14 - Heather, Ben, Grace, Emma and Rebekah headed down to NJ to see Heather's family for the first part of school vacation. I did 14 miles at 6:37/mi. in the afternoon

Marathon Monday, April 15 - 8 miles in the morning before watching the marathon on tv; just under 4 miles easy afterwards (first 'double' of the year)

Tuesday, April 16 - 12 miles in the morning at 7:00/mi.; big breakfast; 6 and a half in the afternoon

Wednesday, April 17 - 10 miles at 9 am; another 6 and a half in the early pm just before family got back

Thursday, April 18 - 9 at lunch, just over 7:00/mi.

Friday, April 19 - 12 and a half just under 7:00/mi.

Saturday, April 20 - early (5:50 am) 15 miles, longest run of the year

Sunday, April 21 - 8

Monday-Sunday total: 91.8 miles
(Sunday-Saturday total, which is what my spreadsheet log uses, was 98)

Either way, my highest mileage week since February 2015. If I run Cape Cod this fall and/or Boston next spring, I hope I can get a stretch of weeks like this. Hopefully, I can start getting my butt out of bed around 6 during the week and get some of Bob Wiles' 'Free Mileage' in before I take Ben to school...

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Ben's first season of XC

My son Ben entered sixth grade this fall and turned 12 in September and had his first chance to be a part of a school running team. His coach was someone I have known for years and even worked under as an assistant back before Ben was born, so that was cool.

Prior to the fall season, Ben's running had consisted of a handful of road/trail races and some consistent racing at Roger Perham's Monday night summer Asbury Grove races.

(Every Monday from early July to early September Roger holds races at 6:00 pm. The fee is $1 for the week or $2 for the whole summer. He runs 4 races: 5 and under (250m?), 8 and under (600m?), 12 and under (~800m) and an open mile. He gives out ribbons with name, date, race and your time and we have collected quite a few as a family over the past eleven summers. I would guess Roger has been doing these races for about 30 years, and they start about a quarter mile from our front step, so we usually find our way there at least a couple times per summer.)

I had little expectation that Ben would fall in love with running as hard as I have, but I was excited to see him doing it. He was committed to the practice schedule and I forced him to do his weekend runs and I hope he got a kick out of how interested I was in what they had done each day and how he was reacting to it.

The boys team was about 10-12 kids and Ben was in the middle of that group. He got faster as the season went on, which spoke to the value of his regular training, and I think he'll stick with it.

Here he is, finishing strong at the last home meet of the season:

He's running track this spring, after playing basketball this winter, but will be taking part in the long jump, the 200 and the 400 in the first meet.

Since November

I've started 3 separate blog updates, none of which has been completed, which is a bit symptomatic of my life right now, but I digress...

I trained a little more than I ought to immediately following Bay State, with not much racing on the horizon and a body that was asking to recover.

I ran a 5k on Thanksgiving morning (cold!!) in NJ and got smoked by a former William and Mary runner visiting his girlfriend for the holiday. He told me afterward that he was trying to break 8 minutes in the 3k that winter, so that made me feel 'better'.

My running fizzled a bit just before the end of the year, and I took some intentional time in January to heal up and let the competitive fire return. I probably ended up missing more days in January than I needed to, but my Friday appointments with Kevin Hankens kept me involved with running on at least a weekly basis.

By the end of January, I had a few solo runs under my belt, and was making plans to race at New Bedford and the Upton 15k.

New Bedford came quickly and I was a bit under-trained, but was happy to scrape out a low-1:15 and finish in the top 10 masters. I rode down with Kevin Hankens, who ran a significant PR (1:12:45) and beat me even more soundly than I had expected. I confessed to him afterwards that my drubbing at his hands was motivating to get my butt in gear.

I had a couple good weeks between New Bedford and Upton and ran better at the 15k. My hope had been to run close to my 2000 Tewksbury Run Your Turkey Off time, when as a spry 24-year-old just a few weeks removed from my debut marathon, I had kept pace with North Shore Strider Joe Shairs most of the way and finished in 52:51.

At Upton, I had people to chase the whole way, and a pack of Masters that caught me at 10k kept me honest all the way in. I ended up cracking 52 and finishing as 3rd Master.

Since then, I've had a couple decent workouts, kept the mileage mostly in the 60's, and got a good race-beating from Tim Van Orden at the Merrimack River Trail race last weekend.

Getting ready for the James Joyce Ramble on the 28th of this month. I finished 2nd last year in the US Masters' Championships in 33:02, running much better than I expected. I know the field will be good and I'd like to run close to that time again.

This week, Heather and the kids were in NJ, so I got some extra runs in and will likely wind up with an 80-mile week. I'll see how I respond to the spike in volume and if I'll have the room in my schedule to split the difference and stick around 70 mpw for a bit.

Gearing up for Mt. Washington I want to get some more time on my feet than I had last year. I think I could run 1:10 if all goes well.