Recently in Training Category

Only 12 Miles

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I only ran 12 miles this morning. Just 12. Yeah, I know I come across as an arrogant POS saying that. But, it's true, I only ran 12 miles today, and I find that amazing. And other fellow Run for Researchers were saying it too. And they were just as amazed.

But, the really, truly amazing thing is, if I can get to a place where I can make such an outlandish proclamation, you could too.

Really.

I remember so well feeling like my lungs and legs were going to explode running (really more speed-walking) 2 miles from my office to Mass. Ave. and back. I remember a year or so later when I did my first big mileage on Fridays - the Friday 5. I did it by focusing on the experience (the Charles River area is really one of the most beautiful places to run). I did it by focusing on small goals, and only expanding once they became comfortable. I did it by focusing on mileage before pace. And, in the end, really did it by just doing it.

And today, I only ran 12.

And someday, so could you.

Really.

One Month!

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The 2011 Boston Marathon is now exactly one month away! I just wanted to take a moment to send out a huge "Thank You!" to everyone who has donated to the American Liver Foundation in support of my run. The end is in view, and and I'm well on my way to achieving what I've set out to do.

For training I have so far:

  • Run more than 500 miles over almost 200 hours.
  • Run between downtown Boston and Newton and back 8 times (including once in a snowstorm).
  • Consumed 66 energy gels and 33 cups of gatorade.
  • Done 900 lunges and squats.
  • Run around the MIT indoor track 400 times.
  • Worn a pink tutu while running 17 miles from Natick to Back Bay.

As you know, I'm doing all this for the American Liver Foundation with the hope that more people in the future can successfully combat liver disease like I did. I only have little over 100 miles more to run before Patriots' Day, and a tad less than $1,000 to raise in order to reach my goal.

if you haven't done so already and have a few moments and shekels to spare, please make a donation in support of my run.

Ohhh, definitely want to avoid getting Dead Butt Syndrome. Maybe I should push my Gym workouts to twice a week. It's just that it's soo hard to get up early after a track workout (when I'm not able to get to bed until 11).

2011 Season Track Workout Schedule

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Here's our Community Running Monday night track workout plan for the season. I'll go into details on what the workouts actually are as we do them each week. As you can see, last night was a (1200, 1000, 800, 600) x 2 @ 5k workout. What does that mean? Click the continue reading link below to find out...

Date Workout Type
December 20 (1200, 1000, 800, 600) x 2 @5K Interval
December 27 Track Bingo Fun
January 3 3 x 1800 @ (5k, 10k, 1/2 Marathon) Interval
January 10 ELF 3 x 10 laps with worksheet Pacing/Cruise
January 17 8 x 600 @ 5k w/one lap shuffle Interval
January 24 600 easy, 200 hard x 5, Break, Repeat Speed
January 31 4 x 1800 @ (5k, 10k, 1/2 Marathon) Interval
February 7 ELF 4 x 10 laps with worksheet Pacing/Tempo
February 14 8 x 600 @ 5k w/one lap shuffle Interval
February 21 Track Bingo Fun
February 28 (1200, 1000, 800, 600, 400) x 2 @5K Interval
March 7 5 x 1800 @ (10k, 1/2 Marathon, Marathon) Pacing/Cruise
March 14 10 x 600 @ 5k w/one lap shuffle Interval
March 21 2 x 1 mile @ Marathon, then "Survivor" Fun
March 28 5 x 1800 @ (10k, 1/2 Marathon, Marathon) Pacing/Cruise
April 4 5 x 1 mile @ Marathon Pacing/Tempo
April 11 3 x 1 mile @ Marathon Pacing
April 18 Boston Marathon Race

Baby it's cold outside

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Short runs this week were 4 miles yesterday at home and 6 miles this morning around the Charles. Decent enough runs, except it was freezing out. Seems that the transition from fall (40-50 degrees during the early morning) and winter (20-30 degrees just after sunrise) was non-existent.

For temps under 40, what would be considered a gentle cooling breeze during the rest of the year becomes an arctic blast in the winter. Immediately after starting both yesterday's and this morning's runs my face felt like it was going to freeze and fall off. In moments my whole head began to burn in pain from the cold air. It calmed down by the end of the first mile, and by mile three the cold became bearable. But that's the best that can be said.

Monday Night Track

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Last night was my first track practice of the season with Community Running. Every Monday evening from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM throughout the winter Community Running offers coached speed interval workouts at the MIT Indoor track. Brian Hamill, a coach for Run for Research is also head coach for Community Running, and a healthy amount of Liver folk like me join Community Running as part of our training for the Boston Marathon. We always start off with a short 1.8 mile warm up run outside, followed by various types of speed workouts on the track each week. 

This week it was an 8 x 600 interval workout. But, first, a comment on the outdoor warm-up: It was snowing!

Starting Training

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Well, I think I can say that training has formally started. I ran six miles this morning and will run four miles tomorrow. On Saturday I join a bunch of folk from Liver and other charities for the first team long run out of Fitcorp @One Beacon Street (10 miles: One Beacon to Cleveland Circle and Back). Yeah, 20 miles in three days after what's basically been two weeks off isn't the smartest approach. But I've established a pretty good 20+ mile a week base in October and November, and I'm making them very easy miles.

Now I just have to kick the fundraising into gear!

Half Way There 1

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On Friday I ran my longest distance ever - 13.1 miles - a half marathon. And I did it in a pretty good time too - 2:09:39, an average pace of 9:52 per mile. If I can keep that up for another 13.1 miles I'll make my target time of under 4 1/2 hours. Omigod - I might be able to actually do this!

Running this type of distance so early isn't really that great an idea in terms of formal training. But it's definitely been a big psychological boost - I really needed to know if I could do it. Fortunately I've got time to really ratchet things this week before formal training starts in December. I'm not going to run much at all this week - just a couple of miles here and there and get some swimming, elliptical and weight work in at the gym.

Our first speed training with Community Running starts December 1, and our first group long run (8 miles) is on December 6. It will be interesting to see what happens when I scale back the running and change my running schedule.

How Did I Get Here - Running

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For those who've known me over the years, learning that I've become a runner and am training to run the Boston Marathon probably provides a much bigger Holy Shit Moment™ than learning that I survived hepatitis C. I did a decent amount of outdoor athletic activity in my teens and early twenties (skiing, hiking and canoeing), but nothing significant. In school I was always the last kid picked, and liked it that way. I satisfied my high-school athletic requirements by being a team manager or through intramural softball or volleyball. During my professional life I've been a member of many gyms and health clubs, but a regular visitor to few. Running? I've always hated running. Always.

But Francie loves running. She's been a runner for as long as I've known her, picking up the habit/hobby/avocation in college. She runs a few days a week, week in and week out, and becomes noticeably frustrated when she isn't able to get a run in at least once a week. My gosh, the other day she ran 6 miles on the treadmill in our basement, which is something I still can't comprehend. Sleet, snow, sub-zero wind chills I can deal with - staring at a wall, or, worse, Fox news on those damn overhead TVs in the gym for 6 stationary miles is closer to hell than I ever wish to get to.

So, a runner married to an anti-runner. Opposites attract, and all that. But, you see, I got this virus, and then I got rid of it. But I still had a wife I loved. And two daughters I loved. And 250 pounds of me I knew I didn't really need that much of. So, step 1, I knew I really had to do some kind of exercise. Regularly. And for the rest of my life.

I joined the gym and did the usual elliptical and bike stuff. It wasn't bad. OK, it sucked, but it was doable, and I really did begin to feel good doing it after a few weeks. Both physically and mentally. But it did suck.

Then Francie signed up to run the 111th Boston Marathon. A long-time dream for a long time runner - running the Boston Marathon. She got a number through the Colonel Daniel Marr Boys and Girls Club in Dorchester. So what do I do? I promise to run the last five miles with her.

I managed to run a half mile one day. Then a mile on another. Then two. Three on Mondays and Wednesdays. Then the Friday Five. All at the lightening speed of 4 miles an hour - 15 minute miles. Meanwhile, Francie's running 10, 12, 14, 16, finally 21 mile long runs on weekends. In rain, sleet, snow and bitter cold in the middle of winter. All to run a foot race (and raise some money for a really good cause). And all of this at 9-10 minutes per mile.

Have I told you that I'm in awe of her? Well, I am.

But I had to break my promise. I only ran the last mile with her - the only distance I could keep up with her, even after she'd already run 25 miles. One mile, but I was hooked.

Today the Friday five is the Friday 10. How did that happen? Well, just like that. One mile at a time. One foot in front of the other. One day after another. Just like surviving liver disease, I guess.

Follow the Bouncing Runner

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If you want to get really up close and personal, you can follow along with me as I train through my training log at MapMyRun.com. For some reason it's only showing one run per week right now, but, believe me, I run more than once a week. I'll figure out what's up with that a little later.

Map my run is a pretty cool site. It's pretty simple to map any run, walk or bike ride. I particularly like the maps in conjunction with their training log. I've found it incredibly helpful to log all of my runs and other exercise and see how I've improved over time and the affect of weather, sleep and mood have on my workouts.

I've mapped out most of my common routes, including the longest run I've done so far: a 12 mile loop around the Charles river in Camridge I did on Friday.


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