Thursday, August 30, 2007

Log #32: Jet Lagged BIG TIME....

I woke up around 5:30 am to go to work early, worked until about 2:30, ran over to my old apartment to get the last of my belongings out of there, did 100 other assorted chores, hopped on a plane at 7:00, drank several glasses of wine, flew to London, slept MAYBE 2 hours on the flight, arrived at 6:30am London time, ate a huge plate of eggs benedict, took a 2 hour nap, then decided to do my LT run.

Do these sound like ideal conditions?

It's not surprising that my run kind of sucked. I had no energy, even Red Bull couldn't wake me up. I managed 6 out of 7 miles I wanted to do, and I was definitely slower than I should have been. It's very hard to judge what my splits actually were, since the treadmill worked in kilometers, but I'd guess I did something like this for splits:


Considering how tired and crappy I felt, I think I actually got a decent workout. I didn't cross-train yesterday since it was such a hectic day, but I'll make up for it by cross-training Saturday, which is normally my day off. I'm excited to explore London, and on Sunday I'll be running all over this damn town. Limey Bastards!!! Bloody hell!!!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


I just needed to give a quick shout out to a few people:

Betsy Wasser
Oh 2 Run
Jake to the mutha f----n' B
My bro Adam
My girl Amy

The ones I know for real have been a huge help in this crazy endeavor. And to those of you out there who have written comments, words of encouragement, and advice....


This little running blog has been such a source of motivation before, during, and after my runs. I hope you guys know that the 2 minutes it takes to post a comment really brightens my day, and gives me one more reason to kick my ass.

I'll be blogging in London starting Thursday. Peace!!!


Log #31: I Hate Moving!!!

Here is why I hate moving:

I stay up until 12:30 lugging all my belongings from one place to another, and then reassembling my life one piece of furniture at a time. I wake up at 6:00 am, but I'm so tired that my arm unconsciously shuts the alarm off without my brain knowing it. I wake up in a panic at 6:15 wondering if I overslept. I get dressed, then can't find my stopwatch because it's packed somewhere.
I also can't find my Nalgene bottle, so I have to resort to filling up an empty Poland Springs seltzer bottle with water. My iPod is about to die because I couldn't find the charger. By the time I'm out the door, it's 6:45 and I'm falling asleep on my feet.

Ahhhh.... moving.

Anyway, I jogged over to MIT's track near my new pad. This track is WAAAY nicer than the shit-storm near my old apartment. It's that nice bouncy, rubbery material and it's very clean and pretty. I didn't have my stopwatch, so I had to use my iPod's stopwatch feature which is a pain in the ass. Anyway, enough complaining. Here is what I was aiming for:

10 minute warmup
4 x 800m @ 3:13, 2 minutes rest in between
10 minute cooldown

Here's what I got:

10 minute warmup
800m @ 3:05
800m @ 3:02
800m @ 3:03
800m @ 3:04
10 minute cooldown

Except for the 4th interval, I only rested 2 minutes in between each round. I felt really strong today, and to be honest, I was looking forward to this workout. I feel like I'm not as intimidated by the speed workout anymore, and as I get more comfortable with the gross burning sensation in my chest that accompanies these workouts, my confidence will grow even more. I really liked the 800m distance, because it's short enough to allow me to really turn on the afterburners even when I'm feeling really tired. I know that, no matter what, it's only 2 laps.

I'm fired up. So far I'm killing my speed workouts, and they are the workouts I was really worried about before starting this program. I need to work on my stamina during long runs, but hopefully the weather will cooperate this weekend!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Log #30: Sweatiest... Run... Ever.

Yesterday was my first long run of this marvelous training program. It was also about 88 degrees with 70% humidity. I knew I was in trouble after the second mile when the sweat was literally shooting out of my face. I decided to make the run a mental game. How long could I keep my legs moving without passing out?

I knew I'd be slower than I wanted, but having run in all kinds of weather, I knew I shouldn't push it. I think the best weather o run in is slightly cold weather with a breeze. After 10 minutes of running, I'm usually sweating regardless of how cold it is, so I'd rather have a nice breeze than blazing sun. My girlfriend, the best training partner EVER, roller-bladed alongside me with a CamelPak full of water.

Here are the splits, although I took a lot of breaks to cool down and drink water, so even these times are a little fast.


I just DIED at the end of the run. Ugh...

I'll be in London next weekend for my 15-miler, so I'm sure it will be cooler.

On the run, I was coming up on mile 8, and I saw my brother running the opposite way towards me. He was looking very strong. I think I might have some competition here!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Log #29: The Best Thing About Training

Ooooohhhhhh yeah folks!!!! This morning was my LT workout, and I absolutely crushed it. Let me just start by proudly displaying my magnificent splits. In parentheses I've put the goal time for each split:

8:13 (8:30)
8:00 (8:30)
7:01 (7:14)
7:11 (7:14)
8:00 (8:30)
8:22 (8:30)

Hey, lactic acid.... SUCK IT!!! I don't know what the hell got into me, but I felt absolutely great the entire run. I walked for about 1 minute after the LT part, but then I was golden for the rest of the run. You can see that I was running a lot faster than I needed to, but I just felt great so I let my body dictate the pace.

The best thing about training like this is that almost every week, I find myself doing something that I have never been able to do. I have certainly never run 6 miles at these paces and felt this great, so I know that something is working. I'm REALLY psyched to keep pushing myself to see how fast I end up running on December 2nd.

My little brother seems to be dilligently busting his ass to try and get in shape. He's going for a 3:50, which is 7 minutes better than my PR. If he hits that, and I hit my 3:30, the after-party in Vegas will be EPIC!!!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Log #28: Rowing a damn boat!!!

I'm gonna make this short and sweet, as the moving / painting / sanding routine I've been doing for the past 8 days is taking its toll. I rowed for about 20 minutes, biked for 10, and stretched real good. Tomorrow morning is LT day, and I'm feeling spry. YEAAAH!!

Read my brother's blog... it's way funnier today.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Log #27: And So It Begins!!!

Well folks, today was workout #1 of my Vegas program. I know that the title of this post is "Log #27," but I feel like all those workouts were just warm-ups for the main event. I'm really excited about this maratahon, and I feel like I'm in the best running shape I've ever been in. I've trained for 6 marathons, yet I've never felt as good about my running as I do right now. I credit the difference to the speed workouts and LT workouts I've been doing. The intensity of my workouts has been ridiculous, but the cross-training has helped me avoid injury and over-training to this point.

Anyway, I did my speed workout today. I did it on the track near my house, which is possibly the worst track in Boston. It's made up of some grayish-brown gravel, it's completely lumpy and uneven, and the best part is that it is absolutely covered in goose shit. I mean it... every foot of that track has bird-turd on it, and I have to do this crazy dance to avoid stepping in it. I've also been redoing the wood floors in my new apartment all weekend, so I have been burning the candle at both ends for the past few days. The conditions were less than ideal.

BUT..... I did it. Here were my splits:

10 minute warmup
1600m @ 6:31
1600m @ 6:37
1600m @ 6:45

The first round was fine, as usual. The second round sucked sooooooo bad. By the third lap I thought I might throw up. I was seeing spots and flashes and really feeling like I was on some serious drugs. I decided that if I puked or passed out, that would be preferable to stopping, so I just made my legs move. When I finished my last lap, I was a mess. I had familiar thoughts of, "There is absolutely no f----ing way I will do one more mile that fast." And then.... weirdness. The third round was a whole lot easier than the second round, and I actually felt kinda good after it. How strange is that? This has happened to me before, too. I wish I could explain why the third mile is easier than the second.

So, my first real workout was a success, and now it's time to go work on the apartment some more. I'm feeling awesome, my legs feel fresh, and I think that the 3:30 marathon might just be my bitch this time.

My little brother also did his first workout today. How did he do? Well, I will not steal his thunder by telling you. He has started his own blog right here.

Run Fasterest

He is way funnier than me, so I think you guys will enjoy it. Go little bro!!!

Monday, August 20, 2007

It's that time...

Tomorrow is workout #1 of my training program. It's been a crazy few months, and I think I'm in great shape to take a run at my 3:30. I ran 9 miles yesterday and my legs felt awesome. Wish me luck!!!


Thursday, August 16, 2007

Log #26: Sandbag-Legs

Oh boy I'm beat. I think that 13 miles + Beach + PR speed workout + crazy bike workout + LT run - sleep = Dead Legs Joey.

Yesterday I did my favorite bike workout, which is:

10 minute warmup
4 minutes hard pedaling, 1 minute easy x 6
5 minutes cool down

My quads were burning by the end, but I felt great. 3 great workouts in a row is a pretty rare thing, so I was pumped.

Then I woke up this morning. I felt pretty good... a little tired, but not any more than usual. I started the LT run feeling good. I ran the first two miles pretty well, and then started that damned LT nonsense. The first mile was fine, but by the second mile my legs began to feel like they were covered in cement. Every time I had to lift my leg I felt like I was pulling tree stumps out of the ground. I just made myself keep moving and told myself I was almost done. I kept looking at the GPS to see how much farther I'd gone, and it was taunting me by telling me I'd barely moved since the last time I looked.

At the end of the LT part of the run, I was done. I walked for a while, ran some, and finally got some gas back for the last mile. All in all, it was a devastating workout. Here are the stats:

1 mile @ 8:30
1 mile @ 8:20
1 mile @ 7:10
1 mile @ 7:30
1 mile @ 9:00
1 mile @ 8:40

I'm gonna take the next 2 days off and see if my legs can get back to normal by Sunday.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Log #25: One of those days...

Today was one of those days.

What I mean is, today was one of those days where all conditions are terrible and point to a shitty run, yet you bust out a new PR. I woke up today, and my body was just SO stiff and sore. The 13 miler on Sunday plus the running around on the beach created some very sore legs. Yesterday I was hobbling around, and this morning I wasn't that much better. I went to the gym with my girlfriend with the intention of cross-training, postponing the speed workout until tomorrow. As soon as I got to the gym, I just felt like a big weeny and decided to run through the soreness.

After stretching for about 10 minutes, I hopped on the treadmill, and ran for 10 minutes at an 8:30 pace. My legs slowly warmed up, and eventually the soreness was almost gone. I took a deep breath and cranked up the speed to 6:40 pace.

This is where it got weird. My breathing was 3 in / 3 out for the entire mile... it actually felt pretty easy. I had to check the treadmill to make sure it was set for the right speed. As I neared the end of the mile, a crazy though entered my head: "What if I just kept running and did the second mile without a break?"

Well, that's what I did. The first lap and a half of the 2nd mile felt pretty easy, and then I started to feel it. The last lap was tough, but it still wasn't kicking my ass the way I thought it should, so I cranked the treadmill up to a 6:30 pace. I ended up running 2 miles in about 13:18... my fastest 2 miles ever by about 40 seconds. I walked for a few minutes, and then cranked the treadmill back up for another half-mile, and then jogged a bit and called it a workout. Here are the stats:

10 minutes @ 8:30 pace
2 miles @ 13:20
3 minutes walking
.5 mile @ 6:40 pace
5 minutes jogging

My ass was sufficiently kicked, and I set a new PR for 2 miles. I have no idea why I was able to run this fast today with my legs feeling sore and my energy levels being so low this morning, yet that is the way running works. Sometimes your body is telling you one thing, but it's doing something totally contradictory. I'm really pumped about today, and I'm looking forward to starting training next week in the best shape I've ever been in at the start of a marathon program.

I'm meeting with my little bro today to discuss training. I might try to get him to write a blog entry or two on here so you guys can hear his thoughts on training for his first marathon. I remember my first one, and I know he's in for some highs and lows like he's never experienced.

Onward to Vegas!!!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Log #24: WHY ARE YOU WAVING AT ME!??!!? (Long-Run)

Ahhhh Boston. You know, I've heard this town described as "Meantown," which is a play on the actual nickname of Boston, "Beantown." Coming from Texas, the epitome of southern hospitality, I have to say that "Meantown" has some truth to it. Recently I've come up with the idea of trying to make eye contact and wave hello to every runner I see on my runs. I've been doing it for a couple of weeks, and the results are interesting.

Most male runners will make eye contact, but only a small percentage will actually wave back to me. There also seems to be a correlation between how fit a runner someone is and how likely they are to wave back. The out of shape runners who looked like they were pissed to be running almost never waved, but the tall fast guys in Harvard Cross Country shirts always wave.

Girls are MUCH less likely to wave, and most don't even make eye contact. Maybe they're conditioned to suspect every guy they see, so they just didn't want to look me in the eye.

I also noticed that groups of runners never wave at solo runners... interesting.

I did this in Paris and the results were similar, although people do seem to smile more there.

I got the idea for this in Texas because EVERYONE says hello and waves at you there. It's beautiful. I'm trying to bring a little bit more of that over here.

Anyway, last night I did NOT hang out with my friends, I did NOT drink, I did NOT stay out late. My friends peer-pressured me and made fun of me for not coming out to the bars, but I was firm. As a runner you gotta sacrifice, and luckily I'm used to it by now so the pressure didn't faze me too much.

I got up at 5:30, sore as hell from the rock show my band played Friday night (my band's shows are complete insanity... here's out site in case you're curious: Monas Myspace. I drank my morning red bull, ate a granola bar, and set out to see how my body would hold up. I ran 13 miles... HELL YEAH!!!! Here are my splits.

(1) - 8:27
(2) - 8:01
(3) - 8:10
(4) - 8:09
(5) - 8:11
(6) - 8:10
(7) - 8:20
(8) - 8:23
(9) - 8:23
(10) - 8:30
(11) - 8:34
(12) - 8:29
(13) - 8:21

Once again my sense of pace is pretty terrible. I wanted to run consistent 8:30's, but I seem to have a hard time starting that slow. Oh well, I did my 13, I feel great, and now I'm going to the beach. Progress!!!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Log #23: Back in Boston

Ahhh... life finally returns to normal... somewhat. I'm back in town, and it's time to get serious about the training. I just finished up a nice rowing machine workout which made me realize that I'm very glad I didn't try to row crew in college. It's HARD!!

I did my pyramid workout that I like so much... it goes like this:

5 minutes warmup
1 minute hard rowing
1 minute easy
2 minutes hard
1 minute easy
3 minutes hard
1 minute easy
4 minutes hard
1 minute easy
3 hard
1 easy
2 hard
1 easy
1 hard
1 easy
5 minutes cooldown

It's much harder than it sounds. Rowing uses muscles that, as runners, we don't even have names for. Tomorrow I'll be packing my apartment up for my move in a couple of weeks, and then Sunday I'll attempt, once more, to run 13 miles. If I can get at least 10 miles in then I'll feel good. I only have one more week before training officially starts, so I'm very anxious to put myself in as good a position as possible to complete the whole training regimen.

My brother gets back tonight, so maybe I'll drag him along on Sunday to see how he does. Vegas isn't that far away.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Log #22: 10K in Amsterdam

Well, this whole training thing has gotten thrown off a little bit by my trip, but I don't feel like I've lost too much of my fitness. Today I hopped on a Dutch treadmill in my hotel, and decided that I'd bust out a 10K. I forgot to write down the KPH/MPH conversion, so I had to guess what my speed should be. I ended up running about an 8:10 pace I believe. Given the amount of wine and incredible food I've had in the last week, I was pretty happy with that. I seem to have maintained my weight, so I know that I should be able to keep training as I have and be ready for August 21... Day #1 of official training.

The REALLY tough part is going to be August 29-September 3. My buddy's family is going to London and invited me along, all expenses included, as long as I could fly there. How could I turn that down? My second long run (10 miles) will be in London.... I suppose that really won't be that bad... It'll probably be awesome. My Paris LT run was incredible.

My little brother should be home from his Army training in a couple of days, so I also get to whip his ass into shape. I'm curious to see how he responds to training for his first marathon.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Log #21: LT in Paris???

I have been walking at least 10 miles every day since this vacation started. My legs are going to fall off. I'm not complaining though, because my hotel is a 5 minute walk from the Louvre, and exactly 2 miles from the Eiffel Tower. I know this because I did my LT run yesterday underneath the damn thing.

You want to talk about some scenery... WOW!!! I ran through the garden adjacent to the Louvre, then ran along the Seine river until I got to the tower. I ran underneath it to another garden which, as I found out, had a perimeter of about a mile. I did the LT portion of the run at this garden, circling under the tower twice. I then ran back to the Louvre where my girlfriend and I walked back to our hotel, and then found a cafe that gave us the best eggs I've ever had. Insanity!!!

I think my numbers were something like this:

1 mile @ 7:40
1 mile @ 7:50
1 mile @ 6:50
1 mile @ 7:14
2 miles @ 8:30-9:00

There was lots of walking and staring and jaw-dropping going on during this run, but I kicked my ass pretty good. That plus the fact that I had CLIMBED the Eiffel tower the night before made my legs extra gooey. Despite my binge eating of croissants, pastries, and other assorted treats I will probably lose weight on this trip. I'll leave you all with this. It's my girlfriend and I underneath the Eiffel tower around sunset. I highly recommend this town.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Log #20: The Last American Post

Folks, I will be leaving for Europe in a few hours, so my next few posts might be written in French or Dutch, depending on which country I'm in when I run.

I'd like to start this post by saying that I have been REALLY stressed out the past 3 days, and it's definitely affected my sleep. Yesterday was a no-workout day, and then last night I was up until 12:30 packing and trying to calm myself down. It took forever to fall asleep, and when the alarm clock went off at 6:00am I thought long and hard about what to do next. I was exhausted, I hadn't slept well, my system is still recovering from the wedding... I basically felt like ass.

Whenever this happens, I know 2 things:

1. If I even TOUCH my bed again once I've gotten out of it to turn off my alarm clock, I will end up asleep in it. I've talked before about your mind conspiring against you to keep you from running, and it is never more persuasive than at 6:00am in the morning after you haven't slept.

2. Red Bull is my friend.

I Red Bull'd myself, got dressed, and jogged out to the track near my house. My legs felt stiff, I was still exhausted even with the sugary, caffeinated delicious Red Bull coursing through my veins. I got to the track and ran a mile at a nice slow pace. By the end of the mile I felt better, so I drank some water and began my run. Here's all I managed to pull off:

10 minute warmup
1600m @ 6:38
800m @ 3:20
400m @ 1:40
400m @ 1:25 (I decided to kick my ass for sucking so bad today)
10 minute cooldown

Now that I look at the workout, it's actually not too bad. My first mile actually felt pretty good, and I finished strong. The second mile was where my stamina failed, and I'd like to think it's a combination of sleep deprivation and wedding-related-shenannigans that caused it. When I run my speed workouts now, I've noticed that it feels a lot more natural to me. For the first 2 laps of the mile I completed, I was actually breathing 3 in / 3 out, which lets me know that I am definitely getting in better shape, I just didn't have the energy to keep up the pace today. I've been neglecting my body for the past few days, and it clearly has affected my workouts. Last week was a great running week, this one not so much.

I'll be running in kilometers until August 9... I'm REALLY pumped to try and get some runs in while I'm in Paris and Amsterdam. I'll be updating the blog from Europe. Au Revoir.