Archive for November, 2006

It is the end of November … really?

I mean it was nearly 60 degrees during my run this morning.  It’s November, right?  That’s crazy.  Pretty soon Boston is gonna turn into the Outer Banks.

My run this morning was extra easy because I felt kinda slow and lousy.  I had a tough night sleeping, up at 2 AM and then dozing on and off.  I seem to get these nights every two weeks or so, or maybe more often.   I can’t tell.  I do think it occurs more often when it is warm outside.  I hate being hot when asleep.  Growing up in New Hampshire I used to open the window at night so it would get nice and cold in my room.  I can’t really do that now what with living in an urban environment, not to mention the fact that my wife would be none to happy about an open window.

Anyway, short run today.  Hope I feel better tomorrow and this weekend so I can do enough miles to get into the 60 range.

6 miles/51:14


Slow and steady …

The same run as yesterday at about the same time – getting a bit boring? Not really, but I do need to branch out. Anyway, I feel like I am on the cusp of some improvement. This run felt very easy and I ran a bit faster than yesterday but at a slightly lower heart rate – ever so slightly. What I am really pleased with is that the pace difference at HR 138-140 is a spread from 7:58-8:16 for about nine miles. That is much better than my Maffetone tests on a track that were only five miles long (I think that running around the Charles River is kinda like a track so it is pretty close to the effort I would put out on a track). I have not had much of slowing down of time/mile (what I would call heart rate creep) as the run goes along – that must mean something good.

Here are the miles splits and average HR for each mile for my relatively flat course:

  1. 8:34 128 (warm up)
  2. 8:02 136
  3. 7:58 137
  4. 8:05 138
  5. 8:07 137
  6. 8:12 137
  7. 8:03 139
  8. 8:07 141
  9. 8:16 140
  10. 8:13 140

Pretty consistent and pretty steady. I like that. I am feeling pretty strong and ready to start some serious training.

One more week of loose and easy training with a focus on getting the mileage into the mid 60 range. I should have no problem doing that this week since I am already at 29 miles with four more days to go.

10.5 miles/1:25:16


This book by Ian McEwan is one of my all-time favorites. It appears, however, that he is in some kind of public relations brouhaha over his use of certain phrases and sentences from another author’s memoir. Here is the article in the New York Times. I don’t know what to think of this without seeing the extent of the usage. People are upset because it was “discourteous” of one author not to properly credit another. But, it seems that McEwan did give Andrews credit at the end of this book. I don’t know, what more was he supposed to do. I think we get worked up over some pretty minor things. This whole discourteous angle is kinda ridiculous when you consider the lack of courtesy that inhabits our every day lives. If McEwan copied whole passages, I would be upset but that doesn’t seem to be the case.

On another “literary” angle, I read that Duncan Larkin, who writes this blog, didn’t win the chasing Kimbia writing contest. Well, at least, a writing contest is what I thought it was supposed to be. Unfortunately for Duncan, he doesn’t teach and couldn’t get all his students and their friends and parents to vote for his essay. An essay that was, in my opinion, markedly better than the winner’s – a Mr. Ellis. It was a shame to see the contest turn into something less honorable then what it started out as.

As, someone said in a lifetime long ago: “It doesn’t matter how you feel, it matters how you look – and you look marvelous Mr. Ellis.” Form over substance; seems to be what happens a lot in our world. We just have to keep butting our heads up against it and hope that our heads are harder. Keep on plugging Duncan.


My run today was a 10 mile easy run. I am trying to add some more mileage before heading into my 18 week training program. Yep, I’ve decided to go with Pfitzinger’s program with some modifications of my own. What modifications you ask? I don’t know yet. I will map it out this weekend.

Courtesy of my new toy, here is my run today.

Map of Eliot Bridge Mass Ave

10.5 miles/1:26:35


Another seven miler this morning and I was pleased to see that my pace at 140 HR was 7:55-8:09. Not much slowing down over the course of the run. I feel like I am making some progress and think I will use the Maffetone approach with some Pfitzinger. I don’t know how that will play out, but I think it will keep me healthy for another five months. That would be a major accomplishment – a whole year of running without an injury. Knock on wood.

7.2 miles/59:00

New gadget …

My will is weak when it comes to gadgets. I have been coveting a Garmin Forerunner 305 for the past month and broke down this week and ordered it from Amazon; it came yesterday. I couldn’t wait to try it out.

I got up at 5:30 am after having charged the Forerunner overnight. I set things up, went outside, acquired the satellites and was off. It was cool. I now know where every mile is, what my split is for that mile, and exactly how far I have gone at any time. I think this will psychologically free me up to venturing off my old reliable routes – they are indeed getting old.

On top of that I tried out the MotionBased service that is affiliated with Garmin. Tons of info to feed my neurosis and overanalyze my obsession.

Here is a link to what I did today:

Map of BV to N. Beacon to Longfellow

Healthy? I don’t know, but I am enjoying myself.

My run went by uneventfully, but I started to feel that mileage ache the last three. It makes me feel good because I know that I am building a stronger foundation each long run and that is what will get me fast and strong over the years.

Life is enjoyable and I like my running direction.

14.97 miles/2:01:53


I have been doing more thinking about how to approach Boston 2008. When looking back on a writing by Dr. Maffetone about running fast by running slow, my 5K time corresponded exactly with a 7:57 or so Maffetone mile – which is what I have been running lately. So, I started thinking that I should do some more Maffetone mileage before getting into a training program with more hard running. I am torn.

I forgot to publish this yesterday. I will post again today.

10.5 miles/1:25:45

Harder work needed …

I ran the 5K road race in Clinton, MA on Thanksgiving morning. I honestly thought a 19:30 was a very reasonable expectation. Unfortunately, I ended up sprinting at the end to try and break 20:00 and I think I ended up right at 20:00. That result was a bit of a disappointment. It was probably a good disappointment because I now realize I have much more work to do and the easy base building, while easy, will not propel me to the faster times I want to run. I need to work harder and I am hoping that Pfitzingers 50-70 mile 18 week plan will do the trick.

I wonder, in my moments of indecision, if I should not try to go for a sub 3:10 at Boston and just continue to build my base with a constant dose of 140-145 HR runs with mileage from 50-65 miles per week. Since no one is reading my blog yet (I hope that changes in the future) I don’t expect to get much advice on the matter. I figure that 8 months of running is a decent base and the Pfitzinger’s plan will build on that and work on other aspects of my running. I am not happy that I can only pull off a 20:00 5K at this point, but I will use it as a wake up call that running fast requires more than just 8 months of training. Those couch years must be paid for!

Anyway, about the race. It was a cold, overcast morning with a temperature of about 40 (it would start raining about 45 minutes after the race ended). I ran in shorts with a short sleeve shirt over a long sleeve shirt, gloves and a hat. The race started off uneventfully despite the 3 boys (they looked to be between 10 and 12) lining up in the front row. At the half mile mark, I was in fifteenth place and slowly started to reel people in. The first mile was flat and finished with a good downhill. I passed the mile mark at 6:08 and was in 14th place. The second mile began with a pretty serious uphill that lasted about 2 minutes. I passed three or four people going up the hill and then settled into a very comfortable pace that was quick enough to pass two more runners. At this point I was in 8th place and the 7th place runner was about 20-30 seconds ahead of me. I would get no closer to him but noone else would pass me the rest of the race. I went through the two mile mark at 12:55 for a second mile of 6:47. This surprised me a bit and was the first notice that a 19:30 was probably not in the cards – I knew that the last half mile of the race was mainly uphill with the last quarter mile entirely uphill. I felt comfortable at this pace was not able to gain any ground and could not get myself to run much faster; I ran this second mile too easily and should have pushed harder to make up ground. It was here that I showed my lack of racing experience and lack of toughness.

I ran the downhill that came at about 15 minutes fast but did not appear to gain any ground. I ran the last uphill before the finish pretty strong and when the last turn to run uphill to the finish came I tried to push. I am guessing that the third mile was about 6:20 and then 45 seconds for the last .1. That took me in at 20:00. I was disappointed but learned something about my condition.

I think that I could have kept that pace up for another two miles at least but I didn’t feel like I could get myself going much faster. What does that mean? Decent aerobic base or was I just a wimp unable to push myself to that next level? I don’t know but I will make myself feel better and go with former.

I have no idea what the final result was and what the winner ran. As of Friday (when I am writing this), not postings about the race and the race, in its five years of existence, has never given results to Cool Running for posting.

Thursday 11/23 6.5 miles total/5K race 20:00

Easy recovery run. I am still dealing with the after effects of my 5K yesterday – some soreness in the quads and that coughing, burnt lung feeling from a fast race (not that my pace was all that fast but it still left me with that burning feeling). The run started off in the dark and then brightened a bit. There was a low hanging fog throughout. It was nice to run on a country road, I don’t get that kind of running in the city. I have about ten more days of relaxed running before I start my 18 week Boston program on December 4. Here’s to getting a good focus and dedication to some serious training.

Friday 11/24 6.7 miles/55:37

November 2006
    Dec »

What I am reading:

Again to Carthage, Robert L. Parker

Music I am listening to:

LCD Soundsystem, This Happens Gorillaz, Plastic Beach