Friday, January 29, 2010

This is a test of hats

Sort of.  I'm testing something out so I needed to post something new.

While I am here though I might as well post an update.  My knees hurt and I don't know why.  They started on Monday and have been sore the past few runs.  I blame the weather but that is pretty much a cop out.  So I took it easy the past couple of days to let them rest.  Tomorrow I am looking forward to a run with the group in what is going to be bitter, bitter cold.

It was so cold this morning that on the short walk from the T to work I couldn't stop my eyes from tearing up.  Normally this only happens when I start to dwell on Old Yeller's fate, but this time it was definitely because of the freezing wind blowing across Government Center Plaza.  Tomorrow should be interesting since the weather report says it will feel like -9 degrees.  I should probably wear a hat.

Speaking of hats: a British law was implemented in 1732, called The Hat Act, restricting the manufacturing of hats in the colonies of America.  This was done to protect the fiber industry in England.  Acts such as this and others restricting clothing manufacturing (for anything besides modest daily-wear clothes) in the colonies guaranteed that there was no clothing industry in the colonies.  When George Washington was due to be inaugurated as the first US President he wanted to wear a suit made entirely in the US.  Unfortunately there were no American tailors capable of doing this so he was forced to bring in a European tailor to make the suit out of American made cloth.

And that is your history lesson for today.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Aimlessly adrift

So what races should I do?  Damned if I know.  I haven't been motivated enough to come up with any sort of cogent plan for the next 3/6/12 months and it has definitely taken a toll on my motivation.  I need a goal in order to stay focused otherwise it is so easy to start shirking off the training.  I had planned to run the Hyannis marathon but I never signed up and never really committed.  Now that isn't going to happen.  I also thought about doing the Shamrock marathon in Virginia Beach in March, but since I just signed up for a 5K in Providence the day before that race you can see how committed I was to that one too.

I do have a vague plan for the year.  I would still like to run two marathons and definitely Bay State again.  Unfortunately the more time I spend dithering about the less likely that scenario becomes.  I would also like to focus more on half-marathons.  If I pour my training into them then I think it will ultimately help me in the long run (pun intended).  Now comes the task of actually locating and training for these half-marathons.  I will most likely do New Bedford again this year even though I hate that race with the passion of a burning sun (thanks for the fish sticks and permanent scar New Bedford!)  But I definitely need to find some more halfs, and they will most likely have to be local since I am poor as dirt.

So what do I have to do?  Two weeks in a row I have done ten-milers and they both felt good.  Now I need to start focusing on speed.  That part is currently sorely lacking.  First step, lose some weight.  Seriously.  That can only help.  Secondly, bring back the tempo runs and hills.  I never really stopped doing tempo runs, they just became a bit more informal as I stopped wearing my Garmin to take the focus off of the pace and put it more on mechanics.  Looks like I will need to start fretting over pace again.  Thirdly, once I get the ball rolling it will be time to start in on the speedwork.  This has always been the hardest to do because I don't have any good options for places to do speedwork.  I can run over to MIT but after only a few mile repeats I end up doing around a 7 mile run because it is almost a 4 mile round trip.  That's good for tempo but not speed.  Finally, I need to get more serious about core work.  Whenever I do it I end up feeling a lot stronger and it definitely helps but as I have said before, I'm a lazy bastard and need to keep the motivation up.

So there is my plan for the next ten months in a nut shell.  I shall now completely ignore everything I just wrote and go and get myself some lunch!

P.S. - Excellent job to all the Derry runners.  Especially Maria who now has me scared for our next race together!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Double Digits

I finally got back over ten miles. We came down to Long Island for a family party so I made sure to bring my gear.  Some times you just need to escape for a couple hours and hit the roads.   The weather was supposed to be warm so I was looking forward to that as well. Unfortunately the forecast was a bit off and it wasn't as warm as I had hoped.

It still turned out to be a good run. I haven't done more that six in a so I was interested to see how ten went. I ran along Hempstead Lake in the woods and it was quite nice. The area is nothing special but the run was relaxing and consistent. Very happy I got out before the rain and got in some fun.

Of course I then came back to my kid screaming and fighting with his cousin. I need to get up to twenty milers soon so I can plan one of those next time I'm in NY.   Three hours of nothing but inner contemplation and fresh air. Aaahh, bliss.

Good things

It was a good week overall. The mileage has started to creep back up and I was able to get in a few 6 milers this week. Friday was a particular treat as the weather warmed up enough that I ran in just shorts and a long sleeve instead of the normal winter gear. My legs still turned bright red because of the wind but it was good to be in shorts again.

Wednesday I did about 5 miles and made a few of them fast to start getting back into speed work. That took a bit more effort than it should. I haven't done a race since early December and no speed work since then so my body seems to have forgotten about the joys of pushing it.  Need to ease back into the fast stuff but need to do it soon, the Foxborough 10 miler isn't that far off.

So long story short, so far so good.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Multimedia message

This is a test of the Emergency Blogging System. If this had been a real emergency I would be running away.

Monday, January 11, 2010

I am a lazy bastard

You may have noticed that I haven't posted anything since Christmas.  The reason for that is the title of today's post.

I got hit with a crappy cold that settled into my chest and made any running end with violent coughing fits.  So I cut back.  But it still didn't go away so I cut back more.  And got lazy.  And ate too much.

And here we are.

So I scrubbed Derry from my calendar since I haven't done more than 7 miles in a long time.  But that's ok, I wasn't all that commited to it anyways.  It's back to basics time.  I'm out there hitting the pavement (and snow) and working on getting back into race shape, which could take awhile due to a slight case of overindulgence.  But nonetheless, good to be on the roads again.

In positive news, I have registered our team for the inaugural 13Relay which will take us from Quincy to Provincetown over two days this May.  Somehow I was made a captain even though I have the organizational skills of a squirrel (good at collecting things, not so good at remembering them).  It should be a good time even though I have no idea what to expect.  200 miles?  Piece of cake.