Wednesday, December 12, 2007

New Route

The regular running path was pretty icy in patches this morning, so the new Mike and I went looking for some dry road to run on. We found a really great new route--slightly better than what JP lead us on last Sunday.

It's basically the roads that run around Cricket Hill from Montrose to Foster. It's just over 1.5 miles from where those roads cross the path. A slight bonus is the inclusion of the three bridges. While they aren't much, in Chicago, I'll take what I can get.

Here's a map of the route:

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Winter Races

Some upcoming races to consider adding to the training calendar:

Sun 11/11

Universal Sole Rock n Sole Trail Challenge

Sun 12/2

Gilberts Cross Country Challenge

Sat, 12/29

Huff 50K Trail Run

Monday, October 8, 2007

after the debacle

One day after the debacle of the chicago marathon.... I am feeling both relieved that i did not run, and bummed out. I think I may have been able to pull off a decent run given my affinity to hot weather, and even something in the 2:50's would have been pretty good.

Oh well, kudos to Chris for pulling it off despite being seriously dehydrated and somewhat near death. He did not look good at the CARA tent...

Monday, August 20, 2007


Next Sunday every first (and likely only) time triathlete in Greater Chicagoland will be dragging their mountain bike and every living family member to the lakefront for the Accenture Triathlon. In an effort to avoid that experience, I will head to Waterfall Glen again this Saturday for my long run.
The reason I'm doing Saturday instead of Sunday is that CARA has a group that meets out there at 7:00 a.m. and they provide water and Gatorade on the course. I like running out there a whole lot more when I don't have to carry my own water and Gatorade.
Anyone up for two-plus laps at Waterfall Glen this Saturday?

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Too Much Distance in the "Classic"???

I've heard from several folks that the 2007 version (it changes every year) of the Distance Classic course was perhaps a bit longer than advertised.

Some with Garmin GPS equipment found it to be more along the lines of 13.3-13.5. However, Garmin's technology only provides for straight line mapping - which would add noticeable distance to a race course with a significant number of turns. Garmin is aware of this limitation and makes a foot pod that can be worn along with the GPS to account for curves and turns and correct for actual distance.

The course was measured and certified and I'm guessing that the individuals that found it to be too long were wearing Garmins without the foot pod.

I would still like to believe the course was long. In fact, based on my performance, I would guess that it was about 16 miles.

As for the course -- it sucked. It always sucks. One of the reasons that it sucked (and always sucks) is that organizers are required to keep the entirety of the race within a single Chicago Police District. That is apparently why we were left with seven 90-degree turns in the last mile instead of simply extending the course south to 47th Street or further west in the early miles.

Clearly, it's difficult to do a 13-mile race within a single Police district.

Given that the Penguin cares very little about having a quality race experience -- this limitation is of no concern to him. He just shows up and cashes the checks.

Friday, August 10, 2007

It occurred to me while I was grabbing Chris’s package…

Before I proceed, you might be asking yourself why I was handling Chris’s package. Short answer is that he asked me to. Technically, he asked either Ed or I to do it. Ed wanted to but he thought he might not be up to the task due to his poor eyesight, so I felt obliged. It’s really not a bad package. This year the CDC race package includes some Gatorade, granola, and your basic marathon flyers.

Okay, back on topic. So I took two days off from running this week. It occurred to me that this is somewhat significant because I haven’t taken a single day off in over 10 weeks. On one hand I feel lucky to have had a good training streak. On the other hand I am bit worried about my training going downhill. I think my body just needed a break after coming back to the heat and humidity of Chicago.

With that said, it needs to be said how amazing it was running in California. The running was full of scenic vistas, challenging hill work, and 70 degree weather with no humidity. Highlights include running the Rubicon Trail in the Sierra Nevada, 10 miles along the rigeline of San Rafael's rolling hills, and the touring the north end of San Fran (Golden Gate to Market Street). It was awesome. Even more awesome than Chris’s package.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

All’s quiet on Cricket Hill

Thought we might need a July update for our permanent record.

Chris is back and smokin’ fast. Nice work on being very close to a sub-hour 10 miler at Waterfall Glen on a tough course. I was dragging ass about 2 minutes behind Chris. Safe to say he’s fully recovered from his injury and faster than ever.

Ed is back and he’s gotten most of the Portuguese sand is out of his whowho. Each week Ed’s running one mile further at 6 minute pace during speedwork. At this rate, it looks like I have less than 4 weeks remaining to be faster than Ed.

Yesterday’s speed work had an interesting moment. At mile 1.5 into the LT, some jackass biker was passing so close to me that he rode his bicep right into my elbow backswing. The spectacle part of it was that he must have gotten a muscle cramp because he pulled off slightly and hit his brakes just hard enough to then go over the handlebars. It all appeared to happen in slow-mo. Unfortunately, Chris and Ed were just enough ahead to miss the whole thing.

Next big goal race, for me at least, will be the CDC. Ed, sign up now! You can probably be able to get back up to speed for this one. I think we (Chris, Ed, and I) should all go sub-1:20.

Waterfall Glen Xtreme 10 top 100 finishers:
Place, Name, Age Grp Place, Time
28, Chris Woods, 5 (M 30-34), 1:00:26.3
38, Rick Kennedy, 5 (M 35-39), 1:02:25.9
59, Philip Kepler, 9 (M 40-44), 1:04:39.2
62, Brian Sweney, 7 (M 45-49), 1:04:46.6
99, John Pearman, 12 (M 35-39), 1:09:33.7

Sunday, July 15, 2007

i count on u fellas

to help me recover from the debauchery of my iberian travels. Now i dont expect to come back in time for chicago, but i still have some hope for a solid january marathon...

i suspect the first days back (i arrive in just over a week, Monday the 23rd, from boston) will be rough, but u guys need to kick my ass and make sure i dont slack off!!

i am looking forward to getting back on the saddle.

i include one more of my trip moments, and a photo that displays the belly...

Friday, June 29, 2007

Red Bull concoction

Just tested the "Brian Sells" mixture over the last couple of weekends. Here are my insights:

Gatorade & Red Bull (sugar free): quite tasty, somewhat effervescent and bubbly in the water bottle (used for an 80 miler.. bike... in Madison). Easy drinking, quick "punch" from the Red Bull. I think regular Red Bull might be too much sugar.

Accelerade Premix (from 7-Eleven) and Red Bull (sugar free): first, the premix Accelerade is a VAST improvement from DIY powder that tastes like swamp water or homeless guy's laundry water. I had the blue colored (and flavored) Accelerade and the Red Bull. Same "punch" as the previous mix, but the Accelerade again had the lasting effect that has caused me to be a real believer to date.

My mix starts with a standard sized (not the new super sized) sugar free Red Bull emptied into the water bottle, then topped off with the drink of choice, Accelerade in my case. I'll likely monkey around with this mix some before IM Madison and Chicago, but I believe it to be a new interesting setup.

Monday, June 25, 2007

16 miles and counting

Last week i was partying in Seville. I only logged in two runs, for a total of 16 miles. It was hot and I was consistently hung over. I include some photos....

Friday, June 22, 2007

got chocolate milk?

So I heard rumors about chocolate milk (CM) as a recovery drink for a little while now. I decided to give it a try and have been on my CM kick for about 2 weeks. My result. I am feeling stronger than ever while closing up my 2nd week at 80+ miles. I’ve done this much mileage before, but only haphazardly with no consistency. Not sure how much credit to give my delicious chocolaty beverage, but I am not about to abandon whatever’s working. Furthermore, I am not missing those nasty ass synthetic recovery drinks like Endurox.

For a little bit more of the science, check out this article which discusses the details of the study from Dr. Joel Stager of IU Bloomington. One amazing finding is that time to exhaustion was increased by 44% for the group consuming chocolate milk vs. Endurox or Gatorade. Synopsis: Chocolate milk is the bomb digity yo.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Week 3, or is it 4, in spain

The image in the left has nothing to do with what follows. maybe it does. it is a place i was yhanging out at for a few days... The decAY is setting in fast. Today I ran that race with Vince. I had to get up at 4 AM. yesterday i attended Sonar, an all day music festival, drank profusely since noon and smoked herbal products. I got to bed at 1 AM. I woke up hungover, and not fit for racing purposes (or any other purposes for that matter). I put on my race shorts backwards, stumbled into my shirt and shoes and got out of the house. Vince was perky and well groomed at 5:00 AM, looking like he stepped out of J Crew's centerfold. i looked haggard, drunken, unshaven, amd generally unfit for good company. We proceeded to the race, a 5k with some farmaceutical gurus and doctors. There were about 200 runners. Really, only 10 - 20 looked remotely like runners. The rest was an assorted group of sweat pant banadana wearing walkman listening jawgers. Amazingly, the race was chip timed, well marked, accurate and well organized.

When the gun went off, I felt like throwing up right away but managed to keep it in. Vince darted ahead and took the head of the pack at a slightly sub six pace. I followed him, keeping my eyes on his perfectly matched ensemble. I was trying to catch up with him to work out a deal by which we would both slow down until the last quarter mile, since there was nobody immediately behind. No such luck, Vince cranked and I held on. Finally, he started slowing down after we passed the 2 mile mark and I went by him. I broke the tape (first time) in the not so fast time of 18:47.

Now its back to bed.

See yall soon,


Thursday, June 14, 2007

New Training Plan

I’ve recently put together a new training plan for this summer. The plan is designed to fit well on your fridge to be a constant reminder to get out there and run. Of course, you can easily adapt this to your own specific training needs. This planner is the culmination from several sources to blend in with our already existing races and training runs:

  • From Pfitzinger I took the overall phase development and long run target mileage.
  • From the McMillan Calculator I set the intensity levels (adjust to your needs)
  • Incorporated the major Chicago medium long tune up races
  • Incorporated our CARA Tuesday evening LT runs.
  • Incorporated our Friday morning "Ledesma" Montrose Hill Workouts
  • Threw in a few “over-distance” runs.

Hope you find this useful. Also, I am hoping that we can at least get our schedules in synch enough for a field trip or two to knock out the over-distance runs. Please let me know if you have suggestions for improvement. Download here.

Monday, June 11, 2007

North Shore Half

Congrats to Richard on an outstanding race at the North Shore Half on Sunday.

Though his 1:23:54 is likely not a PR at this distance... it was an outstanding time in the heat and humidity in Highland Park. Rick has the burden of being in the ultra-competitive 35-39 age group. As a result, his great finish was still only good for 7th in that age group.

Here are the race results:

It's a nice course with some rolling hills and one steep but short hill around 9 miles into the race. We were serenaded throughout the race by the calls of cicadas. It's really amazing how loud those bastards are.

Jordan Dubow won the race. The race finishes with a lap around the track. You may recall that Jordan's brother Jeremy's favorite story to tell is the one where Jordan was arrested while running on a track some years ago when some old bag claimed he brushed her while trying to get around her. She called the cops and they arrested him - forcibly removing him from the track. Well ... this was the same track. Jordan avoided arrest on Sunday and cruised to an easy victory. Though there may have been some offensive touching during the race -- that was done mostly by Cahn.

Great race Rick.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

When I was 25 and 143...

The current issue of Runner’s World has an article on finding your optimal running weight. It discusses various aspects about the cost of carrying dead weight. I like the simple heuristic that each pound of extra weigth will cost you 2 seconds per mile. This seems consistent with the popular rule of thumb that a percent decrease in extra weight yeilds a percent improvement in race time.

Another feature of the article is mention of a University of Dayton guy, Paul Vanderburgh, who came up with the race performance equivalence calculator. This calc takes your race time, age and weight and adjusts your race time to the equivalent of what it would be if you were an optimal 25 years old and weighed 143 pounds. Last I checked the USATF is not accepting this equivalent value, so for now it remains just a self esteem booster. Might be useful in handicapping race wagers.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Holding on....

Week 1 in spain, I ran 4 days for a total 35 miles... Next week I hope to do better. A lot of those miles were on a 500 foot elevation change course.

Glad to hear yous all doing the Hill!

Friday, June 1, 2007

Pfitzinger 18 Week Schedule...

If you want the original Excel file for your own customizations let me know.

Standing Friday Hill Run

While on Cricket Hill this morning, I was pleased to see Rick buzzing by and he happened to join me and "B" for a few rounds on the hill. Moving forward, you can count on a weekly Eduardo Ledesma Memorial Hill Run which will be taking place around 6a on Fridays. As the heat begins to beat down, this likely will move forward, but you can count on company (not responsible for the quality of company) on Fridays on the hill. This was previously requested via an annoying email string that went nowhere, but put it in your books.

Ed, we'll expect to hear about the hills you run up in order to get to the bar on Fridays until your return.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Relay -- Interested?

Since we were snubbed by the Nike Hood-to-Coast Relay this year - despite our strong performance and tremendous enthusiasm and spirit - I was wondering if you guys would be interested in getting the band back together for a relay in late August.

Matt has all those mullets and banjo music that he's dying to use -- and this looks like a pretty good event. (LaCrosse, WI to St. Paul, MN)

Don't know if this conflicts with anything on the race schedule of the triathletes - it's after the Distance Classic, prior to the Chicago Half and should be prior to Ed's return to Harvardland.

Check this out and let me know what you think:

Muffin Top Update

I decided to include a status report per Rick's request. See photo.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Pfitzinger 18 Week Plan

I'm starting the Pete Pfitzinger 18-week marathon training plan next Monday. I've been working for the past month to build my base. The peak mileage week tops out at 93. The longest long run called for on the plan is 24 miles (7 weeks before the marathon).

Instead of over-distance, Pfitzinger suggests doing portions of the long run at goal race pace -- with one of the long runs having 15 of the 20 miles done at race pace.

I'll need running partners for Wednesday and Friday mornings -- where the distances range from 10-16 miles depending on the week. Many Tuesday and Thursday workouts call for am/pm workouts.

It's a challenging plan. If this won't make me lose weight - I don't know what will.

I'll post my training schedule if I can figure out how to do so...

Dessert? Yes please!

Today I had an appointment at the UIC Human Performance Lab. They have a hydrostatic water tank available which is the current gold standard for accurate body composition testing. The purpose of my visit was to find out how much excess fat I was carrying around. We all know that carving off the non-essential "dead" weight makes us faster, but like all good things there are limits. So I wanted to know how far I should go before cutting into essential fat and protein.

The shocking result: My percentage is 6.6% !

Good news: I am officially non fat. The ACE Personal Training Manual states the healthy range for male athletes is 6-13%. However, they also state that “Essential Fat” is from 2-5%. This seems to be quite a big range. From what little I could glean online 5% is a typical fat percentage for elite male marathoners. That being said with my natural chunkyness, there is still no mistaking me for an elite Marathoner these days.

Bad news: It comes as an unwelcome realization that I don’t have the gold mine of performance gains in reserve that I thought I had via weight loss. My plans of someday easily converting 10 more pounds of fat into pure speed might never happen. And there is not much more I can do to reduce unused musculature short of going under chemo. Definitely not hoping to go the Lance Armstrong route to better performance (testicular cancer).

I guess the silver lining is that I can now pretty much eat what I want!

Finally in the land of beer and honey(s)

Just got to Spain. I must admit I neither ran before I got on the plane nor when I got off it. I was too drunk for either. My send off involved a few drinks, and when I got on the
plane I discovered that they had double booked my tourist class seat. Regrettably, I was escorted to the front of the plane, thats right, first class. So for $350 (700 round trip) i got to sit next to some that had payed 3-5000 bucks. Needless to say I pointed that out to them... and proceeded to request repeats on all the free drinks the cute stewardesses kept bringing over... Then I slept it off in a reclining chair that was almost as big as a twin mattress.

Tomorrow I will run...,

Monday, May 28, 2007

WOW, eulogized and not even dead YET!!!

After reading JP's more than generous assesment of my running acumen I feel so moved I want to go out and hug someone. Preferebly a 16 year old, large breasted girl. Just kidding, I meant 18.

Seriously, I am very pleased that JP has joined our little blog, eat your heart out marathon pundit, no politics here this is a strictly BI-party-san venture which revolves around the love of running, and how fat who is getting due to the strange muffin top effect.

Now for a disclosure: I have been slacking. Today I woke up at noon, and missed a half marathon that started at 8 AM and which was to be my swan song till mid july. Need less to say, the guilt is killing me.

Then, I open the blog, after being AWOL for a few weeks, and find JP's praise, its words burning a guilt path through my rapidly enlarging belly (no Chris, I'm not pregnant!).

So I take this oportunity to make a public resolution: I WILL MAKE IT to 2:30. And I intend to drag a few of you with me into the 2:30's.

Now dont get me wrong, this will not be easy, and it may take some friendly competition and good natured ribbing for all of us to keep improving. I will do my best to try and stay ahead of you while I can, but you better get your asses out there and try to catch me. Inevitably, and sooner, rather than later, someone will. Which is fine, because that will give me further reason to train HARDER.

Now I'm going to get my ass back to bed, tomorrow I fly to Spain. but I'lll be damned if I dont go for a run before I get on the plane and AFTER I get off it. Lets quit screwing around, we got a marathon to run in October....

See yall in late July. JP welcome to the blog.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Ed and Breakthroughs...

As mentioned by Rick - Ed made a special guest appearance for speed work last night before he jets off for a summer of slacking in Spain. It was great to see him and have a chance to run together for that short period where he was still within sight (my sight - not his).

We were discussing the fact that when he made his major breakthrough as a marathoner (from 3:40 to 3 hours and then 2:40) there were as many folks in our group rooting against him as there were rooting for him. It's unfortunate - but also very likely true.

Though I always hope to finish ahead of Ed and haven't given up on the idea that I might at some point again -- I was extremely pleased with his amazing breakthrough. I was equally excited when Chris, Rick, Matt, Phil and David had similar breakthroughs.

Ed's breakthrough seemed to be the most dramatic for many in our group - as the others listed had shown incremental improvement in race performance along the way. Likewise, Cahn, Brian and I were running fairly consistently around or just under the 3 hour mark.

When Ed dropped under 2:50 - everyone wanted to know what he was doing differently. What's his secret?

The secret? Hard work and dedication to improvement. We've all done numerous marathons and know a great deal about different training approaches. How many days of speed training should you do? What's the best periodization to allow me to peak on race day? What is the right amount of weekly mileage?

I can talk all day about training strategy. Ed doesn't. He goes out and runs. When he wanted to run better -- he dedicated himself to running more. More of everything. More distance, more speed, more racing. The lesson we can learn from Ed's breakthrough is that there is nothing magical or revolutionary about it.

I don't know if I would break down from doing a 100 mile week because I've never developed a base that would allow me to get anywhere near it. If someone can manage to get 100 miles in per week - I'm the last one to criticize that approach. Seems crazy to me - but only because it's 20 miles more than I've ever managed in my heaviest weeks of training. Training is subjective - from Pfitzinger to Daniels to Higdon -- they are all just suggestions... ideas. I have no preconceived notion that my training approach is the right one (not even for me).

Assuming we can avoid freak dog-trip fractures - the same opportunity for breakthroughs exists for all of us - no matter what training approach we follow. We just need to work harder and be more dedicated.

Ed's faster than we are right now because he deserves to be.

He's worked for it.

Tues LT Report: 4.5 Miles @ 6:25

Workout started out blazingly fast with Ed & Matt pushing the first mile @ 6 minute pace. Then it seemed to settle back down as we took an extended mile under North Ave, and ran North into the wind up to Navy Pier. Unfortunately, I didn't take much advantage of the tailwind for long when my run crashed and burned at 4.5. My failure to get my pre-run bidness out of the way resulted in an emergency pitstop at the North Ave Boat House. TMI, I am sure.

This Saturday will be a good test of progress. Goal is to go under 6:30 for the Soldier Field 10 Miler. Phil and Matt will be running as well.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

True Endurance!

This article discusses a couragous young man gearing up for the upcoming 48 hour "Sanford & Son Marathon". Like to see you try that Dean Karnazes!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Chris's Bringin' Sexy Back

Getting Our Groove Back

Nice tempo workout this morning. JP, Rick and I were the three amigos. It's a good thing Cahn is too wimpy to do an early morning workout. The north headwind would have shaken that little guy up. My 2 lb dominance kept me moving in a positive direction.

Yes, the winds were strong, but not enough of a deterrent to keep us from having a good workout.

Eight miles total, six at tempo. I have no idea what my heart rate was, but managed the following laps: 6:44, 6:54, 7:39, 6:30, 6:28, 6:18.

Ed, you need to let us know when you can run next week.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Annie Ryan Run - Elmhurst - May 20th - 9 AM

My former boss has a 5K in Elmhurst each year to honor the memory of his daughter who died ten years ago as a result of an undetected brain tumor. Proceeds benefit the Children's Brain Tumor Center at Lutheran General.

It's a good cause and an opportunity to WIN a 5K for anyone that can run under 18:45. In past years... that's what it took to win.

If you guys are interested... we could do a few miles on the Prairie Path, run the race and then do another hour or so on the Prairie Path.

I think the race starts at 9. Rumor has it that Ed will be in town. I'll be driving past Forest Park on my way to Elmhurst (Ed's hometown) if anyone wants to ride along or get picked up on the way.

Brunch at Egg Harbor to follow the race and any post-race miles.

I'm thinking I will look to run for an hour or so before the race and another hour after the race.

Any takers?

Tues LT Report: 6 Miles @ 6:27

Coach called for 45 minutes @ LT. There was a light rain coming down which filled me with a certain amount of dread for the upcoming workout. As we got going the rain actually felt quite refreshing and then shut off after about 15 minutes into the run. I was pleasantly surprised to be hitting my time splits (going for 6:30's). After all was said and done, it really felt great out there tonight.

The rain kept the turnout pretty low. Fearghal and John M were the only others who showed up to run the LT. When finished both Fearghal and my legs had a nice stucco finish from the sloppy path. Too bad JP didn't show up. It would have been a great night for splashing through the puddles.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Ledesma Muffin Top

The Ledesma Muffin Top Effect has started. 1 week without running and there is already a noticeable increase of the belly area...

One can only imagine what it will look like after I get back from Spain in mid July...


fatty eddy

Tues LT Report: 4 miles @ 6:30*

Tuesday night was a perfect night for an LT. Nice temps, and for once no real wind. We also had celebrity runner appearances by Bob Fencl and Kevin M to push the pace. Pearman ran strong even with running a 1/2 Marathon just 2 days ago. John McGreal was like the energizer rabbit out there. I'm not sure his legs are even moving when he's running. He just sort of glides along the ground hitting his base drum. Okay, strike the base drum part.

* Full Disclosure: The Ledesma shortcut at the Lawrence underpass was taken.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007


Nice job Chris... on your way back.

I myself have not run in almost one week. The long slide down has begun!

See us soon

Monday, May 7, 2007

First long run

Well, 8.96 miles in 1:10, if you call that a long run. The ankle is a little sore today. Other than that, I felt and still feel pretty good.


No time to run... End of year exam upon me! It is an oral exam in front of a panel... like the inquisition!

Aggghhh I cant wait to be done!

I will be in chi-town for 5 days, May 20 - 25...

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Bloomsday....hills & hills

After a decent performance last week at Ravenswood, it was time to head west to Spokane for the Bloomsday Run 12k. I was assured of a PR on this course because it was the first time that I had ever run it. Unfortunately, the "seeding" priority for this race makes the second seed very challenging to make, thus putting me back with the masses. Lots of new running shoes with cotton socks. Additionally, with the second seed was the "Corporate Cup" runners , aka slow people running/walking 5 wide for their company competition. I was dodging them less than a mile ahead even though the staged the waves by 5 minutes.

Bloomsday is a good race, nice course, but the hills are legitimate leg burners. The course starts with about 3/4 mile flat followed by another 3/4 mile of significant downhill. You are repaid by a bi-level burner that is about 1 1/4 mile long. Another 1/2 mile of flat, 1/2 mile of downhill and then Doomsday. I would rate the first hill as more challenging, but Doomsday comes in at 5 miles in and with exhaustion factor, I could see it taking its toll.

I slipped in a 49:34, about 95 seconds slower than I'd hoped, but reasonably satisfied. Additionally, Dani and Jen cruised in around 1:13 with a bathroom break that might even make Ed proud. Photos and course elevation below. I think this would be an interesting run to get a "crew" to attend next year or the following. With 45, 000 participants, it is a legitimate big run with some good pain sprinkled in......

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Treats Are For Winners

Today Bosco Gibson showed the rest of those "loooser dogs" how it's supposed to be done. Bosco was 1st dog to cross the finish line today in the 13th Annual Bark in the Park 5K. You can see just how exhausted he is from the whole ordeal.

Fine, it might not have been a race per se. There were no official times, and technically you're supposed to walk it. But c'mon people! B-Dog don't roll like 'dat. Only 3-5 people actually ran the race, but it's not B's fault if the slacker dogs in the back didn't bring their "A-game". BTW, the grand prize for taking 1st was a 20lb bag of dog food from PetsMart. Sweet!! Mmmm, kibble.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Tues LT Report: 5 Miles @ 6:54

Good LT on Tuesday. 3 Miles were into the wind.

Feeling good. Must disclose that I took 3 days off running this weekend to go to Jazz Fest in New Orleans. My training took a hit, but it was worth it.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007


So, that was my workout for the day. About three miles total with lots of repeat 100s focusing on gait. Bill has a new 1,2,3,4,PAW drill. Good stuff. I'm worn out.

Gibson, sharpen the claws. I took little Gretchen on her first run this evening. Well, Rick and I did for about 1.5 miles. Of note, she took a healthy dump only a 1/4 mile into the run. She's going to be a good dog on the path. Probably not a Bosco.

More good stuff tomorrow.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Reporting on a Hilly 10K

Did a 10k at groton Mass, a lovely community famous for its 10k. A difficult course, lots of ups and downs, including a lengthy hill at the last mile...
The good runners were there, and I barely got 78th place. Note our fastest runner (Hank) who could give all of us a serious thrashing and routinely nails the masters division. He was not "racing" this, usually he runs about 5:15 - 5:20 per mile. I quote the "copy" from our club email:

Race #2 in the Grand Prix series was yesterday in Groton , a 35 mile trek from Cambridge . While, part of our crew inadvertently took a scenic tour of town (and got a sneak peek of the 10k course) due to road closures during the earlier 5k race, we did arrive in time to take part in the race with over 900 other runners.

The 10k race substituted a musket fire over the routine gun to start the race – coursewise, nothing too challenging. A series of rolling hills throughout and a 200m sprint on the high school track to the finish line.

Overall, our mens team finished 13th in the team competition. Jay, Daniel and Eileen all recorded PRs. And then we crashed the famed Blue Ribbon BBQ in Arlington for a post race meal.

10k Results:

Place No. Name Ag S Div/Tot Div Town StTeam Name Time10k Pace

44 844 HENRY SCOLLARD 43 M 10/198 M4049 CAMBRIDGE MA CAMBRIDGE RUNNING CLUB - 067 34:37 5:35

78 2030 EDUARDO LEDESMA 34 M 19/129 M3039 CAMBRIDGE MA CAMBRIDGE RUNNING CLUB - 067 36:47 5:56

Normally, a recovery run

I didn't run yesterday. I intended to, but woke up too late. Shame.

Today, however, was 3.4 miles. The Garmin says a just under 8:00 pace. That included street crossing stops. The one uninterrupted mile on the lake front was a 7:33 pace. The heart rate hovered between 80-84% which is high, and much higher than it felt.

I'll be a speed training tomorrow night. 6:30. CARA Board.

Workout: 3 Easy // Total Mileage: 3.4 // Avg Pace: 7:53 // Avg HR: 80-84%

Saturday, April 28, 2007

My first day back

I'll give a post-run report, but this is my first weekend back running. I feel good. I weigh in at 127-128 lbs this morning. That's about 10-15 lbs lighter than this time last year.


I have a long way to go.

Workout: 3 Easy // Total Mileage: 3 // Avg Pace: 7:30 // Avg HR: 78-82%

I will do another 2 miles tonight and will see whoever tomorrow morning at 7:30. I will be doing a run/walk thing for an hour or so.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Atta boy rick

I have not run in 3 days and I am starting to feel plump already... I shall be transitioning to a full muffin top if I'm not careful (or was that a pack of hot dogs on my neck?)

Rick I'm glad you were finally able to break the 7 minute barrier even if for just a few miles. Your former self (and even an improved one) is just around the corner...

Now lets see how low i can go in the next 2.5 months!


Still a long way to go...

Today was my first real LT of 2007. The result was 4 miles @ 6:58. I had ambitions of running 6:30's since it was just 4 miles. In the end, it was a struggle just to squeak under 7's. This run was a good reality check on my current fitness level. Probably need to revise my goal pace for the Lakefront 10 miler this weekend.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Good, better and ugly

Well, guys, I have "recovered" from the debacle that we'll call the Boston Marathon on Monday. Humbled am I after enduring 26.2 miles of plodding along in the Nor-easter that rolled in over the weekend. I have learned a few things over the last several days that I'll take with me (seems to be a recurring theme here). First, the good, better and ugly from this blog.


Rick is back in the "running" classification. After a 3:20 in Paris and dogging me on the lake shore yesterday, it is obvious that he's going to be in form here soon. Next job will be getting Chris back in form as well.


Ed's performance in Boston. Nothing short of amazing. Edumacated and fast.... how does he do it? Was the weather significantly different for Ed and did they take the hills out? Ed, I think you've got the equation down on how to maximize your training time for marathon benefit. Just note pictures below for drastic differences.


Matt.... How did I let my Arizona form go down the drain? I believe the lack of volume three weeks out along with the inability to get 2-a-days in during the last month sunk me. I pulled up to the start line in poorer shape than I should have an attempted to run the course at a sub-three pace. Fell apart after about 11 and then just plain embarrassed myself by grinding along above 730 to finish at 310. Score one for the Boston course, but paybacks are hell.

Ed Cruising in Boston

Where the "F" is that finish line?
A few lessons learned here in the last few weeks:
1. Diet matters, it really does. No more cookie, donut and sugar-loaded days for this cowboy. Lean meats, vegetables and fruit. Love Solomon's, but that's a carb load item. No cheating....
2. Know the course and make adjustments early, not late. Has been said thousands of times, but go slow at Boston early. I was on pace until about 11, which might have been too fast to begin. This mistake will not be repeated again.
3. Two a days are king. I need mileage upwards of 65-70 every week leading up to Boston until the taper.
4. Don't forget the core. It has been weeks since my last core training session and I'm certain that this affected my Boston performance. Strong core, strong body. Neither of which I have at this point.
I'm finding solace in the fact that others had subpar performances in Boston and that I'm going to be able to redoux this next year. In the meantime, I'm going to start racing again soon, Ravenswood here in 8 days, and we'll soon forget this 2007 Boston episode. For those that missed 2007, your timing was impeccible!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Summer Race Schedule

It is unbelievable how quickly these races are filling up. Chicago is already closed, and the Chicago Half will be full soon. Given that, I've been putting together my summer race schedule and making sure to sign up for the races I want. Others are just "maybe's", if the timing works out and if you dudes want to join in. Hopefully, we can run a lot of the same races this summer.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The day after, the day after, the day after.

Since Ed was so kind to share his running secrets, I thought I would contribute mine as well. Here are "Rico Sauve's" Keys to Marathon Success:

  1. Take about 5 months off running. You don’t have to go cold turkey. Sprinkle in a few runs to make for a smoother trainistion into slothtitude. This is what I call the “weight training” phase of the program. A little more emphasis on the weight than the training.
  2. Make a couple of pathetic attempts at racing. There is nothing like public humiliation and riducule to really feel like you've hit rock bottom. My favorite was the Cary ½ Marathon where I was only able to run 4 miles (downhill!).
  3. Start your training program no less than 3 weeks prior to your big race. ;-)
  4. Oh yeah. Lot's of lemony goodness.

All joking and flippant responses to training aside, I more than ever appreciate the training we've done. The training base we've built has allowed for a relatively quick comeback. I still have quite a ways to go, but I can't wait to get back to competative shape. Also, watching the Boston Marathon Monday really stoked my motiviation. Nice work Ed & Matt!

We should all try to go under 60 for the Xtreme 10 miler. Who's with me?

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The day after

One day after Boston and I have mixed feelings... While the weather was a factor and my low mileage training also had its toll, as well as a lousy diet and little sleep, I learned some valuable lessons out of my 2:46 performace. They are these:

1. Friends are a big help. To run with or motivate you. I have to say Matt (and Jen), Rick, Chris (even though you werent running), Brian, Danni, JP, etc etc have all contributed to my being a faster runner. Matt's collaboration on some extra long runs was especially helpful.

2. Brings me to extra long runs at moderate pace. The more of these I do, the more of a believer I become. I think I should like to increase these to 2 per month in the 30 - 35 mile range. They do something biologically, especially when run slow, than I cant quite describe but seems to result in some incredible endurance adaptation.

3. The advice and help from a coach (Coach Leach). this is great from motivation and from a technical standpoint.

4. LT's. Mix and match indoor and outdoor. I found running indoor ones on an a soft track, with 2 runners alternating the lead every mile and maintaining an agreed upon effort, was an excellent complement to the outdoor LT where you are basically on your own and likely to slack on effort.

5. Mile repeats with a short recovery (30 sec) at marathon pace (or slightly faster). I found these to work well toward the end of the training season.

6. Weekly hills. Although I skipped my megahill workout this training cycle I ran part of the Boston course about 2 times a week.

7. Extended LT's (10 - 12 miles at LT range).

8. Solid, slightly faster long runs (16 - 20 miles) at 7:30 pace.

9. OK to slack on recovery runs.

These are the things I seemed to get good results out of. There is definite room for improvement, as I am not yet at the 2:30's I want to get too...

Hopefully this summer we can do some training in Chicago! my next target race will be in December or January of next year though, with Chicago as a "training run" (at 90% effort).


Monday, March 5, 2007

30 miles?..... are you crazy???

I enter this week completely exhausted from a high-intensity week of biking in the mountains and a very strenuous weekend. Ed, the thought of the entire Boston Marathon course is a tad daunting (you'll hoodwink me into it someway or another). After 90 minutes of LT riding on Saturday, followed directly by a 30 min LT run, yesterday's 21.5-22 miles run was significantly more draining than it would normally be.

Good news, however, is that we did find a good hilly run near Barrington, (Barrington High School is the start) that offers about 13-13.5 miles of good running. Rolling hills, little traffic and the like. Even saw about 5 deer wandering around the road, likely wondering what the heck we were doing. Ed is no longer allowed inside yet another gas station in the Chicago area. The move to Boston is becoming much more understandable as time progresses.

Off to Boston on Friday. Don't expect a rosey report on this blog next week.....

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Not so cold here fallas... come on down !

Yep. its a balmy 28 today, 20 with the wind chill. basically Alaskan summer conditions. I had a long run (a 20 miler) and did it with the Cambridge Running Club. There was some general amazament at the fact that I was wearing shorts, so i had to put the balmy conditions in perspective for them by referring what you poor chicago sods are enduring. then I demosntrated the effects of real cold by showing off the wind burns in my legs, which I still have since we did the cary run 2 weeks ago.

At any rate, it was a fast 20 (at a 2:22, basically slightly sub 3:10 pace). This was good, i hung in with their fastest guys and we ran in part of the race course, getting quite a few hills. Incidentally, i did not see any girls by Wellesley.

Another thing to report, my weight is back down to 155, so with a little luck i can get it to 145 by Boston time.

I'm starting to enjoy running again!


Friday, February 9, 2007

Solo Hill

Ok, so after much email traffic about a weekly hill run, I have been on the hill 2 of the last 3 weeks without anyone from that email list (Ed you're excluded since yours was a "Cameo" appearance). Today, 2 degrees at 545a when I left the house.

Highlights of the day:

Bosco exited early. Bare paws on 2 degree pavement caused him to begin "three legging" it only a half mile into the run. So now, definitely no partner for the hill run.

Fearghal slipped by as I was about to leave the hill after about 30 mins. He was there "just to check the footing" so I made him spend about 5 rotations on the hill. Good Irishmen are not intimidated by the cold!!!

Ed..... drop the books and get back to posting.

Friday, February 2, 2007

Minne- F-ing Freezing - apolis

OK, Ed.... try this without shorts......

-2 WITHOUT windchill yesterday morning in Minneapolis (where I was for business). With windchill, -14. I hate to admit it, I thought browsing the web and riding when I returned to Chicago was a much more productive use of my time.

It was a sizzling 12 degrees here in Chicago for my run back from the VW dealership in Evanston. Musta been a bit colder with the windchill cuz my fingers were freezing. Again, love to see Ed in shorts in this weather this week.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

5 degrees... yes, FIVE. With a windchill in the below zero range. 9.6 miles in this junk is not fun. Bosco started three-legged running (no Ed, not the kind you think) because the sidewalk was sooooo cold. A quick visit or two to Cricket Hill on the trip. Three layers, including a thick UnderArmor leggings and shirt as well as windpants. Just barely enough! I'm not divulging pace as I'm going to blame the cold.

Chris, fix that leg and Rick.... you're gonna get out here soon.

Some insightful views on winter running from the web.......

Finally, my training exposed on the internet for all:

No heckling!!!

Friday, January 19, 2007

On the hill again

so after the laid back 2:48 from last sunday (Phoenix) its time to get to work for REAL. A light hill work out this morning though, 'cause I'm still winding down papers for my clases. But still got my arse to cricket Hill at 5:45 for 4 miles on the hill, 8 total.



Thursday, January 18, 2007


What a weekend!!!

BTW, how can it possibly be COLDER in Phoenix than it was in Chicago when we left? I thought we were doing this marathon down there because it was supposed to be WARMER.....

So I took the whole notion of carb loading to an extreme. Shall we just call it carb "overloading" for the time-being. After a mid-week visit to Solomon's cookies, located right next door to my Vision Quest guys, for $28 worth of cookies, I proceeded to devour nearly anything that wasn't nailed down in the house with sugar in it. Ed and I, in order to complete the cycle, stopped by store on the way out of town. I now have at least one more fan of the "goods"... and they are good. See link below for additional love handles and tooth decay.

As for the marathon, it was a sizzling 28 degrees when we got down to the start. Well done on the porta potty supply, but give us some heat!!! Preferred corral was only modestly full and not overly full with fast runners (meaning really fast, not "Gibson" fast). I was quite excited about the eastbound course only to find that the wind decided to shift to become a wind from the EAST. Oh, well. Not a strong wind, just an annoying one. Nice course, good and flat, a reasonably amount of turns...... but nearly NO people. Given the ability to defect to the Half, I believe that the spectators did the same from what I heard. At about 15, I realized my "dream" of sub-3 was at risk because of ADD that I was experiencing. I was a good 90 seconds off time, somewhat similar to my fate in Chicago. So I gave it about 3 sub-640 miles beginning at 18 and then cobbled together the remaining at 640-645 to slip in just a mere 15 seconds ahead of the bell. Trust me, I don't like hearing countdowns while heading toward finish lines. For results on other great accomplishments, I have the link below. Other notable finishers include:

Eduardo Ledesma

Meshelle Osborne

Brian Sweney

A couple photos from the weekend.....

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Criminy! what a day...

R.I.P. chris woods... sorry about your fibula fracture this morning... Thats what happens when you are not careful with SEX. i mean ICE. Hope you are back up at it soon (I mean RUNNING).

Matt and I had a relaxed 8 miles, and we ran into jordan and some fast dude who trains with the likes of Wehrman. jordan told me his training secrets.

I am also going to make a weight disclosure: 160 lbs, 10 more than before I left Boston for the holidays.

I need to get down to 140 lbs by April for the Big Marathon.

xxx ooo xxx


BTW thanks for the photos Matt...

Friday, January 5, 2007

Pathetic attempt to post

Ok.... so as a newbie on this blog, I'll try to add something of minimal value to begin with. This would be the throwbacks to hairdos of old (or hair don'ts). We might muse of what one Chris Woods might have looked like in his Pontiac Firebird days while listening to some Bob Seger. Or, we might imagine Ed in detention, or Brian asking for a quick "hit." I, on the other hand, am just trying to fit in here.

Now, onto the running. Motivation has been a bit of a problem as of late. Therefore, I am using Ed's free time to become my battering ram for getting mileage up, although I have hardly cracked the 60+ distance in the last two prior weeks. This silly biking thing is rearing it's ugly head and taking up about 3 workouts a week. Boy, Boston might be a bit uglier for me than I'd expect.

Friday Five

I think the last two days of tempo runs caught up with me today. I headed to the hill by myself this afternoon--after learning Rick and Ed went without me this morning (read: I am bitter)--and did only a half mile on the hill. Feeling terribly sluggish, I headed home.

See you in the AM for more tempo.

Training: Recovery & Hills
Total: 4.5 mi | Hills: .5 mi

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Four Days Late

One of my resolutions this year was to post daily training. I am now four days behind. Anyway, here goes.

Total: 8.5 Mi | Tempo: 6.25 Mi | Avg Tempo Pace: 6:30/Mi

Total: 10.5 Mi | Tempo: 8 Mi | Avg Tempo Pace: 6:15/Mi

Good articles from today:

Great interview with a runner I've never heard of...but should have. - Going the Distance: Catching Up With Craig Virgin

More Karnazes. I like the guy and what he does, but I have difficulty believing the untrained 30 miles in a drunken stuper story. I've never run 30 miles. That's just tough.
Wired Mag - The Perfect Human

Interesting story on doping.
Wired Mag - The Righteous Fury of Dick Pound

Oh, and sign up to win the Garmin Astro dog tracking product for Bosco.

See you on the path on Friday.

Since my weight is probably the factor holding me back the most right now, I am also going to start posting periodic measurements.

Weight this morning: 138 lbs | Boston Marathon Target: 130 lbs