Sunday, December 19, 2010

Long time no post...

Injury from the crash finally starting to heal. I took 5 months off, then started running in September. Here's a summary of progress:

W1: 3 miles
W2: 17 miles, 1 LIFT
W3: 11 miles
W4: 20 miles
W5: 21 miles
W6: 17 miles, 1 LIFT
W7: 18 miles
W8: 28 miles, 1 race (17:26 5k), 2 workouts, 1 LIFT
W9: 19 miles, 1 LIFT
W10: 29 miles, 1 workout, 1 swim, 1 spin class, 1 LIFT
W11: 26 miles, 1 spin class, 2 LIFT
W12: 32 miles, 1 workout, 1 swim, 1 LIFT
W13: 33 miles, 1 swim, 2 LIFT
W14: 35 miles, 1 race (16:42 5k), 2 workouts, 1 swim, 1 LIFT
W15: 42 miles, 2 workouts, 3 LIFT

What I've also done is hours and hours and hours of PT, fixing old injuries besides the crash related knee problem, completely changed my running form to toe and forefoot running (feels amazing) and spent $1,000 dollars on rolfing, which was worth every penny. Here's to continued improvement.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Mt. Washington 2010

I won't be running Mt Washington 2010. So I am posting this to re-cap my year. As next year I plan to run it. I also plan to attempt once more to run a Wash workout every week until Wash 2011.

In late April I got run over by a car while biking. I took a sharp right hand turn, hit some sand and slid (at 20 mph) into the opposite lane and under a 2009 BMW 328i which was coming in the other direction.

The above picture is of me near-passed-out after the crash. I initially got up and apologized to the nice old lady who drove the Beamer, then some pain and dizziness set in. For the record, my good friend Jon Korhonen who was biking with me, (along with fellow CMSer Andy McCarron), could not avoid me after the crash so ran over me with his bike too, which was funny. It went ground, car, then another bike for the tri-fector.

The bike I road broke as the weight of the car was transferred through the frame and onto my knee - which is what is keeping me from running Washington. I had no broken bones, but the inflammation has been serious enough to more or less sideline me for the better part of six weeks. Cortisone this week and doctors (very) strict orders not to run have been the nail in the coffin for the race this year - SAD FACE!!! :(


Those of you who know me know very well that working out is a large part of my life. Shallowly, I'd say, it is at current the largest. And has been the largest with seemingly no end in sight for years now. So knowing that - and knowing that I have been continually hampered by injury for the past three years, (thus kept far from where my efforts and passion aspire) - you might think this cute accident has been especially tough to swallow. Amazingly, that has not been the case. It's had far more positives than negatives as far as I can see. Let me list them:

1) I am alive. Although only moments after the crash Jon and Andy where making jokes to my incoherent self (also to the little old ladies horror) about "my finishing the ride," "getting back up to run home," or, the "drat, he's still conscious," it was pretty clear immediately that I was damn lucky. So, there's that. the car didn't run over my chest or skull. It wasn't going 40 mph. Hooray!

2) I have great friends. Besides Jon gregariously taking pictures while I was down, then developing them while I was in the hospital so I had appropriate mementos when I got back... as well as Andy's motherly cooked dinner, with other attentions (wink, wink) - the two of them less than an hour after the crash began planning to get me a brand new road bike. This is no small task or minor gift. Since I'm injured constantly, I've become a mightily decent biker - I don't own a car, I bike everywhere and compete with the Northampton Cycling Club - a new bike is a dream gift - something I could never afford. Loosing my red Cannondale in the crash (it was my fault so the Beamer lady was not obligated to replace it) was perhaps the biggest down of the entire event. Long story short, with the help of over 50 close friends and family, the two of them raised enough money to get me a state of the art Trek Madone 5.2. Basically, a rocket-ship. It's a freakin rocket-ship. Literally the best gift I've ever received.

3) Biggest positive of all - and related to all of the above -My Life Has Been Decided. Or, at least, my life for the next few years. Indeed, I'm obsessed with working out, but this is hardly all I want to do - it's just all I do do. It's all or nothing with me, thus, the only way - I've continually thought - to get out of this workout habit, is to get INJURED! Seriously injured, so I can't return. It's a sick thought, but I've had it often. So, as I am sliding without fail into this red tank of a car, what is on my mind? Obviously, this will suck, but I may be free. So, the irony here: I should have been seriously injured - (all the doctors where amazed I was not) - I should have been out for at least a year, or longer... enough time to do something else... But, instead, I get a brand new bike out of it - bike of my dreams actually - just the thing I needed to compete seriously at the elite triathlon level. Well, that and some more swim training. (I've been swimming 5+ miles a week for six weeks because it's all I can do). The crash decided my path. I am not meant to break - but continue to train. Cool. I can do that.

My Bike. It's a beauty ~

Monday, April 19, 2010

April 11-17

4/11 - 4/17/2010: Run 52 (2 WOs, 1 Race)/Bike 66 miles/2 Swims
Another solid week. Took one day off via back to back races for the weekend. I'll post on them (Cave Hill Classic 5 mile run & Wrentham Duathlon) later. I did have another solid NCC TT as well.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Upper Ridge, April 4 - 10

Ran Upper Ridge this morning with good bud Jon Korhonen. He had fueled himself well with a night of debauchery in Amherst. I told him in the morning we would sprint up upper ridge/Mt Orient.

New Record: 9:09.

Killed the old record of 9:48. Jon pushed hard in the beginning and tried to catch me at the end, which helped. He's only been running 40 miles a week, but you don't run a 4:04 mile without having some natural ability. He finished in 9:19.

The Week of 4/4 - 4/10: Run 47, Bike 81, 3 Swims, 1 Lift
The week started great, ended sub-par as I took Saturday off. Did a NoHo hill climb/race with a bunch of other bikers. I beat some Cat 3 and maybe Cat 2 guys on the four mile climb to finish 3rd of 22 riders. I also had some great swims and one or two amazing runs. Injuries still hurt though... Cave Hill Classic 4 mile race on Saturday this week, followed by the Wrenthem duathlon the next day. I hope to win both.

UPDATE: After the 12 miler I biked 33 miles with workout partner/UMass rowing alum Gregg Murray. Then I felt like running again. Did 9 with a few half repeats/minute pick-ups. Ran into current UMasser Andrew McCann (30:04 10k guy). He's fast. He'll be entering the road race circuit next year...

Good day today.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


It was a good month. Injuries are making progress, as is my running shape. Some March highlights and week totals:

2/28-3/6: 26 Run, 3 hard Spin sessions, 1 Swim, 1 Lift
On 2/28 I did the DH Jones 10 miler on almost no running in February. I ran 57:52. 5:47 pace. I was fresh, but felt awful and out of alignment, basically jogging in the last 3 miles. It was an ambitious, but dumb move.

3/5-3/11: Run 55, 1 Spin, Bike 12, 3 hard Swims, 1 Lift
Great overall week. Did 18 miles Saturday. 3 running workouts total (I was hurt, I think), and the swims were epic.

3/14-3/20: Run 50, Bike 50+ (3 rides), 1 Lift
Another good week. Ran the St. Patrick's Day 10k in Holyoke with 4,000 other people. Finished 17th. It was HOT! Ran relatively slow 5:36 pace, 34:48. Again, felt out of alignment. Not healthy. To punish myself for being slow, biked 30 miles after the race. It was a nice day.

3/21-3/27: Run 47, 1 Spin, 1 Bike, 1 Lift
Okay week. Feeling injured. Also was on the road in NYC for a few days which hurt my running. Highlight was Andy's Fast Friend's Road Race in Swanzey NH. 4.5 miles, tough course, I got 3rd behind Justin and Greg. It was a fun time and was happy with my 5:34 pace for a 24:59. I was more happy that I was able to run at all... it was a starting-line call.

3/28-4/3: Run 46 (5 days), 2 Spins, 43 Bike, 2 Swims, 1 Lift
Really awesome week. Mostly because by Saturday I finally felt improvement with my alignment/stride which I think has been helping my injuries (I hope!) Also, I did 2 WOs. 1 Mt Wash Town-line Tempo (24:41, PR) and one pyramid on the track 2,4,8,mile,8,4,2. I won't post times because they were SAD! But the point was I am working out more.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

WASH Workout: Upper Ridge Again

Getting back into running and my old plan to do 52 "Mt. Washington Workouts" in the year before this summer's Mt. Wash race. My injury kind of derailed that idea... but maybe I'll start doing two a week to catch up. I'm not sure what number this one is... I'll figure it out later.

Very motivated today. Very fired up.

New Record, bottom to top of Mt Orient: 9:49.

I was happy because I'm not in as good shape as I was when I ran the previous record of 9:58, but I was determined to hurt. I just need to stay healthy and I feel nothing will stop me... haha.

Not running the New Bedford half this weekend - GOOD LUCK CMS! I wanted to, but 1) I don't think I can help the team anyhow, 2) a half not completely healthy may not be a smart idea and 3) I have to travel to NYC for work anyway! I had completely forgot... I would have been in deep doo-doo if I did the race and missed a National College Fair - Doh!

Instead I am going to run the St. Patrick's Day 10k on Saturday in Holyoke. Wish me luck and health.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


I keep telling everyone that although I'm not running, probably not in great overall shape, that "I am going to spin class!" I say this defiantly, excitedly, as if the person I am telling should immediately recognize 1) how awesome spin class is and 2) how awesome I am for going.

In sum: I go three times a week at the UMass Rec Center. Classes are 1 hour. There are usually 20+ girls, myself, and perhaps one other guy, either very skinny or very overweight and always wearing a far-too-large tee and peddling in the far back, dark corner. I sit in the front. I wear my triathlon shorts, biking shoes (the spin bikes have optional clips) and have been known to break out into giggles when Jill - the stocky, middle-aged, but rather attractive in a she-could-kick-my-ass kind of way, spin instructor - somehow expects us to turn the resistance up "one more full turn" so we can begin our ladder of "2 minute sprint repeats!" I'm laughing because 1) I literally cannot comprehend working any harder than I already am and 2) because indeed, spin class is awesome. It truly is this hard. Sometimes, after perhaps an 8 minute hill with increasing resistance every 30 seconds - a workout, by the way, in which the first time I did it I categorized as in the "Top Five Hardest Workouts of All Time' (... currently my top ten is 70% spin class, 30% everything else... but I digress) - after a particularly hard hill, or sprint session, or something - puddle of sweat beneath me and we've only been going for 20 minutes - I sometimes find myself, yes, giggling, or also often proclaiming "I love spin class!" Needless to say the girls in the class either a) hate me or b) find me irresistibly attractive, albeit in a "silly- dumb-boy" kind of way (but I'll take it!) Perhaps not needless to say though, is that I am not attracted to any of these girls (I'm not!) YES, many or them are technically attractive. Some, you might say even exceedingly so... (I mean, we're all crammed into this small, dimly lit room together... they are wearing tight spandex and sweating profusely)... but the truth is I haven't noticed them, or at least this is not what I pay attention to. To me, these girls are my enemies. (And I guess this should make sense to all you stupid runners), but I sit there spinning away, (sometimes on the point of passing out) and I look over and I see a girl in pink spandex with matching stripped socks and piggy tails, and - I tell you - she is hardly even working. She's peddling at what has to be faster than my pace and isn't even breathing heavy. Now I know that the resistance system is all anonymous. That we have the option to not turn a "full turn" only do a "half" or a "quarter" or a "nothing," but I see this girl (and trust me I keep a good eye on her) and it looks like she is turning the resistance at the same rate as me. In fact, the longer I've been going to spin class, the more I've noticed that all these girls seem to be doing the work I am, or more. Who are these girls? And how do they all seem to know each other? They talk to our instructor, Jill (who is worst of them all, by the way, an unstoppable force of power and pain), as if the whole hour workout, which kills me, is just a social event. They relate and make plans as if they were in a sorority, or some type of secret society or something. (Maybe when I get excited and giggle, the few laughs I get really are just at me, not with me? Hmmm...) Anyway, the point of the above rant, is that spin class is truly awesome. Or it could all be in my head.

Well, the below results - a 2 minute PR on the first NCC Biking Time Trial of the season - says otherwise. Keep it coming ladies. Now if only this could translate to running...

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Getting Healthy

My last post in October said "Knot in my shin, but it's not too serious." Well, I'm an idiot.

Since then I've been on and off injured with a few sparse weeks of okay running. The shin injury was some serious inflammation. Back in October I got lost in the deep woods of Harriman State park. The run was memorable for the accidental ridiculous length (25+), the injury it caused and also that I could have been kaput if I did not get out of the woods before dark. It was raining and cold. I found the road (albeit on the other side of the park) with probably 15 minutes of sparse daylight left. Fun, fun.

Anyway, the shin injury (and a foot injury that has kept me from consistently training for the past few years) apparently all stray from an old displaced hip that has healed incorrectly, thus messing with my stride and leaving one leg (the right) injury prone.

I've been fixing the hip. I've also been experimenting with barefoot toe running.

I've also been training pretty consistently considering the circumstances. Biking, swimming... the normal stuff.

Today I was able to run 18 miles in two runs.

This week I ran 56 total with 3 swims, 2 bikes, a lift and lots of PT.

Here's to getting healthy and staying healthy.