Monday, October 31, 2005

4-miler at lunch - Marathon prep begins


Marathon preparation has begun. Amazing to think about the effort required to get out a knock out 4 miles at lunch during a workday, when 17 weeks from now I'll be gutting out 26.2 in Fla.

Today was as picture perfect as weather can get this time of year. Really makes you glad to be alive. Mid-60's, sunshine everywhere and the natural spectacle of the beautful fall foliage.

Norwalk - 11:50 AM. I took a there-and-back path down Main /Ward to France.

  • TIME: 31:10
  • EST PACE: 7:25
  • EST DIST: 4.2

Exciting techie news... I received my Polar RS200sd in the mail from today. (How amazingly quick!). This tool will guide my training over the course of the next 17 weeks.

Sunday, October 30, 2005



After months of contemplation, I finally made the commitment to run my SIXTH marathon in six conesecutive years. I've committed to run the 2006 Tampa Marathon on Sunday, February 26, 2006.

I have purchased the airfare, reserved the hotel room. Just need to submit my registration.

Current Marathon PR: 3:23:55 -- Houston, 1/16/05
Target for 2006 Tampa Marathon: 3:20:00

This will make for one of my most challenging training periods for a marathon for a few reasons. One, I am in a Global job that requires quite a bit of travel. Two, the PR's are getting harder and harder to set. Three, we're contemplating a move to Chicago right around the time of this race! Not to mention that Hockey season has started and I need to stay healthy.

That's what makes fun, however... pushing myself to the limit. Exceling in my job, having fun with my wife, and keeping focused on my marathon goal.

Let the training begin!


Saturday, 10/29/05

Mohawks Peak - beatiful Sat AM run at 9:30 AM. Then headed off to the Breeder's Cup!

TIME: 44:10
EST PACE: 7:20

Sunday, 10/30/05 -- There-and-back to Toilsome via Overbrook

Jen rode the bike along side me. This was a warm for tonights hockey game. (In face, I gotta go right now!)

TIME: 30:30
EST PACE: 7:30


  • Mon: Rest - Rain and hockey night before
  • Tue: 4.1 - Silvermine - Very cold rain!
  • Wed: 5.0 - Grumman/Toilsome path
  • Thu: 4.3 -
  • Fri: Rest
  • Sat: 6.0 - Mohawk's Peak
  • Sun: 4.0 - Up to Toilsome via Overbrook


Heading off to our 2nd hockey game of the year.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Catching up - It's been a real busy time!

OK, open admission to the running world...

I am quite behind in recording my running activities, but then again, my running activities have not been as intense as I would hope. Truth is that the couple of weeks has been a combination of extremely challenging international travel and poor weather.

Tuesday, 10/18 – Dublin, Ireland

7AM Dublin local time -- I ran from my hotel in Dublin to a very busy roadway, and felt like I was risking my life as I cross in front of intersections. The weather was cool and quite dull – not a peak of sun in the sky. It short and sweet as I had to get to work.

TIME: 22:21
EST PACE: 7:25

Saturday, 10/22 – Back home in Norwalk, CT – Home, Sweet, Home

TIME: 37:59
EST PACE: 7:30
EST DIST: 5.0+

Sunday, 10/23 – Short run in Norwalk, CT before hockey game

6:00 PM - My bro and his little family came over today. They wore me out. We went on a hayride and to the petting zoo at Silverman's Farm in Easton, CT.

I wanted to go for a warm-up run to close out the week. I knew I needed to keep it short in preparation for the hockey game. I almost got lost in the dark

TIME: 18:37
EST PACE: 7:35

I then headed to our first hockey game of the season, which started at 9:30. I skated reasonably well for the first outing of the season. I opened up the scoring early in the first period with a pretty sweet move around the defenseman. I also scored in the third period. It was a moot point in the way of the team, however, as we went down 7-4.

While I recognize that 3 runs totaling only 10.5 miles was light, the reality is that the work/travel schedule was absolutely hectic. I just couldn’t control my time. After running in Dublin Tuesday morning, we traveled to London very early on Wednesday morning (took the taxi at 6:15 AM). Conference calls on Monday night went to 9PM. Thursday, we were at the airport in London and had to head to Edinburgh. I arrived back at the hotel very late on Thursday night – 12:15 AM. I was glad to get 7.5 over the weekend.

WEEK OF 10/24/05

Monday, 10/24 – Arrived home late on Sunday night and was quite sore from the hockey game. The rain was unstoppable. The weather was awful – high 30’s with wind and unrelenting rain. Opted to hold out for Tuesday.

Tuesday, 10/25 – Run from office gym to Silvermine, CT

5PM – Thought I was going to have a pleasant run in cool weather only to run into monsoon type conditions. First 10-12 min were fine as weather was clear. Last 20+ minutes were brutal as rain came down. It was uncomfortably cold, wet and windy. I think I got in about 4, but I didn’t have my watch. I timed my run on my Ipod Nano.

EST TIME: 32:00
EST PACE: 7:45

Wednesday, 10/26 - Morning

I finally got going at 6:45 after locating my gloves and headband. I need them also. It was cool and clear and a very good run. I felt the best I have felt in the past two weeks. I ran up Wolfpit to Cranbury over to Newtown. I then connected to Grumman via Ellen from Newtown. I did an add-on up Newtown and Toilsome ; and then headed back down my home stretch to Grumman/Overbrook.

EST TIME: 37:41
EST PACE: 7:30

I keep toying with the idea of a marathon. I am about to make a decision on Tampa, which is slated for Feb 26, 2006.

Thursday, 10/27 – Morning

7:30 AM – I had a strong morning run in the cool, dark conditions. I cannot wait for the time change this weekend. It is simply too dark in the morning!

The Ipod Nano is making music listening and running a snap. Just need to invest in some new tunes!

EST TIME: 32:37
EST PACE: 7:30

Sunday, October 16, 2005

18-mile week / En route to the UK today

I am writing this entry from the Aer Lingus hospitality lounge at JFK airport. AH, it is nice to fly business class. I am heading to Dublin, Ireland today for work. I am really excited about my first visit to Ireland. I will also fly over to England and Scotland during the week -- and then back to Dublin. But first, I need to recap this week's activities. Wasn't the best week, but that's OK... train keeps a rollin'.

Mon 10/10 -- Cross Train @ company gym

OK, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't just a little bit sore from Sunday's Great Train Race. I mean... those HILLS... well, let's just say my quads were just a bit sore for 24-48 hours.

But I decided to hit the gym to do a little bit of strength training. I'm not pretending that it was an intense upper body workout. But I did get some intensity going and work some muscles other than those in my legs. I did a warm-up on the bike, which was tough with my legs still like jello.

I was alarmed to see that my training log indicated my last visit was 4+ weeks before! I need to get back the balance of gym vs. running.

Tue 10/11

Jen and I stayed up late to watch the Steelers on MNF. They won, which was cool. But it was not cool for any plans of an early AM run. I knew I had a flight Cincinatti at 5PM - so getting in an evening run was a long shot. I rested again on this day and planned for an early morning run in Cincy on Wed.

Wed 10/12 -- Cincinatti, OH

I got up, as planned, and headed out aimlessly in the Northwest Cincy corporate area near I-271. It was pitch black when I started at 6:45. Still dark at 7AM. I ran a there-and-back through some corporate back roads along the edge of the Interstate 271 loop that circles around the city. It was a healthy run.

  • TIME: 37:56
  • EST PACE: 7:35
  • EST DIST: 5.0
Thu 10/13 -- REST

Cincinatti, OH -- Had a terrible night's sleep in the Hotel. With e-mails piling up and no in-room internet connection, I couldn't get out the door to run.

Fri 10/14 -- Company Gym Treadmill

  • TIME: 22:30
  • EST PACE: 7:30
  • EST DIST: 3.0

Boy, do I hate treadmills. But with 9 consecutive days of intense rainfall in the NY/CT area, it was either risk being a flood victim or hop onto the 'mill.

Sat 10/15 -- Mohawk's Peak

Excellent morning to run. I needed a good six-miler and I got it. Headed out 8:30 for some gorgeous fall Connecticut scenery.
  • TIME: 44:00
  • EST PACE: 7:20
  • EST DIST: 6.0
Sun 10/16 - Home in Norwalk

1:00 PM -- Quick run. Had to get outside and knock out 4 miles before I finished packing for Dublin. Ran in the usual places... Wolfpit to Grumman to Overbrook... etc. I had some speed as I had to get home and get to the airport.

  • TIME: 28:44
  • EST PACE: 7:10
  • EST DIST: 4.0

SUMMARY -- 18 miles this week. No major accomplishments outside the ordinary this past week. Need to look ahead to a new race.

Heading to the UK this week may pose some running challenges, but I've got my gear and will go for a few runs. The Mystic 10-mile is on Sunday - one week from today. I'm not prepared to run a race like that with any kind of PR speed, but I may decide to drift out to Mystic if I've got nothing else to do.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

GREAT TRAIN RACE! Busy week in Chicago - Total: 19.3

I knew that this week would be exceptionally challenging for me to achieve a 25-mile week like I had in 3 out of the last 4. I was in Chicago for work from Monday through Friday. I attended group dinners on Tuesday and Wednesday and worked a some long days.

I didn't hit the 25 mile mark - or even the 20 mile mark for that matter. Nonetheless, I am proud of my week given my professional schedule!

Mon 10/3

  • TIME: 22:11
  • EST PACE: 7:10
  • EST DIST: 3.1
Quick morning run around the neighborhood. Knocked out 3 miles in 22:11. Conditions were fast and cool. I am guessing around a 7:10 or so pace. I was glad to get this in.

Tue 10/4 -- Downtown Chicago run

I had to work quite late in the hotel on Monday night, so I knew getting in a Tuesday AM run would be really tough. Plane was delayed, which didn't help matters.

I love Chicago. I was attending a Innovation Team Building Session for a couple of days and had the fortunate opportunity to stay at the Chicago Swissotel. Dinner was scheduled for late on Tues eve, so I checked in around 5pm and headed out for a run. What a marvelous cityscape. I ran from Wacker Drive down to the Lakeshore Dr. bike path. I took this over to the Navy Pier. In my seemingly thousands of trips to Chicago, I had never ventured into the carnivalesque and truly unique commercial district that is Chicago's Navy Pier. I know I couldn't do my visit justice as I dashed from the front end of the pier to the back, but I did my best to take in all the sights in passing.

Only downside of my run was the daunting humidity and the fatigue that I felt kicking in from five consecutive days of running. Tuesday's high in Chicago was just shy of 90. I did a bit of walking and pausing on my run. I didn't beat myself up over it. It was great to be running out in plain view of Lake Michigan and the skyline. Ohio Street Beach was a place of viewing for me, after which I headed back toward the hotel.

  • TIME: 29:39
  • EST PACE: 8:00
  • EST DIST: 3.7
Friday 10/7 -- Burr Ridge, IL

Wednesday and Thursday were a flurry of work activities that keep me unavailable to run -- unless I wanted go down to 5.5 hours of sleep! Thursday eve was a possibility, but I was downright exhausted. I decided it would be best to have a quiet dinner on my own on Thursday night, and then get to bed early for a solid Friday AM run.
  • TIME: 41:47
  • EST PACE: 7:20
  • EST DIST: 5.7
So, I was out of the city and back into my usual Marriott at Burr Ridge. I was up at 5:55 but I seemingly couldn't get started as quickly as I would have liked. My stomach wasn't sitting well from last night's Mexican dinner! That took an extra 20 minutes to resolve.

When I did get started, I took a new route in Burr Ridge that almost got me lost. I had pretty solid pace in the cool morning weather. Always can count on the Chicago 'burbs to be pancake flat and good for fast morning runs.

I was hoping that, despite this light week, that the past couple of solid weeks would get me appropriately prepared for this Sunday's Great Train Race in New Canaan. Saturday's rain was a wash-out. I needed to rest anyway.


I did the Great Train Race for the 1st time last year and it was a lot of fun. If you enjoy serene views of the best Connecticut's natural beauty has to offer, this is your race. If you don't like hills, don't sign up for this bad boy. It is a killer in terms of hills.

The objective of the race is to run from the New Canaan train station through the town's residential and extremely private rolling hills to the Wilton Train Station -- all with the hopes of beating the speeding train that starts in sync with the race. The distance is precisely 6.816 miles and the train supposedly takes 55 minutes.

This is the kind of race that offers hills that nearly force you to a crawl. I don't wear a heart monitor, but I am confident that it would have been blowing up when I peaked at the steepest hill on the course. A couple of the downhill terrains are almost steep enough where you feel like you are going to topple forward, since your quads are tired from climbing the prior hills. I love this race!

Today's conditions were outstanding. Low 50's with a breeze and moistness on the ground from yesterday's deluge of rainfall.

Going in, I didn't think I was prepared to beat last year's time. I just didn't feel up to it. What's more, we were out at a friend's party last night at which I was nursin' beers and eating birthday cake. Didn't think it would help my speed.
Remarkably, I shaved 40 seconds off of my 2004 time.

  • 2004 Great Train Race: 48:04 (7:03)
  • 2005 Great Train Race: 47:24 (6:57)
Solid week, but I need to get into the gym this coming week to cross-train. (Can't even remember how long it's been since I've done any strength training).

I do have to travel to Cincy for a couple of days this week, but there should be enough give in the schedule to get a nice mid-week run in. I'm going to target 25 miles with at least one good visit to the Gym.

Next week will be a thrilling challenge... getting some good running as I travel through Dublin, Ireland and the United Kingdom!

HANGING QUESTION: What will be my 2006 Marathon?? With Jen and I mulling over a potential transfer to Chicago, I may be enrolled in the Chicago Lasalle Bank Marathon exactly one year from today. Could be tough, since I am a Winter/Spring marathon runner. Who knows... may do one earlier in 2006 also.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Another 25-mile week

Saturday, 10/1

Well, I kept my commitment to knock out 3+ yesterday. I darted out at halftime of the MSU vs. U-M game with high hopes that I would come back and watch my Spartys win. I had a nice, quick run. It was warm and sunny. However, I came back to be let down by my team for the 4th year in a row. What a brutal OT lost. Ugh.

  • TIME: 26:45
  • EST PACE: 7:25

Sunday, 10/2

I started out around 9:30AM. Again, very bright and sunny. I did a sort of reverse route of Mohawk's Peak - but added on to go up towards the Elementary School on Knowalot Ln - out to Grumman. Honestly, I felt tired and struggled a bit. But I got it done.
  • TIME: 50:46
  • EST PACE: 7:30
  • EST DIST: 6.8

I ran 5 times this week for nearly 26 miles. This was outstanding since I did travel and ran two of my early morning runs in Chicago. It's going to be even harder this week. I'll be in Chicago for 4 of the work days this week. Not to mention two of them include group dinners and presumably late nights out.

I'm going to cut back just slightly this week. My goal is to get in 15-16 miles by Friday. I have the Great Train Race on Sunday and need to rest Saturday.

Target Plan:
  • MON: 3
  • TUE: 5
  • WED: Rest
  • THU: 4
  • FRI: 5
  • SAT: Rest
  • SUN: 6.8 RACE

Saturday, October 01, 2005

15 miles week-to-date / 10 planned for Sat-Sun

Today is Saturday and I will take a look back at my running this week. I spent the first 3 days of the work week at the Plainfield office.

Mon, 9/26
Did not run. I took the 6:00 AM flight out of Westchester to O'Hare. Had time in the evening, but was too tired. Got to bed early at the hotel and planned for an early morning run.

Tues, 9/27
Had an excellent 5-miler in Burr Ridge, IL. Beautful morning. Ran from the Marriott to County Line road. Looped through the grid streets of the local neighborhoods and headed back.

  • TIME: 38:30
  • EST PACE: 7:25
  • EST MILEAGE: 5.2

Wed, 9/28
Again, had an excellent early morning run in Burr Ridge, IL. Surprisingly, I woke up earlier than planned. I started my run at 5:55 AM. It was still dark when I began. The sun began to rise when I was 1/2 through my planned 4-miler. Beautiful morning.
  • TIME: 30:30
  • EST PACE: 7:25
  • EST MILEAGE: 4.1
In the afternoon, I then flew home to Connecticut in the evening. Dad was visiting.

Thu, 9/29
Thursday, of course, was busy at work. I didn't get up to run on this day, since I had planned to leave early with Jen.

Fri, 9/30 - MOHAWK'S PEAK
I wished Dad well as I headed out to run early. Jen was kind enough to drop him off at the train station.

I continue to surprise myself. I knocked out Mohawk's Peak in 43:08. Looking back to last Saturday 9/24, I've trimmed ANOTHER 32 seconds off.
  • TIME: 43:08
  • EST PACE: 7:11 <-- projected off of assumed 6.0 distance
  • EST MILEAGE: 6.0

It's just after 10:00 AM here on Saturday. I'll head out for a short 3-miler sometime today. I want to keep it easy. There is the BIG MSU vs. U-M game today at Noon. I have to make a quick decision as to when I will get in this run. I'll start my run at 11:20.

Tomorrow is an important run for preparation for next week's race. I'm going to run 7 tomorrow. Should be good prep for next week.

I'll be running the Great Train Race in New Canaan, which is a 6.8 mile jaunt from New Canaan to Wilton. It's hilly and quite challenging.