Saturday, March 29, 2008


Friday night, I was ready for this morning’s long run after prepping my gear: Two hand bottles filled with Heed, 4 power bar C2 max plain energy gels, bottle of ensure, one banana, 5 hour energy caffeine shot, baggie of endurolytes, ibuprofen, some cash, bodyglide, vaseline, tights, long sleeve compression top, techwick top, skull cap, gloves, smart wools, kayanos and a bottle of endurox for post run.

This morning I woke at 5:00 AM and completed the routine of getting dressed and out the door without waking the family. I met up with Mark at 6:00 at the Rail Trail. The plan was to put in a 4 hour run. Off we went, noting that it was freakin’ cold. Will it ever be warm again? About two steps into the run my hip was hurting like hell. Suffering is routine for both of us and pretty much a common experience, so we just took it a little easier at the start and I looked forward to my hip warming up and the pain easing. But the pain got more intense instead of subsiding like it usually does. Wtf? Either I was in wuss mode or my body was sending me a signal that this was not a day to run. I walked a bit, stretched a little, whined, jogged, shuffled, and tried to ignore the pain. But something was telling me that trying to continue in this state was not going to be productive. I wondered what Mark would do in this situation. He would have looked down and noted that his leg was still attached and determined that was good enough to continue on. Ok using Mark’s logic would not suit me. I’ve never read stories of quitting in Olga’s blog so I needed to tough it out, right? But today was not my day. So I packed it in and turned back, only getting in an hour (~5 to 6 miles). Mark ran back to the cars with me, picked up his mp3 player and headed back out for a few more hours.

As I drove home, I was bummed about my hip pain and also about not taking advantage of a nice guilt free window of time (Shannon was taking the kids up to a friend’s house for a 9 AM to Noon play date.) So I figured I should at least get a workout in by heading to the gym for a swim. LA Fit doesn’t open until 8 on the weekends, plus I needed my gym gear so I headed back home just as the kids were waking up. I got them up and to the breakfast table, rounded up my stuff and headed out to the gym.

At the pool I swam for 40 min (1 ¼ miles). After that I sat in the whirlpool for a few minutes and stretched. I then saw in the locker room the 9:15 AM spin class instructor who told me there were still some open bikes in his class. It’s usually filled up and also requires waiting in line for 20 minutes to sign up, so it was a pleasant surprise to be able to jump in last minute. I got in a nice hour of spinning to complete the triathlon workout. So I was happy to salvage some exercising today after starting out with an injury riddled run!

Monday I have an appointment with Dr. Veltri. He’s a Sports Medicine Orthopedic specialist. Hopefully he can get me back on track with my hip.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Northern Nipmuck

Today I met up with Mark, Bruce and Steve for a 3 hour run on the Northern Nipmuck trail race course. The actual race is in a few weeks and today’s race was some excellent training. From the website the course description is: “The terrain is constantly rolling, and although there are no monster hills, there are enough steep sections to test your anaerobic capacity. The total gain over the 16 miles is approximately 3,200 feet. The footing is usually decent, but there are some steep, rocky sections that demand caution. If it has rained recently, expect to get your feet wet in several of the low-lying areas. Snow and ice may be present on the course at this time of year.“ This was the first time Mark and I ran with Bruce and Steve and they are fantastic trail runners. Steve had a sub 20 hour, top 10 finish in his first 100 miler (Vermont 100), so it was awesome to hit the trails with such an incredible runner. Bruce and Steve are super nice guys and it was great to be able to run with both of them.

Here's a pic of the road to the trail head:

Monday, March 17, 2008

Sham Rock On

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Yesterday my cousin Kasia, my brother-in-law Keith and I completed the Shamrock Marathon in Virginia Beach, VA. This was Kasia and Keith's first marathon and they both "sham rocked" it! Both finished just inside 4 hours! A huge congrats to both of them!!! I think they're now hooked and are joining the dark side. :-)

My plan was to not chance further injuring/re-injuring myself so I ran a steady 8:30 pace and finished in 3:42. The asphalt and concrete still ended up taking its toll on me as my hip hurts like a mo fo. I'm looking forward to running more on the trails! The Shamrock course was scenic as it took us through the Camp Pendleton, along the beach boardwalk, through the Fort Story Army installation, by the Cape Henry light house and finished at the neptune statue. The finish line festival was very cool with bands playing and Yuengling beer flowing. (Ahhh... memories of college in PA) It was an awesome weekend and worth the 10 hour drive. (Although next time we're flying!)

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Good To Be Back

I haven’t run much in the past three weeks, as I’ve been letting myself recover from an injury. During that time I tried to preserve my fitness with some cross training. After a week of doing nothing (except eating ice cream) I put in a few short runs, swam several times and knocked out a few spin classes at the gym. It’s been great getting back into the pool (even though a Swimmer I am not) as I was able to get in a mile swim each time and the hour long spin classes have been solid workouts.

Yesterday I decided to test out the body and get outside for my first significant run in the past few weeks. Mark and I hit the Hop River trail for a nice 21.8 mile run at a steady 8:45 pace. The rain held off for a few hours and we ended up getting in our run in the only dry window of the day. Nice. I felt some pain during the run, was tired at the end and sore afterwards. Overall it was an excellent run, but I’m not quite healed. In time, all will be good.

Today Mark and I tackled the trails at Case Mountain in Manchester.
We chose Case because the main trail runs along a ridge so it’s pretty dry. However, the ridge exposed us to the wind which made it a bit chilly, but it wasn’t too bad. My injury was sore and feeling the affects of yesterday’s run but I managed to hold things together and pound out a 12 mile run. This was the first true trail run of the year (the Hop River trail that we ran yesterday is a groomed gravel path) for Mark and I. We were stoked to have some dirt, roots, rocks and an occasional stream beneath our feet.

I’m pumped for the trail running season and am looking forward to the races in the months ahead!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Spring Training

Wish we had the same weather here in the northeast that the Yankees do in their spring training! A quick clip of pics of Alex and I at Yankee Stadium over his 3 years: