Saturday, December 20, 2014

Back on (the) track

I have decided to run the 2015 Boston Marathon in support of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center's Kidney Disease Research Fund. I had thought last year's Boston Marathon might be my last marathon, but my knee held up well, and after the race I felt I could do another, and that I could probably train a bit more and improve over last year's result. Last year, I really wasn't sure how my knee would react to the longer runs, and so I really did the minimum training to finish the race. This year, I think I can try to do a bit more. To that end, I signed up for CSU's Thursday evening indoor track workouts at BU. So far, I have done two workouts. They have gone OK, although it certainly feels a bit strange to be back on a track after being away from it for so long. But I certainly believe some speed work is needed to get me running a bit faster, as I seem to be stuck in terms of not being able to get my training or racing pace a bit quicker. I signed up for the Hangover Classic Race at Salisbury Beach on New Year's Day, which I ran last year. It's a flat 10K, so I'm hoping I can post a time that's quicker than last year's.

Monday, April 28, 2014

118th BAA Marathon

Well, I completed this year's Boston Marathon in 4:13:13. I had hoped to run under 4:00, but that probably wasn't realistic given the relatively warm day, my light training miles (average 17.5/week since 1/1/14), and the fact that it had been 10 years since my last marathon. Here is my race in Strava: A bit about the race: I was in the last wave, so I did not have to get up all that early. I drove in and parked at the hospital, then took a Hubway bike to the Green line, and the T to the Common. I got there about 8, so I stood around for a while talking to members of my team (BIDMC), and dropped off my bag of sweats for after the finish. Our bus didn't leave until about 9:30, and then traffic was heavy heading out to Hopkinton on the Pike, so I think we arrived there at about 10:30. By the time I ate a yogurt, used the bathroom, and drank a little water, it was time to head for the start. I had actually not quite reached my corral when the gun went off to start the last wave, but it didn't really matter - I got in it a minute or so late. It then took me a couple of minutes to reach the starting line. The initial miles were of course crowded (in truth, it never really got uncrowded), and I did have to expend energy in slowing & speeding up to get around other runners. My first mile was surprisingly fast, even though I thought I was going quite slow. I never really got in a groove. My plan had been to run 9:00 miles, which I kind of did for the first 17 or 18, but pretty early on I knew it would not be a great race for me. The crowds were amazing - very large and very supportive. Lots of signs. By the time I made the turn onto Commonwealth Ave, I knew it was going to be a struggle, although I knew I would finish. I started to take short walk breaks at water stops, and I had to duck into one of the medical tents because the toes on my right foot were rubbing and I had to put some vaseline on them to prevent a bigger problem. My pace slowed considerable from mile 18 in (walking breaks), but I made steady progress, and finally the welcome turn onto Boylston came. I crossed the line and made my way down Boylston to the Common for my gear.
While I was a little disappointed in my time at first, upon reflection I think I did all I could on that day. More importantly, my knee felt fine, and it's continued to feel good in the days after the race. So, maybe it won't be my last marathon after all...

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

20 miler done

I ran what will be my longest training run on this past Saturday, a 20 miler.  I had originally been planning to run the Eastern States 20 Mile Race on Sunday, but the forecast was so ominous that I decided to run Saturday am, when the weather was really quite good.

It was quite a scene out there on the course, with literally thousands of runners doing their long run.  They actually had traffic cones and cops to direct traffic.  I ran from the Heartbreak Hill Running Company in Newton out to Natick and back.  Here it is on Strava:

I felt OK/not great.  I think I still had a bit of fatigue in my legs from the previous week, which I spent cycling in AZ (with a couple of runs added on).  The day after I returned from AZ, I went out to run 12 or 14 miles, and just felt it was too much and settled for 8.6 instead.  On the one hand, I'm a little worried about facing another 10K of running.  On the other, I have done it before, and I should be well rested on Patriot's Day.  Also, my knee feels pretty good.  I feel a little stiffness, but it hasn't been swelling.  I actually am more bothered by mild low back pain, but I have plenty of time for that to go away.

Monday, March 10, 2014

6 weeks to go...

I am feeling a bit anxious about the approach of Patriot's Day.  My mileage is very light - 20 miles per week (actually, I bit less).  I ran 10.6 yesterday.  The good news was that my knee felt fine, and also feels fine this am.  The bad news is that I was planning to run further, but my legs felt quite weary.  I had gone on my 1st real outdoor bike ride on Saturday (35 miles), and that seemed to fatigue the legs a bit.

I need to get a good, long run in on this coming Sat - 16 to 17.  I then head to AZ for a week of cycling, but should be able to get a few runs in as well.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Super 5 race, 2/2/14

I was pretty pleased with my run in the Super 5 race on 2/2/14.

To back up, I ran 12 miles on Saturday, 2/1/14.  I felt OK, not great.  I ran with a few others, so ran the first 9 or so at a pretty good clip.  I then fatigued a bit, and ran the last 2 quite slowly (9:32, 9:23).  I had originally thought I'd do 14, but decided to keep it at 12 and have a little in the tank for the race the next day.

The weather was nice for the Super 5 (around 40F, no real wind).  I felt OK on my brief warmup, and I ran evenly (7:32/7:35/7:32/7:44/7:39) for a finish on my Garmin of 37:59, which was over 3 minutes faster than I was in the same race last year.  So, I think I am starting to get a bit more fit, despite my light training miles.  I continue to ride the trainer on most of my non-run days.

My knee continues to hold up pretty well.  It's been a little bit sore from time to time, but no swelling, and I really haven't noticed pain while actually running.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Training Update - mid-January

I just got in from my long run for the week - 12.2 miles.  I didn't feel as strong as I did on last week's 10.7 mile run.  I think it was a combination of fatigue - I did a somewhat strenuous bike trainer ride yesterday -and the snowy roads/sidewalks.

Overall, I'm pleased that I'm on track with the long runs, but a little worried about my low overall mileage.  But perhaps the most important thing is that my knee seems to be tolerating the longer runs so far.  I've had a little soreness, but no real pain, and there's no swelling.  So, I will try to slightly boost my overall mileage and continue with progressing the long runs.

Details on my training are available at - search for Daniel Sullivan (Wellesley, MA).

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Hangover Classic 10K and training update

I ran my first 10K race since my surgery on January 1, the venerable Hangover Classic.  It was cold - mid 20s - but fortunately not too windy.  The course is pancake flat and pretty simple: head about 5K up the road, turn around and run back.  I ran pretty even splits: 7:22/7:47/8:06/8:02/8:10/8:14 with an overall time of 49:34.  In the last half mile, I felt a pain in my left hamstring, which I think was a minor pull, since it stayed with me.  Overall, I was happy with the time since I ran 24:34 in a 5K on Thanksgiving, so ran the 10K at a slightly faster pace.

This am, I did an 8.5 mile run, and out an back on the marathon course hills.  I started at the firehouse, ran to BC, did a little loop, and ran back.  I felt a bit fatigued, but my pace was better than I thought at 8:59 per mile.  I did feel the right hamstring just a bit, which made me a bit nervous, but the knee felt fine.

So, only two runs this week, but both were longish.  But, also had 3:20 on the bicycle trainer, so that hopefully helps with fitness.