Sunday, February 11, 2018

Last Chance- Weekly Log: February 5 to 11

A week of training with a meet in the middle. Last Chance should be pretty competitive and I have goals of 2:04 and 1:28 just like at Class.

Monday: 5 Miles

Ran with Tanner and Sam on an out and back to Saint Michael's cemetery. I felt that we ran pretty slow and plan on picking up the pace for these running very soon.

Tuesday: 5 Miles

Another track workout before the meet. Wasn't sure whether I wanted the two easy days before or another workout to push me before the meet. I ended up with distance again running 6x400 with John at 72s each, about 45s recovery. The recovery kept it slightly tiring, but I felt mostly good as these weren't particularly fast. Afterwards I broke off on my own again, having 4x200 at 30s with only a minute recovery before a 5th all-out 200 that was pretty bad in 29. These 200s were a struggle. Difficulty: 3/5

Wednesday: 5 Miles

It was absolutely pouring out and at just 32 degrees, we all felt pretty cold. It didn't take long for what I had on to get soaked and cold and my exposed legs were starting to sting. Not my favorite run.

Thursday: 6 Miles

Last Chance Meet. I felt slightly less prepared than usual, given that its hard to get sleep on weeknights and my calves still felt tight from the workout. I was to hit a really strong 800, but was so disappointed to be moved from the 1K to the 600, given that I could have had an impact in the 1000 and potentially even made New Englands whereas my 600 times have been pretty slow. Since I hadn't run it this season, the organization didn't accept no time as a seed, even though it clearly says they do in the meet rules. Extremely frustrating that I lost my one chance to run well in an individual event this season.

We were extremely rushed in the 4x800. We had to skip the first stage of our warm-up and it wasn't long before we were about to race. Hope and Toll Gate were huge surprises, coming in with very slow seed times and both breaking 8:20. Bishop Hendricken ran a slow team and we were behind them in 4th for most of the race. I got the baton and moved around him. I don't really know my splits but I felt mostly good and even tried to push the third lap. This was all slightly harder because there were 16 teams jostling for position on a 200 meter track. We finished in 4th in a very disappointing 8:33. I suspected we may be slower because Tanner was running and he's really our 6th fastest 800 runner, but I didn't not expect to move a whole 5 seconds back. The order was Jon (Turano), Sam, Tanner then me with splits of 2:07/2:07/2:12/2:05. I ran pretty much the same time (2:05.7 vs 2:05.8) but was pretty disappointed I had no improvement and that our team not only ran much slower, but dropped two places in the rankings. While Tanner was the most off and Sam still ran very well, I felt like this was mostly my fault as I wanted to run a fast time and instead I had no improvement.

I honestly had no interest in even running the 600 at all. After not being able to run the 1K, I was doubtful I'd run much faster than 1:30 and knew I wasn't going to PR. I tried to go out fast again and held a lead through 500 meters, where I passed by a La Salle runner. The LaSalle surged in the 50 and broke away and I was edged by a Prout runner at the finish, running a 1:31.17. I wasn't too disappointed as I didn't have particularly high expectations, I was just more disappointed that my individual events would be over the season because I didn't end up running the 1000.

Friday: 5 Miles

Ran with Aaron and Sam. Tried to keep a steady 6:45 pace on a somewhat hilly route, which felt pretty good. Legs surprisingly didn't feel too beat up.

Saturday: 5 Miles

This track workout had been billed as extremely tough. The coaches had told us many times that this would be really hard and while I wasn't looking for to it, I wanted to train to run fast. We ended having an all-out 600 followed by 5x200 at 30s w/60s recovery. The mid-distance and distance runners were jumbled together, meaning many guys were running the 600. I doubted I would win but wouldn't be surprised if I led some of it. I was given the first spot and was nearly boxed in but pushed my way up to the front. I felt comfortable even though it was fast and led until 400 meters. As usual, I started to tighten up there and both Aaron and Sam went by me. With about 50-70 meters to go, Jon also passed but surprising I remained fairly close to all of them. Sam, Aaron and Jon all ran 1:27, while I ran 1:28, a PR. Tanner ran 1:29 and both John and Guam ran 1:31. This was very surprising to run this fast and it certainly felt good.

The 200s after were somewhat tiring, but doable. I led all of them and we pretty much hit 30s for each. This workout was fast and somewhat tiring but nowhere near as hard as I expected. I felt that all of my runs were smooth and felt mostly good so this was a pretty good confidence booster. Difficulty: 3/5.

Sunday: 4 Miles

Ran late and local from the breachway in Weekapaug. Was feeling a bit trashed at first but settled into the run and gradually picked it up, going from a 6:49 mile to a 5:48. Felt good to do this pretty comfortably. Pouring out which wasn't too fun.

Weekly Total: 35
YTD Total: 177

Weekly Highlight: The workout felt really good and not like I was out of shape at all. It was very surprisingly to PR in practice and the entire thing was confidence booster. Going out of the meet, I felt defeated. Going out of the workout, I felt ready for more.

Weekly Lowlight: While I didn't run bad in the meet, it was still disappointing for two reasons. 1) My 800 and team 4x800 was much slower than expected and its clear now I'm going to have to fight to run break 2 and we'll have to run hard to get the top 6 at States. 2) Any chance I had for individual completely ended and I'm left having to accept my 1K PR from junior year as my final hs pr, a time that I think I could have significantly improved. I was looking for to trying to run the 1000 at New Englands, and now I'm just going to have one event every meet.

Moving forward, I have at least one meet left and likely two. With that, I have one goal: break 2:00 in the 800.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Class- Weekly Log: January 29 to February 4

My second meet and second week of officially being back is the Class Championships, a good opportunity to run fast. I'm once again running the 4x800 and 600, with goal times of 2:04 and 1:28. I figure both I should have a shot at top 3, but I really don't know.

Monday: 6 Miles

Ended up having a workout because of the snow on Tuesday. At first I thought it was just hills, but we ended up having a combination of hills and track. I ran 3xNarragansett with John Walker which helped to have someone to pace with. It felt pretty tiring and I had to immediately head over to the track to start the next part of the workout. We then had 4x300 @45s each with maybe 3-4 min recovery which sounded fast but were surprisingly comfortable. We ended up only doing 3, but then had 8x200 (we did 6) at 34s with 60s recovery. Despite this being the easiest portion of the workout, my lack of training really caught up to me and this was a struggle. Overall, it was a pretty hard workout but I was glad to do the whole thing. Difficulty: 4/5

Tuesday: 4 Miles

Had a day off from school due to the snow. Ended up running local and late from the house. Completely lost traction in the second half which made miles 3 and 4 pretty slow.

Wednesday: 4 Miles

Another short and easy run. Nothing special about this one.

Thursday: 5 Miles

Track workout before the meet. I was with distance again. We ran 7x300 (I ran with John again) at 51s each. The recovery was extremely short, only consisting of a 100 meter jog back to the starting point, but they were slow enough that I felt mostly comfortable. The challenge was really in the 200s, which mine were pretty fast at 30s each (John ran slower 200s for these). I started to fall off at the end but managed to not blow up because I only had 4. Difficulty: 3/5

Friday: 5 Miles

Another normal distance run. Calves still feeling somewhat tight from the previous day but took it easy.

Saturday: 6 Miles

Class B Championship. Arrived with enough time which made me feel more relaxed. Being the first event, we had to warm up pretty early but I felt less rushed this time. Sam and I would remain on the team, while Aaron and Tanner would move to other events. We were joined by Jon Turano and John Walker, which should make for a stronger team. I knew Barrington would likely beat us, while Chariho and Portsmouth both were in the running, but I didn't know if either were running their A team. I felt tight on the warm-ups and soon after, we were ready to go. As anchor again, I was a little nervous waiting around. Portsmouth had decided not to run a team and Chariho was running a slow team, so I was pretty sure we had second wrapped up. There only four teams total, which was unusually small. Jon kept just behind Barrington's lead off, and the other two switched places back and forth. I knew the Barrington anchor was pretty good, maybe a low 2s guy and I probably wouldn't beat him at this stage. He told the others that I was going to beat him easily, which seemed very weird. We had a slight lead when I got the baton. I very restless and just went for it, going out in a fast 57. I remember being less focused in this event but not wanting to relinquish our lead. We ended up taking the win in 8:28.73, a new meet record and a 7-second team best this season. Our splits were 2:06/2:06/2:08/2:05 (rounding down). I was pretty happy with our team effort, as we had a huge PR overall, won the class championships and set a meet record all of which far exceeded my expectations. I was slightly disappointing in my overall split as I felt I had made some mistakes and could have run faster. We moved up to 4th in the state which was encouraging.







Not too longer after we were up for the 600. I was once again in the slow heat. We had less recovery than we did at division and it wasn't long before I was up. I felt somewhat tired and wasn't sure how fast I could run. It ended up being a similar case as usual, dying in the last 200 to run a somewhat bad time of 1:31.85. I wasn't as disappointed as I was at Division but disappointed nonetheless. Class felt like an okay effort, an improvement but once again falling very short of my goals.

Sunday: 4 Miles

Met up with Sam in the morning for an easy low-7s pace run in Watch Hill. It was pretty enjoyable and felt like good recovery, but makes me miss running longer distances.

Weekly Total: 34 Miles
YTD Total: 142 Miles

Weekly Highlight: I probably have to split this with start to significantly improve fitness, which was mostly seen in Thursday's workout and our big team win at Class. Winning another Class title was never on my mind and thanks to my teammates very strong efforts, it happened. Running 8:28 a whole two weeks before states definitely make me feel that we can contend for a possible top 4 spot at States, especially as I feel I can run much faster.

Weekly Lowlight: My 600 campaign has only proved to be disappointing as I once again felt very short of my goal and my PR.

Next week includes the Last Chance meet on Thursday, where I'll be shooting for 1:28 and 2:04. I'm not sure we can improve on our 8:28, as Tanner will be running instead of John but it will be close. 

Sunday, January 28, 2018

2017 in Review

Before you read this post, I'd like to apologize for A) the lateness of this post and B) the messy nature of it, caused by lack of editing or rereading. This has been in the works for nearly a month now, with each portion being put up a different part of time. With so many aspects of the year to cover, it took a while and I'd rather just finally post it than attempt to reread/rewrite any of it. For those of you that will undoubtedly find this too negative, I simply tried to follow the same format of honest assessment and analysis that I have in year's past. Keep in mind that I write this blog to archive my thoughts on running, not solely for an audience to read it.

Additionally, if some parts seem a little off in timing, this is because I wrote some sections a while, so my thoughts/information may have been slightly different then.

2017 was a colossal disappointment in my running progress, an ugly mess of continuous failure that never disappeared until it was too late. After building strong year after year, this year did not live up to my expectations with disappointing race after disappointing race. That being said, the year wasn't a complete failure and I still had my share of highlights that keep me moving forward. 

Unfortunately, these highlights are not found when looking at the goals I set back at the beginning of year, with nearly all of them being a fail, a major change from 2016.

2017 Goals

-Beat my current distance mileage PRs for: (1/3)
  • Single Run (15) FAIL: Never ran more than 13
  • Week (61) PASS: Highest week was 67 in July
  • Year (2,336) FAIL: Injury significantly decreased my mileage near the end of the year and I hit a total of 2,112
Racing (2/3)
-Run Loon Mountain Race Again PASS
-Win Wahaneeta, Stavros and Pumpkins in course record time FAIL: Won Wahaneeta in a CR, but conditions were too poor to run fast at Stavros and I didn't end up doing Pumpkins at all
-Run a new race PASS: Ran Pioneer Ridge Vertical Mile, Alaska Men's Run, Capital City Classic 10K, Wahaneeta Trail 5K, Wickham Park Invitational, East Coast Invitational, New Balance Nationals Indoor

Indoor Track (7/12)
-Run under 4:30 in the Mile PASS: 4:29 at the East Coast Invitational
-Run 8:50 in the 3K at the Yale Track Classic (Jan 21) PASS: PR of 8:44
-Get my 3K down to 8:40 FAIL: Close with the same 8:44 from Yale
-Run a 600 under 1:30 PASS: 1:29 in a Dual Meet
-PR in the 800 (2:04) PASS: 2:02 in the 4x800 at Class
-Run 2:36 in the 1000 FAIL: Only got down to 2:38, but felt like I could have with another opportunity
-Run close to 4:05 in the 1500 PASS: Ran 4:07 at Class 
-Win a Class and Division Title FAIL: Won the 3K at Division but nothing at Class
-Place Top Three in the 3K at the State Meet PASS: 3rd Place 
-Place Top Six in the 1500 and 1000 at the State Meet PASS: 5th in the 1000, and I didn't run the 1500 so I'm not going to count it against this
-Place Top Six at New Englands in the Two Mile FAIL: Did not run well at New Englands, placing 16th
-Qualify for New Balance Nationals and run a 5K sub-15:20 FAIL: Qualified but ran 15:35

Outdoor Track (1/9)

-Run a 3K 8:35 or faster FAIL: Injury completed halted my progress and my best was a 8:54 at States
-Run close to 4:00 in the 1500 FAIL: Never ran faster than 4:11 due to injury
-Break 2 minutes in the 800 FAIL: Ran a PR of 2:01 at States in the 4x800
-PR in the 400 FAIL: Only ran 57, but I really don't care about the 400 anymore
-Win a Class and Division Title FAIL: Neither
-Place Top Three in the 3000 at States FAIL: Placed 5th
-Place Top Six in the 1500 at States N/A
-Place Top Six at New Englands FAIL: Did not run well at New Englands, placing 14th
-Qualify for New Balance Nationals and run close to 15:00 in the 5K FAIL: Didn't even come close to qualifying
-Win an invitational (Schomp, Classical, Hendricken) PASS: Won the 3K at Hendricken

Summer (3/4)

-Run faster at Loon PASS: The time is hard to compare with the longer course, but I was slightly faster
-Run close to 26:00 in a Five-Miler FAIL: Only ran Bobby Doyle but conditions were not good enough to run fast
-Run in a unique location PASS: Alaska
-Do a mountain run PASS: Pioneer Ridge (AK), Loon Mountain (NH), Ragged Mountain (CT)

Cross Country (0/6)

-Run a 5K low to mid 15s FAIL: Not even close, fastest time was 16:05
-Place Top 3 at the Ocean State Invitational Championship race FAIL: Placed 7th
-Win the East Bay Challenge in course record time FAIL: Had a bad race, running 25s off the CR 
-Win the Class B Title and Place Top 3 at XC States FAIL: Did win the Class B Title, but had a terrible race at States, placing 23rd
-Place Top 10 at XC New Englands FAIL: Ran terrible, placing 95th
-Qualify for a XC National Meet FAIL: Never even ran in a regional qualifier  because of bad races and injury

Total:  14/37

As you can see above, I really did not achieve what I wanted to. Some goals were harder than others, but I think most of them should have been attainable, if not easily attainable which makes not achieving all the more disappointing.

Injury

A huge part of why 2017 was nowhere near as successful as others years for me was that I dealt with my first major injuries. I had never experienced injury to this degree and I feel that without the injuries I would have accomplished what I wanted to.

1) Lower Back
Affected: Outdoor Track

After a pretty solid indoor season that saw me gain PR's of 1:29, 2:02, 2:38, 4:07, 8:44 and 15:35 with my first all-state placement with a 3rd in the 3K and also scoring in the 1K, I was pretty excited for what I could do in the outdoor. Initially, I was not in shape and struggled a bit, running slow times of 4:15 in the 1500 and 9:28 in the 3K. It didn't take long for me to respond well to workouts and I was shortly back on track after running a 4:11 in the 1500 and 2:04 in the 800. I felt I was ready for an outstanding, but I suddenly had back pain after a meet and was forced to do a month without much speed training and missed many meets in the process. I was able bounce back and do something, winning the Hendricken Invitational and placing at States, but fell very short of my initial. I never ran fast which was the primary goal of the season, only PR'ing once, the lowest PR count of any season ever.

2) Tendonitis
Affected: Cross Country, Indoor Track

I really can't blame my poor XC season on injury because while it was present for the entire last month of training, it was never so severe it caused to miss a race or perform poorly in a race. I did not have a good XC season, but the injury only made me miss a couple workout and only hurt a lot the week of New Englands. However, for this current indoor track season, it has significantly affected me. I've had to take around 40 zeros due to the injury and the days I was able to run or practice, I was on significantly reduced mileage and training. I'm still in the process of recovering and having no idea when I will be fully recovered and ready to race again, I have no idea what I'll be able to do this season.

However, I feel that with my injuries of 2017, I should be able to come back strong and not get injured in 2018.

Stats

Training-wise, 2017 was really solid, perhaps better than ever. I put in a solid weekly mileage over many weeks and did well in hard workouts. It's unfortunate that the training never seemed to pay off in races, but at least I had consistent training. The injury causes some breaks, hence the significantly lower mileage and races compared to 2016. I liked the 2016 tables I made, and I'll include them for comparison.

1) Mileage


2) PR's


3) Races

4) States (I completely gave up on trying to find RI/CT stats after the exhaustive process of finding them for 2017)



Best/Worst Races

Keeping in format with the last couple years, below I have listed my best and worst races with some comments on them.

Best

While I overall disappointed in the year, I still had some good races and these were triumphs at the time I achieved them.

10) Run with the Beavers 10-Miler

After a really disappointing and terrible showing at the 2016 edition of this race, one of the main reason I came back was to put that performance away. With a near 7-minute improvement over my 2016 race, I did exactly that.

9) XC Dual #4

In a mostly uneventful XC season, I finally manage to accomplish something in the last dual meet by taking down my own course record by 4 seconds on the Bradford Preserve. It felt really good at the time and one my strongest performances of the season.

8) Outdoor States

After losing much of my potential in the season in the injury, it was nice to finally PR in a 2:01 in the 4x800 before coming back and hitting my goal of top 6 in the 3K.

7) Indoor States

While my 3K was disappointingly slow, I still had a major accomplishment with my highest placement at States ever, taking 3rd place and my first all-state placement in track. Also nice to snag a top 6 in the 1K, something completely unexpected as it's far from my best event.

6) Hendricken

In an outdoor season that didn't see much success, Hendricken was a great meet for me. After coming off a terrible 3K, I had a 24 second improvement in my first win at the meet. For once, I got to sit on someone and run easy, before blowing them away rather than the other way around.

5) Class B Indoor Championships

A day that would see me compete in three events brought a couple of big PR's. Starting off with a 2:02 split in the 4x800 was nice, but the real highlight was a big PR in the 1500, running a 4:07, something I have yet to beat. The 1K was mediocre, but the 1500 stands out from the other events.

4) New Balance Nationals Indoor

While actual race at this meet was only okay, the accomplishment of making nationals for the first time, in the fast heat of championship event was the real highlight here. I certainly didn't hold my own but it was an amazing experience being among some of the best in the country.

3) Class B XC Championships

In a very disappointing XC season, this meet came out of nowhere and shattered all of my expectations. I ran significantly faster than I had been running and managed to get a win I had fallen short of the last two years and had been thinking about for some time.

2) Fun Run CR

While probably the most low-stakes of any race on this list, it felt good to run fast at the fun run. I knew it would be tough to get the CR, but I managed to hit it with a 15:50 5K split on my own, an enormous confidence booster and near perfect pacing.

1) Yale Track Classic

Nothing would come close to this amazing performance that truly shattered every expectation I have. I came with heavy legs from racing the night and nervousness about not matching up with the rest of the field, given that I was in the fast heat. I came out with a 23 second season best in the 3K, and all-time PR and as the second best distance runner in Rhode Islander. Nothing came close to this tremendous accomplishment in the year.

Worst

I was pretty surprised to find only 5 races I could put in bad/terrible category, given how disappointing the year was, but I think this really is only because the majority of my races fell into the mediocre/disappointing category rather than good or bad. However, these 5 races listed below were just plain depressing and not ones I'm bound to forget anytime soon. These races really put the last nails into the coffin that was 2017.

5) Indoor New Englands

Coming to the end of one of the best seasons I've ever had, the biggest thing I had going for me was that this was the first season ever where I didn't have a single bad race. While my 3K's had been pretty disappointing besides Yale, I amounted this to the lack of competition and the slower track at the PCTA meets. At New Englands, I'd have both. Based off my Yale time, I'd be shooting for a sub-9:20 2-Mile. But after getting somewhat screwed over and put in the slow heat (the first one to miss out on the fast heat), I adjusted my goal to a still-respectable 9:30. As with many other 3Ks, I went out on pace, but here I crashed the hardest. Going out in a 4:45, I completely blew and ran a 5:00 2nd mile, finishing in a horrible time of 9:45. This was easily the most disappointing race of the season and hard to take that Yale was my only good 3K.

4) East Bay Challenge

After many disappointing races during the season, I felt things were turning around as I had a couple of solid races. East Bay was not only my best race of the 2016 season, but the best of anything last year, so this was the time to come back and absolutely destroy the course once again. I knew it would be tough to beat my 16:01 mark from last year, but I wanted some in that range. In the end, I felt like crap the whole time and ran an extremely mediocre time of 16:26. While time-wise, it wasn't an absolute disaster, the significance of not running well here completely ruined anything I had done over the season and destroyed any confidence I had moving forward.

3) Class B Outdoor Championships

Outdoor track 2017 was mostly a wreck caused my back injuries, but I was hoping to achieve something upon my (2nd) return to racing. After a really workout, I thought PRing this season was possibility and I thought that would start by making a sub-9 attempt in the 3000. I ran an extremely mediocre 4:13 in the 1500, but looked past it as the 3K was my big event that day. I was ready to claim my first class title and begin the road to success in a grind of season by running a good time. The race was over for me pretty quickly. I felt terrible pretty much the whole time and people who have never been close to me in a meet absolutely destroyed me. But worst of all, I ran a 9:21, a time slower than my freshman PR. I remember regarding this as "The Worst Race of My Life" and now thanks to the following entries, it's now my third.

2) XC New Englands

After XC States, I was pretty beat up and ready to throw in towel on the season. Training through lagging injuries didn't really help either. My only optimism for this race was that I rarely follow up terrible races with another terrible one and I should easily have the fitness to get a top-25, all-new England placement with the potential to crack the top 10. Last year was disappointing, placing 48th at New Englands, but this year was just a complete disaster. Things completely blew up as I finished an embarrassing 95th, somehow running slower than I did at States. Just to come off the most devastating performance and somehow get back out there to compete, only to perform nearly as bad was pretty hard to take and really begged the question "Am I even good at Cross Country?". After New Englands, my answer would be a resounding no. People can say "It's just one bad race, you'll have more opportunities", but at this point nearly every race during the 2017 season was disappointing and there was more than bad one. I never hit the golden opportunity to have an outstanding season. This race effectively killed off my Cross Country career and gave me a several months long injury. I still have yet to race since this disaster (at the time of writing).

1) XC States

XC States was singlehandedly the worst moment of my life. I've always been upset after bad races, but this was the first time I was so depressed from this I had no interest in running again, at least for a while. I had everything going for this race. I knew after my Class win, that I could win States. I had the fastest time by 9 seconds and even there I felt somewhat tired. Everything was leading up to what should have been the biggest win of my life, something that would make prior performances not matter, something that would instantly elevate to great status. I choked on my biggest opportunity ever and finished an absolutely horrible 16:47 for 23rd place. Those numbers will never go away as long as I live and additionally, I never had a successful cross country career in High School and there's no changing that. There no words I can use to describe how bad this race went and how much this hurt me emotionally. "Terrible" and "Devastating" don't cut it.

Hiking

Something I had a significant increase in interest level in 2017, especially at the end of the year when running start to fall apart, was hiking. I had always enjoyed hiking in the past, but the end of the 2017 was the first time where I planned hikes on my own, researched hiking routes across New Englands and saw the potential this could have in the future. I ended up only going on a couple, where I had to miss a few due to injury, but have many more planned out for 2018 and am excited for them.

My future plans in hiking include:

March 2018:
-Greylock Range (MA)
-Southern Berkshire and Bear Mountain (MA and CT)

April 2018:
-Mt. Mansfield (VT)

Summer 2018:
-Presidential Traverse (NH)
-Acadia National Park (ME)

Summer 2019:
-Mt. Katadhin (ME)
-Pemi Loop (NH)

Additional Places of Interest:
-Hudson Highlands (NY)
-Stratton (VT)
-Adirondacks (NY)
-Catskills (NY)
-Mt. Moosilaukee (NH)
-Wachusett Mtn (MA)
-Camel's Hump (CT)
-Great Smoky Mountains National Park (TN/NC)
-Shenandoah National Park (VA)

I'm not sure how many of these I will actually do, but do plan on doing the ones under the dates. A goals of mine is eventually hike/complete all 50 state high points (I currently have 0) and document each journey through strava/blog/YouTube. I hope I will be able to do much more hiking in 2018.

Favorite Locations

One of the best parts of running is exploring different places, something I did plenty of in 2017. While a relatively brief feature of this end of the year post, here are the places I enjoyed running/hiking in the most in 2018.

-Mount Monadnock (Jaffrey, NH)
-Purgatory Chasm State Reservation (Sutton, MA)
-Sachuest Point (Middletown, RI)
-Beavertail State Park (Jamestown, RI)
-Newport Cliff Walk (Newport, RI)
-Pachaug State Forest (Voluntown, CT)
-Devil's Hopyard State Park (East Haddam, CT)
-Sleeping Giant State Park (Hamden, CT)
-Denali National Park and Preserve (AK)
-Pioneer Ridge (Palmer, AK)
-Kenai Fjords National Park (Seward, AK)
-Santa Monica Pier (Santa Monica, CA)
-Thomas Zimmer Championship Course (Verona, WI)
-Barn Island Wildlife Management Area (Stonington, CT)
-Loon Mountain (Lincoln, NH)
-Bradford Preserve (Westerly, RI)
-Coxe Cage (New Haven, CT)
-Armory Track (New York, NY)
-Belfast XC Course (Belfast, ME)
-Ponaganset XC Course (North Scituate, RI)
-Avondale Farm Preserve (Avondale, RI)
-Wickham Park (Manchester, CT)
-Prospect Mountain (Lake George, NY)
-Buttermilk Falls State Park (Ithaca, NY)
-Green Lakes State Park (Fayetteville, NY)
-Rock Cut State Park (Loves Park, IL)
-Burlinggame State Park (Charlestown, RI)
-Ninigret Park (Charlestown, RI)
-South County Bike Path (South Kingstown, RI)



2017 in Photos 

4:07 PR in the 1500 at Class in February

Made my first All-State team at States in the 3K in February.

Qualifying for Nationals and running the 5K on the Armory Track in March.

Winning the 3K at Hendricken in May.

Running a 8:24 in the 4x800 with my team at States in June, the fastest Westerly time in at least 5 years.

Found redemption at Beavers in July with a 7 minute improvement in time.

Running Loon mountain again was a blast in July.

Going to California for a layover was a unique and enjoyable experience in July.

The Alaska Trip in July.

Layover in Phoenix, AZ was something different in July.

Ragged Mountain in CT in July


The fun runs are always a good time, especially a "trail" one in August at Stonington.

The Monadnock Hike in November was easily one of the most fun moments of 2017 for me.

Purgatory Chasm in Sutton, MA (November)

Sleeping Giant State Park in December

Goals

To conclude, below I have listed my goals. Even though I didn't have much success after March, I'm not give up and will still include goals I've had for a while. To inject some variety into it, I've added some goals that have nothing to do with running.

-Hike the Presidential Traverse
-Go to Acadia National Park
-Hike Every New England High Point Except Maine
-Leave the Northeast
-Run a Mountain Race

-Break 15:00 in the 5K
-Break 8:30 in the 3K
-Break 4 in the 1500
-Run 1:55 in the 800 (B Goal: Break 2:00)

Break Current Distance PR's for:
-Run (15)
-Week (67)
-Year (2,336)

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A Difficult Return- Weekly Log: January 22 to 28

Finally returned to full training this week, even though that now means training for an 800 and not doing more than 30 miles a week. I'm pretty sure I'm not injured anymore, given that I've gone through several workouts and races without any pain or discomfort, but I'm not sure how one is official no longer injures and occasionally I will feel it from time to time, even if it's only the slightest and most infrequent of discomforts. While it was really nice to finally start running again, it was probably one of the toughest weeks I've had in a while as my races and my workouts were extremely difficult as I hadn't done any substantial training in quite some time. Here's how the week went.

Monday: 5 Miles

Ran an out and back route with Sam on Old Hopkinton road. Had some soreness, but overall pretty good without many issues.

Tuesday: 5 Miles

My first meet of the season. This meet would effectively kick off championship season, and I wouldn't have any chances moving forward to run in invitationals or low-key dual meets. It was a bit disappointing to have to race back into shape and let the top spots in distance events go to others, but nevertheless I had to try. I wasn't thrilled to race on a Tuesday, as that gave me the least amount of time to prepare but seeing as my events were the 4x800 and 600, I wasn't too nervous. I was excited for the 4x800, while I was nervous for the 600 as I wasn't sure if I'd have the speed required to break 1:30 in that event. My goals were to run 2:05 and 1:28.

As soon as we got there, we had to immediately warm-up, a common problem with meet times and the time the bus was scheduled. Not sure why the bus can't be scheduled to come earlier so everything wouldn't be so rushed. The rushed warm-ups were not fun, and it wasn't long until we were called up as the first event. I was anchoring, which made me a little nervous to watch everything as I impatiently waited. Aaron was leading off, Sam was running 2nd leg and Tanner 3rd, making me the only senior on a young team. I never really gave a thought to place or team time and was surprised to find us leading the race at several different stages. I knew the one team that would surely crush us was North Kingstown and was surprised to find us even with NK just before I got the baton. This meant I had to face NK's formidable mid-distance star Jack Perreault who had PR's of 1:24, 1:55, and 2:36. It was inevitable that he would beat me. I went out fast but comfortably in a 59 where Jack stayed right behind, seemingly going for "the sit and kick but run as easy as possible" method NK likes to use. Everything felt apart after 400 and I tightened up and slowed quite a bit. I strangely couldn't even pass someone who we were lapping. Jack took this opportunity to pass me and leave me in the dust. I finished up, but the last lap wasn't pretty. We ended up getting 2nd in 8:35.83, an indoor PR for this team and gaining all-division status. Our time ranks us 6th in the state, so I don't think making States is going to be a problem, and we will likely make New Englands as well. As for the splits, it was 2:08/2:08/2:10/2:07. I was pretty disappointed to run a slow time like that, especially with the 68 final 400, but glad I could still go out fast comfortably.

Leading Jack in the early stages of the race.

The 4x800 took so much out of me and it wasn't until a hour later that I felt ready to even run again. I was in the slowest heat of the 600. While I really wanted to break 1:30, I didn't see it happening based on my 800, my fatigue and my lack of competition. The 600 was a complete mess. I don't know any of my splits and while I tried to push, it never felt fast and I finished in a pathetic and very disappointing 1:33 for 10th place. Jack Perreault won in 1:24.17. I was able to make peace with my somewhat disappointing 4x800 but this just seemed awful and I was upset about. I didn't make all-division and didn't get anywhere near my goal or PR. I'll just have to hope for more next time but this performance was very unexpected.

Wednesday: 4 Miles

Had to wake up at 5:30 to run (after getting home after 10 from the meet) because of a math meet I had later in the day. Ran from the Y and did 4xPark at a moderate but not hard pace. Solid effort that made me a little tired but far from all-out. The hill was a little slippery which was annoying. Was surprised how many people were using the Y so early in the morning. Difficulty: 2/5.

Thursday: 3 Miles

Was nervous for this track workout as my entire lower body was very sore and tight from the workout/races and didn't feel ready for this. The combination of the fatigue I had coming in, the lack of conditioning up to this point and the sheer difficulty of the workout made this perhaps the hardest workout I have ever done. The plan was to do 600 at 1:43, 5 minute rest, 400 at 63, 4 minute rest, before 4x200 at 30 w/2 min rest. The 600 was tiring but doable. I was surprised that I had two 200s between the 600 and 400 at 30s, which were exhausted and I started to fall apart on. The 400 was brutal as well. I ran a 64, slightly off Sam and Aaron running a 61. After that, everything started up catch with me and I felt really terrible with a bad headache and aching legs. I progressively ran worse and worse on the 200s before the coach stopped me and I was done for the day. I felt like this workout pushed me to my absolute limits and physically broke me. It took me several hours to feel normal again. Difficulty: 5/5 (would be a 6/5 if that was possible).

Friday: 5 Miles

After a really rough workout, I was surprisingly feeling much better but certainly not up to another workout. Was happy to do an easy recovery run to get back into the swing of things.

Saturday: 5 Miles

Another track workout. I was pretty nervous for this one as the Saturday workouts are always extremely difficult and I still felt a little tight. I was moved to run the distance workout instead of the mid-distance, which I wasn't sure how I felt about that. The workout was 6x400 at 68 w/60s recovery followed by 8x200 at 30 w/60s recovery (after 5 min rest). I ended up doing 5x400 and 4x200. It started out pretty well. I ended up running with John Walker for them and it wasn't until the 4th one where I start to fall back a little. I took the 5th one off before rejoining them for the 6th where I did slightly better but still felt tired and struggled. The 200s after felt worse and I felt back slightly to the point where my last one was a 32. This was another brutal workout, but felt good to be doing distance workouts instead of faster mid-distance ones. Also much better than Thursday, even if I did still struggle a bit. Difficulty: 5/5.

Sunday: 4 Miles

Ran in ninigret in the late morning. Pretty peaceful, light rain. Calves were still pretty tight.

Weekly Total: 31 Miles
YTD Total: 108 Miles

Weekly Highlight: Pretty much finally beating this injury, with no pain all week nor much discomfort at all.

Weekly Lowlight: Struggling with absolutely everything, including workouts that used to be pretty easy for me. I knew it wasn't going to be easy coming back, but I didn't realize it would be this hard. The 600 was also a really disappointing race.

After coming this week, next week will be some more training before the Class Championships on 2/3 where I will run the same events. Hoping for much faster times of 2:04 and 1:28.



Sunday, January 21, 2018

Weekly Log: January 15 to 21

After a crappy couple days with the return of pain, I return back to running this week, hoping for an improvement.

Monday: 3 Miles

Late afternoon easy Misquamicut. Was cold and weak. No ankle pain, but felt funny and was unsure.

Tuesday: 5 Miles

Ran with Sam and Aaron on my usual out and back route. Other than some occasional annoying discomforts, I felt pretty good and smooth. Nice to keep in stride with someone else.

Wednesday: 4 Miles

Another pretty good run. Ankle felt weird but didn't have any pain or disruptions. Boring to basically run the same route everyday with the limited mileage and conditions I need for recovery.

Thursday: 5 Miles

Did the exact same loop as Wednesday's, only in reverse. Felt oddly cold, but besides some infrequent discomfort, ankle felt really good for the third day in a row.

Friday: 4 Miles

Went to watch my teammates run at the Yale Track Classic after school, and got my run in during a break between events. Not wanting to get lost in a city like New Haven, I opted for a more boring, but safer route utilizing the warm-up area around Yale Bowl. In all, I had to run 7 circular loops to get my mileage, but I felt smooth and I was able to go faster than usual. Gradually picked up the pace with little effort until my ankle/Achilles started to hurt, so I lowered it a notch.

Saturday: 4 Miles

Was a little nervous about potentially doing a workout with possible ankle pain, but knew if I waited any longer it would seriously impact any racing I did. Ankle felt a little weird on warm-ups, but not any worse than it had during the week. Workout was 10x200 w/60s recovery @31s each. I had Sam (all 10) and Aaron (first 6) to run with which helped with pacing. I thought this should be really easy and while I was glad my ankle felt just fine, the workout was a struggle. I'm sure some of it was that it was extremely windy out and I had leftover fatigue from driving the night before, but it seems like I've lost of a lot of fitness, considering this used to be very easy for me. My biggest problem was breathing. I was always seemed out of breath and my chest began hurt, which only got worse. Difficulty: 4/5. Both a good and bad workout. Good because I did a workout with no pain. Bad because I felt really out of shape.

Sunday: 5 Miles

Ran in the morning with Sam. Started from Avondale and ran all around the Misquamicut Club golf course, which was something different but pretty fun.

Weekly Total: 30 Miles
YTD Total: 67 Miles

Weekly Highlight: This was a surprisingly very good week. After being greeted with pain every time I've tried to come back, I was pleasantly surprised to feel good all week, even during a workout. At this point, discomfort is so minimal that it doesn't seem like the injury will come back. The highlight was every run this week. Getting better doesn't change that I won't much of a season, but it's still nice to actually run again.

Weekly Lowlight: Having to let the Yale Track Classic go by, officially losing what I originally hoped would be a shot to run a mid-8:30s 3K back in the beginning of the season.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Weekly Log: January 8 to 14

Pretty far behind. At this point, training is so inconsistent as sometimes my ankle feels pretty good and like I'm quickly recovering while others it hurts to the points where I have to take time off. That's pretty much the whole season in one sentence, at least so far. This was probably the best week yet, but unfortunately once again got the point of pain. Training without orthotics still significantly beats training with them.

Anyway, here's what I did in the weeks from where I left off:

Monday, December 18th: 5 Miles.

Tuesday, December 19th: 4 Miles

Wednesday, December 20th- Thursday, January 4th: Pain progressed to a high point and had to take two weeks completely off, walking around in a medical boot. Did an hour of pool running nearly every day.

Total 2017 Mileage: 2,112 Miles

Friday, January 5th: 3 Miles

Slow return to back to running. Ran with Dad in Avondale on a off-day from school because of the snow. Was pretty nervous to start up against but surprised to not to have any pain and feel more much normal than I did back with the orthotics, even if I still felt a little off.

Saturday, January 6th: 4 Miles

Decided to up it a little and ran 4 miles on quiet, snowy roads from URI where I was watching my teammates compete. Felt really good and actually normal, probably the best run I've had with the injury.

Sunday, January 7th: 5 Miles

Quiet Charlestown roads. Was kinda weak and the run seemed to go by slowly. Didn't have any pain at all, but did feel my ankle a little and it wasn't quite as good as Saturday:

Weekly Total: 12 Miles
YTD Total: 12 Miles

Weekly Log

Pretty much alternated 4 and 5 mile days (in my total, I included the half mile warm-ups every other day when it added up to an extra mile).

Monday: 5 Miles

Another really solid run. Had some tightness in my calves but once again felt like a step forward.

Tuesday: 5 Miles

Pretty good again. Not being able to run any hills, my routes are pretty limited and will likely get very repetitive.

Wednesday: 5 Miles

Not the best day. Still had no pain, but felt off as I felt the ankle was much tighter than usual and my balance didn't seem right as a result of it.

Thursday: 5 Miles

Glad to shake out my Wednesday with a really good feeling run. Had some initial discomfort that went away and I felt strong once again.

Friday: 5 Miles

Another terrible run that sent me in the wrong direction. Every run (maybe not Wednesday) felt like I was improving for the week and this one just hurt. I was hoping it was something that would go away and feel good and while the pain went away after a mile, I still felt really awkward/injured. Really disappointed.

Saturday: 0

Went to practice after a night of icing and extra sleep. Felt very tight on the warm-up but was glad not to have pain. Regardless, my coach had me take two days off and do pool running instead.

Sunday: 0

Weekly Total: 25 Miles
YTD Total: 37 Miles

A really disappointing week. Right as I thought I had finally gotten rid of this awful injury, it came right back. It's pretty hard to keep taking this. After a very disappointing XC season, I was hoping to hit my goals in indoor and outdoor and now I have no idea if I'll have an indoor season at all. Even if I do, I seriously doubt I'll accomplish anything that I originally wanted to. For now, I'd just like to beat this injury, but I hate doing such low mileage and being completely unable to do anything that requires a hard effort. This has undoubtedly been the worst period of running in my entire life, and now if I do return, it will be as a mid-distance runner. While I do have some desire to do some speedwork and get up my shorter distance times, I've always felt like I run the longest distances I can. Additionally, I felt like my huge opportunity of the season (even if others might not see it that way) would be running the 5K at nationals, trying to go sub-15 to get the state record and possibly all-American status while I'm at it. Now I'll never get to do that. My one chance at multiple accolades that would push my running to a whole new level is gone due to this injury. It's possible I'll get a similar opportunity at the outdoor nationals, but it was the indoor nationals that meant a lot more to me. At this point, I have some desire to quit completely and try again in the spring, but that wouldn't be productive. Hopefully I can start actually running again (although the earliest I can return to my normal self is the spring), and maybe break 2 in the 800 and also PR in the 1000, but for now, I'll have to stick to small, meaningless goals like not having pain. Next week's goal will be exactly that, to run every run pain and as normal as possible.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Sleeping Giant Hike

This past weekend I had free time and took the opportunity to head over to central Connecticut for a hike. I went to one of the best reviewed parks in the state, Sleeping Giant State Park in Hamden, CT. Arrived around 10AM after a not very enjoyable drive on crowded I-95. The place has an abundance of trails, so I wasn't really sure where to go. After finding out that a large group was taking the tower trail, which seemed to be an easier path, I looked the official trail map for other options. I found that the Quinnipiac (blue) trail was rated as the most difficult trail with challenging climbs, so I decided to take that. It took some searching to find it, but when I continued on the park road it was eventually off to the side. It immediately came out to a point with views in several directions before I started an awesome climb to cliff's edges.

Neat and large parking lot, I liked the trees.

The park was just across the street from Quinnipiac university which was interesting.  
The climb was steep and rocky, probably my favorite kind. The effort was much more challenging than I had anticipated and I was impressed. The trail then went along a steep edge where I could stand on 200ft climbs and look at everyone taking the tower far below. I was fortunate enough to be the only person on this trail. I felt that I had completed my ascent which was surprised because I thought the ascent would end at a lookout tower and the tower was nowhere to be seen. I continued only to descent towards the bottom of the cliffs which was surprising.

The views were mostly panoramic, but...

This view was by far the most spectacular (I think "The Giant's Head")


This was a rather difficult part of the trail.


This steep section was perhaps the most fun.


After the first amazing climb, first mile or so the hike was only mediocre. The trail became much more boring and standard after that. It was a slight climb to the tower, but the grades were so minimal that it didn't really feel like. I eventually reached the tower which wasn't much of a climb to get to. The older tower was neat to see and walk around in, but some annoying people were just sitting in the path of the lookout so I was unable to see the full views. I got pretty close to the top and was able to catch some of the views, but those views were far inferior to the ones I got on top of the cliff.

The best views came on top of these cliffs.




I got out quickly as many more people were coming. I ended up taking the tower trail because it was the most direct/easy and I was short on time. It was a pretty boring trail- nearly flat (very, very gradual incline), wide and manicured. There were also a ton of people on it. I was maybe two on the blue trail but maybe north of 50 on this one (just an estimate, I really have no idea). I got down pretty quickly and got out there.




The cliffs I was on top of earlier.

I made a video with lots of commentary, posted below so if you have time check that out.