September 4 to 10Monday: 5 Miles
Easy Labor day run from home. Felt like complete garbage the entire time, which was not enjoyable.
Tuesday: 6 Miles
Hill workout, 2xFingers. First set felt mostly good, second set was very tiring. I definitely felt slower on set 2, but never extremely slow. Average pace was 5:49, the fastest I have ever done any hill workout. That part felt good. Difficulty: 3/5.
Wednesday: 7 Miles
Easy local loop from the school. Felt pretty heavy so didn't see the need to push it today.
Thursday: 6 Miles
Hill workout, 5xPark. Wasn't thrilled to do this the day before Stavros, which made me a little nervous we might take it easy at Stavros. They did cut it back to 5, which helped. Park never really feels good and I felt heavy and struggling from the start. Despite my struggle, I broke my record for fastest average pace on park (5:56), which was not only encouraging but would start a trend of significantly improving on hill workouts. Difficulty: 5/5.
Friday: 7 Miles
Stavros Beach Race. After warming up, I realized that my time would not be originally what I wanted (about 15:30) because my coach wanted me to run the first half only moderately hard and the course seemed much slower today due to a strong wind and a couple rocky or soft sections closer to the breachway. I still wanted to take a crack at the 16:20 CR as I felt the 50 second gap between all-out and CR would be doable with taking it easier and the slower course. My plan was to negative split, going out in 5:30, then running 5:20, 5:20 (16:10).
This worked very well going out. I felt smooth and comfortable, slowly picking it up without losing any speed annoying rock obstacles. I hit my first mile just sub-5:30 and was progressing even further. I only needed about a 5:26 average pace to break the record and I was confident I could do so. The turn was more brutal than I possibly could have imagined. It was an instant struggle. It didn't take long for my pace to drop and drop, and suddenly my goal was thrown out the window. After a while, I even had to throw sub-17 out the window. Finished around 17:12 in one of the hardest (and certainly windiest) last miles I've ever- 6:10. Super disappointing result. I couldn't believe how slow the actual time ended up. Going from a low 16s 5K to a high 17s in less than a week.
Saturday: 6 Miles
Varied things up for a pretty fun practice, but unfortunately it was another workout when my legs were begging for recovery. Went to Bradford preserve and did repeats on the lower field. About 4x650m field repeats w/90s recovery at 5:00 pace. Not sure on distance. Felt pretty good, but first one was strangely tiring. Difficulty: 2/5.
Sunday: 5 Miles
Tried town forest for something close, but still different. Liked how the trails were marked as I can't follow unmarked trails, but thought the majority were bland and many times overgrown. Disappointed as I didn't find a single trail that wasn't overgrown or a single trail that I liked. To make matters worse, I lost my car key in there as well which is a first.
Weekly Total: 42 Miles
YTD Total: 1,650 Miles
Weekly Highlight: Hill workouts were very solid, and I was happy to make big improvements in my average pace.
Weekly Lowlight: Stavros, a race I had been looking forward to for a long time, ended up having the slowest and least enjoyable course in years.
September 11 to 17
Monday: 8 Miles
First dual meet at St. George's. Main competition was Chariho. I felt terrible all day and pre-race, so I really just wanted to win here, but I knew it would be a grind as Chariho's runners have improved tremendously since last year and have actually beaten me on their best days.
I was a little nervous and no interest in running. I was surprised how close they stuck to me. Big group right on me for the first mile, which wasn't very enjoyable and kept me nervous. First mile was decent in 5:07, but I felt terrible and it only got slower and slower after that. The chase pack managed to drop to 1, but he was only a couple meters behind and he was staying right there. I wanted to put in a surge, but I had absolutely nothing. The gap remaining even on the downhill and when he caught me on the up, I knew it was over. I had no response. I lost, and now it was only a matter of how many others would catch me. Surprisingly, he didn't pass and once we got back on flats he fell behind again. I was still convinced he would outkick, but my chance did go up. Suddenly, he felt really far back after the 2-mile mark (about 10:37). I slowly made my way in but had zero energy or strength. 16:50. The time seemed horrible, but after looking at total elevation gain (250+) I was more pleased with it. It turns out Chariho runners had a plan to run the first two miles hard, then drop off. Weird. Not sure if I would have taken the win in an actual race or not.
Tuesday: 0 Miles.
Took a much needed day off.
Wednesday: 8 Miles
Was still sore today and was glad to have an easy run rather than a workout. Thighs were extremely sore going out, but after a couple miles, it got much better and I began to run very comfortably for the rest, feeling better as I went on.
Thursday: 6 Miles
Hill workout, 8xHillview. Didn't feel great, but kept the trend going and broke my PR for fastest average pace on the hill (6:07). Difficulty: 4/5.
Friday: 5 Miles
Got to miss school for some college visit, which created an opportunity for some cool runs in NY and VT. First one wasn't so enjoyable, as it took place in the deep, dark forest. Had some trouble with vision on this- could barely see anything in the dense, dark forest. Pretty cool wide easy double track. Pace was super slow (9+) just because of how dark it was. Fairly hilly- 700+ ft elevation gain.
Returned to the same location with the intention of doing one of the hills hard. Ended up running up a mountain first (Prospect mountain) with unreal views, doing a short but fast road workout on the auto road (4x50ft gain), before taking a steep trail down and then running down the auto road for two miles (-8% grade) at sub-6 pace (not taking hard, just so steep). Enjoyable diversion, one of the most unique runs I've ever done (going from 12+ min pace to sub-6). Difficulty: 2/5. Nearly 2000 ft elevation gain.
Sunday: 6 Miles
Extremely boring/exhausting run at Stratton mountain. Paled in comparison to yesterday's run. Sunday was a crap day in general.
Weekly Total: 41 Miles
YTD Total: 1,691 Miles
Weekly Highlight: Saturday's run was a lot of fun as there's no better feeling than reaching the top of the mountain and savoring the amazing views.
Weekly Lowlight: Monday's meet was just a new level of feeling terrible during a race. Not sure if the struggle has ever started in the first quarter mile before.
September 18 to 24
Ocean State Invitational this week, big opportunity to get in a solid effort.
Monday: 7 Miles
Track workout, 22x200 @33s w/30s rest. Usually 200s are the one thing that I can get through easily on the track, but I just wasn't feeling it. It was exhausting for nearly all of it. Hit my splits well, but never felt great. Difficulty: 4/5.
Tuesday: 8 Miles
Legs were very trashed, so I took it slow and tried my best to recover.
Wednesday: 8 Miles
Similar to Tuesday, once again my legs felt very tired and I took it easy.
Thursday: 7 Miles
Tried something different for a change, we met at one of the coaches house and did a hill workout near there. It was 2xForrestal (long but not steep), 3xMidway (a little steeper, but short). Midway felt easy, Forrestal was exhausting. Legs got heavy but I had a lot fun doing something different. Liked the peaceful neighborhood feel. Difficulty: 3/5.
Friday: 8 Miles
Easy shakeout before Ocean State. Felt mostly good but heavy. It was very windy out which made the run more difficult.
Saturday: 10 Miles
Ocean State Invitational. Overall, it was a fun day. This is one of my favorite meets out there. I've done since 7th grade and am somewhat sad to leave it. I always feel terrible and am extremely nervous pre-race, yet I felt fantastic and wasn't nervous at all this time which was a pleasant and welcome change.
This helped me feel more confident than usual. My coach wanted to take it out easier and take somewhere in the chase. Everyone went out fast, and I didn't have the best start. It was bunched up and uncomfortable for the first quarter mile, but I quickly made my up to a good spot. There were many soft sand sections that were difficult to run through. Went through the mile in 5:00, about 10 seconds behind a gigantic lead pack that was possibly 20+ people. Started passing left and right, working my way all the way up to 6th. Felt smooth, comfortable and confident, perhaps the best I have felt in a race since last outdoor season. The passing was halting by more soft sand and I ran with a couple guys for the last mile, going back and forth. I was a little tired in the last mile and let up too much. I was able to push myself at the end. One of the guys beat me, I held off the other. I felt like I had put in a very solid, so seeing the clock tick past 16:10 was extremely disappointing. Finished 7th in 16:16. The effort I put in felt really strong, but the time didn't reflect that. I'll take it for now, but am waiting for some kind of breakthrough in time. Today's breakthrough was just feeling much better.
Sunday: 0. Day off.
Weekly Total: 48 Miles
YTD Total: 1,739 Miles
Weekly Highlight: Fun hill workout on Thursday.
Weekly Lowlight: Feeling garbage Monday-Wednesday.
Next week, I have two dual meets, Tuesday at Middlebridge and Thursday at Bradford Preserve.