New Bedford

New Bedford

Sunday, March 22, 2020

4 Year Hiatus

I am starting to write this post as I patiently sit in one of my work's main lobby entrances with a surgical mask, nitrile gloves, and safety glasses to support the temperature monitoring protocol we have implemented. It makes you truly think about what is important in life and what you will sacrifice for others. The Saturday 9pm-5am shift is not ideal, but one must not think of themselves in this time of crisis. An overnight is not even close to ideal for my running, but it can take a back burner for now and it can be worked around this schedule.

Fresh off the Houston Marathon back in mid January has a new fire set underneath me to reevaluate my perspective on competitive running. I am still looking forward to some of the "yocal" races in the area, but I am planning on switching it up similar to the infant years of New York. This means more obscure and adventurous races (off the pavement and onto Mother Earth like she intended). Some of the planning effort will be put on the shoulders of a close friend, Shaun Donegan. He is well versed in the funky trail races that are not quite as popular amongst the road hogs. 

The series that is added immediately and the standard is the "New England Mountain Series." The marathon PR is from 2013. The progression of training that year was indoor track (skipped that this year due to Houston), mountain series, marathon specific build-up. 

The loose formula to take away from that stellar year is:

(variety of distances x variety of terrain) + consistency = mental toughness + ability to grind

With that being said, I decided do some legwork and crunch some data for myself. Here is a history from the initial stab at the distance to the most recent with some numbers around it.

#YearRace NameTime1/2 Split2nd halfWord association
12011Smutty Nose2:39:30No dataNo dataRain

The new coach (Tim Ritchie) and myself had a few conversations leading up to Houston. It had been a long roller coaster ride of a year and a few setbacks (related and unrelated to training) so he decided that I needed to cross the finish down in Texas with a smile on my face and positive energy regardless of what the clock read. To sum it up and what 2020's motto is:


The training log will no longer be flooded with setmiles and specific paces. The day to day maintenance runs will be a total time to run (30 minutes, 50 minutes, 65 minutes, etc.) The workouts will have a similar structure. For example, 25 minute tempo with the total run being 60 minutes or 3 x 10 minutes with 4 minutes rest. It is something that we started towards the end of the Houston cycle when every 3rd or 4th workout going poorly. My mind was getting bogged down with my dang GPS watch giving me instant feedback on pace and how far I had run at any point during the session. Tim told me, "The body does not know mileage, but it does know time." This allows you to listen to your body and go off feeling.

The Houston trip was a complete blast! I flew in Thursday afternoon and flew out Monday afternoon. Stayed with my Uncle David and Aunt Eileen who live just outside of downtown Houston.  This allowed my body and mind to acclimate to the weather and just straight up relax. Home-cooked meals, bed and bathroom of my own, and low-key vibes with the relatives made for a real recipe for success. My uncle David was beyond ecstatic to be a part of the final steps for this specific event.

On Friday, David and I drove down to the local town park where there is a dirt loop on one side of the main road and a pavement loop on the other. A standard run with some light pickups was on the schedule while David hammered as many loops as he could on the short loop across the way. Logistics coordinator Aunt Eileen recommended to swing down for the expo to avoid the crowds and allow for Saturday to be minimal travel. Such a smart lady!

On Saturday, Eileen and I drove to another park where she walked/ran a loop while I did my shakeout jogs for the "long run" the next day (aka marathon race day). 70's and humid seemed to be the theme for the 3 days of running in Texas. Forecast had a drastic change for Sunday morning with 40's and low humidity. Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!

I could go on forever about race day, but everything fell into place as much as it could. Coach and myself were prepped for the race as much as we could control. The long summer of dealing with the calf strain/issue from Pittsburgh Marathon cycle back in the spring and the unintentional breaking of my 2nd toe on my right foot after slipping out of the shower and ramming it into the door frame were minor setbacks to say the least. 

I only looked at my watch at every 5 mile mark and hit the wall a bit around 22-23. The wheels did not fall off completely and I was able to re-rally for the last couple miles. A huge smile decorated my face for the next 24 hours and I was transported to cloud 9.

Looking forward to 2020 and making it my own!

See below some highlights from the last 4 years.

Started growing my hair out for my sister's wedding.

 Quality time with my niece.

Epic week in California.

 RTB with my family and friends.

New addition - Mason.

Amherst 10 Miler.

Gotta let it flow.

Face to pavement. Broken jaw. 3 places.

Wired shut for 6 weeks.

 Go big or go home.

Back for one of my favorite races.

Partied with the Black Cactus (5x Olympian).

 ADK Distance Festival.

Celebrated a buddy's wedding at altitude (CO).

 Niece & nephews.

 Love these guys.



Hartford streets.

Another addition - Birdie.


Ryder or die.

Barta boys.

Vacation mode to the max.

 Henny snuggles.

I'll be your role model.

Foot to door frame.

Test drive after cross training.


Happy camper in Houston.

 NYC living.

Tourist at Busch Gardens Tampa.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

New Member of the Saucony Hurricane Program

Feburary 29th (Monday): 5.5 miles (39:52) in the AM

March 1st (Tuesday): 7 miles (50:40) in the AM. 3 (NT) in the PM before bowling.

March 2nd (Wednesday): Shy of 6 miles (49:08) in the AM with Morgan. 7+ miles (50:18) in the PM.

March 3rd (Thursday): 6 miles (42:50) in the AM. Yoga post run @ work. Workout post work. Mile, 2x800, 4x400. Short quick workout. 5:07, 2:31, 2:29, 70, 70, 69, 68. Swim post workout at the Y.

March 4th (Friday): 7 miles (51:08) in the AM.

March 5th (Saturday): 6+ miles (45:26) in the AM. Travel to Leominster.

March 6th (Sunday): An Ras Mor 5K. Solid rust buster for the roads. 15:10 in a deep field.

65 miles for the week with a classic Keene workout and a fast 5K on the legs.

Spring Care Package.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Backfilled the Weekly Mileage

February 22nd (Monday): Traveled in from Mass in the early AM. Swim with Renee and Addy in the PM. 4 miles in the late PM.

February 23rd (Tuesday): 5 miles (36+) in the AM. Bowling in the PM.

February 24th (Wednesday): Snoozed multiple times and never made it out the door for an AM run. 10 miles (70:42) with Donegan at the Saratoga Stryders run. Brewski post-run.

February 25th (Thursday): 3 miles in the AM. Yoga class before work. Plan for the track workout was mile, 3x600, 3x300. Goup kept me company. He was doing some striding 200s. Splits were as followed: 5:04, 1:47, 1:47, 1:45, 50, 49, 48. 3 mile warmup and 2 mile cooldown for 13 miles on the entire day.

February 26th (Friday): 7.5 miles (55:11) in the AM. 3 miles in the PM. Relaxed for the night.

February 27th (Saturday): 8+ miles (with 3 sets of 30/60/90) in 47:06. Solid fartlek. Travel to Leominster. Ran errands with Sarah. Shakeout 5 miles (37:19) before dinner. Bob, Sarah and I started a puzzle. Headlamps were required to see the true colors in the evening hours.

February 28th (Sunday): 15 miles (1:41:04) in SHORTS AND A T-SHIRT. Beautiful afternoon run around the neighborhoods of Leominster (See Strava data at the bottom of post). I ran down a side road (ended being a dead end) and had a close encounter with two dogs. It was to a point where I had to wait for the owner to exit his house to calm the dogs down. One turned out to be friendly. I was able to pet it. The other not so much. Made it out with all my limbs. Back to help put the finishing touches (2nd coat on trims and hardware) on the nursery for my future niece/nephew! Drove home at a decent hour and witnessed a spectacular sunset.

70 miles for the week with a couple workouts and a long run to cap off the week.

Headband season.

 Eggs seasoned with cumin and chili powder. Salsa. Avocado. Hot sauce.

 Favorite LÄRABAR. Chocolate chip cookie dough.

 Mac and cheese. Cajun style chicken sausage sauteed in hot sauce.
 Chicken and broccoli alfredo. Courtesy of Sarah.

 Frozen on Ice outfit.

 Headlamp marking. Wifi symbol?


 Such a good helper.


Saturday, March 12, 2016

Keene & USATF NE Indoor Championships

February 15th (Monday): 9 miles in the PM.

February 16th (Tuesday): 7.5 miles in the AM with some snow. 5.5 miles in the PM.

February 17th (Wednesday): 5 miles in the AM. 3 miles in the PM.

February 18th (Thursday): 3 miles in the AM. Yoga class for an hour at work. Track workout in the PM. Workout plan was 6x400 and 4x200. Full rest. Tough to change into those gears. Yoga left my hamstrings sorta sore. I made it happen. 7x400 because I mentally needed to break 70. and 5x200 because I needed to break 33. Splits were as followed. 72, 73, 71, 73, 70, 70, 69, 34, 33, 33, 33, 34, 32. Froyo with Renee, Sydney and Addy for dinner.

February 19th (Friday): 6+ miles in the AM with Renee. Movie date with Goup. Deadpool. Highly recommend it, but definitely not for kids. Though, there were a bunch of them there for some reason.

February 20th (Saturday): Travel to Keene in the AM. Pit stop in Athens, VT for a 10 miles (71:23) with TPaq and Ferenc. Solid road run. Alumni shindig in the evening. Great to see old faces. Lots of dancing.

February 21st (Sunday): Travel to Boston to run the 3,000m at the USATF New England Indoor Championships. 4 mile warmup (29:27) with Scott Mindel and Renee (fellow Saucony Hurricane teammates). Switched into spikes and ready to roll. Legs felt fresh and with some pop. Splits were solid. Rounded up and made it to add up to my finish time of 8:42.75. 400ish splits with a final 200. 65 (with the short lap), 71, 72, 71, 71, 70, 70, 32. Happy with the time. A few seconds off the PR of 8:40.

68 miles for the week with some solid track work, some double days and a quality performance at the 3K. Keep it rolling.

 Friday morning frost.

 Chocolate milk. Extra frothy.

 Target trip. Items were buy a certain number and get a $5 gift-card. I was handed 4.

 Harvard track. Cool perspective. 
Photo credit: Scott Mason
 Pushing hard. Scott Mindel on my heels.
Photo credit: Scott Mason

Staying smooth.
Photo credit: Scott Mason
Already untying the shoes. Not even 30 seconds after the race.
Photo credit: Scott Mason

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Valentine's Day (Weekend of Singles)

February 1st (Monday): Long day of work. Day off.

February 2nd (Tuesday): Just shy of 7 miles in the AM. 4++ in the PM.
February 3rd (Wednesday): 4 in the AM. 5 in the PM.
February 4th (Thursday): 3 in the AM. Short workout in the PM. 2 mile warmup. 2x800. 4x400. 2:24, 2:23, 69, 69, 67, 68. Total time for 3 miles: 16:45. 2 mile cooldown.
February 5th (Friday): Just shy of 7 miles. Weekend in Leominster helping finish the nursery.
February 6th (Saturday): 5++ miles in the AM.
February 7th (Sunday): Snowshoe race cancelled so I ended up cancelling running that day. Day off.

 Making pizza.

 Official squatty potty from my family for my birthday.

 Sarah's bowl on the left (size of a apple sauce container). Mine of the right.

42 miles week. Two days off. Gotta jump back on the horse.

February 8th (Monday): 5 miles in the AM. 3 miles in the PM.
February 9th (Tuesday): 5 miles (41:46) in the AM. 5.5 miles in the PM.
February 10th (Wednesday): 5 miles in the PM.
February 11th (Thursday): 3 miles in the AM. 7 miles in the PM on the treadmill at work. Two uptempo miles in 5:27 and 5:21.
February 12th (Friday): 8 miles (56:16) with Goup in the PM. Headed over to my buddy Shaun's house for dinner.
February 13th (Saturday): 10+ miles (67:40) in 8 degree weather with a windchill of -17 degrees F. I was overdressed.
February 14th (Sunday): 13 miles (1:44:19) in the snow-covered trails of Schuylerville, NY. 9 degrees F with no wind.

64 miles for the week with an epic weekend of running. With me being single and it being single digits outside, it was only natural to be motivated to battle the elements. Pleased with sliding back into a groove of miles and doubling up on half of the days.

 Windproof Saucony RAZR jacket. Clutch.
 Never thought I would use the neck-warmer from Loon Mountain Race. 

Studs for extra traction on Sunday.

 Organic. Non GMO. Valentine's day gift to myself.

 No caption needed.

My Valentine every year.