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Boston...the sequel

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Boston...the sequel

Post  Seth Harrison on Tue Feb 05, 2013 10:16 am

As I said in my Virtual Coffehouse post yesterday, I’d like to end my self-imposed exile and resume
taking part in the great conversations here, including keeping a training blog
as I get ready for my second Boston Marathon. As
for the title, it’s not terribly imaginative, but it is apt. My first Boston
(2011), proved to be a terrific experience. It also proved to be my worst
marathon by about 20 minutes. I was coming off of my third knee surgery, and
was woefully undertrained, both for the Boston course, and probably for any
marathon. Seven months later I secured another BQ in Philly. That winter
(2012), my knee took a turn for the worse. You think running two marathons in a
year, shortly after knee surgery, could have had something to do with that? With
no marathons to run in 2012, I trained for and competed in my first two Sprint
tri’s over the summer. The cross training, along with less running volume,
seemed to work wonders for the knee. Based
on how well that type of training went, I read “Run Less, Run Faster” and decided
to use the FIRST training philosophy and programs as a loose template for my
Boston training. I say loose template since I’m still being coached, and I’m
being slightly more aggressive, especially in my long runs, then what the FIRST
program prescribes. So far, it’s gone really well. The basic structure of the
plan is:





Monday: Tempo run


Wednesday: Speed work with my club


Saturday: Long run, most of these including a
good chunk of MP miles


The
remainder of the week is spent either swimming, spinning, or on the stationary
bike. I’m also doing as much upper body and core strength work as I can fit in.
So far, I’m probably further ahead in both strength and pace then I thought I’d
be, and the knee is holding up much better then I could have hoped. The extra
recovery days have proved to be essential in allowing my knee to settle down
after each hard workout. This coming weekend will be my second of four 20’s
planned. How many miles at MP will depend on how I feel. It’s still fairly
early. As
for the rest of my life over these past months, here’s a short synopsis…We got
our youngest kid off to college this fall, and promptly got on a plane for two
weeks in Spain. The first week was spent traveling around the country, and the
second was a seven night cruise to the Canary Islands. It didn’t suck. This
year marks my 25th year as a staff photographer with The Journal News.
We cover the northern suburbs of NYC. My newspaper made national news in
December (not necessarily in a way a newspaper wants to). In response to the
horrific shootings in Newtown, CT, we published an interactive map with the
names and addresses of all gun permit holders in our coverage area. The response
was swift and nasty. I had spent a week in Newtown covering the shooting story,
so my name was prominent on our website, under dozens of photos and videos that
I produced from Newtown. As a result, I was one of a few staffers who was inundated
with harassing phone calls, emails, regular mail, and even visits to my home.
This went on for weeks. In my 25 years in the business, it was probably the
most bizarre thing I’ve experienced. Fortunately the idiots with nothing better
to do with their time have gotten tired of calling my home at 3:00 am. (we shut
the ringers off on the phones shortly after this all started). As
always, running and more specifically, marathon training, provides me with a
great source of distraction, comfort, and respite from the stresses of life. I’m
looking forward to jumping back into the discussions here, and reading about
everyone else’s experiences. Thanks for reading and following along with my
training.
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Re: Boston...the sequel

Post  Mike MacLellan on Tue Feb 05, 2013 12:02 pm

Hi Seth. Saw your post in the coffeehouse but figured I'd respond her. Craziness about the post-shooting uproar, and I'm glad you made it through that without any real harm done. I'm glad to see your injury woes seem to be largely behind you, and I hope it stays that way.
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Re: Boston...the sequel

Post  Seth Harrison on Tue Feb 05, 2013 1:35 pm

@Mike MacLellan wrote:Hi Seth. Saw your post in the coffeehouse but figured I'd respond her. Craziness about the post-shooting uproar, and I'm glad you made it through that without any real harm done. I'm glad to see your injury woes seem to be largely behind you, and I hope it stays that way.

Thanks Mike. Yeah, no harm done. Mostly morons leaving stupid comments, with a few subtle threats thrown in. I did let my local police know what was going on. Our editor and publisher were subject to far worse harassment and actual threats. It wasn't a fun time, and I'm glad it seems to be over.
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Re: Boston...the sequel

Post  KathyK on Thu Feb 07, 2013 5:38 pm

Hi Seth...welcome back!
I'm glad the 3 day a week running plan is working well for you and that your knee is holding up well. That's excellent news!

I haven't been blogging much because I'm not training for anything...just running for fitness for now.

I look forward to following your journey to Boston!
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Re: Boston...the sequel

Post  Seth Harrison on Thu Feb 07, 2013 5:47 pm

Hey Kathy, great to hear from you!

So with this much hyped snowstorm predicted for Friday and Saturday, I'm forced to move my 20 miler from Saturday to tomorrow morning (fortunately I'm off on Fridays). I still have to decide whether to go down to Central Park and take advantage of the rolling hills, or stay close to home and use the largely flat bike path that runs for many miles. My normal trail routes are also an option, but I have a feeling they still have too much snow on them for a really long run. If I do the bike path, I'll have to divert off at some point to find some hills so I can get in a few hill repeats. Regardless of where I do the run, the plan is for a fast finish, probably 6 to 8 miles at marathon pace.
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Re: Boston...the sequel

Post  Seth Harrison on Fri Feb 08, 2013 12:21 pm

Got the 20 in, but not the run I thought it would be. The forecast showed that the heavy snow wouldn't begin until much later in the day. With my normal weekday trails free of snow as of last night, I decided to get out early on the trails. When I started out at about 7:45 a.m., there was no snow, and the trails were in fine shape. By the time I finished the second mile, the snow wasn't just coming down in flurries, but coming down heavy, and being driven by moderate to strong winds. In no time, the trails were covered with snow. I met up with a friend at mile 5, and finished the run with him. Frankly, if I was by myself, I don't think I would have finished. The snow continued falling for the entire run, and the trails got tougher and tougher. Getting to marathon pace wasn't going to be possible, but I managed miles 14 to 18 about 15 seconds slower than MP. I think it's safe to say that the effort was at least marathon pace effort. When I finished, my face was frozen, and my speech was actually slurred until I got indoors and warmed up. This was my second 20 miler in 11 days, and my legs are pretty tired. Otherwise, they feel fine. In other words, no specific tightness or troublesome areas. I am icing the knee as I write. Two 20's down, two to go with just over two months until Boston. The remaining long runs will have involve some hills.
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Re: Boston...the sequel

Post  Michael Enright on Fri Feb 08, 2013 1:19 pm

You are tougher than me! I've done some long runs in snow, but never a 20, yikes. Nice job getting it done. I know that speech slurring thing all too well from running in cold weather - I hate to run into someone I know, because I sound drunk!

Get your snow shovel ready...
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Re: Boston...the sequel

Post  Alex Kubacki on Fri Feb 08, 2013 4:28 pm

Nice to see you back Seth. That 20 in those conditions will certainly increase the mental side of things. Great job.
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Re: Boston...the sequel

Post  Seth Harrison on Fri Feb 08, 2013 5:28 pm

Thanks Michael and Alex. I have to say that I'm more wiped from this morning's run than I have been from any long run in some time. Obviously the conditions had everything to do with it. I'm sure that running two 20's in such a short time period contributed as well.
I wish I could have done more of a fast finish, but again, the effort was there.
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Re: Boston...the sequel

Post  Mark B on Sat Feb 09, 2013 1:32 am

I think the effort level of running face-first into a nor'easter blizzard more than compensates for a lack of marathon pace on that 20-miler Seth. Great job getting it done, and it's no wonder you're sore.

Watching the news tonight, it looks like you'll be getting a LOT of cross training in shoveling out... once you get done shooting yet another massive news event in your neighborhood.

Sandy, Newtown, now Nemo. Geez. This has been some serious craziness for you folks. Hang in there!

Speaking of crazies, glad they didn't get you down. It's enough to have them flame-o-gram your website, but when they show up on your doorstep, that's something else altogether.
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Re: Boston...the sequel

Post  dot520 on Sat Feb 09, 2013 6:14 pm

Ah, the insanity of the general public! Exactly what was the purpose of harrassing you? Sheesh! I always find it funny when folks get all in an uproar about the posting of public records......hey, they're public, get over it or don't do anything to get on them.
Good job on the 20 mile snow run..if you were properly dressed for it, it might have almost been 'sorta' fun!
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Re: Boston...the sequel

Post  mountandog on Sat Feb 09, 2013 9:19 pm

I haven't seen snow shoveling as a cross-training exercise, but give it a go. You have plenty of opportunity!!
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Re: Boston...the sequel

Post  Seth Harrison on Sun Feb 10, 2013 4:11 pm

Regarding the post-Newtown shooting story and gun map craziness, all I can say is that there was plenty of room for reasonable debate regarding my paper's decision to publish the map. The people that harassed and threatened us were not, however, interested in any kind of reasonable discussion. Based on the dozens and dozens (about 50) of voicemails left on my now unpublished home phone, I can also say that most of these people (with a few exceptions) weren't even interested in making a valid point. In their own way, they provided the much needed justification for us posting the map in the first place. If these are the type of people who keep guns, then I definitely want to know where they live. Finally, I'll add that the great majority of people who called my home were not from our coverage area (the three counties to the north of NYC). Most of the calls came from other parts of the country, and no surprise, most of the calls in the middle of the night came from the West Coast.


@mountandog wrote:I haven't seen snow shoveling as a cross-training exercise, but give it a go. You have plenty of opportunity!!

Living in a condo has its benefits...the landscaping company takes care of the shoveling, so that's one bit of cross training I'm happy to be able to avoid. After owning our own home for years before being able to downsize (kids off to college, etc.), here's what I don't miss: shoveling snow in the winter, mowing the grass in the summer, and raking leaves in the fall.

Back to training...I'm recovering easily from Friday's 20. The snow covered trails made for easy going on my legs. That said, I'll be doing a good number the remaining long runs down in Central Park, which I think offers the best Boston training around. It's a six mile loop with rolling hills the whole way.
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Re: Boston...the sequel

Post  Seth Harrison on Mon Feb 11, 2013 11:32 am

Icy rain forced me indoors for the only the second time this winter.
Tempo run on the treadmill.
7.25 miles at .5% incline with 5 miles at 7:35/mile (about 15-20 seconds faster than MP) , including 3 x 400 hill repeats at 3.5% incline during the tempo portion.
Productive enough tempo run coming a few days after a 20 miler.
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Re: Boston...the sequel

Post  fostever on Mon Feb 11, 2013 3:53 pm

You definitely had MP effort with the accumulating snow. The training looks good so far, way to go!
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Re: Boston...the sequel

Post  KathyK on Tue Feb 12, 2013 2:35 pm

Nice running!! I assume the knee is still holding up well??

Jack and I are thinking of doing the condo thing for the next few years. We recently bought a lot down at the coast, and once we start to build, we won't want to have to do home maintenance while keeping an eye on construction until we move. Glad to see that it's worked well for you!
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Re: Boston...the sequel

Post  Seth Harrison on Tue Feb 12, 2013 5:10 pm

@fostever wrote:You definitely had MP effort with the accumulating snow. The training looks good so far, way to go!

Thanks Steve! It definitely was a gut-check run,

@KathyK wrote:Nice running!! I assume the knee is still holding up well??

Jack and I are thinking of doing the condo thing for the next few years. We recently bought a lot down at the coast, and once we start to build, we won't want to have to do home maintenance while keeping an eye on construction until we move. Glad to see that it's worked well for you!

Hi Kathy, the knee isn't perfect, but it's holding up better than I could have hoped. The three days a week running plan is the only way I could have done this. The knee definitely needs the extra recovery, especially after the long runs.

As for the condo thing, the thing I was most apprehensive about when we made the move seven years ago was living in a townhouse with people living on either side of us. We were extremely lucky to end up with very nice neighbors on both sides. I can only hope they feel the same way!
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Re: Boston...the sequel

Post  Chris M on Tue Feb 12, 2013 9:42 pm

Cool that Seth is back and around. Lets talk over the next few weeks/months to make Boston plans. Looking forward to catching back up in person. You even use our shower to clean up post race again.....hmmm, that sounds wrong in some way but hey the offer is out there and it will be great to hang out up there.
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Re: Boston...the sequel

Post  Seth Harrison on Tue Feb 12, 2013 9:55 pm

@Chris M wrote:Cool that Seth is back and around. Lets talk over the next few weeks/months to make Boston plans. Looking forward to catching back up in person. You even use our shower to clean up post race again.....hmmm, that sounds wrong in some way but hey the offer is out there and it will be great to hang out up there.

Great to hear from you Chris. I'm definitely looking forward to seeing you, and if needed, to take you up on the offer to shower post race again! I'm counting on you to rehab that knee and get in enough training so that you can make it. In the meantime, I'm glad to know that the surgery went fine.
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Re: Boston...the sequel

Post  Seth Harrison on Wed Feb 13, 2013 12:21 pm

Solid 8 mile progression tempo run on a very hilly course. This is the type of mid-week run I need to do more of before Boston. If I'm hoping for a marathon pace of just under 8:00/mile, then I have to be pleased with how it went. Those downhills are essential for the Boston course. Here's what it looked like.



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Re: Boston...the sequel

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Wed Feb 13, 2013 12:25 pm

Glad to follow along, Seth, and hopefully, we will finally meet this year in April. I was in CO skiing when the snow hit the NE. My daughter, who is at BU, loved it - but then again that is a college student for you. My husband and I did the condo thing this year as well and selling the big house in Atlanta was strangely liberating. However, I do miss a yard a bit - not the shoveling, of course, but the planting.
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Re: Boston...the sequel

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Fri Feb 15, 2013 2:59 pm

I forgot to ask you where your daughter ended up for college. We can commiserate.
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Re: Boston...the sequel

Post  Seth Harrison on Fri Feb 15, 2013 3:01 pm

@Michele "1L" Keane wrote:I forgot to ask you where your daughter ended up for college. We can commiserate.

Dylan ended up at SUNY Buffalo State, which ironically is where I started (two years there before transferring to RIT).
I see your daughter 's at BU. What year is she?
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Re: Boston...the sequel

Post  Schuey on Fri Feb 15, 2013 3:04 pm

Seth my main my Seth!!!!! Sweet to see you back!!!! Like yourself I took a long amount of time off from running and just getting back at like yourself.

I haven't read your first post yet but plan on doing so this weekend. I just wanted to drop in and say hello and great to have you back to chat running, life and Grateful Dead!! Always has been a treat to have great conversions with you!!!

Cheers
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Re: Boston...the sequel

Post  Seth Harrison on Fri Feb 15, 2013 3:08 pm

@Schuey wrote:Seth my main my Seth!!!!! Sweet to see you back!!!! Like yourself I took a long amount of time off from running and just getting back at like yourself.

I haven't read your first post yet but plan on doing so this weekend. I just wanted to drop in and say hello and great to have you back to chat running, life and Grateful Dead!! Always has been a treat to have great conversions with you!!!

Cheers

Hey Martin...it's great to catch up with you. Look at the top of my blog when you get a minute and that will give you a quick synopsis on what I've been up to. From reading yours, I couldn't figure out if you'd be in Boston this year of not. Now that's it's clear that you are, I'm totally psyched to see you guys again. Two months from today...I can't wait!
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