12/31/2009

Happy New Year 2010!

Today - at last - I had time and guts to do the last workout of this year. Weather changed into cold (5F) slippery mode during the night so the roads were again less-than-optimal for "fast" pace. Nevertheless, I found myself running the first workout since 10/30. I did only 4x3 min. tempo reps (you gotta start from somewhere) and even if the pace varied only from 5.50 to 5.30/mile, I felt pretty happy after the workout.

This month was again little less (230 miles) than I could hope for but this month has been the most bizarre time of my life fulfilled with mixed emotions and the agony caused by resignation from the friends in the US. I sure miss you guys! Year's mileage was 2888 so I missed my goal by 112 miles. Maybe Mark or Mr. Wardian could still do it before NYE, but I can't. And it's just fine.

Anyway, I'm about to start my fourth decade of running (80s, 90s, 00s and now 10s...)!

Happy New Year! Keep on running.

12/30/2009

Same ol' whining.

Dammit. Due to bad scheduling I had time only for one run today. That was NOT tempo repeats. And I'll also miss 3000 miles barrier with huge margin (over 100 miles). Wuss!

12/29/2009

A Better Tomorrow

Today I realized that I'm pretty far from putting my money where my mouth is. So no indoor track today. I ran 10 miles (3 in the morning together with short hill reps) in pretty messy conditions and did the usual stairs / core workout. It has been snowing the whole day and roads are less runable but they look really nice.

12/28/2009

Ice, potential flu and a wuss equals no running

Stupid Mondays! Yesterday we ran an easy 6.2 miler in bad conditions, but I didn't know what to expect. The stupid icy conditions were just 24 hours away. Today it has been raining resulting very icy/slippery roads. Only chance for running is treadmill or indoors. Luckily, we decided to go skiing (Nordic XC skiing) already yesterday.

Yesterday evening after calculating the weekly mileage (67) I felt pretty sick and decided to dedicate this Monday to rest. If I feel better tomorrow, I might find myself indoors running on track. Then it's time for stairs and core workout.

12/26/2009

Easy run and tempo

After the Xmas morning's long run (13.1 miles @ pedestrian pace) I had two saunas (in the morning and evening, both were pure luxus!) and ate a lot. I mean LOT! We visited my dad and watched some photos on computer. It felt pretty normal even if he is not yet able to speak nor move his right arm and leg too much. Luckily his mind and thinking wasn't hit by the stroke.

Yesterday morning I ran in Somerniemi. It's a tiny village, and I didn't see any cars during the hour on the road. Think about that!

Today it was again time for a tempo run. Unfortunately the conditions were annoying - none of the strides I took had grip on the ground. It was almost like running on ice. However, I was able to run faster (3.1 miler, 5.50/mile) than a week ago.

12/23/2009

Merry Xmas!

Today the weather has been little worse than it has been lately. Morning started with rather heavy snowfall, but luckily snow plow was "on the trails" already at the early hour.


There goes the plow at 7:00 AM


Plowed trails for running, with street lights, but no cars.

The end result of the morning's recreational activities was an easy run added with short steep hills. In the evening I ran from the hospital to home, but today I had company. My former coach and running buddy Perttu is visiting the area and we met during the run. After a detour I ran 12 miles on pretty slippery roads.

Tomorrow morning I will meet part of the usual gang running the traditional Xmas morning long run. After that - rest and eating. 

Happy Xmas!

12/22/2009

Logging

Monday provided chilly, snow-filled but easy 6.2 miler added with strides (6x100m). I decided to add something new (or old but forgotten) to my schedule now and then, after I read Nate Jenkins' blog update. The mile machine does some really diverse training even if he logs 135 miles a week. Yes, he a national level athlete, but still it won't hurt us slower ones to diversify our training somehow. Winter weather has treated us Finnish runners well since the temperature has steadily been below freezing and snow provides some grip. Not at the fast pace, but in general conditions could be way worse.

Today I sneaked out to another cold (7F) morning run and saved energy for this evening's stairs and core workout. Sweetie is now taking the lead of the core part which means serious business and some nice pain.

12/20/2009

Weekend is soon over

Yesterday was a bit warmer (from -4F to 20F) and accordingly roads were more slippery. Then I had no other change than run a tempo run monitored by the heart rate and partly slippery snow - and of course my current shape. That being said yesterday's tempo wasn't such a flow as it should be, but it was a start.

Today I ran 12.5 miles and was pretty happy that I'm not around Columbia, MD right now... Weekly miles: 57.

12/18/2009

Two ez days

Yesterday morning it was only chilly (7F + wind = -10F). I ran only 6.2 miler and freezed myself all over. Too few layers... This morning it was closer to evil, since temperature was -4F, and again nice winter breeze made my skin feel less summerish. But it is the current reality... and again the distance was 6.2 miles.

12/16/2009

Noisy Snow

Morning: Ez 6 miler with sweetie. We both head- and tailwind (and 10F). The first combination was pretty cold.

Evening: I ran from the hospital to home. Had a nice tailwind and I rolled the first 6.2 miles 40.20 with easy effort. The whole distance was ~9 miles at 6.30-6.40s and snow was making that nice noise under my shoes.

12/15/2009

A New Week

It snowed on Sunday morning. Then it snowed a little more during the day, and in the evening was the same. In the morning we ran back to my home (10 miles) in slightly slippery conditions. I accelerated an extra 3.2 miler (sub 6.20s) and was pretty happy with that. Then we biked back. We had get our bikes to home - just to be ready for commuting. Now instead of standing extra hour or two jammed on Capitol Beltway, I have to use only ten minutes by bike. Of course in winter commuting is bit colder, but at least I'm moving forward the whole time. Oh, weekly mileage was 50 miles.

Yesterday morning was a little colder (10 F), but scenery is almost like it should be - snowy. Due to tight schedule I had time only for a miserable 3 miler. Today is stair and core time.

12/12/2009

Rock Bottom?

Running-wise I have seen plenty. But today I couldn't face mirror. Yes, there has been many exhausting and mentally consuming things going on in my life during the last 5 weeks, but still running tempo 6.2 miles @ 6.00 pace is too much even for an old fart like me. And I'm not accepting any excuse based on the course. I'm just 3-4 minutes slower than before our trip to the US. However, I'm happy that I was able make this restart today. In few weeks I WILL be faster.

Tomorrow I gotta find a tv set around 3 PM, since there's a chance to watch European XC Champs (from Dublin, Ireland) live. Wohoo!

12/11/2009

Tough times

It seems to be extremely hard to get back with the routines. I'll accept a less-than-usual December but after New Years Eve it would be more than welcome that things would roll again as they used to. Basically it's up to myself... After Tuesday's punishment I ran a double 3.2 miles + 10 miles. Both easy of course. Yesterday I did nothing. Workout-wise that is.

Tomorrow I'll do some tempo - maybe 6.2 miles or less.

12/08/2009

Shortcut to Pain

Damn! After today's (almost 3 hrs) workout I'm ready to suggest the following. In order to find instant, but good muscle pain follow these steps:
  1. Neglect the majority of core exercises during the next 2.5 years.
  2. Neglect all of the possible stairs exercises (jumps, running) during the next 2.5 years.
  3. When the steps 1 and 2 are achieved, do 2 hours intense workout including both stairs and core exercises.
  4. Enjoy the gooooood pain.
Results may vary.

On the Verge of Getting back

Last week's mileage was miserable. I had time and energy to run only 38 miles which is nothing. But last two weeks have been messy and exhausting. Yesterday I had my 37th birthday, and today I'll try to get back to my normal routines. This evening I meet a group of triathletes and join their stairs' workout followed by circuit training (basically core exercises added with some 400s and 800s).

Next "real" workout will take place on Saturday. Then it's tempo time.

12/06/2009

Another longish run

Where's the snow? It seems that lots of it is now covering Columbia, MD and the Metric Marathon is - once again - close to get cancelled. Luckily, we don't have snow here. Scenery is bit boring: grey and wet, but snowless. Today's mileage was 15 (@ easy pace ... and still I felt tired). Today's route took us to Ruissalo (Island close to Turku) on same paths where the legendary Paavo Nurmi ran back in a day.

12/04/2009

Busy week

It's already Friday. Running has been on/off -type of effort during this week. Yesterday morning the temperature was low 20s, and the scenery was frosty. It looked like snow!

We received keys to our home on Monday and after that we have been quite busy. Now the majority of our furniture is back home - like we are - but nothing is yet in the right place. It doesn't matter at all, since home is home. I thought that I would have time and energy to do at least one harder workout this week, but that turned out to be an illusion. I'll try it next week. Accordingly, all my runs have been easy at slow/pedestrian pace. My dad was transferred to other hospital and they started the long rehab. It will take months, but that is the only option.

Guys! Good luck with Metric Marathon on Sunday!

12/01/2009

Rough November

Last month was only 220 miles. It should have been little more, but it wasn't. I don't care so much about that now. This month will be similar - fulfilled with unscheduled runs and workouts. Now I'm just happy to be back home and approach slowly the cultural shock which is waiting for us.

Yesterday: easy 6.2 miler.
Today: no running.

11/29/2009

Longish Run

Back to basics. Today it meant a longish run with Mikko and Pasi. As I recalled when Mikko takes the lead it takes us in woods, on gravel roads, muddish tracktor trails, and of course through someones' backyards (luckily, guns are not an issue here). I fell down only twice which I mind a good result. In all I ran 14+ miles (@ 7.30 pace). I also logged a 6 miler last night just to let some steam out. It felt good. 

This pretty unusual week was 42 mile (that's only half of Mark's mark for this week, but he has Boston in his sight).

11/27/2009

Woodchip trails!!!

Thursday: Yet another 6.2 miler here and there close to my childhood home. Weather was quite similar to the one that I had to left behind in Maryland.

Friday: Morning run took place on a woodchip trail. Enjoyed so much that I even did some sort of fartlek. Trails was wet and heavy, but legs were excited and mind pretty calm. It was a good moment during the present period of time. I haven't slept too much lately.

11/25/2009

Old faithful

After travelling around 13 hrs and then spending 5.5 hrs with my father in hospital I was pretty exhausted and didn't run at all. I was and am physically and mentally pretty exhausted in general. Today I ran the same 6.2 mile loop which I just to ran daily 15-20 years ago. It was a nice feeling. I also gave up my plans for training and will proceed after things are more stable.

Keep on running, guys!

11/23/2009

Lake Centennial

Since we were staying at Jason's, the opportunity to run around Lake Centennial one more time was unavoidable. So we ran an easy 4 miler in nice crispy weather. Lots of squirrels were enjoying the same weather.

Now I'm again packing and at the same I hope that I might see some bits of the NCAA I XC Champs. Then it's time set my watch to Finnish time.

11/21/2009

Good Bye America!

In the morning we ran to the Olympic Stadium which of course nowadays offers a venue for baseball. After we got back I reserved a flight to Finland to see my father. That also means that this run was my last one in the US - before the next in some distant future.

For all of you DC-Baltimore area runners who I've met during our stay - I wish you enjoyable and fast mileage. Carpe Diem!

11/20/2009

Day 3 - still stuck in Atlanta

Our morning jog was ~7 miles in the Mid- and Uptown Atlanta. After we finished news told us that Peachtree was partly closed due to a suspicious package at the Temple.

In the evening I went to gym and ran a 5 mile tempo run (29.20) on treadmill. With 4+ miles warm up and cool down today was 16+ miles.

In the morning I received unfortunate news. My father had a stroke and he's now hospitalized. Depending on his condition our stay in the US will last to mid-December or only couple of hours. I feel broken, but hopeful.

11/19/2009

Day 2 - Stuck in Atlanta

EASY! Easy was the morning word, since I was just tired and a little bit more tired. We ran only ~4 miles here and there.



This is going to happen rather soon. I'm an old fart.

11/18/2009

Road trip - Day 1

Hah. After spending over 11 hrs in a car we sneaked out for a run at the hotel's gym. It's sick - running in gym I mean. I did only 4.5 miles of whic 3.1 were sub 6.30s (last mile 5.25). Didn't have time to eat too much junk food today, but there is still enough time to correct that. Tomorrow I'll have a chance to see Atlanta by foot.

11/17/2009

Different 3 weeks

Today was our last one in Columbia, MD between the second week in Dec. I had time only for an easy 6 miler (3x100m).

Tomorrow we will start our road trip which means running only now and then: http://lastdaysofpontiac.blogspot.com/

11/16/2009

Sunny Monday

5:30 AM: An easy 6-miler. Then some driving to Bayonne, NJ and back. 2 nights to the road trip and my hamstrings are already done.

11/15/2009

Pretty nice

When the temperature is all of sudden 60 degrees and sun is shining, you gotta confess that it's a nice morning. Today was just like that. We ran an ez 8 miler (we also spotted Izzy and Mark running tempo - they were fast like wind ).

Life's good!

11/14/2009

2nd last Bagel Run

Like on our first Bagel Run we were last by 1-2 minutes today. Catching others usually means way faster pace than one has wished for. Our first delay took place two years ago. But today we knew a shortcut which eased our "pain". We saw Carlos passing the horizon just before hitting the street after making the shortcut. Then after awhile I was running with a huge group (Carlos, Tom, Bob, Mark, Stephen, Seth, Shawn, Adam, and somebody). The pace was pretty moderate, so I got to enjoy my second last Bagel Run in the US (as far as we know our future at the moment) in a nice athmosphere. Carlos, Mark and I ran 13 miler which was just enough for me. Of course these darn hamstrings died during the last mile, and sitting/standing have been pretty painful activities during the afternoon. That also means that I won't run any races tomorrow. So I'll just concentrate on our farewell party. 

After the run we gathered to Bagel Bin and chatted there for some moments. Good memory. Thanks guys!

11/11/2009

Workout Wednesday ... sort of

In the morning I had again a nice chance to pace sweetie. She did 5 mile tempo run with warm-up and cool down. That produced decent ~8 miles. In the rainy and rather cold evening I joined HCS group (Seth, Luis, Carlos, and Mark) and did around 9 miles. Good day.

11/10/2009

Tuesday

Morning: ez 6.2 miler with sweetie. Didn't hurt so much.

Afternoon: 6.2 miler (6.30/mile) + gym by myself with someone else's hamstrings. Hurt little more than in the morning. In addition, I almost got hit by a car - twice. Again if you have an extra pair of not-out-worn hamstrings suitable for distance running, please let me know.

11/09/2009

Rest

Today is dedicated to rest. In addition to finalizing my last research proposal during our stay here, my only physical activity will be some sort of core workout in the evening. The recent news let me know that Finland may be the host of the European T&F Championships in 2012. It remains to see what sort of event it will be since it takes place only couple weeks before the Olympic Games in London, [edit:] of which only the latter provides marathons to watch.

11/08/2009

Heavy Sunday

Today was a blast. First, I almost missed the weekly race / hard workout that promised to run with Mark. We have two clocks on the wall, and the one which shows the present time seems to be stuck. So instead of warm-up run, I drove down to Longfellow ES. I'm willing, but I'm not going to use that as an excuse for disasterous run. But even as a training run today's 10k sucked pretty badly. Oh well, you gotta start somewhere, right? Mark PRed on that course which means that he's on the right track for Phoenix and Boston.

After this exhausting aging experience I found myself on bike. The weather was so nice that there was no chance to skip that opportunity. Now we are ready to pack them for their long trip to Finland.

Weekly mileage was 65.

11/07/2009

Bagel Run

Hmmm.... I think that today was our second last Bagel Run. It's sad. BUT today's run was pretty nice. We had a big crew (Stephen - yeah he's back, Tom, Seth, Kent - yeah he's back too, Mark, Pam and Jason) running in front, and the pace was - again - decent mainly because of Pam. I did around 14.5 miles (@6.35/mile) with Jason and Kent, and ended up at the Bagel Bin drinking Diet Pepsi (thanks Jason). To be honest, this is one of the best ways to start your Saturday/weekend!

11/05/2009

Clutter-free Thursday

Another nice crispy morning. Great! I paced sweetie's tempo run. Felt bit tired at the beginning, but after first mile everything was easy and relaxed. Maybe that was because the second half of the first mile is uphill. That's called a life without mysteries.

Damn. The avoidability of our moving back to Finland is at hand. The tiny amount of our stuff seems to be packed in those boxes behind my back. I've been following Ben's lead here and tried to be as clutter-free as possible. So lots of stuff has been recycled or just donated away. In general, this moving thingy seems to suck more than my slow race pace. Think about that.

11/04/2009

"Workout" Wednesday

Morning: easy 3 miles in a crispy weather.

Evening: accelerating ~9 miles with the HCS crew (Mark, Tom, Izzy, and Seth). Evenings seem to be pretty dark.

11/03/2009

Like a painting

This was one of the best mornings ever. Almost crispy weather added with beautiful and colorful sunrise. Not bad, not at all. We ran an easy 6+ miler which I'm going to repeat that (+ gym session) in the afternoon. This Fall won't suck!

11/02/2009

Extremely short XC season

In the US everybody is running XC in Fall. So I had to do it as well. A race called Run Through the Grapevine was on our schedule last year and that experience was so unique that there was no chance to skip it this year. Yesterday's race provided us a muddy, slippery and ridiciously hilly circumstances. And lots of eating. Again it's better for me to pay less attention in the time/pace and just enjoy the nice feeling of the shortest XC season ever. It lasted for one day. Week was 63 miles and October was only 174 miles.


Today I have time only for one run and luckily it's already done. And then the quote: Americans are like everybody,” Robert K. Cheruiyot said. “It’s not like before. They are now very strong. So I knew that Meb and all the Americans out there, they are very strong.”

10/31/2009

Bagel Run

I like this. I like the feeling when your legs are more and more co-operative, and when the amount of pure pain does not wear your body down when running easy runs. This morning we ran another Bagel Run without bagels. I ran with Tom, Andy, Mark, Tim and Lady X (name unknown) for the first 7 miles after which I continued with Andy. I ran 13 miler (@ average pace of 6.25) and did not feeling a thing.

In other words, I negatively assisted tomorrow's XC race by running too fast today. You get this smart only through years of experience.

10/30/2009

Fartlek

Smelly Friday? No. I challenged myself to run @ faster pace the first time since Bmore marathon relay. Well, someone could also claim that my pace there wasn't so fast, and I wouldn't have anything to say about that. But the reality was and is what you see. Today I felt just fine doing 5x3 min. with 2 min rest jog. Afterwards I even noticed that the pace (5.40-5.13) was a little faster than I expected. So I can already now cite O'Shea Jackson a.k.a. Ice Cube: "Today was a Good Day".

It is snowing back home....

10/29/2009

Time flies

After all, I did two runs yesterday which was pretty nice. In the morning I sneaked out for an easy 3 miler + 5x100m strides. Then I did my now-usual gym workout before I left to spend my valueable hours on Capitol Beltway. In the evening I met with guys for a normal Wednesday group run. It felt just great. No remarkable pain => nothing to complain! Our bodies are - after all - build for distance! Good read.

Today I ran 5 miler and hope that I have enough time for another one in the evening. Tomorrow I'll do some fartlek. I'm really excited about Sunday's NYC marathon. If it is really going to be Sell's last major marathon, I should consider driving to NYC to watch the race...

10/27/2009

What?

Tuesday is just about to turn into Wednesday. Time is flying. Today I had time only for one run, since I have been revising one article to be submitted to the final round asap. The run itself was so painful experience that it was pretty easy to neglect its second counterpart in the evening. Tomorrow I will have to spend some extra hours on beltway, but I'll do my best in order to hurry to HCC for another group run.

But Thursday is always better, right?

10/26/2009

Not like any other Monday

This was a nice Monday for awhile. Two easy runs and added with a gym session in the morning. In addtion, todays comprised couple of hours in a car. I returned my office keys, and accordingly visited Fairfax campus first time in few weeks. I have to confess that foilage does not spoil the scenery... I had planned some sort of tempo repeats for the evening, but instead I just ran 6 miles without a watch.

10/25/2009

Course preview

I really did NOT remember the special nature of the Grapevine XC race which takes place next week. Today I had a chance to join Jason on his way to check out the course and run a little over there. Due to my scarce memory capacity I had totally forgotten what to expect, but a picture of challenge lives strong in the back of head the rest of the week. I'm sure that the course was sleeping today, and it will unleash itself next Sunday. At least that's what my hamstrings told me to expect. 9 miles at pedestrian pace.

10/24/2009

Conference

No running on Friday nor on Saturday due to the conference in Arlington. Yesterday I had my alarm waking me up @ 4:30 AM, but I did have enough energy to go running (=what a wuss). Maybe today I'll have a chance to sneak out for a run after I've spend the afternoon in D.C with couple European colleagues.

One of my heroes, Brian Sell, is running his last serious marathon in NYC according to Runner's World.

10/22/2009

My brain hurts

After couple easy days I chose to continue with an easy day. Sweetie and I ran 6.2 miler (51.20) and then I continued with some exercises in order to get this aging body in some order. It's tough work with uncertain outcomes... Oh, if anybody knows any time machines available with reasonable price, please let me know.

No. It's just talk. After missing 3-4 years of the "active years" due injuries I just gotta be happy with current circumstances no matter the amount of pain involved. Running Times magazine had a good article on aging. I think that it's the first time when I have paid any attention to this subject. Am I too late?

Fortunately, the brain hurting thingy is more work- than running-related...

The afternoon jog (5 miles, ~6.57/mile) felt much better than the one in the morning. I even started to invent new Finnish XC Series purely because I envy XC's popularity here.

10/21/2009

No workout Wednesday, just running

Easy 3-miler + gym workout. Hamstring are already feeling better which of course does not suck. This evening I'll again join THE group at HCC. Hopefully others are still tired from marathon and stuff.

Well, Mark (marathon PR man) and Carlos weren't so tired, but still pace was easy and enjoyable. No particular problems with hamstrings. That's pretty ok.

10/20/2009

There there

The fall is usually the easiest season in training. All the work and races are done and there is only recreational running in your schedule. But when you are a recreational runner, what you are supposed to do? I don't know, but I'm learning.

In any case, it's maybe better not to pay too much attention to this kind of details, and just enjoy running as such. Today's morning shake out (5 miles) was just that, a pleasure fulfilled with familiar pain. And I'm still smiling.

10/19/2009

Getting back on the road

Last week was exhausting. We had Finnish quests and some driving to do. Additionally, life was less ordinary since I didn't run so much. Due to current hamstring problems I took couple days off and started to do some strengthening exercises. As of now, I feel better - lower ab pain has decreased without inflammatories and hamstrings don't hurt so much while sleeping.

Still something curbs my enthusiasm for running and that scares me. Is this the end? I hope not.



In your face non-running season!!!!

I'm back. I had to sneak out (6.2 miles, 42.30) because of the weather (and Jole and Luca, thanks guys!). Legs are hurting, yes, but that's partly due to morning's activities at the gym(!?!??!).

10/13/2009

Back home

We began our short road trip on Saturday morning after running in Baltimore - both ran the relay. My running sucked (no news), but it was compensated by Tom's, Carlos's and Izzy's efforts and we won the whole relay. After that we packed ourselves in the White Flame (Pontiac) and found ourselves running in Central Park, at the Niagara Falls and in Philadelphia.

Now it's good to be back. Hamstrings told me so. At the moment running does not make me happy.

10/07/2009

BRF

Baltimore Running Festival is soon here. Accordingly, I spend a short moment on the track this morning. I'm again desperately trying to get these legs back to work. Track was slightly slippery after rain, and hamstrings gave a notice. Baltimore's event reminded me that it's been awhile since I've been running any type of relay.

In Finland we have one legendary road relay every spring called Karhu-viesti (about 36 miles and seven legs, 33-years old event). Its competitive dimension has been declining at the same pace with the number of competitive Finnish runners, but still it has own comfort for us. Another big thing is the Finnish Team Relay Championships. In this annual event distance runners have two races, 4x800m and 4x1500m. Nowadays I'm only capable for timing other's efforts, but back in the day it was pretty fun race. At least when you were awarded with Championship medal.

Anyway, I'm really waiting for Saturday morning.

10/05/2009

Where's the spinach?

Army Ten Miler went mostly like I expected, but I was 60 seconds slower than I hoped for. Left hamstring and gluteus are now pretty much done, and accordingly left leg went almost dead after the first "hill" close to legendary Watergater hotel. After than it was really hard to keep the pace up. In addition to not being in PR-shape, this kind of defect slows me down too much.

Now it is sure that IF I once more want to feel fast, I'll have to start to do some serious strength training. It's the aging that is not avoidable even if you would eat spinach!

But the race itself was nice. Even if the course is not as flat as Cherry Blossom, it is pretty neat to start and finish at the Pentagon. After ATM we drove down to Fountainhead Park in Virginia and MTB'ed there almost 3.5 hrs. Today I'm going to run at all, since left hamstring is too sore.

10/01/2009

Feeling just fine

"Workout Wednesday" was much more pleasant this week than last week. I'm learning quick I think. Without all you can eat buffet running was nice and feeling was pretty good. Suprisingly good actually. Mark, Bob, and Seth, however, seem to be ready for some rumble in Baltimore marathon. That's good.

Today I kept it easy, and similar schedule will continue for couple days. Last month was only 220 miles, since I had some trouble to deal with.

9/29/2009

Tuning up

Army 10-miler is getting closer. Due to lost confidence I'm not sure what to expect. Still, I had quite nice tune up workout this morning. I did 3x2000m'400m (each 6.40) with rendo and easy effort. I felt way better than before Philly even if I ran a bit faster. It's not that bad. Yesterday I ran twice and did some type of core workout.

I just realized that I'll miss my chances to watch Half-Marathon WCs or Chicago marathon online on October 11th. World champs will provide an interesting setting: six tough Kenyans (2 under 59, rest under 60 minutes), Zersenay Tadesse and a potential NR for USA since Ritz is around. Then in Chicago among others there is a Finn, Mårten Boström, chasing after a qualification for next Summer's European Championships.

9/26/2009

Bagel run with bagels

Today we had a nice traditional bagel run. After a 13-miler (which you may call longish) we had some bagels. Of course we did not have any money with us, but thanks to Jason we were soon eating bagels and sipping Diet Pepsi. Not a bad way to start your Saturday.

9/25/2009

Lactic acid

Yesterday after spending too much time in traffic (in D.C. due to some police activity, on I-66, and on beltway) I had to sneak out for a bike ride. This time it was short (21 miles), but less easy (average pace 20mph). I really enjoyed the lactic acid which tried to slow me down. This morning I ran an easy 3 miler (+ short hill sprints). Keeping it easy.

9/23/2009

Whatever buffet + any type of running effort = bad news

Today I had to sneak out for a "All you can eat" -buffet. What a brilliant idea! Really, it was. However, I paid the dues instantly when I joined HCS crew at the HCC this evening. I think that rest of crew is still running the Club Challenge course and I'm back home already. And only one to blame is me. In addition to starting too fast and too early after a half-marathon, my stomach also had some influence to notorious bad feeling during the run.

Oh and something totally different happened today. In the afternoon I took a wrong turn and instead of driving to the National Cryptologic Museum I reached NSA's gate which is really wrong place to be for legal alien like me. My broken English blew our cover instantly, and we got under an investigation for 40-45 minutes. Our car was inspected as well. As a cherry on the top of the cake, I had forgotten in our trunk two Chinese flags, which we got in Philadelphia during some sort of Chinese celebration. They didn't look too great on our resume. Luckily, our short visit on wrong grounds didn't cause any more trouble and we were able to see the Enigma.

9/22/2009

Looking in a view

I think that I got over Philly. Once again watching to the mirror helped in reaching the reality. In general, for an old fart it should be rather easy. Only thing that still bothers me is that the work done during the summer and the outcomes are not in line. That equals with wrong type of training of course, but I have had fun. For the remaining years on the road I just gotta find my own way to find a balance between workouts and rest, and maybe then get back to closer to where I used to be. I already checked some races for next year: Berlin half-marathon in March, Karhu Road Relay in April, Finnish XC Nationals in May, and then the Berlin marathon in September.


Legs were still pretty sore this morning. Yesterday we biked an easy ride (1 hour), which was a good choice instead of running.

9/21/2009

Dreams build on false grounds

I almost set my racing flats on fire yesterday. But bad results are NOT their fault. Anyway I'll take couple of days off. If I can.

9/20/2009

That's it

Today sucked even more than I could imagine.

9/18/2009

PDR

On Sunday I'll be testing my current shape in Philadelphia. To be honest, I had way higher hopes for that race earlier this season, but this damn reality has indicated that... I'll be happy for being able to run PDR. Last year I was extremely disappointed with my race - this year anything goes, but still I trust that this summer's work is helping me in beating last years disappointment. It's mental.

Yesterday I sneaked on track to run 2000m (6.55) and 1000m (3.20) as a tune-up. They felt like... This morning was bit easier and running felt stronger (during hill sprints and strides).

9/16/2009

No workout Wednesday

I'll pass this evening's trail workout. Just in the name of tapering. Yes, I'm tapering for Philly. I'm sure it does not change the outcome, but the summer has been tough with no results. Maybe this trick will work. Today's program included easy shake out and short steep hill sprints + some strides.

9/15/2009

...about to lose my temper!

Once again the Finnish Athletics Federation is in a middle of taking a hit in seeing the future. Our national distance star, steeplechaser Jukka Keskisalo and his coach will not continue their co-operation partly because FAF's offer is not enough to support to keep them on top. Not only Keskisalo improved the NR (8.10,67), but he also managed to be 5th in the IAAF's World Tour this summer. Many know that there is a certain history between his coach and the FAF, but I sincerely hope that those issues are not the case here anymore. In addition, there may be several other, non-monetary related reasons involved here as well, and they are handled among the designated parties here.

But IF it is a question about money... I've realized that the reality of top-level distance runners in the US is not only dancing on the roses what comes to the money. The latest news let us know that it isn't even the case in Barhain or Qatar (former Kenians haven't received their money as promised...). But at least here in the US you have several runners at or close to the top-level (=world class), of which at least some will have enough support to test their limits. We have only one (1), and now there is no money to take care of this part of his future. Of course he will be able to do the coaching by himself, but when your level is at the highest top, you surely need someone to consult with. He is capable in the media, and therefore one could expect that input of one euro would produce at least 1.5 euros as a return (in form of increased ticket sales or number of new athlete passes). Luckily, his personal future as a runner will be secured, but in all the whole picture is now.... Oh and did I mention that there might be other issues than money involved here. Oh man, in any case this sucks! Unfortunately, I'm not Uncle Scrooge either so only what I have to offer is my whining.

[edit:] Ok. Now I heard an tv interview related to this case. I was partly wrong. It seems that it is not only a question about FAF's willingness to get financially involved in their co-operation, and the question is now more about several other issues related to life situation and such factors. Still this was not so good news. But bad news are part of life, right?

Then something else: Edward Norton is going to run the NYC marathon.

And my easy days continue as the Philly Distance Run is getting closer...

9/13/2009

Easy on a Sunday morning

Both hamstring are now pretty tense. They just went through 5k race with tiny up- and downhills. But they really deserved it. I ran Police Pace 5k, and really had to race with Peter K. and Mike C. Peter caught me around 2.5k mark, but I was able to respond to his surge at 4k mark. While both hamstrings were whinning like me, I was still able to keep my pace to the finish (16.15). It wasn't any PR race, but I'm still pretty happy with the effort and the outcome. At least it was under 17 minutes...

9/12/2009

Undecided

After two easy days legs are mysteriously heavy. This is partly expected and partly new experience. I vaguely remember that easy days did make your legs feel light, not heavy. Too many easy days made them heavy, yes, but not only this fast. Aging is learning???

I originally planned to race the RM Invitational 5000m in Baltimore today, but after all I wasn't ready to face my demons on track. I'm such a wuss. Sorry Ryan! Anyway I need some faster effort to wake up, and I noticed Police Pace 5k which takes place tomorrow. Maybe I gotta try that one. At least the paths are now enough slippery so I can hurt my body even more.

9/10/2009

In the middle of the week

Yesterday included two moments of running. In the morning I ran an easy shake out with sweetie, and in the evening I had again an opportunity to run trails with HCS's group. To be honest, that's one of those things and moments that I'm going to miss very much after we return back to Finland. But that's then, not now. Yesterday we ran at moderate pace, but there was a moment where pace was slightly faster (~5.40s).

Today I'll take it easy - a shake out and core workout. Philly Distance Run is almost here.

9/08/2009

Workout Tuesday

I see the future by repeating the same routines every week.

So: 6:30 AM, HCC's track, cruising 6x1000m'300m (3.12-3.08), feeling rendo, pretty nice weather. Yesterday I felt rather heavy partly because of Sunday's rather long bike ride. Today was better, but hamstrings were tense.

9/06/2009

Sportish weekend

Yesteday I ran only 16 miles during the Bagel Run. "Only" comes from the fact that others (Seth, Mark, Paul etc.) spent 20 miles on the road. Today we sneaked out for a bike ride which eventually was 47 miles long. Then we found ourselves in the Patapsco Park. Running easy.

9/04/2009

Workout Friday

6:45 AM, 5M tempo run (27.30, 5.31/mile), pretty nice weather, feeling rendo (=relaxed). I knew already during the warm up that today's tempo run will be dictated by me, and not by the weather. What a joy that is.

Matt Tegenkamp just ran 12.58,56 at the Van Damme Memorial in Belgium. US distance running is strong! And a lonely Finn, Jukka Keskisalo continues with his summer ever.

9/03/2009

Not so bad Thursday

I did a morning run with Carlos and Kent(!!!! Oh yes, he's coming back). I was clearly slowing them down, but it's just all right for them to keep it easy sometimes. Hah. Then in the afternoon (like two hours ago) I finished the current research proposal and decided to celebrate that with an easy run and some strides. Life seems the be divided into good, bad, and even worse days. Today is a good day. I have almost forgot how badly Sunday sucked.

Thanks to Seth I familiarized myself with a race which has the coolest logo ever.

9/02/2009

"Workout" Wednesday

The usual: morning shakeout and evening trail run. In the evening I ran easy pace run with guys and increased the pace slightly during the last 10 minutes. Nothing fast, but something. Legs are hurting.

9/01/2009

Temptation

I couldn't resist the temptation of being on the road. Felt good, but legs were feeling like after a marathon. Easy 7.5 miles (one mile with Izzy).

8/31/2009

A less ordinary Monday

This day is dedicated for rest, a passive one, which sets me free for any physical activity.

8/30/2009

Ready to retire

A bad day, bad race - worst 10-miler ever. Why? I can't handle two pathetic races in a row?

This sucks (but I'm again back from my early retirement).

8/28/2009

Easy days

Two easy days behind. Legs are still feeling bit tired, but there isn't so much to do right now. Instead of whining, I have to mention to great achievements from Zürich. Finnish Jukka Keskisalo improved the NR into 8.10,67. In addition, Dathan Ritzhein ran new AR, 12.56,27! Dude x 2!

Of course I missed both races, but luckily they are soon available at universalsports.

8/26/2009

Workout Wednesday

Not really, but the topic sounds better this way.

In the morning we did with sweetie an easy 4+ miler, and in the evening I met again with guys to do a nice run on trails. That's the way how Wednesday should go. Tom was back, and his presence usually mean fast pace. However, Carlos was PRing during the first leg. He was flying. Still I managed to take over Mt. Nasty. To be honest that wasn't a race, but I just wanted to have a enough time for a short visit at the "Forest Administration". After that I was done. Again. The last part of the CCBC route - from Lost Lake to Swing Bridge - was bit unexpected painful experience with almost pedestrian pace, but that's life. Now it is time for easy days before Annapolis.

8/25/2009

Workout Tuesday

6:30 AM, track, extreme cold (65F) added with a nice sunrise. Legs were stiffer than week ago, but I managed to run 5x1000m'400m with rather rendo (=relaxed) feeling. However, both hamstrings are pretty tight which means that once again I really have to stretch more. But it's so boring. I had scheduled a core workout for yesterday, but instead I found myself at the M&T Stadium among 60.000+ people watching Ravens vs. Jets. Maybe I do some core exercises today. Or maybe not.

In addition Nate Jenkins's after-the-marathon interview (he had pretty tough race), one other interesting interview was Matt Tegenkamp's where he shortly talks about the tv coverage of distance races here in the US. And I thought that the scarce visibility of distance running is only a problem in Finland. Teg is a professional athlete, who gets paid in his work and still he is worried about the future. All in all, US distance runners had a wide participation in Berlin, which as such already indicates the future potential embedded in their work.

Even if Finns have Jukka Keskisalo (8th in steeples in Berlin) and had Janne Holmén (he ended his great marathon running career two moths ago), we have clearly lost our competitive edge in general - even at the European level. We really respect those national top-level Finnish guys who put a lot of effort in their training, but in general I think that in Finland we are still watching too much backwards (1970s) without accepting the enourmous work load still laying ahead. Where is the much needed knowledge spillover to get more and more potential runners on the road and track? Old geezers are buzzing behind the corner, of course, but do they have any wisdom that could be provided to make distance running popular again... Many concentrate on blaiming other sports for taking away the potential runners, but that's not the solution. Blaiming others... To me the team-based approach - partly due to college running and very supportive pro-teams - has been one of the visible secrets enabling the current upswing in the US distance running. That kind of approach (excluding the college part) should also be applied in Finland, right? Most likely yes...

Ok. Now back to work.

8/23/2009

Hangover

T&F World Championships are over. No more Tour de France either. I'm feeling empty.

This morning we ran to watch Iron Girl at Centennial Lake after the women's WC marathon's top ten list was shown. After that we hurried back home to watch men's 5000m and 800m and women's 1500m final. Then it was time for easy bike ride (33 miles). Next up... all you can eat buffet? Weekly mileage: 64.

8/22/2009

Bagel Run

No bagel, but pretty good run. Guys (Mark, Stephen, Paul etc.) are still on the road to do their 20-miler, while I'm at home, happy and tired after a 16-miler (7.03/mile). Before the run I was able to follow the first half of men's World Champs marathon - things are not the same that they used to be. They started again hitting sub 3.00/km pace like nothing... now it's time for breakfast and some universalsports.com (I just only yesterday realized that Steve Ovett himself is their commentator).

8/21/2009

Workout Friday

After watching men's 50km race walk for a moment I was ready for some tempo run. Again at 6:30 AM we were heading to the Bagel Run course for a 5-miler. This morning I felt pretty good, and accordingly I ran over a minute faster (27.57, 5.35/mile) than previously. Not so bad. Weather was of course better, but still the overall feeling was better as well. Next up.... some serious cheering during women's 1500m and men's 800m semis and of course for Finnish javelin throwers!!!

8/19/2009

Beaten by Mt. Nasty, beaten by this weather

This weather sucks. Big time.

Morning shake out (6+ miles) was quite usual - not bad, nothing extraordinary. But in the evening I hated every single stride that I took on trails. Mt. Nasty took this round. Easily. Yesterday I felt quite good, but today.... today was really much about balancing those feelings (back to normal?). WC's 1500m was an insane race, really typical championship race one could say.

8/18/2009

Workout Tuesday

It's only couple of hours until men's steeple final starts. Go Jukka!!!! [edit: Jukka was 8th with 8.14 - second best time ever in the fastest final ever... Ezekiel Kemboi 8.00,43]

Despite of that I found myself again on track at 6:30 AM. I planned to do 6x1000m ~3.15, but since I ran them slightly too fast (3.12-3.06) I did only five repeats - with rendo effort. The reason for not running the last repeat was that I wasn't willing to tweak my hamstrings. First, of course, I was suprised that am I really that wise that I'm thinking ahead. Then I was disappointed, but almost instantly remembered that Dieter Baumann also quitted his workouts "early" if he ran his repeats too fast. Well, he also had much more
powerful toothpaste than I'm using...

8/17/2009

The Unbearable Lightness...

I did my today's duty already and I'm pretty happy about. It was only easy 6-miler (6.43/mile) under somewhat bearable weather conditions. But then I just received an email from my sponsor. I've seem to forgot to send my annual report. That gives you a ruff picture what is on my schedule today. In addition to World Champs of course...

Yesterday we drove to Rock Creek Park (I've seen many praise related to that park on GRC's page) and ran a longish run here and there starting from "the line". After that we continued southward and hit the Mt. Vernon Trail (shorth version from RR Airport) by bike. After getting back to the car at least I was quite exhausted. Weather was over 95s the whole time and that's too much for a Finn. Last week was around 60 miles.


8/16/2009

The Beach

On Thursday evening we decided that it's finally time to go to the beach. So on Friday we found ourselves in a long, slowly moving line of cars heading to the resorts in Delaware. Conveniently we chose to drive to Dewey Beach since there was an opportunity to race on Saturday morning. This sounded so great beforehand.

However, during the actual race (which turned out to be a tempo run with declining pace) in a humid and pretty warm weather I regretted the whole decision to even take my racing flats with me. I crashed totally already after 2k which wasn't so uplifting. Fortunately, the rest of the day compensated that feeling quite effectively.

8/13/2009

Workout Wednesday and ez Thursday

I got back from Chicago in time Tuesday. AOM meeting was again an interesting event. Yesterday we ran an easy 4+ miler and in the evening I met guys on trail. I think that I PRed on both hills (Mt. Slayer and Nasty). However, during the last couple miles both calves were really sore, and later in the evening I was barely able to use my right leg. That's bad news because it has been my main support while running due to the problems with left achilles. So, the next run will be interesting...

This morning included a core workout. In addition to that, I'll run something easy later, since we decided to run 10k at the Dewey Beach on Saturday. It will be interesting to see how damaged I am currently. More interesting fact is that WCs are around the corner. Already on Saturday we will know who is the Nr. 1 woman of 10000m for the next two years.

8/11/2009

Another morning in Chicago

This morning I felt pretty sore and tired, but luckily I had time only for a 6-miler. Legs felt amazingly sore during the first half of the run, but on my way back I kept the pace at 6.30s, and then I felt fine. Another funny thing is that even in Chicago, in the Windy City with couple of million inhabitants, you may still run across with runners from Columbia, MD.

8/10/2009

Tempo reps in Chicago


Oh yes. Morning run (5x1000m with 2 min. rest jog, 3.21-3.16) on the Lakeshore trail in Chicago. Sun was rising, many recreational runners (including me, that's my category) around, some triathletes doing their swim in Lake Michigan. Life's good!

8/09/2009

No race

No 5k for me. Damn it. CTA's Brown Line metro was late by 30 minutes and after taking Red Line, I got lost in the "Northern" Chicago, but found my way to the starting line only 5 minutes late (registation was closed 35 minutes earlier). Winner ran 15.17 and third place ($100) was around 15.55.

Instant punishment (12 miles) is completed. I'm exhausted.

8/08/2009

Chicago

Chicago is warm and humid. I've heard stories about this and now I know that they are true. Tomorrow morning I'm most likely running that 5k race, if I find where it is, and if this weather is not getting crazier. Luckily, I was able to run around 9 miles in the morning under way better conditions.

Now I'm watching the lights of Trump Tower across the river. I normally dislike heights, but I find 19th floor as an entertaining alternative for the normal 4th floor. Oh, and this evening's Entrepreneurship Social meeting was fun and nutritive.

8/07/2009

Easy Friday

I had to change my plans. I ran this morning the normal 7.5 miler, but I will skip this evening's XC race. I planned to run it as a moderate tempo run, but after Sunday's bike "crash" my right ankle has been slightly out-of-order. In addition, Tuesday's track workout is still around... I might have an opportunity to run a faster 5k in Chicago on Sunday morning, so that's enough effort for rest of this week.

8/06/2009

Same ol' Thursday

Alan Webb moves to Oregon, the number of scientific articles is still growing fast, Paula Abdul left the building, and interest rates decline. But every Thursday I feel the same - tired, sore and filled with some kind of pain which is probably related to aging. Today I enjoyed these feelings for 7.5 miles (7.05/mile).

8/05/2009

The usual Wednesday medley

In the morning I ran an easy jog with sweetie. I included some short steep hill sprints which felt pretty heavy. It meant that afternoon's trail run was going to be heavy as well. And it was. Even if we decided to run the normal loop backwards, I still got my ass kicked. Weather was again enough humid. After all, it was a good day.

8/04/2009

Workout Tuesday

Sunday was a day off and instead of running we drove down to WV and mountainbiked for 2.5 hours - in muddy and wet conditions. But nice views they have over there... Yesterday legs were still hurting from Saturday's long run, and accordingly, easy 6+ miler was pure (good) pain.

Today I found myself on track already at 6:45 AM. Weather was much more pleasant than it has been during the last couple of weeks, and maybe that was the reason for extremely rendo feeling during the workout. I did 10x400m with 300m jog at faster pace (73.3-67.9) than 1.5 weeks ago. Nice!

8/01/2009

Long run

Today has been a good day and I'm sure that it will continue as such. 21 miles of running (6.49/mile) with Bob, Paul, Mark and Stephen, and now soon sweetie and I are heading for a hike or mountain biking somewhere in WV. Oh, and last month was around 300 miles. I'm actually feeling pretty good now.

7/31/2009

Tempo run

This morning was brutal for runners. Even if this trend of "bad" weather has been going on for couple of weeks already, today was something else. Accordingly, I got beaten by the humidity and slow legs. And all of this happened during a 5 mile tempo run (5.49/mile). I can't even imagine what would happen during a 10-miler...

But today's run is done and that is the best. In addition, universialsports.com will ease the pain with a live coverage from Stockholm, Sweden today.

7/30/2009

Just...

Today's only run was 6.2 miles (6.50/mile). I felt pretty tired, and to be honest - I'm really glad to back home.

7/29/2009

Wet Wednesday

What is wrong with this weather? When you open the door it's like entering a mouth of a cow. Well, I haven't yet been inside one, but I let myself assume that the general feeling would rather similar. After a morning jog of 4+ miles in the middle of this standstill weather I recalled a valuable lesson: NEVER enter a sauna, if it is not yet ready for having a sauna. Under other than optimal conditions (194-212F) the feeling would be quite close to sitting inside cow's mouth. And that is not refreshing at all.

Trust me on this one.

In the evening I'm heading to trails with guys. Mt. Nasty is waiting...

And she is still waiting. We chose to run the CCBC loop. After we came back to the finish (I had a hard run due to gastrointestinal problems) one of us was missing. So I had an opportunity to run a little more. Luckily, he was found before the darkness arrived. Before my stomach started to punish me on behalf of Mt. Nasty I felt pretty good. Today's mileage: 18.

7/28/2009

Workout Tuesday

7:00 AM, HCC's track, 6x1000m'400m (3.17-3.13), slightly too humid weather. In general I felt just ok, but more rendo (=relaxed) feeling would have been fine.

In a couple of hours
Universalsports.com has a live coverage from Monte Carlo Super-GP, where Finnish Jukka Keskisalo is aiming at the new Finnish NR (~under 8.12,60) in steeples. Hopefully that helps me to get rid of the post-TdF depression...

Edit: Damn it! It was so close. Keskisalo ran 8.12,93 (4th place). In addition, Monte Carlo/Monaco GP provided several good results and PRs for US runners.


7/27/2009

More and less

Couple years (21 years actually) between now and the last time when I biked more seriously makes it quite obvious that I have to learn fast. Yesterday's bike ride (with couple of hill sprints) and NO stretching didn't ease my way this morning. Damn! So next time I should not let myself enjoy the easy Sunday evening without stretching at the same time...

Today's culmination of sissyness was an easy 6-miler with 5x100m + stretching. In the evening I won't run so I'll have some time for core workout.

The World Masters Athletics Championships will begin tomorrow in Lahti, Finland. Last Summer I set a goal for running a XC race or marathon there, but after few setbacks I changed the plan. After my xxxx performance in Boston I should withdraw from marathon for good. So I will enjoy this event online from the US. It's better for us all.

Similarly, there is no chance that I'd be able to compete in the Finnish Nationals this year. They are on the next weekend AND I'm not even close to be qualified. Honestly, my chances to race there are pretty low nowadays and they are not increasing. In general, the best thing is that the number of registered/qualified distance runners has increased considerably from previous years. That is brilliant.

Last time I did manage to qualify for the Nationals was in year 2001. I started the 10000m final in a fever (w/ a temperature 102.5 F) and had to drop out at the 3000m mark. I thought that I was going to die right there on the track. As of now, I'm quite sure that starting that race has been my worst decision ever. So my friends and rivals, respect your health! On the other hand, I met my wife after that race, so that isn't so bad day after all. And luckily, there are plenty of other races available...

7/26/2009

Another long run

Not too long, but something - a longish run and "cool down" around 15 miles. I ran 7 miles with Seth and Nick. In the afternoon I rode with sweetie an easy bike ride (20+ miles with some hill sprints for no reason).

Weekly total was 63 miles.

7/25/2009

"Long" run

Yesterday's soccer game tired me out, even if I was only one spectator among 71.000. So today's long run was only 12.5 miles. Maybe I run another one tomorrow.

Great news from Finland told me that we got a new NR. Steeplechaser Jukka Keskisalo (who I met in Flagstaff in March) ran 2000m in time 5:00.32. Not bad for forthcoming World Champs in Berlin.

7/24/2009

Workout Friday

7:00 AM, track, 10x400m'300m (75.0-71.2), humidity, feeling great, mainly rendo. In the evening it is time for AC Milan vs. Chelsea, and tomorrow morning for a long run in B-More.

7/23/2009

Easy Thursday

Easy week continues => another easy morning jog 6+ miles. Hamstrings got really sore from yesterday's core workout + trails. Good job. Tomorrow something on track.

7/22/2009

Workout Wednesday

No running this morning, because this week is easy. Instead I had an opportunity to concentrate more on Wednesday's trail run just to compensate the lack of tempo run. We had a nice group of 8 runners and the pace was pretty good (~59.00 minutes with Mt. Slayer and Mt. Nasty). Weather wasn't that gentle, and I lost my skull and bones necklace. Damn it!

Oh, and in the morning I did some type of core workout after awhile. I decided to push it through the pain (in the lower abs). As of now I don't regret my decision at all.

7/21/2009

Tired Tuesday


Just an easy 6-miler for today. That's it. I'm tired.

7/20/2009

Mysterious Monday

Yesterday's highlights were both sportish (long run, bike ride) and cultural (STP). This morning, however, I woke up with a pretty sore body as I expected. As a result I ran only an easy 6-miler (7.05/mile). Luckily, running didn't feel so bad.

7/19/2009

Long Sunday

I retired from running yesterday simply because I can't handle the truth.

However, when I woke up my legs were eager for some miles. Therefore, today's schedule included instant punishment because of yesterday's performance. A long run, 16.3 miles (7.03/mile), followed by 40 miles bike ride (BWI-Annapolis-BWI). And then some Stone Temple Pilots. Week was 70 miles.

7/18/2009

Saturday + Twilighter

Morning shakeout for the evening - 3 miles with pedestrian pace. Legs feel sore and tired. Maybe also they are charged for the evening...?

Rockville Twilighter took place under easier circumstances than expected. Still I was only 17 seconds faster than last year. What happened? Nothing happened. The reason - me and my untrained engine. This was a good reality check.

7/17/2009

Easy Friday

Easy days continue. No running this morning, only PT and a massage. In the evening I'll run today's easy run on the XC course. I saw Kent this morning on his demanding road back to shape after a surgery. I'm sure that he'll be back anytime soon! Now I gotta watch how Jukka Keskisalo is doing in France (steeples).

And he did well. New PR 8.15 and he place third after the olympic champion Kemboi and olympic silver medalist Mekhissi.

7/16/2009

Another tired Thursday

Tired yes, but without any worries. After crawling through knifes ... or 6 miles I spent some moments stretching, which made me feel sleepy.

7/15/2009

Oh really?

Morning shakeout run was again 4+ miles with easy effort. In the evening we are again going to face the mighty power of Mt. Nasty. Then it's time to take it easy for couple of days in order to make it sure that I'll be able to f i n i s h Rockville Twilighter.

Yeah, in the evening we avoided both Mt. Slayer and Nasty during our 10-miler on trails. Oh and Izzy is fit, he is going to fly on Saturday...

7/14/2009

Nice Tuesday

I overslept twice today, and thus, I hit the track only at 7:00 AM. Running felt okay and I rolled 6x800m'400m (2.35-2.30) + couple of 200s. Nice and easy. Next up work and TdF - and Warped Tour.

7/13/2009

Rest/easy days continue

Another easy day with a pedestrian 4+ miler. In the evening it was time for some core training and stretching after short shakeout run and strides.

7/12/2009

Rest day

No running today. Just an easy bike ride, ca. 20 miles. Oh, and I realized that I have lately totally forgot the idea of rendo. In the morning I was volunteering at the Women's Distance Festival. It was again a pretty humid morning. Week was 62 miles.

7/11/2009

Bagel run

Bagel run felt almost as bad as a week ago. I was barely able to handle 13 miles. In addition, I couldn't keep up with others which made me feel even more tired and older.

7/10/2009

Workout Friday

Today I had a fresh start after 9 hours of sleep. In addition, I chose not to run in the morning, and that's why I had a double advantage to do my tempo run. Then I drove again to do today's steady-state run on BWI trail. Only thing is that weather seemed to be okay (=cloudy), but when I started to run, there was no clouds and VW's thermometer told me about 86F. Other than that today's HR moderated run was pretty okay - 6.2 miler in 36.30.

7/09/2009

Tired Thursday

It's maybe time to take couple of days off. Being alone - sweetie is travelling in Paris, France - has been exhausting. Too many movies and too few hours of sleep have done their job silently. So now I continously feel tired and sore. Again another sign that I'm getting old? Maybe yes. Morning jog was 6-miler (6.40/mile).

7/08/2009

Wednesday on the run

Morning jog was 3 miles at pedestrian pace. Simply because I was sore. New test NBs are rolling so morning's crawling was little easier than normally.

In the evening I hit trails with guys. We did the normal loop which means that both Mt. Slayer and Mt. Nasty offered their best. Following the example set by Jussi Veikkanen in Tour de France, I enjoyed the pleasures of Mt. Nasty (uncategorized) with pain and a win. Honestly, Carlos and Tom just let me run faster this time and enjoy the nice feeling of imaginary Polka Dot jersey.

7/07/2009

Tuesday tempo run

Morning run was 4+ miles with new NB test shoes. They fit like a glove and the ride feel great. Nice job. In the evening - after a day again spend among a huge pile of scientific articles - I drove to BWI trail and ran 3x2km tempo runs. They felt less easy, but times were close to planned (@ 5.35-5.25 pace).

Today's soundtrack has been non-metal.

7/06/2009

Heavy traffic

84 F and an easy 6-miler. Felt like ...

7/05/2009

Polka Dot Jersey

Today I felt better than I expected. The current Friday/Saturday combination was pretty exhausting. But the good feeling is not bad nowadays.

Due to Jussi Veikkanen's (a Finn) Polka Dot Jersey after today's Tour de France stage, I was about to hit the road by bike, and punish some hills. It's the first time when a Finn has won that Jersey... Then I'm even more happier for the fact that my friend Mika did well at Ironman Austria by placing at 6th place with time fo 8.28. He has sort of retired couple years ago, but now he has the way to keep him fit. Really fit to compete with other pro-triathletes...

Weekly mileage was 67 even if I was supposed to run less than last week. Stick to the plan???

7/04/2009

Heavy legs, free mind

I just arrived from a really tough Bagel Run. Pace and weather weren't bad, but these aging legs were really sore from yesterday. I ran 13 miles and now I hear sweetie calling me for a bike ride on the Columbia triathlon bike course (~26 miles). But life is good!

[Update:] I'm done. I'm totally tired.

7/03/2009

Friday

Morning jog was 3 miles with 3x100m strides. After that there was a short maintanance session with PT. In the evening I planning to run 5k tempo run again on XC course and then do some 800/400s and 200s.

Another fun XC tempo done. Slow, but fun. After that I did 5x400m (71-73)'300m + 4x200m (33-31) on track.

Wilde Lake HS XC course (map: Greg Schuler)

7/02/2009

Thursday stop

A pedestrian 6-miler. That's about it for today.

7/01/2009

Slow Wednesday

Damn, I hate humidity. Despite of disliking it, it provides me an excellent excuse for slow and laborious tempo run which I just finished. HR was way higher than earlier, while the pace was almost 10 seconds slower per km. Not even one stride that I took was easy today. Of course I should blame myself more than external factors. Early morning, low level of fluids, not enough energy... should these be taken into account before I start to accuse circumstances for not-so-good flow. Or am I already on a downward spiral even if I haven't yet really started to train?

In the evening I sneaked out for a 10-miler on trails. Ran slower than ever. Just because...

In addition to the day of Independence, weekend brings some interesting events. On Friday the legendary Bislett Games will take place in Oslo, Norway. Then on Sunday my buddy Mika is doing an Ironman in Austria.

6/30/2009

Easy start

Monday and Tuesday are easy. Yesterday like today I ran only one easy morning jog. Today I included 10xsteep hills in order to wake up these legs. At work I'm fighting with Heckman correction. It's pretty boring. Running isn't. Not after when I read about Nate Jenkins's Festival of Hammers!!!

Total mileage for June was 240. That isn't much.

6/28/2009

Damien's

Today offered me Damien's 5k with low expectations. I just wanted to run a 5k, and I sort of did. Etiophians ran fast, faster of them ran a new course record 14.32. I was fourth with 16.47 two seconds behind female winner. I paced her almost for two miles, and that kind of helped me, too. So I'm pretty happy even with this slow time.

In the evening we rode an easy bike ride, 70 mins. In all, week was 62 miles.

6/27/2009

Bagel Run

Due to yesterday and tomorrow I ran shortened Bagel run today, 9+ miles. Pace was easy, but that was fine after this weeks efforts. Next up.... Virgin Mobile Festivals tickets...

6/26/2009

XC Tempo

HCS organizes this summer a new series of XC Friday runs. Today we had an opportunity to try our luck on 5k course. I ran a little late so I had less suitable warm up for this tempo, but after all I made it to the start before the gun. Instead of using full steam I took it as moderate tempo run. But how you do moderate tempo run on a XC course??? I finished second about 30 seconds behind Carlos (18.20), and after all, it turned out to be fun in a really weird way. I was 2.5 minutes slower than the course record, but that forthcoming Runner is running for Stanford during the next years. I'm not.



Centennial XC course (map: Greg Schuler)

6/25/2009

Tired Thursday

AM: Only 4 easy miles. Legs are tired, and so am I. But the Nationals start today on Flotrack....

In the evening we did 20 miles bike ride.

6/24/2009

Just a Wednesday

Morning jog was around 4 miles. Left achilles was pretty sore after yesterday's clown show. I think that it will get better on trails this evening.

Evening's trail run was pretty tough. 11 miles with no mercy even if we passed Mt. Nasty and Mt. Slayer. We had couple of young guns around, and they did not slow us down.

6/23/2009

Tuesday "workout"

I didn't run track today. I was just too tired for that. But I ran to Centennial Fun Run and ran that mile (5.04) and then added some sort of fartlek (1 min. on / 2 min. off) on my way back home. In all this playing was 10 miles (@ 6.37 pace).

6/22/2009

It's getting warm

This Monday started abnormally without running. Instead I continued to finalize the second version of one manuscript. I sneaked out for a 6 mile run (@ 6.35 pace + strides) at 3 PM in quite warm circumstances. I should already realize that it's pretty warm around that time. Maybe I'll learn that some day, maybe I don't - It doesn't matter.

6/21/2009

New friends and fast triathletes

We spend this morning in DC by following the Dextro Energy Triathlon. Men's and women's elite fields were full of fast runners. Best men ran 10k in 30.26 and women 34.24. They were flying after some swimming and some more biking.

After returning home I started to hesitate that should I or should I not to run at all due to yesterday's downward spiral. But after watching those trimmed athletes flying by, it wasn't so difficult hit the trails. Seth came along to run at Greenbelt Park. We did an easy 6.2 miler. I got new friends, four ticks that is. However, even if our friendship was really close, it was relatively short. In all this week was 61 miles.

6/20/2009

Pain in Bmore

Baltimore was again tough for me. I was even slower than last year, but somebody mentioned that the course was too long (1/4 of a mile) this year. Still, I was slow and I was hurting. I barely managed to beat 60 minutes. However, I did it and as of now I feel that today's walking tour was after all a decent workout. Not good, but decent. Lots and lots of work to do...

6/19/2009

Friday - easy one

Morning run was around 8 miles (@ 7.40 pace) after which I had an appointment with PT. After returning home I realized that I haven't done any special preparations for tomorrow. But I think that tomorrow's 10 miler is going to be a nice workout. After all it's the first longer tempo run after April. Hopefully it won't be too warm/humid.

Back in Finland people are celebrating Midsummer. Some of them use the extra vacation for running. Miika, who has been at the docks (not able to run) since early May, ran today 10k in 33 minutes. That's an awesome comeback.

Tomorrow's race is getting closer and closer. Just because of that I'm eating. Eating a lot with friends. We had a nice, but short game of ultimate at the Centennial park - with fireflies.

6/18/2009

Run in rain

Seriously. How much it can rain in a short moment? I'm not sure if I met the maximum today. Roads and trails were barely visible and running gear felt like it was melting on your skin. Freshing yes, but slow and heavy.

6/17/2009

Wednesday's morning jog

Because of rescheduled Wednesday evening I ran 13 miles this morning. Just for fun. Yesterday's workout didn't hurt my legs even if I assumed that they would be totally beaten.

6/16/2009

Back to routines

Tuesday morning 6.15 AM, 65F with 90% humidity. Black track under racing flats, pace 5.10-5.15 per mile, 6 repeats followed by 4x200m. This is it. A joy, just a minor pain, but in all a feeling that is known only among runners. This one goes out to Moguli in Finland!

BUT 1.5 hours later after this nice moment I found that Janne Holmén (European Champion in marathon, a 2.10 runner, double olympian etc.) has decided to end his successful career as a competitive runner. It's a clear loss for Finnish distance running, but on the other hand a respectful decision. Thank you Janne!

6/15/2009

Rather normal Monday

Last week was 61 miles (in 6 days). Yesterday I didn't run since we had something else. This week brings the Baltimore 10 Miler. It will be the first longer tempo after awhile. And probably rather slow. But I now gotta start to train for September. What is better way to do that than crawl up the road to Druid Hill Park...?

This morning was again an easy 4 miler. Afternoon's easy run was 6.2 miler (6.32/mile) + short hills and strides. Not bad.

6/13/2009

Bagel run

Warm and humid Bagel run didn't include any bagels nor drinks other than water. We ran a nice 13.1 miler with Stephen, Carlos and Tim. All together today's run was 14.5 miles. Back at home I enjoyed enormous amount of cold Pepsi Max.

6/12/2009

Tempo run

With 92% relative humidity and temperature of 70s already in the morning one should not expect wonders. So I didn't. I just ran 8k tempo (29.15) with ~4 mile warm up/cool down. I took HRM with me in order to keep the effort at the moderate level, since I'm still acclimatizating.

Considering all the excuses mentioned above, I felt fine today.