This web log was created to keep you up to date with the athletic pursuits of Blake Boldon. It will be updated regularly with competition schedules, results, and photos.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

227 Miles in 2 Weeks and Still on My Feet

As you can tell from the title of the post, I've done a lot of running since my last detailed post. It hasn't all been sunshine and roses though. The afternoon of the post about the trip to Boston, Charlotte and Greenville I went to the track to do 12 x 400 on two minutes rest. The session went really well but something went wrong in my digestive track and in a 24 hour period I lost about 6 pounds. Needless to say, I didn't feel well and I took Friday the 13th off. It was my first day with no running in about 24 weeks, since I was on the road with the boys in Hahatonka. It was a much needed day of rest but thanks to the sickness it took me a few days to feel normal again. .................... I ended up with about 83 miles that week and got back on track the next two weeks with 114 and 113 respectively. Those are the two highest volume weeks in my life and I've been able to survive some quality sessions during that time too. I'm not really any worse for the wear. My "groin/ab injury" hasn't gotten worse but I'm in the process of losing one (maybe two) toenails. It's the first time since I started running that it's happened but it doesn't seem to be a big deal. .................... I think a big reason for the additional miles is my new roommate, Nate Jenkins. He's training well and running about 140 miles per week since he moved in. We're focusing on different events but since he's always ready for a few extra miles it's easy to add on when I wouldn't otherwise. Combining that with my long time friend, Tommy Neal, running the highest mileage of his life and we're all going at it pretty hard right now. I'm a little worried that the extra volume (and accompanying fatigue) has taken some of the race specific effort out of the workouts but it has been good work so with a little rest the intensity of the workouts should come right back. .................... The weekend that I was sick was good for another reason. My family made the trip out from Iowa so I got to spend the weekend with my older sister, Margo, her husband her their two wild little boys. Avery (five) and Quinten (three) had a couple sleepovers at the apartment and thankfully they brought my furniture so we all had some place to sleep. Having my bed here in Colorado Springs has definitely helped with the recovery so it was a win-win trip for me. Unfortunately, the truck broke down just before they got through Kansas. My mom's car broke down too on her way to visit back in January so if you're headed through Kansas be sure to have your car checked out before you leave. The truck's issues put a hamper on the weekend but we all made the best of it. .................... The two weeks since my family visited have been pretty uneventful since Fountain Valley has been on "interim" for the last couple weeks. Since I haven't had practice in the afternoon my days haven't had much structure but I have been somewhat productive. In addtion to finally finishing the first submission of "Fifty Years From Iffley Road" for, I have committed to open the outdoor season at the Blue Shoes Mile in Greenville, SC on April 11. It's hosted by Furman University and I'm looking forward to getting back to see the Kattoufs, who live near the track. Speaking of Rick Kattouf, I recently spent five days logging my diet to give him an idea of how I can improve my nutrition. That process in itself was a learning experience and has helped guide me when making decisions about nutrition and diet. I owe Rick and email and hope to get back to him after my track session this afternoon so that I can start improving how I fuel myself. .................... I'm off to the track to fight a strong wind and tackle the 12 x 400 session again.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Running Times Featured Article

I've got a lot to post about training and plans for the spring so I'll plan to post those thoughts and details soon. For now, I just want to mention the article that went up on today. Here's the link: It will be the featured article all weekend and hopefully it's the first installment of a very successful series that I'll be doing on sub 4:00 milers.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Twitter, Here I Come!

I finally decided to catch up with the latest online trend. If you're twittering now you can keep up with me on a more minute-to-minute basis (assuming my ability to keep up with myself). Check me out at .................... It has also been brought to my attention that I need to start using paragraphs when I blog. Rest assured, I do use paragraphs when I type but there's some error in blogger that doesn't recognize my type spaces. So from here on out, I'll use '........................." to indicate a change in paragraph to give your eyes a break from my seeminly endless and rambling paragraph structure.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Boston to Lowell to Charlotte to Greenville and Back

It was a terrific trip to the east coast and for the most part things went very well. I was gone for more than nine days but the return flight made the trip seem even longer. In total I saw four airports, had three flights, one cancellation, and a handful of delays in a trip that totaled more than fourteen hours from the time I arrived at the Charlotte airport until I landed in Colorado Springs. Needless to say, that travel schedule didn't do much to help my recovery. I'm headed to the track in a little bit to take my hand at a 12 x 400 session at the Fountain Valley School track (~5700 feet), but I want to share some of the details of the trip last week. After finally making it from Boston to Charlotte on Tuesday I was worn out. The 16-miler in Lowell, MA with Nate was a good prelude to the many runs that we'll be doing here in Colorado Springs but something about the pavement or poor footing in the snow made it tough to recover. Then on Wednesday I did 12 x 800 on 2 minutes rest. Being the consummate procrastinator that I am, I still haven't logged my training from last week but I would guess that I averaged in the 2:11 or 2:12 range. The last three were definitely a race effort and it was certainly my best repeat 800 session (I haven't done many of these at all - this was my 3rd repeat 800 session since working with Coach Simmons and I just did 6 x 800 once all year last year, plus 5 x 1000 once). I'll have to examine it more closely after I've logged it but basically I did the same workout that I did last year ten days before I ran 13:53 at the first Stanford, but then doubled it with 6 more 800's. The average from my work out in Charlotte will likely be a little slower than the 6 x 800 session last year but I took about ten seconds (on average) less rest this time too. Considering that I felt that I really under-achieved at Stanford last March and I'm able to do twice the work at nearly the same pace at the same point in the season (and only a few days after a tough 3k effort on the track), I'm confident 2009 will be a great year. There were two downsides to the session. Firstly, relative to the guys that I was training with my session was just ok. Mike Crouch from Queens smashed the workout and is super fit right now. He's running the NCAA Division II championships this weekend so hopefully he has a good result. It was great to have people to workout with and I'm really happy with my effort but it's tough to gain a lot of confidence from a workout when there are other people handling the load at a higher level. In honesty, it wasn't a big deal because the older I get the less stock I put into those types of things. A few years ago it would have been hard for me to deal with but now I'm putting in so much high quality work that I can only focus on what I'm doing. The second downside to a session that hard is the complete fatigue that accompanies it. For those of you with queasy stomachs, you might want to skip the next few sentences but I want to share what I went through last Wednesday night. The short version is that I spent most of night either on the toilet or the couch at my friend Jeff Guadette's apartment. The gruesome details come in the specifics about the contents of my stool. To put it bluntly, I was crapping blood and my stomach was not happy about it. Before I even made it to Jeff's I went to the dining hall at Queen's University for dinner. About halfway through the meal I had to push my tray away from me and put my head down on the table. During dinner I had to go to the men's room three different times because of what was happening down below. Needless to say, I wasn't feeling chipper when I woke up for the 10k on Saturday morning. I ran two easy runs on Thursday and did a pool session before dinner with Coach Simmons that night. Then Friday I got up early to take Jeff up on his generous offer to give me a massage during his team's pool workout. In addition to being a great friend, Jeff's also a certified massage therapist and although I had a couple sore spots on Saturday morning his work really helped me recover from the tough week of training. After an easy run in Charlotte, I packed up all my things and headed to Greenville for the 10k and to see my good friend Rick Kattouf. I went straight to his house and after meeting his wife, Gail, the three of us set off toward the race course. They had already picked up my race packet and they graciously and patiently drove the course so I could have an idea of what to expect the next morning. Then they went above and beyond by letting me run the course while they went and picked up dinner. The next morning I was up at 5:00 am and watched some tv and tried to think positive thoughts before heading out for a shake out run to loosen up a pair of tired and sore legs. After a shower while slipping into my racing shorts I bumped my right quad and laughed with the surprising soreness that filled my legs. I literally thought to myself, "There's never a race where I'm supposed to feel like this." In fairness, I don't really remember starting a workout feeling that sore and tired but I'm sure it's happened a lot. It took me a while to get warmed up but I made it to the starting line feeling relatively ready for a good effort. My first mile was 4:50 and there wasn't anything about it that felt easy. Fortunately, there was a small pack of runners and I noticed that I was laboring less than everybody else so I continued to lead and keep the pace. After splitting 4:44 (9:35 total) for the 2nd mile there was a hill and I pulled away from the rest of the guys and ran to the finish on my own. Miles three and four were both 4:47 and I split 4:53 for mile five for a total of 24:03. The next mile was mostly up hill and a lot of hit was into a sturdy head wind. Combining that with the fatigue of running hard alone I split 5:07 for mile 6 and finished the 10k in 30:11. The $1000 payday was much needed and I got a 25 second 10k personal best in the process. My first trip to South Carolina was fantastic and I owe a huge debt of gratitude to the generosity of Jeff Gaudette (for letting me stay at his place for most of a week and then I borrowed his truck to drive to Greenville) and Rick & Gail Kattouf (the vastness of their hospitality is beyond explanation - I even left Greenville with some sweet new Team Kattouf gear).

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Reedy River Run Pics from

Greenville News Article

Here's an article from the Greenville, SC newspaper. It's written by a great guy, runner and coach from the Greenville area, Mike Foley.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Reedy River Run 10k Results

It was a great day and I'll definitely post more soon but here's a link to the results:

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

From Good to Great

Admittedly, I won't get any originality points for the title of this entry but if Charles Caleb Colton was correct when he said, "imitation is the sincerest flattery," then I'm sure Jim Collins won't mind me borrowing his title. I'm in Charlotte and my copy of Collins' book "Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't" is at home in Colorado Springs so I won't be able to post any of my favorite passages. What I can say is that the book is a case study in what separates companies that make a remarkable, sustainable jump from those companies who have consistently unremarkable yet good results. The fundamental lesson that I learned from the book is the greatest opponent to being great is simply being good. Along with success and achievement come recognition and acknowledgement. Soon to follow are satisfaction and complacency. Not a lot of people can say that they've been in the top ten four times at USATF track and field championships and a certain satisfaction comes along with that sort of accomplishment. Unfortunately, satisfaction with less than extraordinary results is only slightly less malignant than the worst form of complacency. I have taken some big strides in the last few months in terms of training and gaining a better focus and understanding what it takes to succeed in the sport of track and field. Unfortunately when I toed the line in Boston my confidence and competitive hunger wasn't improved from the previous seasons. The indoor championship race was a first step toward a great outdoor season but it reminded me how hungry and passionate an athlete has to be to succeed. What's the explanation for an athlete with personal bests of 3:40 and 13:55 in the 1500 and 5000 winning the US 3000 meter title? It can only be that David Torrence was more motivated and ready to win than the rest of the field. Halfway through the race I caught myself thinking "I just need to be in the top 8 to finish in the top half." These kind of thoughts don't go through the heads of people contending for the win. I may not have been as race sharp as a couple of the other guys in the field but I don't consider myself less fit than the five guys that beat me. They were all just hungrier and more well prepared mentally. It's not an easy thing to fix but acknowledging the issue is a big step. I had a good talk with Coach Simmons Saturday night after the meet and I left there with a renewed motivation and belief in my ability to compete at a high level this spring. We talked specifically about the training and discipline that it will take and we agreed that I need to look at my move to Colorado Springs as time at a training camp versus a typical relocation. Something as simple as changing that perspective can keep training and discipline the priority that they need to be. Coach Simmons emphasized that my running goals and training need to be the last thing on my mind before I go to bed and the first thing I think about in the morning. In reading what other top athletes have done before big breakthroughs it's clear that huge performances don't happen by accident and there are fifteen weeks to the USATF Outdoor Championships. I'm excited about Nate moving in and on Monday night we had a good talk about the focus and dedication that we are willing to share to reach our individual goals. I also recently exchanged emails with an old friend who I've fallen out of touch with over the last two years. Dr. Rick Kattouf (of is going to get on board and help me focus on nutrition and fueling my body for maximum recovery and improved performance. Here's an excerpt from one of his emails where we were talking about taking my 5k performance to the next level. "I think nutrition for any athlete can help to bridge that gap. Food is a drug; it is the most powerful, legal, drug available. It is the ultimate performance enhancer, and it is legal!" As my good friend Mark Misch says, if you can do the little things right to improve performance by only 1 or 2% without even changing training you can improve your 5k time by 8 to 15 seconds. Having said all of that, the race in Boston wasn't anything to be disappointed with but it's no more than a starting point. It certainly did a lot to refocus my energies and help me decide what I need to do to improve. I'm dealing with some injury issues and as long as I can continue to train at a high level and feel relatively healthy I'm confident that the lesson learned indoors will lead to big things during the outdoor season.

Monday, March 02, 2009

USATF Indoor 3000 Results & Snow Day in Lowell, MA

Firstly, in case you haven't seen them here is a link to the results from the weekend: I roomed with Michael Crouch from Queens University who also ran in the 3k. I've gotten to know him a little bit while being in Charlotte but it was good to have somebody to go through the pre-meet ritual with. Unfortunately, we didn't have internet available at the hotel so I wasn't able to post much sooner. Yesterday I came out to Lowell, MA with my good friend and soon-to-be roommate, Nate Jenkins. Nate's moving to Colorado Springs this week and he also competed in the US Indoor 3k race. It didn't go quite as he had planned but considering he is a marathoner it was a great indoor season for him to run 14:04 and qualify for the meet. Anyway, he had a "Last Day in Lowell Party" on Sunday and it was great to meet his friends here. The party was accompanied by a Nor'easter that brought a huge load of snow. The result of the snow was two-fold. The barbeque at the going away party was hampered and I had my Monday morning flight to Charlotte cancelled. Despite 90 minutes on hold with United last night and several other calls today, I'm still in Lowell and hoping to catch a flight to Charlotte sometime in the morning. Nate and his roommates have been great and it hasn't been a big deal at all. My only complaint is that I did my 16-miler on the roads of Lowell where the motorists whiz by and you have to hop over puddles and snow banks. It's getting late and I'm going to try to head to the airport early so I'm going to try and get some sleep. I'll post more about the race and the trip in the coming days.