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.

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).


Anonymous John said...

Great race Blake! Looks like you've started 09 on a great foot.

8:25 PM


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