Motivated to Succeed

Saratoga Stryders' Annual 5K Trail Series #4

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Member Since:

Jul 02, 2008



Goal Type:

Boston Qualifier

Running Accomplishments:



  •  2006 Mohawk Hudson River Marathon (NY)
  • 2007 Vermont City Marathon (VT)
  • 2011 BPAC 6 Hour Run (NY)
  • 2011 Mind the Ducks 12 Hour (NY)
  • 2012 Maple Leaf Indoor Marathon #1 (IN)
  • 2012 Maple Leaf Indoor Marathon #2 (IN)
  • 2012 BPAC 6 Hour Run (NY)
  • 2012 Mind the Ducks 12 Hour (NY)
  • 2012 Memorial Day Marathon (MA)
  • 2012 Around the Lake 12 Hour (MA)
  • 2012 Hancock Shaker Village 50 (MA) 
  • 2012 Bay State Marathon (MA)
  • 2012 First Descents Marathon (DE) 
  • 2013 Maple Leaf Indoor Marathon #1 (IN)
  • 2013 Maple Leaf Indoor Marathon #2 (IN) 
  • 2013 Circular Logic Marathon (IN)
  • 2013 Lake Waramaug 50M (CT)
  • 2013 BPAC 6 Hour Run (NY)
  • 2013 Ragnar Cape Cod Ultra Team (MA) 
  • 2013 Memorial Day Marathon (MA)
  • 2013 Relay For Life No. Berkshire (MA)
  • 2013 Ragnar Adirondack Ultra Team (MA)
  • 2013 BayState Marathon (MA)
  • 2013 One Day At the Fair Marathon (NJ)
  • 2013 West Palm Beaches Marathon (FL)
  • 2014 Arena Attack XL Center Marathon (CT)
  • 2014 Maple City 6-Pack Marathon #1 (IN)
  • 2014 Maple City 6-Pack Marathon #2 (IN)
  • 2014 Maple City 6-Pack Marathon #3 (IN)
  • 2014 Maple City 6-Pack Marathon #4 (IN)
  • 2014 Maple City 6-Pack Marathon #5 (IN)
  • 2014 Maple City 6-Pack Marathon #6 (IN)
  • 2014 Circular Logic Marathon (IN)

 Personal Bests:

  • 400 - 1:01 (2004)
  • 800 - 2:16 (2004)
  • Mile - 5:12 (2004)
  • 2Mile - 11:27 (2004)
  • 5k - 19:44 (2005)
  • 10k 40:46 (11/22/07)
  • 15k - 1:07:40 (11/11/07)
  • 13.11 Half - 1:38:31 (12/9/07)
  • Marathon 3:59:18 (1/25/14)
  • 50 miles 11:44 (5/14/11)

Eagle Scout with Bronze and Gold Palms (2002)

Biked from Ticonderoga, New York to Old Orchard Beach, Maine in August of 2005 (Total of about 290 miles

Short-Term Running Goals:

200 miles @ 72 Hour Race in May

Under 200 #

Sub 4:00 Marathon



Long-Term Running Goals:



I am 27.  Have done 33 marathons and ultras. Really trying to get in shape to get back to running the miles I want to. I love to read and worked for four years in a bookstore. I like to keep track of the books I read. Currently I work as a 6th & 7th grade history teacher at the only charter school in Berkshire County, as well as serve as the coach for the cross country team! Been experimenting as a pescatarian (eating only fish) since August 10, 2011. 


Just earned my Master's Degree in Adolescent Education for Social Studies. I have the most wonderful WIFE in the entire world.. EMMA! October 16, 2010

Run when you can, walk when you have to, crawl if you must. Just never give up! - Dean Karnazes -

We are all teachers and we are all students in this sport. - Dean Karnazes -

The simple act of putting one foot in front of the other and moving forward at an accelerated rate can be one of life's greatest - and simplest - pleasures. ~Dean Karnazes 

"Your beliefs become your thoughts, your thoughts become your words, your words become your actions, your actions become your habits, your habits become your values, your values become your destiny." - MK Gandhi 

"The marathon mercilessly rips off the outer layers of our defenses and leaves the raw human, vulnerable and naked. It is here you get an honest glimpse into the soul of an individual. Every insecurity and character flaw is open and on display for all the world to see. No communication is ever more real, no expression ever more honest. There is nothing left to hide behind. The marathon is the great equalizer. Ever movement, every word spoken and unspoken, is radiant truth. The veil has been obliterated. These are the profound moments of human interaction that I live for." - Dean Karnazes 


Benn Griffin

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2014 Books I've Read: 





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Miles:This week: 0.00 Month: 0.00 Year: 0.00
Vibram Five Fingers KSO Lifetime Miles: 367.52
Vibram Komodo Sports (yellow) Lifetime Miles: 570.38
Vibram Bikilas (red) Lifetime Miles: 655.87
Vibram Bikilas (blue) Lifetime Miles: 414.89
Altra Lone Peak Lifetime Miles: 155.19
Lizzy Miles 2012 Lifetime Miles: 58.60
Vibram Komodo Sport (black) Lifetime Miles: 195.60
NB Trail Minimus (orange) Lifetime Miles: 101.74
Altra Instinct (grey) Lifetime Miles: 389.78
Vibram Bikilas (red #2) Lifetime Miles: 10.60
Vibram Bikilas (green) Lifetime Miles: 230.05
Altra Adams Lifetime Miles: 2.00
Merrell Road Glove Lifetime Miles: 46.11
Running MilesSwimming YardsBike Miles
Brooks Addictions 8 Miles: 120.53Vibram Five Fingers KSO Miles: 5.20
Night Sleep Time: 94.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 94.50Weight: 186.75
Running MilesSwimming YardsBike Miles

4:45 AM - Sky was clear this morning. Temperature was 59 degrees. I could see Venus I believe out in the sky before the sun came up. Drove down to the track. Stretched and then hit the circle. I was quickly able to get in the zone as there were hardly any cars out. Seemed weird considering the amount of traffic I saw this early earlier in the week, then remembered it was Saturday! And that I was the only one crazy enough to get up this early! Did the first 5 miles in my Brooks Addictions, then did a little over one and a half in my Vibrams. I really like the Vibrams. I think it works well wearing them at the end of runs. Soon I will able to do about 2 miles a run in them! I am taking it slow though because I don't want to switch too fast and have too much soreness. You can definitely feel it the day after in the muscles that you don't use the same way when you are in a running shoe! Saw the sun rise and it was pretty, then came home and might take a nap for a bit before work 1pm to 10pm. Splits were:

  • Mile 1: 9:09
  • Mile 2: 8:41
  • Mile 3: 8:14
  • Mile 4: 8:03
  • Mile 5: 7:28
  • Mile 6: 7:24

Total Time: 53:06 Total Distance: 6.55 miles Average Pace: 8:06

This morning my dad came out onto the front porch as I was drinking a cup of coffee and reading Again to Carthage while I iced my knee. He gave me a little plaque and said. "It's about time I passed the torch. I know you'll do me proud." On the plaque in gold lettering is The Jogger's Prayer: Lord help me to remember that the race is not always to the swift but to those who keep on running. We must remember that we should never give up, follow things through until the end and remember to always keep the faith alive!

p. 12 "We never really know what will happen to the scratches we make in this thin dust."

p.  41 "It takes courage to do it, to be a runner. We all found that out a long time ago. Because it's about more than fatigue. It's about pain, and dealing with it for a long time. And it's about resolve. You can't really be much of a runner unless you have courage..." - Quenton Cassidy

Brooks Addictions 8 Miles: 5.00Vibram Five Fingers KSO Miles: 1.55
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50Weight: 187.00
Running MilesSwimming YardsBike Miles

First off, everyone wish EMMA a Happy 23rd Birthday today! She's old like me now!

(BUT WAY CUTER! doh!!)

4:40 AM - Woke up after an okay night's sleep. Had a nightmare that I was taking my last class for my master's degree and the major paper was an online submission rather than physical hard copy, and I had missed the deadline by a matter of hours and got a zero which meant I failed and wouldn't be able to graduate. Haha I am such a dweeb sometimes. I mean who dreams about school?! Headed to the track. Holy fog out there this a.m.! We had a huge downpour yet again last night when I was leaving work. I had to pull over to the side of the road because I couldn't drive more than about 20 mph. They said in July we had 9.91" of rainfall which is the most since they started keeping records back in 1820s!

Felt good at the track. Nickname today was man of the mist. I kept going in and out of the fog at the far end of the track. I think I surprised a few cars as they drove past and saw a sweaty bearded curmudgeon emerging and then receding back into the darkness. Oh to play tricks on early a.m. drivers! Splits were:

  • Mile 1: 9:15
  • Mile 2: 9:04
  • Mile 3: 8:59
  • Mile 4: 8:48
  • Mile 5: 8:31
  • Mile 6: 8:04
  • Mile 7: 7:25

Total Time: 1:00:11 Total Distance: 7 miles Average Pace: 8:35

Off to work for sixth full shift in a row. Thankfully I get the next two days off. I'm going to Massachusetts to see Emmy and have Indian take out and watch movies with her. I haven't seen her since the surgery. I'm excited to get an Emmy hug and to give the Swamp Thing a big hug and a kiss if it's allowed! Great start to the day already!

Brooks Addictions 8 Miles: 7.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00Weight: 190.00
Running MilesSwimming YardsBike Miles

10:30 AM - Overcast, humid. Dewpoint was 70 this morning and temp was 70. Ick! Temperature at the start of the run was 80. It was 82 at the finish. A very humbling run on the Ashuwilticook Rail Trail while I am at Emmy's on my weekend. Started off great and did about 4.1 in 34:34 before turning around and coming back. The last mile though I just decided to do a cool down at 10:00 pace. I was spent. I had a waterbottle in the car, but it was a Nalgene so didn't have anything with me. What does this mean for someone who is always hot and sweating? Yuck! My shirts were soaked through, as were my shorts. I weighed 197 pounds at the start of the run after eating yummy Indian food yesterday and the day before for Emmy's bday. However, after running I quickly downed 32oz of water in my bottle and was still only 190 pounds! Talk about a sweat machine! The last mile went slowly, but it was good to just cruise on in. Got a lot of weird looks from passersby as I looked like I had just jumped into the lake or something! Haha! Going to get Gatorade and try to replenish electrolytes. Back to New York tomorrow. Emmy is 23 though and old like me! :D. We're going to have an inhome movie date tonight yay! She's the best date because she doesn't mind when I sneak some of her snacks! Average Pace for the first 7.25 was 8:37/ mile with a 10:03 cool down mile. Phew!

Total Time:  1:12:31 Total Distance: 8.25 miles Average Pace: 8:47

Brooks Addictions 8 Miles: 8.25
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00Weight: 197.00
Running MilesSwimming YardsBike Miles

6:20 AM - Sunny and blue skies. Slight wind. Crisp and cool! My favorite type of running weather! Temperature was about 55 degrees at the start. Absolutely lovely! Wanted to wake up earlier, but worked late last night at the bookstore and then I have to do a wraparound shift at work tonight, working until 1130 and then opening tomorrow at 8. Yuck! Went to the school and did circuits (1 loop on the track, 1 loop of the small nature trail, 1 loop of the big nature trail; repeat x 4). Felt good and confident. Only thing is I've been perseverating on the differences in definition and muscles in my legs. My left leg is substantially smaller than my right one. I don't know what I can do to strengthen it though as lunges hurt my knee since my knees go outwards rather than straight. I just don't want to hurt my left leg as my right one is doing the work. Or perhaps this is why I hurt my right leg after all last year, as it seems my right leg is pulling more than its share of work? If I can find an ankle weight I'm going to try to do quad strengthening raises on my left leg. Off to go pay my last semester of grad school! I contemplated paying with all one dollar bills, but alas I'll have to settle for a bank check for 6,000 bucks. I'm about to become a very poor grad school student indeed! Bye bye savings! Cooled down after the 4x circuits with 2 miles in the Vibrams. I like their feeling on trails, except you have to pay attention to roots and rocks as they don't offer the support of shoes. Splits this morning were:

  • Mile 1: 10:14
  • Mile 2: 9:54
  • Mile 3: 9:27
  • Mile 4: 9:49
  • Mile 5: 9:04
  • Mile 6: 9:24
  • Mile 7: 9:33

Total Time: 1:11:40 Total Distance: 7.51 miles Average Pace: 9:32

Brooks Addictions 8 Miles: 5.50Vibram Five Fingers KSO Miles: 2.01
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00Weight: 0.00
Running MilesSwimming YardsBike Miles

7:00 PM - Ugh! 75 and about 100% humidity. Horrible. You could see the clouds in the air. Air was so damp you were sweating just sitting in the car! Went to the track with my sister, Su. I didn't know what to expect. Just wanted to go for a run to have some fun! She walked on the track while I jogged. I felt pretty good. Legs are a little tired. I am still perseverating about strengthening my left quad. Going to try double leg squats or something maybe? Splits were:

  • Mile 1: 8:46
  • Mile 2: 8:45
  • Mile 3: 8:13

Total Time: 26:30 Total Distance: 3.11 miles Average Pace: 8:32

"When I'm out on a long run it's just me and the movement and the motion. That's what I love - just being a barbarian, running through the woods." - Jenn Shelton (the "Jenn" from McDougall's  Born to Run)

Brooks Addictions 8 Miles: 3.11
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00Weight: 0.00
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Race: Saratoga Stryders' Annual 5K Trail Series #4 (3.1 Miles) 00:24:01, Place overall: 17
Running MilesSwimming YardsBike Miles

"It's at the borders of pain and suffering that the men are separated from the boys."
          - Emil Zatopek

6:00 PM - Ew. Temperature of 86 at the start. So humid! After work I zipped home and got changed and then picked up my friends Will and Jeremy at work. Jonny was there too, and Jonathan from work got a ride with a couple of his friends to the race. Drove over to Wilton and registered. I knew it was going to be a hard run today, as all day at work it was miserably hot. I was sweating at 8:30 this morning when I was putting out remainders! Walked over to the table and signed in and then got ready for the race.

WARM UP: No one really wanted to do a warmup except Jonathan and me. We jogged a .5 mile warm up. Went out to one of the corners of the course and back. It felt good. We talked about race plans. I told him to go for it, and that I was just going to try to do a respectable time as I do not do well in the heat. Weigh in before the run was 191 pounds (185 after!!). Did .5 mile warm up in 5:06 (10:12 pace). Stretched afterwards and got ready.


MILE 1: (7:29) Went out conservatively until the first hill. Thought Jonathan and Jonny were far up ahead, but then I heard Jonny come up alongside me, so I pushed to stay with him. Chatted with him a bit. It was nice. He hadn't run in three weeks so we didn't know how it was going to go. Cruised along stride for stride. So cool to run with my younger bro!

MILE 2: (7:53) Some hills in this mile that really take a toll. Could feel the tiredness in the legs from the longer runs the past couple weeks. Jonn told me to push to stay with him so I tried to stick with him as long as possible. Passed the same young man that I passed last race and we exchanged some words. I told him great job! He's doing great, and he said "Hey! This is the same place you passed me last time!" I responded, "Yeah, but it will be much harder for me to beat you this week!" (He ended up only finishing about :15 seconds behind me in the end.) Going to look at the race results to learn his name so I can talk with him next race and get him to push to stay with me :).

MILE 3: (8:00) Ouch. A tough mile. I pushed to stay in contact with Jonn, but he ended up beating me in about :30 seconds. Just didn't have it today. Just don't have the speed I used to have, although I wasn't really tired at the end and went for a cool down, while almost no one else at the race did that. So that was a small victory in and of itself for me anyways. Jonathan ran 10th place (21:48), Jonny I think got 14th in about 23:30, and I was 17th in 24:01. Will ran 27 and change, and Jeremy ran nearly three minutes better than last race in about 32 and a half minutes. We moved down to the end to cheer him in, and it was nice to see him beat a decent amount of people! I'm sure he will beat 30 minutes in the next race!

Total Time: 24:01 Total Distance: 3.10 miles Average Pace: 7:44

COOL DOWN: By myself. No one wanted to do a cool down. Jonathan and his friends left to go home. I went out on the road by myself. Felt good, but then I heard cat calls and I was expecting Jonny and them to be making fun of me and whatever for being an "overachiever", etc. etc. I turned to say something and saw three punks on bikes. I say punks because they kept saying stuff to me and I was getting prepared to mention something about how they would do well to show some respect to other people if they wanted it themselves. They passed me and were weaving in front of me in the road show boating and then sped off. I had a surprise of my own. I kept plugging along and eventually caught up to them, much to their surprise. They turned and sped off as I stared them down with my sunglasses. It's interesting that I can run a long while at a slower 8:30-9:00 pace, but the sub 8:00 pace seems to wipe me out! Total cool down was 9:38 for 1.12 miles (8:38 pace average).

Total Time: 38:44 Total Distance: 4.72 miles Average Pace: 8:12

Brooks Addictions 8 Miles: 4.72
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00Weight: 185.00
Running MilesSwimming YardsBike Miles

8:50 AM - Drove to Saratoga and went to Spa Park for a run. Slept a full eight hours last night after the race. Felt pretty good. My quads and hamstrings were a bit sore, but that is to be expected after the conditions yesterday. I stretched at the car. Brought a water bottle and thankfully, filled it with Gatorade, although that didn't even last a full loop! During the course of today's run I drank 8 full 20 ounce water bottles, 20 ounces of gatorade and 140 ounces of water because I didn't have any more gatorade on me. I eased into the first loop and felt good. There were some other runners out, but it was already 80 degrees and sunny and most people had decided not to go out like me, and/or had already run early this morning (what I should have done!). I did a 3-3.05 loop each time and stopped about .6 miles into each loop to refill my water bottle. I would  not have made it through the run had I not had access to the free flowing spring water! Felt pretty good until the last mile or two. They were rough. My legs were starting to tighten up and I just wanted to be done with it already. On the third loop I was running around the perimeter of the public pool which has been closed for almost a year, and there was a green bus with prisoners there doing all the yard work. I didn't know if I was allowed to run between their work detail but I did, picking up the pace. The guard with the gnarly shotgun kind of scared me a bit! Saw a lot of dogs on the trail today, most not on leashes which I don't really like because the owners just "assume" that they have good dogs. The last thing I want to deal with is a nasty dog bite! Also realized one of my pet peeves: Smokers. Have never really liked smoking, and its fine if you want to smoke, but don't dirty up nature for the rest of us! Saw a couple leave at the same time on the nature trail as me and I almost lapped them, as they were walking the trail. Both of them were smoking, and by the looks of the dudes popped-collar pink polo and Birkenstocks they were totally the Horseracing people that infiltrate Saratoga in the summer time. I saw three separate cigarettes on the trail, still smoldering as I ran past, and I just hoped to catch them to give them a message: "HEY! NATURE ISN'T HERE TO BE YOUR ASHTRAY!" If I were a cop man I would bust smokers left and right for throwing cigarettes out their windows.  Maybe this is my calling in life, to be an enforcer of Clean Earth Policy! Splits today were slow but that is to be expected with the humidity and temperature. Afterwards I got a fruit smoothy and three bagels from work and a coffee to wash it all down. Weight was 187 after eating three bagels and all that and then having another cup of juice when I got home. Splits:

  • Mile 1: 9:25
  • Mile 2: 9:28
  • Mile 3: 10:13
  • Mile 4: 9:32
  • Mile 5: 9:29
  • Mile 6: 10:10
  • Mile 7: 9:36
  • Mile 8: 9:31
  • Mile 9: 11:43
  • Mile 10: 10:11
  • Mile 11: 9:51
  • Mile 12: 10:39

Total Time: 2:00:02 Total Distance: 12.02 miles Average Pace: 9:59

Brooks Addictions 8 Miles: 12.02
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00Weight: 187.00
Running MilesSwimming YardsBike Miles

8:30 AM - Overcast and temperatures in the 60s. Had a huge torrential rainstorm yesterday. There was a river going down Emma's street! I told her mom I might have to get in a kayak and see if I can navigate down to the bottom of the hill if it keeps up. Took a day off after the 12 miler. Felt really great. Sent out my registration for the Curly's Trail 1/2 Marathon yesterday. It was about thirty dollars cheaper than the local road half marathon in October and I think I will have more fun on it as I have been doing more trail running this year. Went to the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail over in Lanesborough with Emmy this morning. We ran together and did an out and back 5 miler on the bike path and then stopped to use the restrooms and did a .5 mile cool down. Felt pretty good. Quads are still a bit tired from the long run and race! I can't believe it's only Thursday! I've done a lot this week! After the run we went to eat at a retro 1950s style diner called Misty Moonlight. I got three pancakes and egg whites. Mmm those were awesome! Emmy got an egg white omelet with spinach and mushrooms. She is the best date ever! Great company, easy on the eyes, and never complains! ;) Splits were: 

  • Mile 1: 10:07
  • Mile 2: 9:55
  • Mile 3: 9:50
  • Mile 4: 9:24
  • Mile 5: 9:00
Total Time: 52:55 Total Distance: 5.5 miles Average Pace: 9:37

Brooks Addictions 8 Miles: 5.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00Weight: 0.00
Running MilesSwimming YardsBike Miles

8:20 AM - Sunny, blue skies. Temperature 69 at the start, 73 at the finish. High humidity so it was muggy. Was nice in the shade though. I went to the nature trails at the school and hit them for an easy run before work all day. I really hate the midday shifts because I can't get anything done. Working noon to nine tonight will stink, especially now that they are assigning us bathroom duty since the store got a bad rating by mystery shoppers. (Well, what do you expect when there is no other place in the city that has public restrooms but us? They should really make it for paying customers only and/or get a cleaning staff. I shouldn't have to clean the bathrooms unless I get a raise!)

Running on the trails was awesome today. I felt pretty good, although halfway through I had to stop because had stomach cramps probably from the milk in the coffee this morning. Had to make a pitstop in the woods but I was fine afterwards. Am anxious to hear back from the organizer of the trail half in September. Right now there is a list of a dozen or so for the half and about half that for the marathon. I can't wait to have fun out on the trails in my first major trail race! Splits today were slow, but it was recovery day and I was running in the woods so probably lost the signal a few times.

  • Mile 1: 10:41
  • Mile 2: 11:00
  • Mile 3: 10:41
  • Mile 4: 10:23
  • Mile 5: 10:02
  • .41: 3:45 (9:11)

Total Time: 56:34 Total Distance: 5.41 miles Average Pace: 10:27

Some pictures from the other day after we went to the farmer's market in Lanesborough and made yummy veggies!:

Emma's "baby", aka the yellow bell pepper she has spent the last two months watering religiously and watching grow:

Emma, talking to her "baby" right before she picked it to become our dinner!

Our yummy veggies waiting to go in the oven:

Goofing around: "Big Kids Only Table!"

Brooks Addictions 8 Miles: 5.41
Night Sleep Time: 6.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 6.50Weight: 188.00
Running MilesSwimming YardsBike Miles

8:30 AM - Sunny and temperature was about 72 at the start. Today is my dad's birthday (his 59th!) so I woke up early and made coffee. Sat outside with Aggie (our St. Bernard) and my sister Su and him. Dad told me all about his excursion to the Polish Meat Store in Utica yesterday with a friend from church. It sounded like a blast. I got him a carrot cake last night after work (his favorite) and hopefully we will go for a bike ride today before I have to work tonight! Went to the school and did a run on the nature trails. Legs are a bit tired and sluggish. Blah. I haven't been getting enough sleep. Didn't help last night that I couldn't sleep because it was hot and because all my brother's stuff was in my room because they're putting a new floor down in his room. Ran on the nature trails a bit, then switched into my Vibrams for the cool down. Felt good. A great run! Saw two turkeys afterwards! Gobble gobble! Almost forgot. Did 8 x 20:10 on:off accelerations (aka the Furious Four!!). I am able to go farther than when I first started these workouts. Splits were:

  • Mile 1: 11:00
  • Mile 2: 10:30
  • Mile 3: 11:06
  • Mile 4: 10:02
  • Mile 5: 10:23

Total Time: 54:52 Total Distance: 5.24 miles Average Pace: 10:33

Brooks Addictions 8 Miles: 3.60Vibram Five Fingers KSO Miles: 1.64
Night Sleep Time: 6.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 6.00Weight: 185.00
Running MilesSwimming YardsBike Miles

9:00 AM - Sunny and humid this morning. Was already 79 degrees by the time I started my run, 82 afterwards. Going to be a scorcher today. After coffee and a small piece of carrot cake with my dad (He didn't have any last night since I wasn't home) I got changed and went to the school to run on the nature trails. My legs were a bit tired and blah. A little soreness from the Vibrams yesterday, but tomorrow is a rest day so I can rest then! Felt pretty good. Just sweat a ton! Drained my water bottle before halfway. Felt better towards the end, including a couple strong hill surges at about 7:40 pace. Splits were:

  • Mile 1: 10:48
  • Mile 2: 10:24
  • Mile 3: 10:16
  • Mile 4: 9:19
  • Mile 5: 10:25

Total Time: 51:49 Total Distance: 5.07 miles Average Pace: 10:13

Emmy is out in Boston this weekend with our friend Missy who is looking at apartments and job interviews for a nannying position. I guess they were out last night and were going into a store while a nice gentleman held the door for them. Turned out to be Collin Quinn from SNL. I guess nice guys do exist :)

Brooks Addictions 8 Miles: 5.07
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00Weight: 0.00
Running MilesSwimming YardsBike Miles

8:50 AM - Temp was 78 degrees at the start and 84 degrees at the end. Sunny with blue skies. Super humid. Last night I went to the drive in movie place at Malta with my youngest brother Harry, his friend Sam and my friend from work, Tara. It was a lot of fun. We brought some pizza and candy and saw Distric 9 which is a really great action/ sci-fi film. Jonny saw it earlier in the day with his friends at a regular theater and said he didn't like it, but I thought it was really great! Only bad thing was it was too hot and muggy. The windshield kept fogging up and I was sweating so much and I didn't know why. Only thing I could think of was that I didn't get to go running yesterday because it was a scheduled day off so maybe I had extra sweat stored up. I was too tired to stay for the second movie so we headed home and I got to bed. Slept pretty well, as I was exhausted from being on my feet all day at work. Woke up this morning at 6:30, had some coffee and then went to the nature trails.

Hit the nature trails doing circuits. Started with 5 short loops, then 5 long loops, 5 short, 5 long, 5 short, and then 3 long to finish at 10 miles for the day. I have work tonight at 4 and then tomorrow is a day off from running and work so I am going to drive to Emma's house to see a cool Indian dance performance! Today's run was good. Drank a liter of water on the run, but probably sweat about eight more haha. Saw a ton of mushrooms! Red, yellow, orange, white, brown,  you name it! All different sizes too. When I told Emma on the phone she said, "um were they real mushrooms or lsd mushrooms?" haha. Crazy girl.  Got home and relaxed with a cup of pink lemonade and a thirty minute cold ice bath. Now time for lunch! Splits were slow today, as I only ran in the nature trails and not on the track or roads.

  • Mile 1: 11:52
  • Mile 2: 11:12
  • Mile 3: 11:39
  • Mile 4: 10:55
  • Mile 5: 10:16
  • Mile 6: 10:52
  • Mile 7: 10:41
  • Mile 8: 10:07
  • Mile 9: 9:42
  • Mile 10: 10:08

Total Time: 1:47:30 Total Distance: 10 miles Average Pace: 10:44

Brooks Addictions 8 Miles: 10.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00Weight: 184.00
Running MilesSwimming YardsBike Miles

11:00 AM - I was at Emma's today. It was blue skies and hot and humid by the time we started the run at eleven at the Lanesborough entrance to the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail. Temperature was 78 at the start and 85 at the finish. Phew! We saw a bunch of bikers on the trail and saw the scooter man as well as the grandpa with the jogging stroller with his granddaughter. Emma is such a trooper. She wasn't sure she was up for a longer run but she made it and we ran very consistent miles. Afterwards I had to run to drive to work as I worked the evening shift tonight, but not before I watched Usain Bolt slaughter the competition, running a 19.19 200m new World Record! That guy is insane and so young. (He turns 23 tomorrow.) Thankfully I carried a water bottle out on the trail, as it got hot hot hot! Both of us were sweating and burning by the end. Splits were:

  • Mile 1: 10:37
  • Mile 2: 10:52
  • Mile 3: 10:46
  • Mile 4: 10:46
  • Mile 5: 10:29
  • Mile 6: 9:57

Total Time: 1:04:01 Total Distance: 6.06 miles Average Pace: 10:34

Yesterday was a troubling day to say the least. Had to get work on the car done, oil change, tire rotation and inspection and then went and got a hair cut, bought some clothes for student teaching and a couple other errands. Was worried my car wasn't going to pass inspection because there is a crack in the headlight for the high beams which equated to about an inch of water seeping in during the last rainstorm. Not sure how the crack got there but it looks like someone hit it, perhaps backed into it at work?! Anyways it passed inspection, but after leaving I realized it still had the August 2009 expiration sticker in it and I was like wtf mate? So I brought it back and they apologized, etc. etc. Thankfully, driving to see Emma made the day a whole lot better!

So Wednesday night at 6:30 there was a free performance at Jacob's Pillow in Becket, MA as part of the Inside/Out 2009 Festival Season there. We drove to the lot and walked through the grounds which were very pretty. I want to go back there to explore the buildings and maybe see a show and grab a bite to eat!  Wednesday's free performance was at the outdoor stage amongst the stunning backdrop of the western Berkshires. It had rained pretty bad the hour before, but as we got there the weather cleared and the crew was squigying the stage off. The performance was done by Dr. Janaki Rangarajan who specializes in Bharatanatyam (South Indian Classical dance form). She has been dancing since the age of four and has toured the world performing and instructing others. Her dances are representative of those that were done by women that danced in the temples in the 1930s in India. Her performance consisted of three separate dances, Ranganjali, Swarajati, & Keerthana. It was really fun and she was a really great dancer. She had a cool dress and was doing these sweet rapid eye movement and facial expressions. I was actually surprised at the number of people that showed up for the free performance. There were a lot of older couples and also young fathers/mothers. Most of the kids couldn't keep still and were allowed to run around and play on the rocks in the woods. A couple of kids kept climbing on the rock Emma and I were sitting on and this one girl sat next to Emma. A lady up front turned and looked at us from her seat and kept saying, "Emma there's a seat down here for you. Emma come here." And Emma was puzzled and trying to figure out how she knew her. Turns out the girl's name was Emma! What makes it even freakier, later during the last dance a boy came up and sat to the left of me and was just chilling with his mom near by. He had crocs on like me, though his were real with the cool little monster creature additions in the holes. Turns out as he was leaving I heard his name... Benny! No joke! How weird was that?! After the performance there was a question and answer period and then we made our way back out to the car and then to Emma's work at the CIP program. Helped Emma set up her office. She is such a diligent worker! They are going to be so happy they chose her as Social Thinking Coordinator! Can't wait for the next date on Saturday when we go tour Copake Country Club, hopefully where we're getting married!

Brooks Addictions 8 Miles: 6.06
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00Weight: 0.00
Running MilesSwimming YardsBike Miles

8:45 AM - Overcast. It rained a bunch last night but it did little to alleviate the relentless humidity! Temperature was mid 70s and sticky. Had a good night of sleep last night. First night over 8 hours in quite some time. I headed to the track after a cup of coffee. My right calf muscle was bothering me yesterday so I didn't run. Plus I worked until nine at night so didn't feel like going to the track in the dark. Calf muscle felt alright during the run though was the good thing. I kept it slow at first to test things out, hitting up the nature trails which were exceptionally dark today given the overcast skies and thickened foliage. I suspect that might be the cause of the super slow time. Did a .8 mile surge on the track between loops @ about 7:00-7:15 pace per mile. Felt good! Cooled down and stretched. Splits were:

  • Mile 1: 11:44
  • Mile 2: 11:08
  • Mile 3: 11:58
  • Mile 4: 7:53
  • Mile 5: 10:53
  • Mile 6: 8:55

Total Time: 1:02:35 Total Distance: 6.01 miles Average Pace: 10:25

After a shower I am off with my mom, sister, her boyfriend, Emma, Emma's mom and our friend Missy to Copake Country Club to get a tour and have dinner. This is the place where we might have our wedding! Emma has been there once and loved it. I can't wait to go to check it out!

Also, I am in need of advice! I am particularly worried about strengthening my left leg. It is the less dominant leg and has always been weaker than my right. I think that all the biking I have done has made the right leg even stronger at the expense of my left leg. I have contemplated doing squats or lunges or something to try to build up my left leg. It is both my quad and my hamstring that are less developed. I have heard of differences of an inch or so, but as the numbers will show, my left leg is essentially nonexistent! In addition, even Harry and my mom could visibly see the differences. Help! What do I do?

Left Leg: 16.5" just above knee, 21.5" mid thigh, 23" upper thigh

Right Leg: 17" just above knee, 22.5" mid thigh, 25" upper thigh

*P.S. Calf muscles are almost identical at 15" (L) and 15.25" (R). Note: This is the biggest my calf muscles have ever been too! Woot!

6:00 PM - Rainy, torrential rain on the way from Emma's hosue to Copake Country Club with mom, Mary Rose, Emmy and Missy. Su and Rocco met us there. We went for a walk and the rain started to clear. We walked about .25 miles out to one of the greens on a hill overlooking Copake Lake and I was sold. This is the place I want to get married!! It is so beautiful, and I know that when I am standing there watching my gorgeous fiancee walk down the aisle that I will be able to say that I experienced a once in a lifetime moment. We had dinner reservations for 6:15 so we walked back and went inside. Ended up spending about two hours having a very nice dinner. There was a live band playing and actually almost all of the tables were full! In addition they had fireworks which we stayed for that started at 9:20. Su and Rocco were going to leave and so were we since they were starting about an hour later than we initially thought, but then we walked back and watched them and found out Su and Rocco stayed in their car in the parking lot and watched them too! Haha! We drove back to Emmy's house and made coffee before we headed out to drive the hour and a half home at about 11:30. Got home at 1am and then passed out. Copake Country Club is absolutely amazing though!

Brooks Addictions 8 Miles: 6.01
Night Sleep Time: 8.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.50Weight: 185.00
Race: Saratoga Stryders' Annual 5K Trail Series #5 (3.1 Miles) 00:24:09, Place overall: 20
Running MilesSwimming YardsBike Miles

5:30 PM - It was sunny most of the day as I ran errands with my mom. She, my brothers and my sister are all going to Cape Cod for four days tomorrow. I drove to Jeremy's house and picked him up at five and then into Saratoga Springs and picked up Jonathan from Borders. We went to Wilton and signed in and as tonight was the last race of five in the series this summer it was bittersweet. Though I'm not a fast runner, the 5ks are fun just to challenge myself and have fun running with friends. Didn't want the series to end, and I'm happy to say that both Jonathan and Jeremy said they'd be interested in doing some 5ks or other races around the area if I get them information. It's cool getting friends to do stuff they are initially hesitant about.

WARM UP: Only Jonathan did the warmup, as Jeremy said he barely had enough in him to do the 5k, much less a warm up BEFORE the race. I eased into a jog with Jonathan and we talked about the race, and then I mentioned the Japanese workout I've been doing, the one I call the Four Minutes of Hell in which you do 20 seconds as hard as you can, 10 seconds recovery and repeat x 8. Talked about VO2 max and how this workout has been shown to help moreso than LSD runs in that respect. It was a good time. Did .77 miles of warmup total in 7:41 (10:02 pace). Stretched and got ready for the race. Right calf still felt weird walking, but for some reason it doesn't hurt when I run on it.


MILE 1: (7:13) Race went off as scheduled, and I got caught between a rock and a hard placed. It's easy to get boxed out at the beginning, and I was somewhat hesitant because my right calf has bothered me the last week. I started off farther back than I arguably should have, and tried pretty hard to lift the pace and get up with some of the people I usually run with the last couple races. The humidity was a factor and even though it got cloudy right around race time, I was soon sweating up a storm. Pushed hard on the uphills and on the sandy flat going into the 90 degree turn. Hit the first mile marker way too fast, close to 7:13. Settled in behind two other guys wearing orange shirts, and as I made numero tres in that category, we were an informal team for a time.

MILE 2: (8:03) The second mile as always kicked my butt. Right after the first mile marker there are two more steep hills and some windy single track. I stayed with the other members of team orange, but I could hear people coming up on us. We were reeling in some other runners up front, but we too were becoming the hunted. I saw the kid that I passed at the 1.5 mile marker the last two races, and tried to catch up to him, but I never did. Saw him again in the third mile before I faded bad. Kind of bonked at the end of mile 2 as I carelessly forgot my breathing rhythm. Usually in races, intervals and tempo runs I breathe every third step. I caught myself breathing every fourth but too late. Bad news. Got a stitch right under my right lung. Tried to get rid of it, but it hurt bad and couldn't.

MILE 3: (8:28) Crossed the road and into the woods for the last mile plus. Felt good towards the end as the stitch let up on the last big downhill. Downer was team orange kept cruising along and I fell by the wayside dealing with the cramp. Was a little disappointed I didn't do better than my best this season, but I haven't done any intervals in the last two weeks so I understand why I had a hard time lifting the pace, but an equally easy time doing a cool down when both Jeremy and Jonathan were completely spent. It's kind of funny to think I can't hang with Jonathan for a 5k but I can go and run a 10-miler at 9:30 or 10:00 miles and not even really be tired. A group of four ladies passed me before the last major hill. Man now I know what humbling and chicking is like. I didn't get chicked. I got UBER chicked!! Haha! All in good fun though. Still had a blast! Finished hard and my last tenth of a mile was run at 5:36 pace! So it's nice to know I still got a little bit of a kick in me. Now how to harness that kick and use it to translate to a better 5k time. I think with all the distance training I have forgot just how hard and how taxing a 5k can be! Half marathons are easier in a sense I think than the 5k. Phew! I finished in 24:09, good for 20th place. Jonathan ran low 21:00s for 7th place, a three place improvement from last time, and Jeremy ran 31:47 good for a minute and a half improvement. Still managed a 7:47 pace on a hard course. I am determined though to run in the 22s next year on this course. What a great race series though this summer!

Total Time: 24:09 Total Distance: 3.10 miles Average Pace: 7:47

COOL DOWN: Ran the cool down with Jonathan, though he stopped after about .25. He got a cramp after eating a piece of watermelon. I went another .25, turned around and picked him up and jogged him to the car where he met Jeremy. I then went out on the roads and did another six or seven minutes. Thought I saw the punks from last time, but it turned out to be a boy and girl I hand't seen before on bikes just out for a nice ride. Only saw one or two other runners. Didn't stay for the awards ceremony because I had to get Jonathan and Jeremy home as I was the taxi today.Total Cooldown was 15:23 for 1.55 miles, good for 9:54 average pace. Had a great time. I'm looking forward to the half marathon! Also found out the organizer for this race is doing the full marathon at the same event.  Cool!

Total Time: 47:13 Total Distance: 5.42 miles Average Pace: 8:42

Brooks Addictions 8 Miles: 5.42
Night Sleep Time: 10.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 10.50Weight: 185.00
Running MilesSwimming YardsBike Miles

9:20 AM - Sunny, temp in the low 70s at the start, about 76 at the end. Legs were kind of tired from the race yesterday, and the left knee was tender at the end of the run. I stopped to stretch and wasn't able to start again because of a little twinge of pain in the front of the kneecap. It was getting hot and I was soaked in sweat anyways so I was okay with ending a mile or so early. Went to the Saratoga Spa State Park and ran on the nature trails and also a loop around the golf course. Was a good run. I pushed a little harder than normal on my long runs. Called Emmy afterwards and heard that her training for her job was actually yesterday and today, only they never told her! They sound like a real disorganized group, and I think Emm is about the best thing that has ever happened to them! Her boss seems like a nincumpoop. So she has an hour presentation today which she found out about only a half hour ago! I know she'll do great though. She's my hero! :) Splits today, not bad considering a race only 15 hours before:

  • Mile 1: 9:27
  • Mile 2: 9:10
  • Mile 3: 9:31
  • Mile 4: 9:04
  • Mile 5: 8:58
  • Mile 6: 9:11
  • Mile 7: 9:14
  • Mile 8: 9:15

Total Time: 1:14:29 Total Distance: 8.06 miles Average Pace: 9:14

After the run I spent a couple hours reading the summer reading book for the eighth grade class I will be student teaching, The Boy Who Saved Baseball, by John Ritter. A very easy read, but a moving book about how a community can rally around something and come together as a family in the most trying times. Highly recommend it!

Brooks Addictions 8 Miles: 8.06
Night Sleep Time: 8.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.50Weight: 184.00
Running MilesSwimming YardsBike Miles

9:00 AM - Woke up early and had coffee on the front porch with dad. We were laughing because the radio station was offering front row tickets to Journey and all you had to do was call in and identify the song they were playing. Dad got it right away but kid you not we listened to over twenty people guess the wrong song. I don't know if it was staged or what, but it was just downright pitiful! I believe the song was "City Lights" and the guy even said, "Listen to the first line of the song!". Told my dad he should've called in. It was kind of cold this morning, definitely felt like fall. Sunny and blue skies, temp was about 50 degrees when I woke up.

I wanted to get a trail run in, and now that I know you can run at the Wilton 5k course whenever you want I decided to go there for a change of pace. Told myself had to do at least two loops though, as only doing a 5k would not be worth the 35 minute car ride! Temp was 56 at the start. Was gorgeous. I felt strong. Got some sand down my socks and a pinecone wedged between the tongue of my left shoe and my ankle. Pretty neat stuff. The ups and downs took their toll, and my left knee was starting to feel the undulations by the end. Doesn't hurt as much now though. Was a lot of fun. After the first loop grabbed a sip of water and hit the trails for loop #2. When I finished that one I saw a white SUV was in the parking lot and as I was stretching the owner was just finishing up a loop. I don't know her personally but I recognize her from the 5k series. I smiled at her and she smiled back. We both agreed it was lovely weather for a run! Oh I saw a Karner Blue Butterfly too on the trail today, which is good considering the Wilton Wildlife Preserve works to preserve this species of butterfly specifically. Splits today were:

  • Mile 1: 8:47
  • Mile 2: 8:38
  • Mile 3: 8:28
  • Mile 4: 8:37
  • Mile 5: 8:18
  • Mile 6: 8:19

Total Time: 52:44 Total Distance: 6.2 miles Average Pace: 8:30

The run today gave me confidence that I can run trails at a pretty even pace. It also shows that I have strength and even though I am winded after the races, I have endurance at a slightly slower pace that some of the other runners might not have. I think if I keep up a base during the winter that next year, I will be back to running more consistent times, especially if I shed some weight and figure out this leg imbalance conundrum.

Brooks Addictions 8 Miles: 6.20
Night Sleep Time: 9.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00Weight: 184.00
Running MilesSwimming YardsBike Miles

8:50 AM - Feels like fall today! Woke up and it was partially sunny, cool mid 50s temperature. After coffee I headed over to Spa Park for a run. Kind of busy at Spa Park because it's the Travers Stakes tomorrow at the race track. I don't really understand horse racing. Betting on animals and making them run against each other purely for 'sport' or 'fun' doesn't seem very humane. Hit the nature trails and did a loop forwards, a loop backwards and then tacked on another loop of the last half mile or so. Was really cooking at the end. My right achilles area under my calf had a bruise from yesterday where I pulled one of those scissor kicking a stick type deals. Didn't hurt during the run much, just when I touch the skin while stretching. Felt good otherwise. Am a little unnerved at Emma's boss. Earlier this week he forgot to inform her of employee training, and then sent an email the second day of training telling her she had to give a presentation at one in the afternoon (hour long presentation too!). And then they never told her about a twenty minute speech she has to make at the convocation for students today at one o'clock so she just found out about it at ten o'clock. Grr. I don't like her boss much. She should be the head of the program not this unorganized s.o.b. I told her she should be a sub because you make a hundred bucks a day and she'd be great at it but she doesn't really want to do that for a career, which is understandable. I can only hope she gets another promotion to the job she really deserves, head of the department! Fun fact for today was that I stopped the watch at 55:55. My lucky number is 5, so I think today will be a great day :). Looking forward to finally seeing Emma tomorrow and then going to see James Taylor with her on Sunday! Splits today were:

  • Mile 1: 9:22
  • Mile 2: 8:57
  • Mile 3: 9:06
  • Mile 4: 8:44
  • Mile 5: 8:22
  • Mile 6: 7:51

Total Time: 55:55 Total Distance: 6.6 miles Average Pace: 8:28

*Note: during the last .5 mile I hit 4:14 pace per mile. I was flying faster than Superman! Howling Commando over and out!

Brooks Addictions 8 Miles: 6.60
Night Sleep Time: 9.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00Weight: 0.00
Running MilesSwimming YardsBike Miles

7:45 AM - Overcast and foggy, kind of rainy and foreboding. I went to the track. Temperature was in the mid-50s and wasn't expecting people at the track, but when I got there there were already four people at the track. One guy in a blue shirt was going slow in Lane 3. He actually was still there when I left. I wanted to shake his hands for his tenacity to do a long run at the track, haha. A couple other people showed up before I left as well. Emmy stayed home and ran on the treadmill while I did a speed workout at the track. I felt amazing! Everything was absolutely awesome. I did about three and a half miles at a super fast pace and all were under seven minutes so I know that I could have probably been right around the twenty minute mark for a 5k if I were racing it. Splits were: 

  • Mile 1: 8:03
  • Mile 2: 7:57
  • Mile 3: 6:13
  • Mile 4: 6:10
  • Mile 5: 6:52
  • Miles 6-7: cooldown  about 8:30 pace for second half

The splits for the cooldowns in between each mile repeat were slower around 8:00 pace, and I didn't get the last split for the cooldown because I stopped it at the 10k mark. Can't believe how fast I ran the 10k. I am stoked!

Total Time: 44:58 Total Distance: 6.2 miles Average Pace: 7:16!

After the 10k, jogged another .8 miles and then went to the car. After a shower I packed up and went to Tanglewood with Emmy. It was really hot and sunny by this time, and gates opened at noon. We wanted to get there early because the show was sold out. It started at 2:30 and John Williams conducted the Boston Pops with awesome songs from Harry Potter and Star Wars. Then about 3:30 my man James Taylor took the stage singing hits like "Sweet Baby James", "Carolina on my Mind", "Something in the Way she moves", etc etc. It was a really great show and at the end he even threw in some extra songs because I guess some people got there late because of traffic. We actually got out of there kind of quick and came home and our friend Kara stopped by. She taught me a new card game that's fun called Egyptian Rat Fink or something like that. All in all a great day. Followed by ice cream at King Kone. Oh and yes, I had Guinness at the concert! Wonderful day. Super run, concert with a cutie, Guinness, James Taylor, and King Kone. The Perfect Day!!

Brooks Addictions 8 Miles: 7.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00Weight: 0.00
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Brooks Addictions 8 Miles: 120.53Vibram Five Fingers KSO Miles: 5.20
Night Sleep Time: 94.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 94.50Weight: 186.75
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