boston runner

a cyclist who swears he'll someday run boston in under 3 hours.

Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome – Shin Splints

I was so excited to run the Jolly Jaunt on Saturday morning… a 5K just a few blocks from home. But after running one block w/ my dog Libby, things weren’t looking too good.

Yeah, a blind monkey could’ve seen this one coming… OVERUSE INJURY! Last weekend’s 10.5 miler was too much too soon. (master of the obvious, ‘eh?) I ran poorly @ track practice on Tuesday (6×800…worst running workout ever) and felt pain for most of Wednesday’s 5.5 miles. “Wicked lower leg pain in the bone…” is how I described it to fellow Niketown runners; a few mentioned shin splints. Huh? Isn’t that in the muscle on the front outside of your lower leg… the one that flexes when you lift your toes off the ground? (tibialis anterior) I have pain in the bone!

Welcome to running, Mr. Biker Boy: there are a few kinds of shin splints, apparently now referred to as MTSS. The kind on that front muscle are anterior shin splints (why plural?) and then posterior shin splints are on the back. Press along the inside/back edge of your tibia and you’ll feel a muscle there. If it’s sore and/or bumpy to the touch, you probably have posterior shin splints like me. Since that muscle runs right on and behind the tibia, it feels like the bone aches. Here are some exercises; be careful though, you may also have a stress fracture.

After an hour on Google, I know everything about MTSS except whether I’m over it. 5 days of no running… hopefully enough rest to get me to track practice tomorrow night.

9 December 2008 at 04:56 - Comments

4 days, 25+ miles and the Super Sunday 5K/10K

Last week, in what can only be described as a small miracle, I managed to:

  1. run 7 miles w/ Pickles on Sunday
  2. arrive early to Tuesday’s BAA indoor track workout
  3. race the Gobble Gobble Gobble 4 miler on Thursday
  4. run 10.5 miles with the Marathon Sports crew on Saturday
  5. open registration for the Super Sunday 5K/10K on Friday

The fact that I actually ran 4 times in one week is enough to make most of my (three) friends wonder what the hell is going on. But factor in that many of these miles were fast, total 25+ and came without any complaints about my hip (or any other joints) even once, and we’ve got ourselves an episode of The Twilight Zone.

Lest you think I’m morphing into a runner, know that my buddy Jon came around me for a sprint sign during our 2+ hour ride on Saturday afternoon. He’s been riding the trainer for a few weeks… and losing that sprint was all it took to dust off my own trainer.

December goals: run three times per week, ride three times per week, run sub-18 at the Jingle Bell Run.

1 December 2008 at 18:31 - Comments
When is the Jingle Bell Run? This week? can you tell me the signup info or post a ...
10 December 08 at 00:25
alain - boston, ma
It's Sunday in Davis Square, but it sold out weeks ago. Sorry. For more info, see
10 December 08 at 01:41

Gobble Gobble Gobble – I was the turkey

Nearly each time I’ve done a running race over the last few years, I’ve gotten faster, set a PR and was pleasantly surprised by my time.

Not so yesterday. 4 miles, 23:57. 6:00 pace. Huh? I could list reasons why a fast(er) time might have been unreasonable, but it doesn’t really matter. Bottom line: my run was a disappointment.

At least six times over the last year I’ve said to myself “okay, now it’s time to get serious and run more than 4-5 miles per week.” And yet there have been maybe four weeks where I’ve run more than once per week.

But that was until I felt like Tom the Turkey running into Davis Square. Now I’m pissed. Now I’m really gonna’ get serious.

10 miles on tap for tomorrow morning… the 3rd day I will run this week.

28 November 2008 at 16:23 - Comments

Run, Bike, Run – sorta, kinda, not really

The BAA half-marathon was fun, but it was too much for my cyclist-joints. I’ve since had right hip pain identical to that which required surgery on the left hip this past January. Presumably another torn labrum. So rather than risk further aggravating it with running, I asked BAA-Half Masters Champ Greg Picklesimer if he’d be my teammate for the relay at the Wrentham Halloween Duathlon today. While we were looking forward to racing each other, Pickles was down with it so as long as we both got there on time, I liked our odds.

Greg finished running leg one (3 miles) in 15:53 with the fastest run1 split of all competitors. I finished the 11 mile TT in 24:43 with the fastest bike split of all competitors. And Greg finished running leg two (2 miles) in 10:17 with – yup – the fastest run2 split of all competitors.

Booyah! New course record: 52:03

27 October 2008 at 00:58 - Comments

BAA Half-Marathon – 13.1 miles that changed everything

Ten years ago I watched the Boston Marathon for the first time and knew I had to try and run it some day. Now, after having run the last four Bostons, I understand it’s an experience words can hardly describe. Large crowds have always inspired me to race harder but there’s something greater at Boston. Running amongst 20,000 elite athletes who have trained so hard to achieve a Boston-qualifying time… the wave of energy pushes, pulls and empowers you. And then the charity runners who have trained just as much (or more) while raising millions of dollars for good causes – they’re the icing on the cake that is the Boston Marathon.

Since I began running 4 years ago, I’ve joked with friends that I’ll never run any marathon other than Boston (and perhaps Chicago?) And beyond running Boston, I haven’t aspired to race anything longer than the local Charles River 4-milers. I am a sprinter. Whether on the bike or in sneakers, ‘long distance” is simply not pour moi. Hell, I haven’t even felt comfortable saying I’m a runner. But this past weekend, everything changed. Apart from those 26.2 miles on Patriot’s Day, the BAA Half-Marathon was the most fun I’ve ever had running.

Fresh off a foot injury, I wasn’t sure what to expect at this race but knew I needed my A-game to beat running pals Barry Sussman and Beth Coughlin, with whom I’d been talking smack for months. My expectation was sub 1:30 and my “hell yeah” goal was sub 1:26. Race day strategy was to run ~6:45 pace w/ BAA teammate and local phenom Renee Knapp, while hopefully keeping Beth and Barry within striking distance.

Race day: the first 9 miles were comfortable, despite our faster 6:25ish pace. Beth was ahead of us but Renee assured me we’d catch her on the 2nd half of this out-and-back course. As we crested the hill and entered the turnaround at Franklin Park Zoo, we cheered for our friends ahead of us. We then turned towards home to the cheers of many more still making their way up the hill.

Renee was right. We caught our li’l blond rabbit just before mile 10. I pressed the turbo button, ran a 5:40 11th mile and then used every last ounce of energy to pick off guys until the finish. With 1/2 mile to go, I caught up to Mat Thoreson, an occasional training partner who used to ride (cycling) for the US national team. Mat was barely breaking a sweat and started to small-talk me. I mumbled “dude, I’m 6 minutes ahead of PR.” Matt got the hint, shut-up and dropped in behind me. When I began to fade a few hundred meters later, he took the lead and paced me until 200m to go. We cyclists stick together.

I sprinted home to finish in 1:23:26 (6:22 pace.) And for the first time ever, I didn’t just feel like a cyclist that runs. Finally, after nearly 4 years of running, I felt like a runner.

15 October 2008 at 12:54 - Comments


lots of personal transitions taking place lately: relationship, career, home and cycling team. in the midst of all this, summer has ended and autumn is full-on in my face. october’s arrival typically means i drink beer & watch football on sundays, rather than race my bike. now that’s a fun transition.

and in the ‘not so fun’ transition dept., nearly 9 months out from hip surgery, it’s time to focus on running for a while. hanging out w/ real runners this summer taught me an eye-popping lesson: my weekly mileage (0-12) is a total joke. that aint ever gonna’ get me from 3:13 to 2:59 at boston. while some BAA teammates are throwing down 80-90 miles per week, my buddy pickle does half that (max) and still kicks everyone’s ass, so there’s hope for me. but for a legitimate shot at nailing a sub-3:00, i need to run at least 25-35 miles per week. a very ‘not so fun’ transition, this quest began at reach-the-beach (too much fun!) and will continue on sunday at the BAA half-marathon. (fun factor TBD)

luckily, there is one kind of transition coming soon that will be both fun and somewhat healthy: the run-bike-run transtion. as in duathlon! on oct. 26th, i am joining a crazy crew of my running and cycling friends to compete in the wrentham halloween duathlon. i was quite humbled at this race last year. climbing on the bike after running 3 miles is okay, but then running another 2 miles after a 12 mile time trial… it’s not easy. but if it were easy, it wouldn’t be any fun, nor would it be very healthy. and best of all, i’m racing with a bunch of good friends. so bring on the run-bike-run!

9 October 2008 at 14:57 - Comments

Come out to Heartbreak Hill on 6/29

Run the 5K or 10K race and stay for a day of pro-am bicycle racing.

Races start at 12-noon!

30 May 2008 at 22:56 - Comments

Marathon weekend is here. Are you ready?

so yeah, not really sure how almost two months have gone by without any updates here… but there’s gonna’ be a cool race announcement next week. so stay tuned… or watch out for the yellow flyers on heartbreak hill during the marathon.

17 April 2008 at 15:24 - Comments

U.S. Women’s Olympic Marathon Trials – huh?

NYC hosted the men’s trials the day before their marathon and we’re doing the same up here in Boston… only better. Read about this and more from the quotable David McGillvary today.

After reading the article, let’s have some fun: comment here about the other 10% of the time Dave crosses the Mass Ave. bridge.

I’ve run over that bridge and on Memorial Drive over 1,000 times. Eighty percent of the time, it’s the most enjoyable run I have all year. And then ten percent of the time, it can be windy.


20 February 2008 at 23:55 - Comments

Adidas technical tshirts for Boston Marathon!

Yes, it’s true… no more long sleeve cotton tshirts! The BAA is giving us technical tshirts from Adidas this year. I heard this last night at a BAA runners clinic for members of the Boston Marathon charity teams; I’m running with the Dana-Farber team this year. (help me!)

While discussing the chip timing system, David McGillvary, Boston Marathon Race Director, explained how “back in the old days” nobody would know if I was having a bad race and quit the marathon. “Nowadays, your progress is tracked every 5km and posted to the web for all to see,” he quipped. “So if you have a bad race, everyone’s gonna’ know about it the next day.” And then he delivered one of those lines that remind us why he’s such a great race director…

So if you’re having a bad day, you might wanna’ just take your chip off!

19 February 2008 at 23:46 - Comments