Weekly Training Log

Visit here daily to keep track of my training progress.
View my Runners World Training Log for more detail.
My training philosophy is " Every step you take today will make it easier for tomorrow" - Nick Evangelista

My Recent Runs

Post Race Update: 15 January

Well.... SUCCESS! What an experience! Life goal #6, complete.  I have lots to share, so here we go.

If you have been following along since the beginning, you would know that this journey began in early/mid August after Bo and I finished a 5k race.  We basically decided that we were going for it.  He found out about Team In Training, and told me about it.  We signed up, and the rest was "history."

     Fast forward ~5 months, and you will end up at 5 January, our travel day to Florida.  as 2:45am came around, most of our friends were getting ready for bed.  Bo and I, on the other hand, wanted to push snooze on the alarm, but we couldn't because we had our flight to Florida at 5:30am.  We packed up the car, and took off to the Airport.  After narrowly avoiding standstill traffic, we made it to our Plane on time.

     Skipping ahead a couple hours, we arrived to an overcast, yet beautiful 63 degree Florida at 10:00 am; We made it!  After a short nap time, we went and bought some groceries, and then traveled out for dinner.

     We woke relatively early on Thursday, and went to the beach for a little while to soak up some rays, since this opportunity is impossible to find in State College until May (as it seems).  We went for a short run to the local YMCA in our 70 degree weather.  It was the perfect distance 2.15 miles there, 2.15 back.  We eventually made our way to down town St. Augustine to visit the old stomping grounds.

     Friday comes around, and we made our way over to Orland to finally meet up with our team.  Awesome people! I wish we would have had more time to spend with them all.  Bo and I met up with my parents at the resort, and then we went to dinner with ALL of the Team In Training Participants at Disney.  We found out that 1200 of us raised over Four Million Dollars for cancer research!  We also heard a story from a 12 year old girl who has been cancer free for a little while now, and it was very motivating.

     Saturday was our day to lounge around and stay rested for the big day.  We literally did nothing all day, with the exception of picking up our race packets.  I just laid in a hammock for a couple hours and read/napped.

     Sunday: Watch this video montage.  There are a couple of photos embedded in with the video. Just as a side note, Facebook drastically reduced the quality of the media, but it's still worth watching!

     I checked everything in my bag before the race, so all I had on was my singlet and shorts.  It was freezing out, and we stood for over an hour before the gun...actually the fireworks, went off.  The first wave left at 5:30, and our wave didn't cross the start until 5:53am.    Bo and I went out slow, about 9:30 - 9:00/mi for the first 5k.  We had to weave around thousands of people, so the beginning kinda sucked.  On the other hand, the sights were amazing!  The weather was actually perfect for running, which i would like to thank my grandfather for. His passion and love for the outdoors and for nature means it came from him.  After I crossed the 20 mile marker, I was running into uncharted territory.  Up until that point, 20 miles was my longest run, so I didn't know what to expect.  I hit this burst of energy after mile 15, and it carried me toward the end.  I stopped once after about mile 24.5 for five seconds to stretch my calves since they began to cramp up.  I didn't really suffer any severe effects of the infamous "wall" and there is only one explanation for that - Mr. Jamie Bensen.  It's obvious to me, and those who know him, that his unlimited amount of energy and crazy spirit was contagious whenever he was around.  I miss you brother, thanks for carrying me through the end.

     I ended up running a 3:49:47(official time). I was 97th out of 483 in my age division, and 1442 out of 13529 total finishers overall.  I met my goal of running sub four hours, but I feel I have a lot of room for improvement, so the journey has just begun.  Bo and I are already talking about running the San Diego Full in June, and possibly the Pittsburgh half with our XC Peeps!  We'll have more information regarding that in probably a month.

     We eventually made our way back to our hotel and took a nice Ice bath (as you saw), and then hit up the hot tub for an hour.  We had our last dinner with the team, and spent some quality time with our families, watching football at the bar.  Unfortunately, we still had to get up at 2:30am Monday morning just to make it to our flight three hours early (thanks Disney).  This happened to be the first day of classes, which I proudly missed.

     Thank you to everyone! From those who donated, Family, Friends, Family Friends, etc.  All the texts, Facebook messages and posts, e-mails, and conversations were greatly appreciated and deeply felt.  Thank you all for your support!!  Stay posted for my next adventure!

- Nick Evangelista

UPDATE: 4 January

  5 Days out!! Bo and I depart Harrisburg airport tomorrow morning at 5:30 to make the excursion to Florida.  We're going to relax a couple days in St. Aug, and then make our way on over to Orlando to meet up with the team.  We're going to try and do some video updates and post them up daily. (we'll see how that goes, but stay tuned)

  Also, Keep in mind that the log of "recent runs" above is no longer used. try viewing this link to view my most recent runs.

  Here is some information regarding the race and raceday:

- you can sign up for runner tracking via the "spectator resources" link on the left hand side.

- My Bib number is: 10355

  Thank you for all your support, keep the donations coming, and check here daily for our video updates!

- Nick

UPDATE: 21 December

     Hello all! I hope everyone got to enjoy the lunar eclipse last night in the frigid temperatures and cloud cover.  Lots of big news lately!

     First, Bo and I just completed our last long run of the season for a brutal 20.0 miles (view log entry).  We were holding strong for about 18 miles, but the last two were mentally excruciating.  My heart rate began to climb toward the end, so I slowed down a bit to keep it down.  I averaged 165BPM - not bad.  We ended up averaging about 8:47/mi for 20.0 miles.  Race day will be fantastic. This run symbolized a lot to us.  It showed us that anything is possible if you put in the work.  It also means that the big day is near, and with that comes.... TAPER!!  It's time for us to begin reducing weekly miles and allowing our bodies to completely heal and stay hydrated and well fueled. What a Christmas present! (if you click on the link above, or the graphic below, you can view more details about our Long Run. While also on that page, browse other activities to view other runs.)

     More exciting news on the ROTC side of things.  I am a flight commander for next semester, and I have some big things planned.  My main goal is to develop the freshmen cadets, and get them all to a level they have never been to before.  I know they all will be able to handle it, and I am excited to see how they develop into future Air Force Officers.

     Next, Donations! Thank you to everyone who has donated thus far! I'm less that $500.00 from my minimum goal of $3,100.  I have until February 2011 to reach this, but the catch is that I have to pay the difference by the end of December, and any donations will reimburse my expense. Hopefully it won't come down to that. So please donate to help other families during this time of year, every dollar really counts.  It can be as simple as forgoing Starbucks for a day, and donating that.  It would be a gift to me, but more importantly to those who have a loved one in the hospital during the holidays.

     Lastly, with the passing of both my grandfather(94yro) and a close friend of mine (22yro), I am dedicating my run to their memory.  They were both people who were important in my life, and not a day goes by without me thinking about them.  They will get me through the last couple miles.

     If you haven't noticed by now, I enjoy quotes.  This one has been instrumental in the past couple of months.  Just sit back and think about it.  If you never push your self out of your box; If you never take that risk and always go with the safe option, then what kind of life are you really leading?  Just a thought.  Without further ado:

"If you've never failed, you've never lived."
- Unknown

-Happy Holidays!! - Nick Evangelista

Fourteenth Week of Training: 14 Nov - 20 Nov
31.4 Mi
24.3 Mi(last week)

   Where do I begin?  I went to the physical therapist, which didn't help at all.  I am attributing the injury to the shoes from Brooks.  I have had two full weeks without pain/injury.  I continue to strengthen my quads as well.

   43 more days to go until the big day.  Bo and I have completed a lot this week.  We ran 14.7 miles on our long run(actually week 15 LR), which we got lost on, but still made it back in our target distance.  We had to speak to a biker to get our bearings.  For those familiar, We ran from the YMCA, to Nitterhouse soccer soccer fields, around the back Wilson College, and then took a back road, which is where we got lost, and ended up at Chambersburg Airport, and then near Hamilton Heights, to CAMS, and then back to the YMCA.  We also ordered our flight tickets!  We're going down a little early to relax prior to the race.  My parents will meet us in Orlando for the big day! I can't wait!

   The long run for week 16 will be about 16.5, and weekly miles of about 39 - 41 miles.  Also, we are setting our eyes on the Philly Marathon for next November.  We want to qualify for Boston with our friend Brian; we have 363.5 days to train!

   That's all I have for now.  Time to sit back and relax for a week of thanks, friends, and food!  Have an excellent holiday!


     Big Update! So, it's been two weeks since I have updated this, for a couple reasons.  Not being able to run really got to me, and I got tired of reading my own blog posts saying the same thing.  I also had to deal with a family emergency, so blogging wasn't really a priority.  I stopped logging my biking sessions because it was just a pain to see it say "bike" instead of "run."

     I recently went to orthopedics, and they basically told me the same thing I've heard before... X-ray, knee looks great.  He basically thought it was patellofemoral pain syndrome as well.  We couldn't come up with the mechanism of injury, although he agreed that weakened quad muscles and/or new shoes could have attributed to my injury.  We decided to set up an appointment with the physical therapist, which was the goal from the beginning, to check out my body mechanics to get this sorted out. Exciting stuff!!

     What's more exciting, is that I've ran almost every day this week with NO pain.  I've run 24 miles with a long run coming up.  I almost feel faster after taking "off" two weeks.  It is amazing to finally be back!!  Luckily, since I began training early, I can still train safely to complete the marathon!!  Luckily, the weather has still been crazy warm, for November, that I can still run in a T-shirt and Shorts, or long sleeves.

    I would like to acknowledge our XC team for all the hard work that has been put into the season.  We just had Nationals yesterday (I was not present) in Indiana, where our Men's team took 6th overall, and our Ladies are National Champions again!! I am very impressed with the depth that we have on our team, and hopefully it will lead to many more championships.

     I would also like to thank everyone who has donated thus far! I am extremely close to my goal, and it feels fantastic!

     Almost time for Thanksgiving!!!!!!!!!  That's all I have for right now.  I figured I'd keep it brief!

"By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail."
- Benjamin Franklin

Twelfth Week of Training: 24 Oct - 30 Oct

Alright, so this is getting ridiculous.  My knee feels 100% normal, but I have to wait until I go to the Physical Therapist to get things checked out before I can continue.  It has been very, very tough to not act on the urge to run.  I have to wait to be cleared by the doc in order to participate in PT with Air Force ROTC.  AHHHH.  A couple more days!  I have a contingency plan if things don't go as planned. I will basically have my funds transferred to the Los Angeles Marathon in March.

Important:  There has been a LLS-wide error regarding linked donations. Basically, the tracker on the right side of my page is "broken."  Please access my LLS fundraising page directly at: http://pages.teamintraining.org/cpa/wdw11/evotion

I am also beginning plans to run a marathon with my uncle.  It is one of his life goals, and I think it would be really awesome to complete that with him.  I want to get this done by mid June, at the latest. I'm pretty excited.  Anyways, I will keep you all updated on my medical status as soon as I learn of it. Take Care.

Eleventh Week of Training: 17 Oct - 23 Oct
15.2 Mile Run
8.0 Mile Bike

Well, first of all, a very big thank you to everyone who has donated thus far.  I am closer to reaching this goal, and helping others while I do it.  Keep it going!

Alright, so starting off with training.  I had a fantastic long run on Sunday afternoon with Bo.  We ran to some of our favorite places that we have found thus far on our excursions, and it ended up being 15.16 miles.  Crazy Stuff! Unfortunately, my knee injury was aggravated, so I decided to take it easy again this week.  I felt completely normal after a couple days, but decided not to risk further injury, so I just biked during practice instead.

I have narrowed the injury down to patello-femoral pain disorder.  Because of this, I have adjusted my training just a bit.  First, I have concentrated on strengthening my medial quad muscles to help strengthen and support my knees. I am also regressing training back a week or two in order to help build a stronger base for future running endeavors. Since Bo and I started a month early, I am still on track with training.  Going for a test run tomorrow!

In other news, Penn State football won!  That was a nice surprise to come home to, but hopefully they will play just as hard against Michigan.  Also, we had NIRCA Club Cross Country Regionals at UCONN today.  Both the guys and girls won!  I have a good feeling about our team at nationals in three weeks!

Thank you for the continued support!!

"The greatest pleasure in life, is doing the things people say we cannot do."
-- Walter Bagehot

Tenth Week of Training: 10 Oct - 16 Oct
7.90 Mi

Alright, so first, let me explain why my total weekly miles are technically 7.90 miles.  After my last run in the Ghost 3's, I returned them and bought a new pair of Mizuno's.  I woke up the following morning and my knee would hurt at random times.  I went to practice and began to run, but my knee began to hurt, so I ran about .50 mile increments, and then just listened to my body and stopped after 2.15 miles.  It hurt more mentally because I could have pushed through it, but I could have made the problem worse, so I decided to stop. The following days of practice I decided to bike and use the arc-trainer so that my knee would have time to heal.

Yesterday I ran 3.76 miles @7:54/mi, and everything felt great.  I suppose everything is back to normal. Bo and I are going about 15 miles for our long run today. Normally we run our long runs on Mondays, but today is beautiful, so we are going to take advantage of it.

Next weekend is our Regional XC meet at UCONN.  I am curious as to how I will perform, due to taking the week really easy, but I am not concerned about it.  I am completely focused on the marathon now.  I get chills every time I think about crossing that line for the first time. This is quite an exciting journey!

In about three weeks, after re-commitment, I will learn about the family that I am going to race for.  I am really excited about the fact that I am running for somebody.  It pushes me through the pain because the pain I feel is insignificant compared to the pain that the person and his or her family go through every day.

Keep the donations coming.  I can only reach so many people on my own, so outside help is needed.  If you are reading this now, forward this so someone!  Thank you very much to everyone who has donated.  It is very much appreciated; I can't say it enough.

"I do today what you won't so I can do tomorrow what you can't."
-Jerry Rice

Ninth Week of Training: 3 Oct - 9 Oct
38.2 Mi

Had a pretty good week.  The long run ended up being 13.40 miles, so we're half way there! Had some solid tempo runs to throw into the mix as well.  Bo and I are still experimenting with on-the-go supplements, but we really like the Cliff Shot Bloks.  They are basically orange-flavored over sized gummy bears, but they are delicious.

I tried out the Ghots 3's, and highly disliked them.  I returned them and got a new pair of Mizuno Wave Rider 13's, but I currently have some minor knee pain when I run.  Luckily, next week is a recovery week, so it's onto the elliptical for some rehab.  We'll see how it goes.  The following week we are bumping the mileage into the low/mid 40's!! Progress!

Also, my lovely parents bought me a Garmin Forerunner 405 as an early birthday gift.  This thing is amazing! It monitors my heart rate and has built-in GPS.  The watch tells me my heart rate, my heart rate zone, how far I've ran, my pace, my speed, my speed zone, and automatically splits my time every mile (or other distance that I set).  The time can be set to automatically stop when I stop moving, or run at a slower pace.  If I get lost, it can tell me how to get back to where i started, and display my current location as well.  I can save way points to review at a later date, and plug in coordinates and navigate to that area.  It also tells me how many calories I have burnt, and alerts me to speed up or slow down  in order to keep me on track for my fitness goals.  Oh, and it does tell me the time of day, but it won't do my dishes.

"It's my own space, my own time, when I'm just out there letting my thoughts go. It's part of my day like eating, and it's one of my favorite parts."
-Louise Kent

Eighth Week of Training: 26 Sept - 2 Oct
33.3 Miles
8k Race

It's hard to believe that it has already been eight weeks of training.  Much has changed since that very first week.  It's exciting to think about where I will be a year from now.

Training went pretty well this week.  Started Monday out with a nice 12 mile long run.  Ran a couple hilly areas, but nothing too out of the ordinary.  We ran Fox Golf, which is our Fox Hollow loop combined with Golf Course.  Click HERE to view that route.  The other two runs were about 7.5 each, one of which was in the pouring rain.

Today we raced in Slippery Rock, which was a pretty crazy course.  The first .25miles was all uphill, and we ran up this hill multiple times during the race.  They also had a castle (check photos), which we ran through at the end.  I ended up running a 36:05, and finishing 161 out of 165(I think).  Our men's team ended up getting 6th out of 10, and our girls won. Way to go Girls!!! They are having an outstanding season thus far.  Our next meet is at UCONN for regionals.

In other news, I just ordered the Brooks Ghost 3's.  My goal is to try out some new shoes to find my perfect pair, although my Mizuno Wave Rider 13's were pretty fantastic. I've logged almost 450mi, so it is definitely time for a new pair.

Thank you to everyone for all the support and the donations. Lets keep the referrals up. Remember, any amount is helpful because it all adds up. Also, any product donations will help in our raffle.  If someone has other ideas for fund raising, just send me an e-mail.

"You also need to look back, not just at the people who are running behind you but especially at those who don't run and never will... those who run but don't race...those who started training for a race but didn't carry through...those who got to the starting line but didn't in the finish line...those who once raced better than you but no longer run at all. You're still here. Take pride in wherever you finish. Look at all the people you've outlasted."
- Joe Henderson

Seventh Week of Training: 19 Sept - 25 Sept
Training 27.3 Mi
Race 8k / 5 Mi
Long Run
Easy Runs
Tempo Run

What a great week!  First, I would like to thank everyone who has donated recently.  Keep spreading the word!  The more people that know, the better.  This can be done!

We just had a Cross Country meet in Philadelphia's Fairmont Park / Belmont Plateau area.  Our race got  pushed back a couple hours, so we didn't end up racing until 3:00.  By then, it was pretty hot out, which took a toll on everyone racing.  The combination of heat and large hills made this a difficult one at best.  I ended up running a 39:00 8k.  Not too bad considering the weather and the hills.  I'm sure I would have a new PR if it were flat.  Both the men's and women's team took first place, so our season is going well.  Next week is Slippery Rock University!

As for training, Bo and I decided to keep on increasing our miles.  We went on a fantastic 10.5mi run at 8:40 Pace.  It was a little fast for long run pace, but that's okay.  Every long run from here on out, with the exception of recovery weeks, will be a new run in it's self.  I had a couple great runs in the rain, which I LOVE.  I'm not sure why, but it just relaxes me while I run.

Gear is getting pretty worn already.  It's time to buy some new shoes, since my Mizuno's already have, at a minimum, 375 miles on them, if not more.  I am probably going to invest in some Brooks Ghost 3's.  I'm not really feeling any of the color schemes, but they seem to be sturdy, supportive, and light.  It's also getting cooler out, so I need to begin to invest in cool weather clothing, which costs more money that I don't have. I love college.  I've been wearing my CW-X PerformX tights after long runs and faster runs.  It could be mental, but I honestly believe that they speed up my recovery time significantly.  I have barely had any muscle pain after wearing these.  I love them and the support they offer as well.

Bo and I are also collecting products, gift cards, services, etc for our raffle.  If you have anything or know of anything that can be donated to the raffle, please let me know.  This could possibly be our largest fund raiser.

"The battles that count aren't the ones for gold medals. The struggles within yourself - the invisible, inevitable battles inside all of us - that's where it's at."
- Jesse Owens 

Sixth Week of Training: 12 Sept - 18 Sept
23.6 Mi
Long Run
Easy Runs

Took it easy this week.  Had some very minor tibial pain, but it has subsided.  Next week will ramp back up to maybe 30 miles.  Had an awesome long run and another run in the rain.  Ran that one pretty quick.  The long run next week should be about 10.5 miles, and then a cross country meet in Philly!!

Fifth Week of Training: 5 Sept - 11 Sept 
Training: 29.1Mi
Race: 8k (5mi)
Total Miles: 34.1Mi
Long Run
Easy Runs
Tempo Runs

What a weekend! Bo and I steadily increased our miles this week, preparing for our first cross country race.  Our Club XC team traveled 45 minutes to the Lock Haven Invitational on Sept 11 (Never Forget).  Our men's team took 2nd and our girls team won!!  It was a great experience.  Bo and I are beginning plans on raffles to raise money.  This should be ready to go in a week or two.

Thank you to everyone who has donated thus far! I'm that much closer to meeting my goal! The most important thing to remember is that I am not looking for huge donations.  I rather have 100 people donate $5 each then have 5 people donate $100.  Honestly, any amount is appreciated, and every dollar adds up.  Please make sure you forward this page to others as well.  The more people, the better.

Our meet was interesting. The course was pretty flat and repetitive. I ended up coming in 94th out of 98 racers.  I ran 8k (~5mi) in 35:03; basically 7min/mi.  In retrospect, I could have pushed harder through mile 2 and 3. My splits were:  1) 6:42 - 2) 7:12 - 3) 7:30 - 4) 6:59 - 5) 6:39.    #495!

Check out the new pictures from our meet!

A Couple Links:

"Defeat Doesn't Finish A Man -- Quit Does"
- Richard Nixon

Fourth Week of Training: 29 Aug - 4 Sept 
26.9 Mi
Long Runs
Easy Runs

Dropped the mileage this week to recover from the large increase the previous week.  Cross Country is going great so far!  This is my first season of Penn State football, and the first game was incredible.  The energy and excitement is unparalleled anywhere else.  Gotta clean the stadium up tomorrow morning with club XC... but shouldn't take too long.  Our first meet is next weekend!!!

"Life Has No Limitations Except The Ones You Make"
-Les Brown

Third Week of Training: 22 August - 28 August
35.2 Miles
Long Runs
Easy Runs

      What a great week!  Club XC began, which pretty much caused our 55% increase in mileage.  That wasn't the plan, but it happened.  Club XC, where to begin?  Really just an awesome group of people, it's only been a week, but it already feels like a large family.  Bo and I went on a 9.2 long run, which turned out alright.  We went out nice and slow for the first couple miles, but then caught up to the club, so our pace drastically changed. We ran it in 1:17:26 (8:26/mi) - furthest I have ran in my life...thus far.  We are dropping our miles for next week to get back on track.  

      We also got into contact with our western region TNT coach.  He has some good stuff ready for us; intense track workouts and whatnot. I'm actually excited for them.  Bo and I have our eyes set on a new goal already: qualifying for Boston.  We need to get sub 3:11:00 to qualify.  It will happen eventually, but completion is our main goal, but ultimately, Boston is our ideal goal.

      Keep the referrals going! The more people, the better.  I would like to have $700.00 by mid September; Lets make that happen.

"Ninety-nine percent of the failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses."

-George Washington Carver

Second Week of Training: 15 August - 21 August
Long Runs
Easy Runs

Well, training is progressing nicely so far.  This week was very successful, my long run ended up to be about 6.30 miles, with an 800M cool down on the track.  I'm still on the basic easy run/long run plan right now.  As of now, my schedule is Sun/Mon/Tue/Thur: Easy Run (for time), Wed: Cross Train/ Rest, Fri: Long Run (minimum distance and time), Sat: Rest.  I am also working hard on core strength to aid in making my form better.  Lastly, I just moved back to school, so I'm getting some nice runs in with great new scenery. I love it up here!

“If there exists no possibility of failure, then victory is meaningless.”

- Robert H. Schuller

 First Week of Training: 7 August - 14 August

18.1 Miles
Easy Runs
Long Runs

      Well, the first week is done already. Just getting into the rhythm of distance training again. I'm looking forward to club cross country and also my training with Team In Training.  Both will be a good time.

      This week, I had a couple of rough runs, but made it through them.  Slowly but surely, progress is being made.

"Most people who succeed in the face of seemingly impossible conditions are people who simply don't know how to quit." 

- Robert Schuller

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