Sunday, November 22, 2015

Week of November 16 - November 22

Week of November 16 - November 22 

November 16 (Monday) - PM: 8.6 miles roads/trails w/ Andy.
November 17 (Tuesday) - AM: 5 miles very easy - roads.  PM: 8 miles very easy - roads.
November 18 (Wednesday) - AM: 5 miles roads - slightly up tempo.  PM: 10.6 miles - roads w/ Andy.
November 19 (Thursday) - PM: 8.3 miles roads - very easy.  Raining and cold.
November 20 (Friday) - PM: 10 miles mountain/trail/roads w/ Andy.
November 21 (Saturday) - PM: 7.1 miles - mountain/trail/roads w/ Andy.
November 22 (Sunday) - AM: 11.1 miles - roads - moderate w/ Andy. Raining and cold.

 Summary: 74.2 miles for the week.  5,092 feet of climbing.  Decent weather (for November) other than the cold rain we had...but that's better than snow.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Week of November 9 - November 15

Week of November 9 - November 15

November 9 (Monday) - AM: 7.2 miles (56:52) - easy. Roads, single track, and snowmobile trails.
November 10 (Tuesday) - AM: 5 miles (30:51) - slight unplanned progression. PM: 8 miles (1:01:01) - hilly dirt roads and class vi roads. Easy but about 1200 ft. of climbing.
November 11 (Wednesday) - PM: 10 miles (1:18:28).  Dirt roads and single track trails at night w/ headlamps... With Ryan and Kristina.
November 12 (Thursday) - PM: 10.1 miles (1:20:48).  With Andy. Dirt roads and class vi roads + an  unnamed peak bagging session.  1355 ft of elevation total.  Soaking wet out.
November 13 (Friday) - AM: 8 miles (50:41). Solo out and back (flat). Leg a little sore.
November 14 (Saturday) - PM: 3 miles (22:00). Treadmill late. Leg bothering me too much on the constant pounding to go longer.
November 15 (Sunday) - PM: 20 miles (2:15:15). Big lake loop. Nice and moderately easy.  Legs a little tight near the middle and hips got progressively tighter but it was manageable.  Fracture spot started bothering me with 1.5 to go which was a little bit of a downer.  The rest of the run was nice and solid.

Summary: 71.6 miles for the week on 8 runs (including that 3 mile stinkbomb on Saturday night).  4632 ft. of gain across 7 of the 8 runs.  It was a solid week of training, all things considered.  Gave the Mill a test on Saturday night after having to watch the kids all day and it was a no go. I may not be able to do the Mill this winter.  It was really bothering my leg with all the constant uniform pounding.  It may be a long cold winter...outside.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

November 8 (Sunday)

November 8 (Sunday) - 17 miles at about 5:30am ...had to get the run in before 8:30 today so it was my only option... First 4-5 miles with a headlamp...then it was a nice (slightly windy) jaunt through Madison, Albany, Tamworth.  Took a wrong turn at 12 miles for a bit, went up a big hill, then figured it out and turned back.  Got an extra mile in (was originally planning 16).  Good solid run without much effort.  Back was very stiff early in the morning (as it usually is) so it took me a bit to warmup.

71 miles for the week...back on track.

One other thing we got accomplished today...that God awful TV antenna finally found it's match...It just took a guy who has no fear up on a 2 story house peak...

Saturday, November 7, 2015

November 7 (Saturday)

November 7 (Saturday) - 6 miles early in the day before the parents got here to watch the kids...Headed over to lunch w/ Kristin, Ryan, and Kristina.  Was going to run later on by decided that the 6 was good for the day.

This was the first run I've done in the past 20 years where I was aware that I was no longer the Wakefield High School record holder for the 800 meters. I discovered today that a kid broke my now 20 year old record, back in June of this year (2015). My record lasted from 1995 to 2015.  The record I broke back in 1995 was from 1965 (30 years).  The new school record is 1:56.16.  My record was 1:56:2.  Pretty close...but records were meant to be broken....glad that it lasted that long but glad it's now been broken.  (small article here).

Friday, November 6, 2015

November 6 (Friday)

November 6 (Friday) - 10.6 miles easy on the roads at lunch.  Out and back on 113/41 + the Moores Pond Rd. loop.  Gotta love this weather....

Thursday, November 5, 2015

November 5 (Thursday)

November 5 (Thursday) - 10 miles on the roads. Out and back and flat (113 to 41 to the Pine Barrens and back).  Nice weather, no excuses.  Tonight is the season finale of Project Runway so I had to get it in early, shower, get my jammies on, and get ready for NY Fashion Week.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

November 4 (Wednesday)

November 4 (Wednesday) - 11.5 miles out and back around Carved in Bark neighborhood from the house.  Beautiful weather out there.  Sneaking out for lunch as much as I can for some runs before the snow flies.  Leg felt a little better today and overall I felt better than Monday by far.  Run felt very easy and wasn't much slower than the run on Monday but a tad longer...I'll take it.

Heard something on the radio last night on the way home from Ryan's that kind of blew my mind... a caller pointed out that the same amount of time has passed (15 years) since these two things....

1) There was 15 years between the 1985 Bears vs. Pats Super Bowl and Tom Brady's first game w/ the Pats in 2000.

2) There has been 15 years between Tom Brady's first game as a Pat and now.

It seems to me to be literally generations between that 1985 Super Bowl and when the Pats drafted Brady and he started playing.  It doesn't seem like that long since he started playing for the Pats though...crazy.  I'm getting old.  I'm glad he has decided to play another 10 years ;)...

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

November 3 (Tuesday)

November 3 (Tuesday) - Nightime run on the snowmobile trails in Tamworth around Bolles area w/ Ryan Welts.  Cool, damp, dark 5 miles.  I am not a fan of the early darkness these days.... Good easy run on some rolling trails is far better than a zero.

Monday, November 2, 2015

November 2 (Monday)

November 2 (Monday) - First run in a week. Took a week to focus on trying to get healthy. I'm still sick which is ridiculous.  Congestion is just a fact of life now but the way I feel when I'm running is just not pleasant lately.  The week felt GREAT though.  Got most of the fall cleanup done outside, did a decent amount of coin shooting, and got some work done at work believe it or not.  We did a couple of trips, Kristin got to go on some nice hikes and I got to spend daddy-daughter time (which is basically solely focused on My Little Pony toys, videos, books, clothing, bedding, etc.).

Today I got out for a solo lake bang.  I haven't done that many lake bangs this year and not that many solo ones... It felt kind of strange after 7 days of no running.  I wasn't sure how to pace myself and felt a little quick at the beginning but then soon discovered that I am not in great shape right now.  I was able to run fairly even splits for 10.5 miles with about 600 ft. of gain.  6:35 pace overall and it felt kind of hard at the end.  I really felt worn down.  I may need to just slowly ease back into it.  That pace should feel easy on the 'flat' lake bang but it just really feels like I'm still sick and it's tough to run like that for that long at this point.  We'll see how the rest of the week plays out.  One other concerning thing is my left tibia acting up again.  It actually started to HURT late in the week last week when I wasn't even running. I have no idea how.  It was a little sore at the start today but was ok by the time I got rolling along.

Got out for about an hour before the sun went down and dug two .22 bullets, a bottlecap, and some pull tabs...probably from the 60s...up along the Cascades trail.  In other words I wasted my time again...

Monday, October 26, 2015

Catching Up - October 18 - October 25

Not much to talk about about on the running front the last week +.  I've been sick and haven't been doing much of anything other than work and trying to NOT give my headcold to my kids while still being a good parent and doing the usual daddy-daughter(s) things.

I ran w/ Andy last Sunday early in the am.  A nice steady run in Conway/Albany as we looped Passaconaway Rd. and the Kanc for just over 15 miles.  I capped off a nice 72 mile week but knew I was getting sick.  That would be my last good run for a while.  I had been trying to ignore the signs but it was getting more and more obvious.  Throughout the last week I had many broken nights of sleep and a sore throat, heavy congestion, headaches, etc.  Couple that with an oncoming nagging cough and stresses at work I had to deal with all week, and my running definitely took a backseat.  I figured I could just take some rest days and surely I'd be recovered by Sunday.  That didn't happen. I almost got progressively worse as the week went on.  I only ran 4 days this past week including Sunday's WMM Half Marathon which was a disaster.  I knew I shouldn't have tried to race after the week I had and the way I felt on Sunday but I did anyways and it showed.  I couldn't run hard for more than a few miles and my body just shut down.  Couldn't breathe, couldn't get comfortable at all, and just rigged up about halfway and wanted to stop. My body's definitely telling me something and I'm now listening.  Going to shut down the racing now and get ready for the winter, whatever that means.  I would like to personally thank the a-hole who coughed on me, shook my hand after wiping his/her nose, used the Walmart carriage before me and sneezed on the handle, etc.  I thank you and my kids thank you.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

October 17 (Saturday)

October 17 (Saturday) - After a couple of early morning hours of metal detecting an old colonial cellar hole in East Madison (and finding only a few ho-hum old iron knick knacks), I watched the kids for the day while Kristin and Kristina did a hike up Sandwich Dome.  Later in the day when she got back, I hit up the yard for a quick few swipes of the AT Pro before heading over to Andy's for a 10 spot.   10 miles from Andy's down East Madison Rd. then up 153 to Glines Hill (mini Mount Washington) and then up and over to Pound and then up and over to Maple Grove before returning back to Andy's.  Good solid run.  We didn't even work the E. Madison downhill and took it pretty easy until the last couple miles and still rocked sub 7s with near 1100 feet of gain (mostly up Glines Hill).

I found horseshoe #2 in the front yard as well as this interesting Madison, NH Dog License tag from 1954 below.  Looks like it was number 36 for 1954.  I should go to the town hall to find out where the dog lived...

Friday, October 16, 2015

October 16 (Friday)

October 16 (Friday) - Easy 5.7 miles after work from Andy's up to Bald Ledge and then back via snowmobile trails off of Goe Hill.  The trails were devastated from some ugly logging.  Followed Andy's bad nose for directions at first, then after I corrected the situation, we found the top.  Ran into Gabe and his family near the summit.  Got in a few minutes of treasure hunting late in the day...nothing much to report.  Still have a head cold and have been getting bad sleep.

Tabby Rose trying on her Rainbow Dash wig for Halloween

Tabby Rose trying on her Rainbow Dash wig for Halloween

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Catching Up

Playing some catch up... Here's what's happened since the marathons....

October 4 (Sunday) - off (day after marathon...time to recover)
October 5 (Monday) - 5.1 miles easy
October 6 (Tuesday) - 8 miles hard
October 7 (Wednesday) - 10 miles w/ some light track tempo
October 8 (Thursday) - 8.5 miles
October 9 (Friday) - 8.6 miles easy on snowmobile trails
October 10 (Saturday) - off
October 11 (Sunday) - 9.3 miles easy
October 12 (Monday) - 8 miles hilly roads
October 13 (Tuesday) - am 5 miles / pm 8 miles
October 14 (Wednesday) - 10.5 miles trails/mountains
October 15 (Thursday) - 9 miles hilly roads

One more weekend off, then most likely the WMM Half in Conway next weekend.  The NH Individual Age 38 State Record for a Half is 1:14 and change...I should be able to do that without much issue.  I got the Age 38 State Record a few weeks back at Clarence Demar for the marathon.  I now have the 37 and 38 age records for the marathon in NH by a NH resident.  Getting the Age 39 record next year will be a bit of a challenge considering it drops way back down to a 2:29 and change.  I have a feeling that will be more of a challenge than the last couple years.

I did manage to get a head cold yesterday somehow so I'm hoping it passes before next weekend.  Will try to run though it as best I can.

Have been getting in some great coin hunting in though...beautiful fall days recently and some great permissions I've obtained are leading to some exciting times with my new machine...

Saturday, October 3, 2015

October 3 (Saturday) - NH Marathon

October 3 (Saturday) - Early in the a.m. I headed out yet again for a marathon (why not, I'm a big boy right?).  The second one in 7 days... This time, it was over to the NH Marathon (results).  This marathon was only about an hour away, in Bristol, NH.  It was going to give me 5 new towns in my quest to townbag all the NH towns.  The course runs counter-clockwise around Newfound Lake (plus an out and back section to the northwest).  It runs through the towns of Bristol, Bridgewater, Hebron, Groton, and Alexandria.  As I came to realize, it is a beautiful course.  I know nobody will watch it in it's entirety, but if you are interested in seeing some of the hills and scenery (especially if you haven't done the race and are contemplating doing it), I suggest to give this a watch (below)...

A nice 'View the Race' video of the actual course...

As I noted, this race is pretty hilly.  I had over 1200 feet of elevation gain on my Garmin data after the race and that may be conservative.  I knew this going in but still just wanted to go after an elusive Marathon win.  Last week's Clarence Demar 2:35:38 effort got me 2nd place because of Patrick Moulton's insatiable desire to steal my thunder.  So I had to throw what I had left at this race.  I had peeked at the pre-reg list and saw Casey Carroll on the list.  He was the only name that stood out to me, but that didn't mean much.  There could have been a dozen names on there that may have been able to give it a run...I wasn't sure.  Casey has won the race multiple times and has gone under 2:40 there, which is very good.   Also, because you could register day-of, I figured someone (like Pat last week) would show up and ruin my quiet bid for marathon dominance.  Also the fact that there was prize money ($300 beans for the win) made it even more probably that maybe someone would show up.

After arriving and registering, I had quite a bit of time to try to stretch and get ready.  The weather was chilly but that's good for a marathon I'm told.  It warmed up a decent amount and by the time I was making my way down to the start it was very pleasant.  It looked like there were a few good guys warming up and a few, including a BAA dude, were doing some strides and drills, etc.  I was pretty nervous at that point that my whole plan of being able to run 'easy' was going to be out the door.  Then I realized....there was also a 10K that started right at the same time and place that the marathon did (the Half Marathon started 13 miles away and headed down over the last part of the marathon course).  The 10K guys were the ones that were actually warming up and doing strides...that started to make sense as the race went off.

At the gun, the BAA guy (David Chorney) took off hard, followed by a couple other guys.  Then there was a pack of marathoners including me and Casey Carroll.  A couple of the guys around us I thought were doing the 10k and we were all just running a similar pace at the beginning.  I moved up a little and got on Casey's shoulder and we chatted a bit in the first mile.  I told him I wanted to just run steady but not kill myself as I was pretty spent from the previous weekend.  He indicated he wanted to run in the low 2:40 range and if possible, maybe go under 2:40 if the conditions were right.  He did indicate the course was very hilly but it's possible and he's done it in the past.  I immediately figured I was at least going for 2nd at that point and he actually moved away a bit.  I settled back a ways into a gap between Casey and the next few guys behind (who I thought were running the 10k).  The first mile (if you watch the video you'll see) is uphill a ways and is on the slow side. I was over 6:30 and was right near Casey so I knew it was going to probably be a very slow day for me at least (compared to last week).... but little did I know, that would be my slowest mile all day.  I was glad I started out very easy (unlike last week) but a little apprehensive of what the next few miles would bring.

For the 10k, it was basically a 3 mile out and back.  As Chorney and the 2nd place guy came back at us, I realized that the guy who was WAY up in 3rd place (wearing a very bright orange singlet) was running the marathon as he kept going after the turnaround.  I was shocked.  I could barely see him at this point, only 3 miles into the race.  I actually thought he maybe missed the turnaround and went too far...and maybe he was still running the 10k...but he never turned.  He was hammering.  I think Casey was also pretty surprised. We all thought he was a 10k guy for sure and we thought we were definitely in 1-2 but now we were looking at 2-3.  Also to my surprise, was all the other guys not too far behind me, who I thought were running the 10k, continue on the marathon route as well.  I quickly realized it would possibly be a much different day than I had anticipated.

Somewhere around 4 miles or so, I rolled up on Casey and just got behind him.  Periodically I'd move next to him but I wasn't in any rush. I just wanted to hang on, as I knew he was going to be doing his normal thing and that would be a great pace to roll with for as long as I could.  He knew the course and I really thought he'd be running away from me sooner than later, so I didn't move ahead.  We quickly chatted somewhere around 5 or 6 about how that guy up ahead (who we could only see at this point on the very long stretches of highway) was either VERY good or running himself into the ground with way too hot of a pace for the nature of the course.   I knew he'd either beat us by a lot or we'd maybe catch him....or at least Casey would...  but most of me was leaning towards us eventually completely losing sight of him.  We were clicking off miles between 6 min to 6:10 or so and that was fine with me...right where I figured I needed to be.

Casey had taken a gel before the 8 mile water stop and it apparently did a number on his stomach.  As we rolled up (literally up a big hill) to the aid station, he moved right ahead of me and then immediately slowed almost to a walk as he asked for 2 waters.  I moved around him and quickly grabbed a cup of Gatorade, but then realized he wasn't coming with me.  I slowed and moved kind of back and forth on the road, looking back, and waiting for him.  I did this for a little bit but each time I looked, he wasn't catching me and I started to have a decent (inadvertent) gap.  Eventually, as I started to hit the downhill, I realized something was wrong.  He had either cramped or was not feeling well, etc.  It was clear now I was on my own.   I started rolling over the next few miles, keeping the same type of pace.  There were some nice downhills and twisting and turning country roads ahead for the next bunch of miles and I slowly started to pull away.  Eventually, I could only see Casey on the long back stretches.

I hit the next few miles maybe a bit quicker than I should have and kept telling myself to slow down. I could feel myself holding back and feeling very in control of the pace.  It felt like I was just out for a long run alone, and it was pretty comforting to know I was doing that around 6:00-6:10 pace without issue.  I couldn't see the leader at all anymore.  I clicked through 10/11/12 on my way to 13 and somewhere around there would be the turnaround point on a small (out and back) section before dropping down the other side of the lake for the complete loop around the lake.  Somewhere around 12 or so, there was a long stretch up to a water stop and I actually caught a glimpse of the leader's bright singlet.  I hadn't seen him in miles.  That was the first time I thought that maybe I could roll up on him if he started to feel the early pace.

On the out and back section, there are some dirt stretches and some longer views where a couple of times, I started counting as he turned a see how far back I was.  The first couple times I did it, he had 1:20 or so on me.  As he hit the turnaround point and started back at me, I got to run right past him and see how he was doing.   He definitely looked to be struggling a little bit but not as much as I had anticipated.  I counted as I went by him, to see how long it would take me to get to the point where I had seen him go by me.  I turned and headed back and realized I had made up about 15 or so seconds since the last time I had counted.   I was definitely catching him.

I went by Casey who was still in 3rd as he headed towards me on my way back.  He looked to be OK but was pretty far back and I was feeling great, so I wasn't really too concerned about someone catching me.   At that point in the race I was really just starting to focus on catching the leader.  It was a great distraction really. I think if I was leading then, the next bunch of miles would have been worse than they were.   But seeing I was just focusing solely on running him down, it made me take things one mile at a time.  As I passed the next guy (not too far back of Casey), he commented to me that the leader looked to be struggling and I should be able to get him.  I actually heard the same thing from a few people I started running by during the out and back section.   This got me pretty pumped.

By 16 and 17 I had closed the gap considerably and by the time the 17 mile mark was hit, I was almost on him.  It had taken a few miles, but I was being very patient.  I kept telling myself the more and more he got closer to me, to slow down and just keep pace.  I felt myself getting quicker at times and really tried to scale it back. I knew I was going to catch him with my current pace eventually and didn't want to spend too much additional energy when I didn't have to.  There was still a lot of race to go and I had NO clue how hilly the rest of the course was.  I didn't know anything about where the hills or flats, etc. were and maybe that was actually a good thing.

Right about at 17.5 or so, during a big uphill, I finally rolled up along side the leader.  He was way out front and out of view for 17.5 miles but I finally took the lead with about 8.5 miles to go.  He was definitely spent from the early pace and was in no shape to hop on board as I went by (even with my invitation).  By 18 miles, I had gapped him considerably.  I started passing through back of the pack half marathoners who were all cheering me on as I went by.

Occasionally I would peek back and only see his bright shirt way in the distance.  Eventually it was only on the super long stretches.  I couldn't see anyone else, which was very comforting.  I knew he wouldn't be rebounding enough to catch me and there was no way anyone else was going to make up that much time on me over the last few miles unless I really blew up.   Even though I was keeping a fairly even and manageable pace, given the rolling hills (I actually came through my 20 mile split in just under 6), as I hit 20 miles, the same thing happened to me that happened last week.  I suddenly got this overwhelming feeling of despair.  Even though I hadn't hit 'the wall' physically per se, mentally I started thinking about having an entire 10k to go....soon, like I did last week, I started thinking about every mile I had left and it seemed like an eternity.  I just don't do that many long runs anymore so it's probably natural to feel this way after 20...

The last 6.2 miles go by VERY slowly.  I hit 21 and started thinking about how long I had....5 whole miles.... then 22...same thing...4 entire miles...... then entire 5k+ to go..... It was a grind...physically and mentally for me.  Even though I was actually running alright and faster than my last miles of the previous week's marathon, I was starting to check out. I was a little motivated that I was in no way hitting the wall like I did at Demar last week, and my miles were still quicker than last week... but I was just wanting to be done.  I started to slow up even more as I looked back and didn't see anyone.  I hit 24 and that's kind of the magic number really.  Just over 2 miles to go.  To get caught over the last 2 miles in a marathon, when you either have a good gap or you can't even see anyone behind (like was now the case), is almost impossible unless you completely blow up and start walking.  I was far from that.  The last couple miles have zero hills and have some slight downs.  One of the volunteers told me that as I hit the last turn onto 3A with 2 miles to go.  At this point I was just in finishing mode.  I still managed a 6:17 and 6:12 last 2 miles as I was just simply running.  No longer trying to race to a victory. I knew I had it and was pretty much just trying to make it official by reaching the damn line...

I turned into the last small loop around the block near the school and dropped down into the field where I just nearly missed going under 2:41.  I came through the line in 2:41:06 for my first ever marathon win.  6:09 pace for a very hilly race, only 6 days removed from running 2:35 at Clarence Demar.  I'll take it!   After the year I've had (with injury), being 38 now, and not having done any specific marathon training of any kind, I can't be anything but pleased.  What made the race even more rewarding and exciting for me, was the way it played out.  Being way back... initially in 3rd place for 8 miles and thinking 3rd would be the best it would get.... to clawing my way up to the lead and then holding it strong for a big stretch over a beautiful course.  The $300 bucks for the win was also a nice bonus :).

The dude who was initially in 4th at the turnaround (who told me I could catch the leader) ended up running a strong 2nd place (3:30 back of me) and Casey hung on for the last podium spot in 3rd, despite having the stomach issues from 8 miles on.  The leader early on, finished 4th in 2:52, losing a lot of time over the last 8.5 miles.  I'd love to know what his 10 mile split was.... pretty impressive early running from him...but the race was 26.2 miles and he quickly found that out after the halfway point....lesson learned for sure.

I had to quickly hop in the car and take off, as I had to be in Boston by 6pm and I had to first go home, shower, pick up the family, drop the kids off at my parents, and then head down... It was kind of sad to have to rush out of there, but I had accomplished most of what I had set out to do (win a marathon was the B 2 in a week's time was really the A goal but thanks to Patrick Moulton, that may have to wait) :)... that may have been a little too greedy anyways so maybe it suits me right that he ruined my evil plans :)....

Strava Data:

Friday, October 2, 2015

Catching Up (Sept 28 - Oct 2)

I had been pretty busy last week with not running a whole lot and getting used to the summer being over. I also had been trying to deliberately recover from my 2nd place finish (2:35:38) at the Clarence Demar Marathon last Sunday in anticipation of running the NH Marathon on Saturday (only 6 days later).  I figured I'd go very easy or not at all, this past week...try to fully recover...and then if I felt OK on Saturday morning, drive over to Bristol for a race day registration.  

On Monday (September 28) The following day after Clarence Demar, I hit up the Albany Town Forest trails from the ranger station on the Kanc for an easy 5.2 miles on the grass and single track.  Kevin joined me (Kevin Tilton from Center Conway, NH) for the mostly uneventful and slow jog (although I did take a nice fall coming out of the trails). I then stood over in the Swift River for 10 minutes (up to my waist) to try to ice the legs a bit.  The water was surprisingly warm though (well warmer than I was expecting for sure).

On Tuesday (September 29)  I bagged a run and just got a rest day in, as I felt 'OK' but still a little banged up.

On Wednesday (September 30) I closed out the month with a short (4.5 miles), wet bushwhack with Andy and Squall up the powerlines and nature conserve in the geographic center of town.  It would have been easier with a machete though for sure.

The great news of the day/week/month though was that I FOUND MY WEDDING RING!  I have been looking for it since I lost it in early May.  I lost it right as my sabbatical started and I spent a lot of time looking for it up in the woods.  I used an older (cheaper) metal detector and even purchased a brand new, much more powerful machine and some other aids to help me but couldn't find it.  I had my dad and also a friend (and sometimes Tabby Rose) help me but with multiple people looking, 3 different machines, and numerous hours, we couldn't find it.  Then finally on Wednesday, the day after the torrential storm we had, I went up there and spent about 10 minutes with my new machine and found it in a huge pile of wet leaves.

I finished up the month with 283.3 miles for September.  Down a bit from August but with the 2 marathons at the end of the stretch, I was figuring there would be some off days and some short days.

On Thursday (October 1) Andy and I did another easy 5.3 mile shakeout on the roads of Madison.  He's still recovering from his great VT 50 run and I've been trying to slog through some pretty awful allergies and congestion.  We talked about race / training strategies and I tried to keep my mind off the fact that I was to toe the line yet again for another marathon in a couple days...

Got this nice package in the mail from the boys and girls at SIX03...who would have guessed there were ONLY a couple of nice long sleeves in there?

On Friday (October 2) I took the day off again as I did last week the day before the race.  I was a little hesitant at first and wasn't sure how my legs were going to feel in a 'faster' effort.  Faster meaning faster than the jogging I was doing this past week.  I felt pretty good otherwise except for my allergies really being bad.  Friday was especially bad with a headache and congestion. I actually thought I may have been coming down with something just based on the way it was wiping me out.  But my legs felt ok which was the big thing.  I got pretty bad sleep on Thursday and Friday nights due to the congestion.

Saturday, I hit up the NH Marathon in Bristol, NH to try my hand yet again (thanks to Patrick Moulton) in winning a marathon.  I'll post a new separate update with the race writeup.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

September 27 (Sunday) - Clarence Demar Marathon

Bill Gnade photo - Keene Sentinel

September 27 (Sunday) - Another NH race crossed off the list. I figured since the year was all wonked up anyways due to my injury, I'd mix it up and just jump into a fall marathon.  What better way to begin that with the Clarence Demar Marathon (38th running) (results) in Keene.  I've never run this race before so it was time to test out the leg at the longer stuff and also get a good idea of where I am fitness-wise.  I also thought I may have an outside shot at a marathon win, depending on who showed up.

I've been congested with either a cold (which I think I may have a touch of) and/or severe allergies for a week + (or a mixture of both).  The past few nights were especially bad.  Last night (the night before the race) I got about 2 hours of broken sleep because I couldn't breathe.  I also had to get up at 2:30am to be on the road by 3am to make it to Keene in time to get my bib and get on the bus to Gilsum, NH and the start.  After a nice moonlit drive (2 and a half hours), I arrived in Keene, still under the cover of darkness, and popped into the Keene State gym to get my number.  While in the bathroom, I ran into Scott Leslie.  I immediately knew 1st place was out the window.  I was happy to see my teammate but kind of disappointed that now my hopes of a marathon win (finally) was out the door.  Scott has been a great marathon runner for years and he was just doing Demar as a warmup before his Hartford race in 2 weeks.   Despite only doing Demar as a warmup, I figured his workout pace would be hotter than my current race pace.   I hopped on the bus to the start and we finally got there after taking a wrong turn on the way...

While waiting inside (it was freezing out) I ran into Patrick Moulton, who registered that morning.  My thoughts immediately shifted to 3rd place now... but as I looked around, I started to see a few other guys who looked like they were pretty good. I started to realize that it wouldn't be an 'easy' day as I had initially hoped for and thought it would be.   Scott and I walked over to the start, which was our warmup.  We then stood on the line, freezing, and scoped out the competition (or at least I did)... I noticed last year's winner, George Adams, on the line and was glad he was in the race to try to defend his title (although I had heard he was hurt).  After a short prayer given by the local pastor, we were off and running.

Just after the start...Patrick rolling. Herr right behind.  Me to the right.

Patrick shot off to an immediate lead.  He had told me he wasn't sure what would happen and he wasn't particularly training for a marathon (then again, who was?)... He's only run 3 races all year (including this one) and they've all been marathons.  For the first quarter mile or so, there was 7 or so guys ahead of me including David Herr (50 years old) and a dude wearing a Maine singlet.  As the beginning of the race played out, those looked to be the guys jockeying for the early position.  I weaved through a few of them as we started on a nice downhill.  Scott was hanging way back and to plan.  He told me he was going to run easy for the first half and then hammer the second half.  I had almost no doubt he'd catch me, whatever I decided to do.   I made a conscious decision during that first mile, to go for it.  I had no clue how long I could run sub 6s for but figured I'd go up to Pat and keep him company for a while.  I rolled up on him before the mile mark and settled into pace.  He was happy to see me and we started shooting the sh*t as the pace 'seemed' easy.

The second mile had the steepest climb and it was our slowest of the first half of the race.  We started to slowly break apart the chasers.  Only Herr and the dude w/ the Maine singlet were in tow and they were right behind.  Somewhere in the third mile or so, only Herr was lingering.  Pat and I continued to discuss the race and make small talk as the miles rolled on.  He was giving me motivation and encouragement to hang on so I just kept up w/ him and figured I'd do that for 5, 6, 7, 8 miles or whatever...then blow up and get caught.  The miles continued to roll.

Herr was keeping within feet of us for at least the first 10 miles.  I was actually shocked to see a 28 high first 5 mile split considering the way I was feeling.  When we hit 10 miles, I was feeling 'ok' but had small little twinges in my calfs and hamstrings as expected.   They actually started to bark a little, very early in the race (4-5 miles) but I kept everything relatively quiet and in control.  I was feeling very good about how my body was reacting, but knew inevitably I would be paying for 5:4x miles later on.  We kept the pace very even though (other than that 2nd mile w/ the climb).  I was pretty happy to be running with Pat and locked into a pace.  He is very good at that.  He was also really good to be there to talk to and key off of.  I wasn't at all worried about him dropping me, as I knew it was going to happen sooner or later and was completely fine with it.  If it wasn't him and it was some other guy I didn't know and often lose to, I would have been way more nervous.  I was just a little nervous about what was happening behind with Herr and Scott, etc.

We hit 10 miles in 57-high and I was pretty surprised that I was still there and running very even. I thought maybe at 8 miles or so, Pat's pace would be a little too hot, but I was still side by side.  He kept telling me to just hang on and was trying to take my mind off it.  Somewhere between 10 and 11 miles, we actually started to drop Herr.  He started pulling back a little, but not much.  Even Pat was a bit nervous.  At one point during mile 11 he mentioned that he wouldn't really be sweating anything at that point if Herr wasn't lingering back there.  I agreed, it was unnerving.  He's won the race numerous times and has my number in long events.  Even though he's 50, he hasn't really lost anything.

Mile 11/12 ish is out and back over a dam at the base of Surry Mountain Lake.  It's a beautiful part of the course.  Pat and I got to head out and then back against traffic there.  We could see most everyone in that first pack of 7-8 guys or so, not too far back as we started back over the dam.  Herr was still pretty close and we had maybe a mile or so on Scott as he was still running his easy first half.  When I went by Scott, I deliberately pulled a few feet ahead of Patrick (who was laughing) to make it look like I was leading and pulling him along (to play mind games with Scott who I was pretty certain would eventually mow me down).  As we went by Scott, he actually laughed and mentioned that he was surprised I was actually leading the race... it was pretty funny (at the time) considering all the sandbagging I was doing before the race (as usual).

We were 1:15:30ish at the half and I was still there.  Side by side with Pat.  We had gapped David pretty good and he was now way back and sometimes not even in view.  We started to notice his parents (we think) driving past us, pulling over, getting out, and was like clockwork every couple we knew he was still back there pretty close.  I was starting to now feel the enormity of the marathon and the fact that I was only halfway done.  I started to rig a little but still kept with Pat.  Every now and again, we'd hit an uphill and Pat would actually gap me.  Somewhere around 14 or so, I thought for sure I had lost him and he was off.   We hit a good climb and I just couldn't hang.  But then I would catch back up to him on the downs.  Not sure if he was waiting for me or if he was just pulling back and not hammering the downs to conserve.  Either way, he was graciously accepting me back on board each time.  Somewhere around 15 or so, he mentioned to me that his legs were feeling pretty bad and he wasn't sure.  He said something about wanting to at least make it to 20... and he did tell his wife who was driving past us every once in a while and cheering for us, that he wasn't feeling that great.  He had also told me that in a 'if it makes you feel any better' kind of way...but it didn't :).  I was feeling way too bad at that point and was unsure about my ability now to go with him for another 10 miles.

Right by the 16 mile aid station, I reached into my back pocket for a gel.  My first of the race.  Pat seemed to be taking gels often and early.  I wasn't, but I was taking water and Gatorade at each water stop (minus a couple where the volunteer just couldn't figure out how to let go of a cup when I tried to grab it).  When I got the gel out, I was a few steps behind Pat.  It was a flat and uneventful part of the course but somehow when I tried to bite the top off of it, it flew out of my hand and up in the air like 10 feet to the left.  I thought about stopping for it for a split second but quickly decided against it.  Right there I started to lose Pat.  Almost instantaneously he continued on his way at probably the same pace (mid 5:4x's) and I started to drop back.  I reached in and grabbed the only other gel I had (an awful carmel/salt one that was in the race packet) and took that one.  I was starting to feel a possible bonk coming on and needed the calories. I felt the difference right away but also now had an awful taste in my mouth that I had to deal with until the next aid station.

We started to meander through a nice neighborhood section and Pat stayed 10 seconds or so in front of me.  I was now on my own and knew my day with running along side him was was great while it lasted but he's just a true marathoner who knows his way around the last 10 miles.  I knew it was now a matter of time before I was caught by Herr and probably Scott.  As we exited the neighborhood, I saw Scott go by on the crossover section.  I had no clue how far back he was, but figured I had a few miles at least before I'd see him.  No sign of Herr but I kept seeing his parents on the side of the road every couple miles so I knew he was still hanging.

My splits for 17 and 18 on my own were still in the 5:40s but now high 5:40s.  Surprisingly for miles 19 and 20 I was still under 6 but barely.  I was very slowly losing Pat but he was still within 20-30 seconds probably.  I could still see him clearly on most parts.  By 20ish, we had started hitting some bike paths through the woods and over the highway.  There were twisting and turning routes with some small uphill pops that just took the wind out of my sails.  When I split 20 miles in 1:55:4x I was shocked.  I was really pumped to run sub 1:56 but also really concerned that I had sunk my race.  The last 10k were going to be a sh*tshow and I knew it.   I tried to keep Pat and the lead car in sight.

Somewhere before the 21 mile mark I started to zone out.  I started getting slight tunnel-vision and kept catching myself not paying attention to what was going on.  Somehow I kept the pace a respectable 6:07 and 6:08 for my 21st and 22nd miles.  Those were my first miles over 6.  Still no visual sign of David or Scott behind me but I was just waiting.  When I hit 22, I had zero faith I'd still be able to hold off a charge from someone behind.

Leading up to the 23rd mile, we headed into a graveyard section that I just found exceptionally brutal.  There were a couple of slight pops straight uphill (not long, but steep) that I almost had to walk (literally) on.  My legs were trash at this point.   Because of that, I split an abysmal 6:23 for my 23rd mile.  At that point, I was locked into 6:23 for miles 24 and 25.  When I hit 24, I started to have an idea that maybe I could get 2nd.  I knew I had only 2.2ish miles to go and I couldn't see anyone behind me, even on long stretches (with admittedly only quick peeks back).  I figured I could at worst, run 7s to finish up the race if everything fell to hell.  When I hit 25, I knew I had it but just had to keep telling myself to keep pushing forward.

 In the end, I came into the quad at Keene and through the tape in a surprising 2:35:38 (chip time) and a solid 2nd place.  That was my best finish in a marathon.  I've never won a marathon and previous to this, 4th at Manchester was my best finish place-wise.  Pat pushed to a pretty even paced race less maybe the last few miles only falling off just a little bit.  He finished just under 3 minutes up on me.   I lost an awful lot of time off the pace in the last 10k, but it was in no way a disaster.  I was really pleased to run 2:35 and to get 2nd to a class act like Pat.  He pulled me along and I was pretty grateful to have kept him company for a good part of the race.  Scott wasn't that far in back of me, only 1:20 behind.  And he was doing a workout!  I was lucky to have held him off.  He was going a minute per mile faster than me during that last stretch.  Herr finished in 2:39 and change at aged 50.  That was amazing.  I am happy with a 2:39 now at age 38.  I ran tough for 20 miles and didn't completely fall apart on the last 10k, although there is a ton of room for improvement (should I ever decide to train for a marathon).

After chilling out for a bit and talking w/ Scott and Pat and Jim Garcia about their races (Jim with another sub 3:00 marathon at age 57) I limped back over to the car and headed back 2+ hours north (nodding off most of the way)...

The splits (I had 26.39 on my watch)... (2:34:37 for the exact 26.2 split on the GPS).

01) 5:47
02) 5:53
03) 5:44
04) 5:44
05) 5:46
06) 5:46
07) 5:42
08) 5:46
09) 5:46
10) 5:43
11) 5:45
12) 5:41
13) 5:47
14) 5:45
15) 5:48
16) 5:42
17) 5:48
18) 5:47
19) 5:54
20) 5:58
21) 6:07
22) 6:08
23) 6:23
24) 6:23
25) 6:23
26) 6:21
last 3.9 (yes, 3.9): 6:12

Chip: 2:35:38 / Gun: 2:35:40 (otherwise known as 'Teschek-timing').

The Garmin data:

Saturday, September 26, 2015

September 26 (Saturday)

September 26 (Saturday) - off day ahead of running Clarence Demar tomorrow.  Took the family to Remick Farm in Tamworth for the harvest festival.  Beautiful warm fall day....

Friday, September 25, 2015

September 25 (Friday)

September 25 (Friday) - 5.2 miles easy w/ Andy again.  This time, no puking.  Madison 5k course out and straight back on the way back + some of the Johnson Family Reserve Trails in the back to finish off.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

September 24 (Thursday)

September 24 (Thursday) - 5 miles very easy w/ Andy who was sick.  Short powerline loop.  One stop for Andy in the bushes.  Then he puked in my driveway when we were done.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

September 23 (Wednesday)

September 23 (Wednesday) - Another easy day.  One short run.  6 miles from my house.  Out and back on 113/41.  Zero strides after.