Monday, May 11, 2015


Stress Reaction.  That's the diagnosis.  The precursor to a stress fracture...  In my left tibia.  About 1/3 the way down from the knee.  I knew something was serious pretty much during my run last Sunday in the mountains but ignored it all week (in true CMS fashion).  Every day was one step closer to disaster.  Finally on Saturday I had enough.  Good thing I went in today and had an x-ray and talked to the doctor.   The visuals on the x-ray were pretty telling.  I need to take some days and see how it feels.  It could be days. It could be weeks.  It sucks.  I may have to bag a bunch of things I have been looking forward to for literally months.  All because of a bad decision to jump around on a trampoline at a cookout.  What a nightmare.  Right now it's ice, anti-inflammatories, and worst of all, rest.  Nothing else I can do.  Nothing impacting.  Not even biking is suggested.  Swimming is out of the question because I'd rather just not do anything than swim... so there it is.  I lose out on fitness, all the work I've put in, planned (and paid for) races, confidence, etc.  It's a good thing I realize there's a lot more to life than running... my daughters smiles immediately reminds me of that.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Week of May 04 - May 10

Week of May 04 - May 10

It was a horrible week for me running-wise.   I fear I'm O-fficially injured.   I either have a severe shin splint or a stress fracture.  I'll have to get it x-rayed this week.  I noticed something not quite right on Sunday's run in the mountains almost immediately when I started running.  I know exactly what happened.  It was pretty dumb but after the race last Saturday, I went to a cookout at my brother's house and bounced on the trampoline with Tabby for a while.   I didn't stretch or anything...just hopped in there after the race and bounced around for a while, some while actually holding an extra bunch of lbs in my arms, bouncing up and down... Not good.  I knew it was happening too.  I felt a little twinge while doing it and eventually stopped but the damage was done.   I either developed a shin splint or something much worse.   Then every day this week was a struggle and it culminated with a pathetic attempt at a run on Saturday.  No dice.  I can barely get 2 steps without pain.  Only 45.1 miles this week, taking a day off, and had to bail on racing.  I was originally planning Big Lake Half or the Portsmouth 5k on Saturday and then maybe Mom's on the Run in Dover on Sunday.  Those plans obviously went out the window.  Not sure what the future will bring if this doesn't start getting better w/ a day or two off...

May 4 (Monday) - 10.3 miles with Darin Brown and Leslie O'Dell from Madison town beach.  Did snowmobile trails and some road.  Leg was killing me the whole time.  Just a continuation of yesterday's pain and suffering.  Tried to forget about it but just made things worse.

May 5 (Tuesday) - 8.5 miles with Kevin Tilton.  Trails....Corridor 19 / Mason Brook loop.  Leg hurts.  Only did one run...

May 6 (Wednesday) - 8.0 miles with Kevin Tilton.  Trails.... Snowmobile trails from Westside Rd. to Mineral Site.  Out and back.  Leg really hurting.  One run again.

May 7 (Thursday) - 5.2 miles on Madison Rds. Solo.  Kept it a flat out and back.  Leg killing me.  Trying to force it but definitely making it worse.  Lunch run was all I could muster.

May 8 (Friday) - 8.1 miles on Madison Rds. Solo.  At times I thought it was getting better but then, nope. Alas, one run and barely made it.

May 9 (Saturday) - 5.0 miles on Madison Rds. Solo.  Probably the worst day.  Running is definitely making things worse.

May 10 (Sunday) - Off.  Not even going to try it today.  Only my second day off all year.  It sucks but if I have any chance of running again, I need to let this heal or at the very least not make it any worse.  I can't continue to ignore it and pretend it isn't what it is.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Children's Museum of NH 5k

This past weekend I headed back down to Dover, NH for the third time this year for the Children's Museum of NH 5k (results).  It is the 7th time in the last 8 years I have run this race.  The first year I did the race was the last year it was held in Portsmouth.  Every year since, it has been in Dover.  This year, like all the other years, it kicks off the Seacoast Road Race Series.

Once again the entire family joined me on the trip down to Dover, NH for the race.  I was a bit nervous about the fact that I really hadn't done anything 'longish' as a run all week, but did have a decent shorter workout on Wednesday, which was enough to at least tell me that within the past week, I've run somewhat quick at some point.

I warmed up on the course w/ Leslie O'Dell who for some reason is doing the occasional road race this year...It could have something to do with her running VCM at the end of the month, so I'm guessing that after that, I won't see her ever again at a race.  After warming up, I quickly changed and headed the short distance from the car to the starting line, only to see Derrick Hamel and Eric Couture standing there ready to go.  There was the top 3, I was thinking...  I wasn't sure what order it would be in, but I was pretty sure that was the podium.

As the gun went off, I immediately moved out to the lead but was aware that the course record holder (Eric) was in the race and was on the comeback trail.  He mentioned he thought he'd be around 16:45 before the race, due to his current fitness...I thought he'd be quicker than that, but I realized there really isn't anything I can do but run my race and worry about myself.  I moved up the road as the first mile is mostly all uphill slightly.  It's not terribly steep but it's just constantly up, with the steepest part right near the mile mark itself.

I clicked through the mile (on my watch) in 5:02 (a couple ticks before the mile marker on the road).  I peeked back a few times and saw Eric in 2nd and he didn't look too far back, but it was hard to tell.  The second mile has some slight up, some slight down, another short but steep pitch up out of the neighborhood loop, and then some nice downhill through the 2 mile mark.  I may have moved slightly ahead of Eric more during the 2nd mile and kept pushing up and out of the neighborhood loop.

My second mile split was 5:00 and I was through the 2 mile in 10:02-10:03.  Again, a couple to a few ticks before the 2 mile mark on the road.  This was in the middle of a steep downhill drop where you can really get things moving.  I bottomed out and thought I may be looking at 15:30s if I could hold on.  I felt really good and moved passed Nate Huppe who was standing on the side of the road shooting water at me with a water pistol.  Not soon after that, I started a little push up the last uphill section past the boat docks and I saw Nate Jenkins standing there cheering me on.  Two Nates in the last mile... He told me I had a decent lead on the next guy, so I knew he probably saw him back there....which made me a little nervous as Eric obviously has a lot more speed that I do... but it was so late in the race and my pace was hot enough where I thought it would take a lot for him to come back on me.

I went up and over the hill, down across the bridge, and down along the last stretch before the 3rd mile mark.  My third mile split was 4:51 (which is in-line with how this course runs).  I had another 56 seconds to the finish line however after my Garmin beeped.  It beeped pretty far from the 3 mile mark (before it).  It was a little deflating because I knew 15:30s would be out of the question at that point.  I should really start focusing on the mile markers on the road instead of my watch.  Especially on courses I'm familiar with and know are pretty accurate.

After that last 56 seconds, I came through the finish in 15:49 officially.  That really wasn't too bad considering I've only ever run 15:46 as my fastest time on this course.  So this was only 3 seconds off that.  And back in 2011 when I ran that time (for the win), I was racing Nick Crowell until 2.5 miles.  So to drop a 15:49 in a mostly solo effort (although the specter of Eric being back there certainly kept me moving) is pretty good for where I am right now.  It's my second fastest time on this course (out of 6 runs on the current course) which is frankly amazing.  It was nowhere near Eric's CR of 15:30 but it's still faster than I would have ever thought I'd be running on this course again.

Photo in Fosters

Top 10 Overall:

115:495:06Jim Johnson      38Madison NH      
216:425:23Eric Couture     27Boston MA       
316:555:27Derrick Hamel    31Northwood NH    
417:395:41Justin Whittet   30Portsmouth NH   
518:005:48Daniel Dion      29Dover NH        
618:205:54David Chamberlain39Minneapolis MN  
718:235:55Justin Warner    25Greenland NH    
818:315:58Tim Horan        33Dover NH        
918:376:00Bartley Mullin   27Rochester NH    
1018:466:03Leslie O'Dell    39Albany NH     

666 Total Finishters.

Fosters Article:

Great Photo Album:

My history at the Children's Museum of NH 5k / Footbridge 5k:

2015 - 1st - 15:49
2014 - 1st - 16:25
2012 - 3rd - 16:13 (Brandon Newbould/Colin Fishwick 1-2)
2011 - 1st - 15:46
2010 - 3rd - 15:53 (Bob Wiles/Mentzer 1-2)
2009 - 3rd - 16:13 (Chris Mahoney/John Mentzer 1-2 - Race in Dover for first time)
2008 - 2nd - 15:56 (Sam Wood 1st - Race in Portsmouth for last time)

I guess the year I don't get top 3 should be the year I hang em up...

I cooled down with Darin Brown, Eric, Derrick, and Leslie over the course again.  Then it was back to the park to collect my 10 lobster dinners from the Weathervane that will probably never be cashed in (still have the 10 from last year).  If we are ever running together somewhere and you want to know the back story of my experiences with cashing in these lobster dinner certificates, let me know and I'll give you the scoop.  Funny story.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Week of April 27 - May 03

Week of April 27 - May 03

Closed out the month of April with 322.8 miles (10.7 per day average) slightly behind my yearly goal pace but close enough.  I'm still just slightly over 11 miles per day average for the year at the end of April.  Numbers aside, the races have been going well, which is the most important thing.  With 1/3 of the year now gone (and the best 1/3 of the year for road racing still to come), I am sitting pretty good with the race schedule, results, and fitness.  I had a good race and win on Sunday at the Children's Museum of NH 5k in Dover, which kicked off the Seacoast Road Race Series for 2015. The week was a little light as far as longish runs go but I did salvage a longer run on Sunday in the mountains so I managed to slide into 80.7 miles for the week surprisingly.

A nice mention of this here blog on Fosters as well as a few other NH runners who like to wax poetic about their adventures on the roads and trails... special thanks to Nancy Eckerson.

April 27 (Monday) - 6.2 miles nice and easy very late in the day.  My parents were over after work visiting and checking out the new whip.  I did some roads, a small town trail loop, and an inner snowmobile trail loop in Madison from Village Rd. to E.Madison Rd.

April 28 (Tuesday) - 5.2 miles nice and easy at lunch.  Roads down to Silver Lake Station and then a small out and back loop on the tracks/powerline trails.  PM: 10.8 miles of mostly snowmobile trails and dirt roads with Andrew Drummond, who is now my neighbor...  From his new place on E.Madison Rd. up Goe Hill and then did the snowmobile trail loops out to the air strip and back up Lead Mine.  16 miles on the day.

April 29 (Wednesday) - 5 miles very easy at lunch (Madison roads).  Then after work, hit up the track for a shorter workout (volume-wise) but quicker than I've been running.  Felt pretty solid on this workout...the best I've felt in a while running quick.  3.25 mile warmup then 2 x mile with 400 jog after each mile.  Then 2 x 800 with 200 jog after each.  Then 2 x 400 with 200 jog after each.  Went 4:55 / 4:54 / 2:23 / 2:22 / 1:08 / 1:05.  Then 3 mile cooldown on the roads and some around the track while I watched Kevin do his aussie quarter workout.  Bonked really bad towards the end of the cooldown.  I like the workout though.  Not a lot of volume, but high intensity.  10.7 miles15.7 miles on the day.

April 30 (Thursday) - 6 miles very easy on the trails from the Silver Lake station with Andy and Squall.  Up the tracks (Corridor 19) to Chain of Ponds and through almost to the boulder...turned back for the out and back 6.  Later after work (actually very late) I hit up a very ad hoc loop around Madison's snowmobile trails and single track. I found some random new trails and just wandered around probably longer than I should have (time-wise) but only salvaged 7 miles.  13 miles on the day.  Good recovery day from the track work yesterday.

May 01 (Friday) - 6 miles with Darin Brown at lunch from my house, down to the west-side town beach and back.  Bailed on another run in lieu of raking leaves and playing with Tabby Rose in the yard. Probably better to just go into tomorrow rested.  Can't really get any better with an additional run today.

May 02 (Saturday) - 3.1 miles w/up (race course) + 3.1 mile race (Children's Museum of NH 5k) - 1st OA [15:49] + 3.1 mile c/down.  9.3 miles total.   Race writeup to follow.

May 03 (Sunday) - 14.5 miles with Kevin Tilton from Ferncroft to Chocorua Lake Rd.  4 mile loop around some trails in Ferncroft area (some quick light redlining up Mt. Kathrine / Red Path / Gordon Path) then up Old Mast Rd. and down Cabin Tr. / Whitin Brook Tr. / Old Paugus Tr. out to Paugus Rd. and then back to Chocorua Lake Rd. where I had spotted my car.  Kevin was turning around and running back to his car in Ferncroft (via probably snowmobile trails or roads).  I was done at 14+.  Good enough to round out the week.  2:16:53 of running...some in the snow.

Video evidence of the current conditions of the trails not too high up in the woods... still pretty chilly at night and that's supporting a decent amount of snow that is still lingering...

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Chief Maloney Unity Run 10K

On Sunday the family made a trip down to Stratham to run in the Chief Maloney Unity Run 10K (results) that goes from the Stratham Police Dept. to the Greenland Police Dept.  This I believe was the 2nd year of the current course and it's a pretty cool concept.  The race of course is in memory of Chief Michael Maloney who was killed in the line of duty, and a tribute to all the communities' first responders.  The parking is a little tricky and they shuttled people from parking lots in Greenland to Stratham.  I got lucky and got there nice and early and found a spot right at the starting line.  Kristin drove down with the girls separately in her car and was at the finish line.

I warmed up with Derrick Hamel over the first bit of the course.  I felt pretty good (all things considered) but was a bit skeptical about a 10K.  I haven't really run many 10Ks in my time and it's been a long while since I've run a good one.   I was pretty excited about the fact that I wouldn't have to try to run quite as fast as the 5k pace I did last week, which really does feel uncomfortable to me right now...  

After a nice speech by Greg Kretschmar from the Morning Buzz and also Governor Maggie Hassan (who fired the gun), we were off and running.  I shot out to the lead and was pretty surprised to be almost alone from the very start although Derrick was lingering.  I realized about a half mile in, why...I was running pretty quick but it felt a lot easier than NHTI.  The first mile rolls (as does the whole course) but there's some slight uphill right away and some down.  It makes a huge difference in the way I felt, which is a good sign.  I clicked through the first mile in 5:05, which is a bit too fast for my 10k right now...but I felt pretty strong.  It's funny how John Mortimer was driving the truck in front of me, really slow, with his head out the window facing me...and he was talking to me like we were out for a actually allowed me to relax which was good.  He asked me during the first mile, if I had raced yesterday...I thought that was funny... we talked back and forth during the race as the lead vehicle was yo-yoing between me and the police motorcycles up ahead.  He was asking me about the accuracy of the splits, etc.  It made me actually feel better to not have to focus on trying to hit my splits... but the rolling nature of the course was actually making it pretty easy to split right where I wanted to be.  The course has a decent amount of immediate downhill drops right after any sort of little climb, so you could immediately gain some time back when you needed it.  At one point, I was over 6 min pace on a climb (according to my watch), but then dropped right back down and was back near 5:10 by the time the mile split came.

Photo by Keith Tharp

Somewhere after 3 miles or so, I started to notice Derrick lose some time and he dropped back.  He was there for a few miles, within sight and probably only a handful of seconds... but the more the course went on, the larger my lead grew.  I would say around 4 miles or so, I realized I just had to hang on to what I was doing.  I really wanted the win and was less concerned about the time. Ahead of the race, I haven't run a road 10k since my atrocious Market Square Day 10k last year, so I was really not sure about what I could do for time.  I was really just wanting to make sure I could be in contention for the win.  So I was very pleased at what was happening out on the road, staying around my goal pace overall.  I didn't really try to estimate what my time was going to be at all, at any point.
When I hit 6 miles, I could hear the people at the finish and started to see a lot of people standing on the side, cheering me on.  The course up until that point had some people standing here and there on the side of the roads and at the end of driveways, but it was pretty quiet out there for most of it...but it's a beautiful course.  Rolling country roads....beautiful scenery.  I really enjoyed it.  As I dumped out after 6 miles, it was a small little push down and then up around this little neighborhood near the police station and then out to the finish.  I saw the clock with about 15 seconds or so to go and immediately knew I had just run pretty solid.

Photo by Keith Tharp
I came through in 31:45 and was obviously pumped.  My splits were right on 5:10 pace for the 6.15 distance on my Garmin.  The race results are for 6.2 miles which put my splits at 5:07.  I'd like to think with some company, I could actually get there in a couple months on the right day...  Regardless, I think I would have added about 15 seconds or so to this time if the finish area was pushed back a little more to make it 6.2 miles.  That means the full 10k would have been right around 32 flat which is very assuring.  My 6 mile split on my watch beeped right at the 6 mile sign on the road and all the mile splits were within a couple seconds either way... but the last '.2' was really '.15' on my watch and only took 43-44 seconds... So that's where the difference was.  Either way, I was thrilled with the effort.  It's funny to me that a 32 minute 10k effort would be so exciting, but considering what I've gone through for the past 3 years or so, and the fact that I'm ancient now, I'm really excited about how my body is responding to the quicker races.  I am still about 10 lbs heavier in general, than I was 3 years+ ago, but that's just what happens when you start packing on the years I guess (and kids)...

Keith Tharp was in the back of the lead vehicle that John was driving and took a ton of photos including this one to the left of me punching through the finish line (it's also visible on the video link below).

After doing an interview with Andy Schachat and taking a lot of photos with mascots and some of the other top finishers (and kissing babies and signing autographs), I headed out for a 3 mile cooldown with Derrick over some roads in the area.  Then it was back to the finish line festivities for food and the awards ceremony.

I've been enjoying my running more than I have in close to 3 years this year as far as racing goes, and it's only that is a great sign.  It feels great to finally get back into some sort of shape and actually be contending for race wins here and there on the roads at 38 years of age.  It's also great to be able to go to these fun area events and bring the family along.  Tabby gets really excited seeing me run by.  I can't wait for the Seacoast Series to kick off...regardless of how I do in the overall series, it's definitely my favorite collection of races to run and I'm excited to get the summer rolling.

Seacoast Online Article

Video of start/finish and about the race:

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Week of April 20-26

Week of April 20-26

Fell behind on some posting... so I'll recap the week that was...

Weekly Mileage: 78.5 miles
Good week for sure.  Short day on Thursday because it was my birthday.  I'm officially old now.  38. Holy crap.  I'm as old as Justin Freeman now... but still slower.   Had an OK workout... And had a much better race.... It was a very good race on Sunday and possibly close to a PR run for me at the distance.  And I'm almost 50 grand more in debt.

April 20 (Monday) - 9 miles (trails). Raining the entire time... Corridor 19 to Mason Brook trail and then up to the the junction of the Black Cap Connector and then back down in a loop.  Had to add on a slight bit at the car to make 9.  The trails were a mess at first (tons of water from the railroad tracks all the way in about a quarter mile or so) then they got better until I got up high and then there was actually fresh fallen snow blanketing everything and some DEEP snow patches for a bit here and there.  It got progressively better as I dropped down and by the time I hooked a left back onto the single track near the base of Peaked, it was fine.  Had to go shopping and wanted to try to stay out of the rain so it 'seemed' like a good idea at the time...

April 21 (Tuesday) - 11.5 miles (roads) - from house, 113, 41 out to Carved in Bark neighborhoods...around that entire loop and then back.  Kept things slightly elevated and felt decent except a couple of small calf pains on the LEFT side, which is new.  Definitely just lingering from being tight and not stretching a lot recently.

April 22 (Wednesday) - AM: 5 miles (roads) - from house down along the lake and back.  PM: 11.5 miles as a track workout.  Had calf pain since yesterday so I almost bailed on it but decided to try miles instead of the 2 mile repeats I had planned on.  2.25 mile w/up + 6 x mile at 10k pace (well, desired 10k pace...eventually).  Went 5:08 / 5:07 / 5:06 / 5:08 / 5:07 / 5:08 (w/ 400 jog in between).  I was targeting 5:10s.  I think that's probably a little aggressive right now, but it can't hurt to be a little quicker with these.  This is a rehash of the 6 x mile I did this past winter (but at 5:10s and on the treadmill). It felt about the same but my calf was giving me problems near the end.  The wind also picked up and it started to rain.  The last one was tough w/ a headwind seemingly the entire time.  2 mile cooldown.  16.5 miles total on the day.

April 23 (Thursday) - Happy 38th birthday to me...yikes.  AM: 5 miles (roads) from Albany Service Station back to my house.  Had family over after work so didn't get out for another one... good times though.... I don't feel a day over 37.

April 24 (Friday) - AM: 5 miles (roads).  Normal out and back on the roads.  I usually make fun of people who complain about New England weather and who are surprised about how sh*tty the weather is sometimes...but I have to April usually this cold and fr*ggin windy?  It's getting ridiculous.  PM: 10.3 miles (roads) with Darin Brown from the Madison town beach.  Neighborhood loops in Madison, Tamworth, Ossipee.  15.3 miles total on the day.

April 25 (Saturday) - 8.5 miles (roads/trails).  Chain of Ponds loop from my house.  Easy trails/roads.

April 26 (Sunday) - 3.5 mile w/ up (3 with Derrick Hamel) and then 6.2 milesChief Maloney 10k (results) in Stratham/Greenland, NH.  1st OA.  31:45.  3 mile cooldown with Hamel.  12.7 miles total.  Best run in a long time.  I had 6.15 on my Garmin so it was close but I'd probably add a few more seconds ...pretty close if not still under 32 for the run though.  My Garmin was right on point with all the miles and was right exactly on 6 miles at the 6 mile marker but I was only 43 seconds for the last .15... so I think the last .05 or so would have put me right around 32 minutes... (course map) A very good run though.  Led from the gun and rolled.  I'm getting into decent shape and am excited about more 10ks this year...

On the way home from the race, dropped off at Portsmouth Ford and picked up the new family whip...  Explorer Sport...fully loaded to the brim.  Now if only I'll ever get a chance to drive it ;)...  The inside of this thing is like Studio 54...

Friday, April 17, 2015

April 17 (Friday) - NHTI Delta Dental 5k

April 17 (Friday) - I made my way down to Concord, NH for the NHTI Delta Dental 5k (results) on the campus of NHTI (aka the house that Heather Mahoney-Searles built) which is also a stop on the CARS series (which I'm not doing).  I last did this race in 2011 when I faced a showdown with Justin Freeman.  We ran quick...(well, I ran quick...he's a 14:4X guy).  I was 15:18 to Justin's 15:14.  That was when the course actually had a hill (went up and over the bridge and through the infamous 'Root Canal').  This year, the course was different.  No hill up and over the bridge.  It was 2 loops of basically the main part of the course.

I warmed up with Justin and Patrick Ard and Derrick Hamel for part of the way.  I commented to Justin when we went past the spot during the third mile of the course, that that is where he lost me last time.  This year would be no different in that regard.  Ahead of the race, I had also seen Cory Sinotte and knew there were at least 5 solid guys contending for the win, along with a slew of others that could also place high.  The top 10 was shaping up to be pretty competitive as this race usually is.

As the race went off I immediately went out to the lead and had 4-5 guys in tow right behind me.  The course heads south for a stretch and goes around a round-about and then heads back against traffic.  I was pushing the pace a bit and looking at my watch.  Low 4:40s pace for a stretch... too fast.  I tried to settle in and relax a few times but the masses right behind me kept me moving pretty quick.  Probably around 3/4 of a mile in, Cory Sinotte motored by me and I figured that was the last time I'd be in the lead for sure.  He took a convincing lead by a few strides and I had to adjust to stay with him.   I could feel Justin's presence right behind.  We clicked through the first mile in sub 4:50 (I had 4:47 on my watch).  That was a bit outrageous but I was still feeling ok and was trying to now just settle into 5 minute pace.

Probably about 1.5 miles in, I found myself passing Cory back without doing any sort of additional work.  Justin was right behind me and quickly did the same thing.  I started to now think that it would be just us two as I continued to push now that I was back in the lead.  We started the second loop and made our way back out around the round-about.  I got to glance back at who was still hanging on and realized that Patrick and Derrick were pretty much right there still (as was Cory and obviously Justin right behind me).  Justin was sounding like he was laboring a bit at times and I thought for a moment that he may fade back after we passed the 2 mile mark (not sure why I thought that, as he never least against me!).  I had sub 9:50 on my watch through 2 miles (9:44-9:45) and still had some wheels going.  But as soon as we took the right onto the last long stretch that cirles the parking lot at NHTI, I could feel Justin getting anxious.  He rolled up next to me in almost the same spot he had pulled away from me in 2011 (in that race he was leading, but he didn't drop me completely until that spot)... This time, right around that point again, he got right on my shoulder, I looked at my watch, looked over at him, and knew he was going to put a move in...and he did.  Deja vu... I didn't cover it.  He got a few steps ahead of me and I trailed him the rest of the way in. I was within striking distance for a half mile or so but had no strike.  When we hit the quad area where you have to circle the quad to the finish, he actually moved away from me again.

I ended up finishing 2nd in 15:31 to his 15:25.  Both are pretty good for this early in the year.  His time is a bit slower I think than he would have liked, but I was thrilled with my effort.  My 3rd mile split on my Garmin was 4:55 (faster than the 4:58 2nd mile split).  The last bit of the race was again a long stretch in but at the same 4:55 pace for the last almost .2.  The course is now certified and is obviously fast.  Pancake flat and there was no wind.   It's a great PR course now for sure (if you can get out on a Friday to run it).

For me, it was a little bit of a monkey off my back.  I had wanted to feel faster again and get myself into a race like this where we had 4-5 or so fast guys all mixing it up.  It feels good to run in the range I was running in back in the 2008-2011 timeframe.  I'm not sure how many more of these I have and how much faster I'll be at other races with more incline/turns, etc. but for now, it feels good to throw one down and finally go under 16 by a decent amount on a real course and at a great event.  Even though I was 15:59 at the Freedom Old Home Day 5k last summer, that course isn't certified (although I had the distance on my watch).  So I never really felt like I 'broke 16' there... Also it was by the skin of my teeth... So 15:30s felt good.

The amazing thing is that I looked back at my race history a bit after this race and the last time I ran FASTER than this at a real 5k was 8/13/2011.  Yes, 2011.  Granted I haven't run that many 5ks since, but I have run 15:40s/15:30s at races in the end of 2011 and into 2012 but never faster than 15:31 since August of 2011 when I ran 2 5ks in 3 days of 15:25 and 15:20.  The 15:20 was at the Crisman Memorial 5k in Amherst, NH.  Tim Pipp was 2nd that day...that's how LONG ago it was...  So needless to say, it is a great feeling when I can run in that neighborhood or at least faster than I have in going on 4 years!  I am also going to be 38 this coming week... Hopefully now as the weather gets better and I can run some easy trails for the slower / recovery days and some track workouts and road tempos for the mid-week workouts, I can maybe actually chip away at this time.  I'm not sure how much more I can drop it if at all, but here it is only April and I'm already thinking I've accomplished this goal I set out to achieve after many years of lackluster racing and putzing around and being injured and sometimes unmotivated.  Mentally, it's a huge boost for me.  It's also pretty fun getting back into the old school scene and doing a bunch of road races where I can bring the girls along...  It's a little easier for them to spectate a small loop 5k course and hopefully some day they will take part in the kids races, the more they see the little kids taking part in the festivities at some of these events.

My history at the NHTI Delta Dental 5k:

2015 - 15:31 (2nd)
2011 - 15:18 (2nd)
2008 - 15:42 (1st)

Top 10 Overall (CMS in blue):

Place(Net) TimePaceNameAgeTown/State
115:254:58Justin Freeman 38New Hampton NH
215:315:00Jim Johnson    37Madison NH    
315:425:03Patrick Ard    30Raymond NH    
415:495:06Cory Sinotte   23Manchester NH 
515:535:07Derrick Hamel  31Northwood NH  
616:195:16Ryan Kelly     33Concord NH    
716:275:18Tim Cox        41Northwood NH  
817:065:31Warren Bartlett17Loudon NH     
917:185:34Sam Wood       28Laconia NH    
1017:235:36Scott Clark    49Gilmanton NH  

384 Total Finishers.

The cooldown was around with Sam and Abbey Wood, Patrick, and Derrick.  Then it was back inside the gym for the awards and some food...

On the way home I realized I left ALL my running stuff on the top of my damn car.  90 miles later, I pull into my driveway and there was still 1 shoe stuck under the roof rack.  It survived..but it's partner did not...along with my bag, tights, hat, singlet, shirt, and some other junk.  Gone.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

April 16 (Thursday)

April 16 (Thursday) - 6 miles easy at lunch.  Another 6 miles easy after work and raking for an hour.  Then more raking and yard work...The past couple days have been great and I've cleaned up most of the yard.  Good to have Tabby out there keeping me company and 'helping'.  12 miles really easy on the day.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

April 15 (Wednesday)

April 15 (Wednesday) - 5 miles at lunch nice and easy.  Then later after work, decided on a short track workout, which was essentially a compromise.  Originally I wanted to do 6 x mile this week but decided to do the double last weekend.  So with 2 races over the weekend I really didn't want to do a workout on the usual Tuesday as I wasn't really fully recovered.  And with a possible race again on Friday (still up in the air on that one), I didn't want to do too much on Wednesday and only have Thursday in between.  I was tempted to just do a normal run this afternoon but compromised on just 3 x 1 mile to get in some work but not overdo it.   Did 2 mile warmup on the God awful rec trail behind the high school (a lot of the trails this time of year are completely useless and borderline counter productive) and almost fell twice because of the mud and ice.    Then just jumped onto the track and into 3.5 miles as 3 x mile at 5:02 / 5:03 / 5:00 with 400 in between in 1:44/1:45.  I wanted around 5:05 so this wasn't bad but the wind was ridiculous.  I had a hard time gauging the times because I was getting blown around bigtime.  2.5 miles cooldown on the roads.  8 miles total and 13 total miles on the day.  Some stomach issues on the cooldown and on the way home... I'll live.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

April 14 (Tuesday)

Hurricane Point - Silver Lake, NH
April 14 (Tuesday) - 8 miles of easy trails.  Didn't want to travel far so stayed in town and just explored some of the sights of the southeast part of Madison.   Snow, mud, ice, etc.  Not ideal. Trails definitely are not ready for primetime but still not a bad easy day.  Took one major digger in shockingly VERY deep snow on the shore of Cooks Pond.  Head first.  Other than that, I basically wanted to scope out the newly proposed Jackman Ridge trail in Madison.  It rises up out of Goodwin Town Forest and peaks out at the top (914 feet according to my elevation app on my phone).  I ran on what I thought was the trail and then lost it and bushwhacked (I HATE that) up to where I finally found blue flagging and boot prints from the person who laid out the plans for the trail.  There was absolutely no trail work done so it was basically more bushwhacking except this time, following flags.  I got to the top and found a very clear area with a cairn marking the summit.  I turned and tried to follow it back down but lost the flags multiple times and had to keep stopping.  I then had to choose between multiple routes of blue flags after a certain point.  Finally made my way down to Lead Mine again and crossed over and ran some of the conservation trails over to Hurricane Point on Silver Lake.  Made a quick trip out to the point and then back over some more conservation trails back to Lead Mine and then back through the Goodwin Forest trails a bit more to make 8 miles even.  Not really productive but a rest day nonetheless... and got a couple of decent views in.

Moose Poop Galore

Moose Poop Galore

Cooks Pond

E.E. Cummings was here...

Chocorua looming...

Almost ready for a swim...

Silver Lake, NH - Whiteface, Passaconaway, and Chocorua

This is what I had to contend with on half the run... not really worth it just yet...