Friday, April 21, 2017


I hit up the CARS series race #3 in Concord, NH tonight (NHTI 5k)(results).  It was the battle of the boys who ran Boston.  Marathoner's Derrick Hamel and Sean McCauley amongst others toed the line in a downpour tonight on the campus of NHTI for a typically fast 5k on Friday night in April... unfortunately it was only 4 days removed from the Boston Marathon...and it was in the 30s....and it was pouring....and there were flooded parts of the course...and they had to put a deep layer of rocks down in stretches (that you had to run over for 20+ feet at a time)... and they changed the starting area from the last time I ran it...I heard before the race that it was going to be slightly 'longer than a 5k'.  I ended up having 3.22 on my watch.  All these things made a normally disappointing 16:37 feel very satisfying.  Yes there isn't even a 1 foot elevation change in this race, but still, it wasn't a super fast night for me but I still made the most of it.

I warmed up with Darin Brown and Derrick over the course and felt 'ok'. This week I've run but I've taken it pretty easy to try to recover enough to just go to NHTI and get my CARS series points.  Derrick felt good enough to do a last minute registration (yes he registered AFTER warming up with about 10 minutes to spare).

The skies opened up right as the race was getting underway.  It started to pour.  Cameron Cook took off pretty early right out of the gun as did fellow CARS series rival Dylan Tuttle.  I lingered a bit and went out pretty cautiously as we negotiated puddles and flooded potholes.  I was soon hot on Cameron's tale and actually passed him not too far in but wasn't pushing too hard...I felt very comfortable.  Seemingly right after I got the lead, Casey Carroll went blasting past me.  He pulled away a little but I didn't panic.  I ended up reeling him in and went back by him.  From there (probably right after the mile or right around the first mile) I had the lead and just kept pushing through the puddles.  My hands were killing me.  I didn't wear gloves and that was a huge mistake.  Others had gloves, hats, etc. on. I couldn't feel my thumbs and few fingers by the time I finished.

I held off Derrick in the end, who was on the hunt over the last mile.  I kept looking back and getting intel from some of the spectators as to how close he was.  We were both running on some heavy, tired legs but in the end, I came through in 16:37 and Derrick was only 8 seconds back.  Not too bad for a couple of guys who are still trying to recover from the 'long run' on Monday. Overall I felt probably better than any other 5k I have run this year, which is kind of crazy.  Maybe I'm finally 'starting' to get into wouldn't know it by seeing me with my shirt off though.

Before tonight I only had 1 win all year. Granted I haven't raced all that much and didn't do any snowshoe races but still...they've been hard to come by for me.  I was glad to get another win tonight. last race as a sub master!  I went out with a bang.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

2017 Boston Marathon

I decided to give Boston a go on Saturday as I headed into the city to pickup my number.  We were spending the Easter weekend down south of Boston anyways.  I figured I'd go in and pick up my shirt at least...since I paid for Boston (registered back in September).  Initially I was going to train for it and that slowly died over the course of the winter.  20 mile workouts are a bit much on the treadmill for me and I slowly stopped doing anything that remotely looked like a marathon training plan.  My races this year haven't been great and I just talked myself out of going and struggling through 26.2 miles.  But when I went in to pick up my bib, I got caught up in the whole thing again and felt differently about it. I felt like I should just do it.  I was going to go and just 'run' it if I was going to run it.  Not try to go out and run 5:42s like my original plan was going to be.  I figured if I did run it, I'd be good with going out at 6 min pace and just try to treat it like a long hard tempo and try to survive.   That's basically what I did, and I'm grateful I did it.  I think it was a good decision for me.  I came to this conclusion when I was jogging down to the starting corrals and then when I lined up and watched all the elites come out.  Then when the anthem was sung and the jets flew over...I got pretty overwhelmed in the whole thing and was happy to be part of the moment at that point.  There was no question. I was very happy that I made the choice to be there. I had pretty much accepted that if I ran 2:40s I'd be over-the-moon thrilled. If I ran 2:50s I'd be ok with it and wouldn't be disappointed in the least.  I wanted to finish and at worst just qualify for next year.  Most importantly though, I just wanted to go out and accomplish the feat of running it, as I had planned on doing since September.  I didn't want to take the easy way out and just not go.  It wouldn't be fair to me or to a lot other folks who couldn't go even though they wanted to be there.  Guys who got hurt over the winter during the build up... people who just missed qualifying...people who no matter how hard they try, cannot qualify.  I just wanted to go and take advantage of my opportunity to run this race and not take it for granted.

Obviously the course drop in the first bunch of miles makes it difficult to NOT run too fast.  I was a bit under 6s (not too much but still under) for the first 10 or 11 miles. I constantly backed off.  I was just running within myself and amongst a slew of other 6-min pace guys trying to behave themselves.  I felt good until about halfway and then I started to feel it just a little bit.  But nothing bad. I kept thinking of it as a long run.  I had no pressure on myself which I think was a huge advantage.  I just wanted to finish if possibly under 2:50 and had that in the back of my mind as my main goal.  I knew I was well ahead of that and just kept up a similar tempo for as long as I could.  I didn't care at all who was around me...who was going by me...who I was going by.... etc.  I just kept enjoying the run, high-fiving kids along the way, and making sure I took water and Gatorade at every stop.  It got a little warm but I was fine with that typically.  It was nothing like 2012.

I was under 60 for 10 and that feels pretty easy on the Boston course...My half was 1:17 and change. I went through 20 mile split in 2:00:30 and was pretty surprised.  I had 1:59:35 on my Garmin's 20 mile split... That was on the way up heartbreak hill (maybe a mile from the highest point?)... so I had slowed a bit but was still right at 2 hrs or just under...crazy.  Miles 15/16 and then obviously heartbreak hill after 17 have some uphills so my pace started to creep up a bit but I was still feeling pretty strong.  I was getting increasingly aware that I was going to finish and I was getting pretty emotional about it.  The crowd is amazing.  I saw a lot of familiar faces and heard my name here and there and it was just a great feeling to be a part of it after almost talking myself out of not being there.  I started for a brief moment to love running again.  It felt like running in it's purest form for me.  It felt like it was the pinnacle of running in New England and I was right there in the middle of it.  There's nothing like it in running at least that I've experienced, for a guy like me who never had aspirations for going to the Olympics or even the trials.  It's pretty much the biggest stage I can run on and I was there for a few hours on Monday.  Sure I had thoughts of getting older, slower, and some flashbacks to the glory days of running...I had some dumb thoughts about how this could be my last race.  I had thoughts of all the good and bad things that you think of when you run marathons.  During the highs and lows, all sorts of crazy things pop into your head.  But I just kept looking around and seeing and hearing all the people yelling and screaming for me and the other runners as we passed by and it really made me appreciate what I've been able to do.  I think this is just what I needed to make sure I don't lose sight of the big picture.

Obviously the last 10k I was just about finishing.  The downhill after mile 21 or so didn't treat my legs so well.  My cardio was a complete non-issue. I don't even remember being in any distress 'fitness-wise' but my legs were a pile of crap.  I could have probably carried on a conversation at that pace by my hips and feet and hamstrings/calves were so tight I was just hoping to be able to keep it under about 6:30s for the way in.  I wasn't cramping or even close...but just sore and tight.  My legs are just not used to running 26.2 miles.  My base allowed me to be able to run 6:20s for the last 10k without any issues.  The last couple miles felt incredible.  When I made those last couple turns and then saw the finish line, I was close to breaking down emotionally.  Thinking about what has transpired in that race since I last finished it in 2012... thinking about how close I was to maybe never doing it again and how close I was to skipping it.  I had made it.  I was close to breaking 2:40 (relatively speaking) as I came through in 2:40:37.  I was 198th overall (including the elite women).  I was also the 3rd NH finisher.  That's not too bad considering.  Only 24 people (all men) beat me that were older than me.  That's a good sign for next year.  2:40 is about what I have in me with just 'running' every day.  Maybe in the fall I can go a little quicker and run under 2:40 as a master if I do the appropriate training.  It kind of makes me want to do it again.  A road marathon is tough.  More so emotionally and psychologically than physically for me, but certainly it's physical torture as well.  It's not like anything else I've done.  But it's the thing that makes me feel the most accomplishment out of anything when I complete it.  Especially Boston.  I've now started 5 Bostons. I've finished 4.  Two of those 4 were huge blowups and my two slowest marathons ever.  1 was good (2:30:00 in 2009).  1 was a DNF at 15 miles when I was crushing it (2011 when I was 1:11:01 through halfway).  This one was my 2nd best Boston which is crazy to think about, but it's true...

Boston is tough.  There's a lot of pressure especially for New Englanders.  It's the race that everyone asks you about. 'Oh you run? Have you ever run Boston?' is a common question you hear as a runner in New England.  Or better yet, 'Oh you run marathons? Have you done Boston'?.  It sucks to have to say 'yes, I run but no I've never run Boston'... or try to have to prove that you are in fact a real runner without having run Boston.  That's the race that everyone knows.  So when you finally run a qualifier, you now have to spend the crappiest part of the calendar year, training for Boston.  The winter in New England can be pretty rough.  And when/if you finally make it through and get to the line, ready to go, you still have to pull it together for the next 2-3 hours+ and that part is easier said than done.  Boston is often a race that takes many times to get right.  Sure if you are Dan Vassallo, Dave Dunham, or some other stud, you can one-and-done it and conquer it on the first time....but most of the time it's a love-hate for people.  I find that typically no one really cares too much about anything else you run all year, but when you run Boston, people come out of the woodwork to follow your run.  Everyone starts tracking you, sending you messages,  calling you, etc.  I had a ton of emails, texts, etc.  People from family... etc. .. People I haven't talked to in a long while.  All of the sudden the outpouring of congratulations and inquires came in in the hours after the race.  If you don't run well, that can be very hard to take.  You don't want to get mad at people for telling you they are proud of you and amazed at your accomplishment...and you don't want to sound ungrateful or like a sore loser...but deep down it's tough to have to justify what happened if it didn't go well.  This is what scares people away from Boston typically. I know as more often than not, I have had to go through this.  This year, I think I've gotten over that as I don't really have expectations of PR-ing anymore.  I was 13 minutes slower than my best.  I was 5 minutes over my qualifier time.  But none of that really weighed on me then or now as I type this. I accept it.  But I also realize that 2:40 at almost 40 years old and with the amount of work I put in, is an amazing run for me.  And I'm grateful to be able to identify that now.  I've been close to hanging it up in recent months and now I feel like that's the wrong thing to do at this point. Maybe I'd be better off focusing on longer events now...but we'll see as the year goes on.  For now, I am sitting here recovering from Boston and feeling accomplished for finishing what I started.  I have to find a way to drop the extra 15 lbs I have put on though!  Why am I gaining weight still!!!

Oh yeah, our team (CMS) finished 9th out of 67 Men's Open teams. Not too bad!  The men's Masters team finished 15th of 72.  Calling all CMS masters guys for next year.... lets do this.  Try to squeak in your qualifier now somehow....

Garmin data:

Splits  Time Cumulative Time Moving Time Distance Elev Gain Elev Loss Avg Pace Avg Moving Pace Best Pace
1 5:48.4 5:48 5:48 1 29 133 5:48 5:48 4:45
2 5:47.0 11:35 5:44 1 21 80 5:47 5:44 5:11
3 5:49.4 17:25 5:48 1 22 71 5:49 5:48 5:13
4 5:41.8 23:07 5:41 1 -- 70 5:42 5:42 5:11
5 5:57.6 29:04 5:55 1 44 34 5:58 5:55 5:27
6 5:50.2 34:54 5:48 1 -- 12 5:50 5:48 5:23
7 5:49.2 40:44 5:48 1 -- 7 5:49 5:48 5:34
8 5:57.7 46:41 5:53 1 35 24 5:58 5:53 5:29
9 5:57.4 52:39 5:54 1 10 23 5:57 5:54 5:39
10 5:58.0 58:37 5:54 1 20 -- 5:58 5:54 5:32
11 5:59.4 1:04:36 5:58 1 13 -- 5:59 5:58 5:41
12 5:55.5 1:10:32 5:49 1 17 75 5:55 5:49 5:25
13 6:05.0 1:16:37 6:04 1 26 14 6:05 6:04 5:28
14 5:59.8 1:22:37 5:57 1 22 19 6:00 5:57 5:31
15 6:09.3 1:28:46 6:06 1 43 26 6:09 6:06 5:34
16 5:56.7 1:34:43 5:50 1 16 129 5:57 5:50 5:18
17 6:15.1 1:40:58 6:14 1 71 -- 6:15 6:14 5:33
18 6:18.9 1:47:17 6:14 1 65 27 6:19 6:14 5:12
19 6:03.6 1:53:20 6:02 1 -- 29 6:04 6:02 5:39
20 6:14.8 1:59:35 6:11 1 48 19 6:15 6:11 5:32
21 6:39.8 2:06:15 6:31 1 93 7 6:40 6:31 5:51
22 6:18.7 2:12:34 6:16 1 -- 90 6:19 6:16 5:41
23 6:25.1 2:18:59 6:20 1 -- 53 6:25 6:20 5:35
24 6:24.1 2:25:23 6:21 1 29 61 6:24 6:21 5:37
25 6:24.2 2:31:47 6:22 1 -- 49 6:24 6:22 5:53
26 6:20.1 2:38:07 6:20 1 -- -- 6:20 6:20 5:19
27 02:36.2 2:40:43 2:23 0.43 -- -- 6:03 5:32 5:04
Summary 2:40:43 2:40:43 2:39:12 26.43 623 1,069 6:05

Monday, April 10, 2017

Training Week: April 3 - April 9

 Week of April 3 - April 9

04-03 - [Monday] - PM: 3 miles. Easy roads late. Felt awful. 3+ hrs earlier of shoveling snow and chipping ice at my parents (they are now back for the season)...

04-04 - [Tuesday] - PM: 10 miles roads w/ Andy.  Right leg actually bothering me today and the weather is a colossal bag of crap. Snow most of the morning and snow/rain in the afternoon. Everything was slush and soaked. Freezing rain by the time we ran at around 5:30.

04-05 - [Wednesday] - PM: 10 miles as 8 miles of a hill circuit and 2 tempo miles.

04-06 - [Thursday] - AM: 5 miles. Easy roads in the rain. Felt like complete crap.  PM: 8 miles with Andy in the pouring rain. Felt slightly better than complete crap.

04-07 - [Friday] - AM: 4.1 miles. Easy roads in the rain. Felt like complete crap again. Barely made it. PM: 5 miles with Darin. Spotted him out the window as he ran by my house so I caught up to him and ran an easy 5.  Something is up.  May have to shut it down or go see someone if I continue to slide ...

04-08 - [Saturday] - AM: 8 miles on the Kanc...a little up-tempo but still felt pretty crappy. Better than the last few days though.  Actually had a little flurry come through as I was on the way back.... crazy weather.

04-09 - [Sunday] - AM: 3.5 miles w/ up - some w/ Garfield, Hamel, Erwin and then strides + 5 mile race (Reds 5M (results)- 3rd OA 26:59) + 2.5 miles c/down w/ Garfield, Hamel, Erwin, Sam, Abby, and a very well behaved dog.  Struggled in the race early and never quite felt right as has been the case lately. Went out exactly where I thought I 'should' go out (way slower than last year but considering what has been happening...), and felt terrible doing it. Rebounded slightly during mile 2 but then by 3 I started to feel like hell again. Didn't fall completely apart but still struggled to find any sort of comfort at a quicker pace.  Same two dudes who were ahead of me at the first NH GP beat me again, but in reverse order.

64.1 miles for the week on 11 runs.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Training Week: March 27 - April 2 - SEA 5k

My view for the bulk of my 900+ miles so far this year...'The Mill'. That is how I have to watch TV. No joke.

 Week of March 27 - April 2

03-27 - [Monday] - PM: 10 miles.

03-28 - [Tuesday] - AM: 10 miles as 4 mile w/up + 2 x 800 (2:30) + 4 x 400 (1:12) + 2 x 200 (:35) with about a minute in between each + cooldown.  Light workout volume-wise but quicker than I've been running.  65:20 total.

03-29 - [Wednesday] - AM: 5 miles. Roads/woods.  Easy recon over some remote property I got access to for the spring dirt fishing season (when this MF snow finally melts)... First 'snow' run of the year.  In my normal shoes though... Snowmo trail is in great shape surprisingly.  Pretty easy running.  Found an old wall but it ended up being on the back property line and the good piece of land appears to be on the wrong side of the wall... Scouted out a couple more areas along the snowmo trail back out to the road.  Definitely some other old areas I need to get permission on that could potentially have some goodies.

03-30 - [Thursday] - AM: 5 miles. Roads. Beautiful calm before the storm. PM: 8 miles roads. Felt like total and utter crap for some reason.

03-31 - [Friday] - AM: 10 miles.  Last day at the Mill? ...maybe ever?  At least for this winter /spring it is.... I have never run this late into the year at the Mill. I paid through March and I used it right up until the last day.  Crazy. Usually I pay for March and barely use it.

04-01 - [Saturday] - AM: 13 miles.  Re-upped at the Mill for April for the first time in history... Race was supposed to be today but was postponed until Sunday due to the foot of additional snow we got on Friday night/all day Saturday.  Probably 'over-did' it with 13 miles but I felt ok so I just kept running.

04-02 - [Sunday] - PM: 3.4 mile warmup w/ Kevin Beck, his XC teammate from H.S Troy Patoine., and Darin Brown + 3.1 mile race (3.2 on the Garmin so I'm counting that in the weekly mileage) - SEA 5k - 2nd OA - 16:31 (results).  A whopping 37 seconds slower than my win there last year.... I have work to do.  Eventually when the snow melts in June, I'll be able to get on the track.  2.5 mile cooldown with Beck, Brown, and Troy.... I temporarily have a lead in the CARS series now.  That will all change most likely when Warren Bartlett makes another couple races...  The good news is that my unbeaten streak against 11 year old Aiden Cox is still alive and well.  My goal if all else fails, is to try to stay in front of him for as long as I can.  With his progression over the last couple years, I fear that will probably only last me another year or so, IF that. That kid is legit.  His sister ran incredibly fast today as well at only 14.... 17:08 as an 11 year old (Aiden) and 18:25 for Addison at only 14 years old!  What is Tim Cox feeding those two!

70 miles on 10 runs.  

The SEA 5k was race #2 in the CARS series for 2017 on Sunday and it was pushed back a day due to the storm on Fri/Sat.  The field was a little light because of the change in days but the talent all the way up front was pretty good. Colton Ham (who I don't believe I've ever beaten and won't be changing that any time soon) was out quick right away and probably only had to run hard for a mile or so before he could relax (ah to be 22 again). He looked incredibly smooth from my seat way back in 2nd place.   I think he had about the same lead from maybe 3/4 of a mile or so to the end.  I ran to hold 2nd the entire time which was a little depressing but that's about what I have right now. 16:30 felt laborious to say the least.  The conditions were pretty much ideal. There was a little bit of wind around 2 miles but it wasn't really seeming to matter much.  The weather was 'warm' all things considered.  My Garmin splits were crazy.  5:02 / 5:12 / 5:17 and then 1:00 for the last .2 (had 3.2 on the Garmin).  I always think it's funny when I get 3 Garmin splits all under the pace I ended up getting per mile in the results.  The offset between the actual mile markers (which were not present on the course today) and the Garmin miles are usually a couple seconds or more sometimes (which adds up in a 5k).  And then the last .1 is always long to make the course official... but to see 1:00 for my last '.2' is pretty funny. That was the difference maker (although I was running pretty hard for that last bit).  I should stop paying attention to the Garmin...although today, there not only wasn't any mile markers but there wasn't even anyone standing at any of the mile marks giving out times or anything...I thought I'd be around 16:30 and I was pretty much right on.  I have some serous work to do.

It was fun hanging out and talking to Kevin Beck again. I haven't seen him since Cigna back in like 2010 or so (that was the only time I had ever talked to him in person)... We've been mutually busting each other's balls "virtually" online for the past 7 years or so... He's a funny dude and very knowledgable about the New England running scene (and obviously running in general). I always love hearing the stories and insight from one of the regions top runners back before I started running again... It was great to see him lace em' up for a race again... for one of the first times in the last 10 or so years.

I did manage to get out for some pathetic detecting on Thurs/Fri.  I went to the railroad beach peninsula near the head of the lake because that was exposed and in the sun...most of the snow had melted on the tiny beach area so I went down there with the Makro to see if I missed anything with the AT Pro last summer.  I obviously couldn't go in the water because, well, the lake is still 100% frozen over.  But on the beach,  I found 6 modern coins and nothing else of real significance. It was pretty much a waste of time. The snow was knee deep getting out there.   On Friday, I went up into the woods in a ridiculous attempt to see if any of the stone walls were exposed and maybe I could check along the top of the wall. There was an open area where there was an old logging road cut in, that the sun had been shining in and the snow was actually a little thin there.  There was also a couple of bare spots.  In basically the only spot I could detect in, I landed an old early 1800s small flat button 'WELLINGTON' makers mark on the back with a wreath.  This makes me think this Makro Racer 2 is going to be a beast when the snow finally gets the hell out of here because I have been over that spot before with my other machine and missed it.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Training Week: March 13 - March 19 + March 20 - March 26 + Gilmanton 5k

 Week of March 20 - March 26

03-20 - [Monday] - PM: 8 miles.

03-21 - [Tuesday] - AM: 5 miles easy roads. PM:  10 miles roads w/ Darin.

03-22 - [Wednesday] - PM: 10 miles uptempo.

03-23 - [Thursday] - AM: 5 miles easy. PM: 10.1 miles roads w/ Darin.

03-24 - [Friday] - AM: 6.3 miles.

03-25 - [Saturday] - PM: 4.1 mile w/ up w/ Dunham, Tilton, Mahoney (ran the course) and then more w/ DD (another mile w/ strides) + 3.1 mile race (Gilmanton 5k - 2nd OA - 17:22 (results)) then 3.1 mile cooldown.

03-26 - [Sunday] - PM: 6 miles.

70.7 miles on 11 runs.  

Good CMS contingent at the start....Tilton, Dunham, JJ, Mahoney...RD Scott Clark with his back to the camera.

I've all but given up on Boston and will just be 'running it' or bagging it.  It is kind of a pain in the a$$ now to be honest. I don't have any desire whatsoever to run 20 mile workouts in the cold and snow (or on the treadmill)...and I have even less of a desire to race a marathon on a Monday right before my birthday...

This week I ran the first CARS series race and it was my first time running the Gilmanton 5k.  It's got to be the slowest road 5k around for sure (Dave Dunham did a blog post a few years back about the All Time Sub 18 list at Gilmanton).  Needless to say, unless your name is Eric Morse and you're in 14:2X shape at the time, you won't be looking at breaking the record there and probably aren't going to break 16 if history is any indication...  The hill during the 3rd mile was all snow and a couple of mud tire tracks which made the climb a bit slower than usual.  Otherwise, the weather was pretty good. I just suck at downhill running right now.  I wouldn't even say my uphill was that great but it was better than my downhill.  During the first mile I got passed by the eventual race winner Warren Bartlett and my CMS teammate Chris Mahoney.  They opened up a pretty big gap with Warren comfortably out in the lead and Chris halfway between Warren and myself.  I was starting to realize I am not even able to break 5 minutes on a downhill mile right now.

When I hit the bottom of the hill and took the snowy turn onto Currier Hill Rd. I was in deep third and was only about 10 yards in front of 11 year old phenom Aiden Cox.  I started to get concerned that not only was I going to get smoked by Warren and Chris but now I had to try to deal with Aiden getting his first (of soon-to-be-many) scalp of me in a 5k.  I didn't give up though and just put my head down and looked for the best route to take up the climb.  Occasionally I looked up to see Chris battling with Warren.  They were now running together and they were weaving all over the road trying to find the best footing.

By the end of the climb, Warren had about a 10-15 yard lead on Chris and I had caught up to Chris.  I went past him and then had my sights set on 1st place.  He looked to be hurting a bit so I went from thinking 4th place or worse, to actually winning it....but those hopes were dashed as soon as I got within about 5 yards of him and the last downhill section started.  He took off and outdistanced me by about 10 seconds over the last .2 or so.  Unfortunately the race didn't continue to climb to the finish.  I may have been able to squeak it out if it had...but that last downhill section was the final nail and I had to settle for 2nd and hold off a charging Mahoney who was only 7 seconds back.

Overall though I'm satisfied with the 'race'. The time...not so much...but I didn't completely suck and give up too much like I was afraid I would. I hung tough and had some fight in me over the last part of the race which is a definite plus.  $100 cash for the 2nd place finish doesn't hurt either.

I also got to town-bag Gilmanton.  I had never run in that town before.  Thanks to race directory (and CMS legend) Scotty Clark and his family for putting the event on.  I may have to go back next year now that I know what that hill is all about.

Also, some catch up from last week... Forgot to post what went on during the running-phase (which is a whole lot of not much)....

Week of March 13 - March 19

03-13 - [Monday] - PM: 8 miles roads with Andy late in the day...

03-14 - [Tuesday] - off.  Storm hit pretty hard and Mill was closed.

03-15 - [Wednesday] - AM: 5 miles roads.  PM10 miles. 3 w/ up + 12 x 400 @ 5:00 pace with 1:00 in between each + cooldown.

03-16 - [Thursday] - AM: 5 miles roads. PM8 miles. Had to wait 20+ min for a cut the run a little short. Don was looking good hammering out the miles...

03-17 - [Friday] - AM: 5.1 miles roads.

03-18 - [Saturday] - PM: 10 miles on the mill and then about 3 minutes on the elliptical to see what all the fuss was about (it is by far the most popular machine in the room and people are cut-throat when it comes to getting their time in). It wasn't that bad actually. But I'm counting that 3 minutes...

03-19 - [Sunday] - AM: 14.3 miles with first 11 as a light progression...then easier 3+.

65.4 miles on 8 runs (6 days).  

Low motivation. One bagged day due to the storm and just pure laziness.  There was snow everywhere....then Tuesday happened and there was even more snow all over the snow we already had which blows.  Sh*tty weather in general. Not good at all for quality work and even if it was, I probably wouldn't have done it anyways.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Training Week: March 6 - March 12

Week of March 6 - March 12

03-06 - [Monday] - PM: 10 miles.

03-07 - [Tuesday] - PM: off.

03-08 - [Wednesday] - AM: 6 miles roads.  PM: 10 miles as 3m w/up and then 4 x 1200 at slightly faster than 5k pace with about 2:00 in between then the rest cooldown (just over 3 miles).

03-09 - [Thursday] - PM: 10 miles.

03-10 - [Friday] - AM: 6 miles roads (mountainous dirt rds of the East Madison highlands).  PM: 8.3 miles roads w/ Andy. Again, mountainous dirt rds of the East Madison highlands).

03-11 - [Saturday] - AM: 5.3 miles easy.

03-12 - [Sunday] - AM: 3.1 mile w/ up + 3.1 mile race (Leprechaun Leap 5k - 3rd OA - 16:52) + 3.2 mile c/down.  PM: 5.3 miles because I am p*ssed.

Hit up Downtown Darin Brown's 50th birthday bash extravaganza after the race on the way home in Tamworth.  Then sat around and sulked for a bit...then went to the Mill for a shakeout and to ponder retirement.

70.3 miles on 11 runs (6 days).  One day off (unplanned).

Raced the first NH GP of the year for the Milers and scored a solid 10 points (1st in 30-39 age group = 10 team points).  That put the Milers 6th out of 8 teams (who scored points) with just me running.  Not a bad start in that respect.  But the race itself was a dud for me.  Hilly, freezing cold wind chill, and a hard headwind for the first part of the race and it was just a slow day overall. Plus I felt like complete crap.  The course has quite a bit of up and down despite what the Mapmyrun website claims ... with 3-4 pretty good climbs and one (the last one) that was a real kick in the ass and climbs more in just that hill than the website says the whole course climbs.  Very steep climb out of the 2nd mile before a nice gradual downhill/flat for most of the last mile (and it also had a tailwind).  But by then the race was already decided.  The dude out front was gone from the gun and despite pulling close a couple times, he eventually got away from me.  The kid who got 2nd went flying by me so quick on the steep downhill (that we had to turn around and climb back up) so fast I couldn't even get a good look at who it was.  I was convinced he would catch the first place guy but he didn't. I battled back and forth with a kid (who I now see was only 15 years old).  He passed me during the steepest part of the first mile and then I passed him back on the flats and then he passed me back on the downhill and then I got him back on the steepest part of the last climb.  So in that respect, I hung on and kind of fought a little bit.  But the two guys up front were just too strong for me to give them a run at this point in my season. I had 3.15 on the Garmin so the course was good (yes I remembered my watch today) but it wasn't very conducive to running super fast times.  I would put the effort similar to my other two races so far (but I felt far worse today doing it), which really indicates I have quite a bit of work to do still.  I just hope by next month I'll be a lot quicker or this season will start to really suck.  I won't break 18 minutes at Gilmanton.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Training Week: February 27 - March 5

Casey, me, and Nate right after the race. Pic courtesy of John Mortimer

Week of February 27 - March 5

02-27 - [Monday] - PM: 7 miles easy roads with Darin.

02-28 - [Tuesday] - PM: 3 mile w/ up + strides in downtown Manchester w/ Huppe and then 5k race (Mardi Gras / Fat Tuesday 5k - 1st OA 16:34 (results)) then 2ish mile cooldown.  Legs were definitely feeling heavy and strained from Sunday's long workout. My hamstring twinged bad during the warmup. I also forgot to bring my damn watch so I had no clue about any times, splits, distance, etc.  Race was fun but strange running a 5k at night.  The main streets were well lit but the 'side' streets were pretty dark.  The police car and Mortimer's lead vehicle were right in front of me so that was good.  I had no clue what pace I was doing and there were no clocks at the mile markers (I actually didn't even see the mile 1 or 2 markers because it was so dark). The course had quite a bit of gradual climb in the first mile + ...then a nice long downhill before an uphill kicker one street over from the last hill of the Cigna course.  In fact the last mile is basically the Cigna last mile I believe...I went out in 2nd place behind a guy who was blasting for about 2-3 minutes. I caught him and went by before the hill started.  Then Casey Carroll screwed by me like I was standing still and I thought I was toast.  He was running hard and kept me in the race for sure.  But I fought back a couple times in the course of about 2 minutes. I yo-yo'd with him a couple times and then eventually made a move which paid off.  Somewhere just before the neighborhood loop at the top of the course I pulled away and then the rest was me just fighting to stay ahead but it just felt way harder than it should.  I couldn't see anyone behind me because it was dark and difficult to make people out with the headlights of cars on the road glaring out everything else.  I was kind of shocked to see the time on the clock when I finally crested the last hill and made the turn. Part of me felt like I was running faster/harder than that and then part of me thought I was running way slower at times....having no watch and no idea of any splits, I guess I was going to be surprised at any time I saw on the clock at the end. But being at night and having a couple of kicker hills, I'll take it. I'll especially take the win in a race of about 900 people. In February.  Hopefully by April I'll be running A LOT faster or I'm in trouble.  I can't see how... but maybe it will just happen.

03-01 - [Wednesday] - PM: 5 miles.

03-02 - [Thursday] - PM: 10 miles.

03-03 - [Friday] - PM: 10 miles.

03-04 - [Saturday] - PM: 10 miles.

03-05- [Sunday] - 
PM: 10 miles.

60.1 miles on 9 runs.

Week was a bit of a down week (seems I go back and forth between 80 and 60 over and over again) but it was my 16th week in a row of at least 60 miles so that's at least something... but I'm still behind.  I felt kind of flat all week. Saturday's run was a little uptempo and Sunday's late run was rough. I literally went from a full turkey dinner and birthday cake at Harts Turkey Farm, to the mill to run 10 miles.  I had stuffing and squash coming back up my throat at was gross.  I probably gained weight this week.  Great weekend w/ the fam though. Celebrated the lovely and talented Kristin's birthday on Sunday. Hopefully it's the last real cold weekend we have for the season...

I closed out the month of February with a little bit of a low total but came out with 2 races and no real injuries to speak of.  280.2 miles with 1 day off.  I'm no mathematician but that's somewhere around 10 miles a day average. I'll take it.  It's funny how last year, February was my 2nd best month 'mileage-wise' behind only December. I racked up 44 miles more last February (leap year) than this year...but with 1 missed day this year and an extra day last year....and averaging my 10 per day, that would have only put me about 24 miles behind last I'll take it I guess. At this point I just have to keep plucking out the positives and hypotheticals that skew in my favor :).

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Training Week: February 20 - February 26

Week of February 20 - February 26

02-20 - [Monday] - PM: 12 miles.  Was planning on more but alas the treadmill fuse tripped again at the Mill just as I hit 12. Was 2 miles into a progression run for the last 10 of the planned 20 miles.  Ran the first 10 normal pace and then was about to jump into mile 3 of the progression when the fuse blew.  Spring can't come soon enough.  Good news is that I didn't have any calf/achilles issues.

Also found 4 coins in the only snowblown (is that a word?) section of the yard/driveway today with the new detector. There was about a 10 x 2 foot section of 'soft-enough' ground to putz around on with my new Makro Racer 2.  I plucked 4 cents out of the grass in an area I have been over at least 100 times with my other machine.  That is a great sign. I cannot wait for this snow to melt!!!

02-21 - [Tuesday] - PM: 8 miles.

02-22 - [Wednesday] - PM: 10 miles.  Ad hoc workout. 2 miles then 5 miles @5:42 pace (28:30) then a mile at normal pace then 1 mile in 5:10 and then one mile cooldown.  Felt like the 5 mile chunk wasn't really as beneficial as it should have been because it was a bit slower of a pace than I did last week so I threw another 5:10 mile in there after just to get the somewhat tired legs a workout. Not too bad for something random.  I originally wanted to run that block of 5:42s for 10 miles but bailed halfway.

02-23 - [Thursday] - AM: 6 miles easy roads (solo). PM: 6 miles easy roads with Darin.

02-24 - [Friday] - PM: 8 miles. Pressed for time so I could only sneak in 8. Started easy and rolled up to 'marathon pace' by the end. 51:00.

02-25 - [Saturday] - PM: 10 miles roads with Darin. Beautiful out.

02-26- [Sunday] - PM: 20 miles
 (treadmill) 4 w/ up + 12 miles @ 5:49 + 4 c/down.  2:06:46.  Not sure why I decided on 5:49s...but that's where I landed. Had 2 bad blisters by the end.  First 6 or so seemed uncomfortable but then I started feeling better.

80 miles on 8 runs.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Training Week: February 13 - February 19

Week of February 13 - February 19

02-13 - [Monday] - PM: 5 miles.

02-14 - [Tuesday] - PM: 10 miles.

02-15 - [Wednesday] - PM: 0The Mill closed at 5 (instead of 8). I headed in just as they were closing up due to the storm. No other real option as it was snowing hard out and the roads were completely covered and it was dark out.  I could have gone out in snowshoes with a headlamp but it would have been in 4 feet of untracked snow almost anywhere I went around here and it would have been a lot of work for next to no miles.  Week is not playing out as intended.

02-16 - [Thursday] - AM: 7 miles easy. PM: 10 miles. More excitement at the Mill. I got there just as Don was about to hammer a workout on one of the treadmills.  I got on the other one for an easy 2.5 mile w/up and he was doing basically about the same...then he started a 3 mile tempo and I started my 5 mile tempo.  We only got a few minutes in before we blew the damn fuse again.  I had to hop off and go down to have them flip it back on. I was about a half mile or so (maybe .6) into the actual workout when things went dark.  Don offered to bail on his workout but I told him I'd wait and he ended up doing his 3 mile tempo and I just ran more warmup miles.  Then as soon as he was finished and turned the screws back down to a cooldown pace, I turned the juice up on my machine and did 5 miles at 5:30 pace (27:30). I had already done just over half a mile at that pace a couple miles earlier but I didn't count that and went the full 5 which put me just about at 10 miles by the time I was done. Very short cooldown of about half a mile to make 10.  Then I was outta there. Need to try to salvage the week...

02-17 - [Friday] - AM: 8 miles. PM: 5 miles. Was going to go 10 but my achilles started to bark pretty loud out of nowhere.  Not good.  Ran very easy for the last mile and quit while I was ahead...I want to try to salvage a run tomorrow and planned long run on Sunday. It was reminiscent of the time I had to drop out of that 25k trail race in Winni back in late 2011. The initial pain was similar and I stopped before it got really bad.  I ran the 8 too quick in the morning.  Should have recovered a lot easier after the tempo on Thursday night.

02-18 - [Saturday] - AM: 5 miles super easy... Babying the achilles.  Week back to being derailed. Had to sneak this in before going to a wedding down in MA. Hope this doesn't turn out to be too serious...

02-19- [Sunday] - PM: 
10 miles. Achilles and calf were 'ok' after a little bit. Decided to put off the long run maybe until tomorrow (Monday).

60 miles on 8 runs.

The week was a bit of a mess.  I got screwed on Wednesday and then over did it on Thursday/Friday.  I think after the good workout on Thursday night, I went too hard on Friday morning and then tried to go again on Friday night and paid the price. I took it super easy on Saturday and did a lot of stretching, icing, and took some anti-inflammatories which seemed to help. I waited until Sunday night to do my run and it paid off. Only 60 miles but really on 6 days and 2 of those days were only 5 miles not too bad.  With the way my leg felt on Friday, the week could have been a lot worse.  It was my 14th straight week at 60 or higher.  I'd like to keep my 'bad' weeks at 60... that would set me up pretty well I think...

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Training Week: February 6 - February 12

Week of February 6 - February 12

02-06 - [Monday] - PM: 10 miles.

02-07 - [Tuesday] - AM: 5 miles easy.  

02-08 - [Wednesday] - PM: 11 miles (70:47). 30 minutes into 12 x 400 @ 5 min pace with 60 sec in between each then cooldown.

02-09 - [Thursday] - AM: 5 miles easy.  PM: 10 miles.

02-10 - [Friday] - PM: 10 miles.

02-11 - [Saturday] - PM: 9 miles.

02-12- [Sunday] - PM: 
20 miles. Mill. (2:12:36). First 10 in 69:47 (easy) and then next 10 in 62:49 as 1 min 'on' and 2 min 'off' for the entire 10 miles.  The 'ons' were controlled 5:20 pace. Offs were the 6:58 pace most of the rest of the run was at.  I should have done the rest of the run a little quicker but my legs felt banged up a bit towards the end of the week... I felt completely fine cardio-wise but the last 10 miles really beat up my hips and legs.  I'd like to do this run again with a more honest first 10 miles and slightly quicker 'offs'.  But glad I got it in regardless.

80 miles on 8 runs.

27 days until daylight saving time kicks in....
35 days until Spring.
4 feet of snow base in my yard.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Training Week: January 30 - February 5

Week of January 30 - February 5

01-30 - [Monday] - PM: 8 miles.

01-31 - [Tuesday] - PM: 10 miles.

02-01 - [Wednesday] - PM: 9 miles (56:25) w 6 x 800 @ 5k pace in the second half.

02-02 - [Thursday] - AM: 5 miles roads.

02-03 - [Friday] - AM: 8 miles roads. Cold and windy.  Not fun. PM: 8 miles mill.  Warm and dry.  Fun.

02-04 - [Saturday] - AM: 8 miles.

02-05- [Sunday] - AM: 2 miles w/up (short warmup + strides) + 5k race (Super Bowl Chili 5k (results) - Manchester, NH - 2nd OA - 16:04) + 2 miles cooldown.  Warmup/down with Hamel, Weston, and Pat Ard.  Barely got the warmup in and was disinterested in a cooldown.  

63 miles on 10 runs.

Another ho-hum week training-wise with less than I planned for but I am having no problems at least getting out the door. I wimped out on Thursday night and instead of going to the mill, I took the family out to dinner.  So I lost 8-10 miles there but I'd rather be at dinner w/ the family than running so it was all good.

The race on Sunday was a good rust buster and wake up call. 5:10-5:15 feels AWFUL. I ran 'uncomfortably comfortable'.  I basically ran with no b*lls and just sat content in 2nd almost the entire race.  Hamel pulled away over the last half mile and I did nothing except look behind me to make sure I was enough ahead of Brandyn.  Course, time, etc. aside, I should have just raced better but didn't have anything to offer Derrick in form of competition.  Hopefully I get that kind of late-race drive back sooner than later.  First race since September though!  Crazy.  The more I do this, hopefully the better things will go. It's ONLY February 5th, so I guess I'll take it!

I also got a new machine this week.  Yes, it's the first week of February and yes there's still 1.5 feet + of snow covering everything and yes the ground underneath that is very much frozen...but I got a new machine!  I picked up a Makro Racer 2 pro pack.  With the machine comes a stock 11x7" search coil and a 5"sniper coil. I also ordered an additional 15.5x13 big search coil that will help me in the fields and to identify the deep targets.  I also got a slew of other bags, digging tools, a new pinpointer, a couple pairs of headphones (including wireless headphones that were backordered) and some other stuff with it.  Overall it's going to be like starting all over again, which is nice. I'll be able to go over all the same areas again with this new machine that I think is much more stable and more sensitive than my other previous machine. It has more search modes, more depth, and seems to handle better in the iron.  The only thing that seems to be a letdown with it is that it's not fully waterproof (which I knew about before I ordered it).  So I'll have to get another Garrett AT Pro (to replace the current one I have that I believe is faulty) for water hunting (only).   But I'll worry about that when the summer comes...which seems very far away at this point.

I may do a comparison video of the two machines I have at some point before I start using it outside... just to compare the features and initial impressions I have.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

January Recap for 2017

You can almost see a sled-run I made a month or so back... peaking through the base in the backyard. After getting a grillfull of snow, Tabby was 'one and done'.

January Recap for 2017:

Miles run: 320.4
Days run: 30
Days off: 1
Runs: 35
Longest Run: 20.4 miles
Shortest Run: 5 miles
Doubles: 5
Races: 0
Injuries: 0
Weight Gained: probably.

My January history for last 9 years (cannot find 2007 details as I kept spotty records before 2008, and other January's at college, etc. I kept NO records because I hated running).

2017: 320.4 miles - 1 day off.
2016: 278.9 miles - 3 days off.
2015: 351.2 miles - 1 day off. **
2014: 305.8 miles - 2 days off.
2013: 237.2 miles - 2 days off.
2012: 201.3 miles - 3 days off.
2011: 340.2 miles - 0 days off.
2010: 295.7 miles - 0 days off.
2009: 336.6 miles - 1 day off.
2008: 333.5 miles - 0 days off.

** that type of volume for me led to a nice stress fracture in the spring.

I was WAY ahead of Kemibe's 316.5 for January.  Outdistancing him by 3.9 miles with ease.  It was a relatively strange month with no racing but still managing 10.3 miles per day including the day off.  I think I got that much in because there's simply not all that much else to do right now.  If the weather was better, I would have surely found more things to do outside and around the house and the mileage wouldn't have been that good.  I seem to be able to get in the work over the winter, which is good I guess.  January has always been one of my better months 'mileage-wise'.  I managed to get 6 'workouts' in...workouts being used a little loosely here as I include the periodic tempo run as a workout.  I got 4 interval sessions in and 2 longer tempos + 5 'longer' runs (anything over 12 I consider a long run).  I don't feel fast and when I try to do the uptempo intervals I feel terrible.  It feels like way too much work for having just completed 11 straight weeks of over 60 miles, which I am considering a good base.  I feel like I should be further along and I just feel flat.  It could have everything to do with the fact that I haven't raced since September 25.  This was the first January I didn't race since 2006.  I was close to going to the Derry 5 miler this past weekend but at zero hour I got a text about a long run in Portsmouth that I felt would suit me better in the 'long run' (pun intended) I opted for more miles on the seacoast w/ some mates rather than forcing a 5 miler all the way down in Derry just to keep my January streak alive.  The races will come.  They will probably be slow at first, but they'll come.  I kind of almost did something race-related as I signed up for Mt. Washington with my bypass entry and also registered for MSD10k which is a week before Washington.  I usually signup as early as possible for Redhook, MSD, and Washington because they all sell out quick (or are lottery based of course).  Doesn't look like Redhook is open yet, but I'm starting to be all set for June at least.

Days until DST: 38
Days until Spring: 46
Days until Boston: 74
Days until I'm a Master: 80
Days until Mt. Washington: 135

On the treasure hunting front (which is obviously slow going right now), I did manage to unbelievably find 2 coins.  A 1799 KGIII and an 1803 Largie.  Neither one required me to leave my house, which was awesome (and which would have been impossible thanks to the 2 feet of base in the yard).  I also ordered a new machine (and coils) which should help my land hunting once the damn snow melts.  My 'water' machine needs to be replaced now and I'm going to wait probably until the weather really heats up before I need to worry about that one...but for now, I am looking forward to getting the new machine hopefully tomorrow (according to Fedex).  As I type this now, the snow is falling pretty hard which is kind of not moving in the right direction for talking about metal detecting but it is a short month.... Think Spring!

The guy playing King George III in this great clip from 'John Adams' looks nothing like the dude on my coin...but his madness definitely is on display... must have been terrifying for a newly appointed US Ambassador to GB just after the rev war.