Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Catching Up with some Races

Getting caught up w/ some running info / updates as I've had more people ask me over the last month or so about my blog than I actually thought even read it so I'll just post some catch up info... I haven't been focused too much on running and racing and to be honest, my heart isn't really in it right now as much as it usually is as I have just been becoming more and more interested in doing other things with my 'spare' time. I've been much happier to spend time in the yard and at the beach w/ the girls and coinshoot some old pre/post colonial sites and local beaches (and in the water) here in the valley.  I've been spending more hours looking for coins and relics than I have running (probably easily 2-3x as much)... So racing is pretty much showing signs of this....hence my reluctance to race as much as I had originally planned on doing this summer.

I haven't been keeping track of runs or mileage at all so I have no idea what I've done the past month and a half or so...I 'think' I've raced 4 times since I last updated this page.  I won't dive too deep into the details of all of them as they are starting to get a little hazy but basically it breaks down like this:

May 29 - Redhook Brewery 5k - Portsmouth, NH (results)

3rd OA. 15:58.

I don't have much to say about this race other than I'm happy I was able to run it this year. I missed this race THREE years in a row due to injuries.  It wasn't my slowest time.  I ran slower in 2007 (my very first year racing)...but ran faster every other year I ran.  I did manage to maintain my podium streak here though (top 3).  I felt like death on the way down to the race.  I was seriously contemplating turning around on the way down.  I was pretty much determined to NOT miss this race AGAIN so I sucked it up and made my way down there.  After the warmup I felt slightly better.

I stayed 'competitive' for about a mile...then settled back into 'my place' and let Alex and Aliaksandr run away with it.  The only thing good about that was the fact that both of them ran faster than I ever ran here so I would have had to PR on the course to change the outcome of the placement.  I got $100 for 3rd which I'll take any day...especially at my advanced age.  Any and all cash I pull in these days from races goes immediately into the cash registers of Toys R Us on the way home.  It was no exception here.

Historical breakdown:

2016 - 3rd place - 15:58 - Field Size: 1923
2015 - stress fracture
2014 - two huge heel blisters from Wachusett day before ... couldn't even walk the next few days.
2013 - very sore after Wachusett. Decided to stay home. Big mistake. Could have run.
2012 - 2nd Place - 15:37 - Field Size: 2038  - day after running Wachusett Mountain Race
2011 - 2nd Place - 15:28 - Field Size: 1886 - day after running Wachusett Mountain Race
2010 - 3rd Place - 15:34 - Field Size: 1842 - day after running Wachusett Mountain Race
2009 - 2nd Place - 15:38 - Field Size: 1958
2008 - 1st Place - 15:32 - Field Size: 1898
2007 - 7th Place - 16:33 - Field Size: 1824 - one of my first real races back running...

I missed the kids race because it was during my warmup.  Tabby and Morgan both ran and had a great time.

Above, Tabby and Morgan re-enact the infamous Jim Garcia vs Jan Vandendriessche at the 1999 Chancellor's Challenge 100K in Boston.  Below is the original photo just after Jim 'made his move'.

June 11 - Market Square Day 10k - Portsmouth, NH (results)

9th OA. 33:57

Utterly forgettable.  Basically a personal worst.  I did run slower at this race once and that was my first ever time racing a 10k post collegiate.  And even then, it was only by a few seconds.  This was a horrible race effort and a horrible experience.  It's one of, if not my favorite race and I bombed.  I missed a golden opportunity last year when everyone decided to skip this race and I was sidelined with injury...this year I had high hopes all winter long, looking forward to it...but it was my own fault. I got lazy and didn't prepare or train for this race at all.  No workouts since April of any kind.  Just running and racing 5ks (and not really running all that fast at them).  I started scaling back the work and not taking anything seriously which obviously resulted in one of my worst races ever.  It was a pretty deep field this year as matching my PR on this course from 2011 (31:56) would have only gotten me 5th... but still....I had some thought that I 'should' be able to break 33.  Nope.  Barely broke 34. Embarrassing.  I was running so badly and it hurt so much both physically and emotionally that I actually stared to worry about next week's Mt. Washington race during the 10k and couldn't fathom how bad it was going to be... My top 10 streak at this race still is in play though... I won't bother with any more historics or details on this race....I just want to forget this ever happened.

Silver lining... spending the day w/ the family at a great festival in one of our favorite areas.  The kids had a good time.  We ate like crap and enjoyed some live music so it wasn't all that bad by the end of the day...just as long as I didn't think about the actual race that happened.

June 18 - Mount Washington Road Race - Greens Grant, NH (results)

5th OA. 1:07:27.

A 180 degree turn from the previous week. I had literally zero expectations here (other than colossal failure)...  I thought I was setting myself up for a PW here for sure.  After the previous week's career low performance I figured a deep "1:teens" was coming up the hill.  I got to the race a little late because of idiotic traffic and barely did a warm up.  I shuffled into the field about 10 rows back at the start and was in no rush to get going when the gun went off.  What played out afterwards was one of the strangest experiences I've had racing.  I meandered through some of the field during the first half mile or so including a slew of my CMS teammates and some other heavy hitters on the hill.  I just had my head down and tried to stay comfortable but consistent for as long as possible and not stress over anything.

Pretty soon (maybe a couple miles in) I had rolled ahead of some folks who had gone out pretty hard. Yes, I know I just breezed over the first couple miles which I think are the hardest, but it really was just the usual sufferfest of settling in and slowly creeping by people that may have gone out too hard.  I kept trying to forget about anyone else and just focus on putting one step in front of the other and keep up the same intensity while not going too far into the red (if that is at all possible in this race).

After passing a few guys I wasn't expecting to be in front of at all at any point in the race, I caught and passed Brandon Newbould who I had pegged for the Crossan Cup this year (top NH finisher).  I made the decision to just keep going and not hop on and run with him.  I had been steadily catching him and decided it was best to keep doing what I was doing.  If he hopped on and passed me back, fine...that was almost expected... but at least I wouldn't have changed my plans and run someone elses' race when things were going just fine the way I was handling things.

Moving ahead through the crowd.  Photo by Joe Viger

Early on in the race.  Photo by Joe Viger

The next target was Matt Byrne from PA who has been a consistent top finisher at the race over the years and he's been on the US Mountain team multiple times (as well as a 2x Olympic Trials qualifier in the marathon).  He went out with Simon Gutierrez and started to drop back during the 3rd mile.  I went past him and again kept just doing my thing....looking up to see who was next.  I found myself just bridging the gaps from one guy to the next in the first few miles. There wasn't seeming to be that many bodies out on the road at this point so it was a little easier to focus up ahead on one or two guys. All this time I was thinking there was a pack of guys way up ahead and I had no clue what position I was in but was pretty sure it was back a ways.  There always seems to be a pack or two way up the road and I lose sight of them...I figured this year was no different.

After moving away from Matt, I looked up to see Simon and Drew Best.  Drew was hanging a little behind Simon and possibly it seemed like he was catching him slowly just like I was. It was pretty surprising to see Simon at all let alone this early in the race.  It took some time for me to get up to Drew and Simon.  I was just a few steps behind them at halfway.  As splits don't really stand out for me in this race I wasn't particularly sure how fast or slow I was going but I was starting to feel like I was running strong.  I had left a bunch of good guys behind and felt like I was continuing to progress.  Other years in the race I felt like I was going backwards over some of the middle and later miles.  I still kept thinking I'd be caught by Brandon for some reason and wasn't confident about holding off all the NH runners for the Crossan Cup.  I had Ryan Kelly in mind too as someone who could pass on by me if I faltered late.

Going by Matt Byrne.  Photo by Joe Viger

Going by Matt Byrne.  Photo by Joe Viger

Newbould in the back. Passing Byrne. Heading up to Drew.  Photo by Joe Viger

Just after halfway, I was able to move ahead of both Drew and Simon.  At one point on a very steep switchback, I had taken a few steps of a lead on them both. But by the end of the steepest section, they had actually passed me back by a couple steps. It was the first time all race I had been technically passed.  I was pondering my next move...continue to progress again or sit back with them and run as a group.  Almost immediately as that thought entered my head, I decided to go ahead and push again.  Screw it. I had nothing to lose at this point as I was already well ahead of any expectations I had.  I was feeling surprisingly good so I went.  Simon followed and Drew seemed to drift back a bit.  Pretty soon only Simon was in tow and was never that far behind.  I worked to stay just ahead of him on the dirt section and my confidence just kept building.  I kept thinking to myself that I had put in too much work in the first 4-5 miles now to blow it.  

I pushed just ahead of Simon for the next couple miles and started to believe finally that I had the Crossan Cup (which was mindblowing at this point in my running career) as long as I didn't start to fall completely apart.  I wasn't really too worried about beating Simon and was actually OK with the thought of him going by me again late in the race but I didn't want to be caught by anyone else.  After all, he's a multi-time winner of the race, many times a member of the US team, etc.  He's a legend on 'The Hill' and it was just crazy to think I was even near him at 5-6 miles.  

By mile 7 I had consciously decided to fight to the bitter end.  Simon was back there and seemed to be closing a little bit of a gap I had built up on him.  Through the cow pasture I was a little lazy and I think he worked that bit a little harder than I did.  On the steeper sections I was surprised to be staying ahead of him (did I mention he's 50 years old now)...  but I was running out of race.  I usually have a good last mile of this race and as soon as the course 'flattened' out a bit and mile 7 came and went, so did I.  I ALWAYS seem to be racing someone during this stretch.  Some spectators on the sidelines were telling me that he was coming.  I believed them.  I had absolutely NO idea what place I was in and what place I was fighting for.  I also wasn't looking at my watch.  I had no idea what I was running for time.  I did look at halfway but it really didn't register with me what it meant.  And by 7 miles I couldn't even remember what that split was exactly.

Photo by Joe Viger

I didn't know I had my place held until I hit the bottom of the wall. I had seen Chris Dunn and the aR crew there cheering for me before I hit the 'wall' (literally) and I peeked back one more time to see Simon there but seemingly a little too far back to be able to catch me in that last 100 meters.  I have never walked a step in this race, even on the last bit to the finish.  I wasn't about to break that streak.  I came up through the finish ahead of Simon, Drew, Brandon, Danny Princic, and a few others I thought would have crushed me today.  Simon was only 19 seconds back but that's not too far back considering the pitch at the end and how slow that last part actually is.

When I crossed the line I looked over at the clock and realized I was just off my PR here which was pretty crazy.  I still think I have underachieved here in past years but still, my PR is my PR.  I can only imagine what I think I 'should' have run a few years ago... The reality is that a 1:07:27 is only 5 seconds back of what I did in 2011 and that was basically my best year running.  Maybe coming into this race completely unprepared is actually better than coming in with a long specific ramp up...Maybe it was Dan Verrington's friendly subtle dig at me right before the gun went off about this race being a 'long 5k' that subconsciously motivated me.  Not sure.  But whatever it was, it worked.

Photo by Dan Houde

Photo by Joe Viger

Photo by Joe Viger
Photo by Joe Viger

Photo by Joe Viger
Joe Viger (from whom I stole all these wonderful photos and expect a cease and desist letter from) was one of the first people I saw when I came across.  He took a picture of me and then I heard someone say to Simon that he was 6th.  I looked at Joe and asked him what place I was and he told me I was 5th.  I was completely blindsided.  I knew Joe Gray and Eric Blake were obviously up there at the front.  I forgot about the two Italian runners but that made sense that they'd be up there too...but where was everyone else?  I couldn't believe there was no one in the literally 3 and a half minutes between the last Italian runner and me.  Usually there are a bunch of runners in that gap.  This year, no one.  I finally picked a race in the right year, to run well.  Usually it seems that that doesn't happen to me.  Joe quickly did the confirmation math that it was Joe, Eric, the two Italians, then me and Simon.  Crazy.  I heard Andy Schachat mention the Crossan Cup after I came across the line and everything started to sink in.  I had hung tough, raced well, ran hard both physically and mentally, and executed a near perfect race if not a perfect race. Possibly my best race ever based on the outcome and the reality of where I am in my running career.  Yes it was a lighter-than-normal year but it is what it is.  There are potentially thousands of guys out there that 'could' have been in front of me but either didn't run well or didn't register and toe the line.  That's always the case.

DD and I at the bottom. He got me by a second or two at the end...

After quickly bagging the summit, I talked to a few people before hitching up with Dave Dunham for a nice relaxing run down the mountain.  The first time in my 8 finishes that I've run down with DD.  I was a little sad that for the first time ever, I had no one (family-wise) at the top.  Kristin was with me but I was pretty confident before the race that I was going to run like sh*t so I basically convinced her to just walk up the road a bit and then I'd meet her at the bottom and we'd get the hell out of there (I was anticipating being a post-race grouch).  Instead, we'd have to wait around until the end for the awards (I'm not complaining)... Still it was great having her there during the first couple miles and then after the race.  She ate my Harts Turkey Farm dinner though.

Amber and I w/ our Cups for top NH runners. Photo by Joe Viger. Still the same grey shorts from 2007.
In addition to the Crossan Cup for top NH runner, I actually got a 'podium' spot (top 5 overall) and actually cashed.  I would have never thought I'd cash at this race.  A cool $100.  I'll take it.  Lastly and certainly not least, we WON as a team.  CMS Men's Open took home another Washington title.  Matt Viega ran a great race and continues to get better in the mountains.  Being from the mountainous region of Lynn, MA is paying off ;).  Todd Callaghan continues to defy the laws of nature and physics and crush climbing events all over the place. It was a great feeling being back on a winning team again here. CMS won the Open, Masters, and Seniors championships for the Men.

Mt. Washington Podium - Top 5 Men & Women + Tom Raffio (Northeast Delta Dental).  Photo by Joe Viger

Garmin Splits:

Mile 1 - 7:46.98
Mile 2 - 8:43.12
Mile 3 - 9:09:06
Mile 4 - 9:00.82
Mile 5 - 9:38.54
Mile 6 - 9:18.10
Mile 7 - 9:12.70
last .6 - 4:37.77

Kristin's 2 mile mark (approx.) Videos in case you haven't seen them:

Part 1 below:

Part 2 here.
Part 3 here.
Part 4 here.
part 5 here.

Mike Giberti's Raw Footage of the race and finish line:

Crossan Cup History - Males (CMS in blue)
(Since it's inception in 1987)

2016 - Jim Johnson - (1:07:27) - Madison - 5th (CMS)
2015 - Justin Freeman - (1:05:55) - New Hampton - 8th (RUN)
2014 - Justin Freeman - (1:06:29) - New Hampton - 9th (RUN)
2013 - Justin Freeman - (1:06:52) - New Hampton - 8th (RUN)
2012 - Kevin Tilton - (1:05:54) - North Conway - 18th (CMS)
2011 - Justin Freeman - (1:06:28) - New Hampton - 8th (RUN)
2010 - Kris Freeman - (1:07:56) - Thornton - 15th (US SKI TEAM)
2009 - Craig Fram - (1:06:58) - Plaistow - 11th (Whirlaway)
2008 - Craig Fram - (1:05:45) - Plaistow - 10th (Whirlaway)
2007 - Kevin Tilton - (1:09:34) - North Conway - 10th (CMS)
2006 - Kevin Tilton - (1:12:09) - North Conway - 22nd (CMS)
2005 - Kevin Tilton - (1:03:42) - North Conway - 5th (CMS)
2004 - Josh Ferenc - (1:06:21) - Westmoreland - 7th 
2003 - Craig Fram - (1:03:27) - Plaistow - 2nd (Whirlaway)
2002 - Craig Fram - (28:28 - halfway) - Plaistow - 3rd (Whirlaway)
2001 - Craig Fram - (1:04:29) - Plaistow - 3rd (Whirlaway)
2000 - Mike Casner - (1:09:30) - Keene - 6th (CMS)
1999 - Thomas Anderson - (1:04:36) - Keene - 8th (CMS)
1998 - Mike Casner - (1:05:48) - Keene - 7th (CMS)
1997 - Craig Fram - (1:04:48) - Plaistow - 1st (CMS)
1996 - Craig Fram - (1:04:22) - Plaistow - 4th (CMS)
1995 - Craig Fram - (1:03:20) - Hampstead - 2nd (CMS)
1994 - Dave Dunham - (1:03:22) - Londonderry - 1st (CMS)
1993 - Dave Dunham - (1:00:44) - Londonderry - 2nd (CMS)
1992 - Dave Dunham - (1:03:18) - Londonderry - 3rd (CMS)
1991 - Dave Dunham - (1:02:07) - Londonderry - 2nd (GLRR)
1990 - Dave Dunham - (1:01:37) - Londonderry - 2nd (GLRR)
1989 - Jeffrey Robie - (1:10:45) - Kingston - 8th
1988 - Martin Kryska - (1:06:11) - Hanover - 4th
1987 - Mike Casner - (1:06:10) - Bristol - 5th

11 different winners in 30 years.

Fram = 8 cups
Dunham = 5 cups
J. Freeman / Tilton (tie) = 4 cups
Casner = 3 cups

Kryska, Robie, Anderson, Ferenc, K.Freeman, Johnson (tie) = 1 cup

July 4 - Four on the Fourth - Bridgton, ME (results)

2nd OA.  21:04

I headed over to Bridgton, Maine for a race I had registered for a while back.  I wanted to give this 4 miler a go and it was the 40th edition of the race so it was a good year to make my debut.  A lot of good runners (especially from the valley) have made this race a staple of their 4th of July festivities.  Even Ben True has shown up and won this race in the past.  I knew it would be competitive.  I knew I STILL have not gotten serious about running and workouts.  But I wanted to do it anyways and try to stay sharp.  I went solo because Kristin and I got awful sleep the night before and she was up constantly tending to Tabby who was really having trouble staying asleep.  I had also spent the entire previous day jumping off my parent's raft in the lake and obtained a nice backyard football injury to my quad when I collided with my nephew trying to swat down a pass (I made the play).  I had water in my ears, felt like I had been in the sun far too long, and had reduced flexibility in my right leg.  A perfect storm for tackling a hilly 4 miler (Course Video) the next day.

I warmed up with Uptown Nick Brown and Kevin Tilton and then made my way down to the line for the showdown with a bunch of fast looking young dudes.

The race went off pretty conservative and I set my sights on sticking to Silas Eastman for as long as possible. I had no thoughts of actually being able to beat him but I wanted to keep him close if I could for as long as I could.  Eventually race winner Moninda Marube pulled ahead after a quarter mile or so.  Silas adjusted and sat on his shoulder. I stayed behind by a little bit and fought back and forth with a couple of other guys.  I went through the mile a few seconds behind Silas and Moninda and right with a small pack.  We were just over 5 minutes and the hills were now coming fast and furious.  

I dropped one guy and started yo-yo'ing back and forth with another guy for the next half mile or so.  Finally after 1.5-1.75 miles I broke slightly clear and into 3rd place.  Moninda had pulled ahead and Silas was lingering ahead.  He was still up a ways and it took me a little bit to catch him.  Again I played out the 'should I stay or should I go' in my head when I finally caught him just around the 2 mile mark.

After 2 miles, I moved ahead of Silas and into second.  He didn't completely give in at that point but I did put a decent pad on him by the time all the hills came and went.  In the third mile you have a nice drop and I tried to stay on the gas but felt like not only was Silas coming back on me but also some others too when I turned to look and check out the damage behind.

In the last half mile there's a slight uphill past the lake and then a downhill / flat turn to the finish.  I could see Moninda for most if not all of the race (less the parts around the corners).  I was just in finish mode and wanted nothing more than to hold my place.  I wasn't thinking much about time as the course has some pretty steady climbs which really do a number on the splits.

In the end, I somehow held off Silas (who is probably not in tip top shape either right now) and got a solid 2nd place in a pretty competitive field.  My time of 21:04 wasn't bad either considering the course and the fact that I'm a big bag of slow right now.  Cooled down w/ the Brown family.

It's almost over....
workin' hard to hold off Silas
Contemplating retirement...
I turned my 2nd place $75 gift cert to Fleet Feet Portland into cold hard cash thanks to a willing friend who happened to be passing right by there on his way home and was going to stop in there anyways...(I don't know when I'd ever be in Portland again any time soon).  I also got a nice Brooks running jacket that will be delivered in 'about a month'.

Side was the first time ever that my 'USA' jersey has ever actually finished a race.

Up idea. Not in any rush.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Thursday - May 26

May 26 (Thursday) - PM: 8 miles roads and dirt roads/nordic trails w/ Andy at King Pine.  First 5 w/ Andy and then last 3 solo as he went for a swim in Purity Lake.  It was hot and I had to listen to Andy go on and on about all his new sponsors and all the free stuff he's getting and his VIP invites to international events this summer and how many of his drones aren't working right now and how the skiing up at Mt. Washington isn't that good anymore....but other than that it was a good run.

Then I got to swing for about 90 minutes while Kristin went 'into town'.  I had to stay in the yard because the kids were busy at work in the sandbox.  I found a few strange unidentified items but landed TWO full horseshoes right behind the 'ell' of my house.  I also found a sliver plated spoon with the mark 'Ajax silver plate' on it. It looks identical (except mine is destroyed) to this spoon as far as the design on both sides... the website says possibly the 1920s but not positive.  I also found a dime bank that was patented in 1891 (you can see other examples here).  Mine actually says 'PAT APPLIED FOR' meaning it was older than 1891.  It was full of dirt and as far as I can see, it doesn't have any dimes in it...if it did (given the timing), they would have to be 'Seated' Liberty dimes and that would be amazing...

Even though I didn't find any coins today, my buddy Kent called me to tell me he landed an 1837 large cent today down in Ossipee.  It was quite 'knackered' as he put it, but it's a largie nonetheless.  Landing a large cent is still on my bucket list...

If I had "$5.00" worth of silver seated dimes in this thing I'd be pretty excited...
I wish it was full of seated dimes but instead it's just packed with dirt.

the 'silver plate' is all but gone on this....the back is even worse...

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Wednesday - May 25

May 25 (Wednesday) - AM: 90 minutes metal detecting (so I probably walked a half mile) then 5 miles roads.  Pretty hot out.  PM: 6 miles with a 1.1 mile hard hillclimb and then a sub 6 last mile (mostly downhill).  Was going to do some short hills but it was hot, I felt like crap, and I got stung by a hornet a half mile into my warmup (thing flew right into me at full stride and stuck in my leg) and I had to keep stopping to massage my quad.  Stung me right in the meat of the quad and the sweat was making it sting really bad.  Decided just to quasi-hammer the base of Pound Rd. up past the apple orchard (1.1 miles)... was right at 7:25 for that mile split which is entirely uphill and pretty steep for 3/4 of it.  I have no clue how much it gains but I was working decently hard.  Not all out but an honest effort.  Since I do zero hills, this was better than nothing.

As far as the morning treasure hunting session goes, I landed 15 shell casings, 6 shotgun shell headstamps, a zipper, and a 1972 quarter.  Three of the below are live rounds (unfired). There was so much ordnance in the ground up in there, you'd think World War II happened there.

Every one of these sounded beautiful but it got old seeing these pop out of the hole.

The morning's take from the top half of Darin's property

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Tuesday - May 24

May 24 (Tuesday) - 10 miles roads w/ Andy. Out and back from Shackford Pass down into Freedom Village and back.

Found some interesting finds just in the yard the last couple afternoons... Today I found a fatty Indian Head cent (they made them fat from 1859-1864)...It's my 2nd "Fatty" of the year so far.  I found a 1863 previously.  I can't get the date off of it as it's pretty toasted.  I found another nice button w/ the shank still in tact and some writing on it but I can't really make it out...will have to clean it a bit more...

Yesterday I found a few things in the front yard...a funny (and big) lid to a 1950s jar of bubbles.  It was seriously 6-7 inches down. I have no idea....  It was deeper than most anything I dig but the signal was too good to pass up.  I also found a wheatie, another button with the word 'Metropolitan' on it, and a beautiful lead colonial musket ball.  The picture below doesn't do it's completely round (unfired).  It's the 4th musket ball I have found so far.  The other 3 were fired.

I also pulled some more rifle shells, a bullet, and some other odds and ends...

Fatty Indian Head cent (back and front) and nice button.

Wheatie, button, and really nice musket ball.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Monday - May 23

May 23 (Monday) - 11.5 miles roads and trails w/ Andy.  Silver Lake bang with some extended McNair exploration off Lead Mine.  Easy pace.  Pretty warm out.  Andy ran with his fuel belt on in preparation for registering for the VT 50 in a couple days.

Phil 'diggin' acidotic' on Sunday with Kent supervising

Yesterday I took some video yesterday in the backwoods of a couple of old colonial settlements we'll affectionately refer to as '1690 North' and '1690 South'.  Only those in attendance will know exactly where it was.  I'll try to start taking some better vids of some actual finds, etc. but it's kind of hard to pull out the camera and try to take some pictures and video while trying to make the most of the time we have to's kind of a pain in the ass but I'll try to streamline it a little better next time.  This is just a short hodgepodge of video I was planning on making but really just didn't have the drive to make it happen.

In short though, I met up with acidoticRacing's own legendary Phil Erwin who just recently took the plunge into one of the most addicting hobbies out there and purchased the same machine I have (the Garrett AT Pro).  We met up with Kent 'Big Iron' Churchill at his palatial estate in Ossipee, NH and then headed out to a couple different colonial sites to battle some heat and bugs in order to save some history.  I found 3 coins but all recent (a clad quarter and a couple pennies) but I did land 6 (SIX) buttons from the 1700s-1800s. 4 with shank and 2 without... One up high at the first cellar hole we tried out and the other 5 down low on the road in.  I found my fair share of iron relics and junk but did find another nice crotal bell (my 3rd so far) at the second location we tried over at '1690 North'.  We didn't have too much time to spend at the second site as people had things to do in the afternoon so we'll have to wait a bit more before we can go back and hit it hard.

I had 8 ticks on me...pulled 5 off me before heading home and 3 on the way back in the car.

Back of my best button haul in a single day so far...

Front of my best button haul in a single day so far...

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Week of May 16 - May 22 - Rock n' Race 5k and Get Fit in May 5k - Double

Morgan and I catching up with Ryan Kelly post-race on Thursday night.
Week of May 16 - May 22 - Rock n' Race 2016 and Get Fit in May 5ks (Old School Double)

May 16 (Monday) - PM: 6.5 miles trails w/ Andy and Squall from Black Brook Rd.  Snowmobile trails.  Still having some chest tightness and discomfort... 
May 17 (Tuesday) PM: 11.2 miles roads w/ Andy from home up 113 to Chocorua Meadows and Tall Pines Rds just neighborhood running...then back down into Madison.  Still having some chest tightness and discomfort... still pretty concerning but I'm able to run without too much additional issue.
May 18 (Wednesday) PM: 8.5 miles trails, roads, logging roads.  From Rocky Gorge took Lower Nanamocomuck ski trail down to the covered bridge and then ran up to the gate on Passaconaway Rd. Then took that left up a logging road that climbed up quite a ways along Big Brook.  Ran to the top and then a ways down the backside before turning and running back to the bridge where I was picked up.
May 19 (Thursday) PM: 4 mile warmup in the rain on streets of Concord, then 3.2 miles (Merrimack Savings Bank Rock n' Race 5k (results- Concord, NH - 2nd OA - 16:02) then 2 miles cooldown on the roads.
May 20 (Friday) AM: 8 miles roads (moderate).
May 21 (Saturday) AM: 4.6 miles warmup on the roads (got very lost trying to follow the course) + 3.2 miles (Get Fit in May 5k (results)- Exeter, NH - 1st OA 16:04) + 2.8 miles cooldown w/ Goupil, Sam Fazioli, and DJ Ayotte.  HOT out there! 
May 22 (Sunday) PM: 6 miles very easy after 4+ hours of metal detecting in the hot sun and buggy woods...

Weekly Summary: 60.0 miles

Decent week although another week of ONLY 60 miles... I opted to take it short and easy on Sunday with 2 races (Thursday and Saturday).. old school week of 2 races...  16:02 and 16:04 respectfully.  One 2nd place and one win.  Good efforts for sure (one on the flooded streets of Concord and one on the scorching hot streets of Exeter...ok not that hot but it was definitely the hottest race of the year so far that I've run). $225 in race winnings across the 2 races in 3 days.  Just good to keep getting behind the line.

Race 1: Rock N' Race 2016 5k (results):

The race on Thursday night was a good time.  Despite the rain, it did stop right before the race went off so at least during the run it wasn't coming down.  With close to 3000 runners and maybe more than that lined up to walk, the race is one of the bigger races in the state.  I have never made it down (or up) to this race since I started running again.  I always see it in the results after the fact and never remember to put it on the schedule.  This year I figured I'd try to get down there and add it to my list of good local races that I've run.  This was the 14th year of the race (and 13th year I think it has been a 5k...with 2003's first race being a 4 miler won by Scott Clark).

I warmed up a bit doing loops of a few city blocks as I didn't know where the course went and being in the city and immediate neighborhoods, there wasn't obvious markings so I couldn't follow anything. I just ended up running around for 4 miles including some strides before the race.  I noticed quite a few decent looking runners there including Nacho Hernando and Ryan Kelly (Nacho would end up not actually racing) plus a few other dudes I know could race so I figured it would be a good pack of guys for the first mile at least...something I haven't been seeing in the other local races around here lately. &nbsp

After the Governor gave the race command and fired the gun (a short walk for her as the start is outside of her office door) we were off.  Two dudes busted out to the lead and a couple others lingered around me initially. I actually got a bad start (if there's such a thing in a 5k when you are right on the starting line) so it took me a little bit to get back up to the leader but he was definitely moving pretty well right away.  By the turn off the first street and onto the next little climb up into some neighborhood streets, I was right with the leader and everyone else seemingly blew right out the back somehow.  We were going just under 5 min pace and it didn't seem like it was going to be a quick day at all.  Even though the course rolls, there really aren't any long hills.  The biggest climbs you have are immediately followed by nice downhills.  The course is by no means a super fast course but it's pretty fair.  Still, we rolled up through and I clicked 4:57 on my watch which beeped right at the first mile marker within a stride.  I didn't know it at the time, but it was Colton Ham in front of me and he surged right before that mile mark and that was basically it. I was looking at him up ahead for the rest of the race with Ryan Kelly lingering behind me not too far back.  That was good though because it kept me on my toes at least.

The course was riddled with botchy pavement and flooded corners and puddles but it made things nice and cool for the race conditions-wise.  It was a rather odd course in that it weaves all over the place around little islands in parking lots and through the grounds of various schools/hospitals, etc.  I just kept my foot on the gas as much as I could but Colton continued to float up front and never came back at all. I tried to push a couple times and felt plain out of shape for some reason. I just felt like I had no pep but tried to maintain that distance ahead of Ryan and behind Colton.  People kept telling me on the sidelines that I could 'get him' but that's just people trying to cheer you on and keep you going. I kept looking up and noticing him looking effortless and by no means on his way back to me.

I clicked through 2 miles in 9:58 and then the third mile had some rolls and the biggest hills of the course which really slowed me down and I lost a lot of time here...Colton continued to roll as I probably would have if I was in better shape but it was just not the case.  I salvaged a 5:13 third mile and then 4:44 pace for the last .18 (had 3.18 on my Garmin).  16:02 for an official final time and a good 2nd place.

I'm definitely pleased with the race although I know I have work to do.  I need to work on my speed and strength for beginning to end. It hasn't been an issue with the last mile or 2nd mile, etc.  Generally right now it's all my miles.  They just aren't where they need to be (or should I say where I want them to be).  I'm holding it together typically for a relatively even effort and haven't been falling apart completely in any race this year but it's just not that fast.  Colton ran away to a 15:39 which even on the flattest of flattest courses (NHTI) last year, I was only 15:31 and last year I was in the best shape of the last many years for no way I could have done anything to contend with him this year on this course which is far slower than NHTI.  It was the third year in a row he's won this event which is pretty awesome considering the amount of runners it attracts.

I cooled down around the State house area waiting for awards.  Talked a bit to some folks including John Mortimer who assured me he wasn't planning on making a 40+ comeback any time soon ;)...  For my efforts I got $100 for 2nd place....another race I had no idea there was cash at, as I don't believe it was advertised so I'll take it!

Here's some video Kristin took:

Morgan has more shades than Elton John...

...yes, Tabby was with us too but she's getting camera shy.

Race 2: Get Fit in May 5k (results):

On Saturday, we all headed down to Exeter as I was feeling the need to race again...  Running a race on Thursday just doesn't feel quite like I got a race in for that week... I figured it couldn't' hurt to run another 5k so I opted to run the Exeter race in lieu of the Bedford 5k.  Exeter is slightly closer and there was $125 for the win... plus it didn't finish with another race (like the 12k) so I figured it was a better choice. It turned out to be a good decision as they had a very nice area for the kids to play and a lot of kids activities to keep Tabby and Morgan occupied.

I woke up feeling a little banged up and my hamstring was a little sore (ok a lot sore).  In general I felt worse than I did yesterday (the day between the two races).  It was shaping up to be very warm (just about 80 degrees at race time) and I headed out on a very slow warmup. I tried following where I thought the course went but got pretty lost. I ended up running over 4 and a half miles before I found my way back to the start and barely saw any of the course in the right direction.  I caught up with Jeff Goupil who was again trying to whore a local race that I got in the way of...  We're starting to laugh when we see each other.

On the line, I caught sight of Sam Fazioli (Whirlaway) who's coming off the Boston Marathon last month and DJ Ayotte who had just graduated from Colby Sawyer this Spring.  He was coming off a good outdoor season and I knew the top 4 of us would be in the mix.  I wasn't feeling like I could run particularly fast and figured a mid 16 may be the best I could muster given the fact that I had just raced a day and a half ago.   I got another bad start for some reason and I was suckin' the fumes from about 16 kids under 12 in front of me for the first 100 yards or so.  There was a 10 year old girl who I believe was still in the lead 200 yards in and she was crankin.  Eventually I settled into the lead and Sam was tucked in tight behind.

I kept looking back for the first couple miles as Sam was lingering.  He crept up past me at An Ras Mor in the Spring and didn't go past me until a mile in...then we battled back and I wasn't counting out a later charge from him despite him sandbagging before the race.  I went through the mile in 4:57 and then through 2 in 10:04.  I was starting to feel the heat a bit (literally).  My third mile was a 5:10 and it included a ball buster of a hill at the very end that I never saw coming. I rigged up near the top and then had all I could do roll up to the finish, again just missing going under 16 minutes... 16:04 official time... but again I was pretty pleased with the win and the effort.  The more I keep plugging away at these efforts and getting my race rhythm back, the more I will hopefully get closer to getting fast again.

I cooled down with Sam who held on for 2nd despite not doing any workouts in a month or so (I think that's two of us...but I've been racing so I guess those count), DJ, who held on for 3rd man OA, and Jeff who took one step closer to getting his groove back.  Then it was awards time where I picked up another $125 that went right into the Portsmouth Toys R Us cash register on the way home...

Here's some more video Kristin took:

Morgan dancing with the falcon...

Morgan and I pre-race

Goup and I pre-race...

Tabby and Momma

Some sandbagging pre-race...

Goup, Ayotte, Fazioli, JJ

Some sidewalk chalk action...