Sunday, August 21, 2016

Training Week: August 15 - August 21

Week of August 15 - August 21

August 8 - [Monday] - PM: 3 miles (roads).  Just a late day shakeout as the legs were pretty stiff from Sunday's 22+ mile run in the mountains.
August 9 - [Tuesday] - PM: 9 miles (roads) at lunch. Was going to go short lunch run then more later but it started raining during the run so I stretched it out to 9 and called it with one run.
August 10 - [Wednesday] - PM: 10.5 miles (trails and roads).  Up E.Madison Rd., down to the boulder and then up and back to Ledge Pond Rd. via the old snowmo trail.  Then back down to train station via Chain of Ponds trails and then back to the house.  Watch died just as I was in view of the train station.
August 11 - [Thursday] - AM: 5 miles (roads) easy.  PM: 3.5 miles (roads) warmup in Rye before Saunders 10k with Alliette and a little with Huebner.  Then race: 6.3 miles (garmin) Saunders 10k - 2nd OA - 34:05.  Then cooldown - 3 miles (roads) with Garfield and Alliette.
August 12 - [Friday] - AM: 6 miles (roads). Horrendously hot out again...even worse than Wed.  Felt like crap the rest of the day. Allergies bad. PM: 8.4 miles (trails) from Lead Mine into the airstrip via snowmo trails.  Then back up around through the new cutoff trail to the Pine Barrens and back via E.Shore and Lead Mine.  Felt pretty sluggish.
August 13 - [Saturday] - PM: 11 miles (roads).  Almost bagged the run.  Waited until late in the day.  Got out for a decent run up into Chocorua village and back with a small detour up Tall Pines + a little bit of an add-on at the end to get 11 total. Feeling a little run down.
August 14 - [Sunday] - 15 miles (roads).  Felt 'ok' but definitely wanted to bag it before I even started.  Worked out in the yard all day and didn't get out until 5pm.  Watched the marathon in the am then watched the mountain bike race before eventually going out and trying to straighten up the yard and do some late summer de-weeding.

75 miles for the week.   Didn't run quite as long on Sunday as I was originally planning but I haven't felt that great post race on Thursday.  My allergies have been pretty bad this week and my sleep hasn't been good.  The girls are waking up a lot through the night now...probably due to the heat.  They wake up and eventually find their way into our bed and it becomes too crowded for me to get any decent sleep so I've been struggling a little bit and it caught up to me by week's end.  I still managed 75 miles with only a 3 day on Monday and 5 days of only singles... so not too bad.

The race was pretty bad for me but it was kind of expected.  I haven't done Saunders 10K since 2012 when I thought (at that time) that I ran bad to the tune of a 32:32.  That race was actually 'the beginning of the end'.  Back in 2012, it was right after Saunders, that I started getting hurt 'regularly'.  If you look at my race schedule from 2012, I only raced 1 time after Saunders for the entire year (that was Great Bay in October).  That year, Andy Huebner ran away from me and I 'struggled' to run 32:32.  Now that would be a stud time for me.

Going into the race this year, I just wanted to continue to get my Seacoast Series points but also knew it was going to be a sh*tshow in reality. I haven't done any speed work to speak of this summer and 10ks have been horrendous for me over the last bunch of years.  In the back of my mind I knew about 34 would be the range. I never would have thought I would run over 34 but that's what it was.  I went out a little quicker than that pace but then paid the price in the humidity later on as I watched Matt Garfield pull away over the 2nd half of the race.  Andy Huebner was with us for 2.5 miles or so and then fell off the pace when he started getting sick.  I fell off too but was able to hold on enough surprisingly for my third 2nd place in a row.  I'm hoping that with some focused training, I can get back to actually running fast again in at least one distance...right now, I'm continuing to get the miles in and build up a base.  Right now, the only thing I am getting out of racing (which isn't necessarily a bad thing) is some actual 'speed work' and the mental sharpness of being in race situations... but the fast times just are nowhere to be found right now.

I was really glad to see my teammate Matt Garfield run so well again and get the big win here. He does a ton of work and is so serious about racing now...his intensity and focus is admirable.  Hopefully I can give him a run soon enough but I won't be too surprised if this type of outcome becomes the norm.  He's a really good guy and deserves these good finishes he's had recently...his hard work is paying off.  I hope we both stay injury free the rest of the year.

My Saunders 10K History:

2016 - 34:05 - 2nd Place - Matt Garfield 1st
2012 - 32:32 - 2nd Place - Andy Huebner 1st
2010 - 31:53 - 2nd Place - John Mentzer 1st
2009 - 32:20 - 3rd Place - John Mentzer 1st, Alliette 2nd.
2008 - 32:58 - 4th Place - Alliette, Manning, Nurse 1,2,3.

I was killing Matt at this point.
Still beating Matt.
Already leaving Alliette in the dust and working on overtaking Big Al Fernald...
Matt has been finished for a long while and is already giving interviews...

Still out on the course. Matt had already gotten his t-shirt and is now cooling down.
Not done yet. Matt is already in traffic heading back up to Maine.

Matt has already updated Strava with his run and is now getting ready for bed. I'm almost finished.

I could not believe the clock had a 34 on it and I wasn't done yet...

Chillin. Morgan ate an entire watermelon by the time we left.

The three most beautiful girls in the world... 

Monday, August 15, 2016

Training Week: August 8 - August 14

Week of August 8 - August 14

August 8 - [Monday] - AM: 7.6 miles (roads and trails) with Andy.  Exploring new trails on 'New Rd.'.
August 9 - [Tuesday] - AM: 5 miles (roads) at lunch, easy.  PM: 2.1 mile warmup before Madison '5k'.  Then Race: Madison '5k' (Jim Wellinghurst Memorial 5k). (3 miles) 1st OA. 15:48.  3 mile cooldown with Peter, Andy, and Roger.
August 10 - [Wednesday] - AM: 10.3 miles (trails).  In Madison/Freedom town forest.  First 3 solo pushing the pace to catch up to Andy and Hill & Squall. Then last 7.3 with them easy on the trails (single track and snowmo).
August 11 - [Thursday] - AM: 5 miles (roads) at lunch, easy. Horrendously hot out... PM: 8 miles (trails and roads) after work.  First 5 with Darin in the Pine Barrens and last 3 solo on the roads near the beach. HOT!
August 12 - [Friday] - AM: 6 miles (roads). Horrendously hot out again...even worse than Wed.  Felt like crap the rest of the day.  PM: 3.4 miles (trails) in Conway. Just beating out the rain.  Wanted to get more in but felt like sh*t. The heat definitely got to me earlier in the day.
August 13 - [Saturday] - 8 miles (roads).  Early run before heading down to Boston w/ the family for the day.
August 14 - [Sunday] - 22.3 miles (trails). Got lost probably the worst I've ever been.  Thought about having to spend the night in the backcountry. Bad conditions in spots (wet, grown in trails) and trails that no longer exist, etc.  Made the most of the 5 hours I was running all over the place trying to figure out where to go.  At least the weather was ok.

84.2 miles for the week.  Another good step forward.  Got some ok runs in, but nothing too quality road-wise.... I did run 80+ miles for a week for only the 4th time all year.  I did it once in Jan and twice in Feb.  That was it.  Pretty crazy to think I haven't done that volume since but that's the way the year has gone.  No real injuries, just not a lot of focus on putting in the work. The positive for sure this week is that I got to run the Madison 5k again this year (4th time in 5 years I've been here for it...last year had to miss with injury). I've won it 4 times. I have probably timed it just right to have only really faced someone else in or near tip-top shape in the valley once (Tim ran it a few years ago and wasn't too far back).  I haven't had to race Nick when he's been 100% or Zach at 100%, etc. Kevin hasn't been at the race since before I moved here and most of the others that come seem to either run easy for one reason or another....I think maybe the one year I was here and Tim ran all out, he was under 16 (and even then, it was if I recall, after he already did a workout earlier in the day). Every other year, it's been only me running under 16. 15:04 is the record from my first run at it in 2012.  Tim was low 15-teens or so one year I think...and I have found a result with him around 15:20 from some years back.  Through the RD, I have access to all the results going back to the 1990s (a big folder full of hard copy results) so I may put together something this winter as a project, with some history of race times, etc.

  • 2012: 1st - 15:04 (CR)
  • 2013: 1st - 15:32
  • 2014: 1st - 15:15
  • 2015: injured. Didn't race.
  • 2016: 1st - 15:48

Definitely not trending entirely in the right direction with the times but it was still nice to get the race in.  Kristin actually ran, which was great.  It's only her 2nd ever official race.  She once did the Turkey Trot with me in Salem but that was a pretty crappy experience.  It was a very low key race and they didn't bother to wait for her to finish (they forgot she was still out there or didn't even know who was still out on course) before they shut the clock off and all went inside the gym.  I went back to run with her after I finished and when we came up to the finish, there was literally no one there.  They didn't even know she was in the race (we had to tell them when we went inside, what her time was) but it was all good because they messed up the results anyways so they were never even published.  She ended up walk/jogging because of her knees (surgery).  This year, she decided to do the Madison race with me and did great.  She was 50th of 88 people, nearly being able to stay with Roger Marcoux (a former winner of the race) but she had to take a natural break in the woods around 2 miles.  Otherwise she probably would have been able to stay with him to the finish. She still ran 28-mid for her first real 5k race.  My parents came again to watch us run and watch the kids.

We did well for the Old Home Week this week. We hit the beach dance party last weekend (and Kristin and the kids went to the blueberry bake sale after), the race on Tuesday, the ice cream smorgasbord and concert on Monday, and the fireworks on Friday.  We missed the bean hole supper on Saturday, which we usually go to.  It was pouring and we were on our way back from Boston so we decided on a family dinner inside at the best Chinese food restaurant in all of Wakefield.  Boston was fun on Saturday as we took the kids to the Children's Museum.

I opted out of the Cigna 5k on Thursday as I was planning on maybe going down with Nick Brown, who expressed interest in maybe carpooling to the race...but then on Tuesday at the Madison 5k he hinted at not going because his knee was bothering him, so I figured I'd pass too (it was hot as hell on Thursday).  Well, he ended up going anyways but I found out too late so I opted out of it (kind of had no choice as I found out when he was already on the road). Bummer.  Next up will be the next Seacoast Series race in Rye on Thursday night.

with my Mom and the girls... 
Kristin coming around the last corner and me peeling off...

In the home stretch...

The race.

Approaching one of my favorite stretches of trail in The Whites...

Off the Sawyer River Trail...

Sawyer River this view.  A nice tunnel for a couple miles.

Off the Sawyer River Trail 
Sawyer River of my favorites.  Flat, straight, and runnable. Kevin once told me it was an 'old railroad bed'....Ok Kevin told me this a lot more than once...

Sawyer River of my favorites.  Flat, straight, and runnable.

Off the Sawyer River Trail...

Sawyer River of my favorites.  Flat, straight, and runnable. 
Sawyer River of my favorites.  Flat, straight, and runnable.

Greeley Ponds

One of the only humans I encountered in 22+ miles. Greeley Pond fisherman.

Trail into the pond.

Greeley Ponds

Greeley Ponds

View off the trail into Greeley Ponds.

Ironically the only trail sign photo I got...I would come back to this multiple times later on...

Nice new bridge...that I also crossed multiple times...

Monday, August 8, 2016

Training Week: August 1 - August 7

Been hitting this beach a lot this summer...gonna miss this view in another month or so when the snow starts flying...

Week of August 1 - August 7

August 1 - [Monday] - 8 miles (roads/dirt roads) with Darin. Hilly loop from Darin's house.  Legs were beat from Sunday's 20 miler.  Easy run but the downhills still trashed my quads and calves.
August 2 - [Tuesday] - 10 miles (roads/dirt roads) with Darin.  Ran first mile or so solo, then ran easy with Darin up and back on E.Madison Rd.  Then back home solo last couple miles.
August 3 - [Wednesday] - off.  Unplanned but couldn't get away from work at lunch to do any run and then had to watch the girls all day.  Wouldn't have been able to get out until 10:45pm-ish. Actually got my stuff on, had the blinking lights hooked onto the waistband and had the shoes and headlamp on....then took everything off.  I kind of give myself credit for this one, but still it's chocked up officially as a zero.
August 4 - [Thursday] - 6.1 miles at lunch (solo). Pretty hot out. Stopped for a while on the way back up to the house when I saw my buddy Kent metal detecting the permission I GOT.  I had to stop and check up w/ him and actually helped him dig a signal or two before heading back up to the house.  Later on after work I headed over to the track for some laps.  Plan was goal MP pace for a 5 mile block.  I was a bit quicker than that but it's not really that big of a deal..when I go for longer blocks I'll be able to dial it back a bit.  Warmed up 3 miles on the track (again pretty hot out) and then hit 5 miles in 27:28 and then cooled down 3 miles on the rec trail. I had to run in the second lane a bit with some others there using the track but it was all good. Felt fine.  No issues at all and felt very relaxed and comfortable.  Weird considering I can barely run that tempo on the roads in races.  17.1 miles on the day.
August 5 - [Friday] - 8 miles roads/trails/snomobile trails/train tracks.  Easy. Very hot. Felt like crap.

Photo in the first 100 meters.
August 6 - [Saturday] - 3 miles w/up in Freedom w/ Doc Brown, Melissa, and Frank Holmes + strides.  Then Freedom Old Home Week 5k [1st OA] (results).  16:48. Then 2 miles cooldown with Darin, Melissa, Frank, and Terry Livingston.  Real goal was to just run a tempo effort and hopefully win.  I hammered a 15:59 2 years ago for the course record.  This year, I was running on some tired/beat legs and just wanted to continue to get some good work in this week so I figured I could tempo it and maybe win if Tim or someone didn't show up.  Well, I got out quick (not as quick as 2 years ago) but after about a half mile and in the clear, I put the breaks on and just kept putting them on and just stayed ahead enough where I knew the threat from Darin (back in 2nd) wasn't close enough to be of concern.  Still felt like crap though in the last half mile.  It was pretty humid so the effort felt way harder than it should have which was kind of a let down.  Still got the win though.  Not a super fast course with 2+ miles of it being dirt roads (and I swear the climb is way more than it shows on the topo which is used to calculate my climbs).  Then we all ran the kids race afterwards which was fun. I held Tabby's hand as we ran the lap around Freedom Elementary.  We beat 3 girls (including Morgan who had to be carried the last half lap by Kristin).  One girl ate pavement right after the start and started screaming once the initial shock wore off.  Tabby and I blasted around her and didn't look back.  Tabby and Morgan each got a ribbon for their participation.  Tabby held on to it for the entire trip to Wolfboro and then Wakefield. She was dying to show it off to her grandparents.  7.2 miles total on the day.
August 7 - [Sunday] - 19 miles trails/snowmobile trails/roads.  16 miles of offroad and 3 miles of roads.  Good effort of about 2:45 total.  We hit the Silver Lake dance party as part of Madison Old Home Week and then after that was over, I ran home but first did a loop through the Pine Barrens over to the air strip, then up and over Mary's Mountain, up and over to King Pine, then up and over Bald Ledge, down Goe Hill, and then back down E.Madison Rd.   I found some very nice trails on the south side of Jackman Ridge and did the new snowmobile trail section I hadn't seen before (that bypasses the camp ground along Ossipee Lake Rd.).  There's some ridiculous clearing now up the east side of Blazo Mountain.  It's completely clear cut.  Also, after that, the clearing down the back side of Bald Ledge is disgusting.  The logging 'road' is all knarled up with small timbers that makes it almost impossible to run safely through.  I had to hop all over the place and just pray I didn't impale myself.  Very slow going through there now unfortunately. I think that section will be very dangerous this winter for the snowmobiles now.  It's an 'unmaintained' section for the SOS club and now it's really almost not an option.  It's wide open, but it's a couple feet deep of downed trees.  The clearcut section of climb up the east side of Blazo mountain is interesting now.  They pretty much cleared out an old homestead I didn't even know was there.  Complete with cellar hole and rock wall around a huge field.  I will have to go in there one of these late afternoons or early mornings (in from the Shawtown Rd. gate) and see if there's anything to be had in there.

70.4 miles for the week.  Not bad considering I missed a day.  Hopefully I can recover in time for the Madison 5k on Tuesday.  And hopefully I feel better there than I did in Freedom.

Morgan cheering the runners on.
Very few photos exist of Tabby without a milk cup in her hand.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Trying To Get There...'Slowly'.

Decided to give a couple of races a go this weekend and not miss more weekends in the summer of doing 'something' on the running side that is meaningful.  The first was a new race for me but a very old race for NH.  On Saturday it was the 43rd Annual edition of the Stratham Fair Road Race (5.7 miles)(results).  It's the 4th oldest race in NH.  Off the top of my head, I'm guessing Bill Luti (49th) and Mt. Washington (56th) are 2 of the 3 'older' races.  Not sure what the other one is....if anyone knows feel free to comment.  On Sunday it was race #4 in the 2016 Seacoast Road Race Series in York, Maine.  The York Days 5k (results) would be my 5th running.

I decided not to save anything for York because I was pretty confident that out of all the Seacoast Series participants, I would probably be able to hold off a top placing coming off a double.  I knew (or thought at least) I wouldn't be running sub 16 there based on the fact that I haven't been really focusing on getting better any time I figured I would hop in two races this weekend and get some good faster miles in, at the very least use the races as my 'speedwork', and also take the family to both the Stratham Fair on Saturday and the beach on Sunday after the races.

The weekend was 'hotter than hades' to quote my mom.  I don't have to tell you if you live anywhere near the northeast, how hot it was but both days were scorchers early.  Stratham went off at 8:30am and York was at 8:00am.  Both pretty early.  However Saturday it was brutal by the start and by the end it was downright dangerous.

I ended up winning Stratham Fair (results) despite a flurry of college guys showing up and giving it a good run.  I ran with Justin Trott for the first mile and a half or so (just like at Red Hook) and then was able to just pull ahead by trying to keep up the tempo.  First mile was 5:04 which for a 5.7 mile rolling course (in the scorching heat) was definitely too fast for my current fitness level.  I had a decent lead over the next few miles but by mile 4.5 or so I really started to slow.  The last mile and a half is slightly uphill for a lot of the way. At that point I was running to keep the lead and not blow a gasket before having to race again on Sunday.  The eventual 2nd place finisher Luke Janik closed the gap on me hard over the last mile.  I kept looking back and he was getting closer and closer.  Good think it wasn't a 10k.  The GOOD news besides me being able to hold on for the win was that I was faster for this effort than MSD 10k last month.  Even though the course was a half mile shorter than a 10k, it was far hillier and way hotter out. I'll take it.

For the win I got $100 which again went right into the cash register of Toys R' Us in Newington on the way home... but not before we hung out at the fair and got some grub, saw some animals, and listened to some live music.  The girls had a great time, I finally won a race again, and my parents came down to watch so it was a great day.

Videos by Kristin:

On Sunday I reluctantly woke up at 4 am and we were on the road at 5 to get down to York, Maine on time for the 8:00am start of the York Days 5k (results).

I wasn't feeling too sore surprisingly but I was wiped.  I hung on well until about Portsmouth and then I was feeling like nodding off by the time we got to York High School. I registered and went out for the warmup.  It was pretty warm out by not as bad as Saturday.  I wouldn't know how bad I really felt until the gun went off.

As soon as the race began I felt pretty uncomfortable.  5:05 through the first mile (that has no absolutely no drop and a decent slight uphill (the most climb in the whole race). I was in 3rd at the mile with Matt Garfield out in front and looking very smooth.  I wanted to stop by the mile and contemplated doing just that.  Somewhere between 1.5 and 2.0 I started to peek back and noticed more bodies coming up behind me. I  knew there was going to be no podium for me.  I just felt flat and had no pep although I wasn't getting blown out just yet.

Somewhere after 2 miles (after almost dropping when we went passed that back entrance to the school), Matt was overtaken and I rolled right up on him and actually went past him but I really knew that wouldn't last.  Briefly I thought about dropping but then I realized that if I was able to at least hang on for the series win, that would get another Seacoast race out of the way and I could afford to possibly miss one later on).  I'm glad I stuck to the plan because I could have thrown away a 1st place  point there if I gave up completely and dropped out.  I was almost at my breaking point mentally and was done by 2 miles.  I told Matt I wasn't going anywhere and to hop on and just roll in to stay ahead of the next guy on the road.  By this time, we had gotten passed by one more guy.  Matt was trying to get me to go after those guys and in looking up, they were all right there for both of us to go after, but I was toast.  'Maybe' if I hadn't raced Saturday I would have had more in the tank but that hot race and all day in the sun the day before followed by another hot day out on the road and another early morning started to take it's toll.

As Matt and I came out along the ocean and we started to look towards taking the turn back towards the school, I cracked and that was it.  Matt went back past me and tried to get me to come with him but I wasn't able.  He pulled away and valiantly went after those guys who again were all right there.  It was crazy the way it was playing out.  5 guys all so close together and no one looking like they were charging.  Everyone looked to be just kind of hanging around.  At that point I really hoped Matt would have enough to actually go get the leader.  He did great work over the first half of the race and he had the legs and strength to get it done.  As I watched him pull away I made one more weak attempt to keep pace by taking one last tangent that no one else took up ahead and actually yelled to Matt to take it.  He was closing on 3rd.

During the last stretch up to the school I accepted the fact I was beaten down by a good field of guys and was now just hoping I could hold on for the Seacoast points.  I knew I wasn't getting beaten by anyone ahead of me that was in the series so I had my points if I could just hang on.  I looked up ahead to see Matt throw one more move at 3rd and he actually pulled up alongside the guy but as soon as he saw him, the 3rd place guy bolted to the line and just nipped Matt.  They both got the same time on the line as it was that close.  16:02 for those guys which is great considering Matt told me before the race that he wanted to go for sub 16.  He was pretty much right there.  That was great to see after he had his Friday night 10k on the track just a couple days earlier.

I came through in a surprising 16:15 for 5th.  I was pretty surprised that I was able to run that quick for such a blow up and half-hearted effort. I had no heart or balls at the end even though I probably could have dug deep and tried to go after guys when Matt was trying to help me out and light the fire. I gave up and accepted defeat which is too bad.  I would have liked to have rolled ahead with him.  I had perfect opportunity but I didn't take it.  At the very least I could have helped him get top 3 and/or under 16 but I kind of let us down and settled.  Like Geraint Thomas helping out Chris Froome, I should have taken Matt through a sub 16...  Next time.  I was just dwelling too much on the previous day's hard effort and I think I talked myself out of competing today.  Still it wasn't a disaster though. I got the points and salvaged a 5:07 third mile which isn't too bad considering how much my finish was mailed in.

I basically blew right out of there without a cooldown because mentally I had cooled down during the race.  We headed over to the beach immediately and I think got the very last spot on the road before it was completely full.  We spent a good day at the beach (Morgan's first time at the ocean).  I found a pretty nice Triton men's ring (yes I brought my detector and swung for a half hour or so).  

York Days History: 

2008 - 15:46 (1st) 
2009 - 15:46 (2nd) 
2010 - 15:27 (1st) 
2012 - 15:40 (1st) 
2016 - 16:15 (5th)

Best friends...sometimes.
Tabby doesn't care what place I get....

Some creep in the back metal detecting...
Some idiot in the back metal detecting...
Morgan striding it out...Tabby mailing it in behind.