Friday, June 26, 2015

More bullsh*t from Memorial Hospital plus some fishing...

I got a call yesterday (Thursday) from the doctor.  He left a VM around 10am.  I called him back when I noticed the message, about an hour later.  He was nice enough to speak to me directly.  It most likely was the direct result of me being obviously upset on the phone the day before (to his staff) and then canceling the MRI and them catching wind of it.   He started the VM with 'I understand you have some questions...'.  I wasn't about to get into it on the phone so I just basically told him that I wasn't throwing any more money at this issue.  He seemed pretty surprised but said 'fair enough' and basically that was it.   He said if there was anything else he could do for me, just ask...I almost started to laugh. I wanted to tell him that 'doing your job' would be a good start.  Or at least have you staff help you out and do the right thing.... but I just left it alone.

To my utter amazement, he admitted that the disc they sent him from the bone scan at Huggins was the SAME disc I got, with NO diagnostic images at all.  Just a couple of low-res screenshots.  I almost died.  Here it is, another week later, and they did NOT tell me that.  I had to call and bug them.  What an absolute waste.  A waste of my time and a waste of my money.  After I wasted more of my time and money going to the 'follow up' at Memorial, they got the disc sent via UPS and requested it last week (this was only after I SUGGESTED IT).  What the hell is going on over there?!?  Why would I have to suggest that they request the images?  I am assuming, since that was Wednesday of last week, that they got the disc either before the weekend or at the latest, the beginning of this week.  The doctor and/or his office did NOT apparently bother to reach back out to Huggins to get another disc with the right images after they saw they were the wrong ones!!!!  Again, I don't even catch wind of this until I call and complain.  They basically just figured since I was scheduled for the MRI, they could sweep the bone scan under the rug and forget about it.  My wallet won't forget about it though...and the hours I spent away from home, getting this done.  Incredible.  They send me for a bone scan (originally scheduled for NEXT WEEK), I spend hours over there between the shot and the scan and waiting for the disc (which had nothing on it) and then they basically just disregard it, don't even bother to follow up to get the right images, and expect me to shell out more money for another test.  Why they wouldn't immediately call Huggins and tell them they got the wrong disc is beyond me.  I am just floored at how bad the service is.  They just expect me to apparently do either do the legwork or not care if they are dragging their feet on this.  I don't ever treat my customers this way and that is ONLY SOFTWARE.  This is someone's health.

And to make matters worse, they flat out LIED to me on the phone. Yes, I'm saying it... They lied to me.  I called on Wednesday and asked them about the images and whether the doctor looked at them and whether or not I still need the MRI.  The woman on the phone said 'YES, HE LOOKED AT THE IMAGES AND STILL WANTS YOU TO GET THE MRI'.  I don't care how you try to spin it, that is deceitful and a flat out lie.  He admitted that the images they needed were NOT sent.  It was just the two screencaptures I had.   I suppose in a court of law they can say 'well, technically he looked at the images on the disc even though they were the wrong ones'.... but really...are we about to go that route?  Could they not have told me on Wednesday when I called, that they got the wrong disc?   He confirmed that with me on the phone that they didn't send the right disc and that 'the person over at Huggins' probably doesn't know how to burn the right images'.  Wow.  It's beginning to look like a pretty unorganized and low-rent operation to me.  He admitted multiple times that he wants to see the images....he needs to see the images....to make an informed decision.  Well, no images...and I keep getting the run around.  Now let me just say that while the actual doctor appears to be a very nice and knowledgeable guy (and people have actually suggested multiple times that I go see him because he's good), the whole thing just sucks in the way it has been handled. I appreciate him reaching out directly but this is after I complained to the staff about not being contacted when I was told I would be (multiple times over the last 'x' amount of weeks) and after I cancelled the MRI.  Only after all this, does he reach out.  I am now confident it is all about the dollar at this point.  Memorial didn't get me for the bone scan, so they are going to get me for the MRI (or at least try).  The bumbled my x-ray diagnosis multiple times seemingly, they don't particularly care about taking weeks and weeks to schedule tests and just leaving me hanging, and they don't care about trying to follow up, keep me updated, and do their part in making sure they have what they need to do their job.

Needless to say I'm not going back there for anything other than an emergency.  If I need to schedule a doctors appointment or something that isn't time-sensitive, I am traveling to a better hospital, with a staff that is competent enough to do the job they are paid to do without harming the patients or wasting people's time and money.

On a side note, I spent the day at my parents lake and caught 2 small but delicious bass.

Tabby Rose and daddy in grampy's kayak...
it could always be worse...

#fishacidotic



Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Update (not the update I was hoping for after 51 days)

Well there's good news and bad news.  The good news is that I've run a little (very little) over the course of the last week or so.  I did 2 miles last Thursday very easy on the snowmobile trails.  Then I did 47 minutes (no Garmin but probably close to 5 miles or just a bit over) on Friday on the trails/snowmobile trails w/ MQ the day before Washington.  I didn't run Sat/Sun but had a great time walking around up around 4000 feet.  I then ran 5.6 on Monday and 5.4 yesterday (Tuesday) both with Kevin on the trails (Albany Town Forest on Monday and Conway snowmobile trails/single track on Tuesday).  The bad news is that my leg got progressively worse on Monday and Tuesday.  Tuesday it was awful.  It's in a DIFFERENT spot though.  It's lower, which makes me think it's maybe shin splints.  I can probably deal with that.  It felt great to run (mentally) but it feels really sh*tty to NOT know what is going on.  Let me elaborate...

My experience w/ the hospital hasn't been great to be honest.  It's not what I expect for a rather simple issue.  The timeline is as follows...

May 2 - Raced 5k and had no problems at all.
May 3 - May 9 - I ran through intense pain seemingly right away on the 3rd and finally on the 9th decided it was time to get an x-ray.
May 10 - Day off.  Only 2nd day off all year.
May 11 - X-ray in the ER at Memorial.  The doctor says it's a 'stress reaction'.  Tells me to 'take a few days off at least'.  Took a week to be safe.
(May 11 - May 17 - No running.)
May 18 - after a week off...I run 1 mile and have some discomfort in the area around a half mile in.
(May 19 - May 25 - No running.) Another week to be safe.
May 26 - after another week off I run 1 mile again very easy and don't have much of any issues.
(May 27 - May 30 - No running.)
May 31 - Ran 2 miles with little issue (very easy).
June 1 - Ran 3 miles with little to no issue (easy).
June 2 - Ran 4 miles with little to no issue (easy).
June 3 - Had Primary Care appointment where the doctor ran over to the orthopedist, they brought up my x-ray from May 11, and they saw the fracture.  I get an appointment the next day with orthopedist.  I don't run because now I'm pretty disappointed and scared I'll make it worse now that I actually know what it is.
June 4 - I see the orthopedist.  This was the ONLY good thing about this entire experience...they got me in to see the orthopedist the very next day.  That was pretty good.  However,  the appointment was basically talking about it and not much more (I'm not really sure what I was expecting, but going to the doctors lately just seems like a lot of 'talking' and then 'lets schedule something with someone else'.)  I didn't learn much more than I already knew.  He touched my leg a little but nothing more.  He did show me the images on a much better monitor and showed me the line where the fracture supposedly is (but he's not 100% about where it is currently until we have the bone scan, as the x-ray was over 3 weeks old).  He mentioned MRI but said to really know, we need to do a bone scan.  They were going to schedule it for me and told me it would only be a day or two after insurance clears, etc. and 'we'll get you right in'....  I had to call back multiple times over the next few days (and let the weekend go by).  Finally I find out the scan was for JULY 1 after a run around and transferring back and forth.  Almost a month out!  I obviously b*tched about it and then finagled a bone scan at 'nearby' Huggins Hospital in Wolfeboro for much than July 1.  They claimed to not have known that the bone scan schedule was that backed up.  It took me days to find this out and complaining about it, for them to get it scheduled at Huggins (who does it daily as opposed to Memorial who does it 1 day a week).
(June 3 - June 17 - No running.). 
June 15 - Bone Scan in Wolfeboro at Huggins Hospital (which was a pleasant experience but maybe because I 'thought' I was getting somewhere).
June 17 - Follow up with Orthopedist office 2 days later.  They did NOT get the images from Huggins and then made no attempt to call me about it...I just went in and it was a waste of time.  They just got a 2 sentence report by the radiologist at Huggins who doesn't know my issue, that made no sense to me when the orthopedist read it off to me.  It almost sounded like it was more of a stress reaction in the left side and it was not conclusive and there was not much I was told other than we need more tests.... but the ortho didn't see the images so he couldn't even comment.  I basically sat there and we talked about the same stuff.  I learned pretty much nothing new.  He asked me if I got a disc with the images and if I had it with me.  Not really my responsibility and to be honest,  and I started to really lose faith that I was moving in the right direction.  To my utter amazement and disbelief I was suggested to get an MRI now.  Yet another test, now well over a month later, for more money and more time.  A test that I was told was NOT as good as the bone scan...I thought we were skipping to the chase with the bone scan but now I was actually asked 'have you reached your deductible, because I have an idea...lets do an MRI'.  They had me fill out a release so they could have the images from the bone scan (which I believe was a waste of my time and money) sent to their office so the doctor could look at it.  This was on Wednesday of last week.  I was told I would be called.  Nothing.  I figured I'd hear at the earliest, Friday....  The deal kind of was that we'd schedule the MRI but we may cancel it if the images from the scan reveal anything new or unexpected, etc.
June 18 - 2 miles very easy in the woods, as he told me the day before to 'try running on it and if you have no pain, lets start testing it out'.
June 19 - 47 minutes (5+ miles) in the woods.  No real issues other than some discomfort.
June 22 - 5.6 miles in the woods w/ KT.
June 23 - 5.4 miles in the woods w/ KT.
June 24 (Wednesday (TODAY)) - I have to call the ortho's office because no one has contacted me.  I need to give the hospital 24 hours notice to cancel the MRI which is on Friday (in 2 days)  I ask the woman on the phone what the deal is.  Has anyone seen my images?  Do I still need the MRI?   She puts me on hold for a few minutes and comes back with 'yes, he still wants you to get the MRI'.  I ask again...'has he seen the images'?  The answer basically is 'yes, and he still wants you to get the MRI'.  Thanks for almost nothing to be honest.

Needless to say, I called and cancelled the MRI immediately.  I really don't care if I need it at this point. I don't want to sh*t that hospital any more money to be honest.   They are not doing a very good job at making sure the customer is satisfied by any means.  Would it have been too much to follow up with me at any point when they said they were going to?  I'm not going to continue to f*ck around with scheduling tests.  I had an x-ray 44 days ago.  I know nothing more now than I did then.  No diagnosis.  Still wanting to schedule more tests.  Incredible.  Thank God this isn't a true emergency.  I missed a bunch of races and running...big deal.  In the grand scheme of things, that's not the end of the world, but it's been a very frustrating summer so far and no one should be dragged on and on like this.  I'm closing the book on working with Memorial on this issue and if I need any further advice or help, I'm going elsewhere.  They don't care.  It's not their leg.  I don't like to be jerked around frankly and no one is going out of their way to stop me from being jerked around.  No one else I know has been left out to dry this long when they have an injury like this.

For now, I'm icing and stretching and running short and easy to see if I can get back to basics.  I'm not throwing any more money at this issue because I have a feeling it's going to be 'rest, ice, and start back slowly'...I think I've already go that covered.  Now that I've missed all the races I gave a sh*t about this year, I don't mind taking the time to try to ramp back up or just let it heal and start new next year.

The entire issue so far...

May 3 - June 24 - 
Total days: 51
Total days off from running completely: 42
Total days running at least 1 mile: 9
Total miles run in that span: 29



Tuesday, June 23, 2015

2015 Mount Washington Road Race

Well, it's pretty incredible but I was on the sidelines for this race this year.  I wasn't alone in that situation as there were plenty of other guys sidelined as well (some far faster than I am at the hill)...but it's still pretty crazy that I wasn't on the starting line.  What I was able to do however, was get up to just past the 4000 foot mark (over 4 miles in) and get some great footage (via my iPhone) of the entire field of entrants (who made it to 4 miles at least). I did miss one woman unfortunately as we were driving down. I fumbled for my camera but didn't get her.  I got everyone else though.  I split up the footage into 7 parts.  Mike Quintal and I were doing the commentary and some of the moments are pretty funny.  As the race went on and the middle and back of the pack runners came by, more and more funny moments ensued and there were some really cool people out there talking and commenting on the race as they went by.  Even though I wasn't running, I still enjoyed myself up there and vow never to miss this race again as long as I can at least walk it.

For now, here are all the clips below.  Most of these are in 9 minute chunks but all are pretty entertaining in parts.

Part 1 - Top 9 Men at 4 miles.  Joe Gray doing his thing...



Part 2 - Most of the faster field and a lot of the top women.



Part 3 - More fast men and women (a good chunk of the women's good local NE field).



Part 4 -



Part 5 -



Part 6 -




Part 7 -





Monday, June 15, 2015

Update - Scan Complete...now I wait.

Quick update of sorts...I got my scan this morning over in Wolfeboro.  It was a crappy day out weather-wise so I wasn't too bummed about being over there in such bad circumstances (usually I love walking around in the downtown area).  I had only been there (at Huggins Hospital) one time ever and that was a while back when I went there while I was visiting my parents place back in high school.  They brought me up in the computer and I was last there in September of 1994.  It was funny to hear her ask me if my address was still 10 Appleton Rd. in Wakefield (and then she asked me to confirm whether or not my number had changed and she read off my old number from back in the day).  Needless to say, I had to have them update their system.

I had the injection at 8:00 am and then had to wait around until 11 am for the scan.  I should have just gone home and then went back after breakfast, but instead, I drove over to my parents place a couple towns away (which was slightly closer than going back to Madison) to do a 'drop-in' but they weren't even home.  That kind of sucked but at least it ate up some time.  I drove back and just sat in the parking lot of the hospital until it was time to go in.  The scan was pretty quick with them taking images from the top and bottom as well as from the side.  I waited around 20 or so minutes afterwards and got the images on a disk and I looked at them but they really don't show me much at all that I can make out.  It 'looks' like a mess on my left side but then again, I'm no expert and maybe it's just me making something out of nothing because I don't know how to read the images.  Depending on my mood, when I bring the images up, it looks bad...but then later it seems to look OK.  I have to wait around for the doctor to read the report and view the images they are going to send up to Conway and then I meet with him on Wednesday to go over the results after a professional eyeball or two looks at it.  It sucks that I have to wait another couple days.  My leg is bothering me and I'm not sure what to do in the meantime.  I don't want to make it any worse and something tells me it's going to be bad news.  I hope I'm wrong.  At least my leg isn't as bad as Dave Grohl's is apparently. Yes I did just throw a reference to something musical post-1998.

For now here's just a bunch of pictures of me being the best Dad around... no child was harmed in the making of this photo montage of awesomeness....









Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Follow up...

Got a call back from the orthopedist today.  They finagled a bone scan for me in Wolfeboro on Monday.  I guess Wolfeboro does more frequent scans (2 days a week instead of the 1 at Memorial).  Monday is better than July 1 so I took it.  They did admit again that they were unaware of the frequency (or infrequency) of the scans at Memorial.  That is a bit weird to me because you'd think they'd order a lot of bone scans, being the orthopedist...and they'd know by now how booked they are and how many days a week they do it.  They told me that they 'learned something' ...so I guess that's good.  I have a follow up w/ the doctor on that following Wednesday so he can review the scan results. I am hoping they have them back by then and they get the data from Huggins to Memorial without issue.  My injection is at 8am and the scan is at 11am.  A fun morning down at the big lake for sure.  Today my leg was kind of bothering me all day. It probably had to do with me standing on a ladder for 5 hours painting the back of the house....that no one sees.

Kristin brought up the point today after she read my last blog post that I neglected to mention that I dusted off my Playstation (for you newbs out there, that's the PS 1, circa 1997) since I got hurt.  I only own a few games for it and only played 2 with any regularity.  I bought it solely for Final Fantasy VII in 1997. I then got Castlevania: Symphony of the Night and love to play that from time to time...it takes a lot less time to get through than FFVII.  Probably my 2 favorite games ever.  I wasn't much of a 'gamer'.  I didn't have a system newer than that PS1. I had a handful of SNES and NES games as a kid (as well as Atari and Intellivision)...  I couldn't find Castlevania this time around  but I found Final Fantasy in the attic.  I reluctantly popped it in last week after I realized I suck at being active right now.  I play here and there and played the entire time it was raining out the last couple days.  Needless to say, I'm on disc 2 of 3 now and about 40 hours in.  Yes 40.  How lame is this.  At least it's keeping me off my feet.  I have it hooked up to one of my computer monitors.  The other monitor is simultaneously playing My Little Pony movies on Netflix while Tabby sits here and wonders what I am doing, mashing buttons and flipping through strategy guides.


Tuesday, June 9, 2015

A confirmed stress fracture, the runaround from the hospital, a rant, and some family time...

Well it’s been a very disappointing turn for the worst this year for me.  After starting out great this spring, I ran into a disaster with my leg at the beginning of May. My favorite stretch of racing all year is May into June.  And it’s all lost.  I lost ANOTHER Redhook opportunity. I have paid for Redhook 3 years in a row and have missed it ALL 3 of the last 3 years.  What a sh*tshow.  My seacoast series run is out the window now and I have to rethink my direction at this point.  I took 3 weeks completely off right after my nice win at the Children’s Museum 5k in Dover. The very next day I had a horrendous pain in my left leg which was diagnosed (incorrectly) as a stress reaction in my left tibia after I ran on it for a week and just couldn’t deal with it any more.  Since, I have taken more time off....

Fast forward 3 weeks from my initial x-ray.  I missed a bunch of May races (just about all of them in fact).  I didn’t stay off my leg but I didn’t do any running or cycling or anything other than a whole ton of yard work during that time.  The doctor told me actually to 'take a few days off at least'.  Famous last words...especially when it was misdiagnosed.  My leg didn’t really feel like it was getting much better at any time.  It has been really depressing. At times, it would feel like it was maybe starting to get better but then it would start hurting me again when I was climbing stairs or holding the baby, etc.   I tried running 1 mile after 1 week off.  I ran a 7:50 or something in that neighborhood (out and back on the street) and it was ‘ok’.  I got about 0.4 in and felt the leg again (that was 0.4 better than the week before, where it would hurt immediately).  So I did just the 1 mile and stopped.  One week later (now after 2 full weeks off) I ran another mile but slower and on the grass/dirt.  It was better.  Almost no issues but still occasionally ‘feelings’ in that area.  Not 100% but I was not about to do anything dumb.  I took a third week off and started to come to grips with the fact I’m missing Market Square Day…which is probably my favorite race of the year.  And it will be the first time since 2006 that I haven’t run it.  I’m honestly still kind of in shock and denial about that.  People have been asking me all year about my ‘goal’ race(s).  I would mention MSD each time.  Now, I’m out.  Multiple race registration money wasted.  Lots of time wasted thinking about running well there and at Redhook and Mt. Washington.  

Then after 3 weeks, I ran 2 miles easy on the road (about 8 min pace) on that Sunday. That was my longest run since May 9th when I finally had enough.  The following Monday, I ran 3 miles easy on the road around 7:45 pace with just a slight discomfort but nothing alarming.  Then on Tuesday (this is all last week) I ran 4 miles on the road in 29:02.  No real issues other than a very slight twinge at 3.5.  I am so hypersensitive that I notice just about every little thing.  It could be nothing but I know it’s still something not quite right.  If this never happened, that feeling I get now on that left side would be nothing of concern…but because of the pain I had initially and because of what I know it can/does lead to, I really get nervous when I get any sensation in that area.  I have also had absolutely no feeling in my left lower leg on the inside, since this initially happened.  I have been told the nerve took a hit and it could be 6+ weeks for it to improve.  I have never had a nerve issue like this before.  From my knee to my ankle on the left side (inside) I have no feeling other than when I tap a certain part on my upper calf.  Only then do I get a tingle and pins and needles straight down my leg.  Other than that, I can’t even feel my fingers touching my leg.  I’ve been concerned about it all this time but the doctors I’ve spoken with don’t seem to think it’s a big deal.

Then, Wednesday of last week I had my first doctor’s appointment with my new primary care doctor.  During the appointment, he ran down to the Orthopedist’s office and talked to the sports medicine guy about my issue.  They brought up my X-ray from the beginning of MAY.  And guess what…. I HAVE A STRESS FRACTURE.  It was missed on the initial x-ray and evaluation from the ER doctor on May 11.  Great.  Apparently no radiologist followed up or looked at it, which I believe is hospital policy (and if they did, they missed the fracture).  Do I have a lawsuit on my hands?  Or at least should I push back on any bills I get as a result of that visit?  I’ve been pushed in that direction actually.  A missed fracture is unacceptable.   The orthopedist looked at the x-ray from May and immediately saw the line.  I got an immediate appointment with him the next day (Thursday of last week).  I was hoping for something a little more than just him saying I have a fracture but that’s what happened.  He did show it to me on the monitor (a monitor I wish the ER doctor had access to 3 weeks prior).  Then he recommended a bone scan.  I said sure.  Whatever it takes.  It's interesting that the ER doctor didn't see it and told me to 'take a few days off' after I pushed him about training.  What if I took the few days off, then ran on it and made it fracture all the way across?   Unreal.  I can appreciate that stress fractures are hard to see on x-rays early on (and sometimes are not able to be seen)... but when the orthopedist sees the fracture on that same INITIAL x-ray immediately, that's just complete bullsh*t on the ER doctor.  

I told the orthopedist I was interested in seeing if I could still make Mt. Washington.  While he did say to stay off it and not test it out anymore (which is helpful), he did say that ‘after the scan, we can sit down and have a discussion about Mt. Washington’.  That to me indicated that we’d have the scan and he’d look at it, pretty quick….like within a week or so (because Mt. Washington is coming up).  He also mentioned the uphill nature of the race, and how it would be different than say if I ran a normal type of up/down race.   On the way out, he indicated that when the scan is scheduled (pending approval from my insurance), it would only take a ‘day or two’.  Then we can have a quick appt. so he can look at it.  He said as soon as the scan was scheduled, I need to call back and they can shift their appointments around so I can get in quick to get the follow up.  They told me that the insurance usually approves it quick and then they can get it scheduled right away.  I figured I’d hear back Friday.  Nothing.  The weekend went by but I wasn't anticipating hearing anything on the weekend anyways.  I called back yesterday (Monday).  Still nothing.  They fumbled around and indicated that they were going to follow up that day because they hadn’t heard anything back apparently.  I got no call.  Then today, I call back again after lunch because I still haven’t gotten a call.  This time, I find out they got the approval and faxed over the order yesterday to scheduling.  So they forwarded me over to the scheduling department.  They told me they got it today, not yesterday.  Regardless… JULY 1 is my appointment.  YES, JULY.  Over 3 weeks from now.  What a sh*tshow.  I’m sorry, but this whole thing just sucks.  I immediately called the orthopedist office back and told them I need an alternative. I’m not going to sit here and wonder for another 3 weeks if I should be walking around on my leg.  That’s unacceptable.  What if I had a job where I needed to be on my feet?   The woman on the phone at the orthopedists' office actually told me ‘well, we don’t have any clue about their scheduling over there’…and I said that’s fine, but I should not have had my expectations set that it would be done in a day or two (and she did agree).  That’s ridiculous.  And we can ‘talk about Mount Washington’…. when?  For next year?  Sometime in July when the race is in June?  I’m tempted to just go back to the ER to get another x-ray and then call the orthopedist's office and have them look at it again just to give me some sort of information. Is it better?  Is it worse?  That’s all I need at this point.  I don’t need to wait another 3 + weeks and shell out more dollars for a ‘contracted service’.  The hospital already screwed me the first time when they missed a fracture on the x-ray which does show it.  I am now waiting for them to call back after they discuss any available options with the doctor. I don’t want to go run on something and make it worse if it’s bad… but I also don’t want to sit on my ass and wonder when I may be able to start running again.   Regardless, my leg is up and down as far as pain goes now.  I have moments of discomfort and other times nothing.  In the last few days for some reason it’s felt worse.  So I guess I’m not out of the woods…but it would be nice to get some professional help.

So I continue to do nothing and wait.  All my plans for summer racing are gone.  Done.  It’s not due to this hospital back-and-forth per-se but they aren't helping me move in the right direction (yet).  I have to re-evaluate my plans once I have confirmation and some sort of idea.  I can only imagine what it would be like if I had some sort of serious medical condition.  I can’t wait for that day to come.  


For now, I am making the most of my 7 week sabbatical (off work from late May until July 13).  I’ve been spending a lot of time around the house (painting and fixing things….the list is endless) and spending time w/ the family, which is ultimately the most important thing anyways.   Tabby and I have been outside a lot when the days are nice (not like today) just in the yard and in the trails behind the house.  It’s surreal that the summer and beautiful weather that I waited all winter for, is here, and I can’t do anything ‘active’.  I’ve even lost the interest in following what is going on with running and racing.  I don’t want to get any more depressed about it than I already am.  An update will follow once I hear back from the doctor’s office…but I’m not crossing my fingers.  If I was 28, I wouldn’t have this hit me so hard…but at 38…and on my last legs with the fast racing, this really hurts.  Missing time now is not good.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Off

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


Sunday, May 10, 2015

Week of May 04 - May 10

Week of May 04 - May 10

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Children's Museum of NH 5k





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

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

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

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


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

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




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


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



Photo in Fosters



Top 10 Overall:

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

666 Total Finishters.

Fosters Article: http://www.fosters.com/article/20150502/SPORTS/150509856

Great Photo Album: http://m51photo.zenfolio.com/p680332158#h44b1ce19

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

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

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

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



Sunday, May 3, 2015

Week of April 27 - May 03

Week of April 27 - May 03

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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









Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Chief Maloney Unity Run 10K

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

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

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

Photo by Keith Tharp


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





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

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

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

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

Seacoast Online Articlehttp://www.seacoastonline.com/article/20150426/NEWS/150429271

Video of start/finish and about the race: http://www.wmur.com/news/4th-annual-chief-mike-maloney-unity-run/32584372







Sunday, April 26, 2015

Week of April 20-26

Week of April 20-26

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Friday, April 17, 2015

April 17 (Friday) - NHTI Delta Dental 5k

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

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




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

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

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




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

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


My history at the NHTI Delta Dental 5k:

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

Top 10 Overall (CMS in blue):

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

384 Total Finishers.

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

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