Sunday, February 7, 2016

Week of February 1 - February 7

Week of February 1 - February 7

February 1 (Monday) - AM: 5 miles easy roads. PM: 5 miles easy roads.
February 2 (Tuesday) - AM: 5 miles easy roads. PM: 10 miles on the mill as 4 easy and then 6 x 800 @ 5:00 pace with 1 min @ 7:30 pace in between for the rest and then cooldown.  Went through 5k in 16:54.  4 miles in 22:40 or so (actual workout ended before 4 miles and the rest was garbage up to 4 mile mark)... last couple miles easy.  1 min rest really was less as I had to slow down the pace and pick up the pace during that 1:00 to make sure the 800s were fully 2:30 in duration at 5:00 pace.  So the rest in reality was more like 40 seconds...
February 3 (Wednesday) - AM: 5 miles easy. PM: 8 miles. Was on a work call until almost 7pm and only had time for a quick 8 before the mill closed.
February 4 (Thursday) - PM: 12 miles easy roads (2 solo and then 10 with Kevin L. Tilton, LLS. Staff Surveyor) from Ranger Station on the Kanc, down West Side / Passaconway / and some neighborhoods (headlamp).  Was on a work call from 8am until 3:30pm.  So needless to say I didn't get out for a morning/lunch run.
February 5 (Friday) - AM: 5 miles easy. PM: 10 miles.
February 6 (Saturday) - PM: 5 miles easy.
February 7 (Sunday) - AM: PM: 10 miles as 3.5 mile w/up + 4 mile race (4th Down and 4 miler - 1st OA) + 2.5 mile c/dwn.

Weekly Summary: 80 miles for the week.

Not a bad week for February. Another week of at least 80 with a decent workout and an OK race on Sunday down in Concord, NH at the NHTI campus.  It was my first time running the 4th Down and Four Miler (results).  Not quite as fast as I would have liked for the 4 miler though. I thought I'd run 20 high (so at least sub 21) but alas it wasn't meant to be.  It was a tad windy the entire time but mainly I was just not as fast as I was hoping.  I had 4.04 on my Garmin for the race so I know the course was good...and it was pretty flat except the 2x up and over Route 93 on the bridge.  I just went out a little too hot for my fitness and because I was all alone, I had a hard time keeping the turnover going.  I went out at 5:04 and it just got a bit slower from there.   I did run pretty hard over the last quarter to try to dip down under 21 but just missed it at 21:03.  At first I was pretty disappointed despite getting the win, but the more I thought about it, the more I realize that I was under 16:30 for the 5k with another mile to go and I wasn't a complete bag of crap while doing it...I guess if I feel flat and still run 21 minutes, that's tolerable.  It's only the first week of February and typically this time of year I am just snowshoe racing so I really have no way of knowing how fast I usually am during the dead of winter.  I think this result is probably pretty good, all things considered.  Usually I don't run faster, shorter road races in the winter so this is probably a typical result if I was to do this more often mid-winter.  I'm glad I did it though. I need to keep getting in races to stay sharp.  If I don't race and put myself in those situations, I get pretty rusty both physically and mentally.

After the race, I shot over to Portsmouth to attend the Six03 kickoff party for a bit. I didn't stay too long but did get to talk to some folks including Andy Schachat and surprisingly a 'confused' Brandon Newbould was just there to hangout with Eric Narcisi (who stood him up).  It was good quickly catching up w/ people and then grabbing a bunch of awesome gear for this upcoming year.  It was an awesome spread put on by Six03 with good food, drinks, vendors, etc. (that's pretty typical for this club from what I've seen).  I then made a quick stop at Toys R Us for some Ponies and Paw Patrol stuff (not for me) before heading back home to cap off a good week.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Week of January 25 - January 31

Week of January 25 - January 31

January 25 (Monday) - PM: 8.4 miles easy roads/dirt roads w/ Andy. Leg sore but tolerable.
January 26 (Tuesday) - PM: 10.3 miles relatively steady on the roads and 18th century brick sidewalks.  Beautiful 50 degrees in Portsmouth.  Did the Market Square Day 10k course and then and out and back over into New Castle.  2x Marcy St. practicing for June.
January 27 (Wednesday) - AM: 5 miles  easy roads.  PM: 8 miles easy roads w/ Andy.
January 28 (Thursday) - AM: 5 miles  easy.  PM: 10.2 miles as 1 mile w/ up + 8 miles at 6:30 pace but through the level 10 hill circuit + 1 mile cooldown.  On and off every minute.  1.5 % 'rest' and 4.5/5.5/6.5/7.8% alternating every other minute.  Kept everything at 6:30 pace so the 6.5 and 7.8 grade was a 8 miles I was almost falling off the back.  Good workout without the banging of quick intervals on the mill.
January 29 (Friday) - AM: 5 miles easy. PM: 10 miles.
January 30 (Saturday) - PM: 8.1 miles.
January 31 (Sunday) - PM: 15 miles in NoCo. From Ranger Station on the Kanc, out on West Side Rd.  Out and back up to Echo Lake (Old West Side loop) and back. 1:35:43.  Last few miles into the 5:40s.

Weekly Summary: 85 miles for the week.    278.9 miles for the month of January with 3 days off.  WAY behind my 351.2 total miles of last January (where I only missed 1 day)...  The long term goal though is to not go down for months at a time this year, so I should catch up and surpass last year's totals if I stay 'healthy'...IF.

Leg started out sore but got out early in the week for some road running which seemed to help.  Went down to MA on Tuesday to visit my high school coach (Deke) who was in the hospital.  Spent a couple hours sitting with him  and reminiscing about all the great running he did in his time and all the great runners he's known and coached over the last 88 years... On the way home I hit up the seacoast for an ad-hoc road run in Portsmouth and New Castle.  I felt really good despite a little bit of leg discomfort.  It was awesome getting out on the neighborhood roads in really mild temps for mid winter. I had a decent couple of easy road runs mid week and a few treadmill runs including a hill workout on Thursday which was a solid effort surprisingly.  After a few more runs (and because the Beaver Brook snowshoe race was postponed due to no snow) I ended the week with a solid out and back road run in Conway on a nice flat section of the WMM Half course.  Legs felt surprisingly good by the end of the week.  It almost seems like the more I run, the better they feel... who would have thought?  ....We'll see how long that lasts.

Me and Coach Deke a bunch of years back at Great Island...

Monday, January 25, 2016

SIX03 Frigid 5k Snowshoe Race

Eric Narcisi, JJ, and Scott Mitchell
On Sunday I headed down with the Johnson girls to Barrington, NH for the SIX03 Frigid 5k Snowshoe Race (results).  It was a non-series snowshoe race but you'd never know it.  Lots of familiar faces for the main snowshoe clubs were in the house.  With Saturday's race cancelled, this was a good spot for the SIX03 race for sure.

The weather was more suited for a Whitaker race (in the single digits) than anything else, but it was the place to be this weekend for NH snowshoeing.  There was beautiful bright sunshine and clear skies but it was as cold as you can expect.  After a relatively short warmup on the roads around the golf course with Eric Narcisi, I ended up strapping on the Dions for a few strides at the start of the course.  The race was held at the Nippo Lake Golf Course which is as hilly of a golf course as I've seen.  I was pretty amazed at the drop in the first mile and the climbs during the second.  The course was sprawling on both sides of the street with snow shoveled onto the road a-la Sidehiller to cross from one side of the course to the other.

The race started off on a nice downhill and after only a few steps I felt multiple places in my right leg start to ache. I was very nervous on the way down, that pounding and off-camber running would irritate it to the breaking point (on pun intended).  I settled in at the bottom with Eric pretty close behind.  I felt a little gassed as we started to weave all over the lower part of the course but the main reason I think is because of the snow conditions.  It was loose snow a couple inches deep that you were constantly mixing up and crunching through if you weren't lucky enough to step right in some previous snowshoe tracks from the people setting the course.  Very little of the course was completely without some sort of slow patches of loose or slightly deeper snow so it was slow going in spots but OK in others.  Overall it was in the middle as far as conditions go.  If you were used to groomed trails, this one felt a little tough.

The wind had blown some parts of the course bare and piled deeper snow in others.  The second mile featured a nice long climb back up to the top near the clubhouse.  It was actually 2 climbs with a slight recovery in the middle, but the loose snow made it a lot tougher than it would have been otherwise.  I continued to pull away from Eric as the race progressed but felt slow mostly because of the footing.

Somewhere during the second mile we crossed the road with Tom and Chris standing there (Tom had been shoveling snow onto the road for the crossing).  I crossed over and immediately took a left by mistake.  I should have gone right/straight where Chris was standing.  After a few moments I heard both of them yell and I turned to realize I was going the wrong way. I think Eric did the same thing when he got there.  There was a sign but we both missed it.

The entire opposite side of the course is flat but had some slow spots here and there.  It reminded me a little of the upper fields at the old Sidehiller course....meandering along and through a couple old stone walls and occasionally hitting deeper drifts with crunchy, sloppy snow that had been broken through by the course flaggers.  Nothing was 'groomed' or packed down other than footprints.  There was some confusion with Eric and I at one part of the course (late) where there was no marshall (Tim Cox got there just after Eric and I had already gone through).  There were two ways to go and we went the opposite way instead of this smaller loop on the left side but it didn't really affect the outcome.  We did run a tad shorter going the other way but it was through no fault of our own.  The flagging being 'on the left' the entire time made sense to go the way I chose when I got to that fork...but being the golf course and a sprawling, wide open course, it all depended on how wide you took the turn and what side of the flags you went on.  It would have made sense if it was single track or a road or obvious 'route' but in the middle of a fairway, it was difficult to tell...and with no one there just yet and no arrows or signs, it was a guessing game for me.  Tim came up to me after the race and told me he had gotten there a tad late.  He was obviously too occupied watching his young son (a national record holder) destroy most of the field in his first snowshoe race...(the kid finished 5th at the age of 10!!).

After finishing the outer loop of the top part of the course, we crossed the street again in the same spot and I headed down a bit before climbing back up one last time.  The end had one last push up a small hill on a cart path that had a lot of bare spots and thick ice.  The wind did a number on some of the areas of the course for sure and this was the thinnest spot up on the hill by the finish.  I came through in 20:32 and was lucky enough to get through it without any major issues.  I had one small calf issue around 2.5 miles but it was a quick stab and then it was gone.

I cooled down a short couple miles with Eric, Leslie, and Scott Mitchell who came through in 3rd, behind Eric, to round out the podium.

After the race, there was a nice get together inside with some music and food.  My girls danced around a bit before the awards.  For the win I got a nice gold plated (OK gold 'painted') shovel and a bag of Six03 swag including a pretty cool belt buckle.

Video from Kristin who braved the cold and the wind: 

The Start:

Some footage of the far side of the course:

Me finishing:

Eric finishing in second (and in style):

And some more finishers:

The Three Shovelteers again...

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Week of January 18 - January 24

Another pic from last weekend's Whitaker Woods Snowshoe Scramble in the Daily Sun this week.

Week of January 18 - January 24

January 18 (Monday) - AM: 5 miles easy.  Hobbling at first and just decided to run through the pain and see if it loosened up.  At 3 miles, it actually did.  Last 2 miles were actually ok.  PM:  5 miles a little quicker than I wanted.  Got to the Mill late and forgot when they closed.  It was an hour earlier than I thought. Maybe it was for the best.  Only was able to fit in 5 more before they turned the lights off.  Really hobbling for first couple miles.
January 19 (Tuesday) - AM: 5 miles easy.  PM: 8 miles. Achilles slightly better but still sore.  Calf super sore. What's else is new... Put off the workout until later in the week.
January 20 (Wednesday) - PM: 8 miles. Everything sore. I feel like I'm turning to stone.
January 21 (Thursday) - AM: 5 miles easy. PM: 10 miles workout.  5 x 1000 @ 5 min pace with 1:20-1:30 rest continuous between each.  Split 16:50 for the 5k and 21:50 exactly for 4 miles.  Solid workout and I felt surprisingly fine physically.  Then 3 mile cooldown.  68:20 for the 10 miles including rest and warmup/cooldown.
January 22 (Friday) - AM: 5 miles easy.  PM: 9 miles slightly up tempo.
January 23 (Saturday) - PM: 5 miles easy.
January 24 (Sunday) - AM: 7 miles as: 2 mile warmup (roads/snowshoes) + 5k race (Six03 Frigid 5k Snowshoe Race - 1st OA) + 2 mile cooldown on the road.

Weekly Summary: 72 miles for the week.

Wow I felt like trash the first half of the week.  I barely made it through but turned the corner on Thursday and then back to bad again on Sunday.  The Achilles was bad at first, loosened up, and then by week's end it was bad again as was my shin and calf.  It was a mixed bag of what hurts now.  I did manage to squeak a good workout in but went too hard the day after, which led to the harsh weekend.  I hobbled on Saturday but it was the day before the snowshoe race down in Barrington, NH so it wasn't that big of a deal.  But the race beat me up a bit and made things worse. I had lingering issues during the race and certainly now am dealing with them after.  I'll do a quick writeup of this one as a separate race recap post.

Unfortunately the GSSS race on Saturday (Moose Mountain) was cancelled even though certainly there was enough snow to run on.  There was a fat bike race that was added to the event couldn't be held because of too much ice under the snow or some thing, so they had to postpone both to Feb 6.  Now the race has to be held the day before Horsehill, which is part of the ATR series.  A lot of fast guys are going to be showing up to Horsehill just for the ATR series and now I have to make a decision to stay home and miss a GSSS race on Saturday, just to have a better shot at running with some quicker guys on Sunday, or go to both and be spent on Sunday and get my doors blown off even more than I would already.  Not ideal but it is what it is.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Whitaker Woods Snowshoe Race

Thursday's front page of the Conway Daily Sun

Saturday was my 6th time racing the Whitaker Woods Snowshoe Race (results) in North Conway.  It is usually one of the first races I do in the calendar year and this year it was my first race since the WMM Half back in October.  I haven't been exactly killing it with training but I've run Whitaker in far worse shape in the past, so I wasn't about to miss this one if I could help it...being only 15 minutes down the road.  Like usual, it was the kickoff to the Granite State Snowshoe Series.

The temps were unseasonably warm for Whitaker (in the high 20s) and it was snowing out pretty good which is always really cool for a snowshoe event.  I had the kids and Kristin in tow for this one and it was cool for them to be there to see their first snowshoe race.  Kristin hasn't been to a snowshoe race in ages... I think the last time she was at a race, Sidehiller was still a thing.

I warmed up with Chris Mahoney who was at Whitaker for the first time to give it a go. We checked out the first mile + of the course and went up the 'big' climb so he could scope it out and know what to expect.  We caught up with Andy Drummond who was on his way up the climb with Squall.  I got in about 2.5 miles of warmup all on the snowshoes.  It was my first time in the Dions since last March.  That may not have been a great idea in hindsight.

I figured before the gun went off I'd have my hands full with Chris who's been running well this year and who is always a threat in any race from the 100 meters up to his trail marathon prowess.  Eric Narcisi is also running and training well and I figured possibly that would be the top 3 but in virtually any order.  Andy Drummond would have been my pick for the wildcard to take one of the top spots.

The race went off and my plan was to run more controlled than I did last year when I was chasing Nacho.  I had gone out way too hard and paid for it later.  This year I wanted to scale it back a bit and run hard but controlled until I got up the top of the first climb.    I got out well and kept it relatively calm to the hill and then pushed up the long climb without redlining.  I managed to put a little distance on Eric and Chris who were still within striking distance at the base but by the top I was moving ahead more and more and feeling like I was keeping the effort nice and even.

There's a little break of downhill on single track before pushing back up the second set of hills in the second mile and I had a decent lead.  I hit the second set of hills which are the same hills that are in the Whitaker Trail Series 5k that is run weekly on Tuesday nights in the Summer, so I know them well.  They are a kick in the pants, especially on snowshoes.  The break you have between the first long climb and the second set of smaller hills is too short to really recover all the way.  By the time I was at the top of the second climb, I was feeling a little burn but still feeling like I could keep up the effort from there and be alright.

The next bit of the course is another section down and over to the powerlines, that I'm familiar wth in the summer trail series.  At that point it changes a little bit and heads down the powerlines to a small looped single track section that was in decent shape.  I could see Eric and Chris back a ways on the long straight powerline section but once I got into the single track, I was alone again and out of view until I popped back out and looped around a small out and back section on the powerline trail.  There, I saw Eric pop out across the trail as I was about to head back into the woods on the other side.  He yelled over something corny like 'Your the winner Jimmy' or some random sandbagging jibberish...I took that as confirmation that he was just trying to hold off Chris who had yet to pop out of the woods, for 2nd place.

I pushed on the last mile or so over the lower, flatter trails that we typically run in the summer series and had no thoughts at all about being caught.  I wasn't laboring at all cardio-wise and felt really good about the effort. Eventually I pushed out into the last loop around the ball field and to the finish in 26:29.  Kristin was busy with the kids in the car and they missed the finish unfortunately.

Eric came through about 90 seconds or so back for second place and a strong showing in the first race of the season.  I have a feeling Eric is going to take a win or two this year on the circuit when he stops sandbagging...  Chris wasn't too far back in 3rd.  I was surprised to see Andy standing there when I finished.  He had a mechanical about 2 minutes in and blew a shoe in the first quarter mile or so.  Good thing he didn't drive too far to get there.

A snowshoe cooldown of sorts was had with Chris and the Narcisi brothers, over a couple miles of the course in the reverse direction.

LevelRenner recap here.

Race splits: 6:51 / 7:07 / 6:24 / 6:06 for last .9.

For the win I got a $40 gift cert to Moat Mountain, a nice pullover fleece, and some baked goods that barely survived the trip home with my wife and 2 daughters all having a legit sweet tooth.

Snow conditions and slight changes in race course that may have happened aside, my time this year was substantially slower than last year but I do remember it running a bit faster last year on the groomed sections.  I've run 2 times faster than this year and 3 times slower. One of the faster times was definitely on a slightly shorter course in 2014.  In 2011-2013 it was advertised as 4 miles but it may have been a little short...possibly in the range of this years' course.  Similar to trail races, snowshoe races are never really exact anyways...

My Whitaker Woods Snowshoe Scramble history:

2016 - 1st of 77 (3.9 Miles on my Garmin) - 26:29 - Eric Narcisi 2nd + 1:28 gap
2015 - 2nd of 109 (3.9 Miles on my Garmin) - 25:17 - Nacho Hernando 1st - :28 gap
2014 - 2nd of 75 (3.5 Miles on my Garmin) - 23:16 - Nick Wheeler 1st - 1:12 gap
2013 - 1st of 74 (~ 4 Garmin) - 26:56 - Dave Dunham 2nd + 2:14 gap
2012 - 1st of 40 (~ 4 Garmin) - 27:27 - Judson Cake 2nd + :58 gap
2011 - 1st of 49 (~ 4 Garmin) - 26:53 - Judson Cake 2nd + 1:07 gap

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Week of January 11 - January 17

The fam at Whitaker Woods

Week of January 11 - January 17

January 11 (Monday) AM: 5 miles easy with some walking afterwards.  PM: 9.2 miles relatively easy with Andy up and down to Chocorua Village and back.  Short walk after.  Brisk!
January 12 (Tuesday) AM: 5 miles easy. PM: 10 miles  continuous as 4 mile warmup + 6 x 800 at 5:00 pace with .25 rest in between each + 1.75 mile cooldown. Not terribly hard physically but I haven't run 5:00 pace for anything any time recently so it was good to know it's there.   Going that hard does seem a little jarring on the legs right now, but it was a good test to see how they handle the pounding and the increased mileage.  I did this same workout exactly 1 year ago today but I did a slightly shorter rest in between each 800 then. I didn't want to go overboard with my recent issues so I ran a little slower on my recovery quarters in between this time around.  Good first workout of 2016 despite a little soreness each interval in the lower legs but nothing that prevented me from getting it in.
January 13 (Wednesday) PM: 8 miles easy w/ Andy. Cold!
January 14 (Thursday) AM: 5 miles easy. PM: 10 miles - moderate hill workout just to mix it up and because I forgot my iPod.  8 miles of level 10 hill circuits on the treadmill.  It was 1 min on/off.  The 'offs' were at 1.5 % and the ons were cycling 4.5, 5.5, 6.5, 7.8% and then repeat.  The 1.5% was all at 9mph.  The 4.5/5.5 were also at 9mph and for the 6.5, and 7.8% I scaled back to 8.7mph so it wasn't so bad but all under 7 min pace to keep the legs moving.  Worked up a sweat but it wasn't difficult at all.  A good light workout if nothing else.  2 additional miles as a 'cooldown'.  68:23 for the 10 miles total.
January 15 (Friday) PM: 8 miles easy
January 16 (Saturday) AM: 2.5 mile w/ up on snowshoes over the course with Chris Mahoney and Andy Drummond + Race: Whitaker Woods Snowshoe Race (3.9 miles) - 1st OA. 26:29.  + 2.2 mile cooldown on snowshoes with Chris and the Narcisi brothers.  8.6 miles total, all on the Dion 121s.
January 17 (Sunday) - off (super sore Achilles from the race).  Had college friends visiting from down in MA and my foot was pretty sore all day long.  Planned on getting a run in later in the day after letting it rest but it didn't feel good enough to push on it even for some light miles so I decided it was good to finish up the week with some rest.

Weekly Summary:  68.8 miles for the week.

As noted, the Achilles was destroyed by late on Saturday.  I could barely walk around by late afternoon.  It was killing me all Saturday night and actually kept me up.  I got up super early on Sunday because I couldn't take it anymore and had to get up and ice and stretch.  It took all day to get only slightly better.  It definitely is reacting to the snowshoes and the fact that my first effort at all on them this season was a race.  It probably would have been better if I did at least one other easier run on them before Saturday.  Other than that, it was a good week for a January for sure. Considering how I started off the year, I'll take it.  Three days of doubles and a decent couple of 'workouts' with some ok mileage to start moving in the right direction after having some leg issues.  Started off the racing year on the right foot with a win at Whitaker (my 4th win in 6 years there).  I will probably do a short writeup in a day or so.  It's too bad about having to take Sunday off, but it's actually an ok step to take a rest day after the previous two weeks of only 3 and then 50.  Hopefully by tomorrow I'll be able to get back into some easy miles and salvage a normal week of workouts.

Here's some brief footage of the start of the race...taken from basically 50 feet apart from each other but from two different viewpoints:

Warming up w/ Mike Narcisi and acknowledging my little ones..

Monday, January 11, 2016

RIP Thin White Duke....

Artists like this are few and far between these days, if at all... I was fortunate enough to see him in concert many years ago in Boston...

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Week of January 04 - January 10

Week of January 04 - January 10

January 04 (Monday) - AM: 5 miles normal effort with some walking afterwards.  PM: sports massage in NoCo.
January 05 (Tuesday) - PM: 6 miles relatively easy effort with more walking afterwards.
January 06 (Wednesday) - PM: 8 miles easy with more walking afterwards.
January 07 (Thursday) - PM: 10 miles normal effort with some walking afterwards.
January 08 (Friday) - PM: 6 miles easy (hilly) with Andy.  Had a meeting literally right after the run, so couldn't fit the walk in.
January 09 (Saturday) - PM: 7 miles normal effort in snow flurries with some walking afterwards.
January 10 (Sunday) - PM: 8 miles easy with Andy in a tropical storm.

Weekly Summary: 50 miles for the week.  Obviously easy and light on the miles this week but after basically no running last week, I didn't want to jump hard into this week's mileage.  I just wanted to make progress and make sure that if it was an overuse issue I had going on, I didn't further it along.  By weeks end I felt a lot better but not 100% by any means. I still have some pain and stiffness on the right side that is manageable right now but I haven't tested it with hard running just yet.  When I go up on my toes or try to land a tad heavier on the right side, I get throbbing pain and all sorts of bad things happening.  If I just stick to a 'normal' easy running gate, it seems like it's getting better.   I'll try to fit something in 'uptempo' this coming week and we'll see.  I'll also try to get back up into something that resembles real mileage but I'm not too displeased with this week's efforts given the circumstances.

My periodic training partner here on the East Madison Track Club has some good video editing skills... not to mention some skills on skis.   Here's the latest scenes from the MWV...

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Week of December 28 - January 03

Week of December 28 - January 03

December 28 (Monday) - off
December 29 (Tuesday) - off 
December 30 (Wednesday) - off
December 31 (Thursday) - off
January 01 (Friday) - 3 miles very very easy.  I'm surprised cars didn't stop to ask me if I needed a ride, I was running so slow.  Some walking afterwards.
January 02 (Saturday) - off
January 03 (Sunday) off

Weekly Summary: 3 miles for the week.  To quote Bob Wiles from exactly 5 years ago this week.... 'I'm a hot mess'.   I did ride the bike this week, so I wasn't a complete slob on the off days, but I don't count that as really anything.  I may start another blog called 'doublejbiking' if it comes to it.  Boatloads of massage and stretching this week as well.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Week of December 21 - December 27

Week of December 21 - December 27

December 21 (Monday) - PM: 14.1 miles roads w/ Andy (1100 + ft. of climbing). Moderate/easy run.
December 22 (Tuesday) - PM: 3 miles grass.  Feels like I have another stress fracture happening in exactly the same spot but on the other leg.  Not good. Excruciating pain throughout the day but it was actually not too bad on the very easy run on the trails and grass.  Almost unbearable to the touch and right on the bone...strange it didn't bother me too much while running but was going very easy and on soft surface.
December 23 (Wednesday) - PM: 6.2 miles trails.  Kind of easy with Andy later in the day.  Both legs hurt pretty good but not like the stress fracture pain I was used to before.  Hopefully it's just shin splints or something else less severe.  Am going to take it easy this holiday week and try to not be derailed.
December 24 (Thursday) - PM: 7 miles on the roads relatively easy. Just watching the leg.  Slight issue but nothing too concerning.
December 25 (Friday) - Merry Christmas... family time.
December 26 (Saturday) - PM: 8 miles roads...low 6s which feels normal now which is good. Uptempo testing out the leg.  I think it's more calf/hamstring pulling tight on a spot or two...keeping an eye on it.
December 27 (Sunday) - Off. Leg too sore.  Really hit me hard today.  Was down in MA and was going to meet MQ but did a few rips up and down the road and the pain is eerily reminiscent of the stress fracture.  Not wanting to push it.  Probably need some time and this may be the perfect spot to put the breaks on for a week or so.

Weekly Summary: 38.4 miles for the week.  Obviously a down week w/ my other leg acting up.

On Christmas Eve day, I found a dozen coins in about an hour of swingin' including an 1873 Indian head which looks a lot rougher in the photo below than it actually is. It's not in as good of shape as the 1885 I found earlier this fall, but it's good for the oldest coin I have found up until now.  142 years under ground took it's toll.  The funny thing is that the year 1873 is the third most valuable penny ever minted (if it was in good shape).  It's funny that that is the year I found.  Unfortunately I'll never find a copper coin in good enough shape that comes out of the ground...unless it comes out of the ground in a box or chest.

1873 Indian.  The photo doesn't do it justice but the date is actually clear at the right angle. The rest of the coin is in pretty rough shape though...  
On Christmas Day I got to hunt Kristin's parent's place down in Pembroke, MA.  The house was built around 1750 and it makes my house look new... Very cool old place with a huge barn and a decent spread of property with some old stone walls and some varying terrain.  I found this pretty sweet old brass medal (maybe at one time it was on a ribbon) from Pembroke High School circa 1912.

 It was in perfect shape and in the middle of the front yard. The funny thing about it is that this is from the original Pembroke HS as there was no such thing anytime in recent memory...The current Pembroke High School was founded in 2004. Before that, (including the years my wife went to high school there) it was Silver Lake Regional High School. So this is definitely a cool find. I left it there with her parents so they could do some research and either keep it or give it to the historical society. The house has been in the family since the teens so this 'could' have been someone's who lived there in the family but we aren't sure. Other than that, I found a handful of clad coins, an old pocket knife, a bunch of cool old oil lamp parts, and a bunch of scrap metal. There's definitely some old stuff to be had there and I look forward to going back and spending more time there next time (next year sometime). I only did the grass area near the house so there's more swingin' to be done.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Week of December 14 - December 20

Week of December 14 - December 20

December 14 (Monday) - AM: 5 miles easy.  PM: 8.1 miles easy.
December 15 (Tuesday) - AM: 10 miles (1:02:43).
December 16 (Wednesday) - AM: 8.1 miles easy. 5 miles easy.
December 17 (Thursday) - PM: 13.2 miles. Hilly Madison/Conway loop in the pouring rain. Last bit w/ headlamp. (1:29:18)
December 18 (Friday) - PM: 12.7 miles.  Roads with Andy. First 8 steady/moderate and then last hilly part on dirt roads easy (after he started complaining).
December 19 (Saturday) - PM: 13.3 miles.  Easy snowmobile trails w/ Andy.
December 20 (Sunday) - AM: 5.1 miles before Tabby's party.

Weekly Summary: 80.5 miles for the week.  Nothing really to complain about other than the short days and the rain early on...but I'll take it over snow.

My firstborn turns 3 in a few days but we had her party on Sunday.  Good times w/ both sets of grandparents and my brother and sister and their families.  It was a packed house but my lovely wife pulled it off (the lovely and talented Kristin) once again...  The down side is that I probably gained a couple lbs today... But Tabby had a great time and got even MORE dolls and ponies... we didn't have enough I don't think (sarcasm).  5 more days and even more will be on the way...

I found a ton of coins this week on just one day hunting on a new permission... I found a 1914 wheat cent which ties my oldest wheat (I found one in my yard as one of the first coins I ever pulled this year).  Not bad considering the first wheat was 1909.... doesn't beat my 1885 Indian though...  I also found a pretty cool old (not sure how old) brass NH highway token and a Chuckie Cheeze token from 1997.  That doesn't seem old, but kids born in 1997 have started college this year, so maybe it is.  Also got stopped by the cops for the first time, who wanted to know if I had permission to do what I was doing... It's funny because first he asked me 'what' I was doing...then wanted to know if I had permission to do it.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Week of December 7 - December 13

Week of December 7 - December 13

December 7 (Monday) - AM: 5 miles - roads. PM: 10.7 miles - dirt roads/trails/mountain/whack with Andrew (2,038 feet of elevation today alone).
December 8 (Tuesday) - AM: 5 miles - roads very easy.  PM: 8.1 miles - roads/trails with Andy.
December 9 (Wednesday) - PM: 8.1 miles - dirt roads easy w/ Kristina and Kevin.
December 10 (Thursday) - AM: 5 miles - wet roads easy.  PM: 8.1 miles - wet roads.
December 11 (Friday) - PM: 6.1 miles - roads.  Snuck in between meetings.
December 12 (Saturday) - PM: 10.1 miles - trails moderate. Beautiful day.
December 13 (Sunday) - PM: 14.1 miles - roads (1:28:37).

Weekly Summary: 80.3 miles for the week (with 4580 ft of climbing).  Leg fracture area was acting up a bit on Monday and then came and went on Thursday as well. Got a cold right at the beginning of the week, felt ok midweek though but got worse again by the end and probably hit rock bottom by Friday.  An up and down week physically but got the miles in because that's what you gotta do.  Had a solid run on Sunday despite being run down most of the week.

Late in the day, got a new permission on E.Madison Rd. (the spot of the old Madison Corner post office) and dug a nice silver 1941 Washington...worth about $7 in the condition it's in.  The great thing about silver is that it looks as good coming out of the ground as the day it went in (as opposed to clad quarters which look like hell after almost any amount of time in the ground).  I amazingly haven't found a silver quarter until now. I've found a few bucks in modern clad quarters (collectively) over the course of the summer and fall, but never anything silver (anything pre 1965 is silver).  I've found a ton of wheat cents from the teens - 50s, but no silver.  I can't wait to get back over there as I only had about an hour to swing late in the day today... I think I'll have many more where this came from, hopefully before the ground freezes and the snow flies.

Side note, there is a 1st time snowshoe 5K Race in Auburn , NH on February 14th (Valentines Day)  at 10am.   The Massabesic Audubon Raven’s Race 5K.  Not to be confused with the epic 2005 snowshoe 5k that was held at basically the same venue, this is a completely new event that is conveniently shoehorned into the winter SS schedule on an open date (New Hampshire-wise).  It IS the day after Kingman Farm, but it's doable.  Also, since Kingman has a registration cap, if you don't get into Kingman or can't make the night race, this is a nice option for that weekend.

Per the RD, it is a nice course through the trails at Massabesic Audubon along the shores of Lake Massabesic.   They are have having 10 year increments for prizes plus a couples division since it is Valentine’s Day.  After the race there will be food, a bon fire, and Bird of Prey demonstrations.  The race is to benefit the educational animals and the Raven at the Center.

The following is the pdf registration form if you're old school.
The following is the online registration page.


Race-day registration will begin at 6:45 a.m. at Massabesic Audubon center.
Entry fee is $20 (before 1/20/16), $25 (1/21 – 2/10), $30 (after 2/10), $40/couples entering together. Goodie bags with local “goods” to the first 100 entrants.
Pre-register by February 2 to get 25% off a pair of snowshoes at Eastern Mountain Sports at the Mall of NH, Manchester NH. Simply bring your paid registration receipt to the Mall of NH store on the following “Raven” nights: Tuesday, December 15, Tuesday, January 12, Thursday, January 21, Tuesday, February 2

Race page at Audubon:

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Week of November 30 - December 6

Week of November 30 - December 6

November 30 (Monday) - PM: 8.3 miles - roads and trails w/ Andrew.
December 1 (Tuesday) - PM: 10.5 miles - roads in the freezing rain.
December 2 (Wednesday) - PM: 10.1 miles - roads in the rain and in the dark.
December 3 (Thursday) - PM: 10 miles - roads in the rain again.
December 4 (Friday) - PM: 8.1 miles - easy roads and trails.
December 5 (Saturday) - 5 miles - easy roads at night.
December 6 (Sunday) - 10.1 miles - roads and trails w/ BJ in Freedom/Effingham.

Weekly Summary: 62.1 miles for the week.  Felt like I did absolutely nothing all week so I'll take it.  Better than last week.

If you have access to a NH newsstand, you can pick up the latest issue of NH Magazine where there's a little article with another round of 'expert advice' from yours truly...this time around it's about snowshoe racing.  Take a peak here:

Also, this week was the voting for USATF NE Road GP for 2016.  The voting is actually open until December 8 if you haven't snuck in your hanging chads yet.  I'm really not sure how many of these I may do, but my voting for anyone who cares....after all I did pay my USATF fee for 2015 so I might as well use my vote.

Manchester Marathon – because I can’t do VCM as it’s the same day as Redhook which I plan on going to every year (even though I've missed it 3 damn years in a row).  I really want to do VCM and think it’s probably a better race, but the NH race is easier for me to get to, easier for me to train / be ready for.   Even though the history of a couple years ago was bad, I would want to go Manchester.  Also, VCM conflicts with Hollis 5k in the voting.

Lone Gull 10k – mainly because it fits my calendar.  Nothing else conflicting.  I heard Newton was a nightmare to get to last time.  Also, the Canton races are the same day as Bretton Woods (not that I’m doing the mountain series but I like to keep my options open).

Bobby Doyle – because it fits best for me and I haven’t done it.  Ribfest is the day after Washington.  End of Summer Classic is during the week.

Hollis 5k – because I don’t want a 5k in March (An Ras Mor 5k)…I'd rather race in southern NH than in the city…Canton races are same day as Bretton Woods…Bedford Rotary 12k is what I want to pick for wildcard so you can’t pick the Bedford 5k.  Also, I want to try to PR and Hollis is a good place to do that ;).

Bedford 12k – because it’s NH, doesn’t conflict w/ anything on my calendar, and I ran crappy twice there before. I want revenge.

NH 10 Miler – because it’s NH, doesn’t conflict w/ anything on my calendar.  I am not a fan of DH  Jones or Town & Country or Five Colleges or whatever the heck is called this year…  And I HATE February.

Middlebury Maple Half – I heard some good things about the race...I like VT....I like the prospect of having a half in May vs March.  However, NB gets it ever year so I am not holding my breath.  For some reason, everyone goes ape sh*t over NB which is definitely not my highlight place to race on the calendar year but I digress...

And to get you in the Grand Prix's a flash back to some of the glory days....the infamous 'blank jersey' race....James Joyce Ramble 10k in 2011 when we SMOKED Whirlaway by a whopping 4 seconds to take the team title.  We only needed 1 second but we made it look even worse with a 4 second shelling of the boys in red. 

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Week of November 23 - November 29

Thanksgiving w/ the girls!

Week of November 23 - November 29

November 23 (Monday) - PM: 10 miles - roads and trails easy w/ Andrew.
November 24 (Tuesday) - AM: 5.1 miles - easy roads.
November 25 (Wednesday) - PM: 7.5 miles - B&M ledge and Whitton Ledge with Andy and Squall.
November 26 (Thursday) - off.  Good day down in E.Wakefield at my parents house w/ the family.
November 27 (Friday) - PM: 8 miles - roads in the dark.
November 28 (Saturday) - AM: 10 miles - roads in the rain before heading down to class reunion.
November 29 (Sunday) - off.

Weekly Summary: 40.6 miles on a light week.  With the holiday and 3 solid 70+ weeks prior I took a little down week before resetting.  Off on Thanksgiving and then off on Sunday after pulling a relatively late night at my 20th class reunion down in MA.  Great times, seeing lots of old mates again.

I also had one of the best days of coin-shooting I've ever had on Friday.  Dug some nice old coins out of my front yard including my first ever half-dollar and this nice gem below, which is my oldest coin found so far... 1885 Indian head cent!  The indian himself has seen better days, but the date is solid!

Mike (our hurdler extraordinaire) and I...reliving the 1995 glory days of Warrior track.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Week of November 16 - November 22

Week of November 16 - November 22 

November 16 (Monday) - PM: 8.6 miles roads/trails w/ Andy.
November 17 (Tuesday) - AM: 5 miles very easy - roads.  PM: 8 miles very easy - roads.
November 18 (Wednesday) - AM: 5 miles roads - slightly up tempo.  PM: 10.6 miles - roads w/ Andy.
November 19 (Thursday) - PM: 8.3 miles roads - very easy.  Raining and cold.
November 20 (Friday) - PM: 10 miles mountain/trail/roads w/ Andy.
November 21 (Saturday) - PM: 7.1 miles - mountain/trail/roads w/ Andy.
November 22 (Sunday) - AM: 11.1 miles - roads - moderate w/ Andy. Raining and cold.

 Summary: 74.2 miles for the week.  5,092 feet of climbing.  Decent weather (for November) other than the cold rain we had...but that's better than snow.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Week of November 9 - November 15

Week of November 9 - November 15

November 9 (Monday) - AM: 7.2 miles (56:52) - easy. Roads, single track, and snowmobile trails.
November 10 (Tuesday) - AM: 5 miles (30:51) - slight unplanned progression. PM: 8 miles (1:01:01) - hilly dirt roads and class vi roads. Easy but about 1200 ft. of climbing.
November 11 (Wednesday) - PM: 10 miles (1:18:28).  Dirt roads and single track trails at night w/ headlamps... With Ryan and Kristina.
November 12 (Thursday) - PM: 10.1 miles (1:20:48).  With Andy. Dirt roads and class vi roads + an  unnamed peak bagging session.  1355 ft of elevation total.  Soaking wet out.
November 13 (Friday) - AM: 8 miles (50:41). Solo out and back (flat). Leg a little sore.
November 14 (Saturday) - PM: 3 miles (22:00). Treadmill late. Leg bothering me too much on the constant pounding to go longer.
November 15 (Sunday) - PM: 20 miles (2:15:15). Big lake loop. Nice and moderately easy.  Legs a little tight near the middle and hips got progressively tighter but it was manageable.  Fracture spot started bothering me with 1.5 to go which was a little bit of a downer.  The rest of the run was nice and solid.

Summary: 71.6 miles for the week on 8 runs (including that 3 mile stinkbomb on Saturday night).  4632 ft. of gain across 7 of the 8 runs.  It was a solid week of training, all things considered.  Gave the Mill a test on Saturday night after having to watch the kids all day and it was a no go. I may not be able to do the Mill this winter.  It was really bothering my leg with all the constant uniform pounding.  It may be a long cold winter...outside.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

November 8 (Sunday)

November 8 (Sunday) - 17 miles at about 5:30am ...had to get the run in before 8:30 today so it was my only option... First 4-5 miles with a headlamp...then it was a nice (slightly windy) jaunt through Madison, Albany, Tamworth.  Took a wrong turn at 12 miles for a bit, went up a big hill, then figured it out and turned back.  Got an extra mile in (was originally planning 16).  Good solid run without much effort.  Back was very stiff early in the morning (as it usually is) so it took me a bit to warmup.

71 miles for the week...back on track.

One other thing we got accomplished today...that God awful TV antenna finally found it's match...It just took a guy who has no fear up on a 2 story house peak...

Saturday, November 7, 2015

November 7 (Saturday)

November 7 (Saturday) - 6 miles early in the day before the parents got here to watch the kids...Headed over to lunch w/ Kristin, Ryan, and Kristina.  Was going to run later on by decided that the 6 was good for the day.

This was the first run I've done in the past 20 years where I was aware that I was no longer the Wakefield High School record holder for the 800 meters. I discovered today that a kid broke my now 20 year old record, back in June of this year (2015). My record lasted from 1995 to 2015.  The record I broke back in 1995 was from 1965 (30 years).  The new school record is 1:56.16.  My record was 1:56:2.  Pretty close...but records were meant to be broken....glad that it lasted that long but glad it's now been broken.  (small article here).

Friday, November 6, 2015

November 6 (Friday)

November 6 (Friday) - 10.6 miles easy on the roads at lunch.  Out and back on 113/41 + the Moores Pond Rd. loop.  Gotta love this weather....

Thursday, November 5, 2015

November 5 (Thursday)

November 5 (Thursday) - 10 miles on the roads. Out and back and flat (113 to 41 to the Pine Barrens and back).  Nice weather, no excuses.  Tonight is the season finale of Project Runway so I had to get it in early, shower, get my jammies on, and get ready for NY Fashion Week.