Monday, June 30, 2008

2008 Cranmore Hill Climb

The Good: A solid third place finish behind 2 really good mountain runners. The Bad: Severe thunder and lightning storm during the start of the race + a prior full day of down pours = interesting course conditions to say the least. The Ugly: Rolling my ankle worse than ever before, with 2K or so of intense and out of control downhill still ahead of me.

Sunday was wet and wild for sure. I decided to pass on racing Saturday and just do the Cranmore Hill Climb (results) on Sunday in North Conway, NH at Mt. Cranmore Ski Area. This was the site of last year's U.S. Mountain Running Championships (15K version). This year the course was back to being the usual 10K (2 5K loops) distance. Thank god for that. I am not sure how all those guys did the 3rd loop last year.

I came out of this with a badly bruised/sprained ankle, banged up quads, hammies, and calves, and new found respect for running up ski mountains in a thunderstorm. Here's how it went down... Move over cross country... There's a bigger and badder type of racing to be done on grass and mud...

Vermont's Justin Fyffe (GCS Triad), who is currently leading the USATF-NE Mountain Circuit with a 5th place finish at Wachusett, a 2nd place at Pack Monadnock, and a 3rd place finish at Northfield Mtn., won the race with a 52:51. Local North Conway resident and CMS/Inov8 team member Kevin Tilton (15th at the U.S. Mountain Running Championships last week) was 2nd at 54:32. Yours truly was 3rd, 4 seconds behind Kevin with a 54:36. I have no idea about splits in this one because 1) there was obviously no mile markers...and why would there be? 2) By the time I came by the finish line to begin lap 2, the last thing I was worried about was looking at my watch...

The first loop I hung on to Fyffe and Tilton for about half the climb and then kept them in sight until the summit. When I began my descent, they had already been on the downhill for a minute or so, so I never saw either one of those guys, who must have been absolutely flying on the downhill. On a majority of the first downhill, I was completely and absolutely out of control... You are basically all out and then some.... and relying on getting very lucky when it comes to avoiding rocks, sticks, stumps, roots, small trees and bushes, tall grass, MUD, other runners going in the opposite direction. A couple of times I slid a good foot or two after planting a step at full downhill sprinting speed, only to catch my balance at the last second. I managed not to fall at all on the way down (which is apparently out of the ordinary when it comes to this race). The course conditions only added to the madness. Even some die hard mountain runners who were all huddled under the overhang of the main lodge, dodging the down pour before the race, were shocked when the announcement came that the race would go on as planned....Anyways, back to the race... As I came down and past the finish area (halfway) after the first 5k, I was delighted to see my parents who surprised me by making the trek over from their palatial lake house in East Wakefield, NH. I heard my mom yell out 'lookin' good hunny'....to which I replied 'yeah, we'll see how I look after this next one...' (meaning the next 5k loop)...I also heard one of the course volunteers proclaim "you got about a minute on the next guy"...Shortly after that, I hit the first incline of the 2nd loop and immediately felt like hell again. I'm talking IMMEDIATELY. I think I blacked out a couple times on the way back up but only saw Tilton and Fyffe once on one of the longer uphill views right before they disappeared into the woods. I looked back repeatedly on the 2nd 5k and never did see a runner(s) behind me but I knew they were there. As I hit the top of the 2nd loop, I was pretty sure I had 3rd in the bag, after knowing all I had ahead of me now was the downhill....but no sooner did I think of that, then I stepped on a baseball-sized rock and rolled my ankle BAD. I knew after about 5 steps that it was serious. I proceeded to run the last 2k or so downhill while trying not to think about the pain in my foot. Every step was brutal and the downhill seemed twice as long the second time down. At the bottom, I noticed Kevin Tilton was right ahead of me by about 50 meters or so. I hadn't noticed him coming down. I tried over the the last 200 meters or so of flat grassy straightaway to the finish, to catch him but he held me off at the very end. I was just happy to finish and be able to get off of my foot. I had it iced and wrapped by the medical staff after the race and was able to hobble up to the post race festivities to pick up my age group award (which was a pick of something off of a table of swag...I grabbed a new headlamp because I lost mine).

I had the pleasure of officially meeting and chatting with Tim VanOrden from Runningraw.com before and after the race. I've been following Tim's racing and blogging for quite some time now and have enjoyed his video clips of racing in New England and nutritional information he posts on his website. I've even adopted some of his dietary habits in recent weeks (although I haven't yet decided to take the full plunge into the raw lifestyle just yet :) )... Tim battled back and forth for the Masters win, with CMS' Dave Dunham, who is coming off of a 1:09:08 Washington performance last week. Both ran very well with Tim out dueling Dave down the last downhill stretch.


Unfortunately now, the outlook for my week is bleak. I may have to back out of Sully's 2M on Friday to maybe salvage Loon on Sunday, but even that may be a lost cause. I'll post an update later in the week on the status of the foot and my plans for the long weekend...

The brave and beautiful Kristin waited out the rain at the start and got some nice pictures of the halfway point and end of the race. See them in the usual place here: Photo Set and Slideshow. There are also some very cool shots of the race at Scott Mason Photography.

Video - Trimmed down photoset included in this video... for more images check out the Flickr photoset... With all the images, it would have been over 10 minutes of video...

Credits:
Photos: The lovely and talented Kristin
Music: - Faith No More - "Falling to Pieces" (1989)
Video Production: Me.

'....From the bottom, it looks like a steep incline.....From the top, another downhill slope of mine....But I know, the equilibriums there...'

Monday, June 23, 2008

2008 Mt. Washington Road Race / US Mountain Running Championships

On Saturday I competed in the 48th Annual Mt. Washington Road Race (results) in Pinkham Notch, NH. This race was also the U.S. Mountain Running National Championships for 2008. It was the largest turnout in the history of the race, with 855 total finishers. It was also the deepest field ever with 32 men under 1:10. As Dave Dunham pointed out in his pre-race predictions/writeup, the record for sub 1:10 finishes in the same race is 20 (in perfect conditions in 1999). He predicted that 30 runners would break 1:10 this year. He was just about spot on. 32 men broke 1:10 and 5 others (including myself) were in the 1:10s. In a typical year over the last decade, the number of sub 1:10 finishers is 12. The field this year included 2006 winner Eric Blake (BAA, 2004 Olympic Marathon Trials), Clint Wells (Colorado), Rickey Gates (US Mtn. Team), Joseph Gray (former Oklahoma State), and three time winner Simon Gutierrez. Also, one of the most impressive feats of the day came from local Plaistow NH resident Craig Fram, who will be 50 this year. Craig placed 10th in 1:05:45, beating the likes of Ryan Carrara (NB), Mark Larosa (BAA), Kevin Tilton (CMS), Dan Princic (WHIRL), Ben Schmeckpeper (BAA), Matt Ely (BAA), Eric Morse (CMS), Michael Wardian, Ben Nephew (CMS), Matt Clark (CMS), and Dave Dunham (3x winner, CMS) who all ran extremely well, under the 1:10 mark. Fram was the 1997 winner and to date has won over $10K total at this race. The top 4 overall men and the top woman were all selected to the Teva U.S. Mountain Running Team that will compete in the World Mountain Trophy race in Switzerland in September.

As far as my race went, I probably went out just a little harder than I should have, but honestly, once you hit that first incline, its actually hard not to put the breaks on because it is such a shock to the system if you aren't used to it. In the back of my mind, I thought about Dunham's pre-race predictions and the fact that he had me pegged at 38th with a 1:11:45. From about mile 2 on, all I thought about was 2 things... Not stopping to walk, and beating both my predicted time and place. I was given #43 as a seeded number, but I knew 38th was the goal...otherwise I don't think I'd hear the end of it :) on our 3:26 runs... I made all my goals on the day, which was to run under 1:11:45, finish ahead of 38th (and 43rd), and not break my stride and start walking. The latter was the toughest. Even the guys who finished directly behind me walked (and one who was less that a minute back, but who shall remain nameless, stopped to puke and then still just about got me)... Even some of the sub 1:10 guys stopped to walk just a bit through the water stops and periodically when it was just too much to maintain the forward motion of a running stride. For those who have run this race, you know exactly what I'm talking about...for those who haven't, it is impossible to imagine. Even after having a couple of months to mull it over, I still wasn't prepared for what I would be doing until I actually hit the first of the hill after the brief downhill start.

I took water at every stop but the last one (I believe the one with Santa Claus handing out water and the obscenely loud Christmas music playing). I barely drank any though...but instead just splashed myself in the face to try and wake myself up from this nightmare... At the third water stop I accidentally grabbed a cup with some sort of light green sports drink and almost splashed myself in the face, but the green hue caught my eye at the very last second and I threw it down just in time to grab water out of the last person's hand as I went by.

By mile 2 I was pretty much alone after Ben Nephew and a few others straggled by me. I came up on USATF-NE 6K champ Ben Ndaya (GLRR) who had gone out a little too quick and was paying the price...he just shook his head at me and said 'this is silly...I'm just going to run the last 2 miles'. Shortly after that, Dave Dunham (3 time winner, CMS) motored on by me with nothing but determination and focus in his eyes... I tried to crack him a little bit with some in-race wit, but he didn't bite and kept right on chuggin. After Dunham at about 3 miles or so, only Sean Livingston (BAA), Henry Scollard (Cambridge Running Club), and John Gleeson (Coastal) went by me over the last 3.6 miles. Gleeson took me over the last 100 meters up 'the wall'.

This race proved to be probably more mentally tough than physical in ways. You end up fighting little battles the whole way. Before you hit the tree line, you only see up the hill until it either hooks left or right behind trees and rock. But once you get to the top of that visible crest, you turn to see another hilly stretch that is just as bad if not worse. This continues until you hit the tree line. Then it gets really bad, as you can see much further, and know you are just in for more of the same. I haven't gotten married yet...and I haven't had any children yet... so I can probably say that other than meeting the lovely and talented Kristin, seeing the finish line was probably the happiest moment of my life...

What I did noticed most of all was my heart rate going through the roof. I have never had my pulse up that high ever before. My neck was actually sore from my pulse beating so hard. I could still feel it at dinner that night. My legs on the other hand were fine. Even now I don't feel any different physically, than I did on Friday. I had no physical side-effects from this race other than just being pretty tired afterwards and needing a nap. Mentally though, it's a killer. Running 9:15 pace and barely being able to breathe or lift your legs more than an inch off the ground is definitely a new experience for me and not one you can relate to until about 1 minute after you hear Bob Teschek remind you that "there is only one hill"...

Heading up the 'Wall' at the end...or should i say 'hitting it'...


2008 Mt. Washington Road Race / U.S. Mountain Running Championships:

34th Place Overall - 1:10:06

7.6 Mile Splits:
  • Mile 1: 6:52
  • Mile 2: 8:32 (15:24)
  • Mile 3: 9:04 (24:29)
  • Half Way: (32:58)
  • Mile 4: 9:23 (33:53)
  • Mile 5: 10:06 (43:59)
  • Mile 6: 9:52 (53:52)
  • Mile 7: 9:58 (1:03:51)
  • Last .6: 6:14 (1:10:06)
Now I am no mountain running specialist or great hill runner by any means, so I cannot technically speak about this race with any sort of authority, but I couldn't help but wonder where my performance this weekend would have put me in the past (non-championship) years...
Conditions, weather, common sense, and logic aside, my time: 1:10:06 from this year would have placed me over the years:
  • 2008: 34th (US Mountain Running National Championship)
  • 2007: 12th
  • 2006: 18th (USATF National Mountain Running Championship)
  • 2005: 15th
  • 2004: 17th
  • 2003: 10th
  • 2002: NA (Race only run 1/2 way up)
  • 2001: 6th
  • 2000: 8th
  • 1999: 21st
  • 1998: 15th
  • 1997: 9th
But being my first attempt, even though I picked the year with the deepest field and the furthest chance of getting in the top 10 or 15, I am extremely happy with the outcome. I now have a new goal in potentially trying to come in top 15 and/or breaking 1:10 next year (if I get in) as a 32 year old. It wasn't about the place or time for me this time around, but rather about the experience, accomplishment, and enjoyment of competing in the toughest road race in the world. It was about getting out there and getting it done for me this time... Looking back on where I was 2 years ago, I am completely overwhelmed with the feeling of accomplishment and closure on what has been a tough 'uphill' (no pun intended) climb for me. While local races, random 5ks, and non-conventional mountain and trail races may seem unnecessary and low-end to some, this is what it is about for me. It is about getting out there and competing and having fun. It is about getting out there and experiencing the thrill and excitement with your friends and teammates. This was the epitome of all of that for me. While I still tend to shake uncontrollably and dry heave at the thought of the actual race itself, I've had the past couple of days to mull over exactly what I went through on Saturday, and I'd say each and every step I've run up until this point was in preparation for the moment I hit that wall at the end....and it was all worth it.

Thanks to Greg C. for allowing Kristin and I to stay at your lovely condo in Barlett, NH and thanks to Terry, Ben, Matt, Mark, and their ladies for inviting myself, the lovely and talented Kristin, and Brad K to dinner and drinks...we had a great time and hope to see everyone next year!


Pre-race strider photo opp... JJ, Chris Chetsas, Sarah Prescott....

Merrimack Valley Strider finishers:

JIM JOHNSON - Time: 1:10:06 - Gender Finish: 33 - Div. Finish 22
BRAD KLINEDINST - Time: 1:10:16 - Gender Finish: 34 - Div. Finish 23
CHARLES NASSER - Time: 1:32:17 - Gender Finish: 164 - Div. Finish 22
NEIL AMIDON - Time: 1:35:06 - Gender Finish: 189 - Div. Finish 35
ROBERT LUSSIER - Time: 1:36:52 - Gender Finish: 216 - Div. Finish 27
DAVID DARGIE - Time: 1:40:17 - Gender Finish: 274 - Div. Finish 40
ERIC CUSHING - Time: 1:40:18 - Gender Finish: 275 - Div. Finish 42
SARAH PRESCOTT - Time: 1:43:28 - Gender Finish: 65 - Div. Finish 14
CHRIS CHETSAS - Time: 1:49:03 - Gender Finish: 375 - Div. Finish 60
JOELLE MICHIGAN - Time: 2:00:37 - Gender Finish: 132 - Div. Finish 20
STEVE WEITZLER - Time: 2:04:28 - Gender Finish: 545 - Div. Finish 94
JOCELYN MARION - Time: 2:09:55 - Gender Finish: 163 - Div. Finish 25
BARBARA ALEXI - Time: 2:30:57 - Gender Finish: 198 - Div. Finish 23
JAMES LAPREL - Time: 2:33:41 - Gender Finish: 632 - Div. Finish 112

As a Team:

MERRIMACK VALLEY STRIDERS

MVS Men's Open (top 5 score) - 8th out of 23 teams:

1:10:06 1:10:16 1:32:17 1:35:06 1:36:52 (1:40:17) (1:40:18) = 7:04:37
James Johnson, Bradford Klinedinst, Charles Nasser, Neil Amidon, Robert Lussier, David Dargie, Eric Cushing

MVS Women's Open (top 3 score) - 16 of 18 teams:

1:43:28 2:00:37 2:09:55 (2:30:57) = 5:54:00
Sarah Prescott, Joelle Michigan, Jocelyn Marion, Barbara Alexi

Post-race strider photo opp at the summit

Also, special thanks to Marshall, Herb, Charlie, and the rest of the water stop crew at mile 2.5... It was very helpful to have some teammates out on the course cheering us on and supporting the Striders!

Photos:

SmugMug Gallery

All images by the lovely and talented Kristin.

Videos:

Pre-Race Video including some shots as Kristin ascended the Auto Road in our rental (strongly recommended that you don't take your own car up this thing), and also some shots around the summit as she waited for the 855 brave souls to get to the top...



Credits:
Photos: The lovely and talented Kristin
Music: Midnight Oil - "King of the Mountain" (1990)
Video Production: Me.

In-Race Video - Sub 1:10 runners



Credits:
Photos: The lovely and talented Kristin
Music: - The Shamen - "Move Any Mountain" (1991)
Video Production: Me.

Post-Race Video including Striders at the summit, on the way down the Auto Road, the festivities at the post race party, and the awards ceremony...



Credits:
Photos: The lovely and talented Kristin
Music: - Jane's Addiction - "Mountain Song" (1988)
Video Production: Me.



Other Links:

Eagle-Tribune Article:
http://www.eagletribune.com/pusports/local_story_174010505.html

Coolrunning's race report:
http://www.coolrunning.com/engine/3/3_1/48th-mt-washington-road-r.shtml

Coolrunning official results: http://www.coolrunning.com/results/08/nh/Jun21_48thMo_set1.shtml

YouTube Race Start:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NOMno01-vEc


...more to come...I'll update as I come across other photos/videos...

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Weekly Training - 06/16/08 - 06/22/08

Weekly Training for 06/16/08 - 06/22/08 - Total: 60 miles run (6 days)

Took a rest day on Monday with work being busy and construction being done on the house... Have had some back spasm issues last couple days leading up to this week, but nothing bad. The rest on Monday made a noticeable difference (with running early on Sunday morning, then not again until late Tuesday, it made it feel like 2 days off)... My focus this week was just being healthy for Washington...whether I was 'in shape' or not for it was another story...but being injury free going up there is crucial.

Monday - off.
Tuesday - 6:30pm - (10.5 miles) - 1:13:09 - medium - Salem, Methuen, Haverhill (roads) - solo.
Wednesday - 6:30pm - (10.5 miles) - 1:11:42 - medium - Salem, Methuen, Haverhill (roads) - solo.
Thursday - 5:30pm - (10.5 miles) - 1:12:59 - medium - Andover (roads and trails) - with Jon Healey, Chris Healey, Matt Pimentel.
Friday - 12:00pm - (8.5 miles) - 57:37 - medium - Salem, Methuen, Haverhill (roads) to pick up rental car.. - solo.
Saturday - 2+ w/up total around base of Mt. Washington with Chris Chetsas, Sarah Prescott + some general loosening up (not sure why)... + Race (Mt. Washington - 7.6 miles) - Total 10
Sunday - 6:00pm - (10 miles) - forgot watch... ran back from rental car place in Haverhill - medium/easy - Haverhill, Methuen, Salem - solo.

Approx. mileage for the week....~ 60 miles running

Working on Washington writeup for this week...I should have that up within a day or two... very tired right now.. it was a long (fun) weekend for sure....

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Weekly Training - 06/09/08 - 06/15/08

Weekly Training for 06/09/08 - 06/15/08 - Total: 75 miles run 20 miles bike (2 days)

Monday - 1:00pm (4.5 mile run) - 32:30 - medium/easy - Salem NH (trails) - Salem Town Forest (solo). 6:00pm - (11.5 mile run) - 78:00 - medium/easy - Salem, Methuen, Pelham (roads) - solo. - Daily Total: 16 miles.
Tuesday - 2:30pm (8 mile run) - 57:18 - medium - Salem, Methuen, Haverhill (roads) - solo. - 7:45pm (8 mile bike - roads).
Wednesday - 5:30pm (14 mile run) - 1:41:54 - medium - Salem, Methuen, Haverhill (roads) - solo & some w/ Scott Masse & Sarah Prescott & another strider I hadn't met before...
Thursday - 6:30pm (8 mile run) - 58:00 - medium- Salem, Methuen, Haverhill (roads) - solo.
Friday - 6:00pm (4 mile shakeout) - 29:30 - easy - Salem, Methuen (roads) - solo.
Saturday - 3 mile w/up + 10K race (Market Square 10K - 33:01 - 4th) + 3 mile c/down - Total: 12 miles.
Sunday - 8:00am (13 mile run) - 1:33:05 - medium - Bradley Palmer State Forest - Topsfield, Hamilton (trails) w/ Dan Verrington, Dave Quintal, Mark Behan.


Approx. mileage for the week....~ 75 miles running - 20 miles bike (2 days)


6 days until Washington...

Saturday, June 14, 2008

2008 Market Square Day 10K

Sunday it was once again time for the Market Square Day 10K (results) in Portsmouth, NH... The 3rd race in the 2008 Seacoast Road Race Series. This year, the weather was better...not for racing, but for just being outside at the festival. It wasn't too hot at race time and only a little bit of wind near the very end of the race. Pretty much a perfect day to run mediocre...but then again, when I psyche myself up into thinking that 10K is twice as long as I can race, chances are I won't have a good race....This one I'll take though because after all, I ran faster than my previous attempt at a 10K (NE XC last fall) so I can't complain (as much as I usually do). Going into this I realized that 6 of my last 7 races were all only 5ks (with the other of the 7 being a 6k)... So this one was going to feel a lot different. I realized that at about 3 miles (right after I almost got hit by a car...long story)... Again, I was pleased to see CMS jersey's out in force which means that Danny V was around... My saving grace for even attempting to run a good time, is to keep him in view because I know he's going to have a good race. That held true again today, as I tried to stay with him for the first couple of miles. I found myself behind him at 2 and and then started to lose him by 3. At 5 I was probably as far back as I was going to get, at about 20-30 yards or so. Looking up, we could see Wilson Perez just about the entire race, but Mark Miller (winner in '07) and eventual winner Joseph Ekuom (NY) were nowhere in sight (thats what happens I guess when people run 31 & change and you run 33).... Right at the 6 mile mark (exactly in front of the clock), I started my surge for the line and passed Dan, whom I credit for once again doing all of the work the previous 6 miles... I finished right at 33:01 and in 4th place overall.


Stats:

- Individual Place: 4th (of 1536 runners)
- Time: 33:00 - Net Time / 33:01 - Gun Time (a few rows back at start)
- Team Place: 1st (of 17)
- First in Age Group (30-39) (excluding top 3 places)...nice medal with purple and white ribbon. Last year it was green...

10K Splits (suspect placement of mile markers/clocks):

Mile 1: 5:15
Mile 2: 5:12 (10:27)
Mile 3: 5:13 (15:41)
5k: (16:26)
Mile 4: 5:37 (21:19)
Mile 5: 5:19 (26:39)
Mile 6: 5:19 (31:59)
10k: 33:01

1st 5k - 16:26 / 2nd 5k - 16:35



Team Place:

1. MERRIMACK VALLEY STRIDERS 33:00 35:03 36:12 38:40 45:58 ( 50:02) ( 53:18) = 3:08:53 Jim Johnson, Lars Bjune, Caroline Bjune, Bob Dubois, Mark Zytkovicz, Ernie Fredericks, Pamela Rivet

MVS Open teammate Lars Bjune ran really well today at 35:03 (10th place overall)... improving his time and place from last year at this race by 1:07 and 10 places respectively. His wife and 2008 Olympic trial marathon qualifyer Caroline Bjune also ran a tremendous race today finishing in 17th place overall / 2nd for Women at 36:13...and improvement from last year (when she won this race) of 14 seconds at 4 overall places.

Our actual time as a team would have been faster (place wouldn't have changed) had they correctly identified Scott Masse (also at 45:58) as being an MVS team member. It would have helped if he was wearing his MVS SINGLET!!! ;)

Which brings me to some pictures from the lovely and talented Kristin who was under the weather today but still managed a couple of shots of the beginning and end of the race. Check out the usual location for these pictures on my Flickr page [photo set] and [slideshow] ... Kristin and I did some walking around / shopping / ice cream eating /etc. afterwards...all in all a good day. My parents also got to go which was a treat. Like old times...except now I'm old.


Also, more fun with Animoto... check out my 2nd video below:



Credits:
Photos: The lovely and talented Kristin and My Mom (who is also lovely and talented)...
Music: The Cult - "She Sells Sanctuary" (1985)
Video Production: Me.

.....Washington in one week! Yikes.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Animoto Video #1 - Redhook

Here is my first attempt at a video of some racing photos Kristin took. I was originally going to do this by hand using Adobe Premiere and some other freebies I get for being an 'inside man'...but I found a very cool shortcut via the guys over at Animoto (found this via Jim Schley's site where he used Animoto for some skiing footage)... I took the Redhook 5k as my first example, and Animoto ties very nicely into just about any blog/networking/ and photo sharing site you can think of... I was able to tie their service directly into my Flickr account to pluck images from...very cool I must say. I'll work on Rhody sometime soon and post that as well. Hope I don't get sued by the Boss for using his tuneage...


Sunday, June 8, 2008

Weekly Training - 06/02/08 - 06/08/08

Weekly Training for 06/02/08 - 06/08/08 - Total: 61.5 miles run 25 miles bike

Put in a few less miles this week by biking on Sunday (25 miles total trip from Salem NH to my sisters house in N. Andover). My lower back was real stiff after my run on Saturday. I struggled with sleep on Sat. night and wanted to take it easier on Sunday with the heat (in the 90s outside). Looking forward to the usual miles this week and then Market Square 10k on Saturday. It should be a good race again this year, as I know R.UN's Ben Ndaya (this weeks winner of the Hollis 5k) is going after the $500 top prize along with many of the usual suspects I'm sure...

Monday - 3:26pm - (8 miles) (forgot watch) - medium/easy - Andover (trails) - w/ Dave Dunham and Dan Verrington.
Tuesday - 6:00pm - (12 miles) - 1:17:20 - medium - Salem, Methuen, Pelham (roads) - solo.
Wednesday - (8 miles) (58:00) - medium - Salem, Methuen, Pelham (roads) - solo.
Thursday - 5:30pm - 3+ mile w/up w/ strides + 5k - Hollis Apple Fest 5k - Hollis, NH (4th place - 14:55) + 3 mile c/down with Ray Joseph and Charles Thoms - Total - 10
Friday - 5:00pm - (12 miles) - 1:21:42 - medium/easy - Salem, Methuen, Pelham (roads) - solo.
Saturday - 12:30pm (11.5 miles) - 1:11:40 - medium - Salem, Methuen, Haverhill (roads) - solo (90+ degrees).
Sunday - 2:00pm (25 mile bike) - Salem, Methuen, Lawrence, North Andover (roads) - solo.

[Race Report]


4th Annual Apple Country Fast 5k in Hollis, NH on Thursday night (6/05/08). 4th place - 14:55. First time covering the 5k distance in under 15 minutes. The downhills helped. Was reeling in Eric Blake (23rd at 2008 Boston Marathon - 2:24:30) at the end but I ran out of race. Very fast course. 2nd mile has a huge drop. 224 ft. total elevation change from start to finish. Newly certified course (different than past 3 years) and perhaps the fastest 5k in New England. Nate ran 13:46 last year (but the course is slightly different now). This course is NOT eligible for NH State records however, because of the excessive drop, but the course is certified for distance. I recommend if you want to easily PR in a 5k, you check this out. It's not entirely downhill per se (as the very beginning and very end are slightly uphill, and there are varying flat stretches throughout) but the stretches that are downhill are awesome. Good workout if anything... This year there was no race day registration, so if you are looking at this for next year, keep an early eye out for it and pre-register.

Oh yeah, I love age groups. Especially 5 year spreads like 30-34.

5k Splits:

Mile 1: 4:42
Mile 2: 4:47 (9:30)
Mile 3: 4:57 (14:28)
.1 (27)

1) 14:28.1 (4:41 pace) - BENJAMIN NDAYA - 32 - LOWELL MA
2) 14:52.2 (4:48 pace) - NICK KARWOSKI - 19 - HOLLIS NH
3) 14:55.0 (4:49 pace) - ERIC BLAKE - 29 - NEW BRITAN CT
4) 14:55.8 (4:49 pace) - JIM JOHNSON - 31 - SALEM NH

(full results) ................

Approx. mileage for the week....~ 61.5 miles running - 25 miles bike (1 day)

13 days until Washington...

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

2008 Rhody 5k

Sunday I ran in the Rhody 5k (results) which was this year's USATF-NE Grand Prix 5k Championship. The race was at Twin River Casino & Dog Track down in Lincoln RI. It was pretty hot by race time and there wasn't one second of shade on the entire course. I think this was the main factor that led to a fairly slow field for a championship 5k, with the winning time (Pat Moulton) at only 15:02 (don't get me wrong, I'd kill for that time)... The interesting part of the course is definitely the end, which has you finishing on the actual greyhound track. The best part of the entire day was the food spread at the end. I'd say it was the best I've seen so far since coming back...

Needless to say I was pretty beat going into the race, from lack of sleep between Friday night and Sunday morning, but I still managed a decent race (far better than I was expecting)....

The MVS men's open team had another strong performance, finishing 3rd overall behind BAA and CMS. We managed to just squeak by Whirlaway (by 10 seconds total) and GBTC. This makes it currently a 3 way tie for 2nd place in the USATF NE overall team standings:

As of race #3 in the 2008 Grand Prix series....the top 5 teams so far:

BOSTON ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION 22 + 15 + 16 = 53
MERRIMACK VALLEY STRIDERS 19 + 12 + 14 = 45
WHIRLAWAY RACING TEAM 20 + 13 + 12 = 45
GREATER BOSTON TRACK CLUB 21 + 11 + 13 = 45
CENTRAL MASS STRIDERS 15 + 14 + 15 = 44

Rhody Stats:

My Race: 24th overall - 15:44 (5:04 pace)

5k Splits:

Mile 1: 4:57
Mile 2: 5:10 (10:07)
Mile 3: 5:05 (15:13)
.1 - :31

MVS Men's Open - Third Place:

15:34 15:44 15:44 16:03 16:07 (17:18) (18:57) = 1:19:12 Dan Vassallo, Jim Johnson, Jon Healey, Matthew Pimentel, Bradford Klinedinst, Lars Bjune, Tom Kinneman

Flickr photos:

Men's Race: Set and slideshow (198 photos)
Women's Race: Set and slideshow (83 photos)

All photos by the lovely and talented Kristin. You may be wondering where I am in the photos (again)...it's the curse of the black jersey I've been wearing!!! You can see my forehead in a couple of them, but that is it. I had to steal the one above from another website...

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Weekly Training 05/26/08 - 06/01/08

Weekly Training for 05/12/08 - 06/01/08 - Total: 66 Miles

Wednesday was supposed to be my long day, but a last second call with Celtics (game 5) tickets led to only a quick 10.5 mile run (so the weekly total was a lot lower than I was hoping for). Friday night I got about 2 hours of sleep (don't ask) and Saturday I was down in Pembroke MA for a graduation and wedding, so I was lucky to get the 6 that I actually got in (which was supposed to only be 4, but I got lost)...Ran better than I was expecting on Sunday at Rhody, considering I got 8 hrs of sleep in the previous two nights (neither one in an actual bed)... Race writeup and pictures coming hopefully tomorrow...right now I'm wiped.

Post race (Rhody 5k) photo of Bradford Klinedinst and yours truly enjoying some grub, courtesy of Tom Licciardello.

Monday - 5:30pm - (11.5 miles) - 1:17:15 - medium/easy - Salem, Methuen, Pelham (roads) - solo.
Tuesday - 4:30pm - (10 miles) - 69:00 - medium - Andover (roads/trails) - with Jon Healey, Chris Healey, Matt Pimentel.
Wednesday - 5:00pm - (10.5 miles) - 70:29 - medium - Salem, Methuen, Haverhill (roads) - solo.
Thursday - 7:00pm - (8 miles) - 56:46 - medium - Salem, Methuen, Haverhill (roads) - solo.
Friday - 5:00pm - (10 miles) - 70:32 - medium - Salem, Methuen, Haverhill (roads) - solo.
Saturday - 5:00pm - (6 miles) - 47:02 - medium/easy - Pembroke, Duxbury MA (roads) - solo.
Sunday - 8:30am - 3+ w/up w/ MVS team + Rhody 5k (15:44 - 23rd) - Lincoln, RI + 3+ c/dwn w/ CMS dudes - Total 10 6:30pm - Bike - 14 miles w/ Kristin.

Approx. mileage for the week....~ 66 miles running - 14 miles bike (1 day...finally got my bike!)...