Friday, August 29, 2008
If I come across any photos from this race other than these, I'll throw them up here and update this...for now this is all I have... You can actually see my suckin' wind in background of the photo of Mayall winning the race on the Coolrunning results page... Thats the only visual evidence I know of so far...
The splits - 5k - 15:44 (5:05 pace) - 2nd of 264
Mile 1) 4:57
Mile 2) 5:06 (10:04)
Mile 3) 5:10 (15:14)
last .1) :29 (15:44)
Now on to Portsmouth once more for the St Charles Children's Home 5k Road Race at Pease A.F.B. on Monday morning...
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Photo on left by Dave Dunham.
As usual, I was the lone ('token') MVS men's runner...Julie Hanover (a frequent MVS XC and track competitor) was representing the women's team (solo) as usual again... Other clubs like SISU, CMS, GBTC, and BAA were out in full force. CMS and BAA even had an open AND masters team... Where oh' where are all the red jerseys? This race was 20 minutes from Andover!!! Anyways..back to the race...
The course starts out on a gravel path, turns into a thin, single dirt path with grass on either side, and then hits the woods not even a half mile in, onto single wide (in some spots) trails. The trails open up a bit during the course and quickly close up again without warning. This became more of a trail race than XC, but the start and finish felt very much like XC... The course was super-well marked and well staffed. The festivities began with a heart-felt rendition of the National Anthem by Mike Mahon (hear him as Mike 'The Can Man' on WAAF from Friday as he discusses the XC season and some Olympic performances as well as some movie reviews)... I've known Mike through his many informative and knowledgeable articles in the paper and gads of appearances at various XC races all over the joint...This dude is dedicated and passionate about the sport for sure... Over 1000 XC races and counting for this guy and he helped kick off the race in style...Thanks Mike. Photo above, of the Can Man signing my bib before the race...
The race went out super fast... No mile markers actually makes you run faster...I'm sure of it. Not knowing what you went through the first mile in, is great...You don't slow down to conserve or back off while thinking about pace....you just hammer. I went out with a pack of runners that included Ryan Cararra (NB Boston), Mario Fraioli (NB Boston), a BAA dude, Matt Germain (SISU), Ryan Miller (SISU), Matt Haringa (GBTC), Joe Shairs (CMS), and Ben Strain (CMS) who battled up front, led for the first mile, and regained the lead during mile 2 before falling back just a bit. Through mile 2, I was riding 4th behind the New Balance boys and a guy from BAA. Coming out of the woods and onto the last field to the finish, I looked over my shoulder and could see Ryan Miller coming for me... My goal (luckily succeeded) was to hold him off on the last straight and take 4th...Good to see Ryan back to form...
The race shirt was cool...a gray technical shirt from Saucony with a hand drawn design by a couple of young kids on the front... At the end of the race, they gave out 2008 Boston Marathon Jackets to all finishers and also 2008 Boston Marathon Adidas long sleeves... I also won the always important 30-39 age group and received (now get ready for this....drum roll please....the irony is truly fantastic for this....) a GoLite Hydration Belt. I'll remember that next year for Savoy :)...
The race was super fast and conditions couldn't have been any better. Hardly any mud, practically completely dry, TONS of shade (it was hot, but most of the race was completely under tree canopy), and fairly well groomed trails. There were a couple of spots that were rocky and rooty (if that is a word)...but all in all the course was pretty fast (again, this wasn't supposed to be a 'trail' race...This is Cross Country season again! Yeah!).
18:20 (for a 6K PR) - 4th overall place and 4:57 pace per mile. I think the fitness is finally coming around for anything 10K and under...
The lovely and talented Kristin (just back fresh from her world travels) again took a fantastic group of photos that can be seen here (SmugMug)...
Video and soothing commentary by Dave Dunham (who suffered a very bad ankle sprain on Friday's run and couldn't compete today)...
Next up, Magnolia 5K in Gloucester (Magnolia) MA on Thursday night... Mike Masse... Bring your dancin' shoes!
Friday, August 22, 2008
I went out pretty conservative (relatively speaking) and sat behind a few guys while Kevin Alliette just took it out and ran his own race up front. He eventually had a huge lead by about 2 miles or so. I ran with Ian Nurse, Nate Huppe, and Dan Princic for a while, while a couple of other guys ran between our chase pack and Kevin. By 3 miles I was in 4th behind Ian and a runner from Louisiana (Matt Manning) who where running side by side, and Kevin who was way up front. By mile 5, I was gaining on 2nd and 3rd and we were all gaining on Kevin, but in the end, the placement stayed the same with all of us coming across in just a 34 second spread. Not a bad effort at all and I got my points again for the series...This is also my fastest 10K since coming back (so a 30+ PR)... by a few seconds...Still want to get faster, but I have to take this as a plus, as I haven't run faster than this since the mid 90s...
Race writeup from Seacoast Online here.
Race writeup from Fosters here.
10k Splits (32:58 - 5:18 pace - 4th overall out of 771):
Mile 1: 5:15
Mile 2: 5:21 (10:37)
Mile 3: 5:23 (16:00)
Mile 4: 5:17 (21:17)
Mile 5: 5:14 (26:31)
Mile 6.2: 6:27 (32:58)
There was also an MVS sweep on the women's side...congrats to Kara, Melissa, and Tina! ...as well as the rest of a very good MVS showing for both the Men and Women...
Next up...2 days of easy mileage and then the Chambo XC race on Sunday...
Photos by Jim Rhoades
Monday, August 18, 2008
Let's just put it this way...before we get to the race writeup... in no way was this race 20 miles. They revamped the course this year to make it 2 '10 mile' loops. 10 is closer to being right than 5 would be...so I guess that's good...but there was talk of this being even closer to 24 (even from the race director)... so they are in the process of wheeling it to the best of their ability to get a more accurate account of the distance. That could take some time. The mud was ridiculous. No wheel I know of can get past certain parts of this course with any sort of accuracy. Current Trail Map here.
Loop 1: The race started out with cannon fire (yes, cannon fire) which was pretty cool.... I crept right up and tucked behind Kent Lemme for the first 6 or so minutes, then decided (incorrectly) that the pace was too slow. So I busted around and took the lead. Big mistake. For a while I was chugging along and feeling real good...even on the ups I was moving at a really good clip... I then took a wrong turn at the first water stop and to my dismay, received no direction from the 2 people sitting there...they just watched me go across the street and try to dip into the woods in the complete opposite direction from where I should have been going... No problem though...only 20-30 seconds of weirdness there... I then got back on the right track and chugged along again until all of the sudden I came to a section with no visible markers...I continued on what looked to be the trail and then at the top of this hill, it ended. I began to freak out. Screaming and yelling I ran aimlessly around looking for the trail or any visible flags that were all along the course (except for this part)... All the while, realizing that every second I screwed around, I was getting caught by the field. I finally found the trail and began running and then to my dismay, ran directly into the field. I was going the wrong way. I began to shout all sorts of expletives at this point and turned around and sprinted back up the hill. I then saw a tiny arrow on a tree that basically pointed straight ahead even though the trail went left. There WAS a trail that way, it just was a much smaller and less visible trail that led to this mass confusion (part 1). After collecting my thoughts and sprinting ahead for a bit, I again, took a wrong turn for a minute or so up another section that looked like the trail. Again, the markers were very confusing. After correcting that mistake, I came to the climb up to the summit, which is a pretty technical rock climb that stops you dead in your tracks and forces you to climb up the face of this cliff that I probably wouldn't even try if I was just out for a leisurely hike.... Once at the top, the view is absolutely breathtaking...but I had no time to screw around up there....it was immediately down and onward. The mud through the first loop was bad. well over a foot + deep in some sections and those sections would be 10-20 yards long in some spots... A couple of times I dipped down almost to my waist in both mud and a couple of the water crossings that were MUCH deeper than I was expecting. Speaking of water...I neglected to take water from the '2.0' (using the distances loosely here) mile stop, the unmanned (10 one-gallon jugs) 4.5 mile water stop, or the '8.0' mile manned station (which had water and food). I just kept chugging along thinking I was almost done with the first loop.... Then horror. I kept running and running and the time on my watch kept getting longer and longer....eventually I came through '10' miles in 1:26. I knew then, 2 things.....1) the loop was long and 2) I was in huge trouble. I had built up an 8 minute lead over Kent Lemme, but that was soon to change.
Loop 2: Once through the half way point, I just could not fathom how I was going to do it again. It's probably as bad as having to do a 3rd loop at Cranmore next year... This time through I knew I had slowed down considerably. I also knew that I couldn't wait for the water stop. It also became very apparent that I had numerous blisters on both feet that were going to affect my upcoming races this week.... I also became very aware that I was dehydrated and needed food badly. I couldn't wait for the water stops. I found myself walking up inclines very early in the second loop. It came to the point where I ran up very few inclines over the last '10' miles. Walking was slowly killing my lead and for a while I knew my race was probably over. I came across the first water stop at 2.0 miles and kept going because it was positioned weird and at that point, I didn't want to stop and thought I could make it to the next one at 4.5. I almost didn't. I then came up on the EXACT SAME section I got very lost on the first time and again (part 2) ran up the wrong way and this time, got WAY lost. I was literally bounding through the woods way off of any trail, looking frantically for any markers. This was a good 2+ minutes of wandering around. I couldn't even find the way I came in. Finally, I got back on the trail and right in front of that damn little arrow again that was completely confusing and frustrating because it was the same area as the first time. Onward I pushed...I got to the second unmanned water stop and picked up a jug and just stood there looking back down the trail waiting for the pack to come get me....nothing yet. I collected myself and started to go again, but only could run a few steps before I started to bonk and completely lose it. I began to stagger around and lose all focus of where I was going. My thoughts only focused around food...eating something and everything at the finish...stopping at every restaurant on the way home and pigging out.... stuffing my face...jumping into a big room full of hamburgers and hot dogs....all sorts of weird stuff... that's when I began to fall down. Repeatedly. I fell down completely on my face and hands 7 times on the second loop. I never fell once on the first loop. I began walking so much I was sure I would either barely finish, need someone to come get me, or at the very least not even make the top 10. A couple of times, I just stopped and stood there...looking around... wondering what I was doing and why. What was really annoying was that at each time I stopped to get a rest, when I started again, I had no more energy than when I stopped. I barely made it up the summit climb and was able to recklessly stumble down all the downhills. Shortly after climbing down, I became so desperate I started to pluck leaves off of trees and eat them...not a good idea. DON'T do this. The leaves immediately take any and all moisture you have in your mouth.... When I finally hit the last water stop at '8' miles I was delusional. I stopped and reached for a sports drink and knocked about 5 or 6 waters off the table. I then popped in a couple of fig newtons which I was hesitant on doing because I've never eaten anything IN a race before (even a gel). That may have allowed me to finish however. Even a couple of fig newtons and some water and what I think was Powerade didn't re-energize me for long. Pretty soon I found myself in trouble again and walking...just looking behind me and waiting.... eventually I came up on the road and knew I was going to make it...I dug down and was able to run the last quarter mile up to the start/finish area and through in a blistering 3:18:04. Full Results here. Kent Lemme came in at 3:20:04...widdling my 8 minute lead down to 2 over the last loop.
Post Race: I then experienced 90 or so minutes of what UFO abductees refer to as 'lost time'...I don't remember much. My speech was slurred and I couldn't think straight at all... trying to answer questions from the volunteers became difficult. One asked me where I was from and I couldn't remember. I actually remember not being able to recall where I had just driven 2 and 1/2 hours from.... I sat down and tried to eat but just felt like passing out. I needed to lay down but instead just plopped my head down on the picnic table and may have passed out or fell asleep for an unknown amount of time.... the race staff was great...bringing me food and water, helping me sit up, and keeping me with the program mentally, so I wouldn't check out. I forced about a gallon of fluids down (water and Powerade) as well as 2 pieces of watermelon, 2 pieces of zucchini bread, chips, a hot dog, some sort of pasta salad, and a muffin. Then I got the chills really bad (85 degrees out) and the shakes. They helped me to my car where I peeled off my shoes and the ankle tape, revealing the horror that was my feet, and then laid down for about an hour and fell asleep. 3 people came to check on me and advised me from driving home. I slept for a while and then got back up, changed my clothes, and staggered over to the finish line (where people were still coming in up past the 7 hour mark) and ate some more food.
After sitting with Abby Woods and Tim Mahoney for a while (Tim nursing some severe muscle spasms/cramps and post race sickness), I filled up my water bottle, took another muffin, and hit the road for my 2 and 1/2 hour ride home. I dosed off a good half-dozen times but made it home in once piece. Even after all the food and water, when I got home I hopped on the scale and was shocked to see 135 lbs (the lower end of my normal weight range on a normal day after eating not nearly as much as I did after the race). I was sub 130 easily at the finish of the race.... After a couple of longer runs in really hot weather in the past year or so, I've seen 129 lbs once or twice...but this had to be a new low in my adult life...I think I put a good 5 lbs of fluids in my system alone, not including the pig-out session that followed. Not good.
Lessons learned here.... no more 20+ mile trail races for me....carry some sort of water / fluids or gel with me when I know I'm going to be running for 3+ hours....lube up the feet before doing any sort of trail races in the future....and Bay State is going to s*ck... Now on to Thursday's Saunders 10K...I hope I can walk right by then. That may be a 'sh*tshow' (a common term heard mumbled by Matt Pimentel when he knows a race is not going to go well)...
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
The Ammonoosuc trailhead runs right from the Cog parking lot and climbs up to the Lakes of the Clouds hut. From there, it continues up on the Crawford Path to the summit. The trail was fairly muddy and we stopped for a bit to take photos along the way and to rest (Kristin was having knee issues on the way up). We hung out for a bit and used the facilities at the Lake of the Clouds hut and then headed up to the summit. With the breaks, we did the 4.4 miles in just about 3 hours and 30 minutes. As we got to the top, a mass of dark clouds and fog rolled up and in, basically blocking any views over Tuckerman. Looking out over the 302 side, it was cloudy up high, but we still had clear views across the valley. We walked around up at the top for a bit and showed her Dad around. We then had lunch on the top and perused the gift shop before deciding to take the Jewel trail down instead of going back the way we came. The reason for this is because it was evident that it was going to start to pour on us on the way down...and coming up was slippery enough already. We started down the Crawford Path to the Gulfside trail which cuts over and picks up the Jewel trail which winds down on the other side of the Cog tracks and back down to the parking lot off of Rt 302. This route was longer, but obviously not as steep once we got back down below the alpine zone. As we were cutting across the Gulfside trail the black clouds rolled in and it began to pour and hail on us for about a half hour or so...enough to soak us, all our gear, and the entire trail the rest of the way down. That aside, we came down in 2:45 (5 Miles total on the way down).
We also had another hiker tag along (we met her on the way up fairly early)...she was from Canada and was doing this hike solo so she joined us for our trip up, lunch at the top, and the hike down.
As soon as we got back out onto route 302 and started the ride home, the rain began to come down....It poured the entire way home...but we were lucky enough to get the hike in....
I took a short video clip of the Cog Railway chugging up the mountain from the Gulfside Trail on the way down (which actually crosses up and over the tracks). It was just starting to rain as I filmed this....then it got much worse.
Photos from the hike are posted here (Smugmug).
Sunday, August 10, 2008
JIM JOHNSON, BRIAN REEVES, GLENN SIMM, CHRISTOPHER CHETSAS, KYLE REEVES, SCOTT MASSE, DANIEL HILL
Before we left for the trek down, we came across another hiker who graciously took a group photo. Thanks to Dave D. for this picture.
L-R (Back row): Dan Verrington, Jim Pawlicki, Dave Quintal, Kevin Tilton, Jim Johnson, Dan Ostiguy, Tim Mahoney. (Front row): Dave Dunham, Matt St. Germaine, Justin Fyffe, Tim VanOrden, Ben Strain.
Professional race/event photographer (and cool dude) Scott Mason also has awesome (in-race) photos from the start, the hill, and the finish bridge at his site: http://www.scottmasonphoto.com/
Saturday, August 2, 2008
5 Mile Splits (26:16 - 5:16 pace):
4:56 (markers had to have been off)
5:38 (again, mile one was off) (10:34)
Stopped my watch after the mat (the race was hand timed) and was at 26:13. They had me officially at 26:16. Generally I get ripped off by 1-2 seconds...this time it was 3...but no matter... I missed the record anyways...maybe next year.
Past 5 Mile winning times (14 year history...incomplete):
2008 - Jim Johnson - Salem, NH - 26:16
2007 - Tim Rider - Dover, NH - 26:08 (CR)
2006 - Patrick Ard - Kingston, NH - 26:45
2005 - Randy McNeill - Epping, NH - 27:29
2004 - Weston Forsblad - Danville, NH - 28:46
2003 - Weston Forsblad - Danville, NH - 29:40
2002 - ?????
2001 - Craig Fram - Plaistow, NH - 26:24
2000 - Jim Van Cleave - Jacksonville, FL - 29:14
1999 - Ross Huntington - Hampstead, NH - 32:08
1998 - ?????
1997 - ?????
1996 - ?????
1995 - ?????
This race was part of Kingston Days, which looked to be a cool little town festival right in the town park in front of the fire station... Too bad the weather wasn't going to be the greatest today.
Now on to Bridge of Flowers next week...ho hum...