Sunday, March 29, 2009

Eastern States 20 Miler

The journey back to some sort of fitness has to be near the end as I ran a strong race today and am pleased with the outcome.  This was my first race and real hard effort since March 1st.  The Eastern States 20 Miler (results) runs from Kittery, ME, through 5 NH towns and ends in Salisbury, MA (3 states, 7 towns, 20 miles).  The weather was not really on our side today but at times, the tail wind really helped.  It was very windy overall, but it seemed like we had a tailwind up each hill, which is fine with me.  The rain and cold temps made it pretty unpleasant at times, but it didn't stop the young guy on the left from breaking the course record (which he already owned).  Casey Moulton blazed a 1:45:40 (5:17 pace) over the 20 mile rolly, rainy, and windy course to crush the field and whoop my ancient arse by 11 minutes.  But I am still pleased with my 1:56:31, which is 1:06 faster than I ran last year in ideal conditions.  I'll take that as a sign that my fitness coming off the injury and illness isn't as bad as I thought it was.  I felt very strong for about 14 or 15 miles. I was just out there running in my comfort zone and at my pace (though I stayed with a couple of GBTC guys, Junyong Pak, and Ryan Aschbrenner for the first 6 miles).  At 10 miles I was pleased to see my time in the mid 56 min range, and then a volunteer leaned into me to give me a cup of red Gatorade and drenched me. The entire cup (and that thing was full) went straight into my chest.  At the finish, race director Don Allison thought for a second it was blood as I came across the line.  It was all over my new WHITE t-shirt that I wore...figures.   At about 15 I lost my groove and started to slow considerably....  Not sure what it was, but I'm thinking that the fact that 15 is basically my long run has something to do with it :).  The wheels came shooting off but I still maintained an ok clip and ran in 5th place for 18 miles until the 5th place guy came out of absolutely nowhere and screwed by me like I was standing still.  I would love to see what he ran for splits.  I looked behind me for 15 miles and never saw anyone.  3 miles later, I'm in 6th.  But I'll take it for sure.  It was the same exact place I finished last year...but the fact that I finished this race with no major issues and actually ran over a minute faster than in 2008, really boosts my confidence.   I had back tightness and hamstring, calf, and foot pain for the last 7 or so miles, but that is to be expected.  It wasn't anything I couldn't handle.   For a little bit (around the halfway point and right after I had a nice new pink shirt on) I felt my hamstrings start to bark a little bit up high...and I tried to relax a bit.  It never got any worse than that, but the banged up marathon legs started to show signs near the end...I'll probably be running very slow over the next couple of days for sure...

The splits:

Mile 01) 5:35
Mile 02) 5:38 (11:13)
Mile 03) 5:38 (16:51)
Mile 04) 5:30 (22:22)
Mile 05) 5:41 (28:03)
Mile 06) 5:44 (33:48)
Mile 07) 5:38 (39:26)
Mile 08) 5:38 (45:04)
Mile 09) 5:43 (50:47)
Mile 10) 5:43 (56:30)
Mile 11) 5:46 (1:02:17)
Mile 12) 5:49 (1:08:06)
Mile 13) 5:53 (1:14:00)
Mile 14) 5:48 (1:19:48)
Mile 15) 6:02 (1:25:51)
Mile 16) 6:02 (1:31:54)
Mile 17) 6:10 (1:38:04)
Mile 18) 6:22 (1:44:27)
Mile 19) 5:51 (1:50:19)
Mile 20) 6:12 (1:56:31)

Special Thanks to Steve Wolfe who was my ride back up to Kittery after the race.  I met Steve this morning before the race in Salisbury.  We left his car right next to the finish line and I drove us up to the start.  We then hopped in his car afterwards and shot back up to Kittery to get my car, then back down to Hampton for the post race festivities.  Having his car at the finish was a huge bonus in these conditions.  I finished the race, grabbed a drink, then headed straight for the car and sat there out of the wind, cold, and rain until Steve came in and we were off.  

No Kristin today as she was under the weather and the actual weather was too crummy for her to stand around for 2 hrs.  I don't blame her.

Not sure what's up next...It will depend on how the next few days go...either give the half a go this weekend (or some other smaller substitute) as a last workout before Boston, or just go with 3 more weeks of straight running.  I'll know by midweek.


  1. Nice job. Glad to see you bouncing back. Any shirt pix?

  2. Jim, why is it every time you get sick you follow it up with a great race? I'm guessing that you'll be on your death bed on April 13th then run a 2:37 Boston. Take care!

  3. GZ...I tried to take a photo of the shirt when I got home in 2 different rooms and neither one came out enough to where you could tell it was I had Kristin bleach /wash it. If someone got photos of anywhere after mile 10, I'll post a link....

    Scotty, I think I ran off of general snowshoe fitness today...all that cardio work huffing up horsehill and pooh hill kept me in someone manageable shape thank god. It has been a ROUGH month. 2:37 at Boston is a pipe dream my friend.

    Your training is going real well..I won't count you out of the high 2:30s!

  4. Jim, Very nice come back race! After reading your prior post I thought you'd be sitting out Eastern States. Glad to see and hear you're doing better. Peace

  5. Jim, very impressive, especially after having such a tough couple of weeks leading up to ES...

  6. I think you could have run 1:55-flat with comparative ease if you'd had someone pacing you through metronomic 5:45. I know real life rarely affords such scenarios off the track, but you should be confident of the ability to run 2:35 tapered if you don't arse it up in the first four miles...