Monday, April 6, 2009

SEA 5k and Soup Kitchen 5k

A couple of lackluster 5k's this weekend (time-wise) but the important thing is that I did them and really don't have anything to complain about physically except for a tight calf leftover from last week.  I feel good about getting out there and getting it done even if I'm not in '5k shape'.  But it will come.   Sitting on my rump watching TV, or walking around in my garage, wondering how I'm going to possibly clean it up this year was the alternative... I'll take mediocre 5ks over that any day I guess...

I headed up to Concord on Saturday for the SEA 5k (results), a race I wanted to do the last couple years but other things got in the way.  I believe last year it was laziness... this year, I bit the bullet and made the trip up.  It was the 2nd race in the CARS series, which I don't do because most races conflict with others I want to run.... I may run Bill Luti though in the summer (that being the last race in the series).  Quick recap...  The race is pancake flat but does have quite a few twist and turns around a couple of office parks for NH state offices.  Morse has the record at 15:20 but I knew it was probably not going to fall was pretty windy but aside from that, the weather was nice.  After a warmup with Dan Verrington, Rod Viens, Scott Clark, and JR Stockwell, we headed over to the line for some strides and last second preparation.  The only other couple of guys I saw at the start that I knew were going to make any noise were Chris Mahoney and Patrick Ard (along w/ Dan Verrington who is always either right behind or right in front of me).  As the gun went off, the pace went out at a crawl.  VERY people looked around and chatted a bit.  Dan V then took off about 1/4 mile in or so and took the lead.  Chris went with him and I stayed a little back with Connor Jennings (18yr old local from Concord).  At the mile, Chris was way out in front and drew out his lead on us for the next 2 miles.  I went through in a disheartening 5:12 and thought I was going to croak.  5-anything is depressing on this course ...but I soon realized I was not in as good a shape when it came to the shorter / quicker stuff...which is OK, with Boston looming in a couple weeks.   The 2 mile was 10:32 (5:20) so it was getting worse and I was jockeying for position with Connor and Dan the whole time.  Somewhere between 2 and 3 I put 30-40 yards on Dan and Connor and kept them back there as I ran to just try to keep Chris in view.  I didn't get my 3 mile split but coasted in in 16:23 for 2nd place behind Chris who ran a nice 15:57 alone (a time I thought I would run).  Connor outstretched Dan on the last .1 and came in 3rd, with Dan in 4th and Scott Clark just edging out Patrick for 5th.  After a cooldown w/ the same crew of Dan, Rod Viens, Scott Clark, and JR Stockwell, we headed inside to get our beer mugs for age group and overall awards.  I was pleased to find that they were giving out checks for top 3 overall (100/50/25).  So in addition to a cool mug, I got 50 beans which would be my entry fees for today and Sunday's race if I decided to double...  Chris told me that he won free entry into all the CARS series races this year from the Spring Ahead 3 Miler raffle.  I say that is a sweet deal and more races should give free entry out, as entry fees are beginning to spiral out of control.  The Granite State Series gave me free entry into the original 6 races for 2010.  Very cool.... So with 2 strong finishes at the first 2 CARS races (Gilmanton and SEA), looks like Chris is on his way to a solid series win if he stays healthy and does all the races... He's having a great year so far.

Sunday I woke up and contemplated not going to Nashua for another 5k... Had I run under 16 on Saturday, I probably would not have gone and assumed I was in shape enough where I didn't need another workout.  Didn't happen though.  Because the Sunday race was at 1:10  in the afternoon, I had time to talk myself out of it.... but in the end, I shot over to downtown Nashua for the Soup Kitchen 5k/10k (results).  I registered for the 5k because I figured I could grind through that OK, but knew there was no way I could run anything close to respectable in the back-to-back 5ks to get a last minute workout in, was the plan.  I warmed up a bit longer than usual and really struggled to keep my tight calf at bay...massage and stretch wasn't really helping much.  It was really windy and I took a peek at the course map before I headed off to run the course....I went up the road and took a wrong turn and went up the road in the complete opposite direction.  I actually went along part of the Medical Center 6k course and the entire 1st mile + I was going up hill against the wind...I was pretty depressed about the course and thought it was going to be very slow indeed.... at about 12 min or so in, I started to realize I might not be going the right way, and finally turned when I hit the highway....  I ran back down the hill and back inside to look at the course again and realized I went the wrong way no chance to preview the course now.  I threw on the polar bear and headed up the road for some last minute strides before the 5k took off.  At the line I saw Eric Beauchesne....the only guy I had recognized the whole day.  We chatted briefly (as he's about to run his 12th or 13th Boston this year) and then we were off...  The wind was pretty brutal for the first mile up hill... I was out front right away and Eric popped in behind me and soon it was just us 2.  I hit the first mile in 5:18 but a lot of that was uphill and into the wind.  I hit mile 2 in 10:36 (another 5:18).  Mile 3 was mostly downhill but into massive traffic that was all across the roads...they did a pretty awful job trying to close the road and I had to literally weave in and out of tight traffic, at one point having to stop and go completely around a car trying to change lanes.  All the while, looking back and seeing Eric's red singlet less than 100 yards back.  I went through 3 in 15:43 (5:06) and finished with a 32 last .1 (downhill) to run 16:17....faster than yesterday on a much hillier course and on a far windier day... I'll take it.  Eric held 2nd and then former UML teammate Tammie Robie was 3rd overall.  After the race, Eric and I headed across town and into Mine Falls for a COOL-down.  

Overall, I'm glad I did the 5ks because if nothing else, I have a good indication of the work I now need to do and I got a good speed workout in this weekend because Boston is not the be all-end all of my running year...I do want to be able to run other races after Boston so I just want to be as fit as I can be going in and then beyond....My 'marathon training' met a massive bump in the road so there is nothing I can do but just get into as good a shape as I can before the 20th and just hope for the best.  I also think it was smarter to do the 2 5ks and back out of Great Bay, with the 20 miler still looming in my calf and hammies.   I also know that back-to-back 5ks do nothing negative to my body....good to know for the future :)...


  1. Smart choice NOT doing the Great Bay Half..tough conditions out there (not to mention it was too close to the 20 miler last week).
    Congrats on your weekend double!

  2. Good job on the Weekend Double. You'll all set for Boston. Just plan on running 6 minute miles for as long as you can and that will put you under 2:40. You can do it!!! Just don't get sucked into 5:30's early on because you will pay the pipper if you do

  3. Thanks Scotty...thats the plan (crossing fingers)...

    Steve, props to you for doing the quads are still sore and my calf is junk from last week... I don't know how you slogged it out again this was pretty freakin' windy too!