Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Yankee Homecoming 10 Miler

Last night was race #39 of the year and a long one by my standards... Yankee Homecoming 10 Miler (results) in Newburyport, MA is a grind. 10 road miles at 6:35pm in the summer heat. Last year may have been a tad hotter, but it was still brutal out there. I've said this before and I'll say it again...I get a wee bit shaky in anything over 5M in distance and really don't know what to expect. It really just comes down to the type of running I do and how I train. I'd like to think that someday, before I get too old, I'll realize how to run faster over longer distances, but for now, I have small goals, like breaking 55 minutes. I ran 55:36 here last year, so this year's time was actually better than that, but I also ran 55:08 at DH Jones in February, which is a MUCH harder course... this goes to show how much the heat plays into the results. I wound up 11 ticks over 55 minutes at 55:11, but I ran better at this same race than I did last year, so I have to take that as a positive. Here's how it played out... (photo to the left by Jim Rhoades)

I headed over to the race solo (so very sorry, but no photos once again)...and warmed up solo. I had become very aware about 2 hrs before race time that I had not eaten anything all day. I had 1 cup of coffee and a boatload of water to hydrate. I was so concerned about the heat and hydration that I had forgotten to simply eat something. I had 4 energy gels in the last 90 min leading up to the race, but knew that 400 calories may not be enough... Fortunately, I don't think any of that affected me, as I felt pretty good during the race for the most part.

Shortly before the race, it was clear that it was going to be a pretty fast field, with Pat Tarpy, the brothers-Moulton, Terry Shea, Justin Freeman, the entire R.un contingent, lots of GBTC boys, and a boatload of Kenyan runners. I also caught up with Patrick Rich (CMS) whom I've never officially met before. He said his plan was to go steady for first 8 and run hard on last 2. A good plan, based on how this course is laid out with the last 2.5ish on High Street and the last 2 miles completely flat. As the gun went off, I tried to behave myself, knowing this race was a little out of my range/element and also that I went out way too fast last year and it really hurt me. 5:07 through the mile last year, and I said no way would I do that this year... I was wrong...

As the race began, there was immediately a lead pack of about 9 or so guys including the brothers-Moulton, Tarpy, Derese Deniboba, Ruben Sanca, Abdel Faker (3rd at Loon this year), Justin Freeman, Ben Ndaya, Titus Mutinda, and a couple other Kenyan runners. Then there was a pack of another 7-8 runners who, from the back, looked to be all in red. I know that this was Matt Haringa, Kibrom Temelso, Andrew Wommack, Ryan Aschbrenner, and a few other guys. I actually stuck with them for a bit and dropped back by myself, off the second pack, through the first mile in 5:07 AGAIN. Way too fast. I immediately dropped the pace down as much as I could without getting eaten up by the field behind me, but knew it was only now a matter of time... but fortunately, my strategy over the next couple of miles paid off. Terry Shea and a couple other guys (I'm guessing Matt O'Connor and Jason Dedonato) went by me at close to 2 miles in and Terry asked me to jump on board...I proclaimed that the pace went out too face for me and he agreed that the field was out a little too quick for the conditions... That was my guess exactly, as I went through in 5:07 and there were 2 big packs way ahead of me...

Over the course of the next few miles I slowly started to pick guys off. After 2 miles, nobody went by me except Patrick Rich. I caught some GBTC guys, Ben Ndaya, and a runner from Holy Cross, and also spotted a few guys periodically who had dropped out and were walking along the course. When Patrick went by me at maybe around 5 or 6 miles, we had both just passed Joe Hegarty, and Pat put some decent distance on me as I just plugged away at passing runners one by one who went out too hard. I was running 'somewhat' consistent and felt pretty solid for me over this distance and in this heat. At around 7 miles, I passed another GBTC runner and Justin Freeman who was coming off of some big workouts and racing. It was obvious that really good runners were feeling the heat and the fast early pace. I could see Kibrom Temelso and Titus Mutinda up a ways and by 8 miles I was holding off a slight oncoming side stitch but had caught back up to Patrick Rich. Pat and I ran along side each other through 8 and 9 and I proclaimed a couple times that he shouldn't wait for me and should go after the two runners ahead. We both caught and passed Kibrom and it was clear that there wouldn't be enough road to catch Titus. Pat pulled away by a few steps a couple times, but I hung on behind. By the time we hit the school and could see the finish, I knew I had a bit left in the tank and told him I was going, to which he acknowledged and I went around and kicked to the finish.

In the end, I didn't take into consideration how many people one-by-one that I had passed after the 2nd mile and that nobody passed me after that. Also, a bunch of guys dropped, so my place was far better than I thought. My parents were indicating that I was top 10...but I didn't even think I was close... In the end, I was...finishing in 12 place overall, which was a pleasant surprise for me in this race, with this caliber of a field. Also, I ran 55:11, so about 11-12 seconds slower than my goal, but it wasn't for lack of effort on a day like this. Lastly, I won my division (30-34), which was very cool. Only Titus (44) and Terry Shea (35) were older than me, but neither was in my division (5 year age groups).

Splits this year vs last year:

Mile 1
Mile 2
Mile 3
Mile 4
Mile 5
Mile 6
Mile 7
Mile 8
Mile 9
Mile 10

Only my 5th mile was slower this year vs. last year. My last 2 miles collectively were 10 seconds faster, which is a good sign.

Photos of myself and Patrick at the finish below by Kristen Kozlosky

39 up and 39 down. Now I'm not sure if I'll race anywhere this weekend or not. Not a heck of a lot going on on the racing scene this weekend... I feel pretty good, even though I've doubled pretty much the last 4 weeks. 'That's all I got...'


  1. Good race and great shots.

    Yeah ... the long stuff ... all about doing some long training runs ... your are doing Lowell?

  2. Never mind - I see now: Baystate.

    Long building runs brother. Get in the hurt locker.

  3. I am always in the hurt locker :). Baystate will be a smoke show. That gettin' smoked ;)

  4. JJ great job at Yankee.

    I'll be either with you at Baystate or on the side lines laughing at you.

    Did you get my e-mail about Alton Bay 5K?

  5. they get great photos of the fast boys

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  7. JJ, I'll e-mail you a couple of pictures I took at Yankee Homecoming, but I think the ones you already posted are better than the ones I got. Nice "workout" at 5:30 pace. I'll see you at Cigna in a couple of weeks.

  8. Hahaha..I know huh? Much controversy about training nomenclature nowadays. Thanks Bob. Anything faster than 7:00 pace is a 'workout' for me and probably always will be. Now, if I said I did it as a 'track workout', then I'd expect some pushback. What's next for you?

  9. ah...I see you mentioned Cigna. That should be FAST! Sub 16 for you there.

  10. what you see you never mind...

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