Sunday, October 18, 2009

2009 Baystate Marathon


Sunday was my third go at the road marathon distance and my 2nd time doing this particular marathon.  The Baystate Marathon (results) once again served as the USATF-New England Marathon Championships this year.  This course is pretty flat, with only a couple of rolls at around 8 miles or so, and a couple of hills up over the many  bridges you cross in and around the Lowell, MA area.

It is no secret that my first two attempts at the marathon were nothing short of horrendous.  I brought the results upon myself with inadequate training and preparation, and unfortunately, this time around, the pre-race routine didn't vary much from the past couple attempts. I started off August with the mindset of getting ready for this race, but that quickly died down and I settled back into my usual routine of just getting out there and running whatever/whenever, and racing all the time.  No workouts, no tempo efforts inside of long runs, and only a couple of 'long runs' in the mix.  Nothing close to 'marathon training' and again, I have no explanation for it other than to just say that I'm just not that into it.  I like racing mountain and trail stuff and running local road races...it's just what I do.  But on the other hand, when I do get on the line at a marathon, I want to do well, but I can't expect to run my potential, unless I do things right, leading up to it...and I'm not sure I can sacrifice the other stuff to properly prepare....

That said, my goals for this time around were the following (with the last 3 being progressive):

1) Try to help the team and score in the top 3 for CMS
2) Try to run faster than last time at Baystate (2:45)
3) Try to break 2:40
3) Try to run 6 min pace (2:37)


Let's just say, I didn't help the team (I was 4th for CMS and only top 3 score), and I just missed 2:37 flat, but I did run faster than last time, and I did break 2:40...so I was about 50%.

And now for the writeup....  Let's just say that anyone who lives in New England, or anyone who watched the Patriots game on TV, knows how horrendous the weather was.  It was freezing cold and raining. Couple that with wind and soaked roads, and it pointed to a slightly slower slog out there for sure.  I only warmed up about a mile total, between jogging over to the start and then running around a bit before the gun.  As we lined up, I saw Kevin Tilton, Andy McCarron, Justin Fyffe, Jeremy Huckins, Dave Quintal, Dan Verrington, and Dave Dunham, so I knew everyone had made it and we'd have enough to score.  I didn't see Scott Leslie because he wasn't wearing a singlet and I hadn't actually met him yet.  I briefly said hi to some other usual suspects like Mike Girouard, Scotty Graham (who once again, reminded me that he beat DD in this race many many moons ago...like in the 60's).

First Half (approximately): As the gun went off, the usual lead pack went out with Justin right in the mix with Joseph Koech (R.UN).  I settled in behind Kevin Tilton and Andy.  Chris Mahoney (Whirl) pulled up along side me and there he would stay for about 15 miles.  The lead pack really took off and Chris and I both agreed that many of them would come back. Scott Leslie (CMS) went by us pretty early and then stayed about the same distance ahead of us for about 10 miles.  There was also an unattached runner, Matthew Terrasi (a potential nice pickup for a team!), with him and they literally stayed the same distance up on us for what seemed to be half the race.  For most of the race, this was the story.  Chris and I just chugged along and could sometimes see the chase pack, but then seemed to lose it again and again.  For as long as I was running along side Chris, we clicked sub 6s for each mile except the very last one before I pulled away a bit. Chris started to indicate that his hamstring (same one that has given him problems this year) started to go on him.  He was grimacing a lot and had to sprint ahead to try to loosen it up.  By mile 15, we went through at 6 flat and I started to feel it, but Chris was rigging up a bit and backed off.  I never saw sub 6 again.  Up until that point, my hamstrings up high (under my butt) started to sting a bit and my lower back started to tighten up worse than ever before in a race.  I think my back started to be an issue at around 12 miles.  The cold, wet weather and a soaked, cold uniform didn't help any of the above.  Also, at around 9 miles I had bouts with stomach discomfort and actually contemplated pulling off to use the bathroom.  I held off and that led to a very slight cramp at around 10 miles or so.  By a mile or so later, it was a non-issue.  Chris and I came through the half way point in around 1:16:10.  This is the part of the course with probably the most spectators.  You come up over the Rourke Bridge and there was plenty of noise to keep you movin'.


Second Half (approximately): (Ok, back to mile 15.  From 15 on, I was running mostly alone.  Somewhere near mile 17 or so, I had been catching Titus Mutinda who had gone out with the leaders and had fallen off the pack.  It was no surprise to me actually, because just 2 weeks ago, he ran 2:29 at the Hartford Marathon for 2nd place overall.  Props to him for jumping in and trying to help his team.  I was catching him and right as I was getting close, Ryan Aschbrenner (GBTC) and Mike Brown Dowling (BAA) (who ran VERY well) passed me together. I was slowly but surely slowing down and couldn't react to them at all.  Just as I was about to pass Titus, he pulled off into the woods for a pitstop.  By about 19 miles, he caught back up to me and passed me.  By 20, I was right with him again and then he pulled back away.   At around 21, I thought I had lost him.  He looked great and had a good armswing motion and stride going and I was sure he'd pull away for good.  But at around 22, as you wind up and start to run along the river, I started to catch up again.  This part of the race kind of rejuvenates you, because up until this point, from the Tyngsboro Bridge, it is the longest, most boring part of the course for sure.  Once you can see the river, and pass the Rourke Bridge without having to go up and over it, you know you are getting close to the end.  Just before the bridge, a girl (not sure who it was because I was pretty out of it) yelled that 'Kevin was just ahead'.  I couldn't fathom that it was Kevin Tilton because he had been so far ahead of me for the entire race...so I yelled back 'who?' and she said 'Kevin Tilton'.  At that point, I looked up and saw the back of his jersey and knew that the early pace had been a bit too much for him to continue busting out the quick miles in the latter parts of the race.  I pulled past him at 23 or so and also Titus.  Titus hung for a bit but was done for the day.  Before I had passed Titus, one of the lapped marathoners I went by had told me I was '16th'.  I figured that it had to be right or pretty close, so I started keeping track, in hopes that I could catch a few other guys.  I had been clicking 6:20s-6:15s for a while so I knew I wouldn't be catching many people with that pace, but maybe a couple more guys who may have gone out too hard over the first half of the race. Passing Titus and Kevin put me in 14th.  As I passed Mammoth Rd. and up the hill to University Ave, I was absolutely shocked to see Joseph Koech practically walking on the side of the road.  He was weaving all over and looked out of it.   He was the pre-race favorite and the runner with the best marathon PR that started the day.  I went by him at the top of the hill and gave him some encouragement, but I don't think he realized what was going on.  Just as I came down off the hill, I felt great.  I got my second wind and knew I could probably blast sub 6 pace from then on in.  No sooner did I pick up the pace, did my hamstring completely go on me.  I'm talking, cramp up so that I could barely bend my leg back down.  I practically stopped in my tracks.   I grabbed it and tried to massage as best I could, while still running.  Nobody was in sight either in front of me or behind me at this point, so I knew I just had to finish.  I slowed down to a manageable stride, trying to keep my hamstring in check.  Right before the last right hand turn onto Bridge St., it went on me again.  I literally screamed out and ran a few strides while squeezing my hamstring.  As I took the last couple turns into the baseball stadium and to the finish, I was just in finish mode. I knew the hamstring was going to prevent me from going under 2:37, but I was thrilled to have been able to finish in the 2:30s, which was a big goal of mine, considering the shape I'm in.  I came in officially in 13th place (so the guy was right) with a time of 2:37:46 (6:01 pace).



As I moved through the finish area, I immediately started to get the back spasms and calf/hamstring cramps.  I met my sister and Chico in the stands and walked up to the food area.  My mom came over to help me maneuver down to the tables on the lower level, where I tried to eat.  I was shivering uncontrollably and was completely soaked.  A very nice gentleman came over and threw some blankets on me and helped Kristin massage my back.  He was very concerned with my condition and got the medical personnel. They put me in a chair and wheeled me inside to the medical area.  It was nice and warm when they wheeled me in there, and I noticed the only other person in there getting worked on was Joseph Koech.  He was hooked up to an IV and was sitting up eating.  He appeared to be relatively OK, although they said he was pretty out of it. As a precaution, they came in and put in him on a stretcher and took him to the hospital.  As for me, my initial temperature (about 35-40 minutes after the race) was 93.5.  They wrapped me in blankets, got all my wet clothes off, and gave me some Gatorade, as I warmed up.  About 30 or so minutes later, I was back up to 97  for a temp, so they discharged me.

Here's the damage.... see if you can spot where I started to 'get a little winded'....

Splits: Road Marathon - 2:37:46 (6:01 pace)

Mile 01) 5:52
Mile 02) 5:42 (11:34)
Mile 03) 5:50 (17:25)
Mile 04) 5:50 (23:15)
Mile 05) 5:46 (29:02)
Mile 06) 5:51 (34:53)
Mile 07) 5:48 (40:41)
Mile 08) 5:45 (46:27)
Mile 09) 5:43 (52:11)
Mile 10) 5:39 (57:51)
Mile 11) 5:50 (1:03:41)
Mile 12) 5:49 (1:09:31)
Mile 13) 5:57 (1:15:29)
Mile 14) 5:57 (1:21:20)
Mile 15) 6:00 (1:27:20)
Mile 16) 6:00 (1:33:20)
Mile 17) 6:05 (1:39:26)
Mile 18) 6:07 (1:45:34)
Mile 19) 6:13 (1:51:47)
Mile 20) 6:16 (1:58:03)
Mile 21) 6:26 (2:04:30)
Mile 22) 6:25 (2:10:56)
Mile 23) 6:25 (2:17:21)
Mile 24) 6:26 (2:23:48)
Mile 25) 6:20 (2:30:26)
Mile 26) 6:15 (2:36:23)
last .2) 1:22 (2:37:46)

Top 20 (of 1560) plus CMS in blue.

Place
Guntime
Pace
Name
Age
City/State
Team
1
2:27:53
5:39
Brandon Newbould
28
Dover NH   
WHIRL
2
2:28:15
5:40
Justin Fyffe       
29
East Dummerston VT 
CMS  
3
2:29:02
5:41
Andy McCarron      
26
Keene NH           
CMS
4
2:31:40
5:48
Mark Hudson
32
Reading MA 
WHIRL
5
2:32:26
5:49
Tom Casey  
23
Smithfield RI
RUN
6
2:32:46
5:50
Tom Deeg   
28
Eastham MA 
WHIRL
7
2:33:08
5:51
Scott Leslie       
28
Rutland MA         
CMS  
8
2:34:33
5:54
Joe Navas  
38
N Eastham MA
WHIRL
9
2:34:35
5:54
Matthew Terrasi
22
Pepperell MA
10
2:34:39
5:54
Mike Brown Dowling
26
Boston MA  
BAA
11
2:34:48
5:55
Ryan Aschbrenner
32
Waltham MA 
GBTC
12
2:35:11
5:56
Mike Brouillette
31
South Hadley MA
GSH
13
2:37:46
6:01
Jim Johnson        
32
Salem NH           
CMS  
14
2:38:05
6:02
Titus Mutinda
44
Lowell MA  
RUN
15
2:38:46
6:04
Per Ekegerd
37
Pierrefonds QC
16
2:39:14
6:05
Joseph Ryan
23
Dracut MA  
RUN
17
2:41:32
6:10
Kevin Tilton       
27
No Conway NH       
CMS 
18
2:41:58
6:11
Chris Mahoney
31
Haverhill MA
WHIRL
19
2:42:31
6:12
Tomoaki Uchiki
35
Jamaica Plain MA
GBTC
20
2:43:13
6:14
Robert Emord
28
Glastonbury CT
GBTC
32
2:47:08
6:23
Daniel Verrington      
47
Bradford, MA
CMS  
75
2:59:41
6:52
Dave Dunham
45
Bradford, MA
CMS  
80
3:00:33
6:54
Jeremy Huckins
26
Enfield, NH
CMS  
287
3:22:17
7:42
Joe Alfano             
43
Holden, MA
CMS  
505
3:35:58
8:14
Travis Wheeler         
29
Lancaster MA
CMS  
620
3:41:24
8:24
Michael Sullivan       
55
Sterling MA
CMS  
805
3:50:49
8:48
Edward Coleman         
47
Auburn MA
CMS  
911
3:56:28
8:59
Stephen Moro           
55
Sterling MA
CMS  
992
4:01:03
9:11
Sean Blood             
38
Worcester MA
CMS  

1560 Total Finishers.


As for the team competition, CMS was the winner (no real thanks to me, as only 3 score). DD may eventually post some history about the last CMS win in a GP (and/or a GP Marathon), but I think this was an awesome effort by my teammates.  Justin Fyffe wrapped up the individual Grand Prix championship in style, with a second place finish in 2:28:15.  Not quite as fast as he was looking for, but a solid effort nonetheless.  He ran a 2:34 marathon earlier in the month.   Andy McCarron ran his arse off to the tune of 2:29:02.  A HUGE day for this kid, who is one of the hardest workers I've seen.  Finishing out the scoring for CMS, was new guy Scott Leslie, in a very good 2:33:08.

Men's Open Team Competition (top 5 teams of 27)


Place
Team
Total Time (3 guys)
1
CMS
7:30:25
2
Whirlaway (Whirl)
7:32:19
3
Retailers Union (R.UN)
7:49:45
4
Greater Boston Track Club (GBTC)
8:00:32
5
Greater Springfield Harriers (GSH)
8:34:44

The fact that we not only won today, but also put 2 teams in between us and GBTC, moves us into a tie for first place in the overall Grand Prix standings.  Although Mike Brown Dowling ran VERY well today, BAA didn't really field a deep team for this event, and adidas Boston didn't send anybody.  Both of these factors plus the fact that Whirlaway (who was already trailing us in the overall standings by 4 points, so they couldn't catch us) ran very well for second place, and R.UN was able to put enough guys together to finish 3rd.  My thoughts are basically that it's a long year, a long GP season, and fielding teams is tough.  It's half the battle sometimes, and you simply gotta show up to get the points.


USA TRACK & FIELD - NEW ENGLAND 2009 GRAND PRIX

UNOFFICIAL Final Team Standings -  After 7 Events  - Always Subject to Review.

Top 5 Teams of about 26 total scoring clubs.


Team
10M
13.1M
12k
5K
5M
10K
26.2M
Points
CMS
13
19
12
13
10
12
27
106
GBTC
12
21
11
15
12
11
24
106
BAA
14
22
17
14
15
21
103
WHIRL
11
17
13
12
9
13
26
101
adidas
20
14
14
13
16
77




Special thanks to Kristin for braving the elements and getting some shots at the finish.  It was too wet for her to get a lot of photos, as the camera was getting soaked.  The pictures she did get are on Smugmug.

Also, special thanks to my parents for also taking the trip down from the mountains to watch us finish on the soggy stadium grass.  It's always nice to have the parents there for support.  I hope they get to see a lot more of my races before I get too old and slow :).

Lastly, congratulations to my sister Kristin, who finished 604th and my friend Chico, who finished 605th (they ran together) in the half marathon.  They finished up in 2:00:50 (9:13 pace) which is absolutely fantastic for them on this tough day.  I also think they secretly enjoyed themselves too!


Special Thanks to Scott Mason for the photos!!!



12 comments:

Dave said...

Mom & I hope we see a lot more races before WE get to old -- we are already slow.

waffles said...

Like I said before...too bad I look like a man in this picture. And I did enjoy myself. And a lot of thanks go out to Chico for that. It was really nice running with someone to keep your spirits up. Thanks Jim!

GZ said...

Absolutely FAN fraking TASTIC. Way to hang tough JJ.

Chris Mahoney said...

Nice race Jim....Sorry I couldn't hang in there with you. The hammys were just gone....it was a tough run in for me.

Also that girl who was yelling at you was Heather. She said you looked a bit out of it when she yelled at you.

Nice run out there!

Blaine Moore said...

Nice work. You may have only been 50% on the way to your goals, but as one of your goals was about where you were in relation to other people (something you can't always control) and you certainly had some good excuses with the weather and training, it's still pretty amazing to run a 6 or 7 minute PR on the day.

You got me beat; I still haven't run faster than 2:43 and change.

Heather said...

You know, when I saw you at mile 22 I was thinking that you and your teammate were both running alone and looking miserable on that last stretch. I thought maybe you could get up to him and you could pull each other in... Mr. Tilton is probably thinking the girl in the green jacket is a supreme a-hole.... ha!
Congratulations on your marathon PR ... great race!

DoubleJ said...

haha...Heather, I had no idea it was you. I heard you say 'Kevin is up there' but I wasn't thinking it could possibly be Tilton, as I thought he would be done with the race by then :)...also, I was kinda spaced out...just in survival mode at that point...I squinted to try to see who it was who was talking to me, but couldn't see that far in those conditions :). Thanks for the encouragement. It definitely helped!

Wilesthing said...

Nice race JJ! Especially impressive considering you didn't really do a traditional "marathon build up". Just shows there's more than one way to skin a cat.

Kevin said...

Heather, you completely blew my whole race. I shal forever live in shame that I was beaten by DoubleJ in a GP race :-P.

Jim, great race yesterday. You ran smart and it paid off.

Steve Wolfe said...

Your splits do tell a story but it was a great run, congrats!
68 days till Woodford :-)

J.Fyffe said...

Great race buddy!

KG said...

I enjoyed reading your write up. Good race in less than ideal conditions. 2:37 is nothing to sneeze at....get the singlet ready, I joined CMS this week!