Friday, July 23, 2010

Stowe 8 Miler

Another GP up and another sub-par race...not sure why my Grand Prix performances are 99% crap, but they are.  There is something about having 20+ runners in front of me that makes me unable to maintain a competitive drive for any length of time...I knew that was going to happen this weekend yet again because of my streak of bad GP's (with the exception of New Bedford) and because of a bad week + of training and physical ailments... I've put up with a bunch of uncomfortable poison ivy on my leg and arms which led to bad sleep most of last week.  It also caused the lymph nodes in my groin to swell way up and make my groin and hip tight.  My last excuse has been my foot.  The plantar fascia has been really bad on my right foot and has gotten progressively worse this year.  All these things together plus my inability to run fast in Grand Prix races led to a borderline to bad race at the Stowe 8 Miler (results) up in Stowe, VT on Sunday.  I was looking forward to this race and loved the course and the area, but the body and mind were not cooperating and that's
just the way it goes.  I'm only glad that our team is deep enough and guys stepped up and really made things happen when I could not.

Kristin and I headed up there on Saturday afternoon.  It was a beautiful, sunny day and the ride was just about 3 hours from Salem.  We arrived at the resort right next to the Ye Olde England Inne, where the registration, pre-post race parties, and finish line were.  We literally had the room closest to the finish line.  We got pretty lucky, considering I booked it Saturday morning just before we left.  Kris and I checked in, then headed over right about 5pm to pick up my bib.  We saw Jim Pawlicki and Krissy and a few other GBTC guys initially, then Bob Wiles, Sam Wood and Abby G., and a few others joined us for pre-race jibber jabber.  Kris and I had a nice dinner there, then headed back over to the whirlpool and indoor pool at the resort until about 10pm or so, then headed back over to the room for the night.

In the morning, I met up with the CMS crew down by the starting area and we went out for a warmup over the first part of the course.  The temps were higher than I thought they were going to be and the sun was beating down.  Most of us opted for no singlet, as it was going to be yet another hot and humid race this summer.  I ran back up to the room, threw on my Inov-8 road racing flats (test models) and ran back down to the starting area for some last minute strides and stretching.  I wasn't feeling 100%, not even close...I felt pretty banged up and knew I was in for a long day even before the race went off.

The race started off cross-country style, with the top teams in assigned boxes spread across the starting line in a big field.  After team announcements by Andy Schachat, we were off.  I was boxed in around GBTC, Whirlaway, BAA, and fellow CMSers as we headed out to the first main road section of the course, which is essentially one big loop.  I settled in eventually near Bob Wiles, Greg Hammett, Mike Quintal and some others including Jose Ortiz, Dan Princic, and a few others.  By 1 mile I was already starting to fall back. I thought I was 'settling down' but I was just falling back and by 2 miles I was struggling to hang on to Greg.  I was running sloppy and kept bumping into him.  Around this time, Dan Princic had already dropped us, Bob Wiles was hanging onto the first main pack still, and looking around to see where we were.  I should be up there with him, but need to figure out next steps in what that's going to take...  I continued to hang onto Greg and another GBTC runner and Mark Hudson who caught us and didn't wait around.  He kept banging forward and I slowly crept back.

When I saw 5:33 for mile 3, I knew I was done.  Slower than half-marathon pace is not what I was looking for here and knew it was only a matter of time before I started getting mowed down.  Mile 4 was fast because of a downhill (or maybe it was even marked wrong).  Right after halfway, Mike Quintal caught and passed me on one of the uphills right before the road turns to dirt.  He looked real strong and was just pushing his way up through the field.  He continued on and caught Greg, Mark, and a few others, on his way up to Andy McCarron, who was in sight, but seemingly staying just far enough ahead of me to not inspire me to try to push up and get him.

After Mike passed by, I really stayed where I was.  Nobody caught me on the entire last half of the race, but I didn't catch anyone either.  I ran essentially the last 4 miles 'in-position', which is rather strange for a GP.  Over the last mile, I started to catch Greg, Mike, Andy, Matt Haringa, and a couple others who were just ahead, but didn't have enough drive or motivation to try and sprint up to salvage a place or two.  I accepted that I ran bad and just ran through to the finish, in about a minute slower than I thought I'd be able to run.  Not even scoring for the team really bummed me out, but knowing that most everyone stepped up and we still got 2nd place made me proud of this group of guys...I'm just sorry my race wasn't enough to impact anything in a positive way.  Once again, Justin Fyffe stepped up and proved his is the MAN.  I love that kid's racing right now...

After the race I became very aware that I had a massive blister on my right foot (massive as far as the ones I get).  I never get blisters in normal road races.  This one was probably my worst ever.  I could barely cool down.  I ran about a mile and it was barely running at that.  I called it quits, met up with Kristin, milled around the finish for a bit and got some ice cream, then headed home.  I wasn't in the mood to stick around and needed to try to flush this one out of my system.  It does make me wonder about GP's and whether I should even bother.  I'm not sure what to think about Bridge of Flowers at this point.  I am going, but I'm not expecting anything out of that race.


Mile 1) 5:15
Mile 2) 5:27 (10:42)
Mile 3) 5:33 (16:16)
Mile 4) 5:08 (21:24)
Mile 5) 5:28 (26:52)
Mile 6) 5:37 (32:30)
Mile 7) 5:39 (38:09)
Mile 8) 5:39 (43:48)

Photos by Kristin W.
Photos by Krissy K.
Photos by Ted Tyler

Top 25 + CMS MORT in Blue

1BRIAN HARVEY         23Allston MA           40:50.4  5:07BAA          
2JUSTIN FYFFE         30E. Dummerston VT     41:09.3  5:09CENTRAL MASS 
3ERIC BLAKE           31New Britian CT       41:18.1  5:10BAA          
4MATTHEW ELY          34Natick MA            41:53.3  5:15BAA          
5NATE KRAH            24BOSTON MA            42:11.5  5:17ADIDAS NEW EN
6DAN SMITH            32CAMBRIDGE MA         42:14.2  5:17GBTC         
7PATRICK MOULTON      28Providence RI        42:27.0  5:19BAA          
8BOB WILES            32Kittery ME           42:28.6  5:19CENTRAL MASS 
9RYAN CARRARA         33HUDSON MA            42:29.9  5:19NBB          
10DAN PRINCIC         30WOBURN MA           42:31.4 5:19 WHIRLAWAY   
11FREDERICK ROUNTREE  32Williston VT        42:34.3 5:20 BAA         
12TERRY SHEA, JR      36Cambridge MA        42:47.2 5:21 BAA         
13WILL DOBBIE         28Cambridge MA        42:58.7 5:23 BAA         
14BRANDON NEWBOULD    28DOVER NH            43:05.3 5:24 WHIRLAWAY   
15JUSTIN FREEMAN      33NEW HAMPTON NH      43:15.5 5:25 RUN         
16JOE HEGARTY         26Springfield MA      43:16.0 5:25 WHIRLAWAY   
17IOANNIS PAPADOPOULOS25ALLSTON MA          43:21.0 5:26 GBTC        
18ANDY MCCARRON       27Keene NH            43:22.0 5:26 CENTRAL MASS
19MIKE QUINTAL        32North Andover MA    43:26.2 5:26 CENTRAL MASS
20MARK HUDSON         33READING MA          43:31.9 5:27 WHIRLAWAY   
21MATTHEW HARINGA     26BRIGHTON MA         43:37.8 5:28 GBTC        
22GREG HAMMETT        32Chesterfield NH     43:39.4 5:28 CENTRAL MASS
23JIM JOHNSON         33Salem NH            43:48.5 5:29 CENTRAL MASS
24BRIAN FULLER        21Ludlow MA           44:00.5 5:31 GREATER SPRIN
25TEAGEL O'CONNOR     26BURLINGTON VT       44:05.0 5:31 GMAA        
26DAN NAVAROLI        28Clinton MA          44:09.6 5:32 CENTRAL MASS
33BEN JENKINS         22DURHAM NH           44:54.8 5:37 CENTRAL MASS
35KEVIN GORMAN        33Norwood MA          45:03.6 5:38 CENTRAL MASS
36ALAN BERNIER        35Exeter NH           45:07.1 5:39 CENTRAL MASS
53DAN VERRINGTON      48Bradford MA         46:20.0 5:48 CENTRAL MASS
55JIM PAWLICKI        35Beverly MA          46:28.2 5:49 CENTRAL MASS
56DAVE DUNHAM         46Bradford MA         46:30.8 5:49 CENTRAL MASS
59JEFF GOUPIL         22KEENE NH            46:45.3 5:51 CENTRAL MASS
63SAM WOOD            24Laconia NH          46:54.8 5:52 CENTRAL MASS
65TIM VAN ORDEN       42BENNINGTON VT       46:56.7 5:53 CENTRAL MASS
81ERNEST BRAKE        48N.sutton NH         48:13.4 6:02 CENTRAL MASS
91JOHN PAJER          47Leicester MA        49:07.5 6:09 CENTRAL MASS

Team Results
Men's Open
1.  BAA  3:29.06
2.  CMS  3:34.08
3.  Whirlaway  3:37.26
4.  GBTC   3:37.53
5.  GMAA  3:46.52

Men's Masters
1.  Whirlaway  3:49.56
2.  GMAA  3:50.23
3.  CMS  3:57.10
4.  GCS-Triad  3:59.58
5.  CSU  4:10.32

Looking ahead, I need to come up with a better focus and training schedule to improve or I'm finished.  I'm not a fan of what happened this past weekend and really don't want to go back to that experience if I can help it.  I've taken some steps to try to get back on track and we'll see how this goes.  I've also decided on a somewhat concrete schedule (at least through Baystate in October).  More on that later.


  1. Jim - I think if you asked most guys at Stowe, they would say that they finished about a minute slower than they thought. You're having an amazing year! Keep on doing what you're doing and you'll be fine. Just stay out of the ivy, OK? See you at BOF.

  2. Hey man, Don't hang your head on this one. I don't think anyone hit the time they wanted, and I am willing to bet you will kill it at BOF

  3. I forgot to favorite line of the day was when I was waiting in line to get ice cream after the race and Craig Fram was behind me and said 'I looked up at 6 miles and saw you and thought to myself, wow, Jimmy's running like sh*t'. I love that guy. :)

  4. I think it would have helped if you were sporting the CMS team mustache. . .