Monday, July 30, 2012

Carver and York - Double

This past weekend I ran the old school double of 5 miler and 5k as part of 2 different series.  Winding down a 110 mile week with 2 relatively important races was a bit nerve racking for me but I was able to pull it off without much issue surprisingly.  I didn't quite run as fast as I would have wanted to, but I'm taking the result as a positive, considering the task at hand and goal I've set.

Carver Cranberry 5 Miler - USATF-NE Grand Prix

Saturday - July 28, 2012
Carver, Massachusetts

First up was the Carver Cranberry 5 Miler (results) down in Carver, MA.  This was race #5 in the USATF-New England Road Racing Grand Prix.  Road racing (and road running for that matter) for me has become rather boring and mind numbing but now that the mountain series is over and done with, it's time for some more road stuff to keep the legs moving and get ready for some fall and winter seasons.  The 5 miler in Carver is a race I did last year and I was a respectable 7th last year (thanks to not many BAA guys or other fast guys showing up).  I also ran an 'OK' 25:36 last year, which is good for a first race coming down from the mountains.  This year, even with the issues I've had leading up to this summer (and my high week), I was really looking to run a bit faster than last year.  I didn't really accomplish that, but I am not complaining because it could have been a lot worse.

Before the race I stayed about 18 miles away in Pembroke, MA at my wife's parent's house (which saved me from having to do a 3+ hour drive in the morning).  I stayed up a bit late watching the Olympic opening ceremony and then I got up early to watch the cycling road race (at least the start) before hitting the road.  I didn't get much sleep but I was feeling OK.  I headed down about 20 minutes and got to the race without much time in the car, which was nice.

I warmed up w/ a small crew of CMS runners and then got ready for some action.  It was a little warm but not bad.  We had a good squad ready to rock and the task at hand was to beat GBTC to stay ahead in the standings.  As good as the Western Mass Distance Project (WMDP) is, and BAA, they both have incomplete scores from previous GPs, so we really have to focus on staying ahead of GBTC and that is really it. Team Run is a little behind us and may be out of reach.  Whirlaway has been decimated with injuries this year and are basically all but out of contention.

As the gun went off, I found out really soon that I felt very flat and heavy.  I was hoping that just by default, I'd be able to slug out a solid pace because my strength is good coming out of the mountain series and with all the long climbing and trail runs I've been doing.  A big noticeable difference this year was the actual fact that there was a good amount of good runners in the race (as opposed to last year, where I was an astounding 7th place).  WMDP had numbers, and there were a few BAA guys there too.  I tried to settle in and by the 1 mile mark (which I came through in 4:53 (3 seconds slower than last year) I was just about where I'd finish in the race (with the exception of just a few places).

During the second mile, Justin Freeman pulled away from me (even though he's been hurt and has been hardly running during the last week) and the main field started to spread out.  I put some distance on a few guys who had been lingering off my shoulder.  A GBTC guy who had been running near the front, pulled out and took his singlet off around 2 miles or so.  Shortly after that, I had a WMDP guy roll up on me and I stayed with him for a while, matching his pace before he pulled a way a little bit.  Then, Brennan Bonner (GBTC) came up past me around 3 miles.  I adjusted and ran with him for a bit, making that 3rd mile go by quicker than normal. I think this was what salvaged the race for me.  We were able to pass by Jared Markowitz (BAA) (even though he put up a good fight) and I believe the same WMDP runner who had passed me before.  Shortly thereafter, I lost Brennan as he began to pull away and I felt heavier and heavier.

During the 3rd mile, I started to reel in a group of runners including Justin Freeman, Dan Vassallo, and Adam Malek (among others).  The back of that lead pack was really starting to thin and spread out.  By 4 miles, I had rolled up behind Dan and soon after, passed him by.  I knew he'd be coming back though, especially when I came up behind.  I gave him a few words of wisdom (i.e. yelled at him to get his arse going and help me catch a few guys). I told him we had about 3 minutes left and every second counted.  Needless to say, right near the end (in the last 300 yards or so), Dan smoked back past me as I knew he would.  I wasn't expecting another WMDP guy to nip me at the line, but that also happened, which sucked.  I need to really start working on RACING at the end of races.  I should have been 15th, but ended up 16th behind said WMDP runner.

I ended up 4th for CMS with a time that was 1 second faster than last year.  25:35.  That was a good sign for us as a team (considering I was the top CMS guy there last year and now I was barely scoring).  Dan and Adam held off my last mile attack and Nate Jenkins manned-up up front for a 4th place OA finish.  Scott Leslie came up huge, only 20 seconds behind me.  Last year, our collective time was 2:09:48 for the team.  This year we ran 2:07:04.  That's a pretty solid improvement.  I'd like to think I could have made up the 4 seconds at the end to dip us under 2:07 but I digress.  That got us 3rd OA as a team, behind BAA and WMDP.  Since those teams can't catch us in the overall GP series, beating GBTC (which we were tied with before this race) is huge.  I know we may be understaffed at the 5k, so I have a feeling this overall series will come down to the marathon again.  CMS has won the team title at the marathon the past 2 years. Looking to continue that streak!  So if you are a CMS guy and you haven't decided yet if you want to run Cape, you got 12 weeks starting today to train for that sh*te!

Splits: 4:53 / 5:08 / 5:10 / 5:15 / 5:08

Top 20 Overall (plus CMS mens racing team in blue):

PlaceNameAgeTeam              TimePace
1BRIAN HARVEY      25BAA24:20.64:52
2COLMAN HATTON     24BAA24:24.94:53
3KEVIN JOHNSON     23WMDP24:25.14:53
4NATE JENKINS      31CMS24:36.44:55
5ERIC ASHE         24BAA24:46.64:57
6SEAN DUNCAN       23                     24:50.04:58
7BRANDON NEWBOULD  30Whirlaway            25:06.55:01
8DAVID JOHNSON     23WMDP25:06.75:01
9JASON AYR         24WMDP25:15.65:03
10BRENNAN BONNER    27GBTC25:19.95:04
11ADAM MALEK        24CMS25:26.45:05
12JUSTIN FREEMAN    35Team RUN             25:29.55:06
13KIBROM TEMELSO    35GBTC25:29.65:06
14DAN VASSALLO      27CMS25:31.65:06
16JIM JOHNSON       35CMS25:35.15:07
17JESSE REGNIER     25WMDP25:38.95:08
18JARED MARKOWITZ   29BAA25:46.65:09
19JOSEPH NAVAS      41Whirlaway            25:47.45:09
20MATTHEW HARINGA   28GBTC25:51.35:10
22SCOTT LESLIE  33CMS25:55.15:11
27MIKE QUINTAL  34CMS26:13.85:15
47ALAN BERNIER  37CMS26:56.45:23
56GREG PUTNAM   42CMS27:15.95:27
59JOE SHAIRS    44CMS27:21.45:28
60DAVE DUNHAM   48CMS27:22.85:28
65JIM PAWLICKI  0CMS27:31.45:30
74DAN VERRINGTON50CMS27:45.65:33
75KEVIN GORMAN  35CMS27:46.25:33
79GREG WARD     40CMS27:53.95:35
87TIM VAN ORDEN 44CMS28:04.45:37
143DAVE MINGORI  45CMS31:10.46:14
177DAVID LAPIERRE48CMS32:11.46:26

 583 Total Finishers.

Photos - Ted Tyler
Photos - Krissy K

York Days 5k - Seacoast Series Race #4
Sunday - July 29, 2012

York, Maine

(stiff competition directly to MY right)...

After a late afternoon shakeout on Saturday (post 5 mile race) I got some decent rest and it was up bright and early for a trip down to York, Maine for the York Days 5k.  This race is always in the Seacoast Series and is an 8am start!  That meant I had to get an extra early start down to the Maine seacoast for my 4th attempt at this race in 5 years (missing last year's race because of a conflict).

I arrived tired and sore at York high school on a rather dreary morning.  I went in to pick up my bib and scanned the registrants list for usual suspect names but didn't see anyone on there except Chris Ritchie who has been running well this year and is always a solid 5k-10k guy.  I knew there were a couple hundred spots left for day-of registration, so it was anyone's guess who would show up. I saw some fast looking dudes early on, and a couple of them just looked like they could motor.  The adizero adios they were wearing gave it away.  You can't find those shoes in the store and those are the top of the line as far as I'm concerned.... they had to be serious.

I warmed up over the course and felt like death.  I had no clue how I was going to race hard and was just hoping that either those couple guys and Chris went out really hard and I was just blown away early, OR that I would somehow find something deep down and drop everyone early.  I wasn't sure what was going to happen but figured if it came down to a kick, I'd be pulling muscles left and right.

The gun went off a little late but the good news is that it really wasn't raining (yet).  One of those two guys I saw early, went out flying pretty good.  I had a step on him by 200 meters in but he was right with me as we exited the school area and took a turn onto the main road for the first of only a couple climbs.  I worked the first mile at a decent clip and started to not hear the footfalls any longer, which was a great sign.  By the time I hit the mile, I felt 'OK' and cruised through in 5:07 (half of the mile is a really slight climb).

My second mile was about the same (with a good small hill and then some nice downhill). I put a lot of distance on the field here and by the time I hit the 2 mile mark, I glanced back and could hardly see anyone.  The third mile heads out along the ocean for a few blocks and there were a lot of spectators there, all telling me 'you got this'.  I took the final turn back onto the first main road (single loop course) and started to rig up a bit but kept moving.  I ran hard on the last stretch into the school to salvage a decent 15:40 5k.  The warmup and race put me over 100 miles for the week, with back to back races.  I'm very surprised this didn't go horribly wrong. I ran 15:27 here in 2010 (for 2nd) but I'll gladly take the win at 15:40, believe me.

It was my second win here (with 2 other 2nd place finishes both to John Mentzer in 2009 and 2010).  I won this race the first time back in 2008 and didn't run it last year.  For the win, I got a medal and $100.  More importantly, I keep my lead in the Seacoast Series.  Now I really just have to show up to 2 more (out of the 4 remaining races) and keep my composure and I should have the series win.

Top 10 Overall:

1Jim Johnson     35Madison NH   15:405:03
2Colby Nixon     22Eliot ME     16:225:16
3Chris Ritchie   29Hampton NH   16:265:18
4Peter McNeil    28Barrington NH16:435:23
5Matthew Weber   31York Beach ME16:535:26
6Tucker Nixon    20Eliot ME     16:585:28
7Mitchell Finitz 18York ME      17:215:36
8Matthew Dynan   15Reading MA   17:335:39
9Sam Leal        20York         17:375:41
10John Gagnon     45Lewiston ME  17:405:42

775 Total Finishers.

Cooled down w/ 10th place finisher John Gagnon from Maine, but doing the course in reverse.  Saw one of the back of the pack runners get sideswiped by a car on the main ocean road.  He was OK though.  Then, a couple stops in the NH seacoast area at a couple stores before heading back home to the valley.  A light shakeout on grass in the late afternoon/early evening put me at 110 miles for the week.  Newburyport 10 Miler is a possibility on Tuesday night if my legs are cooperating.  Will be a game day decision though.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Training 07-23 - 07-29

Weekly Wrap Up: 110.4 miles for the week.  Highest week ever (to my knowledge).  Doubles every day except Monday, where I ran 20 and started the whole thing.  This week felt like a month.  Seriously.  Got a nice long run to start, and then THREE races and a track workout.  I had the summer series effort, which was probably 75% and then the nice solid track workout and a weekend race double, where I ran decent in both races, getting a win on Sunday.  Good week (even though I wasn't in the mountains or on the trails).  Yankee on Tuesday night will be a slight stretch. I'm hoping to keep up the volume but be smart on days like tomorrow, which are 'rest' days (even though I'll run).  Icing, stretching, hydration, sleep, and everything else I can think of, is going well.  As long as these are all in check, I will continue to build the hurtin' bombs...

7-29 - Sunday: am - 10.2 miles (roads).  4 miles (solo) warm up before 5k in York, Maine.  Ran the course + strides and staying loose before the race started (a few min. late).  Then race: 5k - York Days 5k.  1st OA.  15:40.  Then 5k course in reverse w/ John Gagnon.  pm - 4 miles (roads and grass).  My house, down 5 minutes to the baseball field and athletic fields in Madison. Ran around the grass fields very easy.  Nice shakeout run.  Absolutely dead quiet.  Beautiful early evening run (even though it was a little dreary weather-wise).  Felt like the only one on Earth down there.  Good time to reflect on how much I love it here and how much my quality of life has improved since moving up here [32:10].  Total for the day: 14.2

7-28 - Saturday: am - 12 miles (roads).  4 miles (3 w/ team + 1 mile w/ strides) w/up before Cranberry 5 Miler in Carver, MA (USATF-NE 5M Championship) [32:00].  Then 5M race (25:35 - 16th OA).  1 second faster than last year.  Splits: 4:53 / 5:08 / 5:10 / 5:15 / 5:08.  3M cooldown with CMS guys [23:00].... pm - 5 miles (roads) from my house. LATE run.  Didn't get back until 7:15pm or so to my house. Then headed out about 7:45 for a shakeout.  6 minutes from my house, running up E.Madison Rd. (in the rain) a medium size black bear walked right out in front of me (about 20 feet in front of me).  One of my closest encounters so far.  The rain made it so he couldn't hear me until we were right in front of each other.  We both stopped, it sat on it's hind legs w/ front legs in the air briefly and then turned and bolted back where it came from and back into the woods right off the road.  [39:13] Total for the day: 17

7-27 - Friday: am - 8 miles (roads). E.Madison road (out and back) from my house up to the house that Kevin still has the option to buy, then back + up to Cascades and then a 10 min. soak of the calves which are really tight.  Then back to the house.  [55:40].  pm - 4 miles (roads). Hodge-podge of running around near my house and trying not to climb any hills.  Not so easy to accomplish.  [30:10].  Recovery day.  Total for the day: 12

7-26 - Thursday: am - 6 miles (roads). E.Madison road (out and back) from my house up to the house that Kevin almost bought and then back down.  43:15. Nice and easy.   pm - 11 miles (track).  3 mile w/up w/ KT at Kennett HS Track [24:00] (1 mile on track and 2 miles around athletic fields) + 5 x 1Mile at 'half marathon pace' (which I consider 5:17s).  400 jog recovery (continuous) between each.  Splits: 5:12 / 5:15 / 5:16 / 5:15 / 5:16.  [35:34 for the 6 miles] Goal was to not blast these and stick to pace and feel good doing it. Mission accomplished.  Cardio and fitness is not an issue.  Calves have been tight just due to increased workload this week but I'll get used to it.  Hamstrings were firing on the 4th and 5th mile but stayed put enough for me to finish.  2 mile cooldown on the grass [15:50].  With the way my legs have been feeling, if I can run this pace for 5 miles this weekend I'll be happy.  It's all about long term goals at this point, w/ some stops along the way....Total for the day: 17

7-25 - Wednesday: am - 6 miles (roads). E.Madison road (out and back) from my house + up and back to the Cascades.  Again, same drill as yesterday.  Windy.  [39:25].  pm - 8 miles (roads). My house, up E. Madison road to the top, then down a ways to the house that Kevin 'almost bought'. Turn and head back.  Then down 113 to Danforth Ln. and back for 8 exactly.  About as 'flat' as I can make it around here and it was nowhere near flat.  E.Madison Rd. every day is going to make me strong. Real easy on this one [56:50].  Total on the day: 14

7-24 - Tuesday: am - 6 miles (roads). E.Madison road (out and back) from my house + up and back to the Cascades. Nice and easy.  [40:05].  pm - 10.2 miles (trails). Whitaker Woods Summer Series.  4 mile w/ up in Whitaker w/ Kevin Tilton and his disgusting poison ivy [31:30].  Then race: 5k Trail - Summer Series. 1st OA - 17:06. Ran w/ KT for about 2 miles and then opened up a slight lead on the last mile.  5k course cooldown in 21:13.
Total on the day: 16.2

7-23 - Monday: 20 miles (roads).  Lakes Loop - Madison/Freedom.  Solo.  My house, up E. Madison Rd (hilly for the first 5-6 miles) past Purity Lake and King Pine and down 153 into Freedom. Then Bennett St. out to Ossipee Lake Rd. and across all the way past Danforth Ponds, Ossipee Lake, and into Madison again on Rt. 41.  Then up 41 past Silver Lake (took a quick dip in Silver Lake as I passed the western town beach...jumped right in with shoes on, jumped out and kept going).  Very dry and warm. Was wishing it would start raining and stared up at the sky repeatedly for it to start but it never did.  Last 5-6 miles were pretty difficult with no water. Good start to the season. [2:13:30].

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Ascutney Mountain Race

Photo by Gianina Lindsey

This weekend I wrapped up my 2012 USATF-New England Mountain Series with a nice win at the Ascutney Mountain Race (results) in Windsor, VT.  This was the last race in the series (as it has been each year I've done the series) and is one of the more underrated races in my opinion.  Underrated as in many people tend to overlook the difficulty of this 'short' mountain race.  Each year it tends to take me by surprise and I remember just how hard the race is.  This year it was probably not as bad as I have thought in the past, as it is my 5th time running it (4x on the road and 1x was the hybrid road/trail version).

I camped out at the campground (which is right at the base of the mountain) the night before with DD, Paul Kirsch, and Frank Holmes.  Tim Mahoney and Ross Krause (and Ashley) were right next to us, as was Martin Tighe and his lady.  It was fun to have all the folks around, camping out before the race....but it was HOT and I slept in the back of my Xterra (which I prefer over a tent on the ground, but it was just too bloody warm for me).  I didn't get to sleep for a while and when I woke up I was a bit sore and tired with a slight headache.  I felt dehydrated and almost hungover for some reason.  I quickly shook that off in the morning and got mentally and physically prepared as best I could.

Leading up to the race I was VERY nervous for some reason. I think it is because I'm racing a bit less this year and not as used to toeing the line as I normally am, but still I was really nervous...more so than usual.  I had already wrapped up the series win, so there was nothing on the line in that respect, but I couldn't shake the nerves.  Maybe it was because I had won this the previous year or maybe it was because I felt a bit unprepared...not sure.

The race started a couple minutes late (which I don't really mind but some people absolutely hate that) but once it did, I quickly realized yet again how much of a grind this race is. It immediately goes straight up.  Phil Kreycik (no relation to Alex) bolted out at sub 5 minute mile pace for about 50 yards and then pushed up for about 200 meters, in the lead until I rolled up beside him as it started to really climb.  I went by in the first quarter mile and that was it.  I was nervous and my heart was pounding more so than usual, for almost a mile.  When I clicked through the mile (in 7:39, 9 seconds ahead of last year's pace) I finally calmed down and settled in.

The race is a real grind and is very reminiscent of the first half of Mount Washington.  I tried not to look back as I made each turn and climb up to the next transition.  There are a few places it flattens out before the next climb, and with some of the near hairpin turns, I could look back and scope out the field behind me (not that far behind).  I noticed Ross and a couple others (didn't look too long to figure it out) behind me and knew it could be anyone's game here.  I continued to just keep up my pace now, as I knew I had built up a decent lead in 1 mile and if I could just roll up a the same pace/effort, I would maybe hang on.

It was getting a bit warm and I had thoughts of taking off my singlet (I had pinned the number to my shorts instead of my singlet, just in case).  I bunch of people went with no shirt, but I decided to go with the singlet and just sucked it up as it got higher up and more exposed in the sun in spots.  I clicked through 2 miles with an 8:31 split (2 seconds faster than last year for the split) and felt confident that I could hang on if I could just keep up the intensity. Easier said than done however...

I slowed over the 3rd mile and clicked through in 8:22 (6 seconds slower than last year). I felt like I was rigging up a bit but still had a lead enough so that when I looked back, I couldn't see anyone back on the longer straights.  Over the last .7 miles, I really dogged it and had no clue about time. I didn't write down or figure out splits ahead of time (I wish I did now) so I wasn't sure what my time would be. I tried to figure it out (appox.) as I hit the 3rd mile marker but really couldn't tell. I actually thought I might barely break 31 at one point.  I tried to work the last 'flat' section before the last climb, just in case I was actually running a good time.  The last climb was a brute and as I came around the corner and saw the clock for the first time, it read 29:55 and I was just too far away from it to try to push to get under 30.  It's funny, as it is so close (you could have actually sprinted and gotten it if it was a flat, normal road race) but because of the climb, it takes much much longer to get there.  I pushed but it wasn't to be. I came across the line and salvaged a 30:04.  My best time by a mere 4 seconds over last year's winning time. I'll take it.  It was my first run all year where I actually ran FASTER than last year's time at the same race. For whatever that is worth.  Considering my year so far, I'll gladly take it.

I raced with the 'slightly modified' Bare-X Lite 155 's that I ran up Mt. Washington in this year. I figured I could use all the help I can get.  Next year, I'll have to craft up something a bit better but for now, it was a last minute decision to give these one more run up the 3.7 miles of straight uphill auto road to the summit of Ascutney.

I hung out a bit too long on the summit and missed the awards unfortunately, but got back down in time to get my stuff and head back down the hill w/ Ross and a few others.  We rocked to the bottom in what had to be a record time for me as we passed by others who had left way before us.

We hung out in the river afterwards, as we do each year.  Despite the damage from last year's hurricane Irene and a very low water level because of the lack of rain recently, we still had enough water to hang out in and keep cool.  I got to chat with a lot of cool folks and enjoy the last day of the mountain series for another year.  It's sad to see it come to yet another end but it was another fun summer of running in the mountains with great folks, great races, and good times.  Around 3 hours home on mostly back roads was actually almost kind of enjoyable.  I love cutting up over the Lake Winni in the summertime.

Top 10 (Plus CMS racing teams in blue)

130:04:008:08Jim Johnson       35Madison NH       
231:04:008:24Dave Dunham       48Bradford MA      
331:13:008:27Ross Krause       32Easthampton MA   
431:43:008:35Todd Callaghan    42Beverly MA       
532:33:008:48Tim Mahoney       32Holyoke MA       
632:55:008:54Robert Hult       42Harvard MA       
733:16:009:00Philip Kreycik    28Cambridge MA     
833:34:009:05Erik Vandendries  47Chestnut Hill MA 
934:10:009:14Matthew Zanchi    22Natick MA        
1034:52:009:26Quincy Schmidt    21Vienna VA    
1235:23:009:34Tim Van Orden    44Bennington VT    
1335:26:009:35Martin Tighe      54Providence RI    

174 Total Finishers

Below is the 2012 Mountain Goat class.  It was a small group this year (comparatively).

Some Mount Ascutney Race Statistics (compiled by Dave Dunham and JJ):

My history at Ascutney Hillclimb:

2009137:26 *

* half road / half trail course - longer 4 mile course

In 2010, Eric Blake broke Eric Morse's course record.

Winners in the 12 years of the race

Morse - 4 wins
Johnson - 3 wins
Low - 2 wins
Blake - 1 win
Dunham - 1 win
Tilton - 1 win

All Times Under 33:00 - Through 2012

Time rankInd rank# by ind.TimeFirstLastPlAgeCityStClubYear
11128:16EricBlake131New BritainCTBAA2010
43129:02KevinTilton124Conway NHCMS2004
86129:40JoshuaFerenc222Keene NH2004
127130:04Jim Johnson135MadisonNHCMS2012
138130:05RichardBolt333Manchester NHCMS2004
19430:32RichardBolt332Manchester NHCMS2003
2111130:47BenNephew428Foxboro MACMS2004
23230:55KevinTilton228N ConwayNHCMS2008
2513131:05MikeCasner339Keene NHCMS2001
2814131:13Ross Krause332EasthamptonMACMS2012
33231:32RossKrause231Easthampton MACMS2011
3416131:33JustinFyffe628E DummerstonVTGCS2008
3517131:33TimVan Orden343BenningtonVTCMS2011
37431:36KevinTilton428N ConwayNHCMS2010
3818131:39MarkPitts439N WoodstockNH2002
4220131:49AndyMcCaron428Keene NHNHCMS2011
4321131:50GregWard532Holden MA2004
46232:01MarkPitts438North WoodstockNH2001
47632:05DaveDunham646Ward HillMACMS2010
6032132:46RyanAschbrenner934Nashua NHNH2011
62332:47MarkPitts641North WoodstockNH2004
63232:48TimVan Orden942BenningtonVTCMS2010

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Training 07-16 - 07-22

Weekly Total: 57.7 miles on 6 days.  Good start to the week then tailed off to help me wrap up the Mountain Series at Ascutney.  The 'summer' season for me is kind of over now.  It's time to push on to the fall and focus on the build up.  Good race at Ascutney and a 4 second PR.  I've been close, but this is the FIRST race all year that I ran faster in, than the previous year.   It's about time.  I'm feeling strong on the climbing lately but still feel flat on the roads and anything else that isn't straight up. I think my strength is good.  No clue on anything else.  Typically when I come down out of the mountains in mid/late July, I run OK on the roads for the rest of the summer. I hope that trend continues.  Ascutney write-up to follow.

7-22 - Sunday: 12 miles (roads, mountain roads, some trails). 3+ mile w/ up on the roads + strides and staying loose before Ascutney Mountain Race in Windsor, VT.  Then race: Ascutney Mountain Race (1st OA - 30:04) - 3.7 miles of ascent-only.  Cooldown was a run up to the actual summit (from the race finish at the top parking lot) on the trail to the observation deck (.7 miles). Then the same on the way down + 3.7 miles down the auto road to the base.  Ran relatively hard on the way down w/ some good company.

7-21 - Saturday: Off.  Destroying my week, but decided to bag today.  I had guests early in the day (yes, I know it's no excuse) and then I had a 3 hour drive to Vermont to camp out before Ascutney Mountain Race. I was planning on doing a light run when I got out there but I met DD and Tim Mahoney down the street from the campsite as I was stopping at the store and they were on their way to dinner.  I decided to go with them and bag my run. I figured a good dinner was better for the race the next day than 5 buggy, hot miles around the camp ground.

7-20 - Friday: 5.5 miles (roads).  Late day run around local roads here in Madison. No one around.  Hot. Very dry.  Explored a couple of hilly neighborhoods down off of 113.  Buggy.  Tailing off a bit before ramping up on Monday for a push to the fall schedule.  Ascutney this weekend and want to be fresh. Right now, not feeling tip top.

7-19 - Thursday: 9.7 miles (trails, mountain).  Redlining up Red Ridge Trail (from Diana's Baths up to Moat Mountain Trail) + out and back on the Red Ridge Link (which is a very serious, but runable climb up near White Horse Ledge).  7.5 of this was new redlining and 2.2 was overlap (but that will be more common the deeper I get into it).  Good solid after work run. I LOVE the summertime up here.  You can climb a mountain and go on a 2 hour run after work, get an ice cream, and still get home before dark.  [1:53:53 total]

7-18 - Wednesday: 10.5 miles (roads, dirt road).  From my house...counter-clockwise lake bang with KT.  Stomach was destroyed for some reason. Had to stop 3 times to evacuate.  Bugs were horrendous on Lead Mine Rd.  Kevin didn't even notice.  I couldn't stand it. [1:11:46].

7-17 - Tuesday: 10 miles at Whitaker Woods.  Summer Series 5k with the Milers.  Extended warmup over the course and then another couple miles + strides.  Then race: 5k (trail).  16:45 - 1st OA. My 6th straight win (the series is best 6 of 9).  This was the second time I ran hard (from the beginning) in 6 weeks of doing this race.  Tim Livingston ran another solid race for 2nd in about the same time he runs every week.  Kevin was third I believe.  I went out through the first flat mile in 5:13 and then rolled up the second hilly mile at lackluster pace and barely hung on after that.  The heat was oppressive to say the least and my third mile was brutal.  There was no escaping the humidity and 90 degree temps even in the shade of Whitaker Woods.  The rain held off until we were doing the cooldown (2 miles).   I think with a cooler day I could have probably gotten the record but tonight was definitely the warmest race of the series so far so I can't complain that I was about 10-15 seconds from KT's record run on this course.

7-16 - Monday: 10 miles in Lower Nanamocomuck Ski Trails - Albany, NH. With Kevin Tilton. Out and back 5 miles (according to Kevin's Garmin).  If anything, it was long because we were under canopy the entire time.  Worked hard on the way back to try to crack 80 minutes!  Good solid trail run.  Warm. Hopped in the Swift River afterwards. Water level is pretty low. I hope we get some rain this week! [1:19:57].