Saturday, December 6, 2014

November/December Update

I let the daily posting slip a bit but I have been putting in some decent training for this time of year and I've raced once since the Castle in the Clouds race in early November.  Instead of backfilling all the missing days, I'll lump everything together into one summary post.

Since the Roaring Falls Trail Race on November 8, nearly a month has passed.  I have been putting up some OK mileage and just trying to do my fair share of pushing forward toward 2015 goals.  I put up weeks of 67.3 miles / 32.2 miles / 66.1 miles and I am near 60 miles at the time of this post after only 5 days this week.  The 32.2 mile week was a trip I made out to San Francisco and San Jose for work.  It's very hard to run on those work trips.  They have us meeting very early in the a.m. to go to the office and then they have us all day.  Lunch is usually with the group and dinner and group events are usually to follow, with no time in between to really get any real training in. Even with two entire days of traveling and sitting in airports, I did manage 4 runs that week but the total was still pretty low.  On one of the off days, we did play Cricket though.  It was pretty fun.  A few of our engineers from India are pretty avid Cricket players and one even played professionally... we rented out a park in San Jose and played for a couple hours.  There are some photos and video but I don't look very experienced in them, so I'll refrain from posting :).

My team at Adobe... Post San Jose Sharks / Panthers game in San Jose

Since the last post I've also been running a decent amount on the treadmill at the Mill in East Madison.  I am not going to overdo that this winter though.  I need to find a nice mixture of roads/snowshoe and treadmill.  I don't want to make the same mistake I made a couple times last year, where I ran on the mill until my legs were beyond beat.  Then it derailed me for a month + at the end of last winter.  I've been doing some doubles but some very easy runs on those days. I've also been trying to hit the pool when I can and do some laps as well as relax in the hot tub after and do some stretching.  I'll plan on trying to be around this ballpark of 70-90 miles this winter to build a base and try to make one more push at some faster times in 2015.

Madison Thanksgiving 5k

I did do one more race since the last post (probably my last for 2014) which was the Madison Thanksgiving 5k.  The results were never posted and it's already a week + later so I'm guessing they aren't going to bother at this point.  I did capture another 'W' in a very snowy 'trail' race.  It could have been a nice snowshoe race as there was about a foot of snow on the trails and it was only torn up and packed down slightly by a snowmobile pre-race. There were a couple of fast dudes in the race and one stayed with me for a little bit (not sure of his name as the results are MIA) but after the race I found out he had been sick...I wonder how things would have been if he was feeling OK.  The other guy that was making me nervous was Conway's own 2014 US Olympian Sean Doherty, who is a member of the US Biathlon team and represented the US in Sochi last winter. He ended up running with his younger brother and they were I think 4th and 5th maybe?  Not quite sure.

It was very slow going on the first loop but then by loop #2 there was a rail of solid snow you could run on, which made things easier.  Because of USATF insurance, they couldn't allow snowshoes so I ran with microspikes over my Mudclaw 265s.  I barely squeaked out a win over another good local runner Andrew Drummond, who was pretty close behind.  I just couldn't put any distance on him after the first loop.  For the effort I won a pair of Julbo sunglasses.

See Joe Viger's entire photo set here.

Dan Vassallo

Also happening since I last updated this thing, Dan Vassallo won the Philadelphia Marathon with an Olympic Trials qualifying time of 2:17:28.  This has been this bloke's goal for years.  He's knocked on the door in the past, but he's run into ups and downs (during his down's he was still always better than me!) in recent years.  This past year he really put things together and it definitely paid off.   Check out LevelRenner's collection of DV-related articles for some links to interviews Dan did as well as video from the Fox morning show in Philly.  Good stuff...and can't be more happy and excited for this kid...

Kevin Beck brought up an interesting factoid about Dan Vassallo being only one of just 3 CMS runners to run under 2:25:00 in the present millennium (Kevin is usually full of interesting tidbits...and often is just plain full of it).   DV, Justin Fyffe (at VT), and Kevin (Boston) himself are the only 3.    DV's 2:17:28 puts him at #3 all-time (individual) on the Central Mass Striders list (behind Andy Ronan and Geoff Smith) with the #5 performance, and pushes Kevin's own 2:24:17 into 19th...  I will update the full list of CMS Marathon times hopefully sometime this month.  Here's a question to Kevin or DD or anyone else who may know... When Andy and Geoff ran their quick times (quicker than 2:17:28), were they wearing CMS uniforms?  I seem to remember photos where one or both of them were wearing maybe a sponsor's singlet... I'll have to do some research on that. DV 'could' be the quickest in a CMS kit unless someone can confirm that during these runs below, they were rockin' the Bud Light / Polar Beverages CMS singlets :)

Here is the top 10 CMS Marathon Times...

Time RankInd Rank# by IndNameDateLocationStateTimePlaceName
111Andy Ronan4/15/91BostonMA2:11:273Boston
22Andy Ronan6/12/05LondonENG2:13:30London
321Geoff Smith1990BostonMA2:13:387Boston
43Andy Ronan1989MinneapolisMN2:13:494Twin Cities
531Dan Vassallo2014PhiladelphiaPA2:17:281Philly
62Geoff Smith4/15/91BostonMA2:18:00Boston
741Scott Bagley11/10/91ColumbusOH2:18:308Columbus
851Dave Dunham12/14/96HuntsvilleAL2:19:502Rocket City
961Reno Stirrat12/12/87HuntsvilleAL2:20:462Rocket City
1071MikeWhittlesey1995MinneapolisMN2:20:4713Twin Cities

Below is a nice photo courtesy of Bob Wiles (yes, Bob Wiles) showcasing DV's celebration tour post-marathon.

USATF-New England Grand Prix Voting

Well, the voting period for the USATF-New England Grand Prix is now open (selection sheet).  If you are a member of USATF-New England, you have until December 12th to vote for races ranging from the 5k to the marathon.  I voted on day one but I screwed up.  I neglected to see the rule about not voting for two 10 milers in the section labelled 'Other'.  It was only on the actual voting survey and not listed anywhere else....and also the actual survey allows you to select two 10 milers without any notification that you can't do that and no functionality to disallow it.  So I sent an email to some folks at USATF-NE and they graciously reset my transcript so I could revote.  It was my fault for not seeing it, so I'm lucky they accommodated me.  The alternative (which they had every right to do) was to throw out my vote (which it says on the form is what they will do if you vote for two 10 milers). I just wish it was on the other pages with instructions (which I did make sure to read) before I started voting on the survey page.

After having my vote reset, I went in and voted but I changed a couple things because I couldn't really pick two 'non-10 milers' or one 10 miler and one non-10 miler without conflicts....So I had to rework my pics around just a couple of races I want to see, and the rest I had to settle for so it would fit and not 'conflict'.

In the end, I voted basically for the Vermont City Marathon simply because I have always wanted to do this race.  It does conflict with a couple of races I've always historically done (Wachusett and Redhook) on Memorial Day weekend but I really want to give this race a whirl and run another marathon before I finally admit I'm slow.  In order to vote for VCM, I couldn't vote for a couple other races I wanted to vote for because it was linked to some other races with conflicts and then of course you couldn't vote for some if you voted for others.  It was kind of a in the end I didn't actually vote for all the ones I technically would have liked to race, but I came up with the slate below (reluctantly):
  • Vermont City - Burlington, VT - May 24 (one of my 'goal' races for 2015)
  • New Bedford Half Marathon - New Bedford MA - March 15 (only because I know this will win... I probably won't even race it, but it will win as it always does, so I voted for it so that I could fit everything else... I wanted to vote for the New England Half (in NH) but there are conflicts I cannot get around if I vote for VT.
  • Lone Gull 10k - Gloucester, MA - Sept 20 (ran once, ran horrible, not a huge fan but it's a good race...probably won't go but we'll's around other races I like to run).  Newton conflicted with VT City.
  • Bobby Doyle 5M - Narragansett, RI - Aug 9 (I wouldn't mind the ride down...I love the thought of a sweaty hot 5M in August... I couldn't vote for Ribfest because it's the day after Mt. Washington and....well...
  • Hollis 5k - Hollis, NH - Jun 11 - The alternatives were an October 5k or a March 5k (YUCK) in Cambridge, thanks.  Even though it's a Thursday night race, Hollis isn't two days before Mt. Washington this year, so it's doable.  Again, not even sure I'll go to any of these though...
  • NH 10 Miler - I wanted to pick this as I've wanted to race it for a while...
  • Nahant (some pages say 30k and some say 25k)... Nahant, MA - Oct 4 - I picked this because I couldn't pick anything else if I wanted VT City and NH 10.  I was kind of forced into this pick... I've run it before and it's not bad...I've even won it :).

Lastly, I have been finally 'let go' from Team Inov-8 (I saw this coming a mile away and it should have probably been done 2 years ago).  I had a nice conversation with the team manager when I was out in San Jose a couple weeks ago.  They are going to reorganize and change up the structure of the team, lessen the load, and focus more on their main star athletes who travel and compete in the bigger stage events worldwide. I get it.  This could have happened to me years ago as the last couple years have been less than stellar and 2013 was a downright disaster for me.  They could have let me go last year but gave me another chance.  I was/am grateful for sure.  I have a massive collection of shoes to use from the last few years and won't be hurting for trail/mountain running shoes or gear for a while.  They are still going to use me for testing so I should be able to try out some random pairs of new shoes here and there, but I won't be part of the team for this year and that's ok.  It was a good run for me and I am lucky as just a 'local' runner, to have been given the opportunity to run for the company and receive the benefits of a team athlete for the last 5 years.  I wish the rest of the team well this coming year and hope to see them out on the trails/mountains if any of them make it to New England :).


An certainly not least... The girls are growing fast... We took a trip over to Settler's Green to visit Santa again...Tabby didn't really cooperate for the photo and Kristin tried to reel her in (that's why she's in the photo)...Morgan didn't know any better so she's looking rather content in Santa's arms...

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