Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Chief Maloney Unity Run 10K

On Sunday the family made a trip down to Stratham to run in the Chief Maloney Unity Run 10K (results) that goes from the Stratham Police Dept. to the Greenland Police Dept.  This I believe was the 2nd year of the current course and it's a pretty cool concept.  The race of course is in memory of Chief Michael Maloney who was killed in the line of duty, and a tribute to all the communities' first responders.  The parking is a little tricky and they shuttled people from parking lots in Greenland to Stratham.  I got lucky and got there nice and early and found a spot right at the starting line.  Kristin drove down with the girls separately in her car and was at the finish line.

I warmed up with Derrick Hamel over the first bit of the course.  I felt pretty good (all things considered) but was a bit skeptical about a 10K.  I haven't really run many 10Ks in my time and it's been a long while since I've run a good one.   I was pretty excited about the fact that I wouldn't have to try to run quite as fast as the 5k pace I did last week, which really does feel uncomfortable to me right now...  

After a nice speech by Greg Kretschmar from the Morning Buzz and also Governor Maggie Hassan (who fired the gun), we were off and running.  I shot out to the lead and was pretty surprised to be almost alone from the very start although Derrick was lingering.  I realized about a half mile in, why...I was running pretty quick but it felt a lot easier than NHTI.  The first mile rolls (as does the whole course) but there's some slight uphill right away and some down.  It makes a huge difference in the way I felt, which is a good sign.  I clicked through the first mile in 5:05, which is a bit too fast for my 10k right now...but I felt pretty strong.  It's funny how John Mortimer was driving the truck in front of me, really slow, with his head out the window facing me...and he was talking to me like we were out for a run...it actually allowed me to relax which was good.  He asked me during the first mile, if I had raced yesterday...I thought that was funny... we talked back and forth during the race as the lead vehicle was yo-yoing between me and the police motorcycles up ahead.  He was asking me about the accuracy of the splits, etc.  It made me actually feel better to not have to focus on trying to hit my splits... but the rolling nature of the course was actually making it pretty easy to split right where I wanted to be.  The course has a decent amount of immediate downhill drops right after any sort of little climb, so you could immediately gain some time back when you needed it.  At one point, I was over 6 min pace on a climb (according to my watch), but then dropped right back down and was back near 5:10 by the time the mile split came.

Photo by Keith Tharp

Somewhere after 3 miles or so, I started to notice Derrick lose some time and he dropped back.  He was there for a few miles, within sight and probably only a handful of seconds... but the more the course went on, the larger my lead grew.  I would say around 4 miles or so, I realized I just had to hang on to what I was doing.  I really wanted the win and was less concerned about the time. Ahead of the race, I haven't run a road 10k since my atrocious Market Square Day 10k last year, so I was really not sure about what I could do for time.  I was really just wanting to make sure I could be in contention for the win.  So I was very pleased at what was happening out on the road, staying around my goal pace overall.  I didn't really try to estimate what my time was going to be at all, at any point.
When I hit 6 miles, I could hear the people at the finish and started to see a lot of people standing on the side, cheering me on.  The course up until that point had some people standing here and there on the side of the roads and at the end of driveways, but it was pretty quiet out there for most of it...but it's a beautiful course.  Rolling country roads....beautiful scenery.  I really enjoyed it.  As I dumped out after 6 miles, it was a small little push down and then up around this little neighborhood near the police station and then out to the finish.  I saw the clock with about 15 seconds or so to go and immediately knew I had just run pretty solid.

Photo by Keith Tharp
I came through in 31:45 and was obviously pumped.  My splits were right on 5:10 pace for the 6.15 distance on my Garmin.  The race results are for 6.2 miles which put my splits at 5:07.  I'd like to think with some company, I could actually get there in a couple months on the right day...  Regardless, I think I would have added about 15 seconds or so to this time if the finish area was pushed back a little more to make it 6.2 miles.  That means the full 10k would have been right around 32 flat which is very assuring.  My 6 mile split on my watch beeped right at the 6 mile sign on the road and all the mile splits were within a couple seconds either way... but the last '.2' was really '.15' on my watch and only took 43-44 seconds... So that's where the difference was.  Either way, I was thrilled with the effort.  It's funny to me that a 32 minute 10k effort would be so exciting, but considering what I've gone through for the past 3 years or so, and the fact that I'm ancient now, I'm really excited about how my body is responding to the quicker races.  I am still about 10 lbs heavier in general, than I was 3 years+ ago, but that's just what happens when you start packing on the years I guess (and kids)...

Keith Tharp was in the back of the lead vehicle that John was driving and took a ton of photos including this one to the left of me punching through the finish line (it's also visible on the video link below).

After doing an interview with Andy Schachat and taking a lot of photos with mascots and some of the other top finishers (and kissing babies and signing autographs), I headed out for a 3 mile cooldown with Derrick over some roads in the area.  Then it was back to the finish line festivities for food and the awards ceremony.

I've been enjoying my running more than I have in close to 3 years this year as far as racing goes, and it's only April...so that is a great sign.  It feels great to finally get back into some sort of shape and actually be contending for race wins here and there on the roads at 38 years of age.  It's also great to be able to go to these fun area events and bring the family along.  Tabby gets really excited seeing me run by.  I can't wait for the Seacoast Series to kick off...regardless of how I do in the overall series, it's definitely my favorite collection of races to run and I'm excited to get the summer rolling.

Seacoast Online Articlehttp://www.seacoastonline.com/article/20150426/NEWS/150429271

Video of start/finish and about the race: http://www.wmur.com/news/4th-annual-chief-mike-maloney-unity-run/32584372

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Week of April 20-26

Week of April 20-26

Fell behind on some posting... so I'll recap the week that was...

Weekly Mileage: 78.5 miles
Good week for sure.  Short day on Thursday because it was my birthday.  I'm officially old now.  38. Holy crap.  I'm as old as Justin Freeman now... but still slower.   Had an OK workout... And had a much better race.... It was a very good race on Sunday and possibly close to a PR run for me at the distance.  And I'm almost 50 grand more in debt.

April 20 (Monday) - 9 miles (trails). Raining the entire time... Corridor 19 to Mason Brook trail and then up to the the junction of the Black Cap Connector and then back down in a loop.  Had to add on a slight bit at the car to make 9.  The trails were a mess at first (tons of water from the railroad tracks all the way in about a quarter mile or so) then they got better until I got up high and then there was actually fresh fallen snow blanketing everything and some DEEP snow patches for a bit here and there.  It got progressively better as I dropped down and by the time I hooked a left back onto the single track near the base of Peaked, it was fine.  Had to go shopping and wanted to try to stay out of the rain so it 'seemed' like a good idea at the time...

April 21 (Tuesday) - 11.5 miles (roads) - from house, 113, 41 out to Carved in Bark neighborhoods...around that entire loop and then back.  Kept things slightly elevated and felt decent except a couple of small calf pains on the LEFT side, which is new.  Definitely just lingering from being tight and not stretching a lot recently.

April 22 (Wednesday) - AM: 5 miles (roads) - from house down along the lake and back.  PM: 11.5 miles as a track workout.  Had calf pain since yesterday so I almost bailed on it but decided to try miles instead of the 2 mile repeats I had planned on.  2.25 mile w/up + 6 x mile at 10k pace (well, desired 10k pace...eventually).  Went 5:08 / 5:07 / 5:06 / 5:08 / 5:07 / 5:08 (w/ 400 jog in between).  I was targeting 5:10s.  I think that's probably a little aggressive right now, but it can't hurt to be a little quicker with these.  This is a rehash of the 6 x mile I did this past winter (but at 5:10s and on the treadmill). It felt about the same but my calf was giving me problems near the end.  The wind also picked up and it started to rain.  The last one was tough w/ a headwind seemingly the entire time.  2 mile cooldown.  16.5 miles total on the day.

April 23 (Thursday) - Happy 38th birthday to me...yikes.  AM: 5 miles (roads) from Albany Service Station back to my house.  Had family over after work so didn't get out for another one... good times though.... I don't feel a day over 37.

April 24 (Friday) - AM: 5 miles (roads).  Normal out and back on the roads.  I usually make fun of people who complain about New England weather and who are surprised about how sh*tty the weather is sometimes...but I have to ask....is April usually this cold and fr*ggin windy?  It's getting ridiculous.  PM: 10.3 miles (roads) with Darin Brown from the Madison town beach.  Neighborhood loops in Madison, Tamworth, Ossipee.  15.3 miles total on the day.

April 25 (Saturday) - 8.5 miles (roads/trails).  Chain of Ponds loop from my house.  Easy trails/roads.

April 26 (Sunday) - 3.5 mile w/ up (3 with Derrick Hamel) and then 6.2 milesChief Maloney 10k (results) in Stratham/Greenland, NH.  1st OA.  31:45.  3 mile cooldown with Hamel.  12.7 miles total.  Best run in a long time.  I had 6.15 on my Garmin so it was close but I'd probably add a few more seconds ...pretty close if not still under 32 for the run though.  My Garmin was right on point with all the miles and was right exactly on 6 miles at the 6 mile marker but I was only 43 seconds for the last .15... so I think the last .05 or so would have put me right around 32 minutes... (course map) A very good run though.  Led from the gun and rolled.  I'm getting into decent shape and am excited about more 10ks this year...

On the way home from the race, dropped off at Portsmouth Ford and picked up the new family whip...  Explorer Sport...fully loaded to the brim.  Now if only I'll ever get a chance to drive it ;)...  The inside of this thing is like Studio 54...

Friday, April 17, 2015

April 17 (Friday) - NHTI Delta Dental 5k

April 17 (Friday) - I made my way down to Concord, NH for the NHTI Delta Dental 5k (results) on the campus of NHTI (aka the house that Heather Mahoney-Searles built) which is also a stop on the CARS series (which I'm not doing).  I last did this race in 2011 when I faced a showdown with Justin Freeman.  We ran quick...(well, I ran quick...he's a 14:4X guy).  I was 15:18 to Justin's 15:14.  That was when the course actually had a hill (went up and over the bridge and through the infamous 'Root Canal').  This year, the course was different.  No hill up and over the bridge.  It was 2 loops of basically the main part of the course.

I warmed up with Justin and Patrick Ard and Derrick Hamel for part of the way.  I commented to Justin when we went past the spot during the third mile of the course, that that is where he lost me last time.  This year would be no different in that regard.  Ahead of the race, I had also seen Cory Sinotte and knew there were at least 5 solid guys contending for the win, along with a slew of others that could also place high.  The top 10 was shaping up to be pretty competitive as this race usually is.

As the race went off I immediately went out to the lead and had 4-5 guys in tow right behind me.  The course heads south for a stretch and goes around a round-about and then heads back against traffic.  I was pushing the pace a bit and looking at my watch.  Low 4:40s pace for a stretch... too fast.  I tried to settle in and relax a few times but the masses right behind me kept me moving pretty quick.  Probably around 3/4 of a mile in, Cory Sinotte motored by me and I figured that was the last time I'd be in the lead for sure.  He took a convincing lead by a few strides and I had to adjust to stay with him.   I could feel Justin's presence right behind.  We clicked through the first mile in sub 4:50 (I had 4:47 on my watch).  That was a bit outrageous but I was still feeling ok and was trying to now just settle into 5 minute pace.

Probably about 1.5 miles in, I found myself passing Cory back without doing any sort of additional work.  Justin was right behind me and quickly did the same thing.  I started to now think that it would be just us two as I continued to push now that I was back in the lead.  We started the second loop and made our way back out around the round-about.  I got to glance back at who was still hanging on and realized that Patrick and Derrick were pretty much right there still (as was Cory and obviously Justin right behind me).  Justin was sounding like he was laboring a bit at times and I thought for a moment that he may fade back after we passed the 2 mile mark (not sure why I thought that, as he never fades...at least against me!).  I had sub 9:50 on my watch through 2 miles (9:44-9:45) and still had some wheels going.  But as soon as we took the right onto the last long stretch that cirles the parking lot at NHTI, I could feel Justin getting anxious.  He rolled up next to me in almost the same spot he had pulled away from me in 2011 (in that race he was leading, but he didn't drop me completely until that spot)... This time, right around that point again, he got right on my shoulder, I looked at my watch, looked over at him, and knew he was going to put a move in...and he did.  Deja vu... I didn't cover it.  He got a few steps ahead of me and I trailed him the rest of the way in. I was within striking distance for a half mile or so but had no strike.  When we hit the quad area where you have to circle the quad to the finish, he actually moved away from me again.

I ended up finishing 2nd in 15:31 to his 15:25.  Both are pretty good for this early in the year.  His time is a bit slower I think than he would have liked, but I was thrilled with my effort.  My 3rd mile split on my Garmin was 4:55 (faster than the 4:58 2nd mile split).  The last bit of the race was again a long stretch in but at the same 4:55 pace for the last almost .2.  The course is now certified and is obviously fast.  Pancake flat and there was no wind.   It's a great PR course now for sure (if you can get out on a Friday to run it).

For me, it was a little bit of a monkey off my back.  I had wanted to feel faster again and get myself into a race like this where we had 4-5 or so fast guys all mixing it up.  It feels good to run in the range I was running in back in the 2008-2011 timeframe.  I'm not sure how many more of these I have and how much faster I'll be at other races with more incline/turns, etc. but for now, it feels good to throw one down and finally go under 16 by a decent amount on a real course and at a great event.  Even though I was 15:59 at the Freedom Old Home Day 5k last summer, that course isn't certified (although I had the distance on my watch).  So I never really felt like I 'broke 16' there... Also it was by the skin of my teeth... So 15:30s felt good.

The amazing thing is that I looked back at my race history a bit after this race and the last time I ran FASTER than this at a real 5k was 8/13/2011.  Yes, 2011.  Granted I haven't run that many 5ks since, but I have run 15:40s/15:30s at races in the end of 2011 and into 2012 but never faster than 15:31 since August of 2011 when I ran 2 5ks in 3 days of 15:25 and 15:20.  The 15:20 was at the Crisman Memorial 5k in Amherst, NH.  Tim Pipp was 2nd that day...that's how LONG ago it was...  So needless to say, it is a great feeling when I can run in that neighborhood or at least faster than I have in going on 4 years!  I am also going to be 38 this coming week... Hopefully now as the weather gets better and I can run some easy trails for the slower / recovery days and some track workouts and road tempos for the mid-week workouts, I can maybe actually chip away at this time.  I'm not sure how much more I can drop it if at all, but here it is only April and I'm already thinking I've accomplished this goal I set out to achieve after many years of lackluster racing and putzing around and being injured and sometimes unmotivated.  Mentally, it's a huge boost for me.  It's also pretty fun getting back into the old school scene and doing a bunch of road races where I can bring the girls along...  It's a little easier for them to spectate a small loop 5k course and hopefully some day they will take part in the kids races, the more they see the little kids taking part in the festivities at some of these events.

My history at the NHTI Delta Dental 5k:

2015 - 15:31 (2nd)
2011 - 15:18 (2nd)
2008 - 15:42 (1st)

Top 10 Overall (CMS in blue):

Place(Net) TimePaceNameAgeTown/State
115:254:58Justin Freeman 38New Hampton NH
215:315:00Jim Johnson    37Madison NH    
315:425:03Patrick Ard    30Raymond NH    
415:495:06Cory Sinotte   23Manchester NH 
515:535:07Derrick Hamel  31Northwood NH  
616:195:16Ryan Kelly     33Concord NH    
716:275:18Tim Cox        41Northwood NH  
817:065:31Warren Bartlett17Loudon NH     
917:185:34Sam Wood       28Laconia NH    
1017:235:36Scott Clark    49Gilmanton NH  

384 Total Finishers.

The cooldown was around with Sam and Abbey Wood, Patrick, and Derrick.  Then it was back inside the gym for the awards and some food...

On the way home I realized I left ALL my running stuff on the top of my damn car.  90 miles later, I pull into my driveway and there was still 1 shoe stuck under the roof rack.  It survived..but it's partner did not...along with my bag, tights, hat, singlet, shirt, and some other junk.  Gone.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

April 16 (Thursday)

April 16 (Thursday) - 6 miles easy at lunch.  Another 6 miles easy after work and raking for an hour.  Then more raking and yard work...The past couple days have been great and I've cleaned up most of the yard.  Good to have Tabby out there keeping me company and 'helping'.  12 miles really easy on the day.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

April 15 (Wednesday)

April 15 (Wednesday) - 5 miles at lunch nice and easy.  Then later after work, decided on a short track workout, which was essentially a compromise.  Originally I wanted to do 6 x mile this week but decided to do the double last weekend.  So with 2 races over the weekend I really didn't want to do a workout on the usual Tuesday as I wasn't really fully recovered.  And with a possible race again on Friday (still up in the air on that one), I didn't want to do too much on Wednesday and only have Thursday in between.  I was tempted to just do a normal run this afternoon but compromised on just 3 x 1 mile to get in some work but not overdo it.   Did 2 mile warmup on the God awful rec trail behind the high school (a lot of the trails this time of year are completely useless and borderline counter productive) and almost fell twice because of the mud and ice.    Then just jumped onto the track and into 3.5 miles as 3 x mile at 5:02 / 5:03 / 5:00 with 400 in between in 1:44/1:45.  I wanted around 5:05 so this wasn't bad but the wind was ridiculous.  I had a hard time gauging the times because I was getting blown around bigtime.  2.5 miles cooldown on the roads.  8 miles total and 13 total miles on the day.  Some stomach issues on the cooldown and on the way home... I'll live.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

April 14 (Tuesday)

Hurricane Point - Silver Lake, NH
April 14 (Tuesday) - 8 miles of easy trails.  Didn't want to travel far so stayed in town and just explored some of the sights of the southeast part of Madison.   Snow, mud, ice, etc.  Not ideal. Trails definitely are not ready for primetime but still not a bad easy day.  Took one major digger in shockingly VERY deep snow on the shore of Cooks Pond.  Head first.  Other than that, I basically wanted to scope out the newly proposed Jackman Ridge trail in Madison.  It rises up out of Goodwin Town Forest and peaks out at the top (914 feet according to my elevation app on my phone).  I ran on what I thought was the trail and then lost it and bushwhacked (I HATE that) up to where I finally found blue flagging and boot prints from the person who laid out the plans for the trail.  There was absolutely no trail work done so it was basically more bushwhacking except this time, following flags.  I got to the top and found a very clear area with a cairn marking the summit.  I turned and tried to follow it back down but lost the flags multiple times and had to keep stopping.  I then had to choose between multiple routes of blue flags after a certain point.  Finally made my way down to Lead Mine again and crossed over and ran some of the conservation trails over to Hurricane Point on Silver Lake.  Made a quick trip out to the point and then back over some more conservation trails back to Lead Mine and then back through the Goodwin Forest trails a bit more to make 8 miles even.  Not really productive but a rest day nonetheless... and got a couple of decent views in.

Moose Poop Galore

Moose Poop Galore

Cooks Pond

E.E. Cummings was here...

Chocorua looming...

Almost ready for a swim...

Silver Lake, NH - Whiteface, Passaconaway, and Chocorua

This is what I had to contend with on half the run... not really worth it just yet...

Monday, April 13, 2015

April 13 (Monday)

April 13 (Monday) - 10 miles of dirt roads at Chocorua Lake.  Met Leslie down there after work.  Darin was sick (again) at the last minute and couldn't get out for the run (or he was just dodging me to train in secret)...  Chocorua Lake Rd. to Loring Rd. to Philbrook Neighborhood Rd. to Fowler's Mill Rd. out to 113A and then turned back.  Nice day out.  First run in t-shirt and shorts this year.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

April 12 (Sunday) - Reds 5 Miler

April 12 (Sunday) - I was back at it again on Sunday down in Dover, NH.  Should I get a weekend place down on the seacoast?  We're thinkin' about it....   This time, the scene of the crime was the second half of the 'Dover Double'.   Red's Shoe Barn 5 Miler (results) also now known as "Reds Race for a Better Community"...  I've done this race 4 times now (3 wins and a 2nd place).  After doing yesterday's race, I wasn't sure how I'd feel for this one...

The entire family (Tabby, Kristin, Me, and little Morgan in the carriage)... Tabby not looking too happy.
The weather shaped up to be great for running and I made the trip down with the whole Johnson clan for the first time.  Kristin and both of the girls joined me.  It was really a great time and great to have them there.  Also making the quick trip down was my parents who got to see me race again this year for the first time.  With everyone in attendance, the pressure was a little more than usual.  It was the first time my girls have been to a race.  I was feeling pretty sore from Saturday's 5k.  My calves were a bit tight and sore and my back was a little tight.  I headed out for an out and back 3 + miles on the Red's course and was joined right near the end by Sam Wood.  Aside from Sam and some Six03 guys (including Matt Garfield who was 3rd at SMA on Saturday) I didn't really recognize anyone else I saw... That is until I got back to the starting line right before the race and saw Jason Dedonato standing there.  Jason is  a fellow UML guy (but about 10 years after I was there)...  I figured I was looking at trying to get 2nd place at that point.

As the race went off, I moved into my plan right away of trying to hit 5:10-5:15 (as long as my legs would hold up).  Jason was right off my shoulder.  I moved up the road and hooked the first left onto Court St. and just tried to relax.  There's climbing gently for the first mile almost the entire way.  I hit the mile in 5:09.  Right about where I wanted.  I felt really good and I had put a very small gap on Jason but not a lot.

Photo by Kristin

Photo by Kristin

Photo by Daniel Aaron Sprague
The second mile is pretty quick and has some slight drop and flat with only one small bump.  I was 5:05 (10:14 through 2 miles) and felt pretty strong still.  Very controlled and void of any leg issues from the previous day.  I knew that the middle part of the course was pretty challenging and tried to just keep up the intensity and move away from Jason.  I was glad Jason was there as it kept me honest about the run.  I was running nervous and pushed up through the third mile, which has got some stead slight uphill.

Photo by Daniel Aaron Sprague

I was 5:15 for my 3rd mile and moving well into the start of the 4th mile and starting to put more of a gap on Jason.  The 4th mile starts pretty fast but ends with a god awful hill up through 4 and the beginning of mile 5.  I felt gassed as I made my way up the last hill and split 4 miles in just under 21 minutes 20:47 or so).  I should have known then that sub 26 was a real possibility.  Even though the last mile starts with the last bit of the uphill, it finishes with a crazy drop and you lose basically everything you gained in the first few miles.  I admittedly mailed it in about 3/4 the way down the hill and just was running to try to hold off the win.  I sort of miscalculated how close it was going to be... I remember hammering this downhill back in 2011 when I ran 25:25 (4:55 for that split that year).  This year my last mile was 5:04.  So not quite as aggressive.

I bottomed out at the base of the hill (passing Kristin and Tabby standing on the side of the road) and pushed towards the finish with a seemingly half-hearted effort in the last 200 meters or so.  I thought I would be way passed 26:00 and wasn't really aware of how close it was until I was within sight of the clock.  26:02 for a final time but more importantly, a nice win in front of my whole family and the back-to-back old school double complete.

Photo by Kristin

Top 10 Overall (Plus CMS in Blue):

126:025:13Jim Johnson      37East Madison NH
227:075:26Jason Dedonato   28Newmarket NH   
329:075:50Matt Garfield    27Wells ME       
429:165:52Denise Sandahl   34Bow NH         
529:475:58Phil Erwin       47Wading River NY
630:016:01Randy MacNeill   53Epping NH      
730:146:03Isaac St Martin  35Manchester NH  
830:336:07Ryan Clark       26Barrington NH  
930:586:12Tom Doherty      30Dover NH       
1031:196:16Mike Barry       58Northwood NH   
1131:406:20Sam Wood         28Laconia NH     

560 Total Finishers.

Fosters Article: http://www.fosters.com/article/20150412/SPORTS/150419861/14322/NEWS

My History at Reds:

2015 - 1st - 26:03
2011 - 1st - 25:25
2010 - 1st - 25:56
2009 - 2nd - 27:16

Also, they announced 'Mr Dunham' as having the course record according to my Dad.  He told me the announcer called him 'Mr Dunham'.  It is obvious he didn't know Dave.  Mr. Dunham is Dave's father. ;)...

I cooled down a couple miles on the Children's Museum course with Sam Wood. Sam was basically there because his company was involved with the race and was just running it for a workout and support the race.  Good to see him though and talk about the upcoming summer racing season.

My Dad filmed the start, finish, and awards (top 2 men):

The Start:

The Finish:

The Awards:

Some additional family shots...

Post race...

Post race cool shot by Daniel Aaron Sprague

Tabby Rose (Photo by Kristin)

Tabby Rose and her daddy... (Photo by Kristin)

After the race, we all went back up to East Wakefield for the day.  I helped my dad shovel, rake, move some rocks, and cut up and move the big tree that was still blocking their yard.  We all had a nice lunch and left around dinner time.  Great weekend and great day of racing and family time.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

April 11 (Saturday) - SMA 5k

April 11 (Saturday) - On Saturday I headed down to Dover, NH for the first race in the planned weekend double.  I ended up landing at the SMA 5k (results) for the first stop.  I was originally planning on going down to Portsmouth for the Out of Hibernation 5k but decided at the last minute to give the The 'Dover Double' (as it's called) a try.  After talking to Nate Huppe, I found out the race had some prize money and it was slightly closer than Portsmouth.  Also, I know that the Portsmouth race is notoriously short, so I figured the Dover race would make more sense.  I enjoyed the Out of Hibernation race when I ran it back in 2010 or so, but I made the decision to try out the newer race (new to me anyways).

I warmed up over the course with the Huppster and he showed me the ins and outs of the neighborhoods.  The first mile has got some up and down but very slight.  There is a long ever so slight uphill for most of the first half (the same stretch as the start of the Reds course but longer) and then some nice flat sections for a while.  The second mile has got some flat and up sections with maybe the longest hill but still not anything like last weekend.  The third mile has got some twist and turns and the steepest up hill and down hill section of the course right near the end.  There is also a bike path/rail trail section at about 2.75 or so.  I did notice that the starting line and finishing line were exactly the same.  That caused me some concern right away as I was curious as to how they could map out exactly a 5k (or whatever they need to be officially certified 5k...like 3.17 or so) course to start and finish at the exact same timing mat.  I figured it may be a tad long if anything. I also heard they moved the course start / finish (or one or the other) over a street from last year...so I'm not sure if that had any bearing...

The race went off and I bolted out to the front.  Took the first immediate right turn and dropped down a nice slight downhill to the police station and then hooked a right and then another right back on to Central St.  Then it was a long slightly uphill push for a half mile or so.  It was also into the wind but no where near as bad as Paddy's was.  I had Nate and another guy (Greg Englehart) close behind.  I kept tabs on my watch, closely monitoring my pace.  Despite the wind and slight uphill nature of that stretch, I was under 5 min pace and holding.   I finally dropped over another couple of left/right turns and went through the mile in 4:56.  I had gapped Nate and Greg looked to be falling back a bit by then.

Photos by Melissa Garfield... Myself w/ Nate and Greg in tow...

The second mile was the windiest.  We had a headwind seemingly the entire time.  It seemed to get worse as I was climbing the hill but again it wasn't anywhere near as bad as a few weeks ago.  My pace dropped and I knew I was possibly in slight trouble time-wise.  I finally turned onto the street with the 2 mile mark and went through right around 10:10. I knew I was going to break 16.  I was positive.  I felt good now that I was free from the wind and the rest of the course was twisty and slightly rolling (with the one last hill at the end) but I figured that even if I ran about the same as I just did, I could break it. I was even thinking 15:4X-15:50.  I was well clear of the field and started working the turnover.

I hit the bike path after another couple sharp turns and another section of wind but not bad.  I dumped out the other side and took a quick right again and glanced at the watch. I was hovering right over 5 minute pace.  I knew I'd finally get the monkey off my back.  Well...not really....because I dropped down, then started the last sharp climb up to mile 3.  I worked the hill, took the left and dropped down. I went through 3 miles with a 5:03 split. I was pumped that I was able to run that with the last mile the way it was laid out (7 turns in the last mile, a bike path, and a short steep hill).  The last mile does have a net drop so it kind of evened out.  I was smiling, knowing I was going under 16...well...not so fast.  From 3 mile mark to the finish took me 59 seconds!  I was mortified (and not because I was running a Millenium race ;) )....get it?  'Morti-fied'... anyways, I was really disappointed.  I rolled through the finish in 16:07. I was positive I was going to break 16 and couldn't believe it.  It kind of only came to me after I hit three and saw how much further I had to go.  It was really deflating.

I won, so I couldn't be too upset in the grand scheme.  It's only April still...and I know the times will come.   The effort was there...and I was 15:41 through exactly 3.1 on my watch so I know the effort was there.  I got a cool $125 cash for the effort and was about 43 seconds up on Nate who ran to a strong 2nd.  3rd place was a photo finish for Matt Garfield to round out the prize money winners.

I cooled down with Nate again on part of the Red's course, then collected the cash winfall and headed out.   729 strong showed up for the race, which was pretty amazing.  It feels real good getting out to these races again.  I feel like a real runner again...like old times.  Maybe it's just because I'm old though....

Top 10 Overall:

Pl Name Age City St Gun Time Time
Johnson, Jim 37 MADISON NH 16:07.9 16:07.9 
Huppe, Nathan 35 DOVER NH 16:50.0 16:50.0 
Englehart, Greg 23 NEWBURYPORT MA 17:18.9 17:18.1 
Garfield, Matt 27 WELLS ME 17:18.7 17:18.7 
Lepir, Jasmin 39 DOVER NH 18:02.4 17:59.9 
Dorazio, Kaitlyn 24 YORK ME 18:09.7 18:09.7 
Borish, Tom 38 DOVER NH 18:28.9 18:28.9 
Leach, Jason 28 DURHAM NH 19:17.5 19:13.4 
Leno, Michael 16 ROCHESTER NH 19:29.2 19:27.5 
10 Hopper, Tom 36 LEE NH 19:54.9 19:50.1 

729 Total Finishers.

Fosters writeup.

Me with The Huppster - Mary Ulinski photos...

Myself and Nate with the legendary Andy Schachat - Mary Ulinski photos...

Top 3 Overall - (L-R) - Matt Garfield, The Huppster, JJ

Friday, April 10, 2015

April 10 (Friday)

April 10 (Friday) - 6 miles easy at lunch (solo).  Impending double this weekend (race-wise) so I don't want to over do it...

Thursday, April 9, 2015

April 9 (Thursday)

April 9 (Thursday) - 10 miles easy in the snowstorm with Darin Brown after work. Dirt roads that were really 3-4 inches of snow, unplowed, and pretty much useless for any sort of real running.  But good to get out anyways and get an easy effort in.  Out and back from Chocorua Lake.

Side note...I got this nice 15 year award in the mail today.  To go along with my five year and my ten year (same awards)... It's hard to believe I've been with the company now for 15 years (over that actually...it was 15 years in November).  Crazy.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

April 8 (Wednesday)

April 8 (Wednesday) - No lunch run as I had some work to do so I just got out once after work and before the snow started flying.  Initially intended to go a bit longer, but ended up calling it at 14 miles.  Slow, hilly loop through Madison, Eidelweiss, Conway, and Eaton.  Planned on just running easy and recovering from yesterday's uptempo run.  Everything was working to plan until I got halfway up Glines Hill (about 10.5 miles in) and the road was not plowed.  Big mistake. I was committed and continued to just posthole up the steepest part of the worst hill in the area.  It got progressively worse as I went along.  There was nowhere to go but up and right in the middle of the road where someone had previously postholed.  It made it tolerable for a bit (but still almost walking) until the top of the hill and then the snow got a lot deeper. I was up to my knees for another quarter mile or more down to the first house on the Madison side (or should I say the last house on the Madison side).  Finally I was able to actually 'run' again after dropping a 13 minute mile.  Cut it short when I got up and over to Pound Rd and just dropped back down to my house.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

April 7 (Tuesday)

April 7 (Tuesday) - 5 miles at lunch.  10 miles after work.  Ad hoc up-tempo after the first few miles.  15 miles total.

Monday, April 6, 2015

April 6 (Monday)

April 6 (Monday) - 10 miles easy with Darin Brown after work in an April snowstorm.  It wasn't quite as much snow flying as yesterday, but it was enough to make it interesting.

This was yesterday morning (Easter) in East Madison...forgot to post it before: