Sunday, December 25, 2016

Training Week: December 19 - December 25

Week of December 19 - December 25

12-19 - [Monday] - PM: 8 miles. Most definitely have the start of a little IT flare up...

12-20 - [Tuesday] - AM: 5 miles easy. PM: 8 miles (49:54).  2 w/up then 4 @ 5:42 (pipe dream marathon pace at this point) then 2 c/dwn.  Kind of an ad-hoc workout I could handle with the IT band barking pretty loudly.  Probably not a good idea but I got it done and was able to walk out of there on my own power.

12-21 - [Wednesday] - PM: 10 miles. Got on the mill the same time as a local college guy was hammering a workout on the other one. He juiced it up to 13 mph and I was cranking a lowly 10 mph on the other one and bam! ...the circuit blew.  Both of us stopped dead in our tracks.  He only had 5 min left in his workout and I was only about 12 minutes into my run.  After a 15 min break, I was able to resume when the maintenance guy popped the breaker back.  It was hot as hell in there too. I had all the windows open and was drenched in sweat.  They've been having problems with the heating in the building and now it's full on tropic in there.  I hope to get back outside a little this week after all this excitement.

12-22 - [Thursday] - AM: 5 miles. PM: 10 miles.

12-23 - [Friday] - PM: 18 miles roads (Wakefield, Milton, Acton (ME)).  Happy Birthday Tabby!

12-24 - [Saturday] - PM: 6 miles easy. Then about 10 minutes stretching in the hot tub for the first time this winter...felt good.

12-25 - [Sunday] - Merry Christmas.

70 miles on 8 runs.

Felt better this week health-wise but the leg was bothering me (just slightly) most of the week.  After that 2 hr treadmill run at the end of last week I started dealing with some IT and knee pain that is just normal treadmill overuse pain I usually deal with in I'm ahead of the game this year. Shut it down later in the week after a nice easy long winter run on the roads.  Got a nice long run from the Poor People's Pub with Jonathan Miller on Friday.  Was in Wakefield for the day helping my parents close up the house for the winter... Afterwards, met Jon and got a good long easy run in with some hills sprinkiled in. Weather was good. Roads very quiet and in good condition.  Really good winter loop as the traffic was non existent and roads were very well clear.  Also, officially town-bagged Milton (ahead of this winter's Moose Mountain SS race). Haven't gotten a new NH town in a long time (only 1 last year with Epping).  I'm basically down to doing it by accident nowadays.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Training Week: December 12 - December 18

About as close as you can get with both of them looking in the general direction of the camera...

Week of December 12 - December 18

12-12 - [Monday] - AM: 8 miles. PM: 10 miles.

12-13 - [Tuesday] - AM: 6 miles. Got a little screwed w/ the schedule and couldn't get the full planned run in or another run later.  Daddy duty in the PM.  Also took a scary wipeout head first on the snowy shoulder right in front of oncoming traffic on 113 during the run.  A car swerved to avoid me and another guy stopped and got out to make sure I was ok as I laid there in the snow and gravel.  It was one of those worst case scenarios you think about when you are running against traffic on snow and ice...slipping and falling right as a car is going by. Good thing I fell the other direction into the shoulder. Was a little p*ssed after that and bailed at 6. Could have probably fit in 8 before my next conference call but probably needed the rest anyways. Scratched up my iPod pretty good in the fall. It still works though, as the 80s big hair music still sounds decent through my headphones.

12-14 - [Wednesday] - AM: 6 miles roads. PM: 12 miles with the middle 10 miles in 60:00. (73:56).

12-15 - [Thursday] - PM: 10 miles.

12-16 - [Friday] - PM: 10 miles.

12-17 - [Saturday] - PM: a few ski runs up and down the back trails breaking in the xc skis until I wiped out... then 12 miles.

12-18 - [Sunday] - PM: 16 miles.

90 miles on 9 runs.

Felt better as the week went on as far as my cold goes (it was pretty much gone by Tuesday).  But my allergies were kicking my ass to the curb by Sunday.  Had to go short on Tuesday which kind of put me behind a little, but I'm over-planning with the expectation that I may come up a little short each week. So I'm still getting a decent block of mileage in.  Another good easy tempo effort on Wednesday and I'm starting to feel those 10 mile runs are getting a lot easier.  I may back down a bit this coming week or two as 90 is a bit too high for me at this point I think.  75-85 is a good target to hit with regularity...if only it was that easy all the time.

In other related running news. It was very cool (and I was pleasantly surprised) to see that I got NH Runner of the Year this year. I haven't gotten it since 2008 and 2009.  I was on a good tear last year and then got hurt which basically killed my chances...but I did get recognized for the first half of 2015 when they do the mid-year recap.  This year, even though I didn't race past the VT 50 at the end of September, I did get 31 races in and won 17 of them (not including my RTB legs) without any weekly series races (which generally give me even more 'W's), so it was a good stretch considering.  I had a few ok races time-wise, but it was just more of a widespread year of going to a bunch of races consistently up through the late summer and doing well at some of the bigger events.  Being the first NH runner at Mount Washington definitely helped...and winning the Seacoast Series is generally a good step in that direction.  Special thanks to Nancy Eckerson and Andy Schachat for putting this list together and recognizing me this year.  Andy joked around with me this year a couple times about how I last won the NH Runner of the Year in 2009 and that 'it's been a long time'....'2008 and 2009 were a long time ago'.   He told me that I needed to do something else soon so he could stop having to go so far back to say something about me when he announces me at races.  I thought that was funny but he was right.  After Mt. Washington, he came up to me and indicated that the Crossan Cup was a good step in that direction.  Now he has something a little more recent to say about me this coming year :).  Hopefully I make it to the starting line!

Need to start my Christmas shopping this week...

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Training Week: December 05 - December 11

Week of December 05 - December 11

12-05 - Monday - PM: 8 miles.
12-06 - Tuesday PM: 10 miles on the Kanc (65 min). A little slick in spots.
12-07 - Wednesday AM: 5.3 miles easy roads with Darin.  To quote my mother it was 'snowing to beat the band' outside. PM: 11.1 miles roads.  The 'Madison Elementary OKT'.  That is 'Only Known Time'. 1:14:25 for 11.1 miles made up of 43 laps around the f*cking elementary school.  One dicey corner with snow and ice and the rest of it was clear but wet.  What a mess.  I initially drove down to the Mill to use the treadmill but it was a full up nightmare down there. Both treadmills were taken, but by real runners, so I couldn't complain too much.  Just bad timing I guess. I got there just in time to see Darin a mere 5 minutes into his second workout of the day and Don only 15 minutes into his... so I couldn't just sit there and wait...I drove back home, suited up, slapped on a dim headlamp that hasn't been charged (or used) since Reach the Beach and ran down to the school, banged 43 laps around the school, and then headed back home. There's one tiny hill in the back so it's got a good mix of quick up/down but it's not even a quarter mile around each lap so it was a exercise in futility.  Dedication or stupidity... it's a fine line in times like this.  I should have asked Darin if I could use HIS TREADMILL THAT HE HAS AT HIS HOUSE while he was using the one at the mill...but I digress.
12-08 - Thursday - AM: 6 miles easy on the roads. PM: 10 miles. 
12-09 - Friday PM: 8 miles.  Got screwed earlier in the day with an install for a customer and couldn't get out for a lunch run because it went hours over what I thought.  Probably for the best as I feel like crap. Came down with a head cold.
12-10 - Saturday - AM: 10 miles at the mill. 64:30.  First 6 quick and then last 4 easy.  Was pressed for time again because of the birthday party for Tabby.  Got to the Mill nice and early in the morning, which I NEVER do and had to wait for a machine for 25 agonizing minutes (while a couple walked and talked and had a grand ole' time on the treadmills).  Kind of irked me but they paid their money so they have the right.... But 2nd time in a week I had to either wait or got screwed out of a run because of others using the treadmill (how dare people use the treadmill other than me!).  This may have only happened to me 2 other times in 4 years ...but 2 in one week was a little tough.  I had to run faster than I wanted to get it in in time so I could get my errands done before the party.  I had to cut it short too as I planned on a 12 miler or more initially.  This week is falling apart slightly...
12-11 - Sunday - PM: 14.7 miles roads. COLD! Got this in very late in the afternoon (finished just before it started getting dark) after everyone went home from the weekend.

83.1 miles on 9 runs.

The week got derailed a bit and it seemed that divine intervention was trying to throw everything it could at me to try to screw my training plans ... the 11 headlamp miles around the school and the tough 10 early on Saturday after everything in my head told me to just bail, were definite wins.  That and the 14+ late on Sunday in the bitter cold.  I was also sick most of the 2nd half of the week (and still am).  So getting in as many miles as I did this week is a shock really.  I had originally planned on a double on Friday that didn't happen and a longer run on Saturday that was cut short but alas I'll certainly take 80+ again this week.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Last 4 weeks

Some catch up since early November...just some base building miles and the beginnings of some short / moderate workouts...still trying to heal up w/ the rib situation...

Week of November 7 - November 13

11-07 - Monday - AM: 30 min core routine. PM: 10 miles.
11-08 - Tuesday - PM: 10.6 miles easy roads w/ Darin. Beautiful day!
11-09 - Wednesday AM: 30 min core routine. PM: 9.35 miles.
11-10 - Thursday AM: 30 min core routine. PM: 8 miles easy.
11-11 - Friday - PM: 10 miles.
11-12 - Saturday - PM: 9 miles.
11-13 - Sunday - AM: 3 mile hike. PM: 30 min core routine.  

57 miles on 6 runs.

A little more miles this week and some core work with a day off again.

Week of November 14 - November 20

11-14 - Monday AM: 4 miles trails/roads. PM: 8 miles.
11-15 - Tuesday AM: 5 miles roads. PM: 6 miles.
11-16 - Wednesday - PM: 10 miles.
11-17 - Thursday - PM: 10.5 miles easy lake bang with Darin.
11-18 - Friday AM: 10.4 miles easy roads/dirt roads with Darin.
11-19 - Saturday - AM: 3 mile hike.
11-20 - Sunday - AM: 5.3 miles roads/trails easy. PM: 6 miles.

65.2 miles on 9 runs.

Aggravated my ribs/side a bit with some of the core work last week so laid off it this week. Had some side stitches pretty bad at the end of the week but landed 65+ on just 6 days with another day off again... I have taken a day off per week but have done a fair amount of walking/hiking on that off day.  More moving in the right direction.

Week of November 21 - November 27

11-21 - Monday AM: 5 miles easy roads. PM: 8.5 miles as 20 min w/up + short tempo 5k @5:30/m (17:04) + 20 min cooldown.
11-22 - Tuesday - PM: 8 miles roads.
11-23 - Wednesday AM: 5 miles easy roads. PM: 10 miles.
11-24 - Thursday AM: 8 miles.
11-25 - Friday AM: 5 miles easy roads. PM: 10 miles (tempo) (60:00).
11-26 - Saturday - PM: 6 miles easy.
11-27 - Sunday - PM: 11.6 miles roads w/ Darin.

 miles on 10 runs.

Short tempo on Monday that felt a little harder than I would have liked but it wasn't too bad for a rust buster. Legs and back were surprisingly stiff on Tuesday. Good uptempo 10 miles on Friday.  Heading in the right direction... Felt pretty good by week's end except the ribs are on and off sore still.

Week of November 28 - December 04

11-28 - Monday AM: 5 miles easy roads. PM: 10 miles.
11-29 - Tuesday PM: 6 miles (38:00). Very busy at the Mill. Had to wait 30 minutes for a machine. Only got slightly more than half my planned run in but did 6 x 400m at 5 min pace with 40 sec rest in between each, midway through the run. Good short workout.
11-30 - Wednesday AM: 8 miles easy roads w/ Darin. PM: 8 miles.
12-01 - Thursday PM: 9 miles.
12-02 - Friday AM: 5 miles easy roads with Darin. PM: 10 miles (tempo) (60:00).
12-03 - Saturday - PM: 12 miles.
12-04 - Sunday - AM: 14 miles Freedom roads.

87 miles on 10 runs.

Halfway through the week, clicked over into December. The November recap looks to be pretty good as I hit 279 miles with 3 days off.  So I was in the 300 ballpark if I hadn't bailed on those 3 days. That puts this as my 4th best month of the year believe it or not.  Not too bad for a normally quiet time of year.  A very short workout on Tuesday and another 60 min 10 miles on Friday, which is good. I want to try for one of those a week (or alternative) where I can fit it in. Finished the week off with a couple of longer runs. Ribs were actually pretty painful during some of the runs this week. Towards the end of the run on Sunday morning I struggled a bit with them over the last few miles.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Shocking News This Morning

Woke up this morning to an absolute shock.  Once I hopped onto the web to see what was going on in the world I was absolutely shocked to see that even though losing last night, Edmonton was atop the Pacific division and tied for the 4th best record in the league.  No words.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Seacoast Series Wrap Up for 2016 and Personal Series Numbers

I FINALLY got my Seacoast Series trophy from Darin this week (and the cash!).  He picked up my award at the Great Bay 5k, as they always do the overall series awards at that race (being the last race in the series).  It's the first time I've not been there to get it in person.  I felt bad but I know they'll be another chance next year for top 3!

This year, I finally got things right again on the SRRS and was able to make the first 6 of 8 races (enough to qualify for the series and enough to win).  I didn't do the last 2 races due to VT 50 again, derailing me...but this time due to injury.  I am not doing any more ultras anytime soon.  The minute I know I can't run fast (or as fast as I think I can) at the shorter distances, I'll look at them again.  For me, they are just too risky and it's not worth that risk if it means I'm going to miss out on races I enjoy going to.  I got one win, one 2nd place, two 3rd place finishes, a strangely played out 5th place, and an abysmal 9th place in one of my worst races of my life... but 'series-wise' it was 6 'first' places which is a perfect score for the series (you have to do 6 of 8 races).

Even though it's my favorite series of races all calendar year, I've only finished the series a surprising 5 times since I first did the entire series (or enough races to score in at least) for the first time in 2008.

My Overall Series Finishes:

2008 - 1st
2009 - 2nd (John Mentzer 1st)
2010 - 2nd (John Mentzer 1st)
2012 - 1st
2016 - 1st

Seems like every 4 years I end up winning the series...think that will be the case in 2020?  I'll ONLY be 43....still got a shot right?

I had to go back and look at why I didn't compete in the entire series the other years.  In 2011 I was on a tear, having arguably the best season of racing I've ever had.  I had qualified for the World Championship 50k that year and did that race in August which forced me out of a couple of the races. I then got hurt and started the downward spiral that became the last 4-5 years. In 2013, I had the worst year of racing ever. I had just started a family and running took a backseat.  I barely did any real training and only raced a lot of local stuff here in the valley...and trail races.  2014 started out halfway decent but I got derailed by missing Redhook again due to getting banged up at Wachusett the day before and then I signed up for VT 50 and spent a good deal of the summer focusing on that and didn't compete in the series.   In 2015 I had every intention of doing the series but got a stress fracture after the first race (the day after actually).  I only came back to run one other race that year.

In all I've done 45 Seacoast Series races total since 'accidentally' doing 3 of them in 2007 (I wasn't trying to do the series then).  I first discovered the series back in the winter of 2006/2007 when I was studying the layout of the land with regards to the New England road racing scene. I was just getting back into running again and had been trying to figure out what races to go to in the upcoming season.  I got ahold of the 2007 New England Runner Road Race Calendar and saw an awesome photo of a race start that immediately made me want to go out and race whatever race that was. I remember putting one copy up at work and the other one at home in my office.  I made it a point to figure out what race it was and to sign up for the next one.  Since my college teammate BJ was on the cover, I asked him what race it was. When he told me it was from the 2006 Redhook Brewery 5k, I immediately looked it up and signed up the first day it opened and started keeping an eye on the series it was a part of...  From that point on, I have never missed signing up for Redhook...although I have failed to reach the line a few years due to injuries.  I always plan to run that race.  From there, I learned about the Children's Museum race and Market Square Day and from there it was just ingrained into my running schedule.

Awesome photo of the cover of the race that got me hooked on road racing.  It's a picture of the hardcopy I still have.

The photo has a bunch of mid-2000s regulars on the scene including winner Mark Coogan, Dave Hinga, Nate Huppe, Scott Rowe, Scott Clark, Rod Viens, Tim Rider, Mike Slinskey, etc. I've gotten the calendar every year since this and I still think this was the best one (so far).

Here's a complete breakdown of my Seacoast races in total since I first did them in 2007 (and related stats):

All Time Series Wins: 9 
  • Children's Museum = 4
  • York Days = 2
  • Fox Point = 2
  • Redhook = 1
Runner Up: 12
Worst placement (other than the one DNF): 10th
Years I did all 8 races: 2 (2008, 2009)

Year Race Place Time Notes / Excuses
2007 Redhook 7th 16:33 My first 'big race'.
2007 Market Square 10th 34:07 My second 'big race'.
2007 Harbour Trail DNF - Dropped out at a mile. Huppe for the win! Last year of this race in the series. Race is no more but I did go back in 2009 and got 2nd to Ethan Hemphill.
2008 Children's Museum 2nd 15:56 Last time this race was in Portsmouth. Sam Wood for the win! Race is now in Dover.
2008 Redhook 1st 15:32 Duel with Dan Princic over the last mile. My first Seacoast series win!
2008 Market Square 4th 33:01 1 Kenyan and 2 Keenyans in front of me.
2008 York Days 1st 15:46 Another good Seacoast series win!
2008 Saunders 4th 32:58 Alliette for the win! I was still recovering from almost dying at Savoy.
2008 Fox Point 1st 27:42 DOUBLE. Ran Ollie 5-Miler earlier that morning.
2008 Great Island 4th 15:55 Again, 1 Kenyan and 2 Keenyans in front of me.
2008 Great Bay 2nd 15:53 Miller for the win!
2009 Children's Museum 3rd 16:13 Mahoney for the win!
2009 Redhook 2nd 15:38 DOUBLED up with Wachusett day before. Mentzer for the win!
2009 Market Square 3rd 32:45 Moulton and Mentzer 1-2.
2009 York Days 2nd 15:46 Mentzer for the win!
2009 Saunders 3rd 32:20 Mentzer for the win! Alliette sub 32!
2009 Fox Point 3rd 28:23 Got directed the wrong way! DOUBLED and ran Ollie 5-Miler earlier that morning!
2009 Great Island 5th 15:48 3 Kenyans and Mark Miller up ahead!
2009 Great Bay 2nd 15:38 Scotty McGrath for the win!
2010 Children's Museum 3rd 15:53 Wiles for the win!
2010 Redhook 3rd 15:34 DOUBLED up with Wachusett day before. Wiles for the win!
2010 Market Square 7th 32:47 Had a terrible race but the time wasn't too bad looking back (and compared to what I run now!)
2010 York Days 2nd 15:27 Mentzer for the win! 15:05!
2010 Saunders 2nd 31:53 Sub 32! Mentzer for the win! 10K PR.
2010 Great Bay 3rd 15:31 Crowell for the win. Mahoney outkicks and humiliates me in a 5k!
2011 Children's Museum 1st 15:46 Pulled away from Crowell after 2 miles.
2011 Redhook 2nd 15:28 DOUBLED up with a WIN at Wachusett day before. Wiles for the win at Redhook!
2011 Market Square 3rd 31:56 Wiles for the win. P.Moulton 2nd. One of my best races ever. Close to a PR.
2012 Children's Museum 3rd 16:13 Was injured. Newbould for the win!
2012 Redhook 2nd 15:37 DOUBLED up with Wachusett day before. Huebner for the win!
2012 Market Square 2nd 32:33 Gomez for the win! My best placement at MSD.
2012 York Days 1st 15:40 DOUBLED up and ran Carver 5M the day before in 25:35.
2012 Saunders 2nd 32:32 Huebner for the win!
2012 Great Bay 4th 16:23 Was injured. Only race I ran in 2012 after August. Just ran to place in the series.
2013 Market Square 5th 33:10 Awful. Worst year for my racing/running.
2014 Children's Museum 1st 16:25 Slow but a win! Nobody close.
2014 Market Square 5th 34:06 Awful. 3 dudes went the wrong way.
2015 Children's Museum 1st 15:49 Great race. Day before I got a stress fracture.
2015 Fox Point 1st 26:50 Good race back from missing all summer with a stress fracture.
2016 Children's Museum 1st 16:10 I ran well enough for a rare Seacoast win in my old age!
2016 Redhook 3rd 15:58 Alex McGrath outkicks Leuchanka!
2016 Market Square 9th 33:57 May have been my worst race ever.
2016 York Days 5th 16:15 DOUBLED UP and Won Stratham the day before. Hottest two race days of the entire year.
2016 Saunders 2nd 34:05 Hot but still just ran like crap. Garfield for the strong win and PR!
2016 Fox Point 3rd 26:39 Not a bad race. Millennium's cutest couple for the handholding win!

Sunday, November 6, 2016

November 6 - Sunday - Weekly Recap

I've been slacking a bit with the last few days and updates...But here's the recap of the week...

October 31 (Monday) - 8 miles
November 01 (Tuesday) - 9 miles (60:00)
November 02 (Wednesday) - 8 miles easy.
November 03 (Wednesday) - 9.35 miles (60:00)
November 04 (Wednesday) - 6 miles easy.
November 05 (Wednesday) - off. Daddy duty all day. Built a shelf.
November 06 (Wednesday) - 10 miles (69:40).

Total: 50.35 miles on 6 runs. Unfortunately 1 day off again but hopefully I fix that sh*t.

I'm trending in the right direction.  35.2, 45.6, and now 50.35...those are my last 3 weeks since I retired from ultras.  Back to work this coming week.

Looking at the race results, it was great to see my mates on CMS run so well today and get yet another team win at the GP marathon.  Vassallo and Mindel ran their asses off (no surprises there).  E-Narc ran tough and fast enough to help the team wrap up another GP team win at the marathon distance.  CMS will finish 2nd to BAA by 5 or so points in the overall GP team competition.  Nothing I could have done would have helped the team finish any higher today so I'm not as bummed that I missed it after seeing how well they ran through the rolling streets of Manchester.  I hope to help with some GPs next year in BOTH the open and masters categories.  I'm looking forward to seeing what the GP schedule is going to look like for 2017, now that 2016 is finally in the books.

After watching the NYC marathon this morning, I had grand aspirations to go hit a new permission or a few different sites possibly down south a bit, but ended up just walking up into the backyard again and detecting for about 2.5 hours.  Mostly just covering spots I couldn't quite get access to in the summer when everything was grown in.  I landed 5 buttons, an 1863 'fat' Indian Head, a small musket ball, a buckle, an old pocket knife, another axe head (#20), and some other junk... all in all it was a good day swingin'.  Not too many of these left unfortunately... Winter. Is. Comin'.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

November 3 - Thursday

More mill action tonight with a 9.35 mile effort in 60 minutes.  Started out easy and got progressively quicker with the last couple miles in the 5:4x range.  Got a late start and it was pretty busy in there tonight but I snuck it in.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

November 2 - Wednesday

An easy 8 miles on the mill at The Mill.  It was a beautiful day out... should have run outside when it was light out... didn't. Then almost took a zero....Forced myself to get down there late.  Thought about doing just 5 or 6....but then did 8 like I planned and got outta there... It's gonna be a long winter.

The 'new' view at the weight-machine-thingy.

Poison Ivy Update... starting to dry out...

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

November 1 - Tuesday

9 miles in 60:00 at the mill.  That is all.

Monday, October 31, 2016

October 31 - Monday - Happy Halloween!

The pumpkin carving Kristin did today...
The same old 8 miles on the mill right after work and then it was down to Burke Field (a half mile down the street) to Trunk or Treat.  The girls had a good time dressed up in their princess costumes and they got their fair share of candy... there were less cars there this year but there was a cool bus from Halloween Town that was there and it was completely converted to a haunted house which was pretty cool. Morgan was freaked out and Tabby was just mesmerized.

Family photo...rare that everyone is looking at the camera!

A Madison firefighter hookin' it up...

Kristin with the girls...

Sunday, October 30, 2016

October 30 - Sunday - Weekly Recap

I got in 45.6 miles for the week with another day off again but 2 decent back to back efforts on the mill with a slightly uptempo hill run and a light progression run.  Not too bad.  I would have had over 50 if I ran on Saturday.  But this is a decent step forward as I don't want to jump too high too soon after the time off.

October 24 (Monday) - 6.2 miles
October 25 (Tuesday) - 8 miles
October 26 (Wednesday) - 8 miles
October 27 (Thursday) - 8 miles
October 28 (Friday) - 9.4 miles
October 29 (Saturday) - off
October 30 (Sunday) - 6 miles

Total: 45.6 miles

I had to put up w/ poison ivy all week and keep on top of that as it seemed to spread throughout the week. Hopefully it's under control now.

Due to crap weather and the earlier sunsets, I didn't get out detecting all week... plus I was dreading having to clean up all my stuff as I knew there'd be some poison ivy oils all over everything for sure....I did get out on Sunday for about 5 hours (after hopefully thoroughly cleaning my machine, shovel, and other equipment.... I landed ANOTHER 1857 Flying Eagle cent.  My third this year.  This coin is relatively rare as far as the date range goes.  They did circulate them for 2 years (1857 and 1858).  They only made 750 of them total in 1856.  But in the other two years they minted 17 and 24 million of them (a normal distribution)... but for only having been distributed for 2 years out there, I have found 3 of them from 1857 just in Madison alone.  2 of them in the same location (the only 2 coins I've ever found there actually) and one in my back yard.  Crazy.  I'm basically only 1 year off from finding a braided hair large cent.  They actually did make those in 1857 as well... the last year. I have yet to find a 'largie'.  Time is running out on the year and I'll probably only be able to hunt on the weekends now until the snow flies...hoping to land some more goodies before having to put everything away for the year....

Saturday, October 29, 2016

October 29 - Saturday

Spent the entire soggy day down in MA at a birthday party.  I brought my stuff to do a few easy miles and coordinated with Scotty McGrath to get out for some miles but ran out of daylight. The birthday cake didn't make it's appearance until it was dark outside so I didn't meet up with him and took an off day instead.  Good day with the family and the girls had a great time playing with their cousins...

The girls with their cousins... 
It was Matty's birthday but that didn't stop them from wanting to blow out his candles...

She's 2...blowing out a 9 year old's candle

Friday, October 28, 2016

October 28 - Friday

Back to the Mill again for a run on 'the mill'.  9.41 miles in 60:00. Easy progression run. I like this time of year there as it's nice and quiet.  Unlike yesterday, I remembered my iPod tonight so at least I had some tunes to listen to.

It's been a good week so far, all things considered...but there's still plenty of time for it to all fall apart.

Poison ivy update... it SUCKS.  It's a weeping gross mess that has just blown up now on both arms and elsewhere in random spots.  It has expanded 100 fold on my arm since I first had it start bothering me at the beginning of the week.  What a nightmare.  I got horrendous sleep last night with not only this bothering me but also I may have overdone it with my allergy medication as I was a jittery, fevery mess for a few hours in the middle of the night.  Couple all this in with my ribs not allowing me to roll over in bed or sleep on my right side, and needless to say it's not good.  I'm falling apart.

still rockin' the SIX03 sweatpants...all week strong.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

October 27 - Thursday

Back to the Mill after work for another 8 miles. 55:49.  Did a hill circuit this time though.  First 4 miles was alternating a hill program between 3.5 and 7.8 %.  Occasionally there would be a min. of 1.5 % in there for reprieve.  Last 4 were on the lowest program that was between 0 and 1.5 %.  Just something to mix it up a bit rather than the same 8 mile run.  Legs feel OK. Ribs were an issue again but manageable.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

October 26 - Wednesday

Got back down to the Mill after work to get 'back to work'.  8 miles on the mill.  55:49.  I don't want to get too greedy.  With 3 weeks off and only 35 miles on 6 days last week, I don't want to jump up too high with the volume just yet.  Ribs feel a lot better when I'm running and sitting around but laying down and trying to sleep on that side is still very painful.

I talked to Downtown Darin Brown again for about 4.2 of those 8 miles.  He was banging out some miles in preparation for this weekend's Great Bay 5k (which I'm sitting out of).  He's looking for a big PR (masters).  That's his PR course so we'll see.  So far at the mill it has been only him and I other souls dare enter the depths of the most painful room in all of East Madison.  Come January 1st it will be filled with the dreamers again....for a month at most.  Most fizzle out within a couple weeks.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

October 25 - Tuesday

And it's that time of year again... a little early this year but it flurried all day and was cold so I decided to jump back down to the Mill again and get started on buildin' some hurtin bombs.  8 miles in 55:49.  Saw Downtown Darin Brown in there just finishing up his miles on the mill as I started mine.

Side note of awesomeness... this is just part of some sweet poison ivy I picked up when I was down in MA metal detecting on Sunday at Kristin's parents house.  I have a bit more 'down under' some how... below the belt.  I'm not sure how that happened... The funny thing is that I knew I was poking around the stuff but had an awesome signal and tried to pick around it ...I have it on video where I actually say 'I hope this isn't poison ivy'...but it obviously was.  I ended up pulling that nice military serviceman's button out of it...but paid the price.  I had to wash my clothes multiple times and still ended up throwing them away.  I threw away all my gloves and will have to heavily scrub my machine now if I take it out again this year....but it may be all she wrote for the season.  We'll see.  For now, this is the price I pay for the good relics.  I'll spare you the photo of the other area for now.

Monday, October 24, 2016

October 24 - Monday

10k run (6.2 miles) incorporating some roads and trails in town. Was going to go longer but my original loop was going to take me through the chain of ponds trails and it sounded like Fallujah in there with hunting season in full swing (although deer rifle season hasn't started yet...could have been small game or black bear hunters).  I scared a deer right out of the bushes as soon as I hit the trails along the power lines and then the shooting started and got closer and closer the more I headed towards that area so I just decided to follow the tracks out and run back on the road so the run was a little shorter than originally planned.  My ribs felt the best they've felt on a run so far but just shy of a mile in, I slipped on the edge of the pavement where it meets the sandy shoulder and stumbled a bit and actually tweaked my damn ribs again... not too bad though, but it sucked feeling a pull in that area when it's getting better.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

October 23 - Sunday - Weekly Recap

I was down in MA all day on Sunday... up before the sun, back after it set. I actually got back home about 10:00pm so I wasn't about to try to sneak in 5 miles.  I put in 6 days in a row back this week from 3 weeks of basically nothing.  Trying to reset and start a push towards the 2017 plans.  I ended up with 35 miles this week with the one day off. I was anticipating trying for 5 a day anyways so it was right about where I wanted to put a first week back.  Every step was pretty uncomfortable but the last 24 hours or so have been a lot better with my ribs. It's been a noticeable step forward in the right direction.  We'll see how this coming week goes.

I did get a chance to detect my wife's parent's house down in the south shore of MA but didn't' have much luck with old coins. I found 60+ coins in total but mostly modern clad and zinc pennies.  I did land an 1864 Indian (my FIRST signal of the day) which was weird because nothing else was even close. I had 3 wheats as well but the rest were modern.  I did find a WWI or WWII serviceman's button which was awesome.  Kristin's great uncle who lived in the house for 80 or so years was in WWI and his son was killed in WWII.  I also found a seemingly gold ring (which I had to 'donate' to her mom)...I think it was an alloy of some sort though. It was too dirty to be solid gold.  It could have had some plating on it.  It also had a small dark gemstone still in it.  I found a cool looking old scale, a broach pin, and another couple of buckles and odds and ends as well.  NO SILVER.  WTF.  SOMEONE had to have been there before.  They said no one to their knowledge has ever metal detected it before but I bet that from the 1970s - mid 1980s when Kristin's parents bought the place from her great uncle, he or someone else had already cherrypicked the place.  There's no way I'd find this many newer coins and almost zero old coins without someone having already poked around....All things considered though, not too bad.  It's always nice to detect a new area and dream about finding some good stuff.  Nice weather too...but winter is coming!

Saturday, October 22, 2016

October 22 - Saturday

6 miles at lunchtime in some wet but mild conditions.  Way overdressed.  Felt a little tired and side was a little bit of an issue still but not awful.  Took it relatively easy compared to yesterday's effort.  Headed down to the parents house for the day w/ the girls.  6 days running in a row.  It's been a while since that happened.  Tomorrow is a busy day and I'll be lucky to get a run in but we'll see.

Friday, October 21, 2016

October 21 - Friday

6 miles (solo) from house. Out and back on 113/41 so pretty flat.  Slightly quicker than I should probably be trying to run right now but I'm eager to get going.  Ribs are problematic as usual.  Doctor said 4-6 weeks and I'm starting to believe it...At first I was like 'no way it will take that long' I'm HOPING it will be ok by then. Weather was crap and I got a late start so it was probably for the best that I only did 6...although 6 kind of feels like 12 right now... I know that will pass though.

Also, with getting this in the mail today, I guess I will need to train this winter... That kind of gets in the way of me being a lazy slob we'll see.  One time I showed up to this race prepared...and then, a bunch of times...I didn't.  The sh*tty thing is that this race is 6 days...SIX DAYS BEFORE my 40th birthday.  So I will only be still 39.  That sucks.  In 2018, I will basically be a few days away from 41 when I get to run Boston as a 40 year old.  Do you think if I emailed the BAA about this, they would consider pushing the 2018 race out a week?  It wouldn't be on Patriots day anymore but it would help my situation.

More junk mail from the BAA

Thursday, October 20, 2016

October 20 - Thursday

Snuck in 5 miles today lunch... Did the Madison '5k' course and then continued on the train tracks and popped out on Forest Pines and back out to the house.  Felt a little beat during the 4th mile because I was probably running a bit too fast..but recovered well enough to make it back to the house.  Hips and legs a bit tight and tired as I would have expected for this week. Ribs are still killing me but better than the previous 3 weeks.  It makes it tough to breathe deep when I'm running which is a problem for anything under a certain pace... The goal was to go from 0 miles the last 3 weeks to 40ish this week so I'm well on my way to rolling in in the 40s without much trouble...then maybe bump it up a bit to 60 or so next week ....but everything still easy.  It's weird running through an injury that has nothing to do with my legs, feet, calves, hamstrings, knees, etc.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

October 19 - Wednesday

Easy 5 miles today at lunch...up to the top of Shackford Pass and back down to the house.  Solo.  Beautiful day...a few ticks south of 80 degrees according to my thermometer.  Nice and easy...will probably alternate 5 and 8s this week just to try to ease back into it.  Ribs were a little rough today but I got through it.

backyard colors...

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

October 18 - Tuesday

Got in a slow 8 miles today with Downtown Darin Brown in cold, damp conditions.  Finished just in time as it was very dark by 6pm due to the weather conditions...and the fact that winter is coming.  My ribs  were an issue but I got through it.  My legs and hips were tight and sore!  That felt good!

Well, it has been exactly 10 years.  10 years today since I drove from my then-office in Newton, MA to Wakefield, MA to run the Mystic Runners' Lake Q 5k as my first race back.  It is a weekly 5k series around Lake Quannapowitt in Wakefield.  It was my old stomping ground in my home town.  I used to run the lake all the time in both high school and college.  It is pancake flat and it was a good chance for me to make my 'comeback' to running and racing.  It was my first race since hanging up my college spikes in April of 1999 after not being able to figure out a then-nagging injury and falling out of love with running. I didn't' run one single race from April ??, 1999 to October 18, 2006. I barely even ran let alone did any races.  I started 'training' again in August of 2006 (I think the 28th if my memory serves me).... So I had been running for just shy of 2 months when I headed over to the Lord Wakefield Hotel to signup for the 5k.  I was near 190 lbs when I started back so at the time of the race I was still probably in the high 170s if not heavier.  That was up from 130 lbs in college.  I headed over to the lake for my first race in the new century despite completely being undertrained, overweight, and unprepared for the pain that was to follow.  Of course I had no clue how to race as I had completely forgotten...and my body forgot how to respond to the pace and pounding.  I did not fare well over the latter part of the race.  I got smoked by a former rival from Peabody (Ricky Provost) who blazed a 19:19 to my 19:37. I earned every step of that 19:37. It was ugly...and painful.


The funny thing at the time was that when I finished the race (I was ecstatic that I got 2nd!) I talked to the winner and only then found out who it was. I had roomed with his teammate in college and used to hear all about him.  I knew most of those Peabody guys by name as they had a great XC team.  I found out that we were both trying to do the same thing.  We were both the same age and we both decided relatively recently to get back at it.  He had just started running too and it was really a crazy coincidence that we both decided to go there to get back to racing at the same time.  I also just started training under Fernando Braz, who happened to be his old high school we had that in common too.  Fast forward all these years later...I have never come across Ricky's name anywhere any results I've been in (at least none that I've seen).  I sometimes have wondered if he kept going...maybe he moved away...maybe he just decided after all was said and done that he was done with competitive racing and training.  Maybe he did continue but at a more reasonable intensity than I did :)....  I'm not sure. I should look him up one of these days...shouldn't be too hard to find him now with all this world wide web stuff on the computer machines.

Monday, October 17, 2016

October 17 - Monday

A view from atop the Chimney in Freedom, NH.  Hiked w/ my Dad this past weekend.

I actually ran today.  5 miles (5.06 miles to be exact...gotta add the extra .06 to make sure Strava can handle a full 5 miles).  37:19.  It's only my 3rd run since the VT 50 on 9/25.  I tried running a couple times (one 5+ mile day and a 3 mile day) a week and a half ago but it was too painful.  I've had 'ok' days and bad days.  The last couple days were 'ok'.  I didn't want to start a 4th week in a row with no running so I went out today after work for an easy jaunt down the street.  The weather was awesome and it felt great to run but it was painful.  It's like running with the worst side stitch and then some...

I've been taking some strong pain medication which helps me get through the day and helps me get some ok sleep, especially over the last week.  The first couple weeks were rough with trying to sleep. I had to sleep sitting partially up the first week after the race.  The second week I was able to start laying very carefully on my back and partially on my left side.  This past week I can sleep comfortably on my back or left side although rolling over and getting up/laying down need to be done very carefully. It feels like I'm tearing something whenever I roll over or get up.  

The GOOD news is that my legs feel great! :).  They should after not running for 3 weeks and running slow today.  I've done a fair share of walking as I've been detecting just about every day for at least 1-2 hours.  Today was the first day in a long time that I haven't at least swung the coil for even just a little while.  Now that the days are getting shorter, I may not be able to get any detecting in until the weekends.  I need to get focused back on training again but am going to take it slow.  I've backed out of everything I had planned for the fall (race-wise). I need to bail out of the last two Seacoast Series races but I already have my 6...enough to wrap up that series.  No fall marathon for me.  Perhaps it's for the best.  I'm going to focus on getting back to some running each day and then hopefully by the start of November I can start a serious push for 2017.  Probably no racing until the snowshoe season starts...hopefully there's a season this year.

Some colors from my afternoons detecting around Madison...

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Catching Up - October Edition. VT 50 and travel.

Not much Running and then the longest run of my life... The Vermont 50 ('51') Miler.

Morgan at Harts Turkey Farm... she colored on the placemat and didn't' eat. Typical restaurant trip. 

Post Reach the Beach I took basically the entire week off as my leg was pretty much smoked.  I ran on a hurt IT band/calf/hamstring leading up to the relay legs and I barely made it through... with the Vermont 50 looming, I decided to take the week off basically, and recover for the ultra.  As the week progressed, the leg felt slowly better and better.  By the time the week was over, I was still pretty tight and had stiffness on the right side but it was too late to do anything about it.  Had I run on it, it would have been worse for sure.

I packed up the family and we headed out on Friday to VT.  We hit up Harts Turkey Farm on the way for a nice lunch and then drove 2.5 hrs west to Cavendish, VT.  We rented a very nice condo (much too big for what we really needed but it was a good weekend away and the kids enjoyed having a ton of space to run around in).  I did manage to get a slow 3 mile run in on Friday afternoon (late) in VT on some quiet roads near the condo. I felt terrible as I suspected.  Things were just very stiff and sore.  I didn't run a step on Saturday.  We went over to pick up my bib and then we did a little shopping and got some lunch in the Okemo area.

Tabby and I getting some pizza in Ludlow, VT.

with Bob Dion and the now infamous photo of the 'Thrilla in Hollis'.

Sunday, it was up super early (we packed the night before).  We were out the door by 4:30ish as the race started at 6:30am and we were about 30 minutes away. I needed to get there, check in, listen to the pre-race instructions, and get prepared.  Little did I know, that would be the start of a VERY long next couple of days.  We got to the Ascutney Mountain resort a little early so we hit the small store just past the entrance, which is usually open very early on race morning.  I grabbed a breakfast sandwich and tried to chug down as much water and calories as I could before the race went off.

After checking in, I met up with Andy Drummond and down to the start we went. It was a very quick start as we were only down there a couple minutes and not really paying attention when the race director yelled 'Go!'.  6:30am had come and I was off for what I knew was going to be a lot of pain and suffering.

(Andy's video below)...he had a tougher day than I did...

I immediately settled into my imaginary '50 mile pace' which is in the 8-range and started chatting with Mark Larosa.  We would run together for 30+ miles collectively.   I tried to think about the advice I got from Dave Dunham previously where he said that at any point, 'if you feel like you are working, you are going too hard'.  Well, unfortunately after only 8 or so miles I felt like I was working.  Mark and I kept talking about the pace, who was up ahead, who was behind, and what we needed to do to finish.  In the back of my mind, I was terrified of not finishing.  It looms so large when you have 50 miles of very hilly trails ahead of you.  I was vastly underprepared for this beast and I knew it.  Something was preventing me from committing to this thing even after the race started. I wasn't drinking enough water. I wasn't taking ANYthing to eat (I had 2 gels the entire race).  I never came into an aid station with an empty water.  It was crazy.  I was basically doing everything wrong and I knew it...but somehow, in the back of my mind, I was still trying to believe I could finish.  It was just not going to plan.

Somewhere around 18 miles or so, I started to feel like sh*t.  Things were hurting WAY too much for the pace and distance we had run so far.  Don't get me wrong, there is A LOT of climbing in this race. 8,500 ft or so.  It feels like the entire race is mostly uphill.  That was the ongoing theme/joke of our run... 'is there ANY downhill in this race' we would occasionally say.  Well, the hills were killing me.  By 20 I was a  mess waiting to happen.  It's no surprise considering how my training was going this summer.  But I continued on.  Fully expecting maybe to bail at the 26.2 mile aid station or maybe the 50k aid station.  Those were the goals I set.  If I could make it to the first, maybe I could make it to the second.  Then, from there, who knows.

Mark and I at mile 14.2. 
It's hard to remember everything but there was just a TON of climbing, single track, snowmobile trail, old carriage road, dirt roads, beautiful farm fields, etc. A constant change in terrain was a welcome relief at times but it still was kicking my ass.  Mark and I had been in 3rd and 4th place since about mile 12. Up to that point, Brian Rusiecki was killing it (out of sight almost right away), someone we were unsure of at the time was in 2nd, and my SIX03 teammate Mike Arsenault was in 3rd.  We caught and passed Mike somewhere around 12ish I think.  At the 26.2 mile aid station, Mark and I stopped to refill our waters.  At this point, my former Inov-8 teammate Dane Mitchell caught us.  We were standing there filling waters and I looked over amongst the 50k people (who had pink numbers) and bikers to see a green number dude standing there.  He had snuck up on us very quickly and now we were 3.  We all left the aid station together and we talked for the next mile and a half or so.

On a decent somewhere near mile 28 I ate sh*t for the first time and there would be 11 more like it (I fell a full 12 times). I fell really hard on the way down a double-wide trail section and rolled over a bunch of rocks.  Dane was already taking off on us at this point and Mark stopped to help me up.  He told me to take it easy and he would stop with me but I told him just to go on ahead.  We had run together side by side for 28 hilly miles and now I knew it was his time to move on ahead. He's a much better distance guy than I am and he was well prepared, running up to 30 mile runs on the way into the race.  He started to pull away on the downhills and Dane was out of sight by the time I dusted myself off.

Approx. Mile 30.
It was a lonely next couple miles. The bikers weaved in and out of my way (as they do for 50 miles) and I continued to haul past 50k-ers who were now on the same course we were on (they start 90 min after us and join up to us for a couple of main sections of the course including the end).  I came down into the 50k (more like 30 miles) aid station and noticed Mark was not that far ahead.  He stopped at the aid station to get some food and water and I just ran on by him.  I had almost no illusions of finishing fast, let alone finishing. I even looked around a bit for cars to possibly get a ride back as I passed down into the aid station.  Everything was killing me at this point and I was beaten.  I passed Mark and moved back into 4th place with Dane still ahead and Brian and Colton Gale (2nd) way up ahead and out of reach.

It didn't take Mark too long to catch back up to me. There was a Godawful climb from there and he moved on by me and was gone again.  I just kept my head down and tried to run as much as I could but it was here that I took my first few walking steps on the steep climb.  I just couldn't keep up the rhythm on the steep parts any longer.  A few miles later, I started to actually see Dane again out in some field sections and knew I was somehow gaining on him.  I moved closer to him on some of the steep switchbacks back in the woods.  I even saw him take a tumble as I slowly made my way up to him.  When I caught him, we talked for a bit and he moved out in front of me and kept up a faster pace. I decided not to pass and just latched on.  He was cramping pretty good.  I stayed with him on the entire descent and then we climbed again a small section before hitting the next aid station.  Out of the aid station, there was another climb and this time, it was long enough that I moved around him and then slowly dropped him back.  I turned a few times and eventually saw he was occasionally walking. That would be the last time I saw him and I think he dropped as he wasn't in the final results.  It's funny how things play out in this race. I was hitting a horrible bad patch of running way slower than I was anticipating, feeling terrible, having everything basically go wrong, and yet I was gaining a place.  Sometimes no matter how bad things are going, someone else is having a rougher go at it.

I was now back in 4th and thinking of trying to hold the same spot I had gotten the time before (in 2014).  Somewhere near mile 38 or 39 I hit a long patch of downhill on a carriage road and I hit one of the low points for sure.  I continued to fall here and there and basically cramp everything from head to toe.  It was getting annoying. I bit the dust again on the descent and started moving so slow I was sure at this point, I'd be caught. I started to dread the 11-12 miles up ahead more so than ever.  I had caught a bunch of 50k people on the long uphill trail and road section and then they were actually starting to catch me back on the downhill. I just couldn't keep things moving on the downs.  I was surprisingly not having much problems on the climbs.  I felt great on the previous mile long road climb ('great' being a relative term) and then felt like complete death on the descent.  I got blown past by a relay guy at the bottom of the hill. I thought it was a 50 miler at first but then noticed his blue number and realized he was just a relay guy.  He confirmed it as he passed by and he was out of sight pretty quickly.

I eventually made my way down to the 40 mile aid station which was in a slightly different place this year.  I couldn't believe I was still moving but I was.  I was going very slow, but progressing towards the finish.  I started thinking about the long road stretch and climb up Mt. Ascutney that happens in the last few miles and started really getting nervous.  I had no one in sight (50 miler-wise) on the long lookbacks across the field at 40 miles, and started thinking that maybe I could hold it together for 4th place if I could just keep moving without stopping or walking.

As quickly as that dream of repeating 4th place came, it went.  Around mile 42, back in the woods on some single track, GBTC's Eric Wyler caught me and rolled on past me (he was 2nd last year in 7:02) like I was standing still.  I was now in 5th and my only hope now was to have someone further up ahead, come back to me. I wasn't going to pass Eric and couldn't stay with him. He was moving way too quick for this deep in the race.  He was also in pretty good spirits and way too happy for being 42 miles into the woods. I knew he was going to kill the last 8 miles and had to immediately let him go on alone.  He ran a crazy last 8 part of the race for eventual 3rd overall.

When I came out onto the road section one of my worst fears came true.  I started cramping in my calves and hamstrings.  Full on cramps.  I had to drop the pace way back and was actually starting to be caught by 50k people who I had already passed a long time back.  I didn't want to stop.  I held on to a running (barely) pace all the way into the Johnson aid station at 47 miles.  I was walking the fine line of cramping for a good 3 miles.  I felt surprisingly better once I refilled my bottles and took a couple S-Caps.  I had only had 2 gels and was surprisingly bonk-free.  But my legs were trashed.  I actually ran out of the aid station (something I didn't do back in 2014) and kept moving far better than I thought.  As the climbing started, I continued to 'run' and felt like I was definitely in better position hitting this part of the course than I was previously. It's a horrible 2+ mile climb before dropping down to the finish.  I kept running and didn't have to walk anything.  Just as I was mentioning that to a 50k-er I was passing, I ate sh*t again pretty hard. I was pissed.  I had fallen 7 or 8 times and it was getting harder and harder to clear rocks and roots as I continuously got more fatigued.

Once I got to what I thought was the top, the course was slightly different and a volunteer told me that it was a little different from previous years but would join back to the original course up ahead.  It seemed to take forever and the miles and minutes passed.  I had 47.4 miles on my Garmin last time (losing 2.6 miles over the course of 50 with the woods and single track shortage).  This time, 47 came and went.  The stretch near the top was way longer than I remembered and it started kicking my ass.  I started to trip all over the place and wiped out a few more times.  With about a mile to go, I took the worst spill of the day.  I stubbed my toe on a rock and fell right down hard on my right side.  When I hit the ground (ribs first), my entire body locked up.  It was like I was hit by lightning or electric shock... from head to toe I locked up into a stiff board.  I felt my entire abdomen across my ribcage and lower into my stomach go completely stiff. It was like my midsection cramped up.  I knew I had strained everything and possibly cracked my ribs. I couldn't move.  My hamstrings and calves both cramped completely as well as my lower back.  I had to roll slowly onto my side and try to get back on my feet. It probably took me a half a minute or so to stand up.  Once I got back up, I started shuffling to the exit of the woods and the beginning of the last descent to the finish. My legs felt like someone had taken a baseball bat to every inch.

The race was actually closer to 51 miles and my time from last year came and went. I was just in finish mode at this point and was so happy to see the signs indicting '1 mile to go' and '0.5 miles to go' , etc.  I was out in the sun again, on the slopes of Mt. Ascutney, and weaving in and out of 50k-ers and bikers again.  I was just trying to find the finish and did keep glancing back to make sure I was still ahead of any charging 50 mile guys... little did I know, there was one lingering.

1 mile to go... coming down Ascutney.
As I made my way around a switchback, I glanced back one more time and saw to my absolute shock, a GREEN bib coming right for me out of nowhere.  It was pinned to the shirt of 31 year old Liz Gleason of Waterbury Center, VT.  She was running with a pacer next to her (the pacer had a bib that said, cleverly enough, 'Pacer'). They were both grinning from ear to ear and actually may have been laughing.  I was doing anything but.  As I looked back repeatedly, she was definitely running me down.  Then, around a corner, I heard the pacer yell to her 'GO GET HIM!'.  I was like 'hell no' and I put my head down and forgot about everything that was going on in my legs and abdomen and took off as hard as I could for the bottom.  It was like that story about the woman who defied physics and was able to lift a car off her baby... Mind over matter... I went numb and I started hammering.  I was moving faster than at any point in the race.  I ran literally as hard as I could (like it was the decent of a USATF Mountain championship) for about 30 seconds and turned to look again and to my absolute shock, she was GAINING on me.  It felt like no matter what I was doing, I couldn't drop her.  I was blowing by bikes and runners and screaming at people to get out of my way.  Once I got off the single track across the slopes, it dumped out onto the dirt access road and I tried again to open up a lead.  She was right behind me.  Only on the last bit of grass downhill at the end of the race (the last 200 meters or so are lined with ropes, flagging, and the spectators) did I open up what would eventually be a 13 second lead.  Looking at the splits, she outran me by about 5 minutes from 40 miles to the finish.

I came across in 5th place and 10 minutes slower than last time around (although it was close to a mile longer according to not only my watch but also a bunch of people I talked to at the finish line). I talked to Liz a little bit at the finish and she indicated it was her PR for 50 miles by almost an HOUR! Wow. Great run for sure.  No wonder why she was smiling and laughing in the last half mile.

Full Results here.

I wasn't surprised that Brian cooked me by an hour and Mark out-bossed me by 7 minutes in the last 3-4 miles from Johnson aid station to the finish...  Those guys are great runners.  Brian knows his way around ultras and can run for literally days at a a man's pace.  He's one of the best ultra runners in the country and is a former winner of this race (as well as just about every other ultra in New England).  Mark is still a great distance guy and has really good strength. He's a 1:06 Mt. Wash guy on his first time out and has a 2:23ish marathon under his belt.  I figured he'd be in the hunt for the win or podium spot so his 4th place was a little surprising, but I feel partially to blame. He ran with me for 30+ miles. Had he gone out with Brian, he may have finished higher....who knows.  Eric ran strong again and showed me how it was done late in the race.  I was lucky to hold off everyone else.  It was really good running and talking with Mark for so long. I felt better with him there and may not have made it that far without his help for sure.  We helped each other out and teamed up for the first big chunk of the race before I let him loose :).

After I wiped the dirt, tears, shame, and despair off my face, I hobbled around for a bit before heading back to the car to find the family.  As I waited for the awards and chatted with Mark and some others (Dan Princic dropped down wisely to the 50k and tore it up.... Mark Hudson was also in the house)., I slowly started to feel the affects of my last fall. I couldn't take deep breaths without intense pain in my ribs and I couldn't sit or stand back up without feeling like I was tearing something.  I was a mess.  Eventually we hit the road and Kristin drove home thank God. 3 hours of torture later, I was home and in need of an ER visit. I couldn't do anything but stand still without intense pain in my ribs. I hit the ER in North Conway at the advice of Downtown Darin Brown, and had imaging done to make sure I didn't have cracked ribs or any other damage internally.  They gave me morphine to ease the pain and I was eventually discharged at 1am with bruised ribs and strained intercostal muscles.  I didn't get home until 1:30am or so and I had to pack for the airport as I had a 5:30am flight out of Portland.  Since I had to leave the house at no later than 3:30am for the ride to Portland, I didn't go to bed.  I just packed and got in the car and drove. I didn't take the pain meds they gave me as I had to drive.  So the drive there was rough.

Sore and tired...
Once I got to the airport, I took a pill and tried to sleep a bit on the first leg of the trip but I couldn't get comfortable in the airplane seat.  My first leg to NYC was quick so I didn't get to sleep at all.  Once I was in NY, I actually felt the need for coffee and some breakfast so I got something to eat and that basically sunk any chance of me getting some good rest on the way out in the next leg.  From NY it was on to Minneapolis and then from there, to San Jose.  No sleep.  Remained stiff as a board on the plane seat as to not scream in pain.  Once I got to SJ,  I went straight into the office and was there by about 2pm to meet up with my team. It was 100 degrees. Crazy.  I had been up for a day and a half and had run 51 miles and was banged up beyond belief.  All I wanted to do was sleep.  I finally got to sleep on Monday night for the first time since my few hours I got on Saturday night.

The rest of the week was spent at the Adobe offices in SJ and SF.  We hit up a Sharks game (preseason) on Tuesday night (in the sweet company corp. box) and then a Giants game in SF on Thursday night.  Sprinkled in there was a lot of days of sitting in conference rooms, going over some new tools and apps, meeting with engineering and product management, and working with my team.  We get to do this about once a year and it's a great time.  I work all year with all these guys, but only on the phone and chat (as we are all remote employees). So it's great to get some facetime with all these guys and actually hang out for a few days.  But I was definitely smoked by the end of the week.  On Thursday night, I had to get a cab from San Fran after the Giants game, to San Jose. It's about an hour.  I didn't get back to the hotel until about 12:30am and our flight out was at 6:00am.  I got carsick on the ride and was a mess when I got back to the hotel.  I had to be up again and out the door by 4:30am so it was another night of only a few hours of horrible sleep.  I didn't get into Portland, Maine until 10:30pm. I got home at midnight.  By the time I got home, I was gladly up for a couple lazy days of nothing, a little bit of swingin' of course, and some daddy time with the little ladies. Oh yeah...and some sleep.

Sharks win...Sharks win...

Outside the SJ office at Adobe
It's official Dave Dunham!... It's 'COOLDOWN' not 'Warm Down'. Please see above for definitive proof.

SF Baseball Giants WIN! 
Good game on a brisk night in San Fran.

I got zero running in during the week as my ribs are still awful. They have been getting slightly better each day but it's going to be a bit.  The goal now is to recover, reset, and start focusing on the winter.  When I finished the race last weekend, I told Kristin I was done with ultras. I told her that was most likely it for sure.  Now a week has passed and I'm starting to rethink things. I'd like to try to actually conquer one of these things.  What that would mean is a sub 7 hour run somewhere...if not VT then somewhere.  We'll see. I have time to think about maybe something again next year.

As for swinging, I did manage to yank a 1735 King George II copper out of the ground before I left last week. It's my oldest coin by 1 year.  I had found a 1736 KG II in my yard earlier this year.  This beat that by one year.  I also found a few old colonial buttons (1700s) and some other doodads before I left and some this weekend when I was home again).  The good news with the KG II I found this past week was that the property has a huge field that has yet to be mowed this year.  The owner said he was going to mow it this past week (although it hasn't been done yet).  I found the coin at the entrance.  There has GOT to be more in the field.  When you find a 1730s copper, that pretty much means that ANY U.S. coin can be on the property (as U.S. coins started being minted in the late 1780s).

And some light digging this weekend in NH...