Monday, May 2, 2016

Week of April 25 - May 1 - Children's Museum of NH 5k

Ryan O'Leary/Seacoastonline


Week of April 25 - May 1 - Children's Museum of NH 5k

April 25 (Monday) - 3.1 miles very easy (roads and grass).  Leg is super sore and tight.  Probably doing more harm than good even trying.
April 26 (Tuesday) - off.  Resting the leg to try to salvage being able to at the very least finish the race this coming Saturday.  It also snowed all day and the roads were pretty ugly.
April 27 (Wednesday) - 8 miles relatively easy (roads and snow-mo trails).  Very hilly but easy run.  Leg was bad at the start, got slightly better, then slightly back to being bad again.  But a definite slight improvement since Monday.
April 28 (Thursday) - 5 miles trails. Pillar to Pond hogwash and a loop around Puddin' Pond just killing time and killing my hamstring.
April 29 (Friday) - 2 miles.  No go. Basically just a late day shoe test...testing out some new racing 'flats' I got.  Hamstring was just horrible and my calf was really sore.  Turned around at a mile and came home.
April 30 (Saturday) - 3.5 miles w/ up (some with Darin and then strides and jogging before the start trying to get loose) + 3.2 miles race (Children's Museum 5k - 1st OA - 16:10 (results)) + 2.2 miles cooldown with Darin over the last mile of the course.  
May 1 (Sunday) 3 miles roads and then some walking after.  

Weekly Summary: 30 miles

Ok, the week started off cold and snowy... But it ended with it being May and having the Seacoast Series in full swing.  Summer is coming!

It was a forgettable week of training but I had a decent race. Injury was just too bad to do any real running but I wanted to salvage the 5k on Saturday.  It was the first race of the Seacoast Series and I really wanted to NOT miss another race due to injury.  That is getting pretty old (as am I).  I just basically tried to rest this week, not push too much on the leg, let it heal, and use whatever residual fitness I had to try to stay competitive and get much needed points for the Seacoast Series.  I have a bad(?) feeling that some big guns will come out for the other races and it may be tight come October so I really wanted to make sure I could get some early season points and continue towards a podium finish in the series, which hasn't happened in a while because I keep missing too many races over the last few years due to injury.

The Children's Museum of NH 5k is always the first event in the Seacoast Series and I've always been able to podium there no matter what condition I'm in.   I've run the race 8 times in 9 years (missing only 2013 where Eric Couture ripped a 15:30 CR).  The first year I ran the race (2008) it was in Portsmouth. Sam Wood dropped a big W there and I got 2nd in the only version of the race I ran where it finished in Strawberry Banke in Portsmouth.  In the 7 years its been on the dover course Ive run 3 faster and 3 slower than I did this year ... So this year was right in the middle.  This year was also my 4th win. History below...

2016 1st 16:10
2015 1st 15:49
2014 1st 16:25
2012 3rd 16:13 - Newbould for the win. OH runner 2nd.
2011 1st 15:46
2010 3rd 15:53 - B.Wiles for the win. Mentzer always a bridesmaid. C.Mahoney-Searles 4th!
2009 3rd 16:13 - C.Mahoney-Searles for the win. Mentzer 2nd.
2008 2nd 15:56 (portsmouth course) - Sam Wood for the win.

This year I was obviously dealing with a hamstring issue that has been bothering me for the last week and a half. I'm also not in as good of shape as I was last year but I can certainly work on that.  Going into the race this weekend I just wanted to try as best I could to keep my streak of podium (top 3) finishes going and if possible, win if none of the big guns show up.  I wasn't concerned in the least about time.  I knew I wasn't in that great of shape so I just wanted to think long term and try to get through the race without making things worse.  I also had pre-registered for this race, which was a good thing.  That kind of helped motivate me even more to get down there and man up.

I warmed up w/ Darin Brown over some of the course (the first and last miles + some).  The first mile is mostly uphill with no down sections at all.  The second mile has some up, down, up again and then there's a great downhill section right during the 2 mile split.  Then one final uphill section before a long flat drive to the finish.  The course isn't particularly fast at all but it's pretty fair.  I've run twice in the 15:40s including last year.  I've also dropped a stinkbomb here a couple times so anything goes.

Just ahead of the start, I hadn't noticed anyone I thought would give me a scare (unless my hamstring really went) except for John Rogers but he's apparently still getting back into shape from what I heard after the race.  So I really thought maybe he'd either take it right away and blast one from the start or at least stick to me, feel out the race, and take it when he smelled blood in the water.

When the gun went off, I rolled up and out to the lead but wasn't really pushing all out because it was the fastest I'd run in a couple weeks and my leg was not happy...plus I wasn't really confident in my current fitness to try to run a 5 min mile uphill.  That would certainly spell disaster later on.  By about half a mile in, I started to realize when peeking behind me, that I may have this one if I could keep it together.  John was hanging back there but not coming with me.  It was obvious he was running his own pace.  That still didn't mean I wasn't thinking that he'd eventually roll up on me and take me in the later part of the race though.   I went through the mile in 5:09 which is decent for this course layout (I was 5:02 last year).

The second mile starts slightly up, then drops down into a neighborhood loop before coming back out and down to the 2 mile mark.  Coming out of the neighborhood I didn't notice the balloon ribbon stretching across the corner of the road (the wind was blowing a balloon that was tied to the big wooden left-hand turn sign).  I ran right into it and it wrapped me across the face then slid down around my neck and the balloon itself caught up around the back of my head and I yanked the sign clean down with by my neck and dragged it a few feet before I was able to quickly unwind the chord from around my neck and continue on my way.  Needless to say I was not only pretty ticked at myself for not avoiding it, but I was shocked at what just happened.  I let out a choice word pretty loud and all the people coming the other way (it was an out and back course) got to witness a slight chaotic episode up in the front of the race.  Darin commented later that he noticed the sign was knocked down and dragged out on the course.  I still clipped through the 2nd mile in 5:05 (I was 5:01 last year).

The course drops pretty good after the 2 mile mark and bottoms out before climbing a couple more times (once pretty good).  I was in cruise control here and feeling the burn a little bit.  I felt slightly out of shape but not too bad.  I was pretty happy to no longer see John behind me on the peek backs and was starting to feel good about getting another win in a Seacoast race (at my age).  I clipped through the 3 mile mark with a 5:01 split (I was 4:52 last year).  I heard the announcer at that point say something like '...and he ran 15:49 last year and we're just about at that now'...I looked down at my watch and he was right.  I still had a ways to go but saw I'd run low 16 which was a pleasant surprise for me.  I figured with my hamstring maybe I'd go 16:30ish.  I ended up running a 16:10 for 3.2 on my Garmin (same as last year).  I ran the last .2 in 4:51 pace (last year it was 4:41 pace).   Up next...REDHOOK.  For my efforts, I got another 10 lobster dinners from the Weathervane.  That's over 60 total since 2008.  I've only used a few of them.

Results Here.

Fosters article here: http://www.fosters.com/article/20160430/SPORTS/160439985

The good news is that I got the win for my 4th time at the race.  The great news is that my hamstring was no worse.  It was bad but not any worse.  It hurt more on the cooldown w/ Darin than it did in the race.  It was slightly sore during the first mile but then slowly became a non-issue.  It was probably due to all the adrenaline, etc. during the actual race.  I had to shorten my cooldown a bit to get back in time to catch the kids race.

Tabby ran her very first race(s) during the kids race.  She loved it.  She hopped in a couple different times and really was excited to have her number on and win a ribbon after the kids 'quarter mile'.

Final thoughts...after this race last year I got my stress fracture...as I type this, the day after the race this year...I do not have one.  It is now May.  I've made it!

The start:



The finish:



And...hard to believe this started off the week!  Crazy.  Summer is finally here though!



with the Doctor.

w/ the Lovely and Talented...

This time it's Morgan who's got the bottle in the picture...

w/ the kids before the start...

w/ Morg again workin' the bottle...

The fam...

Tabby getting ready for her first race!  #403 in the 603.

Tabby and mommy getting ready...

Post race cooldown.

Morgan will try next year...

Mommy and Tabby selfie...

Mommy and Morgan selfie.... Morgan is seldom serious (she gets that from me).