Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Week of May 16 - May 22 - Rock n' Race 5k and Get Fit in May 5k - Double

Morgan and I catching up with Ryan Kelly post-race on Thursday night.
Week of May 16 - May 22 - Rock n' Race 2016 and Get Fit in May 5ks (Old School Double)

May 16 (Monday) - PM: 6.5 miles trails w/ Andy and Squall from Black Brook Rd.  Snowmobile trails.  Still having some chest tightness and discomfort... 
May 17 (Tuesday) PM: 11.2 miles roads w/ Andy from home up 113 to Chocorua Meadows and Tall Pines Rds just neighborhood running...then back down into Madison.  Still having some chest tightness and discomfort... still pretty concerning but I'm able to run without too much additional issue.
May 18 (Wednesday) PM: 8.5 miles trails, roads, logging roads.  From Rocky Gorge took Lower Nanamocomuck ski trail down to the covered bridge and then ran up to the gate on Passaconaway Rd. Then took that left up a logging road that climbed up quite a ways along Big Brook.  Ran to the top and then a ways down the backside before turning and running back to the bridge where I was picked up.
May 19 (Thursday) PM: 4 mile warmup in the rain on streets of Concord, then 3.2 miles (Merrimack Savings Bank Rock n' Race 5k (results- Concord, NH - 2nd OA - 16:02) then 2 miles cooldown on the roads.
May 20 (Friday) AM: 8 miles roads (moderate).
May 21 (Saturday) AM: 4.6 miles warmup on the roads (got very lost trying to follow the course) + 3.2 miles (Get Fit in May 5k (results)- Exeter, NH - 1st OA 16:04) + 2.8 miles cooldown w/ Goupil, Sam Fazioli, and DJ Ayotte.  HOT out there! 
May 22 (Sunday) PM: 6 miles very easy after 4+ hours of metal detecting in the hot sun and buggy woods...

Weekly Summary: 60.0 miles

Decent week although another week of ONLY 60 miles... I opted to take it short and easy on Sunday with 2 races (Thursday and Saturday).. old school week of 2 races...  16:02 and 16:04 respectfully.  One 2nd place and one win.  Good efforts for sure (one on the flooded streets of Concord and one on the scorching hot streets of Exeter...ok not that hot but it was definitely the hottest race of the year so far that I've run). $225 in race winnings across the 2 races in 3 days.  Just good to keep getting behind the line.

Race 1: Rock N' Race 2016 5k (results):

The race on Thursday night was a good time.  Despite the rain, it did stop right before the race went off so at least during the run it wasn't coming down.  With close to 3000 runners and maybe more than that lined up to walk, the race is one of the bigger races in the state.  I have never made it down (or up) to this race since I started running again.  I always see it in the results after the fact and never remember to put it on the schedule.  This year I figured I'd try to get down there and add it to my list of good local races that I've run.  This was the 14th year of the race (and 13th year I think it has been a 5k...with 2003's first race being a 4 miler won by Scott Clark).

I warmed up a bit doing loops of a few city blocks as I didn't know where the course went and being in the city and immediate neighborhoods, there wasn't obvious markings so I couldn't follow anything. I just ended up running around for 4 miles including some strides before the race.  I noticed quite a few decent looking runners there including Nacho Hernando and Ryan Kelly (Nacho would end up not actually racing) plus a few other dudes I know could race so I figured it would be a good pack of guys for the first mile at least...something I haven't been seeing in the other local races around here lately. &nbsp

After the Governor gave the race command and fired the gun (a short walk for her as the start is outside of her office door) we were off.  Two dudes busted out to the lead and a couple others lingered around me initially. I actually got a bad start (if there's such a thing in a 5k when you are right on the starting line) so it took me a little bit to get back up to the leader but he was definitely moving pretty well right away.  By the turn off the first street and onto the next little climb up into some neighborhood streets, I was right with the leader and everyone else seemingly blew right out the back somehow.  We were going just under 5 min pace and it didn't seem like it was going to be a quick day at all.  Even though the course rolls, there really aren't any long hills.  The biggest climbs you have are immediately followed by nice downhills.  The course is by no means a super fast course but it's pretty fair.  Still, we rolled up through and I clicked 4:57 on my watch which beeped right at the first mile marker within a stride.  I didn't know it at the time, but it was Colton Ham in front of me and he surged right before that mile mark and that was basically it. I was looking at him up ahead for the rest of the race with Ryan Kelly lingering behind me not too far back.  That was good though because it kept me on my toes at least.

The course was riddled with botchy pavement and flooded corners and puddles but it made things nice and cool for the race conditions-wise.  It was a rather odd course in that it weaves all over the place around little islands in parking lots and through the grounds of various schools/hospitals, etc.  I just kept my foot on the gas as much as I could but Colton continued to float up front and never came back at all. I tried to push a couple times and felt plain out of shape for some reason. I just felt like I had no pep but tried to maintain that distance ahead of Ryan and behind Colton.  People kept telling me on the sidelines that I could 'get him' but that's just people trying to cheer you on and keep you going. I kept looking up and noticing him looking effortless and by no means on his way back to me.

I clicked through 2 miles in 9:58 and then the third mile had some rolls and the biggest hills of the course which really slowed me down and I lost a lot of time here...Colton continued to roll as I probably would have if I was in better shape but it was just not the case.  I salvaged a 5:13 third mile and then 4:44 pace for the last .18 (had 3.18 on my Garmin).  16:02 for an official final time and a good 2nd place.

I'm definitely pleased with the race although I know I have work to do.  I need to work on my speed and strength for beginning to end. It hasn't been an issue with the last mile or 2nd mile, etc.  Generally right now it's all my miles.  They just aren't where they need to be (or should I say where I want them to be).  I'm holding it together typically for a relatively even effort and haven't been falling apart completely in any race this year but it's just not that fast.  Colton ran away to a 15:39 which even on the flattest of flattest courses (NHTI) last year, I was only 15:31 and last year I was in the best shape of the last many years for no way I could have done anything to contend with him this year on this course which is far slower than NHTI.  It was the third year in a row he's won this event which is pretty awesome considering the amount of runners it attracts.

I cooled down around the State house area waiting for awards.  Talked a bit to some folks including John Mortimer who assured me he wasn't planning on making a 40+ comeback any time soon ;)...  For my efforts I got $100 for 2nd place....another race I had no idea there was cash at, as I don't believe it was advertised so I'll take it!

Here's some video Kristin took:

Morgan has more shades than Elton John...

...yes, Tabby was with us too but she's getting camera shy.

Race 2: Get Fit in May 5k (results):

On Saturday, we all headed down to Exeter as I was feeling the need to race again...  Running a race on Thursday just doesn't feel quite like I got a race in for that week... I figured it couldn't' hurt to run another 5k so I opted to run the Exeter race in lieu of the Bedford 5k.  Exeter is slightly closer and there was $125 for the win... plus it didn't finish with another race (like the 12k) so I figured it was a better choice. It turned out to be a good decision as they had a very nice area for the kids to play and a lot of kids activities to keep Tabby and Morgan occupied.

I woke up feeling a little banged up and my hamstring was a little sore (ok a lot sore).  In general I felt worse than I did yesterday (the day between the two races).  It was shaping up to be very warm (just about 80 degrees at race time) and I headed out on a very slow warmup. I tried following where I thought the course went but got pretty lost. I ended up running over 4 and a half miles before I found my way back to the start and barely saw any of the course in the right direction.  I caught up with Jeff Goupil who was again trying to whore a local race that I got in the way of...  We're starting to laugh when we see each other.

On the line, I caught sight of Sam Fazioli (Whirlaway) who's coming off the Boston Marathon last month and DJ Ayotte who had just graduated from Colby Sawyer this Spring.  He was coming off a good outdoor season and I knew the top 4 of us would be in the mix.  I wasn't feeling like I could run particularly fast and figured a mid 16 may be the best I could muster given the fact that I had just raced a day and a half ago.   I got another bad start for some reason and I was suckin' the fumes from about 16 kids under 12 in front of me for the first 100 yards or so.  There was a 10 year old girl who I believe was still in the lead 200 yards in and she was crankin.  Eventually I settled into the lead and Sam was tucked in tight behind.

I kept looking back for the first couple miles as Sam was lingering.  He crept up past me at An Ras Mor in the Spring and didn't go past me until a mile in...then we battled back and I wasn't counting out a later charge from him despite him sandbagging before the race.  I went through the mile in 4:57 and then through 2 in 10:04.  I was starting to feel the heat a bit (literally).  My third mile was a 5:10 and it included a ball buster of a hill at the very end that I never saw coming. I rigged up near the top and then had all I could do roll up to the finish, again just missing going under 16 minutes... 16:04 official time... but again I was pretty pleased with the win and the effort.  The more I keep plugging away at these efforts and getting my race rhythm back, the more I will hopefully get closer to getting fast again.

I cooled down with Sam who held on for 2nd despite not doing any workouts in a month or so (I think that's two of us...but I've been racing so I guess those count), DJ, who held on for 3rd man OA, and Jeff who took one step closer to getting his groove back.  Then it was awards time where I picked up another $125 that went right into the Portsmouth Toys R Us cash register on the way home...

Here's some more video Kristin took:

Morgan dancing with the falcon...

Morgan and I pre-race

Goup and I pre-race...

Tabby and Momma

Some sandbagging pre-race...

Goup, Ayotte, Fazioli, JJ

Some sidewalk chalk action... 

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