Monday, May 16, 2016

Week of May 9 - May 15 - Spirit of Recovery 5k

Photo at the finish of the Spirit of Recovery 5k - Dover, NH

Week of May 9 - May 15 - Spirit of Recovery 5k

May 9 (Monday) - PM: 3 miles roads.  Had to run super late as I was busy with work and then my parents came over for the afternoon and dinner. Had to run after and just squeezed in 3 before it got dark.  
May 10 (Tuesday) PM: 10.1 miles trails w/ Andy from Potter Rd.  Exploring the Roberts Pond area in Eaton again + some on Potter Rd. to get 10.  Some decent climbing in there but ran relatively easy.  Beautiful day.  Found a new cellar hole off Potter Rd. that may need exploring.
May 11(Wednesday) AM: 5 miles roads going to get my car from the mechanic.  Slightly up tempo...pretty warm out. Just felt like going a little harder than usual. PM: 6 miles - hilly but hard.  It was even warmer out but I headed up 113 and then up Mooney Hill to Glines Hill and then up to Bickford Rd.  Halfway up Bickford (wooded class VI dirt road) I ran into a large black bear in the middle of the road and it wouldn't move.  I kept running towards it and it stayed there. I got about 30-40 yards away and it was just standing there staring at me.  I clapped and made a lot of loud noise but it just kept looking at me, then going back to it's business of digging something in the road...occasionally looking up at wasn't a typical encounter so I actually had to turn around and go back the other way as it wasn't keen on moving out of mine (if I got a little closer 'maybe' it would have moved but I wasn't going to find out).  Lots of climb in only 6 miles (for a road run) but I had to call it at 6 as Kristin had class so I ran a pretty honest pace.
May 12 (Thursday) - PM: 14 miles roads.  From the Ranger Station on the Kanc to just past the Lower Falls and then back.  Hot but seemed like a slight headwind both ways, which felt good.  Light progression run. Slightly faster each split on the way out (in the 6:40s/6:30s) and then on the way back low 6s to the last few under 6 min pace.  Felt completely fine cardio-wise but the legs feel a little beat in spots.  Plantar a little sore.  Hammy a little sore.  The usual.
May 13 (Friday) - PM: 8.1 miles roads.  First 5 w/ Andy and then added on.  Relatively easy for first 5 and then slightly quicker for the end because it started raining.  Got back home just in time to miss the deluge.  Had some issues later on that night and started to feel off.
May 14 (Saturday) - AM: 5.4 miles trails w/ Andy and Josh - Albany Town Forest. Was going to get out later in the day but I haven't felt that great in the last 24 hours... May have to go to the Dr.s to get some things looked at.
May 15 (Sunday) AM: 4 miles warmup on the roads (some w/ Goupil) and then 5k race (3.23 miles on my watch) - Spirit of Recovery 5k (results) in Dover, NH (16:14) - 2 mile cooldown w/ Goupil and Huppe (cut it short when we found a 'shortcut' back to the awards area).

Weekly Summary: 60.2 miles

Decent week with basically a day off (I started out on the wrong foot with only a 3 mile day on Monday and only 1 short run on Saturday but I wasn't feeling good).  The race on Sunday went well though so I can't complain with how the week ended up although I have something going on w/ my left arm, shoulder, and chest.  I thought for a day and a half I may be having heart problems and was pretty bummed about it.  The good news is that it was a non-issue in the race. I was able to push at 5k pace without any additional tightness or discomfort so that was a great sign. Bad news is that I still have it when I'm just sitting around.

I picked up some more points in the Dover Race Series. This race was another new one for me and in a different part of town so it was pretty cool .  The conditions were less than ideal.  It was very windy (not Paddy's windy but very windy) and the course rolls continuously.  It starts off slightly up, then slightly down as you roll out of an office park and then down 6th Street.  Then it drops down into another office park for a good half mile of descent (with the wind)...then it's a whole lot of uphill on the way back into the wind which was a kick in the pants.  There was some tailwind on 6th Street on the way back and then a wall of wind for the last quarter mile into the finish.  Since Huppe had the course record with a 16:54, it seemed the course wasn't particularly fast to begin with.  I went in with the goal of winning and beating Nate's record (he was telling me all week NOT to go break his record so obviously I was going) but as I was warming up, I started seeing a few guys lingering that looked like they could be a threat.  The one I was most worried about ended up being the one I should have been worried about (at least until Jeff Goupil gets his sh*t together... he knows what I'm talking about)...

As the race went off, my goal of winning took a backseat pretty quick. I got out to a good start and felt very in control and almost easy.  The pace was quick according to my watch but I kept it comfortable.  Into the wind out on 6th Street made things pretty tough. There's a downhill, then a good uphill all into a pretty blustery wind. The kid I was worried about started off relatively easy and then rolled right up on me like I was standing still. It was very reminiscent of the Run Before You Crawl race and what Kevin Greene did to me. This kid came right up on my shoulder and looked and sounded very comfortable and in control.  He commented about the wind and I had all I could do to muster back a response...but then a minute or so later I looked over and said 'yeah, good thing we have this wind with us on the way back'.   He seemed to just be sitting and waiting.  He looked very fit and very fast....and YOUNG.  I was pretty sure he was a college guy and had no clue what his plan was but it seemed like he was just feeling things out and was ready to pounce at any time.

As we climbed up the hill to the turn off 6th Street, he jolted to the lead.  He did this a couple times, where he'd move up on me, then blow past for about 10-20 feet and then I'd catch back up somehow and go past him again.  As we turned, he had a good gap on me and I thought that was it.  I was almost settling for 2nd at that point as we had a big lead on the 3rd place guy, but then I caught back up again (or he slowed down a bit).  Right at the mile mark, he surged ahead a few steps to go through at probably 5:01.  I was 5:02 on my watch, which I was elated about after that wind and the rolling nature of the first mile.  We then turned again and dropped down a half mile through a twisty office park road.  I rolled right up on him again and went past again. Probably the 4th time or so that happened in a miles worth of running.  He sat behind me for a bit and then moved up next to me, then a foot in front, then back again.  I was starting to think he was doing this to psych me out and maybe that's how he was pretty effective as I was beginning to just want him to blast away from me so I could be done with it.  Looking back now it made the race so much better. I'm not used to battling like that in these races and it was pretty cool to have that action play out as it did.

As we made it to the bottom of the hill and circled around a parking lot of a big office building, I took a step or two lead.  On the way around the lot, he was a step behind me.  I saw Goupil come down and start the loop just as we were exiting.  Immediately after taking the turn back up to start the half mile climb out of the turnaround, I suddenly had a gap.  Within 20 seconds or so I turned to see a big gap that I suddenly started to think was the decisive move...surprisingly (to my shock actually) it was MY move that made the difference. I think he started to hurt on the climb.  I felt pretty smooth but still thought maybe he'd come back on me again because he had so many times in the first half of the race...but the gap started to grow.  I clicked by another 5:02 split on my watch which I was shocked by.  With the wind and the big climb out of there, I figured it would be way slow.  By the time I reached the top and took the turn back out onto 6th street I was way out in front and pretty amazed that I had hung on.  He seemed so strong and in control for the first half and then it was so sudden that I was alone.

I had a nice drop down on 6th Street with the wind at my back but then had a decent last climb up past Nate's house (he was standing out in front cheering us on) before turning back into a God awful headwind at the end for the last 300 yards or so. A guy out on 6th street with about a half mile to go told me I had 'about 20 seconds' on the 2nd guy but I think it was more. I peeked back a few times and he looked to be struggling or had packed it in for a comfortable second.

I passed 3 miles in another 5:02 split on the Garmin.  It's weird that it took me so long to finish but the wind was horrendous at the end and the course measured out a bit long so the effort was pretty even with three 5:02 splits and in the end I came down past the finish in 16:14 for a new course record and was stoked about the time and for winning the battle (I typically lose those battles).  For a rolling windy day, running that time is promising.  Especially for the way I've been feeling.  Also a new CR by 39 seconds. For the effort I got a ginormous trophy (my first traditional 'trophy' type trophy in many many years), a medal, and $100 cash (which I didn't know about ahead of time).   The second place guy was Ben Finnigan of Dover, NH who was a Freshman in this past year at Mount St. Mary's University and he's only 19 years old!  I know I'll be seeing him again at races and it definitely won't be long before he'll be blowing my doors off.  I was 20 when he was born! Yikes.

Cooled down w/ Goup and Huppe who had already ran, but ran a little bit w/ us over the course.  5 races up and 5 down in the Dover Series... I need 7 to score so I'm pretty close.  I have 4 wins and 1 second place.  It was my 6th race in the City of Dover though this year which is crazy.  By year's end I could have a new record for races in the same town in a calendar year....

Some 'visible and audible headwind' right at the end...

A rare moment of calm in Morgan's day on Sunday...