Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Some late May Dirt Fishin'

Swung up at Andy's for about 45 minutes before a quick storm rolled through and scored another large British copper and a sterling silver ring.... check it out.


Memorial Day Part Deux and the War of 1812

Memorial Day Part Deux....

After posting an update about the Memorial Day 'parade' in Madison on Monday, I went out back to do a little dirt fishin'.  I haven't detected too much in my backyard (in the grass anyways) because I don't want holes all over the place... but seeing my house is the oldest house in town (still standing)...built in 1779, I figure there's still some history buried out there. The house was an inn a couple times over, in the 1800s and early 1900s.  I've found some very interesting things including some old Spanish silver, British coppers, and some other nice coins and relics from the period.  But I went out with the sniper coil on my newer machine and did some slow swinging up on the hill just at the edge of the woods and landed one my best finds so far, as well as another 1700s colonial flat button, a nice old spoon, and a few other small relics.

I haven't been doing too many videos (I've been taking video here and there while detecting, but I find it takes too much time/effort and I'd rather just focus on getting more detecting in rather than trying to record all the possible good signals I get).  I didn't' film the extraction of the relic but I also wasn't 100% sure what it was until I got back inside... I have found a lot of good things this season so far and have been detecting nearly every day for at least a little bit (weather-permitting).  I just haven't posted much about it.  Maybe I'll start back up. I have a lot of footage from past hunts this year that maybe I can piece together...if I can find the time and desire to do some more video editing... I do find though that this was a very fitting find for Memorial Day.

It turns out, it's a silver plated War of 1812 US 1st Regiment Infantry Coat Button.  Apparently they are a rare find and I have found examples of these in far worse shape than the one I pulled out of the ground, for hundreds of dollars online (not that I'd ever sell these things).

Here's the one I found (a bit tarnished) and below it are examples of others online (most are NOT metal detecting finds, so they are in slightly better shape, not having been in the ground for 200 years)...Mine DOES have the shank on the back too!

the front of my War of 1812 US 1st Regiment Infantry Coat Button.


Other examples of the same button online:




Video of another NH detectorist finding the same button...fast forward to 9 minutes in....

Monday, May 29, 2017

Memorial Day 2017

Nick winning and me in the distance (still in 2nd).  Derrick passes me right after this pic was taken.


Redhook 5k writeup: http://www.seacoastonline.com/sports/20170528/runners-alleyredhook-5k-aguila-dowe-set-swift-pace

And the annual Memorial Day Parade today rolled on by the house today....rough weather but still good enough to excite the girls...

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Training Week: May 22 - May 28 - Redhook 5k

Top 3 men in reverse order (me, Hamel, Nick) and then two of the 3 top women.


Week of May 22 - May 28

05-22 - [Monday] - AM: 10 miles roads (dirt/class vi/some pavement loop) from SOLO w/ Robert Molnar. Tasker to Townline to Modock to Glines to Bickford and back.

05-23 - [Tuesday] - PM: 10 miles trackwork.  3.1 mile w/ up (trails) and then 800 meters of straightaway sprints + corner floats into 10 x 400 at 74-75 with 200 continuous in between. I ran in the 2nd lane most of the time w/ Andy on the inside...Then cooldown around the track and school (all w/ Andy). Not too hard but better than nothing. Head wasn't in it today. Coming down with a cold (the entire family is now sick) and we had a rough couple days w/ one of our cats.  We ended up losing him in the morning after a 5 month battle with cancer.  We got him right after we got Deacon (our oldest cat) in 2004 when we moved into our first home in Salem.  We'll all miss him.


during happier, healthier times.
RIP Sheldon.  2004-2017.

05-24 - [Wednesday] - PM: 8 miles trails in Conway w/ Robert.

05-25 - [Thursday] - PM: 12 miles trails w/ Andy.

05-26 - [Friday] - AM: 5 miles roads/trails.

05-27 - [Saturday] - AM: 5 miles roads. PM:  6 miles roads with Andy.

05-28 - [Sunday] - PM: 3.5 mile w/ up + 5k race (Redhook 5k - 15:59 - 3rd OA (results)+ 4 mile cooldown.  New Masters 5k PR!!!!

66.6 miles for the week on 10 runs.  Big step in the right direction w/ a track workout, longer easy run, and the race. Was sick most of the week and surprised I ran as well as I did with the entire family being sick.  Also w/ losing Sheldon, it really was a mix of highs and very low lows...

It was my 8th run at Redhook this year.  I've been in the top 3 every year except the first year I ran it (in 2007). I've also broken 16 every year except the first year.  Last year it was close, getting 3rd and squeaking in in 15:58.  This year, it was no exception. It was by the thinnest of margins.  I not only 'technically' got 3rd place but I also broke 16 by ONE second...

The race was playing out to be a pretty fast one. The depth of the field was pretty good considering.  I warmed up with Andy Drummond and Zac Switaj and Nick Aguila. I fully expected Nick to win and was picking an 'out of shape' Zac to still crush me.  I also saw 2:17 marathoner Andy Huebner warming up right before the start and was now pushing myself out of the top 3.  I was kind of OK with it at first, thinking I would still have a good shot at being top master.  There were a handful of other good guys in the race too including Derrick Hamel who SHOULD be beating me daily...although I've been able to get a few 'W's this year against him.

The gun went off and the pace was fairly hot.  There was a gigantic pack of guys all together for the entire first mile. It was crazy. I would have loved to have seen video of the race from the lead vehicle perspective.  I led early with Nick. We were side by side and cutting into a pretty strong headwind that was steady on the way out.  There were easily 10 back behind in a tight pack including 11 year old sensation Aiden Cox.  Shortly before the first mile, I dropped back a bit and 4 or 5 guys moved up.  Hamel came up and took the lead with Nick and a couple others.  Zac was in front of me and Chris Dunn was pushing up with the leaders.

We went through in a tick over 5 minutes for the first mile and Andy looked at me and said 'this isn't slow'.  I agreed.  It felt hot but I didn't want to let the pack go.  I stubbornly hung on but Derrick and Nick started to gap everyone a little bit.  Probably at about 1.25 or so I counted 6 guys in front of me and Andy was right next to me.  I started thinking that 7th was my worst place here (in 2007).  If Andy dropped me, I'd be in 8th.  I wasn't having it.  I moved on ahead and Andy and I both split by Justin Trott.  Then I moved ahead of Andy just a bit and came up past Zac on the only real slight uphill on the course at around 1.5 miles.  Not soon after that I caught and passed Chris.  I then had my sights on Hamel and soon found myself in 3rd place at 2 miles.

I occasionally peeked back and it was a who's who of guys right on my tail. I wasn't really dropping anyone.  I kept my foot on the gas and went through 2 in around 10:04-10:05.  I then focused solely on keeping the pedal down because Andy was closing and it seemed like Zac and Chris weren't letting go either.  As I took the turn onto the last road (about .6 to the finish), Andy pulled right up behind me and was breathing loudly.  He really sounded like he was pushing and I put the pedal down again and tried to pull away a couple times. I could only put a little bit of distance on him at a time and it seemed like he was coming right back.  Chris was right behind him and closing.  I then found myself right up to Derrick and just went clean on by him but I was laboring.  I had been slowly catching him and ASSUMED that once I went by and kept moving at the same pace passed him, that he'd eventually fall out of range.  I was wrong.

I hit the last turn into the Redhook parking lot and the 3 mile mark and could hear and see the finish.  I was in 2nd but then Derrick blew past me like I was standing still (video evidence below).  I was completely done and was just focusing on not letting a complete disaster happen in the last 25 yards.   Derrick had come back from the dead after doing a lot of work early with Nick but getting dropped at about 1.5.  He decided not to settle and fought back and got some much needed Seacoast Series points by beating me.  As I headed towards the line I looked up and saw 15:57-15:58 on the clock.  I knew I had done it.  Broken the mystical 16 minute barrier as a 40 year old.  My official time was 15:59 (gun and clock)...which brings me to my last interesting tidbit.  This is the first time this has happened to me, but if you watch the video below, you see that a ridiculously fast charging Chris Dunn is motoring up behind me for a very strong finish.  He was 4th across the line but he lined himself up a few rows behind me at the start and subsequently he had a 1 second faster 'chip' time than me.  So in the printed results, he shows 3rd with a 15:58 chip time but a 16:00 gun time.  But in the order of finish (gun) across the line, for the sake of awards, cash, etc. I got 3rd because I was 1 second ahead of him across the line.  I was actually shocked when I saw the results after the race because I didn't even see him behind me at the end that close. I came across completely in 3rd and never even knew he pulled within 1 second to me on the line. I thought it was a typo...and I went to the timers and they were perplexed too. It wasn't until I noticed his chip time vs gun time being off by 2 seconds.  I had identical times.  Matt Sawyer told me after the race that he knew he had lined up a few rows back.... I cross the line in 3rd but technically from timing mat to timing mat he was 1 second faster than I was.  It cost him $75 though as they do awards and placement based on gun time.  On Coolrunning they listed the results by chip time.  He knows for next time :). I told him he's now officially a sub 16 guy and he needs to make sure his butt is on the line :).  He'll probably hand me my ass at Market Square Day but then again, most people will...I still can't figure out 10ks!

All in all, I am very happy w/ the race.  Podium, cash, and a sub 16 for the first time as a master.  I had 3.19 on my Garmin and the race is certified so I'm set to update my blog with a nice faster masters PR. Hopefully I can still bring it down a bit...but I'm not sure by how much. I really worked for this one.

Start of the race:



Finish of the race (thanks Youtube for selecting the thumbnail below):





Me w/ Sheldon back in Salem, NH....many years ago.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Training Week: May 15 - May 21 - Concord Rock n' Race



Week of May 15 - May 21

05-15 - [Monday] - AM: 5 miles roads early after dropping my car off.

05-16 - [Tuesday] - AM: 10 miles roads (62:24). WARM out...

05-17 - [Wednesday] - PM: 7 miles easy roads w/ Andy. HOT out...

05-18 - [Thursday] - PM: 3 mile w/up + 5k race (Concord Rock n' Race - 1st OA - 16:30 (results)) + 2 mile cooldown.  Oppressive heat. 98 degrees in Concord at race time (according to the bank clock near the start).  My car said 96... so I'll go with '97' for the official temp at the start.  4 hours later as I type this and my throat still hurts.  May have been the hottest race I've ever done.

05-19 - [Friday] - PM: 8.6 miles roads / trails w/ Andy.

05-20 - [Saturday] - PM: zero. At a wedding all day.

05-21 - [Sunday] - PM: 15.6 miles hilly roads w/ Andy.

54.3 miles for the week on 8 runs.  Not what I was looking for volume-wise for sure but it wasn't a total loss with a 'big' win and a good 'long' run.  Both of those are relatively speaking these days...

With a zero on Saturday due to travel and a wedding...and then me bailing on the Sunday half marathon and therefor the NHGP (as you really can't miss a race and expect to score in the series).... I was under 60 miles for the week which is not ideal.  I was at a wedding all day Saturday (left early in the AM and didn't get back home until 11pm).  I was toast and in the morning I felt awful so I wasn't about to get on the road at 4am to get down to Nashua by 6am to register (7am start time).  So alas, I may be free for some other NHGP dates now. I will still do Bill Luti as it's in the CARS series too....and 'maybe' the St. Charles 5k (on Labor Day) but other than that, I'll skip the rest.

But I did have a good race on Thursday with a 'big' win.  It was the largest field I've ever won a race in front of.... Just over 2000 runners (and probably another 4k walkers as the news said 'over 6000').  It just beats out a Redhook field of about 1900 I won in back in 2008.

The weather was horrendous.  Upper 90s all day with record temps set all over the state.  The temp at the start said 98.  Official weather report indicated 96 degrees at near 5 pm in Concord so it was in the ballpark of mid to upper 90s with no clouds in the sky to speak of at the start of the race.  I think it probably scared some people away but those of us who did toe the line were in for a scorcher.

Three-time (in a row) winner Colton Ham was the only one on the line that I was initially concerned with as I looked around ahead of the starting gun.  He had a great year last year, breaking 15 and running 31 flat in the 10k.  He ran away from me last year in this race and I got a distant second place.  This year I was thinking the same thing when I saw him standing there in his Millennium racing kit.






When the gun went off, a few people darted out in front of me but I had my eyes set on what Colton was going to do.  I kind of just wanted him to get out ahead quickly and leave me to fight it out back in 2nd place where I 'belonged' but I found myself tucked in behind him and feeling 'ok' in that small pocket 5:08ish pace on his left shoulder.  The first turn off the main road has a slight uphill and he surged a bit and I thought that that was surely it.  For a guy like him, running 16:00 should feel pretty easy (I knew I wouldn't be able to hang at that pace in this weather) but I wasn't sure what kind of shape he was in... A couple of left-hand turns later, I found myself taking some tangents that he wasn't taking and I was suddenly back up to him after a small gap had opened up.  By the mile mark, we were side by side. I could have gone by immediately but I waited a bit.  We were 5:08/5:09 through the mile and I was feeling alright at that pace.  I was on the breaks a little bit because I was confused as to what he was looking to do. I then realized not too soon after that he probably wasn't feeling it.  I just started to ease ahead and he held on for a while but a small gap started to open larger and larger over the next mile.   By 2 miles, I had a decent gap and started to realize that in order for him to make it up, he'd have to wake up a little bit and I'd have to start falling back considerably.   Due to the temps, that was a definite possibility.  I kept pushing on but was slowing.  The last part of the course has a couple of uphills in the neighborhoods behind the state house.  I felt like I was limping up those hills but kept peeking back and the gap was still opening. At 2.5 I think I knew I had it.

In the end I came through in 16:30 for the nice win in quite possibly the hottest temps I've ever raced in.  There's zero shade on the course so it was pretty much an oven from gun to tape.  My throat was killing me and it still hurts even now, the next day as I write up this report.  A lot of people struggled and the fact that I ran pretty even for the course profile (2nd and 3rd miles were basically both the same split) and I squeaked out a 16:30 on a not-so-fast course in super hot conditions is a good sign. Also...$150 for the win...not bad.

You can hear the kids 'cheering' for me in this video below... literally.




Brad and Matt and yours truly.  Congrats Sully!

Sully and I with our High School coach John 'Deek' Dicommandrea...89 years young!

Brad and Caitlin with Kristin and I...Wrapping up the night.

Kris and I and her version of 'Is this dress blue or gold or white or black...'



Sunday, May 14, 2017

Training Week: May 8 - May 14 - Canterbury Shaker Village XC 5k

Week of May 08 - May 14 - Canterbury Shaker Village XC 5k

05-08 - [Monday] - PM: 5 miles trails with Andy.

05-09 - [Tuesday] - PM: 11 miles (workout) w/ Andy and Tristan Williams.  W/up on the roads + 10 x road intervals (each was a little over 400 meters).  Not too hard but 'up tempo enough'.  Some wind and a little chilly. Cooldown (trails/roads).

05-10 - [Wednesday] - PM: 8 miles (dirt roads and trails). First 5 w/ Darin... last 3 solo on the trails.

05-11 - [Thursday] - PM: 10 miles (roads). First 3+ solo up to Andy's plus some loops of Shackford Pass. Next 2.5 w/ Andy back down to my house. Last bit solo down to the lake and back.

05-12 - [Friday] - PM: 8.5 miles (roads and trails) w/ Andy. Albany town forest + the Kanc.

05-13 - [Saturday] - PM: 3 mile w/ up + "5k" race (Canterbury Shaker Village XC 5k - 1st OA - (results)) + 3 mile cooldown = 9 miles.

05-14 - [Sunday] - AM: 14.2 miles with Andy. E.Madison Rd. to 153 to Glines Hill to Colby Hill and back down via 113.  Good solid run in the rain.

65.7miles for the week on 9 runs.

OK week. A tiny step in the right direction with a light workout and off-road race.  Then capped off the week with what can only be considered a 'long run'' for me these days, on the worst day of the week weather-wise which shows some newfound dedication. I'll take it.

Got another CARS series win on a really nice XC course.  This could be my favorite XC race I've done as far as the course goes.  Beautifully scenic and great running through the mowed grass paths on the grounds of the Shaker Village in Canterbury.  There was some single track and some dirt roads as well but mainly grass and trails.  I loved the course.  I had just over 3 miles on my Garmin so it's a tad short (the two guys behind me both didn't even have 3 on their watches...just short).  I heard the course changes over the years (and was even different than the map on the site) but the gist of it is still the same.  It's ok though, there's a lot of climbing on some tough wet grassy hills which just slowed things down like a real XC race should. It was a nice break from racing around parking lots and industrial parks.




Dylan Tuttle and some old guy....

collectively, we are 90 years old.




The girls at the start of a long day... After this picture was taken, Morgan would end up hitting her head pretty hard 3 times throughout the course of the day... a typical Sunday for this kid.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Training Week: May 1 - May 7 - Children's Museum 5k

Before the gun at a soggy Seacoast Series opener...


Week of May 01 - May 07 - Children's Museum 5k

05-01 - [Monday] - PM: 9.7 miles roads and trails with Andy.

05-02 - [Tuesday] - PM: 10.3 miles roads (half with Andy).

05-03 - [Wednesday] - PM: 3.5 mile w/ up on track and trails + track workout with Andy - 3 x (400,400,800) with 200 rest inside the sets and the 400 rest between sets.   Ran 73, 75, 2:33 || 75, 73, 2:33 || 73, 72, 2:30... (4.5 miles total) + 3 miles cooldown on the trails.  Windy as hell (and on the cold side).  11 miles for the day.

05-04 - [Thursday] - PM: 5 miles easy roads (solo).

05-05 - [Friday] - PM: 5 miles easy trails solo.  Ran 388 feet (according to the Garmin) with Darin and then he pulled up with an injury only 1 house over... so I had to go back out on my own...

05-06 - [Saturday] - PM: 3.5 miles w/ up (course w/ Hamel and then some strides, etc.) + 3.2 miles (on Garmin) as 5k race: Children's Museum 5k (1st OA - 16:33) (results) + 3.3 miles cool down (course + a bit extra to make 10).

05-07 - [Sunday] - PM: 9 miles trails (solo) in E. Madison / Freedom.

60 miles for the week on 11 runs.

OK week. I started out good and kind of fizzled near the end.  I did my first track workout in a year.  I just eased into it.  Not a lot of volume and the pace felt ok.  It was probably around my 'goal' 5k pace but certainly not my current 5k pace (which is embarrassingly slower right now). I think if I drag my butt to the track for one of these a week, I'll be making strides in the right direction.  It was pretty damn windy, so the effort was slightly better than it appeared.

On Saturday night I met up w/ an old high school mate of mine in Portland, Maine for dinner (it was his bachelor party).  My college teammate Brad Klinedinst was also there. I was a little sad I didn't make better plans to stick around with them but it was good to see them for a couple hours.

2 of the top 10 from the 1994 Mass H.S. All State XC Meet... oh yeah, we ran in college too...


Earlier on Saturday, I got my 4th straight Children's Museum 5k win believe it or not....and my 5th overall in 9 tries over the last 10 years.  It was my slowest time ever (by about 8 seconds) but it was also the worst weather at this event since I started running it, by far.  Usually we're lucky with the weather but this year it was pretty wet (temp-wise though it was ok).  I did feel pretty flat but kept the tempo hot enough to stay ahead of Derrick and a late-race charge he threw at me...

It's cool that the Seacoast Series is finally underway.  I'm going out on a limb and will say that I'm probably looking at running the slowest Redhook I've ever run (in a few weeks)... I can't believe the Seacoast Series is actually here though.  Hopefully the weather gets better for the next ones... I got some all important points though...or should I say 'point' (as first place just gets 1 point).  For now, I'll be keeping my eye on the open points standing. If I start to get smoked, I'll start looking at my 'masters' lead :).

My history (so far...) at the Children's Museum of NH 5k

2017 - 1st [16:33]
2016 - 1st [16:10]
2015 - 1st [15:49]
2014 - 1st [16:25]
2013 - Didn't race.  Eric Couture runs the course record.
2012 - 3rd [16:13]
2011 - 1st [15:46]
2010 - 3rd [15:53]
2009 - 3rd [16:13]
2008 - 2nd[15:56] (race in Portsmouth. Sam Wood for the win).

It was my first WIN as a Master runner which is pretty cool...

A very wet finish..