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..