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...'


  1. Okay, that's the funniest/sweetest "cheer" I've ever heard in my life. Hysterical.

  2. Ha...thanks. It is a little overboard but she gets a pass because she's 4 :).