Monday, May 13, 2019

Training Week: May 06 - May 12 - Canterbury Village XC

Sandu and myself coming across together.
Week of May 06 - May 12

05 06 - [Monday] - 10 miles Ossipee/Tamworth roads w/ Darin.
05-07 - [Tuesday] - 10.1 miles total as:
     lunch: 4.1 miles  easy Madison roads solo.
     pm: 6 miles easy Madison roads with Darin.
05-08 - [Wednesday] -  13 miles total as:
     lunch: 5 miles solo bangs around Burke Field(s) on the grass.
     pm: 8 miles easy Madison roads with Darin.
05-09 - [Thursday] - 14 miles total as:
     lunch: 5.8 miles solo trails/roads in the Madison highlands.
     pm: 8.2 miles easy Madison roads with Darin.
05-10 - [Friday] - 5 miles easy Madison roads with Darin.
05-11 - [Saturday] - 9.2 miles total as:
     am: 3.1 miles warmup before race in Canterbury, NH with Dave Dunham and Scotty Clark.
     am: 3.1 miles race - Canterbury Village XC (results) - 2nd OA. 17:32.
     am: 3.1 miles cooldown on roads with Louis Saviano III and Drew Tuttle.
05-12 - [Sunday] - off. Travelling for Mother's Day and the weather was brutal. Giving the achilles one more rest day.

Weekly Summary:  61.2 miles

Another Sunday off, but it was probably for the best.  Legs have been a little beat so it was fitting to give the body a break on Sunday as the weather was brutal and we were down in southern MA for Mother's Day.

The 4th C.A.R.S. series race was held down in Canterbury, NH so Darin and I headed down there for his least favorite of the bunch (but probably my favorite one).  The race can be (and was) muddy and wet in spots, and is pretty hilly.  There are a couple of big nice grassy / dirt path climbs and some nice single track.  He hates it. I look forward to it because it's about pure racing and less about time.  With road 5ks a lot of times I just get caught up too much in the micromanaging of the pace and time. Every quarter mile is micromanaged. I'm looking at my watch constantly, worried about the mile splits, etc.  With the XC race, it's about just running hard and trying to beat your rivals... but then again, some sportsmanship comes into it from time to time.

Getting right into the race, I took it out for a change with Drew Tuttle, Sandu Rebenciuc, and Louis Saviano right behind me.  I didn't want to wait and let anyone else dictate the early pace.  The grass was thick and wet in the first couple fields.  It was standing water in places, making it relatively slow for the first mile.  It 'looked' like grass until you started to splash through it.  At one point, both my shoes almost got sucked right off my feet in consecutive steps. 

 I led until just before the single track section.  Then Drew went by me, eager to lead us through the woods.  I was OK with that at first but then realized that it was tough to see where I was landing when I was right behind him. I had to give him a little more space in the trail that I would have liked. Sandu sat right behind me and we all just followed the leader through the single track which was pretty dry but is rocky and constantly winding back and forth and up and down.  When we hit the end of that stretch, I took the lead back for the last bit of fields and grass before dumping out onto the dirt road.  I think at that point, Louis Saviano was still hanging behind us but I was only seeing Sandu on my direct shoulder.

When we hit the road, both Drew and Sandu past me like I was standing still. It was kind of demoralizing.  There's one climb on that dirt road up to the main field and I was dropped back quite a ways.  On the big grass climb (the biggest/longest climb of the race), I caught them back but then Sandu started to stretch out his lead on the last bit of the upper part of the climb.  He's a strong XC guy and just moved away from us at the top.  Drew looked and sounded like he was struggling a bit but ended up staying ahead of me with surges when I'd try to move past. 

After the big downhill reprieve on the grass, Drew was really working hard but I went by him, sensing him slow just a bit.  I figured I'd try and see what happened. Sandu kept 3-4 seconds ahead of me no matter what I did though.  On the last uphill through the crowd of people and then up around the cow pasture, he was 3-4 seconds ahead of me and I wasn't closing at all.  When we came out through the wall at the top and took that left in that last little field section, the places looked to be wrapped up with Sandu holding me off and myself safely in front of Drew... but then at the very end, when you go through the last break in the wall section that takes you to the dirt driveway, Sandu  banged a right (which is the wrong way).  He put his arms up and was obviously not sure where to go.  There was no sign or anyone standing there (but I remember the course from 2 years ago).  I immediately yelled ‘left!’.  He stopped and turned around and looked at me and I was taking the left and he was running towards the paved main road.  He just threw his hand up and kind of waved it off as if he was done and was totally going to let me take the last 100 yards to the finish.  I looked behind me and saw I had enough on Drew so I just slowed up (almost stopped) and waved him up and told him to come on with me.  I did it a couple times and turned towards him waving him on quickly....he ran back over to me and when he got up to me we fist pumped and he said ‘lets finish together’ so we did.  We ran in the last 100+ yards or so together. I’m glad they gave him the win at the race because he was going to win anyways and he would have been easily 3-5 seconds ahead of me if he didn't take that last wrong turn.

That's now 2 C.A.R.S series races in a row that the leader took a wrong turn right at the end!  Although this race is a great race and is one of my favorites of the series, it does lack a bit in signage in multiple places (multiple important places).

It's a good thing Sandu isn't in the C.A.R.S series.  Even though I was just able to squeak ahead of Drew, he's still got me but a couple of points in the series standings overall.  I won't be able to make the next C.A.R.S. series race so I'll have to throw that one out (it's best 5 of 8).  He'll just be extending his lead at that point.

Overall, I was happy with the effort.  Being able to hold off Drew and Louis (who have both beaten me this Spring in a series race) was a positive.  They are far faster than I am on the roads.  This type of course helps me a bit and evens out the playing field a little.  With losing a couple seconds at the end with that wrong turn snafu, I ended up with a 17:32 which was 15 seconds slower than my winning time at Canterbury 2 years ago, but it was 'bone' dry (Dave Dunham giggles when I say that) then.  It was pretty wet this weekend so I'll consider this a pretty good effort considering the slight deltas.

Hopefully I can get more miles in this week and get focused again.

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