Thursday, July 29, 2010

Yankee Homecoming 10 Miler

Tuesday night was my 3rd run over at the Yankee Homecoming 10 Miler (results) in Newburyport, MA. A couple of years ago, this was the USATF-NE Grand Prix 10 mile championship, but it has always gotten a large, competitive field (even in non-championship years).  This year, the field was pretty good, including a slew of Kenyan runners, Patrick Tarpy, and Kim Smith (NZL).

Kristin and I got to the race a bit early so I could register and avoid the insane post-registration scene.  I got to shoot

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Training 7-19 - 7-25

Monday - PM - 10 miles (medium effort) - roads - Salem, NH/Methuen, MA/Haverhill, MA - solo. [1:07:52]

Tuesday - PM - Track workout - w/ Jon Healey - Andover (Greater Lawrence Tech)

2.3 mile warmup w/ Jon Healey, Matt Pimentel, Mike Quintal, Dan Vassallo (roads)

Comfortable paced workout...not too hard of an effort, but a good start to the track work this summer/fall season...

2000 meters – 6:29
    100m jog rest
1600 meters – 5:14
    100m jog rest
1200 meters – 3:55
    100m jog rest
800 meters with jogging corners and sprinting straights – 3:14
    100m jog rest
1200 meters – 3:48
    100m jog rest
1000 meters – 3:10
    200m jog rest
800 meters – 2:29
    100m jog rest
400 meters – 1:12
    400m jog rest
800 meters with jogging corners and sprinting straights – 2:49

45:04 total time on the track.

2 mile cooldown w/ same crew + other GTD folks.

Total running time: 1:12:36 - 11 miles

Wednesday - AM - 6 miles (easy) - roads - Salem, NH w/ Judge Jones. [47:33]
Wednesday - PM - 7.6 miles (very easy) - roads - Salem, NH/Derry, NH w/ Dave Quintal. [1:02:15]

Thursday - PM - 3 mile w/up - roads - w/ Dave Dunham and Dan Verrington + strides and jogging before start of Sapienza 4 miler (results) - Haverhill, MA.  Race: Sapienza 4 Miler - 2nd OA - 21:18 (5:20 pace) - Hilly course ( 2 mile c/dwn - roads - w/ Dave Dunham and Dan Verrington.  Total - 10 - race could have been a bit long (according to some I talked to afterwards). Nate Jenkins kicked everyone's arse here and still ran a 5:20 last mile...

Friday - PM - 6 easy miles - Salem, NH/Methuen, MA - roads - solo.  42:41

Saturday - PM - 15 miles - Windham, NH/Derry, NH/Hampstead, NH - rail trail and roads - solo.  1:46:00 (

Sunday - Pemi Wilderness Traverse - NH - 19 miles with Dan Verrington, Kevin Tilton, Al Bernier.

Weekly total: 83.6 miles - 10:55:47 total time.

After a bad few weeks culminating with Stowe, I hit the reset button and started focusing on improving the quality of my work, starting with running more miles and throwing in a long run and a workout.  Two things I have been missing in my mediocre weeks of 'training' so far this summer.  I'll look to try and post a weekly summary (I say that every month or so) from now on.... I've also gotten some coaching outlines/advice from double-D, who has been very successful in the marathon in the past (multiple Olympic Trial qualifiers) while being able to race other things he's interested in.  He knows how it is and knows what I like to do and understands that it is possible to get fit, while also racing some mountain/trail/snowshoe/road/xc etc.  I'm excited to follow his plan and see where it takes me with Baystate in October.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Stowe 8 Miler

Another GP up and another sub-par race...not sure why my Grand Prix performances are 99% crap, but they are.  There is something about having 20+ runners in front of me that makes me unable to maintain a competitive drive for any length of time...I knew that was going to happen this weekend yet again because of my streak of bad GP's (with the exception of New Bedford) and because of a bad week + of training and physical ailments... I've put up with a bunch of uncomfortable poison ivy on my leg and arms which led to bad sleep most of last week.  It also caused the lymph nodes in my groin to swell way up and make my groin and hip tight.  My last excuse has been my foot.  The plantar fascia has been really bad on my right foot and has gotten progressively worse this year.  All these things together plus my inability to run fast in Grand Prix races led to a borderline to bad race at the Stowe 8 Miler (results) up in Stowe, VT on Sunday.  I was looking forward to this race and loved the course and the area, but the body and mind were not cooperating and that's

Friday, July 16, 2010

Ascutney Mountain Challenge

Last Sunday was the 6th and final race in the 2010 USATF-New England Mountain Running Series and it took me up to Windsor, VT for the Ascutney Mountain Challenge (results).

I headed up solo on a beautiful summer morning and arrived in just shy of 2 hours.  I headed over to registration where I met up with many of the usual suspects from CMS, Inov-8, the White Mountain Milers, Goon Squad, and many other local New England clubs, who were all going for either Mountain Goat status (running all 6 races in the series), a series score (best 5), or just looking for a nice tough challenging course to tackle.  This race is definitely a grind, as it is an ascent-only course consisting (this year) of all paved auto road (it was a half road/half trail course last year).  The course is just shy of half the distance of Mt. Wash (3.7 miles), just about half the elevation (2300 feet of climb up to 3143 feet), and averages the same grade as Mt. Washington.  Last year I won this race, over the alternate half road/half trail course.  This year, with the likes of Kevin Tilton (CMS/Inov-8) and Eric Blake (BAA) in the house, I knew it was going to be

Monday, July 12, 2010

USATF-NE Mountain Series Final Standings

It was a tight race for 2nd OA in the USATF-New England Mountain Running Series for 2010.  Eric Blake (BAA) 'ran' away with the OA title, but it came down to mere seconds (5 to be exact) for the 2nd place spot in the standings.  I'm happy to say that Kevin Tilton (CMS / Inov-8) was gracious enough to not run 5 seconds faster than he did at Ascutney this weekend, to allow me to 'suck out' a last minute push to 2nd place.  Going into the last race of the series, Kevin had 390.88 total points to my 480.56, but in the 'best of' rankings, he had me by 2.94 points (390.88 to 387.94).  Going into Ascutney, I had to make up those 2.94 points and figured there was no way I could do that, especially with Ascutney being an ascent-only course (right in Kevin's wheelhouse)...  I'll have a race write-up by mid to late week on Ascutney, but I got it done and somehow picked up 3.17 points to actually move ahead in the OA rankings.  Even though Kevin beat me head-to-head in 4 of the 5 races we ran against each other, my :59 second lead on him at Ascutney combined with my points picked up at Northfield (a race he didn't run) gave me the edge I needed in the 'Best 5' standings and earned me the $150 2nd place prize money...  More on this when I get around to posting my race writeup (and maybe a series writeup)...

Total Points tally can be viewed here.

Top 10 Men OA (CMS in blue)

PlNameCatTeamBest 5Total PointsFinishes
1Eric Blake20-39BAA5005005
2Jim Johnson20-39CMS480.56572.886
3Kevin Tilton20-39CMS480.33480.335
4Todd Callaghan40-49GCS463.52550.546
5Tim Mahoney20-39CMS448.92530.226
6Dave Dunham40-49CMS431.99465.656
7Michael Robinson00-19GDTC403.1477.736
8Domingo Elias20-39BAA398.16469.486
9Paul Bazanchuk50-59WMM392.51457.396
10Thor Kirleis40-49Goon Squad388.52461.496

Eric Blake1001001000100100
Jim Johnson97.7396.993.7999.5292.6292.32
Kevin Tilton097.9198.0410094.9389.45
Todd Callaghan93.3494.0488.4494.8592.8587.02
Tim Mahoney94.1690.9786.1990.8686.7481.3
Dave Dunham33.6682.4383.788.1689.688.1
Michael Robinson83.2982.9779.3181.1374.6376.4
Domingo Elias8382.1378.3977.5377.1171.32
Paul Bazanchuk82.4482.7464.8879.4374.7373.17
Thor Kirleis81.6479.2878.176.3372.9773.17

Looks like 192 different men ran in the series this year.  There were 105 Mountain Goats (runners who ran all 6 races) combined (men and women).  The photo of this hearty crew is below...  courtesy of Ken Skier - Mountain Goat Photo taken just before the Mt. Ascutney Hillclimb, Windsor, VT - 7/11/10.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Pat Polletta 5k & Hillsboro Balloon Festival 5k

This week I decided to get a couple of speed sessions in by hitting a couple of new 5ks I've never done before... On Wednesday, I drove 20 miles over to the Winner's Circle Sports Bar in Salisbury, MA for the Pat Polletta 5k (results) which runs just over 2 miles on roads and almost a mile on gravel rail trail.  The course is pancake flat, with almost no noticeable change in elevation.

The weather was hot, as it has been all week, with 90+ degree temps every day.  The temperature was enough to keep the race numbers relatively low, as I was hard pressed to find anyone I knew before warming up from the Winner's Circle. I ran over the course, which starts across the street from the bar on Old Elm St. and heads parallell to route 95 on Rabbit Rd. for a bit before turning onto Baker Rd., which is a nice residential section of town.  The course then takes a right onto a small cul-de-sac and circles around and hits the entrance to the rail trail at the 2 mile mark.  Then it is pretty much a straight shot out to the main road again and then a turn back onto Old Elm for the finish.

As I returned from the

Monday, July 5, 2010

Loon Mountain Race

L-R: James Porter, Todd Callaghan, JJ, Mike Quintal.

This year's edition of the Loon Mountain race (results) wasn't quite a disaster but it wasn't exactly good either.  I headed into the 5th race of the 6 race Mountain Series with a couple of bad nights of sleep and a rather lack-luster week of training, with a couple of days off.  Not exactly a recipe for running well (especially up this monster of a course).  I also just wasn't up for this race for some reason.  My focus has been a little off lately.  I was really looking towards Mt. Washington and Cranmore, but now that those are over,  I'm not sure where my focus is.  I feel like I'm just going through the motions right now, and still have Mt. Ascutney left for this weekend.  After that, I'll have done what I set out to do, and get all 6 mountain series races in, and get my 'Mountain Goat' status.  But my head is still elsewhere.  I have some things I want to do, but have been lacking in motivation lately.  

To me, Loon is the most challenging of all the series races.  It's a grind