Thursday, May 31, 2012

Training 05-28 - 06-03

Weekly Wrap Up: 56.9 miles for the week and sick as a dog since Tuesday.  This week has been hell.  My worst week health-wise in a long time.  I have been so ill with a stomach bug but still was able to get runs in.  The night time has been the worst.  Up constantly with trips to the bathroom, really dehydrated, a lot of fatigue and muscle pain, bad headaches, chills, a fever, etc.  I would rebound a bit by the afternoon it seemed, but it would get worse towards the end of the day and I missed a lot of meals because I just couldn't stomach anything substantial.  Running and racing suffered dearly.  Once again, I went to a race I shouldn't have gone to, just to continue a series or to not miss something I had penciled in the schedule, which has got to stop.  I have to make hard decisions when I'm hurt or sick, etc.  I can't continue to just waste entire days, money, etc. and make things worse by trying to race when I'm not able.  I need to take things easy this week and see where running goes.  If I feel better in the next couple days, I'll try to get back on track. If I continue to have these health issues, I need to see a Dr.  I think it's just a stomach flu and if so, it's been a week so I should hopefully be in the clear soon.

6-03 - Sunday: 12.5 miles (roads/mountain) - warmup + Pack Mondadnock 10 Miler in Wilton, NH.  Kevin Tilton decided to go to the race so he was going to drive and I made plans for him to pick me up.  I got horrible sleep with my frequent trips to the bathroom and felt no better in the morning. Drove down, warmed up, and by the time the gun went off, I was out of it.  Way behind by the first hill, out of contention by the mile, in 7th place by 2 miles, in 10th place by 6 miles.  Held off the last attempt by the next runner (Brian Ruhm) who essentially caught me at the base of the mountain with 1.5 to go.  I just went through the motions and finished to make sure I still stay in Mountain Goat status so I can assure my entry into Mt. Washington next year without question.  That was basically the only reason I went to, and finished this race.  My body was shutdown by 3 miles.  I was almost walking a few times on the uphills and I threw up in my mouth and spit it out twice during the race, which has never happened to me.  When I finished the race, my stomach (in the actual center of my stomach/chest) hurt so bad I puked twice at the top, off to the side.  The only time that has ever happened to me that I can remember, after a race.  It wasn't because I ran hard.  It was due to the fact that I've been fighting some sort of stomach flu or bug all damn week and running a 10 mile mountain race was a dumb idea.  It didn't make things any better.  All the way home, I barely could keep my eyes open.  I felt so run down and sick.  Thankfully Kevin drove.  Not sure I would have been able to make it home.  Race time was [1:08 high].  6+ minutes slower than the time I won this race with last year.  Just my bad luck with this week, or God just really hates me and is punishing me badly this year for something.  Can't quite figure it out.

6-02 - Saturday: 6 miles (approx.)(ridiculously wet trails/xc ski trails). Very wet, grown-in run up in Jackson, NH w/ Kevin Tilton and Peter Haine.  Felt horrible.  Stomach was killing me.  It was raining and cold and wet and the trails were really grown in and I just wasn't feeling good, which made for a bad run.  Had all I could do to hold off from really wrecking the woods at the end and waited until I got home.  I got horrendous sleep on Thursday/Friday.  Fever, chills, bad headaches, muscle aches, and my stomach has been wrecked.  I've barely eaten all week and I definitely know I'm dehydrated.  Sunday race may be out or game-time decision.

6-01 - Friday: 8.4 miles (forest road/trails).  Chatham, NH.  Province Pond loop up to shelter from the road and back with Kevin.  Stomach bothering me bad.  Had to stop a couple times.  Definitely have a stomach bug or something going on.  Got really bad at the end and had to hit the woods again when we finished. [1:02:18].

5-31 - Thursday: 10.5 miles (roads). Again with the reverse lake bang.  Felt like immediate death.  It was the roughest run in some time. I never felt good and wanted to stop the entire time but forced myself to keep going.  Everything was bothering me.  My shoulder was cramping, I had a side stitch, my stomach is awful, my feet hurt, I had a headache, etc.  You name it. By the time I got to the beach, I was halfway and then I had no choice....the funny thing is that I looked at my watch about 3 minutes from home and saw that I was running about the same time as yesterday. I was convinced I was deep in the 7's but I was still clipping along even though I was feeling horrible.  I kicked in the last 3 minutes by finished slightly over yesterday's time with a [1:09:20].  Another hot day but had a good breeze for a while before a massive headwind on Rt. 41.  I ran in that for a while before hopping on 113 where I didn't notice anything at all (so it was probably a tailwind).  Hope I feel better by this weekend.

5-30 - Wednesday: 10.5 miles (roads).  Reverse lake bang. Madison, NH.  Solo.  Nice and easy to start. Steady by the end. Hot out.  Felt kind of crappy this morning and stomach was bothering me before and after the run but during I was OK.  [1:08:57].

5-29 - Tuesday: 1 mile (trails).  Yes, 1 mile.  It took me over 2 hours from door to door, but we ran 1 mile (it may have been a bit longer).  With KT, up to Glen to run some dirt road/trails but it was right in the middle of a monsoon and we almost got stranded up there before we even got out of the car.  We had the headlights on at 5:30pm in late May and could barely see.  It was thunder and lightning like I hadn't seen in a while.  We decided to bag it and head down to Whitaker Woods to run some laps in the trails but it was no better down there.  We ran 1 soggy, slow, loop in a driving rain and constant lightning and then decided to call it a day before someone got killed.  On the way back through town, everything was blacked out. Wanted to stop in at Walmart to get some more fishin' line but they were blacked out. All the employees were standing in the front of the store waving people away.  This was probably good for me.  It was an active last week or so for me. Needed a down day.

5-28 - Monday: 10 miles (road and trails).  Green's Grant, Pinkham's Grant, Thompson and Meserves Purchase, Sargents Purchase, NH.  Auto road run-up w/ Kevin Tilton, Nathaniel Jenkins, and Melissa Donais. 2+ mile w/up around the Great Glen trail system at the base + some posing for Roger's copter, then it was up the rock pile from starting line to finishing line.  We started at about 11:45am or so.  I led up the first mile and then by 2 or slightly after, Nate and Kevin overtook me and just steadily pulled away.  I ended up running most of it myself.   They ran 1:08:02 or something like that.  I ran 1:10:56.   I can't really judge how I felt on this run.  I know I almost puked at the very end. It was really strange. I pushed up the last hill pretty hard to try to salvage a sub 1:11. I keeled over and almost puked. I never really felt like I was in bad trouble, but I didn't feel that great either.  My splits on the late miles were awful.  I ran the exact same time as Kevin on the last .6 but miles 5,6,7 were dreadful. I was over 10 minutes on 5 and 6.  I wasn't over 10 on any mile last year in my pre-race run up.  I still managed to run faster than last May's run-up by close to a minute.  I made up all the time on the first 4 miles basically.

Here are all my splits (bold-green = fastest split or overall time split) from all 6 times run up the road (so far)...

2008 Race2009 Race2010 Race2011 Training Run2011 Race2012
Training Run
Half32:5833:0132:29??? 32:19 ???

Thank God Jess was able to drive us all down.  It saved my legs for the rest of the week.  As much as I love running down, I'll save it for after the race....

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Wachusett and Redhook

No, not the beers...well maybe one of them....

This past weekend I ran my usual double of the Wachusett Mountain Race + the Redhook Brewery 5k on Saturday and Sunday.

Wachusett Mountain Race (4.7M)
Princeton, MA
Saturday - 5/26/2012
3rd OA - 29:10

The race went out in a pedestrian fashion.  Nobody wanted to take the lead with any authority.  Eric MacKnight was slightly out with Brandon Newbould and I in tow, but nobody was killing the pace. I should have taken over in retrospect, because I was familiar w/ the course, but I held back a bit and stayed with those two (who were probably just itching to turn on the jets) because I really don't like that first part of the race.  I did manage to sneak in a town line during the first half mile or so. Eric leaned, but I announced right before the line that I was going to take it and he challenged with a lean right at the end. It was close.

By the top of the first climb on the pavement, Tivo and Todd Callaghan caught up to our group and it was close to a 5 man race by the time we turned into the parking lot.  I let Brandon go ahead in the single track section and stuck right behind him as we gapped Eric a bit on the way down (which was surprising).  As we dumped out of the single track and out into the open at the base of the ski area, I was right behind Brandon as we made the climb up across the slopes.  By the start of the climb up the single track (14-15 or so minutes in I think), I was a little behind Brandon and Eric had all but caught me.

Up the single track grind (which is about 5 minutes or so I think), I kept Brandon in sight, but he did pull away a bit.  I kept up a running form which was surprising for me (I think I'm actually getting slightly better at climbing maybe?) and I put some serious distance on Eric. By the top, it was just Brandon a few ticks ahead of me.  The hammerfest on the way down was beginning.

I was striding out on the way down and keeping Brandon within my sights and almost within striking distance.  A few times on the way down, I was convinced I may be able to catch him and he looked a couple times like he was coming back.  He glanced back a couple times and I figured he may be tiring.  Eric was way back for most of the way down but I was sure most of the way, that he'd catch up.  He seems to be able to screw on the downhills, even after a long grind tuckers him out on the way up.  At 25:45 in, he finally caught up and passed me by.  I told him about the elapsed time because he knew the race was about 29 min or so (I ran 28:54 last year for the win).  He had started his kick a bit too late though, as we both hit the single track a second or two apart and Brandon had just beaten us to that section, which is next to impossible to pass on.

I just held it together on the last bit and stayed in 3rd place, as I could see both Eric and Brandon up a few ticks ahead, just holding place.  In the end, I came down to hold off the expected 3rd place finish and was only 9 seconds back of Brandon. It was pretty tight, with all 3 of us within 10 seconds. To even be this close to Eric was a win for me.  He didn't like the climbing as much as he likes hammering the roads and I was able to keep close because of that.  I ran only 16 seconds slower than when I won this last year (same course) and last year the weather (if I can remember) was better than this year.  It was warmer for this race this year and the last part of the trail was wet (I don't remember it being wet last year).  So the effort was probably about the same.  I'll take it.

Top 10 (Plus CMS Racing Team Members in Blue)

1Brandon Newbold Nottingham, NH 29:01Whirl                   
2Eric MacKnight     Clifton Park, NY29:04ARE
3Jim Johnson           Madison, NH      29:10CMS                     
4Todd Callaghan     Beverly               29:45GCS                     
5Tim Van Orden     Bennington, VT  30:18CMS                     
6Mike Quintal         N. Andover         31:09CMS                     
7Matt Veiga            Lynn                   31:30                  
8Dave Dunham       Bradford             31:41CMS                     
9Sam Wood             Laconia, NH       32:01CMS                     
10 Brian Ruhm          Nashua, NH        32:04GCS                     
15 Martin Tighe        Providence, RI    34:19CMS                     
23 David Quintal       Salem, NH          35:35CMS                     

226 Total Finishers.

The 3 hour ride home was broken up by a stop in at MQ's furniture gallery in Lowell, MA.
In the late afternoon, Kristin and I witnessed a young black bear rip down and retreat with one of our bird feeders right in front of our watching eyes... It was then bed at a reasonable hour and up early for the 1:15 or so ride down to Portsmouth for the annual Redhook race.

Redhook Brewery 5k
Portsmouth, NH
Sunday - 5/27/2012
2nd OA - 15:37 (5:02 pace)

Went down to Redhook Brewery (first time I can say 'down to Redhook') in Portsmouth, NH for another edition of the 5k that is always a great kickoff to the summer.  This was the 2nd race in the Seacoast Series for 2012.  It's one of my favorite races of the year and definitely my favorite 5k.  The course is pretty flat with only a couple of very slight rollers.  The first mile is usually lightning quick and the middle is normally the slowest, although barely.  The last mile has got a long, drawn out run up to the brewery, where there is usually just a mob scene of people cheering on the finishers.

The race starts at 11am so it's usually really warm by race time. This year was no different.  It was hot and the sun was scorching.  There is zero shade on the course.  The entire thing is exposed it usually gets near unbearable by the end.  I got to the race about an hour out, and quickly glanced at the entrants list on the side of the building.  Andy Huebner was the only name on the list I recognized and knew I'd be in a race for second place at that point.  Andy ran last year but wasn't completely in shape, as he was taking some time after college.  This year, he was ready to go and it showed, as he took down Bob Wiles' current course record.

As the race went off, Andy took it out pretty hard and I stayed with him for about 800 meters or so and then either I put the brakes on a bit or he picked it up (not sure which) but he gapped me there and that was all she wrote.  I did have someone else w/ me for about a quarter mile but he soon faded.  By the mile, I was all alone.  I clicked through in 4:53 and he was probably 8 or more seconds ahead.  Mile 2 I seemed to stay right with him and thought near 2 miles that I was gaining a bit as I came through in my usual 10:00.  Over the last mile, he seemed to pull away just a bit and I had a big lead on the 3rd place runner (who I really couldn't even pick out behind me). I only looked maybe 1 time in the first mile and then I never looked back (which is unusual in that race).

I came through 3 miles in around 15:05 or 06 and then had a 31 last .1 for a solid 15:37 on a hot day, with tired legs from Wachusett Mountain the day before (and a 20 mile good solid effort on Thursday).  Needless to say I was pleased. $100 cash for 2nd again, plus another $50 gift card to Redhook and some free beer to start off the summer.  Good times.  Andy took the win with a 15:14 and new CR.  He was really moving and looks VERY strong early in the season.  He's only 24 so he's got a lot of time ahead for some very fast running in the seacoast.  I started running competitively when was was about 3 years old..just wanted to say that :).  Oh, also, I got my very first '* Under USATF Age-Group guideline' designation... this is because I am now 35. Yuck!

Splits: 4:53/5:07/5:06/:31 last .1

Top 10 Overall:

1Andrew Huebner   24Portsmouth NH     15:144:55
2Jim Johnson            35Madison NH              15:385:02
3Peter McNeil           27Barrington NH           16:525:26
4Matthew Weber   31York Beach ME    16:555:27
5Kevin Emblidge      28Lake George NY      17:005:28
6Joel Turcotte          29Greenland NH            17:235:36
7Mark Gibson           45Durham NH               17:245:36
8Brandyn Naro         25Manchester NH        17:465:43
9Ryan Proulx            32Portsmouth NH          17:515:45
10Mirek Boruta         32Londonderry NH17:585:47

2038 Total Finishers!

This was my 6th consecutive Redhook 5k.  Here's the breakdown:

2012 - 2nd Place - 15:37 - Field Size: 2038  - day after running Wachusett Mountain Race
2011 - 2nd Place - 15:28 - Field Size: 1886 - day after running Wachusett Mountain Race
2010 - 3rd Place - 15:34 - Field Size: 1842 - day after running Wachusett Mountain Race
2009 - 2nd Place - 15:38 - Field Size: 1958
2008 - 1st Place - 15:32 - Field Size: 1898
2007 - 7th Place - 16:33 - Field Size: 1824 - one of my first real races back running...

After the race, went back up north and stopped in at my parents house in Wakefield, NH for some food and good times at the lake. Did about 30 min. worth of fishing w/ my nephew Kenny Jr.  Hooked two pigs in like 10 casts but each time, they broke the line as I had them right near the boat.  Time to upgrade the test to something a bit higher for next time.... immediately put the rod down after the second one snapped right near the boat.  Not going to keep feeding my lizards and hooks to large mouth bass without being able to pull them out and appropriately release them back without lures stuck in their mouths...

The summer is here...

Monday, May 21, 2012

Training 05-21 - 05-27

Weekly Wrap Up: 67.2 miles total with 2 very easy short days, one long run, and 2 races (back to back days).  A good solid week without doing too much too early.  I am very pleased w/ the racing this week and consider this a huge step in the right direction, with Redhook being the potential solid indication that I'm close to being back to where I should be.  Looking towards Pack this coming weekend, Market Square next weekend, then a sabbatical where I can start to focus on some redlining/peak bagging and oh yeah, races like Mt. Washington, Cranmore, and Loon.

05-27 - Sunday: 10 miles (roads) -5k w/up + additional strides and running around the start + race: 5k - Redhook Brewery 5k (results) - Portsmouth, NH - 2nd OA (15:37) + Cooldown over course (mostly w/ Mark Gibson (WHIRL).  Race report coming...

05-26 - Saturday: 11 miles (roads/trails/mountain) - 3+ mile w/up (including strides and staying loose before the race) w/ CMS/ARE contingent over roads in Westminster/Princeton, MA.  Then race: Wachusett Mountain Race (4.7 miles) (results) - 3rd OA (29:10) + Cooldown w/ similar but smaller crew and Brandon over roads at the base of Wachusett.  Race report coming...

05-25 - Friday: 6.2 miles (dirt road/forest rd./jeep rd./single track/bushwhack) - Albany, NH. Bumped into a kid I used to know (Kevin Tiilton). We ran from Albany town hall up into WMNF and surrounding area on some jeep roads and unmarked trails.  We basically just wandered and found some pretty sweet areas that even Kevin hadn't been through.  It was pretty wet and flooded in a couple of spots...other areas it was just too grown in and we had to turn back.  We saw a gigantic owl flying around in there which was cool.  It was a good rest day between a 20 mile road effort and a couple of races this weekend.  A nice Auto Road run-up is also planned for Monday morning. Building a nice solid group. Let me know if you want in.  [57:59]. Also, I think Kevin's Garmin is busted.

05-24 - Thursday: 20 miles (roads) - Madison, Freedom, NH (missed Eaton, Ossipee, and Tamworth by literally all less than 200 yards combined...should have planned it better and I could have hit 5 towns).  My house, down 113 (hilly as hell) to 153 at King Pine.  South on 153 into Freedom and then down to Bennett Rd. across to Ossipee Lake Rd. and took Ossipee Lake Rd. all the way over to Cross Rd. and up to Rt. 41 and back into Madison up to 113.  Then up 113 back to my house.  Hot out in the sun but ok in the shade and had a nice little breeze by the water as I passed along Silver Lake.  At around 7 or 8 miles, some of my migraine headache came and went.  It hurt for a bit and then subsided.  As I write this, I'm getting it again.  At around 15 miles I started to feel not having water and started to get dehydrated.  By 18 I was hurting bad.  Just hitting the wall with no water and being out in the sun.  I shuffled back up over the last 2 miles.  The first half of the run is way hillier than the second half but I felt way better early so fortunately I got the hills out of the way. [2:13:45]

05-23 - Wednesday: 4.5 miles (trails/xc ski trails) with Paul Kirsch in Madison over at King Pine.  Paul brought his pups.  Nice easy run early (5:45am).  Was going to get another run in later in the day but after work, Kris and I took a walk into Diana's Baths and then on the way home I started to get bad headaches.  By the time I was home, it was a full blown migraine.  I had to lay down and didn't end up getting back out for another run.  Good thing I at least got something in in the morning.  [33:46]

05-22 - Tuesday: 4.5 miles (trails/mountain/xc ski trails) solo. Madison - King Pine. Ran up to the summit from the main ski area, then down the back side near Milts Place.  Then across the street for a couple of loops in the nordic ski trails.  Felt a little run down and decided to just take a short day. [32:13].

05-21 - Monday: 11 miles (roads) - Madison, Freedom, NH.  From my house... up E. Madison Rd. in it's entirety, then added on down 153 into Freedom and past the horse farm.  Out in 40:00 back in 37:55.  East Madison road is HILLY.  Took it very easy and only worked a little bit on the way back because there was so much downhill...just wanted to get the pounding over with.  Felt decent despite racing yesterday.  Good old fashioned road run on a nice country road in the best town in the valley ;).  ...oh yeah and Freedom too.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Training 05-14- 05-20

Weekly Wrap Up: 75.1 miles for the week with one good race. Don't call it a comeback (seriously).  I loved this week of running.  It was exactly what I was looking for.  Enjoying myself just about every day.  Running was never a hassle this week.  Great trails runs, some redlining and a 4000'er crossed off the list, 2 moose sightings, and one good race to build back some confidence.  I couldn't have asked for more from this week.  This coming weekend is my normal double-header: Wachusett and Redhook.  Things still hurt, but I'm learning to just suck it up and run through it.

5-20 - Sunday: 10 miles (roads) - Fryeberg, ME.  5k course as a warmup and then strides and jogging for a while before the start.  Then race: Fryeberg 5k (results) - 1st OA - 15:42.  (4:53 / 5:16 / 5:01 / :31).  3 mile cooldown after on part of the course and then some roads in Fryeberg.  Was going to do a close to 4 hour drive down to Soapstone but had a change of heart late Sat. night.  I need to work on some speed and with Redhook and some other races coming up, I would get more out of a 5k at this point.  Soapstone is fun, but it's too far for me this weekend (especially after last weekend).  Instead, I stayed local and raced over in Fryeberg (2 towns / 15 minutes away). I found out about the race, which supports Fryeberg Academy XC/Track, from Don Fredrickson last night.  I looked it up and there was $100 for first place and the race was too close to pass up.  It was mostly all on the new Mountain Division Rail Trail.  The course started on the road, went up about .2 of a mile, then hooked onto one direction of the trail for an out and back, straight shot.  It was one of those runs where you have to turn around a cone and come back at traffic.  Then, you get back to where you got onto the trail, but stay straight (which is the 1 mile mark) and then it's exactly 1 mile out and back again (around another cone) on the other side of the rail trail.  Then, once back at the crossing, you hop back on the road for the last .1 to the finish.  The course was wheel measured out by the XC coaches and nicely marked.  The first mile was pretty flat, slightly up on the way out and slightly down on the way back...but the best thing about the first mile was that there was a little bit of shade (very little bit).  Once you go through the mile, the rest of the course was running directly under brutal sun and heat.  Warming up, I knew I was in for a bruiser.  I ditched the shirt and boy was that a good idea.

A pack of 6 or 7 high school xc/track guys sprinted out for the first 200 yards or so and I stayed put for a little bit before making my way past and getting to the trail first.  Then it was smooth sailing up to the first cone turnaround.  A lead biker was in front the whole way.  I turned and had a big lead already, coming back.  I was hammering and feeling the effects just before going through the first mile in around 4:52/4:53.  Then, the second mile is out in zero shade and has 2 very long, gradual climbs that didn't seem bad on the warmup, but they were a bruiser during the race.  I slowed considerably on the way up to the second turnaround, at the Maine Welcome Center on 302.  I hit the 2 mile in 10:09 and was struggling a little to stay comfortable and controlled.  I was overheating pretty good but kept up the good pace on the way back, which has ups, but slightly less than the way out.  I hit 3 miles (splitting 3 at 5:01) in 15:11 and knew I was going to crack 16.  Up until 3 miles, I didn't know if I would, simply because of the heat.  I knew the course was fast (the pavement is brand new) but the weather was not making for a fast day.  I finished in 15:42 (5:04 pace).  Don was 2nd in 19:11.

I was very pleased w/ the race despite the weather and it was the confidence booster I need, going into the summer racing season.  Just to have been able to run a 4:53 opening mile made me feel like I will be ok when I get my training back under control.  It's also not bad considering I ran for almost 3 hours yesterday.

Cooled down over a bit of the course and some roads, just trying to stay out of the sun, but there really was nowhere to go other than the roads.

5-19 - Saturday: 14.6 miles (mountain/single track/rock hop/stream/river crossing) - Mt. Isolation peak bag session (solo) from Rocky Branch Trail > Isolation Trail off of Rt. 16.  Saw 2 moose right before the trailhead.  Only one car in the parking lot as I started at about 6:30am or so.  Caught the 2 guys who were hiking up, about 18 minutes in.  Most of the climbing was in the first couple miles.  Then it's very easy ridges and ups and downs until near the summit.  The conditions of the trail were pretty bad.  VERY wet almost the entire way. Lots of standing water, mud, running streams that were basically the trail, and rocks and roots galore.  The run was basically a rock-hopping session.  The weather was phenomenal and there was zero wind even on the summit.

In the last .8 or so before the summit spur, there was a small patch of stubborn snow still hanging on in a shaded spot.  I hit the summit in 1:32, which for the conditions, was pretty good.  I was guessing 1:30 or so, so I was pretty close. I took some photos/video of the summit and of Mt. Washington staring me right in the face, and then I headed back down, substantially faster than the way up.  I wrecked about a mile from the cars and was very fortunate not to have severely hurt myself.  My wrist bent all the way back as I broke my fall against some rotting logs (which blew apart as I crash landed over a bunch of big rocks).  I cracked my thumbnail and cut it pretty good underneath. I did bang my knee, but it wasn't bad.  I dusted myself off, thanked God it wasn't worse, and continued back down, though more cautiously.  I passed a ranger on the way up, not too far from the trailhead and talked w/ her for a couple minutes and then got back down in a total time of:  2:50:37.

Full photo set of Mt. Isolation here.

5-18 - Friday: 9.4 miles (road/dirt road/single track/bushwhack) - Whitton Pond loop in Albany, Madison, NH w/ Kevin Tilton. One of my favorite spots for sure.  Early morning run mixed it up a little as we headed around an unknown and virtually private/inaccessible pond/lake and ledge in Albany and Madison.  This is a perfect example of why running w/ Kevin has been so great...not only to try to get me back in shape, but to also explore and find out about things like this...hidden gems right down the street.

All photos from Whitton Pond/Ledge run here.

5-17 - Thursday: 10 miles (single track, logging road, paved road, dirt road) - first 8 and change w/ Kevin Tilton from Potter Rd. in Eaton.  Started out on the trail/logging road over to Snowville and then up around a nice big loop back to Potter on paved and dirt roads.  A little hilly, but then again everything is here.  Then I shot back home and hopped up to the Cascades again, went a little further along the edge of the brook and then back down.  [1:12:02].

5-16 - Wednesday: 10 miles (roads, trails) - two runs.  7.5 miles at lunch on the roads.  Hilly out and back up to Chocorua/Tamworth (Washington Hill Rd.) and back (on 113). Solo. Ran steady despite the heat.  Felt pretty spent on the way out but felt better on the way back (more downhill).  [47:44].   Then later after work, easy 2.5 mile trail jaunt up to the Cascades from my backdoor. Found a short trail on the other side of the river which I hadn't noticed... It goes around the perimeter of the town property. Explored a bit then soaked the legs for a few minutes before running back down to the house. Awesome afternoon. [18:40]

5-15 - Tuesday: 9 miles (trails, forest roads) - Albany, Conway, Hale's Location NH. With KT from off High St.  Raining and dreary the whole time but solid run on some sweet single track and some good old forest roads in the WMNF.  [1:08:55]  The only animal we saw out there was Mark Olson.

5-14 - Monday: 12.1 miles
(snowmobile trails) - North Conway, NH.  With Kevin Tilton from Walmart parking lot.  Hopped onto the Corridor 19 snowmobile trail.  6 out and back.  Slightly humid out.  Good solid run at conversation pace.  Most of the conversation was about how awesome Kevin is.  I was doing most of the talking... [1:23:15]

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Training 05-07 - 05-13

Weekly Wrap Up: 65.2 miles with a couple of short rest days and a decent race (considering how things have been going over the past 7 months).  Just need to keep working on getting my fitness back and having my body cooperate.  The back is getting better.  Progress is being made.

5-13 - Sunday: 10.7 miles (trails). 2.5 mile w/up with large group including Kevin Tilton, Paul Kirsch, Dave Dunham, Michael Quintal, Tim Mahoney, and others.  Ran the last part of the course in reverse.  Then some additional strides and staying loose before the race... then Race: Sleepy Hollow Mountain Race (results) - 3rd OA - 41:08.  Got my arse handed to me by Joshua Ferenc, who is looking to devour more souls at VCM at the end of the month.  Tilton also got me by quite a bit, even though he was going on zero sleep.  Race write up (believe it or not) will be coming (I think).  Cool down  w/ that kid Ferenc and Todd Ross Krause (who I just was able to nip over the last couple miles) of about 2 miles (maybe a bit more).  Then it was back in the car for a 4 hour ride over to my parents for mothers day.  

5-12 - Saturday: 11.7 miles (trails, mountains) in two runs.  Woke up and was supposed to meet Paul and Kevin in Conway for a run up Rattlesnake and the rest of those idiotically steep peaks behind Walmart but decided to bag it after starting to get ready and realizing I had a massive headache and stomach weirdness that almost seemed like I was hungover (except the fact I consumed no such alcohol the night before). Went back to sleep for a couple hours and woke up feeling better.  Packed the car (got a jump from my neighbor because I left the doors open for an hour or so while I was packing and the battery died) and headed over to White Ledge in Albany, NH for a redlining loop. It is (I believe) the closest WMNF trails to my house (8 miles up the rd.).  Started at the White Ledge camp ground area and headed up the White Ledge trail, but cut across counter-clockwise, went down the short trail section that goes down to Rt 16 (looked like an old access rd.) and then doubled back up and started the climb up and around to the backside of the ledge, then up.  The climb was pretty challenging but not terribly long.  It was pretty hot out, but I did carry a handheld so I had water.  I got to the top and there were a few people up there enjoying the view.  I took a few shots from both viewpoints on the summit before heading down the other side and continuing to do the loop back down to the car. Total was 5.5 miles including the added trip down the quasi-abandoned section to 16. [52:40].

Then I headed 3+ hours up to Huntington, VT to Sleepy Hollow for the mountain race on Sunday. I camped overnight on Saturday (with a bunch of other diehard mountain goat hopefuls) in the parking lot of the race.  I slept in the back of the shortbus. It's pretty roomy and the weather was just right for a nice comfortable rest. Before I did camp out for the night, I ran over the course (plus a little extra because I didn't quite know where the finish was).  It was muddy and wet, but it would only get worse after raining that night.  I ran over the course in 55:23 (6.2 miles-ish).  

5-11 - Friday: 4 miles (trails). Madison, NH - from my house, up to Cascades and then up around some of the trails and dirt roads past the edge of the town property. Mowed my yard for the first time (which in itself was very rewarding) and then didn't have too much time to get out and do anything substantial.  It was a really nice afternoon. [26:51].

5-10 - Thursday: 11.7 miles
(dirt roads, snowmobile trails) - Tamworth, Albany, NH.  With Kevin Tilton from Lake Chocorua parking lot.  Got a little bit of redlining in north of Hemenway State Forest.  Good solid run on slow, sloppy conditions in the OVSC snowmobile trails. [1:31:16].  Took a 10 minute soak in the lake afterwards to ice the legs.

Below: James Pond in Tamworth

5-09 - Wednesday:
5 miles (trails, mountain) - Madison, NH.  Easy rest day to try to let the back heal up.  Wednesdays are the busiest days for me right now work-wise and I have a late meeting so I need to go late in the day/early evening.  Headed down to King Pine for an easy, short trip up to the lookout tower, Purity Springs Cabin, and Bald Ledge (1183 ft).  It was wet and drizzling so the rocks on the way up and down were super slick.  Almost bit it multiple times but made it up to Bald Ledge and a little further before turning around and heading back down and then doing some of the nordic trails at the base for a bit before heading back to the car.  [39:46].

Below:  Sat here for a bit and stared out over...

 ...this view for a while...

 Below... some stubborn snow still clinging to the ground at King Pine...

5-08 - Tuesday:
12.1 miles (roads, dirt roads) - Madison, Conway, Eaton, NH with Kevin.  Insanely hilly 12 mile road run (with 1524 ft of elevation gain) from my house with some of the best road climbing you can get this side of the auto road.  Yesterday's climb up North Moat was pretty brutal, but mile marker 8 to 9 on this run was 9 minutes, and it was a ROAD...and I was all out!  I almost walked.  Kevin killed it up the climb and was far ahead by the top. Halfway up, there is a sign warning drivers to use a low gear.  It really did make me think about Mt. Washington for real.  I killed it on the way back down Pound Rd., which is steadily downhill for over a mile. To get under 7 minute pace on this run (especially with a 9 minute mile thrown in there) is pretty good.  It was a solid long effort on a horrible day weather-wise.  [1:24:07] (Kevin's Data)

5-07 - Monday: 10 miles (trails, mountains) - Conway, Bartlett, Albany, NH with Kevin Tilton.  North to South Moat traverse from Diana's Bath to Passaconaway Rd.  Brutal climb up North Moat. Great workout but wow that was steep and long. Great views of the valley from the top of North Moat, along Red Ridge, and South Moat. Back still really stiff and sore during the later parts of the climb.. Over 2 hours for 10 miles. Couldn't be done much faster. [2:06:15].