Sunday, April 14, 2013

Great Bay Half Marathon

A little late but a short recap from last weekend's half marathon...

I wasn't sure about doing the Great Bay Half Marathon (results) this year but after winning it last year and setting the course record (by 1 whole second), I decided to go back knowing that I am in a little better shape than last year at this time.  I also needed to get in some more racing and hard efforts (and long runs) so I decided to head on down to Newmarket, NH and give it another go.   I got the dreaded bib #1 from the RD but wasn't going to let that go to my head...I knew that I have had some challenges with my legs this year but have been feeling 'ok' fitness-wise (still a ways to go though).

The weather was windy but nowhere near what it was the day before.  The course is fairly challenging with constant rolls and a few decent hills later in the race but it's a pretty fair course.  It's also really varying with the scenery.  I starts in a nice neighborhood near the school and then winds through town and out into some back woods on about 3 miles of dirt roads before coming back along the water on some rolling seaside roads.  Then it dips back into some nice neighborhoods and back out into the downtown area for the finish.  I really do like the course but it's not exactly a course I'm expecting to set any PR's on or even come close... especially since I've run this race now 2 years in a row coming right out of a sub par winter of training.  I had a little bit more miles under my belt this winter so I was slightly optimistic, but after Eastern States a couple weeks ago, I wasn't holding my breath.

I warmed up with Jason Porter who was 3rd last year. We talked about our race goals a bit.  We both wanted around the same time and to just finish without issues.  He was dealing w/ PF issues just like I am.  After about 2 miles of warmup, I did another mile or so of warming up and strides before the race began. Right before the race I noticed my parents were there to watch the race which was awesome.  I also saw my old HS teammate Matt Lyons right before the start... He's running for GBTC now and is trying to get back into racing form (like I am). Matty and I were the '1-2 punch' in Wakefield, MA back in the day...Matty usually out ran me so it was time I try to return the favor...  I slapped on the Inov-8 233s and hit the road for the quarter mile or so run over to the starting line...

I wasn't sure of who else was in contention but knew JP and I would probably be out front in the half.  There is also a 5k that is run at the same time, starts at the same place, and just about runs the first 3 miles of the half marathon I knew there would be a few guys going out faster than I would be running, for at least the first 3 miles.  As the gun went off, Casey Carroll took off (as I anticipated he would) and he brought a couple of other guys with him.  I took it relatively easy and felt relaxed as I hit the first couple miles well ahead of last year's pace. I ran a little bit with Mark Gibson (who was running the 5k) and then from 3 miles onward, I was on my own as the 5k guys went right and the half continued straight ahead.  At the split I was just ahead of Mark w/ only 2 5k guys ahead of me.

From that point on I was rolling along at seemingly the same pace throughout.  I was consistently clicking off splits under my splits from last year, even on some of the hillier sections.  This year though, the hills didn't seem as bad and the 3 mile stretch of dirt road didn't seem as bad either.  The one section I did have some issues with was the out and back stretch between miles 9.5 and 12. Right around 10.5 or so my hips and legs started to get a little tight and fussy.  I wasn't sure until about 12 miles that I would run faster than last year.  Even though I had split every split faster than last year, I still wasn't sure I could even win the race let alone run another CR until about 12 miles.  In the out and back section, there is a small loop around a neighborhood from about 10.5-11.5 where you can actually see the next runners as you circle back.  I had a decent lead on JP as I headed back out of the neighborhood (we passed each other right at the start of the loop).  Even then though I wasn't completely sure I could pull off the win until I turned back onto the main road and started to smell the finish line...

I came down the last road section and realized I was going to be about a minute or so ahead of last year's effort which felt awesome.  It also felt great to know that I really felt strong and in control the whole race.  I was never really hurting at all during this run.  Needless to say my confidence was boosted up pretty good as I headed down and crossed the line in 1:13:08 (which is exactly the same time I ran at NB a few weeks prior on arguably a much faster course).

Thanks to my parents for being there to cheer me on and take all these photos... Now on to continue to race myself into shape and figure out if I can ever get back to where I was a couple years ago (on the roads at least)...

Top 10 Overall:

Place Name Town, State Age Time Pace
1 JIM JOHNSON        Madison NH          35 1:13:08.6 5:35
2 JASON PORTER       Bedford NH          43 1:17:15.9 5:54
3 MORGAN SOUTTER     Charlestown MA      37 1:17:41.2 5:56
4 SKYLER MOSENTHAL   Manchester NH       26 1:18:15.0 5:59
5 COLIN COOK         Bedford NH          31 1:21:02.7 6:12
6 STEVE DUTTON       Goffstown NH        35 1:21:03.3 6:12
7 CHRISTOPHER SMITH  Woburn MA           47 1:21:25.6 6:13
8 ALEX BROWN         Litchfield NH       25 1:21:47.9 6:15
9 PAUL CAVANAUGH     Rye NH              34 1:22:32.1 6:19
10 RANDY DOAK         Brookline MA        27 1:22:39.7 6:19

870 Overall Finishers.



As you can see I was ahead of every split from last year, so that is definitely a positive.

2012 2013
Mile 1 5:38 5:29
Mile 2 5:37 5:29
Mile 3 5:33 5:26
Mile 4 5:42 5:35
Mile 5 5:41 5:34
Mile 6 5:40 5:30
Mile 7 5:33 5:29
Mile 8 5:42 5:33
Mile 9 5:37 5:36
Mile 10 5:55 5:40
Mile 11 5:36 5:29
Mile 12 5:53 5:31
Mile 13 5:39 5:26

Me my mom...

Monday, April 8, 2013

Training Week: 4-01 - 4-07

My former Wakefield HS teammate Matt Lyons and I before the race...

Weekly Wrap Up: 60.4 miles.  3062 feet of climbing total. 6:54:48 total time.  Good week aside from the hamstring issue on Monday, which I attribute to being a little dehydrated.  Took it easy on Tuesday and barely did anything on Saturday (running-wise).  Good race on Sunday with a nice win at Great Bay Half Marathon in Newmarket, NH.  1:13:08, while not exactly lighting the world on fire (and almost 4 minutes back of my half PR) is a great leap forward for me considering my state of affairs over the past 6 months.  Getting very comfortable w/ that pace and ran very controlled.  The course isn't exactly fast and I was able to not only lower the CR but also run faster than I did a few weeks ago at New Bedford, which is hard to believe.  I also ran alone for the entire race with Jason Porter lingering in view for only a couple miles.  Progress is being made and the weather is getting better and better (although I see flakes in the forecast for Saturday here in Madison believe it or not....hopefully that changes).

04-07-13 - Sunday: 16.1 miles (roads) - 2.5 with strides (2 miles w/ Jason Porter + run to the start from the school and strides) + 13.1 mile race - Great Bay Half Marathon - 1st OA - 1:13:08 + .5 cooldown shuffle back to my car after the finish.



04-06-13 - Saturday: 2.2 miles (snow, trails, roads) from my backdoor up through the cascades in the snow and out to Mooney Hill and back down.  Small loop w/ some brief but cool views of 4000er's Passaconaway and Whiteface as well as Chocorua and the Ossipee mountains.  Makes me wish my house was another 200 feet higher up...the views would be amazing... Waited until late in the day after working in my woods and gathering blowdowns, etc.  Did a short shakeout to make sure nothing was killing me before the race tomorrow.

04-05-13 - Friday: 8 miles (dirt roads) w/ KT. Potter Rd. in Eaton.  Out (up) and back (down).

04-04-13 - Thursday: 9.2 miles (roads/dirt roads) solo.  From my house, down 113 and up to Washington Hill in Tamworth, then up and down High St. back to 113.  Nice hilly loop but worked it and felt pretty good.  Coming around for sure.  Just got to keep an eye on the hamstring and calves.

04-03-13 - Wednesday: 10 miles (roads) solo.  Flat out and back from my house in E. Madison.  Down 113 to 41 and then back.  Hammy tight but not horrible.  Felt really solid cardio-wise.

04-02-13 - Tuesday: 5.5 miles (roads) w/ KT and Justin Macomber from Whitaker Woods.  Very easy. Got to watch my hammy.  It was really sore today.  Instead of taking a day, I went real easy and tried to stay 'loose'.

04-01-13 - Monday: 9.4 miles (roads) with Kevin Tilton from White Lake State Park in Tamworth.  Hamstring knotted up horrible at about 7 miles.  Hobbled the last 2.4 (approx.) which was mostly flat and downhill.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Training Week: 3-25 - 3-31

Weekly Wrap Up: 56.5 miles on 6 days.  Good running for the most part with one day off and one slight issue w/ a knotted up hammy that I'm watching closely.  I was originally going to go hit up Gilmanton (as this would have been the first year since I started racing that it didn't conflict w/ Eastern States) but I opted to stay home and get some rest.  The weather is getting better slowly.  Still a lot of snow around and the trails are still icy and snowy and gross but soon enough the warmer weather moves in and we'll have more options for getting out.  I need to get my butt in gear and am pretty sure I have an OK 'base' built up (that certainly can be expanded on) and my fitness isn't completely junk.  I just need to add 10-15 more miles per week to the base and get more workouts in (in some aspect or another).  Working w/ KT on getting on the same page and getting back on the track or onto some tempo runs will definitely help me sharpen up. I also CANNOT wait to start getting up some mountains again in the warm weather...

03-30-13 - Sunday: 0.  Off day.  Slept in (to a degree) and felt GREAT doing so!  Played w/ the baby, got her ready, and then headed down the 2 hr ride to N.Andover, MA to my sister's for Easter.  Stayed there until after 10pm and had a 2+ hr ride home.  Didn't get home until 12:30am or so and not to bed until about 2am.  Exhausted.  My baby girl's first Easter was great though.  It's awesome sharing her w/ my family and getting everyone around her.  She's not sure what to make of it all just yet, but one thing I do know is that it's what life's all about...she's teaching me a lot even though she's only 3 months old!

Tabby w/ the Easter Bunny :)

My my sister's house in North Andover.

03-30-13 - Saturday: 10.4 miles (snowmobile trails, nordic ski trails, single track, deep snow) Short out and back w/ film crew doing a documentary on me (believe it or not) and my quest to train for the mountain championship this July.  A lot of stopping to get shots (stills and video).  Did probably about 3 miles total. Didn't run my watch the whole time.  Plan was to go up to summit Chocorua but they bagged it only 1 mile or so in....ran back down then we went over to Rocky Gorge for some other shots.

Then I headed over to Rob Brook Rd. off of Bear Notch Rd.  Snowshoe loop at Rob Brook and up the Owl's Cliff snowmobile trail loop.  Deep snow, slow conditions.  Good times out in beautiful weather on the Dions! Video below...

03-29-13 - Friday: 8.7 miles (snowmobile trails, nordic ski trails, roads) with KT.  From Kevin's house in Center Conway, NH.  Out on 302 and then the Stark Rd. loop.

03-28-13 - Thursday: 5.4 miles (snowmobile trails, nordic ski trails, roads) with KT.  From King Pine.  Nordic and Snowmobile trails.  A little soft and muddy.  Roads on the way back (w/ KT).

03-27-13 - Wednesday: 9 miles (dirt roads, roads, deep snow) solo.  Eidelweiss loop (counter clockwise) up Pound Rd. up Glines Hill, then down Town Line Rd (big mistake)....all snowed in.  11 min. miles... Rolled the rest of the way easy does it.  Felt great on the other parts on the way back....very easy effort for a decent pace.

03-26-13 - Tuesday: 10 miles (roads) solo. East Madison Rd. to Freedom town line and back.  Holy crap was this run good.  It's got a hill or two...  Went from my house up E.Madison Rd. and down the other side, then out on 153 to the Freedom town line (5 out, 5 back).  Rolled on the way back except the 7th mile which was BRUTAL. I had all I could do to get under 7 min on that mile...Started out relatively easy and worked into it.

03-25-13 - Monday: 8 miles (dirt road)  w/ KT. Potter Rd. Eaton, NH.  Up and back.  Snow and ice on some of the road still made for some slick conditions.