Monday, May 11, 2015


Stress Reaction.  That's the diagnosis.  The precursor to a stress fracture...  In my left tibia.  About 1/3 the way down from the knee.  I knew something was serious pretty much during my run last Sunday in the mountains but ignored it all week (in true CMS fashion).  Every day was one step closer to disaster.  Finally on Saturday I had enough.  Good thing I went in today and had an x-ray and talked to the doctor.   The visuals on the x-ray were pretty telling.  I need to take some days and see how it feels.  It could be days. It could be weeks.  It sucks.  I may have to bag a bunch of things I have been looking forward to for literally months.  All because of a bad decision to jump around on a trampoline at a cookout.  What a nightmare.  Right now it's ice, anti-inflammatories, and worst of all, rest.  Nothing else I can do.  Nothing impacting.  Not even biking is suggested.  Swimming is out of the question because I'd rather just not do anything than swim... so there it is.  I lose out on fitness, all the work I've put in, planned (and paid for) races, confidence, etc.  It's a good thing I realize there's a lot more to life than running... my daughters smiles immediately reminds me of that.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Week of May 04 - May 10

Week of May 04 - May 10

It was a horrible week for me running-wise.   I fear I'm O-fficially injured.   I either have a severe shin splint or a stress fracture.  I'll have to get it x-rayed this week.  I noticed something not quite right on Sunday's run in the mountains almost immediately when I started running.  I know exactly what happened.  It was pretty dumb but after the race last Saturday, I went to a cookout at my brother's house and bounced on the trampoline with Tabby for a while.   I didn't stretch or anything...just hopped in there after the race and bounced around for a while, some while actually holding an extra bunch of lbs in my arms, bouncing up and down... Not good.  I knew it was happening too.  I felt a little twinge while doing it and eventually stopped but the damage was done.   I either developed a shin splint or something much worse.   Then every day this week was a struggle and it culminated with a pathetic attempt at a run on Saturday.  No dice.  I can barely get 2 steps without pain.  Only 45.1 miles this week, taking a day off, and had to bail on racing.  I was originally planning Big Lake Half or the Portsmouth 5k on Saturday and then maybe Mom's on the Run in Dover on Sunday.  Those plans obviously went out the window.  Not sure what the future will bring if this doesn't start getting better w/ a day or two off...

May 4 (Monday) - 10.3 miles with Darin Brown and Leslie O'Dell from Madison town beach.  Did snowmobile trails and some road.  Leg was killing me the whole time.  Just a continuation of yesterday's pain and suffering.  Tried to forget about it but just made things worse.

May 5 (Tuesday) - 8.5 miles with Kevin Tilton.  Trails....Corridor 19 / Mason Brook loop.  Leg hurts.  Only did one run...

May 6 (Wednesday) - 8.0 miles with Kevin Tilton.  Trails.... Snowmobile trails from Westside Rd. to Mineral Site.  Out and back.  Leg really hurting.  One run again.

May 7 (Thursday) - 5.2 miles on Madison Rds. Solo.  Kept it a flat out and back.  Leg killing me.  Trying to force it but definitely making it worse.  Lunch run was all I could muster.

May 8 (Friday) - 8.1 miles on Madison Rds. Solo.  At times I thought it was getting better but then, nope. Alas, one run and barely made it.

May 9 (Saturday) - 5.0 miles on Madison Rds. Solo.  Probably the worst day.  Running is definitely making things worse.

May 10 (Sunday) - Off.  Not even going to try it today.  Only my second day off all year.  It sucks but if I have any chance of running again, I need to let this heal or at the very least not make it any worse.  I can't continue to ignore it and pretend it isn't what it is.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Children's Museum of NH 5k

This past weekend I headed back down to Dover, NH for the third time this year for the Children's Museum of NH 5k (results).  It is the 7th time in the last 8 years I have run this race.  The first year I did the race was the last year it was held in Portsmouth.  Every year since, it has been in Dover.  This year, like all the other years, it kicks off the Seacoast Road Race Series.

Once again the entire family joined me on the trip down to Dover, NH for the race.  I was a bit nervous about the fact that I really hadn't done anything 'longish' as a run all week, but did have a decent shorter workout on Wednesday, which was enough to at least tell me that within the past week, I've run somewhat quick at some point.

I warmed up on the course w/ Leslie O'Dell who for some reason is doing the occasional road race this year...It could have something to do with her running VCM at the end of the month, so I'm guessing that after that, I won't see her ever again at a race.  After warming up, I quickly changed and headed the short distance from the car to the starting line, only to see Derrick Hamel and Eric Couture standing there ready to go.  There was the top 3, I was thinking...  I wasn't sure what order it would be in, but I was pretty sure that was the podium.

As the gun went off, I immediately moved out to the lead but was aware that the course record holder (Eric) was in the race and was on the comeback trail.  He mentioned he thought he'd be around 16:45 before the race, due to his current fitness...I thought he'd be quicker than that, but I realized there really isn't anything I can do but run my race and worry about myself.  I moved up the road as the first mile is mostly all uphill slightly.  It's not terribly steep but it's just constantly up, with the steepest part right near the mile mark itself.

I clicked through the mile (on my watch) in 5:02 (a couple ticks before the mile marker on the road).  I peeked back a few times and saw Eric in 2nd and he didn't look too far back, but it was hard to tell.  The second mile has some slight up, some slight down, another short but steep pitch up out of the neighborhood loop, and then some nice downhill through the 2 mile mark.  I may have moved slightly ahead of Eric more during the 2nd mile and kept pushing up and out of the neighborhood loop.

My second mile split was 5:00 and I was through the 2 mile in 10:02-10:03.  Again, a couple to a few ticks before the 2 mile mark on the road.  This was in the middle of a steep downhill drop where you can really get things moving.  I bottomed out and thought I may be looking at 15:30s if I could hold on.  I felt really good and moved passed Nate Huppe who was standing on the side of the road shooting water at me with a water pistol.  Not soon after that, I started a little push up the last uphill section past the boat docks and I saw Nate Jenkins standing there cheering me on.  Two Nates in the last mile... He told me I had a decent lead on the next guy, so I knew he probably saw him back there....which made me a little nervous as Eric obviously has a lot more speed that I do... but it was so late in the race and my pace was hot enough where I thought it would take a lot for him to come back on me.

I went up and over the hill, down across the bridge, and down along the last stretch before the 3rd mile mark.  My third mile split was 4:51 (which is in-line with how this course runs).  I had another 56 seconds to the finish line however after my Garmin beeped.  It beeped pretty far from the 3 mile mark (before it).  It was a little deflating because I knew 15:30s would be out of the question at that point.  I should really start focusing on the mile markers on the road instead of my watch.  Especially on courses I'm familiar with and know are pretty accurate.

After that last 56 seconds, I came through the finish in 15:49 officially.  That really wasn't too bad considering I've only ever run 15:46 as my fastest time on this course.  So this was only 3 seconds off that.  And back in 2011 when I ran that time (for the win), I was racing Nick Crowell until 2.5 miles.  So to drop a 15:49 in a mostly solo effort (although the specter of Eric being back there certainly kept me moving) is pretty good for where I am right now.  It's my second fastest time on this course (out of 6 runs on the current course) which is frankly amazing.  It was nowhere near Eric's CR of 15:30 but it's still faster than I would have ever thought I'd be running on this course again.

Photo in Fosters

Top 10 Overall:

115:495:06Jim Johnson      38Madison NH      
216:425:23Eric Couture     27Boston MA       
316:555:27Derrick Hamel    31Northwood NH    
417:395:41Justin Whittet   30Portsmouth NH   
518:005:48Daniel Dion      29Dover NH        
618:205:54David Chamberlain39Minneapolis MN  
718:235:55Justin Warner    25Greenland NH    
818:315:58Tim Horan        33Dover NH        
918:376:00Bartley Mullin   27Rochester NH    
1018:466:03Leslie O'Dell    39Albany NH     

666 Total Finishters.

Fosters Article:

Great Photo Album:

My history at the Children's Museum of NH 5k / Footbridge 5k:

2015 - 1st - 15:49
2014 - 1st - 16:25
2012 - 3rd - 16:13 (Brandon Newbould/Colin Fishwick 1-2)
2011 - 1st - 15:46
2010 - 3rd - 15:53 (Bob Wiles/Mentzer 1-2)
2009 - 3rd - 16:13 (Chris Mahoney/John Mentzer 1-2 - Race in Dover for first time)
2008 - 2nd - 15:56 (Sam Wood 1st - Race in Portsmouth for last time)

I guess the year I don't get top 3 should be the year I hang em up...

I cooled down with Darin Brown, Eric, Derrick, and Leslie over the course again.  Then it was back to the park to collect my 10 lobster dinners from the Weathervane that will probably never be cashed in (still have the 10 from last year).  If we are ever running together somewhere and you want to know the back story of my experiences with cashing in these lobster dinner certificates, let me know and I'll give you the scoop.  Funny story.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Week of April 27 - May 03

Week of April 27 - May 03

Closed out the month of April with 322.8 miles (10.7 per day average) slightly behind my yearly goal pace but close enough.  I'm still just slightly over 11 miles per day average for the year at the end of April.  Numbers aside, the races have been going well, which is the most important thing.  With 1/3 of the year now gone (and the best 1/3 of the year for road racing still to come), I am sitting pretty good with the race schedule, results, and fitness.  I had a good race and win on Sunday at the Children's Museum of NH 5k in Dover, which kicked off the Seacoast Road Race Series for 2015. The week was a little light as far as longish runs go but I did salvage a longer run on Sunday in the mountains so I managed to slide into 80.7 miles for the week surprisingly.

A nice mention of this here blog on Fosters as well as a few other NH runners who like to wax poetic about their adventures on the roads and trails... special thanks to Nancy Eckerson.

April 27 (Monday) - 6.2 miles nice and easy very late in the day.  My parents were over after work visiting and checking out the new whip.  I did some roads, a small town trail loop, and an inner snowmobile trail loop in Madison from Village Rd. to E.Madison Rd.

April 28 (Tuesday) - 5.2 miles nice and easy at lunch.  Roads down to Silver Lake Station and then a small out and back loop on the tracks/powerline trails.  PM: 10.8 miles of mostly snowmobile trails and dirt roads with Andrew Drummond, who is now my neighbor...  From his new place on E.Madison Rd. up Goe Hill and then did the snowmobile trail loops out to the air strip and back up Lead Mine.  16 miles on the day.

April 29 (Wednesday) - 5 miles very easy at lunch (Madison roads).  Then after work, hit up the track for a shorter workout (volume-wise) but quicker than I've been running.  Felt pretty solid on this workout...the best I've felt in a while running quick.  3.25 mile warmup then 2 x mile with 400 jog after each mile.  Then 2 x 800 with 200 jog after each.  Then 2 x 400 with 200 jog after each.  Went 4:55 / 4:54 / 2:23 / 2:22 / 1:08 / 1:05.  Then 3 mile cooldown on the roads and some around the track while I watched Kevin do his aussie quarter workout.  Bonked really bad towards the end of the cooldown.  I like the workout though.  Not a lot of volume, but high intensity.  10.7 miles15.7 miles on the day.

April 30 (Thursday) - 6 miles very easy on the trails from the Silver Lake station with Andy and Squall.  Up the tracks (Corridor 19) to Chain of Ponds and through almost to the boulder...turned back for the out and back 6.  Later after work (actually very late) I hit up a very ad hoc loop around Madison's snowmobile trails and single track. I found some random new trails and just wandered around probably longer than I should have (time-wise) but only salvaged 7 miles.  13 miles on the day.  Good recovery day from the track work yesterday.

May 01 (Friday) - 6 miles with Darin Brown at lunch from my house, down to the west-side town beach and back.  Bailed on another run in lieu of raking leaves and playing with Tabby Rose in the yard. Probably better to just go into tomorrow rested.  Can't really get any better with an additional run today.

May 02 (Saturday) - 3.1 miles w/up (race course) + 3.1 mile race (Children's Museum of NH 5k) - 1st OA [15:49] + 3.1 mile c/down.  9.3 miles total.   Race writeup to follow.

May 03 (Sunday) - 14.5 miles with Kevin Tilton from Ferncroft to Chocorua Lake Rd.  4 mile loop around some trails in Ferncroft area (some quick light redlining up Mt. Kathrine / Red Path / Gordon Path) then up Old Mast Rd. and down Cabin Tr. / Whitin Brook Tr. / Old Paugus Tr. out to Paugus Rd. and then back to Chocorua Lake Rd. where I had spotted my car.  Kevin was turning around and running back to his car in Ferncroft (via probably snowmobile trails or roads).  I was done at 14+.  Good enough to round out the week.  2:16:53 of running...some in the snow.

Video evidence of the current conditions of the trails not too high up in the woods... still pretty chilly at night and that's supporting a decent amount of snow that is still lingering...