Sunday, August 28, 2011

20 miles w/ irene

I got up around 7:00 with tentative plans to run at around 10 or 11 o'clock after church. I had talked to Joe Shairs earlier in the week about getting together for a 20-miler, but we nixed that yesterday when the weather became a major factor. Joe decided he would probably put a movie on and hop on the treadmill, and I figured I would go for what ever I could when I had the chance.

We found out at breakfast that church had been cancelled due to the weather, so we eased back on the Sunday morning rush and then had our own family service with some singing and a little lesson that mommy taught admirably. Ben played the drums and we all sang. Heather headed out for a run around ten o'clock and then came back shortly afterwards, opting for the treadmill, so I got ready to go.

I knew starting out it would be wet and windy, but it didn't seem unreasonably so. I headed out the main entrance of Asbury Grove and up Asbury Street toward the center of Hamilton. I was soaked in the first couple minutes, but felt good, and after yesterday's lackluster race I was determined to put forth a solid effort. The first mile went by in 6:32 as I approached the end of Asbury Street and had to decide whether to head north or south on rte. 1A. I decided to head south, through Wenham and into North Beverly, hoping that the storm would be mostly north of me. Miles 2-7 were all between 6:18 and 6:24 as I found a rhythm that was only intermittently interrupted by a severe blast of wind. I made my way through Beverly by the  hospital and back into wenham on rte. 22. I followed that all the way to bridge st in Hamilton (about 13 miles). 8-13 were between 6:09 and 6:19. I turned onto Sagamore off of Bridge Street and thought I might be a little under 20 miles the way I was heading, so I turned for a brief jaunt up Sagamore (aka "sacrifice") Hill. This is a paved hill off Sagamore Road that we have periodically trained on for HW XC to prepare for running at Northfield Mtn. It is about a quarter mile up a pretty steep grade - it felt a little like Mt. Washington for about 2 minutes, then I turned at the top and carefully came back down. Mile 14 was an understandably slower 6:33, then I tried to drop it down again as I headed into the final 7 miles. Miles 15-20 were a 6:10; 6:18; 6:10; 6:05; 6:08; 6:06. Then I finished with a 4:30 last .73 (6:07 pace). I felt really good, especially for no water or food; it was nice that the weather was such a distraction from the normal long run concerns.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

August 21-27, 2011

Week Total: 103.77

Saturday - 10.15

9:40 AM - slept in till 8, went to breakfast at the Asbury Grove Coffee Shop, had a Grove McMuffin (ham, american cheese and fried egg on grilled english muffin) plus a cup of coffee, came home and grabbed some water then headed downtown for the Hamilton Firefighter's 5-Mile. 1.5 mile warmup with Heather, feeling a little uneasy in the stomach, then we were off...went through the first mile in 5:05, with Nick DeSouza right on my shoulder in his Vibram 5 fingers. 2 miles in 10:24 as we started the climb through Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, still next to each other. I put a little space between us on the uphill, but I could hear his rubber feet slapping the pavement as we came down the hill and out the main entrance onto essex street. Mile 3 was a 5:18 and I was feeling my breakfast and the humidity. Mile 4, which is usually my fastest on this course with a significant downhill was a 5:19. The last mile I was alone, but would have liked better than a 5:26, which is what I got, for a grand total of 26:27. Nick finished 2nd in 26:42. Heather ran a bit faster than last year and was first female, 6th overall in 32:28. Did 3.6 for a cooldown with Nick and then Heather.

Friday - 12.79

5:30 PM - after practice ran home, 4.61 easy

5:11 AM - got out early and did whole morning loop for the first time this week - 8.18 in 56:15

Thursday - 12.24

5:15 PM - after first day of HW xc practice, ran from HW to my parents' house and then ran back with my brother Adam; 5.76 total

5:29 AM - 6.48 out and back on morning loop easy

Wednesday - 16.67

4:19 PM - ~2 mi. warmup to HW track, 400-800-1200-mile-1200-800-400 (400m recovery after first 400 and both 800's; 800m recovery after 1200's and mile) - 67/2:21/3:44/4:59/3:39/2:23/67 - 2 mi. cooldown

5:38 AM - out and back with a couple pickups; 6.5 at 6:38 pace

Tuesday - 15.33

4:13 PM - met John Barbour at Bennett Center at Gordon College for nice 8+ miles around Beverly

5:31 AM - out and back, same as yesterday, but faster and cooler outside

Monday - 14.83

PM - ran for an hour with Greg Krathwohl in the woods of Hamilton, pretty slow and conversational most of the way

AM - out and back on morning loop, slowly

Sunday - 21.76

3:15 PM - long run/track workout right from Daniels' Running Formula; 3 mi. Tempo on the track, followed by one hour of easy running (roads) with 3 x one-mile tempo on the track at the end. I've done this workout once before (in August 2006 training for Cape Cod) and I remembered the 3 miles at the end being the real work - trying to run faster than marathon pace for miles 16-18 (roughly).

I started with a 3+ mile run to the HW track and went right into 3-mile T. First mile was 5:21, second 5:23, third 5:11 for a total of 15:56. I knew I had a lot more running to go, but I really wanted to be under 16 minutes for the initial effort. Then I headed out on a 9-mile loop and ran right around 6:30's, which felt pretty comfortable in spite of the warm, humid conditions. The last couple miles before I got back to the track I was dragging a little and just wanted to get the hard running over with. I felt ok on the first mile (5:23) and actually thought I could go a little harder the next two, but it was all I could do to run two more at 5:27. The 3 miles home I stayed just under 7-minute pace, for a grand total of 21.76 in 2:18:52, which is a 6:22 average.

Pleased with the workout, but of course I wanted to check and see what I had done in '06. Turns out five years ago (almost to the day) I ran the 3 mile tempo a little slower (just over 16), then didn't cover quite as much ground in the hour run (8.7), but my first mile back on the track was a 5:18, followed by 2 5:26's. This is my fourth 20 miler already this summer, compared to only one I had done that year at this time.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

August 14-20, 2011

Week Total: 97.23

Saturday - 14.12

6:18 AM - fourteen mile loop from home, felt pretty good - 1:37:38, a little faster than 7:00 pace; tough workout planned for tomorrow afternoon

Friday - 13.69

4:27 PM - from Pingree Park w/ Al Vlahos - roads to trails then back to roads - 5.53 in 43:29

5:22 AM - morning loop (8.16) in 55:53; finished with a 6:18 and a 6:10.

Thursday - 12.87

4:35 PM - 5.84 on trails behind Patton Park, Cutler Road, Pingree School

5:27 AM - Cutler loop - started real easy, picked it up a little at the end - 7.03 in 52:30

Wednesday - 17.38

PM - 2-mile warmup; 3 x 2-mile T on track w/ 400m (~2:00) recoveries; Goal: 5:20 pace (10:40 2-mile) - Conor Lyons (former HW runner headed to Northeastern this fall) joined me for part of this; 10:39 (5:21/5:18), 10:33 (5:17/5:16), 10:34 (5:17/5:17); 2-mile cooldown back to Patton Park. I was happy to be able to stay under 5:20's - the first one felt so easy, I really thought I might be able to run 5:12's or at least 5:15's on the last one, but I was starting to tire a bit by then. (10.51 total)

5:19 AM - easy out and back + 6 strides - 6.87

Tuesday - 15.38

PM - 7.21 from Ipswich track w/ Greg Krathwohl, Alex Vlahos and Kieran Kinnare, 3 of my graduated Ipswich kids

5:19 AM - morning loop; 8.17/59:00

Monday - 13.6

PM - 4.26/30:33, mostly trails, still rainy

AM - rainy, started on treadmill for just over a mile, then headed out for new 8-mile morning loop, 9.34 total

Sunday - 10.19

Met Conor Lyons and Alex Vlahos at my house after church; 10-mile loop at 7:32 pace.

Nice anniversary dinner at the 1640 Hart House in Ipswich (our twice a year date) - rare tuna steak and Heather got the roast duck. Bread pudding for dessert - my favorite!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

August 7-13, 2011

Week Total: 105.7

Saturday - 22.42

2:30 PM - ran from birthday party in gloucester (near good harbor beach) about a mile on 25k course, then around back shore, thru downtown gloucester by st. peter's square, along the causeway, thru stagefort park, back 127 to manchester, then pine st/chebacco rd into hamilton and home ;left water/gatorade mix at about 13 miles, which was a good spot for it, carried it for 3 miles, forcing myself to drink the whole bottle (about 16 oz.?), best 20-miler of 3 this summer. 6:16 pace - should have started slower and finished faster, but pleased with the effort and how it felt. (Splits from Garmin: 6:27/6:22/6:31/6:25/6:20/6:21/6:03/6:12/6:17/6:12/6:08/6:09/6:17 (picked up drink) / 6:11/6:20/6:17 (put down drink) / 6:23/6:12/6:12/6:10/6:11/6:08/2:34 for last .42 (6:11 pace))

Friday - 16.53

4:20 PM (after work) - 6.28/48:23 w/ Heather from Pingree Park while my mom watched the kids; nice start to our 7th anniversary weekend!

5:20 AM (before work) - 10.25/1:10:49 - 57 degrees this morning, more than 50 degrees cooler than some of the temps in Texas last week - beautiful!

Thursday - 12.28

4:15 PM (after work) - 6.15/41:17

5:30 AM (before work) - 6.13/45:58

Wednesday - 15.6

4:30 PM (after work) - quick Cutler loop from Pingree Park (7.43/46:28 - 6:15 pace)

5:20 AM (before work) - (8.17/57:53)

Tuesday - 10.02

5:16 AM CST in Texas, about 8.25 w/ Heather

Monday - 14.36

5:30 AM CST in Texas; finished w/ Heather

Sunday - 14.49

AM- Texas early (before church), can't believe how good i feel after the miles i've been running, albeit mostly easy

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Yankee Homecoming 10-Mile (A short personal history)

This was my fourth straight Yankee Homecoming, and seventh time total.

In 2000, I ran 57:41 for 32nd place on the course that started and finished on Low Street by the Middle School. I was training for my first marathon, Bay State, which I ran in 2:47:34, just over my goal of 2:45.

In 2005, I stepped off the course around 6 miles (before Maudslay), then finished the race with Heather. This course finished down Turkey Hill Rd (not straight back on 113) and ran through a neighborhood off Hale St(?) on the way up to the high school. The finish was in the same spot as this year's. Fall of '05 I ran my 2nd marathon (Cape Cod) and finished 8th in 2:38:15.

In 2006, I finished 9th on a very hot night in 56:58. That fall, I ran my best marathon (a 2:31:06 at Cape Cod).

In 2008, I had only been running about a month after about a year almost completely off, and I ran the 10-miler as part of the Grand Prix with CMS. I was pleased with a 56:50 result, my fastest on the course to date, good for only 49th place in the Grand Prix year, and a far cry from my best 10-Mile time of 53:19, which I ran in October '06 at the Apple Harvest Ramble in Harvard, MA.

In 2009, I finished as 2nd 32-year-old, (by three seconds), 55:14 to Jim Johnson's 55:11. I was 13th overall. Jim ran with me the entire second half of the race, encouraging me and telling me he was struggling. Finally, in the last mile, he told me to go ahead and kick it in; I didn't have a lot left, and Jim had a little more.

In 2010, I finished one spot behind Jim again. This time, I went out hard and came back to him. He and Mark Hudson went by me around mile 6 and put a pretty big gap on me. After the hill coming up from Maudslay I got a second wind and closed hard over the last two miles to catch Mark but not quite get Jim. I finished 10th, with a new best Newburyport time of 54:20. Jim ran 54:18.

This year, I joked with Jim at the start, that I would start in line behind him, because I knew that's where I'd end up. He said he was hoping to run around 5:20's and that sounded good to me. The night was cooler than most up there and I have been running a lot, although I'm still getting used to the higher mileage.

The race started and I was up near the front as things strung out on High Street. I had a pretty good look at the way things were developing: there was a pack of four up front - 2 RUN masters, a Winner's Circle runner I didn't recognize, and another unfamiliar runner (Bryan Morseman). They were closely followed by Jim Johnson and Justin Freeman. I was behind them. Before the one-mile mark, a guy came cruising by me and I wondered how far up he would move.

I went through the first mile in 5:14 and tried to stay relaxed. Mile 2 was a 5:19 as we turned down Marlboro Street and headed downtown. I felt the enthusiasm of the spectators downtown and felt great as I sped through the lined streets and into the back of the 5k pack. I have to agree with JJ it was a little tight with the 5k runners strewn out all over the road; I seem to remember everyone staying to one side in the past. I took advantage of the water stops all along this stretch as I know I've run into problems here on hot nights in previous years.

When we broke free of the 5k runners I settled down and prepared for the work ahead. The guy who had gone by me so fluidly in the early stages was definitely slowing, so I moved up on him. I also noticed that Jim seemed to be moving up on the Winner's Circle runner (Matt Manning) and one of the RUN masters (Ekuom). As I came alongside the seventh place runner, he told me he was struggling and asked me what I was hoping to run. I told him 5:20's or sub-54 and he said he wanted to break 55. He wasn't wearing a watch and I asked him if he wanted to know our 5-mile split. He said sure - it was right around 26:40 (5:20's). I told him the next hill was always the toughest part of the course for me and we worked our way up it together on the way to my slowest mile of the night (5:34), then I really started to work on catching Matt Manning for 6th place.

Mile seven was a 5:29, with the jog through the neighborhood, which was a little surprising. At first I thought we were avoiding the climb after Maudslay, but then we just dumped back out onto the course. I caught Matt on the climb and made the turn onto 113 which goes all the way back to the high school. At this point I could see Ekuom as well as JJ and a couple other runners near him. I knew I was 6th at this point, but thought I could catch Ekuom if I worked the last 2+ miles. Mile 8 was a 5:20, Mile 9 a 5:16 and I had gained a lot of ground. People were yelling, "You can get him!" Then just after Mile 9, I caught him and tried to push all the way back. I knew there was the little climb and (I thought) the football field, which I was dreading, but I just tried to concentrate on running fast and relaxed. Now that I was ahead, people were telling me, "He's right behind you!" even though I had just passed him.

We made the turn into the school and everyone was yelling. I mustered a final push and as I crested the hill, was relieved to see the finish line in the parking lot, not around the corner on the field.

I did my old man sprint across the line for a last mile of 5:10 (with mile 4, my fastest mile of the race) and an overall time of 53:34, good for 5th place overall and 3rd 34 year-old.  (Jim and race winner Justin Freeman are the same age.) I felt very pleased with the race and had a good time afterward talking with la lot of people.  Cooled down with Heather and Greg Krathwohl (a future CMS runner - entering his sophomore year at Middlebury), who I coached at Ipswich High. He finished 11th in 55:28. Heather ran a 10-mile PR for the second straight year (last year: 1:09:40; this year: 1:07:52).

A good night!

Left for Texas the next morning...

Photo by Peter McClelland.