Saturday, June 29, 2013

Friday, Saturday

10.23 this morning in 1:06:42. Third day in a row that I have been completely soaked by the end of the run, like jumped in a pool soaked. I can't stand still without leaving a puddle where I'm standing soaked. And the temps are only in the 70's.  I just need to get used to it, I guess.

Yesterday I did 5 and a quarter in the morning out and back with a little loop in the woods. In the afternoon I was d-r-a-g-ging, but I convinced myself it would be better to do something than nothing. I decided I would do six, and ended up doing 10, so that was good.

I need to get on the track soon and get my legs going a little bit.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

back to MA

Tuesday morning did the 9-mile loop with Heather before leaving New Jersey; a nice bookend to our trip down there.

Yesterday I met up with Derek B. in the afternoon for 6 or so in the woods (Garmin was dead) of Gordon.

Today I got after a 12 and a half mile loop averaging 6:25's for the whole deal after starting out just under 7's. I was 39:56 for 6 miles, so I came back around 6:15's for the last 6. Felt good; completely drenched even though it was only in the 60's. 96% humidity or something like that.

Fiesta 5k in Gloucester tonight will be cooler than most years - I won't be making it out for that one. Hopefully find something to race around or on the 4th of July.

Monday, June 24, 2013

New Jersey report

Headed down to my inlaws on Thursday morning for some time with my wife's family. I got out early on Thursday for 8 miles before we left. Dropped our friend Aaron off in Nyack on the way down so he could propose to his girlfriend (she said yes!), and arrived in the middle of the afternoon.

My wife's parents live on the side of a pretty big mountain, and the end of their driveway is about half way up it, so every time you head out for a run, you have to decide if you want to start out uphill or start out downhill.

Friday morning Heather and I headed uphill at the start for a 9:02 first mile en route to 9 miles at 7:45 pace.

Saturday I did a hilly 17 and a half miles with Heather's brother Andrew in just over 2 hours. Longest run in a while.

Sunday I did the same 9-mile loop that Heather and I did on Friday in a little over an hour.

Today (Monday) I did 9 out and back in the midday heat in just under an hour.

Good week last week - close to 78 miles, which is my most since January. The 17+ on Saturday was my longest run since February or March.

Next races are likely to be Carver and Newburyport in late July. Hope to get a couple good track workouts in beforehand.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Since Mt. Washington

After Saturday's race, I've been on a bit of a high and feeling inspired about future running possibilities. Two areas I've been convicted about addressing are: raising the mileage and doing some upper body work.

I have always been rather top-heavy for a distance runner. All those years lifting in my friend Ben's basement in middle school and high school, then working for seven years as a carpenter. Even though I was always kind of skinny for a carpenter. My hope is to lose some mass on my arms and I don't really know if I should do some light lifting or body weight work or just run more. I am tempted to just run more.

Sunday I got out for 5 when we got home from nh. Feeling a little beat up (from the run down the mountain, I think), but not too bad.

Monday I did 7 with Al V. at a 7:30 pace on the roads in Hamilton.

Yesterday (Tuesday) I did 8 in the morning before work. This was my daily loop during the summer of 2011 when I prepared well for Cape Cod. I'm hoping it will become a regular occurrence again.

I did 6 yesterday afternoon with Derek in Appleton Farms.

This morning I got out for 5 (out and back on the loop I ran yesterday). Everything since Saturday has been pretty slow. I'm trying to make up my mind about either getting on the track this afternoon or heading into the woods. Pretty sure the woods will win that argument 9 times out of 10.

Went into the woods this afternoon and explored some new territory in Manchester. Ran through to School Street and up around Agassiz Rock. Bushwhacked and bouldered a bit before finding my way back out. Covered 11.56 in 1:54:50 (some of this was walking around in the woods and the swamp).

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Mt. Washington

Friday morning I got out the door at 6:00 am for 4 easy miles to shake out the Thursday night downhill effort at Hollis. Heather got on the treadmill at the same time for the same purpose before the kids were up.

Bagels, juice and coffee for breakfast and we were on the road to Story Land a little after nine. We arrived just before noon, ate a quick lunch in the parking lot, then headed into the park. It was a beautiful day, sunny and right around 70 degrees. We hit up all our favorite rides - Bamboo Chutes, Polar Coaster, etc.

I was ready for a nap by 4:00, but didn't get one. We checked into Nordic Village right down the road, then drove to the base of Mt. Washington for number pickup with my dad. He and I would run up together for the first time (He had previously run in 2009 and 2011; I had my one trip up in 2010 in 1:11:53.)

We picked up numbers then went back to Nordic Village to grab the rest of the family and head out to dinner at the Shannon Door. Saw AJ Migonis and his family who had just arrived in town. Chicken parm, garlic bread plus some pizza and fries that Emma and Grace didn't finish. Decided to forego dessert for the sake of the race.

Ready for a great night of sleep and got a mediocre one. All the kids woke up at 11:15 pm and we had to play musical beds with Ben and me ending up on the third floor and Heather and Grace together in the same room as Emma. Finally settled back down before midnight and slept soundly until the alarm woke me at 5:20.

Early breakfast of fruit, bagel, coffee, juice, vitamins then got on the road for the short trip up rte. 16. Arrived a little before 6:30, because we had to find someone to drive my dad's car up. Hooked up with some helpful folks from the Winner's Circle Running Club, found Sean Livingston and Hannah Zydanowicz (but couldn't connect with Francis, who was tied up in traffic with Dave) and loaded their stuff in the Volvo, then said goodbye to our new friend Sarah as she brought our gear to the summit.

I ran into Kevin Tilton and met up with him and Dave Dunham for about two and a half miles on the trails around the base. Feeling pretty warm, I opted for shorts and singlet and tucked a hat and gloves into my waistband. Doomsday prophets were predicting violently cold summit conditions, although from the base it looked like as clear a day as you can get in the White Mountains.

I had one hammer gel before the start and grabbed one more for the climb. Got over to the start with about ten minutes to spare, well-hydrated and feeling good. After the moment of silence for the marathon bombing victims, I was ready to go, and we went.

My goal for the first mile was to stay in control and come through .9 in 7:00, on my way to 1:10:00. The pace felt comfortable on the flat and the first climb, so I considered working a little harder but knew I had a long way to go. The first split was 6:50 (10 seconds under my goal), and I was feeling good. I was surprised to see Josh Ferenc come by me somewhere around mile one, assuming he would have gone out with the leaders. He continued to march upward through the ranks, and I tried to follow in his wake of utter destruction, without getting too carried away. Mile 2 I was 11 seconds under goal pace (8:29 for 15:19) and thoughts of sub-1:09 started to creep in, although the climb in Mile 2 was a bit of a wake-up call as to what the mountain had in store for all of us.

Mile 3 Josh was pulling away from me and closing on Justin Freeman and another runner I didn't recognize (Gabriel Rodriguez), and I had an Inov-8 runner (Pete Maksimow) in sight. Pete and I exchanged spots a couple of times and I appreciated having someone to work with. At mile 3 they told us that we were 10th and 11th places, and I told Pete I thought it was a little early (for me, at least) to be thinking about that. My third mile was an 8:50 (the goal was 8:59) and I found myself with a half-minute in my pocket in case it got real tough up ahead. It was also around this point, (or just after) that I decided to drop the gel I had been running with. I had opened it and took a small taste, basically just dabbing it on my tongue, but couldn't find the will to ingest it and tossed it aside.

Through halfway (32:19) and Mile 4 (33:06), I was feeling strong and in control. My confidence was high, with an 8:57 4th mile, which was 24 seconds under the goal for the mile.

Mile 5 was tough. The wind was welcome at the start of the mile, cooling me off from four miles of climbing below treeline, but the steep sections felt like I was slowing to a crawl and I checked my watch a few times to make sure I was keeping it under 10:00/mi. pace. I was pleasantly surprised with a 9:29 split (9:59 was the goal), but I was certainly feeling it by this point, well into the reserves and fully engaged in the step by step grind. Interestingly, I had only one or two points where I was tempted to slip into uphill walk mode, but my memories of the Sugarloaf Uphill Run (and a couple training runs up there in the past couple years) kept me moving forward without switching gears.

I was alone in 9th place, although I thought I was 10th, with Justin Freeman a minute(?) or so ahead of me, and no idea how close Pete or anyone else was. I resisted the urge to look back on a couple of the tight turns, mostly because I didn't want to believe that anyone was close. On a couple stretches there was this absolutely divinely inspired tailwind that had me thanking God for sending it, and it was all I could do to get both feet off the ground at once and try to take sail a little bit. The winds were gusting pretty good and I hoped a fifty mile per hour gust might get me a couple extra inches per stride if I let it take me.

Mile 6 was a pretty tough one, too, (although five felt the worst). I had a great boost at the start of each of them (miles five and six), that was short-lived. I am still learning how to really exploit the flatter sections when it is instinctual to use them to slow down and recover a bit from all the steeps. Somehow, it deflates me a bit to try to sprint the flats, knowing that it's just going to get me to the next slow climb that much sooner.

Came through the sixth mile in 9:35 (9:50 was the goal), unable to do much calculating, but knowing I was well under my goal time. Somewhere around mile 7 (9:34; 9:52 goal), Pete Maksimow and then Eric MacKnight both came by me in a short amount of time. I wanted to go with them, but being so used to running my own race, didn't respond dramatically until the final 200m, when I put my head down and tried to close the gap on Eric a little bit. I hit the line in 1:07:41, elated. 11th place at Mt. Washington is something I didn't consider and it makes me wonder if I should start making mountain running a bit more of a priority.

Hung around the top to cheer my dad in in 2:03, then got a couple of pictures with him to commemorate the day.

Ran down the road with Hannah Z. who ended up first 19 and under in her first attempt at the mountain.

Day was concluded with much eating (turkey dinner for lunch, steak and dogs on the grill at Nordic Village) and celebrating with family.

Made the drive home without stopping on Sunday (which is nothing short of miraculous with a 6-year-old, 4-year-old and one-year-old) in under two and a half hours.

Counting down the days till next year's race...

(Thank you to for letting me use the picture at the top of the page.)

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Hollis fast 5k

Leg one of the downhill-uphill weekend is complete.

Drove up to Hollis with Heather. Left around 3:30 and arrived at the parking area by 5:00. Picked up our numbers, well, we were issued new numbers because they had given ours to someone else, used the bathroom and boarded the bus to the start.

Talked with teammate Scott Leslie on the bus ride over. Warmed up with Heather, plus Sam and Abbey Wood. Sam had run the course before and thought it might be 30 seconds to a minute faster than a normal course. Did some light strides and headed to the start area. Talked with Dan Vassallo and got ready for the gun. Weather was perfect, cool, overcast, drizzly.

The gun went off and everyone took off hard for the first quarter mile. The men's start made a quick right turn and then the women joined up with us on the left. I couldn't believe how many women were ahead of me when we all came together. I felt like I was running beyond my fitness level, in a bad way, but eventually I got into a rhythm and tried to make up ground. I could see Dan, Scott and Chris Mahoney just ahead of me.

Came through the mile in 4:48, which is fast for me for a 5k, but not as fast as I had hoped for tonight. The women's leader, Erica Jesseman was at least 5 seconds up on me at this point. I saw a few WMDP singlets and caught a couple plus some others. After my limited recent involvement in the Grand Prix, there aren't as many familiar faces around. Although I did exchange a quick hi with Matt Clark somewhere out there.

Right around two miles I caught the first woman, and came through 2 in 9:41 for a 4:53 second mile. I appreciated  the "mile to go" sign at 10:07. ".75 to go" at 11:19, ".5 to go" at 12:33. Closed with a 2:24 for the final half-mile which meant I was able to maintain when the course flattened out. Passed a couple guys including Brandon Newbould in the last mile. Ended up 4th CMS in 14:57. Dan 14:40? Scott 14:49, Chris 14:50. Preliminary results had CMS men's open in 2nd to BAA.

Heather ran 18:12. 41 seconds faster than her best road 5k, and was pleased with the effort and ended up third CMS woman.

We cooled down with Sam, Abbey, and Chris for a couple miles then headed home.

Stopped at Chipotle for chicken burritos and chips. Just about perfect. The kids went to bed for Grammie and Grampie, so that means we can try this again some time soon.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

seminary loop solo

6.05 mi. in 42:38. Felt stiff and sluggish, which is just about right with the nerves in place heading into the two most competitive races so far this spring in the next three days. Hollis Fast 5k weather for tomorrow night looks like temps in the 60's and a little rain which sounds perfect. My hope is to take a shot at the 36-year-old age record of 14:48.7 set by Ben Ndaya last year. I know of a couple other area 36-year-olds who have a better chance than I do of taking the record down, but I'm not sure who will be there.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Gordon Woods w/ Derek

Nice run in Gordon Woods and Manchester-Essex Woods w/ Derek B., talking about a wide range of subjects from the beauty of the blocked shot in NBA basketball to how to parent effectively. (Neither of us had the one right answer to that one.) 6.62 mi. in 59:29 over wide variety of wet terrain in ideal temps (low 60's).

Monday, June 10, 2013


10-miles on the road in my goal time for Mt. Washington this Saturday. A couple easy days coming (with company both days) before Hollis 5k.

weekend run

Saturday got out about 11:30 am and felt good for 10.21 on the roads in 1:07:23. (6:36/mi.)

Sunday was a great day with plenty of time with family and friends, but no run.

Plan to take it easy this week on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and see what I can do on Thursday (14:48?) and Saturday (1:09?).

Friday, June 7, 2013

dodging rain drops

Tuesday I decided would be my Hollis workout and today was Mt. Washington prep. Headed out into light rain at 11:55 am. Nice temps in the upper 50's. I had sixes in the back of my mind but wasn't sure after being pretty sore yesterday from Tuesday's workout. Definitely felt it a little in the quads starting out, but not enough to hamper the effort. Came through the first mile in 6:14, feeling good, trusting that the pace would quicken. Mile 2 was a 5:55, for 12:09 total. Mile 3 has a long down hill down Miles River Road in Hamilton, then Mile 4 is flat out to 1A and onto Cutler Road. Cutler road rolls and turns a little bit for a little over 2 miles. 5 Mile split was 30:05. Mile 6 was a 6:05, which would be my slowest the rest of the way. 7-13 are pretty rolling, so staying right around 6:00's was deliberate, but relaxed. 10 mile split was 60:01. Finished up the last flat mile back to Gordon with a 5:49 for a total of 1:29:53 for 15.01.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Kupenda course

Ran/marked the Kupenda 5-mile course in Gordon Woods with Pastor Derek, RD. 5.59 in 46:19. Another beautiful day to talk and run.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

13 x 400

Beautiful temps, sunny, breezy and I am in need of a tune-up after some lazy weeks and two big races coming up next week (Hollis and Mt. Washington). Today was the Hollis workout: 13 x 400 w/ full (400m walk/jog) recoveries.

2.31/17:04 warmup; 13 x 400 (66.54/67.42/69.5/67.55/65.78/67.15/66.62/67.45/70.37/68.51/66.85/68.23/65.50); 2.37/16:42 cooldown.

Total time for 5200m = 14:37.5 (goal for Hollis?)

I would love 14:48 and/or top 10 at Hollis to show CMS that I still care.

Mt. Washington goal is still sub-1:10. It would be nice to be a scoring member of the CMS team there, too.

Monday, June 3, 2013

If there's one thing this last week has taught me, it's better to have running shoes and not need them than to need running shoes and not have them.

This morning I didn't plan to run and it looked like rain all day on the forecast, but I packed my running bag anyway. Had a productive morning and early PM, so I decided to get out and found it much brighter than I expected. Ran a couple loops in the woods and found a nice 1.42 mi. loop that I'd like to include for our men's and women's courses around Coy Pond plus measured our normal loop at 1.25 mi. Both will be nice to use for longer intervals this fall with the team. 4.72 in 31:47

Yesterday traveled back from the Adirondacks. No run. Wild weather all the way through Middlebury back to 89. Downed trees on route 125. Had to pull over a couple times until the rain wasn't blinding. Some hail. Impressive.

Saturday climbed the 2 easiest 4000 footers in the Adirondacks; Cascade and Porter. Under an hour to the summit of Cascade, working pretty hard with a pack on. Nate H. pushed the pace on the way up. Dried out in the sun and wind, had some lunch, headed down, over to Porter, then back to the car. Started just before 11 and were back by a little after 2:30. Dinner in Lake Placid was great. No run.

Friday ran in the morning with Nate and the 70 or so Gordon students who were finishing their May La Vida trip. 8.78 in 59:12. Spent the rest of the day with the family: partial climb of little Mt. Jo, then to the beach at Lake Colby.

Thursday travelled to the ADK's. No run. Beautiful ride on route 4 through VT. Quechee, Woodstock, Killington, Rutland and beyond. Appreciated the change of scenery in VT and NY.

Wednesday ran in the woods at Gordon w/ Al and Kieran. 6.18 in 50:19.

Tuesday ran in the woods at Gordon w/ Al. 5.61 in 45:09.