Thursday, November 2011.44 in 1:31; easy woods recovery
Friday, November 21
8.91 in 1:05:22; from home down to Gabe's Run course, course 2x with Nate H. and Heather
Saturday, November 22
5.67 in 43:59 with Heather at 5:16 am before leaving for NH for my Gordon Discovery class
(Week Total: 76.32)
Sunday, November 23
no run, missed out on golden opportunity to join KT and JJ on the trails around Ossipee and Madison because of class commitments
Monday, November 24
10.93 in 1:12:32 on roads at 3:04 pm, getting dark (sadly) at the end
Tuesday, November 25
7.22 in 49:47 with Nate H. on the roads
Wednesday, November 26
10.15 in 1:07:04; cold, rainy and windy - one of the toughest days of the year to be out there
Thursday, November 27
5.62 in 53:54; met my dad for an early morning run at Crane Beach in Ipswich; our first time running together in a while and his 35th year running on Thanksgiving AM (mostly at Crane); great start to the long weekend
Friday, November 28 (Gabe's Run)
7th Annual Gabe's Run 5k in memory of Gabe Pacione, a Hamilton-Wenham runner who died in a car accident 8/11/08, a couple weeks before he would have begun his freshman year at Dartmouth College.
Gabe was two-time Mass. All-State DII Champ in XC and I had the privilege of being an assistant coach at HW those two years. His senior year (Fall '07) was pretty special, he won every race but one, the Brown Invitational, where he finished second to Robert Gibson of Brookline. He ran 14:03 on a very difficult 2.85 mi. home course, beating Eric McDonald of Pentucket (and then UMass-Lowell) in a dual meet.
He was an extremely committed, hard-working and well-loved teammate and opponent and the Gabe's Run is a colorful and fun celebration of his life among those who knew him and his family. Of course, the best way I can think of to celebrate Gabe, is to go out and run my hardest against a field of mostly younger XC runners some of whom are coming off collegiate seasons.
For the second year, we (Alex Vlahos and I) put together a men's open team which included the two of us, plus Greg Krathwohl (Ipswich High School '10 and Middlebury College '14, DIII XC All-American 2013), Kieran Kinnare (Ipswich High School '11 and Cornell '15), Conor Lyons (HW '10 and Northeastern '15), Ian MacLean (HW '11, Babson '15) and Nate Hausman, my running buddy from Gordon.
The course was completely covered with a couple of inches of snow, but the women ran first and cleared quite a bit of it.
I went with the Inov-8 X-Talon 212's, wanting the maximum grip, and they proved to be the perfect choice. There is only about a quarter-mile of paved road, and the rest is grass/dirt, so I felt like I had the best footing of anyone out there.
I went out a little more conservatively than some years and I was in about 20th place at 800m in; from there I worked my way quickly into the top ten, as those who went out too fast came back. The first mile was around 5:32, which felt about right given the conditions. As we popped out of the woods onto the road (~1.25 miles), I stayed in the road and went around everyone in front of me, so as we headed back into the trails past the halfway point I was in the lead, with at least three runners close in tow.
Just before two miles, we passed the horse jump and I started to turn right, but an official shouted for us to go straight. I got into a brief (5, 10 second) shouting match with him about which way to go, and continued the way I knew to be correct (he apologized after the race) and the rest of the pack behind me came along. One guy, who had been in about 9th, continued a little further out of the way than the rest of us. For the most part, though, I don't think the mix-up cost anyone more than a little time. We went through 2 miles in a little over 11:00, and my Garmin was at 2.04 or so, so I was convinced we had made the right turn (going straight would have added about a quarter of a mile).
We headed up Scilly's Hill, which is the "highlight" of this 5k, a steep, washed out section about 200 or 250m long. (I know it's a Strava segment, too - I'll have to see what the official ascent time was.)
At the top I was pretty gassed, but knew I had to pick it up to hold off all the young legs behind me. The top of the hill is about 1200m from the finish. Just before we came out of the woods, a runner I didn't recognize made a decisive move to go by me and quickly put 15-20m on me. I tried to keep my legs under me on the descent and then made for the long straight 800m in. Along this section, I could hear (at least) two guys right behind me. When one of them said, "Coach", I knew it must be Greg, and I doubted whether I could hold him off in a final kick, so I pressed as hard as I could with about 600m left.
I felt pretty strong over the final 400m and kicked hard to hang onto second place, which ended up being worth $250. The time of 17:19 wasn't what I had hoped for, but I was only 5 seconds out of first and a second up on third and fourth places (fourth is out of the money).
Also, picked up tons of great prizes as second overall and part of first place open team: a couple nalgene water bottles with various goodies inside (sport beans, Balega socks, etc.), a sweet top 25 half-zip from Saucony a heavy-duty medal and a hat. This race has some of the best prizes of any event I have been to, and while I don't necessarily want the word getting out, I know most runners have their own Thanksgiving races they are loyal to. As it was, I was one of only 5 runners in the top 25 over the age of 24.
I quickly put on some layers and headed out to catch up with Heather and my 8-year-old son Benjamin who was contesting his first career 5k (some 10 years younger than his dad's first 5k). He chose one of the toughest 5k's available (terrain and weather) for his debut, but hung in there to the tune of a 34:06 finish (11:00 pace). If he doesn't completely hate it after that experience then I think their is hope for him as a distance runner.
Benjamin leading the charge with 800m to go, with mom, me and neighbor Aaron Ross in tow.
(Heather finished 9th in the women's race, which featured the additional quarter-mile I had argued my way out of in the men's version.)
Saturday, November 29
7.91 miles in 52:18 home from Harris Tree Farm in Ipswich after cutting our own Christmas tree.
(Week Total: 48.33)
Sunday, November 30
9.21 miles in just under an hour at just after noon in shorts and T-shirt
Monday, December 1
in 63 degree December weather, did a slightly shorter version of two Wednesday's ago from Gordon to the rail trail (about 6 miles total on the rail trail); 20.15 miles in 2:08:20 (6:22/mi.)
(averaging 20 miles/day for December so far)