Wednesday, January 14, 2015

2014: The year that was

I'm two weeks late getting around to this, but 2014 was a good year, so let me give it its due:

Some highlights:

Being able to run with my wife.
With our kids getting older (8, 5, 2) we had some more opportunities to run and even race together. Standouts:
- night away in Candia, NH and run to Bear Brook for our 10th anniversary.
- racing together: Ribfest was a lot of fun and the most miles we've put in "together" in awhile, with a long cool down afterwards; Yankee Homecoming 10-Mile - both of us running our fastest times there; overnight date to Burlington for the GMAA 15k and coming away with two top-11 finishes; Lone Gull 10k and a couple more road PR's; 3000m at BU mini-meet #1 (w/ kids in tow); representing the town of Hamilton at the local races (Melody Miles, Firefighter "5" and Gabe's Run)
- closing out the year with a couple runs together (and kicking off the New Year with a run together) while down in NJ/PA

Running with old friends and new friends.
- My most regular training buddy, Nate, here at Gordon is faithful through the cold winter months and makes getting out when the weather is brutal that much easier. I can always count on good conversation and an honest pace (~7:00/mi.)
- Whenever I have a chance to run with any of my former athletes, it is always a big thrill to hear about the great things they continue to do (running-wise and otherwise). Mostly, it is my reliable Ipswich "kids" - Alex, Greg and Kieran - who I get to catch up with. Gabe's Run is always a big reunion for Cape Ann League athletes and coaches, too.
- I had a great time traveling to VT twice to run with the legendary Josh Ferenc, being joined on the second trip by teammate and great guy, Greg Hammett, and one of NY's finest, Eric MacKnight. I'm hoping to be able to continue to have adventures with kindred folk like these guys over the years to come. I loved getting into the mountains, seeing new and beautiful terrain and connecting with other guys who are putting in the miles and loving it!
- Seeing CMS 'mates at races and sharing in their successes keeps me inspired. It's been a good run with the ol' white and blue (10 years this summer) and a lot of fun being able to continue to contribute to team scoring at road events and catch up every month or so during the spring, summer and fall. I'm hoping to see a few more of the guys this winter on snowshoes and be better about getting up to the mountains. Plus, I get a kick out of being affiliated with legends like Dunham, Verrington, Vassallo and Jenkins even if the closest I ever get to them is during a cool down. And mixing it up and catching up with the thirty and forty-somethings Tilton, JJ, Scott Leslie, Chris Mahoney, Al B., Jim P., Joe S., Greg P., Arthur B., Jason P., Kevin G., Sam W., etc. and all the new guys is a lot of fun. The new Strava team site is great!

Continuing to achieve competitive successes.
I am grateful for a good string of years of healthy training and satisfying results. As I explore new avenues of competition (mountains, track, longer distances, hopefully snowshoe), I find that even at age 38 there are areas of my running that I can improve in. Maybe it is a credit to the late start I got in the sport or a competitive spirit that refuses to die, but my enjoyment of running is definitely fueled by a possibility (however dwindling it may be) that I can still get faster.

For the second consecutive year I competed at the US Mtn. Championships, this year at Loon, and, while I finished a significant distance behind the leaders, was still close enough to the top 6 that I can delude myself for a couple more years thinking I might have a chance at making a national team. It does seem to be getting tougher each year, though...

I was able to run a true PR at 15k, a distance I hadn't raced since 2000, as well as a road PR for 10k at Lone Gull. The 15k time is one I think I could still improve on, but it is getting harder to find distances at which that will be possible. Anyone wanna put together a 12-mile race?

Looking ahead...hopes and dreams...
In 2015, I'd like to keep the training consistent (can I hit 4000 miles for the first time ever?) and achieve success wherever possible.

Target races:
Caumsett 50k
Mt. Washington

Also I would like to be at:
Amherst 10-Miler (I hope)
(New Bedford - maybe? not sure)
April Fools' 4-Mile
Sleepy Hollow
(Vermont City Marathon?)
Yankee Homecoming
Lone Gull
Stone Cat 50?
Gabe's Run

PR possibilities/dreams:
50k (road) - as long as I finish it's a PR, but would love something in the 3:00-3:05 range
Mt. Washington - 1:07:41 is my best in 2013; dream is going sub-1:06
10 miles - 53:19 from 2006 still stands; I think I could run in the 52's
Marathon - 2:25-2:27 is still a goal, just not sure if it is a priority right now

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