" It's at the borders of pain and suffering that the men are separated from the boys."
- Emil Zatopek

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Training Update 6/21 to 6/29

Sunday 6/21: 5 miles 41 minutes.

This was a very easy run with Heather on the trails at St Pauls School. Pretty sluggish and very tight. This was to be expected after running Mt Washington the day before.

Monday 6/22: 7 miles 48 minutes.

Actually felt pretty good, best run I have had since being injured

Tuesday 6/23: 7.1 miles 48 minutes.

2 miles easy, miles 3, 4, 5, 6 in 6:35, 5:56, 6:14, 6:07. 1.1 miles easy. The 4 miles was suppose to be at 6:10 to 6:30 pace. I had trouble finding the pace and felt like I was working to hard to run a pace that should not be all that taxing. Probably still recovering from the Mt Washington effort.

Wednesday 6/24: 8 miles 62 minutes.

Very easy run around the Lake Kenoza trails in Haverhill.

Thursday 6/25: 7.1 miles 47 minutes

2 miles easy, miles 3, 4, 5, 6 in 6:08, 6:13, 6:11, 6:09. 1.1 miles easy. Same work out as Tuesday, except this one felt much easier and nice and smooth. Very happy with how this one went.

Friday 6/26: Day off from running

Saturday 6/27: 12 miles 82 minutes

Did this run from my brothers house down in Hanson, MA. Did a 1 minute pick up at the start of each mile during miles 4 -10. Felt pretty solid and the pick ups felt pretty good. Last couple miles I got a little sluggish and at little bit of tightness in the hamstring. Still very happy with this run...its the longest I have gone in a while.

Sunday 6/28: 5 miles 39 minutes

Ran on the treadmill. Felt a bit tight, but nothing to bad.

Monday 6/29: 8.5 miles 60 minutes

Easy running, did some exploring up in the Plaistow and Atkinson areas. Felt OK on the run, but not great. I think I am still feeling the effects of the 12 miler I did on Saturday

Overall the training is going alright. I am still experiencing some stiffness and tightness in my left hamstring, but it seems to be slowly getting better as time goes by. I have been using a heating pad on it a lot and that seems to really be helping. I just need to be careful these next couple of weeks as I up the volume and get back to some real workouts and longer runs. Hopefully all goes well!

Next race is Bill Luti 5 miler on July 18th. This is the last race in the CARS series.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Mt Washington Road Race

This was my second go at the Mt Washington Road Race. My first being last year for the US Mountain Running Championships. Last year was pretty much a disaster (results). I ran slow and felt like crap the whole way. I was hoping that this year would be different.

Heading into this race I figured that healthy I could run somewhere around 1:10 to 1:12. But I have also been fighting with some hamstring issues. So I was thinking that anything faster than last years 1:17:08 would be a success. Of course I was still going to try to run around 1:11.

The race went off under overcast skies and the threat of rain showers. I settled right into a solid pace that I figured would put me on about 1:11 pace. Trying to stay relaxed and comfortable for the first few miles. I went through the first "mile" (actually 0.9 miles and has a short flat section at the beginning) around 7:06 which put me on pace for about 1:11. That was the good news.....the bad news was that my left hip and left calve were already tightening up. I figured that I would push on and they would loosen up as the race went on. By the 2 mile mark I was a mess. The hip, while not getting any worse, was still tight and my left calve felt like it was trying to contract into a ball as it cramped up real good. Shortly after the 2 mile mark I stopped to walk in the hopes it would loosen up. It would not. At this point I almost turned around to walk down.....but I could not stand the thought of quiting. So I just walked up the road trying to stretch out my legs, even tried walking backwards up the hill. After a few minutes of walking and my foot and lower calve started to fall asleep.......this worked out alright because I could not feel anything. So the running resumed....awkwardly. This was OK for a while till about the halfway point. By the time I got there my left leg had fallen asleep all the way up to my knee. This was a very strange sensation that I have never had before....so I walked it off. After a bit of walking I started alternating running and walking and I started to get feeling back in the leg. After about 4 miles I was moving pretty good and was actually passing people while now running through the clouds. Which made it hard to see more than about 20 meters in front of me. Feeling better and better as I went. The last 2.5 miles or so were the best feeling and fastest of my race. At mile 7 or so I busted out of the clouds into the sunshine. From here I could see the top and knew the race was just about over. I made a nice push up the head wall and to the line with a strong finish. I ended up 56th overall in 1:20:44. The picture to the left is of overall winner Ricky Gates who made a mad sprint to the finish to break the 1 hour mark and pick up an extra $500 for doing so.

It was nice to be done. The weather up top was fantastic and I got to spend some time with my parents and teammates while the rest of the runners finished. Seeing my parents and how happy they were for me made me forget how miserable I felt about my performance....which was down right embarrassing. I am beginning to think that this mountain running thing is not for me. Two Mt Washington's and two disasters.....maybe the third times the charm? We will see. Next year is the 50th anniversary of the race and I am sure I will have plenty of friends and teammates in the race. So I may just have to give it one more go!

Full Race Results

Union Leader Write Up

Monday, June 15, 2009

Run 4 Rusty 4 Miler

I went to Concord NH on Sunday to race the Run 4 Rusty 4 Miler. This race is part of CARS (Concord Area Race Series), a great little race series consisting of 6 races in and around the Concord area. This was race number 5 of the series. Each participant must complete at least 5 of the 6 races to score in the series. This was race 4 for me as I had missed a race earlier this year.

On our way north to Concord the weather was not looking to good as we went through a few really good rain showers. This course has one mile which run on trails. So I knew that part of the race would probably be slower and messy. It rained pretty good before the race. But as the race was about to go off the rain slowed to more of a light drizzle.

I had decided during this race that I would take it pretty easy. Let others lead, and I was not going to push the pace early. I wanted to make sure my hamstring was going to be able to handle this faster pace. Most of all, I wanted to survive with out to much or any damage, Mt Washington is next weekend and I expect to be there and ready to run.

The race went out pretty slow. Eric Williams went right to the front and led a group consisting of Scott Clark, Connor Jennings, Dan Verrington, and then myself. Things pretty much stayed this way throughout the very flat first mile. Just before the mile mark Scott took over the lead as Eric slowed off the pace a bit. Connor, Dan, and myself moved up behind Scott at this point. The first mile went by in 5:23, pretty slow considering how flat it was. I was content to just hangout near the lead at this point as see how my leg would react to running at this kind of pace. The second mile is flat to down hill into the Sewall Falls area. Scott stayed in the lead during this mile as I moved up past Connor and Dan and onto Scotts shoulder. Connor and Dan stayed right with us. The second mile went by in 5:12. Just after the 2nd mile mark the course turns into the Sewall Falls trail area. The next mile is all trail with a lot of big puddles, a bit of mud and a couple of smaller hills. This was an area I just wanted to survive and get through without any leg issues. Scott seemed to press a bit through this area. I stayed right with him, Dan and Connor could not keep the same pace and began to fall back throughout the third mile. We hit the 3 mile mark with a 5:45 mile, A lot slower due to the Puddles, mud, and hills. We emerged from the woods together and I started to think about making a move. The hamstring was a bit stiff, but not to bad, so I wanted to give it a go and try to break Scott before we got to close to the finish line. With about 3/4 of a mile left there is a pretty good sized hill and this is where I decided to make my move. I pressed by Scott just before the bottom of the hill, he stayed right with me for a bit, but once we hit the hill I put a little bit of a gap on him. I pressed up the whole hill and managed to open up a pretty decent lead. I held onto that lead heading into the school and held on for a 5 second win. The last mile passed in 5:30. Full Results

The very fast and beautiful Heather Ann Searles was the first woman to finish and 11th overall. This was Heather's 5 race in the series and with her win Heather has secured the Woman's CARS Championship! Congratulations Heather!

1 21:51 5:28 Chris Mahoney 31 M 766 Haverhill MA

2 21:56 5:29 Scott Clark 43 M 708

3 22:24 5:36 Dan Verrington 46 M 814 Bradford MA

4 22:25 5:37 Connor Jennings 18 M 854 Concord NH

5 22:45 5:42 Kyle Audet 20 M 599 Concord NH

6 23:01 5:46 Eric Williams 44 M 822 Concord NH

7 24:46 6:12 Geoffrey Wilson 51 M 844 Amherst NH

8 24:49 6:13 Nick Watts 25 M 821 Pittsfield NH

9 24:51 6:13 Mike Barry 52 M 685 Northwood NH

10 25:18 6:20 Grant Fortier 27 M 721 Concord NH

11 25:22 6:21 Heather Ann Searles 26 F 804 Henniker NH

Friday, June 12, 2009

Training and Injury Update

The recovery from injury has gone like this so far:

6-6-09: 4 miles very easy in 34 minutes. Ran with Heather around St Paul's in Concord. Some really nice trails in the area.

6-7-09: 6 miles easy in 44 minutes at Smuttynose 5k. Run was ok, but leg was pretty stiff. Good news is that Heather won! She took home alot of swag including a case of beer.....yeah Heather.

6-8-09: Day off. Did lots of stretching and massage.

6-9-09: 6 miles easy in 42 minutes, leg felt pretty bad at first but got much better as run went on. Picked up the pace as this run went on and the leg seemed to loosen up pretty good.

6-10-09: 4 miles real easy in 30 minutes. Ran with Heather in Concord to preview the Run 4 Rusty course. The course is very nice. Pretty flat with 2 miles of road, then 1 mile of trail (mostly flat) and then 1 mile of road (one good hill) back to the finish.

6-11-09: 6.5 miles in 49 minutes with Seth on the Merrimack river trail. Run was going pretty well up till the last couple miles. The hamstring and knee really tightened up and made for a slightly uncomfortable finish. But at least there was no pain.

The plan now is to take today off and do some stretching and massage. Then run I will run an easy 4-5 miles Saturday and then run the Run 4 Rusty on Sunday. The goal is to finish the race in no pain while trying to run a "tempo pace". I hope to get back to a more normal training schedule next week.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Injury Update

Well all the racing and running has caught up with me. I am having some trouble with my left hamstring. It all started after running the Big Lake Half Marathon and then running the Bedford 12k then the next day running a XC race on a very tough course. Three very tough races in eight days did me in and as a result I am fighting a lot of hamstring tightness and pain while running.

I took off a week of running and saw Mike Toomey at the Sports Spa for some treatment. Turns out my hips are very tight as well and this may actually be the cause of my hamstring issues. So after some treatment and an ice bath I gave running a go on Saturday. Did 4 miles real easy and the legs felt alright, a bit tight but alright. The next day I did 6 miles real easy while Heather raced at the Smuttynose 5k. The legs felt OK, but still not right, a lot of tightness, but no pain. Today my hamstring feels pretty bad, very tight, so I am taking today off. No running, but I am stretching and trying to get things loosened up so I can run tomorrow.

So we will see how it all goes. I would like to be ready to run at Mt Washington. But this seems like its going to be one of those lingering injuries that will continue to haunt me for a while. I will keep stretching and working on it till its gone or it puts me out of commission for a while. I hope I win this one. I don't want to have to take off anymore time.