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

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Training 6/21 to 6/27

6/21 Monday: 8 miles in 60 minutes

This was suppose to be a very easy run. It started out as such, but later turned into a Deerfly tempo run. I hate those things!

6/22 Tuesday: OFF

Work got crazy and my legs were just killing me today. I was going to force a run late, but Heather talked me out of it. Thanks.....I probably needed a day off.

6/23 Wednesday: AM: 5 miles in 39 minutes PM: 9.2 miles in 68 minutes

All easy running. Hit the trails of Winnikini for a bit in the afternoon.

6/24 Thursday: AM: 10 miles in 73 minutes PM: 5 miles in 39 minutes

AM: Easy running with 6 x 20 sec strides.

PM: Easy running with my favorite training partner.

6/25 Friday: 8 miles in 60 minutes

6/26 Saturday: 9.3 miles in 60 minutes

3.1 warm-up, race 3.1 in 16:21, cool down 3.1. Ran the Plaistow Old Home Day 5k. Race report coming soon!

6/27 Sunday: 16.1 miles in 1 hour and 58 minutes

Ran with Craig Fram and Jim Quadros. Ran from the Whirlaway. Nice easy long run.

Total miles: 70.6 miles

Another solid week of 70+ miles in 6 days of running. Started the week feeling pretty rough, but finished up with a nice confidence booster race and a nice long run with some teammates.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Mt. Washington Road Race

On June 19th I ran the 50th Mt Washington Road Race. This year it was the US Mountain Running Championships. My last two Mt Washington experiences have been pretty awful, so this year I took the "just have fun" approach. I did my best to have fun, but it was still a most miserable experience. I don't have very much to say about my race. Below you can find my brief description of the race and some pictures.

I did a 3 mile warm up on the Great Glen Trails at the bottom of the mountain while Heather drove my truck to the top. The weather was already getting hot and I knew that this was going to be a tough one. After a quick change into my racers I was off to the starting line. The goal was to go out slow, try to stay comfortable, run for as long as I could, and have fun/enjoy the race. The cannon went off and I made my way towards the mountain and settled in behind about 4-5 of the top women. For the first mile I actually felt alright and started thinking maybe I would be OK and would have a decent race. By about 2 miles I knew I was going to have another miserable hour of running and walking up the mountain. At 2 miles I started my run, walk, run, walk thing and tried to laugh at how stupid running up a mountain is. The next 5.6 miles was just a whole lot of pain and a slew of people passing me. I just wanted the race to be over. I was happy to finally reach the top of the mountain in 1:19:43. This was good for 76th overall and 70th male finisher.

I am beginning to think that mountain running just is not my thing. In my last three Mt Washington's I have had tons of people beat me that I have never lost to on the roads. I have learned my lesson, I don't run well in the mountains, I will stick to the flatter races.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Training 6/14 to 6/20

6/14 Monday: 9 miles in 67 minutes

6/15 Tuesday: AM: 5 miles in 39 minutes PM: 12 miles in 79 minutes

AM: Easy running in the early morning.

PM: 3.5 miles warm-up then 2 x 3 mile at marathon pace with 400m rest after each (17:17, 17:18) 2 miles warm down.

6/16 Wednesday: 9 miles in 68 minutes

6/17 Thursday: AM: 5 miles in 39 minutes PM: 9 miles in 68 minutes

Both runs easy.

6/18 Friday: 8 miles in 61 minutes

6/19 Saturday: 14.6 miles in 2 hours 15 minutes

Mt Washington Road Race. 76th place overall, 70th male, in 1:19:43. Race report to come soon!

6/20 Sunday: Off / Hiking

Hiked the Wildcats. Had a great day and even some wicked weather as a thunderstorm came through while we were up on the ridge.

Totals: 71.6 miles

71.6 miles of running over 6 days, plus over 9 miles of rugged hiking in the White Mountains. A good week!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Training 6/7 to 6/13

6/7 Monday: 7.2 miles in 54 minutes

6/8 Tuesday: AM: 4.5 miles in 34 minutes PM: 8.2 miles in 60 minutes

6/9 Wednesday: 10 miles in 72 minutes

Rattlesnake Hill Road loop

6/10 Thursday: 8.3 miles in 59 minutes

Did 6 x 20 sec strides in the last couple miles

6/11 Friday: 10.6 miles in 75 minutes

6/12 Saturday: 7.8 miles in 54 minutes

Run came easy today. Running 6:40s the last few miles.

6/13 Sunday: 15.5 miles in 106 minutes

Solid run. Felt really good and the quicker pace came very easily.

Total Miles: 72.1

A very good week of running. No workouts, but the miles were there and I was feeling good by the end of the week.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Old Sandwich Road Race

"Plymouth's Old Sandwich Road was originally a trail used by the Wampanoag Native American tribe and later became the nation's first true public road and a stagecoach route to ferry passengers and mail back and forth between the Massachusetts towns of Plymouth and Sandwich. It remains now pretty much as the Pilgrims left it. It’s a wide, scenic, dirt road bordered by beautiful tall pine trees and towering oaks." -OSRR Website

On Sunday June 6th Heather and I went down to Plymouth Massachusetts for the Old Sandwich Road Race. I have been looking forward to this race for a long time for a few different reasons. First of all is the course, its unique with most of the course run on dirt roads and on many of the roads I trained on back in the day while living in Plymouth. The race also finished at Plymouth South High, which I graduated from in 1996. When I first heard about this race I knew there was no way I could miss it. I had to get down there and run the dirt!

After making the long drive down to Plymouth I checked in and got my number and timing tag. The course is a point to point course, so I boarded a bus with my buddy Steve Infascelli and we were off to the half marathon start at Ellisville Harbor State Park. The course runs on dirt roads for the first 6.5 miles, during those miles you have some rolling up hills in the first couple miles, then one larger climb and then some flat areas before hitting the pavement. Once on the pavement you have some more rolling hills and then a down hill to about the 8.5 mile mark. Its here that the work really begins. From this point till about the 11 mile mark you are climbing consistently and gain over 200 feet in elevation. Once past the 11 mile mark its back to rolling hills again until you hit the grounds of Plymouth High School and the stadium style finish on the track. Overall the course gains a net total of over 200 feet. I decided my plan would be to go out conservatively at about 6 minute pace and see how things felt, and see what the competition was like, then press the pace a bit but make sure I still has something left for the long climb back to the school. After 2 mile warm up with Steve, it was time to head to the start and get the race going!

As the race went off three of us went to the front including Steve Infascelli, David Corbett, and myself. The first mostly uphill mile went by in 6:01. I turned to Steve and asked him if the pace was good, he said no. I was pretty sure then, that I would be on my own for the rest of the race. I passed the next mile in 5:42 and I was now alone as I headed for the first real climb of the race. At about 2.5 miles I turned onto an out and back section of the course and this is were the climbing began. After making it over the top and to the turn around I started heading back down towards the other runners. I passed mile 3 in 6:06. Just after this I got my first look at who was behind me. At this point I had a pretty big lead over David Corbett in second and Steve Infascelli hot on his tail in 3rd place. I made my way downhill back to Old Sandwich Road and continued on my way to passing the mile 4 in 5:21. At this point I was feeling pretty good physically and also feeling pretty good about winning the race, as long as I didn't have some kind of disaster over the remaining 9 miles. I decided to try to settle around 5:45 to 5:50 pace over the next few miles until I got to the long climb at 8.5 miles. I did this pretty well running 5:42, 5:47 5:53, and 5:40 for miles 5, 6, 7, and 8.

At 6.5 miles, just after coming off the dirt, I was met by Heather who was on the bike and out on the course to support me. She let me know there was no one behind me and gave me some encouragement. During mile 9 I hit the start of the long climb. I passed 9 miles in 5:52 and I was really starting to feel the climb, the effort was getting much harder and I really had to concentrate to try to hold down a solid pace. I passed mile 10 in 6:10 and mile 11 in 6:00. At about this point I had made it to the top of the climb and the next mile was rolling as I made my way to the finish area. Mile 12 went by in 5:59 and I started making my push for home. At this point I knew I had the race won and I knew I would be close to breaking 1:17. So I made the decision to try to get under 1:17. I dropped the pace a bit and made the turn into the high School and then onto the track. I went through mile 13 with a 5:49 and made the push for the finish crossing the finish line in 1:16:53.

I was pretty happy with how the race went. I was able to stay relaxed for most of the race, and make a nice push up the hills later in the race and then finish strong. Steve ended up finishing in second place, a 1-2 sweep for Plymouth South Alumni!

For a first year race I have to say that race director Craig Brenner and his crew of volunteers did an absolutely fantastic job. The course they set out is awesome, it was well marked, and the volunteers both on the course and at the start and finish areas were great. I recommend to anyone looking for a new and unique event to check this race out. Run the Dirt, Run the History, Run Plymouth!

Patriot Ledger Article

Monday, June 7, 2010

Training 5/31 to 6/6

5/31 Monday: 9.1 miles in 62 minutes

Ran the Pembroke Titans 5k in Pembroke, MA. Did 3 miles warm up, 5k in 15:34, and 3 miles cool down. See my race report below for all the details.

6/1 Tuesday: 7.2 miles in 54 minutes

Very easy running. Legs felt a bit tired and heavy, I was feeling yesterdays effort.

6/2 Wednesday: 10.5 miles in 74 minutes

Felt really solid today. Run was really coming to me and the pace was dropping the whole way. Finished up with some miles in the 6:40s and 6:30s.

6/3 Thursday: 10 miles in 66 minutes

Rattlesnake Hill loop. Warmed up for 4 miles then went right into 6 x half mile with 2 minutes rest. I did this workout on the roads and just used the Garmin for distance. Ran all of them in 2:32 to 2:39. I felt pretty solid and was happy with how this workout went.

6/4 Friday: 8.2 miles in 61 minutes

Easy running from work. Felt pretty slow and heavy.

6/5 Saturday: 6 miles in 46 minutes

6/6 Sunday: 18.1 miles in 1 hour and 56 minutes

Ran the Old Sandwich Road Race Half Marathon. Did 2 miles of warm up, 13.1 miles in 1:16:53, and 3 miles of cool down. Finished first over a challenging course that features plenty of dirt road and hills. Full race report to come soon!

Total: 69.1 miles

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Titans 5k Road Race

On Monday May 31st I headed down to Pembroke, MA for the Pembroke Titans 5k (results). Greg Zopatti, a former high school foe from Weymouth, and UMass Amherst teammate is the Pembroke High Track and XC coach and he invited me down for this race. After I got all signed up and such I headed out for a warm up over the course with Brian Cronin(Former UMass teammate, and another former High school foe from Weymouth), and Courtney Wilk. It was great talking to Brian and hearing about how other guys from the UMass days were doing. Soon we were back from our warm up and it was time to get in racing mode. After putting on my racers I headed over to the starting line for some last second strides. After a few instructions from Greg, who was riding in the back of the lead truck, it was time to race.

As the race went off we had a lead pack of John Noland (a super star master runner), Brian Cronin (AKA Randy Dangerous in the results), Wesley Gallagher (very fast highschool miler), and myself. We followed the lead truck, which was playing some great music, on the downhill first mile. Which caused us to go out pretty quick and within the first 1/2 mile or so I was in the front leading the train down the hill. At the bottom of the hill we made a right onto High Street which is where the course levels out and rolls for a bit. I was still pressing the pace pretty good and I could still feel someone right on me. I figured it was either John Noland or Brian Cronin. But I was not going to look, I figured I would just press on and try to break whom ever it was. I found out after the race that it was actually the high schooler Wesley Gallagher who was on my tail. Just before we made our next turn there was a slight uphill to contend with. I did my best to maintain a solid pace and pushed up the hill pretty hard. This where I first noticed I had a gap on Wesley and I pushed on even harder to make sure I put this race away right here. After making the right onto the appropriately named Mountain Ave you have a bit of a downhill and flat before hitting the biggest hill on the course. This gave me a chance to recover a bit and get ready to tackle the monster hill that was coming up at around 2 miles in. I hit the hill and tried to maintain a hard but relaxed effort, I figured at this point that I had the race won, as long as I did not blow up or do anything stupid. I crested the top of the hill and got a brief rest on the flat section afterwards. Soon I made another right hand turn onto Center Street and headed back towards the start/finish area. The course here maintains a gentle up hill and I just made sure to keep a solid pace going till I got to the finish. I arrived at the finish line in 15:34 good for first place and $100. A nice way to start the day. John Noland actually caught Wesley on the way to the finish for second place in 15:56. Wesley finished in 16:03 for third place.

I was pretty happy with this race. It was nice to get out there and be able to run fast and also do it pain free. The knee issue I had going on seems to be under control and feeling good. This was a fun little race on a nice challenging course. Thanks to Greg, Infa, and Rick for putting on a great race! Thanks to my brother Ryan and my niece Calleigh for coming to check out my race and cheeer me on!

Also check out Southshoreracing.com a great website that Infa is working on. Its dedicated to the racing scene on the south shore from highschool track and XC to road racing.