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

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Training 8/23 to 8/29

8/23 Monday: 10 miles in 71 minutes

Rattlesnake Hill Road loop. Felt good today, the cool weather and misty rain were awesome!

8/24 Tuesday: AM: 8 miles in 58 minutes PM: 5 miles in 39 minutes

AM: Easy run up to the center of Andover, did 8 x 20 sec strides.

PM: Easy running in the rain with Heather.

8/25 Wednesday: 10 miles in 74 minutes

Rattlesnake Hill Road loop. Felt ok, the hamstrings felt a little tight.

8/26 Thursday: 5 miles in 40 minutes

Early morning treadmill run.

8/27 Friday: 10 miles in 74 minutes

I felt like crap today. I don't know why, yesterday was a short easy day and I was expecting to feel good today.

Note: Got pretty sick Friday afternoon and night.

8/28 Saturday: 8 miles in 59 minutes

Easy running out to Crystal lake. Big night tonight, I am the best man at my friends wedding! Time to have some fun!

8/29 Sunday: OFF

Recovery from wedding. Headed to Portsmouth for the air show. Nothing like trying to beat a hangover on a 110 degree tarmac with fighter jets screaming overhead.

Total: 56 miles

Not exactly what I wanted, but I will take it with no longrun and a day off. Next week will be closer to 70 miles. Then I need to stay up there for a bit.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Saunders at Rye Harbor 10k

On Thursday August 19th Heather and I went up to Rye, NH for the Saunders at Rye Harbor 10k. Last year I ran Beach to Beacon 10k in 33:12 and then Saunders 10k (19 days later) in 32:46. I was 26 seconds quicker over the Saunders course, which I think is a faster course than the Beach to Beacon course. This year I ran 32:33 (a PR) at Beach to Beacon and now, 12 days later found myself again at the Saunders road race. Part of me was excited thinking that I had another shot at running a fast 10k, part of me was also thinking that my lack of running much over the last 5 weeks was going to catch up to me sooner or later. After we picked up our numbers Heather and I ran into Jim Johnson and soon the three of us headed out over the last part of the course for a warm up. After a quick change into racing gear we were all headed over to the starting line.

At the starting line I also noticed a couple other fast guys in John Mentzer (last years champion) and Tim Rider. Soon we were all off and running. Right off the start it was Jim, John and myself went to the front followed by a few other guys. By the time we hit the mile (5:08) it was just the three of us together. At this point the course is mostly flat with some very slight ups here and there, but nothing I would call a hill. As we approached the 2nd mile mark I was starting to realize that I was not having a good day, the legs were gone, and I was feeling slow and sluggish. Jim and John started to pull away and I soon hit the 2nd mile mark about 10 seconds back of them in 5:17 (10:25 total). At this point I knew I was not going to be able to run with Jim and John today, but I still figured I could grind out a decent time. I pushed the third and hardest mile of this course the best I could and could only manage a 5:34 mile (15:58 total). At this point I was told by a spectator that there was no one behind me, so I figured I must have had a pretty good lead over 4th place. At this point Jim and John had put a lot of distance on me and it looked like they had a great race going. The next three miles of running were pretty uneventful, I was running by myself I was hurting and just trying to finish the race up and stay in third place. The last three miles are downhill to flat and I figured I should be able to hang onto third place as long as nothing crazy happened. I managed to run 5:31 (21:29 total), 5:29 (26:58 total), and 5:35 (32:33 total) for miles 4, 5, and 6 respectively. I did take a peek back going around the corner to the finish and saw nobody, so I knew I was good for 3rd place. I finished up the last 0.2 in 1:10 for a total time of 33:43 good for third place.

I was not very happy with this result, but I kind of expected things to fall apart soon since I have been running little mileage over the last 5 weeks. This will serve as a nice little kick in the rear, if I want to race with those top guys I need to get out there and put in the work. Heather finished up her race strong in 39:27 good for 2nd place. After the awards it was off to the Portsmouth Brewery for some much needed diner and drinks.

Jim and I enjoying a cold one after the race.

Training 8/16 to 8/22

8/16 Monday: OFF

8/17 Tuesday: 5 miles in 39 minutes

8/18 Wednesday: 4 miles in 29 minutes

8/19 Thursday: 11.2 miles in 77 minutes

Saunders 10k road race. Did 2.5 miles of warm up, 6.2 miles in 33:43 good for 3rd place, 2.5 miles of cool down. Race report coming soon!

8/20 Friday: 8 miles in 68 minutes

Easy running on the Merrimack River Trail with Heather.

8/21 Saturday: 14 miles in 1 hour and 41 minutes

Easy running over to and around Kenoza. Had an old guy with a pick axe scare the crap out of me....he informed me not to worry...he was just digging up rocks! Then it was off to my good friend Ryan's bachelor party!

8/22 Sunday: OFF

Recovery day :)

Total: 42.2

Another not so good week of running. The wheels really feel like they have fallen off. The race on Thursday was not a really good follow up to my Beach to Beacon race from a couple weeks ago. Its time to step it up and get back to some real training again. Its time to get ready for some fall racing.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Beach to Beacon 10K

On August 7th Heather and I went up to Cape Elizabeth Maine for the 13th Beach to Beacon 10k. This race is one of the biggest and fastest 10k road races in the world. The race attracts some of the fastest runners not only in the northeast, and the US, but in the world. I ran this race last year and had a blast, I was really looking forward to getting another chance to run this great event. Last year I ran 33:12 good for 44th place overall. I was actually pretty happy with this result as I had just got back to racing after a long layoff due to a hamstring injury. This year I wanted to be faster. I went in with three goals. The first to beat last years time, the second to run 5:18 pace (32:51), the third and my reach goal was to run a personal best.

After waking very early and making the long drive up to Cape Elizabeth Heather and I collected our race numbers and went back to the car to relax. The weather could not have been better for an August race, it was cool, the humidity was low, and there was a slight breeze. Soon it was time to warm up, we did two miles real easy, then threw on the racing shoes and headed for the starting line. Getting up to the front took some time, but we made it with plenty of time to spare and got to see the wheelchair racers go off. We also got to see and hear Joan Benoit Samuelson welcome all the runners to this event that she a large part in getting going.

Then it was time to race! The gun went off and I fought my way through the slower traffic that some how managed to get elite numbers. I actually did a much better job at this than last year and got myself into a good position early on. I tried to stay relaxed knowing that the first mile is fast and that I would get carried along by the large group of runners in front of me. I went through the first mile in 5:02, which was fast, but expected. The next mile I settled in and felt pretty good. I was still slowly passing a lot of guys and elite woman who got out quick in the first mile. I even remember passing marathon great Catherine Ndereba of Kenya at this point. Around this same time I hooked up with a pretty big group of younger, probably college aged guys. I would spend most of the rest of the race with some of this group. We passed the second mile in 10:24 (5:22 mile) a bit slower than I wanted but overall I was still in good shape thanks to a quick first mile. I was feeling pretty good still, but starting to wonder when it would all fall apart for me. Through the next mile the group of guys I was with started to get smaller as quite a few guys went off the back, it probably had something to do with the 5:06 third mile (15:30 overall) we were putting in. After a quick climb up a small hill we hit the 5k (half way) mark in 16:08. At this point I was really starting to feel it. I was thinking that maybe I had gone a bit to quick and that the rest of this race was probably going to hurt a lot. I was also thinking, I could still hit my goal of 32:51 if I just relaxed and ran 16:43 for the second half of the race. I was also thinking about the hilly section in the last mile that was probably going to hurt my chances of finishing near my goal. Over the forth mile the group I was with pretty much disappeared as guys fell off the pace and some picked it up. By the 4th mile (20:51, 5:21 mile) I was pretty much on my own and really just trying to concentrate on keeping my pace up and taking things one step at a time. I was just thinking about getting to the 5 mile mark, which I got to in 25:58 (5:07 mile). Thanks to some slight downhill in the 5th mile I was able to put together a quick mile and I was thinking that I would still have a pretty good shot at a good time if I could just survive the hills late in the 6th mile. The 6th mile hurt a lot. I really tried to get after it and push up the hills the best that I could, but I was hurting. By the time I made it to the top of the hills and made the turn into the fort I was toast. I had 3-4 guys blow by me as I headed towards the 6th mile mark. Which I hit in 31:31 (5:33 mile). At this point I did everything I could to run as fast as I could down the path to the finish, which was slightly downhill. I actually thought I might have a slight chance at my PR (32:34) if I could put together a good sprint to the finish. I hit the line not knowing what my time was....but I knew it was going to be really close to my PR. I would have to wait till the official results were posted.

After watching Heather finish we went for a cool down and then we headed over to the results board to see the official results. I finished in 32:33.7 good for 48th place and a new 10k personal best!!! I was pumped! I really didn't see this race coming out like this at all. I never thought I was even close to PR shape. I guess the miles from earlier in the year and the recent "rest" set me up for a strong run. Even better was learning that Heather also ran a personal best for 10K! So it was a great day for both of us out there.

I am at about the 1:30 mark.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Training 8/9 to 8/15

8/9 Monday: 7.1 miles in 53 minutes

8/10 Tuesday: AM: 4 miles in 31 minutes PM: 7.1 miles in 54 minutes

8/11 Wednesday: 8.2 miles in 65 minutes

Running in Umstead State Park, a great place to run. I even saw a deer and an owl on my run. Ran some sections pretty hard....just because it felt good to push a bit.

8/12 Thursday: 9 miles in 70 minutes

Another early morning run in Umstead State Park. Still loving this place for running.

8/13 Friday: 5 miles in 38 minutes

Easy running from home with Heather

8/14 Saturday: OFF

8/15 Sunday: OFF

Went hiking with Heather. We did North and South Twin and Galehead. It was a great day to be out in the mountains!

Total: 40.4 Miles

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Canterbury Woodchuck Classic 5k

On Saturday July 31st Heather and I went up to Canterbury, NH for the 16th Annual Woodchuck Classic 5k. This was the final race of the CARS series and the goal was just to survive the race and hang onto 2nd place in the series. My legs were still killing me from Tuesday's Yankee Homecoming race, they were very tight and still sore in some spots. So I figured there was no use in trying to kill myself here and end up hurt. As long as I finished this race in a reasonable time I was going to finish 2nd in the series. After a 2.5 mile warm up with Heather is was time to head over to the starting line and get on with the racing. The only problem is the first part (100m or so) of the race drops off a cliff! The downhill is severe and I was really worried about how my legs were going to handle it. The immediate goal off the line would be to survive the downhill then get to the racing.

Soon we were off and running....well at least everyone else was. I practically walked down the first hill trying to make sure I kept my legs in one piece. By the bottom of the first pitch I was probably in 20th place or so. Once off the steep pitch I started making my way towards the front of the race. The first mile is still mostly downhill so my pace was pretty quick. I passed Scott Clark and Chris Apkarian and soon I was chasing down the leaders. I hit the 1 mile mark in 4:54 despite my very slow start and I was now with Tim Cox, Ryan Kelly, and MacKenzie Killpatrick was in the lead by another 10-15 meters. Soon after this we were on dirt roads making our way up a small hill and around a farm, that's when all of us at the front of the race got a surprise. From around the corner of a barn came a flock of sheep right out in to the middle of the road! MacKenzie out in the lead got by them as most of the sheep made for the side of the road and a few played chicken with him. Some of them were also startled and ran for it, mostly on the sides of the road, but a couple decided playing chicken with us was more fun. Only in New Hampshire! Once past the farm the dirt roads continued. As we were getting close to the 2 mile mark it became apparent that MacKenzie was extending his lead and that Tim, Ryan and I were going to be left to battle it out for 2nd, 3rd, and 4th. We passed the 2 mile mark in 10:13 (5:19 mile) and soon the up hill fun began. We were all together at first, but soon Tim went off the back and Ryan and I pressed the pace to make sure we got away from him. Over the next mile of mostly up hill running Ryan and I went back and forth. We made our way towards the finish and up the final incline. At this point my legs were gone and I was just trying to get away from him any way I could. We hit the 3 mile mark together in 15:49 (5:36 mile) and I went for it. The only problem was there was not much of a kick left in me. Ryan covered my move and took off for the finish with a nice burst of speed, there was no chance I was going to catch him now. I hit the finish line in 16:22 (33 second 0.1 mile) good for 3rd place over all. Ryan finished in 16:18 for second, and Tim finished in 16:37 for 4th place. MacKenzie won the race in 16:09.

Overall I was happy with the race considering how bad my legs felt going into it. I kept 2nd place in the CARS series (winning $200) and didn't do any more damage to may already tight and sore legs. Heather ran a great race finishing first in a course record of 19:00. To bad she couldn't find one more second to get under 19 minutes!

Yankee Homecoming 10 miler (July 27th)

On the evening of Tuesday July 27th Heather and I went up to Newburyport, MA for the Yankee Homecoming races. Heather was running the 5k and I was running the 10 miler. I wasn't going to run this race, but once I heard the Whirlaway guys were getting together a team I decided to give it a go. Due to my recent issues with not running much because of my foot and my stomach I tried to keep my goals reasonable. First goal was to finish without making a bathroom stop, the second goal was to relax and put in a solid effort, the third and hardest goal was to try to maintain 5:30 pace and finish under 55 minutes. The last goal was one I was not sure I could obtain. After a short 1.5 mile warm up (because of traffic we were late) I was as ready as I was going to be. The weather was very hot so I opted for the shirtless Whirlaway uniform.

The gun went off and the race was on! I tried to keep things easy in the first mile, but I ended up going out a bit quicker than I wanted to. I deleted my splits by accident so my splits are from memory or estimates. I was hanging with Whirlaway teammates Brandon Newbould, Mark Hudson, and Jose Ortiz. We were all pretty close together for the first couple miles, the first going by in about 5:15 and the second mile in about 5:18. Going through downtown Newburyport I started to lose some ground on Brandon and Jose, I was also trying to keep up with Mark, but by about 3 miles I was starting to lose ground to all of them. My next couple miles were a struggle. My stomach was not to happy, and I was getting an awful acidic and heartburn feeling off and on. At this point Jim Johnson went by me and I couldn't react at all, soon after 5 miles (which I passed in about 27:20, 5:28 pace) Mike Quintal and Ryan Aschbrenner went by me. I continued to suffer till about the 6 mile mark with stomach and heartburn like issues......then they went away. Soon I was catching back up to those guys in front on me. I caught up to Ryan Aschbrenner, Mike Quintal and I think it was Joseph Ekuom. By about 8 miles I had passed all three and was pretty pumped that I was feeling good running hard. I could see my teammate Jose a ways up ahead and I was doing my best to keep focused on him and try to push up to him. Then I heard someone behind me, it was Mike Quintal who had made back up the ground I had put on him. I decided that at 9 miles I would try to get away and make a long surge towards the finish. At 9 miles I picked it up and Mike went with me for a little bit.....then I felt some space open up. So I pushed a little harder to make sure I put him away. Soon I was making my way onto the school grounds and onto the field for the finish. I held onto my position and finished in 55:13, good for 13th place overall (results). The Whirlaway team finished 2nd to CMS

I was disappointed that I am still having some issues with my health, but I was really happy that I rebounded late in the race, ran strong, and made up ground and even passed a few people. In the end I put 13 seconds on Mike in the last mile, which I was excited about because Mike is running really strong this year. Heather also ran a solid race finishing 3rd overall female in the 5k in 18:50 (results).

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Training 8/2 to 8/8

8/2 Monday: OFF

Recovery from hiking.

8/3 Tuesday: 7 miles in 54 minutes

8/4 Wednesday: 8 miles in 59 minutes

8/5 Thursday: 5 miles in 38 minutes

8/6 Friday: 4 miles in 32 minutes

8/7 Saturday: 10.2 miles in 65 minutes

Ran the 13th Beach to Beacon 10k in Cape Elizabeth Maine. Warmed up for two miles, ran 10k in 32:33 (results) good for 48th place and a new PR!! warmed down for 2 miles. Race report coming soon!

8/8 Sunday: 10 miles in 75 minutes

Total Miles: 44.2

A better week of running, tried to stay rested up towards the end of the week for Beach to Beacon. All the rest (lack of running) the last few weeks has paid off I guess! A new PR is always a great thing. Time to get back to running more if I want to run a marathon this fall.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Training 7/26 to 8/1

7/26 Monday: OFF

7/27 Tuesday: 14.5 miles in 90 minutes

Yankee Homecoming 10 miler. Warmed up for 1.5 miles, ran 10 miles in 55:13 (results) good for 13th place overall, warmed down for 3 miles. Hot out there, but race went better than expected. A short race report to follow soon!

7/28 Wednesday: 7 miles in 56 minutes

Felt awful, like post marathon awful. The legs are destroyed. I have never felt this bad after a 10 miler.

7/29 Thursday: OFF

No way I can run today. I can barely walk.

7/30 Friday: 5 miles in 40 minutes

7/31 Saturday: 8.6 miles in 64 minutes

Ran the Woodchuck 5k in Canterbury NH, the last race of the CARS series. Ran 2.5 miles of warm up, raced 5k in 16:22 (results) for third place, and 3 miles of cool down. Short race report to be posted soon.

Hiked about 4 miles into Rocky Branch shelter and camped overnight on our way to Mt Isolation.

8/1 Sunday: OFF

Hiked to Mt Isolation and back out. About 10 miles of hiking today. Great Day to be on the top of a Mountain.

Total Miles: 35.1

Another pretty bad week running wise, but the race went better than expected. I guess I must be rested! Hiking was a blast, I love being out there in the woods!

Training 7/19 to 7/25

7/19 Monday: 7.1 miles in 54 minutes

Absolutley aweful run today. Had to stop multiple times. I feel like crap. I may have left Mexico.....but Mexico hasn't left me.

7/20 Tuesday: 9 miles in 66 minutes

Still not feeling right. The run today was better, but still not back to feeling or running well.

7/21 Wednesday: OFF

7/22 Thursday: OFF

7/23 Friday: OFF

7/24 Saturday: 5 miles in 35 minutes

7/25 Sunday: OFF

Total Miles: 21.1

An awful week of running. I was really not feeling well at all, making each run a terrible experience. To top things off my right foot has been killing me, and is very sensitive to the touch. I hope all these days off rectify this stomach and foot situation.