Friday, May 12, 2017

Breaking Bob

A rare non-race post. There is not a USATF-NE GP race until June, but I will be racing again soon. I wanted to get my ass in shape and run well at Ribfest, but the harder I tried, the less motivated I have gotten. I came to the realization that I am just not having fun with it. I am forcing runs and feel like hell most of the time. I am achy and beat up. So, I decided to stop focusing on getting in shape. I am just going to go out and do whatever feels good on any given day. I am going to race just for the sake of doing a race and not care how piss poor I do…and let me tell you, it will be bad!

So, what does “have fun” mean? I guess whatever. For now, I am going to try to get back on the trails more. Try to do some races I have never done and re-visit some that I have not done in years.

So, first up is the VCM Relay. I was fortunate enough to get an entry through my involvement with Hoka One One New England. I will be running the 2-person team. I have run the VCM Relay like a million times with the Turtles, but not since 2009. We had many memorable and can’t remember trips to Burlington. I have run the 5-Person team with 5, 4 and 3 members. I have also run the 2-person team alone the day after running the Wachusett Mountain Race. (My teammate was injured).

The next race after that will be the Cranmore Mountain Race. The last and only time I ran this race was also 2009! That was a rough race. It was my first real mountain race and I sucked! I don’t climb that well, I am heavy and that doesn’t help my climbing. This year’s course has some pretty solid downhill and I think I can do well on that section…the rest; well the rest will be a lot of suffering. But…FUN right?! Haha. I am looking forward to it.

So since I decided to start doing more trail race and uphill racing I thought I should start getting back on the trails. I ran a very rainy easy short trail run on Saturday, it was more like a river run…but it was a ton of fun. Last night I headed over to Lincoln Woods with my goal to get in a good amount of uphill running and to do a fartlek of sort and basically stumble around the trails making myself suffer.

Well, mission accomplished. I was sucking wind on the long and steep ups. I was hammering the downhills and I had no clue where the hell I was going. I went around the baseball field in the park which along the fence was saturated with mud and water, I just barreled ass through it…the moms and dads gave me some interesting looks!

So with my new found sense of enjoying running…again…maybe I will actually get in shape…maybe.

Speaking of trails and whatnot.  I starting this NE MUT Blog...and there is a Facebook Page as well.  Basically a round up of anything I see about NE MUT running.  If you have anything interesting to share...please do. 

Monday, April 17, 2017

Doyle's Emerald Necklace 5 Miler

I love this race. It is really a party that happens to have a race before it. This was my 7th time at Doyle's. Sometimes I run slow, sometimes fast. This year was more on the slow side. I didn’t expect to run well and I was right! The good news is that I believe I finally figured out my “injury” issues. I finally was able to get to PT and get some stuff sorted out and am no longer in pain. So, I am very happy with that and ready to get training a bit better.


The race… The start was delayed over 20 mins, which kinda sucked. But, hey what can you do? The horn went off and off we went. I tried not to get out too fast, although I was out faster than I should have, knowing that I am not in great shape. I am sure that affected my race a bit, but not too bad. From the mile to 2 mile, I slowed down a bit, but I felt half way decent.

After that, it just went to shit. I was not in it mentally and really just got through it. I really didn’t care and just felt out of it mentally. I picked it up a bit in the last mile, that little bit of downhill certainly helped! Anyway, I finished it off “strong” and got to the important part of the day…BEER and friends.

We had a good group of people there and had some fun drinking beer, enjoying the sun and petting fun dogs!

Our personal beer table.


We stopped at the British Beer Company on the way home for some good grub and then called it a night!

I was much more successful bowling in a bowling tournament on Saturday at Alley Katz in Westerly. Coming in 13th out of 117 bowlers in the Over 200 Average Handicap Division and coming in 2nd in the Doubles Under 400 Average Scratch division with my teammate John. 1st would have been better…we missed that by 3 pins!

Alley Katz.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

USATF-NE GP Race # 2: New Bedford 1/2 Marathon

The second USATF-NE GP race was upon us and another race where my body was not happy with me leading up to it. I had a solid 2 weeks after Amherst, one really good work out and then woke up one morning with some pain in the back of my knee, in which I ran 13 hilly miles on and then the next day I had to stop mid-run because the pain was too much. The was the Sunday leading up to New Bedford. I had pain to the touch behind the knee into my outer hamstring on Monday and somewhat on Tuesday. I took those two days off, along with Wednesday to be sure I was doing everything I could to make it to the starting line on Sunday. I haven’t taken three days off in a week in about a year. I ran 2 miles on Thursday with no pain, but a very tight leg. I then ran 3 miles on both Friday and Saturday with no pain and less tightness, so….what’s 10 more miles?

The weather leading up to New Bedford was looking a bit ify at best. On Friday the forecast called for 3 to 5 inches of snow and 20 to 30 mph winds. YAY! When all was said and done, the temps were good, there was no snow or rain…BUT there was a lot of wind. New Bedford is always windy, but this was WAY windier than usual.

Around 5 miles

So, onto the race… The gun went off and.....we walked over the line. Once we got going we hit some swirling odd mostly headwind through the 1st mile. I wanted to run in the 5:45 range for these first few miles and I hit the first mile in 5:46. I was trailing a large pack that was about 20 feet ahead of me, so I made a small surge to catch up. There had to be 25 guys in this pack, it was nice to just latch on and let the pack do the work. Unfortunately the pack was short lived. We only stayed together through around 2.25 miles. Hathaway Road went by quick, the wind wasn't blowing as bad there and it got down right warm as the sun popped out. I felt like I worked way to hard from mile 3 to 4, only to run a 5:59 mile. After that mile we were on the fastest section of the course. Dave caught up to me and I felt a bit better, felt like i started rolling well. The next 2 miles were 5:25 and 5:36. The speed came to an end shortly after that as the wind started blowing again, but we were able to slide through 9 miles at 5:45.3 pace. That' where all the fun would end.

As you hit the 9 mil mark you could look down and see the white caps crashing in the harbor and the flag straight out flapping away, in the unfavorable direction. Once we hit that corner it was like hitting a wall. The wind would blow hard then a tad less, then harder. Dave had 15 secs on me at this point, but was basically alone up ahead. I had the advantage of having 3 or 4 guys to run with. We were in a pack bouncing off each other as our bodies got hit by the wind in different ways. It was brutal. We caught up to Dave just before the 10 mile mark, which I hit in a blazing 6:30. The next ¾ of a mile were no better, we were just getting beat down by the relentless wind. Finally hitting the 11 mile mark in 6:21 we were clear of the worst wind of the day. My legs were left feeling like Jell-O and as much as I tried to push on, I just couldn’t get it going. Hitting the 12 mile mark brings on the hill and one last kick in the balls before having some downhill to the finish. I did not run the hill well and for once Dave actually gapped me on a hill! I was passed by a couple runners when we crested and I was just done. I gave one hard push when we turned the corner onto Rt 6 and got hit by more wind. We turned the final corner onto Pleasant Street, ironic no? And I was able to muster up something that resembled a kick to pass two runners that passed me at the top of the hill. My finish time was 1:17:47 (same pace as Baystate?) It is not a time to be thrilled with, but considering I wasn’t able to finish my run the previous Sunday, I am happy with how I performed.

After the race, a very short cool down back to the car was all I felt like doing as it was getting pretty chilly and then off to The Pour Farm for some tasty beverages and food.

I have now run New Bedford 8 or so times. It was my first ½ Marathon, it is a race I have run hard in and PR’d and a race that I have used as a marathon paced long run. So, I have experienced it in many different forms. This year’s weather added to the variety! One thing that has stayed the same at New Bedford and I am surprised by it every time for some reason…but the cops out working the race are by far the most friendly encouraging cops I have ever encountered in a race! It is great to see!

Anyway, onto the next USATF-NE GP race at the Frank Nealon Boston Tune-Up 15K in Upton, MA on April 1st.

If anyone is looking for some fun at the end of April, there is only one place to be…The Fool’s Mile at the Foolproof Brewing Company. Come check it out!