Sunday, December 6, 2015

Buttonwoods 5k!

So, I am putting on a NEW 5k on New Year's Day in Warwick City Park! I am trying to post it anywhere and everywhere I can! So, why not do a quick blog post about it!

Mark your calendar for January 1st...a 5k on the West Bay on New Year's Day is on the way!

Start Time: 10:00am

Fee: $20 Pre entry - $30 Day of race.
Online registration is open!!

Come run or walk the wonderfully scenic path around Warwick City Park to start your New Year!

You will have an ACCURATELY measured course to run or walk on! Measured by the great Ray Nelson!

Super soft t-shirts for the first 75 entrants. (Will increase this number if numbers are high)

Awesomely Fun Unique Awards to Top 3 Male/Female Overall and 1st Place Male/Female Age Groups. 0-18, 19-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60+

Check out the Facebook Page for ongoing details!

And here is a photo....of nothing in particular!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Baystate Marathon

After the Ragnar Trail Relay at the end of June, I hit a low point in motivation...I was down and out, I had no desire to run and just wasn't into it.  I ran the Blessing of the Fleet at the end of July and "the not being into it" showed.  I totally gave up at 4 miles and just got though the race.  The week after that I ran the Run 4 Kerri 4 Miler and rebounded a bit from my piss poor Blessing and this got me a tad more motivated, so motivated that I said fuck it, I am going to sign up for Baystate, so that night I took the plunge and signed up.

The week after Run 4 Kerri, I jumped into the Bobby Doyle 5 Miler since it was a rare appearance of a USATF-NE Grand Prix Series in RI.  This race went way better than expected and from there on my training for Baystate was ON.

I ended up racing a few more times between Bobby Doyle and Baystate.  On August 22nd, I ran the Pour to the Shore "5k" Beach Race put on my Two Roads Brewing Company.  After that I put my focus on having good long runs and consistent training, nothing over the top, just solid paced long runs and decent mileage around 75 to 80 miles a week with a random 100 mile week that just happened thrown in there.  The confidence builder race came on September 19th at the Wicked 20 Miler in Salem, MA.  I was originally thinking of racing the 1/2 marathon there, but in the end I thought doing the 20 at goal marathon pace would be more beneficially and definitely a good indicator of exactly where I was with fitness...and hopefully a confidence booster.  All of that came true, which you can read about HERE.  After that I had a couple more solid long runs and two "supplementary races", the Fool's Mile and one week out, The Grog & Dog Jog.  Needless to say, I got a good mix of long runs, speed work and eating under my belt.

The Grog was one week out and other than a few PT trips to make me feel better about all of the lingering sorenesses I have been having and the random new ones that kept creeping up, I only had one more hurdle to overcome before race day....BEERVANA.  Beervana is my favorite beer fest and I have gone the last 5 or so years in a row...when signing up for Baystate, I didn't know Beervana was two days before!  Long story short, I went, behaved myself and drank pretty damn responsibly and got to bed at a normal hour and did not sabotage my race!

Me, Mark and Scott at Beervana

Race weekend.  Saturday was pretty uneventful, I got my bib #, hung out in the hotel room, ate, hung out, and went to bed.

Sunday was cold.  About 30 degrees when we headed over to the Tsongas Center.  Chilly for hanging out outside, but perfect for racing a marathon.  Everything went well pre race.  Pop-Tarts in the AM, parking, bathroom stuff...all good.  Even the off hamstring pains I was having on Friday and Saturday seemed to be all that was left was 26.2 miles.

I will keep the race stuff pretty short...

0 to 12 miles Dave and I pretty much ran together every step of the way, I stopped REALLY quick to take a leak at 6 or so miles.  I caught up pretty quick, without going too fast to do so, and Dave and I were catching a pack of three runners that went out with a larger pack early.  We caught and passed them right around 9 miles and then after the water stop near 12, before going over the Rourke Bridge, I got a small gap on Dave.  I got over the bridge and starting this 10 mile loop for the second time.

12 to 20 miles...after I realized that Dave was not going to come back up beside me, I knew I was on my own.  There was no one in sight in front of me and I had a lot of work to do.  I went through the 1/2 marathon in 1:18:57, pretty perfect for my goal of breaking 2:40, but with half of the race to go, I knew anything could happen and it usually does.  There was a slightly stronger headwind from 16 to 18 or so than on the first loop, I had been hitting pretty much right under 6 min miles and then had one that was a 6:04, which made me slightly nervous for a second, but I reminded myself there was some wind and it was still under the 6:06 pace I needed.  Before heading over the Tyngsboro Bridge for the second time, I could see an orange singlet and was happy that I was reeling a runner in.  I think I was in 7th at the time and went by this guy around 19.  I went through 20 miles in 1:59:19, give or take and had just run a 5:46 and 5:49 for mile 19 and 20 and was pretty excited that I felt pretty darn good.  I was getting into my stride and feeling strong.  I thought at this point that 2:40 would happen and that I just needed to hold it together.

Right after 22..
20 to 25 miles...after seeing the 20 mile split and feeling that I could reach my goal, I think I had some confidence that made the next few miles roll pretty well...I dropped mile splits of 5:45, 5:49, 5:46 for the next three, this included the point where I almost got run over by the Wicked Witch of the West!  After 23, I could see two runners in front of me and they were coming back fast, I passed both of them pretty quick and thought I was now in 4th place.  I headed around the corner and could see one more runner pretty far ahead, but I was still moving good.  Miles 24 and 25 were 5:54 and 5:55 and I found myself moving into 3rd place right at the 25 mile marker.

25 to the finish.  To my surprise, I was still running quickly, I was able to run the last down hill HARD and went through the 1 mile to go with confidence, I knew I would now not only break 2:40, but also break 6 minute pace!  My legs were pretty tired with a 1/2 mile to go, but I was cruising, I came around the final corner and sprinted all out to the finish, 57 seconds for the last 0.21875.  I had FINALLY broken 2:40 and not by a few seconds, but by 3 mins and 45 seconds!  2:36:15 net time and 3rd place overall.  My old PR (2:40:47) was from the National Marathon in Washington DC from 2009 and this was only my third marathon PR in the dozens that I have run.  Starting with marathon #1, here is my progression.

2003 - Hartford Marathon - 2:56:02
2005 - Hyannis Marathon - 2:46:45
2009 - National Marathon - 2:40:47
2015 - Baystate Marathon - 2:36:15

Dave finished in 6th place in 2:43:55, faster than Cox in the Spring, but a slight wrong turn cost him about a minute.

Full Baystate Results

After the race, we headed to the Lowell Beer Works which is right near the finish and had a few beers and some food to celebrate the hard work.

Check out some Level Renner Coverage of the race!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Fool's Mile

The Fool’s Mile at the Foolproof Brewing Company in Pawtucket was born on a Sunday morning while sitting outside having brunch at the brewery in July. I had picked up the flags from the previous days Run with the Beaver Trail Race and then headed over to the brewery for some Raincloud Porter Donuts, some Borealis Coffee served on Nitro Tap and of course have a few beers. One thing led to another and we got talking about beer events and I mentioned we should do a beer mile, I gave a look around and said…I would think the perimeter of this lot is pretty damn close to a ¼ mile.

Fast forward a few days and a plan was made to make it happen! We kept it pretty low key, with only social media advertising and word of mouth…we were a little unsure as to what to expect as none of us had actually done a beer mile! Anyway, I won’t bore you with the details…but we pretty much just winged it and on race day everything came together well from an organizational point of view. And the fact that the Peanut Butter Raincloud Porter came out that week as well, made it even better!


Start of Heat 2

I couldn’t have been happier with how smooth the event went…my race on the other hand, could have went better. I ran 8 miles that morning and got to Foolproof around noon to set things up. I had a Raincloud Porter pre-race because, well, it was offered to me and I was having a good time and didn’t really care how I did in the race. The first heat went well with no one throwing up, the second heat people were a bit more aggressive and three people threw up. I didn’t know what to expect for myself, I just wanted to get the beers down and see what happened. The third heat was made up of myself, Big Steve and Lesley Bunnell. We set off and Steve downed his beer quick, as expected. I wasn’t too far behind and caught him quickly and made my way around the Foolproof lot, probably a little too quickly. The 2nd beer was tougher, but went by pretty quick. I made another loop and started on the third beer, this one was TOUGH. When I finally finished, I started off  much slower and I could feel it. I made it around the building and started to dry heave…or something like that. Eventually some of the pesky foam came out and I now knew I had a penalty lap on my hands. I finished the lap off and told people I threw up and started on my 4th beer. This one was the worse…I had everyone watching and I now had a stomach that didn’t like me. I tried hard to get it all down…but my body again rejected what I was throwing at it. Finally I finished the beer (in hind sight I should have just drank the heck out of it, because it was coming up no matter what!) I set off to run my 4th lap pretty quick and ran through the start finish area pretty damn fast, this caught up to me a bit on the back stretch on wat was now my 5th lap…but it is only a ¼ mile…so I held on to finish in a stellar 9:57! haha I went by the finish line in 8:32 when I was heading into the 5th lap, that would have been a decent time…but alas…it was not to be. There seems to be a fine line between running and drinking too hard and keeping everything down in a beer mile…and I did not pass the test. The other two competitors in my heat finished pretty damn well, with Steve stealing the show coming through the finish with a 5th beer. Haha

Start of Heat 3

World of hurt...

The winners of heat #1 and heat #2 received a Foolproof T-Shirt and the fastest male and female of the day got some beer and some more FP merchandise. After the races, we headed to the Taproom to consume some PB Raincloud, among other beers and to overall enjoy the day with our fellow racers. After that we packed everything up, flipped some tires and headed out to grab some grub… running, beer, friends, beer, food and beer…sounds like a good day to me! Maybe there will be a Second Annual Fool’s Mile? 

Steve in flight!
Steve flipping tires

and Mark flipping tires?

Want to check out more race info? Check out Eric Narcisi’s Recap on Level Renner and check out Scott Mason’s Photos! Speaking of races that include consuming things, Mark and I signed up for the Krispy Kreme Challenge today, this will be our second year in a row heading down to NC. If you want to join in on the action…use this link to sign up, it will save me money!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Wicked 20 Miler

Over the last few weeks, I was looking at possibly running the Wicked 1/2 Marathon as something to race before the Baystate Marathon. I thought about it more and more and then decided I didn't feel like racing a 1/2 marathon, but trying to run marathon pace for 20 miles seemed like a good idea. I thought it would be a beneficial training session, if it went well I would have some confidence going into Baystate and it is definitely the type of run that is a lot easier with others around and having fuel on course. Training has been going pretty well, but having this long effort would be the best possibly indicator as to what I might be capable of in 4 weeks.

I decided I didn't feel like driving up to Salem at 4am on Sunday morning for the 7am start, so I left on Friday after work. I arrived around 8pm and grabbed some food and a beer at the British Beer Company. It was right around the corner from the hotel and a safe bet, since I have eaten there many times. I was in and out of there, back to the hotel and in bed by around 10pm.

Race morning, up at 5am and off to the race site around 20 mins away. I was a bit surprised to see the amount of cars when I got there, since I was just about an hour early and it seems people get to races later and later these days. However, all was well, there was plenty of parking and the bib pick-up was easy, leaving me time to check out the sites with the sun just rising. It was a cool morning, but it was humid.

Collins Cove

I did a short warm up of just over a mile...waking up the aches and pains that have been developing from training, everything seems to feel better after some running around, so I was good to go. I got over to the line and no one seemed to want to be on the line. This was a bit surprising, since there is a 10 miler and the 1/2, along with the 20 that I was running.

The nice part about the race was that they used different colored bib's so you could scope out your competition. There didn't look to be many "faster looking" people, but I did notice Erica Jesseman, whom has run under 2:39 for the marathon and I have battled with her in a couple races in the past. She was also standing with a runner that looked pretty quick. Other than that, it was anyone’s guess as to what would happen when the race started...and as it did a 1/2 marathoner was out like a rocket and I went out pretty easy and within the first 200 meters, it was pretty obvious there was not going to be too many people in front of me.

 As we headed out on the 2 “loop” course, I saw one 20 miler ahead of me, but that was short lived. Erica and her buddy were right behind me and within the first ½ mile there were only around 4 or 5 runners from the shorter distances ahead. A kid in a black singlet pulled up beside me before the mile, he had a 20 mile bib on and within a minute later Erica was with us too. We had gone through the first mile in 6:18, which was right where I wanted to be, not too fast, but not too far off the 6:05 goal pace. There was a lot of traffic to run though and a few small ups and downs as well. On the first longer downhill, Erica and black top dude gapped me and I let them go. I felt it was too early to be running that pace, if I was to stick to my plan. I did not know exactly what “that pace” was, as I decided not to hit any mile splits in the race and just go off feel like I have been in all my runs and just look at the overall pace here and there, but I just knew it was a tad faster than I wanted to go at 3+ miles in to a 20 miler. The way the course works, is the ½ marathoners did one big loop, the 10 milers did a slightly shorter loop, turning around 5 miles in and the 20 milers did the 10 mile loop twice. This information became important less than 2 miles after I was gapped. They had about 150 meters on me when we got to the 5 mile mark. I noticed others going straight, they went straight, but I also noticed an arrow to go around an island, where there was a water station and like 5 volunteers. I was almost by this island when one volunteer yelled, “half or 20?” in which I said 20 and then had to quickly make the turn that he didn’t make the other two take. I tried yelling at them, but they didn’t hear me. Erica’s friend/teammate was right behind me and he also yelled, but it became clear a little later, that they did not hear us. I am not sure how much further they ran, but they must have added on about a half mile.

So, now I was leading. Erica’s teammate Ryan pulls up next to me and him and I fall into a good rhythm together. It was good to have someone to run with (half the point of doing this race and not doing a solo long run). It got me into a nice race groove. We had some small talk, but I am not a big talker when racing. Turns out we are both running Fall marathons, he is running Hartford and was doing this race as a “tempo run” as he wanted to run 2:30 at Hartford. The middle miles, while running with Ryan seemed to be a bit quicker. I knew we had to be going just under 6 min pace at the slowest, it turns out we were, with splits of 557, 553, 558, 551, 556 from 6 to 10. We were together running through the start finish area, seeing the time on the clock at 1:00:12. Nice…even though I wanted to run 6:05 pace, which is my hopeful marathon pace, I also had an A+ goal of breaking 2 hours. If I could run strong though 15 and feel good, it looked like it was possible.

Ryan and I started out to do this loop again. We would see lots of runners coming from the other direction and would also pass lots of runner, between that and dodging cars, it kept things interesting. Ryan started pulling away a little bit around 13 miles. It was just enough to keep me going though. He had a tiny gap, but I was still able to work off him and now get into my own groove. This was good for me, because I will likely end up alone at some point at Baystate and will need to work through some rough patches etc. We came into the 15 mile spot, which would be our turnaround, this was good mentally, one more leg to run, 5 miles back to the finish.

On our return trip we finally saw Erica, and black singlet kid. She had a slight gap on him and we had a pretty good gap on them. At this point, I was just waiting for any slight downhill, my legs were pretty tired, but my energy level was high. I was pretty drenched from all the sweat, being such a humid day, but I had taken my two gels and had some water and Gatorade and felt like I was fueling pretty well. No cramps, no stomach issues, just some heavy legs. I never felt bad in the last 5 miles, but I was working a lot more now, counting down the miles, looking for mile markers. I tried to work the small downs, getting any momentum I could, especially knowing the last mile or so, was a gentle uphill back up to the finish. The hill is not steep, but it looks long, as the road is open with no tree cover and it was getting a bit warm too. I felt like I had a bit of an upswing in pace from 18 to 19 before hitting the uphill and I was just looking at the time on my watch assuming I would be right at 2 hours, counting down the mins to go. Eventually, I could hear people yelling and YAY, there is the finish area! I came around the corner with time to spare finishing in 1:59:52. I was about a minute behind 1st place. Full Results  I was pretty happy. I still felt pretty good, just tired. I grabbed some water, sat in the car for a few mins, trying to dry off and then I set out for a short cool down. My legs felt pretty good on the cool down.

Waiting for the awards took as long as the race did! But I came away with $200 bucks, a drawstring bag and a finisher’s medal.

The take home...

After the race, I had one thing in mind, Far From The Tree Cider. Any race I do, I look for a brewery or brewpub. In this search, I found a local cider mill. They were set up like any small brewery, tastings and growler fills. I had some time to kill before they opened at 12pm, so I grabbed a chocolate coconut iced latte from a coffee shop called Jaho Coffee & Tea, it was delicious. Then the walk to Far From The Tree began, it was about a mile away, I stopped at some of the Salem attractions, the Salem Witch Trials Memorial and The Burying Point, which is the oldest graveyard in Salem (1637).

Eventually making my way to the cider mill, tasting were $3 for (5) 1oz pours. They had 8 ciders on tap and you could choose (5). They were all pretty damn good. I think my favorites were the traditional dry cider and a smoked pineapple and jalapeno cider. The jalapeno was very very subtle; I think that’s why I liked it.

Far From The Tree

Cide list

Goodness to come

After some samples, I made my way back to the car with a stop at Tavern in the Square to have a beer…in a BOOT! I then stopped one more time at Joha for another latte and then back to Warwick I went.

Spaten Oktoberfestbier

All and all it was a super successful race, now back to the grind for the next 4 weeks until Baystate.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Krispy Kreme Challenge

This adventure started about three years ago. Somehow while having some beers with my buddy Mark, the discussion of the Krispy Kreme Challenge came up. We thought, ahh maybe next year! The next two years, this same discussion came up, again, usually after a few beers were consumed. Now, most races would not have taken me so long to do, but the Krispy Kreme Challenge is in North Carolina and a side note, my buddy Mark, doesn’t REALLY run. This hasn’t stopped him from being an active member of the Tuesday Night Turtles, he has run on TNT Grog & Dog Jog Relay Teams, has run in about (2) 5ks a year since graduating high school 15 years ago and was even stupid enough to run the New Bedford ½ Marathon…but he does this off of about 5 to 10 miles on average a MONTH. Also, if you haven’t clicked on the Krispy Kreme Challenge link yet…another reason this race took us a while to get to, is because of what it is. Let’s fly down to North Carolina to run 2.5 miles, eat a DOZEN Krispy Kreme Donuts, then run another 2.5 miles. It is one of those races that intrigues you but you forget about it for a while after you talk about it.
Well, three years of talking about it was what it took for us to sign up, which I did after confirming there would be no South Country 4th Season Trail Race on that weekend. I signed up and then texted Mark saying…your turn and so it was set in stone.

Now, although there was no real “specific training” done for this race by me any barely and running at all done by Mark, we both were taking it relatively serious. We both had our goals and both wanted to do the best we possibly could. The only thing we did do to prepare for race day, was watch lots of videos of the race and then procure some Krispy Kreme Donuts from Mohegan Sun to get an idea on the texture and squishability factor of said donuts, which we then each consumed (6) of in about 3 mins.

Fast forward to race weekend. Friday February 13th, we made the drive up to Boston to fly from there to Raleigh, NC. After much debate we decided on flying out of there as it was much cheaper and the flights were all direct with no layovers. We also decided to park there, it would only be a couple of days, so it would also be pretty cheap… We boarded our flight on-time and arrived in Raleigh at approximately 12pm. We walked outside into the unseasonably cold NC weather (30s) and hailed a cab to the KKC Expo! We picked up our race numbers and shirts and checked out the merchandise and more importantly the info at the Raleigh Brewing Company booth…they brewed a beer specifically for the race for that night, so we now had at one thing for our agenda for the night before the race.

From there we decided to walk the 1.7 miles, with our two carry-ons each, down to our hotel. It was a nice walk straight through the NC State campus, so we had plenty of company for most of it. All went well at the hotel check-in, we settled in and went out for an easy 3 mile run to scope out part of the course and also the brew pubs and bars that we had looked at going to after the race was over. After the run, we chilled out a bit and searched for a late lunch spot. Enter the Village Draft House. Conveniently located about ½ mile from our hotel and with 100 beer on tap, it was a no brainer! We sat at the bar and both ordered a North Carolina beer, always drink local! Both of us were super happy with our selections (my full trip beer list will be provided at the end of this long story) We decided that we would eat light now and then have something else to eat later on (in hind sight, we should have eaten a larger meal early and a lighter one later, since we will have to consume 12 donuts in that silly race the next day…oops). Both of our meals were good, as was the second beer…we wanted to stay there all night, but alias, we had a plan. We were now on our way to the Raleigh Brewing Company to try out that special K2C Pre-Gamer beer! We made the 1.8 mile walk there, walked in and right away were in love with this place! It was in a warehouse type building, there were barrels filled with aging beer, there was a large list of beer, Ms. Pac-Man, Galaga, board games, dogs…you name it…they had it! We went up to the bar and grabbed our pints full of 8.7% rum barrel aged dark ale. This beer was great! We drank those down while playing some Ms. Pac-Man, grabbed one more beer, drank that and bought a bomber for the hotel. We decided to stop back at the Village Draft House for some more food and one more beer. We were back to the hotel with the bomber poured by 8:30 and sleeping before 9:30. So, we got to bed pretty early, but probably shouldn’t have filled our stomachs with so much stuff! I think that was my first thought when the alarm went off at 6:45 am. OH, I forgot to mention, the hotel alarm clock also went off, but at 3am at full volume! Thanks asshole, that set that before he checked out!

Bell Tower

So…RACE DAY! I was not in my normal race day routine. I had a small bit of a pop-tart and a very small amount of water, I did not want to fill my stomach up anymore, it already felt full. I headed out at 7:30 to get just over a mile of running in…it was in the low 20s and felt brisk. I headed back to the hotel and Mark and I walked the ¼ mile to the start line EARLY. This race has a lot of people, 6000+ and we did not want to get caught too far back in the pack of crazy college students.

There were a lot of interesting sights up at the start. Runners were dressed up in everything imaginable. After a bit, we decided to get into the starting area and then wait what felt like forever for the race to start. 20s felt pretty cold standing around in shorts.

FINALLY...the countdown and the gun went off. I started about 3 rows back to ensure I didn't get dragged out too quick. I am pretty sure I was in 100th place though the 1/4 mile. My legs felt super stiff from standing around in the cold so long. After about a half mile, I felt like I was getting into a groove of sorts. I was passing lots of people and was in the top 25. The first 2.5 miles to the donuts is more downhill than anything. Lots of flat, but a net downhill for sure. My plan was to run around 5:30 pace to the donuts; I thought that was a pace that was quick, but not so quick that I would feel like hell when I was handed a dozen donuts to eat! Through 2 miles, I was still passing some runners and feeling pretty good. My stomach didn't feel great, which worried me a bit, but overall I thought things were going OK.

Finally, we rounded the corner and could see the Krispy Kreme sign and the boxes and boxes of donuts. I am pretty sure I was handed my box of donuts in about 13th or 14th spot, running 5:33 pace, right around my goal time. I took the hand-off and ripped the box open while running towards the water area to find a spot to eat. I made my way over to the furthest table, for a quick getaway after consumption, and got situated with my box on the ground. I noticed what technique the top runners/eaters were going with and decided that was what I would do too.

I set out a few cups of water and put donuts in each one in order to get them soggy. I was shoving bits and pieces into my mouth, probably too much at a time, I felt like I was making no progress. I was within an arm length of 2-time defending champion Tim Ryan and kept looking at his box of donuts to compare progress. He was eating a lot faster than I was. I was doing a better job of making a mess than actually eating the donuts. I looked down mid-eat and was overwhelmed at the amount I had left. This was not easy.

About 10 mins after I received my box of donuts, I was finally heading out to show my empty box and begin my 2.5 mile jaunt back to the finish. I got going pretty good once I left the eating area. My gloves were soaked and sticky with donut glaze that I could smell all the way back. On the return trip, you start passing runners in the "casual" category right away; these are runners in the race that are just out there for a good time, they do not have to eat all or any of the donuts, therefore not eligible for prizes. Having these slower runners on course was a great motivator. I was passing people left and right. I went through the first mile in around 5:35, which I was very pleased with, must have been all the sugar I just consumed!

Turning a corner around the 1.5 mile mark and then up a hill took a bit out of me, I was finally feeling it a bit. I was still passing people though and some of these runners were challengers. Finally we took the right onto the road the race started, there was under a mile to go and it is a straight shot back with gradual hill, but you could see other runners, so I started focusing on one at a time, with about a half mile to go, I noticed a runner I had seen on the way first thought was, man I don't want to have to out-kick this guy, I am not sure my stomach can handle that! I was hoping I would catch him soon enough before the finish line to avoid any kick and puke scenario! Well....I caught him with about 400 meters to go, I tried to go by him immediately, but he reacted. We were stride and stride around the rotary and up the last hill to the finish line, I let him get a step or two on me, then attacked....nipping him at the line by less than a second! Ugh...that hurt. Fortunately, nothing came up. Wow that was hard!

We finished!

I wrote the above about a month ago! The race was on February 14th and I just suck at blogging. Anyway...the rest of the story will just be recapped.

I finished in 19th place in 37:17 and Mark ended up running faster not he way back then on the way out and breaking his goal time and finishing in 159th place in a time of 46:48. See Full Results HERE!

After the race there was some settling time to ensure the stomachs were fine, then we did what we do...went to brewpubs! We hit up some great places, I will include a list with the beer list below!

Now...for the not so fun stuff. We were supposed to fly back to Boston on Sunday...but our flight was canceled, we figured this would happen, wince the Northeast was getting hit with a blizzard. But one thing led to another with plane maintenance issues and all sorts of other delays including SNOW in NC!! So we ended up flying out on Tuesday afternoon instead of Sunday morning. It got frustrating to say the least. We were very happy to be home. Once I spelled in after a long day of traveling, I got ready and headed to Turtles for my biggest fear was missing my Tuesday night run!

We might be here a while!

So...there you have it, FINALLY the KKC story.

Beer List
Samuel Adams - Cold Snap (Logan International Airport)
Raleigh Brewing Company - Hidden Pipe Porter w/Oak City Coffee (Village Draft House)
Raleigh Brewing Company - K2C Pregamer (brewed for the race) (Raleigh Brewing Company)
Raleigh Brewing Company - Hidden Pipe Porter w/Oak City Coffee (Raleigh Brewing Company)
Foothills Brewing - Sexual Chocolate (Village Draft House)
Raleigh Brewing Company - House of Clay IPA (Hotel Room)


The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery - Milk Stout (Flying Saucer Draught Emporium)
New Belgium Brewing Company - Portage (Flying Saucer Draught Emporium)
Trophy Brewing Company - Double Death Spiral (Trophy Brewing Company)
Ska Brewing - Hibernal Vinifera Stout (Drink Drank Drunk)
Foothills Brewing - People's Porter (The Alley)
Deep River Brewing Company - 4042 Stout (Village Draft House)

The Village!

Raleigh Brewing Company - The Miller's Toll (Raleigh Brewing Company)
Raleigh Brewing Company - Hell Yes Ma'am (Raleigh Brewing Company)
Raleigh Brewing Company - City Of Blokes (Raleigh Brewing Company)
Bull City Ciderworks - Rhiz Up! (Raleigh Brewing Company)
Lonerider Brewing Company - Sweet Josie (Texas Steakhouse & Saloon)

Cat on a leash @ Trophy!

Big Boss Brewing Company - Hell's Belle (Raleigh Durham Airport)
Natty Greene's Brewing Co. - Buckshot Amber Ale (Brixx Wood Fired Pizza)
Double Barley Brewing - Thrilla' In Vanilla Porter (Brixx Wood Fired Pizza)
Lynnwood Brewing Concern - Big Papi (Hotel)
Fullsteam Brewery - Fearrington Winter Coffee Pecan Porter (Hotel)

Growler at the hotel.

Love the logo.

Friday, January 23, 2015

2014. It happened

A very late and down and dirty year in review.

My year started with (3) main goals...

Run my best 50 miler ever at Pineland Farms 50 Miler, finish my first 100 fast as possible and run an even faster 50 miler at the JFK 50 Miler in November to end the year.

How did this all shake out?

Well, Pineland went great.  I ran over a 20 minute PR and was able to kick hard to break 6:30, finishing 6:29:57 and grabbing 2nd place in the process.  It was a great feeling to put together a great race in I think my 5th? 50 miler.

Vermont 100 miler.  Well....I started the race and had horrible quad pain really early in the race.  I was barley moving at 30 miles and finally called it a day at around 58 miles, instead of crawling in the next 40 miles...I went to the Harpoon Brewery for lunch and a refreshment.  Maybe I am not cut out for the real long stuff?

Post BR Trail Race.

After VT 100, I got back at it pretty quickly, wanting to run a decent marathon on the tough Adirondack Marathon course in preparation for JFK.  After Adirondack, I felt pretty burnt out.  The year of pretty consistent training and longer racing had gotten to me.  I decided to pull out of JFK and rest up for a month or so and get refreshed.

So, I finished the year 1 out of 3 for my bigger goals.  But, that doesn't mean other races didn't happen.

Some highlights for me in 2014 were...

Mike Galoob and I at SS Nationals

  • Winning the relay portion of the National Snowshoe Championship with Mike Galoob and Steve Dowsett.  Handing off to Mike after winning my lead off leg was quite the rush.
  • Winning my 2nd South County 4th Season Trail Race Series
  • Surprising myself by running under 16:50 at the Gaspee Days 5k 2 weeks after my 50 miler.

  • There were some not so great moments as well...mainly losing the Grog & Dog Jog by literally a bite.  We were going for our 7th title in a was a hard loss to swallow ;)

    On the Race directing side...The RTB Trail Race and the RI 6 Hour had their best turnouts yet and then there was The Quahog Mile "failure" everyone loved it...but it just didn't work out!

    Eating like a Hillbilly at the Grog.

    Hillbilly Turtles

    2015 is an open year for me.  I am not sure what I will be aiming for.  I did start the new TNT Hard Shell Race Series for Turtles, so I will run at least six of those races. I will remain focused on running the best I can in the trail series...with the longer races coming up, I am a bit more comfortable.

    In February, along with my buddy Mark Howard, we will get to run a race that has been on our radar for over three years, the Krispy Kreme Challenge!  It should be awesome.

    Beer and coffee with volunteer extraordinaire M. Howard post Quahog Mile 

    Dave Principe and I will run the COX Marathon at the beginning of May.  I haven't put much focus specifically on a marathon in a while, so I am hoping for a good showing there.

    After May, who knows!  There are so many great races and I would love to do them all....

    Friday, January 16, 2015

    Resolution Beach & Trail 5k

    I am a bit late on this...I tend to start blog posts and then I don't finish them, mostly because they are full of rambling randomness.  I have a post basically started and finished for the Mayor's Cup in October and the Newport 10k from December....maybe I will finish those up next.  In the mean-time, here are some thoughts from this past weekends race!

    The second race in the South County 4th Season Trail Race Series, the Resolution Beach & Trail 5k was this past Sunday. I also chose this race to be the first race in the NEW TNT Hard Shell Race Series.

    With that said, I am generally not a huge fan of this race. I don’t like running on the beach and I am not a huge fan of 5ks. This is my third year doing the race and I think I have finally come out of it, believing I actually DO like the race. The last three years at Resolution have all been a bit different. 2013 the course had a bit of snow and it was a gloomy windy day. I came away with the win, in a time of 18:12. Last year, it was a beautiful sunny day, with some wind, but mild temperatures. I was able to run a bit faster with an 18:00…yes, the dreaded ZERO ZERO. This year, I knew the race would be fast. Road ace Eric Lonegren would be toeing the line and I knew Garvin was in pretty good 5k shape. I was not so secretly hoping his recent illness would slow him down, but that was not to be.

    When I arrived to the race, RD Mike Galoob had just gotten back from marking the course and he said the conditions were FAST. The sand was frozen and the wind was light. The trails had a bit of ice and snow, but nothing to worry about. One step onto the beach on our warm up confirmed Mike’s statements, the beach was firm. We had 15 Turtles show up for the race and most of us did the warm up together and most had on the Anti-WTAC shirts I had made up. We completed most of the course to make sure we knew what to expect and headed back to the cars to get ready to rock and roll.

    Say NO to WTAC!

    My plan going in, was to ignore Lonegren. He should be well ahead of me and I expected that to happen early. Well….the race didn’t play out that way. Instead Steve Brightman took it out hard. It was him leading with Garvin on his tail with me a few steps behind and Lonegren on my shoulder…well, maybe not shoulder, I think he comes up elbows…so with Eric on my elbow, we get to the turnaround, a half mile in and I took the turn better than most and came out ahead. We were all with in a couple steps. I kept creeping down the beach to make sure I was on the hardest possible sand without running into oncoming traffic.
    Just over a mile in.
    We went by Galoob and he said we had a good gap. Eric went by me as we approached the mile; this is where I thought he would be leaving us. But I made a few hard steps and stayed with him, I guess we went through the mile in around 5:13. Garvin, Eric and myself made our way through the two turns heading into the grassy trail leading up to Ocean Road and were all within a couple steps of each other. We made it up to the road and Eric created a little gap. Again…I thought this was it, but I pushed a bit and was right next to Eric once again. We made the turn into Black Point and I tried to push, as I thought this would be Eric’s weakness….but there was no separating, after the hard right hand turn, Garvin and Eric went by me and created a small gap. I pushed to maintain, hoping I would be able to make up some ground on the only tough downhill on the course, Garvin and I went by Eric here and Garvin gapped me a bit on the bottom…Eric followed right away and they both created the gap that ended up being the end of the race for me. I still pushed hard, getting through the house without much trouble and hitting the beach with a half mile to go. I finally took a glance at my watch and saw 5:33 pace! Whoa! This was going to be a fast one. Seeing this time on the watch gave me that little be of motivation I need to push it at the end even though I had no one near me. In the end I finished in 17:14, 46 seconds faster than last year. Everyone was finishing with super-fast times. Obviously the main reason for this ws the conditions, the sand was fast and the wind was blowing ever so lightly. The other big deal for me was running with people though 2 miles. In 2013 I took the lead early and never looked back, last year I was gapped early and was chasing just far enough behind that it was of no help. This year, I took a few chances and was able to hang tough trough 2 miles. I got gapped bad in the last mile…but overall I am pretty darn happy with the results. Mike had a lot of great beer prizes and there was a great turnout for the race, 173 finishers!! Taking a quick look at the results and there were around 70 runners in the race that signed up as part of a team. I love seeing the interest in trail running in RI expanding. We will see how many of these runners get out there for the longer and more technical races that are ahead!

    Next up in the series is the Belleville Pond 10k, in Ryan Park.  Could we have dry conditions at this years race?

    But before that, I have an indoor mile tomorrow and then the Super 5k on 2/1.