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.