Wednesday, February 3, 2016

USATF East Region and NE Masters Championship

If it wasn't clear before that I focus much more on long distance events than short, it is now.  The fact that I was able to finish a marathon in October running in the 540's for my late miles, 2:50 to 2:55ish 1/2 mile splits and yet very much struggle to break one single 2:20 half mile clears that up for anyone that was unsure!

I went a bit outside my comfort zone and ran a track meet for the first time in many years this past weekend.  Since this event was right in the Turtles back yard we were able to corral a few others into showing up as well.

Dave Principe and myself ran the 3000, 1 mile, 4 x 800 meter triple.

Bob Corsi ran the 3000 and the 4 x 800

Brad Highcove went a bit bonkers and did the 3000, 60 m hurdles and the long jump!

Last and least...Dan Hawkins, the "non master" ran the 4 x 800 meter relay with us.

I knew this was going to suck, but I thought I could do relatively well and I know my ability good enough, that I don't generally set completely unrealistic goals for myself.

I thought sub 10, sub 5 and if the stars aligned sub 2:20 for the 800.

The 3000 was up first.

I seeded myself at 9:45, but thought I could run around 10 flat.

I felt that I got out well and ran through the mile pretty good.  Hitting that mark around 5:11 maybe 5:12.  Maybe in hindsight, that was a bit quick...but I wanted to get out and get grooving.  I ran alone pretty much the whole race in 3rd place...only to be passed in the last 2 pals and finish 5th and 3rd in my age group.  I finished in 10:03.34.  Just a bit over my goal, finishing pretty poorly in the lat 3 or 4 laps though.

Next up was the mile.  There ended up being two men's heats in the mile, which unfortunately meant I would not race against my High School coach Norm Bouthiller, I was however in the heat after his, so I got to see what he ran before I toed the line.

Me and Norm!

I felt like I raced a lot better in this one.  I got out slowly, stuck way back in the back and after going through the first lap in around 40 seconds, I made a move on the back stretch into 5th place and was able to pick off two more runners in the last few laps.  I went though the "half way" split in 2:31.XX and finished off on pretty even splits.  This was just over my goal of breaking 5 mins.  I finished 3rd in my race and 1st in my age group.

TNT 4 x 800 Team
Last race of the day was the 4 x 800 meter relay.  I was able to get together a full team of Turtles, which was pretty cool.  I wanted Dan Hawkins to anchor the team...but he wanted to go the order ended up being Me, Dan, Dave, Bob.  We were in a heat of 3 teams.  The BAA and an  unattached team.

I thought if the stars aligned I could go sub 2:20.  I got out well, stayed behind the other 2 guys though around 400 meters in 67-68 seconds and then just faded a bit over the next two laps, finishing in about 2:21.

Dan had a pretty good gap to make up, which he did pretty quickly and then he extended it by a lot!  Dan is more of a mid distance guy and it certainly showed!  He came though in a split of 2:06.

Next up, a not so middle distance guy...Dave.  He was pretty beat up after the first two events of the day and after the first lap it showed.  He was slowing gradually and Chris Lawrence from the BAA was eating up the lead that we had.  Dave was able to hold onto our lead by a few meters, running a 2:28, but we seemed doomed with Mike Galoob anchoring their team against Corsi.

Bob hung in strong the first lap, holding off Galoob until right after the start/finish line.  With 600s meters to go after being passed, Bob only lost 4+ seconds to Mike, running around a 2:18.

So, we finished with a 9:15.45 to the BAA's 9:10.88, to place 2nd and 1st in the "open" division.

All in all it was a fun day, after that damn 3000 was over.  There were a lot of people we knew there, so it was fun to see everyone race and do random laps in between races around South Providence!

Check out the FULL RESULTS!

Group at Ogie's

When all that fun was over, we had a good group head over to Ogie's Trailer Park for some beer and food.  The day certainly ended on a high note....I then headed home and passed out on the couch!

Monday, January 4, 2016

2015 Year in Review

Since I haven’t done much blogging, which I guess is normal…I thought I would do a short year in review. Here are my top 5 “best races” of 2015. Best races in my opinion, might be hitting a goal or over performing or maybe just doing something different!

Here are my top 5 races of 2015 in order from 5 to 1.

#5 – Wicked 20 Miler

For me this race was a huge confidence boost. It was just over 4 weeks before the Baystate Marathon and I went out with a goal of running marathon goal pace (6:06) which would be a 2:40 marathon. It was a super humid day, but I was able to hook up with one other runner after 5 miles and we worked together through around 15, before he pulled away and I held on to break 2 hours, sub 6 min pace. I was super excited to run negative splits and to feel great doing it. I had to work those last 5 miles, but it gave me the confidence I needed n the last few weeks before Baystate to believe I actually could break 2:40. Running this race was definitely the best decision I made pre Baystate.

#4 – Krispy Kreme Challenge

What can I say about The KKC? You just need to read my blog post about it. It was a long talked about trip and it finally happened. The cool thing is…I will be going back again this year! I hope to run about the same as last year and eat a bit faster. I am not sure how I am going to accomplish this…but I am going to try like hell!

#3 – Grog & Dog Jog

The Grog. This was my 8th Grog and Dog Jog. In 2014 my team lost by a single bite, no joke…it literally came down to a bite. This year I wasn’t messing around and made sure to get the best team I could. We went on to completely destroy the competition, running 3 mins faster than 2014. It was great to be back on top. This was our 7th win in 8 years! The Grog is always a fun time!

#2 – Ragnar Trail Relay New England

This was a race I got super excited about. I went on a tear trying to recruit every Rhode Island trail runner I could. I wanted to show the rest of New England that Rhode Islanders can run trails…even relatively hilly ones. In the end, the team ended up being pretty much me and a bunch of WTACers. We were sponsored by Foolproof Brewing Company and had a great time running hard, drinking a bunch of beers and completely destroying the competition. We won by over 3 hours...yes HOURS. It was pretty awesome and difficult and I am very glad we did it. We pushed ourselves in so many different ways.

#1 – Baystate Marathon

2:36:15!!! That pretty much sums Baystate up. I ran my first marathon in October of 2003 and have run a ton of them. Up until Baystate, I had only PRd in 2 previous marathons. In 2005 I ran the Hyannis Marathon and ran a 2:46:45...getting passed at 25.5 miles to end up in 2nd place. The next time I PRd was in 2009 at the National Marathon in Washington DC, I didn't feel like I was in shape to try to run under 2:40...but surprised myself with a 2:40:47. About 2 mins after finishing I was pissed that I didn't push harder near the end...thinking I let a great opportunity pass me by. I ran a couple more marathons after National...but started doing more ultras and stopped chasing times. I feel like so many people get caught up in running a Spring and Fall marathon year in and year out, constantly chasing a time...and they get burnt out. I think after running so well at the Pineland Farm 50 Miler in 2014 made me finally want to give the marathon another serious shot. I decided to run Cox in May of 2015, but I had no intentions on trying to break 2:40 or even PR. I just wanted to go out there and have a good solid race and then go for it in the Fall. I pretty much accomplished this. I slowed a bit in the last 3 miles, but I didn't have a full on bonk. I had a pretty serious funk going on after the Ragnar Relay in June and it took me a bit to get my rear in gear....but I was able to string together some pretty solid training and had the perfect day for a race and it finally paid off. I would be lying if I didn't say I wasn't pretty emotional crossing that finish line. It was a pretty amazing feeling. 2:40 was one of those goals I thought would never happen...but now I am wondering how much faster I can go!

Honorable mentions:
- Busa Bushwhack Trail Race: 2 weeks after Baystate, winning this race, beating the dude that WON Baystate, along with many other good runners was a super shock to me and a very exciting win.
- Shore to the Pour 3 Mile Beach Race: Awesome race put on by Two Roads Brewing Company, an awesome new race that will be added to the 2016 schedule.
- Fool's Mile: Putting on a Beer Mile at the Foolproof Brewing Company was pretty awesome. The race went well and this year we are going to have a more "official" event!


What will happen in 2016? I am not 100% sure yet. I ran my first race this past weekend. It went ok...I am fighting some sort of sickness and actually started antibiotics today, so I am hoping to get healthy and ready to roll soon.

The Krispy Kreme Challenge is 2/6/16. I have a little marathon in Boston to run in April...I won't attempt to PR in the marathon there, but still want to go out and have a good solid race. I plan on going back to Baystate in the Fall to see if I can get that marathon time a bit faster. I still really want to run a road 50 Miler, but it probably won't happen in 2016...but I am sure there will be various races thrown in throughout the year to keep things interesting!