Friday, August 18, 2017

Bobby Doyle 5 Miler

I was not set on running this race until the day before.  I signed up early in the day, after getting back from running 13 miles in and around Big River.  I didn’t want to race, I would have been happier to get in a long run, but the people I usually run long with were either doing this race, or not available to run.  Soooo….I knew the only way I would make sure to get in a decent day of running was to go to the damn race.

After my 13 miles on Saturday morning, I spent 6 hours at the bowling alley,  bowling in a tournament and drinking beer.  It felt like a repeat of the Run 4 Kerri the week before.  Fortunately that was not the case.  I woke up a little tired, but not feeling like the previous week. 

My original plan was to get down to Narragansett early and get in 5 miles before doing another 3 warm up before the race.  That was the only thing that I sabotaged.  I slept a little later and only got in 5 miles before the race.

It was overcast and muggy as fuck.  It was not like last year’s horrible weather and it certainly was not like last week’s awesome weather…but it was not weather for fast times.

Although the race was not in the USATF-NE GP Series this year, the race organizers decided to keep the team prizes for USATF teams only.  Jim Pawlicki organized a team over the last month or so and we were able to field both Open and Masters Teams.  We were one runner short of a 50+ team.

Anyway…that was added incentive to run….so here is the race recap.

The first mile is fast and with the millions of High School kids in the race it was fast…I am usually good at not getting caught up in such craziness and did a good job not sprinting out in the first ¼ mile.  I fell in behind Dave and could see Josh and Joe from CMS just ahead.  Teammate Kevin Gorman of Level Renner fame went by me around 0.5 miles.  After the mile, 5:31, I went by Dave and Kevin and shortly after Joe.  Josh would stay ahead throughout the race, I came up on him a few times, but he kept gaping me again.  From 2 on the race was just a grind.  It was humid as hell and nothing felt easy, but we got though mile after mile and final made it past the 4 mile marker.  Before this point I had no clue where the others were behind me, but just after 4 Joe went by me and pulled up along side Josh.  I was waiting for the whole slew of them to come by at this point.  We made the turn onto South Pier Road and headed towards the finish.  This road sucks, it is slightly up hill….VERY slight…but it is straight and just seems to go forever.  Finally I could see the sign where the ¼ to go mark was.  I was keeping Josh and Joe within kicking distance and all of a sudden Joe waves me by…I thought he was letting me go to just out kick me later!  Turns out he said after that he was just spent and feeling like shit.  Right around the same time that Joe waved me bye, I heard someone say, “Go David”  Oh shit!  Dave is right there too!!  This cheering was added incentive to keep at it.  We turned the final corner and through the 8k mark to the finish.
Turns out the 5 scorers on the CMS team were all damn close.  We all finished within 20 seconds!

40th-Josh Perks             28:40.0
42nd-Robert Jackman   28:46.0
43rd-Joe Shairs             28:51.0
44th-David Principe     28:52.0
47th-Kevin Gorman      29:00.0

CMS guys heading out for a cool down.


So a better race then the last, but over a minute slower than 2015 at the same race.  Training over the last few weeks has been good and this week is going similar.  Consistency is the key and I am finally getting to that point at least!

Friday, August 11, 2017

Favorite/Best Races

The other day I was thinking of all the races I have done over the years and all the ones on the list that I still want to do!  I figured I would compile a list of what I think my top races have been over the years.  I picked based on the basis that I really enjoyed the race or would love to go back or just a great experience.  Races that stick out I guess.

Krispy Kreme Challenge – I have run the KKC 3 times now and I plan on going back again and again.  2.5 mile run, consume a dozen donuts, then run back 2.5 miles.  It is horrible and awesome at the same time.

ENDURrun – 160km over 8 days with 7 days of running.  The last day is a marathon.  The people are great. 

Transrockies – 6 days of racing in the Rockies.  Awesome way to see the Colorado countryside.

Empire State Building Run Up – Short and sweet.  Run from the bottom to the top, ending outside on the observatory deck.  It is wild.

JFK 50 Miler – JFK is just an awesome ultra.  It is big and different then others I have run, I plan on going back eventually.


Grog and Dog Jog – Team running and eating event with costumes….nothing more to say!

What are some of YOUR favorite races?

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Run 4 Kerri

This year’s Run 4 Kerri was all about the great weather.  Too bad I am not in great shape and had too much fun at Foolproof’s Augtoberfest the night before the race to have taken full advantage of it. 
I woke up the morning of the race feeling like hell, a headache, no desire to get out of bed, just felt beat overall.  I finally rolled out of bed and into the shower, hoping this would get me out of my haze a bit…

I finally stumbled out of the shower and proceeded to brush the beer taste out of my mouth and get my things together.  My shoes were drenched from sweat from the prior days 13+ miler, which was supposed to be 10…so I just threw my racing shoes in my bag and used those for the warm up, race and cool down.  There was a stop at the gas station for gas and Gatorade and then off to Matunuck Elementary School.

It was an amazing day…it was cool, it was not humid and the sky was beautiful.  Soon after arriving I grabbed my bib # and threw on my running shoes and soon after that a group of 7 or 8 of us went out for a warm-up.

The race…
Zak and I had talked about started relatively easy and trying to pick it up.  This sounded great, because I was not in any shape to go out hard; having someone that I have raced with and run 1000’s of miles with would also make the race easier...

Yadda yadda…the race starts and Zak, Kaela O’Neil, Dan Hawkins and myself became a group pretty quick.  I believe there may have been a couple others early, but I don’t recall.  Through the first ½ mile or so, I felt pretty good, but unless you go out like a complete asshole, there is no reason you should feel bad a half mile into a 4 mile race.  We had thought around 5:50 pace would be a good start and we went through around 5:43, so a tad quicker, but not too fast.  The next mile went by pretty smooth as well.  We were all still together and we were catching up to some people that may have started out a bit too quick….like they always do.  We hit the 2nd mile in 5:40.  The next mile is the toughest on the course in my opinion.  There is no huge hill or crazy headwind, it is just the 3rd mile of a 4 mile race and you are on a straight road for about half of it, where I tend to fall asleep and then you turn into a twisty neighborhood then finish the 3rd mile with the only hill on the course.  So, with all that said, I made a conscious effort yo try and push on the long straight stretch.  When I did this the pack broke up a bit, I am not sure if I just pulled away or what, but I started reeling in a dude in blue and I saw Dave not too far ahead.  I caught blue man at around 2.5 and started the twisty neighborhood section…got up the goddamn hill, hitting 3 in 5:49 and tried to get my legs back after cresting.  I was doing my best to try and get closer to Dave, but after 3.5 I don’t believe I got any closer, but it kept me going for sure.  With around 0.4 to go, you take one last 90 degree right hand turn, when I took that turn I could see that Zak wasn’t too far back, so the motivation to keep the pedal on the gas just went up a notch, I am not going to catch Dave, but I sure in hell did not want to get caught by Zak!  The last bit of the course is a slight up, a slight down and then about 200 meters on the driveway to the school.  I kicked hard and was able to get under 23 mins, with a 22:56.  Not too bad the way I was feeling that day!  I ran faster than Arnold Mills, but had way better weather.  Hopefully a decent performance will get me going.


A big group of us did the course again for a cool down, I bonked pretty hard.  I just wanted Gatorade and food.  Awards happened reasonably quick considering the timing companies issues….and off to Mew’s we went for lunch…14 of us in fact!  All in all it was a good race and I even picked up a prize!  Haha.  

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Arnold Mills 4 Miler

I am on a blog roll!

Last year was the first year I had ever run the Arnold Mills 4 Miler and I enjoyed the race, I also had a pretty decent race, running 22:16.



This year, I had no thoughts of running the race, but as it turned out, many Turtles were going to run, so I said what the hell.

Dave and I did a WO the Thursday prior, which went way better than expected. We then pushed our long run up to Saturday instead of Sunday to have one extra day to recover before the race, however that was one less day to recover from the WO before the long run. My hammies were screaming! It was a brutally humid day for the run too, but we got it done, 16 miles in the bank.

I ran easy Sunday and Monday and planned on running Arnold Mills as a work out. My plan was to start right around 6 min pace and try to pick it up.

I felt a bit sluggish on the warm up, but my hammies were way better than Saturday. The weather was way better too. The humid conditions of the early weekend were gone and we were left with sun, a slight breeze and warm, but not HOT conditions.

The gun went off and the heard of high school kids that run this race were off. Through the first ½ mile I must have been in 50th place. I felt smooth and relaxed. The GPS had around 6 to 6:10 pace throughout and I went through the mile in 5:53…so pretty much spot on. At this point I was passing loads of people and still felt pretty solid as we looped around back to the same road the mile is on to go through the 2 mile mark in 5:48; so far mission on track. After the 2 mile there is a slight downhill that I really tried to open it up on and track down the 2 runners ahead of me. I ended up catching and passing both of them prior to the 3 and could now see Dave ahead having his own battles. I went through 3 in 5:40.

The 4th mile of this course has a lot of sun and pretty much the only significant hill on the course (right around 3.3?) I felt pretty solid up the hill, way better than last year. You go back past the corner that has the most spectators and have a half mile to go. I was trailing another high school runner and I felt like I was gaining a bit. Just a bit passed where I was parked, the runner moves to the side of the road, stops and attempts to throw-up, I don’t believe anything came out, but it enabled me to get past him. However, that was short lived; whatever hacking he did over there must have made him feel better, because he went flying back past me. We turned back onto the main road, which is a slight downhill for about a quarter mile and then took the final right onto Arnold Mills Road and across the finish line in 23:12 in 27th place. Not too bad. I felt good, I didn’t die and I feel great today. Overall a success! How much faster could I have gone? Probably not much, but the simple act of not going out over my head, allowed me to feel stronger and run well late in the race. I never went to the well, keeping that work out mentality.

We ended up having around 10 to 12 Turtles at the race, depending on who actually “counts” as a Turtle. We enjoyed a couple beers hanging outside by the cars watching others finish. Not a bad way to spend the morning.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Motivation

Motivation is a funny thing.  I have been struggling with it most of the year, even a bit last year.  I had great running years in 2014 and 2015.  I ran a great 50 miler at Pineland and a great marathon at Baystate.  I ran numerous other races feeling awesome....and feeling horrible sometimes.  But I was excited and motivated.

Last year, I was ready and motivated at the start of the year.  Coming off of Baystate and then Busa at the end of 2015, I thought big things were in the cards...not so much.

This year, I was excited about the grand prix series and I thought it would force some motivation.  But, aches and pains diminished that quickly.

I have been pretty excited lately about getting back to more trail and ultra stuff, racing more and just having fun with it.  I can even jump into the road races with little care of how I do, but I still push and still run to the best of my ability.

After Ribfest, I feel a bit more motivated.  I feel this happens after races.  After seeing all the competition.  Seeing people you want to race against and beat.  Running half way decent while being in horrific running shape.  So, I am slightly more motivated.  At least I am while sitting at a desk while I rather be outside.  Then you get outside and are faced with the run...the workout or whatever and I feel like "fuck it" I will just do this or that instead of more of this or that.

Right now, I am ready to roll....I want to race I want to get out there and beat myself into the ground, but that's probably because my back is still killing me and I can't really do that.

So the motivation is funny...cause it is there when I can't or won't do what I think I want to do.  It is there when I have excuses not to do what I want to do...or want to want to do.




Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Some Racing Happened

I started a post after VCM that I never got to finish, so here it is with what other races and happenings that have occurred.

Thanks to Jack Pilla and Hoka One One New England I was able to run the relay at the VCM.

I ran a two-person mixed team with Jackie.  I expected to not run great, as my training has been pretty non-existent.  People kept saying, oh you will probably surprise yourself, you will run fast.  Well, I know my body pretty well and generally have a good idea of the shape I am in.  I thought if the stars aligned perfectly I could possibly run 6 min pace.  I went out just over that pace and had some miles just under and just over.  I went through 10k in 37:21 (6:00.6 pace) and 10 miles in 1:00:42 (6:04.2 pace).  The watch was reading way long, so it "appeared" I was running faster than the race marks, but I know better than to rely on the GPS.

The last 3 miles were a bitch,. I was in major slow-down mode.  I crossed the 13.1 mat in 1:20:57 (6:10.5 pace), running the last 3.109375 in a dreadfully slow 6:30.7 pace. haha

Jackie wanted to break 7 min pace and pretty much ran that on the dot, negative splitting.



We finished 2nd in our division out of 295 teams.  Not too bad.

The rest of the trip was fun, the main reason I wanted to go.  Burlington is a cool town with a lot of good places to eat and drink!

The week after VCM I was signed up to run Cranmore.  I was originally looking forward to Cranmore and just running different race and just racing in general, hoping it would get me out of my funk.  Well, the Friday I was supposed to leave for Cranmore, I just wasn't feeling it.  More the trip in general than the race itself.  So, I said F-it and stayed in RI.  It was the right choice.  It was a better weekend.  I was able to go to DJ's last RI state meet and got to go bowling.

The next weekend was Gaspee Days 5k.  My first 5k ever and this was 20 years from that date, so of course I had to run.  I knew it would be slow, but I didn't really care.



It was a hot ass day, but I was excited to have double digit Turtles out racing.  I ran pretty stupidly (for my fitness level) and suffered on the way in.  It seems I run well here every other year over the last 4 years.  When I run well I have that moment of WOW, I don't train for 5ks and I ran semi-fast...I wonder what would happened if I tried harder...that generally fades in a week or so.  haha  Although I ran Gaspee for the first time in 1997, I have only run it 8 times...but it seems to be the new norm to run it

1997-20:12
1999-19:22
2001-17:21
2012-17:20
2014-16:46
2015-17:36
2016-16:47
2017-17:52

Next up on the schedule was the Ribfest 5 Miler.  Back to the USATF-NE Grand Prix Series.  Ahhh...I remember being motivated for this...not so much now.  I was still game for the race though.  I now had a good idea of how bad my fitness level was and knew I would not make the same mistakes I made at Gaspee.  Come the Thursday before the race, I did something to my back, which is still killing me, but this made me even more conservative in the race.

I went out at 6 min pace and felt pretty good leg-wise.  I was thenable to track down a good amount of runners over the last half of the race.  My last mile was my fastest at 5:45 (downhill last .25ish).  Overall I was pleased with 29:38...that's pretty much my marathon PR pace! Yup, I have some work to do.



Now, I am feeling slightly more motivated than I had been feeling.  I just need to figure this back thing out.  It certainley feels better when I am up and about, sitting SUCKS!!

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.


TNT!

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.


Hank!


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!

Friday, March 3, 2017

USATF-NE GP Race # 1: Amherst 10 Miler

My main goal for 2017 is to run the full USATF-NE Grand PrixSeries. I have run races in the series here and there over the last 15 years, but have never been able to run the full series. Last year it was a thought, but the schedule wasn’t to my liking and my motivation to race was lacking greatly. This year I was 95% happy with all the races in the series and was excited to have a plan and focus for the year. On top of that, joining CMS for this purpose has given me other goals and has added to the race experience.

I was finally starting to get on a roll with training at the end of January and the first week of February, ending with the Krispy KremeChallenge. Once returning from North Carolina I began to feel sick and that turned into a full-blown cold. I still ran every day, but the mileage and quality were shit.

I was finally over that and had a good workout on Thursday February 16th. It was a work out that showed some progress over the last month. That was followed by a good long run with a good size group on the Sunday. My foot had been bothering me during the day starting on maybe that Saturday, but it only bothered me when I was sitting, standing or walking….not while running! That changed on Wednesday the 22nd. I got out of my car to run and I knew right away my foot felt not so good. I ran about 50 feet, stopped, turned around and walked back to the car.

I was going to run on Thursday to see how it felt, but figured I would give it another day of rest and icing. Friday I ran about ½ mile on it and there was no pain. I still had the pain during the day, but it was definitely less than it had been. The day before Amherst, I ran 2.8 miles from home and had no pain and ran much quicker than anticipated without effort. OK, cool…I will at least make it to the starting line.

Race day was here and it was forecast to be around 40 at the start with some wind. This is decent weather for February, but with the crazy warm weather as of late, it felt a bi chilly walking outside. Wind aside it was still an ideal temperature for a 10 miler.

Fast forward to the race itself, I had thoughts on what I could run, but was a bit unsure. Amherst is not an easy course, mostly because there are two miles on the course that take away 30+ secs from you…easily. So, you have to run fast elsewhere without going crazy, to make sure your overall pace is where you want it to be.

The goals I had in mind were to break 59 mins and the outside goal was to run 5:50 pace, which is 58:20. I ran the last 10 miles of Baystate in 58:40, so 5:50 pace seems easy in my brain…but when you run over 6 mins on 3 miles in the race, you really need to be running 5:40-45s to get it done. I knew Dave would be game to run in that zone and I spoke with Alan Bernier before the race and he had similar goals.

The gun was quick, I was talking with Steve Dowsett and all of a sudden there was a bang. I felt like I got out good, but not too quick. I really held back the first half mile. I wanted to go through the mile in 5:50 as I knew the 2nd mile would be fast because of the nature of the course. Dave, Alan and I were within feet of each other though the mile in 5:48.9. Perfect. As we moved along, Alan and Dave would gap me on the small downs and I would catch back up on the ups. We hit the flat after 2 miles and I got just ahead of Alan and started catching up to Dowsett, then went by. I felt pretty good, but felt slow. I figured it was we were beginning to go gradually up hill. This mile just continues to get steeper and steeper until you peak around 3.3 miles. The mile was not as steep as I remember from running the course in 2012 but it definitely slowed you down. I was 5:27 at 2 miles and then 6:14 through 3. I was pleased enough with that slowdown, I had done some data searching before the race and the slowdowns that I had found ranged from 40 secs to a minute and a half. On the up new teammate Ed Sheldon went by me, but I was able to get him back when we peaked and started heading down. In my mind I had gaped all the people I had passed, but this was not the case at all, as I would find out later on in the race.

I was 6:11 at 4 miles and from there until 7 the race was pretty uneventful. Some downs and some flat. The dirt road was in solid shape, my fat ass was sinking in spots, but overall you could not complain. I was focused ahead, trying to make up as much time on the down hills that I could. I picked off a few runners and as each mile went by, although not feeling amazing, I felt better about what my time would be.

Right before 7 miles Dave came back on me. I went through that mile in 5:30 and he went through in 5:26. He loves those down hills. I knew I need to keep my foot on the gas and not let him get by and pull away like he did at the Newport 10k.





I was successful in doing this and put a couple seconds on him between 7 and 9. However, than Ed Sheldon came back on me! This was right before turning right on Strong Street heading uphill towards the 9 mile mark. I was able to keep in in sight, but he gaped me enough where I didn’t think I would be able to catch. Finally we peaked the hill at around 9.6 and started the downhill towards the loop around the parking lot. When we finally entered the lot, I started moving a bit, but didn’t start kicking until we hit that final right hand turn. I pushed as hard as I could and was reeling Ed in, but in the last 10 feet he heard me coming and put in a last burst to hold me off. I should have started moving earlier than I did, but I was pretty shot from that last hill. I finished in 58:23, pretty much my pie in the sky goal for the race, so I’ll take that.

Dave came in 12 seconds later, running damn close to his 10 mile PR on a not very PR friendly course.

After waiting through the shit-show that was the awards, we headed out for a 2 mile cool down then headed to the Northhampton Brewery for some beer and food.


Imperial Stout and some chili with my cheese.


All in all, I am pleased with this race. My training has been less than optimal, but I now have a starting point. There are less than 3 weeks until race # 2, the New Bedford ½ Marathon. While I cannot make huge leaps and bounds in fitness between now and then, I plan on doing as much as I can, while hoping my body plays nice and allows it!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Krispy Kreme Challenge #3

I first did the Krispy Kreme Challenge in 2015.  Shortly after finishing that race I said I would never run it again.  This year I went back for my 3rd go at it.



The race is pretty awesome and horrible at the same time, as you would expect when running 5 miles and eating a dozen donuts.  The city of Raleigh is probably what keeps us coming back.  Some great breweries and restaurants and of course a bar/arcade.  If the area was shit, I certainly wouldn't make the trip down to NC time and time again...especially when the travel there seems to be cursed.

The first year, as documented in that first link I posted above, was a shit show.  Last year our flight down got canceled.  And....this year it started the same way, with a delay that seemed to grow every time I looked at my phone!  After about 5 hours in the Logan Airport, we were finally en route to NC.

We arrived a bit later than originally scheduled...which meant a modified eating and drinking plan.  I believe in the long run this worked to my advantage.  I definitely felt less full and less hungover the morning of the race this year.  I was ready to roll on race morning.  I felt that I was in as good of running shape as last year...it was just a matter of downing the donuts as fast as I could.  In general, I am a pretty solid eater.  I eat a massive amount of food, but in this race, it is a different story.  If I could eat within a minute of the race winner, I would BE THE WINNER!  Instead, I have yet to accomplish my ultimate goal of top 10.

The first year, I finished 19th in a time of 37:17.  I looked at 2015 as the getting my feet wet year.  It was overwhelming to say the least, sitting on the ground with all those donuts in front of me.

In 2016, I knew what to expect.  I had a better understanding of the race and the confidence that goes with that.  I ran faster, finishing in 35:13 for 13th place.  I could taste the sugary sweetness that is 10th place.  I just needed to either be in better running shape, or figure out how to eat faster.

Going into the 2017 event, I was not in better running shape and I certainly did nothing to attempt to figure out how to eat faster.  I just figured, try harder to eat faster.  Seemed reasonable.

So, the race started.  As usual, the massive amount of college students went out like it was a 50 meter dash.  I started on the 2nd row and found myself with at least 100 people in front of me a 1/4 mile into the race.  I was through the mile in 5:25 and there had to still be 30+ runners ahead of me easily. I was happy with the pace and used the down hill after the mile to bring my pace down a bit.  After that I passed a dozen or so more runners in the last mile of the first half of the race and entered the hall of donuts.  I grabbed my box from a volunteer and kept running hard to an area next to the furthest table to get on the ground and eat away.  I hit a split when I stopped running, I grabbed multiple cups of water and I ripped donuts apart shoving some in my mouth and putting some in the water to soak to make easier to eat.  It was a chilly 27 degrees at the start, so the mix of water and donuts made for some cold hands.  I felt like I was eating well and looked at my watch as last year's winner, whom I beat in the run again, took off, finishing his donuts in around 3 minutes.  I don't know how he does it.  It boggles my mind.  I need to learn his ways.  But, back to the task at hand.  I was sitting around the people that I was running with and we all seemed to be in a similar amount of donut pain.  Some people left and we ate on.  Finally, 8 minutes after starting, I shoved the remaining buggy bits of donut into my mouth and ran towards the exit of the transition area.  I through down my empty box and started tracking down the casual runner and the faster eater whom I could easily out run.  I hit the first mile on the way back in 5:27. I believe that is my fastest post donut mile.  I felt great.  But shortly after that the uphill would begin.  Most of the way back was uphill, with distinct hill, called St Mary's Hill on Strava.  My pace slowed a bit, but I was still passing people.  You make the last turn of the race onto Hillsborough St with just under a mile to go.  It is a straight road and you can see runners ahead.  You can't tell if they are in the challenger or casual division until you get close, so you just hunt them all down as if they were the same.  I was able to pass 6 on that finally stretch, I believe 3 were in my division.  I ran out of real estate to get one more. I crossed the line in a new PR of 34:45.  Breaking the 35 minute barrier.  The winner finished in just over 30 mins.  He beat me by the difference in eating.  Between him and the 2nd place finisher, they have taken the first 2 spots in the last 5 races.

After the race I went and checked out the results to find out I finished in 18th place.  That was a bit disappointing.  But, I was happy to run faster...I guess I will have to wait until next year to try to sneak into that coveted top 10!


Thursday, February 9, 2017

Oh yeah, I have a blog!

It has been over a year since I have done a blog post.  Not much in the way of racing happened in 2016, it was just a year laced with a lack of motivation.  I raced a bit in the early months, but then didn’t race in about 4 months leading up to the Newport ‘Almost’ 10k.
Since the Newport ‘Almost’ 10k, I have raced 3 more times.  Here is a re-cap of 2 of those races and Newport.  I also did the Krispy Kreme Challenge this past weekend for the 3rd year in a row, but will re-cap that later!

This feels like many moons ago.  This was my 15th time running this race.  I remember not being overly pumped up about racing, but when I saw some WTAC guys in the lot; I knew I had to be ready to rumble.  There were a few Turtles running…and with Bronson and Dave running, I knew we would be good to go for the team title.  There were other notable runners besides the WTACers.last year’s winner, who passed me at 5.5 miles for that win and also Steve Brightman.
The race couldn’t have played out much better for the shape I was in at the time.  We had a huge pack through around 3 miles.  At that point Bronson and I made a small gap.  I was able to hang on to him until almost 4, but then as expected he pulled away.  Shortly after that Dave caught up and went right by me.  I gave it a solid go to stay with him, but I just could not hang.  I could tell last year’s winner was now catching me and he did right before 5.5…can we say deja vu.  He ended up passing me and catching and passing Dave at the 6 mile mark.  I finished strong enough in a time of 34:24, faster than the 2015 time of 34:40.  I was definitely happy with the performance, as I did not feel like I was in that kinda shape at all.

On a whim I decided to give this race a go, even though I had a race the next day.  I have seen this race listed for the last couple of years, but I always tend to notice right before race day and never go.  It is billed as a snowshoe race, but with no snow to speak of, it was a night trail race instead.  Past results show it is a pretty small low-key race, which is what I was looking for.  Of course, low key does not mean no competition.    I went out for 6 miles the morning of the race, got back and checked the entry list and saw that Scott Leslie and Pat Caron were signed up.  I knew there was no way and hell I would beat Scott and Pat has been running really well from what I have seen.
Fast forward to race time.  The ‘gun’ goes off and boom, Pat flies to the front and he wasn’t messing around.  Scott gave chase and I was a bit behind with some others.  We started up a wide dirt road and then though a parking lot and then down a short hill with some snow and rocks, which I ran on my warm up.  I found myself go from 20 meters back to on the heels of Scott on this section all the way through the mile, passed in around 6:04.  At that point we are on a mile long straight, flat, non-technical rail trail.  This is where I knew I would start falling back.  I ran a decent 5:43 mile, but could no longer see Scott and Pat had gapped me pretty good as well.
Once off the rail trail, we turned right onto a trail that was wide, but a bit rocky and wet and generally uphill.  You pop off of that trail and follow the dirt road from earlier back into the finish, around 3.4 miles after you started.  A very uneventful race, but I was happy to stay within 33 secs of Scott and 23 secs of Pat.  Not a horrible run.

This would be my 2nd time at this meet and my first race representing a different USATF team since joining Turtles in 2000.  It was a bit weird wearing the blue and white colors of CMS, but I was excited for more of a team experience in the USATF-NE Grand Prix this year and this was a nice way to break in the singlet before the series gets underway in Amherst.

I am not a track runner and I don’t even really enjoy running track races, especially indoor track races.  I decided to only run the 3000 meters this year, afterrunning the 3000, mile and 4 x 800 the previous year.  One race on the oval of hell would be enough.  I had the goal of breaking 10 mins.  I was not overly confident that I would do this, but figured that was the only possible goal to have.
There were a bunch of runners in the race that I knew and I had an idea of what they have run recently, so it was easy to have an idea if I was in the right place.  Also, 10 mins is easy math, 40 sec laps.


I made sure not to ge tout too fast and fell into around 7th place or so for the first few laps.  We were a bit slow, but I was OK with that.  I remember being 2:43 though 800 meters and shortly after that I made a move around some runners to get the pace moving a bit.  I believe I led that pack from there to around 3 or 4 laps to go.  I was able to get the pace back under 40 secs per lap and we were now on pace to break 10 mins.  The leading drained me a bit and I was passed by 3 guys that were on my ass the whole way.  I held on pretty well though the finish to get a finish time of 9:55.  I believe that was 8 secs faster than last year.  I’ll take that.

In other news for the year...on top of joining CMS....I was also asked to be part of Jack Pilla's Team Hoka One One New England.  I look forward to representing them as well!



Some new Hoka One One Speed Instints