Almost every year I tend to have some sort of short spike in mileage around Chirtsmas and New Year’s. Depending on how my days off from work fall I will add some random oubles, have some random group run or just run more.
This year that fell on the day of the Nooseneck 18k. I have run this free “race” a few times in the past, but not in the last 2 years. It is a roller coaster of a course, with some very difficult climbs. It beats you up pretty good, but is a great way to get a good work out in and see some friends.
I wasn’t planning on running it this year, but it seemed a bunch of people I knew were and since I had taken the day off to use some of my vacation time up, I thought it would be a good way to get some good mileage in…and since it fell on a Tuesday, it made it easier to do so.
My plan was to run 2 mile warm up, 11.2 upbeat…620-630 pace, 1 mile cool down, then hang out, have some beer and food then drive to Turtles and run 3 to 6 miles. Here is how it went down.
Of course in the days leading up to this I have gotten a cold, slight, but still felt a bit off. So I was able to sleep in for once on Tuesday AM til 8am! I was so happy about that. I got to the race at 12pm after a short detour to Wal-Mart for water and meds. There were more cars in the lot then I had anticipated. But very quickly I saw lots of familiar faces, some I knew would be there and some that were a surprise.
I headed out with a small group for a 2 mile warm up, which ended up being 2.4 for me after circling the lot waiting for someone. We all changed up and got to the starting line, the wind was blowing pretty good and it was a bit chilly. I wore shorts with a long sleeve and a short sleeve over that…and of course gloves and an Inov-8 buff over the ears. It was a solid choice, my hands were actually sweaty and I took the buff off my ears, my lips were numb though!
The run…. It starts straight downhill and people go out like crazy. I was very conservative and still ran a 5:54. Zak was with Kaela O’Neil about 6 secs up. I made an effort to catch them and did around 1.5. The 3 of us ran together though around 4..4.5 Zak and I got some separation on Kaela on the quad busting downhills. Probably because we are way fatter and gravity helps us on the downs!
After the very generous downhill, you come to the hill on Pardon Joslin Road. You have been running on Pardon Joslin, which is a dirt road, partially covered in snow, for the last 8/10th of a mile, but right before the 5 mile marker the road starts its going up…in the next half mile you will gain 100+ feet and then another 75 to 80 from 5.5 to 6. The section from 5 to 5.5 is a beat up old road that you are more likely to see in a trail race then in a road race, but it is what makes this run unique. My pace went from a 5:50 mile to over 7 mins on the climb and according to Strava I slowed down to around 9:50 at some point in the climb.
The next few miles are rolling, you have a nice decent at 7.2 and then a hill I forgot about at 8.6 to 9. That is where I separated slightly from Zak. I was able to get some space between us and run a 6:05 from 9 to 10 to open it up a bit more. I am pretty sure from there to the finish he was gaining. You drop a few feet from 10 to 10.5 and then you have to go up the hill you descended at the start of the race. This hill SUCKS. You gain around 185 ft in less than a mile. I averaged just under 6:30 pace for the final 1.2 miles. It was brutal.
Check out FULL RESULTS!
Check out FULL RESULTS!
Once finished, we shuffled around for just over a mile. We went inside and got a beer and chatted with friends and foes alike. Since it was Taco Tuesday, some of us grabbed some pulled pork tacos, which were very good. While eating we heard the raffle going on. Although the race is free, there is a donation box. 20% each goes to the 1st place male and female winners and then there are 3 random draws for the remaining 60% (20% each) We walked over there and my # was called! Yay me!
So, we went back to hanging out, 2.5 more Guinness’s and a Steve Brightman induced swig of Vodka straight from the bottle and I was out of there…off to the Tuesday Night Turtles group run. I have been a Turtle since 2000 and in that 17+ year’s I have missed very few Tuesday runs, most of which I was out of town. I even once took a train on a Tuesday AM to run the Empire State Building Run-Up and took a train back home to make the run. I have landed at T.F. Green Airport at 4 and went straight to a run and I have left work events to get over to the run….so today was no different.
I got there at 4:57 and planned on two 3 mile loops. Fortunately the pace was easy with the smaller crowd and the first 3 felt pretty good. We started out on the second 3 at 5:30 and it was just 4 of us and the rest of them were doing the longer 6.3 mile loop; I had started making the turn at the split to do the 3 mile, but said what the hell and did the full loop with them.
Definitely the highest mileage day I have had in a long time, other than Baystate. Here is the breakdown.
3/6.3 at TNT
After the run I changed up and headed to Fellini’s for pizza and one more beer. I ended the night early and got home so I could get some rest and head back to work on Wednesday!