Monday, July 30, 2012

Perfect Day At Peaks

As usual, my plans changed this weekend. I was set to race the Peaks 5 miler and felt with certainty that a PR was not unreachable but at least I felt 37 minutes would be a reasonable time either way.

My new last minute plan was to pace and run with my oldest daughter (who lives on Peaks) as this would be her first ever race and even though she had been running some this summer, had not really trained and not actually run more than 3.5 miles at one time.

We had a great time and she did so well. Not only did she finish strong, but she also ran all the hills ( the largest one on the island she usually walks) She was surprised to see how well they planned this course as they somehow managed to incorporate every hill they could find on the island and actually ended up being a figure eight, which allowed us to pass a bunch of faster and slower runners through the race.

after the finish we enjoyed the free beer and then I ran the 1.5 miles back to her house. It felt strange to cooldown at a faster pace than I raced at the same time it felt good to run at my own comfortable pace.

After returning to her place, we enjoyed more beer then took the ferry back and hit the restaurant at the dock (can't remember the name) we enjoyed more beer along with flat bread pizza. In the end I found that I didn't run hard enough to counteract all the beer calories.......

It was a great day and a great memory.

Sunday.....sat around and didn't even get in a run

Monday, July 23, 2012

Losing Focus

How is it I can lose focus on my training yet have a great training week?  My whole plan this week kind of fell apart and I ended up just filling in the gaps. Here is an overview.

Monday: Day off......only a little swimming to loosen up the muscles

Tuesday: Got out of work late, was planning to run the Breaker course. Met up with Val (who planned on running where the bikers were not) I on the other hand had planned the mountain side and was running there no matter what. Problem was I was starting so late and had a schedule to meet.
Ran the first half and then two miles of the second half. Ran the whole 6.5 including the summit trail (though not extremely fast) Felt great about this run even though it was cut short
6.5 miles ( breaker course) 1:21:10  (12:29 p)

Wednesday: Was supposed to be long run but was not...Day off  (2.5 mile walk with the wife)

Thursday: Was supposed to be a day off with the wife but she got tied up and I ended up at Bradbury for a nice run with no Garmen or watch of any kind Ran the BL loop plus a bunch of exploratory loops on Tyron and snowmobile trial on return. This was a great run and it felt so good not to worry about mileage or time. Ran into Linda when I was finishing...she looked strong and was already 5 miles into her run.

Appr.....9.5 miles....approx 1:55:00

Friday:  Ran 4 road miles with the wife ( she is training for BtoB) I called it easy miles for me but it was race pace for her. Then cooldown swimming laps.
4 miles 48:21  (12:30 P)

Friday night ......Red sox game....they lost but it was still fun

Saturday: trail run at Winchester with my son. This was a great run even though it was a bit hot out.   The terrain is very similar to a mix of Brad mountain and Brad east
6.5 miles  1:02:12  (9:35p)

Sunday:  5 mile road loop with the wife ....nice early morning run
58:02  (12:00 P) Then a 2 mile cooldown walk and laps in the pool.

Total miles 31.3

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Scuffle Race Report

There have been five total Scuffle races and I have somehow managed to be one of the very few to run all five ( I think only 3 or 4 completed all 5). The weather ranged from pouring rain to the most current 80 degrees two best times were in the two worse and opposite conditions. I have to say I much more prefer the pouring rain for this type of race and terrain.

 I like it when I have a good race report and this one definitely went quite well, not only did I PR by a substantial amount, but I actually ran  a smidgen conservative in the middle miles because of the weather. Who knows what I might have done on a misty or fall like day.

Another surprise was that the deer flies seemed to have taken a day off as I don't remember being bothered by them. When I ran earlier in the week, I couldn't run fast enough to keep them off me.
Could I have run that much faster?? or perhaps other peoples sweat was more attrctive than mine?

I may be a bit bias, but I would sign up for any race sight unseen that was put on by Ian and Ryan. Two guys that really care and have an attitude that spills over to the volunteers and the racers. When most race directors speak of bandits in a race, they seem more concerned about the financial side of the problem. These two guys are more worried about how it affects the racers, the results and the commitment they make to the park.

 I decided to start fairly close to the front to try and not get too bottled up in the first mile.  of course this means running a little faster than I should in the first half mile so I don't cause a slow down for the runners behind me. Even so, I had a lot of people passing for at least a half mile.  At about 3/4 mile I slowed a bit and settled into what seemed like a good pace for me and felt it was about right because not many runners were passing me at this point.

As I literally bound up the first rooty hill and turned up the snowmobile trail (passing at least three runners), I knew it was going to be a pretty good day. The long washed out snowmobile trail hill was slightly taxing and I was glad to turn onto the single track for easier running.

Even though my mile pace was slower on the single track, I enjoy that style or running much more.
I found myself picking off runners one by one, though I got picked off by a few runners too, two of which I am positive I picked back off.

Once I hit the end of the park and turned left for the 2.5 mile home stretch, I was only passed by one runner and I ended up out kicking this runner by 9 felt pretty good about the last 2 miles.

When running a practice session last Tuesday, I pushed a solid race pace and was surprised by the easy feeling on the hills. This had me stoked for the race and felt the hills would surely be my friend today. Contrary to my belief, the long hill in mile four for some reason seemed extra long and a bit tiring. I suspect this was my slowest mile.

After feeling the effects of mile four, I hoped I recouped enough on the long down hill of mile five to master the last hill in mile six which usually has most runners complaining. I don't know if it was the conditioning/ training or the fact that I knew the end and a PR was close, but the last hill was really not an issue, at the top I started my speedup and eventual kick to victory......and it was sweet.

For some reason, this race and this distance seem perfect for me because reguardless of my finishing time, I loved all five Scuffles. Looking at my finishing times, I think I have reversed the trend. I did however  miss racing through the mud.


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

L L Bean 10K Race

 When I  first signed up for this race, my intent was to get into super fantastic shape and PR this course. A PR here would not be anywhere close to my 10K PR at B to B  in 2003 (as it was a full 4 minutes slower than B to B) but for some reason, this course is difficult for me. I don't know if it is the terrain or just the fact that it is usually early in my training for the year.

As race day crept closer, I realized I was probably not in the shape I wanted to be in as far as speed work goes so a PR would most likely not be reachable. I did a couple race pace type runs in the preceding weeks and felt I could at least beat 50 minutes and possible get down to 48:30 or so if things went extremely well. Beating my PR of 48:08 seemed more like a foolish dream with only a week to go before the race.

The thing I did have going for me was that I have been running the trails pretty heavy and I suspected my strong point would be the hills. This would work well because I think it is the hills on this course that drain a lot of the runners.

This course has a full mile of downhill and flat running in the beginning and this tends to suck people up into a much too fast pace for their training. Once they hit the hill in mile two, reality sets in. It kind of reminds me of the start at Mnt Washington where you run a nice downhill for about a quarter of a mile, passing spectators and feeling real good ........but it doesn't last long as the incline suddenly slaps you across the face and life changes as you know it.

This didn't happen to me as I embraced and actually attacked the hill. By the time I finished mile three, I had run one of my fastest miles in a long time. I felt strong and was sure the hill in mile five was going to be no problem.

My worst mile of the race was four and I am not sure what happened. It is a slow consistent incline that leads up to the dreaded hill in mile five, but I felt fine and was certain I was maintaining pace or at least it felt like I was. Instead I slowed down. I should have paid more attention here but I guess because I felt ok and the hill was coming, I didn't even keep track of my pace.

I didn't attack the mile five hill but I did push myself to work it in good shape. I ran it 3 seconds faster than mile four. Mile six was mine to conquer as I had energy and drive. It was my best mile as I passed so many runners, I felt strong and dropped a full minute off miles four and five feels so good to pass runners late in a race.

The last .2 miles were awesome though I was pretty spent as I tried with all my effort to PR, I knew I was close and the last .2 would make or break it. I gave it all I had and crossed the finish line with my watch reading 48:12 .......a little disappointing to be so close to my 48:08 PR but at the same time exciting to be that close. I kept thinking that I had many chances to make up that 4 seconds especially in mile four.

I went home feeling relatively happy with my race as I had merely hoped for sub 50 minutes and ended up running a very strong race. I was a bit surprised when I checked out the results later to See my time at 47:59 ......I had forgotten about chip timing.

For all intents and purposes, I am calling this race a PR as it is official time but my race in 2006 was not chip timing and it is any ones guess as to  how close I was to the start line that day. Today I was 13 seconds back and I was positioned about a quarter of the way from the start line. I figure the fact that I am 6 years older surely has to trump the 13 seconds.....doesn't it?

Anyway, regardless of the results, I had a great race, I felt strong and in complete control.


327 th place (out of 1600)
48:13 gun time 47:59 chip time (7:44 pace)
15 out of 59 in my age group

7:33 (hill)