Tuesday, December 15, 2009

USATF Club XC Championships

2009 USATF National Club Cross Country Championships
December 12, 2009
Masterson Station Park - Lexington, Kentucky

10 Kilometers
Time 36:20.00
Race Splits 5:40, 11:29 (5:49), 17:14, 5:45, 28:55 (11:40) 35:04 (6:08), 36:20 (1:17)
Pace Per Kilometer 3:38.00
Overall Place 91
Age Place 55

A good, fair course; all rolling up or down. Only a few areas of mud on the uphills but overall fast as cross country goes - based on other's experience, not mine. This was my first real cross country race. Though I did well, I was really shooting to run sub 35 or at least low 35. I think I ran a smart race; not going out too fast - but I slowed down with everyone else on the last uphill mile into the headwind. I felt that even though I left some in the tank for the end, I didn't dig down deep to extract the last bit of race in me. Got to work on that.

A full write-up coming soon...

Men 40-49

1 Atlanta Tc A 62 3 8 14 16 21 29 57 59 33:26 1:53
2 Compex Racing 87 4 7 10 31 35 42 53 60 33:36 2:14
3 Front Line Rt 100 1 5 13 37 44 47 52 76 33:36 2:53
4 Dirigo R C. 109 12 15 19 27 36 34:04 1:15
5 Baltimore/Washtn Rc 148 6 22 32 33 55 58 67 34:17 2:58
6 GreaterSpringfldHar 166 9 11 38 39 69 102 117 34:32 3:09
7 FleetFeetBoulderRt 194 2 17 23 73 79 85 34:48 4:50
8 Club Northwest 232 25 30 48 61 68 74 78 35:14 1:57
9 Seattle Rc 237 28 40 43 45 81 108 35:23 2:49
10 Asics Aggie Rc 238 20 34 56 62 66 71 95 105 35:17 2:01
11 RunRepublicBoulder 286 24 50 65 70 77 84 90 100 35:46 2:37
12 Second SoleRockyRiv 288 26 41 63 72 86 87 35:55 3:17
13 Chattanooga Tc 352 49 51 64 82 106 36:48 4:57
14 Arizona Blaze 398 18 88 92 93 107 116 37:45 6:28
15 Dc Capitol T&F & Cc 427 46 83 94 101 103 113 114 37:59 4:29
16 Colonial RoadRunrs 438 54 75 96 104 109 110 38:13 5:07
17 Bellmore Striders 502 89 91 99 111 112 39:56 4:56
18 Eastern Buckeye Tc 508 80 97 98 115 118 46:41 37:05

6. GreaterSpringfldHar
9 9 M40 Kent Lemme, 43, Williamstown, MA 33:12
11 11 M40 Michael Nahom, 42, New Milford, CT 33:22
38 10 M45 Ron Lombardi, 45, Brimfield, MA 34:52
39 32 M40 Francis Burdett, 44, Worcester, MA 34:54
69 48 M40 Robert Landry, 41, Ludlow, MA 36:20
102 69 M40 Brent Coon, 44, Fairfax, VT 39:28
117 30 M60 Peter Stasz, 62, Holyoke, MA 1:10:53
Total Time = 2:52:38 Total Places = 166

Monday, December 14, 2009

2009 Coming to a Close

December 7, 2009

I’ll be bringing the 2009 racing season to a close with the National Cross Crountry Club Champsionships in Lexington, Kentucky this coming Saturday, Dec 12th. I’ve have run in four races in the last three weeks trying to get myself into race shape.

Things got off to a good start in the four race prep series with a decent 35:11, 3rd place finish at the 31st James Banacos 10k at Westfield State College. All in all a decent effort on an excellent day for racing - about 1 minute better than last year when it was cold and very windy.

1 Tom O'Grady 33:35 5:24
2 Tim Mahoney 35:04 5:39
3 Rob Landry 35:11 5:40
4 Tyler Stahl 39:18 6:19

5 Mike Lescarbeau 39:45 6:24
6 Ben Whitbeck 40:46 6:34
7 Antonio Sorcinelli 41:13 6:38
8 Peter Letendre 41:37 6:42
9 Ed Buckley 41:39 6:42
10 Ken Grindle 42:02 6:46

I followed up that race with a so-so effort at the Talking Turkey 6 mile cross country race the following weekend. It’s billed as a cross country event but it’s a flat and even footed over a trail and cinder course that is as fast as a cross country course you will find. However the wind was absolutely brutal this year – a swirling 20mph wind gusting up to 40mph. Runners were literally pushed sideways and noticeably leaning forward battling the wind. I endured many runs over the causeway during a harsh, blustery winter night. I don’t ever recall anything like this. We actually had white caps as tall as a foot-and-a-half smacking against the embankment.

I was shooting for a sub 33:00 5:30 pace today but it wasn’t to be. Instead a 34:33 15th place. My slowest Talking Turkey time yet. Considering the day, not a terrible result but I let up in the middle miles when the going got tough. No excuses. Everyone had to run in the same conditions.

The big story of the day was Zac Hine. The South Hadley native is off to a phenomenal start to his young post-collegiate career. Eclipsing a quality course record on a tough day like today was stellar. I was working the finish chute back in 2005 when Nate Jenkins ran the previous best mark of 29 flat. It snowed the day before but the course was in great shape. Jenkins later said he was surprised, if not a bit disappointed; the course was in such great shape. The guy’s an animal – doesn’t want anything to come easy. All guts. But like every year the course is groomed to perfection. The local water deptarment staff takes pride in it; pouring their heart maintaining this reservoir trail not just for this annual event but all 365 days of the year. Jenkins laced his spikes up and hammered his way to the finish; dropping a full minute off the already impressive mark set by local 1500 Olympic trialist Erik Nedeau. It was a foretelling of even greater things to come for Jenkins who was preparing for his surprise 7th place finish at the Olympic Marathon Trials two year later. Today’s course record may be prologue to what lies ahead for Zac. Time will tell.

1 ZACH HINE 4 M 1/90 22 SOUTH HADLEY MA 28:55 4:50
New record. Old record 29:00 by Nate Jenkins in 2005
2 JUSTIN LUTZ 1194 M 2/90 29 FRAMINGHAM MA 29:07 4:52
3 KEVIN JOHNSON 1 M 3/90 21 LUDLOW MA 30:05 5:01
4 DAVID JOHNSON 2 M 4/90 21 LUDLOW MA 30:51 5:09
5 ERIK NEDEAU 3 M 1/131 38 BELCHERTOWN MA 30:59 5:10
6 KENT LEMME 25 M 1/166 43 WILLIAMSTOWN MA 31:53 5:19
7 EDWARD BREEN 744 M 5/90 28 MEDFORD MA 32:01 5:21
8 JOSHUA GORDON 1185 M 2/131 35 BOSTON MA 32:06 5:21
10 ETHAN NEDEAU 6 M 4/131 36 33:27 5:35
11 TIM MAHONEY 10 M 5/131 30 HOLYOKE MA 33:32 5:36
12 HEIDI WESTERLING 5 F 1/81 28 33:43 5:37
13 ROSS KRAUSE 634 M 6/90 29 EASTHAMPTON MA 34:12 5:42
14 PAUL FRATINI 44 M 2/166 44 LUDLOW MA 34:18 5:43
15 ROBERT LANDRY 875 M 3/166 41 LUDLOW MA 34:33 5:46
16 NICHOLAS DUFRESNE 1095 M 7/90 27 AMHERST MA 35:11 5:52
17 MYLES MCCARTHY 363 M 1/22 19 SOUTHAMPTON MA 35:21 5:54
18 JEFFREY HAYES 240 M 8/90 24 CAMBRIDGE MA 35:31 5:56
19 SAM GRANT 47 M 9/90 20 SOUTHAMPTON MA 35:44 5:58
20 DONALD PACHER 1163 M 6/131 37 EASTHAMPTON MA 35:50 5:59
21 PETER FRATINI 29 M 4/166 44 WESTFIELD MA 36:11 6:02
22 BRENDAN KANE 87 M 2/22 19 EAST LONGMEADOW MA 36:13 6:03
23 JOHN BARRETT 1086 M 7/131 39 NEEDHAM MA 36:23 6:04
24 MEGHAN LYNCH 18 F 2/81 23 SOMERVILLE MA 36:29 6:05
25 MATTHEW REYNOLDS 1171 M 8/131 39 HAYDENVILLE MA 36:33 6:06

Three days later I ran in the Bright Nights 5k. It’s a cool race thru the Christmas Light display set up in Forest Park in Springfield, Massachusetts. It can be bit dicey running with the harsh contrast between the dark of night and the intense lighting display and blinding flood lights set up for the ‘safety’ of the runners. Fortunately the weather was very cooperative; the course was dry and the footing solid. I misplaced a foot plant last year as I came off a sidewalk in full stride. I did a tuck-and-roll that literally, and figuratively, propelled me back onto my feet before I knew what happened.

At the startlimne, a couple of the top finishers from recent years were missing. In attendance was two time winner and fellow Ludlow Resident, Zach Peitras; fresh off his freshman year cross season at Springfield College. No match for Zach’s speed - even if he is going to take it easy before this weekend’s opening indoor track meet – a consolatory 2nd place will be the best I can hope for.

The gun goes off and Zach is gone, baby, gone. Within 10 steps this race seems decided. Carlos is running as a bandit and sticks with Zach for about 30 seconds before deciding to run it out closer to my pace. The first mile is very fast with a gradual decline before a big downhill to the duck pond. Carlos changes pace back forth before putting in a quick accelartion up the hill as we close out mile 1 together in 5:20.

I pull away on the last of the uphill with a firm hold on 2nd place by the turnaround at the top of hill #2. I felt really good and light on my feet as I went thru a 5:25 second mile, but the legs fell apart on the last hill on mile 3. I used the fear of blowing 2nd place to keep pressing the pace. My legs only seemed to produce a 6:00 final mile. The last hill stole my groove. All-in-all, a good result for a night run and only a couple days out from last Saturday's race. 25 seconds better than last year.

1 Zach Pietras 1 18 1/13 M1419 Ludlow MA 16:39 5:22
2 Rob Landry 2 41 1/47 M4049 Ludlow MA 17:22 5:36
3 John Pajer 357 47 2/47 M4049 Leicester MA 17:53 5:46
4 Brian Crowley 100 14 2/13 M1419 Ludlow MA 18:41 6:01
5 Joseph Kenney 227 25 1/11 M2029 Springfield MA 18:54 6:05
6 Joe Wilson 489 34 1/34 M3039 Holyoke MA 19:00 6:07
7 Joshua Rice 3 39 2/34 M3039 Longmeadow MA 19:10 6:11
8 Mike Lescarbeau 268 38 3/34 M3039 Agawam MA 19:49 6:23
9 Jack Kamin 216 16 3/13 M1419 Longmeadow MA 20:14 6:31
10 Jackie Evans 137 34 1/88 F3039 Esat Longmeadow MA 20:17 6:32

One tempo run and four days later, I completed the four race romp at the Hot Chocolate 5k in Northampton, Mass. I have run this race every year since 2006 and have consistently done well. This race will feature its 3rd course change in as many years necessitated by its rapidly increasing popularity and need for more space. The race draws a walker-to-runner ratio much higher than almost any other race I know. Back in 2006 it drew 500 walkers/runners. This year some four-plus-thousand walkers and runners are expected.

I woke this morning; checked my weight. 160 pounds. WTF !!!??? I managed to gain 6lbs over the past three days! That didn’t inspire a lot of confidence in today’s race, for sure. I get to the race about an hour early but still hit tons of traffic. I grab a quick parking spot just to pick up my number knowing I will have to go back for my stuff and find a new parking spot a good mile and half away; making sure I don’t get towed. The local business owners don’t seem to appreciate the influx of people this morning – at least those that are more interested in fitness than commerce.

I went thru the motions of pre race warm-up; stretches and strides; just wasn’t feeling it.
The gun goes off and off we go up the incline to start the race and already a good 30 people ahead of me charging the hill way hard. A 1/2 mile in and a dozen people have already have fallen off. I hit the 1st mile in 5:22. Not too bad. The next mile has some downhill. The leading girl passes me. Her leg turnover only seems to be getting faster. I’m barely picking up my feet. In short time, the gap grows quickly.

The final mile crosses an uphill pass by the Smith College indoor track facility. My legs have turned to rubber on the final ascent. It’s all downhill from 2.5 miles to the finish. No mater. There is nothing in my legs that remotely resembles a finishing kick.

I finished 10th overall. 3rd master. 15th in the age-grading category.

1 1246 Sidney Letendre 55 F Florence MA 20:25 16:45 88.43
2 1790 Richard Larsen 58 M Shelburne MA smac 18:01 14:44 87.59
3 3370 Kent Lemme 42 M South Hadley MA Greater Spr 15:56 14:50 86.95
4 4070 Erik Nedeau 38 M Belchertown MA New Balance 15:32 14:54 86.61
5 2090 Jennifer Campbell 26 F Newmarket NH McKechnie R 17:07 17:07 86.48
6 4069 Marsha Pruett 49 F Northampton MA 19:57 17:40 83.81
7 1778 Brad Mish 22 M Hadley MA 15:36 15:35 82.77
8 3128 Bill Stewart 44 M Leverett MA SMAC 17:07 15:42 82.20
9 2479 Bob Parks 39 M Brattleboro VT Sisu Projec 16:32 15:44 82.02
10 1088 Andy Mccarron 27 M Keene NH CMS 15:55 15:55 81.09
11 2966 Joellen Cameron 46 F Conway MA SMAC 20:00 18:20 80.72
12 1101 Alison Crocker 25 F Amherst MA SMAC 18:26 18:26 80.32
13 1307 Kathleen Campbell 58 F Easthampton MA 23:28 18:29 80.16
14 3138 Valerie Lynch 32 F Northampton MA 18:31 18:28 80.15
15 711 Rob Landry 41 M Ludlow MA Greater Spr 17:25 16:20 78.96
16 2288 Robert Austin 54 M Northampton MA Sugarloaf M 19:19 16:21 78.92
17 1720 Abby Mahoney 31 F Holyoke MA Central Mas 18:47 18:46 78.92
18 1004 Stephen Kapral 12 M Dummerston VT Chameleon H 18:51 16:21 78.88
19 3393 Sue Dean 48 F Leeds MA SMAC 20:59 18:49 78.73
20 3354 Karen Laverdiere 49 F Haydenville MA NCC 21:16 18:50 78.65
21 1942 Bill Grinnell 47 M Florence MA Webber and 18:19 16:25 78.62
22 2110 Tim Mahoney 30 M Holyoke MA CMS 16:28 16:25 78.61
23 3217 Thomas O'Grady 24 M Latham NY Albany Runn 16:27 16:27 78.43
24 156 Linda Morley 60 F Northampton MA 24:45 18:57 78.16
25 1134 Leah Haake 17 F Hadley MA 19:22 18:57 78.11

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Two Race Weekend - Larch Hill Classic and Dan Barry 5 Miler

5th Annual Larch Hill Cross Country Classic
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Bramble Hill Farm, Amherst, MA

3+ Miles: 19:2x Splits ? 4th Overall

I finished a solid week of training with a pair of low-key weekend races. I didn't go into either with high expectations. The goal was to ready myself for some key races: Talking Turkey in late November and in early December: the Northampton Hot Chocolate 5k and Club Nationals Cross in Lexington, KY.

The Larch Hill race is an unique event that doesn't get the attention it deserves.
My friend Nick Hopley started this race five years ago to support the Bramble Hill Farm and Common School while his son was attending.

It's a true old English style cross country race that is near and dear to Nick.
Nick sets up a course "around 3 miles" on the scenic farm land covering some gravel trail but mostly roughly moved grass and the woods lined trails on the perimeter of the farmland. The first mile was the hardest part. A short hill then some good old slop, mud before a small steeple jump into 3-4 inches of standing water that was unavoidable. The second, shorter interior loop returned up the short incline to a 4-foot-high hay bail to hop over before cutting thru the sheep field to a stile (a step ladder to climb over an wall or fence - yea I had to look that up). A true cross country course suited for strength runners. I could tell during my warmup over the primary 2 mile loop that this going to be a ...slow... grind. This course will easily eat you up if you don't run smart.

After my pair of warmup laps, I do some strides and wait for the kids race to start. My daughter Brianna runs after a little coaxing. She can run fast when she wants to - like when she wanted more popcorn. Good stuff.

I knew it was not going to be a stellar day. The remnants of Tues intervals and Thur's tempo was still in my legs.
I shed my stopwatch before the start knowing it would be of no use. There will not be any mile splits. The overall distance... 'around 3 miles'. Maybe 19 minutes for the fast runners. This will be a contest where position is more important than clocked time. Runners that can pace their effort based on feel and not mile splits will have the advantage.

When the gun goes off I take it as easy looking to seed myself in 4 or 5th position behind Paul Bazunchuk and some other guy breathing way too hard for less than one mile in. I pass them after about 5 minutes but not before first getting passed by Will Paulding.

I sit in for a while trying to relax and conserve some energy and let a big gap build between Will and myself. I work to pull him back within striking range but despite a conservative effort so far, my legs are toast.

I jog up the small hill for 2nd loop, jump roll and flip over the huge hay bail and muddled my way thru the final mile.

Course was longer than 3 miles. Who knows by how much.
I think my time was around 19:20, about 80 seconds behind winner Ethan Nedeau and runner-up Leigh Schmitt. An easy 4 mile shakeout on the treadmill later that afternoon and my felt much better.

Dan Barry Memorial 5 Miler
Sunday November 1, 2009
Hatfield, MA

1st Overall

I return to Hatfield for the 5th consecutive year. This may be a low key race but its very well supported by the Hatfield Lions. I first ran this race in 2005 as part of Empire One Running Club's Grand Prix series. 2005 was the year when I returned to racing. This is also the first race over 5k where I went sub 6:00/pace and along with the Monson Half, the only races I've made back every year since.
I finished 5th overall in '05 in 28:28 after running second for most the race behind winner Brain Donahue.

Being the low key race that it is, you won't find much, if anything, for prizes. Sometimes there's prize merchandise. Sometimes zilch. But everybody will get a bag of locally harvested potatoes and treated to a decent post race meal courtesy of the Hatfield Lions. With such a spartan prize structure you will not find any of the local hot shots swooping in to grab some loot. That's just fine since it has allowed me to add add some overall victories to the resume:
'06 (28:23 $15 gas card) and '07 (28:37 T-shirt). Tim Mahoney rained on my parade in '08 (27:20 to my 28:20 - we both missed out on prizes while out on our cool down)

I ran the 5 mile course for warmup and felt surprisingly good. I was breezing around 6:45 pace by the end. No Tim Mahoney here today. Rich Larsen who has been here the past several years and Peter Fratini were the other top dogs. I jump to the front immediately as we make our way onto Main St. I can feel Peter maybe a couple strides back. He's maybe 5 seconds back as I hit mile one in 5:25.

Each year I have run very similar times and mile splits. This year I was hoping to finally break thru the 28 minutes barrier. The best way to do that I believe is to get thru miles 2 and 3 quicker than previous years. Mile 2 has the race only hill of note preceded by a near equal downhill. But it also faces the brunt of the typical North to South winds that can blow hard down the Connecticut River valley accounting for the consistently slower splits. Sure enough the 5:52 and 5:47 splits are near identical to my previous best. The only consolidation is that I'm putting this effort in
entirely on my own - soon after starting the slight climb I no longer sense Peter right on me.

I finish off miles 2 and 3 strong however no longer up on my toes. Still I'm happy the legs are still holding up well. During the warmup on this section the tailwind was strong and was really pushing me forward. How strong? The wind was so strong that when I spit, it was flying a good 5 feet beyond it's projected trajectory under normal conditions. It has since died down some. Too bad. I was relishing the thought of putting in some 'easy' 5:20 miles.

My legs get heavy thru mile 4 and I drop down to 5:40 pace when in past years I have clocked low 5:3x. Never-the-less I seem to have a commanding lead and make an earnest effort to accelerate off the downhill the leads into the final mile. My legs get real lethargic on the final 1/2 mile. I keep telling myself that if I don't get my ass in gear I'm going to get overtaken right at the line. Nobody is that close but when your suffering the last 400 meters can seem like an eternity. So I manufacture the motivation I need to get to the finish line. A 5:33 final mile - a near carbon copy of last year. Collectively a scant 3 second improvement on last year's course best.

A solid finish to the week. I'll gladly take it. And my potatoes too, of course.

Race Splits 5:25, 11:17 (5:52), 17:04 (5:47), 22:43 (5:40), 28:17 (5:33)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Baystate Marathon

Sunday, October 18, 2009
USATF New England Grand Prix Marathon Championship

Lowell Massachusetts was the repeat host for the USATF New England Grand Prix finale this past Sunday. The word was about six or so runners were shooting to go sub 2:30 even with last year’s top three Baystaters’ (Matt Pelletier, Ryan Carrara, and local Joe Hegarty) and #2 and #3 in this year overall standings out of action (Dan Vassallo adiNE and Matt Ely BAA). One name present this year: The GP individual leader Justin Fyfe who has been solid, improving with each and every race, and a clear pre-race favorite.

My expectations: a bit lower. 2:40. Maybe a minute or two faster if things go well. I do my best marathon training over the winter months. Summer being a busy time of the year to log the high volume weeks required to perform well at this distance. During the summer months the weekly mileage typically drops from a very consistent high 80’s to a varying mid 50-60 on average. The summer’s race season went reasonably well but not as great as I hoped. But I seem to be coming into some decent form as of late so expectations were muted but with shades of cautiously optimistic brushed in.

Like most others waiting in limbo during the final taper week, I check the weekend weather reports daily. It’s not looking good. Last year’s race temps were in the cool mid 40’s with very blustery winds that got worse as the day went on. By the final miles the wind gust reached 30-40mph. Mother Nature was promising an encore performance: with a bonus touch – some significant wet snow/rain with temps hovering just over the freezing point. Last year after all that hard work preparing for a sub 2:40, I was upset, no pissed-off, that I got screwed out of the PR I was so deserving of.

Eventually that bitterness goes away and, if you’re wise enough, you’ll draw from that experience, building the character and motivation required to succeed the next time out. I think I did just that. Over the winter months I steadily built back up my morale, determination and focus, logging some very good months that somehow seemed to strike a perfect balance between volume, quality and recovery. As the months progressed, my fitness level seemed to reach new levels without my body breaking down like it did last year.

I started the year by logging weeks in the 80’s - about 10-20 miles a week less than the previous year. I can’t honestly say at this point if last year’s big mileage weeks were the prerequisite to get to where I presently was, or I in fact, they were a detour that I was fortunate to navigate thru. Hopefully time will tell. But what’s clear was that I felt fitter, faster this time around. The speed workouts and early season race results confirmed this. By the time April came around, I could feel it in my bones. It was shaping up to big PR at Boston. The 2:36:46 was no surprise. The 2:42:59 at Holyoke two weeks later even less of a shock.

What was somewhat surprising: finding motivation after a very successful campaign can be just as hard as after an all-out failure. Despite a somewhat productive summer race season, I found myself in somewhat of an abyss without a goal marathon location or time to shoot for. The Hartford Marathon director showed no interest to my email request into their ‘New England Finest’ program. Unless you run in the 2:20’s, New York requires an early May commitment, right when I’m coming off Holyoke . The thought of another marathon training cycle seems less than appealing at that time. The master’s marathon championship in Twin Cites peeks my interest. A far travel that feels deserving of an all-in type effort. I just wasn’t there. Where I am, is here: a mid-October Sunday, 5 in the AM - cold, dark and raw - driving down the Mass Pike to Lowell, Massachusetts.

The day started bad – poor communication and execution on race day preparation. We get off later than originally planned and underestimate the time it will take to get into the parking garage once we get there. About 30 minutes is all Joe Fois and I have to get our bib numbers, hit the bathroom, and get in a short warm-up: stupid rookie mistakes by season runners. No excuse.
I got to the start line in ample time but I forgot my gu’s, body glide and band-aids for my nipples. The gu’s will not needed because with all the last minute panic, I have worked my stomach into knots. Maybe it was the adrenaline or the acceptance that it was going to be a crap day, it just didn’t feel that cold. I go with scull-cap, gloves, race singlet and arm warmers and that seemed just fine. You could feel the dampness in the air foretelling rain was inevitable. The less heavy cold wet clothes to weigh you down later on, the better.

The plan was to try to hit 6:00/pace early on and if it fortune befalls maybe a good group of runners will form. If such a group takes shape then stick with it as long as possible. Avoid an all day solo effort battling the wind and rain. Right around mile 3 a runner pulls up alongside and asks what I’m looking to run. Brian Ruhm, I believe, based on some race photos. I tell Brian 2:40 or better. He says this is his first marathon in four years and he’s looking to run 2:40 too. I recite the 6:03 mile 4 split 24:07 to see if he acknowledges that this is more like 2:38 pace. There’s no real response from Brian but he looks to be motoring along quite well. So we run side by side for a while and pick up a couple of runners on the next two miles. Before the Tyngsboro Bridge, we have grown into a pack of four runners adding Robert Emord of GBTC and Bob Dabrieo of Whirlaway and Per Ekegerd - again based on race photos, not familiarity of these guys.

Now that I have the opportunity to see the race results, name and faces, it explains why over these past couple of miles there been an unusual high number of people shouting out encouragement for me by name. “Go get them Bob”. “Bob you’re a beast”. Unusual because I only recognize a few faces and voices for sure. Brian’s has to inquire. “Ok which one of you is Bob and how the hell did you get such a big fan club” I pause for minute to see if anyone else pipes up - in part because I’m fully engrossed in the race effort to do much conversing. But mostly because I doubt I’m that popular. Oh, well, guess I’m not that lucky. Brian is the lucky one: surrounded by Bob’s

Joe Ryan of RUN team bridges the gap up to us at mile 9 and we close up on my GSH teammate Carlos Rivera. For a brief moment the pack is grown to six and we’re clicking off even sixes moving along nicely; an all too brief moment for me. My stomach has been churning for the past couple of miles and by mile 10 it’s becoming apparent I won’t be able to gut it out for another 16 miles. I’m going to have to make a pit stop. The sooner the better. So at mile 11 I stake out the biggest tree for maximum coverage and take care of business as expedient as I can. A couple hundred feet more and I spot a porta-potty where I decide to finish the deed once and for all and get back to racing once again. An 8:30 mile. Two minutes and 30 seconds is the damage done.

I get it back in gear quickly aided more by a rush of adrenaline than a smooth, efficient stride. 1:21:47 for the half (Mile 12-13 6:03, 6:13 up over the bridge). I spot teammate Carlos shortly thereafter and pass him around mile 15. He’s clearly not having a good day. He guts out a 3:30. The next runner in sight of note was Brian McNiece. I recognize him by his Narragassett singlet and a somewhat tallish frame. Mike ran a 2:45 3rd place at the Holyoke Marathon this May. A couple of 6:03 and 6:04 miles ands the gap closes to less than 15 seconds before the second pass of the Tyngsboro Bridge. I use the decline off the bridge to pass one more runner, getting to within maybe 10 seconds of Brian. That was the closest I will get today. The 6:15 then 6:20 miles start creeping in. By mile 20 it’s clear I’m not going to catch Brian and more importantly a sub 2:40 is long far gone.

As I pass the bridge that closes out the 2nd loop the cluster of half marathon walk-joggers merge in between Brian and myself. Like last year I lose focus on the runner ahead and instead let the slow drone-like pace of the halfer’s creep into my psyche. I think it was at this point I declare the race over.

6:21 and 6:29 miles follow. By mile 23, a 6:38. Then all of a sudden, without warning, GBTC’s Tomoaki Uchiki flies by me like I’m standing still. I don’t remember ever being passed that easily before. A shock to the system. I needed that. I’m sure if that didn’t happen at that point I would have settled into 7 min pace for the remainder. Getting passed that harshly stokes the fire a little and I get somewhat back into the race. But the engine has downshifted into economy mode and 6:33 pace will be all that I’m willing to reply with.

Then the real unfortunate happens. I let not one, not two, but three runners pass me in miles 24-25. I never should have let that happen once I spotted them. Two of them are Whirlaway men. Mike Cooney and Criag Fram - big time master runners.

Mike and Craig are seasoned racers and after a patiently biding their time are now finishing off in a strong 6 flat pace teaching the less savvy, skilled runners like myself more than smart pacing. No matter what kind of day you are having. No matter how sure in your head that you have locked in, or been shut out of the top positions - never stop pushing.

Mike keeps looking back, checking his progress and applying the gas to discourage any thoughts of chasing him down. It’s not a look of panic. It’s the look of a season racer, a fighter, who lives for these moments. Whether or not I’m strong enough to respond and beat him to the finish, he put himself in position to win. He’s not going to lose without a fight.

Without focus, without drive, I put in only a slight fight to reclaim position. I chase down the one non-master of the trio - token consolation. The race was right there in front of me but it didn’t matter. I was, at that point – completely detached from the race. A humbling, but hopefully, a learning experience. There’s a difference between running fast and racing. For some racing comes naturally. Perhaps for myself, it will take some more losses to engrain that killer instinct needed to make it to the next level.


# Pl/Div Div Pace Net Name Team

1 1/187 M2029 5:39 2:27:53 Brandon Newbould WHIRL
2 2/187 M2029 5:40 2:28:15 Justin Fyffe CMS
3 3/187 M2029 5:41 2:29:02 Andy McCarron CMS
4 1/296 M3039 5:48 2:31:40 Mark Hudson WHIRL
5 4/187 M2029 5:49 2:32:26 Tom Casey RUN
6 5/187 M2029 5:50 2:32:46 Tom Deeg WHIRL
7 6/187 M2029 5:51 2:33:08 Scott Leslie CMS
8 2/296 M3039 5:54 2:34:33* Joe Navas WHIRL
9 7/187 M2029 5:54 2:34:35 Matthew Terrasi
10 8/187 M2029 5:54 2:34:39 Mike Brown BAA
11 3/296 M3039 5:55 2:34:48 Ryan Aschbrenner GBTC
12 4/296 M3039 5:56 2:35:11 Mike Brouillette GSH
13 5/296 M3039 6:01 2:37:46 Jim Johnson CMS
14 1/317 M4049 6:02 2:38:05 Titus Mutinda RUN
15 6/296 M3039 6:04 2:38:46 Per Ekegerd
16 9/187 M2029 6:05 2:39:14 Joseph Ryan RUN
17 10/187 M2029 6:10 2:41:32 Kevin Tilton CMS
18 7/296 M3039 6:11 2:41:58 Chris Mahoney WHIRL
19 8/296 M3039 6:12 2:42:31 Tomoaki Uchiki GBTC
20 11/187 M2029 6:14 2:43:13 Robert Emord GBTC
21 2/317 M4049 6:14 2:43:17* Mike Cooney WHIRL
22 9/296 M3039 6:14 2:43:20 Brian McNeiece NRA
23 3/317 M4049 6:14 2:43:24 Brian Ruhm
24 12/187 M2029 6:16 2:44:20 Tim Stickney GBTC
25 4/317 M4049 6:17 2:44:40 Joseph Koech RUN
26 1/159 M5059 6:17 2:44:44* Craig Fram WHIRL
27 5/317 M4049 6:18 2:44:52 Mark Engerman TRIAD
28 6/317 M4049 6:19 2:45:17 Robert Landry GSH

My Splits...

12:00 (6:01),
18:02 (6:02),
24:07 (6:05),
30:11 (6:04),
36:16 (6:05),
42:20 (6:04),
48:23 (6:03)
1:00:23 (12:00),
1:08:54 (8:31),
1:14:58 (6:04),
1:21:10 (6:12), 1:21:47
1:27:14 (6:04),
1:33:16 (6:02),
1:39:30 (6:14),
1:45:45 (6:15),
1:51:59 (6:14),
1:58:13 (6:14),
2:04:34 (6:21),
2:11:03 (6:29),
2:17:28 (6:25),
2:24:06 (6:38),
2:30:39 (6:33),
2:37:13 (6:34),
2:43:47 (6:34),
2:45:15 (1:28)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Beach 2 Beacon 10k - Falmouth Road Race

Beacon 2 Beacon 10k
Saturday, August 1, 2009
35:15 5:41/mi pace Overall
97th Overall - 11th 40+ Masters
7th Overall in the 40-44 Age Division

Splits 11:10, 16:47 (5:37), 22:35 (5:48), 28:15 (5:40), 34:11 (5:57) 35:15 (65)

Finally. Sun. Summer heat. Goodbye, rain. Yes. Summer has finally has arrived. And yet, with the Beach 2 Beacon 10k and the following weeks' Falmouth Road Race now here, summer's end seems all too close. I first learned about Beach 2 Beacon by happen-stance back in 2005 while on vacation in Old Orchard Beach with the family. The race is a big deal in Maine with some top notch international and regional talent. The Portland newspaper gives it much respect. Not one or two lame articles. Nope. Two days before there will be an entire pull-out section full of lead-in stories, runner profiles, and of course the usual human interest pieces. Plus several more stories on race day and finally post race recaps of the international, top local talent as well as middle and back of the packer's.

The race located in oh so picturesque Cape Elizabeth, Maine was founded by local running great Joan Benoit Samuelson, winner of the first Women's Olympic Marathon. This year marked the 25th anniversary of her gold medal run. Thru the efforts of Joanie and her friends in the running community together with strong sponsorship backing this race attracts top talent from around the world and region.

It is also blessed with a great spot in the racing calendar; a couple weeks after Iowa's bix-7 miler and a week before Falmouth. Top Kenyans, Ethopians and Europeans race the circuit from Iowa, to Maine, and onto Falmouth each year. Host families often open their homes in the lovely Cape Elizabeth for their once a year guest.

While not as fortunate to recieve such royal treatment, making the trek up to Old Orchard Beach for family vacation, and a to Falmouth the following weekend has become an annual ritual I look foward to all summer.

This year's race was sold out within two hours when online registration opened in mid-March. I was one of the many shut-outs. Blessed with qausi-fast feet but lacking the fastest finger gene. Like many other in my predictiment, I was able to get in with an e-mail to the race committee. However my recent race times were good enough to garner a comp'd entry as a regional top master. My first ever comp entry into a bigtime race. That added extra motivation this year to perform well.

...more to come...

Weekly Back Cove 5k
Wed, Aug 5
Downtown Portland Maine

17:58 5th overall Splits ~ 5:50, 5:49 5:44

- A hot one- heat index 88 at 6pm.
The Maine Running Company does a great job putting on this weekly 5k each Wednesday from mid May thru mid September. The race follows a gravel cinder bike/walk path that circles around downtown Portland's back cove area with a brief section on the sidwalk of the I-295 overpass over the cove on the return trip back.
The race is free to all. That's right. No charge. There a website,
http://backcove.runtowin.com/index.php , to pre register a number. Weekly results are posted. A cumulative weekly standings is kept with a runner-by-runner results listing. All for free.

A pretty cool tech jersey can be purchased for $20 with proceeds going to the Portland Trails fund.

IThe race usually gets about 50-100 runner per week but the weeks around Beach 2 Beacon race number nearly double. I treated today run like a hard tempo workout. I ran at about 90% of all out 5k race effort. It felt pretty smooth and relaxed despite the brutal heat and humidty. At times the ease of effort lead me to belive I was going faster that I actually was but overall the effort and results was right on with what I
predicted I would run.

Falmouth Road Race
Sunday, August 8, 2009
40:15 100th 10th Master

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Tuesday June 16, 2009
Track workout Ludlow High School

Warmup: 5+ miles Sportsman Rd- East St Yale St loopplus track and several strides. Track was busy with kids' soccer game. I wasn't at all motivated to run track today. It's never fun when kids all over the place kicking balls this-away-and-that-away. Throw in parents hanging around watching you sweat & suck wind. file todays workout under "F" ... as in soon to be "F"orgotten.

Did one solo 200 and 3 more 200 easy with Mark Baillargeon while waiting for track to clear out:
33, 42, 40, 39

Then 7 x 400 66, 67, 68, 71, 72, 72, 72
anywhere 1:45-2:15 between efforts: 1 min rest then jog about 100m back and forth

Struggled mightly on the 400s

The legs were oh so lathergic. I'm sure some of it's remnants from Sunday's 18x400 session plus no easy shakeout run yesterday. But mostly, it's a lack of any anaerobic work in a long time.

Got what I deserved, and needed, today "A good swift kick in the butt"

A fav Calvin & Hobbes clip of mine:

4 miles warm down 30 min

That's all for now...

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Harpoon 5 Miler & Rhody 5k
June 6 & 7, 2009

Well, my 1st go at since the Boston-Holyoke marathon double five weeks ago. It went about as well as I expected. Nothing to complain about too much here. I have been laying a bit low since then; putting a few pounds on enjoying cookies, ice cream and all sort of other things that I denied myself before the marathons. I've been logging a modest 30-50 miles/wk. Things feel fine. I just felt some down-time would be good for the body and mind. Hopefully I can break this year into two race seasons and avoid the overuse type injuries that come along with racing at a high level all year thru. So this weekend was all about getting back into the grind. A double race weekend. It's something I rarely do but that's how the schedule worked out this year.
1st up: The Harpoon 5.?? miler. My brother-in-law Dan Pavoni did this race last year with me. Our wives come along for the fun. Dan (pictured right) is long on strength and flexibility; quick on the one-liners; but unfortunately, short on any good cartilage in the knees. He'll run a casual 8:30 pace. He's in it for the beer.

Like last year the original 5 miler course has been replaced with an 'alternate' route that starts and ends in the same spot behind the brewery and as such will not be the advertised 5.0 miles. 5.3 was the official race distance. Nobody seems to care too much. After all it's the Harpoon 5 Miler - everybody's in it for the beer !

In short, the race went about according to plan. A 5:30 1st mile. I just figured I'll jump into a somewhat conservative pace and see what I can hold onto. As I suspected, the lack of tempo training since the marathons along with extra poundage, will limit what I am presently capable of. I figure after a couple miles my stride will likely wind down into a fast jog. To my surprise I held on well; logging mostly 5:40 miles thereafter except a suspect mile 3 (6:10). In the end, I did about a minute better than last year on what might have been a bit little longer of a course. The overcast cool temps much better than last years' brutal mid 80's basting.

We stuck around around for some beers and soaked in the sun - which was so nice as to wait until post-race to make it's appearance. And also, to collect my 2nd in the 40's age group winnings: a cool Harpoon Winners' Mug and a 6-pack of Harpoon UFO-White Ale.

Dan and I took couple turns whipping down a 20 meter shoot they had set up with a radar at the end. Dan, knee brace and all, took honors with 16.61mph best to my (all too humiliating) 16.5mph. Damn I suck at the short stuff.

some splits...
5:30, 11:11 (5:41), 17:26 (6:15), 22:55 (5:29), 28:34 (5:39), 30:16 (1:42)

Place Div/Tot Div Nettime Pace Name Ag S Race#
===== ======== ===== ========= ======= =====
1 1/694 M2139 27:11.7 27:11 5:08 Terrance Shea 35 M 26 Cambridge MA
2 2/694 M2139 27:20.9 27:20 5:10 Michael Decoste 26 M 794 Somerville MA
3 3/694 M2139 27:26.1 27:26 5:11 Alex Taylor 29 M 1473 Somerville MA
4 27:27.3 27:27 5:11 Alasdair McLean-Forema M 1876 Cambridge MA
5 4/694 M2139 27:55.9 27:56 5:17 Edward Breen 27 M 939 Medford MA
6 1/112 M4049 29:03.4 29:03 5:29 Gregory Picklesimer 42 M 1092 Newton MA
7 5/694 M2139 30:44.9 29:36 5:35 Bryan Duffy 31 M 32 South Boston MA
8 6/694 M2139 29:55.4 29:53 5:39 Michael Guarascio 25 M 69 Boston MA
9 7/694 M2139 30:10.8 30:10 5:42 Dan Nelson 25 M 1127 Brookline MA
10 2/112 M4049 30:16.2 30:15 5:43 Bob Landry 40 M 342 Ludlow MA
772 395/694 M2139 45:34.5 44:56 8:29 Dan Pavoni 39 M 354 Granby MA

Rhody 5k
USATFNE Grand Prix - Stop #4
Ain't got a lot to say about this one. While I wasn't expecting much on the back end of a two race weekend, I would like to think I could at least hold the pace I ran 2 months ago over the twice-the-distance hilly Holyoke St Pat's 10k.

I was way over-ambitious at last year's Rhody, tearing off the front at 5:00 pace for the 1st half mile only to die shortly thereafter; running painfully slower and slower each minute the race dragged on.

This year I thought I ran a even, conservative 5:30 1st mile. As I headed downhill at the 1 mile marker, I still felt in control. It didn't take long before, once again, I started dragging my slow-a** around this course. Oh, well. Nobody needs to read sad commentary about a mediocre race from an average 40 year old runner. I didn't have my 'A' game today, but you go to war with the army you have. (race photo courtesy
http://doublejrunning.blogspot.com/ )

Splits: 5:30, 11:14 (5:45), 17:04 (5:50), 17:38 (33)

93 28/123 M4049 17:38 5:41 Robert Landry 40 M 160 Ludlow MA GREATER SPRINGFIELD HARRIERS

Greater Springfield Harriers failed to repeat as Male Master Champions without our anchor, Kent Lemme. I didn't exactly pull my weight. When I first joined the Harriers, I wasn't honestly figuring to be much help with anything on the shorter side of the half-marathon. No excuses. I'll make sure to put my best effort forth, for the team, next time. Every second counts.

-------------- MALE MASTERS TEAM RESULTS--------
1. WHIRLAWAY RACING TEAM 15:39 16:04 16:10 16:12 16:24 ( 17:13) ( 17:15) = 1:20:29
Sean Livingston, Craig Fram, Scott Anderson, Mike Cooney, Mike Platt, Mark Gibson, Reno Stirrat
2. CENTRAL MASS STRIDERS 16:02 16:26 16:29 16:57 17:37 ( 19:52) ( 20:05) = 1:23:31
Joe Shairs, Tim Van Orden, Dave Dunham, Dan Verrington, Kevin Connor, Edward Coleman, David Krom
3. GREATER LOWELL ROAD RUNNERS 15:46 16:33 17:09 17:19 17:47 ( 18:14) ( 18:49) = 1:24:34
Tom Doody, Mark Reeder, David Oliver, John Barbour, Tom Offenbacher, Andrew Biancheri, Ej Hrynowski
4. GREATER SPRINGFIELD HARRIERS 16:29 16:39 17:38 17:44 17:48 ( 19:58) ( 20:34) = 1:26:18
Joe Lemay, Ronald Lombardi, Robert Landry, Francis Burdett, Peter Fratini, Richard Clark, Ramon Alicea

On a positive note: It really wasn't all that bad of a weekend. A good track workout and two races, or in a better frame of mind - 2 decent tempo runs. The next couple weeks will be a better indication of what's possible for the rest of the summer. Next up the Longmeadow Father's Day 10k and Springfield's 4th of July 5k. 8 weeks of training remain before Beach 2 Beacon. Time to get serious.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

47th Annual Walter Childs Race of Champions
aka Holyoke Marathon
May 3, 2009

What a day. Words can't describe how I feel right now. Thrilled. Elated. Glorious. Exhausted. All of these and so much more.

I feel fortunate to have accomplished all that I have these past two weeks. A much more reflective look back, and forward, is in order. But it's getting close to 9 o'clock and I'm spent. The body and mind are in much need of rest, so this quick summary will have to suffice for now.

Apologies in advance for any mis-spellings, grammar and race and names inaccuracies. I'm starting to feel quite ill. The adrenaline is starting to wear off and today's effort is taking hold.

The past two weeks have gone quite well. I have recovered from Boston. This week's runs have been easy and have gone according to plan. Everything seemed to indicate I would be ready today. The weather was superb for running. Maybe the best Holyoke ever. Low 40's. I don't recall much, if any, wind; even through the Whiting Reservoir.

At the start I spot Mike Carroll, a 5-time winner. Mike's a solid runner, veteran marathoner and all around cool guy. We chat briefly at the starting line as I scan the crowd for today's other challengers. I spot several Narragansett runners, including one that looks familiar.
My suspicions of a challenging day ahead would quickly be confirmed. I establish the pace early over the first mile that includes several incline and declines before a severe 1/4 mile free fall.

I reach Whiting Reservoir first. The 6:10 first mile was a little quicker than planned. I ease back. A little less than 25 miles to go. A long way for sure. It takes less than a 1/2 mile before a pair of the Narragansett runners to pull ahead, Michael Tammaro closely followed by Brian McNeisce. Mike Carroll, having just run another great time (2:46) at his 11th Boston, is not too far behind. Carroll always seems to run a smartly paced race. His 2007 victory was a textbook example of how to bide your time on this course.

Tammaro clicks off a steady series of low 6's on the first two loops around the res. By 10k, he has steadily built a lead of maybe over a minute. It was getting time to plan out today's possible outcomes. Michael was looking fresh. The spring in his step hasn't subsided and he looks determined to power his way to victory today. He's on about 2:38-2:40 pace right now. An effort I doubt I will be able to match. Even on an ideal day for running like today, a sub 2:40 would be stellar on this course.

I decide to run my own race. I settle into a marathoner's rhythm and will just have to patiently wait to see how the day will unfold. On the final loop around, my pace picks up ever so slightly. I click off 6:01 and 6:00 miles as I pass Brian. By the 9 mile marker and the uphill exit out of the Reservoir, the lead has shrunk to about 20+ seconds.

Michael continues running some very strong miles. His lead expands a little over miles 10-12. We draw even on the series of big downhills right before the halfway point which we split in about 1:19:45. That's about 3 minutes faster than I ever have gone thru the half here at Holyoke.

Michael stays right on me as a after I take the lead on the downhills. I figure he’s decided leading this race is no fun and will sit on me for a while, conserving for decisive move later on. To my surprise Michael retakes the lead after only a more than a mile in my draft. I follow closely behind for a little bit. I know the course well. I am not anxious to push the pace just yet. We still have about 10 miles to go including a short section of uphill dirt gravel road that can sap the strength right out of your legs. I find myself back in the lead just before that dirt section and set a reasonable pace knowing there are some faster miles ahead.

I clicked off some solid 6:07-6:10 miles over the gently rolling hills. By the time we cross over Route 141 at mile 18 I believe I have my first gap. I no longer hear footsteps. It appears the two other Narragansett runners have their families here routing them on. Like my wife, they're making frequent stops along the route, offering bottles of water and shouting words of encouragement. But being the local fav, I have the advantage, or least delusion, that everyone is routing for me today. It's a huge lift.

The lead has risen to almost a minute by mile 20 without having to dig down too deep. I'm just maintaining pace right now. Turning the corner onto Route 5 the lead extends to a minute and a half. The final 5-6 miles of any marathon are critical - especially here at Holyoke.
The last 2.5 miles are mainly uphill. The grade rises ever so slightly before the becoming more pronounced. The hill rises, stretches and bends for the better part of a mile. The traffic light marks the final right hand. Another 1/2 mile of nasty uphill is all that remains. It's one mother of a momentum killer. I have never finished strongly over the last 3 miles here. This year will be no different.

My legs feel good but the tank is quickly approaching 'E'. Panic was starting to seep in.

I breathe a huge sigh of relief to learn I have built up a 3 minute cushion.
I hold onto it dearly. It feels like a soft, warm security blanket.
Thoughts of a final 10 minute mile seem quite possible.

Luckily I finish the day ok. Disastrous crash averted.
At the end I feel elated and absolutely wiped out.

A tough day for sure. I'm glad it's over. I need some rest.

I have many people I would like to thank. First and foremost my wife, Barbara.
Her endless support and understanding as I train, train and train some more has made this all possible. I would have never had been able to do any of this without her. She has been the inspiration that got me going down this road in the first place.

Also my 5 year old daughter Brianna. She tells me in no uncertain terms that watching me race "is sooo boring". I suspect she is old enough to get it a little now. Hopefully she will look back and think what her Dad did was cool: even though is he is bit a running geek. In the eyes of the non-runners, we are all just geeks.

And thanks to my fellow running partner Mark Baillargeon. Mark's an awesome guy to have on your side. Someone to listen, offer advice and help you ride thru the highs and lows.

Afterwards, I hung out with Mike Carroll, Mark Baillargeon, Joe Fois and Dan McNair as we went thru a cooler full of some quality German beers... and a few Bud Lights. We talk shop for a while; swapping the usual training regimens, race stories and punchlines oblivious to the light drizzle that has capped off a perfect day for running. Good times.

Finally a big thanks to all the race day volunteers, Pate Stasz, the Greater Springfield Harriers and Christine Bedson, the race director and granddaughter to this race's namesake for all their hard work in making this race possible every year.


The splits...
12:27 (6:16),
18:37 (6:09),
24:48 (6:11),
30:59 (6:11),
37:08 (6:09),
43:11 (6:03),
49:13 (6:02),
55:14 (6:01),
1:01:42 (6:28),
1:07:55 (6:13),
1:13:53 (5:58), Half ~ 1:19:48
1:25:16 (11:23)
1:31:19 (6:03),
1:43:43 (12:24),
1:55:50 (12:07),
2:01:58 (6:08),
2:08:07 (6:09),
2:14:24 (6:17),
2:20:38 (6:14),
2:27:04 (6:26),
2:33:34 (6:30),
2:40:55 (7:21),
2:42:59 (2:04)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Monday, April 20, 2009
113th Boston Marathon

I decided to start a blog ! I'll start with my Boston Marathon write-up I posted on by runing2win log. In the near future I need to get down in writing a better recollection of the training leading into Partriot's Day, the race itself and what's next now that the big day has come and past.

The morning did not get off to good start. The race shorts I placed out with my warmup pants the day before were nowhere to be found. I still have no clue where they are. I grabbed another pair, bolted out the door, and got to the bus in plenty of time. Did plenty of stretching and an easy warmup jog once we arrived in Hopkinton. Felt mentally in a real good place. I wasn't worried too much about the cold or even the wind. This was nothing like 2007. If I could just run smart, work with groups and not bounce around in no man's land like I did at the Baystate Marathon than I felt I run well.

The plan was to hold back just a little for the 1st half, 1:18 maybe a little faster if I was feeling good. I don't consider myself a 'great' downhill runner but I seem to handle the early downhill miles from Hopkinton to Framingham well. I didn't panic hitting 10k in 36:03. Things were going well. The pace of the group I was working in felt comfortable and we seemed to be running at a very even effort thru the slight rises and declines. Around 15k, the timing chip in my left foot was digging into the top of my foot. I tied my shoe to tight. It was a cold day but the feet will have to swell over the course of 26 miles and this was only going to get worse. But I was rolling good. No way was I stopping to retie my shoe: kept pushing the pace.

I anticpated the open sections were wind would be an issue like 15k and half way and made sure I wasn't in no man's land too long. Easier said then done but when you're feeling good, the difficult seems trivial. Everything just clicked. Accelerating and closing in one group to the next, I was moving with purpose and a plan.

At times the foot was aching and I wondered if I was going to have to stop. We soon reached Wellesley College. The girls roared, the paced quicken, addrielene kicked in and the foot hurt no more. If every race had this kind of cheering section running would be so much, much more popular.

I didn't cruise over the Newton hills. I didn't drop my load either. Cool. It wasn't till the last of the big downhills and the turn into downtown Boston did I feel the full brunt of the wind. Tight groups of runners broke apart into surgers and faders. I did a little of both; passing and being passed. Somewhere around mile 23 I went from maybe sneaking in on the better side of 2:36 to, "Oh, sh*t" I better get my as* in gear or I can kiss goodbye to sub 2:37!

I gave a little back in last two miles. I wasn't in agony just had no more to give. Photos my wife took of me at the end confirmed it. I was spent.

Kicked some ass today. I will enjoy it while it last.
Soon enough I'll have my ass handed back to me like the Rhody 5k where I'll be lucky to crack the top 100.

And now the splits...

5:38 ~ 9 sec to start ...
11:27 (5:49)
17:17 (5:48) 5k 17:52
28:57 5 mi ... missed one there...
34:48 (5:51) 10k 36:03
40:38 (5:50)
46:30 (5:52)
52:21 (5:51) 15k 54:17
58:19 (5:58)
1:04:17 (5:58)
1:10:06 (5:49) 20k 1:12:38
1:15:58 (5:52) Half 1:16:36
1:21:46 (5:48)
1:27:47 (6:01) 25k 1:30:5
31:45:55 (18:08) missed 3 ... in the zone !
1:52:02 (6:07) 30k 1:49:51
1:58:20 (6:18)
2:04:48 (6:28) 35k 2:09:12
2:10:46 (5:58)
2:17:00 (6:14)
2:22:59 (5:59) 40k 2:28:17
2:29:13 (6:14)
2:35:24 (6:11)

122th Overall
10th Males 40-44
11th All Males 40+
Top New England Master


Finally, thanks to my fans that come every year to boston to support me. You guys are the best !!!