Sunday, November 7, 2010

New England Cross Country Regional

2010 New England Cross Regional Championship
Start Masters 8k Race
Franklin Park, Boston, MA
  Sunday Nov 7 - New England Regional Cross Championship - My 2nd foray into the Cross Country racing, at least at a competitive team event. My first visit to Franklin Park. I wasn't sure how today would go. My training post marathon has been going good and I'm feeling a bit positive not just in my overall fitness but my stride feels a bit more fluid lately.  

29:05 32nd Overall - not a good result at all. Perhaps a bit of marathon still in my legs but more likely just the lack of high end aerobic strength workouts doing the marathon specific training, taper and recovery. Overall fitness is right. I feel I can run at the 80% level for hours but that is of little use in an 8k Cross race.

It was a cool and blustery start to the day but once we got going things were good. I felt I didn't get a long enough warm up to get my legs loose and warmed up, but honestly, I don't think I could have fared much better today. I felt good through the couple of the early flat straight stretches when I could get my stride down and establish a running rhytmn. I was slowly moving up a couple positions here and there. But with every misplaced footstep, sharp turn or change in pace that so often occurs in cross country, I fell back and my confidence took a hit. I couldn't make the necessary gear changes to keep moving forward with the group that included fellow Harriers, Ed Parrot and Peter Fratini. There was simply no drive in my legs and that first mile seemed to take forever. When I saw the clock tick over at 5:28,
Before 1 Mile - Me leading a small group
Right behind is newest Harrier, Ed Parrot,
Brian Ruhm checking out the peeps
"doomed to run together once again" he quipped 
and fellow Greater Spfld Harrier,  Peter Frantini
knowing how I was feeling at that moment, it was going to be a long, long, long 4 miles to the finish.

Just one of those days that I've gone through before. One weekend I'm in a groove spiting-out 6 minute miles. The next week a single 5:30 opening mile can tax me beyond comprehension and I'll spend the remainder of the race barely able to pick up my lethargic, helpless legs.

Im' not sure what makes me feel worse. The fact that I just ran what might be short of 8k at 5:52 pace feeling like crap most of the way, when at the Baystate Marathon, I ran the first 10 miles breezing along at 5:58 pace. Or the fact that over a month ago I ran the Ashley 8k as a tempo workout in a somewhat comfortable sub 29. I'm a much better road distance runner and Baystate is a fast course, so sure, not exactly comparing apples to apples. The Ashley 8k isn't technical in the least or has the multiple climb up the trap rock at Bear Cage, but the loose feel of cinder and gravel around Ashley Reservoir can be a slow grind - deceivingly taxing on the quads and hamstrings. Again a different race and coming in with different expectations and training. But in hindsight, had I'd a better picture of what I was capable, or incapable, of doing today, I would have fared much better starting off slowly and picking up runners in the last couple of miles. Instead I suffered, grinding through the better part of the race wondering what the hell am I doing.

We did good as a team but failed to three-peat as Master Champs despite a repeat 1-2 finish by Francis Burdett and Kent Lemme. Today the dynamic duo swapped their 1-2 showing from last year. Mike Nahom absence and his 4th place finish from last year was the differential. A solid showing by Ron Lombari, new addition Ed Parrot (actually a returnee to the area) and Peter Fratini rounded off the top 5 Harrier scorers. I, for the first time since joining the Harriers, failed to score on the Master's squad. Even had I run a sub 28 8k today as I thought I could, it would not have been enough to wrestle 1st place from a talented and deep Dirigo club.

I could go on and on complaining about how bad today went and how at times I wonder if I'm ever gonna make progress towards being an upper tier runner, but that's enough. Anymore is a waste of time and energy. I'm happy with my training and believe I'm doing the right things to get where I want to be. A knee-jerk reaction to a bad race or two is not a productive use of my energies. Nationals are five weeks away and that's plenty of time to prepare. There's some good races between now and then to whip myself into race shape. Be Positive. Stay the course. Keep the faith.

USA Track & Field New England (USATF-NE) The photos in the Picasa album are courtesy of Henry Finch of CSU.
Another great set of pics from @Scott Mason.

2010 USATF New England Open and Masters - 11/7/2010

Franklin Park, Boston

Men 40-99 8k Run CC masters men
Name Age Team Finals Points
1 #233 Francis Burdett 45 Greater Springfi 26:27 1
2 #238 Kent Lemme 44 Greater Springfi 26:30 2
3 #434 Joseph Navas 40 Whirlaway Ra 26:42
4 #180 Michael Payson 47 Dirigo RC 26:48 3
5 #172 Byrne Decker 43 Dirigo RC 26:49 4
6 #246 Josh Brown 41 Green Mountain AA 26:57 5
7 #124 Wayne Levy 45 Boston Athletic 26:58
8 #165 Greg Putnam 41 Central Mass Str 27:00
9 #272 Jason Cakouros 45 Hfc Striders 27:08 6
10 #169 Pete Bottomley 49 Dirigo RC 27:10 7
15 #239 Ron Lombardi 46 Greater Springfi 27:41 12
28 #241 Edward Parrot 40 Greater Springfi 28:38 21
31 #236 Peter Fratini 45 Greater Springfi 29:00 24
32 #237 Robert Landry 42 Greater Springfi 29:06 25

Team Scores
Rank Team Total 1 2 3 4 5 *6 *7
1 Dirigo RC 43 3 4 7 13 16 19 37
Total Time: 2:16:32.00
Average: 27:18.40

2 Greater Springfield Harri 60 1 2 12 21 24 25
Total Time: 2:18:16.00
Average: 27:39.20

3 Green Mountain AA 67 5 8 14 17 23 28 29
Total Time: 2:19:00.00
Average: 27:48.00

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