Monday, February 28, 2011

2011 Race Season ... Ready...Set...Go !!!

At the Start
Photo Credit :
Sunday, February 27, 2011

The 2011 race season begins in Amherst, MA with the DH Jones race. 10 miles with hills-a-plenty. 266 runners toed the line knowing full well that the couple of inches of snow Mother Nature dropped the night before was going to make an already challenging course that much tougher.

Sure enough, once runners reached the mile 3 marker they were greeted with a various mixture of slop. Actually DPW workers did a good job clearing the dirt roads. I've seen worse. It was a various mix of dirt, mud, snow and some ice all along the short steep grade at mile 3, through the rolling hills of mile 4 up to the mostly flat mile 5 that skirts the outside of the Atkins Reservoir. Getting solid footing was difficult, but not impossible. It was just going to be a slower day than previous years. On the bright side temperatures were a relatively pleasant 32 degrees with a slight wind.

My race went about as expected. After putting in a excellent January, logging 400 miles, my training took a dive the following month. Between work, this never-ending kick-you-in -the-ass winter, and a general lack of motivation to hit the treadmill seven days a week - I failed to keep focus and loss some training momentum. As such my aspirations for this race went south as well, from a sub 58 minute effort to sub 60, to anything close to 60 low given today's conditions.

But as I often tell others, there are few rewards for being in the best race shape in February. You can't be at your best all the time. You got to be patient and plan your peaks. So I'm not overly disappointed with today's result.

I got out to decent start, conserved thru the middle knowing it would be a waste of energy slipping and sliding in the muck up to and around the reservoir, and had some left for the last couple miles. I drew even with Chris Gould right at the top of the first steep climb at 3 1/2 miles. We swapped some before I lead out the rolling mile 4. Chris re took me right at mile 5 where it flattens out and Chris's more efficient elongated stride bested my marathoner's shuffle over the flats. I closed back down to him on the down section. By the time we reached mile 7, Chris's family-budgeted and rather limited weekly mileage schedule, wasn't a fair match to my marathon base. I built up a gap through mile 8. The clear and mostly dry roads of Mile 8 felt like track work without the slushy mess or pot hole dodging steps of the previous couple of miles. I had to contain myself from sure bliss of running without any impediments.

Maybe I restrained myself too much 'cause it was only a 5:56 mile when I felt the best I did all day but I did make some ground on one of the guys that a couple miles ago seemed far out of reach. I worked into striking distance of about the only runner I could. I believe his name was Bruce Davie. He gave me a couple words of encouragement and props for my smart pacing. Too involved in my effort, I fail to give him a thanks or any return words encouragement. Sorry, Bruce - a belated thank you.

Rounding the corner atop North Main St for the final mile...a sudden rush on nausea comes up from nowhere. I gear down for a moment, relax a little and recoup over a 1/8 mile of quick downhill. I need to put one more good push up on the last series of inclines if I don't want to be retaken. Just get to the top of this last little hump and its a big downhill and a crazy tight s-turn in the parking lot to make certain 10.0 miles has been covered. It's over.

A respectable 20th place, 2nd (distant, albeit) master on a challenging day. Glad it's over. Another good 10 miles of racing is in the books.

Moving on to next week - Stu's 30k.

Check out Bill Well's Republican race story

My Splits 5:56 5:45 6:24 6:31 6:28 6:13 5:49 5:56 5:48 6:12

Place No. Name Ag Div/Tot Div City St Time Pace Team
1 289 JUSTIN FYFFE 30 1/57 M2039 PUTNEY VT 52:53 5:18 BAA
2 158 JESSE REGNIER 23 2/57 M2039 HAMPDEN MA 54:24 5:27
3 210 ANDY MCCARRON 28 3/57 M2039 KEENE NH 54:58 5:30 CMS
4 260 GREG HAMMETT 33 4/57 M2039 CHESTERFIELD NH 55:29 5:33 CMS
5 17 DREW BEST 28 5/57 M2039 LEVERETT MA 55:37 5:34 MRC
6 209 CHRIS MAHONEY 33 6/57 M2039 HAVERHILL MA 56:12 5:38 CMS
7 294 KIBROM TEMELSO 35 7/57 M2039 BOSTON MA 56:33 5:40 GBTC
8 251 ADAM GOODE 27 8/57 M2039 BANGOR ME 56:38 5:40
9 101 AARON LADD 27 9/57 M2039 LEXINGTON MA 56:54 5:42
10 32 MATTHEW CLARK 28 10/57 M2039 AMHERST MA 56:57 5:42 CMS
11 273 THOMAS YOUNG 33 11/57 M2039 BOSTON MA 58:37 5:52 GBTC
12 214 GEORGE ADAMS 40 1/46 M4049 GILSUM NH 58:46 5:53 CMS
13 258 JEFF GOUPIL 22 12/57 M2039 KEENE NH 59:03 5:55 CMS
14 225 HEIDI WESTOVER 30 1/43 F2039 WALPOLE NH 59:12 5:56
15 257 TIM STICKNEY 29 13/57 M2039 BROOKLINE MA 59:13 5:56 GBTC
16 272 TOMOAKI UCHIKI 37 14/57 M2039 BOSTON MA 59:30 5:57 GBTC
17 184 MATTHEW TWAROG 35 15/57 M2039 HUBBARDSTON MA 59:45 5:59
18 131 LUCAS MOORE 31 16/57 M2039 WOLCOTT VT 59:54 6:00 FREDDIE
19 72 GRANT GONZALEZ 25 17/57 M2039 MOUNT HERMON MA 59:59 6:00 SMAC
20 103 ROBERT LANDRY 42 2/46 M4049 LUDLOW MA 1:01:02 6:07 GSH
21 204 STEVEN FOLSOM 31 18/57 M2039 SOUTH HADLEY MA 1:01:25 6:09 GSH

22 218 BRUCE DAVIE 47 3/46 M4049 CAMBRIDGE MA 1:01:39 6:10 GBTC
23 219 CHRISTOPHER GOULD 45 4/46 M4049 AMHERST MA 1:02:06 6:13 GSH
24 240 LUKE LAVIN 21 19/57 M2039 AMHERST MA 1:03:25 6:21
25 267 KEITH SCHMITT 42 5/46 M4049 DURHAM NH 1:03:54 6:24


1. GSH
1:01:02 1:02:06 1:04:39 1:06:34 1:10:40 (1:11:22) (1:11:57) = 5:25:01
1:06:55 1:12:56 1:16:28 1:17:15 1:17:59 (1:21:19) (1:28:46) = 6:11:33
1:13:53 1:13:57 1:14:37 1:15:38 1:19:10 (1:21:51) (1:27:30) = 6:17:15

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Treadmill Madness

"How longst this sordid season must we endure, I bore ?
Snow storm after snow storm and what now, yet more ?
No plow. A shovel. Good exercise I profess.
To dig out this past storm a chore, I confess.
Snow, sleet and ice has put thou to test.
Curse you, Winter! Stop snowing. No more!

But that’s not the sole purpose of protest; of tis’ lore.
The lament and grief of a New England Runner to explore.
Not bitter cold or dark of night it is I most dread.
Rather slip of foot on slick road before car; render me dead.
Stop Winter! Cease this instant! Have you heard what I said?
Enough with the snow already. I wish you nevermore!

So the dread of treadmill I take my plight.
Others ridicule this action. I know it’s right.
Forge ahead. Endure. With desire and shear might.
Mile after mile going nowhere. Yes, what a bore’
Training can not yield, else find oneself mileage poor.
When will Spring arrive? I fear a Winter forever more…

Any diversion to endure each tenth of mile pass.
A television, an I-Pod or thoughts of race past.
Dreams of victory. Redemption. Hum out a Rocky movie score.
Think me insane? Crazy? Mad to the core?
Think what you will. Inspiration at last.
This Winter without end I wish nevermore…"

Saturday, January 1, 2011

2010 Review / 2011 Goals

2010 Highlights

While I failed to set any PR's in 2010, I somehow managed to rack up a couple wins and some decent cash winnings in the process. After injuring my left IT Band and knee while running the Sugarloaf All-Comer Indoor Meets in January, I was happy just to be running again come February. The sub-par performances at the start of the early race season, DH Jones and Stu's, were tough to deal with but little by little I was making some slow, steady improvements.

Looking back I feel fortunate to have run 3 decent spring marathons in a six week span (Boston 2:42:29, Holyoke 2 weeks later 2:50:58 in 70 degree heat ! for my 3rd straight victory, and 4 weeks after that, Vermont 2:41:22 2nd Master) on what was my least amount of marathon training, ever.

Like all years, there was the usual couple races where I didn't go as fast as expected. After a couple disappointing results I went into my summer's big race, the Beach to Beacon 10k, with not too much hope of a solid performance. Yet somehow ran a near PR 34:57 about a minute and half faster than what I though I might do. Go figure.

After that the focus turns to the fall marathon and another go at the USATF New England GP Marathon Championship. I was hoping to really mix it up with the top masters in New England and go for a sub 2:36. I got close, running on pace through 20 miles but again came up just a bit short over the final 10k. All in all I'm happy with the results in 2010 and think I'm making progress in my training.

Best of luck to you all in 2011 !!!

Goals for 2011

  • Vermont City Marathon - Sub 2:35 and another top 3 in the Masters division
  • Cape Cod Marathon – challenge for a top 3 in the Master division
  • A 4th consecutive win at the Holyoke Marathon – all I can really shoot for is to run my best since even in such a small race like this you never know who might show up. 
  • A top 10 finish at one of the USATF-New England Grand Prix events in the Individual Masters division (in an event other than the marathon)
  • And of course, set a bunch of new PR’s – hopefully in the 5k, 10k, half marathon
  • Try to reach 20,000 career miles before by 43rd birthday in mid Sep. That will take an average of 70 miles/wk, which is doable only slightly above my best year of 3,500 miles.