Wednesday, May 30, 2012

New PR for Franconia Ridge Loop

Monday- Run/Hike Franconia Ridge Loop. New PR-3 hours 20 min for loop.

Went up Falling waters over Franconia Ridge Down Old Bridle Path. I say PR for the loop, but I've never tried to run the loop before. My old fastest time for hiking this was just over 4 hours and actually during the winter, which I think is the fastest time of year for hiking this loop. With Crampons on the way up and a smooth trail you can run/slide down on the way down you can really move on this loop during winter.

Abbey and I got up early for this, because I had to be into work in Durham by 3pm. Got up there at around 8:15 and spent sometime trying to decide whether we wanted to carry water and food. I wanted to leave everything and just get some water at the hut on the way down. Abbey was the smart one and talked me into taking our camelbaks.

We got on the trail at 8:30 and were able to run for most of the first mile and a half, and kept a good pace on the steeps where we were hiking. I had really hoped to be able to just hike the steeps, and be able to run most of the switchbacks, but I found myself having to hike a lot more than I expected. We made it up Little Haystack in about an hour and 20 and we were both crawling the last quarter mile to the top. Took about 5 minutes or so up top to eat some clif bloks and drink some water. Really buggy! We got moving again and made it over to Lafayette in another half an hour, we ran about 2/3rds of the way over there, but I still found myself unable to run on terrain I really expected to be able to run on! 25 minutes for this section. 20 minutes down a very technical 1.1 from the summit of Lafayette to the Greenleaf Hut. We stopped here and chatted with some other hikers, went to the bathroom and filled my waterbottle. Made it down the last 2.8 miles in 50 minutes, running as much as possible, just going very very slowly in the sketchy spots.

I really expected to run a lot more of this, and so it's a little slower than I would have wanted, I'm not sure how Tilton and Nephew could ever run 6 something for the whole Pemi Loop, I took half their time for a quarter of the distance! It was a really nice run, and a gorgeous morning to be up there. I wish I could have gotten some pics. Not sure if I should count all those miles, but I was working hard the whole time so I'm gonna say yes.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Wachusett Mt. Race

Early Start to the day, up at 5:30 hoping to be out the door, at 6 am for what I was told by Goupil was a 9 am start. Wound up getting out the door around 6:20 and then plugged in the GPS and it said the trip would be 2.5 hours! I had planned on 2. I hit the road and drove as quickly as I could keeping in mind that it's Memorial Day weekend, and the cops would be out in force.
I wound up getting there at like 8:20, about 30 minutes ahead of the estimated arrival time, I ran over and got my number, and started looking for Chirp and Eric to go warm up. They end up pulling in next to me about 5 minutes later, and telling me to chill out it starts at 9:30. They told me 9 so I'd be there in time to warm up!

So we got in a nice 3 mile warm up, heading out with the contingent of mostly CMS guys. Fun chatting it up with everyone. Changed into flats and went down to wait for the start. I was pretty nervous down there, and really just wanted the race to get started, but it was taking forever.

Finally they line us up and then the gun goes off with in seconds. I had planned on trying to be pretty aggressive today, and wanted to go for it. I got out pretty well on that first mile, in about 4th or 5th place until Tivo and Callahan came up on me, I tried to go with them when they went by, but was also trying to be somewhat careful about not blowing my race out on the hill. So they ended up running away on that climb and I just focused on trying to get up. When we turned onto the single track, I wanted to try and close some ground on the guy that was in front of me. I didn't recognize him, and as I kept trying to close the gap I was wondering "who is this guy?" I never caught him, and then when we hit Balance Rock Rd, he just continued to pull away from me. Dunham passed me as soon as we got off the single track too, I focused on trying to relax and just run with Dave. When we hit the single track again my legs were burning, but Dave looked like he was slowing so I went by him. Turns out he was being smart, as soon as the trail leveled out a bit he went by me again, and I just tried to stay close.

When we came out off the single track, it really took me a minute to get rolling again, and I must have slowed down way too much, because by the time I got around the corner Dave was way ahead of me.  I spent the rest of the hill trying to close on Dave, and I was able to make up a bit more room, but not enough to make any difference. Downhill's aren't really my strong suit, but I was pretty happy that I didn't get passed on the downhill like I have the past two years.
As soon as I hit the single track I slowed down quite a bit just cause the rocks were wet, and that trail is ridiculous. It didn't take long for Brian Ruhm who was behind me to catch up but, that was enough to get me to throw caution to the wind and start racing that trail, rather than trying to survive it. I started leaping boulders and throwing myself down that trail, anything but be passed! It was a lot of fun, I love that section, and it's way more fun when you've got someone pushing you on it. Not many races where you get that rush of knowing that you'll be hurt if you mess up at all. I held off Brian but I really had to work to do it, and I came through the line sprinting, with him 5-10 yards behind maybe.

It felt great, a really solid effort, I finished 9th in 32:01. about 2 minutes faster than last year and about 12 spots higher for my finish. Felt like I raced really hard, and had a quality result.

Finished up and had a nice cool down with Eric and Chirp, recounting our races, and catching up. At the awards I got a neat shoulder bag, made from recycled plastic bottles and loaded up on free Polar soda. That Cape Cod Cranberry flavor is delicious!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Running with Wooden Legs

I've had a good little streak of running going since the weekend, and over the weekend and into monday I had run 38 mile in 3 days, which is a lot of running for me. On tuesday I went out for another 10 miles in the Belknaps and my legs felt like crap the whole time. Nothing wrong with that, though. I've got a few days til Wachussett and I'm just gonna run easy the rest of the week. Here's the numbers so far.

Monday-12 miles on Sweet trail and surrounding roads.

Tuesday-10 miles in the Belknaps with Abbey and Tucker.
Out Gunstock CC ski trails, to Round Pond trail. From Round Pond, we took the Round Pond and Piper Link trails over to the saddle between Belknap and Mt. Piper, then we just took the carriage road, to the Blue trail skipping the summit of Belknap and bringing us over toward Gunstock. We took the Brook trail to the Gunstock summit, and then back down the access road to the parking lot. About another mile back to car at CC ski area. As mentioned above, legs were very tired. On the way back to Gunstock we took the same trail we took on sunday, and spots I ran up with little trouble had me walking today.
What a gorgeous day out there though. It was wet, with a light rain falling most of the run and all of the fresh spring green was just bursting with color. Way out on Piper Link trail it is very remote, and we were on the side of this little gulf, with the clouds socked in above us, and it really felt like we were someplace else. Abbey kept saying how she felt like we were in the jungle. Just gorgeous, as crappy as my legs were feeling, the scenery and isolation were well worth the run.

Wednesday-easy 7 on Liberty Hill trails with tucker.

Thursday- easy 5 with Abbey. I meant to run a little longer today, but we were running by my parents house and decided to stop in and say hi, and after helping myself to some left over steak, some string cheese and a big cup of juice I decided I didn't feel like running home, and made my sister drive us back. Probably should have finished up the run, but oh well. It's just some extra rest for Wachussett this weekend.

Friday- easy 4, just shaking it out before Wachussett. Meant to run for 45 but was feeling lazy and just cut it at half an hour.

Saturday- Wachussett Mt. Race. 32:01 9th place. Race report to follow. 3 m warm up 4 m cool down, made for a good 12 mile day.

Sunday- 16 miles with Scott Clark and Abbey. Ran from Gilmanton out snowmobile trails over to Durrell Mt. Road and up to the summit of Mt. Whiteface. Back down the other side to Belknap Mt. Road, back to Durrell Mt Road and then back the way we came to Scott's house. Good run, tough climb up Whiteface. Really bonked on the way back at about mile 14 or so, was really hurting but managed to make it back ok.

Total: 66 miles.
No work outs, lots of hills and one good race. It's been three weeks over 60 now, and I'm feeling pretty beat up. Good stuff. I'm gonna take a down week and then see if I can get a few more weeks in around 65.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Running Week Ending 5/20 + Bedford 12k

Monday- Easy 7 miles.
I just ran laps around the grass trails at wagon wheel farm down in Durham today. Such a nice run, a little muddy, and spitting a bit of rain, but warm and green and very pretty.

Tuesday- easy 3 miles am, 9.5 easy pm
Good running today. Just easy and feeling good. Got to run with Abbey in the evening, which has seemed like a rarity the past couple weeks. Ran laps around a nice grass 1k loop up the road from the house with tucker in the morning. Abbey and I ran around Governor's Island in the evening.

Wednesday- 12 miles sorta fartlek
Ran the first 4.5 miles, running fast when I felt like it and working the hills whether I felt like it or not. This got me up to the top of whiteface. From there I was exploring as I came down the backside, and ran a lot slower finding my way down. About halfway down to Durrell Mt Road the four wheeler trail I was following turned into a very steep, but smooth and graded road. I was coming down thinking it would be a bear of a climb to have to go up it, so once I got down to the bottom I turned around and climbed back up to see just how bad it would be. I went pretty hard, and it was a good tough climb, about 3:00 minutes up, and then back down easy. I got back down to Durrell Mt. Road and had about 5 minutes of uncertainty as I was kinda just hoping it was the right road, and that I went the right way, but it was and I came out where I wanted to. I took a left off Durrell mt. road and got in another mile or so on another class 6 road before heading down towards the finish of the run. I didn't work the whole climb up the last 2 miles, but didn't go easy. It was a good run. About 90 minutes total with some stops for views and trail finding counted in the total.

Thursday-0. Planned on going home in the evening and getting a run in after working 10-6, I got asked to cover the overnight, and I agreed to it before remembering I wouldn't be able to get my run in. I was worried about it for a while, but figured with the race on saturday it might not hurt me too bad.

Friday-easy 5.5 with tucker.

Saturday- Bedford 12k 42:58 57th place. 13 miles total.
I went into this race a little bit nervous, I thought 12k would be a little too long, and it probably was a little bit, but I felt like it went pretty well. It's hard going into a 12k, do you treat it as a 10k and plan on hurting?
Or do you run it more like a long race and try to ease into the racing like you would with a 10 miler? My splits were all over the place yesterday so I don't know what I did, I guess it was more like a 10k though.

Abbey and I got there a little after 8 and I was suprised to manage to catch the CMS guys for the warm up, cause I usually get there too late and miss it. It's always fun catching up with everyone and seeing how the team is doing. Did about 20 minutes and got back with just enough time for a quick run to the bathroom, and to put on my flats, and singlet. I realized I didn't have any pins with about 10 minutes til the gun, Abbey ran in and got some for me while I put on my racers. I put my bib on while running down to the line, and just had time for a strider before trying to tuck myself in a bit behind the line.

I got out fine, and was trying to stay nice and relaxed, which is always tough to do in these races with all the guys there. I missed the split at the mile, and by the time I realized it, my watch said 5:30, so I knew I was a little faster than that, and a bit nervous about it but feeling ok. Scott McGrath caught up to me just after this, and it was nice to chat with him for a few before he started pulling away. I must have gone a bit slower than 5:30 on this one, as I went through 2 miles in 11:01, I had been hoping for 11:10 and I was starting to feel that first mile. I was also thinking that i've been running 5k's mostly this spring and that I wasn't far off my 5k pace. I had been latched onto Dunham and Pawlicki through most of the first 2 miles, after they gapped me at a waterstop, I focused on trying to catch back upto them for the next 2 miles. I missed a mile split again at 3 miles, and really wish I'd seen it as I was falling off the pace hard at that point and maybe seeing my 3rd split would have woken me up earlier. Around 3.5 I saw Scott McGrath walking back towards me and told him to get back in the race and run with me, he didn't seem too excited about it, but he grudgingly got back in and came with me. Once he'd decided to race he said something about all the ground he'd lost and so I decided to start going and trying to see if we could make it up. This was awesome, as it really got me racing again after what had been a slow couple miles, going through 4 in 22:53 and an 11:52 two miles for the 3rd and 4th mile. I had a good next couple miles running with Scott, we were rolling right along and going by guys which always feels good. my 5th mile was 5:40 and my 6th mile was 5:42. The wheels started to fall off not long after 6, but I just tried to tell myself it was only a mile left and that I was running a good race. Despite lots of positive talk that last mile, I only managed a 5:52, I started to make a big move up the final hill and was going to try and catch the Gate City Striders runner, I might have gotten around him before I got to the track, but it didn't matter cause I started booting all over the place, it was pretty bad. Normally I can puke real quick and get back to the race, this was puke, run a couple steps puke, at one point I had to hold onto the fence while I finished up. It took me a second to get going after that, but I did manage to kick to squeeze in under 43:00

Overall I'd say this was a good race, I always wanna run faster, but it was the same pace as my 5 miler at reds a couple weeks ago but 2.5 miles longer. I had some really good miles in there, and was passing people in the last miles.

Sunday- 13 miles in the Belknaps with Fergus Cullen, Scott Clark, Abbey and Tucker, fun run lots of climbing! Ok, we started at the Gilford High School and headed up Belknap Mt. Road, to the carriage road up Belknap. The carriage road is a tough mile, with a long steep quarter mile climb before climbing switchbacks to the top the rest of the way. We continued up the green trail up Belknap, then wound up taking the red trail on accident instead of the blue trail, which brought us back down Belknap to the top of the carriage road. We meant to take the blue trail over to Gunstock, but we were able to get on a trail that brought us back over towards Gunstock. We just got in an extra mile and a little more climbing this way. We got over to Gunstock and took in the view, while we tried to figure out which way we wanted to go back. I knew there was a nice trail that would go back to the bottom of the Carriage Road from Gunstock but we couldn't find the trail, so we just went back the way we came. By the time we got back over to Belknap I think we were all dying for water, and looking forward to get back to the cars. Luckily it was 4 miles of downhill running all the way home. We drank a ton, and then Abbey and I went home and back to bed for an hour or so. Got up and very slowly talked myself into going out to finish mowing the lawn.

Week Total: 63 in 6 days. Best week in ages, and feeling great. I was starting to wake up a lot at night earlier in the week, and was getting worried, cause thats an early over training symptom for me, but after taking Thursday off I slept like a baby the past couple nights. So i'm gonna keep on building for another week or two before I take a down week.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Getting Serious

Monday- Hilly 10 miles.
Ran nice and easy today, almost 74 minutes, but that doesn't bother me. It always feels good starting the week off with a 10 miler.

Tuesday-9 miles hard 57:34 w/ 4x30,60,90
Good run today, started out nice and easy and after a mile or so I started rolling along. I started my 30,60,90's at 18 minutes and that got me to about 2 miles from home. I was considering doing another set just to make sure I didn't fall asleep over the last 2 miles, but decided that it'd probably be more helpful to try and keep the pace steady with out the watch keeping me in line. It went pretty well, I was able to keep the effort going all the way home.

Wed-11 miles Easy
For some strange reason this was my first run up to the top of Whiteface mountain in Gilford. I say it's strange cause I run by it all the time, it's right off my Liberty Hill 7 miler I do all the time. I'd run half way up before, but turned back because it was getting dark, and since then I haven't gone up. Probably because the climb has some monstrous steeps on it. Great mountain top it flattens out and has a nice view and a nice fire pit. The trail even kept going down the other side and I was tempted to continue exploring, but decided to save it for another day. I put the easy in italics because I tried to take this easy, but there's just nothing easy about mountain running. Good run though, and some good miles. I took it real easy on the way back the rest of the loop, and the first mile of the climb back to the car was a crawl.

Thursday- 7 miles 8x400 half rest 76, 76, 76, 77, 74, 73 74 71
Woke up this morning with my sinuses all stuffed up, felt ok later in the day. By the time Abbey got out of work, I didn't wanna run anymore. I got out though, and got it done. 3 mile warm up with my legs feeling like shit, not sure if I was really tired, or just trying to give myself an excuse to skip the work out, but everything felt horrible on the warm up. I figured I'd give it a go and start a couple and see how it goes. The first 2 were 76's and then I had to stop and take a dump. I got back to it and went 76 77 74 73 74 71 for the last 6. Pretty decent work out, I felt like shit but I got through the workout with decent splits. I only did a mile cool down, just cause I was tired and hungry. 7 miles total for the day.

Friday- easy 4 miles just to shake out before racing tomorrow.

Saturday-  9 miles Canterbury Cross Country Challenge- 3rd place 18:32

What a tough course this is! Up and down, tons of turns, and good stretch of single track. Fun race though on a beautiful day. We got there pretty early and went out ran the course to warm up, they had switched the course this year and ran it in reverse, which I think made it a little bit tougher. This is the 4th race in the CARS series so i knew I'd have some friends to race with.

I got a bit of a crappy start off the line, and after having to put in a little surge to get up to the front of the race I just really got rolling, so I took the lead for most of the first mile, which felt really good, but I was running over that red line a little too early I think, so then by about halfway through the second mile I was fighting to maintain my lead on Scott Clark. I tried my best to really work it through the single track, because a lot of times you can make up ground on "old guys" like him going through there. Of course I just ran trails with scott a few weeks ago, and he hasn't lost his footing yet. He was right there after we got out, and he ended up catching me going around this little island that they have you run around. This was the part of the race I was really dissapointed about, I just let him run away, and that's what I need to work on, I can run in front of someone, but I just didn't have the guts to RACE. I crawled up the next hill, and just decided to try and make sure Neal Graves, who was right behind, didn't pass me because I knew I'd be watching him run away too if I let him catch me. I was able to hold him off and finished up the race in 3rd which I was ok with, but I'm still pissed at myself now for not gritting my teeth and racing Scott. I might not have beat him, he's a tough runner, but I'd be a lot happier with myself if I'd just tried to stick with him a little longer. Oh well, it's a long summer, and I have a lot more races to keep trying to get it right.

Sunday- 11 easy.
Abbey, Tucker and I went out for an out and back on the Guinea Pond trail. This trail turns into Flat Mt. Pond trail after about 4 miles, so I got to retrace about a mile of what I did last week with Jim and Kevin. There was a lot more water out there this week, and we were getting soaked just running on the trail during the Flat mt. stretch. We went out to the Bennett st. trail junction and turned around to come back. The nice part about doing it this way is it's a nice downhill grade on the way back and the second half flew by. It was a nice run, took it real easy and got some good recovery in.

Week Total-61 miles. Good week of running, I got a lot of really quality runs in early in the week, and probably will try to set up this next week about the same way. Next week I'll be able to get in a few more miles too with the 12k on saturday.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Monday- hard 7 with tucker up on Liberty Hill trails.


Wednesday- 3

Ran from the Kanc, Sawyer River trail, to Sawyer Pond trail back out to the Kancamangus. I got turned around a bit near the end of sawyer river road, and wound up running an extra 2 or 3 miles, so by the time I got out to the road again I'd already done 12 miles or so. I knew I had 5 miles and about 500 ft of climbing back up the Kanc to get to my car so I decided to thumb when I saw cars coming. I didn't want 17 mi on the day with a race in a couple days. I wound up running another 2 miles before I got picked up. The guy that picked me up had a very "green" smelling car, but he was a really nice guy. What a great day, but man the trail was pretty destroyed in some areas after hurricane Irene.

Friday- easy 4 just shaking it out before saturday's race.

Saturday- 8 w/race 17:06
Went down to the Children's Museum 5k in Dover. I was pretty nervous for this one, cause I really wanted to win some lobsters. I've gotten lucky here a couple times and brough home the 10 lobsters. I felt like I was starting to get fit enough to give it another shot, but then I ran into Jim Johnson on my warm up, and once I got to the line Brandon Newbould was there too, so I knew I might not be going for the win, but I wanted to get out with them and see if I can get a big enough gap on the chase pack to not have to worry about them. Didn't happen. I went through the mile in 5:25 a way off the leaders, and just tried to focus on Jim who was letting the top 2 get away too. I was able to keep the gap steady on Jim through 2 miles in 10:55 and then Jim really dropped the hammer, while I started to fall off pretty hard. I had a tough last mile and got caught by a couple guys just before we got back into town. I look back on it now, and wish I'd gutsed it out and held those two guys off, but I kinda whimped out. It was still a pretty decent race, two more seconds off my seasonal best on a much tougher course than NHTI, so I was happy enough with it. I feel like i'm getting there, but I was a little dissapointed in this race, I thought i was ready to run a little tougher, and for god sakes break 17 minutes, but I didn't do it. I don't know when I'll be racing my next road 5k, but it'll be atleast til the end of May so hopefully by then I'll be able to drop a fast time.

Sunday- 12.5 with Kevin Tilton and Jim Johnson
Nice run we went out and did the Flat mt. Pond loop up in the Sandwich Wilderness Area. Great run, not too tough, and not too much climbing just a nice fun run. Brought Tucker along and he had a blast, he played fetch with jim in the pond and had some fun swimming. Hopefully he wasn't too much of a pain on the single track.

Week Total: 48.5 Bit of a low week, but that was after 4 weeks of building and a couple weeks with out a day off. Still felt like I got in a good week, with a couple really solid runs.