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Monday, December 26, 2011

Week of 12.26.11 - 1.1.12

MON.- 9mi. (trails & roads) -- I was dropped off at Grills Preserve where I dicked around then ran home.  Good fun. [67:09]

TUE.- 6mi. (road) -- [43:30]

WED.- 11mi.  (track & trails) -- Jeff, Jonny, and Boj @ CHS track.  After a nice warm-up on XC trails we did 1 x 1600, 2 x 800, 4 x 400 (all w/ 400 recs).  Good workout.  We were all close and helped push one another.  [5:34/2:44/2:42/75/75/75/74]

THU.- 5mi. (road) -- nice and easy in the chilly 25degree morning air.  Some serious cross-training this evening in NYC with Phish.
A school of 18,000 phish

FRI.- 0 -- UGH!  Wandering from bar to bar in NYC until 0400 is a very, very, very, very bad idea. Show was phantastic and phun. Now thousands more know how Muddy get down.

SAT.- 8mi.  (trails w/ a little road) -- wandered around the woods in Carolina Mgmt. Area in the rain.  Quite pleasant actually.  [59:36]

SUN.- 11+mi. (trails) -- Bluff Point with Jeff.  We looped around a few times then traveled hobo-style down to Haley Farm.  A great run in near perfect weather conditions.  [1:24:22]

TOTALS- 50 miles

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Week of 12.19.11 - 12.25.11

MON.- 4mi. (road) -- nice and easy.  My lower legs are sore in very strange places.  Me thinks they are a little banged up from yesterday.

TUE. - 10mi. (trails) -- took the day to shore up some family business so I treated myself to a cool, overcast run in the trails of Bluff Point and Haley Farm.  Great fun.  Perfect weather.  Mergansers and Bufflehead galore!!! [1:15:13]

WED. - 7mi. (TM) -- again at the Y and again on that stupid mill.  Not sure what to do for speed stuff because it is so impossible to get/keep times. Went by McMillian paces (slightly faster than Daniels' I paces) and did 1 x 1600, 1200, 800, 400, 200--all with 400 recs in between.  I thought this would be super easy.  I was mistaken.  Dread the Tread.

THU. - 0 -- let my wife run instead.  HOTY (Husband O' The Year)

FRI.- 7+mi. (road) -- reverse Tomaquag Valley loop.  Some calf soreness. Weird. Last 3 miles good. [51:52]

SAT.-18mi. (roads, beach & trails) -- a long, chilly run from Jeff's house.  Good meandering route.  My legs really started to fatigue the last 3 miles.  Jeff is like a damn gazelle (see pics below from this morning). I get so hungry and really need to bring food, gel, etc. next time. [2:19:09]


Wonder if those lads in their 30s can keep up?

Rock leaping in Champlin Glacier Park


SUN. -0 -- just couldn't squeeze one in today.  Merry Paganmas!!!

TOTALS: 46 MILES

--> a fun and enjoyable week.  I especially enjoyed the long run with Jonny and Jeff, despite running out of gas.  Hopefully next week (vacation) I can sneak in a little more mileage.  I would like mid to high 50s.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Old Mountain 5K Trail Race

Yesterday was the first of a 5 part series of what appears to be very creatively designed group of races entitled "South County 4th Season Race Series".  Taking place at Old Mountain Field, Mike Galoob had clearly put a lot of time and effort into designing and implementing this sum' bitch.

I arrived early for a "pre-scheduled" warm-up run of the course with Jonny.  I knew it was cold but I wasn't prepared for the toe freezing that I endured during our initial exploration.  When we arrived back we were greeted with the message that the race time was going to be bumped back to 1030 given the day of registrations still going on. To the batmobile with the heat on full blast and my shoes off.  Rub those piggies to bring back some feeling!!

After running a short out and back again (with Jeff this time) I lined up just behind Jonny and Jeff at the start.  Unfortunately, as the race began, I did exactly what Jonny had warned me NOT to do--go out a little too slow.  Although I wouldn't say I was "slow" I was certainly not at top speed like the 10 or 15 people in front of me.  This cost me dearly for as we turned onto the single track I was stuck behind a mass of several people, (slower pace than what I wanted), including a yellow dragon.  Yes, you read that correctly--a yellow dragon.
No mushrooms necessary for this intense vision.
I managed to scoot by several of the slower runners, (dragon included) until arriving at the only significant hill.  Here I began "panicking".  I was quite far behind Jonny and Jeff and all I could think was that my partners were pulling farther and farther ahead as I was forced to almost speedwalk up the single track incline.  Damn.

Fortunately, as the race "opened up" a little bit (across streams and briars) I was able to pick up speed and move by 2-3 more people.  As we turned by the school into a field I finally felt able to "stretch my legs" and pick up speed.  I caught up with Jonny and complained a little about being caught up earlier on.  As we moved back onto a short bike path, I picked off one more soul.  I felt as though I should've apologized to him as I sort of cut him off before we re-entered single track.  Oh well.  All is fair in trail races,  I guess.

I closed in on Glen Guillemette and Jeff as they battled atop the "mountain" and neared the 3 mile mark.  At the bottom of a hill, at a very sharp turn, Jeff took a digger in soft mud and Guillemette moved past him.  I hoped to catch them but to no avail.  We screamed down the small incline to the finish one right after the other.  I finished 5th in 20:16 (Jeff 4th and Jonny 7th) for a WTAC "sweep"-- all of us a little muddy (no pun intended) and bloody.  You know it was a "slow" day when you're able to finish just two spots behind the infamous Glen Guillemette!! :) No splits necessary.

After the race I ran another short cool down with Jeff and we returned back for prizes: a bunch of 'Gansett beer for winning the team division and I also won a year subscription to Trail Runner magazine for winning my age group (thanks to the no double dipping rule).  Results here.

I'm super happy for Jeff , who shall hereto be known as "The Sandbagger" that claims "trails just aren't his thing", and for Jonny and WTAC as a whole.  The best part is that we are now active in the South County 4th Season standings.  WTAC livin' large so far.  Pard and Elise in the mix too!! As a result, I'm anxiously looking forward to the next race (and the remaining races) in the series!

A big congrats and thank you to Mike Galoob for putting this together!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Week of 12.12.11 - 12.18.11

MON. - 5mi. (road) -- blasted this true 5 mile course too fast. Oops.  I couldn't help it.  I just felt really good. Stupid to do the day after a race. [35:30]

TUE. - 0

WED. - 6mi. (road w/some fields) -- planned on doing some short hill reps but I had some cramping in calves and it was too dark to be fighting off traffic.  Oh well. [43:59]

THU. - 7+mi. (road) -- quads and especially calves were pretty sore/banged up.  Is this due to my overzealous attempt at running bliss on Monday?  Mapped it out later--7.3 miles.  Either way, I still kept up a good run at a good pace despite tired legs, though the light let me down and faded away.  2000 miles for the year!! [52:50]

FRI. - 0 -- why not?

SAT. - 9mi. (roads & trail) -- early chill with Jonny and Jeff. Felt strange stopping after only 9. 

SUN. - 9mi. (trails) -- "Old Mountain 5k Trail Race".  Very chilly but great fun.  Won my division (30-39) with a "slow" time of 20:16.  WTAC won the team category.  Pix and highlights soon.

TOTALS: 36 miles

Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas 10K 2011

For the third straight year I had the opportunity to run the Christmas 10K in Newport.  Despite last year's crappy weather (horrendous wind) I was looking forward to it.  This is a great race with a beautiful course that winds through quiet roads in Newport, including along Brenton Point State Park. It has some downhills but also enough uphill ascents to keep you honest and not make it overly easy.  A smaller field (about 400 people) with some decent runners makes for a good time.

I drove over with Jonny and we were a little disappointed to find that we would have to wait for the next race before we could officially register and run under the "WTAC" club designation. Despite this setback we registered and ran a 20+ minute warmup in a small park across the street.  It was definitely fun to meander along high cliffs and be away from people and traffic.  After yet again another quick bathroom stop we jogged over to the start (about 400m from the school and finish line).  We lined up in the second row and anxiously awaited the gun.

From the start we took off and settled in around 15th or so.  We were moving at a good pace but not killing it.  The sub 6:00 felt perfect.  About 800m or so in, I made a mental note of where Jonny and I were in the field, (running side by side).  I appeared to be about 12th.  At that point I decided to see how many of the "real runners" in front of me I could reel in. Jonny and I clicked through the first mile at 5:49.  We mumbled/acknowledged to one another that it was a little too fast.  But at that point I felt great still so I continued pushing onward and passing some more people. 

By mile 2 (11:41/5:53 pace) I had settled into about 8th place. The field had started to really spread out as the course turns onto the exposed Ocean Drive.  Luckily, the conditions were still great-sunny, chilly (high 30s), and very little wind.  Nothing like last year.  Just Muddy and some Eiders....and other runners.  

I clicked off mile 3 at 17:27 (5:45) pace.  It was here where we turned around Brenton Point Park and faced into some wind.  Although it was not bad I think it slowed some people down.  The field of view is wide open here and I could see the leader and all others well out ahead of me.  At that point I "settled" for trying to catch the lone guy in reach (I thought).  He was about 200m in front of me, while I felt all others were out of reach.  I steadily closed the gap on him and passed him between mile 4 and 5.  Through most of this stretch the course gradually climbs back up away from the water.  Luckily I still felt really strong and others were sort of fading, thus my ability to gain ground. Running rolling stuff on a daily basis makes the difference.

Mile 5 turns off of Ocean Drive and there is a fairly steady, but gradual, uphill climb before turning back onto the "home stretch".  I really began closing on another guy in front of me.  Either he was slowing or I was picking it up--or maybe both.  There is one final downhill plunge (too steep for my liking) and my target pulled away from me.  However, the hill bottoms out and right at the mile 6 marker there is a short but somewhat steep hill right back up out of the valley.  I ate the guy up, passed him and sprinted home to the finish for a solid 6th place OA in 36:08.  This is a HUGE PR for me.  My splits (I think, I'm not good at clicking "Lap" button): 5:49, 11:41(5:53), 17:27(5:45), 23:21(5:54), 29:21(6:00), 34:58(5:37).  My previous best was 37:47 back in May so I was ecstatic.  Needless to say, the temperature played a big role here.  Why can't every race be run in dry, chilly high 30 degree conditions??

I grabbed some water, shook a few hands and started walking back up the finishing chute to wait for Jonny.  I didn't have to wait long at all--I was SUPER surprised to see him come flying in at 37:24 for a sweet-ass time!!  I was beyond happy.  Just shortly thereafter, the third WTAC, Jeff Walker finished strong in 38:29!  Some quick calculations at the results sheet showed that WTAC would've finished 2nd in the team competition.  Not too shabby for the first official, unofficial team event. Results here. I wouldn't change a thing about how I ran here.....except maybe hammer it a little faster.  You know, 35:59 ain't too far away.....Just sayin'.

In retrospect, this is definitely my new "favorite" PR.  Blessing of the Fleet 10 miler had formerly held the dubious distinction because I worked so hard at it,  but this one just blew me away.  Given my time and how amazing I felt, this is a GREAT way to round out 2011.  The clincher was watching a young lad try and comprehend and input Jonny's meatless order at tha Bell. 

What a great year this has been thus far.  One more race to go (Old Mountain Trail 5k) next Sunday and that'll close out my racing season.

Damn, I love running so much.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Week of 12.5.11 - 12.11.11

MON.- 6mi (roads w/ some field) -- the first 2 miles sucked but then I really picked up the pace and it got better and better.  Great fun prancing around the tall grassy field at the top of Frontier Rd (Golf Academy area) in near total darkness  [44:12]

TUE.- 7mi. (road) -- ran a route I haven't done in a long time.  I decided to call it "Lost At Sea" ("Bacon Strip" has already been patented I think) because its as though you're stuck in a life raft: up and down and up and down and up and down, ad nauseumStill a good run and I'm pleased with the effort.  Interesting footnote: in the fading light I was almost hit by a deer (yes, you read that correctly).  [52:11]

WED.- 6mi. (TM) -- snuck in some light speed stuff, just for leg turnover. 8 x 200 @ (R) pace.  Felt fine....other than the fact that I was on a treadmill and wanted to hang myself from 0:01 onward.

THU.- 0 -- important WTAC meeting.... Can't freakin' wait for WTAC singlets!!!!

FRI.- 8mi.+ (road) -- a great run along part of last weekend's long run.  I felt awesome so I ran a little faster than necessary.  Mapped it out just now and saw that it was 8.32 miles. Run just got better and better. Saw 43 turkeys in an empty cornfield.  [59:59]

SAT.- 4mi. (road) -- slow and easy. Untimed.

SUN.- 11mi. (roads w/ some trails) -- Christmas 10K.  Great race in Newport on a clear, calm, chilly morning.  Ran strong and felt great the whole race.  Finished 6th OA in 36:08, (big PR by over 1:39).  Jonny was 10th in 37:XX with a huge PR as well.  Race report to follow asap.

TOTALS: 42 miles

--> as expected, not a huge mileage week but I'm so freakin' pleased with the results.  My run on Tuesday (Lost @ Sea) was really good and Friday's run was fantastic! I'm floating on cloud 9 over the 10K this morning.  I couldn't be happier....sort of.  What if I just ran a little harder and broke 36? Hmmm... :)
Jonny and I have become VDOT addicts.