Monday, July 29, 2013

MXIII - Week 30

MON.- 3mi. -- easy run.  tired legs.

TUE.- 10mi. -- good run down/around from the yacht club down around through Watch Hill.  Sounds like I have cash money but I don't. 

WED.- 10mi. -- 5mi. (a.m.)  //  6mi. (p.m.) normal base pace at WTAC Fun Run.

THU.- 3mi.-- another short easy one before race tomorrow.  Gap in time between this short shakeout and Blessing is almost like having a day off!

FRI.- 13mi. -- *Race* -- Blessing of the Fleet 10 Miler.  Good one.  Attacked it but ran smart at the same time. So fun passing younger, more fit people in later stages/miles of the race. 58:42, 23rd OA.  3rd in my age group. I wonder what my prize was....

SAT.- 5mi. -- recovery run.  First 2 miles really easy with Mason, discussing race strategy.

SUN.- 7+mi.--from parents in/around Caroline Mgmt. Area.  Head gear kept flies at bay.

TOTALS: 52+miles

--> a little bit of a cut back in mileage but good race Friday night.  I was super pleased.  It was really "fun" racing in a small pack of 4-6 younger kids (and super fit 1st OA Female!).  Happy with my results and was able to crank it the last 1.5 mile.  Rounded out the week yesterday by absolutely annihilating doormats with Mason out off of East Matunuck in about 35' of water.  Like shooting fish in a barrel, except instead we were just crossing their eyes and then filleting them.  The biggest fluke of the year but we decided that we want a 10lber before the summer is out. FYI: the RI state record is 17 lbs. 8 oz. (WHAT?!?!) caught in 1962 in/off the Narrow River! Can't imagine that PR but we are planning out a fall/early spring shot at the Atlantic Mackerel slot (it is currently open/no record).

26.5", 7.4 lbs......."It's like an optical illusion, except it's real life, Dad!"

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Hurry Up And Wait, Data Whore!

Tomorrow night is the pinnacle of local racing in the summer around southern RI, the Blessing of the Fleet 10 Mile Road Race. Just like it has for many summers in the past, it presents itself as a good midway test of fitness. Also, its unique start time (last Friday night in July at 1800hrs) and sizeable field give it a half-marathon feel for half the price of a usual half marathon ($30)! Between the heat, humidity, drunken fools, and screaming masses of bystanders, who wouldn't want to run this sufferfest?

Unfortunately, given these circumstances I usually spend the 2-3 days leading up to the race a fretting, pacing, nervous mess.  OK, maybe it's not that bad but as my family can attest I do indeed become restless, grouchy and irritable--essentially I'm a napping, useless waste of space until Friday night around 2000hrs when I'm showered, chafed and with a quality IPA in my hand! Despite the fact that there is nothing I can do at this point in terms of training, fitness, weather, etc, I must sit by idly and think through race strategy, problems, etc.  Essentially, "hurry up and wait" for the race to get here.

Last night at the WTAC Fun Run, I ran the 5K course and chatted with J.P. Bigouette about the impending Blessing.  In passing, he mentioned some results from years past and, upon thinking (fretting?) about the race, I spent some time today looked back at previous results.  Unfortunately, I could only find results back to 1996 but it was kind of fun digging up numbers and names.  With that in mind, here's some basic info that I found in terms of winners, their times, and (given my goal) the number of finishers under 60 minutes.  NOTE: weather/race conditions are not included here but given the data, you can probably guess the years that were brutal vs those that had better climate.

1996: Norm Bouthillier  -- 54:04 (5:24) -- 34 finishers under 60 mins.
1997: Alem Kamsay --51:40 (5:10) -- 50 finishers under 60 mins.
1998: Glenn Guillemette -- 52:38 (5:16) -- 30 finishers under 60 mins.
1999: Glenn Guillemette -- 52:19 (5:14) -- 23 finishers under 60 mins.
2000: Roland Lavelle -- 51:29 (5:09) -- 34 finishers under 60 mins.
2001: Gideon Mutisya -- 50:40 (5:04) -- 42 finishers under 60 mins.
2002: Gideon Mutisya -- 50:02 (5:00) -- 34 finishers under 60 mins.
2003: Matt Pelletier -- 53:18 (5:20) -- 26 finishers under 60 mins.
2004: John Metzer -- 52:30 (5:15) -- 24 finishers under 60 mins.
2005: Roland Lavelle -- 49:44 (4:58) -- 31finishers under 60 mins.
2006: Casey Moulton -- 51:56 (5:12) -- 22 finishers under 60 mins.
2007: Matt Pelletier -- 51:02 (5:06) -- 22 finishers under 60 mins.
2008: Matt Pelletier -- 51:52 (5:11) -- 29 finishers under 60 mins.
2009: Hayden McLaren -- 52:41 (5:16) -- 36 finishers under 60 mins.
2010: Tom Webb -- 52:11 (5:12) -- 35 finishers under 60 mins.
2011: Craig MacPherson -- 52:08 (5:13) -- 34 finishers under 60 mins.
2012: Matt Pelletier -- 50:46 (5:05) -- 23 finishers under 60 mins.

As you can see, some pretty fast shenanigans going on during this time period. I also looked back and brought up my own results.  Yours truly began running it in 2004.  My (pathetic) numbers are below along with placing and size of field/finishers:

2004: 1:16:05 (7:36) 332nd/2088
2005: 1:08:44 (6:52) 181st/2141
2006: *did not run*
2007: 1:09:56 (7:00) 139th/2412
2008: 1:08:13 (6:49) 134th/2294
2009: 1:08:15 (6:50) 145th/2752
2010: 1:06:13 (6:37) 92nd/2700
2011: 1:01:46 (6:11) 41st/2638
2012: 59:35 (5:58) 19th/2642

It's fun to see how I've improved and also to compare results along with those of others, in order to try and gauge (remember) how shitty the weather was on any given year.

A few other interesting things I found that might tickle your fancy along with some serious questions I have as well:

* In both '98 and '99 when Glenn Guillemette won it, some guy named Scott Mason finished 2nd in 52:56 both years!

*Only one runner (since 1996) has broken 50 minutes.  Looking at the weather for tomorrow night, I'm willing to wager that Matty P. might do it this year!

*If ANYONE knows where/how I can obtain all previous years' results (1995 and before), please let me know by commenting below.  I'd love to have data from every year and put it in a spreadsheet. Sorry, but I've an addiction to data, stats, etc. Don't all runners?

*Obviously, this depends upon the above statement BUT:
-has the course always been exactly the same every year?
-who holds the course record?
-who has won it the most times?
-what is the slowest winning time on record?
-what's the largest field/number of entrants?

Hope to see you there tomorrow night!!I'll be the egg-headed, purple-faced sweat hog, hopefully crossing the line in 59:34 (or faster)!

On your mark....Set....Don't Die!!!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

MXIII - Week 29

M-0- travel back from Maryland debauchery.  Too hot and lazy when got home. Poor start to the week.

T-10mi. -- 5 (am)/ 5 (pm) for Nick Bottone Track Mile.  Disappointed by 5:01 time again but know I can run under that in cooler conditions.

W-12mi. -- 6(am)/ 6(pm) WTAC Fun Run.  Felt tired so ran at normal low 7:00s pace.

T-8mi. -- sort of tired and miserable in the heat and humidity.  Such a trade off: run in the morning and it's not as hot but humidity is 85-90%, wait until humidity drops (slightly) and the temps are too high. Ugh!

F-8mi.--harderish ladder effort. 1min, 2 min, 3min, 2 min, 1 min, 2 min, 3 min (with equal time recoveries) all at 5K-10K pace.  Tough in the conditions.  Nice dip in the ol' Swimmin' Hole afterwards.  Nice rope swing back flips.

Hillbilly heaven....especially post run.

S-5mi.--slower and easier.  Still sweat my ass off though.

S-21mi.-- good long run with Gazelle from Weekapaug, through Bradford w/ some trails and flies, into Charlestown glacial moraine/hills, back out to the beach.  We threw down MP (faster?) effort for miles 17, 18, and 19 (6:08/6:23/6:09).  Good practice on tired legs.  Big waves in the post-run dip. Solid 7:15 pace overall. Gazelle is a beast!

TOTAL:64 miles
-->salvaged a good week despite starting with a Phish and travel hangover.  Next week will drop back down a little bit due to the Blessing of the Fleet 10 Mile shit show.  How can I be looking forward to it and dreading it at the same time?  Still a ways out but the weather forecast looks miserable for it (82 degrees, high humidity at race start time). Yippie-ki-yay, MFer!!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Nick Bottone Track Mile

Yesterday was yet again another sweltering July evening and also the annual opportunity to try cracking 5:00 minutes for the dreaded mile.  It's nice that it is on the local high school track.  As boring as it is to run ovals, pacing is much easier.  Unfortunately, the time trial also happens to fall during what is usually the hottest, muggiest stretch of the year--definitely not conducive to a PR mile.
Last year I ran a 5:01 (with more quality miles and varied speed workouts in my legs) so this year, I was really, really doubtful of my ability to run a 4:59 or better. 

I arrived early with my son and helped the Walkers set up registration and I also rigged up a sprinkler by the main gate for kids and racers to soak themselves and rinse off/cool down after racing.  After standing around for a while (sweating) and chatting with fellow WTACers I ran a broken up, short warm up.  It was really fun to run clockwise in the outside lanes and cheer on my 10 year old. Having run about a dozen 5Ks in his life, he was really nervous about a track mile.  I told him to simply run uncomfortably and consistently and, since he lacked a watch, to check that clock as he rounded turn four and ran the front stretch.  Each lap should be about/just under 2:00.  His first quarter he was a little hot out of the gate (1:43) and then slowed down there.  It was really awesome to watch him struggling but running alongside him on the infield grass on the final 100m.  The clock was ticking away but he managed to kick it in to finish 7:56.  Not sure which of us was more pleased.

There was a Masters division heat after that which allowed for another short lap or two with several striders before I lined up, with apprehension with the rest of the fast runners in the final heat.  There were several former and current WHS All-State standouts plus several other really fast guys.  I knew I stood zero chance sticking with them but was fine with that.  This really isn't/wasn't a race against others, it is completely just a "race" against yourself and the clock as well as a test of your ability to run consistently and kick at the end. 

At the gun I went out and tried to focus on form and be smooth.  The WHS track coach was there along the infield and as we hit 100m mark, I heard him counting out to his runners: "18, 19, 20".  Damn! 20 seconds for 100m.  That's way too slow!  Had to pick it up but I was then able to settle into a groove.  My first 400m split was 73--perfect for what I was looking for. 

The second quarter I started to feel it--that awesome heavy, burning feeling.  What a bitch!  I ran a 75 for that one but was worried about the infamous third lap.  For some reason this is the toughest for me.  It is so difficult to keep on pace and not fall apart.  I know it is counterintuitive but the 3rd lap is almost tougher than the 4th somehow.  By the final 400m you're just a struggling big hot mess but you know it's almost over and can muster up a final push.  However, from 801-1200m it just seems really, really daunting and unsustainable.  As such, I was so concerned with my impending implosion and meltdown that I missed my 3rd quarter split.  Per usual, it must have been slower given my effort for the final 400.

On the last lap, the four semi-elites ahead of me had really pulled away and I was left alone (although not really because Jonny was right on my tail). Turn four is such a dream crusher.  Seeing the clock and feeling the way I did made it pointless to try and do any complex running math.  Instead, I just tried to stay upright, smooth (no chance) and push it in. I knew it was going to be really, really close again--just like last year.

Unfortunately, with just under 10 meters to go I watched the clock tick over into the 5:00s and knew I had lost my chance again.  On my watch I was a 5:01 (official results have yet to be posted).  However, I was actually more disappointed last year with the same time than I was this year.  In all reality, I think I'm slightly less fit at this stage of the game than I was in 2012 for this one. 

Jonny came in virtually right with me and after trying not to die while walking around, we commiserated on the "poor races" we just ran.  However, this is not at all realistic and we were both just self deprecating ding-dongs. Even though I lack turnover and speed, I know July makes it tough.  In an atmosphere that is NOT 88 degrees and over 80% humidity, the two of us are both definitely under 5:00.  I'm probably around a 4:55-4:56 I think. I'd put money on it!

At any rate, it was still fun and I'm super pumped about both Mason's first ever timed mile and sub 8:00 finish, as well as my ability to at least tie my PR in terrible conditions. Ryan W. (the new WTAC member from New Zealand) won it in 4:35 and seemed to not really struggle.  It was really cool to have many other WTACers in both the final heat with me as well as in other slower heats as well.  Those that suffer and smile together are ultimately successful together.

Mason: "That was the hardest mile of my life, Dad!"

All I really wanna know is, who is up for a mile time trial in October?  I'll supply a watch and some water, all you have to do is show up.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

MXIII - Week 28

T- 7+mi (a.m.) -- 2 x 800, 6 x 200 w/ Jonny, Nate, and Chris at CHS track.  Good fun. // 4+mi (p.m.) -- easy recovery in humid evening
W- 5mi. -- test out new shoes, Brooks Pure Flow 2.  Like them.
T- 0 -- striper fishing at Block Island w/ Team Hammett.  Amazing day of line siders.
F- 16mi. -- late start (0800) on a tour of "Misquamapaug".  No water. No fuel.  No problems.  Felt good.
S-0-- truckin' down to Maryland and D.C. area for night/show #1.
S- 5mi. -- snuck in while slobs were sleeping off residual fun before night/show #2.

Total: 43 miles

--> another disappointing, low weekly total, however, mostly due to traveling.  Life on the road isn't easy. A little video footage from the Phish FunkFest over the weekend.  First set of night two was the best I've seen them play out of all of my shows.  FYI: fast forward late in the video.  My ten seconds of fame are from 09:58 - 10:58. I can get down when I'm feelin' it!

 Have to make this coming week count (although Monday is/was another zero due to the long car ride back from Maryland).  Bottone Track Mile on Tuesday will be a bitch due to the heat, but what run or race in July isn't?  Doubt sub 5:00 is achievable in death-inducing conditions but gotta give it a go anyway and see how it all shakes out.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

MXIII-Week 27

M- 5mi. - some minor weirdness with knee but not bad

T-7mi.-4x800 w/ Jonny at the track @ Camire's Race Pace (5:45-5:50ish)

W-4mi.- easy Fun Run, just Pacin' Mason

T-7mi- Race: Camire's Firecracker 4 Miler. 17th O/A 23:29.  Slower than last year. Felt good first half but really fell apart last 1.5mile.

F-6mi. - in Champlins with Keffiyeh.  Kept the deer flies at bay.  Swim in Winnie Pond after.

S-5mi. - stomach distress/bad GI issues

S-13mi.-5 solo in Weekapaug then 8 with Tommy 5K.  Turned into a progression run.  Was hard for me.  Ran really dehydrated w/ 4 x GI stops.  Terrible dehydration issues all day thereafter.  Viral problems? Dunk in the drink afterwards with wave play helped.

Total: 47 miles.

-->under 50 miles but 3 quality efforts.  Took it easier and shorter on the other days.  Intestinal issues over the weekend helped round things out quite nicely.  Getting closer and closer to the Blessing of the Fleet 10 Miler and feeling less and less prepared.  Bring it on either way.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Summer Running Survival Guide

Since this is my Wet, Hot, American Summer, it is also important to note that with the privilege of sweating your genitals off, comes some precautions.

Obviously, everyone knows that the major bitch of the summer is the high heat and humidity.  You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows if/when it is 86 degrees, 80% humidity, and a soupy dew point of 71 degrees. However, everyone (at least runners), also knows that you still gotta get dem miles in, right? 

With that being said, today I went out on a late run (1100) in the gross conditions that are so prevalent around here in July.  I was forced to make some modifications in my general procedure and I wanted to quickly share them with all (4?) of you that read this stupid blog. Yes, I did employ ALL of them today to help me meet with success.   Here are a few simple steps that will allow you to continue with your addiction of running:

1. Run in shade. 
-The sun, although omnipotent and amazing enough to warrant worship, can be brutal much of the time.  Find solace in the woods.  Even in the middle of the day it helps to hide in shadows. Although, inherent in this is another problem in #2 (see below).

2. Keffiyeh

Suck it, deer flies!
- This is perhaps the best secret of the bunch.  Deer flies during the month of July are absolutely relentless in New England.  This is most likely a deterrent against running in the woods.  However, take a page from Yasser Arafat's playbook and rock a "keffiyeh".  Essentially, just flip your shirt up over your head but leave the collar stretched around your cranium so that it is flipped over the back of your head and drapes down your neck and back.  Sounds and looks so friggin' stupid but it is better than any quadraped's tail in its swooshing back and forth, brushing away flying (& biting) insects. I swear it works.  Any of you that have ever been bombarded by deer flies while on a sweaty summer run will agree--any port in a storm!! PS-this may only apply to dudes, but chicks can be creative here.

3. Scotch Tape
-that's right.  If you run in the woods you're bound to pick up an arachnid or two in the form of Ixodes
Ticks must die!
, better known as the wiley "Effin' Deer Tick".  It sounds stupid but it is super easy after a run to "peel them off" with a small section of tape.  Even the ones that have partially embedded in your skin can still be removed with a swath of the magically, translucent sticky stuff.  Note: this doesn't always work, especially for the buggers that have been suckling away for hours and hours.  In this case, it may be best to employ one of the other numerous Swamp Yankee Remedies (i.e. alcohol, tweezers, Vaseline, etc.). Just don't try and pray away the ticks--that never  works for anything.  Ever. Seriously....

4. Beer
Nothing says tasty like micro-brewed goodness.
-nothing replenishes lost chromium like good beer.  Avoid major brewed crap like Coors Light, Bud Light, MGD, Miller High Life, Schlitz, Pabst Blue Ribbon, etc.  Seek out quality, random micro-brewed beverages for the greatest effect with regards to your well being.  Trust me. 

5. Run Near Water
-if not for the incessant, prevailing southwest offshore breezes, at least you can jump in the water immediately after your run and cool your core.  Your body will obviously thank you for it.  And, PLEASE, don't be afraid of what others think of "that weird runner person that just collapsed into the water".  Also, don't hesitate to battle the elite that try and inform you that you "can't swim here, this is a private beach".  Read and learn your rights and rules re: public water access. Go out of your way to piss off the masses by swimming wherever you want.  Remember: the land may be private but the water is free for us all to enjoy. It's the American way--life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and swimming wherever the hell you want.

Happy birthday, 'Merica!!

Have fun running friends!  See you out there.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Quick And Abbreviated Update -- Last Two Weeks

Week of 17 June
T- 7mi.
W- 6mi. (tempo pace run, 3mi.)
T- 4 easy
F- 8mi. / 5mi. lunch in woods / 9mi. -- 21 for the Sun, Solstice Triple
S- 0
S- 12mi.

Total: 58 miles ....very fun week.  Made me excited to run again

Week of 24 June
M-3mi. easy
T- 6mi. track workout (8 x 200) / 5mi.
W- 10mi. (3mi. @ T pace at WTAC Fun Run)...tired legs. Stupid so close together
T- 5mi.
F- 10mi....knee acted up again.  Same spot.  Stopped and stretched 4x
S- 0 rest, worried about knee
S- 15mi. - fun long run on roads & trails with WTAC guys and a Kiwi (Ryan W.)

Total: 54 again but a little worried about my knee.  Frustrating.

Well, I may have overdone it a bit by having back to back days with "hard(ish)" efforts.  Have to face the fact that I'm not Miles Hammett.  I've begun to incorporate stretching again and stupid core/strengthening drills. Perhaps I should've never backed off on them in the first place.

I know I can run hard, fast, and long and suffer with the best of them.  It's frustrating to have weak core/strength issues causing me minor pains & annoying hang-ups.