Friday, May 29, 2015

Double - D

Three of us did the unusual “double” of Wachusett Mountain and the USATF NE marathon championships within a 24 hour period last weekend.  I did also see Lisa Doucett and Tom Derderian racing at Wachusett and working at the marathon.  We all got in at least 500 miles of driving.

Wach                            VCM                
42 26:28                        360 3:27:35       Jacqueline Shakar
95 32:44                        365 3:27:34       David Lapierre
16 21:26                        164 3:09:14       Dave Dunham


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Vermont City Marathon - USATF NE championships

Vermont City Marathon (USATF NE championships)

I headed up to Vermont right after biking down Wachusett Mountain.  I didn’t warm-down after the race as I knew I’d want to run a bit to stretch my legs after the three-hour drive.  Eric Morse met me in Montpelier and we zipped up to Burlington to get my race number.  I’d entered the marathon back in November with high hopes of training well over the winter and being ready to race.  Unfortunately that was not to be.  I took a bad step on Christmas day and partially tore a ligament in my foot.  That injury along with painful arthritis in my navicular joint left me on the sidelines for 5 weeks and once back kept my mileage way below what would be a “normal amount” to prepare for a 26.2 mile jaunt.  My longest run this year was 11.7 miles (early May).  I only had 13 runs over 7 miles during the five months leading up to the marathon.  I had already spent nearly $100 for the entry fee and figured if I could run I’d at least give it a shot.

My ankle was feeling pretty decent in the week leading up to the race but I ran a bit harder than usual on Thursday and was regretting how flat I felt on Saturday.  My plan for the marathon was to aim for 8:00 pace and see how that felt.  My training has been in the low 7:00’s at lunch and in the low 8:00’s for my afternoon run, so it seemed like a reasonable plan.  I also had it in the back of my mind that I could bail any time I wanted to as the course went through downtown Burlington at 3, 8, and 15.  I figured 15 would be the decision point and if my foot was bothering me at all I’d drop at that point.

Eric and Murdoch joined me for the ride to Burlington, they’d be out on the course taking pictures and watching the fun.  I headed over to the line and met up with teammate (and training partner) Dan Verrington.  As we made our way to the start four-time race winner Matt Pelletier wished me luck, which was very cool!  I found my spot on the line about 20 rows back, figuring that 3:30 had placed 400th last year.  CMS 50+ teammates Phil Savoy and John Griego were close by and we chatted for a moment before the start.  I felt okay, not nervous really since I had no real pressure.  We had a solid senior team so I didn’t even really need to race.  At 8:00am we were off, it was sunny and the temps were in the upper 50’s.  It was looking to be warm as the expected high was in the 80s.

I tried to settle into a comfortable pace and was a little under 7:30 per mile.  Faster than I expected but it was uncomfortable to run any slower.  After a few miles I found my CMS 50+ teammates and we ran together.    The out/back section along the highway was fun as I watched the leaders fly by.  I also passed the time by counting how many runners were ahead of me (I came up with 400 which was pretty close to what the chip timing had at 10k = 362).  At 6 we headed back towards Burlington into a wind.  I tucked behind a couple of tall relay runners and let them block the wind.  The clouds had rolled in and the temperature was very comfortable.  I stayed with my CMS teammates as the pace felt relaxed and I was now thinking I might be able to score for the team (top 3 finishers score).  Not much changed over the next few miles.  At 11 miles I lost 30 seconds visiting the porta-john and once back on the road I upped the pace to around 7:10 per mile to get back up to my teammates. 

I crossed the half-way mark in 1:37:14 and had moved up 30 spots (326th place) and figured a 3:15 marathon would be do-able.  We had a nice section of bike path along the lake and then the biggest hill on the course at 15 miles.  It wasn’t so bad as you were also passing the start/finish so there was a huge crowd cheering.  It was a blast!  I reached 16 and felt the time was right to start picking up the pace.  A 7:12 on a slight downhill got me started and then 7-flat, and 6:59 and I was on a roll and feeling good. I reached 20 miles in 2:27:02 and had moved up to 242nd place.  So from the half to 20 miles I’d passed 76 people. Game on!
At 20 I started to calculate that I’d be close to breaking 3:10 if I kept the pace steady.  At 21 we got onto the bike path along the lake and at the same time I was joined by a relay runner who was clocking steady 7:00 miles.  We ran in lock-step until 23 when I realized I need to pick it up a bit if I wanted to sneak under 3:10.  The bike path was scenic and shady but it had a lot of people for a narrow trail and the middle of it had a significant bump.  It was a bit of a challenge to not run into people who were slowing over the last few miles.  My last 3 miles were 6:29, 6:35, and 6:29.  I was having fun and enjoyed the crowds in the final mile.  At 26 I saw Christin Doneski up ahead and my competitive juices kicked in.  She had buried me with a devastating kick at the New England 10 mile championships back in February and I saw a chance to catch her.  I got her with about 2 steps to go and crossed the line a step ahead in 3:09:25.  The final 10k split of 42:12 (6:47 pace) brought me home in 164th place which meant I passed 78 people over that span.

The CMS squad had a great day, taking 3rd in the open and 3rd in the masters.  The senior team took 2nd place only 38 seconds up on third, so I was pretty happy that I’d kicked it in.  In all CMS had 20 runners finish.

CMS finishers
Pl          Time     Name    Age       Gend     Cat        Pl in Cat
5          2:28:43  Scott Leslie         33         M          M3034   1/198
29         2:46:35  Joe Shairs           47         M          M4549   1/186
46         2:52:23  James Pawlicki    40         M          M4044   7/192
64         2:55:55  Leslie O'Dell        39         F          F3539    2/214
88         2:59:17  Dan Verrington    52         M          M5054   5/146
164       3:09:25  Dave Dunham     51         M          M5054   6/146
190       3:12:56  Philip Savoy Jr     52         M          M5054   8/146
245       3:19:14  Arthur Besse       41         M          M4044   31/192
261       3:20:11  Biliana Mihaylova 25         F          F2529    8/226
326       3:25:47  John Griego        57         M          M5559  
365       3:27:53  David Lapierre     51         M          M5054   18/146
447       3:32:05  Patrick Chviruk    29         M          M2529   49/169
495       3:35:36  Alicia Eno           37         F          F3539    28/214
508       3:37:11  Stephen Laska    53         M          M5054   28/146
685       3:46:48  William Gonsorcik 48         M          M4549   75/186
766       3:51:01  Bill Look             38         M          M3539   86/204
1024      4:01:35  Laura Hast          55         F          F5559   
1474      4:26:08  Patricia Clark       55         F          F5559   
1503      4:27:25  Rosana Look      43         F          F4044    66/152
1695      4:40:35  Annie Ryan         58         F          F5559    16/32
  2. 9:21:38 CENTRAL MASS STRIDERS                   (3:07:13)
  1  2:59:17  Dan Verrington         
  2  3:09:25  Dave Dunham            
  3  3:12:56  Philip Savoy Jr        
  4 (3:25:47) John Griego            
  5 (3:27:53) David Lapierre         
  6 (3:37:11) Stephen Laska          
  3. 9:22:26 BOSTON ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION             (3:07:29)
  4. 10:05:02 GREATER LOWELL ROAD RUNNERS             (3:21:41)
  5. 10:58:50 NORTH MEDFORD CLUB                      (3:39:37)
  6. 11:06:12 GATE CITY STRIDERS                      (3:42:04)
  7. 13:27:08 CAMBRIDGE SPORTS UNION                  (4:29:03)
   MALE AGE GROUP:  50 to 54
    1 2:41:53* Tom Thurston              51 M   22 Waterbury VT            GREEN MOUNTAIN ATHLETIC   
    2 2:54:10  Christopher Lawrence      51 M  453 Manville RI             BOSTON ATHLETIC ASSO
    3 2:58:05  E J Hrynowski             52 M  226 Arlington MA            GREATER LOWELL ROAD            
    4 2:58:08  Michael Cooney            53 M  420 Chelmsford MA           WHIRLAWAY RACING TEA                 
    5 2:59:17  Dan Verrington            52 M  380 Haverhill MA            CENTRAL MASS STRIDERS                   
    6 3:09:25  Dave Dunham               51 M  178 Bradford MA            CENTRAL MASS STRIDERS                   
    7 3:12:10  Craig Macfarlane          54 M  458 Natick MA               BOSTON ATHLETIC ASSO            
    8 3:12:56  Philip Savoy Jr           52 M  344 Shrewsbury MA           CENTRAL MASS STRIDERS                   
    9 3:14:17  Robert Patterson          50 M 1987 Calais VT               CENTRAL VERMONT                  
   10 3:17:49  Richard Paradis           50 M  318 Coral Springs FL                                                


Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Wachusett Mountain - USATF NE mountain series race

Wachusett Mountain
This was the 23rd annual running of the Wachusett Mountain race and in a partial return to its roots there was an “uphill only” option this time around.  The last time the race was uphill was back in 2008 on the original 4.3 mile course.  This year they kept the course as it has been for the past three years, 2.85 mile run to the summit followed by a 3+ mile run down.  The USATF Mountain series would be scored on the times for the uphill but runners could continue on for the overall race.  This was done to encourage some of the Mountain runners who weren’t fans of the up/down series races to give this a go.  This would be my 19th time racing at Wachusett and I had no plans to run down.  My ankle/foot woes have not just kept my training at a low level but also stopped me from doing any downhill running.  I was happy to have the option to count in the scoring with just the ascent.
I showed up in Leominster two hours prior to the start and parked at the visitor’s center.  From there I made my way up the course on my Mountain Bike.  I went very slowly not wanting to put in much of an effort prior to the race.  I locked up my bike on the summit (so that I wouldn’t have to run down after) and then hiked down the nice Pine Hill trail.  The bike up was 1.7 miles and the hike down was just .6 miles.  After that I drove over to the ski area parking lot and picked up my race number.

I met up with teammate Paul Baz and we went out for a 3 mile warm-up.  I felt kind of flat which is typical before a race but I had pushed it a bit on Thursday and was regretting the effort I’d put in.  There was a great turnout for the race (nearly 250) and we lined up on Mile Hill road with temps in the 50’s and a steady tailwind.  The field shot off at the start and I was having trouble hanging on to the back of the big pack that formed.  I found myself in about 25th place ½ mile in and I was working pretty hard.  Kim Nedeau went flying by, but I reeled her back in before the mile as I steadily caught some of the early fast starters.
We turned into the State Park at 1.25 miles and I lost some ground on the downhill (running cautiously).  Kim went by me again as we started the steep climbing.  I felt okay, just really stale.  I was putting in the effort but spinning my wheels.  I could see Craig Fram up ahead  with Erik Vandendries right with him.  I knew they were the top 50+ but there was no way I could run that fast.  I was wheezing as I went back by Kim after the 2 mile mark.  Knowledge of the course certainly helps and I pushed hard over the last ½ mile as we turned onto the parking lot entrance.
I ended up running 21:26 which was within 5 seconds of my time last year and only 22 seconds slower than two years ago (21:21 and 21:04 respectively).  Considering my lack of training this year I can’t complain about the result.  I can only hope that I get into a bit better shape before Mt Washington!
I spent about 2 minutes on the top, jumped on my bike and 9 minutes and 3 miles later I was back at my car.  I was on the road to Vermont before the first running crossed the finish line.
Pl Time  Name                Team    City/State          
1 19:07 DREW BEST        aR         AMHERST MA                  M33
2 19:20 JOSH FERENC     W.E.      ATHENS VT                     M33
3 20:27 NATE SANS                     PRINCETON MA               M23
4 20:37 ALEX MCGRATH   WRT      MARLBOROUGH NH          M24
5 20:38 TIM MAHONEY    CMS      HOLYOKE MA                  M35
6 20:42 CRAIG FRAM       WRT      EXETER NH                     M56
7 20:43 MATT VEIGA       CMS      LYNN MA                        M28
8 20:44 ETHAN NEDEAU   aR         LEVERETT MA                 M42
9 20:44 TODD CALLAGHAN CMS    BEVERLY MA                   M45
16 21:26 DAVE DUNHAM  CMS      BRADFORD MA                M51
17 21:34 KIM NEDEAU                 LEVERETT MA                 F35

Monday, May 25, 2015

Week Ending 05-24-15

Surprisingly good week, foot was a bit better this week and I took advantage of it.  Ran pretty hard on Thursday and probably shouldn't have since I felt flat on Saturday.  Rebounded okay for Sunday.  Next week lower mileage rest week.

Week - 88
Month - 291
Year - 1046
Life - 128,134

M - Lunch 7 in 51:22
       PM Winni 5in 37:40

T - Lunch 7 in 50:57
      PM 4 on the trails in the Kingston town forest

W - Lunch 7 in 49:19
       PM 4 on the rail trail in 30:57

Th - Lunch 7 in 48:34
        PM 5 in Saugus/Wakefield bagging peaks

F - Exploring the Doyle Link trail 7 in 54:29

Sat - 3 warm-up in 27:05, Wachusett Mtn race in 21:28
         PM 3 with Eric and Murdoch in 29:17

Sun - Vermont City Marathon in 3:09:25
On top of Wachusett pre-race

Friday, May 22, 2015

Harts Hill and Castle Rock

I visited a couple of former fire tower sites before my podiatrist appointment yesterday.  Nice easy run and the payoff were some interesting views.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Kingston Town Forest

I had a little time so I checked out the Kingston Town Forest.  There were about 2 miles of trails.  It was a bit buggy and the trail was a little rougher than I like for running.  It looks like a great place for a hike especially in the fall.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015


NB twilight track meet – I couldn’t find any races that looked interesting for this weekend. Dan had mentioned at the River that he was doing the Twilight meet to get a 5,000 time (for the All-Terrain Runner series).  I don’t like night races but it looked like a good low pressure place to get some leg turnover.  It may sound funny calling a big meet like the Twilight race “low pressure” but it was for me since I knew going in that I’d be among the slowest runners by a LONG way.  Dave Lapierre joined in the fun as he is also doing the ATR series, and by looking at the seed times we could see that we’d all probably be running alone and most (if not all) of the field would lap us.
We got there early and watched some of the action before heading out on the road for a warm-up.  It was a little breezy and a bit warm but really not too bad for racing.  I thought we gave ourselves plenty of time but by the time we got back and changed into race gear it was time to go.  I guess missing doing some strides was okay, I was pretty hyped up nervous/excited.  Something about track racing just flips the adrenaline switch.  Maybe it has to do with how exposed you are, there is no hiding on the track. 

Everyone lined up and me, Dan and Dave hung back.  We all wanted to start in the second row since everyone would be zipping out, it’d still be a clean start.  So it was. Boom everyone just shot off and by 100 meters Dan was off the back of the last 3 guys, I was off alone behind him, and Dave was on his own behind me.  I had a goal of running under 17:40 so I was aiming to run 85 seconds for each 400 meter lap.  I was a step or two under at 400 and felt good but kept telling myself to wait until half-way and if I felt better that would be the time to pick it up.  Usually that is the point where you really start to question the wisdom of signing up for a 12.5 lap race.
I rolled along pretty steadily, hitting the 1600 (metric mile) in 5:36 and 3200 (metric 2 mile) in 11:11.  Around that point I noted that Dan was coming back a bit (he’d had almost a full straight-away lead) so I focused on trying to reel him in.  Last year at the USATF NE track champs, I’d beaten Dan by 1 second catching him in the final 100 meters.  I dug down and started closing the gap.  With 600 to go I thought I might have a chance but Dan was also thinking about last year and he snuck a peek.  He found a little something extra and was able to keep me from catching him this time.
Along with Dave La we took the last three places (17, 18, 19) in the race but also took it for what it was.  D-La set a 50+ PR and ran a minute faster than his 5,000 last year, Dan was top “senior” in the race and held me off, and I ran my best time this year and came in about 15 seconds faster than I thought I could run.  Our combined ages also topped the first seven finishers combined age ☺
Dan and I finished off the night with a scenic loop along the Merrimack River and the Lowell canal river walk. 

Senior Results:
1 Dan Verrington CMS 17:22.66
2 Dave Dunham CMS 17:24.32
3 David Lapierre CMS 19:54.38
1 Dan Milechman Harvard 14:34.57
11 Scott Leslie CMS 15:44.39
13 Alex Hall WRT 16:01.20
400 Splits
1600 splits