This week was a heck of a lot better than the “flu” week. On Monday I got my re-tooled orthotics and a cortisone shot in my posterior tibial tendon. The injection site was brutally sore for a couple of days and I didn’t make things much better when I smacked it with a shovel while clearing the driveway.
It was still sore when the weekend rolled around and I headed out to Northfield (the story about the NF race is posted below).
I decided after Northfield that my ankle was not up to another snowshoe race. I knew that some of the CMS guys were doing the Stew Chase 15 km in Lynn and I hadn’t done that race since 2001. It seemed like a good idea to get in a longer run. I’ve been doing 70 mpw, but mostly doing doubles so it has been a rare day when I go longer than 10 miles. My plan was to run hard but I had no idea how fit I was. This would be my ninth race in the first 32 days of the year and I’d only done a couple of 5 km’s so I wasn’t sure where my fitness level was. I guessed sub 6:30 pace and hoped for sub 6:15’s.
Dan V, Joe S, Jim P, Ben S, and Mike Q and I went out for (what felt to me) a quick 20-minute warm-up. After quickly changing into race flats it was another ½ mile to the line. I was very surprised to bump in Dave Q at the line. He had decided at the very last second to give it a go. After some brief instructions the 35th running of the Stew Chase was under way.
Dan went out at his usual slow pace at the start and he was only a couple of steps in front of me for the first ½ mile. That was surprising as he ended up running the first mile about 20 seconds faster than me. I hit the mile in 6:02 and felt pretty good. I caught Mike at 2 miles (6:04 split) and pulled ahead of him in the downhill third mile (5:44). I passed four miles, after barely missing getting hit by a bus, in 6:05 and started thinking about my place and how many people I might be able to catch. On the out/back uphill to 5 miles (6:19) Mike went blowing by me like I was standing still. I regrouped on the downhill and passed him and a couple of other guys to move up to 16th place. I passed six miles in 36:07 (5:52 split) and began thinking that I might be able to crack this thing in sub-6’s. Mike went by me again on the way to 7 miles (6:05) and I started to feel tired. I was struggling and cutting tangents like mad and passed Mike for about the 10th time. We really never ran together, he was passing me or I was passing him. I hit 8 in 48:23 (6:11) and started to think that I wished the race were a 12 km instead of 15 km. I was out of gas and although I only slowed a little (6:09) six guys passed me in the last 1.3 miles. I guess they all had kicks and I had nothing. Mike was the last one to go by, just after 9 miles. I was still pleased, crossing the line in 56:34 for 22nd place (4th – 40+). The CMS boys ran quite well taking places 4, 6, 8, 12, and 13. Dave had a strong effort, especially considering he didn’t do much of a warm-up. I checked after and was a little bummed that I missed my 40+ pr from 04-2004 56:19 at Bow Lake.
Running out of gas at the end
I took home an umbrella for my efforts. The Stew Chase is an old school type race, moderately tough course, not a lot of frills and a great bargain at $12. With the 1m warm-down I ended up with 71 miles for the week.
My Stew Chase results:
2009 56:34 – 22nd place
2001 48:09 – 2nd place (outkicked by Bryan Dunn by one second). The next day I won the Mid-winter Classic 10 mile in Cape Elizabeth in 53:51.
1992 46:58 – 1st place
1991 48:31 – 1st place tie with Lou Ristaino
July 4, 1986 - 1st place at the Andover 10 Km 30:50. Note the uniform....