Last week I the U-Lowell George Davis night got canceled but a bunch of the guys met up at the Worthen Pub. As is the case, talk turned to races in Lowell and specifically all of the “pub” races. I had never run the Worthen race (and had never been there before last week). Of course I had to figure out what Pub or bar races I’d done over the years. I was a bit surprised to find that I’d only done 33 but not surprised that 12 of those were in Lowell. The most raced in Lowell was Cappy’s Kopper Kettle. Nothing unusual about that since they always had some decent prize money. The most raced bar was the Winner’s Circle where I’d raced 7 times. Along the way I decided to check out how many races I’d done at places that served alcohol but weren’t pubs. That came in close to the 33 pub races with 27 from places like Elks, Hibernians, Kiwanis, KoC, Lions, and Rotary. The most was 10 from Rotary. This is probably only of interest to me, but I’m pretty much the only one who reads this, so that works for me!
Sunday, January 23, 2022
This week was something of a turning point. As I reached 12 weeks since surgery, I decided it was time to ease back a little on the bike (as it really seemed to impact how my quads and back felt). After taking Monday off (scheduled) I kept steady miles with mostly doing a 5 each day. Although I was still feeling slow my times at lunch steadily improved. We had some VERY cold days including a 5 degree lunch run and 6 degrees in Chelmsford for the weekend. I also got out and had some fun and some good exercise hitting the XC ski trails at Beaver Meadows (thank you for the invitation to join in the fun Sarah). At times I was even able to stay on my feet, and only once did I end up hung up in some trees. Danny V and I closed out the week with a pleasant out & back run on the Danvers Rail Trail. It felt good to return to the rail trail and RUN instead of bike. I ended up getting 32 miles of running in along with 403.19 miles on the bike (17.0 hours).
Thursday, January 20, 2022
I keep track of all the course records I’ve held and especially the remaining ones that I have in races that are still held over the same course I set the record on. At the beginning of the month my CR (actually a tie with Larry Sayers) at the Freezer Five has now reached 30 years. Larry and I tied after racing hard the first 4 miles then deciding it wasn’t worth ‘pushing it’ over the last mile for a win. It was my first race as a member of the Central Mass Striders (Larry was a member and also a friend since I’d raced him when he was at Keene State and I was at U-Lowell).
Sunday, January 16, 2022
Not a great week. I had to be in the office 4 days which put a dent in my biking. I've been very focused on how my hip feels. Probably too focused. Some soreness (maybe a 1 or 2 on the pain scale) but I'm probably just as sore on the other side but not focused on that stuff. I'd like to ease off the biking but still need at least another full week of every other day running.
Bike 476.6 miles in 20:00 hours
Run 21 miles.
Liking my new Kinvara shoes (on sale for $59!). Definitely the first time I've worn shoes with a rainbow unicorn in them.
Sunday, January 9, 2022
No major complaints. I managed to run five times this week for a total of 20 miles. I also put in 25 hours on the bike (594.1 miles). I'm hoping to phase out the biking as I increase the running.
Finished another book this week "The Feather Thief" and "Billy Summers" and ordered 5 more books. I'm reading three or four books at a time to keep them fresh. One chapter then change books. It helps get the riding done.
Saturday, January 8, 2022
2012 – 10 years ago
I started of the New Year at the Frosty Four 4 mile race in Salem MA. I found myself out in front at the start with Ben Strain right there (he told me he was aiming for 22 flat which was also my goal). Soon after I was off the back of the lead pack (which included Ben, Jim Pawlicki, and Dan. By 2 miles (5:30 - 10:46) I passed Ben and was 2 seconds behind Jim Pawlicki and Dan Verrington. I ran a very hard 1/4 mile to try and drop them but right before the 3 mile mark (5:37 - 16:23) they pulled up to me and just after 3 they went by.
Dan and I both checked our watches with about 1/2 mile to go, he still had a stride or two on me and Jim was right there along side Dan. We took the final turn, and I went into my final kick. I hit the finish in 21:54 (5:31) knocking 13 seconds off my PR from last year. We headed out backwards on the course for a nice 4 mile warm-down and a solid 12 mile start to the New Year.
Fifth Annual Wicked Frosty Four Sunday, January 1, 2012 Start Time: 10 AM
2 Nick Sousa 2/30 M2029 28 M Salem, MA 21:31 5:23
3 Michael Nickerson 3/30 M2029 22 M Salem, MA 21:33 5:24
4 James Pawlicki 1/65 M3039 37 M Lynn, MA 21:51 5:28 CMS
5 Dave Dunham 1/88 M4049 47 M Bradford, MA 21:54 5:29 CMS
6 Dan Verrington 2/88 M4049 49 M Bradford, MA 21:59 5:30 CMS
7 Ben Strain 2/65 M3039 33 M Beverly, MA 22:08 5:32 CMS
8 John Ayers 3/88 M4049 45 M Beverly, MA 22:26 5:37
9 Jason McDonough 3/65 M3039 33 M Somerville, MA 23:22 5:51
10 Kevin Delaney 4/88 M4049 43 M Arlington, MA 23:26 5:52
Eric grabbed Murdoch and we headed out for another 2 miles as sort of a warm-down, then I got back on the track for another 1.5 with a couple of strides. Another small group lined up for the 800 and we were off in a blur. By 200 I was alone in third place with the leaders 7-8 seconds ahead. It was a lot of fun and over before I could really get going! I came away with third place and a new PR by 3 seconds.
Next up was the Fudgesicle 5k, Dan V was planning on running 5:20 pace for 2 miles then easing up. My plan was to push the pace with Dan through 2, and if I felt good enough try to continue on. We did the course as a warm-up then did a couple of strides and we were off. Dan took the lead about ½ mile in and I tucked behind him until we hit the mile (5:27). I moved to the front and kept the pace honest, Dan moved back in front at about 1.5 and I took over again just before 2 miles. I hit 2 in 10:53 (5:26), about 2 seconds up on Dan. The last mile was tough with a solid headwind and a slight up hill. I managed to close out in 5:46 (16:39) and 42 seconds for the final part. The win gave me my 34th consecutive year with at least one win.
2 Dan Verrington 2/4 49 M4049 Bradford 17:51 5:45
3 John Rheaume 1/10 30 M3039 Lowell 18:00 5:48
4 James Sullivan 1/2 26 M2029 Chelmsford 18:05 5:50
5 Liam Skinner 3/4 45 M4049 Lowell 18:37 6:00
At the start everyone bolted like it was a sprint. I was hurting and in 5th place in the first 200 meters. I slowly caught up but JJ was out of site now except on the long straights. I worked as hard as possible and was rewarded with a third place finish and over a minute improvement on my time from last year.
1 27:27 Jim Johnson M 34 CMS
2 28:25 Judson Cake M 34 Acidotic
3 28:40 Dave Dunham M 47 CMS
4 29:49 Danny Ferreira M 29 Acidotic
5 30:33 Chris Jasparro M 44 TNT
6 31:06 Chris Dunn M 43 Acidotic
7 31:52 Ryan Welts M 31 Acidotic
8 33:44 Dan Hayden M 25
9 33:53 Scott Mason M 54 TNT
10 34:22 Jason Massa M 44 Acidotic
1 Tim Van
32:58 m 43 CMS
33:40 m 47 CMS
33:58 m 32 CMS
34:18 m 32 CMS
34:23 m 28
34:55 m 23
35:08 m 33
38:16 f 34 CMS
I decided to pass on snowshoe racing this weekend when I saw that the USATF NE masters would have a 5,000. It seems very rare to find an indoor track 5,000 and even rarer to find one for masters. Justin Soucy joined me on the track for a 3 mile warm-up. After that I changed into racing flats and did another mile with strides. Just before the start I chatted with Sean Livingston to see what he was aiming for. I told him I was hoping to run 40 seconds per lap for as long as I could. He noted "maybe we can work together". At 1200m Sean moved into the lead and the tempo increased a bit (my fastest 200 was from 1400-1600m). I couldn't quite go with Sean but kept running in the 40 second range through 3,000 meters (10:02.8). It was right around that point that the effort began to take its toll and I slowed a bit. I was able to keep it together crossing the line in second place in 16:52. Sean won with a sub-16:30.
Friday, January 7, 2022
Thursday, January 6, 2022
2002 – 20 years ago
I had a reasonably successful January in 2002, with just one major disappointment. I started the year finishing second to Dan Verrington at the Hangover 5k in Salisbury. I ran 16:02 and Dan ran just fast enough to win (15:59). Next up was a qualifying race for the US Snowshoe championships. I headed up to Killington with Richard Bolt to secure a trip to nationals. Richard took 2nd in 24:12 and I was third in 25:01 over a tough 5km course, some dude we’d never heard of won in 23:37 (I think he was a skier trying out snowshoe racing). The following week we headed out to Colorado for the so called “North American Championships”. The race was not the style of racing I was used to (you had to know the course to know when there would be fast running and when there would be very deep powder). I ended up a very disappointing 17th place. A week later I hosted a race at Beaver brook and topped a field of 22 running 2.7 miles doing multiple loops around a field with just a hint of snow.
Wednesday, January 5, 2022
1997 – 25 years ago
This year started well but ended with me out with a stress fracture that I continued to run on until it broke (putting me out for most of the year). I still have the screw in my foot. I kicked off the new year with a win back at the Freezer Five running a 26:51 in snow and 15 degree temperatures. A week later I was up at Dartmouth where I won the 5,000 in 15:06. Two weeks after that I closed out the month with a win at the Boston Prep 16 mile in a course record 1:28:49. Teammate and training partner Byrne Decker and I raced together through 13 miles where I was able to gap him and then hold on for the win.
1 Dave Dunham 1:28:49
2 Byrne Decker 1:29:21
3 Keith Kelly 1:30:55
4 Dave Beauley 1:31:03
5 Huff Furr 1:32:54
6 Craig Fram 1:34:26
Tuesday, January 4, 2022
1992 – 30 Years ago: The big change for me in 1992 was joining the Central Mass Striders, my first race of the year was a tie with new teammate Larry Sayers. We ran a course record (still standing) time of 24:00 at the Freezer five. Ten days later I headed to Fresh Pond for the weekly 2.5/5.0 races. I was using these as tempo runs so that I wouldn’t have to run alone. My goal pace for the marathon was 5:10’s so I was hoping to tempo at something in that range. The first time out I did 8 miles in 40:56, passing through 5 miles in 25:29 for third place. Two weeks later I ran a 5 mile tempo in 25:38 for first place in cold (15 degrees) and windy conditions. In between the two workouts I went to Bermuda for the ADT 10k. I won the trip for taking first in the TAC New England Grand Prix series. I ended up taking 7th place in 31:10 on a hot and windy day on a fairly hilly course.
Monday, January 3, 2022
1987 – 35 years ago: I only raced twice in January of my final year of indoor track at U-Lowell. I was on the 4x1 mile relay team with Jason Cakorous (4:28), Rick Dawe (4:20), and John Cotter (4:14) at the Dartmouth Relays. Our time of 17:13 still stands as the school record. I ran a PR of 4:10 for my leg. At the end of the month, I took a shot at the school record for 2 miles (8:48 – Mike Hurton). I took 5th place at the Harvard invitational in a fast field on a fast 220 yard track. After a slow first quarter (69) the tempo upped with splits of 63, 66, and 65 getting me through the mile in 4:23 and still having a shot at the record. A 67, 67, and 68 put the record out of reach and I settled for a personal best of 8:52.1. It was a bit disappointing as I had run as fast as 8:55 as a freshman five years before this. I’d never run faster, and indoor track races (with the exception of the mile) are now held in metric distances, so the 2 mile record isn’t even listed anymore.