Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Catching Up (1/16/17 to 2/5/17) and Race Write Up

January got crazy personally and professionally.  I've been in a bit of a haze, but still running as much as I can/want.  Here's a quick recap of the weeks I missed:

Week of 1/16/17 to 1/22/17: 66 miles, 8h 21m time on feet, about 5,000' of climbing.

The highlight of this week was a long trail run loop from my house in Burlingame - 17 miles in 2:07:29.  After 95 minutes I did a 20 minute trail tempo which was almost completely on Sammy C's heading up (19:06).

Week of 1/23/17 to 1/29/17: 71 miles, 9h 44m time on feet, about 2,500' of climbing.

A lot of somber miles this week including a long out and back along the beach from East Matunuck to Charlestown Beach and a long point to point run from Arcadia to Shumunkanuc Hill.  I also wheel measured and finalized the Charlestown Chili 5K course and set it up with Pard and race director Laura the morning of the race.

Week of 1/30/17 to 2/5/17: 61 miles, 7h 58m time on feet, about 3,500' of climbing.

Low mileage work week due to a virus of some sort (chills, fever Monday night, weak and tired a couple more days), a trail race(!!), and a Super Sunday long run.

The 6th (and my 6th) Old Mountain 5K Trail Race put on by Galoob was on Saturday, 2/4/17.  I ran the course on Thursday with Mike and remembered how the new course (Dec 2015) went.  Three ascents (short but tough during race effort) of the Old Mountain, plus twisting, messy single track, and many obstacles along the way.  My race ritual was thrown a last minute twist as my son decided to join me.  Instead of hobnobbing with my running friends and running the course as a warm up, I instead hung with Jackson throwing things on the iced over pond and playing in the skate park.  It was seasonable (high 20's), but felt chilly this winter.  I was feeling good about racing since my legs were fresh and my health 100%.  I didn't worry about only doing a shorter, disjointed warm up.

The race went rather well.  With so many kids in attendance, I really didn't want to get stuck early on once in the woods, so I sacrificed my recent theme of starting slower.  I had a clear shot to the front right behind Brightman and Lonergan.  Last year it was the 3 of us (with Jackman for the first 2 miles) battling it out, with me finishing 3 seconds behind the Rhode Runners at the finish.  This year was much different.  Quickly I was overtaken by many people, including what I believed to be some high school XC runners.  I received my penalty for the fast start, as I huffed and puffed up the wider woods trail on the Old Mountain.  Muddy was right ahead of me, and I tried to keep him close, making aggressive uphill passes.  I felt like I was pushing hard on the downhill and then flat techy section, but Muddy and some of the high school kids were not coming back to me.  Out on the zerotrack through the frozen muddy swamp area, I tried not to give up and keep pushing, while keeping myself upright this year.  I was a few seconds back a group of 4 that was being led by Brightman, but gradually losing ground.  I had no one close behind me.  On the last climb up the mountain, I closed in on a young runner.  He regrouped enough on the switchbacks back down the hill to stay just in front of me, but I knew I would pass him eventually.  Then he wiped out on the last turn and I ran by (it was a clean fall and I didn't feel guilty not stopping).  Looking ahead, Muddy had passed another young kid and there was a chance I could as well.  However, this kid hammered the final open stretch and I crossed the line in 20:17, good for 6th place overall.  My time was about 30 seconds faster than last year when I was in contention for the win, so I was pleased.

I then headed back out on the course to find Jackson.  Jon Short jogged with me.  We found him near the pond, and then motivated him (or annoyed him) on his last mile plus of the race.  I was really happy he ran and I think he enjoyed it.  Post race lunch with local friends with kids at the Mews.

Results here.  Scott Mason posted this photo on Facebook the next day - my karate kid technique of running over rocks.

The next day, Muddy met me at my house for a long run.  With the promise of no speed work, I was happy to tag along on his marathon training.   Parts of this run were tough as my legs and lower core were sore, but the miles passed quickly as we rotated between trails (Carter, Grass Pond, Carolina) and roads and gabbed about life and running.  2:42:50 of running time!  GPS had me at 21 miles and Muddy at 21.2.  I'm calling it 22.  Go Patriots!

I finished January with 282 miles.  51 miles for Feb 1-5.  333 miles year to date.

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