Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Weekly Log 28-May-12 to 3-Jun-12

Monday:
16 miles.  Left the house just after 5:30AM for a Memorial Day run with Tom at Burlingame.  Ran the first 5 miles of the Li'l Rhody course, then ventured left onto a singletrack trail that crossed over Buckeye Brook road to the north side and connected to the North-South Trail.  Ran North-South Trail for a fun doubletrack run out to Burdickville Road where the trail exits out onto the road.  Followed Burdickville Road east to Shumankanuc Hill Road south for some killer hills, which we ran at Gazellosquet pace, especially the downhills.  Next Buckeye Brook Road west to reenter the trails south of the road right where we crossed over the first time.
Somewhere soon after this we took a wrong turn, meandered around some trails and ended up back on the road again.  By this point, we were more than12 miles in, dehydrated, had "eaten" our fill of large flying bugs, and were feeling disoriented.  We needed a Jonny or similar trail guide.  Reflecting for a moment and looking at the position of the sun, we figured we were back on Buckeye Brook Road and headed east.  A passing motorist confirmed this, after she somehow deduced we were just crazed runners and not psychotic killers coming out of the woods.  Ran the rest of the route on roads, including Shumankanuc, Kings Factory, Prosser, and Sanctuary.  By this time the additional hills and dehydration were wearing on us and we were just trying to keep each other going.  Back at the car, the water Tom brought sure tasted good and went down quick.
4 miles.  Ran 2 miles barefoot on Misquamicut Beach with Matthew.  My feet have a long way to toughen up before I'm ready to run Stavros On the Beach Run in September.  Afterwards, jumped in the ocean (cold!).  Evening: Matthew insisted to go to WHS track for a workout.  2 additional miles for me by running the warm-up and cool-down with him; in between I helped him by timing all his various length drills that he designed.

Tuesday:
4 miles.  Stonington Fun Runs - 1st week.  5K total; 2 loops on roads through the borough.  When starting my 2nd loop, marathoner and RD Steve Bessette called out to me, "You just never age, do you?!".  If ONLY that were true!
Pushed it reasonably hard but not all out, especially considering it was my hottest run thus far this year at 77 degrees and I just ran 20 miles yesterday.  Finished 2nd overall in 19:33; WTAC'er JP was way out ahead in 1st.  Waited for Matthew to finish (9th overall out of maybe 50), then off to the docks to redeem popsicle sticks for a beer, wine, or soft drink. 

Wednesday:  0
Exercise today was walking the Fun Run course with a wheel measurer.

Thursday:  0
Day of rest

Friday:
 7 miles.  Road, sand, road.  Ran with Tom at 4:45AM from his house.  Wound around a neighborhood and then down into Weekapaug.  It felt like these miles were pushed pretty hard.  Checked our splits later; found mile 1 was a "slow" 7:10, followed by mile splits of 6:40 and 6:46.  That "Gazellosquet" pace just creeps up on you!
Ran the next few miles on sand:  Weekapaug Sand Trail about 1/2 way out, then the beach back, and Noyes Neck back to Tom's.  Good early morning run, but we're not done yet ...
27 miles.  Started with a 4:30AM ride to Tom's, then took a "break" with some run thing (see above).  Resumed by riding out Shore Road to Route 1 to West Beach Road, Charlestown.  Tried to keep it at 19-20mph or above on the aerobars going and coming on Route 1, but then changed to a easy spin when cruising through Quonochontaug.  Stopped for a break at the breachway, wound through Central Beach,  drinking in the stunning coastal beauty.  At East Beach, I wiped out in the sand and fell into beach rose bushes.  Ouch!  Spent the next few minutes picking prickers out of my flesh; otherwise no damage except my pride.
Stopped by the house my grandparents moved the family to in the '50s from Cranston.  Right on the pond; wish it was kept in the family and not sold in the '80s.  On the way back, stopped at Dave's Coffee and enjoyed an iced coffee on their patio.  Nice boutique coffee shop; had never been there before.  Finished by going back through Weekapaug and Misquamicut; back home by 8 to attack my day.
There was an old expression on a US Marines TV commercial that went something like, "We get more done by Noon than most people do all day".  I think for us WTAC early running crew, it should be, "We get more done by 8AM than most people do all week!"

Saturday:
4 miles.  Pawcatuck Lions 5K.  See separate write-up.

Sunday:
17 miles.  Early morning long run with Muddy, Jonny, Tom, and Mike B.  Muddy led on us on a 5-mile tour of Riverwood, a new area for me.  Boy Scouts were camping at the foot of the preserve along the river, but they mostly weren't stirring yet when we went through at 6AM.  There was deceptively a fair amount of up and down hill short sections here.  Fun new area to explore again, if not a tad overgrown in places.
Muddy dropped out, as this was just his "warmup" before going with the Colonel (sorry, I mean Mike G) to get some cash at A Place to Grow 5K.  Good job guys!
The 4 of us continued on, just 1/4 mile on Route 3, before Old Hopkinton Cemetery Road and power line easement Jonny was familiar with that brought us up to a romp through Whitely.  Back onto the road, Tom had the bright(?) idea of running 30-second pick-ups, modified to 3 telephone poles hard, 2 poles easy.  Ran 6 of these to finish just 1/2 mile before Potter Hill climb.  Tom surged up this one and I pushed it to try to stay with him for the climb all the way up to the Westerly Town Forest.  Fortunately at the top, a kindly soul had arranged a water stop with ice cold water for all.
Romped 4 miles through the Town Forest with a 200+ foot down and up climb in elevation.  Included trails on power easement out to Boombridge.  I thought I cleverly found a wait to skirt a sharp rock drop and stream crossing by taking an ATV trail through the woods; think I picked the wrong one as it just made for a circuituous and long trail hill climb back onto the same power line trail.  Sorry guys!
Finished up with 3 miles of roads to the Y for the end of our point-to-point run.  I did great and was having a blast on the trails and hills up to this point, when I was starting to fatigue.  [2:11:55]
1/4 mile.  First open ocean swim of the year.  Town Beach east towards Weekapaug.  Still a COLD 59o; took me two tries to get in the water.  Waves were really pushing me around.  I felt like I was struggling and fatiguing.  Was it because of 1st open swim, or tough run workout in the morning?
6+ mile evening run with Matthew.  I was ready for sleep and legs were tired, but how can I be a good Dad and turn down a run with a son with full of energy?  Fun on quiet Misquamicut runs, including Fun Run course.  We turned into our neighborhood, and he sprinted off and left me in the dust.

Weekly totals:
Run:  58 miles!
Bike:  27 miles
Swim:  0.25 miles

Highest weekly run mileage in weeks, plus first open ocean swim, and a 1st in local 5K.  I would call this a very successful week for me.  Between running 23 miles Sunday and racing Saturday, my legs are really looking forward to a zero on Monday.

Monday, May 28, 2012

NSEF 5K

North Stonington Education 5K.  Runners for support of education.
May 26, 2011.
Results19:10.  3rd overall, 1st in age group.
While I'm disappointed in not even breaking 19, I had a good time as runner and triathlete RD Bob Lohmann put on another quality run and family event and cookout.  Met up with a number of WTAC'ers, including Steve (with both of his kids running), Polly, John aka Pard, Buddy, Les, CarolAnn, Paul, and Colburn.  Felt bad hearing Colburn get asked why Laurie wasn't here today (she died last month). 
The start:  Mark (#35) and me (#34)
There was a fitting moment of silence for Laurie Lamb and then the gun went off.  I lined up with my son Mark and with eventual winner Jeff Duda (3:06 at Cox).  About five teenagers ran out ahead of us.  I knew I was in for a tough run about 1/4 mile in when the high humidity was getting to me.  This course being almost entirely rolling hills doesn't help.  Ran with Jeff D for about one mile (6:09 first mile).  By that time, we had caught and passed all the teenagers except one.  Jeff kept the same pace or increased it, while I slowed to a 6:19 second mile battling the hills.  Finished my third mile in 6:02 and last 1/10 in 5:36 pace, enough to reduce the distance on the teenager in front of me but not overtake him.
Was really proud of both my sons:  Mark took a 4th overall, less than a minute off my time.  Since you have to be 13 or over to run the 5K, Matthew ran the 11-12 year old 1 mile course, and was 1st with a PR for him of 5:53. 

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Weekly Log 21-May-12 to 27-May-12

Monday:  0
Rest day.

Tuesday:  0
Dark and raining; went back under the covers.  Lazy and pathetic!

Wednesday:  0
Worst day in a long time.  Woken up at 2AM on a work computer issue, that essentially kept me working on it straight through 7:30PM when I got off the last 5-hour phone conference.  I had to blow off running partners in the afternoon when I desperately needed the stress relief, and I'm totally exhausted and burned out.  Don't know if I need a stiff drink or a long run.  Probably both. 
Thursday:
3 mile morning cathartic run in the fog with pole-to-pole pick-me-ups.
4 mile evening run on the beach, in the fog again.

Friday:
Along the ride:
Green Falls River,
North Stonington, CT
23 miles.  Fun solo ride in a light mist starting at 5:45AM.  Through downtown Westerly, and then up Route 49 through Stonington into North Stonington at junction of 216 at Clark's Falls.  Basically rolling country farmland; not familiar with this area.  Back 216 South to Ashaway, back Old Hopkinton Cemetery Road and Old Hopkinton Road.
8 miles.  Took the afternoon off to get a head start on the holiday weekend.  Ran with Tom on a few loops through Champlin, then down to Misquamicut State Beach, and onto the beach headed west to the end of Atlantic, and back.

Saturday:
5 miles.  North Stonington Education Foundation 5K.  See separate right-up.

Sunday:
3 miles.  In the morning went to Cranston to pay Memorial Day weekend respects at the grave of my father, grandparents, great- and great-great-grandparents.  Had just enough time for a midday quick run before getting in the car to go to Norwich for a family party.

Weekly mileage totals:
Bike:  23 miles
Run:  23 miles

Lowest run week in a long time.  Hopefully just an anomaly.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Weekly Log 14-May-12 to 20-May-12

Monday:  0
Rest day.  Middle School Southern RI Divisional Track Championships.  Mark took home two bronze medals with 3rd overall finishes in both the 800 and 1,500, the highlight being a PR in the 1,500 with a 4:56.  Matthew took 5th overall in the 3,000 with an 11:34, but in Matthew style he was disappointed that he didn't PR.  I had to remind him not every race can be a PR, and he did awesome, and that he's ONLY a 6th grader competing against the big boys.

Tuesday:
4 miles in Misquamicut.  It was just getting light at 5AM so I snuck onto the beach.  The feeling of running right alongside crashing waves on a beautiful beach that I have totally to myself with purple cloud formations overhead intensifying pre-sunrise was just awesome.  That should help stave off some stress as I depart my early morning idyllic run for the rat race in the concrete jungle.

Wednesday:
14 miles.  Speed work, wettest run I have ever done, plus a trail/mud adventure.  Tri-town run:  Westerly Y to Springbrook, Boombridge to North Stonington, Anthony to Ashaway, Potter Hill to Westerly Town Forest, and back. 
Started in mist and sprinkling rain, but the time I got to North Stonington it was an absolute downpour.  As with my run with Muddy a week ago, I spent the first mile or two skipping around puddles like a pansy, but then got soaked and ran through them. 
After a 10-minute warmup, I ran the following drill I got from Tom:
EffortTimePace
Hard5:006:04
Recovery2:307:55
Hard4:005:56
Recovery2:007:32
Hard3:006:22
Recovery1:307:58
Hard2:006:12
Recovery1:008:07
Hard1:005:53
Recovery0:308:55
Sprint0:305:03
It's hard to compare the exact times, as for example the 3-minute hard was uphill when the downpour started and the sprint was downhill, but being a data geek I like to see what I did.
Got to Westerly Town Forest as the downpour resumed, and questioned whether I should proceed.  Go for it!  I found the advantage on roads in this kind of weather is that you can see to the bottom of puddles; in the forest I found myself jumping over logs to land in puddles calf-deep or losing my balance from stepping on a rock I couldn't see underwater.  Took the trail to the Pawcatuck River, which the trail itself was basically running downsteam the whole way to the boardwalk.  Running back up was surprisingly a lot of work:  lifting your foot out of the water to place it in back into the water uphill, repeat over and over again.  Didn't bother with any stream log crossings; just ran through them.  By now it got interesting with the thunder and lightning!  On one extended section of calf-deep puddles, I didn't bother lifting my feet out of the water and mud; just kind of shuffled along.
Exited the forest, and the rain was ending.  Ran through the North End for a diversion.  Went past three bus-stops with elementary children.  At all three the moms and dads were waiting with their kids while inhaling on cancer sticks.  Great stuff!  I think they were counseling their young, impressionable kids not to follow the habits of that old man running past them - stay away from that running habit, it's bad for you and will kill you.
Finished my run back to the Y, this time TRYING to run through all the puddles!  Got to the Y for a hot shower, and chuckled as my white socks were now dark brown, and the dirt and mud just kept coming out of my shoes, my socks, my toes ...  
Wow, was that a different and fun run!  Between the speedwork, the hills, and the trail/mud/stream run, what a workout.  [1:47:21]

Thursday:  0
Calves actually felt sore after my romp yesterday.

Friday
4 miles only, all trails in Westerly Town Forest.  Dropped off boys for track only to learn their practice was only an hour today.  Dang!  Much less time for gazellin'.  Got lost once into a neighborhood, figured my way back out of the labyrinth.

Saturday:
16 miles.  Moderately challenging run with Muddy and Mike B.  Similar to Wednesday's run, less the rain and speedwork, and plus a few extra trail miles.  Ran out Boombridge into North Stonington, then Anthony to Ashaway, and Laurel to Potter Hill.  Then spent some fun time running in the Whitely Preserve.  Was happy to show Muddy some new trails here.  Back onto the road for a good hill climb up Potter Hill before arriving at the Town Forest for more hill climbs and a good 5 miles of trails, as I extended the run by running the trails on the National Grid easement all the way out to Boombridge.  These trails have some steep downhill rocky sections, and ended with a stream crossing.  As we ended our 5 miles of trails and rejoined the roads, I told the guys that unfortunately this was the end of the "fun".  Mike shot back, "Is that what that was?"!
Meandered through the North End, and threw a few more short hills in for the guys, including a stair climb out of the Amtrak tunnel.  I think the two of them were ready to throw me in a ditch by then.  Good 16 mile workout; I could feel the fatigue in my legs lawn mowing in the afternoon.  Mike said that was his longest run ever; hope we didn't scare him off! [2:04:08]

Sunday:
7 miles.  Yesterday led Mike B to his longest run ever; today it was Matthew.  He chose the course - to and through the Fun Run course, followed by a romp in Champlin.  Slower, but steady pace.  He did it, and is still insisting he is going to run the Blessing.  I think he has the physical endurance and mental fortitude to do it.  Quality father/son time.  [1:05:xx]
Easy evening spin to and through Misquamicut.  Untimed; unmeasured.  Decided not to do the Mystic Tri in 2 weeks; just haven't been putting the time in on the bike and swim.  That gives me 8 weeks to get it in gear before my 1st tri in mid-July, when I have three in a row coming up quick and all already paid for; so no excuses to bail or not train.

Weekly totals:
Run:  45 miles

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Weekly Log 7-May-12 to 13-May-12

Monday:  0
Woke up and went to check marathon race results online again.  Wasn't sure if I had dreamed that I ran sub-3 or if it really happened!  I am surprised that my recovery is thus far much better than most post-marathons.  Sure, I'm moving slow and sore, but no crashing all afternoon or walking backwards down stairs as I've usually done in the past.

Tuesday:
9 miles on the bike.  Easy spin down to Watch Hill and back.  Felt strange on the bike after so long.  Running at 55 degrees may feel warm, but it was cold on the bike, especially one downhill section at 28mph.  Stats: 9.1 miles, 14.2 mph, 37 minutes (from bike computer, not Garmin)

Wednesday:
500 yards.  Cross-trained in the morning with 500 easy yards at the Y.  I'm a long ways off from being ready for a tri.
11 miles.  Afternoon run with Muddy after checking out potential WTAC team singlets at Camire's.  Raining steadily, but temps in the upper 50s kept us warm.  Ran out the South County Bike Path on the Phase 3 section down to Narragansett Elementary School, then from there ran bike path up to Curtis Corner school before jumping onto one full loop of the Spring Forward course.  Surprised that Mike G hasn't kept up with keeping the trails clear.  What does this guy do with his spare time?  Returned back to Camire's via the bike path, nipples bloodied, but an enjoyable run.  7:36 average pace.  Only soreness is in my calves.
At home, worked feverishly to get the blood out of my new Cox Marathon shirt.  The shirt is plain white, but it's my PR marathon shirt!  Had a marathon congratulations message on our answering machine from Stonington coaching legend and namesake Tommy McCoy.  Nice guy.

Thursday:  0
3:30AM call from work to resolve an issue put the kibosh on any morning run, my only chance for today.  Perhaps just as well; it was pouring rain and my calves (and now nipples) could use a rest day.

Friday
3 miles.  Slow, easy jog in Misquamicut.
Saturday:
12 miles.  Choices today:  1) Go out to the Block and run with Tom and crew.  I'd love to, but it would mean the whole day away and I just had my race weekend last weekend.  2) Run with "trail gods" Muddy & Jonny on their 24 mile jaunt.  I'd like to try that some day (yeah, I know, actions speak louder than words), but I'm not quite there with my marathon recovery.  3) Make my own - that's what I did:
6AM start from Y with Mike B.  Ran modified Y to Barn Island route by skipping Palmer Neck Road and jumping into trails directly from Greenhaven.  Ran about 5 miles on trails.  Had to backtrack on a few where flooding from this week's rains.  Skipped the longer road loop back by running Mary Hall to River Road.  Lots of talk about running.  Still a little tightness in the calves, but overall good.

Sunday:
17 miles.  First "real" ride of the season.  Out Route 1 to Charlestown, 216 to Bradford, and 91 back to Westerly.  Legs got a good workout on the Charlestown hills.  Tally:   1:07:20, 17.1 miles, 15.2 mph.
2 mile run with Mark immediately after getting off the bike.  Legs felt totally like Gumby, just like jelly and no strength.  We've got a ways to go before first tri.
3+ mile gazellin' in Champlin.  Had a 40 minute break mid-afternoon between family activities.  I got looks, but no one objected verbally when I put on the trail shoes to sneak out quickly.  Besides, the next activity was sitting indoors at a movie theatre watching "Avengers", and I think it's known that I'll be less grumpy and fidgety if I get my running "fix" in.

Weekly totals:
Running:  31 miles
Biking:  26 miles
Swimming:  500 yards

Post-marathon week random thoughts:
- I've always run 20+ milers in the weeks immediately preceding a marathon, but what made the most difference this time is the base I built up all winter.  Thanks Saturday morning running friends and Mike G with winter trail series for keeping me going.
- Speaking of which, I don't want to go back to 20-25 mile weeks as I typically do post-marathons.
- Eating a big breakfast marathon morning worked well for me.  I was always afraid before of eating too much.
- Tri season:  need to start adding in a mix of biking and swimming.  Can I be ready for Mystic tri on June 3?  How can I fit in and still ratchet up 40 mile run weeks?
- Short term races:  probably get in a few local 5Ks over next month, mix of road and trail races.
- Long term races:  need to get the next big one on the calendar to have something mentally to shoot for.  Fall marathon?  Time for a 50-K trail run in the near future?  (Don't tell Jonny I'm harboring that goal secretly.)  When is my next Half Ironman?  Can I get in one or two more and still hit my bucket list goal of a full before 50?
- Blogging purpose?  My oldest son (teenager) saw me typing my blog and said, "Dad, why do you bother?  Do you really think anyone actually reads that stuff?".  Ouch!  Am I "Father McKenzie writing the words of a sermon that no one will hear; no one comes near"?  Does it matter?  Isn't a large part to help me lay out my own running goals and trials and tribulations?  Before I could reply that my marathon post had 50+ views (ignore the concept of repeat views, please), my youngest boy replied to him, "I read it."  Yes!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Providence Cox Marathon

Sunday, May 6, 2012
ResultsBQ, PR, and sub-3!!!
At my advanced geriatric age, I really was not sure if I would ever see another PR in the marathon, never mind sub-3, but cross one off the bucket list, boys!
I had set three different goals for myself from very aggressive to very conservative:  A) Sub 3 hours, B) PR (3:08:55), and to keep myself from being ultra depressed, C) Boston Qualifier (3:25).
Pre-race:  got up at 5, and concerned about running out of energy, had a large breakfast with two bowls of oatmeal with granola and blueberries, and a bagel and OJ.  Took Amtrak into Providence since it doesn't cost me anything extra.  Had an energy bar and plenty of fluids when I arrived Providence, ran into Jeff V, checked my bag and got to the start, lining up about 10 rows back.
Miles 0 -5:  Got stuck behind some slower runners, then stupidly sped up to finish mile 1 in 6:34.  Ran 2-5 in 6:47/6:50/6:33/6:48.  That's more like it (mile 4 was largely downhill).  These were pretty ugly sections on the East Side into East Providence and past industrial areas.  At about mile 3, I fell into a group consisting of an older Asian guy, a much younger white guy, and me.  The younger guy said he was shooting for 2:45-2:55 and the Asian guy right around 3 (which really means just sub 3), so I figured I'd try to hang with him for a while.
Miles 5-10:  Most of this section was non-descript along Veteran's Memorial Parkway towards Riverside, but at mile 8 the course split off and went down onto an out-and-back on a peninsula in Bullock's Point.  At the turnaround after mile 9, the course doubled back for about 1/2 mile and I could see the runners behind me now.  At this point I saw Jeff Vuono maybe 1/2 mile behind me and Jeff Duda just behind him (yes, there were 3 Jeffs running from Westerly today!).  By this point, the younger guy in our "group" had run ahead, and it was just the Asian guy and me running together.  My average pace through this section was 6:41.  Crossed the 10-mile mark in 1:07.
Miles 11-15:  Onto the East Bay Bike Path, finally!  The sun was out at this point, and the bike path offered some shade.  Crossed the half-marathon mark in 1:28, exactly the same time the only other time I ran this in 2009, before I crashed and burned that year.  We're down in Barrington at this point on a mix of roads and bike path.  The pace slowed slightly this section for an average 6:49.
Miles 16-20:  The course turns around and we start the long trek back to Providence.  Much of this is on the bike path.  A 90-degree right turn at mile 19 seems painful; I run it wide onto the grass.  We cross mile 20 in 2:16.  I'm starting to fade; 44 minutes for 6.2 miles seems unrealistic at this point, and I have a mental block as mile 20 is where I stopped cold in 2009 for at least a 5-minute break.  The Asian guy convinces me to stay with him and asks that we finish together.  I take my 3rd and final gel.  It tastes warm and terrible; it's been riding against my butt for the last 20 miles (doesn't that sound appetizing?).
Miles 21-25:  Somehow by mile 21 I feel a little bit better, but the pace has slowed.  By mile 22 my friend for the race, the Asian guy, is dropping behind.  He helped get me here, so I look back and yell for him to stay with me.  He catches up.  At mile 23 we start an uphill.  The last thing I hear from the Asian guy is some muttering about the hill, and he's dropped off again.  At this point, I decide I can't keep sparing the energy to turn around and yell to him, so I continue solo.  Selfish?  Mile 23 to 24 seems like a long but gradual hill climb which I actually pass a few runners, and then gain some respite downhill after Mile 24.  Mile 24 to 25 is on the Route 195 Bridge!  Awful single barriered lane.  At the end of the bridge there is a pedestrian ramp down that has 3 180-degree turns.  I let loose some expletives; not my style on a race, but I'm in pain on these turns.   By the time I hit mile 25, the average pace for this 5-mile section has been a 7:04 with miles as slow as 7:12 and 7:14.  I look at the 25-mile clock (it's positioned every 5 miles) it shows 2:53.  What to do now, Jeff?  Should I continue at this same pace and probably finish 3:00:30 or something like that, a huge PR, but leaving me thinking "if only..."?  Hell no!  That does it; sprint for your life with the little energy you have left.
Mile 26:  India Point Park to downtown finish.  To make matters worse now, the tail end of the 1/2 marathon course has now merged into the marathon course until the finish.  I'm moving as fast as I can muster, when the trail ahead is blocked by 3 walkers!  I don't have the time to try to meander off course around them, and I don't have the energy to yell out at them.  I pick a gap between two of them and go for it.  They close the gap, oblivious that I'm right behind them.  Go for it.  I go between them and hit one of them hard, my shoulder to hers.  She mutters something at me; sorry but I'm running the marathon of my life here and "Suzy" and her friends are probably talking about last night's dinner.  I make the final turn to the finish and see the clock ticking 2:59:xx and counting.  Yes!!!! 
Post-race:  My final mile turns out to be a 6:39!  The official results show my position as 34th of 1,354, and my time as 2:59:20!!!  I'm in shock!  Marathon #13 turns out to be my lucky one.  So much for triskaidekaphobia (the fear of the number 13).  I catch up with the Asian guy (3:01), Jeff V (3:04), and Jeff D (3:06) after the race.  All impressive times in my book.  Jeff V gives me a ride home, and the time back to Westerly flies by with talk about, what else, the MARATHON!
Chaos at finish line and
Providence sky line

I just don't have the strength yet to move my
facial muscles to smile, but believe me,
I am on Cloud 9!

Photo taken by Cox with their mascot
post-marathon

Pretty cool finishers medal

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Weekly Log 30-Apr-12 to 6-May-12

Monday:  0 miles
Planned rest day.

Tuesday:  0 miles
Taking it easy during final tapering week.  No injuries or shin splint flare-ups in weeks now; let's keep it that way.

Wednesday:  7 miles
Easy 7:30 pace out Shore Road, and the hills of Moonlight, back Links Passage.  A few pick-me-ups between telephone poles only.  I want to run longer, but trying hard to keep in check.  A few even shorter runs on the docket for next 3 days.

Thursday:  0
No running.  Volunteer timer at boys' last home track meet.  The 1500 was really fun to watch.  There was a big heat of about 15 boys.  Mark was placed in the best position at the start as a favorite, and Matthew about in the middle for his debut 1500.  Mark won the race with a new PR of 5 minutes flat, and Matthew took 2nd place overall at 5:29.  He didn't want to run the 1500 to begin with, but now he's mad that he missed qualifying by 4 seconds, and wants to run it again! 
Mark won the 800 also with a 2:23 and Matthew was about mid-pack with a 2:48.

Friday:  4 miles
Tom Harvey/Wicklow/Shore loop.  Easy miles at 7:48 pace.  Had to work at slowing down.  Really wish the marathon was tomorrow.  Will be hard to sit around all day Saturday without going out to do something active.

Saturday: 3 miles
Went to see a new race in Richmond, the Rainbow 10K.  Matthew and I went to my mom's house, then the 3 of us walked from there.  I brought my bike to try to stay off my feet.  Jonny was looking strong in 3rd place when we saw him at mile 3.
Came home, and jogged 3 miles in Misquamicut at 8:14 pace.  Starting to feel some nervousness about tomorrow.  Off to expo this afternoon, then out to dinner for pasta, followed by laying out everything for tomorrow and then hitting the sack early.

Sunday:  27 miles
Providence Marathon.  Success!  See separate write-up (in progress).

Weekly total:  41 miles

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

RI State Police Foot Pursuit 5K

Sunday, April 29, 2012.
Results.  18:21, 19th overall, 4th place in age group (missed placing by 4 lousy seconds).
Coolish day in the mid-50s, light breeze about 10mph.  Went for a short warm-up with Matthew.  Lined up about 3 rows back with Mike B.  Pretty cool literal "shotgun start" with a state trooper firing a shotgun over the woods.  I was mostly passing runners for the first mile, including passing my old nemesis and good runner Dave S, who used to most always beat me.  I'm guessing he's slowed a tad since turning 50; uh-oh, that's not far away for me. 
Back on point:  I finished my 1st mile in 5:49, a solid pace for me that I'm pleased with, but as usual, my 1st was my fastest and my 2nd the slowest (5:58).  Between mile 2 and 3 I passed and got passed by the same guy about 3 times.  By the time I turned off Ocean Road and headed into the wind for the final stretch, I didn't have much left.  Hit the 3 mile mark in 5:52 and sprinted the final 0.1 in a 5:24 pace, but it wasn't enough to hold off the same guy passing me on the home stretch.  It turned out he was in my age group and we were fighting for 3rd!  Uggh.  Had I known that, could I have mustered up enough strength to fight faster?  I don't think so.  I finished in 18:21, which was disappointing to me because it was 21 seconds slower than my Super 5K time.
It took me a while to catch my breath, and after that, I jogged back on to the course with the idea to catch up to Matthew and help run him in.  Not happening today.  It used to be I would run out 1/2 mile or so and find him, but I think those days are over.  I got just around the finish line when I spied him sprinting in.  A huge PR for him in 21 minutes flat, 78 seconds off his previous PR!  I was so happy for him, but Matthew being a typical runner was later asking why couldn't he get sub 21?!!  Sound familiar to all of us, no matter what our pace or goal is?
Justin PR'd AGAIN, Tom got 3rd overall and 1st in his age group, but somehow robbed out of a prize, and the WTAC team took another first (photo below).
Team WTAC collecting their men's team winnings:
3 dinner-for-2 certificates to Texas Roadhouse


Stealing a page from Tom:
Highlights:  fun day on the beach with family and running friends, WTAC victory, new PRs for Justin and Matthew, super organized race (well, except for Tom's award)
Areas to work on:  getting beaten in the finishing stretch sprint, need to shave a few seconds off each mile, need to get back to dreaded speedwork after the marathon, try to drop 2-5 pounds