Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Weekly Log 28-Jan to 3-Feb-2013

Monday:  0
Rest day after Belleville 10K.

Tuesday:  3
Got home from work, and Matthew wanted to run with me.  Not gonna pass that one up!  More often than not when I ask my 13-year old to run with me the response is some version of "I don't want to be seen with you."  While he didn't approve of my bright yellow shirt for nighttime visibility ("You're not going to be wearing those dorky clothes, are you?"), everything else went great.  On our short run, we discussed upcoming runs, our blogs, goals, strategies, etc.  He wants to run Blessing again, and even shoot for the Surftown Half this year!  We finished the run, and he said, "Let me check my GPS and see how we did.  Oh, that's right, I don't have a GPS".  Nice hint, real subtle!

Wednesday:  10
Ran down to the fun run course area to do some speedwork.  Ran 3x1 mile splits from fun run area near St Clare Church out to Ocean View Highway, 3-4 minute rest in between:  5:43, 5:50, 5:55.  Can't blame it on the cold (40 degrees!) or wind (negligible) today - the fact is I'm going to have my work cut out for me on Sunday, and I can't see sustaining any one of those paces for 5K at the moment.  Hopefully that race day effect will kick in.  Jogged it down Ocean View Highway, and then ran the beach back.  High tide + soft sand = tough running.

Thursday:  4+
Another evening run with Matthew.  It was 40 degrees, but wind was whipping at 25+ mph.  Wound through Chin Hill neighborhood, and then No Bottom Pond.  He was a trouper heading into the wind on Watch Hill Road, and then up the 95' hill in No Botton Pond.

Friday:  8+

 Trail and exploring run with Tom.  We started from a new spot today, Bradford Preserve.  WLT advised me parking is available to the public there and they will be putting in a parking lot in March.  Entered Woody Hill from the north, and tried exploring a lot of different trails.  Most didn't pan out as they dead-ended or got really sketchy, but we did find one neat single-track on the trail down to the marsh.  At one point the trail came right up to and around a rock cliff.  Fun times as always.
Note to self:  don't try running new trails in the dark;
they might be covered in briars

Saturday:  5
Big group run 6:30AM on DuVal trails with Muddy, Sandals, Galoob, Jonny, Seth, and the Fullers.  Couldn't get Crutchley out of bed to join us.  19- actually considered wearing tights, but I think upper teens is still shorts weather (isn't it?) so I went for it and felt fine.  Pulled into Perryville cemetery lot and Muddy pointed out the coincidence of the song from my car radio, Van Halen's "Runnin' with the Devil", while Jonny called me a 70's child.  Just Googled it, and found VH put the song out in 1978.  Wow, that song came out when I was in high school - seemed like just yesterday - where does the time go?  While Googling "Running with the Devil", also found it's the name of a marathon, 1/2, and 50-miler in the Mohave Desert, as well as a 3, 6, and 12 hour trail series challenge in NJ.

Oh, yeah, back to the run:  since most of us are running Super 5K tomorrow, we ran über-short (I just like to say über) and at a rather slow pace.  Run went by too fast; looking forward to tomorrow.

Sunday:  8
Super 5K.  See separate write-up coming your way Monday afternoon.
Weekly total:  38
January total:  198

Week wrap-up:  Just another week livin' the running dream.  Highlights included proselytizing Matthew out to drink the Kool-Aid not once, but twice, trail run with Tom, group run however short, and of course, the Super 5K WTAC romp. 
Week ahead:  Fill in the gaps on marathon build-up long runs and races over the next three months (priority of long runs over races), and figure out how to incorporate speedwork as a weekly regular instead of the current hit-or-miss.  While I'm very happy with my time at Super 5K, I'll be looking to lower it from there before the summer heat knocks me down.   Rock on, friends.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Belleville 10K Trail Race

Sunday, January 27, 2013

41:18.  8th out of 116.  2nd in age group.  Full results here.

A few firsts for me in the race:

  • First time running this race.
  • First time in Ryan Park.
  • First time racing in North Kingstown.
  • First time racing on snow.
  • First time racing with Yak-Trax (yeah, that part didn't work out so well).

Picked up the bibs for my two sons and me, and then headed to the warmth of the heated car to delay exposure to wind and 20 degree temps.  About 9:40, finally went out for a very short (1 mile) warmup with the boys on the trail.  It was frigid near the pond, but then once in the woods was better.  The warmup was just enough to get the blood flowing (what a strange expression - it wasn't flowing before?) and the body a little warmer. Disrobed down to shorts and two technical shirts, and off to the starting line.

Lined up near the front at the starting line.  As we left the pond into the woods, Muddy went past me and I passed Dave Principe Sr.  I could watch Jonny in the distance leading for WTAC and held this position until early in the second mile when Principe passed me and I was running as an island for the rest of the race.  Coming into the power line clearing, I saw Principe ahead of me on the clearing and I missed the sharp left turn for the single-track spur (he had already run the spur and was back in the cleared area), then I turned back to run the spur.  At about mile 3, Greg Hammett was on the sideline offering me words of encouragement and that I should catch the guy ahead of me (Principe), and I picked up the pace for a little while there.

Entering into the woods again, I saw no one behind me, no one ahead of me.  It's a tough place to be in, because without anyone pushing me and no one to challenge, I settle into a rhythm that can't be my fastest.  Running on snow was tiring me, and the long section of dirt bike whoops was exhausting.  To add insult, I felt something sharp digging into my left leg and looked down (repeatedly) to see my right Yak-Trak had now broken and the steel coils where dangling to the left.  I stopped briefly to at least point them differently to stop digging into my left leg.
Crossing the bridge about mile 5
About mile 5, on the long straightaway berm over the marsh, I could now see Dave Principe ahead of me again!  I picked up the pace again, but then lost a few seconds when the trail went sharp right and I went straight ahead into a parking lot.  Realized my error, got back on course, crossed the bridge where Mike's daughter was snapping pics, and it seemed just moments before I exited onto the ball field and finish.  I heard people yelling for me to run faster.  Mike explained to me later that with 2nd place in for both TNT and WTAC, WTAC was ahead by 15 seconds at that point, but because Dave Principe (3rd place TNT finisher) beat me (WTAC 3rd place finisher) by 34 seconds, that secured the win for TNT.  Darn!  That one is bothering me now, as I feel I let the team down.  If I had known my time was close enough to figure into the team standings, if I had known the course and didn't lose the few seconds on the missed turns, if I hadn't kept fidgeting with my Yak-Trax, could I have shaved off 20 seconds for a WTAC win?
Final steps to the finish
Certainly not my best performance today.  Good to see the WTAC turnout.  Justin and Jonny were way up there at 3rd and 4th.  Matthew had some trouble but finished well, and Mark turned in a solid run on his longest run ever.  I'm going to have to dig a little deeper at upcoming WTAC races, and maybe hire Greg Hammett to be at each mile split to bark at me.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Weekly Log 21-Jan to 27-Jan-2013

Monday:  20!
Usually my rest day, but with being a 3-day weekend, Muddy and I opted to go long Sat and Mon.  The downside is we missed out on some Pachaug epicness yesterday with some of our WTAC brethen, but the upside is we got in some serious mileage and long run "fun".  Met up with Muddy and Mike C at the Westerly Y at 6:30.

Part I - an easy conversational pace 3.5 mile pre-sunrise run on roads through Pawcatuck and out to the Barn.
Part II - 8 miles of trails in Barn Island Management Area.  A mix of fields with birdhouses, coastal marshes, carriage road double-track and lot of snaking single-track through the woods.  Led the guys through some of the eastern part of the 1,014 acre tract that I had only recently explored.  To liven things up a bit and make sure nobody got bored, we pushed the pace at near-sprint on three very short but very twisty segments.  At 8.5 miles into our run, we took a break at a water and snack drop.  At this point, we bid farewell to Mike, as he started his trek back to RI.  Muddy and I soldiered on for 3 more miles of trails, including a brief stop at Wequetequock Cove.
Part III - Here's where things got tough real fast.  As we're both running Boston, we ran 5 miles continuous on roads at a target marathon pace of 6:20 - 6:30, intentionally after already running 11 miles.  Muddy asked me to pace us in this range using my space watch.  I failed, but in a good way, as here were our splits:  6:13, 6:20, 6:05, 6:06, 6:07.
That we were able to maintain the low 6 pace was all the more
surprising to me, because the hills on Greenhaven were rolling
and just kept coming and coming

Soul crushing hill profile for the 5-mile low-6-pace portion
of our run - climb to the top of a 100' hill, immediately drop,
and repeat

Part IV - 3.5 mile cooldown run back to the Y, including a short trail change of pace out to an overlook of the Pawcatuck River.  We pulled into the Y parking lot with 19.7 on my watch, and I pulled a Galoob by marching us on for a short loop to the back of the lot and a small section of Wilcox Park to get that "20" to show on the watch.
Good but tough and exhausting run.  My legs are toast!

Tuesday:  0
Needed rest day after yesterday's long run.

Wednesday:  5
My hopes of a morning run were dashed by unexpectedly working 7 hours overnight.  Ugh!  At least I was able to squeeze in an afternoon run.
Went for a chilly 18-degree snowy romp in Grills Preserve.  Hadn't been in here since Muddy led us on a run last spring, but it seemed quite different with a cover of snow on the ground. 
View from appropriately named "Big Hill" today
only deer and gazelle tracks up here
This is one is called, yep, you got it - "Big Rock"
The preserve here is awesome, if not the naming committee!
Thursday: 4
4 / 4 / 4:  4o, 4:44AM, 4+ miles.  Coldest morning of the year?  Fellow WTAC runners may know that even in the mid-20 degrees, I typically wear shorts running, but that didn't cut it today.  Added tights, running jacket, and a balaclava to the mix.  Don't mind the cold, but feel constricted running wearing so much.  Quick Tom Harvey loop.  How come I didn't see anyone else outside today?  It couldn't have anything to do with the time of day or temperature, could it?
A quick check of the temperature before heading out on this
morning's run:  4 degrees
What a great week for Mike B's plans to resume running; we'll have to check in with him to see how that's   going.  Should be interesting running the Belleville 10K Sunday, although it looks like it won't be quite as cold and unfortunately not much snow in the forecast.

Friday:  6+
"warm weather" running today at Woody Hill
The warm weather returns!  24 degrees for a late afternoon trail run with Tom.  Back to the comfort of shorts and a single layer shirt!
Parked in Woody Hill Management Area, ran snow covered trails a roundabout way over to and through Wahaneeta, a quick stop at the ledge, and then back into Woody Hill for the rest of the run.  Ran the single-track trail behind the new development, and then CCW through the marsh and around.  By this time, it was getting just dark enough and the trails looked just different enough in the snow that I had to pause at each trail junction to figure out the turn.  We hoofed it on double-track on the last mile back at a pace in the mid-6s.

Saturday:  9
17 degree run through Champlin and Mastuxet.  Met up with Eric, Yvonne, and Mike C by running to Eric's house and into Champlin from there.  All the trails were snow covered, but not slippery like when Mike and I were in here a couple weeks back.  There was no wind and the sun was out, so I warmed up quickly.  Good run.  Ready for Belleville tomorrow.

Sunday: 7
Belleville Pond 10K.  Separate write-up to follow.

Weekly mileage total:  51 miles

Week wrap-up:
High points:
6 days of trail running, 5 of them in the snow!  I'm actually loving running in the winter cold and snow - I know this is to be short lived.
20-mile long run and speedwork in the middle to boot.
A 50+ mileage week!

Low points:
Only that I didn't run faster at Belleville 10K.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Weekly Log 14-Jan to 20-Jan-2013

Monday:  0
Rest day after Sunday's adventure runs.

Tuesday:  5
4:30AM.  34 degrees.  Dark.  Rain.  On my train commute home yesterday afternoon, I read in Mike C's blog that he had just run in sunny 60 degrees.  Sounds great - I'll get out for a nice warm run first thing in the morning.  Mike must live on a different planet (it couldn't be that the weather changes in New England, could it?); it was ugly this morning.  The heavy rain overnight had subsided to a light rain, but there's something about raining near the freezing point that just makes it feel raw.  I'd rather have it 5 degrees colder and snowing.  Easy pace about 7:30ish on a loop out to Rock Ridge and back.

Wednesday:  10
32 degrees, snow, freezing rain, rain, slush.  Another day in paradise!  You know Hawaii residents are completely jealous of us today.  Now how do I go out and enjoy this beautiful day?  Snowplows on road - let's stay off roads.  Off to somewhere I haven't been in a while:
Today's trail run site
Parked the car outside of the sprawling metropolis of Wequetequock, put on the Yak-Trax, and headed out to the eastern portion of Barn for some exploring.  I had the whole 1,014 acres to myself today!  Found some cool sections of single track I had never been on before.  Saw deer on Shot Shell Trail; glad shotgun deer season is over!
Snowy day at Barn Island
Really glad I got out there this morning, especially as any thoughts I had of meeting up with Mike G and company at 4PM for hill repeats became unrealistic with work and family demands.

Thursday:  3
Hit the snooze button too many times, and all I had time left for a was quick loop through Misquamicut.  36 degrees, even though dark and cloudy, felt balmy after running in the rain at freezing point previous two days.  Pace 6:50s.

Friday:  7
29 degrees, windy, and flurries.  Met Tom (simply known as "Fivek" in some circles) at his house for today's edition of the 445 Club.  You know that song by Paul Simon:
Slip slidin' away
Slip slidin' away
You know the nearer your destination
The more you're slip slidin' away

Well, that's what we did today.  Hit the road and immediately started sliding on black ice.  The snow covered or crusty portions had decidedly more grip than the clear roads, as you didn't know what you got into in the dark.  We were traveling along well until somebody decided intermittent black ice wasn't enough, and we should also thrown in going up a hill into the wind on black ice.  Great.  Wound through Weekapaug and then one final hill up to Tom's where the nearer I got to my destination (the end of our run) the more I was slip slidin' away.

Saturday:  12
Met up with Muddy in the dark in downtown Wood River Jct.  Temp was warm in mid-30s, but quite windy - a good day for trails.  Romped all through Carter Preserve at low 8s pace, with today's topic, among others, being geography quiz questions.  As usual, the time flew by.  We hit the road back in 6:38 pace, where I left Muddy on North South Trail as I ran out of time.

Sunday: 5
Took the boys (my two and a neighbor) out for a 5-mile trail run in Wahaneeta with a short loop up and around the dam at Woody Hill Marsh.  On the drive out today, I saw a number of runners enjoying the balmy day, including Tom running Shore Road.  I have been parking outside the Wahaneeta gate for about 1/2 a year now, and while the "Public Welcome" sign has been down for a while, was shocked to see this this morning:
Tow zone, really?!  I have never even seen a car on this dirt road.
I parked as close as I could to the Westerly Land Trust gate, and continued on for a nice short loop at an easy pace.  Beautiful day out there and being on the trails cut down a lot of the wind.  Got back towards the WLT scout cabin, when I saw Mike C!  (We had texted earlier as he was in the area.)  Unfortunately we didn't get to run together as the boys and I were ending, but we'll catch up tomorrow.  Got back to the car to find this gem on my windshield:
I saw someone across the street with heavy machinery that I was tempted to approach, but didn't want any provocation especially being with my children, so I snapped both photos and sent them off to the WLT with many questions.  As is typical with the WLT, they got back to me very quickly and with a lot of information this afternoon, thanked me for my input, and explained:  the road up to the WLT gate is private property, the WLT has a right-of-way only.  The owner is building across the street and is now forbidding any parking outside of the WLT gate.  The WLT is going to build a parking lot inside where the present gate is, and in the meantime advises to park at the closest WLT property, which is immediately west of the Little Field parking lot.  Good to know!
OK, now it's time to get some honey-do items done before going to a neighbor's house for dinner and watching the Pats game.

Weekly mileage total:  42

Week recap:  Another good running week.  Did what I had to, to get out there early and get the miles in.  Earned my 125-mile marker on Strava today.  Weather wasn't pretty (except for today), but it's supposed to be even colder next week.   Another long run tomorrow on the MLK holiday, and then taper down to the Belleville 10K race.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Weekly Log 7-Jan to 13-Jan-2013

Monday:  0
Back to 5-day work weeks, ugh.  Mine started off with a three hour morning commute on an overheated train from hell with a guy seated next to me who was twice my size and took up his seat, plus.

Tried to pass the time adding more photos to my Resolution 5K write-up (below this one) and then Googling potential fall 50K races.  Have been encouraged by different WTAC runners to try either Bimblers or Pisgah.  Tried in vain to find the 2013 date for either, in order to check for conflicts. Did find Vermont 50 (50K or 50Mile option) with a published date of Sun Sep 29.  It looks like it's in same area and must be on some of the same trails I found on ski trip last year.  Possibility?

Tuesday:  6
Could it be?  Is that really a
crazed runner up ahead?
Early morning Westerly Hospital loop.  Slipped on the icy/snowy section of trail getting to and through Rotary Park; otherwise all on roads.  Warm (38 degrees), but a little breezy.  Only passed one car the whole time.  Was pleasantly surprised to make out another runner in the distance approaching me.  Could it really be another runner in the dark at 4:30AM?  It was like a Charlie-in-the-Box moment for me when he finally sees Santa coming to the Island of the Misfit Toys from one of my favorite childhood Christmas movies, Rudolph, made the same year I was born.  We exchanged "Good morning", and I somehow resisted the urge I had to run up to him and ask:

  • What is your name?  (pseudonyms are OK)
  • How many miles do you run per week?
  • What's your 5K pace?
  • Can you please fill out this WTAC application?  (A responsible WTAC runner always carries an extra one with him)
  • How do you feel about turtles?
Wednesday:  12
WHS track + 7 miles roads.  I like going to the track about as much as apparently Mike B likes winter, so getting me out there solo is no small feat.  BUT, if I'm going to get any faster, the common school of thought is one part of that equation would be speedwork.

Took a long way to WHS, meandering different roads, through cemeteries, Wilcox Park, and finally a slow shuffle up Park Ave hill to the back of the school.  26 degrees - the track is completely frost covered and a few snow and ice spots.  I got myself here already - let's go for it.  Ran a short track workout from Dec Runner's World - inverted pyramid "gear changer" workout - 1200@10K pace, 800@5K, 400@1M, back up the pyramid.  Unfortunately, didn't quite hit a single one of my desired times! (Garmin snap-shot below)  Low point was sliding too much on the 400, from then on opted for a packed snow section in lane 1 over the clear but slick spots.  High point was a high school girl giving me a thumbs up accompanied by some verbal encouragement.  Took a running break at DD on the way back to thaw out my fingers and body.
Miles Time Pace
0.75 4:33 6:06
0.50 2:54 5:49
0.25 1:18 5:08
0.49 2:55 5:53
0.76 4:25 5:49

Hopefully Muddy and/or Mark don't advise me of a school lock-down this morning due to reports of a deranged creepy old guy hanging around school.

Thursday:  0

Friday:  7
445 Club with Tom.  Another brisk pace run, with fastest mile at 6:12.  Wound through hills in Chin Hill and No Bottom Pond neighborhoods, then took it out onto the beach for another mile plus stretch out to Misquamicut State Beach.  Amazing what a mess it still is there - huge piles of sand in the parking lot, and even the access roads we were running on over a foot of sand covering it.

Saturday:  8
Burlingame group run on Vin Gormley trail (Li'l Rhody course) with Muddy, Mike C, and newest WTAC members Eric, Shira, and Mark.  Pulled in the parking lot and saw many dressed in orange ready to go that I didn't know - thought we had a huge group run until I realized there was a group mountain bike ride taking off about the same time.  Chilly at the start waiting around - drizzly and low 40s - but once we hit the trails, it was fine.  Some of the trails muddy, but most in good shape and nothing like the rain deluge Jonny and I ran in over Christmas break.  Casual paced run around the pond, sprinkled with some good conversation on guess what - yeah, you got it, trail running.

Sunday:  21
Morning:  My longest and hardest trail since Nipmuck Trail Marathon several months ago.  Mike G led Muddy, Sandals, Tom, Seth, and me on a really cool trail run in Big River Management Area in West Greenwich (my first foray into Big River):
The visibility was tough for the first mile or two, as we had started before sunrise.  Looking at how "un-straight" our running lines in red (above) will give you a feel for the constantly turning and switchback running all morning long.  Started off on the appropriately named Pine Trail, a pine-tree covered trail in a pine forest.  Other than the lack of light issue, this trail seemed easy enough and pace was slowish on some spots, especially where covered with snow and/or mud.  And then the picnic ended ...

From there, Mike took us on many strange-named trails, from Fisher Cat to Rollercoaster (about as flat and straight as the name suggests!) to "I See Dead People", the last being a cool trail strewn with rocks, ditches, ascents, descents, and switchbacks galore.  I somehow avoided falling and really enjoyed running that trail hard.  The pace was quite spirited through here.  I remember finishing a few segments panting and needing to catch my breath.  We reached the Wincheck Gun Club, where Mike had kindly stashed some fuel in the form of water bottles and snacks.  Here the terrain changed, and we entered an area replete with rhododendrons that reminded me of the Camp Yawgoog sections of the Narragansett Trail.  The major climb after that was "Elephant", a 150' ascent through a series of switchbacks that earned us a decent break before continuing.  There wasn't nobody engaged in conversation on the climb up Elephant!  I can imagine on a clear day the top of Elephant would offer nice views, but nothing on this dreary day.

From Elephant, we had some nice long downhill trails, and I was in my element gazelling through here trying my best to hang with Mike.  The rest of the run was quieter as we were really fatiguing the last few few miles, and even small hills by then were burning.  Great run and really challenging workout in a new area for me.  [17 miles; 2:17:04]

Afternoon:  Champlin Trail run with my two boys.  The run was short and easy pace, but my legs were screaming at me for running again just a few hours after our long run.  I want to make sure I get in at least another trail run with them, and slightly longer, before the Belleville 10K.  [4 miles]

Weekly mileage total:  54

Weekly recap:  Another high mileage and very fun running week for me.  Only two of my runs were solo; it was great to run with varied runners, terrain, pace, etc.  Will need to figure out how to optimize running on the upcoming long weekend, but balance with family / kids' activities.  Hoping for another big mileage week, before backing off for 3 consecutive weekends of races after that.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Resolution 5K Beach & Trail Race

Resolution 5K - Sunday, January 6, 2013

Full results.

This race was the second installment of this year's series.  We arrived at 7:30AM to help RD Mike G in any way.  It had snowed earlier in the morning, leaving a mix of snow and slush in 33 degree weather as we arrived at Scarborough.
Team WTAC freezing before start

Went out for a leisurely warm-up of the course with many of the usual WTAC suspects, including Muddy, Jonny, Seth, and Tom.  The beach surface was fine, but the middle section of a 1-mile trail was snow covered and a little slick in spots, which would make for a little slower going here.
WTAC introverts Tom, Jeff, Jonny, and Justin:
we don't talk to or look at each other; we just all
stare at our watches

Justin and Jonny out front while I am trying to desperately
to hang with David Principe Sr
Mile 1:  By the time the race started, I was cold again in shorts in the wind.  The first half mile was into the wind to a turn around at the south end of the beach.  WTAC was up there with Tom, Justin, and Jonny just footsteps ahead of me at the turn around.  Unfortunately, just after the turn around I got passed by David Principe Sr (my TNT rival that I just edged out at Old Mountain), Martin Tighe (another TNT rival; battled and got beaten at the finish of Christmas 10K), and a tall runner.  The four of us would be close together for the rest of the race.  Finished 1 mile in 6:01, my fastest split likely owing to the only full mile on the beach.

I'm on far left battling Martin Tighe (middle) and tall guy (right)
Mile 2:  Early in the 2nd mile, we leave the beach with a short path through the dunes and out to Ocean Road.  From here until we re-joined the beach past Mile 2.5, the surface was snow-packed.  The tall guy led us out to Ocean Road, followed by David Principe, me, and Martin Tighe.  Just before leaving the road and back onto Black Point trails, I made my bold move and surged and passed David Principe.  I know he's a very fast road runner (2:42 at last year's Gansett Marathon!!), but I was hoping to hold my own on the trail portion.  Didn't work; I heard breathing right behind me the whole time and he passed me a little way before going through the stone house ruins.
Final strides before race finish

Mile 3 and finish:  Emerged through the ruins with David Principe and the tall guy in sight as I jumped the small stream onto the beach.  At this point, I could see my WTAC teammates Tom and Jonny battling it out a little further ahead.  I pushed it and caught up aside David Principe, and unfortunately he had another gear left in him, as he sped up to the finish and battled with the tall guy for 6th place.
Congrats to Justin for an awesome 2nd place finish at 18:27!  Tom was 4th in 19:03, Jonny 5th in 19:04, and I ended up in 8th, 13 seconds behind Jonny in 19:17.  Not thrilled overall with my finishing place, but that leaves room to work on for next time.  Seth, Josh, Mark, and Matthew followed up in seemingly 1-minute intervals next, and the rest of the WTAC gang followed behind.  Congrats also to Kelsey on overall female win, and to Matthew for age group winner.

Next race in 3 weeks at Belleville Pond 10K.  More photos at WTAC web site.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2012 in Review; 2013 Goals

2012 in Review:
Overall, 2012 was a year full of accomplishments and fun.  My only stated goals for the year were:
  • Run 2,000 miles.  ü Completed 2,179 miles.  I never tracked my yearly mileage before, but this was certainly my most by far.
  • Run a spring and fall marathon.   ü Ran Cox Providence Marathon in the spring and Nipmuck Trail Marathon in the fall.
2012 Highlights:
  • Running a sub-3 hour marathon!  [Cox Providence Marathon, 2:59:20].  I didn't know if I would ever get there, but I can cross this one off the bucket list now.  I was on Cloud Nine for days if not weeks after this.
  • Running my first ever trail marathon.  [Nipmuck Trail Marathon, 3:50:51] The Nipmuck was quite the challenge for me, but I persevered and finished it.  Although I ran solo, it was good having both Seth and Mike C there before and after for needed morale support.
  • My first ever age group win in a triathlon.  [Block Island Triathlon, 1:18:13] My slow swim and mid-pack bicycling usually means I don't even place, but this race gave me a distinct advantage - an usually long run for a sprint triathlon of 4 miles and entirely on the beach.  It was a challenge and thrill to sprint and pass a competitor in the last 100 yards on the beach, and it wasn't until after that I learned he was the leader for my age group.  That trophy sits prominently on my bureau.
  • 5K PR:  As I'm not getting any younger (see Muddy's "much, much older" running friend comments!), I really didn't know if I would ever beat my 5K PR of 17:51.  At the Schonning 5K this year, I ran 17:49.  I thought it could have been a fluke, but then I went on to lower it twice more to where it stands now:  17:38.
  • Running the Blessing with my son.  Just an immensely proud "Dad moment" to run side-by-side with 12-year Matthew and see him excel in this 10-mile race.
  • WTAC team running.  This includes not only racing as a team and with our new singlets, but all the runs I got to do with running friends Jonny, Muddy, Mike B, Mike C, Mike G, Seth, and Tom.  I started running long weekend runs with Jonny and Muddy in late 2011, and it continues to expand.  There was many a day I didn't want to get out of bed, but once I got out there with you guys, there was not a single day that I regretted.
  • More trail runs.  Prior to late 2011, I ran one trail run a year:  the Li'l Rhody.  Now in addition to various races and group runs on trails, I often find myself seeking out solo trail runs and exploration.  I've done so much exploring in Westerly trails this year that I finally joined the Westerly Land Trust and am loving the volunteer work there as well.

2012 low points:
  • Missing a PR in the mile.  [PR from 2010 Bottone Track Mile:  5:10, 2012 time:  5:11]  People were supportive and pointed out that it was 86 degrees after all and that I pretty much ran the heat all to myself, but for some reason I was really disappointed by this one.  All the more reason to work on it in 2013!
  • Shin splints.  I have been relatively injury free in my 9 year running career, but the first few months of 2012 had me intermittently in pain.  Looking back, I upped the miles too quickly and dropped the shoe weight too much.  Live and learn.
2013 goals:
  • Run 2,200 miles.  Only a modest increase from 2012, but enough to keep me honest and get out there running.
  • PR in every distance I attempt.  This is ambitious, but in 2012 I PR'd in every distance except the mile, and if not now the time to be ambitious, when?
  • Half Ironman in 2013 as a precursor to a full in 2014.  Continuing the ambitious here.  Attempted and completed my first and only Half Ironman in 2011, and it felt like it near killed me.  Time to get back up on that saddle, literally.  Hopefully I can rope Mike B into the same race.
  • 50K Trail Race.  Another one I'll want to do with another WTAC'er. 
  • Keep it fun.  This is my most important goal.  If I'm not having fun out there, why do it?  For example, this year I ran the most races ever (38 not counting fun runs), and by fall I was starting to burn out from back-to-back races every single weekend the entire late summer and fall season.  It wasn't until I nixed one of my planned races and went on a fun long trail run on Narragansett Trail with Muddy and Jonny that I realized what I was missing.