Sunday, February 9, 2014

Belleville Pond 10K

Sunday, February 9, 2014
North Kingstown, RI

49:44.  3rd overall of 99; 1st in age group.  Full results here.

Went for a mile-and-a-half warm-up with Jonny.  It was enough to tell me that today's run was going to be a sufferfest and leg burner through 6" of crusty snow.  Realizing I'd be warm quickly burning up the calories, opted for shorts and a lighter hat.

Mile 1:  The Rocket
Jonny led out strong at the siren, quickly followed by Chris Garvin and Bob Jackman, and then Nate.  There was a younger gentlemen running hard and fast through the snow on my left, so I thought he was going to rocket ahead fast, and I let him cut in front of me.  Not a great move; as he crossed over the first bridge I felt he was holding me back so I cut in front of him again and ran hard to catch up to Nate.  Passed Nate about 1/2 mile in as we exchanged pleasantries, but I reminded him we had a long ways to go!  Towards the end of the mile, was surprised to catch up to the Jonny/Chris/Jackman pack.  Fastest mile @ 7:24.
Jonny "Rocket" setting a very fast 1st mile pace
Mile 2:  The Strip-Tease
Early in Mile 2, Nate, Muddy, and maybe 1-2 more had caught up and we were in the single file lead pack on raised trestle bed, then through a field and into the woods.  I was able to catch my breath here a little, and was hoping we could stay in this formation for a few more miles to conserve energy, but I knew at any point someone would make a move.  Then it got weird when Bob Jackman took off first his outer shirt layer, then his shirt underneath to be completely topless.  When he started to tug at his tights/pants, I was concerned that he was going to "pull a Garvin" with stripping down further, but it turns out he was just stuffing the outer shirt into his pants (or so I think).  8:07.

Boxed in early in race, 2 positions behind Nate and just ahead of Muddy
Mile 3:  The Surge
After Jonny did the hard work of leading for 2 miles, it turned out to be Chris to make the move and take the lead past Jonny.  Jackman immediately followed, and for some reason I decided to follow and surge ahead with them.  No one else seemed to take the bait, and I was concerned I had made too aggressive a move.  Somehow I was able to stay with the two of them for a good mile, as Chris pushed the pace up and down hills, around tight turns and through virgin snow in a few spots.  9:23 pace, but numbers mean nothing here, as the pace and level of effort were just grueling, at least for me.

Mile 4:  The Separation
All good things must come to an end, and as the three of us turned out of the woods and onto the trail across another large field, it would have been a fool's errand for me to try to maintain their pace as my breathing was getting pretty out of control here.  Chris and Bob also started to separate from each other.  Exiting the field led us into twisty, curvy single-track that was really tiring.

Awesome shot by Scott Mason crossing the final bridge
Mile 5:  The "Sprint"
After what seemed like an eternity, we exited the single track back onto the main trestle bed.  Bob was about 50 yards straight ahead of me, and Chris about 100 yards ahead, but both opened the distance further as they picked up the pace.  Although I couldn't see anyone behind me when I exited the single-track, I knew if I wanted a shot at third, I'd have to pick it up as well and push hard.  7:44

The home stretch:  gave it my all
(Pic by Jana)
Mile 6:  The Suffering
Once we left the rail bed, I could no longer see Bob or Chris.  The bridge came up quick enough (where Scott Mason was taking pics), but after that, especially being only my 2nd time ever running in Ryan Park, I totally underestimated the distance and number of turns to the finish.  At long last we exited to the ball field area, and as I started the run in deep snow there, my legs had just turned to rubber.  Kept reminding myself I only needed to get around that ball field, and finished with an 8:26 pace to finish just under 50 minutes on the day, and then sat in the snow to watch my teammates come in:  Nate, Justin, Jonny, Seth, etc.

With just a few of my WTAC teammates today

Added a 3rd black and bloody toenail today to the collection I've been amassing this winter
trail season (hope you weren't eating when you got to this pic!)
A "badge of honor" - totally worth it for today's results!
Thanks to Mike Galoob and family for yet another fun race.  Truth be told, it was very challenging conditions, but I had a fantastic time in fairly warm weather just trying to push myself aggressively.  For some reason, I seem to do well in the snow, and that added to my enjoyment.



  1. Awesome race! Congrats on the podium finish!

  2. Oh black and bloody toenails! Nice!! Wait, is that wrong? Oh I don't care.... it was a great sufferfest I enjoyed the back of the pack, all y'all tromped down some pretty nice paths (the paths on Sat were not so nice...) Great Job Jeff!!

  3. If you really want, I can see about pulling Burlingame up sooner on the calendar for a better chance of snow...
    Way to go today!

  4. Glad I'm not alone in the disgusting toenail department. AMAZING effort! Great job!

  5. First let me say – great race Jeff, awesome job. You should move up north.
    Now – what’s this with taken pictures of body parts?
    First you, than 5K takes a picture of the back of his foot – did you kick him in the back of the foot
    Please remember this is G rated blog-ing

  6. Amazing job, Jeff! I hope any disappointment you felt after the Super 5K was erased by this effort. I loved your description of Jackman's wardrobe antics, though I can't say I am proud that "Pull a Garvin" is now a thing that comes to mind in these situations. Oh, and that foot picture is just wrong. Just plain wrong.

  7. Very impressive race yesterday Jeff!

  8. I love the way you run in the snow. That move you made was awesome to watch. I had no traction and couldn't go any faster to stick with you guys. You may need to try snowshoe racing.

  9. Outstanding job at the race yesterday! And I see there is indeed a price to pay for greatness...ouch! Also glad I was far enough back that I missed Jackman's burlesque show. "Pull a Garvin," that's awesome...