Monday, September 28, 2015

OCY Duathlon

Westerly, RI
Sunday, September 20, 2015

This was the 10th annual edition of the OCY Triathlon.  Last year they added the duathlon, and while I was away racing Pisgah 23K, it certainly piqued my interest.  While I've run the now defunct Shoreline Biathlon before, this was my inaugural run in the duathlon format:

  • Run (3 miles in this case)
  • Bike (14 miles)
  • Run (3 miles)

My primary impetus for opting for the Du instead of the Tri was to prepare for the RI Duathlon which I'm running next month.  My harrowing swim experience at the Rhode Warrior only cemented my decision.

Run #1:  To my chagrin, there were only 13 in the starting line!  Felt more like a group run.  Talking with Matthew earlier and debating target pace, I opted for a 6-flat target.  A guy in a light blue suit took off to lead the pack.  Didn't think I would catch him as he looked pretty steady, but keeping close to my 6-flat target I reeled him in about the 1-mile mark.  Gauging my comfort versus his, I was relieved to hear him breathing much harder than me.  At the turn around mark on the mighty Weekapaug Bridge, we turned into a slight headwind breeze for the run back.  I never heard anyone behind me for the remainder of the run.  Mile splits:  6:00, 6:02, 6:05.
And we're off.  All 13 of us!
2nd place behind the guy in the light blue suit.

Finishing Run #1 well ahead of light blue guy

Bike:  Coming into T1, it was an odd but pleasant feeling not to have to rip off the wetsuit.  Walked/ran my bike out to the street per instructions, and just as I mounted my bike and started to cross Atlantic Ave, some oblivious spectator walked out right into the road in front of me with his back to me.  I yelled at him (as did race officials) but I didn't have enough time or clearance to go around him.  Struck him in his right leg; fortunately I was going slow and hadn't clipped in yet, so no damage and I didn't fall.

Continuing on the bike, there were a number of bikers who were doing the Tri out ahead of me.  On the first lap out to Watch Hill and back, I got passed more than I passed people.  Unfortunately I saw the same light blue tri suit blow by me early on the ride.  So much for my run build-up, or so I thought.  Very well marked, pretty uneventful ride.  19.7 mph average.  Felt like I should've been faster.

Run #2:  This time the run course was more challenging as there were already a lot of tri guys out on the course.  Having more people out there for the second run was a definite boost as I was more tired the second go around and didn't want to run it alone.  Shortly after starting, Jeff Duda was coming towards me to finish up.  Shortly afterwards, here comes the 2nd tri finisher - it's Tommy 5K!  Awesome!  Continued to pass local tri runners, including Elise and Burbelo.  Just after the turnaround, I saw Shara.  Really pushed the last mile to finish strong.  Mile splits:  6:14, 6:11, 5:46.
Finishing up Run #2

Looks like I almost missed the Finish line and was headed back to transition yet again!  (Video by Matthew)

Final results:  1st in Duathlon.  1:20:57.  Full results.  It turns out the light blue uniforms were part of a relay team, so I won overall.  Still, racing in a field of 13 people seemed a little silly to me.  If I had known this was to be the size of the field, I probably would have skipped it.  Let's hope the RI Duathlon next month has more than 13!

Congrats to Shara on overall female winner and Tommy on 2nd overall in tri.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Surftown 2015

Nearly a fortnight has passed since this annual event, and some of the details are now less than crystal clear.  How does Chris write race blogs ten months late (OK, maybe only six months) and still retain minute observations?

This would be the fifth annual Surftown, and indeed my fifth annual as well.  Hope to race this one as long as I'm above ground and as long as the body allows.  It's so cool to have a race a mile from my house on roads that I run year-round.  Met up with friend Mikey B both the day before at pre-race check-in as well as race morning.  He and I ran a warm-up to the Old Town Beach or so, and Matthew and his friend joined us on the warm-up.

To Weekapaug:  Last year at Surftown I ran my PR of 1:20:47.  To beat this would mean running near 6-flat for most of the race, which is where I started off.  After a quarter mile or so of jostling, I got chicked and settled into about sixth place.  Working my way down Atlantic Ave, two obstacles presented themselves to me:  headwind oddly out of the east, and humidity (I was soaked by mile 2).  First two miles were 6:05 and 6:06, but I felt like I was working for it.  Turning off on Wawaloam to follow the ocean, my next two miles were both 6:12.  This is not boding well.

Weekapaug to Misquamicut:  Returning out of Weekapaug, the now tailwind helped me greatly.  I passed two runners here, including the lead woman, to move into 4th place.  Miles 5 - 7:  6 flat, 6:03, 6:04.  Felt great.
About Mile 5.
(From the Westerly Sun)

Misquamicut to Watch Hill:  Turning off Atlantic and working my way towards Watch Hill, my splits dropped dramatically and any chance of a PR was gone.  Miles 8 - 10:  6:28, 6:20, 6:36.  6:36, really?  The "Ocean House Bump" hill was easy, but I was losing interest here, and figured I'd just run easy to finish this. 

Watch Hill to finish:  PR out the window, soaked to the skin, and back into the headwind.  What's the point of pushing it now, right?  In fact, the next mile on lonely Ocean View Highway was a slow 6:40 until a runner passed me, taking me out of my torpor.  Picked it up for a 6:09 mile against a gustier wind on Atlantic, and with the finish line in sight, I hear a space watch beep for Mile 13 split.  Wait a minute:  my space watch is set to vibrate, so that sound isn't emanating from my watch, it's from someone on my heels about to pass me.  Sprinted (5:33 pace into the wind for final tenth) to hold off a guy less than half my age by four seconds.  Yes!  Next conferred with the guy who passed me on Ocean View Highway to validate that he is not in my age group.  Double Yes!  (although he seemed insulted that I intimated he might be as old as me, and I slinked away with some feeble excuse of not being a good judge of age)
 Chasing down red singlet, unaware
that I am also being chased.
Mile 13.

OK, I know he's there now,
right on my tail.
(Pics by Jana)

Yes, I out-kicked the youngster!

Always, always important to be a good sport.
(Red singlet on left passed me on Ocean View Highway to take 4th)

1:22:16.  First in age group.  5th overall of 1,478.  Full results here.
Not a big fan of finisher medals,
but the design  on this one is nice.

Really unique and cool age group award!
Thanks for Jana for volunteering at finish line.  Congrats to Mike on his age group win as well, even while fighting an injured knee.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Weekly Log 14-Sep to 20-Sep-2015: New MA trails & Stavros Beach Race

Working in MA 4 days this week, 3 in downtown Boston, proved to be an obstacle to running.

Monday:  0

Tuesday:  0
Couldn't will myself out of bed for a 4:30am run.

Wednesday:  5
4:45 run.  Got to do it if I want to make my 6am train.  How did I ever do this before?  Once I got going, I was fine and rather enjoyed the 58 degree run under the starry canvas above me.

Thursday:  9
Morning:  6 miles in Noanet Woodland, Dover, MA.  Stumbled on this rather by accident due to a traffic detour off I-95.

Fun stream crossing in Noanet

Evening:  Annual Charlie Stavros Memorial On the Beach Run.  3rd in 17:39, behind Matthew in a course-record-tying 16:20 and Tom in 17:17. 

We had a good turnout of 57 this evening for our end of summer hurrah.  This included a large contingent of boys XC runners.  At the starting gun, most of the  XC team sprinted out ahead of me and I was in about 15th place or so.  I knew I wouldn't be catching Matthew, but I thought I had a decent shot at the rest of the them.  Sure enough, I reeled them in one by one until about a mile in I passed my last competitor, leaving only Tommy and Matthew in front of me.  At the turnaround in Weekapaug, I could see Matthew and Tommy ahead of me, but not for long.  See all the oncoming runners kept my mind occupied for a while, and looking up I could see Tommy a ways ahead of me and just silhouettes way ahead on the beach, likely one of them being Matthew.  Crossed the line in a very satisfying 17:39, although I probably could have shaved off a few more seconds if I were being chased.  Splits:  5:46, 5:56, 6:03 (slight headwind on return).  Always a fun event.  Full results here.
After the obligatory annual waterstop joke,
we're off!
(Photos by Jana)

Gazellin' it home on one of my favorite terrains
at one of my favorite races.
It's bittersweet for me, as it means the summer has come to an end.

Friday:  6
Fun trail run in Wahaneeta and Woody.  Looking forward to many cool weather fall trail runs.

27-mile ride with Tommy 5K.  Up to Bradford, back Klondike through Charlestown and OCY course through Misquamicut and Watch Hill.

Sunday: 6
6 run, plus 14 ride in OCY Duathlon.  Write-up to follow.

Weekly mileage totals:
Run:  26
Ride:  41

Most paltry running mileage since April.  Chalk it up to working in MA four days, plus the OCY Duathlon, but it's always easy to find excuses. Traveling on vacation next week, so I'll be seeking out fun running.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Weekly Log 7-Sep to 13-Sep-2015

I was reminded several times in the past few days how behind my blog has become, thus let me try to get at least a little more caught up to date:

Monday:  5
Started off Labor Day with a 39-mile ride with friends Tommy and Mike B.  Today was my pick, and I decided to try something different with a start at Ninigret, ride out to Matunuck via Matunuck Schoolhouse Road, then a nostalgic trek up to my teenage homelands in Richmond.  Capped off the morning with conversation and a coffee at Dave's before hitting the beach with Jana for likely the last time of the year.  :(

Evening run with Matthew.  In the humidity, neither of us had much energy or creativity as we wandered streets of Watch Hill until the watch read 5 miles.

Tuesday: 9
Seven mile sopping humidity run through Moonlight hills. 
Lunch failed run; just too hot and humid.

Wednesday:  6
Lunchtime run in the baking sun and heat.  Out through White Rock and back through North End before a cold shower at the Y and a return to work. Tiring of the heat and humidity.

Thursday:  6
Abbreviated track workout in Needham, MA.  Too hot and humid, yes, even at 6:30am.  1 x mile (5:34), 2 x 800 (2:40, 2:51), 2 x 400 (78, 75).

Friday:  8
Evening run with FiveK on the trails.  Yes, you read that right!  He had been asking me for a while to sample the new Pumpkins course, so we ran that and tacked on a few more in Woody Hill.

Saturday:  0
Complete rest before the big day.

Sunday:  15
Surftown Half Marathon.  Already belated race report is forthcoming.

Weekly mileage:
Run:  50  I'm really happy with any mileage week north of 45.
Ride:  39


Sunday, September 6, 2015

Weekly Log 31-Aug to 6-Sep-2015

Into September we go.  I will miss the summer, especially the Fun Runs, but alas I will not long for the heat and humidity, not even in the coldest depths of winter.

Monday:  0.  Started my new job today.  I certainly didn't expect to start a new job just one year into my old one, but the opportunity presented itself for a slightly higher role and better alignment with my financial services experience, so I applied and interviewed in July and was happy to learn I was the selected candidate.

Now here's where you're going to feel sympathy for me.  The resulting new job means I will be tripling my commute.  That's right; I'm going from a 1-mile commute to a 3-mile commute.  I'll need to check out the traffic report on Beach Street, probably plan a DD bathroom stop mid-way, it's gonna be rough ...

Tuesday:  8.  Kicked off September with a 'round-the-pond run at sunrise.

Wednesday:  6.  8-lane track at DeFazio Park, Needham, MA.  Absolute beautiful facility here.  2 x 800 (2:39, 2:40), 4 x 400 (77, 74, 76, 78), 2 x 200 (36, 34). Recovery of half of each distance, longer between sets.  

Still a little warm, so running through the sprinkler system when it overlapped Lane 1 was a bonus.
Q:  Why do "joggers" and walkers repeatedly use Lane 1?  I used Lane 3 for my recoveries out of a courtesy for others.

Thursday:  10.
5 in the AM.  Bradford Preserve and Woody Hill trails.  Out around the pond/marsh, including the Pumpkins course entirety.  Course looks in the best shape it's ever been in!  Five weeks to go.

5 in the late afternoon.  Ran from the Y with a loop through the North End. Working downtown now gives me some additional running opportunities, with showers at the Y just a short walk from work through Wilcox Park.

Friday:  5.  For lunch, I ordered the Clamdigger special.  Changed at the town beach, thought about running on the beach but it was high tide.  Ran Clamdigger course, and ended up with a progression run as I felt good out there.  Mile splits: 6:54, 6:43, 6:46, 6:25, 5:59.

Saturday: 5.  Fit in between dropping off Matthew at WHS for bus to his meet and driving to the meet ourselves in Burrillville.  56 degrees!  Hallelujah!  Ran backroads from WHS out Narragansett Ave and part of the old Pumpkins road course, although I have to confess I couldn't remember all the turns.

Up in Burrillville where all RI X-C teams were running in the Injury Fund, we watched Matthew rip a 16:26 in the 5K for the fastest sophomore time in the state that day.  Not a bad start to his season.
16 boys in RI made the National Elite Silver Standard.  Matthew was the only sophomore.

Sunday:  10.  6:15am run from the Y into Greenhaven and back.  WTAC members Mike B, Eric H, Matthew, and me.  Easy pace, good conversation.
Finished my run at the Y parking lot, only to find some prankster
had sullied my rear windshield by affixing a "Rhode Warrior" decal
(not exactly my best performance this year) alongside
my "26.2".

Not two hours later, I receive an e-mail that this same character apparently
 "wants to be my friend".  Hmmm.  Is there a "Click to Reject" button?

Weekly totals:
Run 45

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Weekly Log 24-Aug to 30-Aug-2015

Coming off the Rhode Warrior, my tri season is over.  I will focus on fall running, but keep up the biking for a duathlon or two.

Monday:  0

Tuesday:  5.  Weekapaug barefoot lunch run, capped with a dip in the ocean.  Really enjoy these; will try to keep them going occasionally to October at least.

Wednesday:  6 total.
5 AM humid run in Needham.
1 Mile final Westerly Fun Run in evening.  5:18.  Final fun run, and last time to see the Garvins for a while.  Sad on both accounts.

Thursday:  3 checking out Pumpkins course and assessing work to be done there.

Friday:  8 total.
4 AM shake-out.
4 at Schonning 5K.  17:46!  Really psyched with this race.  See separate write-up.

34 mile ride in AM with Mike B and Dave from the Navy.  Nice casual ride with a stop in the Borough.
Huge kudos to WTAC members Mike B and Jeff Huckle for giving up 3 hours
of their Saturday to help with trail maintenance on the Run for the Pumpkins course
and dragging this decades old debris out (the Town will pick up from there).

5 mile afternoon run including roads and beach with Matthew.

Sunday:  16.  Surftown prep run with Mike.  Started off doubting my ability to run 16, but it got easier.  Humidity returned.  Took advantage of water fountains in both Misquamicut and Watch Hill, then Mike knew a shopkeeper that gave us more water and back at my house we had yet another 2-3 glasses of water each.

Weekly totals:
Run 43
Bike 34