Monday, August 14, 2017

Blessing of the Fleet 2017

Blessing of the Fleet
Narragansett, RI
Friday, July 28, 2017

The 46th edition of the Blessing, and my 15th in a row.  Like many summer races, you never know if you'll be running be heat, humidity, both, or whether you'll happen to luck out with favorable running conditions.  I've run this in decent 69-degree weather, temps of almost 90, sunny weather, overcast, and thunderstorms with downpours.

This year the temps were not bad (mid 70s), but the humidity was oppressive.  Giving that I'm writing this report two weeks in arrears, finer details are eluding me and thus I'll strive for brevity here.

Fast first three:  Despite my efforts to hold back,the first mile is always fast, as you're getting pulled out and it's a net downhill of -44 feet.  Muddy passed me early in the 2nd mile on Ocean Road and said something about this was not shaping up to be a great race for him.  I noticed at that time I was already almost soaked, but was able to keep the pace fairly steady all the way down to Scarborough Beach. 
Splits:  6:00, 6:08, 5:57.
1/2 mile in.  So far so good.
Matty P on my right, out for a stroll.

Struggling in miles 4 - 6:  Mile 3 was my fastest mile on the day at 5:57, and by the time I turned off Ocean Road, I was already slowing quite a bit.  I was absolutely saturated and drenched by now, and it was a sufferfest.  Felt the tiny incline up to the right-turn onto Route 108, which is always my slowest and least enjoyable section.  It should have been some relief that it was at least overcast, but it didn't seem to help.  I was reasonably confident that I was in 1st place for my age group at this point, but I was just slowing and slowing and knew the vultures were circling very close behind, waiting for the kill.  I felt at any moment that age group competitors Norm and Clay were going to pass me (in fact, post-race, both told me they could see me and had caught up behind me at this time).  Last year I ran a painstakingly slow 64:58 in a very hot and humid race, and I was fearful at this point that this year would be even slower.
Splits: 6:24, 6:18, 6:26 (slowest mile on the day)

Slight second wind for finish:  Turning off my dreaded 108 onto Windemere, I was able to pick it up slightly to return to 6-teens (6:1x pace).  It wasn't enjoyable or pretty and I still feared being passed by others in my age group, but soldiered on and conquered.
Final splits:  6:18, 6:17, 6:14, 6:04

Mile 7.5.  Form has broken down.  Just get me to the finish line.
(Pic by Matthew)

Final results:  1:02:33.  43rd out of 2,365 runners.  1st in age group!  Full results here.

Finally.  Very happy to be done.

Nothing left.

Soaked from head to toe, even drenched socks, at the finish.  For some reason, my Mom, who was spectating, didn't want to give me a hug!  Hung around for awards, where I picked up $75 to the Wakefield Running Store, plus a bunch of technical socks, before heading for dinner in Wakefield and then home.  #15 is in the books.  Results could have been better, but given the humidity and still winning my age group, no complaints.
It was dark by the time the awards given.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Weekly Log 23-Jul to 30-Jul-2017

Monday:  6
Run in the rain downtown at lunch.

Tuesday:  10
AM:  5 on B-game trails with Tommy, followed by a 1/2 mile swim in Watchaug.
PM:  5 at Stonington Fun Runs.

Wednesday:  9
AM:  1/2 mile trail fail.  Blue Heron Trail.  Just too overgrown.
PM:  5 miles at Arcadia, on single-track Hudson Trail from 165 to Heartbreak Pond, CCW around pond, and back.  Followed up with 3 at Westerly Fun Run #6.  Slowest fun run of the year at 21:04 for the 5K, given that Blessing is 2 days away.

Thursday:  4
Slow and easy Blessing shake-out on local roads.

Friday:  11
The Blessing.  My 15th in a row.  Write-up to follow.

Saturday:  5
Recovery / reconnaissance at Wahaneeta.  Sore legs.

Sunday:  7
Bike:  28 miles with Chris and Mikey through Stonington.
Run:  7 with Matthew combining Grills Hopkinton and Westerly tracts.
Swim:  1/4 solo open ocean at East Beach, Charlestown.

Weekly mileage:  53

Weekly synopsis:  I'm doing a much better job keeping up my running then I am keeping up my blog!

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Weekly Log 17-Jul to 23-Jul-2017

Blog catch-up.  Three weeks behind.  Ugh.  No one to blame but myself.

Monday:  8
Back to work Monday after 16 days off.  Solo 'round the pond.

Tuesday: 11
AM:  7 miles.  Descending ladder drill with Tom.  Matthew ran his own, but hung with us.  From Old Town Beach out to Ocean View Highway and back, with a refreshing jump in the ocean at end.  Saw a young coyote at intersection of Ocean View and Browning.
PM:  4 miles.  Stonington Fun Run.

Wednesday:  8
Turned 53 years young today.  After run a 50K on my 50th birthday, 51K total but not contiguous on my 51st, and running up Mount Esja (Iceland) on my 52nd, I had nothing to top it with this year.  Not complaining; just came back from an amazing natural trip in Alaska and had two weeks off from work.  Will plan future birthday adventures, but none this time around.

AM:  5 miles.  Adams Farm, Walpole, MA.  Deerfly assault.
PM:  3 miles.  Westerly Fun Run.  Good to be back to these.  I missed them.

Thursday: 6
Bradford Preserve and Woody.

Defending myself against deerflies by wearing a shirt (I so prefer singlets
in the summer heat) and my Nipmuck Trail Marathon buff.
Mikey said I look like a thug, Crutch said mafia, and Tommy said ghetto.
Whatever works!

Friday:  12
AM:  5 mile Burlingame dirt road / trail run with Tommy, followed by a 1,000 yard swim in Watchaug Pond.
PM:  7 miles at Groton Fun Run, including warm-up and cool-down.

Saturday:  13
Warm, humid run with Tom, Matthew, Mikey, and his friend Eric.  Goal was to run 5 miles in the middle at target Blessing pace.  I was shooting for about a 6-flat pace, but disappointingly ran progressively slower.  Impromptu stop at Cooked Goose on the way back, where they were kind of to provide 5 sweaty runners with glasses of ice water.

Sunday:  6
After a nice 30-mile group ride in the morning, still had enough energy for a solo barefoot beach run mid-afternoon at low tide.  Nice way to finish out the week.

Weekly mileage:  65

Weekly synopsis:  Other than my laziness with blog writing and disappointing pace on the Saturday workout, always happy when I can get in a 60+ mile week.