Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Pisgah 50K

Pisgah was my 1st 50K. I'd love to sit here and write all about it but I have no time. I have no idea where people find the time to write all these stories and race reports. Between work and taking care of a baby I have no time to write anything, esp. with a baby that never seems to want to sleep.
Pisgah was awesome!! I was 28th overall and ran 5:28:34. I will take that time and place no questions asked!! My longest run for the race was 12 miles (while pushing anna in baby stroller) My longest week was maybe 25 miles. I just cant get in the long mileage weeks with my work schedule. I was however lifting more at work so maybe that with the combination of pushing anna helped.
I felt great in the race up until mile 25. Then my legs started to fold. I could feel the twitching in my calves start and I knew I was in trouble. Before that I was great. I ran a steady 9:30 pace and pretty much ran the first 26 miles. Took 8 hammergels and drank 2 liters of water and ate lots of M&M's at the aid stations. After mile 25 my pace went way down. Otherwise I was pysched and would like to do another one but on some serious training and see what would happen.
Mom also ran her first 50K and my dad ran the 25K. It was a whole family affair. Sheila and Anna watched!!!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Mass Dash Relay

This past weekend Sheila and I took part in our first ever relay race. It was the Mass Dash 200+ mile race from the Berkshire's to Umass Boston. I have been wanting to do Reach the Beach for years, but it never seemed to happen so when the opportunity presented itself to take part part in the Mass Dash, I jumped at it.

Sheila and I were part of Team Gael Force. The whole 12 person team was made up of alumni (6), coaches (3) and people (3) somehow associated with Holyoke Catholic High School. The race had 39 teams that would be starting at the Mt Greylock Visitors center in Lanesboro and would be running a challenging route all the way to Boston via many iconic routes through the state. Each runner would be running 3 legs out of the total of 36. The routes varied in distance and difficulty and team Captain John Goda picked out who would run each leg.

Our race started at 12 noon on Saturday with hopes we would be in Boston by 2-3 pm on Sunday. Of all the teams that raced, the director had a staggered start where some teams started at 6 am, some 8 am, some 10 am, and us and one other team at noon. Based on us giving our best 10K time they claculated we would all be in Boston between noon and 6 pm on sunday.

The race was awesome and we had lots of fun. Sheila and I ran a total of about 19 miles each. My legs were quite hilly. The coolest part was running in the middle of the night. I ran along Route 9 in Ware at 3 am. Hardly any traffic excpet for vans of shouting teammates. Since we had just a late start, we never saw any of our competetion until about 2 am. Starting in Quabbin reservoir Jen Emblidge passed two teams, I passed two and then Sheila passed 8 teams. That really helped get us through the night. I was running up a long uphill section of Route 9, half asleep and all of a sudden I see blinking redlights on a runner ahead of me. That was motivation. After handing off to Sheila, she saw lots of that and that helped her push through her long 9 mile stretch.

It was a super hot weekend and my legs I ran during the day I needed to be drenched with H20.
Sheila and I ran the last two 6-mile legs through Boston and that was a killer.

I would highly recommend this event for anyone next year! It was also Awesome and we made some great friends. The comraderie was amazing!! It was also made fun weekend get-a-way. Ok I would love to write more but I just dont have the time. Time is a luxury I dont have anymore now that I have a Baby Anna.!!
Oh and we were 3rd overall in a finish time of 25 hours and 36 minutes and 55 seconds.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Greylock 1/2 and then some

Well this was my last weekend for the summer where I would at least have one of the two weekend days off. Starting now I am working both Sat and Sun and that is going to prohibit me from doing some Trail Races in August but after Labor Day I will be back to having sundays off so I will be back on the Grand Tree Circuit. With that said, I was able to do my last of the race of the Spring months at Mt Greylock this past Sunday.

Sheila, Anna and I departed the Cape at 4:30 on Saturday when I got out of work and started making our way back to Wmass. The trip went smooth as always except for the fact we hit a deer on the Mass Pike between Sturbridge and Palmer. Everyone is fine and luckly the car is still drivable. Sheila was driving and the deer just came out of no where. She never had time to react it happened so quick. All I saw was a brown mass hit the car. Luckly it only caused cosmetic damage.

With everyone ok we then made our way to Sheila's parents house for the evening. The next morning my mother picked me up at there and we drove to my fathers house to make the hour trek to Mt Greylock. It was a really humid morning and I made sure I had my camel pack and started eating Hammergels early to make sure I was hyrdated. The race which is my 5th or 6th straight has become a fathers day tradition and with that being one of my favorite places I couldnt miss it. At the Glen I saw the same ole familar friendly faces and god are they all great!!!

Ok, I gotta shorten this I have a sick wife and a crying baby in the other room. Race was humid, I was having a great race until I lost my shoe strap on my merrills and ended up running the final 1 1/2 miles or so I think to the finish in my sock. This picture shows me edging out Scott Livingston. I was on pace to break my previous time of 2:04 and def. break 2 hours until that mishap happened. Whatver, makes for a good story. Besides that, for the amount of training I have done I flet awesome!!! I started out slow on the ascent and that was a wise choice I think it helped me on the descent. Brad Herder has posted some awesome pictures. Ok, Gotta go baby is crying!!!

Planning on Pisgah, Monroe, Groton and maybe Stone Cat(depends on how Pisgah goes)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Elks,Northfield Mnt,& Billygoat

What a last few days its been. All Go-No Quits. It all started last wed night when I was running around the house getting all my stuff packed for some of the first vaca days I've taken since last year. Then it was off to bed cause I was working a 5 am to 13:30 shift on Thursday and once I got home from work Sheila, Anna, and I split the Cape for Wmass. We planned our trip home and visiting family and friends around three races. The planning around races was more me than her but it all worked out quite well. The three races would be the weekly EORC 5K elks in Holyoke, The USTAF Northfield Mountain Race, and the 32nd Annual Billygoat orienteering race held at Mt Tom in Holyoke MA.

1st: Elks 5K. It was one of the three age graded races held this year and than was unbeknownst to me before arrival. I was hoping to win it but with the age graded thing going on I knew I was out. However, I still wanted to see if I could do a sub 18 and have it be 2 sub 18's in less than 5 days. That went right out the window at the start when I tried to run with Jake Lukasiweicz. He went out like a light and I was silly to even try to stick with him. He always starts fast and my problem is I dont know enough not to do it as well. We ended up running a 5:15 first mile and once I saw that I knew I was gonna be spent. Not to mention it was hot and humid so at about 1/2 way I died. I ended up running a 19:00 flat. I was 5th overall in a record crowd of 134 runners. Age graded my place was 18th I think. Sheila also ran and it was her first race since having Anna. She ran 22 and change and looked and felt great. She also agreed it was humid. My Mom also ran and she set a age group record for age 61 females. She is a force to be reckon with on the veterens female side. I gotta get her doing some of the bigger races and see how she does. Anna wanted to run but insted was held by DziaDziu aka Grandpa. She was a good little girl for him excpet she fussed only once. He was happier than cat holding her.

Northfield: This worked out good because I could run the race and then after Sheila and I could shoot up to Keene to viist her sister. The race had record attendance and I saw a lot of familar faces. It was nice catching up with everyone. Everyone also liked seeing Anna. Sheila, Anna, and my aunt (my moms sister) watched me, my dad and my mom run. We all did well. I just missed breaking 40 minutes on the 5.25 course. I was happy but again I think I went out a little to fast. I passed 8 people on the downhill and was eying Ken Clark who was right ahead of me but he had just enough distance that I couldnt make up and catch him. I was pleased, I would have liked to have run about 2 minutes faster but ahh. What ya gonna do? Take what you get. I dont do all that much hill training here in wellfleet.

Lastly I am an official BillyGoat!!! This was the first time I ran the Billygoat and it was on my home turf. Well turf that I am very familar with. Without going into many details since I have to work in like 75 minutes. I was very pleased with my performance. I love Orienteering and think its something I want to get Anna into at a young age. I ran the Goat in 2:16 and change. The course was brutal. Very steep and rocky terrian and it brought you all over Mt Tom, from Mt. Nonotuck to the old ski slopes. There were 24 contols, with one skip and one fork. It was interesting seeing what controls people skipped. I was in a group of about 6 most of the time. It was def. physically demanding. My legs are still sore today. I took one good fall and slammed my right knee into a rock. Its black and blue. I also slid down one hill about 30 feet on my butt. It was fun!!! I attached map so those famialr with the area can get an idea of the area covered.

Next up? More than likely going to continue the Fathers Day tradition of running Mt Greylock. Have to introduce Anna to that also place!!! Between now and then probably just training. No Races cause I'll be working lots with some overtime. One goal will be to do my 3 hours a week of paid exercise time so it helps Sheila when I get home.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Yarmouth PD 5K = PR

Well if I can do everything wrong before a race and obtain a PR, Maybe I should start doing everything right and see what happens? Yesterday I ran the 3rd annual Yarmouth Police Department 5K in South Yarmouth and and what do you know,I get a PR for the 5K distance that was previously held since 2006 at the Rhody 5K. Sheila, Anna, and I made the 35 minute ride to the race with me which was starting at 11 am. We got there early so I had more than enough time to sign up and get in some good pre race workouts. Not running a lot of races on Cape Cod I dont reconize everyone so I dont know who is around my speed when I am scoping out the competetion. The thing is people are probalby saying the same thing about me. The last week I got in some good miles, maybe 25-30 (not keeping track) but I did push Anna in the baby stroller at least 3x and did one 8.5 mile run with her. So as everyone lined up at the start I could see the faster guys. I had no idea what to expect except I was going to go out and see what I could do. I knew the cards werent in my favor since I had a few beers the night before, ate a huge onion, pepper, and sausage calzone, and had a huge muffin for breakfast. So when the gun went off I just decided to go with my body. Well that was a good choice. From the start I was locked in a secure 5th. and never held anything less. There were over 325 finishers. Sheila videod the start from about a quarter mile out and between me being at 5th and the guy at 6th there was already a good gap. At about 1 mile I moved into 4th and I'd say maybe at 1 1/4 I moved into 3rd. I was feeling good and clocked a 5:33 first mile. (never saw mile 2) Once I was in third my goal was to keep it. I knew I'd never catch the guy in 2nd unless he folded and he didnt. well at about 1 3/4 the guy I passed to get third surged by me and pulled me 40 feet ahead of me. I was shocked at the surge but couldnt keep up with him. So now I was in 4th again. I periodically looked at my watch and since I knew I was feeling great I thought a PR was possible. However, I didnt want to overdo it to soon so I just kept my pace. As I got to about I'd say 2 1/2 I could see the guy who surged by me to get third was fading so with a long straight stretch to the finish I just let it rip. I passed the guy with maybe a 1/4 mile left and I felt like I was pulling away but that guy and the guy in 5th were hot on my heals. I think havinbg those two guys pushing me def. helped keep me pushing hard. as I neared the finsih I could see the clock and knew I was gonna get a PR. 4 years older and I got a new PR. I was thrilled. Sheila was screaming at me near the finsh saying," This is what we train for" Well it helped motivate me but Train? I dont do that. So when I crossed the line I was spent and almost got run over by the next to guys who wer eonly 3 and 4 seconds behind me. It felt awesome!!! It really motivated me to start doing some serious training. I won the Law enforcement division and won a trophy and also was the 1st 30-39 and got a nice medal!!! It was sweet. Afterwards Sheila and Anna and I knocked off another MA lighthouse and then had dinner at our neighbors!!! It was a great day!!!! Next up is a busy weekend!! elks 5K thursday, Northfield Mnt on Sat and the Billygoat on Sunday!!! I'll be spent come Monday but what else would I rather be doing???????????? Anna took the Picture!!!!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

7 sisters: Spit you up and spit you out

This was only the 2nd time I offically raced this course. I have run the course many times in training. Either way it was never this freaking hot anytime I had previous ran this course. Now I ran 2:42 and some change and was 50th overall and I would have to say I should be very hapy with this time. Considering the conditions (heat), lack of training, (20 miles in the 2 weeks leading up the the event), missing two big toe noenails, and going off course for about 5 minutes what do I have to complain about. It should be nothing but as always I would have liked to have at least broken 2:30. All I can say is that is has to be one of the toughest trail races out there. This course is brutal and if you not prepared it will spit you up and spit you out. This was eveident on the course as I have never seen so many people walking during a race. I passed many people who were just standing still on the uphill sections simply because their legs would not allow them to walk up the hill. I had the same issue going up mt nononuck, the long steep section after the water stop on the way back. My legs just didnt want to carry me. Anyways, this years race sucked!!! I loved it and will do it again for sure but one thing is for sure, I must get more training in. I will say once you have a baby it changes everything for the better so if I can still do what I did with the training I do and stil have as much fun with my baby and wife then thats all I care about!!! I also couldnt believe the amount of DNF, 42 is what was listed on coolrunning. Thats amazing. I also want to send out a shout to the Old Buck, My father Walter, who finished the race in 6 hours and 3 minutes. At 67 years old and 2 bad knees he still wasnt last. Next up Northfield and BillyGoat 2010!!!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Grand Canyon: South Rim to Colorado River (and then some)

Well I just got back from two weeks of training at the Grand Canyon National Park. I was there for work and what better place to go to training than at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. The training was awesome but what was better than that was being at one of mother natures hughest playgrounds. Every morning before class I ran on the Rim trail that runs along the south rim from Mather Point to the Bright Angel Lodge. It was awesome because where I was staying was less than a 1/2 mile from the rim's edge. Every morning I also got the opportunity to run along side Elk and Deer. No Bighorn Sheep =(!!!! Seeing the sun rise over the canyon rocked!!! Besides running on the rim trail I also ran around the village.
When class was over, the training facility had mountain bikes, so I x-trained and rode a bike in the afternoon. My longest jaunt was from the village all the way out to Hermits Rest. Round trip it was a 18 mile bike ride. I finished at sunset and that was amazing.

The highlight of the trip was my 31 mile adventure in the canyon on Saturday. I ended up running 26 miles and walking the final 6 for a total of 31. My original plan was to see if I could do a rim to rim to rim. However, after reaching phantom ranch and heading up towards cottonwood falls, I knew I wasnt supposed to do that today. My mind was saying go for it, but my big toe and lack of proper training told me to not attempt it. So I didnt. I did see lots of rim runners that morning. I started out at 5 am in the darkness and my adventure was bright angel falls trail to tonto east, tonto east to south kaibab tip off point, south kaibab tip off point to phantom ranch, phantom ranch up north kaibab about 2 1/2 miles, turned around and went back to phantom ranch, doodled around the river trail, up bright angel to indian garden, out to plateau point, turned around and hiked out to the bright angel saloon. The last 5 miles I hiked. My big toe was spent, and I two weeks later I am missing a toe nail. It was awesome, and I did learn a few things. I carried way to much stuff. My pack was way to heavy. I was too well prepared. I could have cut my food supply by half. Also by having a heavy pack it slowed me down a lot. I should have worn lighter trail shoes, I wore my la sportivas and they were too heavy. Those trails are easy running and if you know how to trail run you could wear light shoes. I also had too many extra clothes, it was cold in the morning but once I started running for an hour and the sun came up I was down to shorts and a teeshirt. You hear all these horror stories about people dying in the canyon because they werent prepared, so I heeded on the side of caution. However, like last time when Sheila and I hiked out in 2007, I passed large people or people smoking and they were walking down. They had no business being in that canyon! Anyways round trip was 8 hour 15 minutes. Awesome trip and glad to be home to Sheila my little Anna.