Friday, April 30, 2010

Mud, Muck & Moose - Race Report

No idea why it takes me so long to get these race reports done. Well, I do, but the suspense makes them all that much more exciting. It's a theory...

On Sunday, I met Four at the Gray Park n' Ride for the journey to sunny and beautiful Bartlett, NH for the Mud, Muck and Moose 5 Mile Trail Race. I've been wanting to do this race since we lived in the greater Mt. Washington Valley metropolitan area, but I was too fat and lazy to actually do so at the time. And, I'm really glad I finally did. Mad props to Kevin for putting on a really fun race.

Although the forecast was for showers, it was indeed sunny and beautiful when we arrived at the race venue: Bear Notch Ski Touring. The course was 2 laps of a 2.5 mile loop that was primarily cross country ski trails. That being said, the trails seemed to be randomly hacked out of the forest making them very uneven, lumpy, stump-ridden and leaf-covered. Additionally, each lap featured two stream crossings. This was a relatively dry year, so the mud and muck were limited, and the ropes set up at the stream crossings, while helpful, certainly weren't necessary. The course climbed for the first third of the lap, ran "flat" across the hillside in the middle third, and generally descended in the final third. All in all, it was a really fun course to run. So much so, that I didn't mind the lap course. Plus, 2 laps meant 4 stream crossings!

After picking up our old school popsicle sticks with our numbers on them, Four and I did a brief warm up and got to see the funky lollipop loop-de-loop that was added to bring the course to the full five miles. Then it was back to the car to make certain we dropped off our watches. Yup, no watches allowed. This race features a guess your time component, so unless you can count really, really well, there's no way to cheat.

At the start line, I was pretty certain that local athletic phenom and 14 year-old Sean Doherty was the, beat. He would at least be close to the top. I also recognized a number of other folks, so it made for a great atmosphere. At the "Go," I slid in behind the duo at the front, let's call them Hat Guy and Headband Guy, and Sean soon came up alongside. I joked with him that there was no way he should be behind me at any point, and in typical Sean fashion, he shrugged it off. He's a great kid, supremely talented, and very, very level headed. Great combo. We ran together for a bit as the course climbed steadily. About a half mile into the race, I realized that once of us was breathing a bit heavier than the other, and about 30 seconds later Sean was gone. He'd go on to win by nearly two minutes. Hat Guy had gone with Sean, and I settled into fourth place, just behind Headband Guy whom I was pretty certain had nipped me a few races in the past. I could hear two other guys right behind me.

Just before we finished the climb I was right on top of Headband Guy and decided to go around him as soon as the course leveled out. I have to admit, I felt a bit odd. I was moving comfortably into third place, which for me is uncharted territory. I quickly brushed aside that lapse in confidence and got down to the business of racing. Not just time trialing with a bunch of other people. Today, I was racing.

I was in third as we hit the first stream crossing. Kevin was there to watch the proceedings, and as he cheered me, he sounded a bit surprised that I was so far up in the field. "Hey! Ryan! Great job! You're in THIRD place." I would have laughed out loud, as it was pretty funny, but I was negotiating the stream crossing. You see, there are these ropes, and you have to use your hands and generally be coordinated: not my strong suit. That being said, the water at its deepest was only up to my knees, if that. I crossed without incident, and I climbed the steep embankment and single track on the opposite side with my head down charging up the hill. Well, my head was too far down as I continued straight at the hillcrest, instead of taking a sharp right. I heard two yells from behind, "Right turn! Right turn!". Yup, I was off course. (As it turns out, I wasn't the only one to make that mistake, but more on that later.) The yells came from Tall, Lanky Guy (TLG), and he and Headband Guy were able to get ahead of me as I got back on course. It was at this point that I realized that other guy in the train was Ron Newbury, a super-fit, super-fast 45 year-old. Except, Ron is 60! Very impressive.

After righting the ship, I quickly passed Headband Guy again, but TLG had put a few seconds on me. The course then opened onto a wide, fairly smooth old road that was gradually downhill. As soon as I hit, Ron was right on my heels and went flying by me. I couldn't match his leg speed. Again, very impressive. So, I found myself in fifth place with third and fourth seeming to pull away. I thought, "Hey, fifth is pretty good." Then about a half second later, I pushed that right out of my head and went after Ron and TLG. They were definitely going faster than I was and faster than I thought I should be going at that point in the race, but I wasn't going to repeat the experience of the Save Our Swinging Bridge 5k. I was here to race. So, I put my head down and picked up the pace just as I entered the sketchiest part of the course. The course turned off the smooth woods road and back onto the ski trails at a very lumpy, slightly muddy and amazingly uneven section. Hold on, ankles!

I kept pushing as the course twisted and turned through the forest. I could see Ron catch and eventually pass TLG. Ron was pulling away from me, but TLG was squarely in my sights. As the lap comes to a close, there's the second river crossing. I stayed upright again, and headed across the field through the start/finish area. TLG was probably about 20 seconds ahead of me at this point, and I could see that Hat Guy wasn't too far in front of him. I wonder if he knew it's a two lap race?

I caught Hat Guy about halfway up the climb in Lap #2 and moved back into fourth place. For the rest of the lap, I kept catching glimpses of TLG. It seemed like every time I would speed up, he'd slow down, and I'd get a bit closer. Then, I would slow and he'd pull away again. Part of me knew I wasn't going to catch him, but a big part of me wouldn't give up. I never did catch him, but I never gave up either. By the time I reached the fourth and final river crossing I was pretty worked. My only goal was to stay upright, and I practically tiptoed across. Wet only from the knees down, I emerged on the other side and "sprinted" across the field to the finish.

I finished fourth with a time of 40:58. Ron cross the line in 40:03, and TLG finsihed in 40:26. So, they had certainly pulled away, but I had given it a shot. I finally took a risk, and I had a good result.

(You'll note the odd placings in the results, but it's based on the closest time contest. So, although I had the fourth fastest time, I was eighth based on the time guess, which is actually pretty good considering I'd never run the race before. The guy who won was only .1 seconds off! Rainman?)

At the finish, I watched a number of folks finish and waited for Four. Then, I watch more people finish. And, then more. Then after I'd been done for nearly 30 minutes, Four appeared sprinting across the field. Well, he's not dead, and he's not injured. What the heck happened? Remember that wrong turn I almost took. Well, Four took it, and he took a couple other people with him. He and his crew wound there way through the trail system and eventually popped out shortly before the final stream crossing. Needless to say, this made his first lap a bit short, but rather than drop, he went out and ran a second lap...correctly this time. Now, here's the best part: the four other runners that took this wrong turn, each called it a day after they completed their second lap—a total of about 4.5 miles. Not Four. He went out and ran a third lap because he wanted to run the full course. Seven miles of racing in total and all smiles at the finish. Now, that's a Trail Monster!

Post-race, we grabbed some of pasta feed and then headed to Moat to share nachos (with brisket!), beers and stories. My co-worker and overall women's winner, Susan, joined us a the bar. Great day on the trails. I'll definitely be back to this one.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Training Week 4/18 - 4/24

No long (for me) run this week, but ended up with one of my biggest weeks of the year. How did that happen? Well, follow along on a magical journey...

Onto the numbers...

4/18, Sunday: 7.5 total. Save Our Swinging Bridge 5k.

4/19, Monday: 5 - 43:16, Homeplace Loop. Devised a new loop from home that includes the powerlines, and a new (to me) connector that touches the edge of two neighborhoods (one neighborhood is on Homeplace Road, hence the name), and returns back on the powerlines. I needed to add a bit in the Mt. Ararat trails, but it's always nice to find new trails.

4/20, Tuesday: 3 - 24:22, Suck Loop. Windy. Felt a little off.

4/21, Wednesday: 10.5 total. 9x Hill Repeats on Prospect & Oak w/ Nate & Kevin. I'd been searching for a hill to train on for Mt. Washington, and a portion of this hill, Prospect St., was actually part of the Swinging Bridge 5. The second part, Oak St., was much steeper and finished at a water tower. Nate and Kevin joined me for 6 of my repeats, and it was great to have company for this workout. Plus, Kevin knew of a trail down from the top that kept us off the road for most of the descent. We decided to add a small piece to each repeat after realizing they felt a bit short. (That could also be because we ran the first one WAY too fast.) Repeats ended up being .35 miles.
Here are the numbers: 2:07, 2:42, 2:46, 2:47, 2:52, 2:51, 2:58, 3:02, 2:53. I think that 2:50 is the right number for these repeats, and I'm definitely planning on doing this workout again. It was tough. The warm up and cool down were about 2 miles, since that's the distance from my house. (Uphill on the way home...ouch.)

4/22, Thursday: Off. Sore quads. Can't imagine why.

4/23, Friday: 5 - 40:30, Highland Green Loop. Nice but windy. Felt surprisingly good, especially my quads. That's a good sign.

4/24, Saturday: 5 - 41:52, Bike path with Sam in B.O.B. Planned to just run 3, but once Samantha fell asleep, I wanted her to stay that way. Felt good.

Miles: 36
Trail: 5
Road: 31

Lots of road miles this week, but I did run a road race and do hill repeats on the road. (I counted the entire hill workout as road even though a portion of the downs was on trail. In fact, most of my road runs include a little bit of trail.) Not a huge deal, though, because I felt pretty good all week. Good building week, and I'm really pleased with that hill workout. Granted, it was meant for Mt. Washington, but it's going to help me at Pineland as well.

Listening to the Pixies makes everything better. Seriously, listen to more Pixies.

Up next...Mud, Muck & Moose. Spoiler alert: There was very little of any of those.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Save Our Swinging Bridge 5k - Race Report

I kept it close to home this weekend, really close. The start line of the Save Our Swinging Bridge 5k is only 1.5 miles from my house, so I figured there was no reason to not give it a try.

I've never run a race from my house before. On the surface, you'd think it would make things extremely easy, but in reality, it was somewhat stressful. Normally, I just throw a whole mess of stuff into a giant bag, throw said bag into the car and go. With the giant bag, I'm guaranteed to have everything I need at the race. With the race starting only 1.5 miles from my house, there was no way I was going to drive to the race. So, I put a couple items in a small backpack and ran to the race as part of my warm up. But, before I could head out the door, I had about 2 hours of daddy duty. D was off kicking ass for 20 miles at Pineland, and her parents offered to babysit while I was racing. I'm not going to get into the gory details, but there was A LOT of screaming because she didn't want to nap, an english muffin that nearly burned the house down, and a burnt finger rescuing our home from the same english muffin. By the time my in-laws arrived, I had battled The Girl to a nap, but I was pretty frazzled. It was a huge relief to get out the door.

After a relaxing run down to the race registration, I grabbed my number and finally started thinking about racing. Of course, as I started thinking about racing, it seemed that every one I saw looked fast. Or at least faster than me anyway. I hate it when that happens. I did another mile or so to keep the blood flowing, a few strides and headed for the start line. It was a bit disappointing to see that only 43 people showed up to race. I knew it would be a small race, but I didn't expect it to be that small.

I took my place on the front row, said "Hello" to the official starter, my former college coach, and we were off. After 300 yards, I settled into a pace that was uncomfortably comfortable, and soon found myself in seventh place. Before I knew it, the top 4 were pretty far ahead and 5th place was pulling away. The guy in sixth was being dragged by his dog, which nearly took out the top two guys in the first 100 yards, but he dropped his phone, and that was the end of him. Yup, uncontrollable dog and a smashed

A word on the course: that sucker is hilly. In fact, the entire second mile is basically uphill. Granted, the third mile is mostly downhill, but the consensus from all the runners is that this is a tough course. Next time I run a 5k, it's going to be flat. I really want to find out how fast I can go right now. You know, without any actual speedwork.

I was sixth heading over the Swinging Bridge (you can't save it, unless you run over it), and I knew that the seventh place guy was right behind me. Up a small bump, around a nearly hairpin turn, down a touch and up a big hill. I ran this hill fairly hard, and that was the last of seventh place. I could see the guys up ahead, but I never really got any closer. No mile markers on the course, but I knew approximately where they were. I hit two miles and thought "OK, two miles time to assess and see how it all...wait a minute! I only have a mile left! Run, you idiot!" I guess I forgot it was only 5k. The end of the race closes with a steep downhill, and frankly, it hurt. Stupid roads. I crossed the line in 19:48, good enough for sixth overall and first in my age group.


My goals going into the race were to break 20:00 and win my age group. Looking at last year's results, I figured that was realistic. Mission accomplished. That being said, I'm not entirely happy. I wimped out at the beginning. I should have gone with the top guys, but right now, I just don't have the confidence to take a risk. I ran well, but I didn't run great. I might be fitter than I think. I just have to realize that. One thing's for sure: snowshoe racing has definitely gotten me comfortable redlining. I was going pretty hard after the two-mile point, and I was able to maintain it through the finish. Of course, it's not like I've been doing any 5k training, so all in all, it was a good day. I would definitely like to come back to this race next year. I know I'll be back to one part of the course, anyway, as I'm planning to use one of the hills as part of my hill workouts for Mt. Washington. Yup, the course was that hilly.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Training Week 4/11 - 4/17

Good solid week this week. Parts are feeling good, and I'm feeling even better mentally. Look out for a huge crash next week. Yup, always optimistic here at Snowman Says.

Onto the numbers...

4/11, Sunday: Salem State Wellness Fair 5k, plus an extra mile for 4 total. Today was one of the most fun days I've ever had running. First off, I was pacing my sister, hopefully, to a 5k PR, and my mom was running (with some walking) her first 5k ever! The plan was for me to run with Meg, and D would push Samantha in the B.O.B. with my mom. After I finished with Meg, I would backtrack on the course and finish with my mom. Meg and I started a little too far back in the pack and had to do a lot of weaving for the first half mile or so. We must have done pretty well, since we went through the mile in 7:45. Meg's new mile PR! She ran great the rest of the way working each hill and really pushing it. Her goal was to break 27:00, and we crossed the line in 26:28! I took about 2 seconds to congratulate Meg before heading off to meet my mom. I caught up to them with about 3/4 of a mile left to run in the course. My mom was in great spirits and moving well. We alternated running and walking with her. Meg decided to come out, too, so the five of us (including a sleeping Samantha) finished together. My mom was hoping to break an hour, and she ran 46:09! I'm really proud of both my sister and my mom, and I hope we all get to race together again soon. Personally, my calves and quads were a touch sore from THE RIVAH!!!, but otherwise, I felt great.

Samantha ready to race!

4/12, Monday: 5.25 - 47:05, Bike Path with D and Samantha in the B.O.B. I felt a bit sluggish today, but that could have been due to pushing the B.O.B. It was especially tough into the wind. I think I might have grumbled a bit.

4/13, Tuesday: 5.5 - 47:33, Twin Brook with the Trail Monsters. Thanks to babysitting help from the in-laws, I was able to make an extremely rare appearance at the TMR TNR. The running at Twin Brook is pretty sweet, and I felt really good the whole way around.

4/14, Wednesday: 5 - 41:36, Brunswick Town Commons, plus 5x strides. Nice day. Felt good. The strides count as speedwork in preparation for the Save Our Swinging Bridge 5k on Sunday.

4/15, Thursday: Off

4/16, Friday: 9 - 1:23:06, Cathance River trails. It was raining, windy and nasty, when I set out, but the sun came out during my run, and I ended up being a touch overdressed. I felt good the whole way, but my energy waned near the end due to hunger. I've been wanting to come up with a new longer loop in the Cathance River trails for a while now, and I think this one will fit the bill. Because I wanted to know the actual I distance of the route, I broke down and wore the Garmin. Here's the map:

4/17, Saturday: 3 - 26:20, Suck Loop. Snain. Yuk. Felt kinda meh.

Miles: 31.75
Trail: 19.5
Road: 12.25

The only lingering concern this week has been my left ankle. After turning it at THE RIVAH!!!, it's remained a bit sore. I turned again on both my runs on Tuesday and Thursday. The good news is that it didn't hurt any worse after these rolls, but it's probably slowed the healing. It's continued to feel better each day, so I'm not too worried.

Tune time!
I haven't been feeling overly retro-y this week, so let's go with something only quasi-retro..

Up next: race report from the Save Our Swinging Bridge 5k! 5k's are ridiculous.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Merrimack River Trail Race - Race Report

THE RIVAH!!! Wicked pissah, guy!!! Racing in Massachusetts is awesome. Need I say more? Of course, I do. (Quick note: I've been working on this race report all week, but it feels more like a year.)

I was pretty excited to finally get to race this race, since I was sidelined in 2008 with a calf strain and was forced to watch D run. We headed down to my parents' house on Friday night, only a half hour from the race, and they offered to watch the Little Lady, so D and I could both race. Of course, that doesn't mean we got a good night's sleep. Not being completely comfortable in different surroundings, the Little Lady thought waking up every two hours was a good idea, and as a result, we were not so frisky first thing in the morning. We did manage to make it to the race in time for me to do a very short warmup, which was more of a search for a place to pee, and in time for D to wait in the porta-potty line, twice.

A good crew of Trail Monsters were on hand for the festivities, including Ian, Jeff, Erik, Floyd and Four. I also bumped into Chris Dunn of acidotic RACING fame, who was also trying his hand at this race for the first time. The race director was barking out instructions and course details, including "If ya don't see any orange flags for a while, ya're bummin'!" Racing in Massachusetts is awesome. "Ready! Set! CAYUGA!" And, we were off. Sort of...

After about 10 yards, the course narrows immediately to singletrack. Let the logjam commence! In another 20 yards, the main trail bears right over a narrow footbridge, and most people lined up single file to cross it. Ian and I went straight through the mud puddle next to it, and passed at least 20 people. From racing here a couple times before, Ian reminded me, "You have to make your moves when you can on this course." And, that's exactly what I did in the next two main passing opportunities: under the highway and through the first field. I passed a number of people and finally settled into a comfortable pace.

Based on what I knew about this 10-mile out-and-back course, my plan was to run the first 3 miles relatively hard, since they're basically flat. Then, in the hilly four miles stay strong but not kill myself, since hills aren't my strong suit. In theory, this would set me up to hammer the final three. Looking at past results and guesstimating my fitness, I had set a goal of 1:17:30 for myself.

I passed the first mile in 6:18. HUH?!?! It appears that I need to work on my pacing early in races. So, that was a touch frisky, but I was in a good space at this point: out of the chaos and running smoothly. At about 1.5 miles, Chris passed me, and I had someone to focus on for a little while...about 5 steps, anyway, because he took off. I passed 3 miles in 20:48, feeling good and pleased with that time.

Then the hills started. I was expecting some long, sustained climbs, but they were just the opposite. The next two miles were a series of short, steep up and downs. Some VERY steep. I walked the steep ups sticking to the plan and tried to stay upright on the gnarly downs. I got off course for about 5 seconds at one point when I crossed one of the many muddy streams, but quickly righted myself. To my surprise, there was actually a fairly flat section after you left the powerlines but before the turnaround point. I was expecting more hills. Sweet. It was in this stretch that the leaders started coming back at me. Let's just say that they were going a bit faster than I was. For some reason, I thought it would be a good idea to count the runners as they went past. I reached about 20 and was feeling pretty good about myself. Then, about 20 guys came by at once, and I realized I was somewhere in the low 40's. Oh well. I hit the turnaround in 37:48, meaning that I'd run the first two hilly miles in an average of 8:30. I'll take that.

Since I'd now seen the entire course, I figured I had a good shot of hitting my goal. What I didn't factor into the equation was all the traffic. I now had to pass about 180 people. That's a lot of traffic. By the time I was approaching the powerlines, I'd passed about 90% of that traffic and was ready to start really focusing on racing. But, just before I reached the powerlines I rolled my left ankle pretty good. It was a high quality roll, and I was very tentative going back down the powerline hills and on every other hill for that matter. Lots of tiptoeing. I really lost my focus and just hoped to not roll it again. It took me a little while to trust it again. During this time, I let two guys whom I had been running with getaway. This was more mental than physical. I had an excuse to back off, and I took it. Lame.

I hit the 7 mile mark in 55:25, which is 17:37 for miles 6 & 7, an 8:47 average. Slower, but again, I think that it was more mental than physical. Knowing that the last 3 miles were flat, I was ready to roll. Unfortunately, I think this was the identical plan to everyone else in the race, since I only caught two people in the last three miles, and they both looked to be battling injuries. More importantly, no one caught me, and, in fact, I was basically alone. I only caught a few glimpses of the two guys in front of me, and I was too terrified to look back. I finished in 1:16:55 in 44th place. I knew was I going to hit my main goal, but I really wanted to get under 1:117. I managed 21:30 for the last 3 miles, which is OK (perhaps that 6:18 did come back to bite me), and 39:07 for the return trip, also OK. My per mile pace for the entire race was 7:42. For the six flat miles, I averaged 7:03. My average for the hills was 8:36. Hmmm...better than I would have thought.


Overall, I'm pretty happy with this race. I really like the course. It's hard, but fair. Most of all, it was fun. I think part of the reason for this is that I got a glimpse of the front of the race...something I don't generally get to see while racing. Plus, the race has a fun, low-key atmosphere, even though it's stacked. A few days later, I can still feel my ankle. I've rolled it on two subsequent runs, but it's no worse from either turn. It should heal up completely relatively soon.

Shout outs! Congrats to Kevin for taking the victory. (He's won this race twice, and I been there both times. Clearly, not a coincidence.) D had an awesome race rocking out a 5 minute PR from two years ago in her first post-baby race. As a team, Trail Monster Running finished third behind Central Mass Striders (someone test those guys!) and acidotic Racing (who probably cheated). Great races by Floyd, who clocked the 4th fastest 50+ time ever, and Jeff, who proves again that you can ski all winter and run fast in the spring. Ian ran well also while battling/coming back from an Achilles injury.

Photo Credits:
1 and 4: Krissy Kozlosky
2: Scott Mason
3: Steve Wolfe
5: Jim Johnson

Up next, this Trail Monster is hitting the road! I'll be at the biggest road race of Patriots' Day Weekend: the Save Our Swinging Bridge 5k on Sunday.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Training Week 4/4 - 4/10

On paper this looks a bit like a down week, and in some ways, it was. Last week was a big week, and I woke up on Sunday realizing that I'd contracted a cold from the Little Snot Bucket. Have I mentioned she's started day care?

Onto the numbers...

4/4, Sunday: 3 - 27:11, Highland Green Road with SamBOB. D was out on a long run, and I was on Daddy Duty. The Little Lady needed a nap and rather than battle with her trying to get her to nap in her crib, I chose to put her down for a nap in the stroller. Worked like a charm, and I got a nice easy run in. Warm out.

4/5, Monday: Off. Apparently, my nap strategy wasn't quite right, as the Little Lady decided to barely sleep on Sunday night. And, I was sick. No run.

4/6, Tuesday: 5 - 43:02, Brunswick Town Commons. Easy run on old stomping grounds. Felt surprisingly good and the cold was waning.

4/7, Wednesday: 5 - 38:25, Highland Green Loop. Plan was for a tempo run at around 7:30 per mile. I felt like crud, and it was pushing 80°. Throw in some mysterious back tightness...not good times.

4/8, Thursday: Off. Quasi-planned, since I still wasn't feeling 100%

4/9, Friday: 3 - 24:42, Suck Loop. Felt OK.

4/10, Saturday: 11 - Merrimack River Trail Race. Race report coming soon...

Miles: 27
Trail: 16
Road: 11


Link it...

Stay tuned for the exciting report from THE RIVAH!!!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Training Week 3/28 - 4/3

I finally psychologically put the snowshoes away for the season this week. My head knew that snowshoe season was over, but my heart was hoping for at least one more run. Tough to find snow when it's nearly 70° and it's April. In 2010, I ended up with 54.25 miles on snowshoes (add a few miles in 2009, too), which is less than I would have hoped, but definitely a good start. I don't think that snowshoeing will be my best discipline, but it will probably be my favorite.

Onto the numbers...

3/28, Sunday: 13.75 total, Run for the Border Half Marathon.

3/29, Monday: Off. Terrible weather and a long commute. Add the fact that I'm a sissy, and that equals 0.

3/30, Tuesday: 5 - 42:52, Highland Green Loop. Felt OK despite the rain, wind and general yuk.

3/31, Wednesday: 7.5 - 1:13:02, Random run including Mt. Ararat trails, Cathance River Trails and Highland Green Golf Course cart paths. After all the rain, this was a fun run. I couldn't bring myself to run on roads. I stayed mostly away from the trails right along the river, save one, the Rapids Trail. The amount of water in the river was impressive, and I hoped that the whole trail would be passable. It wasn't. One low section was completely flooded: 50 yards wide and only a few steps in I could see it was at least mid-calf deep. Since I was alone, I decided it was wisest to turn around rather than attempt a crossing. Felt OK on this run, but it was clear I was still feeling the effects from the half marathon.

4/1, Thursday: 3 - 24:42, Suck Loop. Beautiful day, but I felt crappy. No idea why.

4/2, Friday: Off. Decided another rest day wouldn't be such a bad idea.

4/3, Saturday: 13 - 1:57:31, Pineland Farms with TMR. Thanks to the in-laws I had the chance to meet up with the Trail Monsters as they watched the Little Lady while D headed to work. Foggy at the start, but it turned into a beautiful day. That could also describe my run. I felt really off and sluggish for the first five miles, but I felt terrific by the end. Also averaged just over 9:00 per mile for the loop, which is pretty solid for as good as I ended up feeling. Very good signs. Great run with the crew!

Miles: 42.25
Trail: 20.5
Road: 21.75

I hate it when the road exceeds the trail! That being said, big bounce back from last week...both physically and mentally. Somewhat ironic that my biggest week of the year is also the week that I decided to not run a marathon, but that's more based on where the days fell.


I realized that a number of you (maybe 2, which is at least two-thirds of my readership) view this via Facebook only. Unfortunately, Facebook doesn't embed videos when pulled from Blogger. And, since you don't want to miss out on the tunes, here's a link:

Looking ahead, up next is The Rivah, aka the Merrimack River 10 Mile Trail Race. I'm pretty psyched to try my hand at this race, since I was forced to spectate two years ago due to a calf injury. Looking at the past results and my present guess at my fitness, I have a goal time in mind...we'll see...