Two stones with one bird...
Onto the numbers...
10/17, Sunday: 4.25 - ~30:00, MDI Marathon Course. After cheering for Jamie at a couple locations along the course, D dropped me off at mile 22. She took off, so Samantha could get a nap, and I ran along the course. This strategy gave me the opportunity to squeeze an easy run in, cheer for random fast marathon types and wait for Jamie at mile 24.5, a.k.a the middle of the final big hill on the course. Yelled my brains out as he went by and trailed him to the finish. He rocked it and got his BQ!
10/18, Monday: 4.25 - 40:25, Acadia Carriage Roads, Witch Hole Pond Loop. D needed to get in a long run, and what better place than Acadia's carriage roads? We bundled Samantha up, and I pushed her in the B.O.B. for the beginning of D's run. Since I was pushing the stroller, we took it very easy. D went on her way, I drove Samantha around for a nap, then we met her at the end of the run. Off to Two Cats for second breakfast!
10/19, Tuesday: 9 - 1:20:33, Cathance River Trails. Perfect weather. Broad spectrum of leaves on the trees and on the trails. Autumn in Maine is unbeatable. Aside from getting pretty hungry by the end, this was an awesome run.
10/20, Wednesday: 5 - 45:28, Homeplace. My timing was bad again today, so I was pretty hungry by the end once again. Body felt fine, though.
10/21, Thursday: 6.25 - 58:49, Granite State Snowshoe Championships course at Great Glen Trails. The weather was pretty gruesome: low 40's, windy and misty. Plus, it was getting dark. I think my mood was directly affected by the weather as it really took me a while to get into a groove. However, by the time I reached the big climb on the Aqueduct Loop, I was feeling good. This trail just has some kind of good energy. I zipped down the long downhill and was even a bit speedy on the singletrack despite the darkness.
10/22, Friday - Off
10/23, Saturday: Wolfe's Neck Trek 5k
Last year, I ran this race about a month after Samantha was born with a "let's just see where I am" attitude. In many ways, my attitude was the same this year. Sort of. Last year, I was tentative. This year, I was confident. Well, as confident as you can be when you've done ZERO speed work and haven't done any "real" training since training for a 50k. So, yeah, why wouldn't I do well?
D had to work, so originally, Valerie was going to come to the race and watch Samantha while I ran. Unfortunately, Samantha woke up with the fountain of snot in full effect, so we didn't think it was a good idea to have her out in the cold. D offered to take her to work for the morning, which was awesome. Valerie came to the race anyway to cheer for me, which was also awesome. Well, I'd better be awesome, too. Pressure was on.
Looking around at the field, I saw two kids pull up in a car with a Bowdoin sticker, and they looked young and lean. Hated them immediately. I also spotted a guy I know who is from Gorham, NH, Curtis. He runs the series at Great Glen Trails, and I knew he was faster than me. I assumed there would also be a few other speedy folks. All that being said, I still felt confident. I took my spot on the line and took it out hard. Well, hard for me. One of the Bowdoin kids came right up next to me, and after 100 yards pulled ahead and away. That was really the last I'd see of him. Then at about 400 meters, Curtis came up alongside and moved on by. I shadowed him for a bit, but he was also soon gone. I kept waiting to hear more footsteps, but I never did. It was a time trial for the rest of the race.
The two-lap course is really fun, but it's also definitely longer than 5k. They shortened it a touch from last year, but it's at least 3.25, maybe longer. It's primarily gravel roads with a few sharp corners through a campground, plus one trail section that consists of some very steep, but very short, rooty hills and three wooden bridges. The trail section is probably 200 yards per lap, but it really slows things down. Oh, and it adds to the fun. No real hills to speak of, but with the wind on Saturday it felt like you were running uphill in a couple places, especially on the "main" road that makes up the end of the first lap and the finishing stretch. Chatting with a couple folks post-race, we all had the same thought: when the wind was in our face, we were running into it, but we were sheltered when it was at our backs. We should have lobbied to run it in the opposite direction.
I'd done a slightly longer warmup then I would usually do to ensure that everything was loose, and this was a good decision. Just about the time that Curtis went by me, I thought to myself, "I'm running as fast as I possibly can." It was apparent that my top speed is not actually speed at all. So, there I was alone and trying to run all out for another almost 3 miles. I would have liked a little company, but I got a look back at fourth place shortly into the second lap, and I saw a comfortable cushion. Although near the end of the race, I used that large cushion as motivation because getting run down would have been really pathetic.
So, I pushed it as hard as I could. My only strategy for the race was to never back off. With no speed work coming in, it was really a more a test of suffering. I held it together pretty well. My back cramped along with something in my right shoulder. Every time they twinged, I thought, "Dude, it's a 5k. It's almost over." I started feeling like that and thinking that about 5 minutes into the race.
Crossed the line in 20:53, which was a little slower than I had hoped for, but 1:56 faster than last year. I was third overall and first in my age group. Actually I was my age group.
(Awesome typo in my last name. I'm FATT!!!!)
7.5 total. 5k+: 20:53, third place overall. 2.75 warm up / 1.5 cool down.
Very solid, non-serious training week. Onward.