Tuesday, July 10, 2018

John Carson 2 mile Chelmsford

Another round for the John Carson 2 mile road race on the 4th of July tradition. It was going to be a toasty race. I warmed up with Terry McNatt and Dave Dunham. Got the CMS singlet and flats on and did a another short warm up trying to stay in the shade. I got in the mix at the start. CMS had Chris Mahoney, Patrick Rich, Dave Dunham, and I all in the first two rows. Kids jump out and sprint the first 200m so I was careful not to have a collision when they slow down. I got out clean and settled in a few strides behind Dave. He put on a decent push at the 1/2 to the mile where I lost a stride or two reaching the mile in 5:35, off my goal of 5:28 and 10:59 expectation. I slowed a bit in the last mile and the last 400m was tough. I finished with a time of 11:20, 5:40 pace and placed 35th. I had fun I caught up with the guys after the race. I was focused on getting back to the car so I headed off for a cool down with Paulo Amaral who finished 8 seconds ahead of me and with Dave. My dad walked the course so after he saw me at the finish, he planned on walking back to the start line. Patrick Rich broke 10 minutes with a 9:59, Chris ran 10:35, and Dave ran 11:01.

Finish at the John Carson 2 mile
photo credit to Granite State Race Services

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

July races

I have only had 12 races (fun run 5K's do not count) six plus months into the year. Looking ahead for July, it looks like I will do five but really on the fence about 1500m on the outdoor track.

2 mile road race in Chelmsford on the 4th
10 mile trail race in RI (NE Championship)
1500m track race at New England Championships
Fred Warren 5.5 mile road race  in Holden
Yankee Homecoming 10 mile road race in Newburyport

Photo above from my last visit, 2014, to the Homecoming in Newburyport. This is a nice 10 mile road race. Expect traffic and a hot night on a Tuesday evening.

Friday, June 22, 2018

CMS Members Only 5K event

I got to the VFW Hall in Boylston after a 100 minute drive from Quincy. Had some time to lend a hand and set up table cloths and center pieces. I warmed up for 2 miles with Phil Savoy Jr and Barbara McManus. I added another mile and tied my shoes tighter a few minutes before the 6:30 start. I found a tick crawling on each sneaker. Yikes! I got them a few minutes earlier when I jogged a few steps on a trail. Race started and I was prepared for six minute miles.

Bryan Trinque trailed me until the mile, 5:47. He took the lead and never looked back. My 2nd mile was 6:08 but rebounded with a 5:55 last mile. Bryan took the win with a time around 18:02. I rolled in for 2nd around 18:42 which was a good year.

After a 2 mile cool down with Bryan, we stopped and chatted with Dan Vassallo who arrived. Poor guy had a nasty commute too. We went in the hall and had a catered dinner on the club. We voted for the next CMS board and I signed Krissy and I up for the Fred Warren 5.5 mile for two Lincoln's.

The highlight of the night was to walk up with Barbara to allow her to announce that Dan was being awarded a lifetime CMS membership and a gift to get him to his trials qualifier. This club rocks. What a great gesture by the board. Dan came up and got the award. I asked him to read the quote that he provided a week before he finished 10th at the Boston Marathon. It was along the lines of taking out a few scalps with bad weather. He sure did.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Ribfest 5 mile

Lined up for the start line, about 8 rows back for the Ribfest 5 mile road race, another New England Championship event on Fathers Day in Merrimack, NH. My goal was to run sub 6:00 miles. First mile was exactly that and 2nd mile just under. All was good and had Dave Dunham rolling along. The 3rd mile, only one with shade, had the pace slow to 6:08 and I knew it. Dave motored onward. The course climbs very subtly up after 5K and I was just wiped out. 

Within mile 1 with Chris Smith in the white hat and Dave Dunham next to Heather Mahoney
Photo by Kim Gordon
I ran by Krissy as she was still heading out. Mile 3 to 4 gave me a 6:31 mile and I was not surprised. I knew it was poor. With the downhill finish, I managed to get back on track and salvage some pride with a 6:03 mile for the last one. Coach, Joe OLeary was the beacon but stayed 10 seconds ahead of me at the finish line. 118th place, 23rd in the 40-49 age group, 30:42.7 chip time.

118  James Pawlicki   43  Central Mass Striders   18:45.3 (5K split) 30:47 (gun)  30:42.7 (chip)

I regrouped with the CMS guys, hearing how races developed. The open team finished 3rd overall, masters and seniors took team wins. I grabbed my bag, found my dad and watched Krissy finish before taking off for a car show in Brookline, MA..

Monday, May 28, 2018

Wachusett Mountain Road Race

Race number uno for the All Terrain Runner series which I plan on for the year. Most we're on my calendar anyways. Warm day, got into the 80's later, but not has humid as last Sunday. Sun was filtered through milky clouds. It helped. I kept the New Balance Vazzee trainers on for the race, a few extra oz does not matter in the up and down effort. Tied them tight for the downhill, last 3 miles of this 10K.

I did not go out aggressive. I was rather passive in the first 1.25 miles. Upon entry into the Wachusett property, I got to work. I appreciated the approach because I was able to feel decent and make up ground by passing one runner at a time rather than sucking wind and feeling burnt out early. So many CMS guys were ahead for beacons, made it fun for what is a race hosted by the Central Mass Striders. 22:38 at the top, about a minute slower than last year, good for 16th for the King of the Mountain. Some runners opted out there, some continued on the way down. I was going all the way.

I rounded the tower caught my wind and headed down the mountain. In the process of reeling in teammates Steve Brightman (he PRd in a marathon just last week!) and Erik Vandendries, a cyclist going up yelled my name. I recognized that voice as Bryan Doldt. I have not seen him since my days with Greater Boston. We became friends while competing in college, he, representing Bridgewater State and the Bears, while I, a Viking with Salem State. He turned around on the bike, flew past me and stopped to give a high five and some words of encouragement. Made my day to see him. Miss his upbeat energy. I fed off it. Good vibes.

I got within 20 or so seconds within Dan Princic on the way down to the finish. Could not close anymore. Held on for 8th overall, time of 41:42, similar to last year, 2nd master. Not too bad. Fist bump for the dudes finishing or who finished. Could not muster a cool down, quads we're arguing when I broke into a jog 15 minutes after finishing. For real. Rested up and drank a ton of fluids. Zombied out at the awards catching up with teammates, buying and making sure older Wachusett sweatshirts got into the hands of the guys on the team. As coach Derderian says, marketing is good.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Trav's Trail Run

I was looking forward to the 3 mile trail run in MaudslayState Park in Newburyport. The weather was sunny and humid, a departure from the cool weather the day before. It was nice to see Nate Jenkins at the race hanging out as he recovers from hip surgery. Stay positive my friend! I went off on a nice warm up on the course with Dave and Greg giving us a chance to catch up on trailing, racing, and life.

The race went out fast, the benefit of an immediate downhill. It thins out after a half mile as the rolling hills and shade embark on the runners. Chris Kealy, now 50 years young, wheeled by me ¾ of a mile in and Dave Dunham went by after the mile. I felt flat and proceeded on autopilot mode. I had Connor Welch in sight on the last hill but I was hurting just as bad as him. My time was 18:18, 12th place. I was 11th last year with a time of 17:28. CMS teammate Greg Putnam took the last envelope, placing 3rd in 16:26. My goal was to finish within a minute of him.

Dave finished 14 seconds behind Chris Kealy in the battle of the Seniors (17:38 to 17:52). I had a refreshing slow cool down with Chris who was educating me on his Flag Day race coming up in June and some coaching that he has been doing. The awards got delayed so they decided to have the raffle first. Krissy score some New Balance socks right off the bat. I managed to score a New Balance backpack, courtesy of an age group placing.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Merrimack River Trail Andover

[Cha-cha-cha-changes] The Merrimack River Trail Run course changed a bit this year. There included changes at 3.8 miles where the course approached the power lines with a longer but less steep incline. The course would continue with a horseshoe loop along a new trail and slowly migrate over to the edge of the river. Then the course would head back to the power line. The course would get back to the oncoming race around 5.7 miles. I liked the changes which pretty much retained the same distance as before (9.4 to 9.6 via GPS).

I got right on the start line, getting the pre-race “rules of the rivah” from race director Steve Peterson, long time CMS card carrying member since his days at UMass Lowell (home of the Chiefs back then). After the “ready, start, cayugah” I bolted out into the mud 25 ft onto the single track course. I settled in behind Patrick Rich in the field about a half mile away. I was comfortable with the pace. Colin Carroll passed me before we reached 2 miles.  I would keep that place for miles with Mike Luebeck from GLRR right on my heels through the powerlines and through the new trail loop.

Half mile in behind Patrick Rich and next to Dave Dunham
Photo by Rose Dunham Washak

I closed the gap that Colin had on me while I was now heading along the river and to and through the powerlines. I got on his heels for the closing miles only for him to open up a 17 second gap on me over the last mile or so. I caught up to and passed Michael Payson with a little more than a mile to go. Bob Jackman came into view but couldn’t find any energy to close the gap at the end. He finished 13 seconds ahead of me. CMS won with the top five runners (Patrick Rich 3rd, Tim Van Orden 4th, Colin Carroll 5th, Robert Jackman 6th, and I in 7th) combining with 5:21:52 over Team Gloucester with 6:22:23 for their top 5 runners.

You will note that I and 3 out of 10 runners (Colin and Mike for example) that I see on the Strava Flyby missed a turn with a few miles to go. We got back on the course shortly after the turn (we were actually on the old course) but we all covered the same distance but a few feet less of elevation? At any rate, I was pretty happy with the effort, decent finishing place of 7th overall, 5th master, and I broke 65 minutes (1:04:57) which seems decent within my history on the course. The race was rare for me to be chasing someone down and having company in the 2nd half of the race. 

7th place at the end
Photo by Rose Dunham Washak

Looking back, the course was pretty dry with the exception of a few hops over drainage basins.
Brett and I hung out after the race for the famous raffle prizes picked out of a hat and a call for the name if present. I did not score anything but enjoyed the laughs had by all as “Petey” gave out funny prizes bought at Market Basket that related to the letter of the Alphabet.