Monday, July 29, 2019

Touring Nahant

I got on the fat bike yesterday morning for the first form of activity (beside walking) since meniscus surgery on July 2. I took the opportunity to take a ride from the house through the side streets of Lynn out to the beaches of Nahant (smallest municipality by population in Essex County). Despite having such a nice town three miles away, there is no public parking to speak of which makes this scenic town, surrounded by water so inviting to tour via bicycle. I visited several roads and trails that I have otherwise been running past for years. I got a chance to see additional WWII bunkers in the landscape buried around Lodge Park (East Point Loop Station). All in all, awesome ride for which with plenty of stops for photos, spent over 3 hours on the bike tour.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Boston Scientific Marlborough 5K

It was back to back company races for me with the Boston Scientific Marlborough campus putting on a 5K for the 3rd year in a row to raise funds for the American Hearth Walk. This race was my 4th 5K in a row since getting back to the races. My goal was to be competitive in the 40+ age group (top master ran 19:10 last year). The winning time was 18:10.

Not having run this 5K before, I researched the prior year results, course map, and elevation. The first two miles are fast with elevation drop. The last mile plus is all about getting back up to the campus from the bike trail. 

I did not know anyone at the starting line other than my team of seven from Quincy. I settled into 6th place about 200M after the race got started. Mile one was sure to be quick with the gradual downhill to the Assabet River Bike Trail. My mile one split was 5:45. I tired a bit in the second mile with a 6:15 (30 seconds slower) letting who would be the top master runner get away from me. The last mile was all about climbing with tired legs. I was gassed, only finding energy to keep runners off my heels heading into the finish. My 3rd mile was just over 7:00! Ouch. I finished 13 seconds behind the top master runner. I placed 6th place overall and a time of 19:34. My Quincy team placed first overall with a 2nd, 6th, and 8th place overall finish (top 3 score). Following the race, we were greeted with a BBQ and Ice Cream which hit the spot.


Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Boston Scientific 3 mile - Quincy

I signed Krissy and I up for my companies 3 mile race in Quincy. I am the technical race director and helped the committee with the event the last two years. The Boston Scientific Family Summer Funfest is open to employees and family.  We were expecting over 140 to attend the event which had a little bit of everything for everyone. The race was just an additional attraction. We had 30 runners sign up for the 3 mile and 20 kids for the ¼ mile sprint on the picturesque Boston Scientific campus on the edge of the Neponset River. We had awesome weather, mid 60’s and sun when we arrived at 8:30. Krissy and I helped mark off the 1 mile loop (the race is 3 loops) with spray chalk arrows on the pavement and cones set up in strategic areas.

I grabbed the microphone for the loud speaker at 10:15, made some announcements while Krissy helped out with registration. We got the kids sprint off at 10:40 (10 minutes late) but it was a blast to call it and watch it at the same time. I put the microphone down, threw a singlet on, and made my way down to the starting line for the 3 mile race at 10:55 (10 minutes late). New England Timing got us off and on our way. I jumped up front with Yerry Garita and Ethan White. Yerry won this race last year in 20:42. The one mile loop would be done three times. Each loop contains about 1/3 of a mile of trail and gravel. The loose gravel got harder and harder to run on as the laps went by.

On the mic
Photo by John Picard

The three of us stayed together for the first two laps with co-workers cheering us on. We passed the mile in 6:18 and mile two in 6:33. Our pack broke up a bit in the last half mile with Ethan taking command into the trail. He was pushing the pace pretty good. It would be difficult to pass anyone on the trail along the Neponset River but it could be done with some authority. I had nothing left at the end of the trail and Ethan took a one second lead and stretched it out on the final 150m on the pavement to the finish line. I ran 19:09 (6:15/mile) to his 19:04 (6:17/mile). Yerry was right behind me in 19:39 (6:27/mile).

Ethan taking the win with me in tow
Photo by John Picard
I went back upstairs to the patio and MC’d the rest of the race and event getting folks fired up for the Dunk Tank, kids ready for the Silly Willy magic show. Pizza and an Ice Cream Truck showed up at 11:45. I called out some raffle prize winners and the recapped the overall winners of the race. It was a good time and great to see many smiles on the faces.

                       Boston Scientific 3 Mile Run
Place       Name                    Sex Sex/Tot  Time  Pace    
===== ===== ======================= === ======== ===== =====
    1    30 Ethan White             M     1/16   19:04  6:15
    2    18 Jim Pawlicki            M     2/16   19:09  6:17
    3     1 Yerry Garita            M     3/16   19:39  6:27
    4     6 Paul Cardoos            M     4/16   20:55  6:52
    5     9 Ed Duggan               M     5/16   21:08  6:56

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Scamper for the Campers 5K

I ran this event in 2017 after seeing a race flyer at the Lynn Woods race. The same opportunity came about last Wednesday by means of seeing the flyer. I looked at the 2018 results. Brian Hamill won with a 20:17. We have raced and trained together over the years. I thought I might have a shot at a similar time this year and looked forward to the race after confirming that I could sign up at the race which takes all proceeds for Camp Fire.

I ran to Camp Fire for a 1 mile warm up only to find an empty parking lot. I was directed to Camp Lion which was less than a  mile away so I picked up the pace as I only had 20 minutes to get there, sign up, and get on the starting line. I got on the line with 8 minutes to spare and caught up with Stephen Martin, race director of the Lazy Dog Classy 3 mile, also in Lynn every January. 

Scamper for the Campers 5K start
Photo by Laurie Hamill
After quick instruction from the race director, Laurie Hamill, that the course was two of the exact same loop around Fay’s Estate, the race took off. The course was on the same roads as two years ago, just a new start and finish which did not require to run up Highland Ave at the end. 

I worked my way up to the leader, Dennis Donahue within 30 seconds. Brian joined as well. The three of us went around the first loop of 1.57 miles together, following the Lynn PD SUV. I took less initiation as we saw the mile go by in 6:18 which was quicker than I thought. I eased into the lead with the downhill to the Floating Bridge. The mile two split was 6:10 (did not see it) but now I was running scared as I committed. I got a little peace from the trailing foot steps of Brian and Dennis. I was working out the end of the race in my head. The peace did not last long as Dennis closed in with 400m to go. We had a little climb and I worked it with a steady cadence and opened the stride once it flattened out. Less than 200m left and the steps were right behind me, not knowing if it was Brian or Dennis. 

I got to the line for the win. I turned back and Dennis was only 5 seconds back. Brian came in right behind him 32 seconds later. My last mile was also a 6:10. I rounded up Brian, Dennis, Paul Hennessey, and Sal Genovese to run the upper Springs Pond trails only 50 yards away. It was once known for restoring health. We ran over to Peabody via Springs Pond Rd turning back before we reached Browns Pond. We had Beer, Soda, Water, and Pizza waiting. Krissy surprised me for a visit which was really nice. We had a few slices of Pizza and wrapped up a nice morning.

Scamper for the Camper 5K
Lynn,MA  June 2,2019 10:00 AM
Place Name                No.  S Ag City       St Time    Pace    
===== =================== ==== = == ========== == ======= =====
    1 JAMES PAWLICKI        77 M 44 Lynn       MA   19:35  6:19
    2 DENNIS DONAHUE       120 M 42 Lynn       MA   19:40  6:20
    3 BRIAN HAMILL         122 M 47 Charlestow MA   20:12  6:30
    4 ANNIE ROSE CARTER     65 F 38 Danvers    MA   21:21  6:53
    5 DAN CAHILL            73 M 40 Lynn       MA   22:38  7:17
2019 Scamper for the Campers 5K race results

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Westfield Fast 5K

I met Dennis Floyd in Lynnfield to hit the road for the Westfield Fast 5K, a point to point course with a little drop in the last mile after the initial first two flat miles. Prior results confirmed that it was a quick course, maybe as much as 30 seconds for the top guys. We left the North Shore around 9:35 and rolled onto the Westfield State University Campus around 11:45 for the 1pm start. We hit three tough stretches of traffic on the Mass Pike that slowed us down.

I bumped into Barbara McManus who was not going to use her bib number. The transfer process was quite the ordeal as the folks at registration had no process for it. I took charge and said I would handle the administrative leg work. After some running around I got it done. I wrote transfer to # 285, Barbara McManus, all over my race application. I was nice to see my name in the results hours later. One less thing to worry about after the race.

After warming up for less than a mile with Dennis, I put myself about 20 rows back. Gun went off and I got my legs moving up and out of the WSU South Parking lot driveway for the only uphill. I stayed to the far left on the main road which was a flat straight away past Stanley Park where I have run many cross country races with Salem State.

My first mile was around 6:34, the first time seeing a six something mile in almost two and a half months. The next mile was a few seconds slower, 6:38 but I was feeling all right. The last mile dropped down a bit in terms of elevation into down town and I tried to open up the stride a bit but was not too sure if I could. I ran 6:20 and pretty much kept that pace to the finish line with a 20:11.1 chip time or 20:20 clock time.

I converged with some teammates to see how they did. Everyone ran really fast. Plenty of smiles all around. CMS had 24 guys. The open team was 3rd, masters 1st, seniors 1st, and vets were 3rd. I ran back to the start line with some CMS teammates.

This was my first race in a while and was curious about how my knee and lungs were going to react to the race after a lay off and minimal training. I received MRI results on Friday, the day before race. The knee pain that I have been dealing with is the result of a torn meniscus. I will be looking to an arthroscopic procedure soon which sounds like I will be back to running after 5 to 6 weeks.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

New Bedford Half Marathon

I headed down to New Bedford for the New Bedford Half Marathon with Dennis Floyd, Nick Taormina, and Katie Misuraca. As we discussed expectations for the first Grand Prix Road Race of the year, I could not come to terms that I was banged up and should not get on the starting line. The medial side of my right knee has me heading to physical therapy soon. I had not run all week. I was bummed out. 

Still, I pinned the number on and jogged (my warmup) over to the starting line and hid behind 50 rows of runners waiting for the start. The plan was to feel out each mile as it went along. I could always turn back if the leg was going to be trouble in the opening miles or bail out a little later. I really never got into trouble but keeping 8:00 miles felt OK until the last 5K where I slowed to 8:15’s. The New Bedford wind was not there as in past years. Several CMS guys like Kevin Hankens, Arthur Besse, Bryan Trinque, Nick Taormina all ran PR’s.
Photo by Leslie Whiting Poitras

The official results are yet to come out but looks like as of now, I ran 1:46:28 (net time), 805th place. I ran a few miles with CMS runner Jay Morrissey in the closing miles which I felt good about as he ran a 3 minute PR. Below are the results from Nick, Katie, Dennis, and I. Nick shows up as Scott Leslie on iresultslive, but we transferred the number at registration so that should be fixed. Lastly, it looks like the CMS open team will get bumped to 5th, masters placed 1st, and seniors broke a tie to take 2nd. We will wait for the official results to get posted to coolrunning.

1765 Nick Taormina  46 37:30 1:20:00 6:07 1:20:08 CENTRAL MASS STRIDERS Gloucester MA
2042 Katie Misuraca 38  40:09 1:25:47 6:33 1:25:53 BAA Gloucester MA
1759 Dennis Floyd   42 M 40:48 1:27:57 6:43 1:28:05 CENTRAL MASS STRIDERS Georgetown MA
1760 James Pawlicki 44 M 49:28 1:46:28 8:08 1:46:51 CENTRAL MASS STRIDERS Lynn MA

Monday, March 11, 2019

Malden 5 mile

Krissy and I signed up the Malden 5 mile which also had a Half Marathon a few months ago. I was looking forward to a new event and new city to race in (I never raced in Malden). This race was a first time event and appeared to be organized by the folks who put on the Cambridge Half Marathon in the past. Krissy, Liz, Lisa, Maryann, and I grabbed our race numbers, jackets, and brunch the day before the race. Sunday rolled in fast along with the time change, ahead an hour. We got to the Stop and Shop parking lot in Malden just as the Half Marathon started at 7AM. We parked next to Dave Dunham. We had a front row seat to the race which was about a half mile into the 2.4 mile loop that would be toured multiple times for 13.1 miles. The 5 mile race would be just two loops, starting at 8:30.

We had VIP access to the bathrooms at Stop & Shop so that was useful before heading out on the course for a warmup with Dave while the half marathon was going on. I saw several Wicked, Notch, and SRR runners out there. Dave and I ran the 2.4 mile loop  and a little extra for 3 miles. Once last pit stop at Stop & Shop before getting to the cars to put on a dry shirt and get the race groove on.

Photo courtesy Malden Rotary Road Race
Dave and I headed over to the start line and got right up front like a pro. A classy guy in a C5K winter hat who may have been part of the Malden Rotary walked up to the front row of the race looked me in the eye, welcomed us for the first time race, and calmly said we are shooting right into the half marathon race so be careful. He said it in a way that showed appreciation for us and the event.  

Gun went off and we had a gradual decent into the 2.4 mile loop for a seamless start with a few turns putting us within the half marathoners who were 91 minutes into their race. I was on the back of the lead pack feeling amped up for the opening mile before falling back into my race pace. I figured I was in 10th place or so. I lost one spot within the first loop and one more about half way. I was not taking inventory of splits but felt that I was keeping a good cadence despite weaving around a few half marathoners along the way and being super cautious on the turns. It started to snow about 3 miles into our race. It was pretty funny. One more guy passed by with 1.5 miles to go. 

I caught the guy who passed me half way through the race with a bit more than a mile to go. I was ready for the battle. We went around a crowd on one of the last left turns. I took the inside and he took the outside. His gamble paid off as I got squeezed out by a few half marathoners to chicken step slush on the street corner. My legs we starting to tie up as I hustled into the finish. I was happy to break 30 minutes (29:52 gun time, 29:50 chip time). Looks like I was 14th overall and first master. I waited for Dave to come in just over 31 minutes (18th). We both beat our race goals.

Photo courtesy Malden Rotary Road Race
I grabbed a medal, water, and boogied back to the car as fast as I could walk. I bailed on the cool down with Dave to ice my knee which was feeling pretty shitty. I got in the car and started it to warm up and change into warm clothes. I hung out there until the girls came back and we were leaving as the race was breaking down the course under a light flurry.

Malden Half + 5 results

With Dave Dunham post race