Monday, November 20, 2017

Frost on the Fairways 2.5 mile & Gannon Golf Course 18 Hole Par 70 5K

In the mood to give a “new to me” race a try, I went to Gannon Golf Course next to Lynn Woods for the 18 Hole Par 70 5K. The venue is a stone’s throw from me and I was curious about running through all 18 holes. 

Boston is just at the end of the fairway

Dave Dunham (CMS) and Shawn Conway (GLRR) were in the clubhouse after getting their numbers. We went out for a warm up on the course. We did not run the exact course but we got the picture. Hills are plenty. It was going to be fun – like the Mt. Hood Cross Country race in Melrose every December.

I changed into the racing gear. Joe Abilon came in from outside and gave news that due to frost on the course, the race would be delayed for at least an hour. Dave asked Shawn and I if we would care to race the 2.5 mile Lynn Woods Relay course instead of waiting around for the delay. I was warmed up and ready to rock and roll. Shawn did not hesitate. We got on the start line of the old relay course – start and finish at the gate – the course from about a decade ago. We headed off with the read set go, pressing our GPS watches for the self timing. I took the lead, taking us through the mile. It felt like a weekly summer Wednesday night Lynn Woods race. Dave and Shawn were right behind me through the goat path.

I was gassed a bit at the end of the path but looking forward to the downhill. Dave went by me as we headed down the hill. He looked really smooth. I had to press to keep with him. This was good, I was racing. I was in the moment because the stretch back to the pavement went by so fast. I was so focused on keeping with Dave for as long as possible. I thought I might have a chance to have a push toward the end. I did just that getting to the line .5 seconds ahead of Dave. Shawn rolled in right behind us. I leaned on my knees for a few seconds. The effort hurt but in a good way. Despite the win,  I finished 3rd in the age graded results. Dave gave Shawn and I ATR fleece blankets. Awesome!

Gannon Club House in the background. Taken a few minutes after our 3 man race.

We ran back up to the club house and ran over to Lynn Woods via the golf course for some more miles on the trails. On our return to the club house, I heard that 5K was going to start in 15 minutes. I decided to hang out and give it a run. I knew it was going to hurt but the plan was to ease into it because I had no choice. A guy jumped out into the lead and I had to let him go. Up and down the race went. Joe was in a golf cart as the lead vehicle for Rich Lally (leading). I picked up the pace a bit in the second mile and worked to reduce the lead I had given which looked like 20 seconds.

In my pursuit, Rich went off course – up and over a hill instead of following Joe who took a left at the marker and down the hill. I paused and looked at Joe who stopped and looked back at us. I yelled for Rich but he did not hear me. I took the left and ran after the golf cart. Rich popped out back onto the course 30 seconds later. I said “no problem, we are 1 and 2.” I kept the lead and opened up a touch in the last mile to average a hard 7:04 pace for the win. Rich finished 25 seconds behind me.

It was a fun and tough course. No 5K records will be set on this one. A nice breakfast buffet awaited the runners and volunteers inside. French toast, sausage, and bacon was my cool down after 12 miles some quicker than others. I had a time hanging out with Stephen Martin (race director of the Lazy Dog 3 mile every January) and Joe Abilon. Joe does a lot for the sport so it was nice to talk some history for a bit.

Frost on the fairways - Lynn Woods 2.5m
Lynn Woods, MA, November 18, 2017
Gannon race delayed so impromptu race on the CLASSIC Lynn Woods 2.5 mile course
Age Graded

Gannon Golf Course 18 Hole-Par 70 5K
Lynn-Gannon Golf Course, MA, November 18, 2017

                            18 Hole-Par 70 - 5K
           Lynn,MA  Gannon Golf Course November 18,2017 8:30 am
     Results by AB-MAC Finish Systems 781-593-6562
Place Name                No.  S Div Ag City       St Team         Time    Pace 
===== =================== ==== = === == ========== == ============ ======= =====
    1 JAMES PAWLICKI        90 M   1 43 LYNN       MA CENTRAL MASS 21:57  7:04
    2 RICH LALLY           106 M   1 34 LYNN       MA              22:22  7:12
    3 PATRICK FAY           29 M   1 58 WINCHESTER MA              26:14  8:27
    4 PAUL QUINN           142 M   2 58 LYNN       MA              26:38  8:35
    5 JAMES LAMOTHE         40 M   3 59 LYNN       MA              27:39  8:54

Gannon Club House

Golfers waiting

Views from the club

More views

Off the dining area



Post race

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

USATF New England Cross Country Championships

I got a chance to lace up for the USATF New England Cross Country Championships. The weather was about perfect for a cross country race – a cloudy mid 50’s, dry, and no wind to whine about. I got there early with Joe Shairs. Dave Dunham and Dan Verrington pulled up as I backed into the parking spot. We set up the CMS tent behind the starting. One by one, CMS runners arrived and huddled at the tent. It is nice to have a new club tent to promote the club and allow a centralized area for the team. Thanks to Kim Gordon and the board to make that happen.

I warmed up and got back to the tent about 20 minutes before the 10am start to prepare into my Adidas road flats (no waffle racers or spikes needed) and singlet. I got on the line with six other masters (age 40-49), seven seniors (50-59), and one 60+ runner.  There was no pressure but was a bit concerned how the legs would feel after some time off in September and no races since August.
A few minutes in, I got the taste of racing right back. 

Mile 1 went by in 5:51. I did not want to go out too fast and that was just about right. I slowed down but was passing a few people during mile two (6:13) which includes the up and over Bear Cage hill. Mile 3 was a trip through the Wilderness loop bringing me out to the 5K. Mile 3 was passed in 6:09 (5K around 19:19). I could make out two CMS singlets ahead:  Tim Van Orden and Martin Tighe. The chase was on. 

I gave Tivo some encouragement as I went by. He too was toughing out his first race in a while. Martin was hanging tough too when I snuck by just before 4 miles. In the last mile, I recognized Shawn Conway from GLRR. Good guy who puts the kudos out to the CMS dudes on Strava. I caught up while cresting Bear Cage Hill. We flew down the backside. He put a little gap on me in the roots in front of the team tents holding that second lead on me all the way to the finish line. I finished in 52nd place, right about in the middle of the race with 106 finishers. My time was 30:27 on the day. 2017Results.  I ran 29:07 last year.

Not only was it good to be racing, I had fun and walked away feeling that competitive juice. I ran a smart race and slowly passed some runners in the field throughout. No one passed me and beat me to the finish after 800m into the race. The masters and senior teams finished in 2nd place having a pretty good day among the teams. The open team was short for a scoring team. 

Martin and I at mile 4
Photo by Rodney Hemingway

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

No so Around Cape Ann 25K

With a plan to run the Bay State Marathon, I wanted to put the legs into a steady state of uncomfortable miles. The ACA25K, Around Cape Ann 25K, road race sounded like a good idea. The course rolls around the perimeter of Cape Ann via Gloucester and Rockport. There are some hills but the scenery usually takes that concern away until the later stages of the course where there is no shade.

The weather was outstanding, a comfortable 60’s and sunny. I was with Nick Taormina (CMS) and Kieran Condon (SRR) after a minute into the race – a good spot I figured and only six runners ahead of us. Kieran dropped us after 5K to reel in those ahead.

After we passed 5 miles in 31:20, Nick asked me how I was doing? I had just felt a twinge and dull ache behind my left knee about 10 seconds earlier. I backed off the pace. A mile later, a sharp stabbing pain attacked the troubled area and ended my effort right there. I could not put any pressure on the leg. I pulled off to the left shoulder on the road and had a seat in a hurry. Matt Curran stopped by on his bike to check on me but not much could be done. I told him I would flag down a ride one way or the other. I hobbled over to the other side of the street and had a seat on a rock.

About 25 runners went by when Nick’s sister, Katie Misuraca stopped by and offered a ride. We continued to drive along the race and cheer the race on. Kieran moved up a spot and Nick was right on top of catching a Colgate runner near Good Harbor Beach. They looked exhausted. Katie got us back to the finish line about 20 minutes ahead of the race so I changed into some warm clothes where I found Krissy confused. I hobbled over to the finish and waited for the runners to come in. Nick finished in 6th place with a 6:35 pace. Kieran took the top 40+ spot, 4th overall with a 6:16 pace.

Below were my splits.

Mile 1    6:10
Mile 2    6:08
Mile 3    6:11
Mile 4    6:14
Mile 5    6:24
Mile 6    7:07
0.3          7:29

Over the course of the next few days, I got an MRI. Initial diagnosis was a lateral tear of the meniscus. The official word was a minor tear of the medial meniscus (inside toward the back of the knee). It is odd because the pain I feel/felt is on the lateral side.

“Abnormal high signal from the posterior horn medial meniscus with increased signal extending to the lateral aspect of its superior articular surface consistent with a tear.”

The good news is surgery is not needed and it was suggested to give it a few weeks. I spent a day on crutches. Each day the knee is getting better. I went out for a bike ride six days later. I am still walking gingerly and I will feel some pain if I twist or land on the knee wrong while walking. I am not going to rush it but have a feeling I will be back on the road by the end of the month and full contact football by end of October. 

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Lynn Woods Relay

Last night was the Lynn Woods Relay. Four people make up a team and each run 2.5 miles. I put the word out to the team, CMS, to see who was interested. I got interest to fill a masters and senior team. Chris Smith, who has been racing at Lynn Woods all summer, was nice enough to put down his SRR singlet and chip in for the CMS Senior team. Meanwhile, Nick Taormina saved the masters team as we were short one person and he stepped up late last week. 

Patrick Rich led off the masters team with the lead leg running 14:34. I had the second leg and took off up the hill. I was breathing pretty hard at the top of the hill so I knew the effort was good. I went through the mile in 6:01. I caught and passed the co-ed team. Shortly after that, I caught another runner going down to the turnaround spot. The next runner ahead was the 1st place team, Erich O’Neil from Wicked. I was closing the gap but I could not catch him through the goat path and back down to the finish. I got within 6 seconds at the end (my split was 15:07) before passing off to Nick Taormina who ran 15:04. Nakri Dao kept the 2nd place position in the end by just 5 seconds with a 15:47. The 3rd place team (Filthy James had a 4th leg race a 14:11). Our masters team won the division with a combined time of 1:00:32.

The Central Mass Striders 50+ team of Dave Dunham, Chris Smith, Martin Tighe, and Paul Young broke the Lynn Woods Senior team record, won the division, and placed 5th overall. 

In summary, it was a fun evening for the teams. The low key atmosphere yet competitive enough on the trails make it fun for all, In addition, the team picked up half zip “The Woods” sweatshirts. This was the first time that I got a sweatshirt (1st place team award) and twenty years after picking up what might have been my first Lynn Woods open team trophy that I gave back to Bill Mullen recently so he could recycle for the future. The night was capped off with a Pizza party with Krissy and the Wicked Running Club at Polcari’s on Route 1.

CMS 40+ team: Nick Taormina, Nakri Dai, Jim Pawlicki, Patrick Rich

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Bobby Doyle Summer Classic 5 mile

Joe Shairs and I soaked to the bone after the race.
Photo by Nakri Dao
Joe Shairs, Nakri Dao and I headed down to Narragansett, RI for the Bobby Doyle Summer Classic 5 mile. It was the USATF 5 mile championship the last two years. It was not so for this year but all club representatives got invited down several months ago. The race has been really good to CMS based on our performances and Linda Hurteau is so nice to work with. I put it out there to CMS and got some interest to field a team.

The course was to change back to a former course and I must say I like it better. It offered a little more shade and fairly flat for the last couple of miles. I got out with a 5:37 mile out to the ocean. I hung out with WTAC’s Jeff Walker as we seemed matched well for the pacing. We have been battling at a few trail races this summer. Mile 2 had some climb to it and I recall a 5:59 split. Three miles brought me a 6:14 and I was dragging from there on. I lost Jeff and he rolled away into mile 4 battling Kayla O'Neil from the BAA.

I faded where I should have been cranking back down into the 5:50’s but  I was all done battling. I got to the finish line in 30:08. I managed 6th in the 40-49 age group and 5th CMS master runner. The team ran really well with Josh Perks, Robert Jackman, Joe Shairs, David Principe, and Kevin Gorman scoring the open team all within 20 seconds (28:40 to 29:00)! The Open and Masters teams took first place. Nakri ran a PR too. It was quick and fun road trip on another humid day in RI. Here are the results. Quick 5 mile period! I can't wait to see Scott Mason's photos of the race. 

Monday, July 31, 2017

Fred Warren 5.5 mile road race

Krissy and I headed out to Holden and the home of Stephen Laska who was hosting a post-race BBQ. He lives .3 miles away from the Fred Warren road race which is listed as 5.5 miles. 54 years have gone by with the race on the calendar. I have seen it on the Central Mass Striders list of races for years as they host, run, and time it. Both Stephen Laska and Kim Gordon have done a solid job on the social media to promote the race. When I asked Krissy if she would consider the race, given that it is on a Sunday evening, she was game.

We parked at Stephen’s house and walked down to the race. CMS just started to set up the registration tent. I helped (or got in the way) Jorge Landeo set up the club banner on the tent. The race is an ol’ fashion throwback to offer a scant $15 for a challenging course, a t-shirt, official results (still waiting for them to be posted), et cetera. I did not do any research on the course and profile so I got filled in from the CMS locals. In short, hills, plenty of them, period. Enough said. Maybe 75 runners lined up for the 6:30 start.

I went out hard, taking the race out with a generous downhill, in 5:41. No other takers so it was me chasing the patient police car up and down the rolling hills. The foot steps behind me went silent before mile 2. There was a volunteer at each mile marker, calling out the time. There was also a volunteer at each of the (maybe five turns overall on the course). It would be hard to get lost. Mile two slowed down to a 6:09 because of, some hills. 

The rolling hills and evening shade reminded me of the roads in Hamilton and Wenham (Weiner Run) out of Asbury Grove and through Bradley Palmer. Mile 3 rolled off the road and onto a paved trail leading past the Holden Reservoir. As I exited the path, a sharp right hand turn and hill slapped me in the chops. I was warned about this hill so I joked with the volunteer if this is where I start cursing?  

I crawled up the hill and through mile four with a, might as well retire, 6:39 split. The reward was a view of Wachusett Mountain at 4.5 miles. I did not expect that so it was nice. 

After the sight-seeing finished, it was time to roll down the hill. I did so in 5:31. The problem though was two shadows gaining on me. I was not in the mood to mix it up and kick to the line. I was a hurtin’ puppy and the two Wachusett Regional kiddos took no mercy, passing me before the last right hand turn as the course leveled out for a fast finish. I threw in a surge to pull even with them and make it a race. One of them broke down but the other (Isaac) was up for the battle to the line. I showed my cards and put them on the table. I had a losing hand and threw in. 

The Wachusett lads crossed the line holding hands. Four seconds later, I crossed the line for 3rd. Hey, 1st master right? It was all good. I congratulated the kids. Isaac turned out to be Tom Steele’s son. Tom and I warmed up before the race and I talked him into racing for CMS earlier this year. We went off for a cool down and he got me up to speed on his son’s talents – a 10:02 2 miler this past winter for Wachusett Regional. Good stuff. Let’s hope we see these lads in CMS uniforms in the future!

After the cooldown, I found Krissy who ran awesome, nearly breaking 10 minute pace over the hills. We spent the next few hours at the post race party BBQ at Stephen’s house. I caught up with come CMS folks while having plenty to eat and drink before the long ride home. I am glad I went and hope to take on the race again. Oh, and for the record, the GPS measured out 5.28 miles.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Jim Kane Sugar Bowl 5K

I headed over to the Jim Kane Sugar Bowl 5K (30th Anniversary for the L Street hosted race) which is 10 minutes away from the office. I signed up earlier in the morning after confirming that my legs were up for it. The runner’s expo beside Carson Beach was active with vendors. I caught up with Michael McGrane and Bob Fitzgerald in the BAA tent (I did not get kicked out for wearing New Balance sneakers) after grabbing my bib number and shirt. I ran the course as a warm up – an easy, flat, out and back along William J. Day Blvd. I got back to the car and changed into my Asics flats and singlet – representing Poland for the night.

The first mile went well sneaking just under 5:30 for the mile. Just after the turn-around, Allison McCabe from GBTC went by me. I was slowing down and knew it heading into mile 2. I had no energy for even one surge in the last mile. No fight. Sorry. I was just trying to get to the finish line without getting run down by anyone. I got to the line 6 seconds behind Allison (first female) with a time of 17:52 and in 14th place, 2nd 40-49 (Matt Herman ran 17:40). I hung by the finish, drinking two bottles of water. I waited for Mike Paulin and Suzanne Chavez and we did a short cooldown. Full Results