Thursday, January 29, 2009

Next up....Great Stew Chase 15K

With anticipation of racing the DH Jones 10 miler in Amherst, MA next month and the New Bedford Half Marathon in March, I signed up for the 35th Annual Great Stew Chase 15K in Lynn, MA on Sunday. It is also Super Bowl Sunday. I have to go back and see what I have run at the Stew Chase in the past. The current course is not all that old, maybe in existence since 2002? The old course was more scenic as it ventured into Swampscott and maybe as far as Marblehead. Rumor had it that those towns had enough of road races, traffic control, and mile markers spray painted on the side of the street.
Above is a picture from a decade ago. The ageless John Barbour battling it out with a recent MIT grad and GBTC teamate, Jesse Darley. They tied that day with a 5:25 per mile clip. You don't see ties too often. I was way back, likely enjoying the scenery of the Swampscott harbour on the no doubt, cold February day. Another teammate of mine, Jim Reardon was right behind me. I recall that Jim PR'd in some indoor meets that winter. Jim and Jesse left New England for Wisconsin within a few years for career opportunities. I would be remiss to not mention current CMS teammate, Joe Shairs was third that day. He won this race in 2005, maybe his first race in a CMS uniform.

So if your looking for an honest 15K, good competition, beef or vegetarian stew, roll, and a chocolate chip cookie, do it.

Here is a run down of my history from what I could find on

1996 - Pawlicki, James 55:33 15th
1999 - 5th JAMES PAWLICKI 5:40 52:43
2001 - 8th JAMES PAWLICKI 52:08 5:36 (Personal Record and one second in front of t'mate Ben Nephew)
2003 (new and current course) - 20th JIM PAWLICKI 57:49 6:13
2007 - 10th JAMES PAWLICKI 54:59 5:54
2008 - 11th James Pawlicki 54:33 5:52

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Profit centering at a local track meet

I headed down to Harvard University in Cambridge today as my former running club, Greater Boston Track Club was hosting their annual GBTC Relays indoor track meet. It is a decent mix of open and collegiate competition. I ran 9:22 in the 3K last year. Kristen came with me today which was nice as she has not accompanied me to any races lately as the car is usually full with other CMS dudes from the North Shore. Ben Strain was signed up but bailed for a last minute appointment. After getting raped for $10 to park behind the track and another $5 for Kristen to gain spectator entry I soon found myself warming up outside in the falling snow around the campus. There was no charge to run around the campus.

My training this winter is different in that I am not busting my ass in intervals every Wednesday at the Reggie Lewis Track. As a result, I did not look to consume myself with an indoor track season and I am coming off an Achilles issue where I took almost six weeks off in the fall. However, I have been pretty healthy, love to compete, and there are few indoor track opportunities for the rest of the season for me. Thus, I signed up earlier this week with a 9:24 seed time of which I have not run this season but was my goal for this race after securing a 9:39 and 9:30 at two BU development meets. My other goal for the 3K today was to hustle (for me anyway) out under a 5:00 mile.

I settled in 2nd to last after one full lap. I noticed that I felt pretty good during some laps and strides on the track about 10 minutes before my race. This caught me off guard and wondered if this would parlay into the race. The seed times in my heat were around 9:00 down to me around 9:24 so I knew my role.

Joe Fischetti, CSU and Coast Guard reservist, came up big from the sidelines with verbal support while I ran by each lap. I met Joe back in 2000 when I worked in Lexington. He worked down the road with Jim Garcia at the MIT Lincoln Laboratory. I got in many a lunch run over an eight month contract. Joe is still racing but is investing ample time coaching younger runners in a club setting. He fired me up every time I went by Joe staying cognisant about my position and who was around me (front and back). I went through the 1K at 3:10, through the mile at about 5:00 (Joe had me at 5:01), and through the 2K at 6:16. I had some back and forth with a guy from Northeastern over the next few laps to keep me honest. Plus, Joe would remind me to "GET AROUND THAT GUY." It was awesome. I sprinted in and saw the clock was just ticking to 9:20 as I was a few feet from the line. My watch had a 9:24 but the official results had me at 9:20.74. I will take it and it felt like a 9:20 effort.

I hung out for a few more hours around the track after getting in a slow four miles in the falling snow again outside. I caught up with friends, Kit Wells and John Blouin who is planning his annual Mt. Washington hike in a few weeks. I also got a chance to catch up with teamate and team manager, Al Bernier who was going to rip it up in the mile. Meanwhile, I ran into Doug Chick who ran with my Alma Mater, Salem State College. His uncle and I watched him run a beautiful 2:03 800m race. Doug went from last place at the gun lap and took the lead about 10 yards from the finish line for the win. It was awesome. Meanwhile, I got an invite to meet up with the Wicked Running Club who are working out at Reggie Lewis on Tuesdays with Jen and Mike Toomey.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

GBTC Relays coming up

I registered for the 3K at the GBTC Relays at Harvard on Sunday (1/18/09). I am looking to run a few ticks better or sub 9:30. The goal is to run a 5:00 mile and see what is left. The deadline to register is tonight.

Monday, January 5, 2009

BU Development Meet #3

I picked up Ben Strain in Beverly at 8:20am and headed into Boston for the last of three BU development meets. We were both running the 3K but were certainly going to wind up in different heats as he was looking to get under 9:15 and I was looking for a 9:30. Ben ended running 9:14.71 in heat two. I got into the 3rd heat with a mild seed time of 9:38 based off what I almost ran two weeks ago (9:39). I got into "no mans" land after 800m and just focused on getting through the mile as close to 5:00. I went through around 5:04 and looked toward reeling in a few guys in front of me with about five laps to go. I focused on keeping my shoulders square and not to fall into a long distance shuffle. CSU and longtime running buddy Joe Fischetti was losing it everytime I ran by him on the infield. He was a big help. I closed in and passed three runners over the last 600m and had a strong finish. I did not get any particular splits other than the mile nor did I even hear a lap split at any point. Just as well but hit my goal of a 9:30. I am aiming to sign up for the 3K at the GBTC Relays in two weeks. I think I will shoot for a 4:59 mile and see what I can drag through in the last seven laps.