Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Boston University mini meet #1

This was the first of three mini meets hosted by Boston University. I encourage anyone to run these. There is no pressure. Put down $10 and run your race. That said, I should have stayed home. I seeded myself at 9:20 and ran 9:36, DFL in the heat. No drama, kept last place for all but maybe two laps around the 4:59 mile split. I recall putting in a surge there but to no avail. I had no energy in the last six laps and faded away. I recall 1K splits of 3:07 and 6:15 (yeah the last 1K was ugly). I had a few environmental factors that may have attributed to the dead legs but can’t dwell too much. I still feel like a chump for not meeting my seed time expectation and I looked bad on the oval finishing 10 seconds behind the race. Maybe it’s a good thing the results spelled my last name wrong: Pawlioki.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Epic North Shore Trail Run Gloucester to Beverly

An idea is born.....

I could not wait to show Todd Callaghan the trails that surrounded Beverly as soon as he moved here a year ago. Since I gave him a tour, he scoured more trails and researched a plan suggesting a run from his house to the Cape Ann Brewery via the trail network that parallels along Rt. 128. A run from Beverly to Gloucester? Why not? Afterall, over 100 mountain bike riders converge every October at the Monserrat Train Station in Beverly to ride the trails commencing at Lobstaland in Gloucester. It is referred to as the Big Kahuna. It is not advertised and is a bit of an underground event that you will not hear about unless you are in the right circles. The vision was to go through the following trail networks: Beverly Commons Trails (Witches Woods), Gordon College Woods in Wenham, Manchester Essex Woods (see Cheever Commons Conservation Area), Red Rocks Conservation in Gloucester, and finally Ravenswood in Gloucester. The "Epic North Shore Trail Run" was founded - a proposed twenty mile run with less than six of them on paved roads. The response to embark on this expedition was solid. Jonathan May, Jeffrey Silveira, Sean McDonough, Matthew Fuhrmeister, and Dan Verrington wasted no time accepting the challenge.

Man's it's cold outside......

It's Sunday morning, maybe 25 degrees outside, and the alarm wakes Krissy up at 5:30. I woke up ten minutes before, gathering inventory for the run. I bagged up two six packs of Gatorade, a few bottles of water, a dozen GU packets, assorted gels, and granola bars that would fuel us just beyond the halfway point in Manchester. I bagged up extra shirts for everyone in case they forgot to bring warm clothes for the finish. Otherwise, I had a Chico bag so that everyone could fill up with whatever they needed at the finish. Krissy followed me to Todd's house just before 6:00. Each of us drove up to Gloucester and dropped off two cars. I left some water in the car and a change of clothes. I took the rest of the inventory and the three of us headed back down Rt. 128 to Todd's with a quick detour dropping off the fluids and fuel in Manchester. It was now 6:45 and we were back at Todd's trying not to wake up his wife and daughter upstairs. Everyone started to arrive along with daylight. Ben Strain ran over from his house. My friend, Patrick Taylor (two time Big Kahuna participant) arrived to bike along. We collected outside for a photo and a few words from Todd on the expectations. We left about ten past seven from the sleepy neighborhood to the Sandy Milligan Woods. 40 minutes later, we navigated through the Beverly Commons where Todd, Dan, and Sean raced in August. While running through the trails, we are reminded how close we are to Rt 128, as we hear cars going about their speed limit to our left. Meanwhile, we respect our pacing knowing we are going to be running for 3.5 to 4 hours. The group exits onto Grapevine Road while seeing two deer. I am in the back of our pack of eight so I don't see them until a minute later crossing the street. Ben had to get home so he took a left down Hull Street and we went right into the Gordon College Campus and toward Manchester's Ancient Line trail which I was looking forward to for the first time. 

Getting your money's worth.....

We reached our at the water stop an hour later. I took two GU's and drank a Gatorade. The group was now more than half way through with our sights now toward the Red Rocks Convervation area. We reached Haskell Pond quicker than I expected and now we are running with Rt. 128 on our right and Haskell Pond to our left. The topic of conversation among the group is hiking up north and bagging 4000 ft peaks. We ran into John Gillis who was hoping would run into us. His family dropped him off about 15 minutes earlier. I was pumped to see him as he gave Todd and I a tour of this very area three weeks ago. He took us up to a scenic vista within Red Rocks overlooking the Gloucester Harbor to the right, Annisquam River in the middle, and Cranes Beach to the left. I wished I had a camera. When we climbed down from there, my hips started to tighten up. John had to turn around and head home to Manchester as we reached Rt. 133 where we had a 1.6 mile stretch of road. We took a right into Fernwood Lake for the blue dot trail which got us into Ravenswood. Ravenswood had some tricky footing but it was worth it as we took the Ledge Hill Trail with another scenic vista of Eastern Point and Gloucester Harbor. Soon we left the trails and onto New Salem Road which dumped us out at Stage Fort Park. We ran through there and wrapped up the Epic run at the Cape Ann Brewery. It was awesome to tackle this run with a great bunch of guys. I know several of us never spent that much time on our feet (running) before. After getting into some warm clothing, we heading in for some beverage and food. I was wiped out and was not looking forward to a plane ride with no leg room to Nashville four hours later. Would I do it again? Of course. I am looking forward to this again in the Spring.

Matt downloaded the GPS data here.
Distance: 22.45 miles
Time: 3:41:53
Pace: 9:53 min/mile

Jeffrey Sliveira, Patrick Taylor, Jim Pawlicki, Matt Fuhrmeister, Todd Callaghan, Jonatahan May, Sean McDonough, Ben Strain, Dan Verrington. Photo by Krissy Kozlosky

Sunday, December 4, 2011

2011 Mill Cities Relay

Smiling and asking about the competion ahead
The Mill Cities relay website sums it up best - 27 miles, five legs, two states, and 1 river. The race starts in Nashua and finishes right outside the Claddagh Pub in downtown Lawrence, Massachusetts. Five person teams are compiled with distances that vary from 2.5 to 9.5 miles along the Merrimac River. I was fortunate to get on a coed open team with the Somerville Road Runners. 2011 USATF New England Mountain Series winner, Kath Hardcastle led off the charge at the 8am start in Nashua, traversing 5.4 miles to Hudson, handing off to Andy Schneider. Andy hustled 4.75 miles over the state line and into Tyngsboro handing off to Kevin Guarnotta. Kevin ran 2.5 miles along the Merrimac River into Lowell handing off to me. I covered 9.5 miles through Lowell, Dracut, and into Methuen. I handed off to recent Larissa Park who recently ran a 2:52 marathon in Philadelphia. She wasted no time over the last 4.75 miles, finding her way to Canal Street in Lawrence to help the team finish 1st over in the coed open division.

I went to sleep last night pretty nervous about the relay. I was not too sure how the logistics were going to play out for me. I was worried about getting to the start of my leg, securing warm clothing at the end of my leg, and was uncertain how to get myself to the finish. Fortunately, Todd Callaghan put me at ease this morning in Nashua and let me ride with him as we were running the same leg. Todd and I got to the start of our leg around 8am when the relay started. We were not expecting our teammates to come through our exchange zone until after 9:10. I went out for a warm up with Todd at 8:45. The clouds broke for sun as I put on my yellow SRR singlet. I wore my Nike Lunaracer 2 flats. I walked over to the exchange zone and Kevin came in to hand off the slap band to me. I took off and set my sights on the runners that were about twenty seconds ahead which included Dave Corbett, Jim Rhoades, and Joe O'Leary.

While running through Lowell with the Merrimac River on my right, I recalled memories of my 2010 Bay State Marathon where I had a tough stretch in the last four miles. I ran through the water stop taking Gatorade from Jen Arnott (formerly Jen Lavoie) with whom I went to high school with. It took me a while to catch Chris Spinney who I was tracking down for a bit. I ran beside him for a few strides checking in. He mentioned that he rolled his ankle at 2.5 miles. He hung in there and was seen two hours later icing his ankle. I felt pretty good, still on my toes, with the sun now over my rear right shoulder. The river was flowing in the same direction as the runners. Everything was good.

Larissa Park, Andy Schneider (with the brick), Kath Hardcastle, and I

I peeked at my watch at 40 minutes into my run. Then I saw John Gillis for the third time on my leg - yelling encouragement and offering water. He told me that I was getting closer to Todd Callaghan who was hurting (turned out he had a stitch that haunted him for miles). I was guessing that I had two miles left and tried to close the gap. I passed mile eight and just then realized the leg mile markers where painted in orange all along (duh!). Todd was too far ahead to reel in. I turned left into the industrial park where the exchange point was. I could see someone driving Todd's Subaru Wagon into the parking lot. I came through the exchange to handing off to Larissa. I felt good about the effort (just under 54 minutes - 5:41 / mile pace). Joe O'Leary came in behind me. My relay mates, Kevin and Andy were there so I got an update on how the SRR teams were doing. Our coed open was in 1st place for the division. They offered me a ride to the finish but I passed so that I could find Todd and get my warm clothes and dump my flats for my trainers. I let Todd out of my sights and could not find him for the next 25 minutes. The sun disappeared into the clouds and I started to get cold. I finally found Todd walking with Dave Quintal who ran with Winners Circle. Todd drove us through the last leg and to the finish line where a huge after party awaited at the Claddagh Pub off Canal Street in Lawrence. I sat down to pasta, salad, and bread while catching up with teammates and friends. Our coed team finished first in our division so we got a coveted brick as tribute to the Mill City.  

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

31st Annual Andover Cross Country Club Classic

Myself, Matt Fuhrmeister, Dave Dunham, Matt Fischetti. Photo by Gianina Lindsey.
Krissy and I headed up to Andover for the Andover Country Club Cross Country 6K race. Most of the course is all over the roller coaster golf course. I tried to warn Krissy and my friend Patrick who was running his first cross country race since High School. They both held their own but admitted this was no flat road race.  I had a little back and forth with Dave Dunham early on. Dave Quintal threw in the surge of the race over a mile in, sending me a message that he was going to run Dunham down. I tried to keep them in sight but my legs were toast. Jonathan May went by me with over a mile to go, looking strong up the residential road. I gave one last push but minutes later had me fading again. He finished strong and I had to hustle in to keep a fast charging Joe O’Leary a few steps behind. I finished 8th overall with a time of 19:16.33 (5:31 / mile pace). Next up is the Mill Cities Relay with the Somerville Road Runners. I have the long leg  (9.4 miles) of the day. It will be interesting. This was my first road race ever way back in the 90’s where I had leg number two with the North Shore Strider men's open team. It should be fun.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Wild Turkey 5 mile run - Salem, Ma

I signed Krissy and myself up for the race a few weeks ago. My plantar has been feeling a lot better. I have been wearing orthotics since October 25 and being more diligent with calf stretching recently. Krissy and I had a five minute drive over the bridge and into Salem. I met up with Scott Carrier and his friend Marc Gillaume for a warm up. The Nike Lunaracer2 was the weapon of choice to hit the Salem streets. After exchanging a few words at the starting line with Salem State University stud, Alex Gomes, the race of over 1400 runners bolted. My short lived lead for the first 200m saw Alex and Nick Rennie take command and down Derby Street. I passed the mile about three seconds back of them in 5:15. I was passed by Michael Nickeron leaving the Winter Island loop (2 miles or so). About two minutes later Christopher Chapruet went by me in the neighborhood behind the Salem Willows. Mile 3 provided a time of 16:25.72 about 10 yards behind Christopher. We were running the same pace through mile four (22:05, 5:39 split) after a climb after Dead Horse Beach that exits the Willows. I felt pretty good and thought that I could take a run at him. That surge never came forward aside from picking up my pace in the last 400m to see where my legs were at. I closed within four seconds of him for 5th overall and a respectable 27:30.6. I ran slower (27:43) last year so to run a quicker time a year later is solid.

1 ALEX GOMES PEABODY MA                           22 M * 20-24     26:18.9 5:16/M
2 NICK RENNIE SALEM MA                               28 M 1 25-29     26:53.6 5:23/M
3 MICHAEL NICKERSON SALEM MA                   22 M 1 20-24     27:15.0 5:27/M
4 CHRISTOPHER CHAPRUET DANVERS MA        19 M 1 15-19     27:26.7 5:29/M
5 JAMES PAWLICKI BEVERLY MA                     37 M 1 35-39     27:30.6 5:30/M

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Ravenswood Trail Race 4.1 miles

I called Todd earlier in the week and made sure that he was going to the Ravenswood Trail Race. He was game. Krissy, Roberta, Todd Callaghan and I arrived an hour before the start in Gloucester, just a 20 minute drive up Rt. 127 from our Beverly domain. Todd was anxious to see the course so we hit the trails as soon as we picked up our bib numbers. I ran the course in 2007 and knew the course so navigating along was easy. I had enough time to change into the New Balance 790's and my CMS singlet five minutes before the race went off. Todd jumped right to the front and I followed. After we crossed the first board walk across the Magnolia swamp, it was clear that he was on his "A" game for trail legs. Meanwhile, I felt some rust while he pulled away. I chicken stepped a few spots and lost ground and sight of him after the first mile. I had some foot steps come upon me after mile two. It was not until after the race that I found out that it was SRR and Tuesday night training partner, Sean McDonough. He has been ripping up the trail series this summer on the North Shore. I never let him get by and the presence woke me up so I surged a few times when footing was appropriate. I was dogging it after mile three, completely wasted on any hills to climb which are frequent but not too long. With 800m to go, I was alerted to some sudden heel pain in my good foot (the other has been a mess with plantar fascia related aches for months) with every foot plant. I thought it was a stress fracture as I finished the race.

Todd crushed the course in 26:50 for the win. I was second in 28:00. Sean closed the gap a bit, just thirteen seconds back. My heel was killing me but the stubborn runner in me tried to ignore it through a cool down with the top five finishers of the race. Gloucester resident, Matt Curran (GLRR) and Dan Verrington (CMS) kept the conversation light while we covered over 80% of the course again. I was delighted to come back to the awards and raffle with some cookies and fudge still left for my appetite. Race director, Jennifer Brooks gave away all sorts of fun prizes such a Christmas Ornaments to a eight pack of YooHoo. Todd picked up some cash for the well deserved win. I got a gift certificate for New England Running Company which I hope to apply toward some new trail shoes in the future.

As the day wore on, I could not put any pressure on my heel. I went the doctor on Monday night and got an x-ray on Tuesday night. I got the call today that I have a "large bone spur" and got referred to a Podiatrist with whom I will visit on Friday. So, it appears that I will be on the shelf for a bit as I consult with Dr. Tobin to determine what I need to do in order to break up the spur in my heel. For all I know, I probably have one in the foot that has been thought to have "plantar" issues over the past few months. I will have to take it one day at a time. I would appreciate hearing from anyone who has dealt with bone spurs.

Timex IronMan Splits minus mile four: 6:16, 7:15, 7:03, 7:24 for the last 1.1 miles

2011 Ravenswood Trail Race Results
October 16, 2011 Gloucester, MA
1 26:50 Todd Callaghan      4049M Beverly MA
2 28:00 James Pawlicki       3039M Beverly MA
3 28:12 Sean McDonough   2029M Somerville MA
4 28:45 Dan Verrington       4049M Bradford MA
5 28:50 Matthew Curran     5059M Gloucester MA

Saturday, October 8, 2011

James Earley Invitational 8K XC

Krissy (KrissyK) and I headed out to Westfield State University this morning for the James Early Invitational where I was competing with the Salem State Alumni team. I raced James "Jim" Earley while I was at Salem State. He lost his life in a motorcycle accident heading into his Senior year. This race is the 16th year in a row with funds from the race going toward scholarships in his honor. As usual practice, Westfield State had a competitive Alumni team. Otherwise, there were 30 or so collegiate teams (mostly Division III) along with the Greater Boston Track Club. My goal was to run under 28 minutes. The weather was perfect, maybe the high sixties and sunny. There was a minute scattering of mud in the wilderness loop but it was not going to be a factor so I wore my New Balance 790's. Our Alumni team took a major blow as Dan Smith was not 100% and did not make the trip from Cambridge. He ran 1:07:50 (missed his PR by three seconds) three weeks ago in the Philadelphia Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon. Still, we had Mark Dawson, Alex Derosa, John Bowser, and Brian Beaulieau. John, the jester of the group, had us laughing as usual. While we were in our starting box waiting for the official starter to raise his hand and fire the starting gun, he said "we will be waiting for Chistmas!" He was right, the starter took at least a minute to drop the white flag and raise the gun to get the 300 racers going around the soccer fields in this spectator friendly course. I found myself battling for position and trying to stay out of any bottlenecks that occur on the 90 degree turns. At one point, CMS teammate, Tim Mahoney and I had to jump over a bag of soccer balls as the race ran right by a soccer game's sideline. I saw it coming and yelled over to Tim to watch out! The soccer coaches were not too happy with our race on the edge of their game. I put in several surges to move up and get decent position. I got through the mile in 5:22 still surging past college guys. Mile two split with Mark Dawson along side was 5:35, just under 11:00. I got up to Eric Mendoza from GBTC and bolted into the wilderness loop. I held my own through mile three (5:47 split) hanging onto another GBTC runner, Adrian MacDonald, all the way back up to the fields. It was with about 800m remaining that I encouraged him to go after the single file group of 8 runners a few seconds ahead. I was giving him the advice that I wanted to employ, but I was all out already. We kept our positions into the finish line. I got an official time of 27:37.72 with a placing of 33rd. I was the first Alumni from Salem State. Mark Dawson and Alex rolled in behind me. Brian, who is training for the New York City Marathon, and John Bowser wrapped up the scoring for our team. We finished 16th out of 31 teams. Westfield State Alumni crushed us with a 5th place showing. The awesome news for that day was Alex Gomes, a Senior with Salem State, won the meet outright, improving on his 2nd place showing last year. He was seven seconds quicker this year and his nearest competitor was 17 seconds behind him. He is certainly up for some accolades later this fall if he stays healthy.

5:35 10:58
5:47 16:45
10:49 (missed mile 4 split) 27:37

16th Annual James Earley Invitational Cross Country Results, Westfield MA, October 8, 2011
Photos taken by KrissyK

Monday, October 3, 2011

Topsfield Cross Country Festival

It was time to get racing again. Kevin Tilton and I were the only CMS guys to get to this fun cross country race hosted by the Greater Boston Track Club at Bradley Palmer State Park. Pies and cash are awarded to the top teams and individuals. Greater Boston beat out the men's team from HFC - Hurtin' For Certain. No other team had five guys. Thus, pies were given out to the individuals so Kevin and I picked up a pie each which two days later I am proud to say, the Apple Pie (Krissy picked it out) is half gone. As for the race, I went through the mile in 5:32 right where I wanted to be. Over the next three miles of rolling hills, I battled Junyong Pak (GBTC), Mark McDermott (HFC), and Ben Wheatley (GBTC). By the time we got into the last mile, I got spanked on the downhill back to the field that returns the race to the finish line. Mr. Pak and Mr. Wheatly finished very strong. I meanwhile had the form of twisted pretzel (see the photos) in the closing 1000m. I finished 15th overall with a time of 28:27 for the 8K distance. All I have to say is shame on the teams and folks that did not come to support this race. Money and good times were left on the table. Justin Lutz and Nate Jenkins both nearly raced each other to a course record. Justin got the win and missed the record by a few ticks. The rain held off during the race, leaving just a trace of mud returning from Moon Hill to the fields. Only one runner, Lee Danforth - HFC, went down as far as I could tell. My New Balance 790's held up well but admit I hit grass a few times to get out of the mud which we went over twice during the spectator friendly race.

I am off to Westfield State University this coming weekend for the James Early Cross Country Invitational. I am on a rather competitive Salem State Alumni team with the likes of Alex Derosa (Max Potential), Mark Dawson, John Bowser (Max Potential), and Dan Smith (BAA). It should be fun and I aim to break 28 minutes.

Complete results
Photos by KrissyK

Friday, August 19, 2011

Oxford Dam Trail race

I spent Friday night (8/5) in Auburn with Krissy as she was getting ready for her PMC (Pan Mass Challenge) ride which started at 5am on Saturday. Thus I had a chance sneak over to Oxford for a CMS race, Dam Trail Run. It was only 8 miles away from the hotel and the race was early (9am) so I could still support and cheer Krissy at the end of her Sturbridge to Bourne (110 miles) ride.

A step ahead of Ross Krause in Oxford
The trail race is listed as a 10 miler but is suggested that it is more like 10.5 or 11 miles depending on how the course has been laid out in the past. Most of the race is on single track with about 10% on fire roads. I ran a warm up with CMS folks such as John Pajer, Mary Ellowitz, and Jim Johnson. Ross Krause was also in attendance. All the CMS folks had the new singlet on, despite the heat and humidity, standing on the starting line. Race director, John Grenier took note – impressed with the fresh white singlets. We took off from the start. Jim took the command of the lead as expected and took no prisoners. I hung back in 2nd with Ross and Rob Hult on my heels. They went by after a mile and I stayed real close to Rob, making sure Ross did not get too far. I made a surge past Rob a few minutes later and chased Ross down and kept company through 4 miles as we got out of the single track and onto a fire road. Ross admitted he was worn down a bit so I lead us through the next few miles, focusing on the flags to keep us on course. I had a good thing going and did not mind the company trying to push the pace but keep aware that there was some distance to cover. The legs tired after 55 minutes and Ross pulled ahead.

I was trying to anticipate how much race we had left. It was hard to gauge from my experience at this race a few years ago as the finish line was in a different spot. I was not too familiar how and where the race was finishing. Finally, I saw the parking lot up ahead. I threw everything I had left to close the gap on Ross in the last 200m. I just got past him before the finish line for 2nd place overall, with a time of 1:08:31. Jim finished four minutes ahead of us as it took him 1:04:31 on the strong solo effort. Rob was fourth in 1:12:53 as the first master (40+). I picked up a bottle of wine at the awards table an hour after the race. I had to hustle back and check out of the hotel. My planar fascia was screaming so limped around for the rest of the day. I caught up with Krissy at the last water stop that she had in her ride with the camera ready for her smiling face. She was 90+ miles into the ride with more energy than me. She was really inspiring. All of the riders (5500+), volunteers, and spectators made her ride for cancer research emotional. What a great event to support.

The 2011 Dam Trail Race, 10-Mile
Hodges Village Dam, Oxford MA
August 6, 2011
1 1:04:31 Jim Johnson      M20-39 Salem, NH               CMS
2 1:08:31 James Pawlicki  M20-39 Beverly, MA          CMS
3 1:08:32 Ross Krause     M20-39 Easthampton, MA CMS
4 1:12:53 Rob Hult            M40-49 Harvard, MA          Puma

Friday, August 5, 2011

Beverly Homecoming 5K

L to R: Todd Callaghan, James Pawlicki, Ben Strain, & Jonathan May with 600m to go. Photo by Krissy K
Where: Beverly
What: Beverly Homecoming 5K Road Race
Result: 16:19, 4th overall
Full results
Photos by Krissy K

This is what racing is all about: going into the last mile with Jonathan May (SRR), Ben Strain (CMS), and Todd Callaghan (GCS). I threw everything I could at these guys in the last mile and they wouldn't break. One thing is for sure, if Ben Strain is around toward the end of the race, watch your wallet and your back. Jonathan and Ben got a stride on me with 400m to go and I couldn't get past them. Jonathan ran a PR, Ben ran his quickest 5K this year, and Todd ran his quickest 5K in a while. I too, ran my fastest 5K in a number of years.

Splits: 5:09, 5:25 (10:34), missed mile 3, 5:43 (16:18.94)

44th Annual Beverly Homecoming Road Race
Thursday, August 4, 2011 6:30 PM
Place Name       Time    Pace  City           St 
===== =================== ======= ===== ======== 
1 Andrew Ryan    15:30  5:00  Gloucester      MA 
2 Ben Strain     16:17  5:15  Beverly         MA 
3 Jonathan May   16:18  5:16  Charlestown     MA
4 James Pawlicki 16:19  5:16  Beverly         MA
5 Todd Callaghan 16:26  5:18  Beverly         MA

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Carver Cranberry 5 mile road race

Fighting for the finish. Photo by Ted Tyler

This race was race number six of the USATF New England Road Race Grand Prix series. I have never been to Carver before so I was looking forward to it. I picked up Joe Shairs and Pete Mallett on the way to Carver which took almost 90 minutes. The CMS team registration was all over the place. Some guys were signed up while some like Kevin Gorman and Jim Johnson were not. Jim took the lead and got it straightened out with a key member of the registration team. I ran a warm up with the team and got to the starting line about 10 minutes early to stretch out. It was warm, maybe low 80’s with humidity. I settled in about three rows deep and we were off. I went through the first mile in 5:25 and the race soon took our first right hand turn. This was a simple race to navigate, only three right hand turns through the country like neighborhood off Rt. 58. I passed a few runners heading into mile two (10:55) and mile three (16:31) keeping Kevin Gorman just a few steps ahead. This stretch had plenty of shade and a few water showers set up by the residents which was helpful. Mile three to four put me around several master and senior runners who were jockeying for position to lay the gauntlet down. The likes of Doug Martyn (Whirlaway), John Barbour (GLRR), Terry McNatt (CSU), Joe Donnelly (Whirlaway) and Robert Cipriano (SRR) were ready to battle. Meanwhile, Chris Mahoney was ailing a bit from plantar issues, however, did his best to get Kevin Gorman, Matt Clark, and I fired up for the last mile or so as I went through mile four in 22:16 and knew the only hill on the course was just ahead. I faded on the hill and my pack pulled away into the shady darkness ahead. Once on top of the rise, I could see the finish line clock come into focus. I hustled to stay in the 27’s with a 27:53 (5:35 per mile pace), good for 52nd place overall and 14th on the CMS roster. CMS won the men’s open team event while the masters team finished 2nd. I cooled down with Tim Pipp, Patrick Rich, and Greg Hammett. My post race grub included some Freeze Pops, water, and a banana to refuel for the traffic filled ride north of Boston on the Expressway. Going forward, I am looking forward to running the Beverly Homecoming 5K this week and the Oxford Dam Trail race on Saturday.  

Monday, July 25, 2011

Jim Kane Sugar Bowl 5 miler

I was leaving work and still not sure if I was willing to shell out the cash for a 95 degree 5 miles road race just a few exits north on the expressway. I don't think I have ever let the weather dictate my lack of arrival at a road race. Make adjustments for the mother nature, yes. It was hot, but it's not like it was 95 degrees and humid for just me in the race. WHDH, Channel 7 news was on site at BC High where the race started and finished. I paid no attention to it until Joe Shairs told me about it on Friday. I guess they were there to show how people were dealing with the heat. Here is the segment for what I am assuming was on the 10:00pm news last night. I am the shirtless goof on the far left on the starting line (far right if you are looking at the photo or news clip).

Closing in on the finish line for 11th place

I went out cautiously, putting myself in the top 16 or so with a 5:40 mile. We had the wind at our back which was negligent for any cooling but I'd offer helped push me out toward the turn-around a few blocks away from L-Street. Now the running got tough with the head wind heading back toward the UMass Boston Campus. Louis Raffetto (BAA) was about 15 seconds ahead and adding distance between us as we headed toward the whole race coming at us for their turn-around point. I ran past the three mile clock in 17:51 lining me up for sub 30 minute finish time. My ass was dragging into the wind and the sun bearing down on us as we took a left at Carson Beach onto a bike path toward the JFK Library. I wasn't catching anyone and it did not appear anyone was close to me as I went through the four mile mark just under 24 minutes. This stretch has some shade which was welcomed. The last mile took us passed the UMass Boston Campus and back onto the BC High grounds with the finish in the parking lot behind the school. I finished up with time of 29:54 (5:59 / mile pace) and 11th overall (1st in the 35-39 age group). I reached for a bottle of water, several cups of Gatorade at the finish. No cool down run for me. I proceeded to replenish with a few bananas, half a bagel, and a few samples of coconut water with various fruit flavors. I am sure I got a potassium overdose by the end of the night. I was glad the run was over but no regrets with my participation. I caught up with a clean shaven Tim Pipp who was selling his shirts (Beeze Tees) at the race. I won a shirt with the screen print of "I've got more miles than your car" in the race raffle. I guess that is true.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Stowe 8 miler

The legs have been feeling better so I signed up for Stowe a few days before the race. Krissy and I had the room in Stowe booked anyhow and there was no way that I was going to miss the event. Krissy and I brought the road bikes up with us. Thus we enjoyed a nice bike ride following a shake out run on Saturday morning. She is getting ready for her Pan Mass Challenge (192 miles in two days) bike ride from Sturbridge, MA to Provincetown in August to raise money for Cancer research. Sunday morning brought more sun and warm temperatures. CMS brought the facial hair and fast legs as the team finished second overall behind the BAA. I deliberately settled for "just under" six minute miles through six miles where I got a bit wiped out by the heat. Most of the runners that I talked to after the race were feeling the heat in the last few miles. I kept my game face on and battled as much as I could over the last mile but it was not easy. I finished up with a 6:01 per mile pace average and just over 48 minutes. That bottle of water handed to me after the finish line never tasted so good. Overall, I feel good about the race and surviving the event mentally and physically. The hamstring has passed the test. My left quad was sore today but that will pass. I had a great weekend as the whole vibe - surrounded by great scenery, people, and community making the Stowe 8 miler so easy to attend to year after year. 

Thursday, June 30, 2011

SRR Marathon Relay

The Somerville Road Runners hosted the Marathon Relay Club Challenge event at Tufts University. Twenty six runners make up a team and each run four laps (just about a mile) on the track. Each team was required to have ten women. I was on the SRR-Fire team that was trying to break 2:22:26 which was the new record set last year. Alex White kicked off the race to make up for the .2 and the race was under way as he got our team into the lead that I don’t think was relinquished despite a competitive Cambridge Running Club squad. Robert Cipriano handed the baton off to me as I was the 23rd leg of the race. I took off, felt great for the first lap, coming through around 71 seconds. There was a huge crowd of runners hovering around the finish line cheering everyone on. During the second lap, I felt my hamstring tighten up and tried to ignore it. As I approached 800m, my hamstring let go. I jumped up and heard the crowd sigh in my agony. I thought I heard a split of 2:23. I changed my stride to relieve the pain for the rest of the race (2 laps). It reminded me of trying to finish a marathon when the muscles are cramping. You do anything in your power to keep moving forward. Meanwhile, I never thought about dropping out. If I did, our team would not have finished. I gutted it out and was so glad to hand the baton off to Greg Pickelsimer. I managed to smile in my appreciation for the crowd support and photos. I walked over to my running gear 30 ft away. I couldn’t bend over to get my spikes off or pick up my gear. I was a mess. I stayed there and cheered on the teams. Less than fifteen minutes later, Joe O’Leary, anchored the team for the win with a new record time of 2:19:29. Cambridge Running Club beat last year's record setting time of 2:22:26 by laying down a 2:21:04.

As I finish writing, I am happy to report that the hamstring is getting better each day. I've done a few miles on the bike this week and expect to run a few steps this weekend.

Photo credit to CambridgeDavid

Sunday, June 12, 2011

USATF New England Track & Field Championships 10K

Ben pulling Joe and I early in the race
Today was a rare outdoor track event for me in the USATF New England Outdoor Track & Field Championships at Regis College in Weston, MA. I have not run too many 10,000 meter races on the track. I can recall, maybe, three in college and one post college where I set a personal record at the Northeastern Husky Twilight Track & Field # 2 meet in Dedham on May 26, 2001 with a 33:32.5. That was the last time I raced the event on the track. Ten years later and an opportunity came up last month when Dave Dunham was interested in a 10K on the track. The event was not on the schedule for this meet. Dave contacted Steve Viatones from the USATF New England office and he agreed to add the event to the meet schedule. Meanwhile, CMS recruited eight runners for the event that took to the starting line this morning: Chris Mahoney, Ben Strain, Kevin Tilton, Dave Dunham, Dave Quintal, Joe Shairs, Greg Putnam, and I. I figured I could run with Ben, Joe, and Dave Dunham with a goal of a sub 34 minute race. I got out and settled in behind Ben and Joe. The first lap was just under 80 seconds (5:20 mile pace). We were going out a bit faster than I wanted but I also wanted company in the 25 lap event. We went through the first mile in 5:21 with Ben towing Joe and I. This continued aside from the pace slowing down a bit per mile (see my splits below). The stretch between 3 and 4 miles brought about a 5:37 mile and it felt like it. I had just enough energy to yell to Ben and Joe to let them know that we were on the wrong side of 5:30 pace. Joe picked it up and pushed. I hung on for another four laps and started to drag, fade, and lose them. I went through five miles in 27:29 (5:30 mile pace) but knew I was in trouble. Mile 5 through 6 was miserable in 5:38. I had no energy to close the gap between myself and Ben who was closing in on Joe with 300m to go. Ben caught Joe in the final 100m. I followed about 10 seconds behind Joe with an unofficial time of 34:27 at the finish line. I missed my goal with a tired second half and never had the energy to contribute or push the pace. I felt my form disintegrate in the last two miles. Ben and Joe ran solid races. I know they too were looking for a sub 34.
Ben still taking charge

I want to thank Lou Ristaino who called out splits and kept track of laps while our group got lapped late in the race. Meanwhile, thanks are appropriate to Joe Fischetti who had words of encouragement for each of my 25 laps. The team went out for a long cool down around Weston. My right hamstring was completely messed up but got better after two miles. I was beat when we returned to the Regis campus 37 minutes later. Krissy and I hung out at the meet for another hour and watched several events in the meet. The afternoon  was capped off with lunch at Sorrento's in Concord. Krissy took several photos showing the 10K event. She was all over the place and certainly captured the physical demands of the 10,000 meter event in June.

Late in the race breaking down......

10,000 meter splits
5:28  10:49
5:30  16:20
5:37  21:58
5:31  27:29
5:38  33:08
1:19  34:27

Monday, June 6, 2011

Rhody 5K

Joe Shairs navigated Ben, Krissy, and I down to Lincoln, RI for the USATF-New England 5K road race championship. I went through the mile in 5:14 and among a solid group: George Adams, Ethan Crain, Ben Strain, and Joe Shairs. George pulled away up the hill and I tried to stay consistent as I crested through mile 2 in 10:34 (5:20). It was gut check time in the last mile with Joe and Ben a stride or two ahead in the single file line for as far as the eye could see. Ben pulled away with 400m and I was trying my best to keep Joe close passing mile 3 in 15:53 (5:18). Once the race took the last right hand turn, I looked at the clock, watched it cut over to sixteen minutes, and bolted for the line passing Joe a few feet before the finish. I stopped my watch a stride after the second mat with a 16:24. Granite State Timing gave me an official time of 16:25 (booooooooo) and placed me behind Joe in 58th overall. Joe and Ben got the same time of 16:24. I was pumped for the team who just edged out Team Run and BAA for the win. I got a 5K time under 16:30 which was the goal and was my positive takeaway.

KrissyK photos

Monday, May 23, 2011

Trav's Trail Run

I've always had a race conflict which never allowed me to run this race. I finally got a fresh opportunity and headed up to Newburyport with Ben Strain. This race is billed as three miles on the wonderful trails of Maudsley State Park. The start bolts down a hill followed by a roller coaster set of hills into mile one. I trailed CMS teammates Greg Putnam, Mike Quintal, and Ben Strain. I was able to catch up to Ben shortly after the mile. I maintained my position back to the big hill into the finish. Greg Krathwohl who has run much faster on this course, blew by me on the final ascent. I finished 11th overall with a time of 16:11 (5:24/mile pace). I picked up an age group award: New Balance Mug, New Balance socks, and got a New England Runner subscription in the post race raffle. In all, this was a great event put on by Winner's Circle. Results here.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Mystic River Herring Run 5K

I threw on the black and yellow Somerville Road Runner singlet for the Mystic River Herring Run 5K today in Somerville. Todd Callaghan mentioned this event to me last month and said he was game. He has won the race several times. Todd, Brendan Kearney, Sean Mclain and I headed jumped out from the start together trailing a younger runner (highschooler?). Todd and I passed that runner, taking the lead after we hit the course mile marker in 5:15. I kept on Todd's shoulder or heels through several turns and at least one small hill within the Mystic River Reservation. We passed through the mile 2 course marker in 10:40 (5:25) on Rt. 16. As we ran over the Wellington Bridge some folks were yelling for Todd from the police boat in the Mystic River. We turned right onto Shore Drive and were neck and neck into mile three where I made a move for the finish line and held on for a 1 second edge in 16:30. The time was my fastest road time since the Beverly Homecoming in 2009. I think Todd and I helped push each other all the way today. We ran the course again for a cool down with a few other guys and then hung out at the post race festivities. All of the age group winners got to pick a prize from a table. There were a ton of envelopes for gift certificates of which I was overwhelmed with as I don't know the local establishments. Thankfully, Brendan tipped me off on the Red Bones gift certificate so I owe him a pint. Todd scored a restaurant gift certificate and his wife Laurie got a wine gift certificate.

Keeping to our plan, Todd and I drove up a few exits on Rt. 93 to run in the Middlesex Fells for some trails. We used to train there once in a while a few years back. I have not been there since last summer and he has not been there since November. I put on the New Balance 100's. We did most of the Reservoir (orange marker) loop and some extra miles for a nice 68 minute run to make the day complete.

Learn more about the Mystic River by watching the video "Meet The Mystic".

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Medical Center 6K

I drove up to Nashua today with Krissy, Ben, and Joe for the Medical Center 6K which was the 6K Championship for New England. I got a good start (not too fast but not too casual) and rolled along with some masters in front of me such as Mark Reeder, Dave Dunham, and Dan Verrington. I held my own on the hills, making a few surges here and there during the climbing among many turns. Mark dropped me at mile two and most of the significant hills were behind us. Jason Porter pulled me through mile three and then I let him go. I lost my focus and gave into the "let's back off for a second, I'm tired and not catching the guys in front of me." One can't let up for a second in a race this short but I did. Ben caught me going up the hill into the finish. I tried to put in a surge but was not interested while managing to catch back up to Rod Viens. I got to the line with in 20:32, 5:31 pace - the same pace as my 10K last Sunday. I ran 5:23 pace in 2008 so I am sour on my time today. I just sucked in the last mile today. I did not get any splits but recall passing mile three just under 16:30 which set me up for a low 17 minute 5K. The good news was the performance of my teammates all over the race. CMS won the men's open and the masters team was just ten seconds away from winning that team category.

Complete Results
Photos by KrissyK

Sunday, May 1, 2011

James Joyce Ramble 10K, Dedham

I had to research the 'net to figure out when I ran this race in the past so I could plan out my race. My GBTC coach Tom Derderian captured the details here which brought back memories that I had forgotten. The year was 2002 and I was coming off of a fractured patella (kneecap) suffered in January. I went on to run 34:27 and was likely my first race from that injury. Meanwhile, teammate, Dennis Floyd set a PR that day with a 32:25. He went on the run several PR's over a few months while he was in the best shape of his life. I am glad Tom documented this for the newsletter back then as my running logs are buried with those lost memories.

I was concerned about the race today in that I have uncharacteristically not raced in a while, since the New Bedford Half Marathon. In addition, I have not done any interval work in three weeks. I got to the starting line in my fresh new Asics threads behind CMS teammates about five rows back from the starting line. The weather was great but a wind was going to fight us along the looped course. I eased into the race with a 5:24 mile next to Jeff Goupil, Ben Jenkins, and George Adams. Mile two was passed in 10:55 so I was closing in on my 5:30 pace goal for the day. I saw Krissy camped out on a narrow road taking photos. She actually got stuck there with the massive crowd of racers. She had to wait for most of the race to go by before she could sprint on the bike back to the finish.

There were hills in the Noble and Greenough campus as I caught up with Tom Brown. Dave Dunham, Dan Verrington, and Todd Callaghan were not too far ahead. I caught up with Dave on our way back to downtown Dedham wheeling past 5 miles in 27:37. We caught Todd with about 1000m to go and I  kept pressing forward through mile six. The clock there confused me with a time in the low 32's which was off by over a minute (just like mile 1). I caught Dan before the line and stopped the timing on my watch with a 34:16. Official results had me 50th overall and a time of 34:17, 10 seconds quicker than in 2002.

531 1055
529 1625
535 2200
537 2737
531 3310
106 3416

The team beat Whirlaway by a mere four seconds, again proving that every second counts. Meanwhile, I ran a cool down with the team and crashed on the Endicott Estate lawn for food, beverage, music and conversation. Krissy was catching up with folks and my dad was chillin' out. It was nice to catch up with everyone. We'll be back at it for the 6K next weekend in Nashua which should be fun. Before closing, I have to give Kevin Gorman credit for supporting the team all over the course. His words of encouragement were awesome. Get well man!

Photos by KrissyK

Sunday, March 20, 2011

New Bedford Half Marathon

The New Bedford Half Marathon played host to the USATF New England Championship. The weather was great, mid 40's, partly sunny, and a breeze that was fair when we needed at our backs (last three miles). I did not pin a goal out there but thought 5:40 pace was obtainable which I raced for 10 miles last month in Foxboro. After rolling out with an opening 5:30 mile, I settled into a group that including Jonathan May (Somerville Road Runners) and Mark Reeder (Greater Lowell Road Runners) around 3.5 miles. I've had the luxury of running track intervals with Jonathan this winter with SRR at Tufts. Mark and I have had plenty of battles over the years as we were teammates at GBTC in the late 90's. I just finished ahead of him in a 5K last week. Thus I was in good, responsible company for the miles ahead. I had a stretch of miles around 5:30 pace that put me through 28:15 at five miles while dumping my gloves and hat off with Kristen who was taking photos. My group slowly reeled in the 2nd female, Diana Bowser from the BAA. Our group got as big as eight runners slicing the wind along the water. I was hanging on the back of this group. Then I saw a 5:54 split from 8 to 9 miles and was shocked. I picked up the pace at mile 10, passed in 56:30, as I could see two flags ahead that showed the wind coming off the ocean and eventually into our backs. I figured that I could break the pack up a bit and try to reel some guys in ahead. Mark Reeder followed and pulled ahead of me staying about 15 feet ahead. I kept Mark in my sights and I felt pretty strong heading into the last climb around 11.5 miles. I caught Mark and put a few strides on him at the top of the hill and was ready to roll into the last 1000 meters. Jonathan May pulled along side a turn later (see photo) on a downgrade. I recall passing Krissy here taking more action shots. I made the last right hand turn and put in my best effort toward the finish line. I was racing the clock hoping to keep it in the 1:13:XX range but crossed the line at 1:14:01. I ran 5:39 pace for an official 1:14:00.5 chip time, 1:14:01.7 gun time, and 61st overall. The race had 2358 finishers.

530 530
540 1111
545 1656
546 2243
531 2815 5 miles
530 3345
534 3920
530 4451
554 5045
544 5630 10 miles
534 1:02:04
missed mile 12 and 13, 11:56 for the last 2.1 miles,
1:14:01 overall

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

An Ras Mor 5K

The An Ras Mor 5K is organized by the Somerville Road Runners and hosted at the Asgard Irish Pub and Restaurant in Cambridge. The race was the first of the New England Runner magazine Pub Series. Brett Rickenbach drove Allison Rourke, Scott Carrier, and I down from the North Shore into Cambridge. It was a familar drive as I used to work near Kendall Square and was a regular at MIT for hundreds of track workouts in the late 90's. We registered inside the Asgard and I ran into teammate Mike Quintal who's been on a recent tear - winning two races in recent weeks. Scott, Brett, and I warmed up for a few miles while Allison went out for a run along the Charles River.

I settled into the second row at the start next to Mark Reeder. The gun went off and I got position just outside of the top ten after a few left hand turns. Mike Quintal had the lead as the race was heading toward Harvard Square. I rolled past the mile in 5:11 with the lead pack pulling away. They must have been just under 5:00. I kept my position through mile two (10:42, 5:30 split) as we were now running away from Harvard Square and back to the Asgard. A BAA singlet zipped (Aaron Price) by me with about 600m to go. I had no response and was looking for the home stretch. I turned right off Mass Ave into the home stretch. Mark Reeder pulled aside and it got my attention. I looked ahead and could make out the finish line clock with a 16:07 and counting with 150m to go. My poor excuse for a sprint gave me some room but I got caught at the finish by Timmy Wood. The chip timing gave me a 16:34, 5:20 mile pace, good for 7th place overall.

Mike finished in the money, 3rd overall, with a 15:47. Brett and Scott ran 17:50 and 18:25 respectively for their first races of 2011.

I ran a long cool down out across the Charles River, past the Museum of Science, through the Cambridge Side Galleria Mall and back to the Asgard via Kendall Square. A lot of buildings that did not exist ten years ago now tower and employ thousands of folks including Scott. Any open space back then was prime real estate. I chilled out at the beer tent for about fifteen minutes with Brett, Scott, Mike, and Chris Simpson before departing for an Irish Breakfast at Tommy Doyles Irish Pub and Restaurant in Kendall Square. Next race on the agenda is the New Bedford Half Marathon. Photos by Scott Carrier.

An Ras Mor 5K results Sunday March 13, 2011

Monday, February 21, 2011

Foxboro Old Fashioned Ten Miler

The Wampanoag Road Runners host this one every February in Foxboro. Joe Shairs and I came down to this one in 2006 prepping for the New Bedford Half Marathon. He ripped the course in 5:32 per mile pace. I ran 5:45 pace. I recalled a lot of rolling hills and a tough one around 7.5 miles that broke me. I thought it was an overpass over Rt. 95 or Rt. 1. Sorry Dan Verrington. The poor guy was looking for that "killah hill" in the race yesterday - I warned him about it on the drive down with Joe navigating behind the wheel. I warmed up with CMS mates Dan Verrington, Joe Shairs, Kevin Gorman, Greg Ward and TNT ageless wonder Martin Tighe.

The starting line had a ton of yellow and blue informs of the BAA including Justin Fyffe. I teased Justin that the new colors make him look 10lbs heavier. Meanwhile, the "who's who" in masters and senior runners were there. Check out the results and you'll see what I mean. I got out behind the sea of BAA runners and eventually found Kevin Gorman and ran with him. We were in a secondary pack that got thinned out by 2 miles. I ran on the aggressive side early on to stay in touch with this group that was cutting into the wind, rolling hills, and cold temps that I'd guess was around 30 degrees. I felt pretty good and was targeting Eric Mendoza from GBTC and another BAA runner beyond him. I went through 5 miles in 28:04 and got up to and passed Eric. However, a few more hills had my legs feeling burnt a bit. He buried me after the last hill and over the last two miles. Antony Keller passed me with 800m to go. I had nothing left approaching the finish line in 14th place, 56:38 official (5:40 pace). I don't know when the last time I was in the 56 minute time frame for 10 miles so I'll take it. I did not leave anything out there. My last five miles were run in 28:34. Splits are below.

522 1105
537 1642
553 2235
528 2804 5 miles
549 3353
543 3936
545 4522
538 5101
537 5638 14th place overall, 4th 30-39 age category, 5:40 per mile average

Old-Fashioned 10 Mile results

Greg ran a solid race almost breaking 55 minutes. Kevin was tracking me down in the last few miles sneaking under 57 minutes. Dan and Joe followed to finish as 2nd and 3rd place masters of the day. Jason Dunklee had a solid effort. I cooled down with the guys for a few extra easy miles.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Sidehiller Snowshoe

Kristen and I headed up to Center Sandwich, NH for the Sidehiller 4 mile snowshoe race. The race is part of the race series: Western Mass Athletic Club / Dion Snowshoe and the Granite State Snowshoe Series. In addition, it was a qualifying race for the USSSA Nationals race to be held in Wisconsin later this winter. My intentions were to connect with Bob Dion from Dion Snowshoes to upgrade to a new pair snowshoes (racing model 121), replacing the pair that I had since 2004. They are a touch lighter and have a few other small upgrades including a reinforced cleat and quick binding system. The race also gave me a chance to break them in.

This race is always competitive and knew I would have my work cut out for me. This course reverted back to the layout from two years ago. It contained a quick loop around the fairgrounds and across the street through wide open fields that is mostly single track. The snow was a light sugary consistency underneath a light top crust which made the track slow for my 157 lb frame. I felt like a slug through most of the course and did not have to fight too much with anything but the snow under foot. I owned 11th place after 600m and throughout the race. I had a single file pack of guys about 10 – 30 seconds throughout for me to stare down but never close on. It took me 35:41 to track what might be a shade more than four miles. I am curious if anyone wore a GPS through this one.

The team did very well. Kevin Tilton took the win with Jim Johnson right behind him. Dave Dunham ran a very smart race making his way up into sixth place and Scott McGrath who I heard joined the CMS ranks was right in front of me. Kristen was all over the place taking photos. Meanwhile, NH Chronicle was on site taping footage and interviewing several folks like Kevin and Jim. I look forward to the segment in the future. I ran a cool down with Dave Dunham a few minutes after the race. Kristen and I soon hit the road for lunch at about twenty minutes away at Walter’s Basin on Little Squam Lake in Holderness. I had an awesome Tuna Melt and Fries. I wish I had the chance to spend more time and even a night or two in the area. It is a shame to “hit and run” the north country.

Monday, January 24, 2011

A moderately challenging Derry Prep 16

The Derry Prep 16 miler is as advertised: moderately challenging. This is one of those races that proudly displays the course elevation profile on the technical shirt given to all pre-entrants. My goal was to run a pace close to a marathon goal pace if the road conditions were decent. I have run this race twice before. My foray in 2001 was a learning experience. Don’t bother driving in a snow storm to attend a road race unless you are allowed to wear snowshoes in the race. Joe Shairs and I ran 6:22 pace in 2006 during a string of long runs that winter to get us ready for the New Bedford Half Marathon.

I warmed up with Andie Colon, Mike Quintal, and Jim Johnson over the first .75 miles of the course hoping to see an indication of the road conditions. There was plenty of bare pavement. As it turned out, the shaded sections of the course still had a hard packed snow but you could run over the tracks left behind by vehicles over the last 36 hours since the last snow fall on Friday afternoon. I got out into the top ten immediately after the start. I ran the first few miles with Mike Quintal. I never looked at the watch so I was just running against the course but wanted to stay close if possible to those that could pull me along the first half. Then I had some company in the middle miles with Tim Catoggio who runs for Marx Running. He was already running well under his advised pace. He planned on taking off after 13.1 miles and he certainly did, making his way up to 4th place in the end. I was crawling up the hills after mile 10 and the splits prove it. Still I could see a few guys about a minute ahead and plugged away. I rolled up on Mike Quintal who was hurting pretty bad with 2 miles to go. I went onto hit my quickest split of the day 2 miles away from the finish chasing down Humberto Rodriguez in a downhill stretch.

I finished with the 16 miler in 1:37.46, a 6:07 per mile average. My pace for the first five miles was 5:58, 6:00 through 10, and 6:08’s through 13.1 miles (Half Marathon). I promptly did a cooldown walk into some dry clothes and broke bread (Pizza, Soup, Hot Chocolate) with Kristen and the CMS gents: Mike, Jim, and Jason Dunklee. The Nike Lunarcrap that I wore provided a heel blister on each foot were stinging pretty good. That is my fault as I should have left them home. The legs are a bit sore today. I certainly got their attention in this tough course.

556 1205
532 1738
545 2323
623 2946 5 miles
535 3522
558 4121
557 4719
555 5315
638 5953 10 miles
641 1:06:35
630 1:13:06
629 1:19:35 (low 1:20 Half Marathon)
624 1:26:10
526 1:31:26
620 1:37:46

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Beverly Citizen Snowshoe interview

I got a nice call from Christopher Hurley from the Beverly Citizen earlier this week for an interview about the Olde Salem Greens Snowshoe Classic.

Beverly’s James Pawlicki keeps pace in the Olde Salem Greens Snowshoe Classic posted January 12, 2010

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Olde Salem Greens Snowshoe Classic

If nothing else, I emailed Ben Nephew (CMS - Inov8) as soon as I registered for the Olde Salem Greens Snowshoe Classic on Thursday night. I asked him to come back up here and consider this race that he won last year. He was considering a three hour drive to hit up a snowshoe race in Pittsfield, MA. I woke up this morning, coughing and hacking up flem which has been the norm since Wednesday. Colds suck, period. I looked outside, disappointed. There was a lack of fresh white stuff on the ground - at least 2-4 inches promised by the weather folks yesterday. I packed up the gym bag and two pairs of snowshoes and hit the door one hour before the race was to start. Kristen and I drove over to Salem in an easy 15 minute drive. I got a pair of cool socks with the Olde Salem Greens Snowshoe logo made by the sockguy for pre-registering. I took a quick peek at the course map with Ben Nephew and course co-designer, Patrick Smith. Patrick Smith, Jay Curry, and others were on the greens during the week shoveling snow onto clear grass to prepare for the race and finalize a course. The course was different than last year in that it did not have the single track woods loop. I went back to my car to swap out for the smaller cleat as I had the large cleat installed from the last snowshoe race last year.

I warmed up on the course minus the snowshoes with Brett Rickenbach (Winners Circle Running Club) with whom I suggested during the week that he try this race out. This was his first snowshoe race. I brought him my extra pair of snowshoes but he ended up renting a pair from Dion Snowshoes which I've been rocking since 2004. Bob and Denise Dion were on hand offering their wares and renting them for $5. There were bare spots scattered on the golf course so it was going to be interesting to see what the backside of the course was going to look like. The race bolted out and I settled into third after a few minutes. Ben was out in the front with Steve Dowsett (UMass Dartmouth). There were plenty of rolling hills to slow the pace. I kicked it down each hill. Ben began to pull away from Steve before a mile when I started to focus on reeling Steve in. I caught Steve around 1.75 miles. I was pretty much exhausted after 20 minutes so I quelled any thoughts to go after Ben who seemed to tire and was not pulling away. I rolled into the finish line in 25:23. Ben ran 24:49. Steve was right behind me with a 25:49. Brett ran a solid 26:56 just ahead of Acidotic Racing's Chirs Dunn. I headed out for an easy an easy cooldown with the guys before the top twenty finished.

Some thoughts came to mind after the race. The Dungeon Rock racing crew of Patrick Smith, Jay Curry, and others put in a lot of time in during the week to spread snow on the bare spots to give us a manageable course. Whatever frozen grass we ran over today, I hardly noticed. I'd say we were on snow for 98% of the 3.1 0r 3.2 miles that they measured out on google earth. We dealt with what was given to us which is a common theme in New England racing. The second thought was the time and effort that the Dion's put in to come to races and make it affordable to get folks without snowshoes fitted to take part in the races. They drive all over New England and New York from their headquarters in Vermont. In addition, kudos to Doug Bollen who is behind the series of races in Salem all year 'round. Lastly, with the snow that began to fall toward the end of the race made me wonder just how many snowshoe races that I have raced while it was snowing. Of all the snowshoe races I have done (at least 25), I couldn't recall one. Thus today was the first. Dave Dunham may correct me on that.

The best part was chilling out after the race with plenty of hot cocoa, chili, powerade, water, peanuts, bananas, and bagels. I won a raffle prize - gift certificate to the New England Running Company and won a cool hat for second place overall.

Olde Salem Greens Snowshoe Classic full results
Photos taken by KrissyK

Finally, I want to plug a lecture in which Chris Dunn is the lead speaker in Salem this Tuesday on winter endurance training. Here is a story.

Event Details:
What: Lecture and Social Gathering for Endurance Sport Athletes.
When: Tuesday, January 11, 7:00 pm.
Where: Salem Mass YMCA, 1 Sewall St., Salem, MA 01970
Cost: Free and open to the public.

Jim Pawlicki, Brett Rickenbach, Ben Nephew, and Steve Dowsett emarking on the cooldown.