Monday, January 25, 2016

Mixed Mile GBTC Invite

I signed up for the 3000 meter race at the Greater Boston Invitational hosted at Harvard University. I car pooled in with Regina Loiacano, Jennifer Brooks, Nick Taormina, and Katie Misuraca. It was nice to catch up and talk about training, racing, et cetera. We got to the meet early, settled in, and I checked in for the 3K which was going to start two hours later. I watched the gals run the 3000m Invitational race. Katie went on to win and Jennifer and Regina had solid races. I ended up missing the start of my heat as I mis-judged how much time I had to warm up and get down to the track. My heat was #3 (heats ran fast to slowest) so it was totally my fault. By the time I got to my bag to grab my singlet and racing flats, my heat was lining up. I ran down to cheer on Dan Verrington and Nick Taormina who both ran 9:51 and 10:10 respectively.

I found the race director, Dave Callum, who allowed me to enter into the masters mile which was fine with me. I had a banana and Powerade that Regina was nice enough to give me as I had another two hours until my event. I carefully timed my warm up and got down to the check in area while all of the heats of the mile were going on. I waited through 3 heats before my mixed masters mile went off. I jumped into the middle of the pack at the gun and saw the first two laps go by in 37, 75 and then a 2:31 800m split. I was behind Chris Lawrence only for those laps and he began to move up a place. I caught up to 52 year old Adam Harder from GBTC and I ran in his pocket for the last 400m to finish 6th out of the 11 in the heat with a time of 5:04.86. I was wiped out in those last three laps but glad Adam was there to help me out and he agreed. This event was totally out of my comfort zone but glad I got a race in for the day after missing my heat. Krissy picked me up and we headed out for pizza and unfortunately watched the Patriots run into a solid Broncos defense and lose.

6th overall in the mixed 40+ mile event

Monday, January 11, 2016

Lazy Dog Classy 3 mile

I stopped by the Lazy Dog Sports Bar to register and buy a few raffle tickets. It was raining out and windy. It was sure to scare a few people away which was a shame as the proceeds support the Lynn Classical Girls Track and Field program. Classical coach and race director, Stephen Martin, gave me a hug and thanked me for coming. As Joe O’Leary said to me years ago, Stephen is one of the nicest guys in the sport.  He is doing a great job with assistant coaches like Warren McPhail at Lynn Classical. I drove home, changed, and ran back over to the race. I got to the line greeting training partners Joe O’Leary and Nakri Dao. The three of us jumped right out at the start. Joe and I ran side by side down Euclid Ave through mile 1 in 5:44. I did not check the split but the effort felt like a 5:30. I lost a step at 1.5 miles to Joe. He floated away down Broadway. My 2nd mile was a 5:29. He had five seconds on me. I was just trying to keep it close in the last mile. Joe broke tape with a 17:09 and I for 2nd place and 17:20 (last mile was 5:52). Nakri came in at 18:06 for 3rd. All three of us are 40+, taking the top three.  With the wind and rain not letting up, we headed back out to get a cool down and discussed our races. After two miles with them, I broke away, headed home for a shower. Krissy and I went back for the awards for which I was late but Stephen handed me envelopes for Tides in Nahant. They will be put to good use. We stayed for lunch and caught up with Stephen and Bill Mullen.

Myself, Bill Mullen, Nakri Dao
Photo by Krissy

Friday, January 1, 2016

Wicked Frosty Four

Nakri, Krissy, and I rolled over to Salem for the Wicked Frosty Four mile road race. We headed out for a warm up and hit the starting line for the reasonable 10AM start time. Not that I needed my beauty sleep but much prefer races on the early side of day light. The race started and I yelled over to EJ Hrynowski, “let’s go EJ!” just because it is good to see him and he’s good for the chirp. He promptly smoked the senior field and missed out on a PR by ten ticks of the North Shore Timing in the end.

Speaking of North Shore Timing, it was a family affair with father and owner Mike, in charge of timing command, son - John Page ahead of me by a few seconds at mile 1, and mom, Jill, cheering the race on.  I’ve known the Page family since I got introduced to club running and the North Shore Striders in the early 1990’s. Jill is a sweet heart, always smiling and supporting even in the midst of competition. “John is looking good up there,” I mentioned to her as I ran past mile 1. Without hesitation, “well, you look better” Jill said to me.

I was in fifth place and had that envious desire to move up five seconds and roll with the lead pack that included David Long and John Page. I was thinking that I should be up there mixing it up with them. My envy and legs were at odds a half mile later, confirming that I was not going to make up any gap, just see it get bigger. The highlight of mile two, was a storm trooper (are you reading this Joe Shairs?) pointing us toward the force - force of a little head wind.  The four up front extended the gap through mile 3 with John Page breaking off as he climbed the hill beyond Dead Horse Beach. This gave me hope to shake out of my suck-fest and maybe close in on him. Well......thankfully I did not look at the mile split until after the race.

My legs were junk and so was that last mile (5:57). I closed the gap between John (also missing his PR by 9 seconds set last year) and I to seven ticks at the end (last mile 5:54) good for 2nd master behind David Long (3rd, 22:52 - off by 8 seconds from last year). My time of 23:17 and pace of 5:50 placed me 5th overall. I won’t go all out negative but was disappointed with the effort. I ran 22:45 last year (5:42).

All was forgotten seeing Nakri (3rd 40+) busting down into the finish and a few other familiar faces crossing the first finish line of the New Year. Nakri and I did a short cool down before hanging out at post race festivities within the Tavern in the Square, both of us grabbing age group medals. Krissy, Maryann, Nakri, and I crossed the street and feasted on breakfast at The Ugly Mug Diner wrapping up the journey.

Wicked Frosty Four mile results

top three masters Nakri Dao, I, and David Long