Monday, May 3, 2021

Cinco de Miles 5K

Lined up for another race, Cinco de Miles 5K in Bedford, NH. I met up with Dave Dunham and ran the course as a warm-up. The course had a few hills. I started about six minutes after the first pair of runners. I passed a few runners early but settled down after a 6:30 mile next to Hannah Munson. Mile 2 was paced around 6:40. I was dropped by the company I had with Hannah around 2.3 miles. The course flattened out for the final half mile but I had no zip. 6:50 for the last mile for a 20:50 5K time. 7th in the age group and 59th overall.

I ran the course again with Dave to mark off a productive day for some extra miles.




 

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Stonyfield Earth Day 5K

Lined up a 5K at the last minute in Londonderry NH with the Earth Day 5K on this fine soggy Saturday morning. Seeded myself at 21:20 and ran 21:41. Splits sort of looked like 6:40, 6:50, 6:55. The course was quiet, blocked to traffic on a lollipop course through residential roads away from the initial start and finish near a soccer field. Nice work and event by Millennium Running who run a tight and organized event 100%. 

The start corral sent off 2 runners off at a time. The young lady I started with smoked me. I had a runner for company around mile 1 but then ran solo and not passing anyone until 2 with half mile to go. The rain held off but road was wet. The Adidas road flats stuck well. Krissy took some photos. Loved the support. First race for 2021. Got some work to do but felt good to suck wind out there. 

2021 Stoneyfield Earth Day 5K Results









Sunday, February 21, 2021

Back to the races in 2021


After firing my long term agent and losing my Dr. Scholls & Gold Bond Sponsorships I had turned to Pro Bowling and the PBA Tour. However, after losing a flo-match with Kyle Troup, I got banned from the 2021 tour. 

I had no choice but to return to the thriving running scene in New England. I filled the 2021 race calendar with some events that are proudly being hosted within the Granite State. At this point, it is the only game in town that a runner can bank on. The racing will start with the Canterbury Shaker Village Snowshoe race in March (edit - had to help dad move so never got to the race). The snowshoes will get retired after that for another four years. 

Going forward, I have committed to the Capital Area Race Series (CARS2021) which will consist of 8 races from May to September. There are six 5K's, one 5 mile and one 10K. Two of the 5K's are cross country style which suits me just fine. If the Bay State COVID policies change, I will be seeking off-road races especially cross country in the fall. 

Aside from that, the goal early on this year is to cover five miles for each daily run attempted and if that falters, shoot for 25 miles for the week. I need to cover at a minimum of 25 miles for the Nike footwear test that ends in March. After that I will work in some mid-week tempo runs to get out of the comfort zone. Lastly, I want to put four uncomfortable 400M laps and taste some oxygen debt in April to kick of the 2nd quadrant of the year. The ultimate goal for the year is to break 20 minutes in a 5K (6:26 mile pace).







Monday, December 14, 2020

Run to Fall 5K Trail Race

Sunday December 6, 2020

This race was postponed from November which I signed up for in order to have cross country tune up before the New England Cross Country Championships. Former CMS teammate Tim Cox and family have been hosting this rolling terrain cross country event for almost two decades at Coe-Brown Academy in Northwood, NH. About eight inches of snow had fallen the day before. Most of the snow was plowed along the trails with a 4 wheeler while even a few trees were reported to be cut down and out of the way. There were six heats of races during the day to keep everyone distanced out. I fell into heat # 3 which started at 1:15PM. I saw Dave Dunham and Dan Verrington cooling down from their 11AM race. I got schooled on what the course terrain and conditions were like. Dave lent me a pair of Kahtoolah Microspikes which helped a lot in getting traction on the course. The toughest part of the course was the opening and closing 150M where the snow was ankle deep but already beat down by the first two heats of runners.

I jumped out and settled into 2nd place after a quarter mile. I got passed by 800m in by the eventual winner who would run 23:45. I moved up to second place and held that place until getting passed with 400 meters to go. I was gassed and maintained into the finish which was on the track buried by snow. I placed 3rd in the heat and 23rd overall with a time of 24:55 and 8:02 miles for the 5K distance. It was certainly a fun race even with the tricky footing. I benefitted with the Katoolah spikes. I am going to invest in a pair which is perfect for lightly packed snow. I headed out for another 3 miles on the course for a cooldown on the quiet course which waited another hour for the last two heats/races for the day.




Wednesday, December 2, 2020

USATF New England Cross Country Championships

During the year of the “Crona” racing opportunities have been limited but the USATF New England Cross Country Championships secured Mine Falls in Nashua, NH for November 21. The Central Mass Striders entered a team with a mix of age groups. I was familiar with Mine Falls as I raced a month earlier on said trails. The 5K course would be a fast one in the form of a lolli-pop with a tiny bump or two in the middle mile. Joe Shairs drove us for a quick 45 minute ride. We met up with CMS teammates for our first team gathering since March. We settled our gear in a team designated area on the far side of the field. The women’s race was just wrapping up as we grabbed our team packet with bib numbers from Steve Vaitones. It was a great November weather day with very light wind and plenty of sun giving temps in the 50’s.

All precautions and safety measures were excercised for the event. Waves of 20 runners were sent off at the noon start. 10 seconds in between waves and 20 minutes in between the 4th and 5th waves. Masks are mandatory everywhere until you are racing from the start to finish line. I took off in a wide start line of about 18 runners in my 7th wave of peer performances based on seed time. I entered with a 22:00 5K seed. USATF New England, officials and volunteers did a great job keeping people comfortably spaced and orderly.

I pulled the mask down and onto my wrist after getting up to speed. I found myself in the rear which is as usual for me. I slowly worked my way up in the middle of gents by the 1st mile showing a time of 6:34. The middle mile slowed down with narrowed trail in the woods making passing a little tricky but doable if calculated right. Also, needed to pay attention to the many roots and tripping hazards in this mile. I moved up a few spots through here putting me a few ticks trailing GBTC’s Jason Pollutro who looked to be the 4th place runner in the wave. Mile 2 went by with a 7:07. Now back on the final straight to the finish but a far mile, I got a good stride getting past Jason and a Greater Lowell runner with a half mile to go. I got to the finish line in 20:32, with a 6:35 effort for the final mile. Overall I placed 68 out of 87 runners, 7th in the 40-49 age group. Our masters team led by Eric Blake’s 40+ age group leading 15:41 took 1st place over HFC and GLRR. Our open team placed 2nd behind Battle Road.  

I was pretty good with the effort. Eased into the pace and felt good to race. GPS stats: 3.03 miles, 6:46 pace per mile, 20:32 time. Splits: 6:36, 7:09, 6:35. I did a 1 mile warmup and then another .3 miles shortly before the start. I wore a light-ish New Balance trail waffle. I ran 1.6 miles for a cool down minutes after the race with CMS teammates.  

Photo credits to Tom D, GSRS and Dave Dunham

Results 

Team Results 

 

68

7

M4049

20:32

James

Pawlicki

M

46

CENTRAL MASS STRIDERS [02-0009]

 







Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Mine Falls Trail Running Festival

Fall and cross country racing in New England is my favorite of all disciplines within the year. Being a crazy year with the "crona" and tight grouping/event restrictions in the state of Massachusetts, racing has been a huge void since mid-March. That has left us with virtual races. I just can't get fired up for the virtual races. I did a few Lynn Woods virtual races in May/June and a 1 mile in April. Otherwise, not a fan of virtual racing. 

New Hampshire seems to be ahead of the curve with getting events off the ground in recent months - even with some restrictions such as staggered start, small waves of runners, limited numbers of racers, et cetera. If you are looking for a centralized site or app to find a race, good luck, I don't know of any. Enter social media....read that CMS teammate Dave Dunham was targeting an Ultra Distance race in Mine Falls in Nashua, NH slated for early October. I never ran in Mine Falls and was very curious about the venue and running in a real race. There were various race distances offered as part of the Mine Falls Running Festival hosted by Sub5racing. Being that they had hosted a non-virtual set of races late in the summer and very reasonable COVID Common Sense requirements was a plus in my book. I booked the 5K and was looking forward to my first paid entry and race since January. 

I met up with Dave Dunham and Dan Verrington for a warmup over the 5K course which started from the Pine Street extension of the park. The single track trails were very runnable. A few small bumps, would not even call them hills along the way. Most of the 5K course was fire road width. There was a set of 20 long steps to stumble down with 300m to go but that was the only hazard on the course. 

About 60+ gathered at the start line at 9AM. Everyone was masked and spaced out evenly based on their comfort level. No one wanted to line up on the start line. I found that funny. I stood about 3 rows back, excited to run my first race since January. As we started, I focused on getting some room and settling into something around 7 minute pace. I took my mask off in a hurry so I could breath. Soon, a single track path had me caught behind some folks and I struggled to pick a spot to go around them. I respected the tight quarter to pass with 6ft surrounding so I waited for some room after what felt like several long minutes.

Mile one was around 7:22 and seemed content as I was working for that. Mile 2 was around 7:44, slower with the bumpy part of the course. After two miles, the course had a generous flat section along a canal. The guy in front of me laid some "gapplebees" like I was standing still. It was lonely out there but no complaints. A youngster past me after I managed to not trip down the steps at the end. From there, it was a flat 300 meters to the finish. A tiny participant trophy awaited me in my black CMS shirt, sweating out the almost 25 minute effort over 3.34 miles (note longer than 5K). Low 7:20 pace hurt a bit but so happy to get a race and heart rate up.

6th place James Pawlicki 24:49.0 Gun Time

Dan would run 22:34 for 3rd place while the winner, Ian Post ran 20:16. Dave changed his race down to the 16 mile (8 and 16 milers started together) and would take the win. I unofficially joined the Dunham Running Club for the team competition. Still not sure how the team did or how the scoring worked out. But I scored the best gift of all with Dave sneaking a DRC patch and sticker into my race bag.



Trophies!

Dan Verrington and I after the start

Limited Edition Dunham Running Club patch and sticker


Tuesday, September 15, 2020

My Marathon History refresh

Was recently put on the spot for a fun fact about me. I have not been hit by that in a long time. I should have been prepared. I dunno, tough question. Depends on the audience. It got me to thinking about how many marathons have I run. Maybe a dozen? 

Thankfully, I found a blog post from 2014 where I compiled the results until that point. I had to dig deep into the "way back machine" to find results on the four marathons since then.  

Summary: 14 starts, 13 finishes

1997  2:33:35  Ocean State Marathon

1998  2:44:27  Boston Marathon

2001  2:45:46  Hyannis Marathon

2001  2:46:27  Boston Marathon

2003  2:37:59  Chicago Marathon

2011  2:40:01  Baystate Marathon

2012  3:14:10  Boston Marathon

2013  2:57:26  Vermont City Marathon

2014  DNF      Boston Marathon

2014  2:53:15  Manchester City Marathon (1st race as master runner)

2015 2:52:19   Vermont City Marathon

2016 3:05:28   Boston Marathon

2017 3:34:33   Boston Marathon

2018 3:12:30   Baystate Marathon