Friday, April 30, 2010

Casey's 4.21 (4/29/10)

So, all the fast runners might not actually be impressed. However the speed is actually returning to me.

At the weekly Casey's Run, I felt really good leaving the starting line. I was the first one up Winter Hill. The actual fast people caught me at the top but I followed as best I could after that. Our split at 2 miles was under 13:30.

While I lost the fast group after that, I did manage to maintain some pace. As I turned down Pearl in the last mile I felt surprisingly good for the speed I was going.

I pulled in at 28:39 for 4.21 Miles! That translates to a 21:04 - 5K. We'll see.


May will be my active month. As, I stretch toward my June and July A-Level events I have four events in May.

5/1 - Cycling - Boston Brevets 200K (Goal Time - 12:30:00)
5/9 - Triathlon - Sudbury Spring Triathlon 400yd S/7mi B/2.7m R (Goal Time - 1:05:00)
5/15 - Cycling - Boston Brevet 300K (Goal Time - 18:00:00)
5/22 - X Country - Playworks Run for Recess 5K (Goal Time - 21:30)

Tino pai


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Trailing Away - Fox Trot Trail Race (4/25/10)

Race: Fox Trot Trail Race, Blue Hills, MA
Distance: 10 Miles
Goal Time: 1:30:00
Actual Time: 1:26:14

So it was about 4.5 miles in when I officially confirmed to myself that a ten mile trail race is WAAAAAY harder than a regular half-marathon:

I was briefly talking with a guy. He asked me how much trail running I had done.

"This is my first time." I said.

"It's my first race, too. I've only been training on trails for a few weeks."

This is when I officially confirmed to myself that I was a moron. "No," I said, "this is the first time I've ever done any trail running. I suppose I should have done it at least once before."

By Six miles, I felt completely finished. I had to walk up one of the hills. (something I've never done in a race.) Then I threw up at the top.

This is when fortune smiled upon me. A woman in a 2010 Boston Marathon shirt ran by me during my expelling of the morning's coffee. She was running slightly faster than my brain wanted to but in a speed my legs could handle. "I'm following her," I said to myself and that I did until about 7.5 miles. She tripped up a little bit. I tried to process the trip to avoid the root or stone she tripped on only to find myself flat on my back! "Awesome!" I exclaimed. Well, as she tied her shoe I got up started running. (The small blister on my right foot was no longer bothering me since there was a big strawberry on my left knee now that was killing me.)

A little past eight miles was the last real tough hill and by then I wanted to quit. Well, once again fortune smiled. The same woman in the 2010 Boston shirt passed me again. From there a strange random memory of a friend's band hit me: I am on top / I can do anything. So, I was just determined to just follow her footsteps.

For the rest of the race until I could smell the finish, I just followed that turquoise (maybe, aqua-marine?) shirt. As we reached toward the end, I realized I could probably beat somebody in a sprint who ran the hardest marathon major a mere six days ago. While I almost killed myself in the sharp slope that led down into the Trailside Museum parking lot, I happily blew by the woman who spent Monday out on the hills of Newton while I sat on my couch eating nachos - wondering where Meb had dropped back to.

My goal time was surprisingly close to my finish time - considering I had NO earthly knowledge of translating road times to trail times. I think I might run some more trail races (but practice trail running at least once before hand). And I know I won't complain about the Great Bay's hills again.

Tino pai,


Friday, April 23, 2010

Out on the Charles (4/20/10)

Harvard Business School from the River

Trip - Western Ave Bridge to Eliot Bridge and Back
Distance - 3 miles

It'd been a while since I'd actually been on the water. The last time was actually in a "Croatian wooden boat" on the Mreznica. So on a sunny, warm Tuesday I took the the UNS Aral Sea for its first voyage of the season.

Once I got the Aral Sea inflated and on the water the wind picked up and the sun hid beneath the clouds. Without the sun, April is still quite cool, so I turned the boat around and returned home. But for a first ride it was great.

Patriots' Day Ride 2010 (4-19-10)

Paul Revere Reenactor

Ride: Minuteman Trail, Minuteman National Park, Reformatory Branch Trail
Distance: 40 miles
Difficulty: Some tough deep mud
Sights: Lexington Battle Green, Minuteman National Park, Old North Bridge, Paul Revere Re-enactor

Patriots' Day Ride
by Jesse Morrow (with a little help from Longfellow)

Listen my children and I shall list
The Patriots' Day Ride of Global Cyclist
On the Nineteenth of April, Two Thousan' Ten.
The sun was out shining then -
A Marathon Monday not to be missed.

He said to his friend, "once this race is done -
on Heartbreak the women are about to crack -
and I have seen which man and woman have won
(Hopefully Meb will be able to comeback),
Once on their heads laurels are places
off toward Minutemen I will make haste.
It's been two hundred thirty-five years
Since to Lexington the Redcoats spread fear
And the Midnight Ride of Paul Revere."

Then he said "Good-day" and with a muffled swoon
He crossed the apartment to his room
Where he packed his bag with with water and gear
So that he may survive his ride on this significant year.
Quickly he stuffed the sack like a loon
so he'd not be a bonk's again cheap fodder-
alone on the road without any water.
The shadows of the Baske Ostarije ride
loomed over him and hydration magnified.

Meanwhile, Erkesso over Newton hills
did all but one rival break
But her blast seemed a moment as mistake
Until pulling away three seconds to beat
Behind her a chariot did fulfill
with pride and record of his namesake
As over the finish line first were Charuiyot's feet

Thus, he climbed down the apartment stairs
With his bike in hand toward the street below
beneath his feet they bent and bowed
And out he went to Central Square.
Up Pearl Street against the signs he made his way
and onto Mass Ave on the empty holiday.
Thus by the bike lanes - that were there or not
He road from Central to the spot
Where he turns from road to the trail
Toward Alewife Station Rail
Passing those walking and in trot.

Then upon the Trail Minuteman
Our hero rode onto Arlington
Rails to trails in joy and fun.
Passing Spy Pond, and the first mile span
He rode into the town's main square -
and oddly, who should be there?
A strange man on a horse - looking quite funny
With his warning: "The Redcoats are coming!"
Two hundred thirty-five years, since he first ran
The rider now replaces the man
A farcical look to his run
Tar and asphalt now replaces the road
Upon which the first Paul Revere had rode.
This man without the fear of harm
Implores the cyclist at the light to spread the alarm.

Onward, our cyclist continued to ride,
Northbound, through Menotomy, he tried
To drop down to cogwheel two -
by kicking the derailleur on the side
and blackening the tip of his shoe.
As prepared they did for a parade -
Roads closed and grandstands made -
He touched the route at the Green
Of Lexington where could be seen
With the 76 flags unfurled
The site of the Shot Heard 'Round the World.
Through the crowds ahead of the parade
And out of town westward he made
his way catching Mass Ave again
Toward where more history laid
And the National Park - Minutemen.

Past all the gathering people
And around the Revolutionary field
down the side he wheeled
past the Congregationalist steeple.
After the Green the rider went straight
up the high school hill like dragging weights
and down again over One Twenty-Eight.
And there the park that does hail
our first battle and Minutemen detail
he started upon the Battle Road Trail.
Upon the wooden road our rider did meet
two redcoats in full gear on their trip
munching away on tortilla chips
away from the battle sites in retreat.

Through the woods and fields of the trail
He continued to ride
enjoying Spring bursting forth from winter's veil
Over the boardwalks upon the bogs
and past the white blossoms of wood - dogs
And out the Battle Road's other side.

It was two by the village clock
When he rode into Concord town
And to the village tourists had flocked
In remembrance of Seventy-Five.
He stopped at a hardware store for some screws
To fix his pedals that had unhinged beneath his shoes.
Repaired he was ready to onward ride
And further on the road he went down.

As up Monument Ave he went
And a left to see French's Minuteman
At the point where farmers sent
The Redcoats away from the ridge
and stopped them at the Old North Bridge.
There the river had fanned
out into a marsh deep and above the roots
of oaks and beeches where the regulars couldn't shoot.
After imagining the Minutemen's might feat
And the Redcoats' hasty retreat,
The rider returned across the span.

With lactic acid in his legs he couldn't stanch
He turned onto the old Reformatory Branch
(Go ahead try to rhyme with "branch" - bud)
Only to find it eight inches deep with mud.
Thus fighting his way across the muddy Concord dells
He made his way to Bedford on Hartwell.
Alone on the empty trail and muddy things
He decided ne'er to ride this part again in Spring!

Thereupon the warmth of the April day
had led the families that can
out upon the pleasant Minuteman
to join in the sun to play.
And retracing his way on the trail
Where once had run the northbound rail
and seeing where the nation began
and the trips of many Minuteman.
Now back to Cambridge-town he made his way
Finding the days when Adams and Revere were alive
Feeling the coming of the Summer and may.
Remembering that day in Seventy-Five.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Ronde van Great Bay: Great Bay Half Marathon (4/11/10)

Race: Great Bay Half Marathon, Newmarket, NH
Distance: 13.1 Miles
Goal Time: 1:45:00
Real Time: 1:43:43

At about 12 and a half miles we made a sweeping turn back toward the town of Newmarket only to be faced with a hill about a block long and probably greater than a 10% grade. The guy in front of me says: "Fuck, not another fucking one!" Sure enough before we could finish this race we had to run up one more damn hill. Pretty much the whole half marathon was like the Ronde van Vlaanderen - short steep hills.

It was a fantastically organized race. We were directed to parking and then vans shuttled us to the registration and we took the same van back to our car. And the shirt, a short leve high quality wicking shirt was up to Felix's standards (apparently his number one concern of a race is that you get a good shirt).

Despite all the steep hills, it was a beautiful course. The loop took us out through the woods on the Durham line. Parts of it were on a cool winding dirt road with the short steep hills. I was able to maintain a comfortable pace and didn't feel pressured or have my usual "heavy legs." Turning off the dirt road, we were on the loop back toward Newmarket. Throughout the ride people were out in force. People were playing music in front of their house and local high school track teams and others were manning the water stations.

Coming over the last hill and back into town, the last 100 meters were straight down the main drag with even more people lining the finishing stretch. Me and another guy sprinted each other down that last bit. He nosed me out, but I'm sure each of us cut ten seconds trying to beat each other. As I stopped my watch I realized the great time. While it was 1 minute slower than my Portland run in October, I think I ran better considering that this was that much more difficult of a course.

If you are not doing Boston next year, the Great Bay Half Marathon should be your April 2011 race!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Jealous of people in bed - City Run (3-28-10)

Distance: 5 Miles
Goal Time: 37:30
Actual Time: 37:50

Do you think it'd be okay
If I kept this pace today
And you see I'm in no shape for racing
And, anyway I got a half in two weeks

The night before I worried about the cold. Most people I know complain in February about the cold, but I'm fine with winter cold. It is the cold in Spring I hate. Once winter's gone, I want it to be fully gone. Temperatures between 35 and 50 drive me insane.

Sunday was cold and windy. Wandering around, I tried to get myself motivated to run a 5 mile race in weather I didn't want to be in. The Saucony truck blaring "Hey, Jealousy" was not much help either.

As the gun went off, I immediately felt my "heavy legs." The first mile was fighting the inertia in my thighs. It seems every race that first mile has the butterflies drop from my stomach into my legs carrying lead weights. The first mile was 7:03 - way too fast.

And you know now the question it begs
From where comes always heavy legs
If I hadn't signed up for this City Run
I might not have this fun.

By mile two I had dropped into a steady pace. We turned off the road and circled the Fresh Pond path. For a bit I found a guy in a yellow shirt who I could pace off of. After the pond there was the final dash up Huron. The uphill false flat finish left me unprepared for my usual sprint finish - but I did get one person.

Everything I had left was not enough to break my goal time - missing by 20 seconds. But, as Lance argued at the Criterium International this year "if it was July and I had this form, it would be a problem." The City Run is merely a step in my path. On 4/11 at Great Bay we'll get the 4-1-1 on my path.

I can run around this lake
Let the others go and race
This race is done but something might be
Found to get a good pace