Monday, May 31, 2010

A running group of 1

Well, it had to happen. I was the only one of the usual group to show up for the long run on Sunday. It was the first time in a while that I had to do my long run by myself, and it was a little hard to get motivated at first. I headed out the bike path to the rail trail, headed towards the dump. It was a beautiful day, a little hot in the sun, but once I got to the trail and the shade, perfect. The rain from the night before hadn't puddled up on the trail too much, and it was soft and easy. I kept thinking of Justin, Mark and Erin in the VCM, and I was hoping it wasn't too hot for them. I cruised up to the wood bridge in about 52 minutes, about 8:20 pace. Nothing too speedy, but I was enjoying the morning. After a little rest, and all the bug bites I could handle, I headed back down. A mile or so into the return I saw a group running well, and it turned out to be Greg, Jeff an a couple others from the Wednesday group. I turned around and joined them for their trip to the bridge. Now the pace was a bit quicker, but it still felt ok. Heading back again, I wasn't sure how long I could stay up with them, and after a a few miles, I thought I'd drop back a bit so as not to hold them back too much. Once I dropped back just a little, I actually felt better, and I caught back up pretty easily. Once we broke out of the shade I knew it would be a different story, and by the time we crossed the highway, I knew I had to let them go. I walked just a bit and regrouped. I made it back from the bridge in 44 minutes, about 7:10. Shows what a slight downhill will do, plus running with a faster group.
In the afternoon, Roma and I went to North Hampton and ran the 5K course on the trail. It was a nice leisurely pace, and a great way to end the day. So it ended up being my first twofer, 15 am, 3 pm, 18 for the day.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Someone old, someone new.....

My son, Michael, joined us for the Wednesday workout.  He is thinking about running cross country next fall, and who better to train with and learn from than this group.  The Keenyans today were: Justin, Mark, Andy, Greg, Jeff, Erin, Bill, Michael and me.  It was super hot for his first day, so I gotta give him credit just for showing up.  He played a little tennis while the usual group went for a fairly quick warm up.  I had already thought about keeping the repeats short, so we decided to just do some 400s and 200s.   Pacing was important, because it's easy to start off too fast, and then feel demoralized if you can't hold it, especially in the heat and on your first workout.  We tried to keep the 400s at about 1:30.  I would have liked to do a few more, but again, with the heat, less was fine.  
The splits were:
37/36(Michael 31)
Of course Michael felt the need to kick my ass in the last 100m.  Right now I think I can still take him in anything over a mile.  800s are a toss up.  Anything less than that forget it.  Youth wins. It will be fun to see how long I can hold on to the longer distances if he decides to stay with it.
The cool down was a bit of a challenge for me in the heat.  My mouth was parched, and I felt pretty wiped out for such a short effort.  At the end we went to Happy River to sit and cool off.  It felt great,  and I really felt my heart rate drop when I cooled down.  Then it was off to Armadillos for beer, burritos and banter (Michael gets 2 out of 3).  Best of luck to Justin, Mark and Erin at VCM on Sunday.

Monday, May 24, 2010

I just like to post this picture every now and then so we all know there's no point in complaining. No matter what difficulties you've been handed, you can overcome them. This dude is one tough motha...

Sunday to the Dump

Sunday was a perfect day for a run to the dump. A few of the regulars were joined by Justin and Jeff from the Wednesday track group. The group consisted of Rudiger, Jeff R, Erin, Justin, Jeff Goupil and Me. We started out up the bike path, with Justin, Jeff, Erin and me at about 7:45 pace. Erin is getting ready for the 1/2 at VCM, plus she ran a race on Saturday, so she dropped back after a mile or so. I've been feeling a lot of congestion lately, I think it's allergies, so the pace for me was comfortable, but still a little hard. The weather was great, and when we made it to the rail trail, the shade and soft dirt made for really nice running. Justin won the Bedford 12K, and I enjoyed hearing the recap of the race from him and Jeff. As usual, the way back made for some easy and faster miles, soft, shade and slight downhill. Very enjoyable at about 7:15. But as we got out of the shade, things heated up and I was glad we only had a mile or so to go. Justin looks super strong and smooth, and Jeff if getting right back into the swing of things after dealing with some knee problems. I really enjoy all the different people I run with. Somehow I always end up in the middle, between older & younger, faster & slower. I get so much out of it no matter who I run with. I'm just glad I can keep up with these guys on their easy miles.
Tonight is the Greenfield Summer Sizzler, but I don't think I will be able to make it. Tomorrow I am planning to do some hill repeats to try you get ready for the Mount Washington race.

Thursday, May 20, 2010


It was a good, although still fairly light track workout. I still don't have too much direction without a race on the schedule. It was a good showing at the track, with most of the usual group and a few newer members. Good for me, because they are about my speed. Mark, Justin, Andy, Bojo, Jeff, Brad, Bill and me. I hadn't decided what to do, and Brad and Bill were going to do 2x800, 4x400 and 2x200. Sounded good to me, and the pace was about right, so after the usual warm up and some striders, we got into it. Started out a little fast, but I was able to keep fairly even splits. It seemed to be over pretty quickly, and at the end I was feeling like I should do a little more, but I opted not to. I gotta get a little more focused. Justin and Mark were looking great as they cruised 800s in about a 4:40 pace. Strong and smooth. My split times were:


Definitely a short workout. But I'm looking forward to this weekend, because Justin and Jeff are planning to meet up with the Sunday group. An easy 15 miles at 7-8 min pace for them should be a good tempo run for me, something I haven't done in a while. Mount Washington is in 4 weeks, so next week I'm planning to do some more hill repeats, and begin keeping track of my mileage again.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Sunday to S&J's, Monday Sizzler

The routine of Sunday long runs and Monday Sizzler races is back in full swing. We had a good group running up to Stuart & John's pancake house on Sunday. Erin, Diane, Jeff Rudiger and I left from downtown, while Christina, Newt and Geraldine went for a few miles down from S&J's, then headed back. Erin is training for the VCM relay, and we went out at a fairly decent pace, about 8:00. It's about 13 mile up, and the weather and trail were perfect. We ran into Newt Geraldine and Christina at about the 10 mile mark, and we all got to the pancake house at approximately the same time. It was a great way to spend the morning, and thanks to Jeff for organizing the rides back.
The Monday Sizzler was at Norway Hill, with Honest Abe presiding over the festivities. Bojo and Goupil were there to pace Jeff's girlfriend, Haley. A mile down, a mile flat, then about a mile up. That pretty much sums up the course, and my mile splits certainly reflect it. 5:41/6:10/8:22, for a total of 20:14. A pretty good time for me, and good enough for 6th. Although I would have been way behind Jeff and Boj if they had been racing. The middle mile is a fairly good indication of where I should be for a 3 mile race, right about 6-6:15 pace. I was again about a minute behind Yolanda Flamino, and any thoughts I may have had about trying to beat her once in this series are quickly fading. She is one solid runner. Next week we head to Greenfield, a longer, but easier course than the last two. And today will be a little wet for the track, but it will be fun. My son Michael has said he might be there. I'm sure I can still take him in a 5K or longer, but those days are numbered. He may do cross country for the fall. I hope so. It would be good for him and the conditioning will help in all his other sports.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Wednesday Track

It was a fun day to work out at the track. No wind, and a good group, Dan, Justin, Andy, Mark, Greg, Erin and Brad. After a fairly quick warm up at about 7:15 pace, Dan and I were trying to figure out what workout to do. The others were doing mile repeats, and we figured we could keep their pace for about 1 lap, so that's what we did. Do a 400 at about 1:15-1:20 pace, an easy jog 400, then catch back up to them on the last lap. It worked pretty well for a couple of times, then we decided to do a few 800s, then a mile to finish it off. All in all I felt it was my first solid workout since Boston, and I was very pleased how consistent my times were. The cool down was a lot of fun, with Erin leading the way, again, at about a 7:15 pace. I think she has really started to see the value of running with such a great group. Since neither one of us puts in the kind of miles or even volume for the track workouts, you can really have a lot of fun on the cool down, once you get used to it. And, she brought cookies to Armadillos. I don't think you could ask for anything more.

My times were:

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Summer Sizzlers are back

The Summer Sizzlers started up on monday, and it looks like it should be a lot of fun again this year. I don't know how many I will be able to do, but if I am around, I'll be there. This week started from the Hancock Depot, for a tough 2 1/2 mile out and back course. The first mile has a hard hill in it, that kind of takes the wind out of your sails for the rest of the race. A little downhill to the turn around, then back up on the return. It's good to have the downhill for the last mile or so, but it's hard to pick up the speed when you are winded. My mile splits were: 7:10, 6:27, 3:04 (1/2 mile), for a total of 16:42. I came in 6th, I'll have to check my results from last year to see how my times compare. I was about a minute behind the top woman, Yolanda Flamino, who I found out later was the 2010 usatf 50k champion. There were some fast runners there as usual. It was good to see fellow Keenyan Jeff Goupil take 3rd. Hope to see more of the Keenyan group out there for this fun and fast series.
Today we hit the high school track again, and Sunday, it looks like a Stuart and John's run for some pancakes.