Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Gobble, Mill Cities, and ATR

It has been roughly a month since my last post and as you would expect, I have been keeping busy.  After two recovery weeks with mileage in the 20's, I have ramped back up to 50 miles a week.  I ran races at the Gobble on Thanksgiving, taking 16 seconds off 2013's time and lowering my PR in the 4 mile distance and then ran the first leg (5.4 miles) at the Mill Cities relay.  I plan on racing only once more this calendar year at the Run a Latke 5k in Swampscott.

As I look towards next year, I plan on varying it up a bit (If that is really possible).  To kick this off I am aiming at doing the All Terrain Running series that USATF New England puts on.  It starts with an indoor track mile and then chases it with a hilly snow shoe 10k. Since I have never run in snow shoes before, I am anxious to get some snow and get started.  I figured this type of series was made for people like me and if this year has taught me anything it is that I am a fairly versatile runner.

Beyond that my real goal is to just get out there and do some new and interesting races.  My main early season focus (in additional to ATR) is the ultra at Mount Mitchell at the end of February.  It would be awesome to get into Mount Washington this year and conquer the two highest peaks east of the Mississippi.  From there I want to do some mountain running and maybe travel to a race somewhere interesting (taking suggestions).

Looking forward to seeing what is next.

- Multisport Maniac

Race: Gobble Gobble Gobble
Location: Somerville, MA
Date: 11/27/2014

Distance: 4 miles

Goal: 23:27 (1 sec PR)
Actual Time: 23:21
Place: 23 / 2405 OA, 9 / 365 AG

The 2014 Gobble x 3 was my 8th straight turkey trot and 6th running of the race (I ran trail races in California in 2010 and 2012 while visiting with Amy's family).  It is interesting to go back and look at how I performed in the past.  This years race would bring me to 1 minute and 25 seconds per mile faster then my initial running in 2007.  

I learned an important lesson that I had forgotten on the night before thanksgiving: when drinking, be careful when switching beverage types. I drank a Belgian white, followed by an Imperial Stout, and then chased with with a glass of wine.

Trying to run the white line.
Pics compliments of Robert Cipriano
When I got up Thanksgiving morning, I didn't fell very well and a cup of coffee didn't really help either.  A couple of hours later as the race was starting, I had already given up on the idea of going for a new PR.  But as usual, something happens when the race starts.  I don't know if it is just adrenaline, or what, but I took off.  

I let the crazy people go and decided to just try and hold 6ish mile pace for the first mile.  When my watch beeped and read 5:54.4, I thought to myself, well I don't feel any worse then when I started, so I kept chugging along.  

A couple more people passed me over the next mile.  My watch again read 5:54.4 when it beeped and with a smile this time, I again thought, I don't really feel and worse then when I started.  

Knowing the final mile was mostly down hill, I thought, if I can hold it together for this mile, we can burn asphalt on the final mile and still PR.  So I picked the pace up a little and started passing people.  

After catching my friends John and Chris I hit a slight uphill and pushed straight through it. When my watch beeped for the third time, it read 5:51.8, and all I could think was "It's on." 

After a little bit of an up hill the huge descent began.  I glanced at my watch occasionally and watched my pace go down.  By the half mile point I was already below my previous PR pace and as long as I could hold it together I would have another PR to add to this year's pile.  

The final hill had a short flat in the middle.  As we came to it a guy in a BAA jersey passed me, but as we began the final descent following it, I completed toasted him.  

I hit the finish in 23:21, 5:50 mile, 7 second PR (# 12).  The BAA guy put his hand my back and said "Man do you have a kick."

Post Race - Pic compliments of Robert Cipriano

Race: Mill Cities Relay
Location: Nashua, NH to Lawrence, MA
Date: 12/7/2014

Distance: 5.4 miles (Leg 1)

Goal: 31:30 (5:50 pace)
Actual Time: 31:07 (5:44 pace)
Place: 3 Coed Open Team, 27th OA

This was my second year running the Mill Cities Relay and for the 2nd time I was also running leg 1.  I was able to convince Jen and Keith to get on board this year so we put in to all be on the same team.  We were paired up with Aharon and Megan and were hoping we had a shot at placing in the coed open category.  

The race is 26.9 miles and broken down into following legs: 5.4, 4.75, 2.5, 9.5, and 4.75.  

My goal was to take the first mile conservative and then accelerate from there.  I ended up starting hard as a bunch of people ran away, but was able to settle into a reasonable pace by the half mile mark.  I clocked a 5:54.3 for the first mile (almost identical to my first two Gobble Miles).  After fighting through a couple of rolling hills I was able to speed up to a 5:50 pace over the second mile.  I was also starting to warm up a little bit (it was windy and 30ish degrees at the start).  

Over the third mile I made my first move passing a group of about 5 or 6 people.  I could see one of my teammates Bradley up in the distance and was starting to zero in on him.  I took me the better part of the 4th mile to catch him and required throwing down 5:40 mile to do it.  

At this point I was now on fire and singularly focused on doing everything I could to destroy this leg.  With 2/3 of a mile to go I made my final move passing one more guy.  I felt I was starting to fade a little, but this move gave me the motivation to make sure that I held him off.  As the watch beeped, it read 5:35.  I was now running below 5k pace and just started to count down the final 4/10 of a mile.  As the transition came into view I gave one last push as I went around the corner, behind the school, and handed Keith the baton.  

As the adrenaline began to subside and the heat left my body, Megan appeared with my sweatshirt (perfect timing).  Next we rushed off to Leg 3 to introduce Aharon to Jen so he knew who he would be getting the baton from.  

Keith was able to hold almost the exact same pace as I did for his leg before a slightly botched hand off to Jen. We were busy trying to get Jen's bag to my car as Keith came around the corner and we went sprinting after him.  In the end we only lost about 10 seconds, but we definitely gave Jen an adrenaline rush to start here leg. 

After Jen killed leg 3, Aharon obliterated Leg 4 with a 10K PR on route to 9.5 miles.  Megan took us home over the last 4.75 miles finishing strong giving us a total time of 2:48:49.  Good enough for 27th OA (of 210) and 3rd Category.  

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