Sunday, February 8, 2015

A Fast Start to 2015

From a running standpoint, I'll never have as good a year as I did in 2014, but 2015 is already off to a pretty good start.

Winter Warrior Challenge

I started the year out partaking in Marathon Sports Winter Warrior Challenge (Run outside everyday in January - 5 or more miles = Gold, 3 or more = Silver, 1 or more = Bronze).  Since I already had plans on keeping my running streak going, I figured it would coincide nicely.  I am training for an Ultra (Mount Mitchell Challenge) at the end of February, so I figured the Silver level made the most sense as I still needed some lighter days.

Over the course of January I managed to knock out a total 49 separate runs logging 300.07 miles (Of that, 296.17 of them were outside).  This was good enough for 9th place for total mileage (of 1557) and 1st place in the Silver category (of 172).  This was a 40 mile increase over my past top month (April 2014). All and all glad to have done the challenge as it really kept me moving.

2014 SRR Most Improved Runner

At the annual Somerville Road Runners Holiday banquet a number of runners are recognized.  Two of these awards are the most improved male and female runners.

Going to the banquet, I knew I had a pretty good shot at getting the award after having such a break out season, but I don't like to count my chickens before they hatch.  When Joe began his speech and said this person PR'd in everything from 1 mile to (eyes rolling in the back of his head) 50 miles, I knew he was talking about me.  Next he mentioned that one of the things that impressed him most was my 19:10 stroller 5K at MOM's run.  In all the races that I ran last year, I had never thought that would be the one that stood out.

I am honored to get this award, especially in a group of such great runners.

All Terrain Series Race 1

Location: Cambridge, MA
Date: 1/25/2014

Distance: 1 mile

Goal: 4:52 (1 sec faster then 1600)
Actual Time: 4:54
Place: 37 / 68 OA

The first race of the USATF All Terrain Series (ATR) was the mile at the Gordon Indoor track at Harvard.  Having a track background, and some luck during the club's 26 X 1 last year, I figured this was good place to start the series.  I seeded myself at a 4:56 (I ran a 4:53 1600 last spring) with hopes I could set a new PR.

I was the 10th seed (of 16) in the 2nd heat, which meant I should have some good competition down the stretch.  I ran the 1st 400 in 72, but then got caught in some traffic and hit the mid way point in 2:30 (I was hoping to be around 2:26 / 2:27 at that point).

I made a move during the 5th lap which enabled me to avoid the dreaded third quarter slow down and hit the 3/4 mark right at 3:45.  From there I knew I had a sub 5 in me and moved into 5th gear with 300 meters to go.

As I started my final lap and was beginning to think I kicked too early, I heard Bradley yell "Scot go get him" and I looked up to see someone about 12 or so yards in front of me.  I pushed hard on the back stretch and was able to get his lead to within 5 by the mid point of the turn and I found one last gear during the straightaway and caught him with about 20 meters to go finishing in 4:54.09.  Fully spent I managed to stumble off the track, slap Jesse 5 and put my hands on my knees as I recovered.

So how do I compare a 4:54 1 mile to a 4:53 1600; lets ask the Google Gods.  According to the Mile Split NY Conversion Calculator a 4:54.09 mile = 4:52.38 1600, so technically it was a 1600 PR.  Either way I will just have to best both time next time I take on either distance.

Special shoutout to Bradley's 4:56 PR (and winning his heat), Jennifer Rapaport's 5:46 PR, and great races by Jesse, Liz, and Mary.  And cheering from Emma, Urvi, Joe, Joe, and Andy.

Next ATR Race: Northeast Snow Shoe Championship (10K) - March 7th

The Beaver Brook Snowshoe Race

Location: Hollis, NH
Date: 2/1/2014

Distance: 2.5 miles

Goal: Finish
Actual Time: 23:04
Place: 10 / 86 OA

Last Sunday, I ran my first ever snowshoe race.  The race was advertised as a 5K, but like many other trail races, it was a little short (~2.5 miles).

Start of the Beaver Brook SnowShoe Race
This was my third time running on snowshoes and each of the times has been completely different.  The first time was the week before.  I did 2 miles around Claypit Pond and the ball fields in about 6 inches of somewhat wet snow.  After an aborted attempt in 2 feet of powder the following Tuesday, I ran 2.5 miles on loosely packed snow at Rock Meadow on the following Thursday.

I started off the race on the more conservative side as I wasn't quite sure how it was going to go.  At the 1 mile mark, I made a move and passed a couple of people and then at the turnaround, passed another.  I was breathing hard at this point, but still felt alright.  With around .6 to go, I encountered a nice 100' climb over .3 miles, which felt like it lasted forever.  After I made it through that, I had a quick down hill and then a slow climb up to the finish.

My lungs burned, but I think I am starting to get the hang of it.  I finished 10th of 86 which isn't too bad for a sport I am fairly new too.

Next snow shoe race: Kingman Farm Moonlight Snowshoe race (4.5 miles) on February 14th.

Charity Update

January's recipient of our running donation was the Judith K. Record Conservation fund.  With January being such a big month, we are glad we could donate to something we are so passionate about.  Amy, Neil, and I utilize the Belmont Conservation land multiple times a week year round and cannot picture life without it.  To find out more, check out -


Neil and I at Rock Meadow
Many times throughout January and even more over the past two weeks with all this snow I have been having second thoughts about signing up for a February Ultra Marathon.

I have had a really tough time getting the miles in and fighting the urge to just go into hibernation.  A special shoutout goes out to all of those who have helped and make up my incredible support system.

- Amy for working with my schedule / bringing Neil to come workout with me
- Jen running hills with me on frigid Thursday nights
- Nichole organizing a long run one Saturday and then running the final 19 miles of yesterday's 30 miler
- Everyone else in my running club banding together and helping each other out

To everyone out there, thank you.

- Scot

Kieran, Tim, Elizabeth, Dan, Nichole, Deb (not shown) and myself at the
Arlington Water Tower during last Saturday's long run.

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