Saturday, September 12, 2009

2009 Long Trail / Appalachian Trail Run

2009 Long Trail / Appalachian Trail Run
September 10, 2009

From Rte 4 east of Rutland, Vermont along the Long Trail / Appalachian Trail up to Killington Peak. The distance was 7 miles one way and the elevation went from 1900' up to 4200'.

Here is the link to the full album on my Picasa web account.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

2009 Monte Sano Road Race

2009 Monte Sano Road Race
Huntsville, AL
September 5, 2009

10km Race - 8:00 am Start
Official Results

I was in the middle of an ultra distance training cycle when this race date came up, but I needed to put my best foot forward regardless. I had a decent month for miles in August, but with two ultra marathons, I spent more time on taper and recovery than I did on any speed work to prepare for a road race. I had several quality workouts in the days leading up to this race, but I was by no means in 10km shape.

The first mile felt decent, but by the cone turn around on the gravel road, I was ready to be done. I was running in 4th, trail David Riddle, Andrew Hodges and George DeWitt. I was trailed closely by Donald Bowman, Shane O'Neill and Greg Reynolds. The weather wasn't over bearing, but it wasn't in our favor either. I ran through the 5km split at less than 6:00 minute miles, but knew that I was going to slow late.

The 2nd loop was much of the same; not much of a drive to hold on, generally feeling out of shape and dejected. Yet these are the games that our mind will play with us when running the toughest race - the 10km. I had to shake out of it and realize that I was still running a personal best pace for this course and I was ahead of hundreds of other runners. Before waking up, Donald had passed me, but I was able to stay with him. I followed him stride for stride and let him pull me along during the late stages of the race.

With less than a half mile to go, we made the loop around the overlook, and I was able to see the distance between me and Shane and I knew that with a decent push at the end, I would be able to hold him off. I ran strong to the last turn and then gave it what I had coming in. In the end, I was 5th overall out of 384 total runners and 1st M30-34. My 36:48 on this rolling hill course was about 15 seconds under my best.

And to think... I considered walking off:)

The awards were all hand made from photos I had personally taken on Monte Sano and then added text for each award category. I simply wanted to do something unique that would make people remember this race on this day in particular.

5km Race - 9:30 am Start
Official Results

After finishing the 10km, I changed shoes and headed back out onto the course to find people from the half marathon group that I am coaching. I ran out with Eric Patterson for the first mile before 'running' into Brandi and her gang. I followed then back in and helped them with pacing and when to make the final push. They did very well and I was proud of them!

The bad news is that in the mean time, it began to rain; hard. Since there was no lighting, I knew that we would still run the 5km. I changed into some older Saucony Fastwitch that were not completed soaked and headed for the start line. I really needed to log another 10km of easy miles in preparation for Stump Jump 50km, not blaze another tempo run. Seeing Greg Reynolds and Shane at the start line, I decided to toss my hat into the ring.

I decided to run the race pretty even, trying to hold the pace at just below six minute miles. As the rain poured down, I ran steady and actually held 2nd place through the cone turn around, with Shane right with me. I tried several times to make small moves on Shane, but with each push, he covered the distance and stayed tight. Shane is very near his peak marathon race shape and had been racing very strong. Coming out of the woods, he passed me by. I made a faint effort to stay with him, but he really picked it up and I had to let him go. I was thinking more about a good sustained effort than a hard push and having to cut my pace late in the race.

Coming into the finish, I had a decent gap on 4th place, but didn't let up bringing it home. I was able to stay under my goal pace, finishing at 18:30. In 3rd place overall of 224 male runners, I was the last person to average under six minute miles for this race. I was again 1st M30-34, capturing a different framed award.

Afterward I had a good cool down lap of the white loop with good friends making it an overall nice day.