Monday, June 8, 2009

It's been awhile!

...since I've posted....

Reason being is we haven't been doing much but training and getting our old house ready to put on the market.

Last weekend I ran the Pack Monadnock 10 miler in 1:26:58, which was better than my goal of sub 1.5 hours. I guess the old boy's still got some leg speed... results here.

I passed on the Hollis 5K this past Wednesday where I ran 19:52 last year, finishing 4th in my AG. I thought it was wise to not run three races in a week with the Nipmuck Marathon on the following Sunday. If I ran and had run close to the same time I ran last year, I would have won my age group, as the fastest 55-59 was 24+ min's.

Yesterday I ran the Nipmuck Marathon in Ashford, Ct. This was interesting because the last time I ran this was in 1999, so when I heard that Dave, the RD was only letting prior finishers run this year, I though I'd like to be a part of that. In 1999 my time was 3:54:55 at the age of 47...and I was interested in seeing how I could run it now with 10 years of ultrarunning since then. Deb came down with me to work an aid station and when she was done, she went out and ran most of the course for a training run. If Deb had run the race she would have won the over 50, I'm sure of that...and would have been somewhere in the 5 hour range.

The run started quickly and I settled into a comfortable, quick pace yet knowing we were running a marathon that day that runs like a 50K. I believe the actual distance is about 26.5, but who really's a trail race! I settled in with my old buds Richard Collins and Ed Alibozek, but in time some how and probably stupidly pulled ahead on some of the downhill stretches.

When I race I believe in racing....I don't like to leave anything on the course. To me a successful race is when I start to fall apart with the finish line in sight.

Without going into a lot of detail, I kept the quick pace (for me) up until around 17 miles or so, when I started to feel the first hint of I took a big hit of my 1st Endurance Liquid Shot (calories and mega electrolytes) and tried to keep moving as best I could to get to the next and last turnaound.

The course is set up where you run approx 6.5 miles south, then turn around, returning to the S/F at about 13 miles, then you go north for about the same distance to another turnaround. The 2nd out and back is a little more hilly and technical and runs slower.

I reached the first turnaound in 55 minutes, about on pace for my goal of 4.5 hours. Rich had the same plan and wasn't far behind me. I reached the S/F road crossing in 1:51, so was still running pretty good, maintaining the same pace on both legs.

Here I am at about mile 19 in 19th place

Knowing the next section was a little more difficult, I didn't know what to expect, but started to tire just before it, reaching it in 3:08. Just before the turnaround you go down a set of stairs that sent my shins into a cramp spasm. I had just gone by Matt Estes, who many will remember had a great period of racing around 2005 when he won MMT100 and Hurt 100. Matt was NOT having a good day and mine was about to take a turn for the worst. I got to the turnaround aid station and while they filled my hand held bottle, I took another hit of the Liquid Shot, but that finished it off, not good with an hour and a half left to go.

Climbing back up the stairs, Matt was coming down them and just rolled his eyes at me. I struggled to get up the stairs and then there was a long climb up the trails...from here on in, it was all cramps, nauseous stomach and stopping to settle down the cramps as the warm day was getting to me. I stumbled my way to about 23 miles without losing my place of 19th, but then the runners started to go by as I limped up the trail and road. Rich went by me as I walked up the road....Then another aid station and I had the volunteer fill my bottle with whatever energy drink they had to keep some electrolytes coming in.

I was coming unglued quickly and even had to stop several times with adductor cramps that I thought were going to rip. Everytime I saw a log I had to lift my leg over, I knew a cramp was not long after that. Then I'd just stand there and drink while waiting for the cramp to calm down. I'd be able to start walking, then jog the downhills ever so carefully to not cause yet another spasm. Then Farmer Ed went by, asking me to come along with him, but I couldn't....then Curt Pandiscio and several others until I just knew the finish had to be close by. I actually went by a poor guy who was in rougher shape than I was because I heard rustling behind me. Turned out it was Donna Utakis, the first woman finisher...who I pushed to keep her from going by me. Not getting chicked is a rarity for me these days ;-)

I crossed the line in 4:44 in 25th place. Not that bad and I thought it was a lot worse than that....the other minor victory, which is one I always check is that there was no one older than me in front of me.

The next part was the worst, then the I sat and held off the nausea while sipping on a Coke that Ed gave me and within an hour I was able to eat a couple of hot dogs and enjoy the lively conversation at the finish.

Another race up is the MDLD 100K in MD/PA with the Traildawgs on June 20th, then we head to Maine on the 27th for the Mt Aggie run and cookout.

I'll also be pacing Patty Duffy at Vermont this year and with her running 4:58 yesterday (4th woman) and bettering her time by about 1 hour and 25 minutes, I think she will be at Camp Ten Bear aid station, where I'll pick her up, a little earlier than she's thinking. Congrats, Patty!

Until the next post....happy running!


jimmyb said...

Great report, Steve. Way to gut it out. Nice race. Love the blog.


Bob Buckingham said...

I missed it! Forgot to send in my application. Sounds like it was a pretty good day for the race. Although it also sounds like you could have had a better one.

Mike said...

Great run Steve - enjoyed the RR. Thanks again for all the great advice.

cmorse said...

Hey Steve, I think I might have been that 'poor guy' who was having a rougher time than you in those last few miles. I ran with Ed a bit on the paved section before 24, but had to let him go. Based on your recommendation from the DRB, I got some Liquid Shot to try - unfortunately it didn't arrive until Monday! We'll try it out on my next long run. I'm hoping it does the trick.

I'll be pacing Mark Buongiorno (ran 4:01 Sunday) at VT, so I'll probably see you at 10 Bear.

wasatch speed goat said...

nice shirt stud..scrape on..