Sunday, May 1, 2011

Training Week 4/25-5/1 & Muddy Moose

M- 6.0 miles up Rattlesnake, Middle and Peaked Mts. 1:13:57. 1800 ft gain. Still feeling a little sluggish, but climbs got better the longer I went.

Tu- 8.0 miles up and down Mt. Washington Auto Road in 1:15:55. Ran first mile (0.9) with Paul in 9:00, then tried to pick up the effort every mile after. Ran 9:31 9:30 9:24. Still some snow on the road after 2.5 miles. It was actually warmer at 4 miles than it was at the base due to a nice temperature inversion. 2300 ft gain.

W- 0 Visited my grandmother in the hospital. She had a heart attack Tuesday night, but it doing much better. She's a pretty amazing woman. Has a heart attack at 90 years old and you would barely know it talking to her.

Th- 6 x 1 mile at 10k pace, 3:00/400m recovery. 5:02 5:06 5:07 5:09 5:11 5:11 (5:08 average). Much better workout than last week, but still concerned that I'm tailing off at the end of the workout. My legs finally feel like they're getting back under me. 3.0 wu, 0.75 cd.

F- 7.4 miles up Black Cap via Kettle Ridge, down Red Tail, 1:24:21. 50:00 to summit. Wow that was slow. I just tried to run easy, and the time showed it. I've never run it that slow even with snow on the ground. It goes to show that I'm not recovering as quick as I was last spring, but I'm putting miles and workouts in the bank and will get there. 1700 ft gain.

Sa- 7.9 miles in 1:12:58 on the Lower Nanamacomuck Ski Trail (one of the top 25 trails in America in the recent Runner's World Trail Guide!) with the Wenunchus, Wenonah and Falls Pond Loops. Great view across Falls Pond that I've never seen. Need to go back with a camera. 6 strides near end. 600 ft of gain surprisingly.

PM: Nice 4 plus mile hike with Jess in the Dry River Valley.

Su - Muddy Moose 14 Mile Trail Race. 1st place, 1:28:51, 29 sec course record, 1:29 PR. I am pretty happy with this one. This was the first trail race I ever did way back in 2004. I didn't believe in trail shoes back then because they were all too bulky at that time, so I went with marathon racing flats. That didn't slow me down at all. I ended up running 1:30:20 though. Flash forward to 2011. My spring racing has been less than stellar, but I knew I wanted to try to crank out a good one at Seven Sisters, so I finally got my ass in gear and got some decent training in. Unfortunately I would not have the time to travel to Western Mass. this weekend, so I opted to head back to Muddy Moose, where I hadn't raced since 2005. I had scanned the results from the last few years and noticed that Olympic nordic skiers Justin and Kris Freeman had run the race. I knew Justin was planning on running the James Joyce 10k after reading his blog, but I hoped maybe Kris would be racing to get in a good workout. I also knew after looking at the old results that Dmitry Drozdov had set a blistering course record of 1:29:20 in 2006, 1 minute faster than my best time. His time was in the back of my mind all week, but I wasn't sure if I would be that fit. I figured I might be able to run in the 1:32-1:33 range right now.

After arriving at the race, RD Fergus Cullen informed us that the course was "relatively dry". Relative being the key term. This race is usually a slop fest, but still very runnable in many spots. I've average 6:30's on a fast day, but the pace probably ranges from low 5's on the gravel road to 10+ on the escarpment.

From the gun I took an early lead and just tried to run smooth. The first 3/4 mile is on road and xc trail, so it's easy to run too fast at the start, but I knew I didn't want to have a repeat of The Rivah by blowing up on the way in, so I just tried to run smart. I came through the 2 mile mark in 12:20 (12:09 in 2005), so I knew I was running a good pace without going out recklessly. I just tried to open it up on the gravel road knowing it is the best opportunity to get some decent running in before hitting the escarpment and the muddy snowmobile trails. I turned onto the escarpment at 20:00, checking my split knowing this would help me on my way back.

Smooth was the name of the game today as I just tried to run hard but smart the whole time. The snowmobile trails were muddy, but it was easy to pick a line that would keep your momentum up. I went through one waist deep puddle a little before the 5 mile water stop, but that was the wettest part of the race. I came through the water stop in 31:00, which gave me another marker for the way back.

The middle third of the race was a lot hillier than I remembered. Luckily I am a mountain runner and I just put it in low gear and tried to be as efficient as possible. Today I was happy with my climbing and my body awareness. I knew exactly where to push and where not to. The beaver dam loop wasn't as flooded as bad and the rocky climb after it wasn't too muddy.

When I came back through the 5 mile water stop again in 58:00 I knew I had 31:20 to equal Dmitry's course record. I knew that would be tough as I ran the first 5 in 31:00 and that would be a near even split on tired legs, returning mostly uphill and running through muddy trails that had already been trampled by nearly 200 people. I had never even or negative split in the past, but I thought I'd try like hell anyways.

I was definitely getting tired, but I still tried to run smooth and my legs were holding up ok. I knew the mile plus gravel road section would be key. As I entered the road from the escarpment I knew I would have to bank some time, as the last two muddy miles are usually trashed. I opened up the stride again just wanting to get to that snowmobile trail. When I finally got to it I looked at my watch and did some mental math and knew I had about 13 minutes to break the record. The 12:20 on the way out was controlled, but I knew this would still be a tall order. I came back form my 12:09 in 2005 with a 14:30! I put my head down anyway.

I was definitely having a hard time staying upright on the muddy stuff, but I knew it would be over soon. I have never been so happy to see a road when I turned onto the gravel near the gold course. When I hit the pavement with a 1/4 mile to go I actually put in a decent kick to cross the line in 1:28:51. I was completely exhausted at the finish, but completely satisfied.

3.0 wu, 2.0 cd.

Totals: 59.3 miles, 8.64 miles, 6400 ft gain. Pretty solid week. Nothing spectacular, but more to put in the log book. As you can tell I am very happy with Sunday's race. I still have some work to do, but now there is at least a glimmer of hope that I am getting fit again.

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