PM: Black Cap fartlek (1:00 on, 1:00 off, all uphill) 3 miles, 25:31. 6 seconds slower than when I did it a couple of weeks ago, but considering I ran 22 miles a few days ago, I'll take it. Cold and wet. Horrible weather for training, but I wouldn't complain if it's like that on June 16. 1.0 wu, 3.0 cd.
Tu- 10.5 miles in 1:07:06 (6:23 pace) from Jim's house on the Silver Lake Loop. Way quicker than I would have run on my own, but I think I need some runs like that. He was dropping me like a bad habit on the climbs which were plentiful in the second half.
W- 7.5 miles in 1:11:29 up Kettle Ridge and down Red Tail on Black Cap with Jim. 41:46 to the summit. Second fastest time I've ever run up that trail. We weren't pushing just running a consistent pace. 1st time I've ever been sub-30 down the Red Tail on the way down too. 5 strides after.
Th- 7.4 miles in 1:11:14 on the Bloody Arm Loop with Jim. Felt good to go easy on the singletrack. Lunge routine after.
F- AM: 3 x hill circuit on Cathedral Ledge Rd. 3 x (:30 high knees, 1:00 tempo, :30 butt kicks, 1:00 tempo, :30 A skip, 1:00 tempo, :30 bounding, 1:00 hard, 10 squat jumps, all up a 10+% grade, jog down recovery). Quads were smoked after this. Great workout to work on leg strength though. 2.0 wu, 3.9 miles for workout.
PM: 6.8 miles in 58:21 at the Bolles Preserve in Chocorua with Jim. I felt like junk on this one and thankfully Jim took it easy on me.
Sa- AM: 8.0 miles in 1:07:53 on the Lower Moat Brook Loop w/ Jim. Nice and easy was the name of the game. Quads felt better.
PM: nice easy 5.6 mile hike into Zealand Falls Hut with Jess. I love that place and it was nice to get out for a hike with my lovely wife.
Photo by Josh Spaulding, Granite State News
Su- Muddy Moose 14 Mile Trail Race 1:25:06 (CR), 1st place, almost 3 minutes up on Justin Freeman and 3:45 faster than my course record from last year. I am super pumped with this race. I was psyched with my time last year, and honestly wasn't sure if I could run faster this year despite better training all of this winter and spring. I did know I was fit though and was looking for a good race with Double J and Justin. RD Fergus Cullen told us that the course was pretty dry, which wasn't surprising since we had a lack of winter or any rain this spring. I figured my trusty Inov8 X-Talon 212's would be perfect for the conditions though.
The three of us took it out at a pretty quick pace, but in control for the first mile or so, with Justin inching ahead before we hit the first mud pit. This first muddy section had been logged recently and was still covered in logging slash. I was able to tip toe may way through it and take the lead as we hit some drier ground. I stayed out front with Justin right on my heals as we hit the junction for the 4 and 14 mile races at around the 2 mile mark. We came through here in 11:36, about 45 seconds faster than I did last year. The pace still felt manageable though, so I stuck with it.
From here, the course dumps out on a gravel road for about a mile, and my worst fear came true when Justin went by me and upped the tempo on the fastest part of the course. I am nowhere near Justin on the flat stuff in road races, and he ran away from me on the few flats at Mt. Washington last year. I was having a hard time staying with him on the road, but I just tried to stay close and run as smooth as possible.
Right before the infamous escarpment I was able to pull ahead and take the lead as we made the hard left hand turn up the steep bank. I opened a little gap on Justin on the nasty climb, but worried that I may have worked myself a little too much on the 1/4 mile climb. Luckily when I reached the top I was able to recover a little as I shifted gears on the singletrack, which, little did I know, would be the theme of the day.
While bombing down the backside of the escarpment, I could hear Justin's footsteps as we worked our way down the smoothed out snowmobile trail. I just kept hammering along at a good clip, knowing that if I backed off Justin might go by and I might not be able to answer. We made the turn onto the Jeep roads at the bottom of the hill, which were dry and there were no puddles in sight.
Coming through the 5 mile aid station I checked my watch and saw a split of 29:16. Last year I was 31:00, so I knew our pace was still pretty quick, and well under the course record. I opened up a little more of a gap as Justin stopped for water and a gel, as my tiring legs kept motoring along. At this point I could tell I was slowing a little, but I just kept telling myself to stay smooth and let the fitness do its work. Easier said than done as Justin kept closing the gap on me on the way to the beaver dam loop.
Every year I take the left hand turn on this loop as I like to run the technical section uphill rather than downhill. The downside to this is that you have to get wet at the beaver dam crossing and your feet and legs might be numb on the climb from the cold water. Today was no exception. The water was about mid-thigh deep this year, but I managed to splash my whole body with frigid water as I tried to keep my momentum going forward. It took a little while to get warmed up again, but my legs were on fire once again when I reached the top of the hill. I still had Justin in tow though and couldn't afford to let up. Soon after, I passed Double J going in the other direction and he warned me of the rough footing ahead, but I couldn't manage to squeeze out a warning about the beaver dam.
After exiting the loop, I was able to open up my stride a little as the trail turns into a smoother Jeep road and has a slight downhill. I didn't dare look back to check on the gap, and kept my head down and watched out for rocks, roots and washouts. I came into the 9 mile aid station to the encouragement of Tad and Sheri Thomas in 54:06, compared to 58:00 last year! I had to double check my watch as I didn't believe that I had actually cut more time from last year's pace. At this point I couldn't hear Justin, but I still didn't dare to look back.
The last 5 miles I had to constantly switch gears as the course changed from Jeep road, to brutal climbs, to singletrack. Each time I changed my stride though, I would recover a little and use a different set of muscles to keep barreling along. The mile long gravel stretch was tough, especially with the head wind, but I was determined to keep hammering. I was slipping all over the place on the last muddy sections, but that was not surprising as my legs were tired and the trail was pretty rutted from 200 runners passing through it earlier.
I crossed the line in 1:25:06, 3:45 ahead of last year. I had no idea I would run that fast, especially after a less than stellar time at The Rivah. This raced showed that the work I have put in this winter and spring has really paid off. I probably wouldn't have run that fast without Justin and Jim pushing me though. I would rather run a fast time against competition and risk not winning, than win easy in a slower time with no competition. Also a big thank you to Fergus Cullen for putting on another great race.
2.0 w/ Jim, 3.0 cd w/ Jim and Justin (bonk fest).
Totals: 78.10 miles, 10.47 hours A pretty good week. Two solid workouts and an awesome race. Some of the "easy" days with Jim are a little quicker than I am used too, but I need that little kick in the butt, and I think we're both going to run better as a result.