Thursday, December 23, 2010

snow work.

You might remember this from about 10 years ago, I still love it.

I'm sitting here sipping some coffee waiting for the plow truck to go by one more time before heading out for a nice 12.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Mr. Chainsaw..

I'm so thankful my wife has not divorced me this week, how can anyone live with an injured runner?

Visit to Kennebec Valley Chiropractic has me feeling pretty good this morning, I COULD  run today, but I gave the Doc my word I'd wait until I see him again on Monday (his wife is a good friend & fellow marathoner, so I'm assuming he is fully expecting me to not live up to my word).   Dr. Lawson adjusted my foot, a little bit of cuboid sublaxation is what we are thinking... arch is very sore, but we ruled out any plantar fasciitis (thank heaven/hell).

Hoping to get back to some mileage next week, don't fret... Boston is still on track homeboys & girls..

Sunday, December 12, 2010

..the end of the beginning..the beginning of the end...

Today would be the final "freestyle" run before the 18 week plan for Boston starts tomorrow.  Wow, Boston is seriously 18 weeks away? 

After taking a complete week off after Portland, I was around 40-50 for a month, then Abe was born, which totally screwed up my running (but I'll let is slide).  The past 2 weeks I had been hovering around 50 miles again, with no real plan... I'd just get up and run however I felt. 

Thinking I'd still like to hit 55ish this week, I woke up early this morning planning on 17-20 miles before chilling on the couch, drinking some Gritty's Christmas Ale, and watching the Bears beat the crap out of Tom Brady and the Patriots.  Well, 3 miles into my run I started to think about Abe and my wife home, nice and toasty on the couch, and I literally started to tear up on how much I missed my newborn soon, whom I just kissed 20min. ago.  I tried to focus on the run, thinking about Boston, or how I ate a bit too much sushi last night that I needed to burn, or how much of a wimp I'd be if I went home... but then it hit me.  Fuck it!  It's MY run!

Somewhere around 3.5 miles, I turned around, threw in some speed-work as I ran home at half-marathon tempo.  The thought of spending a real Sunday morning with my family gave me an extra gear, and as I walked through the front door, Brianne looked at me with a horrified look in her eyes (as if expecting I was injured, or something was wrong) "why are you home already?!?"

I smiled, took off my shoes and went straight into the living room to grab my son.  I'm immensely thankful for the clarity I received today.

My son, and beautiful wife are the most important thing to me, sorry running... you take 3rd place.

Tomorrow starts my official training for Boston, I'm looking at 18 weeks of the highest mileage I've ever run, but for today... I got my family

Oh, and I still got that beer....

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Murdering Time...

The post title is a line I always thought was clever from an old Alkaline Trio song (actually it's from this Skiba solo track)  

     What I meant, was I'm killing a bit of time this morning before I head out for a long-run, somewhere between 16-20, we'll see how I feel.  But then, I started thinking about my whole philosphy of running, and planning for next season.  "Murdering Time" will be the motto of 2011.
     Murdering every PR, murdering the course, murdering the soles of my shoes, and murdering the rest of the 30-34 year olds around here on the roads...

     I've been thinking a lot of what to make of 2010, and although I try to live within every moment (how Zen huh?) it forces me to think about 2011.  I had a great 2010.. really, I did.

     I've decided to follow the Pftiz 18/70 plan en route to Hopkinton in April.  During the last cycle I maxed out just over 60mpw (and only twice), and not only really love the Pfitz structure, but I think moving up to a more "advanced" schedule, will yield the result I'm looking for.

     Well, that raises the question... what am I looking for?  2011 goals will be posted 12/31.


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Newborns hate running...

on 11.4.10 I became a dad. 
Also, that day I stopped sleeping.. so the past 3+ weeks of training haven't gone "awesome".  
(Bob, I don't know how the hell you're able to do what you do, with C&C.. )

nothing better after a 17 miler than this..

I've been able to keep my mileage around 40-45mpw, and getting in at least one run of 13+, so I'm pretty pumped on that.  The more I figure this father thing out, the easier it will be to get miles in, as I've got about 2 weeks left of base mileage until I start ramping up for Boston.

With Thanksgiving comes those "Turkey Trot" races, and yes.. I got sucked into one.  I decided to hit up the Portland 4-miler because the field is faster, the course is better, and basically I went to Gardiner, so screw Cony!  Having not done a step of speed-work since September, and no quality runs in about a month I wasn't expecting to run well at all.  Somehow I was able to keep sub 6min/miles at a surprisingly easy effort though, and although I slowed a bit towards the end, still finished in a respectable 24:01. 

So, a PR is a PR, even if it's a slow one.

Monday, October 18, 2010

All in...

After over an hour of typing, retyping, reloading the friggin' BAA website... I'm in!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Dope Threads...

So my wife and I have a tradition, as a photographer she is always looking for cool shots, so we started laying out my race day gear the night before major races.. and she takes this pic.

I was reppin' the Crow Athletics and of course Saucony to the fullest!

Next time I rock this outfit.. April 18 2011

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Recover (week 1)

I can't believe its been a whole week since the marathon. 

     When I returned home last Sunday, showered, and took time to reflect... I couldn't shake the regret of not pushing through the finish-line, which caused my chip-time to be 3:10:01, a 3:09:59 sure would look nice.  I've spent the past week thinking about what 2 seconds means. 

     Two seconds.  It's just an instant... but it could mean everything.  Then, I repositioned myself, and took a different look at my situation and thought how grateful I am for this.  First of all, I BQ'd, no matter what.  :58 seconds in the other direction, and I wont be in Hopkinton on Patriots Day.  I also appreciate the lesson I learned, that its not OVER until its OVER.  I still need to learn to respect the distance.  From Philly last fall, to Sugarloaf in May I learned a lot about my running.... but I still have a lot to learn about the marathon, the entire 26 miles, 385 yards..

     I'm thankful for my next opportunity, as I know I'll never be satisfied... I have just THAT much more work to do to be the runner I want to be. 

     Anyway.. recovery week went well, here's the deets:

10/4 - rest, 1.5 hour massage, felt good to get my legs stretched.
10/5 - rest
10/6 - rest
10/7 - rest
10/8 - rest
10/9 -   4 easy miles
10/10 - 5 easy miles

Total: 9 easy miles for the week.  Doing my best to recover better than the previous 2 marathons, so the 5 straight 0 days REALLY helped!   The easy miles just got my legs moving, and it felt great to run again.
Can't wait for next Monday morning... Boston registration opens!

edit: in case anyone was curious, my strain in my ribs has cleared up about 95%, only feel it once and a while...

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Enter the BQ... (26.2 Chambers of Death)

SPOILER ALERT:  I'm going to Boston!

Just in case you didn't want to read this whole report, I saved you the hassle with the spoiler, but if you want to re-run this race with me, please read on... it was wicked.


     Saturday morning I woke up after a great nights sleep, and to my surprise Brianne went to my running trail (Kennebec River Rail Trail) with me, and although she's 8.5 months pregnant she walked a couple miles while I did a very easy 3 miles to shake out my nerves.   From there, we had an awesome breakfast at A1 Diner, got our stuff together for the trip and we were off.
     Portland is 50min from our house, could we have just stayed at home and woke up early? Yea, of course.  But, it's my marathon, and I didn't want to chance ANYTHING, so we grabbed a hotel room in Freeport (15min from race).  whateva..
     The expo/pick-up was at the University of Southern Maine, which is my wife's alma-mater, so she was thrilled to walk the campus again and show me some of the sites, it was cool to hear some of her stories, even if all I was thinking about was the race... (sorry baby).  
     Grabbed my race packet, walked around real quick and bounced ASAP for some veggie-pizza and an organic IPA at Flatbread, then hit the hotel to put my feet up and watch Notre Dame trounce BC!

my wheels on raceday.. Saucony Fastwitch (awesome shoe)

Race Day!

      So, I know I have some friends whom have kids, so they can relate...but trying to get some sleep before a marathon, next to a pregnant wife (no matter how beautiful she is) is rough.  So after a solid 2-3 hours of shut eye, Im up at 5am ready to go.
     Usual pre-marathon bagel w/PB, banana and some coffee to get going, and we are off to the start.  Brianne walked me to the start area and took my warm-ups, we had our little pre-race moment, and I kissed her belly to get some luck from Abrahm.  I told him his dad wouldn't let him down today, and I nearly cried...  
     It's about 46 degrees now, which is chilly but perfect for the start.. so I head out for an easy warm-up.  Did a mix of jogging/walking/active stretching for about 3/4 mile before lining up in the pack.  Found my friend Aaron who was running the half, and we decided to run the first mile together to warm up.
I never heard the director talk or give announcements, just heard a canon BOOM.. and we're off...

Mile 1 - 7:21
Glad I started a few rows deep, kept me from going out too fast.  I thought I was running a lot slower than this, as I went by feel vs. my Garmin early on.  Estimate it took me 10-15 seconds to cross the start mat (finish time says it took 9).  Aaron and I take it super easy, and joke around as we easily pass a lot of people.  At the mile 1 mark I tell him to go to work, he's only got 12 more to do, and I've got 25!

Mile 2- 7:03
Mile 3 - 7:03
Mile 4 - 7:00
Mile 5- 7:02
Mile 6 - 7:08
Mile 7 - 7:06
These early miles always seem to go by so damn fast!  I was trying to run 7:10 miles, but these low 7s felt so easy, felt like I should just go with the flow.  I wore my Crow Athletics race singlet, manly because I really like the club philosophy, and also because wearing all black worked well for Johnny Cash.  The advantage of wearing a Crow singlet in Maine, is that people recognize it and I got a lot of cheers because of it.. dope.

Somewhere around here was the turnaround for the half runners, so I got a real big boost seeing some of the half-leaders turn around and head back to Portland.  My friend Bunker was in 2nd place and I was stoked to see him, he finished a disappointing 2nd due to injury. 

It was funny after the turnaround.... because it went from real noisy... to dead silence, now it was just the marathoners.  Time to do work.

Mile 8 - 7:13
Aside from mile 1, this was my slowest mile so far (but still on great pace), due to a slight incline...

 Mile 9 - 7:09
Hit mile 9 knowing I have one more to go before my friend Bob Wiles was planning on jumping in to pace the last 16 with me.  Without embarrassing him, google his running results... dude is fast.  From my hometown, and played high school football with me, and also never started running until almost 30 (just like me).  He inspires the shit outta me!

Mile 10 - 7:12
This mile is a tad slower because it was so much downhill I had to hold back a little, out of nowhere Bob jumps in with me and we are off... 10 mile warm-up was over.

Mile 11- 6:59
Mile 12 - 7:02
The boost of energy I got when Bob jumped in showed with these mile times.  It was great to have him with me, and really calmed me down.  I mentioned we are running these a bit fast, and he tells me to run how I feel and not worry about the watch. I like that.   Somewhere here I pop a Hammer Gel, tasted like crap.

The cool thing about having a pacer who is capable of a 2:45 marathon, was that he'd cruise up ahead... grab my fluids for me and run next to me with them...  THATS service!

 Mile 13 - 7:02
Right before the mile 13 marker is the most odd section Ive ever seen on a race, you do down a short dirt road for maybe 75 yards, turn around a cone, run back, then continue down the main route.  Weird... 

Timing mat was at the 13.1 marker and I cross in 1:33, perfect!  Bob says "Ok, 7 mile warm-up, then we got a 10k race.."

Mile 14 - 7:02
Mile 15 - 7:12
Mile 16 - 6:54
These miles seemed to tick off rather easy, we were now headed back towards Portland and I was passing a lot of runners both in front of me, and those who were behind us who had not yet hit the turnaround. 

Mile 17 - 7:22
This is one of the biggest climbs of the day, and caused us to drop off pace a bit, Bob assured me we were OK, we had banked enough time, and a slow mile wasn't going to effect much.  Real happy at this being a "slow" mile!

 Mile 18 - 6:56
Another fast mile (would be the last one)
 Mile 19 - 7:17
 Mile 20 - 7:18
These miles clicked off as I knew it was about to become a 10k race.   We start talking about the only thing that matters now is how far under 3:10 I'm going...  I liked the thought of that.  I'm still passing a few runners whom went out too fast.  Until....

Mile 21 - 7:40
I start to doubt myself.  I developed the most horrible side-stitch ever during this mile.  I can't get a full load of oxygen, I can't swallow anymore Gatorade, and I tried to take my 2nd (and final HammerGel), but as soon as it hits my lips I nearly puke.    7:45 pace feels like 5k race pace to me right now, and my mind is yelling at me to quit.... no fucking way.

 Mile 22 - 7:28
 Mile 23 - 7:35
 Mile 24 - 7:26
Try to focus on my legs, as they actually felt fine.  Which is attributed to my fitness and training... but still, the stitch has overcome my body/mind.  I know I have enough time "banked" that a few 7:30-7:45 miles will still PROBABLY get me to Boston, but it's getting scary.

 Mile 25 - 7:32
Some math lets me figure out I can get it if I just keep this pace, no matter how much my stomach hurts... I'm getting it, which is a decision I made 5 miles ago... and I was not going to stop.

 Mile 26 - 7:15
With one mile out I knew I had it.  I just needed to harden the fuck up & keep running.  Heading into Portland I knew the finish was going to be within sight soon, as the cheers grew louder, the crowd more dense, then finally... the most fantastic thing I have ever seen THE CLOCK!  

It read 3:09:XX, and was within striking distance..... I had calculated I was :18 seconds off (chip time/gun time) so knew I had a bit of play.  I did my best Kevin Garnett, as I nearly ripped my singlet off before going into victory pose as I crossed the mat.  The clock reads 3:10:10, my Garmin read 3:10:00.  I know it's a BQ, but inside I'm praying for a 3:09:59 (why... because it just sounds better!).

punched my ticket to Beantown

     So there ya have it.  I BQ'd.  Come to found out, that side-stitch was a strained muscle in my abdominals.  Never would have thought my only injury in a marathon would be ABOVE the waist.  The pain was worse about 48 hours after the marathon, and it took some adjusting to find a comfortable spot to sleep for a few nights, as I write this in Friday morning it's feeling better... and I plan on heading out for some easy miles this weekend.
     I started running in late-June 2009, 15 months (and 35lbs.) later I qualified for Boston.  As happy as I am with what I just did, I am in no way satisfied... and can't stop thinking about how much more work I have to do to find out what I'm really capable of.  For now, I'm going to enjoy this.

     Whats the future hold?  Well, running is on the backburner for a while, because in a few weeks I'm going to be a father, (he's due on Halloween!).  I can not wait to welcome Abrahm into the world, and I hope he is proud to know his dad is a runner, a legit runner, who he'll see run Boston.

my support team at the finish

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Taper Week #2 (9/20 - 9/26)

Mon- rest
Tues- 7 miles w/ 100m pickups
Wed- 5 recovery
Thur- 6 recovery
Fri-    rest
Sat -  easy 10k
Sun -  13 miles, easy w/ a bit of work @ marathon pace (7:10)

Total: 37 miles

This taper is going better than the first 2, but feels like it's messing with my mind a bit more.  I'm really trying to watch my calorie intake so that I'm not gaining weight as I'm cutting mileage, but I can't stop snacking.. I just wanna eat eat eat, which is very out of the ordinary for me.  
We went apple picking this weekend, so we have a ton of apples, which helps fill me up and stop my damn snack attacks!!

Honestly, I can't believe it's almost here...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Why my wife loves the taper...

So the necessary evil that is the marathon taper has begun.  16 weeks of hard work, miles, and the summer heat is over, and the 2 week taper has begun...  I'm one day in, and did more housework in 4 hours than I have in 4 months.

In case you were unaware, our first baby is due on Halloween, so I've had plenty of spare time to paint the nursery...(twice, because I changed my mind with the color after doing it once)

Thankfully, my father-in-law is extremely good at building things, because I would have broken the damn furniture if I had to do it..

And I finished the landscape project I started in May..... (before joining Oakley, I was a landscape manager for a few years, so I know my way around some mulch!)

Heading out for a few easy miles today to start off a 35-40 mile week, October 3rd can't come soon enough!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Bring Da Ruckus...!

Apparently if I listen to nothing but Wu-Tang for 48 straight hours, it makes me faster.  I'm officially sub18 in the 5k (17:58) and it feels daaaaaaamn good!

Saturday I finally broke 18:00 in the 5k, something I really hadnt dreamed of until recently.  The idea first popped into my head when I set my previous PR in June (18:39) and wondered what it might take to drop it under 18.  The answer... it takes mileage, and a lot of work. 

Woke up real early around 5am, as the race was at 7:45am in Old Orchard (about an hour away).  Packed my race bag, grabbed some coffee and I was on my way.  I love driving on the Interstate in Maine early in the morning with NOBODY on the road... but to everyone that I happened to pass, sorry I was blasting Wu-Tang at top volume, I'm not that gangsta.

Rolled into OOB around 7am, plenty of time to chill out, and get ready.  Found my friend Travis who was going for his own PR (sub 17) and we did a nice 2 mile w/u.  I very much enjoy warming up with someone, I've found that when I w/u alone I get myself extremely nervous... but when I've got a friend with me, I relax and joke... something to rememeber.   Had about 5min. when I got to the start to do some striders and loosen up further...  felt great.

Lined up about 3 people deep as I noticed some fast dudes there, I didnt want to be in their way, plus starting back a bit helps me not go out too fast... 

Mile 1 - 5:38
Thought I was holding back a bit, but this was the fastest mile I ran.  After about a quarter mile of flat, the course turns up an uphill, then a 360* turn around a cone to FLY back down the hill.  Was very happy to hit the mile mark under 5:40

Mile 2 - 5:50
This is always my crappiest mile in a 5k, I suck at mile 2.  My strategy was to catch this other dude I know that was up ahead, he beat me by 30+ seconds in a 4 mile race a few weeks ago, figured if I paced off him, he'd get me to a sub18..well I caught him and we ran together for nearly the whole mile (until he fell back)

Mile 3 - 5:49
A lot of mind games in this mile, I realized if I just shut the fuck up and run, I can get it done... (this mile hurt)

Mile .1 - :39 seconds
Seeing the clock around 17:15 up ahead, I knew I had it.. so my stupid legs decided to start JOGGING it in, my brain the yelled at my legs for being stupid... so I had picked it up a bit to make damn sure it was sub 18... I think probabaly gone 17:49 if I manned up, but hey... gotta leave some time for my next PR!

Overall, a great race. My friend Trav ran a 16:50, and we cooled down by running the race course again (nice and easy).  I ended up with 3rd place AG, and some more hardware to hang in Abrahm's nursery.

I am in LOVE with my Saucony GridType A4 racing flats, beware... these are fast!

Looking forward.... I'm 99% sure this was my last race until the Maine Marathon Oct. 3rd, until then...

Thursday, August 19, 2010

It's August and stuff...

Yo, somehow my "recovery" 40 mile week turned into 52 miles, I can dig it.

Kinda fooled around with mileage this week, and didnt stick to Mr. Pfitz' plan as much as normal, got some solid medium distance runs in (10-12 milers), and awesome track workout in (800 repeats), and wound up with a 10k PR at LobsterFest 10k yesterday (38:47).

The race went a little something like this:
Rolled into Rockland around 7:30am, and the weather could not have been better... low 60s, ZERO humidity, ocean breeze... perfection.   Met up with Bob Wiles, whom I played football with in high school.. somehow we both became pretty serious runners as we matured, I can only imagine how good the GAHS XC team might have been in the mid-90s if we knew then what he know now!

After an easy 2 mile warm-up we gathered at the start, eyeing the rest of the runners I realized I had an awesome shot at an AG win... except Bob is in my AG, so nevermind.

It's been a few weeks since I started this race report, and kinda forgot most of it... but anyway, set a PR and it felt goooooood.   38:45..

for some reason I wanted to wear a bandana... i dunno about that look....

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Run More!

my new tattoo sums it up...

Monday, July 12, 2010

Welcome to earth...bitch!

When I think 4th of July, I too think Will Smith catch-phrases!

Ran the Bridgton 4 on the 4th this year, 11 years since I last ran this race, I'm sorry but I can't stop wondering what the hell would have happened if I kept running back then.... damnit!

Race recap:

It was HOT!  Race started at 8am and was already over 80* and climbing!
Did a quick 1 mile warmup, bumped into my man Travis and ran an extra half mile with him, he's a collegiate XC/track runner (or was, he quit to focus on tri's) and works at Maine Running Co, a solid dude with some speed.

I was already sweating balls, so decided to go shirtless (whatever) and because I didnt want to go out too fast, I let Travis toe the line, and I went 2-3 rows back.

Mile 1 - 6:02
Lining up a few rows back really helped my pace, as I usually (and stupidly) end up going out with the 5min milers for 30 seconds... I let them go do there thing and just relaxed.   The first mile was over before I knew it

Mile 2 - 6:29
Holy hill!  Heat really started to climb, and so did the elevation.  Kept a low gear and just kept passing people who went out too fast....suckers.

Mile 3 - 6:10
Trying to get back on pace after the hills, this mile was the hardest mentally, although I ran through Mile 3 marker around the same time I just ran a 5k a few weeks ago.

Mile 4 - 5:45
DOIN' WORK SON!   Fastest mile I have ever ran.... ever.  Not sure where it came from, but I loved it.

Ended up 28th overall, and first place in 30-34 age-group.  (24:30 vs. 27:04 in 1999)
Not too shabby for some punk kid who has been running for just a year.... looking forward to Old Hallowell Day 5k this week...

Monday, June 7, 2010

Did Work.

Tomorrow (June 8th) marks my 1 year anniversary of returning to running. 
I started running at 19 because I was sick of being fat, quit college football, and wanted to get in shape.  Little did I know, I was kinda good at this running thing and got addicted.  I ran a few half-marathons, dropped a ton of weight, won some age-group awards... then just stopped.

I somehow lost my way, and was busy living life.  It's hard to run when you wake up in a new city and are still hung over from the night before.  After 6 years of casually trying to run once and while, a year ago this week I decided enough was enough and went on my first "real" run again.   I couldnt finish an easy 3 mile loop.  But I went back the next day and tried again... and again, and fell back in love.

365 days later I've completed 2 marathons, beat my 5k PR (from 2000 without even trying), and at 30 years old, I'm at the same weight I was in 8th grade...seriously.

I can't wait to see where I'm at next June.  I fucking love running.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Three(point one)'s A Party!

5k's are kinda like punk rock songs... fast, sloppy, they kinda suck, but are fun as hell!
(Andrew, this one's for you)

Mile 1 6:04.17
Went out a bit fast, the lead dude was cruising and I stayed with him for .25 mile, then I realized I was running a 5:10 split and backed off.... oops.

Mile 2 6:04.39
I'm in 3rd place, running comfortable.  Around mile 1.5 we hit the turnaround spot (an orange cone) I really hate out/back courses, especially 5ks because you have to completely stop and start again!

Mile 3 6:05.66
This mile was hard because I was running past all of the other racers on the out/back course, which is narrow as is... add a hundred people in my way and I was hugging the rail.  Probabaly could have turned it on a later faster but I was just having fun, I wasnt even looking at the Garmin here..

Mile .10 Mi 0:29.38
I see the 2nd place dude finish up ahead, and the glare is so bad I cant read the clock... I for sure would have sprinted through if I saw it to get a sub18:40, but when I heard the timer yell 18:41 I was stoked... 

Garmin - 18:43.60 Official - 18:41 (PR)
Stopped Garmin a bit late, but new I had a PR either way.  I ran an 18:44 in 2000, as a 20 year old college kid who was in love with running... I fell out of love for about 8 years as I tasted other aspects of life, but to know that I'm 30 now, married to the most beautiful woman in the world, with a baby on the way this Fall, and a new found respect/obsession with running...  I can't wait to get faster!

Ended second recovery week with just over 23 miles, and felt good about it.  Looking forward to a 30+ week right now, and then start 17 week prep towards the Maine Marathon and my attempt at BQ!!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Recovering The Opposable Thumb..

Is there any hope for us, or are the rumors true?
Are we just the mulch and kindling that accrues?
...Can we recover from this....?

(props to the Lawrence Arms)

Boys and girls, the word of the week is...."RECOVERY"
Recovering from 26.2 hard miles, from dissapointment and from that goddamn downhill!

Ended up with <10 miles for the week, took 4 straight off after Sugarloaf, and my "coach" scolded me for not taking more time off.  Today (Sunday) I went out for an unplanned distance, decided on a solid 5.5.  No, it's not very far, just enough to get my legs working.

Been looking ahead a lot this past week on summer racing plans, how much I should up my mileage, and of course... prepping for the baby.   After talking with some runners, whom are a lot more experienced  (faster) than me, I decided on just following the same Pfitz 18/55 plan in preps for Maine, but I'm going to add an easy to run to one of the REST days.  Will add 4-6 miles per week, and I think that will help my fitness a lot, and hopefully allow me to drop 3-5lbs.

Planning on getting up to 20-25 miles this week as the recovery continues

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Sugarloaf 05.16.10

"The marathon can humble you"

Yea? No shit Bill Rodgers!

To be brief, I ran the Sugarloaf Marathon yesterday at the beautiful Sugarloaf Mountain resort up here in Maine.

I finished in 3:14, 4 minutes shy of my goal, 4 minutes shy of punching my ticket to the 2011 Boston Marathon. Goddammit!

I woke up around 4:45am on Sunday, got somewhere around 4-5 hours of sleep which was a pleasant surprise, as my nerves were insane in the brain! Had usual pre-race breakfast of a bagel smothered with peanut butter, a banana and all the coffee I get chug. The coffee did the trick, and um.."cleaned me out" as I needed.

The resort provides shuttles to the start (about 11 miles away), but after talking to a couple dudes I met at the dinner they said it's stupid to board a bus and wait at the start for an hour if you can just convince your wife to do it. Since my wife is fucking awesome, and the greatest human being on the planet she had no problem getting up early with me... I love her so much. So I laughed as I enjoyed my coffee and looked out the window as runners were herded onto school busses... suckers.

Race start is 7am, so at about 6:20 we hopped in our car and drove to the start... you have to drive the course in reverse to get there, so for every downhill we hit... it would be an uphill for me, yea that sucked. Got to the campground area which is the starting point, and it looks like LOTS of other people did the same, as runners are chillin' in their cars with other loving wives/husbands.

I'm instantly surprised about how warm it is already in Northwest Maine at 6:40am, and take my warm-ups off. Brianne (my wife), takes my warm-ups, kisses me goodbye, wishes me luck and says she'll see me at the 10k mark. I talk to 2-3 runners I recognize, but am too nervous to just chill so I go for an easy .5 run to loosen up until I hear a bull-horn yell "5 MINUTES!!!!"

So a weird thing about this race, it's not chip-timed... I'm not really down with that shit, so I lined up about 2 deep from the guy who won it last year. Then a dude (obviously a local) comes out in the middle of the road with a huge double-barrel shotgun.... umm, I guess this is the "start-gun". 5,4,3,2,1..BOOM! Tap the Garmin and Im off....

Mile 1 7:12

Wasted no time finding a fast pace. From my research, I planned on being super conservative in the first 5k and just use it as a warm-up, and I actually thought I was running slow…keeping it below 7:10 was a struggle as my feet wanted to propel me to the finish already. I eased back as much as possible, but with such a small crowd, there wasn’t much holding me back.

Mile 2 7:19

The pack starts to thin out as the fast people take off, the people that started too fast get passed, and us “leaders of the middle packers” start to settle in. Hit this mark with ease.

Mile 3 7:17

Ok, 5k down..and Im feeling awesome. There was a water stop somewhere right before this, and I grabbed a quick rinse of h2O.

Mile 4 7:18

This is the first time it hit me in my mind that “holy shit dude, you’re going to do this”. My splits were right exactly where I wanted them..a tad slower than 3:10 pace, but I was being conservative. It’s here I really settle in and meet this awesome dude named Jeremy. He’s from Boston, we talk sports, life, and about how we’re gonna chill out at 7:15ish pace and get this done.

Mile 5 7:23

We head through a small downtown area, with a few “fans”. A little slow.

Mile 6 7:11

Right before the marker Brianne is up ahead with a Hammer Gel and my water bottle… I run ahead of Jeremy and grab a gel and a swig of G2…. I throw my bottle back to my beautiful one-woman support crew, but I miss her and it breaks..oops.

Mile 7 7:20

Shit, here come some hills.

Mile 8 7:24

Steady, Jeremy and I keep eachother on task, checking in with eachother, talking about our tactics for the upcoming climb. Still feel awesome.

Mile 9 8:02

Big climb here, I cut my stride down, and stay in control going up this climb…. Figured if I got around 8min/mile I could still make it up on the downhill.

Mile 10 7:39

Climb evens out a bit, but these rolling hills suck.

Mile 11 7:12

Sweet, back on pace.

Mile 12 6:50

A COMPLETE downhill. Like, fucking gnarly, hold on tight, touch the brakes or you’re out of control downhill….

Mile 13 7:10

This brings you back past the resort, still cruising from the downhill, I meet Brianne again.. hop over to the side of the road and plant a huge kiss on her face. Some woman came up to her and said that was the sweetest thing she ever saw.

Mile 14 7:11

Still cruising. Hit the 13.1 mark at 1:35, just what I was looking for!

Mile 15 7:13

Stoked that Im right on pace, I continue thinking if I just take a few seconds off per mile, I’ll have no problem..

Mile 16 6:56

It’s downhill, the weather is beautiful and Jeremy and I are CRUISING! We laugh a little when we accidently get under 7min/mile again… this shit is easy (hah!)

Mile 17 7:03

At 16.2 we start talking about imagining that 10mile route you have, the one from your front door and back that is exactly 10 miles..and that’s all we have left! Start the countdown!

Mile 18 7:20

A tad slower than planned, but we are counting the single-digits to Boston!

Mile 19 7:18

Cruising, cant wait to see that 20 mile mark!

Mile 20 7:23

Something goes wrong, and my buddy starts falling back. For the past 6 miles we were joined by another dude, and we supported each other the whole way. Besides us 3, you can barely see anyone in front or behind us…. We are in no-mans land!

Mile 21 7:19

Jeremy is dropping back farther, and my new buddy and I say that we just cut that 10 mile route in half!

Mile 22 7:16

I feel my toe EXPLODE! (check out the pic). I’m still on time, but my foot hurts like a mutha… (this will be my last race in Nike!)

Mile 23 7:16

Doing my best to forget the pain, but now I’m all alone. Both my partners dropped off my pace, and the doubts start creeping in my mind. Looking back, I doubt if I’ll ever run such a small race again (at least not trying to BQ). Being alone in life is scary, being alone in a marathon is HELL!

Mile 24 7:22

More doubts creeping in my head, I start trying to do the math to figure out if Im close to a BQ or not? I should have prepped better and figured out my splits… goddammit why didn’t I do that??

I’m still running alone, but I’m creeping up on runners ahead…I think if I catch them they can get me to Boston, but it’s a mirage because they crashed and are jogging in..

Mile 25 7:31

Still alone, I realize a 3:10 is not going to happen, and to put it frankly… I said “fuck it”, started crying like a wimp, and basically gave up.

Mile 26 9:54 (seriously?!?)

Mentally I was gone, pissed, and hurt. Physically my legs burned, but I had more in them. I’ll admit right now I had more in me, and if you know me… it hurts to say that. I turn around and can see Jeremy around the bend, so I slow to that stupid walk/jog people do when they cross in front of you in a parking lot… he catches up and we both apologize to eachother for not getting us there.

There’s a waterstop somewhere before the marker, I stop grab a full cup of Gatorade, walk for a minute to collect myself and turn it on for the final .2 to the finish.

26.2- FINISH 2:20

Embarrassed as I see my wife cheering for me, she knew once she saw the clock strike 3:10 and I wasn’t in sight how angry I’d be. I try to smile for a picture or 2, but have a hard time being excited…

So, looking back I can already see mistakes (which is good), and writing this actually pissed me off. I had a BQ in my reach and I let it go, but I learned a ton about the distance and even more about my ability.

I’m not blaming the guys I ran with (I blame the desolate course) but when they dropped off it sucked. I’m 100% sure that if we could have stayed together, we’d have our rooms booked for next April.

Oh well! On the way home Brianne and I had a blast, we stopped for pizza, for ice cream, and hopped out of the car to take some beautiful landscape photography. When I got home, I put my feet up, watched the Celtics bet the Magic, Oh…and signed up for the Maine Marathon on Oct. 3rd… where I WILL get that BQ!

So, I made my return to running after an 8 year lay-off in June 2009.  I weighed 205lbs, and wanted to get back in running shape, and beat my old PRs.  I ran my first marathon just 5 months later in 3:36, and yesterday I dropped 22 minutes off that.  I'm now 170lbs, and even though I'm faster/fitter than ever, I still have a ton of work to do, all things considered...  that 3:14 doesnt seem too bad now!

Finally, I need to give major props to my amazing, beautiful, 16 week pregant wife Brianne for not only putting up with this stupid addiction I have, but supporting me 100%.   I could never do this without her, and knowing that at 26.2, I win her.  Every single time.
Not too shabby for only being a "runner" for 10.5 months huh?  Jay-Z says it best... "On to tha next one.."