Monday, April 19, 2010

Double Weekend

Last weekend, I fairly successfully pulled off 1)the Merrimack River 10 Miler, 2) Dan Ford 5 Miler and 3) the Great Bay Half Marathon for a total of 28 racing miles in two days. This past weekend I decided to up the ante a little and do the Exeter Marathon on Saturday and the Muddy Moose 14 Miler on Sunday for a total of 40 racing miles over the weekend. All said and done it appears that I did about 30 miles of racing and the last 10 miles slogging along wishing I had chosen the 4 miler.

Looking back at the marathon splits that I ran on Saturday I should have known not to push my luck. While I did PR by four minutes in Exeter, it wasn't a pretty race. It was a battle of attrition with nearly each mile getting progressively slower.
Mile 1: 6:03
Mile 2: 6:18
Mile 3: 6:12
Mile 4: 6:16
Mile 5: 6:22
Mile 6: 6:11
Mile 7: 6:12
Mile 8: 6:25
Mile 9: 6:18
Mile 10: 6:12
Mile 11: 6:11
Mile 12: 6:22
Mile 13: 6:13
Mile 14: 6:18
Mile 15: 6:14
Mile 16: 6:27
Mile 17: 6:41
Mile 18: 6:33
Mile 19: 6:18
Mile 20: 6:31
Mile 21: 6:37
Mile 22: 6:40
Mile 23: 6:34
Mile 24: 6:45
Mile 25: 6:43
Mile 26: 6:39
Mile 26.2: 1:17
Total: 2:47:45

The race was an out and back course and despite the small field of ~50 runners, there was good fan support and plenty of aide. It was a great and well run race and I will definitely be back for it next year.

I then spent the evening in Balcony seats at the Colonial Theater in Boston watching CATS which definitely tightened up my legs.

The next morning came early and I called Rich Lavers telling him I wouldn't be going to the race(smart) only to moments later reconsider and call back, begging a ride(not so smart). I still hadn't made up my mind whether I was going to do the 14 or 4 miler which happen simultaneously and run the first 2 miles together. Even at the start of the race I wasn't sure which I was going to do. At the turn, left for the 14, right for the 4, I turned left(stupid). I then proceeded to be passed by nearly the entire field of runners, barely making it home in daylight(or so it felt).

Despite my fatigue, the coolness of the race did not go unnoticed and I think I'll try it again next year on fresher legs.

Thanks to Scott Mason for the photos.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Grubby Acidotic Racers!

Just a quick update for those of you who saw me on Sunday's Great Bay Half. Yes I was still wearing my Acidotic singlet. And yes it was washed in between races. However, neither I nor Rich Lavers was able to wash our outfits between the Merrimack River 10 miler and the 5-miler we did a couple hours later in Methuen. Yikes!

Pictures courtesy of Steve Wolfe.

Check out Great Bay Pictures at

Exeter Marathon

So no Boston this year for Amber and I. Like thousands of others holding off to register until after the holidays, we missed out. By waiting too long, the 26,000+ other runners filled Boston to its capacity. We some friends running it this year so we'll be watching our computer screens as their times are updated.

I decided not to take the weekend off though. After reading about similar runners having been unable to get in, I decided to join them in the inaugural Exeter Marathon to be held tomorrow at 8am in Exeter RI. As of today, there were only 39 males running it. But as the website says, it is the only marathon in the US, besides the Olympic Trials, that the only means of entry is by qualification. It is also one of the only US marathons that I am guaranteed a top 50 spot(as of today). The qualifying time for everyone registered is posted on the website and it looks like the top 5 will be competitive.

My goal for this race is to pass more people than pass me. I plan to run it easy until mile 16(the last steep hill) then see what I can put together for the last 10 miles.

The thing about the marathon is that it is long enough that so many things can go wrong that I hope to just pace myself and keep things together so that I come out with a nice long run under my belt(money in the bank for Leadville) without tearing myself up too much.

Running the Numbers(as brought to you by Runner's World)

Entry Fee: $40
Field Size Cap: 1,000
Starting Time: 8:00 a.m.
Charity Runners: 0
Volunteers: 40

Entry Fee: $130
Field Size Cap: 26,400
Starting Time: 10:00 a.m.
Charity Runners: 4,000
Volunteers: 8,500

I'll keep you posted on how it goes!

Oh yeah, Muddy Moose on Sunday!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Oh My Aching Feet!

So for those of you that sang along with "sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me" never read a really good book. Okay, so it's a stretch but I'm blaming Chris McDougall's book, Born to Run, on my current achy feet. Not only did his book motivate me to sign up for Leadville 100 in the first place but it also encouraged me to buy a pair of Vibram Five Fingers(see below).

These shoes are designed to bridge the gap between bare-foot(and often bloody) running and heavy, proprioceptive reducing running shoe running. I went for a 45 minute run last night for my third run in them and here's my input:

1)Great for ultra-running pace running because they force you to go slow.
2)Good for intrinsic muscle use as the foot has to flex and stabilize itself more because the shoe is not doing it for you
3)Fair for running economy because while it does force you to avoid a heel striking(and stress fracture causing) gait pattern, it also puts you more on your toes(rather than midfoot) which can lead to things like Achilles Tendonitis and other overuse injuries. Also descending becoming far more difficult because you have to eccentrically control your foot fall.
4)No so good for proprioceptive training. Whether it's a Nike, Brooks or Vibram rubber, the truth is that any amount of material between your foot's sensory nerves and the ground diminishes your body proprioception.
5)Good for Sore Feet- My fault. Should have gone for a shorter run.

All in all, I think that I'll continue to race in flats but Vibram's may become a part of a once or twice weekly training program. We'll see.

Now where's the Ice?

Monday, April 5, 2010

April Fool's 4 Miler

What an April Fool's Surprise. We went to Salisbury this past weekend to race in the third Will Run for Beer Series' race April Fool's 4 miler, thinking low-key race, fun atmosphere. We step out of the car and Amber says, "wow that looks a lot like Sarah Bei". Moments later I spot this guy that looks very much like Ryan Hall and I said as much. That would be ridiculous though, here in Salisbury MA, racing in a low-key 4 mile race? No way! Well, apparently, as some of my pediatric patients say "yes way". It was in fact Sarah and Ryan Hall coming out so that Sarah could run a "tempo" run.

Some Tempo run she had. I tried to keep up with her for the first mile and nearly passed out. I had to slow down to 6 min mile for the third mile just to stop seeing stars. Needless to say, I figured out why she's an Olympian-caliber runner and I am not.

The race was super competitive for the females; not only due to the fact that Sarah Hall ran but also the triathlete, Crystal Anthony, who showed up finishing third behind Brett Ely. Amber finished a solid sixth with a 25:03 good enough for 2nd in her age-group, despite the deep field and unseasonably hot temperature.

It was a fun day going from meeting the Halls to surprising my dad for his 60th birthday. Can't think of a better way to spend a Saturday.

Friday, April 2, 2010

No Mount Washington This Year :(

As the header implies, Amber and I didn't get in via lottery to the Mt. Washington Road Race this year. For those of you unfamilar with MWRR, the race website describes it best: "The Mt. Washington Auto Road is 7.6 miles in length, has an average grade of 11.5% with extended sections of 18%, and the last 50 yards is a 22% "wall" to the finish... The course rises 4650 vertical feet from start to finish. Relax, there's Only One Hill!"

After proposing to Amber at the top in 2008(figured my chances were better when she was anoxic) and bonking after biking there last year, we were hoping to actually put up some good times by racing it this year. We'd have still biked there but this year it wouldn't have been the first ride of the year and we'd hopefully not crash on the way to the race. Either way a bit of a moot point as we didn't get in.

We've requested slots through GCS but so have what appears to be the entirety of the team so we're not too optimistic. What we might do that day instead is hike the Presidental Traverse and try to time it so we're at the Summit of Washington when all the runners are coming in. We're still debating whether we'll be throwing snowballs from Jefferson or not. It all depends on how bitter we still are.

Not to sound too much luck a spoiled sport, congrats to everyone who did get in and we'll be at the top cheering you on.

I guess now we'll have to bike the LONG way there...