Monday, January 28, 2013

4x800 World Record attempt on Sunday, January 27, 2013 at the USATF Master's New England Indoor Championships.  I met up with teammates Chris Simpson, Mark Gomes, and David Cahill at the Providence Career and Tech Center to try and beat the 35+ W.R. for the 4x800.  The record we were gunning for was 8:11 which at first glance, looks soft.  Back in July, when Mike Galoob approached me about the idea of going for this, we both thought it would be easy.  When I posted on Level Renner in November to get people in New England excited about this, I was thinking we'd probably get a lot of 35-39 year olds and I envisioned having two teams chasing the record on a fast track like BU's, with college teams in the mix pushing us to our best. Now I realize how naive I was.  There is a reason that 8:11 is the record.  I couldn't find any guys my age in New England that were actively racing 800's and were capable of the time needed to break the record.  I gave up on the idea, but then last week I was lucky enough to get in contact with Chris Blondin of GBTC and he hooked me up with David Cahill, Chris Simpson and Mark Gomes.  Chris and Mark are both in their 40's and were in the hunt for the 40+ World Record.  They were gonna use this as their back up plan if they didn't beat the record Friday night at the Armory in NY.  Well they smashed the record.  I was a little worried that after racing at 10:30 at night, they would be less than excited about racing another 800 on Sunday, but they're gamers and were still in.  We had a fast team assembled, with everyone capable of running 2 flat or faster.  On paper, this was going to be a piece of cake.

We wouldn't be racing on a fast banked track against strong competition with two 35+ teams pushing each other like I had envisioned.  Turns out, not very many meets in New England have 4x800's for post-collegiate old guys. We picked the USATF New England Master's Indoor Championships to go for our record attempt because it was a USATF sanctioned meet and they actually had a 4x800 on the event schedule.   Upon arriving at the Providence Career and Tech Center, I couldn't believe how low-key the meet seemed.  Only a few dozen older athletes warming up and racing on the track.  I could probably count the number of spectators there on both hands. My twin brother Glenn was there with me and would be filming the race and cheering.  The track was flat and the turns felt tight.  There were no other teams entered in the 4x800, so we would be time trialing.  So this is why the record is 8:11.  This was not going to be easy.

Chris Simpson ran our lead off leg.  He ran 2:03 and handed off to Mark Gomes.  Mark ran smooth and handed off to David with another 2:03 leg.  These guys are my heroes for showing up and sticking to their word that they would help David and me go for the 35+ record.  The turns really seemed to be bothering them as Mark almost came out into lane 2 on every turn.  I think they both looked a little dejected after their legs.  They both know they can run faster and maybe felt like they were letting David and me down.  Wrong!  No one else in New England would step to the plate to go for this.  It took two 40+ guys with one days rest to get it done.  They ran like the champions they are.  It was now up to David and myself  to bring this record home.  We were the two 35-39 year old guys on the team, and we were the ones without a record yet. David took the baton and looked really good. His form looked smooth and I knew he was capable of a fast time. He had just run a 1:26 600m and 52 second 400m. Again, the slow track and time trial format was making this tough. He handed off to me after another 2:03 leg and I got the baton with 6:09 showing on the clock. Time to dig down and bring this home. All week I had pictured myself as the anchor, crossing the line in a new world record. I tried to stay smooth and fast and before I knew it, I was hearing the bell. Final lap. It was gonna be close. Everyone that was still there at the meet was screaming and cheering for me and our team. In the final turn, I thought of getting this thing done for all my friends and family and teammates and I got a surge of adrenaline. I kicked with everything I had. The announcer said, "It's gonna be close!" I screamed as I hit the line, knowing we had just done it! I ran a 2:00, to bring us the new record in 8:09.65. It was an awesome feeling. Thanks to Chris Simpson, Mark Gomes, and David Cahill. I'll see you guys down the road!


Saturday, January 26

3mi/19min on roads. Just a shake out for tomorrow's World Record attempt. Went for a nice little hike in Pisgah with Jen and Griffin. Drove down to Rhode Island at night to get my birth certificate which my parents still had. Ready to rock!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Friday, January 25

Am: floor hockey. pm:8mi/52min in Pisgah solo. The trails are firm and fast thanks to the cold temps. Felt good out there.

Thursday, January 24

0mi. Had to ref 2 basketball games. Played some intense floor hockey in the morning with the 8th graders.

Wednesday, January 23

Am:1mi with kids at school + circuits. pm:10mi*/67min. Baker St workout. 8x200 (32 1st 5, 31,30,29)with Miller. (Andy was there too and Boj joined us for the warm up). Cold weather. Felt nice and relaxed.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Tuesday, January 22

Am:1mi with kids at school. pm:7mi*/47min in Pisgah solo + 4x10sec hill sprints. It's official: Sunday I'll be going for the 4x800 35+ indoor world record with Chris Simpson, David Cahill and Mark Gomes. I didn't think it would come together and I kind of put track on the back burner, but I'm pumped and feel ready to bust out another good 800.

Monday, January 21

0mi. Legs tired and feeling lazy.

Sunday, January 20

24mi*/3:05 in Pisgah with Ferenc and his girls. Awesome run. We headed up to Biel's knob because Ferenc had never seen the northeast corner of the park. We then headed south down the old spofford rd trail. I've only successfully navigated this trail once. I got lost with Boj and George a few years ago and ended up at the TBird in Swanzey. We made it through the swamp of sorrow and found the snowbrook trail. Not without me punching through ice and landing on beaver chewed spikes butt cheek first. Ouch! The run was awesome and epic and gnarly. Total time three hours and five minutes of fun. My legs were tired but these are the kind of runs I need to get ready for the TARC 50K. Watched the Pats lose at night.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Saturday, January 19 Hoot, Toot and Whistle

10miS.S.*/70min. Jen, Ferenc and I drove to Readsboro for the Hoot, Toot & Whistle snowshoe race. Ferenc and I joined Tim Mahoney for a warm up on the roads. We took a bus ride to the start and warmed up a little more with the snowshoes on. At the start, Ferenc took it out hard and the two of us separated from the field. He lead most of the way setting a fast pace. The snow conditions were good, but a little soft on the single track. I took the lead after about 13 or 14 minutes, thinking it was half way. I was able to open a small gap on Josh. I maintained that to the finish to get the win in 20:17. Ferenc was only 13 seconds back. Tim finished 3rd about a minute back. Ferenc ran a really gutsy race and seems to be getting fit quickly. Lyme picked the wrong dude to mess with! Jen finished in 34 minutes and had a big smile on her face. She loved her first snowshoe race. You never know because this sport is pretty brutal. I was psyched to hear she wants to do more. Good cool down with Tim and Josh.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Friday, January 18

Am:1mi with kids at school + circuits. pm:4miS.S./30min in Pisgah with Griffin. Nice run. Body was a bit tired. It felt cold out there. It was 24° but windy and raw.

Thursday, January 17

0miles. Had the circus performance at night and had to do a lot of running around and setting up. The show was amazing! I'm addicted to juggling and have been working on new 3 ball patterns and trying 4 balls. It's tough...but no one said the life of a juggler would be easy. I need to practice drawing draggers too.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Wednesday, January 16

9miS.S./62min in Pisgah. It was snowing and there was 5" of fresh snow on the trails. Feeling good. Had a day off today because of the snow.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Tuesday, January 15

Am:3mi/20min on the roads with Griffin. Lifted weights. Ran 1 mile with the kids at school. Pm: Had to ref 2 basketball games.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Monday, January 14

8mi*/52min in Pisgah with Griffin. It was warm almost 50° today. The trails are starting to open up in sunny spots just like in April. I did 5x10 sec hill sprints after. Feel great. I signed up for the TARC 50K last night. I still want to race a couple track races but I need to start doing long stuff.

Sunday, January 13

18mi*/2:03 - Ran out to the Athens Lookout with Ferenc and his girls. Great run in the snow. Warm and foggy. Enjoyed the Pats victory later in the day. 65 miles total for the week.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Saturday, January 12

8mi/56min in Pisgah with Ferenc and Fyffe. The trails are soft and slushy because of the warm temps. I wish we had a real winter. I find these temperatures to be alarming. Lifted weights.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Friday, January 11

Am:1mi with kids at school. Pm:7mi/47min in Pisgah with Griffin. The trails are all packed and fast. I was lacking in motivation again today so I'm glad I got out the door. It was 33° and raining lightly. I need to lift and do hill sprints tomorrow.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Thursday, January 10

Am:2miles with kids at school. Pm:3mi/22min in Pisgah with Griffin. I had a meeting at work that went late. Oh well. Tomorrow lift and run a good one.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Wednesday, January 9

Am:1mi with kids at school. Pm:11mi*/71min - Baker St workout. (800-400-200-200)x3 with Mark (Clint, Bryce and Andy there too). Result: 2:29,72,36,35,2:26,70,34,33,2:22,68,33,32 Nice workout. This was the first time this winter that I went to Baker St. Watched the KHS wrestling match after with Miller and Najem. It made me want to get on the mat.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Tuesday, January 8

Am:2miles with kids at school. Lifted weights. Pm:3mi/18min on the roads. Solo. Moving at a good clip. Not very motivated today so I'm glad I did this run. We have a circus performer at our school working with the kids during P.E. class. It's a blast! I'm addicted to plate spinning!

Monday, January 7

9mi/67min on the Saxton's River trails with Ferenc and the girls and Whistle. My feet and lower legs have been a little beat up from wearing snowshoes so we both decided to run with out them. I immediately Wished I had them on. It was slow tough footing. My legs were tired. Turned on headlamps for the last 20min. Ate some wings after the run with Ferenc, Boj, Najem and Larry. Pow!

Sunday, January 6, 2013


The other day I was in the back seat of Glenn’s car while we drove to a BU Mini Meet with Cody and Tanner. Cody is 20 years old and new to running. Like many newbies, he’s totally in love with the sport and wants to do as many cool running things as he can. He was talking about doing a Tough Mudder and I had to chime in with my opinion. I let him know that I thought those events were kind of a gimmick and not that tough. I told him that I’ve run 50 miles on rugged trails and I’ve done mountain races and trail races. But we were heading to do the toughest thing a person can do…compete in a track race.

How can track be the toughest thing one can do? Well, it’s the only running race where we demand absolute perfection from ourselves every time. We’re looking to run personal records every time we step on the track. We’re trying to beat the clock. Tenths and hundredths of a second become crucial. The clock never lies. Especially in indoors, there is no blaming the weather for a slow time, or the course was long or muddy or wet or poorly marked…etc. We need to be perfect in our warm up, in our pre-race nutrition, and our tactics during the race. Don’t go out too fast or too slow. Don’t get boxed in. Don’t run in lane two more than necessary. Don’t seed yourself with too slow or too fast a time, so you get in the perfect heat. It all is important.

At that meet later in the day, I was gunning for my lifetime p.r. in the 800m of 1:58.0. I ran a strong race, winning my heat in 1:58.22. I was very happy. If I had run 23 hundredths of a second faster, I would have been ecstatic. How’s that for tough. Where could I have gotten those 23 hundredths? Should I have started my kick earlier? Should I have gotten out faster in the beginning? Was I just not fit enough? Will I ever break 1:58? Or is that the best I’ve got?

Track is tough. I have more nerves and anxiety waiting to do a mile race than I do running a marathon. I could rig and finish dead last in my heat totally embarrassing myself or run perfectly and still not set a p.r. A lot of people do marathons, and ultras, and obstacle races, but not many have the guts to toe the starting line on the oval. I salute any one that has the stones to give track racing a try and I’m looking forward to my next track race. I’ll find out how tough I really am.

Sunday, January 6

17mi/2:00 - Did The Clearing in Keene/Roxbury with Thomas and MacKnight. Najem and Boj joined us for the first few miles up Beech Hill. We passed about 18 runners doing their Sunday long run going up the hill. That was cool to see. Nice to know we weren't the only souls at Sunday morning service. I love this run. It's the Keene Staters go to long run and I can see why they have such a good program. This run is legit! It's got some serious climbing in the first half. We had to run gingerly on the downhills because the dusting of snow was hiding dangerous ice. Eric and I went down on an ice patch on Otterbrook Dam. We were fine so it was funny. We saw Naj's tracks and could see where he slid on the ice too. We joked that based on his footprints we could tell that he was wearing Asics Ds Trainers ...the green ones. And he had on a red Nike top. Damn we're good. I was hungry by the end. Paquette whipped up a batch of flapjacks that hit the spot and started the recovery process. Awesome run! Total miles for the week: 52. I need to get my mileage up a bit.

Saturday, January 5

6miS.S./41min in Pisgah with Griffin + 5x10 sec hill sprints. Lower legs sore from snowshoeing so I just went for a short run. I increased the time duration of my hill sprints. It's harder to stay at top speed for 10sec. Lot's of birds at the feeders today. 50 redpolls and 2 evening grosbeaks plus all the usual suspects.

Friday, January 4

0mi a much needed day of rest. My legs are tired from all the snowshoe running.

Thursday, January 3

Am:2miles on the roads solo. -1°F. I couldn't resist. I love cold weather! Lifted weights. 2miles + circuits with kids at school. pm: 8miS.S./55min on Marlborough trails with Ferenc, Miller and Najem. We wore the headlamps. Fun run. Working hard for most of it.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Wednesday, January 2

Am:1mi with kids at school +circuits. Pm:9miS.S./65min on Saxton's River trails with Ferenc and the girls and Whistle. Great run. We turned on the head lamps for the last 25min. Had a blast coming down the swichbacks at night in the powder. Gliding the tips! I was totally stoked dude!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Tuesday, January 1 - Millennium Mile

3mi*/19min. 5th place 4:20. What a sh*t show! I got lost driving there. I've been to Londonderry High many times for the middle school state xc meet. With prerace anxiety I kept second guessing myself and taking the wrong turns! Ugghhhh! We pulled into the school parking lot at 1:37. (2 start time) By the time I got my number, changed into racing clothes, and took a dump, it was race time. No real warmup and it felt cold. I raced like crap with no zip in my legs or fight in my spirit. 4:20. I can run that on a track. What a waste of a drive! Oh well. I won my age group but we ran back up the hill one mile and drove home. Happy Freakin' New Year!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

2012 Year in Review

2012 was a great year. Here are some highlights from the past year: New pr for total miles: 3361 = 64.6mpw. Pr for 5k 15:13. Pr for 5mi 25:36. Pr for 10k 32:45. Pr for 12k 39:59. I ran my first 100+ mile week(did 2 this summer). I set 7 course records this year. I was undefeated in trail races going 6 for 6 with 5 course records. Winning the Pisgah 23K and setting the record was awesome. I broke 45min at Lil Rhody for the first time and became 6 time champion. I won 15 races this year. I raced 37 times. I ran a strong race at Keene State Alumni placing 5th overall. I ran a 1:58.22 800 just missing my lifetime pr of 1:58.0 set in 1997. 2012 wasn't all rainbows and roses. I had some disappointments: Tanking at Vermont City Marathon and then training hard all summer to run a lack luster DeMar Marathon. Running poorly at the New Bedford Half. Running a lousy 5k on the track in my debut indoors at that distance. Looking ahead to 2013, I have some goals. 1. Stay Healthy. 2. Run over 3500 miles. 3. Lift weights at least 2 times a week. 4. Do weekly hill sprints. 5. Do more doubles. 6. Race some outdoor track. 7. Pr at a road marathon. 8. Do some long epic trail runs/races. 9. Win the Pisgah 50K. 10. Always have fun with my running, that is after all, why I do it.