0mi. Body sore and tired from 3 good days of running in a row.
4mi/29min in Pisgah with Griffin. A couple deer flies were out. Lifted weights.
8mi/56min around Swanzey Lake Rds with Brent. Good run. My calves were a little sore. Nice cool and cloudy weather.
5mi/36min in Friedsam with Griffin. Feel good. Drizzle, cool weather. Lifted weights.
8mi/60min in the Grafton Trails with Ferenc and the girls. Nice and easy run. Legs a little flat.
4mi/30min in Pisgah with Griffin. Nice cool morning for a run.
16mi*/1:56 - Mt. Greylock Trail Half Marathon - 1:47:01 - 3rd place.
It was a gorgeous day for a race up the tallest mountain in Massachusetts. I arrived very early and bumped into Crutchley and his friend James. We talked a bit about the course and the weather. It was cool, perfect for racing. Every year I've done this race it's been hot, one year it was 97F and humid. (I stopped racing that year and dunked several times in streams and just jogged it in.) This year there would be none of that nonsense. Jonny and my dad arrived a little bit later. Jonny and I did a short warm up and then got ready to race. At the start, I dropped in behind Jonny. We were in about 9th and 10th position. The start went out pretty relaxed. My plan was to stay with Jonny on the climb or drop him if he was going too slow. I had no delusions of winning with Derek Jakoboski in the field and some other fast dudes. I'm just not fit. Jonny made a move very early as the climbing started and passed some runners. I couldn't go with him. He was too strong! I watched as he got a good 10 second gap on me. My heart rate and breathing were maxed and my legs were already complaining very early into the climb and I was sitting in about 8th place. I kept trying to catch Jonny on the flatter sections and I would make up a little ground, but he was stronger on the steep stuff and would extend his gap on me. Near the top of the climb he really started hammering and he got at least 30 seconds up on me. I hit the aid station at the summit in 37-mid. I pounded a Gatorade and got passed by a guy I summited with. I think I've made it to this aid station in 34 flat before, but I'm not sure.
Time for the technical descent of the top part of the mountain. My favorite part of the race. I started hammering and quickly passed the guy in the blue shirt who passed me at the aid station. It didn't take more than a minute or two to catch up to Jonny and another guy in a white singlet. I went flying by them and gave Jonny some encouragement and told him to be careful on the wet rocks, that it was dangerous. In hindsight, that seems kind of funny as I was flying by them at breakneck speed on the wet rocks. I just really enjoy this part of the race. After that top section, the course levels out and even climbs up in spots on much less technical trail. I could tell I was moving slowly here compared to my fast years on this course. I got to a big T intersection that wasn't marked, but I went right. It helped knowing the course, but I was worried that Jonny and other racers would take a wrong turn here. Sounds like Crutch did do just that. The trail gets steep and technical again in spots and it reminds me of parts of the Escarpment course. It's a fun section that gets even more fun when it dumps out onto an open meadow. That is just an amazing part of the course. You're flying downhill on single track on an open field, it's just awesome. I hit the aid station in the parking lot and let the volunteers know that the big turn was not marked and there were no markers until that aid station.
Next up is the longest, baseball-sized rock infested jeep road in the world. It goes mostly downhill at different grades ranging from really steep to not very steep at all. There is one section that goes uphill for a long while which is by far the toughest part of the course. (Not counting the climb up to the summit). After that climb it's down, down, down the jeep road. Usually, I'm just absolutely pounding myself, running as fast as possible. This year my legs were too tired to really kill this section. I ran fast, but not crazy fast. The rocks start to get annoying on your tired feet. Finally, the trail gets dark and shaded which means you're almost finished. I passed a young guy here who was moving very slowly. This put me into 3rd place. He looked like he was wearing very lightweight xc racers. I bet his legs and feet were just destroyed. I tried to encourage him, but I could tell he was not a happy camper. Shortly after that, I crossed the bridge and climbed up the last hill and pushed hard to the finish in the field by the pond. My time was 1:47:01, which wasn't great but I had a lot of fun out there and it was a great day on the mountain. I enjoyed a Coke and some grub and chatted with Jonny and Pard about their races. I'll be back, it's a great mountain race.
Total for the week:
45miles. Fun race. I need to run and lift more and stop being lazy.