Saturday, April 18, 2015

Paul School 5K

I got up early to head down to Wakefield, NH for the Paul School 5K. Very low-key, small town 5k, the kind I don't do enough of. The people are always nice and the vibe, laid back. As soon as I arrived I spotted my snowshoe racing buddy, Jonathan Miller, and his wife, Deb. They live right down the street, so I figured they would be there. I also spotted Mark Arsenault with his wife, Tammy, and their daughter. Mark is running Boston on Monday, so he came out just to run with his daughter and to let Tammy race, since she's been on the DL since December.
I did an easy 2-mile warmup, then got ready for the start. Looking around, I had a feeling I would do well place-wise, but I wasn't sure about the time. I don't run many 5ks, and I definitely don't train for them. Short distance speed is not my thing. But I do still like to run them since I can use them for speed work. I don't do speed work, so this is my solution. Running has to be fun for me. The thought of running around a track, just doesn't appeal to me much. I still might hit it a little bit this year, but it definitely doesn't fall under my category of fun. I didn't run track, so I don't even "get" it.
Anyway. The race started abruptly with someone yelling "go" kind of out of the blue. Jonathan shot out ahead along with about 4 other guys. I immediately passed about 3 of them. By the first .2, it was just Jonathan and me in the front headed up the first climb. We quickly lost the others and proceeded up the hill. Jonathan and I ran a lot of snowshoe races closely this past season, so I know that he is good on hills. I passed him just before the first mile mark while it was still flat, but just as we passed the Poor People's Pub for the long climb of the day, he pushed on ahead. He got a good lead on me on the climb. It's not a difficult hill, really, but it's a little long and definitely slowed the pace for the second mile. Even the downhill right after it didn't really make up for it. Jonathan and I stayed close for the rest of the race. When I took a peek back, I could see the third runner pretty far back, so I knew we were going to be 1 and 2 at the finish. The course flattens out a bit before hitting another smaller hill, and then it flattens out again before the finish. Jonathan finished first in 18:54. I came in in 19:00. The race had been advertised as 3.21, but my watch had 3.07 miles at the finish. Jonathan had 3.06. So it ended up being a tad short.... which made me disappointed in my time even more. 2 more seconds, and I could at least have gotten an 18 in there, but oh well. It really didn't matter much. It was just good training in the end. After they had finished, Mark, Jonathan, Deb and I ran a 2-mile cool down on the course, easy. I don't know if there will be pictures from this race or not. John wasn't taking any, and, well, that's it for my photographer. Ha ha.
race Results
John and I headed home after that for a few hours before driving up the Kanc with the plan to hike to Champney Falls. I brought the three dogs with us this time since they needed the exercise. The hike started out sunny, but slowly got darker and darker. I heard thunder off in the distance, but I figured it was far enough away for us to continue to the Falls since we were really close. Just after we turned off onto the side trail, the rain started coming down hard, and about a tenth of mile before the Falls, the first close lightning strike came ripping through. I aborted the hike immediately, so John and I turned around and started running back down the trail. I unleashed the dogs since I thought the chance of us running into anyone coming up the trail would be nil (which it was). It was just easier for us to move without me dealing with leashes. And the dogs stayed right with us anyway. We hauled ass, and lightning just kept striking close by, one was right above us on the hill. John and I weren't scared, though. I've had my share of thunderstorm experiences out on the trail and in the ocean (that's another story), so this was just another nice adrenaline rush. And since John is my kid, well, he thought it was pretty awesome, too, in a crazy way. We got drenched with heavy rain, but as quickly as it came in, it was gone. By the time we approached the trailhead, there were blue skies and sun again. We'll have to hit the Falls again in a few weeks when the trail is a little more clear, since it was still covered in snow and ice.
John with 2 of the dogs running down the trail. You can't tell that it's pouring rain in this photo, but it was.

Life wouldn't be complete without an "I'm smiling in the rain in the middle of a thunderstorm" selfie.


  1. Found your blog from JJ's. You inspire the hell out of me. Thanks. MQ

  2. Hello, Leslie
    I hope that you are well, I just want to say that you shared excellent post on Paul School 5K
    Thanks for sharing
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