Sunday, March 13, 2016

4th Down and 4-Miler

I have gotten so far behind that I'm pretty much going to gloss over most of my weekday runs and write more about the races until I can catch back up. I lost my motivation to blog the farther and farther I fell behind.

Monday, 2/1/16- First night of the Run Strong class at Mountain Center PT in Conway, so I ran a very quick 6 miles around the Windsock Village near work at a 6:17/mi pace. Run Strong followed. Only an introduction really to what the Wednesday class (that I couldn't attend) would be about.

Tuesday, 2/2/16- 10 mile run via Bald Hill Rd and the Kanc. Took it easy and felt good. 7:35/mi pace with 828 ft of  elevation gain.

Tuesday's walk

Fell in the water. That was predictable. Haha
Wednesday, 2/3/16- Early morning 5 mile treadmill run before work. Usual progression run with elevation. I've figured out how to estimate my elevation gain using a calculation I found online. I run at 1% grade for 2.7 miles and 3% for 2.3 miles. It comes out to about 507ft of elevation gain every time I do this run. Not bad. I know it's not exactly accurate, but it gives me an idea. This morning's run felt particularly easy at a 7:08/mi pace.

Thursday, 2/4/16- East Shore Drive and and out-and-back on Lead Mine Rd in Madison. Normally, I would never run on Lead Mine in the winter, but this hasn't been a normal winter. The road was completely clear, except for about .3 or so that is unplowed. Only soft in a few places. I wore microspikes for the unplowed section and then carried them the rest of the way.  8.4 miles at a 7:37/mi pace.

Friday, 2/5/16- Woke up to falling snow. Joined Kristina Folcik for a run in the snow over on the Chocorua Lake roads near her house. We both pushed the pace for a really good low mileage run. 6.7 miles at a 7:33/mi pace which was very quick considering the conditions we were running in. I wanted more miles after so I stopped in Madison for a 4-mile snowshoe run on the snowmobile trails (that never got used this winter). It was fun breaking the trail and one of the few days I got out on a snowshoe run. What a weird winter.

Saturday, 2/6/16- Snowshoe races for the weekend were cancelled due to lack of snow, then Belleville Pond 10K Trail Race in Rhode Island that I had signed up for for today was postponed due to too much snow! Go figure. Road conditions were dicey so I opted for a treadmill run. 10.2 mile progression run at 7:05/mi pace. I felt good. Really good workout. And if that calculation is right, I ran a decent amount of elevation gain on this, as well.
Another attempt at skiing at Black. Not a single good ski day there all season.

4th Down and 4 Miler Race 

I searched online for ANY race I could find to do and the best one I came up with was this one in Concord. I've been trying to race, race, race in order to get my speed back after the injury. I was still amazed at how quickly it disappeared, and the best way I know to get it back is to race these shorter distance races. This race looked ideal for that. I realized that morning that I had never run a 4 mile race before, so I was a little nervous about that. No idea how to pace for it.

John and I drove down to Concord. We brought the dogs along since we had plans to stay down in Southern NH all day. I arrived at what I thought was the race site at NHTI, but I couldn't find any signs of life anywhere, so I drove all around the place, even ending up back on the highway for another go-round. I found people running nearby and asked them. They had no idea. It was so weird. I ended up running into Jim Johnson who was ALSO driving all around looking for the place. We both ended up finding it behind this building on campus. It was obvious at that point, but for awhile there I thought I would never find it.

I got all checked in. Saw that Taryn Litterbrant was also there so round out our 3 Six03 people who showed up. It ended up being a pretty small crowd. I decided to bring Chill along on the warmup with Jim. Jim isn't a huge dog lover, so I laughed when Chill jumped out of the car and ran right at Jim. Haha. Dogs love to find the one person who doesn't like dogs. I leashed up Chill and then proceeded to run the fastest warmup I've ever done. Haha. 3.3 miles at 7:25/mi pace. Easy for Jim, a decent 5k pace for me.

We got back and shortly thereafter lined up at the start. It was a beautiful day out. I was wearing short sleeves and a skirt. And, yes, this was the first weekend of February. This ended up being one of my favorite days of the winter. A quick talk from Tom, the RD, and then we were off. I shot off right at a quick pace, just keeping it a tad slower than 5K pace. The course was almost dead flat except for 2 passes up and over the overpass over I-93. Not to brag, but I knew I had the race in the bag before we ever started, so I had to rely on some of the men around me to compete against. Jeff Litchfield usually schools me at the snowshoe races, so we were close for the first half mile of the race, but road racing isn't his thing, and I pulled ahead of him pretty quickly. I ended up running close behind a younger guy for most of the race and just tried to keep him in sight. I was definitely in the pain cave for the last mile since I wasn't used to that extra mile, but I felt strong. Finished 1st woman, 5th overall. I ended up running a really consistent race. 6:07, 6:09, 6:11, 6:11. I ended up with 3.98 miles on my watch. Jim had just over 4 on his, so I knew the course was accurate. They had me at 24:26 for a finish time, but I stopped my watch after I finished and had 24:24. Not a big deal, but I'm not sure why there was a discrepancy. Full Results.

I put on some layers, and then Jim and I went back out for a cool down. 2.4 miles at a MUCH slower pace 8:10/mi. My legs were all done. We made it back just in time for the awards. I got John out of the car to come inside since there were so many snacks. I won a $40 gift certificate to Runner's Alley that I plan to use soon.

Race Start. Photo by Gary Reuter

The only Six03 people at the race. Taryn was 2nd behind me, and Jim won, of course.
After the awards, I changed clothes then drove over to Portsmouth for the Six03 member party at this cool art space right downtown. There were SO many people there. I picked up my 2016 gear, grabbed a beer and some food and socialized for a little while. I didn't want to stay too long, though, because I really wanted to get John and the dogs back over to Ft Foster for a walk again. And, wow, what a walk it was.

New Six03 singlet

Beer at the Six03 party

We got to Fort Foster in Kittery just before sunset. Not many people were left there either, so we enjoyed a bit of solitude while watching the most amazing sunset I have probably ever seen. John had a great time climbing on the rocks and walking there. It was a beautiful way to end the day. Sometimes I really miss living on/by the ocean. I spent about 4 years total living by the ocean since I left Georgia, and, while I love living in the mountains, there's something extra special about living by the ocean. We called it a day there and drove home. Neither of us was hungry so we didn't stop. Fantastic day and weekend.

Night Cap

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