Sunday, November 29, 2009

Weekly Training Update Nov 23- 29

Another less than spectacular week but I did have two fun runs this weekend. The first was a night run in Lynn Woods with RunninRob. The temperature was pretty mild but there were some very strong wind gusts. We came upon a large tree blown down across the road. We also took in a nice view of the Boston skyline from Steel Tower Hill. It was a blast to do some running in the dark.

Rob checking out the lights of the city.

Rob taking a Snicker's break.

Blow down

Dirt road darkness

This morning I returned to Lynn Woods for an 8 mile run with some of the Lynn Woods Crew. I haven’t run with these folks in several months and it was nice to get out there with them again. We took a detour to see the skulls. I saw this 20-25 foot high work of art in the woods once before but couldn’t remember how to get to it on my own. Pictures don’t do it justice but I included these (taken from the web) to give you an idea of the magnitude of this undertaking by an unknown artist.

Painted on the side of a cliff, the mural depicts hundreds of skulls and bones and carries the message: "Take the knowledge that you will someday be these bones and enjoy now all that is precious."

Life is fleeting....

Friday, November 27, 2009

Looking Ahead

Having little motivation and doing minimal running has left me with plenty of free time to contemplate my 2010 race plans.  Concerned about injuries in 2008 and 2009 I focused on only one goal race for the season.  I hope to be in better health next year so I may pick two key races for the 2010 season, one in the summer and one in the fall.  The list below is preliminary and subject to change but it's a good starting point.

Race Type = Snowshoe = Trail = Mountain = Trail Ultra

1/2 Beaver Brook 5K
1/9 G.A.C. Fat Ass 50K
1/23 Pooh Hill 9K
2/6 Exeter Hullabaloo 4M
2/13 Horse Hill 7K or
2/14 Frosty's 5K or both
2/20 Kingman Farm 5K (night race)
3/27 Fells Trail Race 40M
4/?? Northern Nipmuck 16M
4/10 Merrimack River 10M
4/18 Don't Run Boston 50K
4/25 Blue Hills 10M
5/2 Overlook Trail 7M
5/16 Soapstone Mt. 14.5M
5/22 Wachusett Mountain 4.5M
5/23 Trav's 5K
5/30 Pack Monadnock 10M
6/6 Nipmuck Marathon 26.4M
6/12 Northfield Mountain 10.3K
6/15 Boxford Forest 10K
7/11 Skyline Trail 7.5M
7/17-18 Vermont 100M (Maybe!) or
7/17 Wakely Dam Ultra (32.6M unsupported)
8/7 Oxford Dam 11M
8/22 Moose on the Loose 10M
9/5 Wapack Trail 18M
9/12 Pisgah Mountain 50K
9/26 Vermont 50M
10/4 Houghton Pond 10K
10/17 Ravenswood 4M
10/24 Groton Forest 9.5M or
10/24 Bimbler's Bluff 50K
10/31 Busa Bushwack 10M
11/6 Stone Cat Marathon or 50M

My biggest challenge will be figuring out a way to stay out of divorce court while running all these races.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Weekly Training Update - Nov 16 - 22

Without a major race looming on the horizon my motivation to train has been fairly low. The week following the Stone Cat 50 was meant to be a rest week so I only ran twice for a total of 9 miles last week. I thought I would be itching to get out there this weekend for a long run but a trip to the North End on Saturday for lunch and some chores around the house on Sunday left no time for it. Still, it wasn’t as bad a week as it could have been.

Total Miles: 33
Longest Run: 9.5
#of Runs: 5
Avg.Run: 6.6

Friday, November 20, 2009

2010 Snowshoe Racing Season Approaches

With the month of December just around the corner I finally decided to post the 2010 Snowshoe Race Schedules here (see sidebar). I’ve been slow to do this because it means admitting to myself that my favorite trail running season is just about over. I have one more fall race in early December and then I’ll be trading my trail shoes for snow shoes. Old man winter can be a grumpy old man but snowshoe racing helps get me through the long, cold New England winter.

Much like ultra running, snowshoe racing in New England is growing in popularity. This is reflected in the number of new races on the GSSS 2010 calendar, growing from 6 races in 2009 to 9 this year. The WMAC/Dion series also added another race to their schedule bringing the total number of races in this series to 18. This growth in the sport is both good and bad in my opinion. On the up side it allows us more opportunities to get out and enjoy a sport we love dearly. On the downside it makes for a crowd at races which diminishes the intimacy and solitude of running in snow-cover forests.

It’s going to be a very busy winter.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Product Review - Moji Knee

If you've been a runner for any length of time you're probably experienced knee pain at least once during your running career. I’ve been lucky until recently but developed nagging knee pain after completing my first 50K trail race in August. This is where Ed M. from and the good folks at Moji (The Smart Icing Alternative) came to the rescue. I have been using a new and innovative product called the Moji Knee for the past few weeks and my knee pain has all but disappeared.

This is from the Moji website:

This revolutionary two-piece design, consisting of a Moji Compression Wrap and Moji Cold Cell, provides icing around your knee to optimize recovery, prevent injuries, and ease minor aches and pains.

Why Moji Knee?

Mobility: Designed to articulate perfectly around the knee, giving you the freedom to move naturally while you ice.

Comfort: Moji Knee’s Compression Wrap features Polartec performance stretch fabric that allows adjustable compression.

Breakthrough Icing: Each Moji Cold Cell is soft and pliable right out of the freezer and remains cold for the recommended 20-minute icing protocol. The Moji Cold Cell was designed with Dri-Lex Fabric to wick away moisture making it comfortable to wear directly on the skin.

Convenience: The Compression Wrap holds the Cold Cell in place for more effective icing as you move.

Here's my take on the Moji Knee:

The thing I like most about this product is that you are able to move around while icing your knee. I would often skip icing when I used a standard cold pack because I was too busy or too impatient to sit on the sofa and hold a pack against my knee for 20 minutes. The Moji Knee allows icing on the move. No more coach potato! Ice only works if you use it and I am more compliant with my icing regiment now that I have the Moji Knee. The compression wrap also provides gentle pressure which helps the cold penetrate below the surface.

Another great feature is Moji's innovative cold cell. I like to call it the spider web. The cell's unique design wraps snugly around your knee providing complete and even distribution of soothing cold to your aching joint. I find that standard cold packs are too cold right out the freezer and then lose their chill rather quickly. The Moji cell is just cold enough to be effective and stays cold for the full 15-20 minutes of icing. And it's already wrapped with Dri-Lex Fabric so there's no need to hunt for a towel.

The only downside to this product is the cost. It's much more expensive than your standard gel pack but like the saying goes, "You get what you pay for." If comfort, convenience and effectiveness are important to you, this may be the product you've been searching for.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

First Run Since Stone Cat 50

Today I went for my first run since my finish at the Stone Cat 50 mile trail race on Saturday. It was just an easy four mile jog on my usual lunch time route. All my moving parts seemed to be in good working order so I will slowly get back to a normal training schedule over the next 2-3 weeks. The damage I incurred from running 50 miles was minor. The tightness in my legs and hip flexor is gone. I had slight knee pain after the race but that went away after a few days of icing. The plantar fascia in both of my feet is still sore and I suspect it will remain that way for another week or two. I will continue to ice them daily. And speaking of icing, I will soon post a review of an innovative new product I've been using designed specifically for icing your knee. It works great and I want to tell you about it. Stay tuned. (Photo taken by Emily Trepas, mile 37.5)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Stone Cat Marathon 2009 Results

These are preliminary results taken from the GAC website.


Place Time First Last Town State Sex Age Bib

1 2:54:45* Ben Nephew Mansfield MA M 34 106
2 3:09:30 Greg Hammett Chesterfield NH M 32 65
3 3:09:50 Jeff Hunt Concord MA M 45 72
4 3:11:59 Mark Engerman Concord MA M 42 49
5 3:18:23 Steve Wolfe Merrimack NH M 45 162
6 3:18:31 Andy King Lowell MA M 33 77
7 3:32:09 Michael Lohrer Carlisle MA M 54 88
8 3:34:48 Stanislav Trufanov Arlington MA M 30 156
9 3:35:35 Kevin Sullivan Andover MA M 38 332
10 3:44:33 Dave Molk Somerville MA M 27 100
11 3:44:35 Garry Harrington Keene NH M 49 66
12 3:45:19 Bruce Campbell Peabody MA M 52 19
13 3:46:41 George Lapierre Williston VT M 30 82
14 3:46:41 Brian Lenihan Hingham MA M 42 86
15 3:48:43 Michael Thornton Harvard MA M 39 147
16 3:51:31 Paul Funch Groton MA M 59 53
17 3:51:40 David Boudreau Brookline NH M 38 15
18 3:53:02 Steve Smith Boyds MD M 43 140
19 3:54:13 Roland DesRochers Wrentham MA M 41 39
20 3:55:00 Rob Zaccardi Hanover MA M 163
21 3:58:13 Jay Curry Lynn MA M 38 35
22 3:58:40 Courtney Bell Salem MA F 34 12
23 3:58:43 Joe Alfano Holden MA M 43 5
24 3:59:25 Stuart Smith Ipswich MA M 38 141
25 4:00:15 Nathan Echols Long Valley NJ M 42 234
26 4:02:09 Callum Henderson Hingham MA M 41 69
27 4:04:17 Brad Beveridge Mirror Lake NH M 35 14
28 4:05:15 Jeffery Hart Rindge NH M 41 67
29 4:05:59 Ed Reagan Levittown NY M 53 124
30 4:06:49 Nathan Sanel Bow NH M 41 322
31 4:08:48 Erica Labella Sugar Hill NH F 30 80
32 4:10:21 Howard Tansey Harwich MA M 45 143
33 4:14:09 Dan Townsend Arlington MA M 30 153
34 4:14:18 Lauren Commons Sharon MA M 46 28
35 4:14:26 Jim Pugh North Andover MA M 58 123
36 4:15:55 David Holt Pepperell MA M 50 264
37 4:16:36 Mindy Slovinsky Scarborough ME F 38 138
38 4:18:50 Colin Maclay Salem MA M 41 91
39 4:24:13 Eric Gelber New York NY M 42 54
40 4:24:45 John Pearsall Guilford ME M 51 112
41 4:27:04 Michael Crosby Middleton MA M 43 32
42 4:28:36 Eric Finney Chelmsford MA M 39 51
43 4:32:41 Elizabeth Touchette Revere MA F 26 150
44 4:33:13 Ashley Gosnell Medford MA F 26 59
45 4:33:46 Jennifer Merriam Portsmouth NH F 40 99
46 4:33:53 Chris Pruchnic Denver CO M 41 121
47 4:34:28 Doug Cummings Longmeadow MA M 47 33
48 4:36:23 Clinton Morse Tolland CT M 47 294
49 4:36:47 Joy Grossman So Woodstock VT F 44 63
50 4:37:23 Robin Asbury Andover NH F 42 6
51 4:37:42 Dale Bob Eckert Newburyport MA M 53 46
52 4:38:09 Amy Mosca Newburyport MA F 37 104
53 4:38:09 Kathleen Winslow Rowley MA F 41 161
54 4:38:52 Chris Accettella Hingham MA M 34 2
55 4:38:52 Thomas Campbell Charlestown MA M 28 20
56 4:41:14 Karen Ringheiser Carlisle MA F 45 317
57 4:41:58 Tim Clarke Salem MA M 48 26
58 4:43:07 Bill Morse Dracut MA M 58 103
59 4:44:26 Kathleen Karpe Hopkinton MA F 47 76
60 4:44:26 Laura McKenzie Hopkinton MA F 44 95
61 4:44:37 Tim Pruchnic Scarborough ME M 37 122
62 4:44:47 Matt Carroll Westford MA M 36 23
63 4:44:54 Deb Touchette Salem MA F 54 149
64 4:44:55 Stephen Touchette Salem MA M 54 151
65 4:46:33 Thomas Parker Nashua NH M 42 111
66 4:46:48 Christine Carone Burlington VT F 32 22
67 4:48:36 Shawn McCardle Kinkora PEI M 41 288
68 4:48:58 George Alexion Waterboro ME M 50 4
69 4:49:08 Glenn Meister Wellesley MA M 47 98
70 4:50:03 Ronald Johnston Bedford NH M 57 75
71 4:50:24 Kevin Curry Lynn MA M 51 36
72 4:50:50 Kenny Rogers Fairhaven MA M 55 129
73 4:51:41 Emily Trespas Andover MA F 38 155
74 4:52:17 Stephen Gould Camden ME M 58 60
75 4:52:39 Jeanne Christie Windham ME F 52 24
76 4:55:15 Robert DiBurro Boxford MA M 41 42
77 4:56:14 Mark Barton Manchester NH M 38 10
78 4:56:15 Sarah Sheppard Worcester MA F 25 134
79 4:58:45 Priscilla Welch Boxford MA F 56 158
80 5:02:18 Nick Tooker Holyoke MA M 30 336
81 5:02:38 Steve Collopy Holliston MA M 52 224
82 5:02:55 Courtney Paige Norwalk CT F 34 110
83 5:04:29 Lois Alexander Merrimac MA F 57 1
84 5:04:51 Sarah Evertson Ipswich MA F 49 50
85 5:05:09 Ira Zaroff Melville NY M 34 344
86 5:06:40 Dennis McGurk Gloucester MA M 62 94
87 5:07:37 Kimberly Phillips Natick MA F 40 117
88 5:07:45 Dan Cooper Salem MA M 37 29
89 5:10:42 Stephanie Sheridan Newmarket NH F 43 135
90 5:11:08 David Delibac Grand Isle VT M 57 38
91 5:11:44 Rebeckah Iseman Newburyport MA F 30 73
92 5:13:52 Deanne Hobba Salem MA F 42 70
93 5:16:52 Patricia Clark Worcester MA F 49 25
94 5:20:46 Clarence Eckerson Yarmouthport MA M 58 45
95 5:22:32 Scott Walsh Newburyport MA M 52 157
96 5:23:01 Andrea DiBenedetto Woolwich ME F 50 41
97 5:23:01 Deb Taylor Wiscasset ME F 38 144
98 5:24:12 Michael Goolkasian Ipswich MA M 45 58
99 5:24:15 Cindy Bennett Marblehead MA F 51 13
100 5:24:17 Joseph Reynolds Newfield NY M 65 126
101 5:25:20 Keith DeVeau Lewiston ME M 41 40
102 5:25:27 Kristina Burns So Hamilton MA F 35 17
103 5:25:29 David Morris-Barker So Hamilton MA M 45 102
104 5:25:39 Jen Tougas Ipswich MA F 36 152
105 5:25:41 Robert Martin Topsfield MA M 42 92
106 5:25:52 Vincent Ma San Jose CA M 40 90
107 5:25:55 Reza Olia Boxford MA M 107
108 5:25:58 Robert Schrater Salem MA M 61 133
109 5:27:14 Paul Copeland Winthrop MA M 46 31
110 5:28:29 Peter Perkins Boxford MA M 69 114
111 5:31:05 Bob Buckingham New London CT M 49 215
112 5:31:06 Nora Ball Manchester NH F 36 7
113 5:31:06 Geno Dube Manchester NH M 40 43
114 5:33:33 Bruce Olean Hope Valley RI M 64 165
115 5:35:38 Larry Godbout Lynn MA M 58 57
116 5:36:30 Julie O'Mara Westminster MA F 38 301
117 5:36:46 Richard Zaunbrecher Concord MA M 56 345
118 5:37:39 Jim Banyas Portsmouth NH M 45 8
119 5:37:39 Timmy Poole Hampton NH M 38 119
120 5:37:39 Kate Wheeler Hampton NH F 36 160
121 5:40:58 Alison Phelan Peabody MA F 45 115
122 5:43:00 Pete Lyons Dennis MA M 44 89
123 5:49:16 Stephanie Cooper Salem MA M 41 30
124 5:50:34 Richard Lewis Lynn MA M 52 87
125 5:54:14 Denise Murphy Salem MA M 45 105
126 5:54:14 Patrick Smith Salem MA M 47 139
127 5:54:40 Christine Wenzel Chelmsford MA F 33 159
128 5:54:57 Karen Giroux Salem MA F 43 56
129 5:58:07 Nancy Hatfield Lynn MA F 43 68
130 5:58:25 Carin Zinter Sunderland MA F 36 347
131 5:59:05 Stu Greely Lynn MA M 56 62
132 6:00:59 Dale Granger-Eckert Newburyport MA F 57 61
133 6:07:59 Mary McDonald Conway AR F 56 93
134 6:08:49 Celia Leber Bend OR F 45 85
135 6:11:58 Frederick Ross III Vernon VT M 63 130
136 6:14:35 Terry Reagan Harvard MA M 54 125
137 6:14:35 Krista Schepanovsky Harvard MA F 41 132
138 6:16:56 Bonnie Hallinan Danvers MA F 60 64
139 6:17:41 Karen McWhirt Southbury CT F 48 97
140 6:21:37 Stan Tiska Hinsdale MA M 52 335
141 6:22:32 Bob Falk New York NY M 66 238
142 6:22:32 Marty Ellowitz Hubbardston MA M 55 235
143 6:24:10 Liza Genovese Marblehead MA F 40 55
144 6:27:35 Diane Krygowski Budd Lake NJ F 46 79
145 6:31:56 Ann Alexion Waterboro ME F 52 3
146 6:31:59 Bill Pennington Andover MA M 54 113
147 6:32:03 Peter Beane W. Farmington ME M 55 11
148 6:32:08 Penny Duncan New Sharon ME F 58 44
149 6:39:33 Pamela Thompson Industry ME F 54 146
150 6:41:10 Jay Short Rowley MA M 44 136
151 6:47:34 Richard Busa Marlboro MA M 80 18
152 6:47:38 Barry Ostrow Ashland MA M 67 109
153 6:49:18 Gary Larson Dover-Foxcroft ME M 64 83
154 7:12:15 John McLaughlin Ipswich MA M 43 96
155 7:29:15 David Barker Guilford CT M 70 9
156 7:31:58 Jim Simpson Huntington Beach CA M 67 137
157 7:36:34 Tamara LaTorre Bridgewater MA F 44 84
158 7:40:15 Greg Taylor Delmar NY M 63 145

Stone Cat 50 Results For 2009

These are preliminary results taken from the GAC website. There are 102 finishers listed out of 150 registered for the race. I don't know how many started but 7 dropped at 37.5 miles and 17 runners dropped at 26.2.  I have no information on the numbers of DNFs.

My 2009 race report can be read here.

Place Time First Last Town State Sex Age Bib

1 6:27:55* Brian Rusiecki Leeds MA M 31 319
2 6:32:06 Leigh Schmitt Conway MA M 37 323
3 6:51:49 Jack Pilla Charlotte VT M 51 308
4 6:52:20 David Herr Canaan VT M 44 260
5 7:18:21 Joe Carrara Charlotte VT M 47 221
6 7:19:15* Aliza Lapierre Williston VT F 29 276
7 7:21:00 Brad Overturf Norwich CT M 42 302
8 7:43:35 Ron Farkash Plainville MA M 41 239
9 7:48:15 Peter Keeney Bar Harbor ME M 43 270
10 7:49:10 Christopher Cappellini Norton MA M 43 219
11 7:51:30 Tom Page York ME M 42 303
12 7:52:55 David Nerrow Acton MA M 42 298
13 7:54:40 Amy Lane Westfield MA F 30 274
14 7:57:43 Mark Buongiorno Tolland CT M 42 216
15 7:59:30 Tony Kopecky Jericho VT M 41 271
16 8:02:00 Giant Parlin Portland ME M 33 306
17 8:02:46 Alex Russo Bethlehem PA M 20 320
18 8:04:20 Susan Dodge Jericho VT F 49 231
19 8:11:32 Rowly Brucken Northfield VT M 41 213
20 8:26:31 Bob Ayers Jr. Colchester VT M 49 204
21 8:31:36 Curtis Pandiscio Twin Mountain NH M 48 305
22 8:32:27 Todd Archambault Essex Junction VT M 35 202
23 8:32:37 Daniel Uhlir Middletown RI M 35 339
24 8:33:48 Greg Esbitt Salem MA M 35 236
25 8:34:43 Thomas Bleakney Scituate MA M 39 210
26 8:37:45 Laura McDonough Anchorage AK F 48 290
27 8:39:35 Rebecca Nisetich Cambridge MA F 26 299
28 8:46:20 Jim Nelson Granby CT M 296
29 8:46:55 John Richard Lincoln MA M 39 316
30 8:53:55 Jenny Hoffman Cambridge MA F 31 262
31 8:55:44 Ben Keefe Providence RI M 28 269
32 8:57:40 Bruce Giguere Tolland CT M 41 248
33 8:59:58 Curtis Hansen Milford NH M 41 257
34 9:00:33 Will Danecki New Milford CT M 59 227
35 9:07:06 Shane Thompson Marshfield MA M 28 333
36 9:11:32 Jennifer Brunet Harrington Park NJ F 39 214
37 9:11:32 Charles Leonard Freeville NY M 54 281
38 9:12:36 Justin Manganaro East Taunton MA M 26 285
39 9:15:31 Donna Smyth Vernon VT F 50 328
40 9:20:45 Dima Feinhaus Newton MA M 46 241
41 9:22:19 Shannon McGinn Rahway NJ F 33 291
42 9:26:08 Joseph Laskey Monroe CT M 45 277
43 9:27:34 Curt Fischer Merrimack NH M 41 244
44 9:28:13 Frank Dudas Ayer MA M 49 233
45 9:32:43 Laura Bleakley Bedford NH F 39 209
46 9:35:39 Rebecca Burke Middletown CT F 34 217
47 9:37:09 Charles Williams Hingham MA M 39 343
48 9:39:04 Raymond Greco Mansfield MA M 43 251
49 9:41:40 Joseph Holtschlag Brighton MA M 31 266
50 9:42:16 Peter Laura Harrison NY M 28 279
51 9:43:47 Kevin Mullen Fairhaven MA M 52 295
52 9:50:02 Jeff Lane Medford MA M 33 275
53 9:50:08 Paul Lahham Cambridge MA M 20 273
54 9:50:54 Shane Skowron North Brookfield MA M 21 327
55 9:57:58 Wayne Heffelfinger North East MD M 48 259
56 10:07:40 Ariel Diaz Boston MA M 28 230
57 10:08:52 Mike Belcourt Wallingford CT M 47 208
58 10:09:31 Doug MacEachern Charlottetown PEI M 54 284
59 10:09:31 Penny Matel Hampton Falls NH F 50 286
60 10:10:04 Christine Reynolds Newfield NY F 39 314
61 10:15:23 Scott Jamieson Natick MA M 48 267
62 10:15:35 Gary Gustafson Merrimack NH M 41 253
63 10:16:29 Brenda Morris Worcester MA F 43 293
64 10:23:35 Ingrid Jonas Stowe VT F 43 268
65 10:33:27 David Souza Brookline MA M 34 330
66 10:33:27 Kevin Zelechoski Boston MA M 33 346
67 10:37:38 Lawrence Ryan Scituate MA M 45 321
68 10:37:42 Patrick Ford Scituate MA M 43 245
69 10:41:13 David McDermott Fryeburg ME M 55 289
70 10:44:05 Jodi Badershall Freeman Twp ME F 32 205
71 10:44:59 Chris Pulick Rowley MA M 39 310
72 10:48:42 David Raczkowski Chaplin CT M 59 311
73 10:53:27 Strephon Treadway Chelsea MA M 42 337
74 10:54:35 Dan Scotina Saugus MA M 54 324
75 10:56:35 Nathan Armstrong Hollis NH M 35 203
76 10:59:59 Ken Gulliver Orange MA M 45 252
77 11:03:37 Maya Ginns Arlington MA F 36 249
78 11:03:39 Ray Zirblis Northfield VT M 55 348
79 11:09:15 Robert Scott Watertown CT M 54 325
80 11:09:21 Dominic Ambrosi Shrewsbury MA M 31 201
81 11:09:44 Al Glenn Egg Harbor Twp NJ M 43 250
82 11:11:31 Michelle Roy Groton MA F 39 318
83 11:19:05 Angela Boudreau Watertown MA F 39 211
84 11:19:05 Chris Wile West Newbury MA M 53 342
85 11:27:21 Chip Tilden New York NY M 40 334
86 11:33:31 Andrew Carlson Branford CT M 44 220
87 11:39:37 Peter Cross Boxford MA M 64 226
88 11:40:26 Kristen Evan Needham MA F 47 237
89 11:40:26 Timmy Reif Needham MA M 41 313
90 11:44:50 Jon Brodsky Brielle NJ M 44 212
91 11:44:50 Laura DeMeo Brielle NJ F 36 229
92 11:45:45 Steven Latour Nashua NH M 38 278
93 11:56:15 Barbara Sorrell Delmar NY F 52 329
94 12:01:25 Nicholas Palazzo Lindenhurst NY M 62 304
95 12:25:01 Ron Starrett Vernon CT M 39 331
96 12:25:20 Todd Hobson Milton VT M 48 261
97 12:25:25 Karen Fennie Binghamton NY F 50 242
98 12:35:30 Patrick Nelson Nashua NH M 41 297
99 13:08:00 Dick Fedion No Conway NH M 76 240
100 13:08:45 Gary Labella Malta NY M 56 272
101 13:22:23 Laura Clark Saratoga Springs NY F 62 223
102 13:41:45 Si-Ning Li Westborough MA M 22 282


Monday, November 9, 2009

Stone Cat 50 Race Report - Mistakes, Mind Games and Relentless Forward Motion

The day dawned crisp and clear for the 9th Annual Stone Cat Trail Races. It was the type of day I had wished for and I took it as a favorable omen of things to come. There was much excitement packed within the small confines of the Doyon Elementary School Gymnasium. Three hundred runners ready to take on either 26 or 50 miles of twisting single track trails and carriage roads in Willowdale State Forest. When I finished my first trail marathon here at Stone Cat one year ago I knew I would be back again to tackle the ultra distance and my first 50 mile race. My day of reckoning had arrived.

I saw tons of familiar faces prior to the start of the race. The crew from Lynn Woods was so large they required their own zip code. Even though I don’t get to train or run with them very often, it’s always nice when I see them at some of the local trail races. They all ran the marathon, and I know at least one of them set a PR by breaking 4 hours.

I also met up with some of my ultra friends, Dave (as in Nipmuck), Julie, Kevin, Michelle, Steve and Streph who were running the 50, and Emily, who is much more sane than the rest of us, and was doing the marathon. Steve, Streph and I decided to stick together (strength in numbers) and try to qualify for the Western States 100 by running under 11 hours. Running a sub-11 pace was not Steve’s pre-race goal but he adopted it under duress.

But we in it shall be remembered; We few, we happy few, we band of brothers and badass sistha! (Photo credit: Emily T)

Loop 1 – Approximate time, 2:31 (including aid stops)

The race starts in an open soccer field and shrinks to a narrow opening in the woods about 100 yards into the race. Can you say bottle-neck? It took a little time for the pack to pass though the small opening and get onto the main trails. Once there, I maintained a slow but steady pace trying to loosen up and shake off the cold that penetrated my bones while waiting for the race to start. I wanted to follow a 5:2 minute run:walk ratio but the trails were congested for the first loop and it was easier to just run when the train ran and walk when the train walked. Steve and Streph seemed to be fine with this strategy and we stayed together, talking, telling jokes, laughing and having a general good time for the first 12.5 miles. Steve was most happy when we stopped at the two aid stations on the course. The boy can eat!

Steve starting salivating each time he saw this sign.

Loop 2 – Approximate time, 2:37 (including aid stops)

Traffic on the trails thinned a bit on the second loop so we started to follow the 5:2 split more stringently. I skipped some of the walking breaks when it seemed more advantageous to run and walked some of the hills that we ran on the first loop. I got called out by the guys a few times for skipping the walking breaks but they were just joking around, I think. About 14 miles into the run, I could feel two hot spots developing on the bottom of my toes, one on each foot. I thought it was odd to be getting blisters so early until I realized I had put a newer pair of inserts into my shoes. Mistake number one! I should have gone with a broken-in pair. Although it was painful for the remainder of the race, I was able to alter my foot placement slightly to relieve some of the pressure on my toes.

Loop 3 – Approximate time, 2:50 (including aid stops)

Everyone who has run 50 miles at Stone Cat told me the third loop is the most difficult. I was no exception to this phenomenon. Between miles 28 – 32 I was very nauseous and thought I would heave at any moment. I’ve never been nauseous during a run and I was thinking now is not a good time to have a new running experience! I started to doubt myself and questioned if I would be able to continue to run for another 25 miles. The thought of dropping at the end of the third loop crossed my mind briefly but I didn’t want to be the only one in my running group to drop out. My mind was racing, trying to figure a way out of this predicament. I surmised the cause might be the consumption of too many gels over the past five hours. In training, I eat one gel every 45-60 minutes. For the race I was taking a gel every 30 minutes to assure I had an adequate intake of calories. Mistake number two! Don’t do something in a race you haven’t tried in training.

In the meantime Steve, aka Cookie Monster, had been eating his way through the race consuming bacon, grilled cheese sandwiches and whatever else wasn’t moving on the table. I thought, if he can eat everything but the kitchen sink, maybe I should give some real food a try. I had some chicken noodle soup and it tasted Mmm,Mmm, good. A few miles later my stomach settled down a bit and I stuck with chicken noodle soup for the rest of the race. Thanks Steve for showing me the error of my ways!

Best chicken noodle soup in town!

Loop 4 - Approximate time, 2:41 (including aid stops)

It was getting colder when I finished the third loop so I put on a vest before heading back out. I grabbed my head lamp and flashlight since I would be finishing in the dark. I also took a very long 10 minute break at the start/finish line aid station having some more chicken noodle soup. During the race I didn’t realize how much time I was spending at the end of each loop at this aid station but it turned out to be about 22 minutes of my total time. That does not include the time spent at the two aid stations out on the course. I think I could have done a better job of time management and shaved 10 minutes off my finishing time if I was more efficient at these stations.

Steve, Streph and I started across the field for our final loop though Willowdale. Not far into the loop Steve told us he was going to run his own pace for the final 12.5 miles. I was glad we got to run together for 37.5 miles but I knew we would probably all split up eventually. Streph and I determined if we were going to break eleven hours we would have to ditch the run:walk method and just run like Forrest Gump. So we ran and ran some more. We ran more on the last loop than we did on any of the previous three.

It was dark now and following the trail was difficult. I was being very caution with my foot placement. I didn’t want to twist and ankle or worse with only two miles to go. Streph was running very strong and I was barely hanging on to his pace. He would pull ahead and then I would regain lost ground. I was thankful he kept turning back to check on me. It was comforting seeing the glare of his headlamp and knowing I was heading in the right direction, or at least running on the same wrong trail as Streph!

When I made a sharp left hand turn up a short, steep hill I knew I was about 1.5 miles from the finish. I took a quick look at my watch and knew I had a sub- eleven hour finish in the bag unless I fell and broke something. Streph, who was about 100 yards ahead, was calling out to me but I couldn’t understand what he was saying. When I saw the pie plate with the arrow pointing straight ahead I knew there was just a half mile to go. Maybe he was letting me know the end was near.

Dark, cold and finishing strong. (Photo credit: Emily T)

When I entered the soccer field I could hear people cheering me to the finish but I could not see them in the darkness. It was so awesome that these people were standing out in the cold, cheering on someone like me, finishing in 10 hours and 54 minutes, 4.5 hours after the winner. It made me feel sort of special. I think you only get that treatment in the ultra running community. Every runner is important; anyone that finishes a 50 mile race is special, no matter how long it takes them.

Ultra runners rock!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Thoughts for Stone Cat 50

This year’s race has the potential to be a real battle between some of the big east coast names in ultrarunning. Leigh Schmitt, course record holder at Stone Cat 50 (6:30) and VT 100 (14:53) is the man to beat in my opinion. He his nearly unbeatable at the 50 mile distance but has his work cut out for him this year. Kevin Sullivan, 5th at the 2009 Western States in 16:36, finished ahead of Leigh (17:49) by 50 minutes. He also ran a 6:05 in winning the Rocky Raccoon 50 this year so he has the speed to stay with Leigh in the shorter distance. Don’t rule out 51 years young Jack Pilla who won the VT 100 this year in 16:36.

I admit I know less about the woman’s race but it looks like Aliza Lapierre has the advantage over the rest of the field. She should get strong challenges from Jenny Chow, Amy Lane and Kelly Willson. If I wasn’t running the race I would come out just to see how the race unfolds.

My goals for the race, I’m sure, are less ambitions than of those mentioned about. Since this is my attempt first at 50 miles I hope to just finish alive. Hopefully before sunset since running in the dark will dramatically slow my pace and add many extra minutes to my finishing time. Beyond just finishing I want to run under 11 hours. Running 50 miles under 11 hours qualifies you for the Western States 100. I certainly don’t think I’m ready for such a serious challenge but it would be cool to say I qualified.

My stretch goal for the race is to finish under 10 hours. I think this is a tough but realistic goal based on my 5:41 finish at the Green Lakes 50K in August. Trailgrrl stated that a sub-10 is her goal as well so if I can stay with her I may have a chance. In the end though, I have to race my own race and accept my own fate, good or bad.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

This Weekend on the Trails

Saturday, November 1

Jack London Trail Race 10K, Nashua NH - The course is run entirely on trails through Mine Falls. The terrain is mostly flat. The footing is rugged but safe, over rocks, roots, and packed dirt. The trail is well-marked, with signs and volunteers directing racers at trail intersections.

The race will utilize some of the lesser used trails in the park, through winding singletrack and rolling riverside paths. This trail makes for a challenging yet fun course. 

This is a race I've wanted to run since I heard about it three years ago. Unfortunately, I've had scheduling conflicts and have yet to run it.  I really want a pair of the Jack London wolf socks!

Winnekenni Trail Run 4M, Haverhill MA - This is the first time I've heard of a trail race in a park with a castle! Winnekenni Park (the name comes from the Algonquin dialect, which means "very beautiful") is a hilly, city-owned conservation area of more than 700 acres. Upon entering the Park, you will see the Basin and Kenoza Lake behind it. These two bodies of water make up approximately half of the Park area.

And then there's the Stone Cat Ale Marathon and 50 Mile trail race but this one is sold out.
Enjoy the weekend and happy running!

Monday, November 2, 2009

October Training Update

October was my best month of training this year. It was the first time I've run 200+ miles in one month since June 2007. I had three training runs of 22 miles or more, raced three times for a total of 17 miles and did four, 5 mile tempo runs. Even though I’m still pretty slow, the short races and tempo runs have improved my overall speed. My long runs were a little on the light side for 50 mile prep but there’s no reason to worry about that now. The training is done and I’m in my final taper for Saturday’s Stone Cat 50 mile adventure. I have no control over the weather but I wouldn’t complain if the day turns out to be sunny and 50 degrees. Who would?

Monthly Recap:

Total Miles: 202
Longest Run: 23
# of Runs: 24
Avg. Run: 8.4
Trail Miles: 93%

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Wachusetts Deer Run Race Report

In need of one last fast workout before Stone Cat, I made my way to Wachusetts Reservoir for the 16th running of the Wachusetts Dear Run [Results]. The race is hosted by the Central Mass Striders and they were certainly the most represented with about 20 of the 75 total runners being from CMS. There was a 5K and 10K option, one loop for the 5 and two for the 10. I decided on the longer version but the RD also told us we could drop down to the 5K during the race if we had enough racing by then.

Kevin and I got to the race early to do a long warm-up and were later met by Michelle (her race report) who joined us on our pre-race jog. We weren’t exactly sure about the direction so we just ran on what we thought was the race course. Most of the run was on wide dirt and grass roads and some narrower trails with some rocks and roots. Not too many hills either. This course is made for speedsters. I am in no way considered one.

The start was flat and fast with the 5K and 10K runners not distinguishable. I vowed to run the first loop easy and then run the second one hard. It didn’t take long for me to stray from my race plan and I got sucked up in the fast start. I hit the first mile in 7:56 which is way too fast for me in a 10K trail race. Even though I knew I should slow down now, or crash and burn later, I was feeling good so I just went with it.

I kept motoring along,picking up speed on a long gradual downhill section. I went through the second mile in 15:27 for a 7:31 split for mile two. Now there was no denying I was running was over my head and had no chance of maintaining this pace for another 4 miles. I had to back off this pace if I wanted to finish the 10K without medical assistance. I was about to reel it in when I remembered the RD said we could drop to the 5K if we wanted to. I was having “fun” running this pace so I decided to keep pushing it and just do the 5K.

The last mile was the hardest on the race course with the most climbing and rougher terrain, more rocks and roots. I was battling back and forth with a couple of runners over the last mile. One was a little stronger than me on the climbs but I was quicker on the descents. I finally made it past both of them before reaching mile 3 in 23:19 for a 7:52 mile split. Amazing, three sub-eight split in a row! By now I was dying a painful death and just wanted to get to the finish line. When I crossed the line I was handed a ticket with the number 6, meaning I finished in sixth place overall. I was also second out of nine in my age group.

I guess all the fast runners were running the 10K. Lucky me!
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