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Downtown Temple,NH

Monday, May 31, 2010

Pineland Farms 25k Trail Race

Pineland "Farms". Oh, I get it, it's an actual f-a-r-m...
NOTE: Long Post - This was such a great event with so much to talk about.
On Sunday I headed up to New Gloucester, Maine for the Pineland Farms 25k trail race. I have no idea where New Gloucester is, I just followed the GPS. This would be another acidotic RACING team event. Initially we were focused on knocking off the host team of Trail Monster Running. However, my thin skinned and apparently sensitive 'teammates' on my other running club (Gate City Striders) decided to put a team together as well, most likely to challenge aR. Oh what a tangled web we weave...

Monday, May 24, 2010

USATF-NE 12k Championship (Bedford 12k for the rest of us)

1st mile (I think everyone in this photo finished ahead of me)
I really wasn't looking forward to this race. I've been telling anyone who would listen (not many) that I currently have no speed. I could feel it. It doesn't mean I'm slow, it just means I'm not in road racing shape. I really haven't done any significant speed work since indoor track ended in February.
I've still been racing (trails) but nothing real fast. In fact I've only had one weekend off since Boston, and that was because I was sick. I really wanted a weekend off from racing. Oh well.
With all the traveling I do for races it would be hard to miss the one that's 9 miles from my house so on Saturday I headed over to Bedford, NH for the 36th Bedford Rotary 12k (results). It turns out it was a great decision. The weather was near perfect, I felt rested. I had no excuses.Today would be a good indication of my current speed. Just what I needed.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Soapstone Mountain 24k Trail Race

In 2008 I voted the Soapstone Mt 24k Trail Race my favorite trail race. I loved the course and the great weather didn't hurt. Not much changed for the 2010 version (results). The weather was perfect....again. The course was probably a bit better this year too. Not nearly as much water as I remember from 2008. Surprisingly not a lot of folks from NH come down for this one. At first glance the location sounds far way...Connecticut. However, it's actually closer than some of the Western Mass races, a short 1hr 45min from Merrimack.
Trail races have been hit and miss for me this year. Some times I feel good, other times I feel terrible. Most times I don't know which until after the race starts. It's been frustrating to say the least. 5 minutes into this one I knew what kind of day it would be. I would struggle early and often. Bummer. Oh well, such is racing. Good thing it was a beautiful day and I like the course! Don't get me wrong, an off day running is still better than not running at all so I'm not complaining. I expect more from myself, that's all.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Morfun Wapack Trail Race

After this week, I promise not to mention Seven Sisters again (at least for a while). The memories of that dreadful race are seared, SEARED in my mind. Ok, maybe it's not that bad but it really was a stinker. I guess more importantly, it hurt physically. My legs were toast and I couldn't muster a run until Wednesday of this week (and even that was painful and slow).
But I had a dilemma: the Big Lake 1/2 Marathon was this weekend and I really like this race. However, I didn't want to attempt it unless I felt like I could do ok (which I didn't). My confidence was shot and I didn't want to run a race I've done before, you know, just in case I stunk up the joint. So I did what any abnormal human being would do: I signed up for a 21 mile insanely challenging trail race instead :-)
Trust me, it made sense at the time I signed up on Monday.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Seven Sisters Trail Race

The start of the race
I knew this race was hard. I ran it once in 2008 when temps were in the 40's and overcast. What I learned yesterday was this race is brutally hard when it's sunny and temps are in the mid 80's. It was probably the worst racing experience I've ever had. So, I'm not going to spend a lot of time talking about it. I think you'll find people either love it or hate it. There is no in between. I'm in second camp, I hate it.
The final descent
The out and back 12 mile course takes you up, over, down and across the peaks in Skinner State Park in Hadley, Ma, known locally as the Seven Sisters. It will leave you battered, bruised and bloodied. Challenging does not begin to describe this insane course.
During my leisurely 2hr and 45min trip I consumed:
  • 60+ oz of water
  • at least 6 Endurolyte tablets (they did their job, no cramps)
  • 4 Honey Stringer Gels

I physically bonked at least 3 times during the race, with my legs nearly refusing (or able) to take another step. Without the Honey Gels I'd still be out there. If you're considering this race, don't ask my advice. You can always read Chris Dunn's account of his first (and most likely last) experience if you don't believe me. Of course, you could check out the pic of fellow aR teammate Rich Lavers below (taken minutes after finishing). Need any more convincing??

7 Sisters Carnage

A few folks from Locallyrun.com were kind enough to take some pics and video of the race.
Pics from the Start

Pics from the Finish

Short video from the race

A list of fools who ran today can be found here.