Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Mt Washington Hill Climb

A number of CSU skiers and runners made the trek up Mt. Washington this year with Ollie Buruss leading the charge this year in his first attempt after having a killer week of training at Craftsbury. The weather seemed to be really decent as I ran around on the Great Glen trails at the bottom waiting for Lisa. I stole Marshall's picture of what it looked like when the runners popped out of the clouds near the top....wish I'd been able to experience the sun!

Here are the CSU results with Rob Bradlee's and Jonathon Shefftz's reports:

01:21:50 OLIVER BURRUSS M 23 M2034 33 65
01:28:34 SUZY WEST F 46 F4549 2 109
01:29:13 ROBERT BRADLEE M 52 M5054 14 119
01:33:05 JIM TERRY M 58 M5559 9 157
01:34:36 SUMNER BROWN M 65 M6569 1 174
01:34:59 MARSHALL RANDOLPH M 60 M6064 3 177
01:35:24 DONNA SMYTH F 49 F4549 6 185
01:36:03 JAMES DREW M 59 M5559 12 195
01:36:21 JONATHAN SHEFFTZ M 42 M4044 24 198
01:37:56 LISA DOUCETT F 53 F5054 5 221
01:42:22 BILL COHEN M 54 M5054 35 284
01:42:47 ANDREW DONALDSON M 41 M4044 38 292 01:43:30 HENRY GEDIMAN M 62 M6064 6 305
01:48:52 NIXIE RAYMOND F 49 F4549 13 399
01:51:27 KEVIN RAY M 39 M3539 46 445
01:57:59 GAIL BRESLOW F 54 F5054 19 570
02:00:42 TYLER GANNON M 36 M3539 60 615
02:06:59 PAUL GRANT M 61 M6064 32 717
02:08:33 FREDERICK W. ROSS III M 62 M6064 33 733
02:23:44 JOSEPH LEADER M 72 M7074 10 852
02:32:52 CHRISTOPHER JON ROSS M 25 M2034 128 883

Saturday I raced for the 26th time in the Mt. Washington Road Race. This 49 year-old event goes 7.6 miles up the Auto Road climbing 4800 feet from base to summit.

This year the weather was unusual even for Mt Washington. At the base it was 60 F with cloudy skies. From mile 3 to mile 6 we ran through fog – what it turned out was a very low cloud layer. Just as we ran onto the "cow pasture", a flat section just past the 6 mile mark, we emerged into brilliant sunshine. It looked like a low-budget TV ad showing a view of heaven. We seemed to walk on top of a field of puffy white clouds.

I had started my training this spring feeling stronger than last year and so ramped up my training quickly with hopes of bettering my good time from last year. I went too hard too soon and cooked myself. For the past 3 weeks I've had trouble recovering from workouts and had many nagging injuries. All I could do was take it easy and hope I'd bounce back. The day before the race was the first time that I felt good for some time. Since I seemed to be making a comeback I set the goal of finishing under 90 minutes (last year I ran 86 minutes in perfect weather). I have a program that generates splits for each mile marker based on desired finish times. I ran the race just ahead of these splits keeping my heart rate at 92 to 94% of my max. I was able to hold a steady pace through the last 2 miles and finish in 89:13 which made me 108th male and 14th in 50-54. (Eleven seconds faster and I would have been 11th!).

I did have some extra fun this year as I did some email coaching of Bill Dixon who had never run the race, but wanted set a new record for the 60-64 age group. I sent him advice and a set of splits that would put him a minute ahead of the record. He paced himself well, ran steady splits, and took the record by 2 minutes!

So, the lesson re-iterated by this year's race – the priority always has to be good recovery from hard workouts. Doing a tough workout when you're already tired just puts you in a deeper hole. Next year I will start earlier, ramp up more slowly, and make sure to get small injuries taken care of with therapy and rest. On the plus side, I saw again that setting realistic expectations and having a well-thought out plan results in meeting goals and a great sense of satisfaction.

Bravo to Marshall Randolf who snagged 3rd in his age group and to Lisa Doucett who got 4th. I also saw Jim Drew and George Kocur there. Also running from the ski section was Donna Smyth and Jon Shefftz.
Who did I miss? I had to bug out quickly from the race so if I missed you I'm sorry.

Rob Bradlee

So this past Saturday was basically the same as the prior four years:
- Ran up the auto road as part of the race (while my extra gear was driven up).
- Hike down into Tux.
- Ski some quite nice snow, although only 305' vert since the 200'
vert above was too undermined, but the floor of the Ravine was still all filled in, so some nice length. In fact, reasonably nordic-able too. Come to think of it, I've probably done laps at Weston early season with less length. (Now who's up the challenge here!)
- Would have been fun to do laps, but after the running race, I’d have enough with vertical gain for the day, so switched back to hiking.
- Bike back (with skis and poles attached to pack!) from Pinkham Notch to the auto road base.

Random details:

- Run was almost four minutes slower than last year. But I suppose that’s what I deserve for having run outside only twice since November, plus four indoor treadmill workouts. And still, a bit faster than my debut four years ago, so I was pleased overall, plus I had a maniacal sprint at the finish which is always fun (in a way).
One of these days I'd like to get a bit faster so as to contribute to the team results . . . although check out the CSU Masters women in 2nd
place: http://www.coolrunning.com/results/09/nh/Jun20_49thMo_set7.shtml

- Inspirational moment #1 = toward the start of the race, passing what appeared from behind to be an attractive young woman (hey, I’m a happily married guy, but catching up with attractive women is a great motivational element in a running race, ya know, like the mechanical rabbits in dog races), hmm, nice legs, oh wait, make that, leg, singular, wow!!!

- Inspirational moment #2 = just when I needed some additional motivation past Mile 6, we broke through an undercast to a beautiful summit view

- Inspirational moment #3 = after hanging out at the summit for awhile, seeing aforementioned woman with the prosthetic cross the finish line at 1:57, nice!!!

- Inspirational moment #4 = reading this: http://www.seeamyrun.com/about-me “A high school track and swimming star, Amy, now a 34 year-old welder and mother of two, lost her left leg below the knee following a 1994 motorcycle accident. Three years and twenty-five surgeries later, her left leg was amputated below the knee. Following the amputation, it took 3 years before Amy could even try to run again.”

- Ironic realization = anyone who clicks through to the results from the event website (instead of going to coolrunning.com), sees me listed third, which at first greatly confused me (i.e., third in what possible category?!?), then I realized that the default sort is by zip code, and oddly enough, my hometown has the second-lowest zip code in the nation (outside of a couple things like IRS service center addresses), so . . . third-fastest for my zip code! (Do I get a free stamp out of this or something?)

- The next day I did some training in prep for Rainier with this
. . . who has done the race in the past, but much prefers trail running to roads. So I was curious, what’s his fastest time for hiking the summit from Pinkham Notch via Tux and/or Lionhead? About two hours and ten minutes . . . roundtrip. (That's down hiking/ running over massive boulders.)

Jonathan Shefftz

Sunday, June 14, 2009

St. Anne Steeple Chase

CSU had a great showing at today's St. Anne Steeple Chase in Lincoln. Many masters decided to mix it up with some of the Juniors. It was a drizzly day, but pretty good for running and reportedly not too muddy in the woods.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Lactate Testing!

CSU Juniors get stuck to determine lactate and training levels. CSU provides one of the highest doctor to athlete ratios you are likely to find....

Monday, June 1, 2009

What Are YOU Doing?

Its been a long time since I've posted anything. The question I have for you is what are YOU doing to train this spring? Any adventures to tell the rest of us about? Let me know and I'll post your stories.

As for me, I've been canoe and kayak racing quite a bit, as has Wes Denering and Michael Melnikov. We've been going at it in C1 canoes at the Charles River Wednesday races, run on the same format as the Tuesday Weston races. Start your watches and go 1 minute later. Great fun when you have 5-10 C1s racing with each other all in a row drafting and looking like little mini battle ships. Aims Coney has been good enough to lend me a C1 racing canoe. This is a great test of your upper body strength and endurance. In addition, Wes and I raced a C2 at the Mystic River Race which, after 12 miles, left me tired! I had to take a nap, but then what else is new... Then I wandered over to do the Essex River Race in Ipswich, this time kayaking and had a great duel where I managed to hang on by 2 seconds after nearly 1 hr. of racing by making sure I had the inside of the corner on the last bend in the river. Weston tactics even on the water! In the photo the guy in the red kayak on the right is in my class and I'm on the left. The other boats are surf skis which are way faster and in a separate boat class. Got to get in one of those soon!

I see that others have been busy too. Rob, Olga and Hannah, Donna Smyth and Lisa Doucett and Alex Jospe all ran Mt. Wachusett and all had good races and Alex enjoyed kicking Rob's butt. Last weekend Rob, Donna and Lisa raced the hardest 10 miler in New England, the Pack Monadnock race which is a really difficult, mostly uphill race for 7.5 miles and then it gets hard, climbing 2.5 miles up Pack Monadnock to the top at an average grade of something around 10-12%. Its a real leg killer. All three ran well once again and were ahead of last year's times.

CSU Jr Michael Goldenberg has been burning up the track in the two mile, dipping below 10 min. while Ellen Goldberg has taken up discus and tossed it 99 ft in one meet!! Jonathon Shefftz has of course been sking down all the gullies in Tuckerman's ravine and on a few big mountains out west. I stole one of his pictures of his routes down Castle Ravine on the back side of Mt. Jefferson. Send me your stories and fun training stories! jdoucett@comcast.net