Friday, May 1, 2009

April 2009 Report

How things change in just a months time. A month ago we were running in snow and cold, Tuesday was near 90 degrees, yesterday ran in frost. Got to love this New England weather!

This past month brought on more training miles and finally included some trail running. The back dirt roads softened up to mud for a short time but have dried up since. A lot of the trails are now runnable but still offer some great mud and muck. See the attached pic for some good muddy Ascends. Race season is underway with races to be found every weekend if needed.

April 11 brought on the first trail race of the season in Union, CT. The Northern Nipmuck is a 16 miler all trail run with a lot of technical slippery rocks, especially with the rain that day. It was a real good trail tester for me as I rediscovered the joys of trail running on fun single track. I got lost after the first few miles and then tripped and wiped out. I blame it on being up at 4:30 am to drive down to the race. The second half of the race I finally woke up and almost caught the third place finisher. In the end I came in 4th behind three 30 year old youngens. The Mizuno Ascends 4's worked great for the race.

Next up was the Rollin Irish 1/2 Marathon on April 18th put on by the GMAA here in VT. A hilly, dirt road course on the back roads of Westford and Essex. A cool day with a bit of a head wind for the first half kept the times down a little but for the most part all went well. I met up with Mike Oliva from NY and my pacer from the Western States 100 in 2006. We ran together for the first 2 miles. He then pulled ahead until after all the hills. By mile 9 I reconnected with Mike and we chatted. He was trying to get in under 1:23 as a qualifyier for the NYC Marathon. Mike, without a watch, was clueless as to the time. I did a quick calculation and told him it would be close. By mile 11 I told him to get going if he wanted to make it so off he went. Mike did get in under 1:23. I came in 6th overall, first master and first in my age group. But the bigger accomplishment for me was setting a new age group record for this 31 year old race. This race was also part of a 30 mile training run for me that day. And the Mizuno Inspires did a great job.

Next up could be the Seven Sisters in Amherst, Mass this weekend. A bony, rocky 12 miler along the Mt. Holyoke Range. Then the following weekend is the Northface 50 miler at Bear Mtn. in NY. The entrants list is filling up with some big dogs from all around, I think because of $$$ being offered for prizes. Team runners from North Face and Inov-8 will be there. Should be fun! Then two weeks later is the Vermont City Marathon. I've been "invited" to VCM again so I'll get some special treatment. I like that, especially being able to have my own water bottles at the aid stations.

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