Sunday, October 24, 2010

Winter is Here!


Running up the Toll Road at Stowe
Yesterday I ran my usual Mansfield Loop, a 26 mile mountain adventure, only to find winter in full swing, not what I expected.  With more than 3 hours of running/post holing in the snow on top of another 3+ hours of running in mud and water, I managed to get out of the woods just as the sun was setting.  Good thing as I decided I didn't need my headlamp and didn't have enough food to go any longer as the bonk mode was already setting in.  Oh well, just another training run.  The Gear:  I wore the Mizuno Cabrakan trail shoe which was great for the needed added traction for most of the terrain.  At times I could have used the Mizuno Kaza spikes for the ice.  For clothing I wore the Mizuno light weight tights along with the Mizuno techie wear for the top.  But most imortantly was the Cabrakan light weight shell for the howling winds on the summit to keep my core warm as toast.  I also wore a balaclava and hat too along with the Breathe Thermo gloves.

I've had a busy last few weeks since the Common to Common 30K race.  The following week after the 30K was the:

USATF National Championship Masters 5K Team Race in Syracuse, NY. 
Myself, along with 4 others from the GMAA in VT made the trip to defend our title from last year.  With speedster old guys, Norm Larson, Tony Bates, Kevin McMahon and Jim Miller, we made the drive over from Burlingto to Syracuse.  The course was an out and back, fast, 5K road race, something I'm not usually found doing.  Last year I nearly exploded at the finish after a way too fast first mile and a slow finish time.  My goal this year was to run my own race and hopefully do better.  The first mile I was 10 seconds slower than last year coming in this year at 5:28 instead of 5:18 and I figured out how to calculate kilometers as the rest of the course was in kilometers.  Running still way to fast for my usual, I ended up 9 seconds faster than last year.  So being a bit more conservative right from the start did make my time faster in the end.  Hmmm, maybe there's something there.  For the team, Jim had some issues which we knew could pop up but still he kept on going and with his incredible efforts, we placed second this year.  Not bad for a bunch of old farts from VT.  Even more impressive was our 60's team of Ted McKnight, Ed McSweeny and Chuck Arnold won placed first at this years event for their age group.  Congrats to these guys!  The Gear:  For this short road race I wore the Mizuno Musha 2's racing flat.  Super lightweight and fast.  Maybe that's why I was faster than last year.  After the race I ran around Syracuse and back to the hotel to make it a 20 mile day.  For the pavement poundiing I ran in the Mizuno Alchemy for added support and cushion to make the hard surfaces a bit softer.

The next weekend I opted out of any races but the following weekend ran the GREEN MOUNTAIN MARATHON in So. Hero, VT.   This was the 40th annual running.  I find this race a real challenge although it's mostly flat but run a lot on dirt roads and is an out and back.  And there is always a wind either heading out or coming back.  This year it was a headwind on the return trip.  From the start and directly into the wind for the first mile, we had a crowd of about 6 of us running closely together.  After mile 1, you make a 90 degree turn and the wind is at your back and for the rest of the first half, or most of it.  Eli Enman quickly took the lead.  Eli won the race last year.  After a few miles, Binney Mitchell caught up to Eli and gave him a good challenge up til mile 18.  Binney had been training this year for a western 30K trail race so was mentally good for 30k.  After that, he fell off a bit and Eli took control of the race.  Myself, I ran the race as I usually do, in my own mode, however I can.  I kept up running 6:15-6:20 per mile for the first half but on the way back was averaging more in the 6:45 range into the wind.  In the end, I still ran my fastest GMM in the time of 2:51:55.  I came in 6th overall and earned a star after my name for exceeding the USATF time standard for national ranking.  Any when you look at the age grading which they now do for all the races, I placed first for whatever that means.  Anyway it was a good trainer for JFK which was the intent.  For the Gear:  I ran in the Mizuno Musha 2's.  This was the longest I have run in these lightweight racing flats and it was also my fastest GMM.  Maybe there's something there??  I also wore the Mizuno techi shorts and the Mizuno Breathe Thermo gloves as it was a bit chilly.

Running alone at mile 12 at the GMM

Somehow in between training and races I managed to get to some of my best mental training.  I like to head down to VT Skydiving in Addison, VT to jump out of airplanes at 12,000 ft. to relax.  It's always a blast to play superman.  The Gear:  Infinity 170 chute, part of the rental fleet as I don't have my own yet.  For footwear I chose an old pair of Mizuno Alchemy's for a good slide landing in the grass.

Post Jump

So from a 50 miler at the VT 50 to a 5K road race to the Green Mtn. Marathon and jumping out of planes.  Five days later was a special invite to the 8K XC race at St. Michael's Invitational at the College in Winooski, VT.  The GMAA was invited to participate in a college race.  For the men we had 11 runners and for the women, 6.  In the end we placed 2nd for the men and also 2nd for the women up against 6 or 7 college teams.  The only team that placed higher was the UVM team.  It was fun running with the young college kids and I wonder what they were thinking as a bunch of old guys were running along side with them.  It was a good trainer for our 50's team as we have the NE XC Championships coming up in 2 weeks in Boston and then the National 10K Club Nationals coming up in December in Charlotte, NC.  And in between, I have the JFK 50 mile speed event on November 20th.  The Gear:  For this XC event it was the Mizuno Kasa spikes for added traction in the grass and also the Mizuno Breathe Thermo glove as the northwest winds had brought in some cooler air.

Next up, the NE XC 8k at Franklin Park and then the JFK 50 miler on Nov. 20th.

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