Two races Two States

Two races two states

On June 22nd, 2014 I ran a double header

I started with the BAA 10K in Boston at 8AM and then headed for New Hampshire for my second race, the Smuttynose 5K in Hampton, NH at 9:30AM.

The BAA 10K starts on Charles Street which separates the Boston Common and the Public Garden. This is a great place for a race as there are acres of space for runners to hang out, get ready for their race, and to recover afterwards.

I parked in Cambridge and walked across the Longfellow bridge. The bridge is undergoing a multi-year reconstruction, so I had to loop under the bridge and cross on the east side of the bridge. The west, or in-bound side, is all torn apart right now.

longfellow bridge construction
Longfellow Construction 2014

As I entered the tunnel under the bridge, I saw this little display:

I had never seen this urban art before, so I was a little surprised when I realized what I was looking at. It’s been a while since I have been out for a run that took me under the bridge and I have it on good authority that this display has been in place for a few months. Isn’t this really cool? All of these old trophies and knickknacks sitting in public for months and no one has disturbed them.

BAA 10K

I had to leave quickly after the race so I did not bring a drop bag. I did bring a water bottle, and everything I needed was in my running belt. My bib had been mailed to me weeks ahead of time, so I had zero pre-race stress.

baa 10k,boston,two races two states
BAA 10K corrals before the race

The corals were empty for quite a while and I had a low number. Bibs 101 to 900 could line up in the 8:00 pace area. The volunteers said I could move further up if I was going to run a faster pace, so I did! While waiting for the race to begin four of my  Melrose Running Club friends showed up. I knew people from the club would be running since this is a popular local race, but I did not know who. It’s not unusual to go to a large race like this and find out later many friends were there also.

melrose,Boston,baa 10k, two races two states

My friend Michele moved back to a slower coral and my friend Paul and I moved up as far as we could. We were not in front but we were in a good position. His sons were a little behind us in the crowd. They played the National Anthem and sounded the start.

BAA 10K,two races two statesIt was a quick start and we were turning onto Beacon Street in no time. Being in front meant there was more room to move, but the turn onto Beacon slowed us down a lot. I moved away from the curb on Beacon and looked for space between runners that I could use to negotiate the turn onto Arlington Street. That turn went a little better. As I got onto Arlington Street, I immediately started to get into position to make the turn onto Commonwealth Avenue.

I was pretty much in the middle of Arlington Street when the corner for Comm Ave came into view. I found space in the crowd and was able to maintain my speed. I was able to keep up with Paul and we traded spots a few times running down Comm Ave. After the 2K sign Paul started to pull away and I knew better than to try and run his race. Up until about the 5K sign I still had him in view.

The shade of Comm Ave and Baystate Road was nice. I appreciated it even more when we came back out onto Comm Ave into the full sun. As we left Kenmore Square and headed for The Agannis Arena the road began to rise. It’s not steep but it goes on for about a mile all the way out to the turn near The Arena.

Hills work for me and I settled into my pace. It was roasting hot and I began to pass a few people, not a lot. I had started the race in the front and that is where the strong runners start. None of these people were going to fade away. I still had water in my bottle and took a few swigs. When we came to a water stop I would move to the center of the road to avoid the congestion.

The turn around at BU was a little tight, but not too bad. On the way out we saw the top runners on their way back in. They were sweating but their form was so smooth and they were going so fast. It’s always great to see these elite runners.

As we approached the turn the crowd on the other side heading back grew. After we made our turn we could see the masses behind us still working their way out to the turn around.

Except for the bridge over the Mass Pike, it was all down hill to Kenmore Square. After the bridge, I finished my water and dropped the bottle near the next distance marker. I was tired and it was hot, but I was on the back side of a 10K. It was time to dig deep and hold on to the position I had achieved.

As was entered the shade of Comm Ave after the Charles Gate East and West intersection I felt a little better. I grabbed a water at the next water stop and had a gulp or two. I managed to keep my pace and started looking for the right hand turn onto Arlington Street. I still had some legs but I knew I had to save something for my next race.

I managed to keep my pace steady, made a good turn onto Charles Street and headed for the finish line. I picked it up a bit to get across the line with the best time possible. I passed a few people and then crossed the timing mats. They had lots of volunteers and I received my finisher’s medal.

As I made my way through the finishers shoot I saw my friend Mike Quigley. He gave me a big friendly smile and a high-five hand shake. I would have hung around but it was the shoot, there were lots of people behind me and I needed to get to New Hampshire.

As I took a right-hand turn onto the Common a volunteer handed a water bottle to me. I headed to the shirt tent to get my race shirt and then headed to the B.Good tent to grab a hamburger. Their burgers are “sliders” which means they are not large. At 9AM, or so, a burger wasn’t top of my menu, but they were there and I needed something fast so I could get on my way to New Hampshire.

I didn’t put anything on the burger because I didn’t want to spill stuff all over my clothes as I drove. As I walked back across the Common I ate the burger and watched people coming in from the race. Before I exited the Common the burger was gone.

Moving on

I jogged down Charles Street with my medal bouncing around my neck and my race bib still pinned to my shirt. I got a few smiles and some people in their cars waved to me with a smile. I must have looked odd running down the street with a medal bouncing all over the place. I had places to go, I had to jog.

When I got to the intersection at the end of the Longfellow bridge near MGH the State Trooper on detail asked me how I did. She was all smiles and joking with me. I told her I had to drive to New Hampshire and hoped I wouldn’t meet any of her colleges along the way. She laughed and waved as I moved along.

Off to New Hampshire

When I got to my car I put two freezer packs inside of a towel and placed them on my seat. I knew the ice would help my muscles while I drove to New Hampshire. I took the bridge by the Museum of Science to get to the ramp to Rt. 93 North. It was fun driving the ramps without any other traffic.

After I got on 93 North I drank more of my Hammer Heed beverage and Tumeric Elixir beverage. I needed to re-fuel and manage inflammation from my 47 minute 10K. I made pretty good time and got to Hampton around 9:45.

Smuttynose 5K

As I was exiting 95, I could see runners on the bridge over the highway. I quickly found a parking spot and jogged to the race area. It took me about 10 minutes to find the person to ask for my bib. Everyone else was picking up their race shirt or “Will run for beer” series jackets. I was the only idiot looking for a bib.

They didn’t have pins in the little box with the few remaining bibs. I didn’t have time to look. As I headed towards the starting line I grabbed a bottle of water and wrapped my bib around it for easy handling. I was jogging against traffic but the crowd was fairly light by now. I ran down the driveway and took a right.

The road unknown

I asked several volunteers where the turn was but it was clear none of them knew. Finally at Batchelder Road someone directed me and there were some traffic cones. As I headed down Batchelder road a few people were running back. I asked a few people where the turn around was. The best answer I got was, “down there”.

I ended up taking a left into a small development and realized it was a dead-end road. I went back out to Batchelder and saw a single sign informing drivers of a large road race. As I proceeded down the road I saw a truck with a guy sitting in a trailer behind it. He was picking up the cones for the race! The freakin bread crumbs were disappearing right before my eyes!

As the truck passed I asked the guy where the turn around was. He was so startled that he didn’t really give me an answer. When I got down to Timber Swamp Road, I decided I better turn around here or I may get lost. I didn’t have the legs to run a half marathon to find my way back.

On the way back up the road I passed two ladies walking who said they were the last ones in the race. They were a little chagrined that the race was being picked up right in front of them. But they seemed happy. I passed a few more people and made the left hand turn back onto Towle Farm Road. My watch beeped two miles and I knew I would not hit three miles before the end of the race.

As I ran up the driveway many people were all ready on their way home. As I approached the finish line it was apparent that the announcer was no longer looking for finishers. I was pretty much the only person headed towards the finish line. I held up my bib with both hands, hoping someone would see it, but most people looked at me like I was kinda nuts. Was I re-running the finish to show off?

No applause,”Good run” or Nice job” etc. I was obviously one of the last runners and no one gave an ounce of support. I didn’t really need it, but there were a few people still out on the course who really would have appreciated some support and recognition of their efforts.There wasn’t a finisher’s medal for them either.

I grabbed a water and headed for the t-shirt tent, then the jacket tent. The crowds at these tents had melted away by now. Everyone was in line for food and beer. I decided to stand in the beer line. It took about half-an-hour to get to the entrance to the beer garden. I recognized the lady checking ID’s. I didn’t have my license with me, but at my age you carry your drinking ID on your face. She smiled and said “You’re all set”. I joked about having my ID on my face!

I grabbed two beers and walked around looking for a familiar face. Seeing none, I headed for the shade of the tent and sat on the grass. The IPAs were cold and delicious. I sent a few tweets, drank my beers and got two more. By now the line was gone but the tap crew was still working like it was a busy Saturday night. The tables were now loaded with cups of beer. What a quandary: all this beer and I had to drive home. I finished my last two beers and headed for the food line.

Smuttynose,IPA,5K
Smuttynose Beer Garden

The line was much smaller now and there were tons of cheese burgers on the table. They were good and I could have gone back for seconds, but I knew it was time to move along. I headed for my car and had an easy ride home.

What a day. My BAA 10K time was 47:04, which was just 32 seconds off of my 10K PR. My Smuttynose 5K time was 45:02. I don’t know how they came up with this time, but it doesn’t matter. I didn’t run the entire official course, but when you throw in the run from my car to the start it is probably more than 5K. The plan was to run both races, and that is what I did. It wasn’t pretty and I’m not sure I’d try it again, but it was a fun adventure!

Here is “A Long Way to Boston” BAA 10K post.

Have you ever run two races in one day? How far did you have to travel?

Run well my friends!

Andy

©2014 anagelin

Ready Set 1st Run 10K Recap

Ready Set 1st Run News Years Races

This New Year’s Day event features both a 5K and a 10K. We ran the 10K as our 2013 kick off race.

The races are capped at 2,000 runners total, but only 1,624 ran the races. We are in a cold snap here in New England. I’m sure the ice and snow on the ground kept some of the more casual runners at home. Only mad dogs and runners would be out running in freezing temperatures!

The race started at 11AM and we left Melrose a little before 9AM. We arrived in Lowell before 10AM but had to drive around the city a bit to get around a closed road. Someone had a bad accident at an intersection and they had a fire truck parked across the road. My GPS promptly directed me to turn down a one-way road and then had to “re-calculate” when I refused to break the law.

The race organizers had arranged plenty of parking for us. We were able to park within a quarter-mile of the Lowell Elks Club, i.e. race HQ. As soon as I got out of the car the biting wind gripped me. I instantly thought of putting on all of the clothes I had with me. Everything. I quickly rummaged through my bag in the trunk of the car and grabbed what I needed.

I ended up wearing an Under Armor shirt and a Boston Marathon shirt under my regular jacket. I never run in a street jacket but it was so cold I knew I could not run in just a nylon jacket or no jacket at all.  I loaded my pockets with food, tissues and my phone.

ready set 1st Run,10k race
BPOE Hall

We walked the frozen quarter-mile to the Elks Club to pick up our numbers. The place was packed but the lines moved along quickly. We made a visit to the porta-potties and then went back inside to keep warm and hang out with friends from our running club.

At 10:45 they started moving us outside to the starting line. Gail and I thought we would run at an 8:30 pace but did not feel any pressure to stick to that plan if we didn’t feel good. We ended up starting with the 10 minute pace group which was fine. I don’t think most people were too wound up about where they started. We certainly were not.

The Ready, set, 1st Run 10K

To start the race we counted down from 10 and yelled out “Happy New Year”!

The start was crowded and the race did not thin out very much until close to one mile into the race. After one mile we were both struggling and felt that we must be beyond our goal pace of 8:30. Gail was fighting a head cold, I had not run in a week and was not completely over my cold.

Both of us were also wearing a lot more clothes than normal for a race. But we felt like we were doing well. Then I looked at my watch and saw that we were running an 8:58 pace! We were a bit deflated by that. Under the circumstances I’m not sure why we were surprised, but we were.

At about 1.5 miles we turned onto Pawtucket Blvd. This is a nice level road that runs along the Merrimack River in Lowell. We expected there to be a cold wind off of the river but it wasn’t so bad. I started to engage my marathon cruising gear and look for ways to move through the crowd. Gail did not feel like she could run that pace and told me to go ahead. After she said to go ahead a few times, I did.

They only had the breakdown lane blocked off for us, and then only by the occasional orange cone. There was only room for 2 or 3 people to run abreast. This made it difficult to move up but I managed. Sometimes I had to run to the left of the cones in the street, but traffic was light and I was careful.

Just before the three-mile mark we turned back onto Old Ferry Road. The 5K folks started to kick it in and the pace picked up. At about mile 3.05 the 5K runners turned into the Elks Club driveway. I could hear the announcer calling out names as runners approached the finish line. For a split second I thought about turning into the driveway with them! It was cold, I had not trained properly and I was getting tired. But then I snapped out of it and ran past the driveway.

Now it was just us 10K runners on the course. Out of 1,624 runners only 607 were running the 10K. There was a lot more room on the side of the road and I was able to run my race. I still had to negotiate getting around people. At this point in the race most of us were locked into our pace and there wasn’t a lot of passing going on anymore.

The hills were not that bad and there weren’t that many. There was one good hill on Varnum Avenue. This race ran the same loop twice so us 10K runners got to run this hill twice. The road only rises 23 feet over a quarter-mile which is pretty modest for a hill.

The first time we ran Varnum Ave. Gail and I were able to pass a few people. On the second loop I went back and forth with two other runners but didn’t move up on anyone. I told myself I was putting distance between me and the folks behind me. Yeah, right. Maybe.

I see hills as my competitive advantage. I’m not a pro by any measure but I’m pretty good at hills for an old amateur. Often I can pass people on hills and we did on the first pass. On the second pass we were all 10K runners. After 3.75 miles we were all pretty much sorted.

At some point in a race runners get sorted by their capabilities and you end up running with people with similar abilities as you have. I went back and forth with two other runners but other than that there was very little passing going up this hill.

After we turned onto Pawtucket road I was able to kick it into marathon gear again. I passed about 20 people and felt pretty good. We were now near the end of mile 5 and most of us had been running hard for almost all of those miles. For mile 6 my pace was 8:35 which was my 2nd slowest split after mile 1 which was 8:47. I had actually slowed considerably, but less than others had.

Just after mile 6 we turned back onto Old Ferry Road. At about 6.1 miles I could see the turn into the Elks Club driveway and hear the announcer. Almost done! As I approached the finish there were not that many people on the course with me. I crossed the line by myself.

ready set 1st run,finishers medal

The finisher’s medal was a wine bottle stopper, which I thought was really cool. I grabbed some self-serve water and waited for Gail to cross the finish line. I hung onto the barricade and stretched my hamstrings while I waited. After a few minutes she crossed the line and we headed into the Elks Club to get warm and grab a beer.

Ready Set 1stRun, 10k race, new years race
Here we are with our finishers medals and ready to go get warm.

 

 

 

A New Years Day race is always a good way to kick off the new year.

Run well my friends.

Andy

Will Run for Beer Series – 2013

Will Run for BEER 2013

I just signed up for the last two races I will be running in the #Will Run For Beer Series. This race series is managed by #LOCO Sports in New Hampshire. They have been running the series since 2007 and this will be my third year of participation.

The series of seven races takes place in Southern New Hampshire and North Eastern Massachusetts. The New Year’s Day Race and April Fool’s race are run by local running clubs but still count for the series. If you register for the series and then run five of the seven races you get a nylon wind jacket. It costs $5 to sign up for the series and then you need to register and pay for each race separately.

Not a bad deal, and a great motivator to get out there and run. There are two half marathons in the series, but you don’t need run either one to qualify for the jacket.

It’s a lot of fun and one of the race sponsors is #Smuttynose Brewing Co. Running and cold Smuttynose, what’s not to love? Last year I thought I’d run two or three of their races so I did not register for the series. I ended up running five of the races anyway. If I had registered I’d have another one of their jackets hanging in my closet.  This year I’m going for it.

Will run for BEER

If you and your friends are looking for a great series of races you should definitely check out “Will Run For Beer”. Smuttynose is a great sponsor and there is always plenty of beer after the race.

Friday Post, August 10th, 2012

London Olympics

Here we are, down to the last two full days of the London 2012 Olympics. It has been great watching the world’s best athletes compete in the highest spirit of sportsmanship. I saw a little pushing during some of the races but saw more high-fives and hugs than elbows and fists.

It has been great to see, or know about, women from every country competing this year. It’s the first time women from every country have participated and hopefully not the last time. In my mind this indicates progress for women’s rights around the world. We can only hope that this progress continues after the Olympics.

Oscar Pistorius was another first this year. A para-Olympian competing with able-bodied runners and qualifying into the semi finals. He came in 2nd in his Round 1 heat with a time of 45:44. This time was better than the three guys he beat in his heat, and also faster than 28 other runners who had heats that day. Fifteen other runners did finish faster than he did, thirty-one did not. Four guys did not finish their heats.

In the semi-finals Oscar finished 23 out of 24 runners. Next to last, but a triumph none the less; he accomplished what he set out to do and that was to make it to the semi-finals. You can imagine how his efforts and achievement will Inspire a Generation.

While we always see the fastest, strongest and highest on the podium, the achievements of all Olympians is amazing. Here are a few examples from running:

Women’s Marathon: Tiki Gelana of Ethiopia finished first at 2:23:07, an Olympic Record

Caitriona Jennings of Ireland finished in 107th place at 3:22.11. This is a 7:42 mile pace, which is something most people I run with would be thrilled to achieve.

Women’s 10K: Tirunesh Dibaba of Ethiopia finished first at 30:20.75

Eloise Wellings of Australia finished 21st at 32:25.43 or a 5:13 mile pace.

Men’s 10K: Mo Farah of the UK finished first at 27:30.42

Mykola Labovskyy of Ukraine finished 26th at 29:32.12, or a 4:45 mile pace.

Even the people who finished last in these races put up remarkable times. The reality is that only three people can Medal and only one is Gold. Hopefully everyone else goes home with some great memories and satisfied with the knowledge that on their day, they gave it their all, they did their best and that they will always be Olympians, for the rest of their lives.

Enjoy the rest of The Olympics, and thanks for stopping by.

©2012 anagelin

Recovery and Pontifications

My journey as an injured runner continues

Except for the BAA 10K last Sunday I have not run at all this week. Every time I drive somewhere and see runners, the urge to jump out of the car and run with them is overwhelming. I feel like my entire routine is out of whack and off-balance.

roller, recoveryI’ve been using my new Thera-Roll foam roller every night and sometimes in the morning. Now my other hamstring is a little sore from the rolling! The muscles are not used to getting this type of pressure so it is uncomfortable while rolling and is then uncomfortable afterwards. I think it is working, but this is going to be a long-term recovery.

I went to the running club on Tuesday night but did not run. It was the final night for our Walk to Run program and I wanted to be there as everyone finished their first 3 mile run. It was fun to see them finish. Just about everyone I spoke with intends to keep running with the club. Afterwards Marathon Sports had some food and gift bags for all of the Walk to Run participants.

While I was there I talked to some of our veteran runners about my injury. Everyone agreed that it can take a long time to recover and you can’t rush it. I was also cautioned not to hit it hard when I come back as I can risk a re-injury. Rest, ice, ibuprofen and the roller were all recommended and getting some PT was suggested.  It was also apparent that almost every runner gets an injury at some point in their career. It just comes with the territory.

Being patient is the most difficult part of recovery. I had plans to run a lot of 5K and 10K races this summer as part of my training for my fall marathon. I’m glad I didn’t sign up and pay for those races now. Registration fees are normally nor-refundable. With each passing week the marathon gets closer and just thinking of the date makes me nervous. I’m going to start doing some short easy runs in the next week. If I feel any pain I’ll stop and take some more time off. If everything feels okay I’ll continue with short easy runs, just to be doing something.

This week’s pontification:

There is an adage that goes something like this:

“You’re never more likely to make a mistake than when you are absolutely sure that you are right.“

The logic is that when you are 100% confident in your choice, conclusion or way of thinking you stop looking for alternatives and disregard any facts or ideas that contradict your choice, conclusion, or idea.

In spite of better information you hold firmly to your beliefs even if the alternative is indisputably the better choice and disaster is imminent.

My running equivalent is this:

“You’re never more likely to injure yourself than when you are feeling strong, healthy and confident.”

When you have all of this going for you it is easy to feel that you can tackle any run at any pace. It makes it easy to disregard fatigue and disregard the fact that you are pushing yourself beyond your normal limits.

You can injure yourself in an instant and sometimes not even realize it.You may not feel an injury until the next day or your next run. While as humans and runners we need to push ourselves in order to make progress, we should not disregard common sense and safety. When we are at our peak or maximum we also need to realize that we cannot push much harder without risk of injury.

We all have limits. Go out and find those limits, but be careful about pushing too far beyond those limits.

Recovery can take a long time and is frustrating. Some injuries never go away completely, so it is best to try and avoid injury when you can.

Run well my friends.

©2012 anagelin

Pain and Recovery

Yesterday was a bad day for me. I got in a 10K run before work but ended up exacerbating the problems with my right hamstring. All day I had to get up and walk around to stretch it and felt like an old man each time. On the drive home my leg and hip were killing me and I couldn’t wait to get out of the car.

Pain and recovery

pain and recoveryLast night I went and did something I’ve been thinking about for a long time: I bought a foam roller. People have been telling me how wonderful they are. I have finally gotten to the point where I have to try something different. The Coleman freezer pack under my leg while watching TV at night just isn’t getting it done.

I went over to Marathon Sports in Melrose and looked at the rollers they have. They are not cheap! I kept thinking these are extruded in some third-world country and cost a dollar to make. The guy at the store had me try a few out and answered my questions, all the reasons we go to running stores!  The one I ended up buying cost $64.95!

After trying a few different rollers and asking lots of questions, I decided to go with the firmest one with the ridges, the Thera-Roll. I need to dig deep into that hamstring!

To save a few bucks, well a lot of bucks, I went with the 18 inch 6lb Thera-Roll. As I walked out of the store and then drove home, my hamstring seemed to feel better all ready. “Is that possible” I thought? I only rolled for a few minutes and have no idea how I’m supposed to do this.

I used it some more when I got home. As a multi-tasker I was psyched that I could roll and watch Charlie Rose at the same time! Fantastic! Those ridges dug in good and deep and I could feel something going on.I only rolled for about 5 minutes and I have no idea if that was too long or to brief. I need to do some research today.

I’ll let you know what I find from my research and if this thing actually works.

  • Have you used one of rollers before?
  • Did it work for you?
  • How long did it take to feel results?

Run well my friends!

©2012 anagelin