Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Weekend Double Dip

This past weekend I loaded the family (myself, wife, 3 year-old & 3 month-old) into the car and headed out for a weekend of fun (and racing) in the sun. The weekend itinerary included: The 43rd Annual Bill Luti 5 Miler, Quechee Gorge, The Ben & Jerry Ice Cream Factory, The 29th Annual Stowe 8 Miler , lots of pool time, The Vermont Teddy Bear Factory & multiple trips to Dunkin Donuts. The weekend goals included: have fun, help the Team, enjoy the family and not get myself hurt.

The Bill Luti 5m is one of the oldest road races in New England and a fixture on various local road race Series’ including: the NHGP, the CARS and the Summer Swelter Series. Ok, the last one is made up but it’s completely appropriate because, as a mid-July race, this one always seems to be un-bearably hot. And, with temps in the upper 80’s and stifling humidity at the start, this year’s edition was certainly no exception! What made Luti even “hotter” was the competition, as my club (The Gate City Striders) is in a heated battle with the Greater Derry Track Club for supremacy in the 2010 New Hampshire Grand Prix Series. We have held a slim lead over them since the early part of the season and they have been slowly slicing into it ever since. It was for this reason that I chose to do this race as a “warm-up” to Sunday’s NEGP main event. I figured that even at my current low-level of race fitness, I could help out club keep that scrappy GDTC team at bay. 

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Canadian Boot Camp

As a rule, I typically don’t post much (if any) of my training schedule or running log on-line. This is partly because there’s really no magic in it. I run practically every day at a variety of distances and at a variety of paces. Big deal, right? And, it’s not like I’m ever going to be an Olympian, or anything. So what’s the point, really? That being said, I'm making an exception this week to discuss an unusual kind of training that I’ve been doing these past 7 days.

Twice a year, my family and I go up to New Brunswick (Canada) to visit my wife’s relatives. They live in the Capital City of  Fredericton which is about 450 miles northeast of Nashua and a whole world away. In fact, it’s a full length of Maine (plus a good bit on either end) away. Usually we head up there once in the middle of the summer and once during the week between Christmas and New Years. So, basically, we're in Canada during the hottest and coldest times of the year. Therefore, long runs during our Winter Trips (at subzero temps plus windchill) are always a challenge in this "Great White North". And, speed work during the Summer Trips is generally an exercise in sweat managment. So this summer, with the record heat wave, more than lived up to it's advanced billing.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Mount Washington – Run vs. Hike

A side by side comparison

After recently doing both a Run and a Hike up Mount Washington, I thought I’d do a little side by side comparison of each to see which one was better. See if you can guess which one of the two I liked more …

                                    Run                  Hike
Distance:                      7.6 miles           44 miles
Duration:                      1.5 hours          100 hours
Elevation Gain:            4688 ft              18, 400 ft
Mountains:                   1                      14
Weight Carried:           192 lbs             242 lbs
Food Consumed:          2 gels*             10 meals
Snowball fights:           0                      1
Wildlife Seen:              1 (a)                  8 (b)
Goals Met:                    3/6                    6/6
Enjoyment Level:         4 (c)                  8 (d)     
Awards Received:        1                      Countless
Lessons Learned:         4 (e)                  4 (f)
* temporarily

a)       Denny Leblanc

b)       Gnat, Spider, Fly, Chipmunk, Bird, Fox, Hippie, Moose

c)       Would have been a 2 if our team didn’t do as well as it did.

d)       Would have been a 10 if we got to see a bear.

e)       1. Don’t participate in the lottery to run this race.
2. Don’t attempt to get a bypass to run this race.
3. Don’t run this race.
4. Don’t even think about this race again.

f)         1. Even though we are quite different, my son is pretty neat.
2. Given time, people can adapt to any given situation.
3. Never underestimate the power of friendship.
4. The toughest challenges can be met one step at a time.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Mount Washington – Part II “The Hike”

Based upon the results from my Mount Washington Run, I decided that maybe what I really needed to do was go a little further back and get a nice running start. So that’s what I did - three days later. I started way back at Franconia Notch, 21 miles (as the crow flies) west-southwest of the Washington summit. But this time, I brought reinforcements (my 18 year old son Casey) to keep me company during the trip. Plus, I figured this would be a great opportunity to spend some time with him before he heads off to college in the fall.

The plan was for us to start a Franconia Notch and loosely follow the Appalachian Trail over to Crawford Notch and then on to Pinkham Notch with a little stop a Washington (again) before we headed back down. We’d stay overnight at the Galehead, Mizpah & Madison Huts while stopping at the others along the way for lunch. And, as with the run, I went into this hike with 6 levels of goals. #1 - start, #2 - finish, #3 - hike the whole way, #4 – enjoy the scenery, #5 – enjoy my son’s company, #6 – Not kill us both. I figured that this time, despite carrying a 50 lb pack, there was a real good chance I’d be able to accomplish all 6.