Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Mount Washington - Part I "The Run"

Let me just start by saying this, from here on out I’m going to refer to the 50th Mount Washington Road Race as a “run”, not a “race” because it simply bears no resemblance to any race you could ever hope to imagine. In fact, referring to it as a run is being extremely generous since what you end up doing most of the time is flail around wildly, as you slowly creep up the very steep and very hot auto road. But, out of respect to the folks who actually know what they are doing up there, I’ll just call it a run and leave it at that.

I went into this year’s run with 6 levels of goals.  #1 - start, #2 - finish, #3 - run the whole way, #4 – set a PR, #5 - Beat Chris Dunn & #6 – Beat Steve Wolfe. My rationale behind setting so many goals is that I’ve invested way too much time in this endeavor to leave completely empty handed at the end of the day if things don’t work out as planned. I figured goals 1 & 2 would be easy since I ran this twice before and knew what to expect. Goals 3 & 4 would be a bit tougher to obtain since the temperature at the start was in the mid-eighties. But, all things being equal, these both were certainly do-able. Finally, if it was a really, really good day I might be able to achieve goals 5 & 6. I’ve been back and forth with Chris at various races over the years and usually end up seeing the back side of Steve at most events. However, at Washington, Steve and I have gone head to head 2 times and I’ve won both. So, maybe I own him at this one? Only time would tell.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Pack Monadnock 10m

A Sloppy Mess

My 2010 Pack Race was many things. But, a Good Clean Run it was not. The day started well enough. The newborn & toddler both decided to give Mom & Dad a break by nearly sleeping through the night (5:30 am) - a very rare occurrence in the Wade household. That enabled me to get up mostly rested and out the door early. On my way up to the parking area at Temple Mountain, I swung by the course to drop a Hammer Gel right where I thought I’d need it (just before the hills really took hold) at about the 7 mile mark. Then I proceeded up to park and hang the GCS-Triad banner on the food tent, and hopped into Mary Minami’s car for the quick ride down to the start just as the early drops of rain began to fall.

However, once I got in and got settled at the school I realized I had only one racing flat. Doh! Meaning I could either: run in my trainers, run with one racer, or quickly find a ride back up to Temple to find my missing shoe which I figured was in the back of my car. I chose option 3 and thankfully Rich Mello & Stacey Ascone we’re heading back up there for one last shuttle run so I hitched a ride with them. The only problem was when I got to the car there was no shoe. So, back down to the school with Rich and Stacey I went with 20 minutes to the start, no potty break, no racing flat and more importantly, no warm up.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Pineland Farms 25k

After taking the last three months of 2009 off from running completely (due to injury) I’ve slowly been working my way back into shape. I built my mileage up gradually starting in January, then added some short tempo runs in March & April and finally mixed in some track workouts with my running club The Gate City Striders beginning in May. I also tried out some early-season races to help me gauge my fitness level in adverse conditions and see just how far I’d come. Well, based on my mixed (at best) Race Results, it turns out I still have a long way to go just to get back to where I was even late last year.

Nevertheless, I signed myself up for the Pineland Farms 25k Trail Race in New Gloucester, Maine. This race would not only be twice as long as any race I’d done so far this year it would be just short of my longest run of the season to date. However, the motivating factor for me to run this race was not for the individual results but rather for the potential for team glory. Because, as luck would have it, the PF25k had a team race component and the gauntlet had been thrown by my friend Steve Wolfe and his buddies over at Acidotic Racing. They were headed up to Maine en-masse to dethrone the host (and defending team champion) Trail Monsters Running and take home their pine trophy title.