Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A Race for the Aged

Ok, boys and girls. This race report is a long one. But, like the race itself, it’s definitely worth your time. So, pull up a chair and pour yourself a cold one, a coffee or a shot of Jack. Because this is a story that starts in 2006 and you’re not going to believe how it ends …

5 years ago, some friends of mine and I decided it would be fun to put together a 12-person team for the Reach the Beach Relay – a 36-leg race from the White Mountains of New Hampshire to the Atlantic Ocean, 200 miles away. The 2006 team was made up mainly of Gate City Striders ranging in age from 24 to 54. We called our team the Mine Falls Milers (after one of our favorite places to run) and headed out on our 24-hour adventure together.

Needless to say, that first year was quite a learning experience! I never knew how hard it would be to assemble (and keep together) a team of 12 runners. Not to mention how hard it would be to run 3 legs (some in the middle of the night) over unknown terrain, with little recovery time and almost no sleep. We ended up doing pretty well (for a team of newbies) as we finished in 8th place (out of 296 teams) with a time of 24:08:43 and an average pace of 6:44 per mile.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Raising the Bar

Typically, August and September are months where, because of cooler weather, my mileage starts to creep up in anticipation of a fall goal race - like a Marathon or Half Marathon. However, this year has been anything but typical and, as a result, over these past two months I’ve just been trying to get my head above water – training wise.

Late this August, I decided to test my current fitness level by running a 5k race. Of course I knew it was going to be a bloodbath because, as stated in a previous posting, I’ve got a lot of work to do on my speed. And, just how much work I had to do became very evident, very quickly. The 5k I chose was one of the last races in the Mine Falls Summer Trail Race Series and despite my high placing (fourth) it turned out to be a personal worst 5k time for me.