I think I’ll just lightly modify what I put over on daily mile about tonight’s race, the Squantum 5.
Just to put it out there, I’m a little disappointed with the outcome tonight. This was a shorter race than last Sunday’s BAA 10K, yet I finished a few seconds slower on my mile split. Overall I was 14 seconds off my 5mi PR, set at the Ring Around the Neck in Marblehead last April. The weather was warm but not too warm. I dunno what happened, just… not a great effort by me tonight. Maybe it’s an afternoon vs morning thing.
This course in Squantum is gorgeous. Love love the neighborhood. One really big hill, couple of smaller ones – much of this really pretty part was on the course of the Half of Quincy back in March, but this time in the opposite direction. As usual I’m passing people on the uphill and getting smoked left & right on the down-side, one girl and I swapped places 6 times. The finish (last quarter mile) was on trails with some minor flooding, nothing severe. There was free beer, food & music and a harborside seat at sunset to finish the evening. No reason to be down really, other than my standard numerical obsessiveness. Just 14 seconds too slow. 25th overall, 14 of 54 for age/sex. Official results are here.
Anyway, ok, I’m done with the self-indulgences. I’ll get it next time.
Today I had a fortunate chance for an objective measurement of race progress, running the BAA 10K this morning. The weather was a concern given how high the temperature has been around here the last few days, but luck prevailed at it ranged in the mid-70s for the morning hours. I ran the race in 42:37, a new PR for me at this distance. The 6:52 average split is also faster than the average split for two of my PRs at shorter distances (my 5 mile PR split was 6:54 and my 5K PR split was 6:57 – though to be fair, I’ve only every run one 5K so that’s not a great sample size). So clearly, room to improve at these shorter distances. I’ll have another shot at the 5 mile this Thursday as I’m running the Squantum 5 after work. Last year after this same 10K I went and ran a Warrior Dash in the afternoon – this year I took on a similarly difficult challenge, facing fierce competition in the egg races at the Ipswich Summer Fair.
This marks the end of week 4 of 18 for my New England Double training. I’m still far enough away from it to feel comfortable and confident. Semi- and only very tangentially related, the Western States 100 was this past weekend. The winner, Tim Olsen, ran it in 14 hours 46 minutes 44 seconds. That’s an 8:52 split over 100 miles. Some context for you.
Semi-related song of the week, Andrew Bird, Near Death Experience.
Today is the Summer Solistice, the sun was up & warming us all well past the point of comfort til after 8pm. Power was out in Allston so I’ve spent the evening hiding up in Burlington. According to what I learned on the local news tonight today was also National Public Display of Affection day, which made me think of the photo here, of Maija & I swimming in a coastal inlet up in Danvers many years ago, back before Hondo even moved to the North End. Today would have been Maija’s 13th birthday. So today, happy solstice, happy PDA day, happy birthday fuzzy one.
A moderately unhealthy change of pace – an attempted guac crawl of Boston’s mexican restaurants in honor of NP’s birthday. We began with high ambitions – I personally thought a sample size of eight guacamoles was possible, but cruel reality set in and we only mastered three (Temazcal, Papagayo, Sunset Cantina – of those, Papagayo’s was the consensus best). Strategies for next time – bring more people! A giant bowl of guac is surprisingly filling. Also a one-drink per restaurant would go a long way towards keeping things moving. Bonus Mixx at the bottom contained no guacamole but tasty nonetheless.
Of all the fall races on my schedule, the one I think I’m looking forward to the most is the Amica Marathon in Newport, RI, not far from where I was born. I’m particularly excited about this race in part because the course itself is consistently described as beautiful (check out the map!), but moreso because my people (SMB, NP & co) may make it down. Running in a pack is always more fun. Plus, there’s a chance for epic weather – here’s a race report from 2009, monsoon running sounds AWESOME…
The course was a point to point race, first passing through downtown Newport before heading into some picturesque neighbourhoods with the large historic mansions Newport is famous for. We ran for a while along a road by the seashore, where the weather was at it’s worst. In addition to the lashings of rain and wind, waves crashed over the seawall onto the course. The scenery was dramatic at times, and wild. I found myself sometimes running but almost stationary, stopped by a wall of wind. I began to feel I was participating in something special, a legendary race, tales of which would be passed down the generations.
I can only hope for such memorable circumstances this October. The prices go up in two weeks (July 1st) so please consider this motivation to go ahead and sign up today! Full, half, 5K, whatever (consensus seems to be that the half is a better course than the full). A bunch more reviews are over here if you have some time to kill.
There’s a fine line between perseverating on what is already done, and talking on and on about what’s gonna happen next. When I was in high school my crew coach had a 24 hour rule – after that amount of time had lapsed, all discussions of the last race must end. I also don’t want to the that guy who talks big about plans for the future with low accountability if things don’t work out. Today I’m going to gently break both those conventions.
But first, this week’s mileage. I’m trying out a new charting system that dynamically generates plots within posts (raw data is always available on my Daily Mile page). I think I like this better than the screenshot jpgs I was using before on mileage sunday posts.
Below is some data I pulled off my GPS watch, comparing splits by mile for my last two marathon attempts and the final long run that preceded them. Higher values on the y-axis are bigger mile splits, and thus slower speeds. My goal for the races was to finish with a sub 8:22 split (a 3:40 marathon). You can see for the green & blue lines (Green Bay & Bayshore) I was roughly in that area for the first 13 miles before stuff hit the fan. I’m not sure if it’s important or informative but I can tell from here that the first five miles of Bayshore were taken at a slightly easier pace than the first five of Green Bay. Perhaps that came into play as the temps increased.
Anyway. On to talking about what’s next. The 48 miles this week ends week 2 of 18 for my “New England Double” plan – I’ll be running the New Hampshire Marathon on September 29th and if I’m able & the body is willing, the next day I’ll be running in the Maine Marathon. I’ve never tried anything like this before but am sure it’s doable – plenty of others have done it and honestly if I put my mind to training for a 50 mile ultra run between now and then I could pull that off too. I’m going to be making a bit of a change in my training strategy that I think will help me get to a point where I can race twice in a weekend, by adopting a modified Hansons Running Advanced plan (see this on their Something of Substance strategy).
Song of the week, DJ Shadow, Mashin’ on the Motorway.
I’ve been semi-patiently waiting for the Canon t4i to be released for … almost 7 months now, since the demise of my XSi. Today it was officially announced. The initial list price is $50 more than I thought it would be, which is giving me some pause considering the last generation t3i would be more than $200 cheaper. Fortunately the hardware itself won’t actually be shipped until the end of the month which gives me some time to think about it a little more as early reviews come out. One site I’ve found very hand for making comparisons between different models and brands of DSLRs is Snapsort – their t3i vs t4i comparison is inconclusive as of today. My impression is the upper ISO range is higher on this new camera (I’m typically more concerned about grain in lower ranges) and there’s continuous autofocus while shooting video (something I’ve never done with a DSLR but it’s hard to get too excited about a feature my long dead Canon TX1 had five years ago). Oh and it has some sort of touchscreen interface.
Either way, I’m glad this has finally happened and I’m stoked to be getting a DSLR back in my hands, whichever it turns out to be. The iPhone has served me well as a stopgap but it’s limitations are glaringly obvious.
I have six full length and one half-marathon on my race calendar after today’s new additions. Here are views from each of these places (Bristol, NH, Portland, ME, Newport, RI, Healdsburg, CA, Philadelphia, PA, Nashville, TN and Long Branch, NJ). This sounds like a lot of traveling (and on some level it kinda is) but there’s really only going to be two flights (west to Cali & one next April down to Tennessee). The rest are just miles in the car. The first four fulls will all be in 2012, allowing me to reach my specific resolution #2. #4 is already done, #3 is on track, #6 as well (thanks Kindle). I still don’t know how to play the guitar.