Race summary for Fall 2017, or what comes after running 100 miles?
It took me a couple months to recover from running the Riverlands 100 in May. This was demonstrated by my less than stellar performance at the St. Andrew’s, New Brunswick REV3 Half Iron distance triathlon in mid July. My swim training for that race consisted of getting into the ocean once with my wet suit to stretch it out and I was probably the only participant thrilled to discover the swim would be shortened due to pea soup fog. The bike leg went reasonably well (because I was so excited to be biking and not running?) and when it came to the run I limped out a 2:20ish half marathon practically melting in the slightly above average temps.
So let’s leave that glamorous event behind and jump forward to Labor Day Weekend when I ran the Last Man Standing with my cousin Samantha at Pineland Farms in New Gloucester Maine. I ran the same race last year and it was really fun. It’s a trail race consisting of 4.2 mile loops that you start on the hour every hour as many times as you want/can. Samantha’s goal was to run her first trail 50k and my goal was to get a solid day of trail run in. We had a great time and both called it quits after 7 laps.
Next up was another trip to lovely Canada for the Fundy Circuit. Another 50k trail race this time a bit more rugged. Alma, New Brunswick and Fundy National Park are really gorgeous and the race takes you on a full tour of all the landscape variations, from rocky rivers to placid lakes, spongy reindeer lichen forests and rugged coastline. I didn’t do as well as I hoped and ultimately I think I was a bit run down because I ended up with some weird ailments immediately following this race (mystery staph infections??). Here’s a one minute video summary of that pretty course:
I took a few weeks to recover and then I turned my focus to The MDI Marathon. This one is always one of my favorites and a good one to measure my progress (or regression) year to year. This year I promised myself to run the second half of the race faster than the first half and while I did sort of start out slower than previous years I still went out way too fast! I ran the first 15 miles at a 9:05min/mile pace which is steaming for me and than quickly bonked. In part because I had stashed bottles of Tailwind along the course in a few strategic locations and when I went to recover them they were definitively NOT THERE. Super bummer. So I resorted to the Gu and Gatorade provided by the race and sort of perked up by mile 20 (and was pleased to discover that my stomach accepted these previously totally products). Even with the bonk I set a personal record, beating my 2002 Burlington, VT time by a minute or so.
A couple weeks later I headed to Pheonix, AZ for the Javelina Jundred 100K trail race because I love to run in the desert. I made a little video of the highlights from that race.
And finally, the Millinocket Marathon. Every road runner should top off their year with the Millinocket Marathon. It is a joy-filled, community celebration in the middle of winter in Northern Maine. What could be better? I realized within a few miles that my legs were not at all recovered from Javelina so I dropped my pace and enjoyed the rest of the run. I danced with the volunteers at water stops, chatted up the home-baked cookie lady, took a shot of Allen’s Coffee Brandy and politely turned down the Fireball and finished with pacing the horn-blowing kilt guy to the finish line.
What’s next? I’ve started training for the Vermont 100 which will be in July, though technically I’m still on the wait list for that. And I’m finally going to run the Traprock 50k in April. As part of my 100 training I found a new trail 50 miler in Massachusetts (The North Face Trail Series), and in a somewhat ambitious move I hired a coach from the Run Formula to write me a training plan through July. So far it has me running hilariously SLOWLY in order to keep my heart rate in my recovery/aerobic zone. So if you see me fast-walking about town you’ll know why.
After July? I’m going to fast-pack, run, hike or whatever the 100 Mile Wilderness in Maine (the Appalachian Trail from Monson to Abol Bridge).