Happy almost spring everyone!
Hey, thanks to Level Renner magazine for the interest and curiosity about my decision to end the streak.
If you are interested, here is a link to the Article
November 2, 2014 – Manchester City Marathon and holy cow, it was windy!! Thanks to awesome friends & teammates for fabulous fun & support!! 15 consecutive years USATF NE Grand Prix Ironrunner… 105 consecutive USATF NE Championship races. I think I have more than enough Ironrunner jackets now (wink) and it has been a struggle to decide if I want to continue my 15 year streak, but I have been feeling unmotivated — like I “have ” to run it rather than “wanting to” run it. I hope no one is disappointed in me, and I would so much miss seeing the fabulous USATF Grand Prix friends and teammates, but I feel I really want to look forward to other new, fun challenges !!
November 11, 2014 – 124th NMH Pie Race! Yay!! Great fun! 33:30 & faster than expected! Fabulous to see Ellen McCurtin & Joe! Marggie Slichter ! Thank you Granite State Racing Team President/training partner Jim Monahan for joining me, what a blast!
November 16, 2014 – Awarded Granite State Racing Team’s Runner of the Year for 2014! Thank you Granite State Racing Team so much for the unexpected recognition! They wowed me with all of the kind words and generous gifts. Holy cow, what a fun morning. The run was excellent, spending time with 20+ fantastic runner friends and seriously, I didn’t expect something like the award and feel deeply touched. It means so much to me. I feel incredibly honored to be friends and teammates with them, such accomplished athletes and genuinely thoughtful, wonderful, kind people! They are the best and I am so appreciative.
November 27, 2014, Thanksgiving. No power, but 17:42 at John Mortimer’s/ Millennium Running, Fisher Cats Thanksgiving Day 4k race (not 5k due to snow) 5th of 178 in female masters, but I would have won 45-49 AG, which is a fabulous way to look at getting older!!! Link to results
December 6, 2014 – Santa Shuffle. Nice dancing video of Nacho Hernando and congrats on the win! At the finish I received a nice shout out from andy Schachat and John Mortimer! As usual, another race very well done by Mort. I didn’t know what to expect running with 2000 people in Santa costumes, but it was a lot of fun !! Plus, I was 4th female master and completed “Holiday Hat Trick!” series. Plus, a GSRT trackmate and I redeemed our beer tickets at the Pint, with a window view for the parade!! Plus, yes, I wore all parts of my Santa suit (except the pants)
December 14, 2014 – Yule Light up the Night. 2 Miles on NH Speedway track in Loudon, in the dark! Declaring this my best race of the year! Wooo! Link to results. 6:31 pace, 2nd female master – and had a total blast racing with Jim Monahan, Sal, Greg, Nacho, Dave Leonard, Kelly Kehr, Tom Raffio, Andy Schachat and of course John Mortimer! Maybe I should run up Dimond Hill before every race, which was what we did that morning from GSRT teammate Rob Knight’s house! We got to drive through the lights afterwards (and I wore glow bracelets) FANTASTIC FUN!
CHaD Trick or Trot 3k, Arms Park, Manchester NH
October 25, 2014 @ 5:30 PM – 1089 runners
4th of 156 in 40-49 12:54, 6:56 pace
John Mortimer, Millennium Running. Part of NHOC – Holiday Hat Trick, 3 race series.
Looking for something fun, I registered for this Halloween 3K. I had never done a 3k before and I had seen a couple of John Mortimer’s races this year, including his 5 mile race at the Anheuser Bush brewery in Merrimack (USATF NE 5 Mile Championship) I also watched/cheered/ran an 18 miler during Millennium’s inaugural New England Half Marathon last month and saw the quality of the event, superb organization and yes, cute fleece jacket schwag. I am struggling, looking for ways to be inspired about running and racing right now… searching, searching searching. I am trying to tap into the intrinsic motivation. Do I want to run and race, or do I need to run and race? This article about motivation was very interesting looking at that question.
Yes, this was fun, running fast in my track flats, people enjoying themselves in their creative Halloween costumes, pace marked corral start, big finish line, music, live TV coverage, announcer Andy Schachat calling out my finish, seeing the beautiful sun setting near the river. Before the race, there were kid events – climbing wall, exotic animals, inflatable bounce house, fire truck. I got to touch a hedgehog and photo op with a large stuffed “Elle” tiger. Right after the race we could grab hot Portland pie pizza, Stonyfield yogurts, find results ticking across large screen, plus a race worker was speedily pulling up results onto a large screen, wow! I am impressed. I received a female sized, long sleeve race shirt which has great feel to the fabric, I’ve already worn it hiking. I even got a cool glass for completing race #1 of 3 race holiday series, plus a beer ticket at 1 of 3 cool Manchester places.
To top it all off, I even ran faster than I had expected! Under 7:00 pace for the first time this year!! Yay!!! 4th in my age group!! THRILLED!!!
To celebrate, I took my beer ticket to The Pint Publik House on Elm Street. I had forgotten how much fun Elm Street had become the last few years! I sat with 2 sweet girls who also raced (unicorn and gnome) and savored the tremendous combination of post race endorphins of feeling fast, putting in good miles for the day, appreciating a quality event, great camaraderie and wow yaaaaay, tremendously exceeding expectations!
GSRT Tuesday night track is coached by phenomenal and inspiring pro triathlete, Amber Cullen Ferreira. Workouts are primarily on the track, but occasionally we run the grassy Memorial Field perimeter (and grassy hill) or a few times this season, we did hill repeats to water tower behind Concord Hospital.
Amber’s workouts make a lot of sense in terms of volume, relevancy, periodization and allowing an athlete to get into a “flow.” What I mean is, the workouts are interesting, but not so complex that you can’t remember the next thing to do. It’s inspiring to do the workouts with elite athletes like Amber, also Amber’s husband Danny Ferreira (a 2:45 ish marathoner), Ryan Kelly, Eric Williams and a few times Nacho Hernando.
Before the speed segment, we do dynamic drills & strides, which I find totally necessary. On the nights when I “substitute coach,” I lead a dynamic drill/stride routine that I’ve done for years before track workouts, which is pretty similar to Amber’s drills. I love that the group is so appreciative when I coach!! Plus, the athletes are tremendously attentive and the positive feedback makes me so happy. After the speed, the group gathers for a core session, including front & side planks, back bridges, push ups, etc. Yay!!
Amber is competing at the Ironman World Championships in Kona this weekend, so when we did track last night, we took a group photo sending her our support. Nancy Druke got a photo during the core session too.
Third visit to Lone Gull race and its gorgeous course along the ocean. Last year, I traveled to Lone Gull with biking neighbor Kevin and his friend Howard and they had PR races, so this year Kevin wanted to try for another PR. Traffic delays resulted in getting to Gloucester late, then seeing a huge line of cars for Good Harbor Beach parking, we strategically ditched the car at a shopping plaza and ran past the traffic to registration. It worked out as a perfect warm-up and warm-down after the race. The only down side was not having warm clothes nearby, so unfortunately no post race recovery in the ocean.
Lining up closer to the front and a more aggressive first mile than last year were helpful as I paced Kevin the first 2 miles. I pulled ahead as he grabbed water and I kept pushing hard, trying to chase familiar targets like Lisa Doucett and John Kleschinsky. Scott Mason kindly took my gloves which I tossed his way. There was a bit of wind, but it was great weather for running. I didn’t feel like I had much “kick” at the end when I finally got to the 6 mile mark… that big house on the ocean, slight uphill and in to the finish line, but I kept strong.
I saw Tina Dowling & Glen Simm and some other friends I had not seen in a while. The running community is full of so many fantastic people. Checking the results, I was very pleased with my faster than expected pace and Kevin had scored his PR! Yay! The race shirts weren’t bad, so we retrieved where we’d quickly stashed them behind a rock (and pricker bush) while dashing to the start.
Crossing back over the beach to post-race festivities… laughing about the sand in everybody’s shoes… it was a tremendously rewarding and successful day. The line for food was ridiculous and anticipating the run back to the car, the better option was to head straight out celebratory seared ahi tuna. Although, not without getting slightly lost and almost running out of gas, but that’s just part of the adventure.
Full race results
7:35, 7:49, 7:31, 7:52, 7:38, 9:31 (final 1.2)
47:58 (watch); 48:00, 7:44 (gun); 48:10 7:46 (chip)
Whirlaway Women’s Masters, Women’s Seniors and Men’s Seniors all placed first, yay!!
Whirlaway Men’s Masters 3rd, Men’s Open 4th and Women’s Open were 6th in an extremely competitive field.
Only the 2nd year for this GMAA race and first as a USATF New England Championship. Link to course description (thanks Level Renner). I was up at 4:00 a.m. and drove north with GSRT treammate Rob Knight, leaving Hopkinton, NH at 5:30. We took Rob’s Acura 6 speed, shared the driving and Rob even ate sushi with chopsticks during the ride.
My training has been very light, so expectations were pretty loose. I expected to run approximately the same pace as Amherst 10 mile race earlier this year and to calm pre-race nerves, I reminded myself to just get through the 9.3 miles.
The start was about .75 from registration, so that was a good warm-up. I lined up near other Whirly girls… women on the left, men on the right and was glad to see CSU’s Lisa Doucett in the early miles. With the wind, I tried to strategically place myself behind a larger male runner and a pack of several others. A monster hill during the 4th mile did not seem to end, so I just imagined the hills I’d been biking all summer. I’m not sure how I was able to keep my body cruising so consistently and felt grateful that I wasn’t falling apart. I was surprised to catch GSRT trackmate Rob Knight and hoped he’d come along, but he’d toasted himself with a super aggressive start. The latter parts of the course felt like a gift with some gentle downhills and tailwind. I skipped the 3 water stops, just keeping to the flow of the run. I encouraged SISU runner John Klechinsky and ticking off the last few tenths of a mile, I looked around for any other women who might be in my age group, rounded the corner and spotted the finish line. Whirlaway coach Dave Kazanjian yelled to me and I kicked to beat a younger female runner to the line for a 1:13:30 finish (watch), 1:13:36 gun time. Tom Derderian wasn’t far behind me and a few of us congratulated each other. Figuring I ran 30-40 seconds per mile faster than I expected was such a positive feeling and every time I think about it I still feel so incredibly fortunate, wow!!
I must have been thirsty & had low blood sugar because I grabbed a cup of cold cider and it tasted out of this world… like the best thing I’ve ever had. I wasn’t very hungry but tasted a Stonyfield yogurt tube for protein and a bagel for later. The awards ceremony had a podium and Rob Knight plus 3-4 Whirly girls all received awards and applause. There was a raffle with expensive prizes like a couple Keurig coffemakers, ski goggles, Vermont teddy bear, etc and I won a $25 gift card to SkiRack store. Yay!! We walked through the farmer’s market right near the race and Whirlaway and GSRT teammates Eric Williams and his wife Becky kindly invited us to use the shower at their B&B, but we were anxious to hit the road. Quick stop for Starbucks iced black coffee and back on Rte 89.
I finally found the online results and it looks like I might potentially get 6 points in the USATF GP!!! Woo!
Whirlaway had an excellent day with Ruben winning overall. Men’s Open – 1st, Men’s Masters – 3rd, Men’s Seniors – 2nd, Women’s Open – 2nd, Women’s Masters – 1st, Women’s Seniors – 1st
But, hitting USATF New England Grand Prix consecutive race #100 in March was a big deal. Lots of press and attention… for example, USATF NE blog, Level Renner interview and video, huge cake from USATF NE after the race, Athlete of the Month in New England Runner (with $50. Whirlaway Gift Certificate), article in Runner’s World online, hundreds of FaceBook “likes”… and then yesterday, this magazine arrived!! Cover shot!!
Scott Mason (official Goon name “Flash”) took this photo at USATF New England half marathon championship, New Bedford when I was close to finishing #100 consecutive. Race bib #100 made it extra special… cool, huh?
Yes, I feel very fortunate. Wow… wow… wow
My third trip to Hollis Fast 5k was surprisingly fast… yes, even more than expected!! Changed into Whirlaway uniform in the parking garage of new job at U.S. Bankruptcy Court, 4th day on the job. It may be temporary, but enjoy it! Based on 2 mile time trial previous week at GSRT with Amber Cullen Ferreira, I hoped for 6:45 pace at Hollis… but that Hollis course was blazing fast and my pace ended up being 6:19!!
The race drew nearly 1400 runners on a Thursday night, weather was ideal. Chugged a huge diet Mtn Dew for caffeine and saw tons of wonderful friends and teammates. But really, my time was unreal… I’ll cherish it for a long time.
Whirlaway women swept Open, Masters and Seniors and Whirlaway Men’s Masters and Seniors got second!!
19:34 6:19 I don’t know that I can call it a 5K PR due to the course advantage, but it is a “Hollis PR!”