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November 12, 2017, Manchester City Half marathon (double race weekend)

4 Dec

Unexpected PODIUM DAY!!!! 2/64 AG,

67.44% Age graded score, Age graded time 1:36:41,     (1:51:17.3)   Cherishing!!

Finish Line Ready!! Night before the race

This was a totally unexpected Podium Day.  Holy cow, runners from all over the nation – beyond my wildest dreams!! The AG winner in front of me came from NY!  And the 3rd place behind me was only 3 seconds behind me, GULP!!  (The NH Chronicle piece indicated runners from 40 different states and 8 different countries were racing)

I tried to prepare physically, particularly after my 6 Euflexxa knee injections, putting in some 12 mile runs, a 14 mile and a couple days a week of several hours biking.   Mentally, I can’t say that I visualized or focused all too well.  Embarrassingly, I’m not very motivated to run.  Gail Martin said: “turns out discipline and desire for future outcome is the drive behind zero motivation. “

I had never raced a half marathon the day after racing a 5k, so unchartered territory.  Also, although I did Manchester Marathon a few times (and many other Manchester races) I had also not seen the entire half marathon course.

Set alarms and had clothes ready to go.  Coffee, then running friend (Granite State Racing Team President) Jim Monahan, picked me up at 7:30 in warm Audi… found a convenient parking spot, stayed warm and walked around a bit.  Nervous energy.   I had our race numbers and shirts from the expo the day before.   The temperature was in the 20’s- brrrr, decided our hats & gloves, walked around the registration area and pee stop before we lined up on Elm Street heading North.   I didn’t want to be cold, so I bundled up big time with white Under Armour balaclava and white Sauce hat.

WMUR TV live, music was pumping, high fives with friends and I pulled Jim closer to the front, just a few rows from the line.

Who is that masked woman?! Hands up!! Let’s goooo!!

Per Coach Amber Ferreria, Jim was supposed to go out easy, negative splits, so I worked to reign him back in the first mile.   Jim saw his fast mile split.  I got ahead by a bit and kept working.  Somehow these days, racing a half marathon feels like what racing a marathon used to feel like!

There was a significant early downhill and some good uphills in the race also.  Later we talked about that downhill and Jim said it was steepest he’d ever done!  I kept working and noticed I was putting in some good effort, so tried to keep a proper balance of pushing.  My calves twinged a bit before we got to Livingston Park trail section (kind of early for this) and I hoped they wouldn’t spasm and really mess up my race.  Pacing, mental tricks, be wary of form if calves are headed towards cramping.   Enjoyed seeing the familiar roads from doing the marathon and work day lunch runs in the area.  Inside my “oven mitt” big gloves, I had cashmere liners (warm!) and hand warmers, and crossing Webster Street I tossed my hand warmers.  Derryfield Park incline, good distractions along the way, awesome spectators.   I tried to keep strong, 13.1 miles is a long way.   I didn’t end up taking water, PowerAde, Gu’s – since I hadn’t done that in training.   No music, just taking it all in, connecting with others and the event.    I pushed and focused.

I was especially happy to get to Hanover Street and I visualized the medal and finish line . . . keep it going.  I saw Jade and I kept focused on the Sheehan Phinney law firm building ahead on Elm Street for the final turn.   Right around Palace Theater on Hanover, Jim Monahan appeared beside me!  I encouraged him, he asked, “want to cross the finish line together?”  He later told me he had been chasing me for a few miles.

In step with Jim

We rounded the left to Elm Street and the final straightaway towards the finish line and beautiful black & white inflatable Millennium arch.    It was pretty epic since we have trained together 6 years, and have many occasions of “pulling each other through” training runs.

Elm Street, almost to finish!!

Running in step, like so many years of running together … down wide open Elm Street.  WMUR TV Sports Director Jamie Staton was announcing and gave me an enthusiastic, generous, complimentary shout out as we approached all the banners & finish staging.  Oh man, that gorgeous finish arch and mat!!! Over the line!!!!!  Epic feeling!!!

We received our medals, offered warming blankets and I needed to keep legs moving.

Post race

We circled back and saw no line for massage, so we had them work on us.   I ate a banana while on the table, hoping to ward off bonkiness.  My quad, calves and right foot were all spasming, pretty funny.   The massage was helpful, we checked the timing trailer for our results, and I was incredibly surprised to see a podium day!!  That was hugely unexpected – I looked online and in my Age Group there were female runners from all over the country.

Results

With that venue and distance, it attracted serious runners.  I hoped for something in top 10 in AG.   2nd in AG, surreal, beyond my wildest dreams!!   I am cherishing it, I am a young age grouper – others will age up quickly.   Plus, age group win on Saturday.   How did I get so lucky this weekend?

I checked results later and the woman who finished 1st in Age Group is from Saugerties, NY and next woman behind me was only 3 seconds back, holy freaking cow!!!

Trying to juggle bottles of Maple Water, hot soup, gloves, trail mix, Muscle Milk bars, Stonyfield yogurt… Jim offered to carry my extra Maple Waters in his coat pockets until they fell out… I fortunately found Orange Theory drawstring spike bags at their table, perfect!!!  Dang, long event training & racing can be a two person event!!  Training partners share long runs, years of seeing each other at tiredest, soaking wettest, freezingest, melting hottest, boogery, pushing hard, competing, injury advice… kindly carrying each others stuff, picking up numbers/shirts at expo, travel together, two minds to figure out clothing layers, keeping Jim on pace, finding secret pee locations.

Unexpected podium day, cherishing!

 

Another similarity to marathon racing…  postrace calorie consumption. I wasn’t hungry right after the race.  Immediately postrace I had a banana, hot soup, Maple Water, then Jim treated me to dark roast black coffee on the ride home (compensation for that 4/10ths of second differential).   After dinner that night, similar to post-marathon, the hungriness hit at 12:30 a.m.!  Dang, I was immediately reminded of marathons (particularly Chicago, Philadelphia, Cape Cod, Boston) when my body goes through the feeling like it can’t get enough calories.  I remember rummaging for change for vending machines at hotels, the “give-away” bars and treats from race expo… fortunately, right after this race I grabbed giveaway trail mix (Orange Theory), Cliff Bar, salted caramel Muscle Milk bar, Stonyfield Greek yogurt.

Hungry post race munchies!!

12:30 a.m. that night, hungriness overtook.   That salted caramel Muscle Milk, could not have tasted better.

Manchester City Marathon, Half, Relay long sleeve shirt

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Traveler Beer, Millennium Running, New England Half Marathon, October 1, 2017

4 Oct

Sunday, October 1, 2017

1:49:54, Age-grade result: 1:35:29, Age-performance %: 68.29%

Photo courtesy Millennium Running

One of my favorite races.   A point-to-point 13.1 mile course from the NH Motor Speedway in Loudon to the golden dome at NH State House in Concord.   The “rolling hills” and dirt roads in the first 10k and a long downhill stretch into Concord before beautiful finish on N. Main St.

For me these days, a half marathon isn’t really something you can just “jump” into without a bit of mileage and forethought.   Earlier this year, I wasn’t sure I could even complete the distance.   I recently had 20 ml of fluid aspirated from right knee and 15 ml from left knee, then 4 weeks of Euflexxa injections, both knees. I’m feeling super grateful to just be running right now.

Logistically, you need to think about a point-to-point and longer distance race more than just a 5K too.   Saturday, I picked up race number at Millennium Running Retail Store in Bedford.   My hamstrings have been incredibly tight, so I used gift certificate I had won towards a TriggerPoint “Grid Vibe” foam roller  and used it as soon as I got home.

New Trigger Point Foam Roller

 

Race morning, alarm went off at 5:15 – water, coffee & more foam rolling. I strategically planned parking (north) for easy in/out driving and caught the shuttlebus beside the NH State House to the NH Motor Speedway.  I used Biofreeze and Aquaphor to work on tight leg muscles during the shuttlebus ride.   Chilly morning, 2 jackets, warm Sporthill pants, throw away shirt, arm warmers, gloves.

I had never used Millennium’s bag check, but decided to for the logistics of this race. I went to the table in the tented registration area and got my bag tag and large, clear plastic bag.  I didn’t do a extensive warm-up, just some “dynamic stretching” to try to get legs loose.  Crap, right thigh muscles felt so tight, I’d have to pay attention & hope they wouldn’t seize up.

We lined up and were off. Speedy friends were out of sight early on Route 106.   I’d just run my own race, stay loose and try to get this body through it.   The miles were clicking by pretty fast. I never felt the need for any water, Gatorade, GU, etc.   I was having so much fun out there, the miles were ticking by and I didn’t want the race to end.

Having fun

Camraderie on the hills – Millennium runner, Luis Figueroa, thanked me on FaceBook afterwards “for the push …!!!”

Old Shaker Rd (dirt), having too much fun! Photo courtesy Luis

Gorgeous Millennium inflatable arches and 5k, 10K & 10 mile splits. Spectators cheering at Old Shaker Rd and Clough Pond, Loudon (3.4 m.); Flagg Rd, Loudon (4.2 m); Shaker Rd & School St, Concord (6.2 m) YAY, now on my training route!!!

I caught up to friend, Greg Audet, gutting it out after a week of being ill.  We were within view of my alpaca & cashmere goat friends at Executive Council Andru Volinsky’s house – Greg heard me yell to them: “Buck, Cody, Mike, Scooter!!!” and they answered me back!!! I think Greg got a laugh!

Alpacas: Buck, Cody, Mike & cashmere goat: Scooter! Seeing them is a reward during long runs!

I loved seeing a biking neighbor 3-4 times who gave me strength and encouragement at top of Shaker Hill.   He said he’s been seeing me out there for years and I was the smoothest runner he’d seen (exactly 24 years on those roads!)   Cute x-c girls at Shaker School water stop – one called me out by name, seeing my name on race number, it warmed my heart.   Even more fun, at 10 mile mark I saw running friend, Tim Pifer, cheering me.  Then at 11 miles, Eastman St @ Portsmouth Ave., (our awesome new roundabout) high fives from Dana Breeden and John Mortimer himself.

I couldn’t get over my body’s ability to keep it going, no issues, so I was getting ready to plan a strong finish.   Strategically, I love the “danger” of moving up a few places on the pedestrian bridge over Merrimack River.  The little bridge is narrow & moves a bit high above the River. “Go, Sarah, visualize finishing strong at 28 marathons (15 Boston Qualifiers), you know what to do body.”  Another fun x-c girls water stop & (I think) live radio broadcast new Delta Dental.

Would the “final hill” up to highway & North Main tighten me?  Keep loose, keep passing.  The beautiful straightaway – downtown Main Street, paying attention to form – Amber, then Eric Eastman yelled out to me, that fabulous, huge black & white inflatable finish arch, timing clock, announcer WMUR Sports Director Jamie Staton’s generously kind, enthusiastic shout out, fantastic as always!! Keep form, finish strong and done!!!   Woooooo!!!!! What a feeling!!!

Towards finish line

Received my medal, water and kept moving, the post race endorphins felt super.   Pretty seamlessly picked up my bag a gear check, had a few photos with friends. Main Street was buzzing with fun!

WMUR Sports Director Jamie Staton and Millennium Running Owner & Founder, John Mortimer, both do a fantastic job!!!

Complimentary Stonyfield yogurt products, Powerade, Muscle Milk bars & drink, American Flat Bread Pizza with portable wood fired oven. There was a great live band, tents with give-aways (new toothbrush, little toothpaste, floss, spike bag, white Wayfarer style sunglasses for a co-worker friend!) Apples, bananas, string cheese.

Knees held up! Both aspirated & 4 weeks of Euflexxa injections

Checking in with friends how their races went.  I checked results on the screens at timing trailer and was thrilled for a top 5 finish in such a competitive field!!  I’d hoped for top 8-10 out there today.

With Millennium Running friend, Eric

Sponsor Traveler Beer was doing promotions, so I posed for a photo with a fake mustache.

Traveler Promotion with ‘stache

The reps said that in a few minutes they were going over to The Crazy Goat, promoting Traveler, with complimentary beer pint glasses, etc, and suggested I go over.   I gently stretched in front of The Crazy Goat (love the name) and heard that Margaritas Mexican Restaurant (the other post-race spot) was packed.

Cool swag: high quality fleece jacket!! Medals and Traveler Beer New England Half glass post-race from The Crazy Goat!! Love it!

My stomach didn’t feel up to eating or drinking anything more than water so I headed home for 2 NUUN electrolyte tablets x 32 oz water…  and an ICE BATH!!! Yes!!! The old routine!!  Everything I could do to aid postrace recovery.  Later, compression socks, taking it easy (at least easy for me), did some grocery shopping & when I finally got hungry, put together a really healthy post-race celebration meal.   Plus fresh tuna. Massage the next day.

Postrace kick of anti-inflammation: fresh garlic, Vidalia onion, turmeric, zucchini, summer squash, rainbow chard greens, 5 varieties of my own homegrown tomatoes, my fresh grown parsley & Greek oregano, asparagus & green beans = YUM!!!

I feel so fortunate and grateful, it could not have been a better day. Living the dream!!

 

Long run friend, Jim, texted this photo early race morning

 

Points Chase Standings, as of Traveler Beer New England Half Marathon, updated and emailed to us the next day.   Hanging in there!

Points Chase F50-59.fw

Points Chase Standings F50-59. Still doing well in standings with great ladies

 

 

 

Northeast Delta Dental Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day 5k & 10k, 9/10/2017

3 Oct

Sunday, September 10, 2017 10:15 start.  The Wild Rover, Manchester, NH

PODIUM DAY!!!! 1/93 YAY!!   23:07 (different course from last year) “kick time” 6:05/mile

9th female, 29th overall

 

Bagpipes & kilts. Photo courtesy Millennium Running

Northeast Delta Dental Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day 5k & 10k.   My 4th time racing this event.    2016 and 2015 race write-ups.  Another fantastic event by Millennium Running and John Mortimer, who keeps raising the bar of excellence.

Race Start! 1000+ runners take over Elm Street! I’m about 4 rows back, on left of shot, red & black Whirlaway uniform

The starting line, Elm Street, downtown Manchester is in front of where I used to work at Federal Court.   For 23 years I worked in downtown Manchester and covered many lunchtime miles & races there.   I love when they shut down Elm Street for runners!!!  Both 5k and 10k races started together with 511 runners for 5K and 513 for 10K = 1024 runners!!! Wow!!

I did a pretty good warm up, strides & dynamic stretching on Elm Street.  The start was nicely done with mayor Ted Gatsas and an impromptu crowd rendition of the national anthem.

The gun fired and we were off.   I told myself to run my own race.  Up North Elm to the uphill right hand turn and trying to keep strong.  My pace picked up as I got in the groove.  I tried to stay strong and push, push, push!!  5k’s are “uncomfortable”

Familiar with the course, I kept looking for the Bridge Street light and right hand turn.  Keep it together, be strong, form, focus.   I had it in me to throw in a powerful kick for the finish line – here was my chance, time to FLY!!!!  Gorgeous sight, the black & white inflatable Millennium finish arch & the timing clock.  Fabulous hearing my name announced by WMUR Sports Director Jamie Staton’s generous shout out – fantastic!!   Woooo!!!!  Over the line, whew!!!!

 

Photographer caught me with both feet off the ground. Millennium clocked my “kick time” here at 6:05/mile

 

There was no line for results screen at timing trailer, so I quickly looked and found out, what?!?!?!  1st AG!!!  Over the moon thrilled!!!  Unreal!!  No way?!?!  Through luck, I managed an Age Group win!!  They don’t come often for me and I deeply savor and cherish them.  There’s no feeling like striving at running (almost 40 years) and getting something like that- wow, amazing!!! Living the dream for sure!!!  I feel so grateful.

There was a lot of fun going on post-race.  I gave my beer ticket to Greg Audet and did a 20 minute warm-down.

Post-race celebration. Photo courtesy Millennium Running.

 

When I returned, chatted with runners.  There was complimentary Rustic Crust Flatbread pizza, Stonyfield Yogurt, PowerAde, fruit, plus booths and entertainment at Wild Rover’s Celtic Festival.

Music, bagpipes, Irish dancing.  Extras from Millennium included free digital photos emailed to us, finisher video, stainless steel drinking mug.

Very fortunate day! Podium, 1/93 AG! Hard to see in photo – Guinness award glass in engraved “Delta Dental Halfway to St. Patty’s Day 5k”

Friends Eric Eastman and Greg Audet

Friend, Greg Audet and finish line

 

Very fortunate day. One to cherish for a long time! 1/93 AG. These don’t come often or easily!

 

Points Chase Standings F50-59

Points Chase status, all females. Very grateful to be on list with these fast ladies

CRAFT Sportswear, Millennium Running NH 10 Miler – August 26, 2017

1 Sep

Lake Massabesic, Manchester

Podium Day 2/78 AG !!  Wooo!!!

Race capped at 1,200 runners

Photo courtesy Millennium Running, Lake Massabesic

This was my 4th NH 10 Miler, having run previously in 2011, 2015 and 2016.   It has been a mental adjustment to go back after the 2011 race because back then (1:10:01, 7:01 pace, which was a 10 mile PR by 4:49 minutes!) was so speedy.  I’ve been working to find a “new normal” with my pace, miles, injuries and find new ways to enjoy it and not get jammed up comparing my times to back then.   I am finding a ton of enjoyment in the new AG, but know it is fleeting since I am a “young” AGer and soon the younger AG runners will age up too.   Hopefully Millennium will consider 5 year age groups to help us!!

This year was a 8:00 a.m. start, so set alarms for 5:00 Saturday a.m., taped my feet (posterior tibial tendinitis) the night before.  Smoothly arrived at Lakeside Lanes, Candia Road parking lot by 6:56 a.m.  The temperature was chilly enough to wear a jacket & gloves before the race!   Tremendous contrast to last year when race was hot.   Visited with friends, some pre-race nerves.

Before the race with celebrity announcer, WMUR TV Sports Anchor Jamie Staton!!

Approximately 4 weeks ago, NH Orthopaedics Center aspirated 20 ml from my right knee & 15 ml from left knee (great for movement, I can crouch down like a kid picking berries!) and I’m partway through series of Euflexxa injections in both knees.

Euflexxa goes here in knees

My “mechanics” feel different, plus I am running very little, so I just hoped to treat the race like a long run, do my best & have fun.

We lined up and WMUR-TV Sports Director, Jamie Staton, kindly let me leave my jacket with him.   The gun fired and we took off.   The course encircles Lake Massabesic in a clock-wise direction with the start and finish located at the Lake Massabesic parking lot . . . and some challenging hills.

Lake Massabesic on right, gloves & singlet on August mornng

I did not end up taking water (or Gummi Bears!) but awesome to have so much available out there.   John Mortimer and Millennium Running crew do such a great job.

The relay was also underway with Andy Schachat announcing at ½ mark!   At that point I was finally able to catch up to friend Greg Audet.   The hills were just as challenging as I remembered, but a lot of camaraderie tackling them.   Another female & I worked together up and over the last hill, but my calves were spasming on the final mile downhill.

Lake Massabesic on right

I kept my gloves (with Whirlaway singlet & shorts) until just about the end, ditching them near veteran runner Lucien Trudeau.   With my calves ready to seize up, my “kick” was abbreviated.   Still wanting to finish strong, my form must have been rough because just before the final turn into the parking lot, John Mortimer yelled to me & asked if I was OK.  Absolutely man!!

Rounding to the final straightway, finish line in sight & hearing a fabulous shout-out from WMUR’s Jamie Staton!!!   Seeing the clock coming into view, the whole feeling is extraordinary as I crossed the line, stopped my watch and felt a little emotional to get through so successfully. My knees, lack of training, mental struggle – dang, I got through another, wow!!!!!  I was handed my medal and kept moving.

Finish Line!! Feet low, don’t seize up calves

The results were right there and the line was short.  Those screens on the timing trailer (and cool results printer kiosks) gave me a ridiculously overwhelming surprise!!!  WOW, podium!?!!  No way?!?!?!  I was so fortunate and hugely grateful for a podium day!!!   2/78 AG.   Holy freaking cow, truly such a gift – adding to the extraordinariness of the day!!!  Wow!!!!  Very unexpected and so thankful for all the great fortune, great people and circumstances in my life – totally “living the dream”

Podium Day 2/78, with superspeedy Pat Bourgault

Post race food included Rustic Crust Flatbread Company; YASSO Frozen Greek Yogurt bars “Dessert With Benefits” (100 calorie toffee caramel chocolate chip);  Stonyfield Yogurt, Organic Fruit, Dasani Water, Gatorade.   We received quality shirts from race sponsor CRAFT Sportswear.  Also, frozen CryoMAX ice packs right at the finish line – popped one on calf!   “Scientifically Proven to be the Longest Lasting Pack, up to 8 hours 36-40 degrees”

Podium Day!! Mason jar award glasses, gift certificate for Millennium Retail Store, CRAFT shirt, finisher medal

Even more extras including, awesome free digital photos & finisher video a few days after the race.   John Mortimer and the Millennium crew think of everything!  They even emailed us the day prior to the race to remind us to get there early for parking.

1:23:33, AG 68.90%, PODIUM DAY!!!!! YAY 2/78

Points Standings were calculated I am so excited to be doing well, which keeps me feeling very motivated!!

 

Celebrating with Award Glass!! Fresh squeezed lime; lemon-lime seltzer; dash of Diet Polar Orange

Enterprise Bank Boot Scootin’ Boogie 5k and Brewfest Music Festival, July 15, 2017

20 Jul

Londonderry Athletic Field Association Complex

Podium day,  1/111 AG

6:30 PM race start

Boot Scoot Ready!

Bonfire, beer tasting, concert, mechanical bull, 16 breweries, 1400 people! Millennium Running continues to expand on the fun!

My third consecutive year competing at this race and like last year, grabbed a black Dunkin’ Dark Roast iced coffee on the way, hoping for some energy. YUM!!!   Concerned because I’ve been dealing with heel pain the past month and Thursday before the race, I even had to stop my run because it was so painful… no expectations, wondering about the pain to gut through a race… at least it isn’t marathon distance. (At podiatrist appt 2 days post-race, heel x -rays and ultrasound showed I have a calcaneus bone bruise – ouch!!!  “a bone bruise can be described as a stage before the fracture”)

Superfast friend Pat Bourgault was racing (2nd race of the day) plus a very large field of competitors… gulp… extra daunting.   Picked up my race number, singlet, wrist band, tasting glass (5 oz) for the Brewfest and walked back to the car for some banana & warm up.   The start line was located differently from last 2 years.   We lined up in the start corral for the national anthem, nervous anticipation, the gun fired and we were off!!!!   After we got to the bottom of the first hill, right on Mammoth Road (128) I tried to not let a few friends get too far ahead of me.   Greg, Ellen and Pat are all so fast.   We looped into the residential neighborhoods where we were cheered on and I tried to keep pushing . . . keep it together. . . I didn’t have too much extra, just hang on.   I think Violent Femmes (alternative rock 1980s) were on the iPod Shuffle.   Hoping for the next mile marker, keep hanging on.   I tried to keep Pat in reach, she is such a strong, fast, tough competitor.

Back out on the main road for uphill climb towards the school (Millennium Mile start).   When you’re in race mode, roads seem extra long and steep . . . focus on form, nothing to set off right heel.   Mammoth Road hill, up, up, up – then right on Sergeant for some more uphill . . . focusing, go, go, go!

Coming towards finish line

Yay, I could hear announcer Andy Schachat’s voice coming towards finish line.   Anything left I could find, kick with it. . . . go, go, go, strong finish . . . I rounded the final left, the finish arch will be soon, kick it super strong . . . finish clock in view and hearing Andy Schachat’s super generous, complimentary shout out “Sarah Prescott, future NH Hall of Famer” makes me feel so rewarded. . . over the line!!! WHEW!!!!

Kept walking, moving for a bit.   WOW, WOW, WOW!!!!   Somehow I got it done and I am ridiculously grateful.   I tried to drink some water and check in with friends, then see how I did at the instant results on TV screen mounted on Millennium Running Timing Trailer. What?!?!? When I saw the “1” in division, it seemed too good to be true!!!  No way!?!?!  Unbelievably fortunate for how it came together.   Truly a gift I’ll savor for long, long time – a podium day is never ever taken for granted.   Dang, holy cow.

Trying to slow down, I picked up a sample of flatbread pizza just out of the fire  http://www.americanflatbreadproducts.com/revolution/ I love watching the wood fired oven and the philosophy of American Flatbread.   I also grabbed a spike bag from sponsor Enterprise Bank (needed one!)

American flatbread pizza. Flatbread pizza oven!!! YUM!!! Loved the Revolution: caramelized onions, mushrooms, blend of fine cheeses and herbs.

Pat and I picked up our awesome cow bell awards!! FUN!!! LOVE them!!!!   Millennium Running is always thinking, perfect tie-in to the event!!!   We also were awarded Millennium Retail Store gift certificates.

With Pat Bourgault and awesome cowbell awards!!! FUN!!

Trying to take it all in, savoring the night, so much good stuff at once . . . awesomeness all around.   My heel gave such an incredible effort and hurt as Pat and I walked the half mile back to the school parking lot.   I totally wanted to see the bonfire, but walking or putting weight on my heel was rough, dang.   What would my coaching advisor do?  Put ice on it, don’t delay.   (At least I got to see “the Northeast’s largest contained fire” bonfire the two prior years!)

On the ride north, I quickly picked up celebratory raw tuna and got home by 9:00 for some asparagus, zucchini/tomato/ fresh herbs/garlic/onion celebration dinner and recounting the events.

Cowbell award, tasting glass

I feel incredibly blessed . . . totally fortunate & living the dream!!!

Singlet, tasting glass, cowbell & gift certificate awards. Millennium does an incredible job!

23:25  Age Graded 71.32%, AG Time: 20:42

Unexpected, lucky Podium Day. . . cherish & savor

Immediate Care RibFest, 5 Miler, Millennium Running.

21 Jun

RibFest, 5 Miler, Merrimack, NH. USATF New England 5 Mile Championship.   June 18, 2017

RibFest Banner

My fourth year competing at this race!! Bib #4, Cool!! Link to 2016 race report (blog)

So much awesomeness. Whirlaway teammates, USATF NE friends, Millennium Series friends!! Congratulations to everyone who raced!

Chosen as the 5 mile USATF Grand Prix Championship, RibFest welcomed New England’s top elite runners… even beyond my anticipation.  Wow.

Over 30 Whirlaway runners and we posed for a Whirlaway team photo.   I did a few strides and lined up with some younger Whirly girls.   Bit of an uphill at the start, then north on Daniel Webster Hwy.   I worked with friends Greg Audet and Ellen Raffio, entered the turn-around at Horseshoe Pond and got to see the lead pack and how things were playing out for racers in front of me.   Longtime teammate and friend, Karen Durante, pulled ahead and friend Eric Eastman was near me as we began return south to towards the brewery/finish.

Photo courtesy Krissy Kozlosky

Kept realistic/low expectations.   Spectacularly speedy Whirlaway teammate/friends in Age Group, Tina Dowling and Holly Madden were there, and even Mimi Fallon was racing Sunday.   Translation, I was not sure I’d finish in top 10 for USATF-NE AG.   Just run my own race.   Cherish the opportunity to be able to do this.   Last year at RibFest, I went out too fast, so with that on my mind and knowing the incredible depth of the competition, I had different goals for the race… hold steady, no pressure.   I never shifted out of that gear.   Coach Kazanjian yelled to me to finish strong as I rounded the turn towards downhill finish.   Around the corner to straightaway and announcer Andy Schacht gave me a generous, kind shout out as I approached the finish line.   Phew, done!!

Teammates gathered, great stuff… keep moving/stretching… we were all too sweaty for hugs.   After watching WRT teammate Ruben Sanca’s prerace warm-up; the whoosh from lead packers doing prerace strides; Jen Mortimer’s description of the men’s finish and the female winner (course record); runners who doubled with Mt Washington Saturday, Ribfest Sunday; Millennium Series friends… tried to take it all in, being in the presence of so many extraordinary runners, front of the pack to the end.    We’re all out there, doing it, covering the same distance, same humidity, everyone overcoming challenges.

John Mortimer, Jen Mortimer and Millennium crew never cease to impress by putting on another outstanding event.   From the attention to detail, extras, TV celebrity Jamie Staton and Andy Schachat’s professional announcing; instant, personalized results at finish line on 2 flat screen TV’s mounted on the Millennium Running Timing Trailer.   Personalized results texted/emailed to pre-registrants.   Free digital race photos.   Start/finish was near historic Anheuser-Busch’s Clydesdale Hamlet.   Got to see the Clydesdales and some huge hosta!

Clydesdales (stock photo)  and about them

Amenities included free Pizza (Rustic Crust), Yogurt (Stonyfield Organic), PowerAde and Dasani Water (Coca Cola), Muscle Milk.   Tech shirt, two (2) beer tickets, early entry to Ribfest.   The Ribfest event described as “… enjoy the best barbecue in New Hampshire with music and entertainment! New England’s premier family event.  Vendors with ribs, pulled pork, burgers, hot dogs, ice cream, cotton candy”

pre-race aroma of fried dough and BBQ

Quote from friend & teammate Holly Madden, “Ribs were smokin’ at the Humidfest (Ribfest 5 mile) in the thick muggy air, but the WRT ladies did very well.   Master’s team win, 50+ team win, and an excellent performance by Karen Durante in the 60 (but doesn’t look it)+ division”

Cool, number 4!!! 4th year competing at RibFest. BBQ tool from last RibFest

On the ride north, I stopped to see both Dads for Father’s Day – cards – visiting.   Grabbed some celebratory Ahi tuna for later.   Checking race results later at home, I actually did make the top 10 for USATF-NE AG!! Wooooo 6th!!   Definitely a spectacularly fantastic surprise.

Age Grade % 70.59

Whirlaway Women 1st!!

 

Millennium Running, Yule Light up the Night – Final race (#15 of 15) in Millennium Series, December 11, 2016

19 Dec
Entrance

Start

Podium Day!!! YAY!!!!   2/172 in age group  (even would have been 3rd Master too!!)

It was my 3rd year participating in this fun race.   Race write up from 2015 

Gift of Lights

Gift of Lights

I think this is my favorite race of the year!!

Thanks John Mortimer and Millennium Running crew for all you do.  You inspire all of us to run and be healthy, plus have fun doing it!   What a blast!!  4:30 start at NH Motor Speedway.  We race through the “Gift of Lights” which is New Hampshire’s largest holiday light display.   More than 2 million Christmas lights glittering… 60 holiday scenes and over 400 light displays.

1,200 running friends, temperature in the mid 20’s… much chillier than last year.   After my warmup, I rethought layers and kept Nike jacket, added white balaclava, Sauce hat, hand warmers inside EMS mercury gloves

grandstand

True to tradition, did an easy 4+ mile run in the morning!   Group run/trail run/trail bike (~ 40 people)   So many great athletes to hang out with!   Single digit temps, snowy hill and trail section… up, up Little Pond hill.

A number of us who have raced together all year lined up near the front… fist bumps… Greg, Ellen, Maryn (another NMHer!) Sal, Pat, Eric, Jade, Mary… everybody off so fast…. just run my own race.   Quick turnover, push, push.

Ariel view of start! 1,200 runners!!

Ariel view of start! 1,200 runners!!

Through the 130 foot infield tunnel entrance and exit which is lit with pulsating lights.

Light Tunnel, lit with pulsating lights

Pulsating lights in tunnel

Also like last year, Jack Mortimer and dad John Mortimer ran together, holy cow fast, I didn’t catch them until the dark backstretch!!!   Mort said “Miss Prescott” coming by, great job.  There was some ice to maneuver around and it was dark… Mort asked Jack if he wanted to hold his hand… these two were flying….  legend & protégé… an honor to race beside Mortimers!

With the turns, “sprint” distance = maneuvering like on a track, throwing elbows!   Zen – Dark – Slippery Downhills – Adventure- Let go of fear!

Run under the tunnel of lights!

Run under the tunnel of lights!

I was trying to recognize particular lights towards the end, gauge when to kick, then I heard Andy Schacht’s voice and knew it was time…  the huge Millennium Arch.  I am so humbled by Andy’s generous shout-outs “… Sarah Prescott, future NH Road Race Hall of Famer!!”  Totally a stretch, but I’m very flattered!!

Finish Line!!

Finish Line!!

I felt totally speedy, like I had a very good run, even if my time seems off last year.

This year, the LED lighted hats were different – knit cap style.  I also won an insulated mug (2nd in age group for all 3 years) and gift certificate for Millennium Running retail store.

LED light knit stocking cap swag, gift certificate to Millennium Running retail store and insulated mug awards for 2nd in AG

LED light knit stocking cap swag, gift certificate to Millennium Running retail store and insulated mug awards for 2nd in AG

 

There was water, Powerade, American Flatbread pizza cooking onsite in wood-fired clay oven!!  ( I brought Andy a slice to thank him for the shout out)  Plus, organic fruit, Stonyfield yogurt and a bonfire too!

bonfire

bonfire

Thinking about holidays.   Holidays are about PEOPLE being the center of your life.   The message and goal is giving of yourself, becoming an understanding person… loving others.

Finish Line

Finish Line

 

2nd in AG, with friend superfast Pat Bourgault

2nd in AG, with friend superfast Pat Bourgault

Net time 15:24.9   Gun time 15:26.6

2nd in age group for this event:  2014, 2015 2016

(Was distance ~ 2.25 before?… that would make time more comparable to last year)

Thanks for helpful feedback, hilarious friend John Intorcio, “your apex was a little early in Turn 2 and that cost you on the back straight. Come in just a little hotter, brake hard, and power out, and you take this thing next year!”

 

 

 

Manchester City 5K, powered by SNHU – Millennium Running, 11.06.16

14 Nov

Podium day!!   2nd Female of 129, 8th overall

Manchester City Marathon, powered by SNHU / Millennium Running

Manchester City Marathon, powered by SNHU / Millennium Running

Marathon, Half Marathon, Relays (8:50 AM), 5K (9:00 AM)

I registered for this 5K race which was part of the Manchester City Marathon, Half Marathon, Relay & 5K events in Manchester, New Hampshire.    I thought the 5K was part of the “All Millennium” series, plus it gave me a chance to support the Marathon, Half Marathon and Relay runners.   I didn’t figure out until two days before the race that it wasn’t part of the “All Millennium” designation – d’oh! – well I was still running it!

Elm Street, getting ready

Elm Street, getting ready

The Marathon served as the final race in the USAT&F New England Championship series, bringing the best teams and runners from across New England.   Back in 2013 and 2014, I also raced it as the USATF – NE Marathon Championship.   This year, I could support and cheer for Whirlaway teammates, all my USATF- NE friends and local friends too !!

Medals for other distances

Medals for other distances

Arrived an hour early, easily found a parking spot, picked up number – smooth, seamless.    They had long sleeve shirts which are great looking and women’s sizes, yay!   Jim Monahan needed an easy 45 minute run, so he did warm up with me and did his run during the 5K.   I looked for a 5K map, no luck… so I asked announcer Andy Schachat.   Andy wasn’t sure about the 5K course, but made me laugh, “everybody is finishing through this same finish line, even if they are just out for a walk on Elm Street – I’m sending them through the finish!!”

Finish line

Finish line

As we lined up, nerves, excitement, I did a few quick strides.   Musket shot fired and we were off!   5Ks are so painful for me, just push, push, push… north up Elm Street then a quick left down to Canal Street.   We continued on Canal Street with a bit of headwind and I tried keep strong, catching any targets I could, then back up to Elm Street.   It was so cool to see the top marathon runners on the other side of Elm Street!!   I cheered for them and my friend, Eric Narcissi, (was Whirlaway, now CMS) even cheered for me!!   As I got closer to the finish, another female held strong near me and I was trying to keep up.   I couldn’t find another gear to pass her and could hear Andy Schachat announcing me and in a bit of sadness, watched her break the tape seconds before me.

Finish line

Finish line

 

 

Finish line, "almost" go to break the tape - alas

Finish line, “almost” go to break the tape – alas

(Spoiler alert, I haven’t broken 20 minutes for a 5K in a few years — a course mishap was subsequently explained and professionally handled by John Mortimer and Millennium Running) The other female, Capano, and I hugged & congratulated each other and were asked to hang around for a photo… climbed up on the podium and she received a pair of HOKA shoes.

Podium, 5K Females (Kassidy Ford 3rd F, Rachel Capano 1st F, Me 2nd F)

Podium, 5K Females
(Kassidy Ford 3rd F, Rachel Capano 1st F,
Me 2nd F)

Back to the car for a coat and then a prime spot to cheer for marathoners, half marathon & relay runners on Elm Street.   High fives to Whirly girls, Ephraim, Ellen, saw Barb McManus, Dave Dunham, Nancy Druke, Greg Audet.   Had a photo op with Candidate for NH Governor, Colin Van Ostern.   Man he’s tall!

Executive Councilor & Democratic gubernatorial nominee Colin Van Ostern

Executive Councilor & Democratic gubernatorial nominee Colin Van Ostern.

Then we went to Hanover Street to see the Half Marathon winner flying towards the finish and catch the marathoners again.   Hilarious, Eric Narcissi yelled to me whether I’d won – since last time we saw each other, I was sprinting towards the 5K finish line!!   I yelled loudly to Leslie O’Dell, Matt St. Germain, Brandon Newbould, Jose Ortiz and the “Whirla-wall,” Dave Dunham, Christin Doneski, Kathryn Cooney, Heather Spinney, Mary Garrity Klene, Deb Hamond Slason and so many friends out there.   Ducked into Runner’s Alley to warm up and the wind was picking up.   Saw longtime friend and Whirlaway Karen Durante for a hug! It’s been too long!

2nd place awards - Millennium Running Retail Store gift certificate, engraved glass coaster

2nd place awards – Millennium Running Retail Store gift certificate, engraved glass coaster

Bittersweet sort of “podium” day… thinking if I hadn’t paused to ask a cop which way, waffled about direction and had to gain momentum again, maybe I could have found the few seconds necessary to win instead of being “wishy washy” and Capano chased me down and got me.   So many variables, always learning… don’t dwell on it.   I did some yardwork at home, checked how everyone’s races played out… so proud of everyone who had raced and congratulations to all my running friends, teammates !!  Cherishing a really great, fun day and happy for so many of my incredible running friends!!!

Results of all the Manchester City races

 

Millennium Running “CHaD Trick-or-Trot 3K’ 10.30.16

8 Nov

Millennium Running  “CHaD Trick-or-Trot 3K  October 30, 2016

Millennium has early bib pick-up at their Bedford store with innovative promotions and enticements!!  Wish I lived closer!

Another super race by John Mortimer and the Millennium Running crew!!  This was my 3rd time running this race which takes place at Arms Park, Downtown Manchester on the banks of the Merrimack River.  Afternoon, 2:30 race start.  Here are prior race write-ups 2014 and 2015

Ariel view, Arms Park

Ariel view, Arms Park

There is a Halloween Festival with lots of fun things going on like a kids run, vendors including: safari rides, Wildlife Encounters, bouncing house, fire truck, beer tickets for Stark Brewing Company (formerly Milly’s Tavern), Shaskeen, and The Farm.  Post race food: Rustic Crust flatbread pizza, Stonyfield Yogurt, Muscle Milk, Drink Maple, organic fruit.

Runners on bridge crossing Merrimack

Runners on bridge crossing Merrimack

I did a warm up on the course and up on the bridge, some hill strides, dynamic stretching, more strides… nervous that this body would not remember how to run fast!   We lined up at the start, pre-race festivities, anticipation, excitement!   Count down and we were off!!!    3k = 1.86 miles, a painful distance and I went redline before I even got to the uphill.   My friends are so much quicker out of the start with such great leg speed.   The bridge across the Merrimack River is nifty to run over, plus you can see the lead car & front runners… especially memorable when a front runner is dressed like a banana.   A left & downhill, back towards the river and try to keep strong and focused.   As we rounded into Arms Park, I could hear WMUR Sports director Jamie Staton announcing and turned towards final straightaway, the clock and finish arch in sight!!!   Thanks Jamie for the always fantastic shout-out at the finish line… always an awesome feeling!!!   I could see the red numbers on the clock, KICK, under 13:00!!   (later, the results showed that my “KickTime” was 12.1 seconds or 6:29/mile pace, I guess I DID throw in some kick!)

Kick to finish! Awesome photo thanks to Steven Krejckant

Kick to finish! Awesome photo thanks to Steven Krejckant

I was hoping for a strong run and felt very, very grateful for how the day turned out.   Aimee Sherman and I visited the timing trailer together, hoping it was a podium day for us. Yay!! Both of us!!  Ironically, Aimee and I met at the finish line of this race last year!

1st in AG with Aimee Sherman 3rd AG

Happy podium day with Aimee Sherman (1st in AG; Aimee 3rd 40-49 AG)

12:52.8 6:55 pace

1/134 1st in Age Group

1st race of the NHOC Holiday Hat Trick Series

As a warm down, I ran the course again and started to let the day sink in.   I felt incredibly lucky.  I’ve been hardly able to run since August and keeping up with weekly PT of dry needling and Graston on both hips.   Somehow the road biking has been very helpful and fascinatingly, my finish time was only 3 seconds off last year! There are so many phenomenal fast senior women, I felt very fortunate today.  Cherishing when things go well and appreciating every nuance!! Woot woot!!!

Race number, gift certificate award, women's size race shirt, awesome mug

Race number, gift certificate award, women’s size race shirt, awesome mug

USATF New England 10 mile Championship, Millennium Running, New Hampshire 10 Miler 8/27/16

1 Sep

8th of 14 races in the 2016 Elliot Millennium Series and Points Chase

Around Massabesic Lake, Auburn.   Great & helpful course preview here

A couple weeks ago I injured my right hip flexor and even walking was uncomfortable… ugh.   Road biking fortunately does not hurt… at least I feel like I am doing something athletic.   PT was helping, but I was really concerned if I could cover the race distance.   Hmmm, call a cab at 5 miles?   The day prior to the race, my PT at Apple Therapy Services opted for dry needling.  Crazy, but it helped significantly!   It was wild to see how my muscle bent the needle when it twitched.    Apparently, that’s a good thing!   I hopped off the table and my hip felt as loose as soggy spaghetti.   Thrilled after successful PT, I went to early number pickup at Millennium Running store and used a gift certificate from RibFest 5 mile race towards some Tifosi sunglasses!

Pre race near Northeast Delta Dental Partnership flag with Ellen Tidd and her fiancé Tom Raffio, CEO Northeast Delta Dental

With race sponsor Northeast Delta Dental CEO, Tom Raffio, and his fiancé Ellen Tidd (573)

I was looking forward to seeing my USATF friends and Whirlaway teammates who I haven’t raced with in a while.   From 2000 through 2014 I competed in every USATF NE Grand Prix Championship race (105 consecutive) and feel incredibly fortunate and grateful to be a Whirlaway runner.   Since then though, I’ve dialed down running and enjoy being an athlete more for fun now… a new “balance” with life and running.   I felt apprehension.   Would I be judged for not being as fast as I used to be?

USATF New England 10 Mile Championship

The weather predicted a 89 degree high, so started drinking water as soon as I woke up.   The “other injured SP” (Sal) picked me up at 7:15. We arrived at 7:45, found a good parking spot and checked out the area. Warmed up a bit on rail trail, a few bathroom stops, some banana and lined up near friends.  I started out very conservatively, seeing how hip would react. Pat Bourgault said, “just treating it like 10 mile run” and I kept that thought in my head.  I also drew on having run the course 3 weeks ago and seeing USATF friends around me – Lisa Doucett, Stephen Peckiconis, Whirlaway teammates Lisa Z and John Gorman – many others from a decade and a half of Championship races.

I walked through 2 water stops to make sure I got enough water, checked in with my body, didn’t look at splits.   Poignantly chasing Pat Bourgault and Lisa Doucett on one of the toughest inclines – and having the grit to pass them.  Pat got back by me, but she didn’t realize it until after we finished.   (The following day, Pat & I went to Greg Audet & Lisa Comire Kaim’s “After the Wedding Celebration” – amusing to talk about what we had forgotten during the race!)

The final right into the parking lot – don’t gauge it wrong – and then the fabulous sight of the finish line.  WMUR sports director Jamie Staton gave me a tremendous shout out, yay, and crossed the line, overjoyed that my body let me get this done.   Singlet and shorts were sopping, sunglasses so coated with dried sweat I could hardly see through them.

Headed to finish line

Headed to finish line

I was so grateful and fortunate to be able to get through.   When I saw my PT last night, she’d been worried how it would go.  As I told her that not only did I get through, I was 6th in NE Age Group, she got chills.   6th in NE age group was totally unreal, competing with runners like Mimi Fallon (3 Olympic Marathon trials and one world marathon team) and Whirlaway teammate/Olympian Maria Servin… absolutely an out-and-out gift.  finish line

As always, John Mortimer and Millennium provided an exceptional event. Pre-race information emailed, early number pick-up, free photos and results emailed, medals and womens size shirts, results trailer, lots of post race snacks, Andy Schachat announcing on the course and Jamie Staton at finish – always lots of extras and professionalism. Super all around!

Happy to see finish line

Happy to see finish line

Results

1:21:19 (1:21:35)    8:08     6th in USATF NE AG (10 of 115   50-59 )

6th

2016 Elliot Millennium Series / Points Chase – Still 1st in AG

 

pint glass from last year, medal, race shirt, number

pint glass from last year, medal, race shirt, number

 

Lake Massabesic early race morning

Lake Massabesic early race morning

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