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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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SNHU Penmen for Patriots 5K, Nov 11, 2017 – double race weekend

20 Nov

PODIUM DAY!!!! 1/44 AG, and finished in top 10 for women!!!

69.72% Age graded score, Age graded time 20:40

Cherishing!!

 A few days leading up to double race weekend, temperatures quickly went from comfortable, to brrrr chilly cold… I put together a clothing plan for Saturday & Sunday including a few phone calls with Whirlaway coach, Dave Kazanjian, regarding new Whirlaway singlet. Since he only had x-s available, it was iffy whether it would fit. Amusingly, wearing it the first time over a black, long sleeve Under Armour cold gear ¼ zip top, caused my black Nike short racing shorts to ride up, bun hugger style!! Hahahaha!! A few quick readjustments during the race!!   Tom Raffio said he caught me “adjusting” during the race.

New Whirlaway Singlet test run!

The SNHU campus is much more beautiful than I had imagined. The cedar shakes on the Gutafson building (expo) definitely won my heart.   The people on campus were all very helpful and super, plus the Millennium Running crew did a fantastic job.   I parked easily and had a few bites of banana.   I had previewed some of the roads, but the starting arch wasn’t where I expected – no worries.   We lined up behind Mort’s cool “military” lead vehicle and we had recognition for Veterans Day.

John Mortimer traded for this lead vehicle today!!

Pre-race nerves, oh boy, check in with friends at starting line and feel the adrenalin. The gun fired and we were off, keep focus. There are some hills on the course, dang, work hard, Sarah.   I was chasing friend, Greg Audet, for miles and tied to close the gap in last mile. We tried to work together as we approached the last bit before the finish.

Finish line in sight, focus!

Race announcer, Andy Schachat, gave me a fabulously generous shout out which always makes me feel like an “elite” runner.   Greg was right behind me, but he had switched numbers with female runner Heidi Lewis who was ill, (the computer was updated later) and Andy noticed Greg was not Heidi and temporarily, the results listed Greg as Heidi (podium day!)

Immediately post race, I had a chance to check in with friends who were also running the next day, some like friend Eric doing his first marathon the next day!

Post race with friend, Eric Eastman.

I remind myself to not get too jammed about my finish time until I look at Age Grade calculator.   I went to the results timing trailer and was wowed seeing a “1st ” in division – no way?!?!?! WOW, holy cow!!   I didn’t expect that at all and cherish it.

Feeling very fortunate, cherishing!

Fun visiting with friends and some photos (mug shot!) inside warm Gustafson Center.   Super job, as always, by John Mortimer and Millennium Running crew!

Mug shot with AG winners! Posing with our awards! Fun with friends Mark LaPrade, Bud Marro, Dave Audet, me, Tom Raffio, Ellen Raffio

I complimented SNHU vice president about the gorgeous campus and being part of today and John Mortimer!

SNHU vice president, me, Millennium Running founder John Mortimer

 

I put on warmer clothes, stopped at store on way home, eating a banana, trying to avoid bonkiness, & celebrated with ahi tuna, yay!!!

Post race. feeling grateful!

Healthy dinner to get me ready for racing early next morning!

 

Harvested my own garlic scapes yesterday, own Greek oregano (still going), my homegrown fresh tomatoes (sweet, yum!) still more ripening indoors. Press fresh garlic, add Vidalia onion, zucchini, summer squash, turmeric, Olivia’s Organics “Power Greens” (loaded with spinach & kale) Steam until hot & ahhh, warming me inside

Celebratory ahi tuna for sashimi!!! Protein love #tunasashimi. http://www.makesushi.com/tuna-sashimi/
Also, chicken breasts with capers, horseradish/wasabi sauce, garlic & turmeric.

 

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!”

 

 

 

BASC Santa Claus Shuffle, Millennium Running 12.03.16

9 Dec

Podium day!!!   1/172 in Age Group

Race 14 of 15 Elliot Millennium Series

Race 3 of 4 NHOC Holiday Hat Trick (my 3rd consecutive Hat Trick Series)

3:15 race start before Manchester City Holiday Parade.   3.0 miles out and back on Elm Street.   I considered wearing shorts, but changed into tights with the cold headwind on Elm Street.   Number pick-up was easy at the Center of NH Expo Center, Radisson in Downtown Manchester.   Full Santa Suit, Sam Adams beer tickets.    Saucony had a booth (official shoe of the race) and got to talk their Product Performance Analyst, cool!

BASC Santa Shuffle Start/Finish

BASC Santa Shuffle Start/Finish

Race warm-up around Elm Street, pre-race nerves… kids’ elf runs took place first, pre-race ceremony and WMUR was filming the start for the news that night.    Count down, gun fired and we were off!!!   I try to not let it get to me how others go out much faster… chilly, lung searing air, just keep strong… distraction seeing the lead car & everyone coming in out/back.    As I tried to keep pushing towards the finish line, the black & white inflatable Millennium arch coming into view… hearing my name called out by WMUR Sports Director Jaime Staton is such an amazing awesomeness… then over the line, phew!!

Final kick to finish line

Final kick to finish line

 

Keep moving and check in with friends about how their races went, congratulating each other.

With Pat and John Mortimer

With Pat and John Mortimer, Founder & CEO Millennium Running

Fortunately, super-fast friend Pat gave me a headstart (and wore the Santa suit) and she still nearly beat me.   I try not to get too jammed up about my time and pace… unless you are the current world record holder, there is always someone faster!

Long warm down with Pat along the course… people lined up to watch the parade at 4:00… kids with high fives, cheerleaders, then we went back to Millennium Running timing trailer.   Totally surprising and such a rewarding gift to see my placement in division ”1” – holy cow, holy cow… I was so lucky for this one and feel very grateful.    Millennium had water, Powerade, American Flatbread pizza, organic fruit from Whole Foods, Stonyfield Yogurt, Muscle Milk.   Plus runners could redeem Samuel Adams beer tickets at 7 different spots and watch the parade!

Pat Bourgault, celebrating 1st & 2nd in AG

Celebrating Awards with Pat Bourgault, 1st & 2nd in AG

Back to my car, but not warming up, checking messages with friends… fun hearing marching bands starting down the route!   I feel very, very fortunate and grateful for the race today… it could not have turned out better.

awards

Full race results    22:24   7:29,      1/172 in division

Age Group Results

Age Group Results

Elliot Millennium Series

842 earned their Series Jacket (26.2)

274 people achieved Ultra status (40+ miles)

35 still on All Millennium track

Points Chase

1st in Age Group (1 of 874)… somehow still 3rd F (overall)

Points Chase Standings

Live video

Fisher Cats Thanksgiving 5K – Millennium Running 11.24.16

1 Dec

Podium Day!!!   1/186 in AG  – Very, very lucky

13th/ 15 races  – 2016 Elliot Millennium Running Series

 

Northeast Delta Dental Fisher Cats Stadium

Northeast Delta Dental Fisher Cats Stadium

My third year running this race – another fun, well done Millennium event.  What better way to start Thanksgiving than with 2,700 running friends!   An extra highlight this year included start/finish line INSIDE Northeast Delta Dental Stadium at Center Field on the warning track.

Start & Finish on Warning Track

Start & Finish on Warning Track

Temps in the 30’s 9:00 a.m. race – tights and long sleeve.  There were even snowflakes post race.   Race day number pick up was easy on the stadium concourse level – enjoyed seeing so many friends and familiar faces.   After a warm up, I returned to the stadium and went down the stairs, through bleacher aisles and onto the ballfield.  Nerves, excitement.   After I figured out which direction we were starting (d’oh) I did a quick, stealthy slip through a couple thousand people towards the front.  The national anthem was beautifully performed and there was a poignant recognition for two local runners struck by a car last week in Bedford.   One of the runners, Attorney Uliasz, fired the starter’s pistol and we had a moment of silence for 58 year old Ducharme who succumbed to his injuries.   (Union Leader article)

2,700 running friends

2,700 running friends

Amped up, we prepared, the gun fired and we took off along the warning track.  Out past WMUR studio with their cameraman – slight incline on Granite Street – trying to keep strong.  Work, work, work, push.   I saw friend Greg Audet ahead.   When we turned back to Commercial Street, I managed to sneak by Greg, but wasn’t sure I could stay ahead of him.  Mentally keep it together, each step is closer to the finish.  Into the stadium, down onto the field and dirt warning track – saw the “kick here” sign and I heard WMUR Sports Director, Jamie Staton, announcing me with his always awesome shout out!!  Over the finish line, hit my watch, yay, yay!!!!  DONE!!!

I kept moving, then back out on the course to cheer for others, a warm down and grab a coat.   Back to the stadium –  Millennium wasn’t able to use timing trailer inside the stadium, so I didn’t look up how I did in my division.  Dave Audet was on the concourse with his awards and said I should go check the awards table.   On the way, I saw Ellen & Tom, so they came too.   Holy cow!!  I was very, very pleasantly surprised and so fortunate to win my AG.   It all depends on who shows up – thinking of Whirlaway teammate Miae Jacobs’ AG win last year.   I am definitely cherishing it and savoring the good fortune.  I received a gorgeous Whole Foods apple pie and offered it to Tom Raffio for his birthday (3 days later).   It turned out Ellen also won a pie, plus Tom won one the following day!

Ellen & Tom Raffio; Whole Foods Apple Pie & gift certificate to Millennium Running Retail Store

Ellen & Tom Raffio; Whole Foods Apple Pie & gift certificate to Millennium Running Retail Store

I am so grateful and appreciative for my body allowing me to do this and I give so much credit to all my running friend athletes out there… getting it done… everyone challenging themselves on a chilly morning… camaraderie, determination, covering the distance.   I don’t get jammed up about my per mile pace anymore, it’s about doing your best on any given day – not giving up.   Weekly PT with dry needling & Graston is keeping my hip injuries manageable.  Usually 6 needles each side, then Graston, and I walk like a “cowboy” for a while after, hahaha!!

With John Mortimer, founder CEO of Millennium Running; Tom Raffio President Northeast Delta Dental, Ellen Raffio

With John Mortimer, founder CEO of Millennium Running; Tom Raffio, CEO & President Northeast Delta Dental, Ellen Raffio

Millennium does a remarkable and always professional job with events — innovative, welcoming, appealing to so many runners, lots of fun & great extras like free digital photos — plus always coming up with more!  Well done John Mortimer and Millennium Running crew!!

Feeling very fortunate

Feeling very fortunate

 

1/186 in AG.   Even would have placed in Masters AG

Full results here

23:16,  23:21     7:30

Current Point Chase Standings

Current Point Chase Standings

3rd F overall in Millennium Points Chase, 1st in AG.

Live video from race

This race is part of the holiday mini-series, “NH Orthopaedic Holiday Hat Trick”  If we complete (3) of the final (4) events of the year towards earning a NHOC Holiday Hat Trick quarter zip pullover with thumbholes

AND race 13 of 15 in Elliot Millennium Running Series

26.2 STATUS:  756 people have earned their Series Jacket (26.2 miles)

ULTRA STATUS:  231 people achieved Ultra status (40+ miles)

ALL MILLENNIUM:   37 “studs” are on the All Millennium track by completing ALL Millennium Signature Events!

 

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