Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Wakefield 24hr Ultra Marathon

July 27,28th 2012 I attended the 16th Annual 24 Hour Around the Lake race in Wakefield MA. After completing the 12hr kiddy event last yr and covering an awful 42.08 miles, I decided to attempt the full 24hr. I also decided to raise money for the NICU at Childrens Hospital I didnt know what I was in for this year I trained hard, much harder than last yr. I was running 40-50 miles a week and hit a few in the 60s and even a 72m week. I had completed a few 6hr runs plus 3-30s, 5-20s and a 50 mile training run. I was ready, last year I struggled early on and after 18 miles was walking not sure if it was it running thru the night or only running a long run of 10m after getting injured at the Boston Marathon. This year I started runs at 4am, at 6pm after working a full day, and even did heat runs, and this year the heat has been awful. In the final 9 weeks leading up to the race I was alternating 20s and 30s every other weekend and then 1 month before the race I started running at 4am and covered 51.6m in under 12hr. The last 3 weeks were left for a taper. Im not sure if I like the 3 weeks, seems kinda long but I think it worked. I was sore tired, bitchy and had weird pain all around my body and legs. I was nervous the day before the race that I had peaked to early during my 12hr training run. Race Day: Got up early to go to a few appointments and then tried to rest, yeah that never happens. Went down the Wakefield for 4:15 pm to get my number and to set up my new home for the next 24hr. I set up next to Rob Mcdonald who was also a 24hr virgin. I took my time during the set up, drank fluids and tried to relax as much as possible got race clothes ready. I met up with Sean Devan who was running the marathon. Around 5:30 Rob showed up and we set him up. Heres a few more shots of Base Camp.
At 7pm the race was off we started off by running an add on loop of .8m to help us get an official marathon split. On this lap we didnt go over the timing mat it was added to 1st loop. Each loop after this was a 5k (3.17m) I took it nice and relaxed from the gun started back of pack to let the relay, marathoners and 12hr runners get out of way and to not try to hang with them. I got myself into a groove of running 10min then walking for 5min. I had my garmin set to beep at these times so I didnt even have to think about it, the plan was to drink and eat during the 5min walk.
I also planned on running 50-60m during the 1st 12hrs. I hit the 26.2m (8laps) in 5:58 and was on track to hit 50m but then I started getting really tired as the night went on. I fell asleep 2xs on a bench. It was around 5:30am and I was tired. I fell asleep running, next thing I know I go off the sidewalk and almost end up in the lake. Thank God I tripped on the curb. I layed on a bench for 5min after that to close my eyes and fell asleep. I decided to take my time getting in to the timing shoot and not injure myself or another runner. I decided to take a 45min nap in the car so I took off my shoes, put legs up on dash, layed back and set alarm for 6:30 and I was out cold as soon as I closed my eyes. When alarm went off I was good to go, I was a new runner again. I changed my garmin, put on fresh shoes and I was off. When I saw the clock hit 12hrs I realized I was only at 35.74m which way off my goal. I ran 2 laps solo and then was joined by my wife Crystal. She was able to run with me because her cousin was watching the boys. Crystal who hasn't really ran since running the Boston Marathon in the mid 90s this yr was a trooper the whole time finishing lap after lap with me. When she joined me I told her I wanted to try to hit 22 laps or 70.63m. So we took it one lap at a time. She ended up running 22m with me which was a lot for her with her training but she kept smiling, kept me going and made sure I ate and drank. What I didnt know right away was that I was ahead of the new goal of 70m. She put me in a place that once my final Pacer Gail Martin joined in at 3pm I was thinking that 24 laps 76.97m was within reach.
Gail was a great pacer she was tough, made me push thru the pain and keep my eyes on the prize. Even though this was her 1st time pacing she acted like a seasoned veteran. I never went without, she grabbed my food and drink, asked me what I wanted and we went 1 lap at a time. The plan was for her to run 4 laps with me, but what Gail had in mind was for me to shave enough time off per lap so that I could go out for another lap and shoot for a 25th lap 80.14m. When we came in with 2 laps to go there was 2hr 15min left and I said lets go get that extra lap we got this.
It started to rain with just over 2 laps to go and then it got colder and windy. My legs started to hurt really bad, Gail helped me find a new gear and a new level of self will. I needed something during the last lap but it wasnt food or water. It was something with meaning when I came into the hotel parking lot I saw what I needed. They planned on getting there late afternoon but with the rain I wasnt sure. It was my cousin and her daughther Ali.
Ali was the reason why I did this for Childrens Hospital. She was born 15 weeks early and only weighed 1 pound 7oz. She's over 1yr old now and doing great. She's our family miracle and a fighter. Back to the race... final lap... lap 25! This is when it all hit me hard. I was just walking at this point. I was happy, I was crying and I was yelling from all the excitement. Gail said we need to do 22min miles to get this done. So we were off and I was on a mission. She also asked me what I was thinking and the tears started. I was so proud of all I had done, where I was and that I was still able to run after 75m. I was on such a mission to get this done that I was walking the miles in 18min. Yes, I know it was slow but after 23hrs it was moving. Mile 3 I could smell the finish line and off I went I started to run again. Pouring rain and puddles I loved it. I grabbed a sign my wife had made and I carried it in.
It was about 50yrds from the finish when I saw that all my family was there to support me and see me finish. I never felt so loved by them or proud of what I had done. It made all the pain go away. I got my medal, hugs and kisses and then went to the aid station to refuel. They asked what I needed and I said an Ice Cold Beer. They actually had one in a cooler. It was the best beer I had ever tasted! Well earned.
Race Recap: Ran more miles 2nd 12hrs than 1st Hit goal of 80miles Was able to run farther and longer than ever before Got 80.14m 23:48:02 and 17/78 overall, 3/16 in age Wore my 1160s for 1st 6hr, 1170s 2nd 6hr, then Reebok Real Flex for final 40+ miles. Next Up Stone Cat 50m in Nov.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Nashua Rail Trail

I went to Nashua to run the rail trail for my long run. The trail is 12.5m long and goes from Nashua-Ayer, I usually start in Dunstable but this time I wanted to start in Nashua to make it 12.5 not the normal 11 each way. I found the parking lot got ready and was out by 4am. I saw a dirt path right next to where I parked. It was very dark, but I had on my trusty 13 dollar head lamp from Walmart. I started down the road and ended up in a construction site, no posted signs so I kept on going. Lots of dirt, rocks and holes, I saw a road with houses so I followed that and somehow ended up on the correct trail. Future reference the whole thing is paved. About 1.6m into the run I saw the parking lot for Dunstable and I knew I was on the right track. About 2m into the run I got stomach issues and I had to pull off the road and take poop #1, I took off my pack grabbed my disposable wipes turned off my light and did my business. I was startled by a deer, he literally scared the S*@T out of me. When I was done I turned my light on a saw a bunch of frogs.
The sun rose about 515 and it made it easier to see kept light on for about 30 more min. I didnt see another sole out there till around 615am. It got warm quick and I was covered in sweat, I dont handle the heat well. the temp at start was 67* and it rose into the 80s during my run. Heres a few more pics I took
I was happy with the run, struggled with the heat had to walk more than I wanted, I made sure to hydrate well took a gel every 7miles. I saw things on the way back I didnt get to see on the way out due to the dark start.
On the retuen loop I found the correct road and stayed away from the construction site, Trail was at other end of parking lot. I worked on my pacing for the Wakefield 24hr. I did a walk run of 10/3 at the end of the run and finished with sub 13min average. Best part of the day was taking the wife and kids to the beach the cold ocean water felt great on my legs.
2 months till I get to run the race of my life, the plan still looks good for 80-100 miles

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Wason Pond Pounder.

Yesterday Crystal went to Chester Nh to race the Wason Pond Pounder Obsticle race. The race had over 16 obsticles, High Hurdles, Log Climb, Army crawl on sand, spider web, zig zag hill with tires, Over/Unders, Cinderblock Carry, balance beam, NFL tires up Hill, Spools, river cross, walk on water, A Frames, Get wet (lake cross), monkey bars, walls and hurdles. Crystal was registered for the 9am wave, I planned to go and just support her but that changed when I saw how much fun she was having.
Heres a few of my favorite photos of her.
I made a last minute decision to try and run the race myself. I had on shoes with close to 1000 miles on them and had to race it in her shorts. I registered for the 1020 wave start, I started slow and took it out towards the end of the pack.
I felt good so I started to push the pace a little I ended up finishing 14/71 in my wave, I'll take that after the late decision and lack of warmup. I also decided seeing I was RACING acidotic to carry 2 tires not just one. I did the same with the cinderblocks
Photos: https://picasaweb.google.com/103893755352227444058/WasonPondPounder2012?authkey=Gv1sRgCJHQzMe2wq35lAE&feat=email# Photos:

Sunday, May 6, 2012

TARC Spring Classis 50k

On April 18th I ran my 1st 50k of the 2012 season and I chose to do it on a fast course.  I did the TARC Spring Classic in Weston MA.  The course was mostly flat almost all single track lots of rocks and roots and my favorite mud.  With only a few long runs an 18+21miler under my belt I knew I was in for a challenge,  After running the 6hr in March and struggling I didn't know what I was in for.  I was surprised with my fitness gain since then as I had put in runs of 13-15m followed by 10s the next day which I feel added to the fitness.  I went out in normal fashion and started slow during lap 1 to learn the course, warm up as it takes me about 3-4m on trails to get into a groove.  Felt good during lap 2 so I pushed it and over did it.  I was running low 10s at this point and ran up to Jay Kruger from Biggest Loser and we chatted for a few miles and I threw down a 930m with out even realizing it.   I also forgot to drink for most of this lap due to the talking and having fun with it.   Lap 3,   Cramps started in the calf's (Pisgah Style) which stopped me dead in my tracks. I couldn't walk, couldn't stand and fell flat on my face thank good I was in a grassy field at the time.  After about 5min and at least 10 runners passing me I was able to start walking again and I did a walk/run to finish the loop.  At end of each loop is the aid station, and right before it I cramped on the way out of the woods and had to limp in.  Josh Katzman (Ivov-8) who won the the 12hr race last July by running over 80m helped me in and asked what I needed he grabbed me some water and a S-Cap and I filled my bottles and off I went.  Next 2 laps I drank my water Gatorade 50/50 mix had a few sips every mile and was able to walk/run the whole time with minimal cramping.  When I hit mile 29 I realized I was in for a huge PR of around an HR,   I dug deep and had my eye set on a first time ever sub 7hr for 50k.   Not only did I hit the sub 7 but I finished in a 6:58.  A new PR for me by over 55min. 
Race Reults:  http://www.trailanimals.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/09/50K-2012-TARC-Spring-Classic-Preliminary-Race-Results1.pdf
I'm very happy with the race and how it all worked out, Recovery went well,  Still having the swelling issues during Ultras. 
Work on fueling better,  
Read up about S-Caps for Wakefield 24hr in July
Train harder get in all the longer runs. Have 30s planned every other weekend till July and a 50m scheduled mid June.
Finish Photos By Crystal St. Hilaire

Sunday, April 22, 2012


5k  19:27
5m 36:01
10k 50:05
10m 1:19:22
Half Marathon 1:50:19
Marathon 4:00:00
12hr  42.08m 11:25

Trail Ultras
Marathon 6:49:12
50k 7:53

Sprint 1:25:52