Monday, October 01, 2007

GBTC Topsfield XC Festival

1Beautiful sunny 60 degree day for the three races out in the fields and hills of Bradley Palmer State Park. Little jeb finished a full 1K without getting winded; that may be his endurance race for now. Next, our spot for viewing barb and the women’s race was first rate as they did the 1K loop and then the return finish from the long loop. She gave me the tip of an ominous hill lurking on the second loop.2
With that I was off with around 50 other men. I eased into the race; positioned a bit back on the first 1K loop and then put a surge in leading up to the double loop to stay with my competition and get around a pack with a runner who seemed to be slowing us. Around the back side of this loop you start a climb to the clouds that seems to keep on going. I could feel the recent abs and pushup work were helping run this long hill. I was relieved to maintain position. I passed one runner on the downhill. Next was a series of small hills, a small cheering section and then the loop again. Within that three harriers from the earlier group passed me and each I tried to stick with. I was not looking forward to doing the hill again. Following the line of another runner effectively boxed out the guy behind me. But when the opportunity arose he passed me on the uphill. What was I to do? My breathing was like a laboring freight train hauling a heavy load up a mountain. We crested and I just wanted to maintain position. The downhill, long and a little windy helped recovery. First 1K LoopBack on the field someone yelled a half-mile to go. Just maintain position. Half that distance later heavy breathing on my right shoulder wanted to make a move. A little boxing and a quick downhill left us both charging the small uphill in the last turn before the flat field to the finish. Arms were moving quickly fighting for position and judging the finish distance keeping in the race was all I could do from dropping to the earth from heavy legs. A strong finish, but the salt and pepper beard guy finished ahead. 30:05 on 8K for a 6:03 pace finishing 32nd overall.
First 1K LoopThis was my second of the six New England Grand Prix Cross Country race series. I think I may have dropped a place from my earlier second place Masters standing. I was ready to bag this one at 5K as my anaerobic conditioning has been off in the last month. We’ll see what next week comes up with on the grounds of Wayland.

Weekly ReviewTotal Miles: 72.0
Number of Workouts: 9
Stretching: some pre and every post run
Yoga: Two!
P\U, S\U: 190/350
Notes: continue using ice, stretching and abdominal work, Raced at GBTC Topsfield XC Festival. I made Dr. appointments for physical and podiatry.
Issues to Note: ice is helping on right hip and right inner shin; Cold virus ran the course for a full week. Excellent yoga and stretching seem to help the turnaround despite logging more miles. Limited range of stride on right leg, most days shin would hurt on impact.
Next Week Goal: Continue recovery, preview the Wayland XC course and run fast next Sunday.


  1. Nothing like a good dog fight at the end! I remember the ones I lost as fondly as the ones I won (though I obviously prefer the latter). I guess it's all about being pushed and knowing you ran faster because of it. Congrats on the strong finish.

  2. Nice race report. Way to put your nose in there and mix it up. Stay on top of those injuries though. You don't need any problem from them once your marathon training begins.

  3. I'm dying to know how you could tell that the recent abs and pushup work were helping run that long hill.

  4. Thanks all for your support.

    Thomas, the abs and pushups work the core and upper body muscles that are necessary for hill climbing. Legs alone doesn't get you to the "top".

    The sensation is more frequent than the elusive "runner's high" and feels good if you get it.

    I'll do a post up on this.