Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Pineland Farms 25k Race Review

Let me start off by saying that the race directors for the Pineland Farms Trail Festival really put on a tremendous event.  They have paid attention to all of the details and really make it one of the "go to" events in New England.  It's about 20-25 minutes north of Portland, Maine.  I absolutely love Portland, but sadly haven't had the chance to get up there for many a year.  So it was a great opportunity to combine the race and the long Memorial Day weekend into a nice mini get away for Laura and I.

It was a beautiful weekend as we went up Saturday.  We had arrived in the area too early to check in so we went right up to the course to register for the race.  Saturday was the race day for the shorter events and the Canicross.  I was totally blown away when I saw that the winner of the Canicross event finished in sub-6 minute pace.  Now I know it's only a 5k, but they're running with a dog on a leash no less!

Anyway, so Sunday comes around and the weather is beautiful.  Low 60's to start but it warms up to mid-70's by race time with not a cloud in the sky.  The 25k goes on a really nice course. Actually the 50k is 2 loops and the 50m is 3 loops with a slightly longer first loop to start.  The course is kind of unrelenting in that the roller coaster hills just dont stop and when out in the fields the side to side slanting makes it a bit tough at times. I set myself up near the back to start as I didnt want to go out to fast as they said the first 5k was downhill. I went out at a good pace and kept checking the garmin to make sure I stayed fairly steady. As I said the weather was beautiful but the sun was really bright when out of the woods.  Being cooler in the start I decided to wear a long sleeve wicking shirt.  In hindsight, maybe the long sleeve wasnt too wise.

About 4 or 5 miles out my right calf started cramping. The rolling hills helped a bit for me to be able to stretch it out, but by the 9 mile mark I realized that I had fallen way behind on staying hydrated. I started drinking what I could (another hindsight mistake was not bringing the hydration vest) and eating anything salty I could get at the aid stations (potatoes/pretzels/pickles) but with only 10k to go, I knew I was doing it to hold me over that I wouldnt be out there long enough to recover completely.

At one point at one of the last aid stations I was getting pretty lightheaded, so I sat for 15 seconds or so til it subsided; as there were just 3 miles to go and I knew I could finish this off. The legs for the most part felt great, and up until that last aid stations my pace was good.  I wasnt winded, I was just having a hard time focusing and at the finish, everything I saw was really bright and twinkling. It was a tough go near the end. Felt really weird when I finished, thank God Laura was around and taking care of me. Sat down for a bit, drank anything and everything I could get my hands on (I have a new love of chocolate muscle milk), and after a while we grabbed something to eat and I eventually felt ok. Chalk it up to a learning experience as I do sweat alot but I have never had issues like this with hydration before.  In the first day or so I was questioning what I should do and if my goals were too optimistic.  But last night and today I really have been realizing that it was a hydration issue, and that I could really have done well had I been able to stay hydrated.  Best to learn this during a shorter controlled environment with Laura around to help me.

So back to the trails I go.  After the next two weeks my basketballcoaching stint is over, and can commit the time needed.  I may pick up a few basketball ref'ing assignments to put a little cash in my pocket.  But I cant wait to lace up the Salomons.  Thanks for reading and Be Well ~ Sank

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

For what it's worth..... this guy has my respect.

Here's my disclaimer:  I have absolutely no idea who this guy is.  Never met him, never talked to him, never....nothing. 
The background story: If you have a YouTube account, when you log on, it will give you a list of videos that are similar to ones you've watched before.  So I sign on late last night and this one shows up.  I figure what the hell.....
This is the 2nd half of the run but it in a just 14 minutes video snipit, it allows you to share briefly, with his journey.  The pain, the anquish, and the triumph as he finds the last minute energy to run out to the finish of his 100 mile run.
So if you know this guy:  Shake his hand for me and tell him that somewhere up in Southeastern Massachusetts, there is a runner named Sank, and let him know that he has my respect and admiration.

Be well ~ Sank

Friday, May 11, 2012

Salomon XA Pro 3D Ultra 2 review

Well my experiment with the New Balance Minimus has come to a sad conclusion.  Let me start off by saying that the NB's felt like slippers.  They are so comfortable, and I will continue to wear them when I go walking.  However being that I run at Gilbert, which is very rocky and technical in nature; coupled with my size and running style, my feet were consistently bruised and sore.  So I went on the hunt for some new shoes.
Unlike prior times, I went in with no preconceived ideas of what shoes to get.  I tried on some Montrails, some New Balance, some Salomons, and some La Sportivas.  Then I went home with a list of 2 or 3 shoes and did some research.  Went back to EMS, and tried back on the Salomon XA Pro 3D Ultra 2s.   LOVED THEM. 
So Wednesday night, I had the chance to finally throw them on the feet and try them out.  I was concerned a bit that coming from the Minimus and the "blocky" feel that they had coming out of the box that they might feel a bit stiff.  And in comparison they are, but it only took a little while for that feeling to totally go away.  It was and had been raining for days, so the trails were very wet and slick, but the XA's gripped well and held their footing great.  And surprisingly they feel extremely light.
But after 4 miles in I would branch off of the Megley Trail at Gilbert to an area that is fairly long, steep and very rocky.  Unlike the Minimus where I had to virtually tiptoe down, the sole of the Salomon let me really attack the downhills with no worries about my midfoot.
Final thoughts:  Love the Quicklace One-Pull lacing system, and the pocketed tongue to hide while running.  Lets you really ratchet them down and can quickly tighten if need be.  The mesh breathes well, which is great cause I most definitely do not avoid puddles!  And finally for someone like me that stubs my toe ALOT, the Toe Cap and Mud Guard is a "toe" saver.
All and All I give the Salomon XA Pro 3D Ultra 2 a well deserved:  A.
Take care and Be Well ~ Sank

Friday, May 4, 2012

First Owl "sighting" of the year and request!

For those of you that had read my blog, you know that I take great pleasure in my run-ins with the Barred Owls that reside at F Gilbert State Forest, in Foxboro MA near where I live.  I have had then fly in front of me to land on a stump and watch me, or hearing a large group "hooting" back and forth while I ran the trails beneath them, to hearing them start their calls as the daylight ends and dusk falls upon the woods.

Last night, about 90 minutes before dusk, I heard my first call of the year.  Regardless of how I am running or the weather or what have you; the call always brings a sense of youthful exuberance to me.
So today I was googling Barred Owl's for a cool picture to post and I came across this website:  I was absolutely floored that this is happening to there wonderful birds.  It's amazing that our government can sit in judgement to eliminate one type of owl, in this case the barred, to try to save another, the equally beautiful but sadly endangered spotted owl. 
If you have a moment please go to the website, and sign the petition.   Takes all of about 20 seconds.  It will be a sad day indeed, if the woods of Gilbert ever fall silent.
Thank you all and Be Well ~ Sank

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Bronchitis, Motivation or lack there of, and Pineland/Bear Brook

Well it's finally May which means I am 27 days away from running my first official 25k Trail Run race.  From all I had researched it seems like Pineland Farms run a great festival.  It's also a nice chance to get away for a long weekend (being Memorial Day), as this spring has been insanely busy between: trying to keep the house a float, coaching a 7th grade boys AAU team, working, training, "Dad"ing, etc etc etc........

I had been debating on running the 50k, but after talking to a friend about it, he suggested to do the 25k and then do a training run in to get in some more mileage.  I'm pretty glad that I picked the 25k as the bronchitis that hit me in early March thru mid/late April, really did a job on my lungs and my endurance shape.  But this week, I have felt a world better, and been getting in some quality runs (not too much quantity but quality). 

After being sick for almost 6 weeks, I am hoping to get some mileage under my belt, as after Pineland I have registered for the Bear Brook Marathon and Ultra in July.  At the end of the 6 weeks (last week actually) I was seriously starting to question my running and my commitment to it.  So I made a deal with myself (does anyone else actually do that?) that I would put in the time and effort and do my absolute best to get myself ready for Pineland.  If when I had run that I wasn't into the distances, I would run Bear Brook (doing the 26.7 course) in July, but would NOT sign up for Stone Cat 50 miler in November. 

Actually being able to run without sounding and feeling like I am breathing in an iron lung machine, has definitely changed my mood.  My short term goal now is: a 30 mile week this week and to drop 7-10 pounds in the next few weeks (GOOD BYE ICE CREAM :(   going into to Pineland.

Well enough for now, hope all is well with everyone and anyone that reads this.

Be Well ~ Sank

Best Trailer to Date

Ok I have no problem admitting it, I am a pretty big Batman fan.  And no one, and I mean NO ONE, has done a better job bringing any of the comic book genres to the big screen better than Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale.

That being said, I cannot wait for this movie to be released in July.  Sad part is that this is the last one in the series with Nolan and Bale.  But it looks absolutely kick ass.

Be safe ~ Sank