Well, that's just fucking great.
Here I spend the entire day saturday taking up boards on my front porch, and digging down into two varmint holes I found, but no skunk.
OK, that's good and bad. I really didn't want to find a skunk, since that would mean I'd have to deal with it, but I missed a fabulous day of racing at Ice Weasels. Not that I didn't get a good workout, lot's of good core work from twisting, digging, and moving rocks underneath the porch joists mostly on my knees. So the stink is dissipating, and as of this morning there was only a faint hint of the odor in my basement.
Still, had I been given a choice, I would much rather have gone to ice weasels.
All told, I got a days worth of hard labor on saturday, and then helped a neighbor move a room full of furniture from his second floor to his garage sunday, so it isn't like I was slacking, but it wasn't the workouts I had hoped for. It was actually a pretty bad follow up to running the Mill Cities Relay the sunday before
(How's that for a segue, solo?)
The Mill Cities Relay is a 27 mile relay race in 5 legs from Nashua to Lawrence. I ran the last leg. It was a weird team event. The first two guys went home right after their legs and didn't bother to show up for the beer and pasta fest at the claddah pub afterwards. The middle guy leapfrogged me during my leg, up to about 1 mile to go - giving me much needed cheer, but didn't make it to the pub after for some reason. The 4th runner, the dude that got me into it, was sick and had his relatives visiting, so he met me at the pub, we had a quick bite of the pasta feed and split.
Not that I minded, I really didn't feel like hanging around anyways. Still, we stayed around long enough to chat with a couple of local cycling luminaries that had decided to trade racing flats for speedplays.
Ray Johnson, ten year record holder of the Men's Non-Aero category at the Charlie Baker time Trial was there with the Shamrock Road Runners. He announced that he had officially retired from bike racing. He usually runs a well-sub-6 pace, but today was on a mixed masters fun team, so they ended up 23rd
Fabio Piergentili was there with the Whirlaway Masters team - one of the premier running teams in new england. He ran on a team with craig fram. Craig is like the Skip Foley of running races in New England. That Fabio was asked to run on a team with craig speak volumes of Fabios running ability let alone his cycling ability. I may be mistaken about this, but I beleive Fabio was 3rd in his very first race as a cat 3 - which just happened to be the pro/1/2/3 Yarmouth Clamfest (Tom Payson) Road Race. Today, Fabios team got 2nd overall, and the first place masters team, running the 27.1 miles in 2:29:27
But enough about me feeling like a waterboy on the patriots sidelines. I did manage to knock off a 6:31 pace, which I was quite happy with because I've been doing NO speed work, just 8 minute pace hour-long runs a few times a week, and there is a pretty sizable hill for a running race on this leg.
I went out very fast for me, the first mile was 6:00. Too fast.
Second mile, 6:48. That's fine, I had the hill coming up.
Third mile, 7:30. That's the climb, I can live with that. I suck at running hills.
Fourth mile, 6:12. That's the downhill, that's about right, but I could feel I was pretty whipped when the road leveled out again.
The last leg is 4.75 miles, and I did the last 3/4 mile in 4:30, which works out to a 6:00 pace. I faded horribly, and got passed by two guys, but I wasn't going to let the 2nd guy go so close to the end. I struggled to keep him within wht IU thought would be striking distance for a sprint. One thing I've learned in the short time I've been running is that most guys at my level can't sprint.
He had about 5 seconds on me with 1/4 mile to go, so I opened it up.
I got so close to him I had to move along side to keep our legs clear.
He sensed it and picked up his pace.
I matched him, and as we approached the line his club-mates were screaming. Hey, I didn't have no stinkin' club-mates.....
I gave it every last bit I had with 100 yards to go, but he kept up the pace, matching my speed, the crowd screaming wildly.
We finished nearly side by side, but with me just behind his left shoulder. We both nearly collapsed, and attempted a high 5 but ended up doing a kind of lower 2 or three since we couldn't quite get our hands up. I'm thinking the sort-of-negative-split on the last mile was strictly due to the sprint.
While it was only for about 5oth place, it was arguably one of the better finishes to that point base4d on the cheers from the crowd. Our team finishing time was 2:58:13. The last time I ran it we did a 2:43:17, but that was with a group of guys who were arguably more serious about running in general
I'm back into my winter routine now, grumbling about skunk smell in my basement while I'm banging out squat sets.