Category: Running

Want to Run UP a Ski Area? The 5K Mountain Goat Scramble is Oct 8th

So this sounds like a pretty wacky local race... the "5K Mountain Goat Scramble" takes place this Saturday, October 8, 2011, at our local Granite Gorge Ski Area in Roxbury, NH (just outside of Keene).

It's a 5K race where you run up to the halfway point of the ski trails and then back down ... and DO THAT FOUR TIMES!

I have skied all the trails where the race is running and know the exact route they are doing... it's going to be tough to run that loop four times!

I'm not sure exactly what our plans are for the weekend and so I don't know whether I'll be running it myself, but it does benefit an excellent cause, the creation of a new Children's Museum here in Keene, so I do hope they get a good turnout.

Registration is open and you save $5 if you register by Tuesday, Oct 4th.

Here's the trail map for those who are curious:

5KMountainGoatScramble2011 trails

Running A Half-Marathon – One Year After Starting Running!

I did it!

On September 4, 2011, I ran the 13.1 miles of the Swanzey Covered Bridges Half-Marathon!

Swanzeyhalfmarathon 2011

I came in at about 2 hours, 27 minutes for an average of 11:16 per mile.

More on that in a moment, but I thought I'd mention that one driver for me to do this particular race was because the first time I recorded a run on my iPhone was September 7th, 2010. Here it was...


1.6 miles! And a year later here I am at 13.1. I'm admittedly pleased with how that has worked out!

In truth, though, I had been doing some running earlier in August 2010 using my Garmin GPS "watch", which I actually still use as a double-check with the iPhone. I was amused to see courtesy of Facebook's new "On This Day in 2010" feature this juxtaposition:


It's been quite a journey... and amazing to see what happens when you just keep on doing something day after day after day.

Now, as to this past weekend's half-marathon, it turned out to be quite a humid morning. We've had spectacular weather in recent weeks, with beautiful sunny days, temperatures in the mid-70s Fahrenheit and with almost no humidity.

Sunday was not one of those days.

I made the classic mistake of starting out WAY too fast! Caught up in the pack of people, I was running up about 8 minutes/mile, which is faster than even the fastest 5K I'd run! Not sustainable... and I dropped it back a bit... but not far enough... and the pace graphic below shows how that hit me in the last few miles:

Swanzeyhalf2011 distance Swanzeyhalf pace

Indeed, that red part in the upper right of the image is where I walked from the 12 mile aid station until about 12.25 miles or so when I willed myself to get back underway to finish the final mile.

The race itself was quite beautiful to run. It started off going through a covered bridge and then onto about 2 miles of trail running along an old railroad bed that's now a trail. When the course returned to the road it took us through parts of Swanzey I'd never known about and through three more covered bridges. It was admittedly fun to run through those purely because I'd never done so before.

After laughing at someone pulling out their phone and taking a picture of the first bridge, I did have to do the same for the next three:


Swanzeybridge2 Swanzeybridge4 1

The race had a good bit of roads through wooded areas and all in all was quite beautiful to run. There were "aid stations" set up every 2 miles or so with water and/or Gatorade and while I ran with a belt with water bottles, I also drank from all of the aid stations. They were much appreciated and some of the folks staffing the stations had fun costumes, music, etc., which was enjoyable to see.

When the race was over, I was definitely tired... and I didn't do a whole lot of walking the remainder of the day. But the next day I was back out walking a 5K with the family and have felt pretty decent since that time.

Would I do it again? Definitely. Do I have any interest in going further and running a full marathon? Not right now... although I won't rule that out. That just seems like a huge time commitment... and hard to practice for with small kids in one's life.

But I'll do another half... ;-)


P.S. Thanks go to my wife for taking these photos of me coming in to the finish area.

UPDATE: The race results are up on and it turns out that I was 171st out of the the 203 runners - and 24th of the 26 runners in my age range (male 40s).

Running The Swanzey Covered Bridges Half-Marathon On Sunday…

Coveredbridge elijahsraceI went and did it... continuing my running adventure, I went ahead and signed up for the Swanzey Covered Bridges Half-Marathon, a.k.a. "Elijah's Race", this Sunday, September 4th, 2011. (UPDATE: The website hosting provider experienced a server crash and is still trying to get the site back up - meanwhile a cached version of the site is available.)

I've never run 13.1 miles.

In fact, if I'm honest about it, I'd never even thought about running 13.1 miles until recently.

But here I go! Farthest I've run is 11.28 miles and when I was done I still had "gas in the tank" and could have run farther... so I'm going to assume that the adrenaline of the race will pull me through those last two miles.

I thought I'd try this race because it's local... and hey, what can be more "New England" than running a race through not one, but four covered bridges!

If you want to participate, you CAN register on race-day. The race starts at 9:00am on Sunday morning at the Monadnock Regional High School on Old Homestead Highway / Route 32 (see the Google map) and registration opens up an hour or so before.

For those curious, you can see the course mapped out on Google Maps (although people who have run it tell me that it starts and ends at the same place - the high school):

Elijahsrace course

We'll see how I do!

Running Over 400 Miles And Counting…

400milesLast week I passed a milestone in this little running adventure of mine. Per the "Nike+ GPS" app I've been using on my iPhone I crossed over 400 miles total that I've run outdoors and tracked with this app.

Not bad considering that my first full run was about a year ago, September 7, 2010, for a whopping total of 1.6 miles. Prior to that I'd mixed running and walking.

And I'm still incredibly amused by it all given that as I've mentioned before, I NEVER expected to be a "runner"!

Not in a million years.

Yet here I am. Not only enjoying running... but actually craving running and starting to get twitchy if I don't get a run in at least every other day.

Strange world.

I'd note, too, that this app didn't track all the running I did indoors on a treadmill over the winter. And there have been a couple of runs where the app malfunctioned... or where my iPhone ran out of battery power.

So my actual mileage is substantially higher.

But, hey, this is a good measure of my outdoor runs... and given that I'm running 15-20 miles a week now, I should be cruising through 500 miles fairly soon.

Fun stuff to track!

P.S. And if you don't believe that I wasn't a runner, read this post about how 40-year-old fat men can get up and run. :-)