Running the Hancocks

Running the Hancocks

My last foray to the Hancocks was back in Marchish and it was very snowy. We spent the whole trip battling through the tops of trees that are otherwise above you when you’re hiking during the summer. Seeing the blazes on the trees, most of them overhead today, which were at knee or boot level in March, reenforced exactly how much snow builds up out there.

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Stratham Hill Race Series 10k-Complete

I had intended to write up a summary of each race but after my dismal performance at the second one I decided it probably wasn’t going to make for particularly interesting reading. So here’s a summary:

Week One-Went well, ran fast came in 4thish. See the last post for the full break down.

Week Two-Terrible. My calves tightened up and I couldn’t make full strides. I think it occurred due to a combination of running harder than I normally do and wearing 8mm drop shoes instead of my Hokas. I’ve no idea how I placed because I was too tight to hobble over to the results.

Week Three-More terrible. I had surfed in the morning and also the morning prior. The first lap went well and then fatigue hit me pretty hard. I fell apart and couldn’t keep things up at the end. The calves felt decent-I wore Hokas.

Week Four-Much better. Ran well, kept pace with the usual characters and managed to drop a guy in the last couple hundred yards and keep it up until the finish. Came in 4thish again-there were a few people that had gone off course ahead of me.

Week Five-Pretty okay. Paced pretty well in the first lap. The finish of the first lap and the beginning of the second lap had a lot of flats which aren’t my strength. Fell a long way behind a runner at the beginning of the second lap and spent the next 2.5 miles just trying to catch up. I managed to catch him in the final downhill section but he turned up the pace on the final flat and dropped me. I placed a solid 5th for this one.

Overall, I’m very happy with how I did. I learned a lot about what my legs will do with back to back weeks of high intensity racing. I need to make my calves stronger I guess. And I think I definitely gained some speed. I don’t typically run at my limit and the effort made a difference. By the last race I averaged sub-8 minute miles on the trails. I’m pretty happy about that.

Now it’s on to higher mileage days in the mountains. Weeeeeeeee!

Stratham Hill Trail Race Series #1

Because the ski season was so good it’s been a slow transition. By this point last year I had gotten in some longer trail runs and was feeling pretty good by the time I did my first SHP race at the end of May. This year is totally different. The first time I ran 10k was only on Tuesday, two days before Thursday’s race day. And I was pushing a stroller. What could go wrong?

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