Monday, May 31, 2010

Pineland Farms Trail Festival 25K Race Report

The Grove, 17K into the race. Feeling very, very good at this point. But that didn't last long.

Erik and Ian have outdone themselves. The PFTF was biggerer and betterer than ever. Day one was the short races: 5K, 10K, 5K barefoot, and 5K canicross. The 5K and 10K had good size fields for a cross-country race, especially given that each race was competing for runners with the other races in the festival. The 5K canicross was wild with all the jumping, pulling, and general chaos. Had these dogs been kept in a kennel for a month with no outside play? The barefoot was great fun and the most competitive of the shorter races. I was happy to see that the top three were in the barefoot division and not the shod (mostly VFF) division, only because I don't see a difference between a VFF and a racing flat. The weather was stunning and the atmosphere was absolutely festive. I missed the afternoon seminars because I wanted to see my son Will run the 1600 at the WMC championships (woohoo, he got his PR of 5:22). Sam was unable to run because of his big Mt. Bike bruise.

25K race report.
I was very stressed about this race because of my sidestitch last year and my generally poor results at the longer (>5K) trail races. My time goal was 1:54 - 1:55, which I thought was very doable given that I'm in better shape than last year at this time and that was the time of the guys that I was running with before I collapsed with the SS.

Weather was a little warm - hot in the fields but reasonably pleasant in the woods. Winds were light to moderate. My strategy was to run by (1) feel and (2) HR. Prior to last year, I thought I'd be able to handle an average HR of 163-164 (92-93% of Max HR). This obviously didn't work. So my goal this year was to stay in the high 150s for HR. I was surprised at how fast my pace was this year at this HR. I typically hammer climbs during races but I decided to ratchet it down a little this year; this greatly helped keep my instantaneous HR at a more reasonable value. At the top of the big climb into The Grove (start/finish), which is about 10 miles into the race, I was feeling very strong and totally in control. I thought I would be able to pick up the pace a little in Oak Hill and finish somewhere around 1:50-1:51.

Unfortunately, I started to feel the exhaustion very soon after entering Oak Hill. I had been passed by a runner at the start of the big climb, when I slowed at the Pony Club aid station to take a gel and drink water (I forgot to take the gel coming into the station). This runner turned out to be Steve Wolfe of Acidotic Racing, which is the team that we had been had been having some fun trash talk with over the past two weeks. I didn't know who he was at the time and starting in Oak Hill (17K point), he and Dave Roberts slowly drifted away from me. With about 2.5 miles left, another runner passed me and he turned out to be Re Fahnestock, another Acidotic racer. I didn't recognize that either, until after the race. Crap, the two people who passed me were both AR runners. Re fairly quickly dropped me. I wasn't really slowing down, I just couldn't pick up the pace which is what Dave, Steve, and Re seemed to be doing. I'm not a good kicker but I gave it my best over the last 1/2 mile and finished in 1:52:40. A 25K roller coaster Pineland race is too long of a distance for my level of training (I've had two 12.5 mile training runs since the end of ski season) and this showed over the final 5K but, nevertheless, I am very happy with my time.

Clearly keeping my HR to 158-159 worked. At Mt. Washington last year, I ran with a sustained 163-164 HR. Why the difference? I think it is, ironically the hills at Pineland. If I'm averaging 163 at Pineland (last year), then my max HR on the hills must be really spiking, which is a signal to the brain to slow things down. Interesting.

Trail Monster Running was schooled by Acidotic Racing and two other teams. Unfortunately, Don Medd (1:55 last year) was a DNS because of bad stomach flu timing. With him I think we would have been more competitive. Congratulations to Chris, Steve, Re, and all you other AR runners.

Competition in the 25K race exploded this year. My Garmin clocked the course as slightly longer (.25K) this year (there was a small course change) than last but the number of good times was an all-time high. Here is how 1:52:40 would do this year and in 2008-2009
2010 25th overall, 12th Master
2009 12th overall, 3rd Master
2008 12th overall, 4th Master

Distance Lap Time Cum Time Lap Pace Cum Pace Avg HR Max HR
1 06:39.9 0:06:40 6:40 06:39.9 151 157
2 06:49.4 0:13:29 6:50 06:44.7 157 161
3 07:01.4 0:20:31 7:02 06:50.2 158 162
4 07:28.1 0:27:59 7:29 06:59.7 159 162
5 07:21.3 0:35:20 7:22 07:04.0 160 164
6 07:35.9 0:42:56 7:36 07:09.3 158 163
7 07:07.6 0:50:04 7:08 07:09.1 158 162
8 07:24.7 0:57:28 7:25 07:11.1 159 162
9 07:36.3 1:05:05 7:37 07:13.9 158 161
10 08:01.4 1:13:06 8:02 07:18.6 158 163
11 07:32.4 1:20:39 7:33 07:19.9 158 162
12 06:55.8 1:27:34 6:56 07:17.9 159 163
13 07:42.1 1:35:16 7:43 07:19.7 158 163
14 07:26.0 1:42:42 7:26 07:20.2 161 164
15 07:24.1 1:50:06 7:25 07:20.4 161 163
15.36 02:34.0 1:52:40 07:08 07:20.1 164 167


  1. You had a good race, Jeff! You were right on my heels.

    I was a little disappointed by Acidotic...I didn't notice many of them actually wearing their brand so I didn't know they were a part of them, especially since I haven't met many before now.

    I beat the one guy that I knew was Acidotic that had passed me earlier in the race, but the other guys ahead of me were unknowns. Not that I'd have caught them, but still...

    Either way, was a good time to be had by all.

  2. Blaine - I think you beat all the acidotic runners. It was GCS Triad that were front loaded. I like that the team event is growing. It's a good way to get to know each other and will hopefully encourage each time to get stronger and more teams to join. But with a 5K, 10K, 25K, 50K, 50M its hard to stretch a team out across all the races. Maybe Ian and Erik can think of a combined team trophy across all races, something like top 2 scores from each race. That would be kewl. Teams could throw all their eggs into 1 basket or go for the combined gold.

  3. Ah, you are right, I did beat them, I'd missed that when looking at the results. Okay, nevermind then, it would have been nice to have team names in the results. Hopefully next year.

    I like your idea about having a team competition through all of the races, though...that'd be great too.

  4. All the aR runners all had team gear (except Ri, who wore his on his head?). The problem is we slap the aR logo on any shirt and we all had different colors. Whatever it takes to win baby!
    Next time we all need to line up before the race so we can pick each other out. I knew a couple of you out there but not many. I think some of us will be doing some of the Bradford Mt races so maybe we'll meet up again.
    GCS put the hurt on us as well. GCS is my USATF team and typically only does road races. That's why I run for aR in the winter (snowshoe) and summer (trail races). I guess I irked them a bit when I said I was running with an aR team. My 'friends' put together a great team...good thing I like them :-)

  5. Awesome race, man! 1:52 is fully jacked!

    Our team placing certainly wasn't helped by my blow up.