March 2020 Newsletter

Welcome to the March 2020 edition of the Upper Valley Running Club newsletter! Keep your submissions coming — email

Happy running!

Table of Contents

    1. Letter from a Board Member by Alex Hall
    2. Photos from the Winter Social by Amanda Kievet
    3. Upper Valley Running Expo by Jim Burnett
    4. JB’s Races of the Month by Judy Phillips
    5. Green Woodlands by Ellie Ferguson
    6. Skip’s Run by Eric Ferguson
    7. Ask the Coaches

Letter From a Board Member: Starting the Year Strong

By Alex Hall

Training in the Upper Valley can be tricky in the winter. Overall, I feel like mother nature has been kind to us. The snowbanks haven’t completely encroached the shoulders of the road, the cold snaps seem much tamer, and snow storms have come in well timed cycles as opposed to a onslaught of 2″-3″ storms which always keeps the roads slippery and my shovel busy.

I’m hoping this means the club will be revved up for Shamrock Shuffle. Shamrock has always been the UVRC’s best race, where we have set the all time high score for a single team in the New Hampshire Grand Prix. It’s also the first race in the Upper Valley Running Series, where members of the club will face off against each other and accumulate points for age group competition. And with 1,000+ runners toeing the line, there will be plenty of harriers out there running with friends and family, stretch out the legs after a long winter, and/or putting their New Year’s resolution to the test.

If you want to help the club score points in the New Hampshire Grand Prix, you’ll definitely want to make sure you have renewed your membership. The only requirement is that your membership is up to date on the day of the race. The Upper Valley Running Series is more forgiving, where you will retroactively earn points as long as you’ve renewed by the 2nd race of the series. I’ve been encouraged by how many folks have either joined or renewed their membership over the last couple of months (thank you!). The more, the merrier, as UVRC’s strength comes in the size and diversity of the club. If you know anyone who is on the fence, let them know the ways you’ve benefited from the club, and bring them along to a practice or two to meet other area runners! We don’t actively advertise; word of mouth is how we keep our membership strong.

I look forward to seeing you out there on the roads, the trails, and for a little while longer, the slopes!

Photos from the Winter Social

by Amanda Kievet

Thanks to everyone who came out to Brookmead on Saturday, Feb 21st for our first Winter Social. It was a beautiful day for an outdoor event. Thanks to Tim Smith for co-organizing!

Upper Valley Running Expo

By Jim Burnett

JB’s Races of the Month

By Judy Phillips (“JB”) Norwich

Get your Irish on!

There are so many races in March celebrating St. Patrick’s from which to choose that you can easily do two per weekend if you’re willing to travel. One of our favorites was the St. Paddy’s Five Miler in Portsmouth, which, unfortunately is no longer held. We have great memories of running through the icy winds on the mostly flat course. But – no worries! We’ve discovered some newer races and have some old favorites.

The Shamrock Shuffle, Lebanon, NH, Saturday March 14
Most of the local runners love this race. The course is described as relatively flat, taking you through neighborhoods and along the Mascoma River (my favorite part). Note, I have learned that “relatively flat” in any race in Northern New England means there will be a hill or two, but they are manageable and offer a bit of a challenge. It’s a perfect way to sport your best green hats, scarves and running gear, and the (almost!) start to Spring running. We’ve run through mud, snow and icy patches….one year, a woman was running along side me barefoot. I was in awe! It’s wonderful to start the day with a local race with participants of all ages, then follow up with a burger and a beer, or your favorite post-race treat, at Salt Hill or Molly’s.
Link here.

Citizens Bank Half Shuffle Relay, Manchester, NH, Saturday March 28 & Sunday March 29
If you’re looking for a challenge, and enjoy a road trip, consider the Golden Shamrock Challenge organized by Millennium Running. MR’s races are among the best, and if you’ve never done their races, we highly recommend signing up for one. This challenge consists of the Shamrock Half Marathon on Saturday, March 28th and the Shamrock Shuffle on Sunday, March 29th. There is also the option to run the Half as a 3-person relay with exchange zones at 2 Irish pubs. The Shuffle is a 2 mile run; a great recovery race following the half. The course for the half winds its way through Manchester and is mostly flat. The Shuffle is a loop that starts and finishes at Veterans’ Park in downtown Manchester. For more fun, the Manchester St. Patrick’s Parade starts immediately after the Shuffle. MR’s events are alway well- managed, fun events, and lots of families participate in the shorter races.
Link here.

Green Woodlands

By Ellie Ferguson

In between running, racing and such, we need to remember to stop and smell the flowers, watch the snow fly, or make it fly. With the rise in the number of people ‘hiking the Whites’, many of my favorite hikes have become way too busy, as evidenced by the crackdown on folks parking on 93 through Franconia Notch in the summer(read you’ll get a ticket if you do, not to mention they’ve put up deterrents). For those who have not found Green Woodlands in Dorchester/Orford/Lyme area yet, it’s well worth checking out. It initially started out as mountain bike/hiking trails and now they groom the trails for cross country skiing, although I have gone out on my snowshoes.

Being the recent nice weather, I took advantage and went out this weekend and I will say, everyone I saw was coming back with a smile on their face. The folks that set up the trails have put a fair amount of effort and work into it. The land is all privately owned but they do not charge any trail fees and keep it well groomed. I will say I have always gone in from the 118 side out of Dorchester and can’t really speak to the west side access near the ponds where they actually have loaner skis, I am guessing they are similarly nice and well worth checking out. So if you are looking for an alternative workout, you might give them a try and check out their website here.

Skip’s Run

By Eric Ferguson

Dear UVRC Runners,

Following last month’s announcement of the 2020 Upper Valley Running Series, we’d like to highlight the 17th Annual Skip Matthews Memorial Run in Lebanon that will take place on Father’s Day, Sunday June 21. Skip’s Run will be the 4th race in this year’s Series, and on behalf of the race’s Executive Board, this is to announce that registration for the 4 Mile race and 1 Mile Fun Run/Walk is now open at

Race Details:

  • USATF certified course
  • Free wicking t-shirts to Preregistered runners
  • Awards
  • Post-race BBQ hosted by Salt hill Pub

If you are interested in getting involved with the planning and execution of the event, the Board meets monthly from January through May. On race day, we coordinate all aspects of the event. We also have a wrap-up meeting that usually occurs in September. We are seeking new members who are interested any of several areas such as the Start/Finish line, Traffic and Safety, Fundraising, Registration, Refreshments, T-shirts and Awards. To inquire further, please contact us at We look forward to hearing your areas of interest and any experience you have pertaining to road races.

We hope you will join us in 2020!

Erik Ferguson, Executive Board Member

Ask the Coaches

I’m completely out of questions for the coaches! Now is your chance for quick turnaround on your question. Got one for me? Send it to and I’ll send it on!

Carly Wynn:
A common question I get from my athletes is whether they can/should train when sick, when to start training again if they have to take time off, and what to do about their missed workouts. At this point I sort of have a stock answer for this one, but I’d like to hear what the other coaches think.

Dorcas DenHartog:

My rules of thumb: if the cold is in your chest, don’t run. But help body circulation with light stretching/yoga.

If it’s ‘just’ in your head/nose, it’s ok to do easy distance – nothing that will drive it into your lungs. And blowing your nose onto the side of the road saves tissues. Just be sure no one is running behind you.

Start keeping a log of your morning heartrate. Establish a baseline. When it rises 5 or more beats for a few days in a row, you’re probably fighting something/a cold is coming on. After an illness, you can start training when your heartrate is back to normal. However, long your illness (example: 5 days), start training at the point you were (double the illness time) 10 days ago. Don’t try to make up lost training hours or workouts.

That’s my two cents.

Dorcas DenHartog coaches cross country running at Hanover High School and summer track for UVRC.

Carly Wynn:

Blanket rule: rest from aerobic or strenuous strength training. Especially if you have a sore throat, fever, chest congestion, or nausea.

I know it’s frustrating to miss training, but look at it this way: healthily executing our planned training and recovery is going forward; training when ill or under-recovered is going backwards; resting when ill or under-recovered is staying in the same place (roughly, as long as this doesn’t go on for weeks.) No, it’s not as good as training healthy, but you can’t change the fact that you’re sick or tired so you might as well make the most of it. And encourage speedy healing.

Some athletes who know their bodies very well may be able to decide it’s okay to train lightly through a cold. Or if you are very familiar with your heart rate data you may also be able to make this call. To get into the weeds briefly, if you measure your resting heart rate or your heart rate variability, and both are relatively unimpacted by a minor cold, it’s probably okay to train lightly (no intervals, no races) throughout.

Restorative exercises may have their place throughout illness, and the increased circulation may even speed your recovery. If you follow a prehab or injury prevention routine, for example, which includes easy mobility exercises, you can continue these as long as they don’t exacerbate symptoms. Same for yoga, stretching, foam rolling, etc. Take this time while you’re sick to take care of the little details that might get overlooked when you’re busy training. During extreme weather conditions, doing these easy exercises indoors can help protect your body from the additional strain of heat/cold/air quality, etc.

So how do you know when to get back into training? This one follows a pretty basic rule. Once you start to feel like you’re on the upswing, and symptoms have diminished to the point where exercise sounds good (and/or you have heart rate data that indicates things are getting back to normal), go for an EASY jog. If that makes you feel better (energized, clears your head, etc.) then keep building slowly from there as you approach full health. If it makes you feel worse, take another couple days off.

Regarding coming back to training and “making up” for missed workouts: generally, don’t try to make up workouts you missed. Don’t ever try to make up the missed miles (i.e; if you missed 20 miles and next week is scheduled to be 30 miles, don’t run 50!) If you are preparing for a specific event, depending on your training schedule, a coach might change your upcoming workouts to accommodate one specific workout you missed, but if you’re calling your own shots just keep going with whatever plan you are on. If you are in an aggressive mileage or volume-building plan, in preparation for a marathon for example, consider whether you are ready to jump to the next week’s mileage. You might be, or you might want to redistribute your mileage increase over the next few weeks to effectively pick up where you left off when you got sick. A good training plan will be long term-enough that you have time to readjust if training gets temporarily derailed by something like a cold.

Of course it goes without saying that if you’re sick enough to need a doctor’s input, anything an endurance coach has to say goes out the window. Take care of yourself, first and foremost!

Carly Wynn is a personal coach at, and can be reached at

About this Newsletter

This newsletter is put out monthly by the Upper Valley Running Club, a running club in the Connecticut River Upper Valley Region. This month, the newsletter was edited by Amanda Kievet, with article collection by Geoff Dunbar. Any comments, questions, submissions, winter running tips, etc, send to

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