Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Weekly Log 12-27-10 to 1-2-11

Monday: 0 - plenty of shoveling. 

Tuesday: 7 miles - Rome Point trails alone.  Wow, this was a draining run.  The first trail was easy enough with packed cross country ski tracks in the snow.  As I got further from the parking lot, the trail conditions worsened.  I trudged through virgin snow on the cedar grove trail and yellow dot (except for the coyote and deer tracks).  The snow wasn't deep - maybe 4 inches - but crispy on top - and I was only wearing my trail shoes with Yaktrax.  I reached the beach and couldn't believe how easy it felt (usually it's tough).  I was able to cross the stream with a high tide using blocks of ice that had formed.  Lots of gulls, brant, and starfish frozen in ice.  Unfortunately, I had to return to my car via the snowy trails.  It felt good to finish in a misleading 59:13.  I treated myself to a delicious coffee afterwards. 

Wednesday: 0 - dentist and hanging with my kids - went to the snowy playground and also hiked around the woods looking for animal tracks.  Not alot of tracks around, just some squirrels and a coyote. 

Thursday: 12 miles - Shumunkanuc Hill to Alton to Bradford to Klondike to Shumunkanuc Hill alone.  A nice long morning run on roads.  Chilly start (22 degrees - 32 degrees when I finished).  I ran with my new winter running gear and was never cold or uncomfortable.  I was shooting for a 7 minute pace run, but I knew that was going to be difficult with the up and down course.  My first two miles were sub 7 minutes, but by mile 5, I was at 35:45 (7:09 pace).  I picked up the next two miles as they were mostly flat, busy, and narrow shouldered with the snow.  By mile 9, I was at 63:22, but I had three very hilly miles left.  I gave it a good effort and finished up in 1:26:33. 

Friday: 0

Saturday: 0 

Sunday: ?

Weekly Total: 19 miles
Last Week: 20 miles
Year to Date: 1,396 miles

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Weekly Log 12-20-10 to 12-26-10

Monday: 0 - stomach virus.  Apparently Jackson (my son) and I picked it up at a birthday party I brought him to on Saturday.  Just about everyone there got it.  Awesome. 

Tuesday: 0 - not well enough to run. 

Wednesday: 0 - planning to run, but my body still didn't feel up to it. 

Thursday: 12 miles - South County Bike Path with Dan.  Good to run again!  We started from the Kingston train station and headed SW to Wakefield.  With a NW wind, we were cruising along nice and easy.  At the turnaround, we finally got to experience head on what we weren't noticing before - a very strong wind!  Our miles got slower and Dan told me to go ahead after 9 miles.  I wanted to run 6:45 pace the rest of the way.  1st mile 6:48, 2nd 7:05 - wow this stretch was windy, 3rd mile 6:33 - really windy but I was going all out.  Total time - 1:29:28. 

Friday: 0 - busy Xmas eve.  My kids and I hiked Mt Tom in the morning.  No one complained about the cold or the long walk!  Even my 3 year old made it the entire way without me carrying her on my shoulders. 

Saturday: 0 - Xmas day.  My wife got me some really nice winter running clothes.  Greg approved.  He got me Yaktrax for running in the snow and ice and some anti-bonking products.  We had 17 people at our house for dinner. 

Sunday: 8 miles - Shumunkanuc Hill roads and Vin Gormley trail early before the heavier snow.  I got to try out the new gear and loved it all - including the Yaktrax - really comfortable to wear over my trail shoes.  I ran into a pack of mtn bikers (slightly friendly).  I didn't wear a watch, but did peek at the time before I left and when I returned - about 59 minutes. 

Weekly Total: 20 miles
Last Week: 42 miles
Year to Date: 1,377 miles

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Weekly Log 12-13-10 to 12-19-10

Monday:  7 miles - Rome Point trails with Dan.  After a few crazy days of no running, it was good to get back at it.  We kept the pace pretty fast, and really pushed the big hill and the cedar forest.  Not too wet after the 3-4 inches of rain on Sunday and warm.  Total time - 48:40. 

Tuesday:  11 miles - Ryan Park trails alone.  Ran into Dan about half-way in, and then ran with him for 5+ miles.  A nice relaxing run at a good pace (about 7:15).  Chilly (28 degrees), especially when facing the wind.  Total time - 1:19:50. 

Wednesday: 4 miles - Rome Point trails with Brad.  Easy run in cold conditions - 24 degrees and windy.  Delicious post run coffee.  Untimed. 

Thursday: 13 miles - Rome Point trails (6.5m) and Wickford roads (2x3.25m) with Dan.  We started a little slow, picked it up a little bit, and then a little more on the roads back.  I never got cold today - 33 degrees with a decent wind.  Total time - 1:40:48. 

Friday: 7 miles - Rome Point trails alone.  I wanted to run the beach today and incorporate some sort of speed workout.  I ended up at Rome Point again for the 4th time this week.  I ran about 2.5 miles of trails at a fast pace - 16:15.  I then jogged out to the beach and ran the mile down to the Jamestown Bridge.  The way out was awesome: the wind was at my back, I took off my hat and gloves, and even jumped the stream easily.  I counted 45 brant near the bridge.  After I turned around, it felt much colder and I had to put my gear back on.  This 2 mile-ish section took 18:30.  I re-entered the woods and reversed the 2.5 miles of trails I began with.  I tried to keep it fast the entire time and was happy with a 15:54 split.  Total time - 50:39. 

Saturday and Sunday: 0
Weekly Total: 42 miles
Last Week: 20 miles
Year to Date: 1,357 miles

Friday, December 10, 2010

New Visitor in the Woods

We have spotted this Pileated Woodpecker off our deck the last three mornings.  It shows up while I'm eating breakfast.  It's been fun to watch it drill holes and then eat (or drink?) whatever it's finding inside.  I've never seen one in this area before. 

Monday, December 6, 2010

Weekly Log 12-6-10 to 12-12-10

Monday: 7 miles - Ryan Park trails alone.  New PR & CR - 44:57.  I can't find what the old record was, I think 45:18.  I wanted to run fast today because the weather was so miserable.  Actually, I didn't want to run at all.  32 degrees and windy.  I didn't feel as if I was giving it my all, I just feel faster.  It was nice to see no one out today - creepy guy in his car staring at me not included. 

Tuesday: 8 miles - Rome Point trails (4m) and Wickford roads (4m) with Brad and Tom.  A nice easy run on a decent December day.  Untimed. 

Wednesday: 5 miles - Ryan Park trails with Brad.  The cold north wind kept my office chilly all day, and I was planning to take a zero.  I'm glad someone else was willing to go.  Howling wind near the pond.  Untimed. 

Thursday - Sunday: 0 - 0 - busy at work, busy at home.  I tried sneaking in a run Friday, but quit after one minute after realizing I was running for the wrong reasons (chasing miles).  This was stressing me out rather than being an enjoyment. 

Weekly Total: 20 miles
Last Week: 36 miles
Year to Date: 1,315 miles

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Weekly Log 11-29-10 to 12-5-10

Monday: 3 miles - Ryan Park trails alone.  A short, easy run late in the afternoon to shake out my (surprisingly not that sore) legs.  Perfect weather!  It's gets lonely out there this time of year, and I love it.  Untimed. 

Tuesday: 9 miles - Ryan Park trails with Dan.  My thighs were a tad more sore today, but I feel way better than anticipated after the 24 mile epic trail run on Sunday.  The pace felt good, but the time was mediocre for the first half.  We slowly picked it up as the run went on, and then hammered the last two miles.  Despite my legs being tired, this felt awesome.  Even the Garmin said we were going 6:45 pace, so you know it was fast.  Total time: 1:04:30. 

Wednesday: 0 - if I planned ahead, I would have taken an early lunch to run before the rain.  Oh well.  I guess it was windy too.  Right now there's a flashing cop car and the sound of a chainsaw outside of my house.  I'm assuming a tree fell across the road....

Thursday: 13 miles - Rome Point trails (6.5m) and Wickford roads (6.5m) with Dan and Brad.  Crisp weather.  Slowish start.  Picked it up in the woods.  Really pushed the roads back to the office.  Splits:  3.25 miles roads 24:51/6.5 miles trails 47:33/3.25 miles roads 22:03.  Total time: 1:34:28. 

Friday: 11 miles - 6 x 800 (half mile) on Quonset Bike Path with .2/.3 mile recovery between.  Long warm up on Calf Pasture Point roads and beach, 2 mile cool down on roads.  My results: 2:59/2:59/2:53/2:53/3:02/2:57 Total running time:  1:24:59.  A bit chilly and gray today.  A sneeky North wind made for erratic results I think.  My warm up was longer than anticipated - I was enjoying low tide on the beach and just cruising along not knowing how strong the wind was until I turned around.  I think my times were a tad slow due to the 13 mile effort I ran yesterday, but it was a fun workout. 

Saturday: 0 - took the kids on a morning hike in Ninigret NWR.  I was happy that they never complained about being cold despite the fact that it was.  We took Grassy Point trail down to the end, and then they played at the water's edge until the inevitable (someone would get too wet).  This lasted longer than expected, and I brought my binocs and enjoyed what wildlife was out on the pond.  I could see gannets over the beach, a great blue heron hiding in the reeds, mergansers, cormorants, gulls, and a common loon.  Instead of running in the afternoon I had to meet up with the band to work on our sound set up for our big gig next weekend. 

Sunday: 0 - good day out and about with the family.  Another zero.  Looks like I won't be catching Justin this year.... 

Weekly Total: 36 miles
Last Week: 50 miles
Year to Date: 1,295 miles (will I catch Justin with one month to go?)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Epic Arcadia Run 11-28-10

Sunday marked a few new running milestones for me.  I had planned this run back in July as a solo journey I would attempt on my 35th birthday.  Life got too busy, it didn't happen, and I soon forgot about it.  A few weeks ago, my brother Greg did a long trail run in Vermont with a few of his friends.  This awesome run reminded me of the one I never did.  I contacted Justin about it.  My brother found out my intentions as well, and was interested in joining us.  We decided to run it over the Thanksgiving break.  Logistics were worked out, invitations to others were extended, and we settled on a Sunday, 6:30AM start.  According to the mileage on my map, the total distance would be somewhere between 21 and 22 miles.  I was a little skeptical, thinking that the author might have used GPS to calculate, and it might be longer.  I figured we would just take our time, go slow, and stop and smell the roses along the way. 

We set off  at 6:41AM.  It was still pretty dark and cold (my car read 23 degrees).  Our pack included me, Justin, Greg, and Boj.  Our Arcadia journey began appropriately on the Arcadia Trail.  The first few miles were mostly uphill, and the trail was technical.  We passed one annoyed hunter, and made jokes about him once we were safely out of his ear and gunshot.  We stopped at the Boulder Field so that I could snap a picture:
The trail finally descended to Upper Roaring Brook Pond - long name for a small pond.  Around a turn we ran into another hunter.  He seemed jolly and friendly, but maybe that was due to his resemblance to Santa.  We stopped at Bates Schoolhouse Road so that Greg could ditch some clothes.  According to the map we had gone about 5 miles, but our time was 57 minutes.  Hmm.  Boj commented that he was marginally prepared for a 20 mile run, but he was afraid we were going to end up going 30 miles.  I'm not sure he was really prepared for anything since he went to bed at 2AM and brought no food or water with him.  Finally, we spilled out onto Rte 165, the end of the "7.1 mile" Arcadia Trail in a tick under 70 minutes.  If we were running 10 minute miles then I'll quit running.  Boj lead us most of the way and we were actually going faster than I anticipated - not slow at all. 
We crossed 165 and hit the John B. Hudson Trail.  This short trail connected to a favorite of mine - Breakheart Trail.  Boj briefly wandered off course, so I took over the lead, as I didn't want to miss the yellow markers (this part can be tricky - I've messed up before).  Somewhere on this trail we hit the half way point.  Who knows where for sure.  The guys were not amused that I could only assure them that we might be halfway done or then probably a little over halfway.  Eventually, we began the climb up Penny Hill.  The sun was in our eyes, but its warmth felt great.  We stopped at the summit (well, false summit) at the two hour mark.  Here's a quick video I took.  I'm not proud of my heavy breathing. 

We started back up again, hit the real summit, and then had a nice long descent to the Falls River.  Here we picked up the Escoheag Trail.  Also, I hit a new milestone for time running, eclipsing my previous long of 2 hrs 15 minutes at last year's Pisgah Mtn 23K.  Unfortunately, this portion of trail was all uphill, steep at times, and very technical (or maybe it was because my legs were getting tired).  We turned left onto Mt. Tom Trail and continued ascending the mysterious Mt. Tom.  Luckily, this part was not steep at all, and very easy on the legs.  Right before reaching Rte 165, the trail descends steeply.  I felt a little out of control, and grabbed for a small tree to slow me down.  The tree snapped and I stumbled.  Greg was concerned (or convinced) that I was bonking.  I assured him that I felt good energy-wise, and we only had less than 6 miles left to go.  This last comment was met with laughter.  No one believed me. 
South of 165, the Mt. Tom Trail meanders along exposed rock ledges for a mile or so.  This is my favorite spot in Arcadia, and it's a place my family likes to hike a few times a year.  We stopped at a couple spots for pictures and to take in the views.  I took another quick video: 
We reached the bottom of the ledges, the trail evened out, and was lined with a bed of pine needles.  Everyone was happy to run on them, but my feet were so fatigued that nothing felt good.  I fell behind the others, but I willed myself to never get too far back.  We were rudely greeted by two more steep hills before reaching Summit Road.  Although a dirt road, it was hard packed, and it made the last two miles, plus the half mile of paved Arcadia Road challenging.  Greg and Boj pushed this part to get it over with, while Justin and I held on for dear life.  We returned to our cars after 3 hrs and 20 minutes of running time (about 4 hrs total).  My feet hurt, but nothing else really did, and my energy level was good.  Boj calculated the true distance in his head - 24 miles (based on his and Greg's expert opinions on our pace).  Sounds good.  New record for me!  Another confidence boosting run this fall. 
One day later, and my body still feels good.  I have no soreness in my feet.  I now have the idea of doing a trail marathon next year!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Weekly Log 11-22-10 to 11-28-10

Monday: 7 miles - Ryan Park trails with Dan.  A nice untimed run the day after the Runaround.  Feeling surprisingly good. 

Tuesday: 4 miles - Rome Point trails with Dan, Brad, and JS.  Woke up a little more sore today.  We had a nice orange pack running through the woods.  Total time: 31:50. 

Wednesday: 15 miles - South County Bike Path (12 miles) and Tri-Pond Park trails (3 miles) alone.  I had a half day at work and planned to run errands in Wakefield.  I figured I would do the entire bike path and check out some side trails I had noticed before.  Although the temp was close to 50 at the start, the strong NW wind made things chilly.  I started in Peace Dale and got the annoying section out of the way first.  The trails were really fun.  I couldn't find a good map online, but there is a good one on the bike path.  I did a mile on the south side near California Jim's Pond.  Then, on the north side, I explored the other two ponds.  Lots of bridges and roots on this side.  Back on the bike path, I ran into the wind toward the Kingston train station.  Not too many people out there, but it was nice to see a few other hardy runners.  On the way back I was much warmer.  My lower legs (feet mostly) were tired and sore the last two miles, but I kept up my pace (mostly 7:15 to 7:20 miles).  Total time: 1:52. 

Thursday: 0 - I'm pretty sore - probably because of all the pavement the day before. 

Friday: 0 - family hike around Browning Mill Pond in Arcadia.  Bass slappin' at night. 

Saturday: 0 - why not at this point?  Saving it for Sunday. 

Sunday:  24 miles - Epic Arcadia trail run with Greg, Boj, and Justin.  Write up to follow.  Total time: 3 hrs 20 minutes of running. 
Weekly Total: 50 miles

Last Week: 27 miles
Year to Date: 1,259 miles

Monday, November 22, 2010

Lil' Rhody Runaround 2010

Sunday was the day for the race I anticipate all year long.  My local trail race doubles as my family's Thanksgiving, and the race is always fun no matter what shape I'm in.  This year I was in the best running shape of my life, and I couldn't wait to run it.  I have to drive by the course at least two times a day and I would often envision how I would be feeling at a certain point or how hard I would need to push myself.  I decided on a very light running schedule for the week (3 runs - 17 miles, 3 days off). I had a great big meal the night before (similar to my Pisgah race) and slept very well.  I wasn't too nervous until I began fidgeting around my house waiting for my dad to pick me up.  Finally my wife advised, "Remember, this is supposed to be fun."  Good point.  This actually helped.  My dad and brother Glenn picked me up and we were at the race over an hour early.  Luckily, a lot of our friends were there early too, and it was fun to hang out, catch up, and discuss strategy.  I wasn't planning on a warm up, but I ended up doing a pretty long one with Justin.  We timed it really well, because as we returned to the parking lot, it was time to line up at the starting line.
I was in the second row, behind my brother Greg (going for the win and course record) and Bojo, and next to my coworkers Dan and Tom. 
At the gun, someone behind me (Tom?) stepped on my foot and my shoe almost came off.  I was stuck behind some slower people.  I worked my way around them and let it fly.  I allowed the adrenaline do the work for the first mile.  I was amazed at how many people were passing me despite the blistering pace.  Finally, we hit the first single track trail.  The speedsters ahead of me (road runners?) slowed down upon hitting the woods.  My theory in these situations is that it is better to pass and run faster than you'd like then sit behind someone at a slightly slower pace.  I worked my way around quite a few people until the trail opens back up in Burlingame campground.  Then, in typical Lil' Rhody Runaround fashion, the slower trail runners turned back into faster road runners and I was passed by many of the same faces.  The trail re-enters the woods in a low lying area.  I skipped the first bridge and ran to the side of it.  The next one I took, and from behind me I could here someone skid off and crash into the bushes.  Ouch!  Soon after, I heard two more falls behind me, and we hadn't hit any technical stuff yet.  As the former race director would say, "People, this is a TRAIL race!" 
After the first couple of miles I was feeling it - it being the pain of maintaining my speed.  I was in a single file group of runners that seemed to know what they were doing.  No one was slowing down at the rock gardens and stream crossings, or getting up the hills.  Somewhere before mile 3 I was passed by the first female.   Then I was passed by an older guy with a big white mustache.  And finally, Justin went by at the 22 minute mark.  This is the furthest I've made it before he has caught me (I tend to start too fast).  At the water stop (the half way point time wise), I grabbed a water thinking I would try to get a drop down, but the cup exploded in my hand.  So, I tossed my wet gloves to my waving mom and sister-in-law and began the short road section ahead.  I was expecting to get passed by more road runners here.  However, I was able to work my way past quite a few people including the first female and the mustache man.  The pace was still fast entering the next technical single track.  I nimbly hopped my way up a short rock climb section and then dealt with the roots.  At the bottom of the biggest hill on the course there was a very young hunter with a large gun leaning against a tree right on the trail.  Yikes!  I made a joke here and somebody behind me topped it as we climbed the hill.  For some reason this hill finally slowed down a few people in front of me, and I passed five runners.  It took me a while to recover from my effort, and the mustache dude passed me again.  The guy was an animal out there!  Soon after this point my body felt strong again (2nd wind?).  I followed someone for a little while and then went for the pass.  I hammered the remaining rock gardens and uphills and reached the road at 48:20ish.  My spirits soared as I now knew I would reach my sub 56 goal.  I then passed the mustache man again and I swear he groaned at me.  I caught one more guy on the road, who then sprinted by me, slowed way down, and then I went by him again.  I soon figured out what he was looking to accomplish: a mad dash for the finish line.  As we turned back into Burlingame Park, I was run down by this person, who was locked in an epic sprint battle with the mustache man!  I didn't have that sort of kick in me, and they finished a few seconds ahead.  I was ecstatic to see the timer just click to 54 minutes (actual time 54:02) as I passed under it, and tried to stop my body from wanting to throw up (I didn't). 
It was fun to see my wife and kids at the finish line, and get to see Glenn, Dan, Tom, Jen, Pard, and Brad finish their races.  I was expecting to set a PR by a decent margin, but didn't envision by 4 minutes and 17 seconds.  Running 8 miles at 6:45 pace on this course has increased my desire to run faster, further, and funner (bad grammar intended).  I was proud of the way Glenn fought his way to a 57, and excited for Dan and Tom's 58's, Greg's win and PR, and Justin's own huge PR.  This race never disappoints.  Can't wait for next year!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Weekly Log 11-15-10 to 11-21-10

Monday: 0 - let the taper begin.  Nick Cash I was very tired and overwhelmed with work and didn't get the chance or desire to run. 

Tuesday: 7 miles - Ryan Park trails fartlek with Dan.  A nice easy run sprinkled with 6 out of control sprints on the gnarliest hilliest sections.  Total time: 54:35. 

Wednesday: 5 miles - Rome Point trails with Dan.  Another easy run.  I had to laugh at myself.  Two minutes into the run I tripped over a root and couldn't stop myself from falling onto the ground.  At least I fell on nice hard dirt.  Total time - 38:50. 

Thursday: 5 miles - Ryan Park trails with Brad.  Yet another easy run.  Perfect weather.  Untimed. 

Friday: 0

Saturday: 0

Sunday: 10 miles - Lil' Rhody Runaround 8 mile trail race - 19th place.  Total time: 54:02 - 6:45 pace. 

Weekly Total: 27 miles
Last Week: 50 miles
Year to Date: 1,209 miles

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Weekly Log 11-8-10 to 11-14-10

Monday: 0 - crappy weather day, couldn't get motivated to run.  Went and bought new Free Runs. 

Tuesday: 13 miles - Wickford roads (6.5 miles) to/from Rome Point trails (6.5 miles) with Dan.  It was nice to do a long run with someone else for a change.  Weather was decent enough, except when facing the wind.  Nice pace on the roads and in the woods.  I picked it up on the roads on the way back - covering the final 3.25 miles in 21:25.  Total time - 1:35:01. 

Wednesday: 10 miles - 6 x 800 (or more accurately .5 miles) on Quonset bike path with 3+ mile warm up and 3- mile cool down on Calf Pasture Point roads.  This was a fun but hard workout.  I mapped out a way to squeeze in 6 800's on the 2.3 mile bike path (one way) with .2 or .3 mile recovery jogs in between.  I wasn't sure what to expect.  Strong tail wind for first 3 and head wind for last 3.  My results: 3:01/2:52/2:53/2:52/2:56/2:54 - total running time of 1:17:45. 

Thursday: 0 - legs are tired and told me not to run.  I did have an outrageous amount of energy today though.  I raked my front yard, played bass off and on all afternoon, and then 2.5 hours straight at band practice. 

Friday: 12 miles - Vin Gormley trail plus roads to/from with Pard.  I took today off to make a 4 day weekend and get a break from the craziness at work.  I met Pard at the trail near his house and we ran the Lil' Rhody course backwards at an easy pace.  Great weather - 40 degree start, 50 degree finish and sunny.  The course is in tremendous shape: no blowdowns, dry as a bone, even the leaves are getting packed down (oaks dropped them early this year).  Should be a fast one next Sunday, but remember "this is a TRAIL race". 

Saturday: 9 miles - Shumunkanuc Hill roads and Route 91 alone.  I pushed this early morning run.  My legs felt pretty good and I thought I would try to do a 7 mile 7 minute per mile run.  I was right on pace for the first two miles.  I was surprised at how cold I felt despite it being 40 degrees at my house when I left.  When I hit the 3 mile mark (I think) I was suddenly a minute off.  I'm not sure how that happened.  At 5 miles I was at 36:15.  Annoyed, I pushed the hilly Burdickville Rd hard, and then decided to keep running after 7 miles (50:20).  I added two hilly miles and finished up in 64:08.  My guess is that my legs were not at full strength, because the effort was there for a fast run.  I have to rest my legs later this week so that they are hungry for Lil' Rhody. 

Sunday: 6 miles - Shumunkanuc Hill roads solo.  I snuck this run in during the late afternoon.  My first mile was pretty fast, so I decided I would push it, and have this be my last hard workout before next Sunday's race.  This run was hard, but I was rewarded with a great time on a hilly out and back.  The course can be described as first mile more ups than downs, 2nd mile all down, 3rd mile all up then reverse direction.  My results: 6:44/6:32/6:52/6:26/7:10/6:10 Total time: 39:54 (6:39 pace).  This run was only topped by an awesome family hike with another family on the Long Pond Ell Pond trail earlier this afternoon.  The amount of green is stunning - hemlocks, mtn laurel, and giant rhododendrons.  Tricky terrain for the five five and unders, but no one got hurt and had a lot of fun.  I think the kids' favorite part was eating my homemade GORP.  Good week - 50 miles again - have to remind myself to take it slow this upcoming week....

Weekly Total: 50 miles
Last Week: 40 miles
Year to Date: 1,182 miles

Friday, November 5, 2010

Weekly Log 11-1-10 to 11-7-10

Monday: 0 - couldn't get out of the office - dealing with a sales tax audit.  Stressed and anxious! 

Tuesday: 12 miles - Gravelly Hill trails (2x6 mile out and back course) alone.  I needed this run.  I've mentioned before how hilly this run is and doing it twice was awesome.  Colder and darker out there than I expected.  I pushed it pretty hard.  My 3 mile splits: 21:13/22:08/22:39/22:03 - total time 1:28:03. 

Wednesday: 7 miles - Ryan Park trails solo.  This was an untimed lazy run.  I planned to do 9 miles, but I was happy to get 7.   Feeling tired and weird - temporarily quit caffeine to get my anxiety under control.  I miss coffee! 

Thursday: 0 - rainy day.  My body is still sore from Tuesday's run and it felt good to rest.  I did get in a good 1.5 hours of bass slappin' at band practice. 

Friday:  14 miles - Ryan Park trails (2x7 mile course) alone.  Decent weather and no humans.  Felt nice and easy until last mile or so, then I pushed it to the finish.  Total time 1:44:37. 

Saturday: 0 - family trip to Maine.  Lots of backyard football though. 

Sunday: 7 miles - Shumunkanuc Hill roads alone in the morning.  A nice brisk run on the hilly roads around my house.  Hunters everywhere in Burlingame - I'll stay out of there until Lil' Rhody.  I pushed the pace, left the watch at home, and enjoyed every minute of this run.  I'm happy to get 40 miles despite the whacky week. 

Weekly Total: 40 miles
Last Week: 47 miles
Year to Date: 1,132 miles

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Jamestown Jack-O-Lantern Jog 5K

Sunday, I headed over to Jamestown, RI with my family to once again attempt to break a 20 minute 5K.  I was very confident this time, and figured I would be about 19:50 (previous best 20:12).  I was more anxious than usual beforehand, and I hoped this wouldn't hinder my performance.  I stopped in to register and then jogged up the hill to the start line.  I thought I might run into a couple of coworkers who might be running as well, but it became evident I would be doing this one solo.  I wandered over to the front of the line next to a few younger guys who looked faster than me.  At the gun, I let my adrenaline do the work, and settled in to about 10th place or so.  About a quarter mile in, the course turns onto a wide, straight, exposed road, and the wind was howling in my face.  I lost some enthusiasm about the race on this stretch, but when I turned the corner and ran up a hill, I was happy to see my first mile come in at 6:03.  The second mile was much more protected from the wind, however it had some decent hills.  Nothing noteworthy, but it definitely kept this mile slower for me - 6:28.  When mapping this course online, it appeared that the last mile was all downhill.  To my surprise, there was a very large hill (for a 5K) halfway through this final mile.  I felt strong getting up it, and hoped it wouldn't mess up my final time too much.  Once over this hill, there is a fast descent, and I concluded my run with a pretty good sprint to the finish.  I was thrilled to see my time of 19:33 - 39 second PR, and with a flatter course, I know I can do better.  I found my family afterwards, and we headed back through town to the playground and an awesome bakery for coffee. 

Monday, October 25, 2010

Weekly Log 10-25-10 to 10-31-10

Monday: 7 miles - Rome Point trails (with Brad) & Wickford roads (solo).  A nice relaxing run on my lunch break - 53 minutes. 

Tuesday: 13 miles - Ryan Park trails (7 mile loop) plus 6 miles roads (to/from the park) alone.  I haven't done this run in awhile, and I'm glad I chose it.  My legs felt tight at the start, and I didn't have a good gauge on how this run would go.  My first three miles (roads) came in at 7:25 pace.  I picked it up a little in the woods.  The footing was a little tricky in my road shoes and with the fallen leaves.  My 7 mile trail split was just under 51 minutes.  I felt particularly strong on the last 3 road miles - I think my body is now used this distance - finishing up in 20 minutes flat (6:20 final mile).  Total time: 1:33:40. 

Wednesday: 8 miles - Wickford roads alone.  A nice late afternoon run.  My body seems to recover quicker now.  My pace was faster than I anticipated, and I was feeling good, so I picked up the last 4 miles trying to get under 7 minute pace average for the run.  I missed it - total time 56:19 - but it was fun trying. 

Thursday: 7 miles - Ryan Park trails solo.  I wasn't sure if I would run today - I felt tired (physically and mentally).  I couldn't resist the warm sunny weather so I decided to run as slowly as I care to go.  I left my watch in the car and trotted along.  I really enjoyed myself out there.  My plan is do something similar tomorrow and then rest Saturday.  Sunday, I'm registered for a 5K.  Time to get 19 minutes.... 

Friday: 8 miles - Rome Point trails (some beach) with Dan.  A good day for a run!  My body feels refreshed and ready to rock on Sunday. 

Saturday: 0

Sunday: 5K - Jamestown Jack-O-Lantern Jog - 19:33.  New PR by 39 seconds!  More on this later. 

Weekly Total: 47 miles
Last Week: 52 miles
Year to Date: 1,092 miles

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Weekly Log 10-18-10 to 10-24-10

Monday: 14 miles - Ryan Park trails (2 x 7 mile loop) solo.  I felt inspired to go for a long run today after my brother's 2:34 marathon and Dan and Tom's 1:35 half marathon on Sunday.  My legs felt sort of sluggish - probably due to lugging wood up my slope over the weekend - but I ran through it.  The spectacular weather helped.  Total time - 1:41:04 (first loop 51:12, second 49: 52).  This put my yearly mileage over 1,000! 

Tuesday: 8 miles - Quonset Bike Path and Calf Pasture Point roads solo.  My goal was to go nice and easy, but I get distracted by the mileage markers and push a little harder than I need to.  My body was tired, but I maintained 7:35 mile pace for the first 6 miles.  I picked up the last two - 7:00 and 6:39, for a total time of 59:12.  Another perfect day.  At this point, I probably will set a weekly mileage PR - I love running in this weather! 

Wednesday: 7 miles - Rome Point trails with Dan.  Yet another great day for a run.  Total time - 52:58. 

Thursday: 5 miles - Ryan Park trails with Dan and Brad.  We snuck in a quick run late in the afternoon after the first wave of thunderstorms moved through.  The 2nd wave was coming just as we started, but it just produced some incredible gusts of wind and a little rain.  Lots of leaves down. 

Friday: 12 miles - Ryan Park trails (2 x 5 mile loop + 2 mile fields) alone.  Despite a lot of miles this week, my body felt really good on this run.  I was surprised how many people were in the woods today with the chilly 50 degree temperature and gusty winds.  I even bumped into a fellow trail runner a couple of times I hadn't seen before.  I'm really happy with my results: 36 minutes 1st 5 miles, 35 minutes 2nd 5 miles, sub 14 minutes last 2 miles - for a total time of 1:24:51.  New weekly mileage PR with 2 days to go.... 

Saturday: 1 mile - Ninigret Park - slow jog alongside my son riding a bike.  My legs are extremely tired.  I spent an hour woodcutting in the AM, followed by a walk with the family in the Carter Preserve. 

Sunday: 5 miles - Shumunkanuc Hill roads in the early AM.  My legs are still tired, but not as bad.  A nice hilly run at a medium slow pace.  Another hike with the family in the Carter Preserve followed by front yard football. 

Weekly Total: 52 miles
Last Week: 34 miles
Year to Date: 1,045 miles

Monday, October 18, 2010

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Weekly Log 10-11-10 to 10-17-10

Monday:  0.  Corn maze with family and friends again.  Warm day!  Football in the yard afterwards. 

Tuesday: 6 miles - Gravelly Hill trails solo.  I did the "Jon and Ed" out and back as I was pressed for time.  I felt fast without overdoing the effort.  Total time - 40:56 (20:39 out, 20:17 back). 

Wednesday: 9 miles - Ryan Park trails "with" Dan and Selvyn.  Dan started way too fast.  I just ran my own run and enjoyed the sunny 60 degree weather and the changing leaves.  My time was pretty good, so I pushed the last mile.  Total time - 62:49. 

Thursday: 8.5 miles - Calf Pasture Point roads, trails, and beach.  I was looking for a nice and easy run to let my body recover from the previous two efforts.  I was planning to go only 5.5, but kept tacking on more as I went.  The tide was as high as I had ever seen it, making the tidal stream a raging river.  I considered taking off my shoes and wading across, but it was really deep and I wasn't feeling that hardcore.  Untimed. 

Friday: 6.5 miles - Ryan Park trails solo.  I didn't think I would run today, but the weather ended up not being too bad - a windy, gray day in the upper 50's.  Almost perfect for running!  The trails were still in good shape - not too much rain down here.  I ran nice and loose.  Total time - 44:58. 

Saturday: 4 miles - Shumunkanuc Hill roads in the early AM.  Windy!!  I wanted to get a quick run in before my wife went to work for the day.  I ran the hills hard.  Didn't bring a watch so not sure of the time. 

Weekly Total: 34 miles

Last Week: 32 miles

Year to Date: 993 miles

Monday, October 11, 2010

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Weekly Log 10-4-10 to 10-10-10

Monday: 9 miles - Ryan Park trails - 58:25 new PR and CR - previous best 59:45 this past June. 

Tuesday: 0 - unmotivated to run

Wednesday: 0 - rainy and unmotivated

Thursday: 11 miles - Ryan Park trails - 1:25 with Dan.  Nice, easy run in awesome weather. 

Friday: 7.5 miles - Gravelly Hill trails - 52:21.  My body was a little tired, but I love running there.  Lots of hills, tight turns, and pleasant scenery.  I was 26:10 at the turnaround point, so I was very consistent. 

Saturday: Bike ride - 20 miles with my wife for our anniversary.  We did a ride we hadn't done for years on the eastern Connecticut/western RI border.  Lots of hills!  Only one annoying dog - a German Sheppard chased me until I screamed at it at the top of my lungs.  Horses in Escoheag, but no unpleasant horse riders.  Perfect weather. 

Sunday: 4.5 miles - Shumunkanuc Hill roads in 40 degree weather.  I broke out my Patagonia long sleeve shirt and my Pearl Izumi hat for this one. 

Weekly Total: 32 miles

Last Week: 36 miles

Year to Date: 959 miles

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Rain Rain Go Away

My kids didn't have a problem running around this morning in the rain.  Maybe I should take their cue? 

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Breaking the Record Again

It was a perfect day for running on Monday.  I went alone to Ryan Park excited to run in the cool and overcast 60 degree weather.  My plan was to run 9 miles at a good pace.  I ammended my plan as soon as I began, and decided to go for a PR (and the CR) .  It was windy in the fields, but I was distracted by the number of plants still flowering at this time of year.  I checked my watch after two miles and wasn't too sure if I was going fast enough to break the record.  My body felt mostly recovered from running on Sunday and chopping wood on Saturday, but maybe it wasn't in tip top shape.  I was enjoying the empty woods and focusing on my footing as newly fallen leaves covered up rocks and roots.  After another check of my watch about half way in, I felt better about my chances.  I kept pushing myself.  After 6 miles, I brought my pace up to the point where my chest hurt.  My legs felt fresh, but not my lungs.  Usually, it's the other way for me.  At 7 miles I was right at my PR time for that distance (on this course).  I finished up the last two miles in the fields and clocked in at 58:25.  A new PR and CR by 1 minute and 20 seconds.  What I was excited about was how hard I pushed myself - my 5K pace, but on trails and 3 times the distance.  I have a lot more confidence on meeting my goal for Lil' Rhody!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Weekly Log 9-27-10 to 10-3-10

I decided to move my log over as a post - I noticed a lot of other running bloggers do this - so I'm just keeping up with the Joneses! 

Monday:  9 miles - Rome Point trails (7m) and beach (2m) with Dan.  We started a little slow, but then picked it up, and hit the uphills aggressively.  We had to long jump over a tidal stream on the beach.  I didn't think I could do it.  Dan tried it first and made it.  I still didn't think I could do it, but I gave it a shot.  Made it!  Both ways.  We ran the full mile and turned around under the bridge.  Very humid out today - felt like summer.  Total time was 1:06:26. 

Tuesday:  5 miles - roads from my office.  I had committed to play tennis, but just before we left, rain moved in.  I was able to sneak a quick run in between showers.  I decided that if I was going to run a shorter distance then I should do it fast.  My plan was to do one mile warm up, run three miles fast, and then run one mile cool down.  However, I wanted my first and last miles to not be too slow, so I ran them at a medium pace.  My results:  7:16 / 19:30 / 7:16.  I had to laugh at the three mile time as it was exactly at my 5K pace of 6:30.  I can't shake that!  My last mile began very slow and I picked it up as my body recovered.  It was obnoxiously muggy out. 

Wednesday: Tennis 6-8

Thursday: 14 miles - Ryan Park trails (2 x 7 mile course) with Dan.  We ran this early to avoid the heavy rains that never came.  Fuel was an issue after I was done.  Another tropical day really drained me - although I was oblivious to this while running.  My feet felt tired after 8 miles, but I sucked it up and stuck with the plan.  Total time - 1:44. 

Friday: 0 - finally it rained.  I was tired after the long run, but still planned to do something.  I got tied up with errands and getting prepared for gig at night.  I did manage 1.5 hours of bass slapping cross training. 

Saturday: 0.  5+ hours of cutting down trees (hand saw) behind my house.  Pard helped out for a while with a chainsaw.  I let him handle the big ones. 

Sunday: 8 miles - Shumunkanuc Hill trails and roads.  A nice early morning run in the crisp autumn air - 47 degrees.  Running parts of the Lil' Rhody course got me pumped up for the race next month!  Corn maze in the afternoon with family and friends. 

Weekly Total: 36 miles

Good week!  I could have easily surpassed 40 miles if I got in a short run on any of the off days.  Looking forward to cool weather. 

Last Week: 23 miles

Year to Date: 927

Monday, September 27, 2010

Post Race Week in Review

I began the week wondering how much I really wanted to run.  I was elated with my Pisgah 23K race and felt great about my ability on the mountain trails, but I was having a bit of a letdown on where to go from here.  I'd love to do more trail races this fall, however, schedule-wise it probably won't work.  There's the Lil' Rhody Runaround later in November, but besides that, I don't foresee anything else.  I have an aggressive goal for that one.  I guess that will be my focus as I run this fall. 

Monday, after indulging in a delicious lunch - Nova Scotia Lox bagel sandwich from Bagelz, I played two sets of tennis with Rob.  My body was sore from racing, but not too bad at all.  The tennis was a nice change of pace.  Tuesday, I was very sore, and instead of running on my break, I opted for an iced coffee and a catnap in my car.  Wednesday, my legs were still not feeling great, but I was able to get in a nice relaxed 5 mile trail run in Ryan Park with two of the guys from work.  Thursday, I had the urge to run along a beach, so I hit up the trails of Rome Point and added 2 miles of coastline (almost to the bridge).  The scenery and my recovered body made this a great run (at a pretty good pace too).  Friday, I returned to Rome Point with 3 coworkers, and then Dan and I ran the roads back to the office.  We pushed some of the hillier sections on the trails.  Saturday, I was home with the kids, and later in the day we met up with friends at the beach.  I was able to do some bodysurfing and bodyboarding in some crazy windswell with Steve, before heading out to El Fuego for fish tacos.  Another nice family day on Sunday rounded out the week. 

The plan for this week is to run as much as the weather allows and get my double bass ready for a gig on Friday night! 

Monday, September 20, 2010

Pisgah Mountain Trail Run 2010

I made the three hour drive up to my brother Glenn's house on Saturday afternoon for the Pisgah Mountain Trail Race 23K.  Pre-race festivities included a pasta and salmon dinner, night frisbee, Sam Adams, and guitar playing with Glenn, Gina, Greg, Jen, and Bojo.  After a rather restless and nervous sleep in a house built in 1780, Glenn and I had a hearty 6AM breakfast with plenty of coffee.  We stopped by to register a little before 7AM, got the last medium shirts, helped the director set up the tents, and then walked back to Glenn's for more coffee.  We were then joined by the same group from last night and Clint.  With ten minutes to go, we all walked over to the starting line. 

At the start, I set out in a comfortable but quick pace.  I felt out of place being so far up front, and even weirder when the leaders didn't get too far ahead of me.  I knew that most of that group were running the 50K race, and couldn't believe that I was just in back of the 23K leaders - Justin Fyffe not included (already way ahead of everybody).  The race finally spread out as the course entered the woods at the 50K/23K split.  I couldn't see anybody ahead of me at this point, but heard footsteps getting closer behind me.  On the Reservoir Trail hill I was caught by Brian Donoghue and we briefly chatted as he went ahead of me.  Two minutes later, I was passing him as he slowed on this very long ascent.  It felt good to get to the top and then run down the other side.  Brian, who was a lot faster descending than me,  passed me again.  Thus began a back and forth for the next few miles.  I reached the first aid station at the 43 minute mark (6.7 miles) - 12 minutes faster than last year!  I gulped down some Gatorade and then began the grind up Pisgah Ridge.  Close to the first overlook, I passed Brian for the final time.  I kept running, no matter how much my legs were burning, and was pleased that I did not have to resort to hiking here.  I forgot how many more uphills were in this tricky section.  My legs were feeling a little tired, but I still had plenty of energy.  Finally off the ridge, the trail became runable again.  I reached the second aid station in 1:12 (9 mile mark) and I knew I had a great shot of finishing the race under 2 hours.  After another brief fast section, the trail heads up Davis Hill.   There's something about this hill - it's not too steep - it's just long, and my legs didn't like climbing anymore.  I fought off the desire to stop and hike, and ran on.  I was still trying to hit the straightaways pretty fast, but I could tell I wasn't going as fast as before.  One more hill - Hubbard - and then downhill to Winchester Road.  My body couldn't descend as fast my mind wanted to and I had a couple of stumbles (but no falls).  Once on the road, I let my legs go as fast as possible on this screaming downhill.  Upon passing my brother Greg's house, the road levels off and then turns for the worst - a hill that seemed way bigger than I remembered was ahead of me.  I glanced at my watch and knew I had to run up it if I wanted to finish sub two hours.  So I gritted my teeth, finished up the last section of road, and crossed the finish line in 1:58:47 - 5th place! It felt great to run a race and exceed my expectations.  I was planning to be faster than last year, but not 17 minutes faster.

Post race, I relaxed, ate lots of food, and was feeling good.  Eventually, I walked back to Glenn's house, showered, and join the rest of the group that gathered to watch the 50K finishers.  I waited to see Greg go by - he set a PR with a 4:04, and as I was heading out  I was able to see Bojo complete his 4:22.

Friday, September 17, 2010

2 More Days!

It's Friday night and I'm anticipating another restless sleep.  I can't wait for Sunday morning's race!  I got in 3 nice and easy runs this week, and despite a little lingering soreness from overdoing tennis on Monday, my body is hungry for some mountain trails.  I have no idea what sort of time I am capable of and that is probably a good thing.  Last year, I ran 2:15 and thought I would be faster.  I hope to save some time based on my experience from that race, namely:  no dallying at aid stations, push the runable sections, make it up Pisgah Ridge without hiking, and enjoy the vistas!  I know I'm in better shape.  We shall see what sort of time this translates into.... 

Friday, September 10, 2010

Hill Workout

On Friday, I decided to do a hill workout for a final Pisgah Mtn tune up.  Instead of finding a route with multiple hills, I concluded running up the biggest, steepest hill around repeatedly would be the best test of my fitness.  I had run the hill on Gilbert Stuart Road with my coworker Tom a couple of times last year, and figured that would be my best bet.  Mapping it out online, the route starts at sea level (top of the tidal Narrow River) and rises to over 210 feet in a short span.  I picked this not just for the challenge of running up, but coming down is a hard workout in itself.  The weather was cool and cloudy - high 60's.  Despite feeling a little silly passing the same houses several times, this run was a blast, especially the last trip up and down.  My times - 6 x 1 mile (odd miles uphill, even down)

8:03 / 7:17 / 8:07 / 7:26 / 7:53 / 6:30

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Pisgah Prep

I slightly altered my plans the past few days.  I had hoped to run the Vin Gormley Trail x 2 for a 16 mile trail run over the holiday weekend.  The goal was to do a long trail run (in my trail shoes - I hardly use them anymore and opt to run everything in my Nike Free Runs) for about the time I would be out running the Pisgah Mountain Trail run 23K (2+ hours).  I wanted to feel comfortable running for that amount of time as I haven't done any long runs recently. 
I decided against this run when the time came.  I wasn't feeling up to it, and I was enjoying a nice weekend home with the family.  Instead, I did a short hill workout on my property Sunday.  This included 3 big loops and 5 shorter ones for a total of 3 miles.  The big loop involved scrambling  up (some hands and feet necessary) the extremely steep section of the hill - approximately 150 feet of elevation.  I was toast after the third lap, and then did the shorter loop (described in an earlier post) until I felt like I got in three miles.  My son was out in the woods cheering me on and running parts of it with me which was really awesome.  I'm impressed with his balance and his stamina for his young age.  He is unfazed with tricky footing and hills.  Watch out for him in fifteen years! 
Tuesday, I was able to get in the long run I was looking for.  I ran my Rome Point trails loop (6.5 miles) x 2 for a total of 13 miles (I feel the mileage is very accurate).  The weather was warmish, humid, and breezy.  I wanted to run a good pace without overdoing it, and I was pleased with my 47:48 first lap.  I stopped at my car to check my phone and drink a llittle bit of water.  My legs still felt fresh starting lap 2.  About half way in, I was over twenty seconds faster than the first loop.  This motivated me to keep pushing myself to get a negative split, despite how my legs and feet were now feeling.  I gave it a good push to the end, and finished my second lap in 45:55, for a total running time of 1:33:43 (7:12 pace).  This run felt great, and is quite the confidence booster!  The plan is to run a lot this week (hills - the bigger the better) and then take a few days off before the race the following Sunday.... 

Friday, September 3, 2010

Working Out in Earl

Today I was able to get in a speed workout despite the doomsday media reports about Hurricane Earl.  As of 8pm, we are just now getting any measurable wind.  The day felt tropical, with extremely humid air and periods of rain (some downpours), and judging from what I encountered at the beach last night, huge surf (too big for me
!).  My plan was to do my 4 x half mile (probably should just call it 800) with half mile rests in between on the Quonset Bike Path.  Half way in I called an audible, and decided to make the last sprint a double (1 mile).  Dodging raindrops (much appreciated), these were my results:

2:50 / 2:55 / 2:49 / 6:26

I was happy with the half mile times.  The mile felt hard.  I was 3:06 the first half, 3:20 the second.  This workout will be fun to repeat in drier weather. 

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Running in the Heat Wave

I just got back from my second run in the 90 degree heat wave this week.  Monday, I waited it out as long as possible, and then hit up the Gravelly Hill trails on my 4pm "lunch break".  The temperature had dropped by then to a cool 87 degrees, but after a full summer of running and the shade of the oaks and pitch pines, I never felt hot at all.  Due to time constraints, I kept it to five miles, but could have gone much longer.  Thursday, Dan convinced me to run a slow five in Ryan Park, despite the 92 degree temperature outside.  Again, I found it not that hot to run in these conditions.  We kept the pace slow (8:20ish) and steady.  It was a surprisingly enjoyable run. 
The plan is to maybe get a speed workout in tomorrow - depending on what Earl brings us to southern RI during the day. And, I want to do a long run (2x8 mile Vin Gormley Trail) over the weekend to be prepared for the Pisgah 23K in two weeks!  Oh, and I'm excited about meeting my family down at the beach after work tonight.  Hopefully, I will get to bodysurf or bodyboard some early Earl swell.  Last Thursday, I had the pleasure of bodyboarding Danielle with my friend Jason - my best session in years. 

Monday, August 30, 2010

Charlestown Police FOP 5K 2010

I am what I am. 

Yesterday morning I ran a local 5K.  With a 9am start, the weather was dry and not too hot (about 70 degrees).  I was hoping to meet up with Justin or possibly my father at the race when I arrived, but didn't see them.  I checked in, and headed out for a short warm up.  My body was feeling pretty good after being sore the previous two days from bodyboarding Thursday night.  My goal, as usual, was to be sub 20 minutes.  I felt this was the race that I would attain it.  Despite being a small race, there seemed to be some good runners in attendance, and I hoped that I would be pushed to keep up my pace throughout.  I lined up behind some guys in jerseys, Chad Greene, and a few others.  At the gun, I felt nice and loose.  I wanted to utilize my fast start, and then just hang on for the last two miles.  Right away, people were passing me, until about a half mile in.  No one else passed me the entire rest of the way.  Chad was still not too far ahead at the 1 mile mark - 6:19.  I was feeling pretty confident.  I had to work harder to keep up my pace, but I was now catching and passing people.  The course was flat, but twisty, which kept it interesting.  The only problem was that it was fully exposed to the sun, and I was feeling hot.  Mile 2 was not marked or manned as Mile 1 was.  I was a little annoyed at this, as I had no idea if I was still on pace, but I felt good about passing two more people.  My pace was even for the finish - I wasn't sure if my body was capable of sprinting.  I also had a mental let down, as I could tell I would not break twenty minutes.  I felt a little bummed about this, as I thought I ran a strong race, but I guess I am what I am.  The results:

Sunday, August 29, 2010 Charlestown, RI

Place Div/Tot No. Name Ag S City St Time Pace
1 1/30 109 LONERGAN ERIC 24 M N KINGSTOWN RI 15:58 5:09
2 2/30 101 AHNRUD GREG 23 M CHEPACHET RI 16:40 5:22
3 1/14 49 Marsella Michael 15 M Hope Valley RI 16:53 5:27
4 3/30 39 Holgate David 24 M N Providence RI 17:41 5:42
5 4/30 121 DANIELS MICHAEL 31 M W WARWICK RI 18:05 5:50
6 5/30 1 SEEKELL JASON 33 M CHARLESTOWN RI 18:16 5:53
7 1/15 91 CASPERSON THOMAS 45 M CRANSTON RI 18:20 5:55
8 2/15 75 Schaad Dave 48 M E Greenwich RI 18:30 5:58
9 6/30 37 Greene Chad 34 M S Attleboro MA 18:35 5:59
10 7/30 78 THIBODEAU MICHAEL 39 M E GREENWICH RI 18:56 6:06

16 11/30 160 HAMMETT JONATHAN 35 M CHARLESTOWN RI 20:12 6:31

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Breaking the Rules

This afternoon, after two days of catch-up at the office, I was able to go out for a nice run.  My goal was to run 8 miles, following a course I had previously mapped out.  I decided to not follow my new training plans (based on advice on runners better than me) of running slower.  I wanted to see if I still had "it".  "It" being my fitness pre-summer.  The weather was awesome - misty, windy, and cool for a late August day - temps in the 60's.  I kept my first mile comfortable but fast - 6:52.  My legs and hips felt a little tight and tired trying to keep up this pace for the next few miles.  At what I thought was the 5 mile mark (I was wrong), I was somewhere in minute 33.  This motivated me to keep pushing myself.  After missing a turn thanks to a beeping car, I had to scramble to find more side roads to reach my 8 mile goal.  I'd like to take credit for nailing it right on 8, but I'm sure luck had something to do with it.  My total time was 54:36 - 6:49 pace. 

Saturday, August 21, 2010


This morning I was able to get in my first run in a while.  I did my 12 mile trail run that utilizes the 8 mile Vin Gormley Trail.  I kept it slowish and tried to have fun.  A few "friendly" dogs and trail runners out there today.  Are St. Bernards and black lab/pit bull mixes really friendly?  The pit lab was awfully excited about grabbing my water bottle out of my hand.  At least it gave me a bit of an adrenaline rush to help finish the hilly ending.  My body felt pretty tired after about eight miles and my overall time was slow, but I'm happy that I could run twelve trail miles not in great shape.  My plan is for longer runs and the occasional speed workout to get prepared for the Pisgah 23K. 

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Get Back

I'm just returning from my brother's NH wedding slash yearly Maine vacation.  I have this week off from work as well to celebrate my children's birthdays.  In addition to that excitement, we had a power surge two weeks ago (lightning strike) that knocked out our internet and some other random things in our house.  Today it was finally fixed.  Time to blog again.  Also, I it's time to run.  A lot of activity last week - 6 hikes - Mt. Monadnock (Dublin Trail), Sucker Brook Cove, Pitcher Mountain (kid tantrems on the summit), Flying Mountain, Day Mountain, and Witches Hole Pond (Obama hike) - lots of swimming - Rocky Pond, Kilkenney Cove, Marlboro Beach - and mix in a little rock climbing and some bodysurfing and bodyboarding (Misquamicut).  I'd also like to mention the extreme parenting cross training required to travel and sleep in strange places for 7 nights with two young children.  All this, but no runs.  Time to get back! 

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Thursday and Friday

Despite three straight days of running on sore legs, my body felt good on Thursday.  After morning rain, I assumed the cooler, drier air had moved in.  My plan was to repeat a workout I did several weeks back on the Quonset Bike Path - 4 x half miles with half mile jogs between.  Upon leaving the office, I quickly realized that the weather was hotter and way more humid than I expected.  Earlier in the summer, I would not have run, but now I am acclimated to these conditions.  My results:  3:00/2:58/2:57/3:08  Definitely more challenging than last time when I ran faster.  I knew I wasn't as fast, but I'm happy with how I felt doing this in the heat. 

The weather couldn't have been better on Friday.  The only problem was that I was stuck at the office.  As the day wore on, it became more apparent that I would have to run late in the afternoon.  Finally, I was able to leave and decided to run the Gravelly Hill trails (SKLT property).  Basically an out and back course, I did get a little confused in a new section and did a small loop that added 2 minutes to my time each way.  The trails are really fun - smooth enough to go fast, but hilly (I counted 11 each way!).  I reached half way in 27:58, then turned around and finished in 56:52.  Based on the effort, and the dry air, I called it 8 miles. 

At night, my wife and I went to Providence for Indian food and to see Social Distortion at Lupo's. 

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Smelling the Roses

After a lot of road work the last few weeks, I've spent the first half of this week back on the trails of Ryan Park.  My legs still don't feel fully recovered from the Blessing of the Fleet race, but from reading Justin and Jen's blogs, at least I know I'm not alone.  I've made the effort (which with my soreness  - mostly hamstrings - has made easier) to slow down my runs.  The weather has cooperated as well - Monday and Tuesday  especially.  Three really enjoyable runs.  I took a couple of photos on Tuesday after noticing the variety of wild flowers still blooming despite the hotter than normal July weather.  Now this is trail running! 

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Blessing of the Fleet 2010

Friday, I ran my first Blessing of the Fleet.  As discussed earlier, by the time race day came, I was very excited to run.  I decided to drive down to registration on my lunch break at 2pm, and pick up my bib early.  I was surprised at how many people were already there four hours before the start.  I picked up a hot coffee - it was raining and only 67 degrees! - and pumped some old NOFX in my car as I returned to my office.  Based on my conversations with Justin, I had prepared some extra food to eat a couple of hours before the start.  But in a rookie move, I opted not to eat, since I wasn't remotely hungry at this time (and probably just buzzing off coffee and my Pandora radio station).  Finally(!!), it was time to head down to the race, and in another rookie move, I had "figured out" a back way in and a "good" place to park.  Well, it took me forever to get there, and while stuck in traffic Justin called and said he parked right at the start (and right next to my brother and his girlfriend).  Upon parking, I finished a small Gatorade, grabbed a water, and "warmed up" to the start (.75 miles).  I found Justin, Greg, Jen, Heather, and Marc hanging out and was really happy that I could enjoy some pre-race laughs and company.  Justin wanted to warm up and I joined him, and we quickly met up with Chad and all ran together.  At the start line, my stomach started to rumble and I realized that I usually ate dinner at that time - 6pm!  I was regretting not eating a little earlier at my office.  Now I know. 

The race itself was fun too.  I tried to not go too fast the first mile, as I often do, and clocked in at 6:31.  I then settled in to my pace and ran fairly consistent miles the rest of the way.  I was surprised, and a little disheartened, at how many people were passing me during miles 2 and 3.  After that, the passing evened out - I reeled a few people in, and I would also be occasionally embarrassed by some teenage kid flying by me (why were they so far back??).  I found myself taking water - one sip and then pouring the rest over my back.  The guy with the hose was a nice touch too.  At mile five, besides seeing BoJo, it began to rain.  It felt good!  At mile six, it began to pour!!  To me it was quite a novelty sloshing through this monsoon.  The roads quickly became streams, and my Nike Run Free's didn't feel so free anymore.  My body felt fresh, but I figured my pace would suffer.  At mile eight, the rain had stopped, and the streets were filling up with cheering spectators, helping me along.  I picked up the pace for the last mile and finished up on my watch in 70:58, a time I was happy with, and as Justin noted, a PR! 

My splits (9 & 10 combined):  6:31/7:17/7:00/7:07/7:11/7:17/7:10/7:11/14:11(for 2)

Post race, I met up with Greg and Justin, watched our friends finish, and headed over to the beer tent with Greg and Jen for our free cold one Justin kept talking about.  We were very disappointed to find out they were charging runners $4 for beer this year, and so we slogged off to the bus back to the parking lot.  There we found Justin again, and the four of us went to Casey's for a post race dinner and celebration. 

Friday, July 23, 2010

Pre-Race Jitters

Friday morning, and I'm in full pre-race jitters mode.  I'd like to thank Jon S and Justin for talking me into running this race earlier this week.  I really didn't want to do it, but their insight and perspective convinced me to give it a go.  Now, with a cloudy (possibly rainy) day in the 70's forecasted,  I'm overly excited to run. 

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Running Dream

I was hoping to get another good running start on my running this week.  Monday, I waited out the rain (twice) and left at 2:45PM to go run in Ryan Park.  I pulled into the parking lot, saw standing water on the trails, felt the return of the hot and humid weather, and couldn't pull the trigger.  I did get a particularly delicious coffee however.  Honestly, my body was very sore from bodyboarding Saturday night, and I wasn't upset at resting it. 

Before I awoke this morning, I had a running dream.  It was some sort of indoor race - 2.5 miles of stairs up and then back down.  I was racing with my son on my shoulders, but  I was passing people left and right.  Then I passed my brother Greg (this was definitely a dream!).  I kept waiting for him to pass me again, especially going back down, but I held him off for the win.  It seemed fishy to me, but he insisted he was giving it his all.  So we raced two more times and I won them both.  He told me I was better at running stairs than him.  My first win!  I then woke up (early) and decided to go for a run.  I was out the door at 5:47 and enjoyed a nice 4.5 mile hilly run. 

Friday, July 16, 2010

Soup Running

I'm feeling motivated to run this week.  I have accepted the fact that the weather will be horrible for another five or six weeks, but if I keep my runs a little shorter and easier, I will still enjoy myself.  Monday and Tuesday, I ran in Ryan Park with Dan.  We were able to keep up a good pace despite the mid 80's temperature and excessive humidity.  After a little online investigating, I decided that it was okay to soak in the stream near the end of the run, which really helped me to recover right away. 
Wednesday, I pulled off a double: Rome Point trail run on my lunch break and then beach volleyball at night.  I thought that with a cloudy/slightly rainy day, this run would be easier than the previous two, but the air was unbelievably thick.  On the positive side, I could cool off by brushing against the wet weeds, shrubs, and trees along the trail.  I also got extremely close to a deer on the trail.  It didn't want to move, it just flicked its ears and watched me as I tried to coax it off the trail.  Luckily for this deer, it is living in a nature preserve.  I recommend it stays there or develop a fear of humans.  I couldn't believe how soaked in sweat I was when I returned to my car.  At night, I subbed for a friend on a local 4 on 4 volleyball team and had a ton of fun. 
Thursday, Dan and I planned to run 10 miles on roads to guage our Blessing-ability.  Our plan was to run later in the day, after drinking coffee from the aptly named Jitters Cafe.  We also decided to run with Gatorade rather than our usual water.  For some reason, I had pictured drinking a purple flavor.  On the run, as my bottle sloshed around in my hand, a little of the purple drink would seep out onto my hands and stained them this weird blue color.  We ran hard.  I wanted to see what I could do the Blessing of the Fleet 10 mile road race in if I decided to run it next week.  I guessed that I would suffer through a 72 minute run.  I proved yesterday that I was correct.  Dan set a blistering pace (1 mile 6:58) and I trailed him for the first 4 miles.  I took over after that, and hit the half way point at 36:06.  I wasn't sure in the middle miles if I would be able to keep up my pace for the entire distance.  The second half has a lot of subtle uphills, and I felt like I was probably going slower.  I refused to look at my watch and battled through the rest of the miles.  I finished up in 72:13 for a second half time of 36:07.  At least I'm consistent.  I think that with fresher legs and some added adrenaline I could get to 70 minutes in the race.  But would I enjoy it? 

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Weekend in Keene

My family headed north to Keene this past weekend.  My wife and daughter were attending a bridal shower for my soon to be sister-in-law Gina on Sunday.  We decided to go up Saturday morning and make a mini-vacation out of it.  My brother Glenn met us on Main Street and we had lunch at Keene Fresh Salad.  After lunch and despite the rain and drizzle, we headed up the road to Pitcher Mountain for a hike.  This proved to be a great suggestion by Glenn.  We followed a single track trail up about a half a mile to the summit.  Near the top, we began noticing the blueberries:

The summit was open, with lots of high bush blueberry bushes, a fire tower, and great views: 

We spent quite some time up there and brought home a good amount of berries.  We hiked back on an old road that had great views.  It was a perfect length hike for our kids.  After checking into our hotel and trying out the pool, we went to Armadillo's for dinner.  I love their sweet potato filling for burritoes. 

The next morning we had a great breakfast at Bagel Works and then went for another swim at the pool before checking out.  We met Glenn at the nearby Robin Hood Forest, which had a fun playground and nice wooded trail around a pond.  For lunch, my parents (also up for the shower) and brother Greg, joined us at Elm City Brew Pub.  I recommend all the places we ate at!  We were hoping (my son especially) to hike the Dublin Trail up Mount Monadnock, but the weather (hot and humid) and time constraints ruled it out.  Instead, we hiked to Kilburn Pond in Pisgah, swam, and hiked back (which for me meant carrying my 40lb son on my shoulders).  The day was topped off by the men crashing the bridal shower and meeting our new extended family.  It was an action packed trip!  I just wish I took more pictures.   

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Creative Running

I've been frustrated with my lack of running.  Most years, I completely shift gears in the summer, and hardly run at all.  This year, I'm trying to keep it up, but I'm finding it hard to justify running in the middle of day heat.  Last night I finally broke down and got some creative miles in. 

I decided to run laps around my house with a baby monitor after my kids went to bed.  We have made a few trails on our sloping property.  I wasn't sure I could make a loop long enough, but I was happy to see that it was about 1/4 mile long, and it certainly is hilly, with a couple of steep grades.  I ran the first lap in 1:45, which based on my effort, seemed equivalent to the 7:00 minute mile pace this would work out to be.  My laps got progressively slower as the humidity (plus the temp - still 80 degrees out at 8:15PM) and the hills got to me.  I ended up running 4 miles - 4 laps one way then switching direction for 4.  This definitely helped with the monotany, as each direction had it's challenges.  The darkness was also a challenge, as I didn't finish up until 8:45PM.  My miles: 7:16/7:45/7:50/8:23. 

That night, I decided I would try to get a few miles in before the kids awoke.  I got up earlier than I wanted (anxious to run) and was out the door at 5:58AM.  I ran 3 miles on the roads in 20:53, and then stopped to see if anybody was stirring in the house.  I then ran 4 laps on my new house trail.  My legs felt really tired on the hills.  I noticed my son was downstairs, so finished up an extra 2 laps for a morning total of 4.5 miles. 

I had also decided that on my lunch break I would try hiking or jogging down to the water (Narr. Bay) at Rome Point and going for a swim.  When 1 o'clock rolled around, I was considering just getting a iced coffee and reading, but I mustered up the energy to stick with the original plan.  I ran about 2 miles down to the water and then jumped into the bay.  I did a rather short, lackluster swim and then got out and dried off.  I jogged another 2 miles back to my car, and was content with my creative running for the past 18 hours. 

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Fishing with My Brothers and Nick Cash

This past Friday, my brothers and dad, Joel, and Justin chartered a fishing boat out of Galilee for my brother's bachelor party.  We spent 8 hours in glorious weather fishing off the north side of Block Island:

We caught striped bass for the first few hours.  Here's Glenn about to catch the first fish of the day while Greg watches:

The lunker award went to Joel with this monster:

Greg was a close second with this one:

The second half of the trip we bottom-fished for fluke.  Glenn landed the largest one on his first cast.  We caught 3 keepers out of about 40 landed.  It was an action-packed day!  After napping, BoJo met up with us for a little pre-dinner music session, followed by margaritas, calamari, and burritoes at Senor Flacos.  By chance, I ran into Nick Cash that night.  Actually (ha ha), I found him about as amusing as Joel does.  Fun night. 

Saturday, my wife cooked the fluke:

Yesterday, we entertained my in-laws and sister-in-law and my wife cooked up one of the big striper filets:

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

6/21/10 - 6/27/10

I finally succumbed to summer in southern RI.  I'm settling into my typical summer activities, but trying to keep up the running at the same time.  Monday was the solstice - I played basketball in the extreme heat with my coworkers on my lunch break (feeling more coordinated and quicker) then met my family at the beach after work.  Tuesday I spent the day helping my dad move furniture.  Wednesday and Thursday were very hot and humid, and it didn't make sense to me to run (I wish running in the early morning or night were an option for me this time of year). 
Friday, the temperature was in the low 80's, but much less humid.  I decided to get a long run in, and went with the 13 mile course I've been doing from my office the last few weeks.  I was a little worried about running for so long in the heat with only a water bottle, but I just finished up rereading Bernd Heinrich's Why We Run: A Natural History (here is a quick review that I thought was fair), and in this book he describes how humans evolved as long distance runners in the heat.  I kept my pace even and felt good as I did the 3.25 miles of roads and the 6.5 miles of trails.  The return on the road was a bit more difficult.  I finished my water bottle, and felt pretty hot the last 2 miles.  I stuck with it and finished in a time of 1:40 - the same time as my previous two efforts!  My legs felt tired that night, but my body felt good. 
Saturday, I took my dad and my kids to Parker Woodland in Coventry, RI for a hike.  Last cleared in the early 1900's, this forest has diverse species of large trees (especially oaks) and an interesting human activity past.  I was very proud of my 4 year old son who hiked two miles of it, before requesting (by whining) a shoulder ride.  My 2 year old daughter hiked about a half a mile, and I carried her on my shoulders or arms the other 2.5 miles.  It was a great day in the woods.  Sunday, we headed out onto my in-laws' sailboat and had a nice swim off of Napatree Point to complete my week. 

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Week of 6/14/10

An active week, but not a lot of running miles. 
Monday and Tuesday, I joined my coworkers for basketball.  This has been a tradition since I started working there in 1997.  As the years go by, there are fewer days that we can get enough people to play, and it has definitely had an impact on me running more.  Given the choice of sport, I will always choose basketball.  It's funny how running can make you worse at it.  I felt slow (quickness-wise), unable to jump very high, and uncoordinated dribbling.  I had more energy than the others, but that's nothing new for me.  It was a lot of fun though.  It's a great summertime activtiy, especially on really hot days I'd rather not run. 
Thursday, Dan and I were able to sneek in a long run at work.  We ran from the office and took the roads to Rome Point.  Then we did my 6.5 mile zigzag loop of trails and returned on the roads back to work for a total of 13 miles.  We took it easy on the roads as it was a warm day and we wanted to pace ourselves.  It felt so much cooler in the woods, and I was surprised at our time for this section - 50 minutes.  The run back on the road felt tiring, but I was very happy with an overal time of 1:40 for the run. 
The next day, another hot one, I decided to head to Big River for a relaxing trail run.  I purposely kept it slow, and really enjoyed myself.  I was sweating alot, but never felt hot.  I even was able to complete the loop without getting lost.  I think I have finally figured it out! 
Finally, on Sunday, my family and I hiked the mile down to Watchaug Pond for a swim.  The little beach was in good shape, and we had it all to ourselves.  I pushed the kids uphill in the double stroller on the way back to the car.  Then  I went for a meandering trail run back to my house.  I took a couple of trails I hadn't been on in years.  There are a couple of daunting hills that I really had no problems with.  I can't say the same for the deer flies.  It was too hot to outrun them today! 

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Fun Full Week

After my PR run on Tuesday, I spent Wednesday and Thursday relaxing on the tricky terrain of Big River.  It's nice running there, I don't actually know the mileage, I never run the same trails twice, and therefore, I'm not competing with myself for time.  Wednesday, I took it easy and stopped frequently for water breaks.  My body was really tired and I wanted to be smart, and in turn, enjoy myself.  I felt like I was going to figure out how to complete the loop on trails that I meant to take.  Nope.  I definitely did some zigzagging that could have been avoided.  On Thursday, I returned, determined to straighten this all out.  My body was feeling fresher, and I ran faster than usual.  I reached the confusing part, and headed left, confident in my choice.  I ended up on a wide old dirt road.  I was positive this was going to do it.  Then, I felt like I was running for too long, and I wasn't seeing any familiar landmarks.  It felt like I was circling Carr Pond again.  Suddenly, I knew where I was.  I had almost run around the entire pond and was no where near my car!  I stuck to the single track trail that I knew would get me back and ran faster than ever.  It was fun, and felt a little out of control on the downhill sections.  There is a large hill to climb to reach the parking lot, and I tried to hit it as hard as I could.  Right at the end, I kicked a rock, and fell fast and hard.  I was fine, except for scrapes and dirt.  I was impressed with the impact - I guess I was running fast. 
On Friday, I dreamed up a speed workout I could do on the nearby Quonset Bike Path.  It has distance markers every half mile.  I thought it would be fun to try running a 4xhalf mile with half mile jogs in between.  My first "speed" half mile clocked in at 3:01.  I didn't know how to judge it.  The next one was 2:54 and felt a little easier.  The third was 2:51 and again seemed pretty smooth.  I was ready to push the final one.  About halfway through my chest ached and I just felt sort of horrible, I slowed it down and was expecting a slow time.  I was surprised to see another 2:54.  I guess I was going a little too hard at first.  Overall, I was happy with this experiment, and plan to repeat it regularly. 
Sunday, I got to run with my brother Greg, who was in town, and had run a good 5K the day before (Gaspee 5K in Warwick).  This was his long run day, so he ran a few miles with his dog before meeting me at my house.  We decided to run about 12 miles - take the trails to the Vin Gormley Trail (8 mile loop) and then return on the trails back to my house.  It was fun running with my brother and catching up, while we attacked the challenging terrain.  With two inches of rain overnight, the trails were wet and muddy.  We looked pretty disgusting by the time it was over.  At about the seven mile mark, I started to go harder.  It felt good and I wanted to maintain a good pace and see what the 8 mile loop time was.  We finished the loop on the hardest hill and I checked the time - 62:30.  I was a little surprised, but Greg told me that I didn't need to race every time I ran and the humidity slows you down.  We jogged the last almost 2 miles back.  A great way to finish up a great week! 

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Another CR Goes Down

Tuesday, I was motivated to get a long run in as the sun was shining and there was a lot less humidity.  My body was still sore from my race on Sunday - coupled with beach volleyball, and tennis yesterday with my coworker.  At noontime, the skies darkened, it got freakishly windy, and I was scrambling to check the radar and the updated weather reports.  I decided to run the 9 mile course in Ryan Park, as it looked like it was going to rain again, and I would never be more than two miles from my car on this run. 
I started off in the fields rather slow and let my body loosen up.  I was noticing how many types of wildflowers were blooming and thought about bringing my camera next time to document them.  After a lackluster two miles, I entered the woods and check my time.  I was surprised at how fast  I was going based on my effort.  I think this is due to the speedy workouts I've been doing lately and the lack of heat.  After three miles, my time wasn't that far off of my pace from 10 days prior when I set a new record on the 7 mile loop.  What was interesting to me was that I wasn't working nearly as hard as I was that day.  I kept it up and checked my watch again before re-entering the fields.  I check here to gauge what my time would be if I only ran 7 miles, instead of going 9.  My time was 47:02 - again still slightly slower than the 7 mile record.  I was running fast, but not hurting.  I completed the final two miles as fast as I could and finished up in 59:45!  My previous best was 61:57 done the week prior to the Lil' Rhody Runaround race last year.  I call it the course record because it's been run so many times by me and a few other coworkers.  This run helped my confidence after the disappointing Rhody 5K.