It has been another great week of weather and running. After a busy weekend, which included a day trip to visit friends in Maine, I was feeling too lazy to run on Monday. I also was sore from sprinting around our friends' backyard catching a football. I don't know what was worse, the tight hamstrings or the horribly sore arm and rib cage. Instead of running, I shot hoops on my lunch break.
Tuesday, after a few days off, I decided I was going to do a long run from my office. It was a pretty hot day, but I really wanted to get a lot of miles in, so I went ahead with my plan. I never carry water with me - I usually just drink a lot before going out - but on a warm, humid day I try to play it smart. I ran three miles of roads at a comfortable pace with a water bottle. Upon hitting my Ryan Park trail loop, I ditched my bottle and my shirt on the side of the trail, hoping they would both be there seven miles later. The woods are now very dry and the leaves are just about 100% out. Things look different - trails are darker, once prominent features disappear, new growth creeps up, in, and down. The woods are now much cooler than exposed roads or fields. I felt that I was keeping a decent pace, without overdoing it in the 82 degree heat. I thought I might want to stop at a stream to cool off, but I never felt that hot. After completing my trail loop, I stopped to finish my water bottle, and opted to leave it and my shirt on the side of the trail for retrieval on my way home from work. I started to feel tired as I finished the last three miles on pavement. My total time was 1:41:11 for 13.15 miles - 7:41 pace.
Wednesday, Dan joined me for a run in Big River. I've been excited to show him this area after "discovering" it last week. He was recovering from the Cox Half Marathon on Sunday. He had a great showing - 1:40 flat. I was pretty beat from my run the day before, but I was really looking forward to some serious trails. We ran around Carr Pond - man the water looked good enough to swim in, heck drink from. I didn't feel very energetic for the first half. Luckily, we were both happy to go a slowish pace. We reached the old chimney as planned, and then I got off course as usual. I can't figure out how to go exactly where I want to. I picked up the pace as I hoped to stumble upon a familiar landmark. Eventually, this happened, and we crossed the stream and finished strong up the long hill back to the parking lot. This was my longest run here yet, 45+ minutes. With the effort I'm calling it six miles.
Thursday, I met up with my friend and band mate Jon after work to run some trails in Perryville. He runs them frequently, and I have hiked them with family and friends on a few occasions. A South Kingstown Land Trust property, it features hilly terrain with open woods dominated by pitch pine and oak above and mountain laurel and blueberry bushes below. The footing is easy for the most part. We maintained a good pace, slowing from time to time on the steeper sections. We reached the far end of the preserve in 22:45. The trail has been re-routed in places, and it felt like it was much closer to 3 miles long than the 2.4 on the map. After a quick break, we ran it backwards. There is definitely more downhill in this direction, but plenty of uphills along the way. We finished up in 45:15. This is an awesome place to hike or run. I hope to do it again soon!