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.