Monday: 9 miles - Calf Pasture Point & Mt. View roads, beach, and trails alone. I wasn't sure if I would even run today after Sunday's race, but I decided on an easy run since I was feeling in okay shape. I brought along my iphone and tracked my run using an app called RunKeeper. It's just like a Garmin using GPS technology accept worse. I've tried it before in the woods and it lost me. I figured today's run would be interesting to track since it's more open and mostly straight. The results were still frustrating as it was telling me my miles were getting slower when I was going faster as the run went on. By feel, I estimated I was running in the high 7's and the total run was 9 miles (total time 1:10:17). Here's what RunKeeper came up with:
If you zoom in on the map you will notice that I was running through yards, houses, and the bay at times.
Tuesday: 11 miles - Rome Point trails alone. By the time I got out this afternoon, the clouds had rolled in and it was dark. Right away I could tell I was moving pretty well without much effort. Maybe I do this to warm up? I reached the point in 9 minutes flat. Then I ran into a pack of four various sized and tempered dogs. The woman "walking" them had no leashes with her. I just stood still and covered up (like I was in a soccer wall) while I hoped I wouldn't get bitten - especially by the biggest one. I'm not sure what this woman's plan was to be out there with 4 dogs, no leash. There were about 15 cars in the parking lot. After I was able to get away from the pack, I could then hear the woman yell at them to get out of the water. They probably were chasing the numerous waterfowl in the cove. Hopefully, they weren't harrassing the seals. Anyway, I kept up the good pace, but after I reached the beach, I was feeling tired. I usually welcome the slower pace of the beach and the level terrain. I saw a harbor seal on the beach, and as I approached I could see that it was dead. Kind of sad. Back in the woods, my pace quickened again. I'd like to thank the "raker" for clearing the single track trails for the second fall in a row. I was enjoying not slipping on the leaves. I felt fast the rest of the way and finished up in 1:12:05 - a PR by a few minutes. The mileage may be closer to 10.5, but I definitely was going sub 7 today.
Wednesday: 10 miles - Gravelly Hill trails solo. I wasn't sure if the rains would let up during my running window, so I planned to run in the woods rather than attempt a speed workout on pavement. Besides, running the hilly trails here are always a good workout anyway. I came up with a way to extend the usual 3 mile out-and-back course. I ran a 10+ minute loop of trails near the parking lot before embarking on the usual routine. At the far end of the trail, I went right down a paved road I thought came out on 1A. After a couple of minutes it turned to dirt, and soon after I reached the SE corner of the preserve. I followed the old lane back to a spot that I recognized and retraced my steps from there. This took me 36 minutes flat each way. My 3 mile splits for the usual trail were both 21 minutes. I was working hard on the hills and I was getting fatigued by the time I had the 10 minute loop left. A relatively close gunshot gave me the adrenaline to finish strong and preserve my life. Total time: 1:12:40.
Thursday: 0 - planned and needed day off.
Friday: 16 miles - Misquamicut/Watch Hill/Avondale roads with some trail and beach mixed in with Jeff and Muddy. I woke up super early excited for my weekly long run and trip to NH. I left my house at 5:30 and had breakfast with a full dining room of hunters at D&D. They seemed a little suspicious of my bright orange shirt and running clothes. I enjoyed watching first light on this crisp morning. Eventually it was 6:30 and time to run. Jeff had a fun course planned out. We first headed east along Shore Rd and then north and west through various neighborhoods. North of Shore Rd the terrain is rather hilly, being part of the Charlestown Moraine. After a few miles we dipped into the Champlin Glacier Park. I have never ran or hiked here, but I was pleased with the trails both in quantity and quality. We next ran through the level streets of Misquamicut that I am more familiar with. I hoped we could jump onto the beach and run to the wall at Watch Hill, but we hit a roadblock with a high tide washing high up on a man made boulder field. We backtracked to the road and I pushed the pace for awhile until Jeff mentioned how fast we were going. I got a little carried away cursing about RI water rights. We did run the beach from Manatuck Ave to the wall. It was noticeably warmer and brighter. The sand was extremely soft, and despite running beaches frequently, I was having a tough time with it. We then made our way back onto the roads of Watch Hill and Avondale. My legs were beginning to fatigue. I think I enjoyed climbing the last hills more than the down hill and level sections. We finished up in 2:04. Another successful group long run!
Saturday: 8 miles - Stoddard NH trails with Joel. I was able to meet up with Joel on Saturday morning for a run. I was excited to explore new trails near my parents house that he could show me. I didn't plan for all the snow up there however. I met him at his house and then we began the long climb up to Kings Highway. Once we reached this 4x4 road, the footing became challenging. The road was mostly covered with any icy top crust of snow with either soft snow, or mud, or water underneath. We ran north up Kings Highway before taking a snowmobile trail off to the east. This trail hadn't been used by anyone except the occasional large or small mammal. The top layer was slicker and harder to punch through, but at least it was downhill. I wish I had worn pants as my ankles were getting scratched from the ice. I was afraid they would be a bloody mess by the time I finished. At an intersection with another north south snowmobile trail we went south. We had easterly views of the hills behind Highland Lake. The sun was beginning to soften the snow here. We then headed west and uphill back to Kings Highway on another snowmobile trail. We had to do a balancing act over a very narrow beaver dam, although I wasn't too concerned about falling in since my shoes were already soaked. The smooth and clear dirt roads down hill to his house were welcomed. Total time about an hour - definitely a mileage by effort day.
Sunday: 6 miles - Wood River Junction roads alone. After driving home from NH in the morning, and then spending 2 hours outside raking and cleaning up the yard, I decided to get in a run. My family was headed to my in-laws for dinner and I ran towards their house. My wife would pick me up along the way, wherever that might be. I didn't have any expectations for this run. My first mile felt pretty snappy, but easy (it's all downhill). When I noticed it took 6:30, I then worked hard to keep it up. I also wanted to see how far I could get before I got picked up, and knew it would be sooner than later. At the three mile mark I was at 18:30 (12 flat the last two miles). I had a nice little workout going, but how long could I keep it up? At 4 miles I was at 24:40. I considered ending my run here, but figured I could try to maintain my hard pace some more. Finally, I stopped at Sandy Pond Rd, as I knew that it was just over 5 miles (actually 5.03). Total time 31:00 for a 6:10 pace. I switched into recovery mode, until my wife picked me up a few minutes later. I was really excited about this impromptu workout!
Overall: 60 miles and great variety of runs. I'll try to keep this up.
Weekly Total: 60 miles
Last Week: 47 miles
Year to Date: 2236 miles