Thursday, December 29, 2011

Weekly Log 12-26-11 to 1-1-12

Monday: 0 - 2nd zero in a row for the first time in a while.  It felt good physically, but terrible mentally.  Hiked Mt. Tom in Arcadia with my family. 

Tuesday: 13 miles - Burlingame trails (9M) and hilly roads (4M) alone.  I left my house in the afternoon feeling kind of anxious.  I ran the roads to the Vin Gormley Trail off of Buckeye Brook Road.  I was going easy, but being mostly downhill I was moving pretty fast (7:03 pace).  I entered the woods, and although I was most likely going slower, I was working hard to keep up the pace.  I rolled my ankle bad enough that it hurt for a minute near Klondike Road.  I always just keep running after doing this, but this one made me think about stopping.  I continued through this technical section being a little cautious, but eventually forgot about it.  I reached the 5 mile mark (assumed) at 36 minutes.  I then turned right onto the North South Trail.  At first the going is slow, and there are numerous bridges.  Once you reach an old dirt road and then turn left up a hill, the trail is really fun and rolling.  I kept checking my watch to see where the 6 mile mark might be, and after 8 minutes, I decided to make it to 6.5 miles before I turned around.  This ended up being right about the time I reached the campground entrance road.  By now, I was focused on my run, and really relaxed.  I was curious if I could maintain this effort for 13 miles.  It briefly rained and the woods were getting darker.  If anything, my pace was quicker than on the way out.  I reached the road, and then had the 1+ mile climb up Shumunkanuc Hill.  I attacked this hill.  I guess killing myself for 2 miles isn't intimidating to me, even after 11 miles.  The first mile I did in about 7 minutes, and the second (which does have one screaming descent) I did in 6 minutes.  Total time: 1:32:46.  Loved this run.  I've felt calm and happy ever since. 

Wednesday: 11 miles - track workout with Boj, Muddy, and Jeff.  I got a text from Muddy Tuesday night, while out at the Mews replacing chromium with my wife and friends.  He said he was meeting Boj at 9AM at the CHS track.  Perfect - this was my chance to finally do a workout on a actual track, and also not do a workout alone.  When I arrived, Muddy was already there with Jeff.  We waited around for Boj to show up, and when he did, he was in classic form.  We ran a warm up around the trails and fields.  Boj had a few ideas for a workout and we decided to do the reverse ladder plan of 1x1600, 2x800, 4x400.  Then commenced the running in circles.  The mile was fun.  Boj, who is faster and has a ton of speedwork experience, was up front.  The pace felt comfortable to me.  I finished up and realized I didn't set up my watch properly.  I was between Muddy's 5:34 and Jeff's 5:37.  Whatever it was, it was a PR.  I was pretty happy about this.  What I didn't like was some lower calf tightness I was experiencing.  We did a 400 recovery and then began the first 800.  Boj was off in the woods, so it was up to the rest of us to figure out how to run it on our own.  I began up front, but was concerned about my calf.  It didn't get worse, so I continued.  Muddy lead the rest of the way, and I clocked in at 2:47 - a 1 second workout PR for me.  Boj was back for the second 800, and this time I finished pretty far back, but again at a good time for me - 2:48.  I asked Boj if we should shorten the recovery jog for the 400's.  He said no, and he was right.  I couldn't believe how hard the first one felt to me - 78.  The next one was another 78, and the last two were 79.  I was very pleased with my workout, despite being noticeably slower than my WTAC teammates on the 400's.  It was great to have Boj join us, and guide us along.  We cooled down in the woods and fields, and by the time we finished, I realized that I was starving.  Overall, it was great to get a track workout in, and not run alone.  I was happy with my times, and also to see what the difference between speedwork on the bike path versus the track was.  I might have been faster if it wasn't for yesterday's aggressive run, but it seems that I am better at the long efforts than the short stuff.  Total time: 1:20. 

Thursday: 0? - I planned for a short recovery run this morning before traveling to NH with my family.  I wasn't too excited about it, but headed out the door anyway.  My wife questioned if I was only doing it to get to 2500 miles for the year.  I said I needed to recover from the workout, but deep down I knew she was right.  I ran .25 miles down the road in the wind and cold and then abruptly turned around.  Maybe I'll run later in NH or maybe I'll fall a couple of miles short of 2500.  What's really the difference between 2492 and 2500? 

Friday: 0 - a repeat performance as yesterday except this time I made it less than .1 miles before bagging it.  Fun full day in NH. 

Saturday: 17 miles. 5 miles AM in Stoddard, NH.  This run was slow and treacherous.  The dirt roads were coated in ice, and it was drizzling out.  I ran the big hill up to Kings Highway and then skated down the other side.  Total time: 41:40.  Back in RI where the sun was shining and it was warm, I ran in shorts and short sleeves in the afternoon.  12 miles of mostly roads, some hilly, and a little bit of trails.  I was moving well the first two miles (mostly downhill) and then worked to keep up my sub 7 minute pace the next few.  Instead of the planned out and back, I jumped onto the North South Trail near the campground entrance, and then made my way over to Prosser Trail, where my legs began to feel fatigued (8 miles in).  My legs were hurting the last three miles, but I was still going 7:16 pace and it was mostly uphill.  Total time: 1:25:30 (actual distance 12.1).  A great way to end the year. 

Sunday: 0 - football on the beach cross training. 

Overall: I procrastinated this week getting to 2500, but pulled it out with the Saturday double.  I wasn't too motivated to run, which seems to happen when the whole family is off.  41 miles in only 3 days of running.  Back to normal next week. 

Weekly Total: 41 miles
Last Week: 60 miles
Year to Date: 2501 miles

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Weekly Log 12-19-11 to 12-25-11

Monday: 8 miles - Ryan Park trails alone.  My desire to run post race was a little weak.  I decided to run the new 3 mile loop in Ryan Park and then add the old 5 mile woods route.  The first three miles perked me up enough to enjoy the last five.  The pond was mostly ice covered except near the bridge where I stopped to view 4 coots.  I only ran into one other person out there today.  Total time: 60:34. 

Tuesday: 0 - I kept going back and forth on running today.  On one hand, I was in the midst of a stressful end of year week at work and could use a relaxing run in the woods.  But my legs were clearly fatigued (8 running days in a row), so I opted for the zero. 

Wednesday: 16 miles - Ryan Park trails mostly alone and then with 3 coworkers.  This run was not planned.  First, the forecast was for rain, and despite my zero yesterday, I was considering a second day off in a row.  We never had steady rain, and with the temperature in the high 50's, it was actually quite nice running weather.  I decided to venture out after getting a lot of work done.  I began by running the new 3 mile loop twice, once in each direction.  I kept scaring the same three deer around the power lines.  I was feeling a bit guilty for stressing them out.  The thought of running them down like I've read in books crossed my mind.  The new single track trails around the fields I do are fantastic fun.  My legs were sluggish, and so was my mind, but after 6 miles and an email check at my car, I was ready for more.  I then did the 5 mile woods route, and then added another 2 miles in and around the fields.  When I returned to the parking lot, it was full of my coworkers's vehicles.  They talked me into running some more.  So, the four of us set out on the 3 mile loop.  If I was tired I didn't know it, I was too busy being entertained by the conversation.  I said goodbye to them and finished up in 2:02:12. 

Thursday: 8 miles - Rome Point trails and beach solo.  Again, after finishing up the year end work, I ventured out for a stress-busting run.  I ruled out a speed workout, and opted for the less traveled trails and beach of Rome Point.  The weather was spectacular - sunny, warm, and light winds.  The parking lot wasn't as full as I feared, but I still had dog trouble on one of the main trails.  I also tripped and fell for the first time in months.  I then spent the rest of the time winding around the woods with an interlude on the beach.  It felt so warm in the sun.  I debated stopping to just bask in the sunshine.  Back in the woods, I got creative to avoid the main trails at all costs.  It was a good day.  Total time: 60:06. 

Friday: 10 miles - Carter Preserve trails alone.  Today was my first day of vacation, but it was business as usual for the rest of the family.  After shopping and chores, I drove over to the Carter Preserve for a run.  I began by taking the Narragansett Trail to the field trail and ran around that.  I was feeling a little underdressed until I had the wind at my back.  I then took the side trail over to the power line.  The hill here is long and steep at times, with great views to the west.  I stopped briefly here and then continued on into the woods.  I ran yellow to blue to red trails.  I was really enjoying myself.  I was going at an easy pace and taking in the sights.  I looped around Split Rock Trail and then headed back on red.  I mixed it up a bit on yellow and blue before doing the power line loop a second time.  I can't resist a good hill.  Total time: 1:16:40. 

Saturday: 18 miles with Jeff ("Bloody") and Muddy @ 6AM in Misquamicut.  Chilly start, but not in the teens as was forecasted, so I opted for shorts today.  It seems that we start much quicker when it is cold, and then hold a good pace throughout the duration of the run.  The first few miles of roads were very dark.  We reached the beach as the first light was emerging.  The tide was very high, and we had to detour around manmade rock walls twice.  The sand was extremely soft and challenging.  It was here I determined two things: after all the miles I put on this week, I was in for a struggle today, and Jeff excels on the sand.  At the second roadblock, we followed a path into a parking lot where Jeff went down hard.  Because of the poor light, we didn't notice a thin low rope that acted as a tripwire.  His knees were bloodied, but he managed to break his fall with his gloves.  The beach portion of our run mercifully ended at the Weekapaug breachway.  We then followed flat roads around this neighborhood before hitting the hills north of Shore Road.  Jeff had some interesting side trails around car dealerships, stores, churches, etc. to avoid Route 1 at all costs.  I kept checking my watch to see if the end was near.  Soon I realized this would be longer than our typical 2 hour run.  My legs were done just as we entered the Champlin Glacier Park.  This would usually be the highlight of the run for me, but I was so exhausted I just tried to hold on.  I wanted to run in the back behind Muddy, but he was battling his own demons (hunger - and the smell of donuts in the air was torture).  We reached the ocean overlook and looped back up to Tom Harvey Road.  Jeff looked to be having the time of his life, effortlessly cruising the trails, bounding over rock walls, and letting it fly on the descents.  On one such descent I "tripped" (over a twig), fell, and slid to a halt on my back.  I let my partners know I wasn't hurt, but I savored the moment of lying down, not running.  Back on my feet we finished up our run.  Total time: 2:19:26. 

Sunday: 0

Weekly Total: 60 miles
Last Week: 54 miles
Year to Date: 2460 miles (40 left to go)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Old Mountain Trail 5K

On Sunday, I got an early Christmas present in the form of a new local trail race - the Old Mountain Trail 5K.  Leading up to the race I had the chance to scout the course on two occasions, and felt that I had a good plan.  Not knowing who would show up for this thing besides my two fast WTAC teammates, I decided to go out very aggressively to reach the woods ahead of the field, and then let my trail running experience carry me through the technical trails that followed.  I didn't want to start too slow as to get stuck behind inexperienced trail runners who I couldn't pass on the narrow trails.  I knew this was a tad risky, but because of the layout of the course, it seemed like my best shot. 

The morning was very chilly.  I was wearing warm up clothes over my racing gear, but still couldn't stay warm.  Justin and I headed out to run the course as a warm up.  I noticed that despite our easy pace, my lungs felt like they were working hard.  The ground was frozen, so it made the muddy and wet sections much easier.  We got back to the start just before the schedule 10AM start.  Due to the long line at registration, the start was pushed back to 10:30.  It was hard to believe so many people came to run on such a cold morning one week before Christmas.  I fidgeted in my car with my family and my Dad until 10 minutes to go.  I ran around the fields and then waited up front with my coworkers Dan and Brad, looking for Justin and Jeff, and noticing some other fast-looking dudes around me.  Finally it was time to start. 

Waiting at the line with Dan and Brad

At "Go!" I took off.  I was up front, but had company.  Right before entering the woods I got passed by two runners - one who looked like he should win and another who looked like an overzealous teenager.  He then moved well over the rooty pond trail so maybe I was wrong.  Before reaching the far end of the pond I was passed by two more runners.  

I was feeling a little disappointed, and questioned my rationale for going out so fast.  One more guy in a racing singlet muscled (literally) his way by me before we turned onto a side trail that had the only significant hill on the course.  I went by the guy here, and then quickly was in a line of 4 runners trudging up the the steep climb.  I was desperate to get ahead and use my climbing ability to regain position.  I snuck by one person, but ran out of real estate.  As we began the descent, the man in the singlet passed me again.  Now in 5th place, I was gaining on the teenager, and finally I went by as we crossed a power line.  I was feeling okay.  I was going as fast as I could, and felt like I could maintain my speed for the duration. 

After I carefully made my way over the rocky stream crossing, my teammate Jeff Walker went flying by me with another guy in tow.  Just like when he went by me in the Li'l Rhody Runaround this year, he was moving incredibly well.  He likes to contend that trails aren't for him!  I made my way along this twisty trail that frequently crossed dry (or barely running) brooks.  The last crossing I noticed Jeff and two others first splashing through the brook and then getting tangled in briars on the other side.  I knew to stay right and hopped the brook, which helped me momentarily catch up to these three.  The course turned left onto a level grassy wide trail and I fell behind again.  I could also hear footsteps behind me.  As the trail then turned into a field, I caught a runner for the last time.  A new runner went by me a minute later, and right after passing the 2 mile mark, my teamate Justin caught me.  He kept mentioning something about getting stuck behind a dinosaur.  I eventually realized he meant the runner in the giant dinosaur costume I saw at registration. 

The last mile I ran alone.  I tried to keep up my pace.  A couple of times I looked back and saw no one.  I wasn't far behind Justin and the other guy, but I wasn't making up any ground.  I made sure to push the last hill and descent to the finish.  I ended up in 7th place in 20:36.  Official results here.  Overall, I felt good about my effort.  If I didn't start so fast, I think I would have been stuck going slower than I wanted on the trails, possibly behind a dinosaur.  

Post race, I chatted with my wife and then Justin and Jeff (5th and 4th overall respectively).  I got to see my coworkers finish and then my Dad.  Anyone who wore shorts had bloody legs.  Jeff's looked particularly disgusting.  My running team - WTAC won the team competition. 

This was the first of a 5 race series.  Can't wait for the next one in three weeks!  

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Weekly Log 12-12-11 to 12-18-11

Monday: 0 - I couldn't think of any place to run that seemed appealing so I walked instead. 

Tuesday: 11 miles - Rome Point trails alone.  Again, I was lacking in motivation, but enjoyed a drama-free run in the woods and beach.  I spotted an oriole in the cedars on the point and there were people with scopes checking out the seals.  My pace was moderate throughout, but I forgot my watch - about 1:20. 

Wednesday: 11 miles - Quonset Bike Path workout with Calf Pasture Point warm up and cool down.  I wasn't feeling my usual reverse ladder, and wanted to do shorter stuff since I just raced Sunday and have another race this Sunday.  My plan was to do 800's on the bike path - 3 out and 3 back.  I decided to throw in a 200 (approximate) at the end of each set.  Despite tired legs and mind, I was able to muster up a good effort.  Results: 2:53/2:49/2:50/37 2:51/2:52/2:51/38 .  I added a layer and drank some water at my car, and then headed out on my usual cool down.  It was dark and lonely out there.  I was reminded of what time of year it is.  I counted 160 brant on the bay and more flew in.  I also scared up a decent sized deer.  Total time: 1:19. 

Thursday: 7 miles - 2xOld Mtn Trail 5K course with two coworkers.  We met up at the parking lot and successfully navigated our way around the trails.  The river I couldn't cross last week was now just a dribble.  The rocks here are treacherous.  The rest of the trail I didn't scout last time was technical including a jump into and out of a dry creek bed.  We completed the loop in 26:01.  I'm not sure if we followed the course exactly.  Dan and I did a second loop.  We pushed it pretty hard and this time finished up in 24:23.  I can't wait to see how fast I can go on Sunday. 

Friday: 9 miles - Ryan Park trails alone.  I avoided running near the bay with the strong winds today.  I had a really fun, slightly exploratory trail run.  Nice and easy.  Total time: 1:07. 

Saturday:  9 miles - Burlingame roads 7M and trails 1M with Muddy and Jeff.  The latest installment of our early morning runs was roughly half the usual effort as the three of us wanted to be fresh for the race on Sunday.  It was my turn to pick the route.  I wanted to do the Gravelly Hill trails, but it didn't match what we were looking for, so we ran the roads counterclockwise from the Burlingame Picnic Area.  The course was mostly flat accept for two noticeable hills.  Muddy and Jeff were quick to point them out to me.  We finished the run by taking trails to connect Klondike Road with our cars.  Despite being a "short" easy run, it is always fun to get up early and run with these guys.  Total time: 1:13. 

Sunday: 7 miles - Old Mountain Trail 5K - separate write up to follow.  Big team win for WTAC. 

Weekly Total: 54 miles
Last Week: 56 miles
Year to Date: 2400 miles

Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas 10K 2011

Yesterday I ran my first 10K road race.  I wasn't even planning to do this race until a few days beforehand, and I wasn't sure what to expect.  I had to go to the internet and find the VDOT calculator to help me.  Based on my recent 5K PR time, VDOT told me I could run a 10K in 38:06.  I then used an online pace calculator to see what 6:10 pace for 10K would work out to be (I recently had a 5 mile workout at that pace).  The calculator told me 38:19.  Lastly, there was a local runner I beat in a recent 5K by 50+ seconds, who ran 39 minutes last year.  Based on all this, I set my expectation to be between 38:00 - 38:30. 

I traveled to the race with my fellow WTAC teammate Justin.  We were disappointed that race day registrants could not enter their team affiliation.  We did anyway hoping that maybe WTAC would be included by our names.  We then headed out for a 3 mile warm up.  We noticed a nature preserve right across the street and wanted to go check that out.  We spent time exploring the trails.  The park has some impressive cliffs.  We then returned to the car to figure out what clothes to race in.  The morning was chilly (21 at my house when I woke up), but warming to the high 30's.  I opted to just run in short sleeves with a hat and gloves.  We then jogged down to the starting line.  There we ran into some fellow Chariho friends.  Before I knew it the race began. 

Immediately I took off in a comfortable sprint, and after a few hundred meters, settled into my position (about 15th or so).  The first mile went by pretty quickly.  The course has rolling hills every mile.  Justin and I crossed the 1st mile marker in 5:48.  He then moved ahead of me.  I wanted to stick with him, but knew I was in danger of overdoing it way too early.  But around the next corner was a nice little hill and I made a move around a small group of runners and briefly reunited with Justin.  The next mile I was either part of or slightly leading the same group of runners.  In this group was Dave Schaad  - the guy who I beat in a 5K in November and who ran 39 minutes last year.  I used him as a barometer, thinking that I would want to be in front of him to reach my goal time. 

Working our way around Brenton Point, most of this group of runners went by me, including Dave.  My mile splits were getting a little slower (6:00 mile 2), but I was still under my goal pace of 6:10.  I tried not to worry.  As the course veered east, I was expecting the light wind to be at my back.  Unfortunately, the wind was more NW than the forecasted SW, and it was right in my face.  If anything, I knew this would help my overall race position, but maybe not my time.  I reached the 3rd mile marker in 17:54 for 3 miles (6:06 split) which seemed pretty fast for me.  I tried to pick up my pace slightly, and I was able to pass a TNT runner.  I now had my sights on Dave.  With every small hill I was gaining on him, even though my 4th mile was my slowest yet (6:09).  Finally with a looming long uphill ahead, I pushed myself to go faster and passed him.  I could hear him working harder to stay with me.  It was sort of scary - the feeling of being chased.  I thought he might get me after the summit, but after a short descent, there was another significant climb.  I continued to push myself and passed the mile 5 marker (6:04 split). 

I knew I was getting close now.  I was confident in finishing the last 1.2 miles strong.  The sixth mile is a challenge.  It is mostly all uphill and into the wind.  I wasn't worried about anyone behind me.  I could see a couple of runners ahead of me, but I didn't think I had a shot at them.  As the gradual uphill mile wore on, I began to close on one of them.  After a screaming descent, there is one final short but sweet hill.  It was here (also the mile 6 marker - 6:01 split) that I put on a sprint and passed the runner ahead of me.  He encouraged my energy at this point in the race.  As I closed on the finish line I had the urge to throw up, so I took it down a notch and crossed the line in 37:24 (last .2 in 73 seconds) - good for 10th place overall and faster than I thought I was capable of. 

Official Results

Justin and I watched fellow WTAC teammate Jeff finish his race (17th overall) before embarking on a cool down in the nature preserve.  Justin had a huge PR and VDOT busting time of 36:08.  We had a festive ride home, which included a stop at Taco Bell.  Next year, we'll make sure to pre-register our team and give the TNT's a run for the title. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Weekly Log 12-5-11 to 12-11-11

Monday: 11+ miles - Rome Point trails and beach alone.  I was feeling pretty stressed out at work and not really excited about running, but I knew that once I got out there I would be alot happier.  The weather was muggy and warm for December.  My body felt tight, but my pace felt snappy.  I decided to add some extra distance to my standard 11 mile course, as it is probably a little short.  So when I reached the bridge on the beach, I continued to head south until the beach ends at steep rock cliffs.  This added a half mile.  Once I was back in the woods, I began running into countless unleashed dogs.  I'm sick of ranting about this, but it is making me not want to run here anymore.  Someone (the raker?) decorated the trails in a couple of places, including bulbs on a small American Holly tree.  The raker also cleaned up the last leaf-cluttered side trail.  Thanks dude.  Total time: 1:17:52. 

Tuesday: 10 miles - Gravelly Hill trails alone.   I repeated my course from a couple of weeks ago.  It was damp, but warm.  I realized a mile in that I had left my glasses on which became a nuisance once the rain began (3 miles in).  I tried to keep the pace under control.  I restrained myself from sprinting up the hills.  This kept me from getting fatigued and hopefully won't hurt my chances for a strong workout on Wednesday.  Total time: 1:13:38. 

Wednesday: 0 - really too wet to want to run

Thursday: 14 miles - Old Mountain Park and Tri-Pond Park trails (11M) with 3M on Bike Path and sidewalks.  I took a half day at work and was able to get this really nice run in.  After getting the course directions from Mike for this upcoming trail 5K, I parked in Peace Dale at the bike path.  I ran along the roads to get to Old Mountain Park.  I then ran the course as best I could.  Having never run here, I was surprised at how technical the trail around the pond was.  Then it is single track up a nice little steep hill.  This is followed by more twisty single track until a rocky stream crossing.  Due to the 3+ inches of rain the days before, this stream crossing was a river.  I would've had to wade to get across so I turned around and explored trails until reaching the start.  I then began a second loop, this time increasing my pace.  I left the course to explore other trails and found access to a short bike path that lead to the dog park and athletic fields.  I ran around the fields to see where the other end of the trail would be and then decided to follow the last mile of the course back to the finish.  For good measure, I ran once more, connecting the first mile of the race to the last mile.  I'm pretty excited about this race.  The course is technical.  I'm not sure how fast you could run it, but it definitely is a real trail race.  I ran back on the roads to the bike path and then headed up to the trails of Tri-Pond Park.  I first looped around the blazed trails near California Jim's Pond.  Then I ran the other side near the other two ponds.  The trail between the ponds is rooty and features many bridges of all shapes and conditions.  I carefully navigated my way to the smaller pond on 108.  The trail circles the pond and was much easier going.  I then made my way over to Asa Pond where I got a good look at four Ring Necked Ducks.  My legs were getting tired from the beating they were taking from all the technical trails.  I crossed the bike path and spent some more time on the California Jim side before returning to my car.  Total time: 1:49. 

Friday: 5 miles - Rome Point trails with coworker.  This was a fun easy run.  I debated going back out for more miles, but keeping it light before racing the 10K on Sunday made sense to me.  Total time: 39:46. 

Saturday: 5 miles - Shumunkanuc Hill and surrounding roads alone.  This was just a short morning run that I tried to run as slow as possible.  Total time: 41 minutes. 

Sunday: 11 miles - Christmas 10K - 37:24 (6:02 pace), 10th overall.  Awesome race!  Separate write up to follow. 

Overall: I'm happy with my week and excited about the 10K.  Another race coming up next Sunday (trail 5K) that I plan to attack in a much different way. 

Weekly Total: 56 miles
Last Week: 55 miles
Year to Date: 2347 miles

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Weekly Log 11-28-11 to 12-4-11

Monday: 10 miles - Rome Point trails and beach with Dan.  Decent run on a warm muggy November day.  Nothing out of the ordinary to report.  Total time: 1:15. 

Tuesday: 9 miles - Ryan Park trails alone.  My body was telling me "day off", but my mind wanted to run.  I kept it slow throughout.  I ran the standard 7 miles and then spent the last two exploring side trails around the field.  I'm pretty excited about incorporating one particular trail to my usual routine now that I found where it connects (I've had trouble before figuring it out).  Total time: 67 minutes. 

Wednesday: 0 - I was having the same internal debate as yesterday, but I let my body talk me into resting.  Plan B was to go for a walk and bring my binoculars, but the howling wind on the water nixed that idea as well. 

Thursday: 11 miles - Reverse Ladder Workout (2 Mile, 1 Mile, 800, 400) on the Quonset Bike Path with Calf Pasture Point roads, trails, and beach warm up and cool down.  Absolutely fantastic running weather today - sunny, light winds, and temps in the high 40's.  After my mile and half warm up and ditching my hat and gloves, I got to work.  My goal was to run hard and either match or better my best 2 mile time set a couple of weeks ago.  Perhaps due to the cool air, my lungs were burning.  I felt like I gave it my all and completed the 2 miles in 11:44 (one second off my PR).  I was initially wiped out, and my recovery jog almost began with a crawl.  Three minutes later I found myself running hard again - this time for 1 mile.  I was tempted to quit at 800, but pushed on and ran 5:53.  My recovery jog was almost as terrible as the first, and then I finished up with my 800 (2:55) and my 400 (80).  I happily stumbled to my car for water and to put my hat and gloves back on.  I always look forward to my long cool down, especially when it's going to be nice on the beach.  The sand was even firmer than usual as an added bonus.  I returned on the trails and spooked a large owl that I have seen here before.  I briefly stopped to take in the views at the top of the rock outcrop, and I finished my run by exploring a side trail that produced a decent amount of waterfowl in a hidden cove.  Total time: 1:22. 

Friday: 9 miles - Calf Pasture Point road, trail, and beach out and back with Mt View roads alone.  I was drawn back to the beach I ran yesterday, probably because the weather was so similar.  My legs were tired from the workout, but I was able to manage an easy pace with no real problems.  The flock of brant has now reached about 125 on the bay.  The tide was very high, but I was able to jump the tidal stream both ways.  Today was a good day.  Total time: 1:09. 

Saturday: 16 miles - Hopkinton/North Stonington paved and dirt roads with Muddy and Jeff.  We met extra early this morning to accomodate my schedule.  It was rather novel beginning at 6AM, almost a full hour before sunrise.  We began at the Exit 1 Park and Ride and headed north up Rte 3.  We all were chilly at first as none of us overdressed, and this may have lead to the faster than normal pace.  Visibility was an issue for footing.  By the time we reached Denison Hill Road (25 minutes in), there was adequate light.  I remembered this paved road as eventually changing to dirt, but that didn't occur until the last half mile or so.  What I didn't remember was that the road steadily climbs for miles.  Nothing major, but after every turn, the road would go up.  This became a running joke (pun intended).  The road passes through Pachaug State Forest and there were plenty of hunters out.  We reached Green Falls Rd (dirt) and then headed east through the Camp Yawgoog boyscout camp.  Back on paved roads, the course finally veered south for the duration of the run, most of it on North Road (some parts are dirt).  My legs were tiring at the 1:30 mark, but Jeff kept up the pace by hammering the downhills.  We made it back to the parking lot in just over 1:57 - good for low 7:20's pace.  Fantastic run. 

Sunday: 0 - good cross training day with stacking wood, and a family hike (2.5 miles) in the Glacier Park:
Visibility was awesome.  Bock Island can be seen on the left:

You could even see Montauk, Long Island on the right:

Overall: I opted to not chase miles on Sunday to get to 60.  I'm happy with my week.  2500 miles for the year is in reach. 

Weekly Total: 55 miles
Last Week: 60 miles
Year to Date: 2291 miles