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