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