Monday, February 21, 2011

Weekly Log 2-21-11 to 2-27-11

Monday: 16 miles - Arcadia trails with Boj.  After much internal debate, I settled on an all trail course for us to run this morning thinking that the trails would be in decent enough shape.  We met up at the church at 9AM, just as the snow was ending (1" maybe) and the temperature had risen to 32 degrees.  Everything was shaping up for a near epic run.  We hit up the Mt Tom trail and conditions were decent.  We took it slow on the cliffs rather than push it and tumble to our deaths.  We crossed Rte 165 and enjoyed the next flat then downhill section.  At Austin Farm Road, we crossed the river and then began the long ascent on the Breakheart trail.  The snow here was deeper with annoying frozen boot holes and I lost the yellow blazes at times, but still we were having fun and climbing.  The trail gets really steep as you reach the summit of Penny Hill, and we made a nice push up.  I was enjoying the recovery of running downhill when we stopped for a minute.  We were 75 minutes in and in awesome spirits.  As soon as we started back up again, things got bad and our spirits got crushed.  The trail was awkward and slow.  Boj was having some serious ish with an abdominal strain and he would shout in pain whenever he took a bad step.  We had to stop several times to either locate the next yellow dot, or navigate a labyrinth of downed white pines.  Mix in an obnoxious uphill, and that was the recipe for running disaster.  We were still very far from our cars, so I just tried to keep turning my legs.  Luckily, the trail conditions improved, and I could tell we were getting close to the pond at the end of the trail.  We decided that we would skip the last couple miles of trail and opt for the better footing of the dirt roads.  In another cruel twist, the road was a sheet of ice with just a dusting of snow over it.  Boj watched me slip and fall three times (he missed the fourth).  We turned onto a better used road and the footing did improve.  Unfortunately, I had nothing left, and this road seemed to go on forever.  There is nothing more disappointing than coming around a corner expecting to see your car, but instead seeing another long straightaway with a hill mixed in.  We did make it back in 2:12.  I'm really curious to see how my body feels tomorrow as I feel pretty beat up now.  At least I can claim I did an epic snow run with that guy Boj. 

Tuesday: 7 miles - Rome Point trails with Brad.  I was a little worried because I didn't have my winter gear with me, but the late February sun and light wind made running in shorts more than adequate.  The footing was way better than yesterday, and we are days away from clear trails.  A nice relaxing run.  Total time: 51:13. 

Wednesday: 9 miles - Quonset Bike Path 6x800 workout with Calf Pasture Point warm up and cool down alone.  A gorgeous day today - low 40's and sunny.  I was excited about trying a workout today after hanging with my brother last night.  I again decided to test the condition of the bike path with the assumption that it would be clear or mostly clear of snow.  On my warm up, I had a near panic moment when I saw a human lying down on the ground next to a bicycle and not moving.  I was really freaked out, and when I approached I blurted out, "are you okay?" just as I realized it was a woman lying motionless with a camera taking a close up of the snow.  Onto the workout itself - very fun, but parts of each 800 had a snow section.  The 1st and 6th were 2/3rds snow and therefore slow.  The 2nd and 5th only had a couple of snowy patches and pretty close to a normal sprint.  The 3rd and 4th were 1/3rd snow.  The results: 3:14/2:57/3:05/3:00/2:55/3:20.  Total time: 67 minutes. 

Thursday: 9 miles - Rome Point trails and beach with Greg and his wolf.  Another nice weather day, and pretty good trail conditions.  Finally some bare spots, but still snow and ice covered.  It was fun to show my brother my home course.  The tide was really high and the water crossing was rather intimidating, but Greg wanted to make it to the bridge (so did I), so we tip-toed through the shallowest part to cross.  The high water provided some new obstacles, and we had to scramble over someone's rock wall to continue.  On the way back, I slipped and fell really hard on my thigh.  It really hurt and I was afraid to look at for a few minutes.  There's a nice bump, and it's really bruising up now.  The next few miles were a little uncomfortable, but I figured it was better to keep it loose.  We backtracked our way through the trails and finished up in 71 minutes. 

Friday: 0 - 2" of rain, 50 mph winds, and a bruised and sore thigh.  2.5 hrs of bass slapping cross training at night. 

Saturday: 0 - family trip to Maine.  Sledding cross training. 

Sunday: 5 miles - Shumunkanuc Hill roads alone.  I got in a quick run after the 3.5 hr drive home from Maine and before the sun went down.  My thigh, although still bruised, felt good to run on.  Total time approx. 37 or 38 minutes. 

Overview: A fun week: a lot of miles early, a chance to run with a couple Keenyans, a speed workout, and a long run.  I'm glad my horrible fall on the rocks Thursday is not going to be a long term nuisance. 
Weekly Total: 46 miles
Last Week: 41 miles
Year to Date: 327 miles

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Weekly Log 2-14-11 to 2-20-11

Monday: 7 miles - Ryan Park trails with Dan.  It felt good to check out the trails at Ryan Park after a two month lapse due to the snow cover.  I thought the trails would be runable after all the melting, but the field trails were still inches deep, and even deeper in places where we had to break trail.  The snow was mushy with the sun and 50 degree temperature!  Ten minutes after the first mile we stopped to catch our breath and decided to run the road to the other side of the park and take our chances there.  The trails near the pond were packed down, and thus runable.  We looped twice around the pond, and then took the main trail back to where we started.  The going was good for a while, and then got really treacherous and slow (boot holes everywhere).  Overall, it was a really fun day.  Total time: 54:31. 

Tuesday: 9 miles - Rome Point trails 7M and beach 2M with Dan.  32 degrees and sunny today, but with a very strong NE wind.  The trails here were packed down and icy, but manageable with Yaktrax.  Dan set a tough pace for the first two miles.  We had to slow down on the lesser used single track.  The beach was really fun on the way out, but on the way back the wind was outrageous.  I was getting an ice cream headache and felt like I was running in place at times.  The bay had 1 to 2 foot waves breaking onshore (normally calm).  We warmed back up by hitting the big hill and then hit some more extremely slow single track.  Eventually, we made it back to good footing, and coasted home for a total time of 1:10:40. 

Wednesday: 9 miles - Calf Pasture Point and Mount View roads 5M, trails 1.5M, and beach 2.5M alone.  Interesting run today.  I wanted to keep it easy, and opted to try this spot after some frustration with it last week.  I was happy to see pavement for most of the road out to the trails and beach.  The trails were in horrible shape and I knew I would only do this part once.  The road out to the beach was in bad shape as well (full shade).  The beach was slow heading out with a strong headwind, but the payoff was the tailwind on the way back.  There wasn't anything too unusual going on - the normal gigantic flock of brant, some sanderlings, and quite a few mute swans (I avoided the ones that were on the beach itself).  Because I didn't want to repeat the snowy sections, I concocted a plan on the fly and went for it.  I hopped onto the road near the beach and planned to stay left on the roads and find my way back to the bike path.  This section of town (Mount View) is secluded and tricky to get in and out of.  I never have done it before, and I was going on memory from checking it out online.  Some of the houses (estates) were huge and old trees lined the road with big stone walls.  I was getting a little nervous after running for a while that I wasn't going to figure this out.  Eventually, I saw the bike path after 24 minutes at a fastish pace, and could relax.  The bike path was snow covered for the most part (pretty deep snow too).  Total time: 1:11:20. 

Thursday: 9 miles - Rome Point trails 7M and beach 2M alone.  Wow -  I wanted to call this 10 miles based on effort, but it was the same exact run as on Tuesday.  I was feeling a little sluggish today, but I couldn't wait to get out and enjoy the sunny 58 degree day in shorts and short sleeves!  Originally I was thinking roads, however the lure of the trails swayed me.  The going was slow, slushy, icy, and challenging.  I can't believe the snow and ice cover despite warm temperatures and rain the last two weeks.  There were alot of cars in the parking lot, and I tried to metally prepare myself for the oodles of unleashed dogs I was inevitably going to run into.  Despite the amount of dogs I actually did run into, I couldn't get upset as their human companions were extremely pleasant today.  I did my normal routine of trails, beach, and then trails in the opposite direction.  The tide was lower than usual, and I spotted a couple of harbor seals in a new place (closer to the bridge).  I was a little shocked at my overall time, but the footing was slippery, and besides, I really enjoyed myself out there - way better than roads!  Total time: 1:14:48. 

Friday: 7 miles - Rome Point trails with Dan.  More slush than ice today.  Another scorcher - 59 degrees.  Slow go, but fun.  Total time: 54:30. 

Saturday & Sunday: 0

Overview:  I was excited about getting in the first "regular" week of the year - running all five days of the week.  I probably could have snuck in a short run on Sunday, but my body is still a little sore and tired from all the exhausting trail work, and I'll be going long tomorrow with Boj. 

Weekly Total: 41 miles
Last Week: 41 miles
Year to Date: 281 miles

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Weekly Log 2-7-11 to 2-13-11

Monday: 7 miles - Rome Point trails and beach with Brad.  I wasn't sure what the conditions would be after a warm weekend with rain and the temperature again in the mid 40's.  The main trails were in great shape - the ice is now mushy on top, solid underneath.  However, the going on the side trails was very tiring, as every couple of steps you would sink in a few inches.  Despite wearing just shorts and one layer on top, I was still hot and sweaty, and ran most of it without my hat and gloves.  Good run.  Total time: 52:31. 

Tuesday: .15 miles - Quonset Bike Path alone.  I've officially had it.  I finally was getting energized to do a workout on the bike path today figuring it would now be clear of snow, but maybe wet with the rain today.  I left the office at a good time - the rain had stopped, the temperature was still high (38), and the howling winds hadn't arrived quite yet.  Upon arrival at the parking lot, I could see that the bike path was plowed in and still covered with snow.  Ugh.  I figured I would see what would happen since I still had some enthusiasm for running at this point.  I ran the .075 mile of pavement, hopped over the snow bank, sank into the snow, cursed, and returned to my car.  I debated running a couple of miles of roads, and drove around still slightly hopeful I would think of something appealing.  Nada.  Nothing.  I need some running inspiration.  Total time: 1 minute 19 seconds. 

Wednesday: 9 miles - Rome Point trails 7M and beach 2M with Gip.  I almost ran roads until it came time to actually run them.  Instead, I ran with my coworker in the woods which was a much better idea.  The main trails were hard packed with frozen slush on top and pretty runable.  The side trails were frozen, but littered with inches deep boot holes, and a little treacherous.  It was still way better than running on an annoying road!  We ran the southern edge to the beach, and then made it all the way to the bridge and back.  After 4 miles, I continued on alone.  Parts of the main trail to the point were sheets of ice.  However, I was pleased how good of shape the Cedar Grove trail was so I ran it twice.  I was pleased with my pace.  I'm probably going to be sore tomorrow.  Total time: 1:10:01. 

Thursday: 0 - stayed home with the kids, checked out the Kettle Pond Visitor Center, and explored my woods. 

my house viewed from the bottom of the hill

yellow bellied sapsucker(?) holes on a beech tree

A nest high up in a beech tree

pileated woodpecker holes on white oak

Friday: 9 miles - Wickford roads alone.  I mapped a route and tried not to pay attention to the mileage markers.  Unfortunately I saw where the 5 mile mark was and I always know where mile 1 is.  Of course, I checked my watch at the latter, saw 6:56, decided to keep it up, and at 5 miles I was at 35:20.  The race was on!  Why do I always do this?  I picked it up and ran the last couple of miles pretty hard.  I was pleased at my total time - 61:29, but annoyed that I didn't have the self control not to race myself. 

Saturday: 16 miles - Avondale/Watch Hill/Misquamicut/Weekapaug roads and beach with Muddy.  I was happy that I didn't wake up sore from my "race" yesterday.  I was a little concerned about the 11 degree temperature as I drove to the starting point, but happy that it was a balmy 20 there.  Muddy and I talked over (me obsessed over) what to/not to run with.  I ended up going with a water bottle and some Power Gels.  We took off in the frigid air in our eerily similar running attire.  My body definitely wasn't feeling as strong as it should, but fun conversation makes you not really notice.  We took the short road out to the Watch Hill light and briefly stopped to check the views and the birds.  Then we hit the beach and ran towards Weekapaug (5+ miles away).  I was excited about this, as I had never passed by the salt ponds between Watch Hill and Misquamicut (we found the spot where the ocean occasionally breaches), raced the tide around a couple of grandfathered rock walls (impeding our rights to the shoreline), and ran in front of the waterfront homes of Altantic Avenue.  At the breachway, we stopped and I refueled with the Power Gels - which were delicious and definitely gave me a boost.  It was nice to be off the sand, but Shore Road was a chore road.  We smiled and waved at a group of cyclists that unsurprisingly went unreturned.  Then a brown mutt chased us down, passed us, and ran in front of us for a mile.  Finally we passed by, but he held on for another mile, before giving up.  I hope he made it home.  We stopped again to check out an overlook at the Glacier Park.  I half joked that I would wait here for Muddy to finish and then pick me up.  My legs were tired.  We managed the last two road miles and returned to our cars.  We were happy with the effort throughout.  Great run!  Total time: 2:01:55. 

Sunday: 0 - family swim at the Y - nice to loosen up my legs and also a family hike in our woods. 

Overall:  Good week.  I was happy to get a long run in finally.  I'm hoping for a normal week of work and weather coming up. 

Weekly Total: 41 miles
Last Week: 33 miles
Year to Date: 240 miles

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Weekly Log 1-31-11 to 2-6-11

Monday: 8 miles - Saunderstown roads alone.  I drove a little further south to run around the Narrow River in Narragansett, but conditions did not allow for it (no shoulders or clear sidewalks).  I turned around and began running from the Jamestown Bridge park and ride.  I wanted an easy recovery run (hilly runs the previous two days) so I headed north on 1A and then turned left onto Gilbert Stuart Road.  I was feeling loose, and decided to run up the big hill and back down.  I then turned right onto Snuff Mill Road and began the long climb up to 1A.  So much for keeping it easy!  Not knowing the distance, I guessed I was running 7:30 pace, and so I pushed on to run the Plum Beach neighborhood roads (which included two more big hills).  I reached my car in 59:59 and when I mapped my course online it was 7.98 miles.  Pretty good guess! 

Tuesday: 0 - time and weather not cooperating

Wednesday: 0 - I think treadmill would be the only option for RI'ers today. 

Thursday: 10 miles - Saunderstown and Wickford roads alone.  I'm happy that I got a good run in.  The conditions were not great - cold (25 degrees, cloudy, and windy) and the roads were barely tolerable (ice,  slush, no shoulder, questionable drivers).  I have to say though, the miles just fly by these days, and it feels like I'm running for half the time I really am.  Total time: 1:14:13. 

Friday: 7 miles - Saunderstown roads 5M and Rome Point icy glacier trails 2M solo.  My body was a little tired from Thursday's effort and also possibly from removing ice from my house on Wednesday.  I kept it easy today and enjoyed being outside in the sun and above freezing temperature.  I was planning on running all the trails at Rome Point, but the parking lot was a complete icy mess, and there was a minivan broken down in the entrance as well.  I parked at the park and ride yet again, ran 4 miles, then entered Rome Point.  The trail was frozen snow and ice.  I was in my road shoes, so I kept my pace to a controlled shuffle.  I stayed on the main trail and took a break at the beach.  Great day on the bay - I wish I had binoculars.  I shuffled back on the ice to the road, and then picked it up on the hill back to my car.  Total time: 56:00. 

Saturday: shoveling/axing ice and stacking wood cross training. 

Sunday: I was planning on the other run listed on coolrunning for this date.  Too bad I'm horribly unmotivated to run.  I'm so sick of roads - nothing sounds appealing.  Lounging in the sunny spots of my house. 
UPDATE: Ran 8 miles in Westerly (downtown to Avondale and back) while my parents and wife took the kids swimming at the Y.  Warm - 44 degrees, wet, and traffic.  It felt good to run though.  Total time: 1:00:13. 

Overview:  I'm still on pace for 40 miles a week, despite not enjoying my options for running these days. 

Weekly Total: 33 miles
Last Week: 40 miles
Year to Date: 199 miles