Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Weekly Log 5-28-12 to 6-3-12

Monday: 0 - family hike at the Kettle Pond Center and cookout #3 in the afternoon. 

Tuesday: 10 miles - Ryan Park trails alone.  Hot day - 89 degrees, sunny, and humid.  I ran with a leaky water bottle for about two miles before stashing it behind a tree.  I was a little nervous to run without it for the next 5 miles, but my body did fine.  Really hot on the powerline.  Total time: 1:15:53.  I felt pretty wiped out at night. 

Wednesday: 9 miles - Quonset Bike Path reverse ladder workout with 2+ mile warm up and cool down in Calf Pasture Point.  I wasn't sure what to do or expect out there today.  I wasn't super motivated and the weather was muggy again (only 80 degrees and cloudy today).  I decided to try the reverse ladder workout I've done a few times in the past.  I wasn't sure what to expect other than slowish times.  At least I met my expectations: 2 mile/1mile/800/400 -11:59 (6:09/5:50) /5:56/2:53/78.  I'm not sure how to analyze this.  I run slower in hot weather.  Should I just go into summer-mode and just log miles and forget times and doing workouts?  I get enjoyment out of my daily runs, but I'm not feeling the least bit fast.  Total time: 1:06:52. 

Thursday: 7 miles - Charlestown - Green Hill beach with some roads mixed in alone.  It was my daughter's preschool graduation today and I had an hour window to run.  I parked next to the new Charlestown Beach pavilion and then hopped onto the beach heading east.  The tide wasn't very high and the sand was on the firm side.  The water was clear with small well-shaped waves.  On the way out I saw a piping plover outside of it's designated nesting area - doesn't it know it needs to stay within the ropes that the humans have put up for them?  I continued on to Green Hill.  I thought I could run in front of the rocks on the point, but it appears that more rocks have been dumped to fight back mother nature.  I was truly annoyed.  It didn't matter because Moonstone was completely roped off below the high tide line, so I had to hit the roads of Green Hill.  I wandered a bit through the side streets.  I found the road that goes over the "hill".  Nice views.  I guess it's a big enough hill for the terrain view to work on mapmyrun - link .  I returned to the beach and ran west.  I had enough time to keep going out to the breachway and back.  I stopped for a quick dip in the ocean which felt delicious.  Total time: 53:00.  Got the band back together at night. 

Friday: 15 miles - Ryan Park trails (10M) with 5M Wickford roads to/from alone.  Great run today in the warm, but dry conditions.  I ran from my office so I had to start and end with a shirt and my handheld water bottle.  My legs felt a little tight on the roads (7:25 pace), but loosened up just before I entered the trails.  I ran around the athletic fields and then ditched my shirt and water bottle.  I continued on and was feeling strong.  I was feeling confident about maintaining a comfortably hard pace for 15 miles.  I did the fun 5 miles around the fields - my only complaint is that the grass is getting high in a few spots that there isn't enough traffic to keep it trampled down.  It makes me feel "ticky", but I only end up finding one tick on me every time.  Back on the railbed, I then saw a runner coming at me in the opposite direction running really strong.  I thought it could be a coworker, then it looked like Aaron R.  I finally recognized him as a local runner for a rival team (TNT or NRA).  How dare he come on my turf and run my trails (just kidding).  If I wasn't 12 miles in, I might have turned around and joined him.  I passed yet another runner a couple of minutes later and then two horses.  I eventually reached my shirt, grudgingly put it on, and finished up the run.  My 10 mile trail split was 1:08:48 - which might be my fastest for this course.  I was tiring near the end, but wasn't dying and ran 6:50 pace on the roads back.  Total time: 1:43:02.  My son ran a mile in gym class today.  Reward in hand. 

Saturday: 0 - aquarium in the morning with the kids, lazy afternoon at home, and then dinner and a walk in Wakefield.  Stand in your favorite state. 

Sunday: 17 miles - early long run with the WTAC crew - Jeff, Tom, Mike, and Muddy (first 5+ miles).  We met up at the Riverwood Preserve in Westerly off of Old Hopkinton Road.  Muddy guided us through the trails here.  The entrance is a little sketchy, but the trails are really fun.  There is a large rocky hill that provided some excellent technical hillwork.  I have to say I wasn't feeling great at first.  I'm guessing my legs were tired from Friday's long tempo run, despite not being sore.  I felt sluggish.  We said our goodbyes to Muddy after 41 minutes as he was off to run a 5K.  I perked up as we ran through some familiar childhood places.  We began north on Rte 3 then turned right onto Chase Hill Rd.  We ran the lanes through the cemetery that I remember biking on as a kid.  We then ran up Old Hopkinton Cemetery Rd - talking about the house with the scary dog and the crazy Christmas lights (my favorite display is Santa being abducted by a UFO).  I was able to shave some roads off of Jeff's planned course by hopping onto the powerline between Rte 3 and River Road.  This is where my brothers rode their short-lived DS50 (or was it 80?).  In Potter Hill we ran a couple of loops through the small Whitely Preserve.  Back on Potter Hill Rd, Tom wanted to do some 30 second pick-ups.  We decided to do 3 telephone poles fast, 2 slow for a total of 6 intervals.  This felt challenging in my soaked trail shoes.  I was still in recovery mode when I realized the road was climbing a large hill and Jeff and Tom were pushing ahead.  I picked up my pace, but wasn't feeling that great again.  At the entrance to the Westerly Town Forest, Jeff had left a bag full of chilled water bottles for us.  We stopped for a break which was much welcomed.  The morning was warming up and I was a sweaty mess.  We then ran a couple of loops through the trails here.  I really liked this area, and especially liked running the powerlines full of blooming mountain laurel.  It's also hilly.  We had one detour that lead us down the hill and then back up again - this tired me out.  We finally spilled out onto Boom Bridge Road and ran through White Rock and dowtown to Jeff's car at the YMCA.  I was busy chatting with Mike, which made this section go by faster and easier.  Total time: 2:06:xx.  I returned to the Town Forest in the afternoon for a hike with my family.  It was nice to walk the trails slowly and take in the views and the blooming mountain and sheep laurel.  We also lingered at the river.  No complaining from the kids too. 

Overall: Back to back 58 mile weeks.  My schedule looks really busy the next three weeks so I'm not sure what will happen with my running.  I want to try to mix in short intervals on runs to build speed.  Maybe a trail/road 5K this upcoming Sunday.  We'll see. 

Weekly Total: 58 miles
Last Week: 58 miles
Year to Date: 1203 miles

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Weekly Log 5-21-12 to 5-27-12

Monday: 0 - runny nose all day.  Body feels okay.  Thought about a short run, but rested instead. 

Tuesday: 10 miles - Ryan Park trails alone.  Rain.  I drove to the upper parking lot, jumped out of my car, and began running before I decided it was too miserable.  My head is stuffed up today, but my body felt good, so I went for it.  I was drenched within a minute, but at least it was warm out.  I ran the usual ten miles, but in a different order.  Zero humans.  Two painted turtles on the trail.  Total time: 1:16:53. 

Wednesday: 11 miles - South County Bike Path with Tri-Pond, Spring Forward, and unnamed side trails/power line exploration.  I wasn't going to be able to leave work early to meet the rest of the guys at Ninigret, so I went to the bike path to see what sort of run I could muster up.  I wasn't feeling speedwork, or any run in general, but I got my act together, and ended up happy.  I parked at Rte 108 and took the outrageously wet, rooty, bog bridgy, trail and then continued on the wider dirt trail past Asa Pond and out to the bike path.  The sun had just come out, making the soupy conditions even hotter.  I then ran the Spring Forward course.  Exciting note: woods chips have been laid down over the really muddy section.  After one loop, I began another, as I wanted to stop for a drink at a water fountain I noticed.  Unfortunately it didn't work.  I wandered around a little bit and then backtracked to the bike path.  After crossing South Road, I used the marked 1/4 miles to try some intervals.  I was worried I was going to be really slow, but I managed a 76 and 77, without going too hard.  This is probably because it is all slightly downhill, as I struggled on the way back.  Anyway, I continued until almost reaching Genessee Swamp and then I took the last side trail to the north.  I was hoping it connected to the powerline and it did.  There were a couple of blooming wild rhododendron in here.  I ran through the woods and then onto the powerline briefly.  The trail went back into the woods and then back onto the powerline.  Good views, as it's a decent hill.  The trail reaches a road.  I was looking for a trail on the otherside that continued on the powerline, but I didn't see one.  I turned around and went back down to the bike path.  I then ran a marked 1/2 mile, but I stopped at the wrong mark and only ran 2:36.  My marker wasn't too far away.  Probably about 2:50 pace.  I jogged to Rte 110 and then turned around - 55 minutes in.  I ran a full 1/2 mile this time in 2:49 (slightly uphill).  I then did two 400's, but they felt incredibly hard and my times were slow 81, 83.  I then jogged back to the Asa Pond trail and around the smaller pond.  Total time: 1:23:24. 
I stopped at Ninigret on my way home and found Muddy on his cooldown.  We're pretty excited for Sunday's Wachusett adventure. 

Thursday: 10 miles - Rome Point trails and beach with Dan.  My legs were tired today and Dan's were fresh.  I was worried what might happen, but I was able to keep up with the decent pace throughout the entire run.  The shaded woods felt good.  The beach was nice too, but really tiring for some reason (soft sand?).  We dipped our hats in the bay a couple of times to stay cool.  Total time: 1:15:31. 

Friday: 14 miles - DuVal and Browning trails with 2.5M of road between both preserves alone.  I was looking for some sort of longish tempo run today.  I just wanted to test my fitness.  I thought about a flat road run, but then I got the really fun trails of Perryville stuck in my head, so I opted for that.  I didn't get rained on, but I had a nice film of sweat and dead black flies by the time I was done.  I parked at the Quaker lot and then took the longer out-and-back, which I believe is about 3.75 miles.  I was just attacking this course, stopping only briefly to deal with an unleashed dog.  It was afraid to run by me, and began running away from me for about a half a mile until it veered off into the woods.  I wasn't sure what to do, but I didn't feel like stopping to help out the owner - not my problem and I had a good run going.  I reached the end of the trail in 25:22 (6:45 pace).  I turned around and headed back, wondering if I would see that dog again.  I didn't.  Once I reached the crossroads with the Quaker trail, I turned right and headed north toward Gravelly Hill Road.  I was following the SKLT signs and missed the turn for the road.  I found myself on a newly cut trail, that eventually brought me back to the Polly's Rock intersection.  I turned around and ran back on this new trail until I found the road.  I was 52 minutes in.  The road was miserable.  Not fun in trails shoes.  It was here I realized how many black flies I had stuck to me.  After 8 minutes, I reached the Browning Trail and did this lollipop course as I hard as I could at this juncture.  The map says I ran 2.5 miles in 23:15.  Really?  If that is accurate then I'm going to quit running.  The trail is smooth and not as up and down as DuVal.  I was moving fast (probably low 7's at this point).  Must of been measured with a space watch!  Anyway, the road back was torture.  Mostly uphill.  I hit the new trail and then finished up through the burial ground.  Total time: 1:40:23.  Awesome run. 

Saturday: 0

Sunday: 13 miles - Crow Hills and Wachusett Mountain trail run with Mike, Ben, and Muddy.  We headed up from southern Rhody early in the morning and then began our run on the Midstate Trail at the Wachusett Inn.  I was excited about this run, and then a little nervous about getting involved with a Mike Galoob Adventure Run.  Too late.  We set off about 8:15.  The morning was already sunny, hot, and humid - at least for my taste.  I knew we were in for 3000' of climbing and I wanted to conserve energy.  Mike's pace was pretty aggressive, and Ben was up for the challenge.  I decided to play it smart and go a little slower, probably still a tad faster than I wanted with the warm conditions.  Luckily, Muddy and I were on the same page, so he hung with me.  I liked this section of trail, but I couldn't stop to smell the roses.  Eventually, the trail went up, steeply at times, until spilling out onto the steep ledges of the crow hills.  The footing was a little more tricky, but if you could look away, there were nice views to the east and south.  At one point the trail forked and I missed the turn initially and then stopped.  Muddy had to stop quickly behind me and whacked his shin on a log.  There was a good amount of blood.  We found Mike and Ben, and then assessed the situation.  The wound was pretty deep and probably needed stitches.  Poor planning left us without a first aid kit, but luckily there were some climbers nearby who were prepared, and Mike fixed up Muddy's shin.  We decided we would continue on to Rte 140 and then see what he should do from there.  Mike and Ben took it easy on this next stretch as we were able to more or less hang with them.  At the road, Muddy decided to run back to the car and wait for us.  Then there were three. 

I was a little nervous continuing on without Muddy.  The trail was gradual uphill to the Wachusett Ski Lodge.  It took us a minute or two to find the Midstate trail here, but eventually we were on our way to climbing the mountain.  I was feeling fine physically, but I didn't have my normal energy running uphill - probably due to the heat.  Mike and Ben looked strong.   I felt like we were just about to summit the mountain, when we took a side trail and began descending.  Apparently, Mike wanted to torture us a few times before using the steepest trail (Pine Hill) to summit.  Some of these trails were outrageously technical, and I was resorting to hiking.  I was beginning to worry that I was going to run out of water on the way back.  Pine Hill trail was very steep and I couldn't run much of it.  At least I was passing all of the hikers.  I reached the busy summit and found Mike and Ben.  I was at 1 hour 50 minutes of running.  We stopped for a few minutes and then began a more direct route back down to the ski lodge.  It was pretty steep at times, and I steadily made my way down as Mike and Ben raced eachother way ahead of me.  At the ski lodge we decided to have Muddy pick us up at Redemption Rock on Rte 140 rather than have him wait for us to complete the Crow Hills trail again.  Fine with me.  I finished up the run in 2 hours and 20 minutes.  Thanks to my long run with Muddy a couple weeks back, my body was in good shape.  My legs never got tired.  I was mostly just thirsty.  And really impressed with Mike and Ben's mountain fitness.  We made our way back to RI, stopping briefly to pick up "lunch".  Mine included a cold Pepsi, cold chocolate milk, and a giant ice cream Snickers bar.  Yum. 
View from Crow Hills out to Wachusett Mountain

Weekly Total: 58 miles
Last Week: 49 miles
Year to Date: 1145 miles

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Weekly Log 5-14-12 to 5-20-12

Monday: 9 miles - Ryan Park trails alone.  Overcast, but it was much warmer than I thought - 72 degrees and muggy.  I ran shirtless for the first time since early April.  My lower legs were still tired after Saturday's epic trail run, so today I ran slow.  I also was having trouble deciding where to run, but I used Josh's blog as inspiration and settled on the lonely fields, woods, and powerline trails of Ryan Park.  Good choice.  The towhee sightings outnumbered humans.  Total time: 1:14:18. 

Tuesday: 0 - I went to the Red Sox game instead. 

Wednesday: 12 miles - Saunderstown Seven Sisters alone.  Solid run.  I can still feel Saturday's run in my legs, and I didn't want to do speedwork and have disappointing splits.  I decided that I would run hills.  My legs felt lifeless on the descents and flats, but I was attacking the uphills with energy.  Cloudy and muggy - 70 degrees.  I had no idea how fast or slow I was going the entire time.  I was pleased with the 7:37 overall pace.  Total time: 1:30:59. 

Thursday: 10 miles - South County Bike Path with TriPond Park & Spring Forward trails alone.  I continue to wait for my legs to fully recover, so again I delayed speedwork.  I parked at the lot off of Rte 108 and ran trails/bike path to the trail around California Jim's Pond and then out to the bike path again.  I hopped onto the Spring Forward course, trying to avoid mud.  I was feeling slow up to this point.  The weather was fantastic.  Once I reached the bike path again, I picked up my pace and was moving pretty well until I reached Genessee Swamp, where I stopped to check out the sights.  I was at 48 minutes, so I headed back, again moving well on the bike path and slower on the trails of TriPond Park.  Total time: 1:15:53. 

Friday: 10+ miles - Carr Pond trails solo.  Good unexpected run.  Well, I knew the terrain would be fun, and the weather was nice, but I didn't have high hopes for my legs.  I was surprised that after about five minutes they loosened up nicely, and I then cruised along at a good clip the rest of the time, only tiring at the end.  I'm getting more comfortable with the myriad of trails, and I keep tweaking my 5 mile out-and-back course.  I utilize the Pinto, Flipper, Water Tank, Upper Spider, and Ridge trails for the most part.  Total time: 1:16:08. 

Saturday: 8+ miles - Burlingame trails alone.  After an extremely busy day, I was able to get away for an hour before it got dark.  I left my house and ran the 1 mile of road to the southern park entrance on Shumankanuc Hill Rd.  My legs still don't feel 100%, but I was happy with the 7:02 hilly mile.  I entered the woods and then took a left onto the Sammy C extender.  The weather was amazing, and I could still feel the sun on the open rocks.  I successfully suspended negative thoughts about large predatory animals (perfect time for them) and enjoyed the terrain.  I continued straight onto Sammy C's.  Kind of muddy out there.  I reached the Vin Gormley trail and then turned right.  I was now feeling strong, and I was moving well.  I can't help thinking about the Li'l Rhody Runaround when I'm on this section.  Even though it was getting darker, I was able to seemlessly negotiate my lines through the rock gardens and other obstacles.  After a week of tired legs, I was feeling confident again.  I stayed on the VG trail until it spills out onto Buckeye Brook Road.  Instead of backtracking on the trail, I hit the road.  All uphill for over a mile.  I attacked the hill and felt strong.  Near the old farmstead is the 1 mile mark from my house.  I made a point to check my watch.  I continued the more gradual climb and then held on for the fast descent and then steep ascent back to my house.  Last mile 6:28.  Total time: 59:22.  Great run. 

Sunday: 0 - I spent the entire day outside at my house with an afternoon trip to the beach.  I couldn't motivate myself to put on my wetsuit and bodyboard the decent waves.  At night, I could have run, but what I thought were allergies were really bothering me, so I didn't. 

Overall: An unexpected recovery week from the long trail run last weekend.  A good variety of locations.  No speedwork, but good hillwork.  No long run.  I seem to be dealing with a head cold, so I'm not sure how this coming week will start. 

Weekly Total: 49 miles
Last Week: 60 miles
Year to Date: 1087 miles

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Weekly Log 5-7-12 to 5-13-12

Monday:  15 miles - Ryan Park trails 10M with Wickford roads to/from 5M alone.  I was able to take advantage of the sunny warmish day and get a decent run in.  I ran the 2.5 miles from my office to Ryan Park.  My idea was a long slow day, but a peek at my watch told me I was going 7:15 pace.  I guess that's a good sign.  I then began the routine Ryan 10.  The trees are really leafing out, and I was happy to have the shade from the sun.  I completed the 10 miles without incident, maintaining the same "slow" pace.  I then hopped back on the roads, with my legs beginning to tire.  I pushed faster to finish sooner, but it felt long.  I finished up in 1:47:52.  Great run. 

Tuesday: 11 miles - Rome Point trails and beach alone.  Back to normal weather-wise (overcast and dreary).  I didn't have much desire to run, but willed myself to get out there.  I ran my 11 mile course in reverse, not much different, but enough to make it interesting.  I again planned on a slow day, but I allowed my legs to go whatever speed they wanted to.  After loosening up, I was moving pretty well.  Eventually it was time to face the wind on the beach.  It was really obnoxious, but I had a good attitude about it.  I had to make a couple of long jumps over the tidal stream.  I could feel the wind pushing me on the way back.  I ran the last mile in the woods pretty hard.  Total time: 1:16:54.  Another good effort.  Crossed the 1,000 mile mark! 

Wednesday: 0 - rainy day.  Went shoe shopping instead.  Picked up these new light weight trail shoes - New Balance MT10's:

Thursday: 10 miles - Ryan Park trails with 16x40 second intervals with Dan.  It was good fun having a partner to run trail intervals with me today.  The other bonus was the sunshine.  We ran the outer loop around the fields (3M) for a warm-up, but at a moderate pace.  On the railbed we began 40 second intervals (approx 200 meters for me) with 45-55 second recoveries, depending on the landmark we used to start the next one.  My thinking was 2 sets of 5 or 6.  After 5, I felt winded and so did Dan, so we did a long recovery around the pond and athletic fields before set #2.  I wanted to keep doing more, first I added two to get 1.5 miles of speedwork in, then I added 4 more to get to two miles.  The ones on the railbed felt fast.  The ones on the more technical side trails were definitely slower, but the most fun (only since I didn't get hurt).  Dan seemed to enjoy this sort of workout too.  Total time: 1:16:07. 

Friday: 0 - could have run, but with an ambitious plan tomorrow, it made more sense to rest up. 

Saturday: 24 miles - epic trail run with Muddy.  We began at the south side of Ashville Pond in Hopkinton.  We followed the Narragansett Trail out to Green Fall Pond.  Awesome weather - cool (low 40's).  The trails were wet and muddy in places with all the rain earlier in the week, but I expected (and don't mind) to get my feet wet.  Our goal was an out and back to Mt. Misery.  Using various maps it looked like it could be about 12 miles one way.  The trail starts out challenging in spots, but runnable until the extreme ups and downs near Long Pond - Ell Pond.  We scrambled our way out to North Road.  We then continued on the Narragansett Trail around Yawgoog Pond - a new section of trail to the both of us.  I was impressed with the natural beauty of the area.  The trail was technical as well.  I tried not to imagine how I would be feeling on my way back.  We hit Camp Yawgoog Road, turned left and then right back into the woods.  After a brief stop to check the map on dinosaur rocks, we veered west.  Again, rock gardens everywhere.  Incredible scenery.  A full body workout.  We took the high crosstrail over to the campground on Green Fall Pond.  Unfortunately, we were already over an hour (66 minutes), and we had miscalculated the length of the trail around Yawgoog Pond (not able to figure out ahead of time - guessed half a mile - wrong!).  We then jumped onto the Nehantic Trail.  The trail here is overgrown and poorly marked.  We had to stop near a stream and search for the trail.  Eventually, the trail leaves a rocky area and enters a drier pine forest.  The footing was soft with very infrequent obstacles.  Muddy set a good pace through this section.  We both were feeling rushed to hit Rte 165 and see if we had time left to push on to Mt Misery.  According to the map, it was 5 miles from the campground to 165.  We finally reached the road at the 1:46 mark (5 mile Nehantic Trail split - 38 minutes).  We stopped to eat and reassess the situation.  We were already 12 miles in, and we still had at least 2 more miles one way to Mt Misery.  Not looking for a 4 and half hour sufferfest, we decided to make a loop back to Green Fall Pond.  We headed east on Rte 165 and then Rte 138.  The road was miserable to run on, especially in trail shoes.  I tried to run in the glass-riddled shoulder as much as possible.  We then head south on Green Falls Rd (dirt) before turning east on the Laurel Loop Trail.  This trail proved to be aptly named, as the mountian laurel is so thick, the trail so faint, that your body was enveloped in the laurel.  And the spider webs.  This was the official point that my legs were tired.  The trail also was wet and muddy, but I just plowed through it, rather than tangle with the laurel.  Eventually the trail opens up a bit (an old road?).  We then turned south on the Pachaug Trail (a stream at first) and then a really challenging up and down trail.  I perked up after reaching the campground.  I knew that we only had another hour to go.  We took the lower connector to the Narragansett Trail (all rocks).  Muddy and I were taking turns leading.  This was not communicated, but worked really well.  We stopped (walked) at Camp Yawgoog Road to eat again.  The end felt near.  Unfortunately, the anticipation was making it seem longer, or maybe that was my fatigued legs and now core.  My energy that was good all day, got sucked out of me on the Long Pond - Ell Pond rock scrambles.  We saw the only humans of the day on this stretch.  I was happy that the leader shouted back to his group "runners ahead" and not hikers or something worse.  I took the lead on the final portion of the Narragansett Trail - I felt if Muddy lead, I would drop off his pace, and then maybe just stop and walk or die.  The last quarter mile is riddled with rock gardens and stream crossings - absolute torture.  Thankfully, we spotted the parking lot and the hurt was over.  3 hours 33 minutes of running some of the most technical trails around.  My body felt more beat up than after the Pisgah 50K.  This was physically the hardest run I've ever done. 

Sunday: 0 - beat up after yesterday.  Long, busy Mother's Day spent outside. 

Overall: 60 miles on only 4 days.  I made them count. 

Weekly Total: 60 miles
Last Week: 48 miles
Year to Date: 1038 miles

Monday, May 7, 2012

Rainbow Race 10K

Last Saturday, I ran the inaugural Rainbow Race 10K in nearby Richmond, RI.  I was hoping to run this race when I saw it advertised, but it wasn't until Thursday night that I knew I could run it after figuring out a childcare solution.  I was more nervous before this race than any recent ones.  I think because I thought there was a chance no one fast would show up - certainly nobody I knew was running it. Maybe a "W" would be possible.  Time-wise,  my goal was to be right around my PR of 37:24, ideally I could knock a few seconds off and average sub 6 miles. 

By the time I arrived at the race and got my bib, there was only 30 minutes to go.  There was a huge crowd and the event was well run.  I couldn't tell how many people were doing the 10K, as it appeared the majority were doing the 5K walk.  I soon noticed a bald guy that I recognized as Chad.  We headed out for a warm up and caught up on our training since last summer.  He had read my blog and was complimentary on my running and seemed to think I should beat him today.  I wasn't so sure, since I never have, and he seemed to be in good shape.  At the start line we noticed a tall fast looking kid and then I saw local runner Glen G and chatted with him briefly.  There were some other runners with team jerseys (TNT and NRA).  I was still hoping for top 5. 

At the gun, I took off with Chad, Glen, and the fast looking kid.  I briefly took the lead on a small uphill section and then was quickly passed on the descent by the three of them.  Glenn and the kid pulled away and I found myself a few seconds behind Chad.  There didn't appear to be anyone close behind.  5:48 first mile - right where I thought I would be and identical to my 10K PR.  The second mile was on a mostly flat straight road.  Chad's lead increased to maybe 10-15 seconds.  Mile 2 - 5:59 - I was still hopeful that I would catch him and I knew the biggest hill (not that big)  was coming up.  I pushed up the hill and was able to pass Chad.  I tried to keep pushing knowing that he would probably catch back up once we hit the long descent.  I did a good job of letting my legs go, and put some distance between us.  It was here that I saw Jeff watching the race with his family.  It was awesome to have him out supporting me there and he told me I was 20 yards ahead.  I crossed the 3 mile mark (6:02 - 17:50 for three miles) and made the puddle-riddled turn onto Beaver River Road.  This road is flat and scenic, but when you're working hard, it feels endless and uphill.  I felt slow.  It also began to rain.  I could here someone rapidly catching up to me.  Ugh!  Luckily, it was Jeff again, this time on a bike, encouraging me and letting me know the gap on Chad (getting bigger).  I made the turn onto Beaver River School House Road (no evidence of a school house that I could see).  Mile 4 - 6:12 - not pretty.  The rain was steadier, but it felt good.  I was now running the opposite way of the 5K walkers.  This road again was flat (one small hill), but felt all uphill, but at least having the walkers cheer me on (or making me run strong so that I didn't look miserable) was helpful.  I turned onto Heaton Orchard Road and passed mile 5 in 6:09 (30:12 through 5 miles).  A very straight road slightly uphill towards the finish line.  Near the end of this road I finally gave in and looked back for Chad.  I didn't have my glasses on (I was carrying them once it began raining) so I couldn't tell where he was, but it didn't appear he was too close.  I turned onto Rte 138, knowing there wasn't much more to go.  I hit mile 6 in 6:10.  I picked up my pace for the last .2, but I've certainly mustered up better efforts.  I finished the race in 37:34.  My kids and my parents were right there to greet me which was really nice. 

Official Results here

Post race I talked with Chad and Glen, and also with various local people who were in attendance, including my son's teacher.  I was blushing as he told her that his dad came in third place.  My parents had to leave, so I waited around with my kids for the awards ceremony to begin (cash prize).  Despite the rain, my kids had a blast running around and playing in the mud.  The food was awesome - lot's of homemade treats and there was even a band (I hadn't heard Christian music this rocking since Stryper in the late 80's).  Unfortunately, my kids got cranky after an hour plus of waiting around, so I had to leave before collecting my prize. 

Overall, I was please with this race.  A PR would have been nice, but I was only 10 seconds off, and I probably would have been a little faster if I had other runners' around me the last three miles like I did in that PR race.  I probably went out a little too fast.  I enjoy racing this distance.  The event was well run and I definitely recommend it.  I wish I had a WTAC jersey to race in! 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Weekly Log 4-30-12 to 5-6-12

Monday: 15.5 miles - DuVal Trails & Browning Trail (8.5M) with surrounding roads (7M) alone.  I had the day off of work to watch my daughter, but got to run for a couple of hours while she was at preschool.  I drove to the Browning Preserve first and dropped off a water bottle which was going to be about the 9 mile mark.  I then parked off of 1A at the Quaker Burial site and ran the slightly less than four miles of up and down trails out to Red House Road.  I was pushing the pace right away.  My legs felt fresh and I was enjoying it.  I did question this strategy of starting hard on a long run, but went with it.  I completed this trail section in 26:12.  I then ran Red House Road (dirt) out to Ministerial Road.  I ran north and then turned left onto Worden's Pond Road.  I was feeling great on the flat roads - my pace felt peppy and I wish I had a space watch to check it.  I was guessing right around 7 minute miles.  Even the small hills on this road felt smooth.  I noticed a couple of interesting side trails (to the south), but I stayed my course.  I turned left again at Shannock Road and ran south until reaching the Browning Trail.  I was 1:04 into the run.  I then ran the lollipop trail.  The woods off the road look swampy so I figured that's what I was in for, but the trail is mostly through a pine barren/oak forest.  The footing was excellent and mostly on pine needles.  I kept up my good pace, but now I was beginning to fatigue.  At the far end, there was an unmarked trail that I believe lead out to Worden's Pond Road.  I stayed on the marked trail, completed the trail in just over 23 minutes (posted as 3 miles, but I'm guessing it's a tad longer).  I then ran south on Gravelly Hill Road until I mercifully found the shortcut side trail back into DuVal.  My legs were tired, but I tacked on a mile loop because I wasn't running for as long as I anticipated and finished through the graveyard.  Total time: 1:52:23.  Great run.  Perfect weather.  Strong effort throughout.  945.5 miles through the first third of the year - on pace for 2,836.5!

Tuesday: 0 - good day to take off - terrible weather

Wednesday: 8.5 miles - Gilbert Stuart Road hill workout alone.  This was a last minute decision.  I was thinking speedwork on the bike path, but there was something drawing me to Gilbert Stuart.  It's a great place to visit in the spring - lot's of nature to distract you when your sucking wind after climbing the steepest hill around.  I measured out a mile from the brook which is flat for a 1/4 mile, then climbs (steeply at times especially near the end) for a 1/2 mile, then gently descends the last 1/4 mile.  I've done this workout in the past as a tune up for the mountains of Pisgah.  My plan was to go up and down 3 times.  I used to look at this as a 3 x 1 mile workout, but it's really a 3 x 2 mile.  Coming down is hard work physically.  My first mile felt horrible - I was too excited and my body felt tingly and my heart was pounding hard on the climb.  I was surprised at the time - 6:57 - way faster than any other time I've done it. 6:20 on the way down.  I then ran a mile cooldown and then began round two.  This time I felt faster and more in control, but the pain on the steep part near the end was almost unbearable.  Super happy with the 6:46.  6:15 down.  I jogged another mile, debating if a third round was necessary or smart.  I went for it.  This climb was the "easiest", and I thought it would be my slowest, but it was a 6:49.  Sweet.  I tried to let my legs turn faster on the descent and finished the last mile in 5:58.  I jogged around for a 1/2 mile before returning to my car.  Total time: 59:08.  Good workout. 

Thursday: 10 miles - Ryan Park alone.  Extremely busy day at work and I was excited to run until I was greeted by the 50 degree drizzly drab weather.  I got my act together and headed out, expecting to be tired from the hill workout yesterday.  Surprisingly, I felt really good.  I did the usual 10, but in a different order.  My pace was on the easy side, but not terrible.  Total time: 1:17:14.  I was able figure out childcare for Saturday morning, so I'll be racing the new Rainbow 10K in Richmond.  Can't wait! 

Friday: 5 miles - Rome Point trails with coworker.  A nice and easy run.  Total time: 38:17. 

Saturday: 9 miles - Rainbow 10K - 3rd overall - 37:34.  Good race.  Separate write up to follow. 

Sunday: 0 - first canoe ride with the kids - Glen Rock Resevoir in Usquepaug up to Dugway Bridge and back.  Great day for a paddle.  Lot's of nature to view and keep everyone interested - painted turtles, garter snakes, orioles, green heron, yellow warblers, American Redstart, and the more commons.  Lazy afternoon - legs feel tired - but spend the sunny hours outside which was nice.  Heard but not seen - first of year ovenbirds and worm-eating warblers.  Lady slippers are close to blooming.  Oh, and I forgot to mention the large milk snake I found in my basement getting out the canoe equipment.  Yikes!  At least it's eating mice.  Anyone is welcome to come get it out of there and use it as a natural rodent deterent for their house.  Thanks. 

Weekly Total: 48 miles
Last Week: 53 miles
Year to Date: 978 miles