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