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:
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