Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Weekly Log 6-25-12 to 7-1-12

Monday: 7 miles - Ryan Park trails alone.  This day was feeling like a zero.  Long run the day before and heavy rain in the morning.  Then the rain moved out, and I decided to go out and get some sort of run in.  Feeling uninspired, I drove to Ryan Park and ran down the railbed and around the pond.  Lot's of puddles to dodge.  My legs weren't sore, but had no life to them.  After five miles, I continued on to the fields.  The blooming wild flowers and flat easy terrain were inviting.  I then ran back down the powerlines.  A red tailed hawk gave me a warning shriek as I passed by.  Total time: 53:23. 

Tuesday: 13 miles - CCMS track workout with Spring Forward warm up and Tri Pond cool down solo.  I'm still not really excited about any runs this week, but I decided to do a track workout since it wasn't too warm out, and there's a chance I can run the Westerly Run for Fun tomorrow night.  My plan was to do 2 x (1x800, 2x400, 4x200).  My legs are not sore, but still kind of blah from Sunday I assume.  My warm up was the Spring Forward course at an embarrassing slow pace.  I then jogged over to the track and did 3+ laps for a 3 mile total warm up (25 minutes).  Mentally, I kind of had a bad attitude about my plan because I wasn't feeling that loose or fast.  Still, I went after it.  I did the 800 in 2:45 and felt smooth.  400 recovery then the 400's - 78, 78 (200 recovery).  Pretty good, but already feeling hot.  200's with 200 recovery - 35, 35, 35, 36.  Happy with the times, but feeling hot and tired.  My form was slipping during the last two, and my left leg was feeling tight all over.  Half way through my planned workout and I was toast.  I jog over to a water fountain and luckily it worked.  I stopped for a minute and got my act together.  I decide to at least do the 800 of the second set - 2:50.  Slow first lap and picked it up especially the last 100.  I ended the workout there.  This is a case where working out with others would have helped.  I got some more water and then headed out on my planned longish cool down.  I wandered through the woods back to the bike path and then went east.  I jumped onto the TriPond trails with the idea of circling the ponds.  I first ran around California Jim's Pond, getting lost at the far end.  I knew this narrow trail would be overgrown and dicey, but I figured it out.  I completed the loop and ran some more trails back to the bike path.  I then dropped down onto the rooty, rocky, bog bridge trail.  Navigating this trail on heavy legs is not easy.  I then ran around the small pond on Rte 108.  I returned on the gnarly trail back toward Asa Pond.  This pond doesn't have a trail around it, so I just followed the narrow gravel trail until it ends at someone's backyard and turned around.  I was glad I included it however, because it was lined with blooming flowers the entire way.  I then ran the dirt road out to the nature center, and then hopped back onto the bike path heading west.  Checking my watch, I decided to add some more distance to get a nice even 13 for the day.  I ran some of the Spring Forward course and around some of the athletic fields and finished up in 1:40:58.  Side note #1: as of today I'm at 1396 miles for the year.  This was my exact total for the entire year in 2010.  Side note #2: these are the internet searches that lead to my blog in the last week (pretty amusing): 
Search Keywords
13 mile and ryan park
running on trails alone
burdickville boat ramp
is the pisgah mountain trail race hard?
jonny hammett charlestown ri
rainbow run richmond, ri photos

Wednesday: 8 miles - Rome Point trails and rocky beach alone.  Great day - 80 and sunny with low humidity.  Still hoping to run tonight, I kept it rather easy.  I changed up my zigzag course to the point which I really like.  I then ran the very rocky at times stretch of coastline south to the end of the park and then hopped back on the trails for more zigzagging.  I ran the same stretch of beach in the opposite direction before finishing up my run in 1:01:23. 
                     3.5 miles - Westerly Run for Fun.  I was able to get down to Misquamicut with my kids so that they could do the kids fun run again.  My son ran with my dad and I ran with my daughter.  They both ran faster than last week.  My dad then let me run the 5K, and he watched the kids.  I was excited to run.  Tommy 5K was there, but he was going to run with his girlfriend.  I didn't see anyone else that I recognized as a "top local finisher", so I figured it would be between myself and Jeff.  I was hoping to muster up a 18:15 - 18:20 effort on my fatigued but not too sore legs.  I took off in front at the beginning, and was a little concerned I didn't know the curvy course.  Luckily (?), Jeff and another guy passed me and I hung a few seconds back of them through the first 1.5 miles.  It was kind of hot and I was thirsty, so I was a little concerned about overheating, but I was fine.  My first mile was 5:47.  The second mile has a couple of small hills and then a nice fast downhill section.  I was getting closer to the guy in second with Jeff gazelling away from him on this descent.  I knew I had a shot at catching up with the short but steep hill around the corner.  I blasted up this hill passing the guy in second, and gaining some ground on Jeff.  I passed the 2nd mile marker at 11:57.  The third mile begins as a very long straightaway towards the beach.  Jeff's gap wasn't too big, but I didn't have the strength to try and close it.  As we got to the last few turns, Jeff got even further ahead of me and I finished up in 18:37.  Not quite what I hoped, but I'll take it.  My kids asked to go swimming afterward, so we played in the water at Misquamicut until it was time to get home and go to bed. 

Thursday: 4.5 miles - Ryan Park trails alone.  My legs felt surprisingly good on this short run today.  Sunny and warm (86 degrees), but the heat didn't bother me.  I ran the trails through and around the fields, stopping to take a couple of pictures: 

I took the high road

the trail used to be straight ahead

steep little hill

love the smell of sweet fern

milkweed patch

Friday: 10 miles - Carr Pond trails alone.  Tried out my iphone GPS since my watch battery died yesterday.  It's nice to tick away those 10:30 miles.  At least I got a map out of it.  I was super sweaty out there, but never hot, even though it was 84 degrees and humid today.  Legs felt pretty good the entire time.  Hopefully, they'll be ready to go long tomorrow with Mike and Muddy.  Total Time: 1:17. 

Saturday: 12 miles - Exeter trails and dirt roads with Mike, Muddy, and Ben.  This was a fun exploratory run.  We met at 6AM at the Cuttyhunk Preserve.  We ran up to Stony Lane, an unimproved dirt road.  We then ran west, crossed Sunderland Road, and then continued on Pardon Joslin Road.  There was a long downhill section to the Fisherville Brook trails.  We ran two different loops on the south side.  Mike and Ben picked up the already steady pace and Muddy and I hung back.  The trails were soft and fun.  We then did the loop north of the road, which again was soft footing, but a bit more hilly and overgrown at times.  After completing the loop we headed back up the long hill on Pardon Joslin Road.  I was feeling good and climbed pretty well.  It seemed like good training for the Pisgah race.  We regrouped at the top, and then explored side trails off of Stony Lane that were part of the Cuttyhunk Preserve (or so we thought).  We ran a long dirt road that ended at a sketchy trailer with scary signs.  I stopped immediately and was ready to run for my life.  It took the rest of the guys a minute to figure out what we had stumbled upon.  We safely made it back to Stony Lane and continued until it became paved.  Due to time constraints, we turned around and ran the dirt road and then trails back to our cars.  Total time: 1:32:xx.  Bodyboarding, and bodysurfing crosstraining at night with my brother Glenn and Jason. 
Sunday: 0 - Mt Tom family hike.  Despite the heat, the kids had a great time on this standard hike of ours.  Lunch in the shade at the top and then cooled off in the stream at the bottom. Sore from bodyboarding yesterday.  

Overall:  Good week in the heat. 

Weekly Total: 58 miles
Last Week: 58 miles
Year to Date: 1434 miles

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Weekly Log 6-18-12 to 6-24-12

Monday: 6 miles - Shumunkanuc Hill roads and powerlines alone.  A late evening run from my house after a very busy day at work followed by a couple hours with the kids at soccer.  I left at about 7:30PM wearing my new bright yellow Salomon running shirt I received for Father's Day.  The first mile is all downhill and then it get's extremely flat on Kings Factory Rd and Narragansett Trail.  I then hopped onto the powerline that eventually joins the Carter Preserve.  I ran up the big hill feeling my best after a so so first couple of miles.  Maybe this was because of the large creature I heard stirring in the nearby bushes.  I was hoping to bask in the sun at the top of the hill, but the sun was already too low.  I turned around right before the parking lot, and retraced my steps - a little nervous passing by the bushes with the lurking predator.  The last mile uphill felt really good - 7:10.  I don't know why I enjoy hills so much.  Total time: 43:47. 

Tuesday: AM 7.5 miles - 6AM track workout at Curtis Corner Middle with Mike G, Ben, Mark, and Elise.  I woke up at 5AM, drove to the local D&D for a bagel sandwich and coffee and then drove to SK for an early morning group workout.  I wasn't sure if I'd know anyone besides Mike.  I got there a little early and began warming up on the track.  Mike showed up with Ben and then Elise and Mark joined us.  After my 2 mile warm up, we figured out what we'd be doing: 4x400 8x200 4x400.  My goal was to be a tick under 80 on the 400's and 37-38 for the 200's.  Results:  78/78/79/79 35/35/35/35/35/34/35/33 80/77/77/77.  Very pleased - faster than I planned.  The last 400's were challenging.  Thanks to Mark for running these with me (Mike and Ben had to leave early).  My form felt good throughout and I worked hard without tweaking anything.  It was also pretty humid out, which usually has a slowing effect on me.  Cool down with Mark and Elise and then returned to my car and went to work early. 

     PM 9.5 miles - Ryan Park trails alone.  More miles than I thought on my recovery run this afternoon.  My legs aren't sore (yet) and the miles ticked away easily.  After the easy 5 miles at about 7:30 pace, I continued on to the field trails, cutting off about a half a mile to avoid some thick grass to run through (okay - mostly to eliminate the .5 mile on my running log).  Wildlife sightings - 1 scared deer, and one scary, very large black rat snake under foot.  Total time: 1:10:52. 

Wednesday: 7 miles - Summer Solstice sunrise run with Mike, Muddy, and Ben.  Got up at 4:15AM and drove to Narragansett to meet up with some fellow pagan runners.  We waited at the seawall for the 5:12AM sunrise (obscured by clouds) and then we ran the town beach out and back, crossed the road, and then ran the Canonchet Farm trail.  My legs were sore and tired.  We made a loop of fields and some roads to get back to the beach.  We then ran out and back again.  Most of the beach I ran barefoot which felt fantastic, and I could get wet if I wanted.  Despite the early start, it was already getting hot and humid.  After 6.5 miles we finished the run and then jumped in the ocean.  We enjoyed the fun-sized waves perfect for bodysurfing before calling it a day at 6:25AM.  The rest of the morning and afternoon seemed to pass slowly.  At night I brought my kids down to the Westerly Run for Fun.  I misjudged how long it would take to get out of the house and drive down there, so we were rushed to get signed in before the kid's race began.  Thanks to my dad for helping out, we made the start in time.  He ran with my son and I ran with my daughter.  My son seemed to enjoy the run and I noticed him sprint the finish with all of the parents and other runners cheering the kids on there.  My daughter didn't seem that thrilled with the run, but she ran it.  I was prepared to run the 5K, but I didn't have time to find someone to watch the kids, so I hung out with them and watched instead.  Kind of a bummer, but my legs were trashed, and I'm not sure if it would have done any good to run hard on them.  It was nice to see the huge WTAC turnout, and talk with fellow runners.  After,  I took the kids to the beach and we spent the entire time in the water, leaving only because it was getting late.  At night it was time for a little solstice fire. 

Thursday: 0 - woke up tired and more sore.  A/C broken at work, so I sweated it out (high 80's in my office).  High 90's outside when I left for home, with a high of 99 when I drove through Wakefield.  Only 90 at my house though.  I had the plan to run a few miles after the kids went to bed.  I was all set and out the door when I realized I was still sore and it was getting dark.  Grabbing 3 or 4 miles didn't make sense, but I feel lazy! 

Friday: 10 miles - Rome Point trails and beach alone.  91 degrees and muggy when I began this run.  I ran my old course for the most part, stopping every 15 or 20 minutes to cool off in the bay.  I only felt hot in a couple of spots.  Playing it safe, I ran on the slow side.  I was itching to run and happy I could pull it off.  Total time: 1:18. 

Saturday: 0 - beach with friends from Maine, then dinner with local friends. 

Sunday: 18 miles - Weekapaug-Misquamicut-Watch Hill roads, beach, and trail loop with Tom.  Great early morning run.  I met Tom at his house and then we parked down near the sand trail in Weekapaug.  After a quick debate about carrying - stashing water (opted not to) we began our run on a really nice morning - sunny and 60 degrees.  We ran along the water, briefly ran on Fenway Beach, crossed the bridge, and then it was back on the beach for the next few miles - Weekapaug Breachway to the wall in Watch Hill.  The tide was low, and there was firm sand to run on.  We were chatting away and the time passed really quickly.  I did notice a lot of piping plovers - didn't keep count.  We then ran the road out to the Watch Hill Light and back before running through the quiet side roads of Watch Hill.  Eventually we reached the main road and then took a right on Shore Road.  At the 1:24 mark, we jumped into Champlain Glacier Park.  Our pace dropped noticeably, which was a relief to my tired hamstrings (still sore from Tuesday's workout??).  We made a large loop on the trails, trying not to pay attention to the smells from the donut factory.  I was pretty thirsty at this point, but still sweating.  Back on Shore Road, the pace picked back up, and it felt hot in the sun.  I tried to remember how long Shore Road was, so  I wouldn't anticipate turning off of it too soon.  It didn't work, but my legs began feeling better, and despite a dry mouth, finished strong.  Total time: 2:13:21.  Tom packed cold water which was almost as delicious as the clear ocean water we swam in post run.  I mapped the course online, but based on the time we were in Champlain I think the total mileage was closer to 18 miles. 

Overall: Interesting week.  Great workout, but no normal weekday runs.  Awesome long run on Sunday. 

Weekly Total: 58 miles
Last Week: 64 miles
Year to Date: 1376 miles

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Weekly Log 6-11-12 to 6-17-12

Monday:  8+ miles - Rome Point trails and beach alone.  I had the urge to run the beach today.  I decided to run from the point down to the end of Plum Beach and back.  Mapping online, the total out and back was 3.67 miles.  I then decided to add a couple miles of trails on the way to and from to get 8 miles in for the day - a planned easy recovery from yesterday's race.  The day was supposed to be sunny, but it was mostly cloudy when I ran, and windy on the water.  My legs loosened up on the warm up and I was feeling good until I reached the water.  The first section is all rocks and my legs were clearly annoyed with me.  I then reached a mostly sandy section, but instead of relief, I was greeted with soft sand.  The tide was high, and by the time I reached the tidal stream, I thought there was no way to cross without getting wet or taking my shoes off.  However, I was able to find a very shallow section to jump through.  I had to do some more rock hopping in front of Plum Point because of the tide, and then felt silly as I crossed a private beach with a few moms and kids.  I was exercising my right to access below the mean high tide line, but I was waiting for a comment nonetheless.  No one said anything and I continued on to the end of the next beach and returned, this time with the wind pushing me along.  Total time: 1:07:06.  This was a fun way to run here, after kind of getting burnt out from zigzagging the same short trails over and over. 

Tuesday: 10 miles - Quonset Bike Path and Calf Pasture Point run alone.  I wanted an easy day with no technical footing or hills.  I parked at the western end of the bike path and ran the length of it and then continued on to Calf Pasture Point.  I turned onto the double track dirt road out to the beach, without diverting to the large rock.  I didn't see any fiddler crabs today, maybe because of the gale force winds on the beach.  Luckily, I planned my run accordingly and had the wind push me down the beach.  The tidal stream was a raging river, so I took off my shoes and waded across.  I don't really mind doing this, except for the sand that ends up in my socks.  I checked my time, and knew I need to add some more distance to get 10 for the day.  I wandered around the Mount View roads and then headed back.  My plan was to go slow today, and I my first mile felt like 9 minutes, but it was 7:51.  The second mile was 7:20.  The last two miles I picked up my pace and ran each one in 6:25.  Not bad for a slow day.  Total time: 1:13:42.  Map here. 

Wednesday: 13 miles - Narragansett hill workout, new trail exploration, rock hop, and roads with Mike.  He had mentioned earlier in the week about doing a 1PM rock hopping run on this day and it seemed like it would fit my schedule.  I wasn't sure if he was still doing it since the rain was lingering.  Finally he sent me an email with the run's itinerary - 12 miles, hill workout in the beginning, followed by trails I hadn't been on before, then the daunting coastline rock run to Black Point, with roads back.  Hmm.  I debated if this run was going to kill me, but decided to go for it.  We ran up and down Narragansett Avenue East five times at a consistent pace (400 meters each way).  I wasn't sure what was going to happen, but I was able to stay with Mike on the climbs and still sort of talk.  We then made our way to the Canonchet Farm trails.  Access was through a school playground and there were kids out playing.  Not wanting to seem creepy, we continued down a dirt road and then tried to bushwack through to the trail, but we ended up in a swampy, briary area and had to turn back.  When we reached the playground again, the kids had gone inside so we jumped onto the trails.  What I thought was going to be a short trail to the museum, turned out to be much more.  The path was wide and grassy, except for well made bridges over any potential wet or muddy spots.  We kept running and running, and I couldn't believe we hadn't run into Rte 1A already.  We eventually did and then ran along the seawall out to the pier.  Unfortunately, it was misty, drizzly, and rainy and my glasses became unwearable.  So I began the treacherous rock run with less than stellar vision and only one hand available to climb and catch any stumbles.  Mike took off ahead of me and was quickly out of sight - not that I could ever really look up.  I methodically made my way jumping from rock to rock, and running on the bigger ones.  I was not moving fast and I was breathing easy.  The fun was in the concentration and finding a clean line.  On the really tricky parts where I needed both hands I would put my glasses in my mouth.  I never fell and my old trusty Inov8's stuck to the rocks well.  I was really enjoying myself.  I eventually found Mike waiting for me at Black Point.  We hopped onto a new trail and then found the road.  It was raining at this point and I was drenched.  My legs were sore in places, but my energy was good.  Running the last few miles on the road in soggy trail shoes was a challenge.  We did one last hill interval.  I couldn't stick with Mike on this one.  Overall, a really fun adventure.  I wouldn't mind doing it again when it's dry out.  Total time about 1:47. 

Thursday: 9 miles - Ryan Park trails alone.  A potential zero day, I couldn't resist running when the sun came out.  Despite dead legs, I was able to shuffle around for more than I thought.  I began at the top Oak Hill Rd lot and headed through the fields (the first time in a quite some time).  Wild flowers were a nice divertion.  Next I hopped onto the power line trail and then the Rte 4 trail.  I was at 24 minutes and beginning to loosen up.  Instead of running back to my car, I decided to hit the railbed and run around the pond.  I cut off some of the side trails, but I was still impressed with how long I had been running when I got back to the edge of the fields.  I took the pond side trails, doing one loop to avoid a half mile situation, and finished up in 1:11:15. 

Friday:  9 miles - Carr Pond and Tarbox Pond trails solo.  This was an awesome run.  I again debated a zero, but the weather was too nice.  I planned on taking the single track trails around Carr Pond and then exploring the maze of trails between Carr and Tarbox Ponds.  I took Pinto to Flipper (with some side trails exploration) to Water Tank to Upper Spider.  Once I passed the chimney I stayed right instead of taking the ridge trails.  I was running for longer than I thought I should be, but there weren't spur trails, so I continued on.  I finally came to an intersection with a double track trail.  I figured going right I would end up on a road, so I went left - mostly downhill.  I began seeing more side trails, but I stuck with the wider lane until I reached a beaver dam at a pond (which I assumed was Tarbox).  I backtracked up the hill and then took a side trail to the west.  I ended up back on the same lane where I first met up with it, so I was happy to be able to figure out some new sections to run.  I then ran back down the lane and went left.  Easy enough for a while and then I began running into numerous intersections.  I was somewhere between the two ponds, but where?  I took single track downhill and ended up on a peninsula (looked like an old camping area) that was on Tarbox Pond.  I followed trails along the pond until I finally recognized where I was (big rocks).  I crossed the streams and began climbing the hill.  At this point I was close to my car, but I wasn't ready to be done.  I stayed right and then I was seeing Tarbox Pond again.  The trail widened and I found Hopkins Hill Road.  I turned around and took the next side trail and found the road again.  Third time was the charm and I reached the parking lot where I began an hour and five minutes before.  My calves felt sore at the start, but everything was clicking after a couple of miles.  I'm getting closer to 3000 mile pace for the year.  I don't want to be tempted! 

Saturday: 15 miles - Arcadia (NW section) with Muddy, Jeff, and Mike G.  This run was really fun. I left my house shortly after 5AM, drove to Hope Valley for breakfast (46 degrees in Wood River Jct!!), and met Jeff at 5:45AM, where I got my new WTAC jerseys.  The two of us drove up to the Midway parking area to meet Mike and Muddy.  Mike had a great course planned out that used some trails I had only mtn biked 10 years ago, trails I had hiked but never ran, and other trails I had never been on.  We began on the dirt roads to Old Ten Rod Road.  I was shivering.  It took ten minutes for me to warm up, then I was sweaty the rest of the way.  We took a windy mtn bike trail to the left that eventually ends higher up on Old Ten Rod Road.  I lead the way as I was familiar with these trails and I didn't want Mike to get carried away too early.  We maintained a good pace, even on the hills.  We crossed Old Ten Rod Rd and then continued on another mtn bike trail I know as "Broken Rib".  It was fun running these trails, but they felt longer than when I biked them.  We crossed Old Ten Rod Rd again, and then followed Sand Hill Trail all the way to Ben Utter Trail.  This trail is scenic and technical, so you had to pick your spots to look up at the sights.  I checked my watch thinking we'd been running for 20 minutes, but it had already been 45 minutes.  I have no concept of running time anymore!  We reached Falls Road at Stepstone Falls (one of the seven wonders of RI).  We climbed this very steep road for a while before taking a side trail.  By this time, Mike was leading and pulling away from us.  I was next in line, and felt obligated to push up the next hill (along a slope of  the old Pine Hill Ski area).  We met back up with Mike and then he and Jeff pranced off ahead on the next downhill sections.  Muddy ended up getting in on the act as well, so I was left alone to descend at a gentleman's pace.  We reached Austin Farm Rd uphill from the start of the Ben Utter Trail.  We ran up this road until we reached the Escoheag Trail.  I had never been on this trail section before.  It was really impressive - huge rock formations, glacial erratics, and steep terrain.  The trails descends the east side of Escoheag Hill and then climbs the west side of Mount Tom.  This final ascent was exhausting.  We then reached the Mount Tom Trail and its level terrain.  Mike and Muddy were going to press on south of Rte 165.  I was on a strict time limit, so Jeff and I took a more direct way back.  We threw in Broken Rib Trail (opposite direction) and then finished off on Old Ten Rod Rd and the other dirt roads back to my car.  Total time 1:56:xx.  Two minutes later, Mike and Muddy emerged.  I guess we could have finished with them.  Great effort throughout this run.  My body was toast the rest of the day. 

Sunday: 0 - Father's Day.  A great day with my family.  Lazy morning followed by a hike in the Carter Preserve.  We parked off of Old Mill Rd and took the dirt road to the field.  My kids "trail" ran this section.  The field was stunning this time of year - huge variety of plants, many flowering, swallows and bluebirds, and a good look at some Prairie Warblers.  We stopped at a bench and had some lunch.  After circling the field (1 Mile), we took the short wooded crossover trail to the powerlines and then hiked up the big hill.  Again, it felt awesome to be out in the sun, and a great view to take in. 

This was followed up by a stop at Dave's Coffee for an iced latte, some tree work around the house, and then dinner and margaritas at Margaritas in Mystic with a nice walk/playground stop after. 

Overall:  Full week of running.  It was nice to get up into the 60's again.  Strange week coming up, so I'll see what I can fit in. 

Weekly Total: 64 miles
Last Week: 51 miles
Year to Date: 1318 miles

Monday, June 11, 2012

Back Road Ramble Race

I was curious to check out a new local race at the YMCA camp on Watchaug Pond.  Always interested in trail races, this course was described as "dirt roads and woodsy trails".  Despite a busy race calendar this weekend, I knew some of my running friends would be in attendance.  In addition, I found out the night before my dad also was going to run it.  I picked him up at 12PM on a sunny, warm, but not humid day.  On the way there, we passed Mike Galoob mountain biking the Vin Gormley Trail.  He needed to push it to make our predetermined 12:30 warm up.  At registration, I bumped into quite a few WTAC members, including the newest and fellow Saturday morning runner Mike B.  I asked the director if the course was marked so that I could run it as a warm up.  He showed me a map, and said that there were signs at key intersections.  Checking out the map, I could see the course was not going to be what I had hoped (trails I've never had the opportunity to run in the camp).  Instead, there was a short trail to the Burlingame Picnic Area parking lot, and then it continued on Sanctuary Road, through Kimball, and then it looped around campground roads, and back (lollipop).  Mike G arrived from his mtn biking time trial, and we ran a two mile warm up with Jeff and his son.  Back at the start, I was feeling a little hot and already extremely sweaty from the warm up.  I ditched my hat, glasses, and shirt, and then waited for the start. 

At the gun, I took off in front with Mike.  No one felt close at first.  Eventually, on Sanctuary Road, I could here footsteps behind me, as Mike steadily increased his lead.  I figured Jeff was behind me, but I couldn't tell for sure.  I hit the short trail section in Kimball and then climbed the short hill into the campground.  Turning right onto a paved road, I got a glance at the person chasing me, and indeed it was Jeff.  I don't know what's better - chasing a gazelle or having a gazelle chasing you.  On this hot day, I wasn't looking for a battle, but it looked like that's what I was in for.  Soon after running on this paved camp road, there was a course marshall kid at a confusing intersection and also a sign (with "YMCA" in big letters and  a small faint arrow below it).  I wasn't sure which dirt road I was supposed to take (3 options), and I used my best judgement.  Apparently I guessed wrong, but Jeff shouted ahead to me, and then the two of us, bushwacked (more like campsite-whacked) our way back to the appropriate dirt road, but who knows.  Eventually, there was a straightaway long enough for us to see Mike ahead of us, and we determined we were back on course.  I decided to try to push the pace again, as I'm sure we had slowed down with the confusion.  I got a couple of steps ahead of Jeff, before more confusion at another sign.  Soon after, a car went speeding by, apparently filled with more course marshalls, as we could see them spilling out and sprinting to their designated spots before we beat them to it.  We reached a downhill section of road, and I tried to let it fly, knowing this was prime gazelle habitat.  We reached the Kimball trail again, and then I popped back onto Sanctuary Road, not hearing Jeff near me anymore.  I knew I had a little less than a mile to go, and I tried to visualize running it like a mile repeat during a workout.  More course drama unfolded when a truck pulling a boat didn't see me, and pulled out right in front of me.  I went around on the right, passed it, and then cut in front.  Entering the parking lot, I was running out of gas, and the remaining course was all uphill.  I looked back for Jeff and didn't see him.  I could relax.  I slowed down, but tried to keep up a decent pace.  I heard my name announced, so I mustered up a short sprint to the finish.

Photo courtesy of Jeff Walker

I forgot to stop my watch, so I wasn't sure what my time was, somewhere around 20 minutes.  This seemed okay, figuring that the heat slowed me down.  But, I then talked to Mike and Jeff, and their space watches measured the course as 3.35 and 3.4.  I had no idea, since I only had my normal watch, and missed any posted mile markers on the course.  Mike B came in 4th, Rhody Seth 5th, and Jeff's son was 6th.  My dad was 15th.  I ran a cool down with Mike G and then collected my prize for winning my age division.  Mike promised to measure the course with his bike and report back. 

It turned out that the race timers (SNERRO) adjusted the official distance from a 5K to 3.4 miles.  Mike's bike measured it as 3.35.  My average pace was 5:54 per mile.  This made me feel really good about my race.  My second mile was confusing and slow, so my 1st and last miles must have been solid.  It's nice to have another local trail(ish) race in the mix.  Next year I won't get lost. 


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Weekly Log 6-4-12 to 6-10-12

Monday: 0 - drove to Ryan Park, but couldn't get out of the car.  53 degrees.  Light rain.  Windy.  June?  No thank you. 

Tuesday: 10 miles - Ryan Park trails alone.  I wanted to run rather hard today.  Yesterday's zero combined with a stressfull day at work left me in a rather anxious state of mind.  I began at the athletic fields and worked myself up to a good pace once on the railbed.  On the rather technical single track I maintained the intensity.  About four miles in, I felt tired and not confident about keeping it up.  After seven miles, I was confident again.  I began running the railbed hard - close to all out.  I had about two miles to go from the beginning of it.  I slowed down a bit on the more technical stuff, but I had it in my mind to run each particular section at PR pace, and I've run in here a lot.  Total time: 1:08:00.  Felt relaxed the rest of the day. 

Wednesday: 13.1 miles - "Saunderstown Half Marathon" with Mike in celebration of National Running Day.  I found out last night that today was National Running Day.  I then read about Mike's ambitious plan for the day on his blog.  It worked out that I could join him for his half marathon portion.  I set up the course in Saunderstown figuring he'd enjoy a few hills thrown into the mix.  I was hoping the first three runs of the day would slow him down enough that he wouldn't kill me out there.  At the one mile mark he made a comment that we were going a good honest pace.  After trudging up Gilbert Stuart Road and then pounding back down it, I was having trouble recovering.  My breathing was heavier than normal for over a mile.  I wasn't sure I could keep it up.  Eventually, my body settled back down as we wound our way around the roads off of Waldron Avenue.  Back on Rte 1A, we were greeted with a stiff headwind and a long gradual uphill.  We then headed down and up Plum Point Rd as a cruel finish to the run.  Total time: 1:26:11.  Solid 6:34 pace.  Really happy with this run! 

Thursday: 7 miles - Calf Pasture Point beach, trails, and roads alone.  Today was a recovery day, but I was excited to get out and run in the sun (until it rained of course).  My legs were tired as expected, but felt decent to run on.  As I was on a messy trail about to jump on the beach something black and yellow caught my eye.  I thought it was a large bee or a butterfly, but it turned out to be a small fiddler crab.  I stopped and then noticed a bunch of them.  I was surprised with how small they were.  I continued on the beach, but the sand was soft.  I had to take my shoes off to cross the tidal stream.  I decided to loop around again, mostly to check out the fiddler crabs.  On the road back, I could see the rain falling from the clouds ahead of me.  I picked up the pace and finished in the raindrops, but avoided the heavier showers.  Total time: 52:15. 

Friday: 13 miles - wandering around the trails off the South County Bike Path alone.  Another quiet Friday at work plus nice weather equals long run for me.  I parked at Rte 108 and ran some trails of TriPond Park.  I briefly ran the bike path to the Spring Forward course, which I ran in reverse.  Besides feeling weird, I had trouble finding the trail at times.  I then ran the bike path out to South Road and then ran north.  Despite being on a road, there was a sidewalk and it was mostly in the shade.  I reached Potter Wood, and ran a perimeter loop and then zigzagged some internal trails before reaching Biscuit City Road.  I ran the road south and took a right at the split, as I planned from viewing the area on Google Earth.  I reached the powerline, and it looked like I could jump on it there, and avoid a little more roads before I took the trail on the powerline further down near the bike path.  I began running the powerline.  No problem until the trail ended and I was waist deep in brush, mostly lowbush blueberry and sweet fern.  Instead of turning around, I felt so close to the next road, so I bushwacked on, sometimes in the middle of the powerline, and sometimes on the sides.  There were house nearby, and I felt like an idiot.  Eventually I reached the road where the familiar powerline path was on the other side.  I ran down the hill and then began taking random mtn bike trails.  I made one loop, and then found a really fun, newish looking trail.  I was heading east, and knew at anytime I could jump back on the bike path.  I kept exploring for a while, before opting to hit the bike path back since I had been running for 1:18.  The bike path was quieter than usual, but I grew tired of it, so I hit up more TriPond trails before returning to my car.  Total time: 1:42:12.  This was a fun run.  My legs were sluggish today, but I never felt terrible out there. 

Saturday: zero

Sunday: 8 miles - Back Road Ramble 3.4 Mile Race - 2nd Overall, 20:03.  See separate write up. 

Overall:  Three hard runs.  I'm very happy with the half marthon effort on Wednesday - good time on a hilly course, without consciously trying for a good time.  The "trail" race on Sunday was fun, and I was happy with my effort on a warmish day.  No set running plans for the upcoming week.  Hopefully, I'll be able to do a group long run eary Saturday. 

Weekly Total: 51 miles
Last Week: 58 miles
Year to Date: 1254 miles