Monday: AM 4.5 miles - 12 x home trail loop alone. I was looking to get a quick run in early to help calm the nerves (getting the kids out the door for their first ever summer camp). I immediately noticed how cool and dry the air felt. I wasn't trying to go too hard, but I was moving pretty well and eventually got really sweaty. I tripped for the first time here and executed a nice roll on the ground. Total time: 32:10.
PM 9.5 miles - Cuttyhunk and Fisherville trails with connecting dirt roads (Stony Lane & Pardon Joslin Road) alone. Great run in the dry heat of the day. I ran with my phone to map the course and go for the uphill record on the long dirt road climb. I can't stand how off the GPS is (averaging 9+ minute pace - feels like 7:30 at the slowest to me). Deer flies were not an issue out there. Either were hillbillies. I was thankful for the conveniently located portapotty before I had to run hard up the hill. Total time: 1:13:xx.
Tuesday: 9 miles - Big River exploratory trail run alone. I was lacking motivation today. My body was sore and tired and I couldn't think of a run that seemed appealing. Finally I decided to go exploring. I printed out the confusing mtn biking map of Big River and drove to the Hopkins Hill parking area near Carr Pond. Instead of running around the pond, I crossed the road and headed west. As usual, there were many more intersections than the map showed, but I knew I was heading in the right general direction. My plan was to stay on the souther border until I hit the New London Turnpike. Then I would explore the single track between this road and the souther border, slowly heading back to the east. Well, after I crossed the paved road to the gravel pit, I began to get sort of lost. I was on trails that were wide at times, but they did not look heavily used. Eventually, I ran by a clearing with a small pond and then a Nature Conservancy sign. Huh? The lane then ended at a gait and a sketchy property. Turning around, I was clearly on a Nature Conservancy property, but which one? This is what I could find online. I retraced my steps to the last intersection and then tried the other trail. This trail began wide, was sort of fun at times, and then got very narrow before I stopped in back of somebody's house. I backtracked again, and then took the next new trail I found. This trail had some mtn bike tracks on it and I felt confident I was back relatively on track. I climbed a hill and then the trail got really narrow and soon petered out. When I turned around, there was another Nature Conservancy trail marker in the middle of nowhere. I ran back pretty far this time and found a major looking new trail to try. I was now watching my GPS map on my phone so I could see where I was going and where I had been. What's funny is that I hadn't been within the Big River border in some time. I took this wide lane heading north. The terrain was pretty fun. At one point I stopped to take a steep trail off to the west. I climbed it and then followed it down the other side until the trail was fully overgrown. I backtracked up and over the hill and then followed the wider lane I had been on until I saw the New London Turnpike. I found a side trail and followed that for a long time all the way back to the paved gravel pit road. I crossed and then began exploring the single track. The mtn bike trails here are a blast. I would definitely run in this section again. I did have one dead end at a beaver pond. I slowly made my way east until finally rejoining the main trail right before Hopkins Hill Road and my car. Total time: 69 minutes. Here's the Strava map:
Wednesday: AM 5 miles - hilly roads out and back alone. I had the idea last night to get up and do this run today, and I was able to wake up and get out the door before I second guessed myself. My plan was to get an early 5 miles in this morning, and then do the Westerly Fun Run tonight. I picked Burdickville Road for the hills. I carried my iphone, and was impressed with the GPS accuracy on the road. My lower legs were tight to start, and my first mostly downhill mile was 7:20. The second mile is mostly downhill as well with one steep climb at the end. I didn't feel that I was going very hard, but it was a 6:47 mile. I reached Rte 91 and headed north for a half a mile. I passed a cyclist fixing a tire who looked sort of familiar. Again, I wasn't working hard, but on this flat mile I ran 6:33. Mile 4 is a fast downhill followed by a long gradual climb. I wasn't sure how fast I was going, but very surprised by the 6:13. Now I was beginning the big ascent up Shumunkanuc Hill. I was working hard and hoped that this would be a KOM situation on Strava. I kept up the effort once the terrain leveled off and had a fast downhill finish by my house - 6:22 mile. Total time: 33:19.
PM - missed planned Fun Run.
Thursday: 15 miles - Ryan Park trails (10M) and Wickford roads (5M) to and from alone. I wanted to get some longer runs under my belt and had the opportunity today. The weather wasn't too bad, but hot in the sun. My legs felt tight and I knew right away I was in for a tough day. But I also knew that this would be good training for the upcoming 50K, so I had a good attitude. I tracked my run with my phone for the first five miles, but had to shut it down with my battery running low. I was running high 7's on the road, and I didn't feel great. Anyway, I continued onto my favorite single track/powerline trails. The deer flies were a nuisance in only a couple of spots, and the sun was hot when I was exposed. I pushed on and then hit the roads. Besides being thirsty and hot, my legs felt a little better than when I started, and I was definitely moving faster. Total time: approx. 1:50. Side note: I will soon be joining the dark side. I redeemed cash back points on my credit card that I've been compiling for quite some time for a Garmin Forerunner 610. I will still rant about it's inaccuracy on trails, and will continue to disagree with it's mileage, but I will enjoy it's other features. I know this makes me a hypocrite.
Friday: 7 miles - Rome Point trails and beach alone. Nothing exciting about this run, but my legs feel pretty good and it wasn't too hot. Total time: 57:47.
Saturday: 15+ miles - Burlingame trails with Muddy and Jeff. 6AM start from my house. This was a nice relaxing long run with the original 3 members of the weekend WTAC crew. We ran the short stretch of road to the Burlingame entrance off of Burdickville Road. Jeff and I wore hats and shirts to keep the deer flies at bay. Muddy wore his shirt on his head, and was attracting the most flies for sure. The woods were dark, and it was raining at times, but not reaching the ground. We zigzagged the north side trails avoiding only the swampy river trail. We got to run up Ledge Trail. We crossed Buckeye Brook Road and then did Sammy C's. The new bridge is much appreciated. We then hopped onto the Vin Gormley Trail heading back to the NW, and then picked up Schoolhouse Pond Trail. At one point I fell which was my first time in front of Jeff and lead to some heckling. Jeff left us at the split with the secret trail as he wanted to ONLY run 10-12 miles and bike 25 miles the day before his triathalon. My lower legs began to feel heavy at this point, probably from the high humidity and all the miles this week. We reached the VG Trail again, and then looped around the old north camp. We decided to cross Buckeye Brook Rd at the red gait, and just head back to my house the most direct way (by the beaver pond). We tacked on a lap of my home trail loop and then I showed him the new trail I've been working on. It's straight up 100' on my property. I've run it before, but it's miserable, and I've never had a specific route up. A couple of nights ago, I worked on a trail. Muddy and I tested it out, but I had to resort to hiking - it's so steep and my legs were toast. Great way to end a great run though. Total time: 2:03:xx.
Sunday: 4+ miles - 8 x home trail loop plus 3 x Charlestown Walking Boss (Shumunkawall?) alone in the AM. This was just a quick workout on fatigued legs before traveling up to Cambridge for the day. I first ran the wall and was able to "run" the entire way up. I then ran 4 laps of my home trail and then climbed the wall. Repeat and finish. I was able to run the wall without walking all three times. This is going to be stellar Pisgah Ridge and Reservoir Rd training! Total time: 33:37.
Weekly Total: 69 miles
Last Week: 46 miles
Year to Date: 1549 miles