Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Weekly Log 9-24-12 to 9-30-12

Monday: 10 miles - Ryan Park trails alone.  A nice day to run on tight legs.  I did the usual 10 miler, but mixed up the order.  I began by running 3/4 of the technical field trails.  This probably wasn't a good decision, as I felt pretty uncomfortable on the uneven terrain.  Once on the rail bed, my legs loosened up and my run became more enjoyable.  It felt like fall today with coolish temperature and the orange shirt I wore.  Total time: 1:13:57.  Pretty snappy pace overall. 

Tuesday: 10 miles - Quonset Bike Path workout with Calf Pasture Point cool down alone.  No takers for an early morning track session, so I decided to get a workout in on the bike path.  I spent some time figuring out how to program a workout onto my watch.  I decided to run 600's.  I chose 8 reps, which seemed a little ambitious.  My watch was set up for the 8 600's with 200 recovery.  I wasn't sure how it was going to work.  The first obstacle was the wind.  Really strong from the SW.  I opted to run all my reps with the wind at my back, which meant starting at the far west end of the path and then heading east to the beach.  My warm up felt long and I was antsy to begin.  I hit the start button and without warning my first interval began.  I took off, probably going way too fast.  The watch display only showed which interval I was on (1 of 8), and how much distance (in kilometers) I had left.  When I got near the end it beeped a few times.  When the interval was over, the watch didn't display my time.  WTF?  This made no sense to me.  I guess I'll have to go back online to try and fix it.  So I ran all 8 intervals without any idea of my splits, except that the last three felt slow.  Here are my results:  1:57/1:59/2:02/2:04/1:58/2:04/2:06/2:06 Overall, I was happy.  I probably should have only done 6 reps.  Some of the differences could be from the course - elevation changes and curves.  The last interval I left the bike path and jumped onto a road in Mount View because I was running out of room and didn't want to finish on the beach.  I made the decision to do a loop around the beach for my cool down, but regretted it when I was greeted with a gale force headwind, and aching tired feet.  Total time: 1:10:11. 

Wednesday: 10+ miles - Big River trails alone.  My goal today was to explore the mtn bike trails in the NE corner of the park, south of Division Road and north of the New London Turnpike.  I began running parallel to Hopkins Hill Rd on the west side and crossing over onto the road at Tarbox Pond.  I then ran up the hill and entered the trail at the cemetery.  I took Dead Shed out to the dirt turnpike and ran east to the beaver pond.  I then hopped on a mtn bike trail heading north and east (or so I thought).  Shortly, I crossed a dirt road I didn't remember seeing on a map.  The trail got more technical and fun.  Okay, it got spooky.  At the top of a hill a mannequin hanging from a tree caught my eye.  There were strange markings on trees and spray-painted or hand written signs making me nervous.  I passed a painted vacuum cleaner on top of a rock and then a colorfully painted rusted jeep.  The trails kept changing blazes, but I wasn't noticing any intersections.  I then reached another dirt road.  Something didn't seem right.  I took a trail on the other side, but decided to turn around.  I then ran down the dirt road, guessing it met up with Division Street.  I did find a road, but it wasn't the one I thought.  I began running down it, before again deciding to turn around.  I was determined now to just cut my losses and back track to the beaver pond.  This was a little tricky, but I did have enough sense to figure it out.  I took Dead Shed and then hopped on a side trail near Tarbox Pond to mix it up a little.  Back on Hopkins Hill Road, I ran the trail on the east side back to my car, including the steep finish.  I was really cruising the last few miles.  Total time: 1:16:32.  Once I uploaded the data I had to laugh.  I was nowhere near I thought.  I actually was on the New London Turnpike and Hopkins Hill Road.  I was traveling west instead of east.  I also never was far from where I knew. 

Thursday: 10 miles - Saunderstown hilly tempo run alone.  Pretty good effort, but I wasn't as fast as I thought I could be.  My legs have been understandably tired, so that was probably a factor.  I worked hard on all the climbs.  A bit muggy out today.  The course seemed long, and when I mapped it online, it was coming up almost .2 mile over 10.  My watch seemed to be off at times on the shady side roads.  Whatever.  Total time: 1:08:27. 

Friday: 10 miles - Ryan Park trails alone.  Nice run in the rain today.  I parked off of Lafayette Road and headed out for the "woods" 5 miles.  My legs felt a lot fresher today.  I was protected from most of the rain under the trees, but without glasses, my vision was terrible.  Luckily, my body has these trails programmed into memory.  About three miles in, I felt really lethargic and sleepy.  This lasted about a half a mile and then I felt fine the rest of the time.  Kind of strange.  I jumped onto the "field" trails.  I noticed someone made a loop in Strava that I don't normally do, so I made it a point to run harder and see what sort of time I could post.  It's always fun to run out of control on trails (as long as you don't fall).  I finished up on more "field" trails, as the rain got steadier.  Total time: 1:12:16.  5 horses, 1 dog, and 7 humans out in the rain. 

Saturday: 0

Sunday: 14 miles - Chariho roads half marathon solo.  Decided to race myself as everyone else was running real races this weeked.  First off, congrats to everyone that had great races this weekend:  Greg and Muddy at DeMar, Jeff and Seth at Nipmuck, Galoob in the woods, Mike B winning a local 5K, and even Tommy 5K getting back into the game.  Can't wait to hear/read about every race. 
So, Saturday night I mapped out a course for a half marathon, utilizing mostly flat roads.  I run this distance alot, but have never raced it.  I was curious what sort of time I could put up.  Sunday morning came, and after blueberry pancakes and the first drops of rain, I reluctantly headed out, wearing a bright yellow shirt for visibility, a hat, and no glasses.  The first mile is all downhill, so it helped me get into a fast groove right away (6:11).  My legs were feeling fresher than they had all week, but ideally if this was a real race, I would have rested more.  The second mile has a decent hill and was my second slowest of the day (6:23).  Then I ran east on Rte 91.  Running on this wide, exposed, straight road epitomized everything I hate about road running.  My mind was filled with negative thoughts and internal complaining (about the wind, puddles, traffic, etc.).  I reached Rte 112, went left, and then left again on Pine Hill Road - a much more pleasant side road.  It's also rolling - but I was getting into a good rythm.  After a bunch of 6:20 or just below miles, I was picking up the pace slightly.  After crossing the river on Woodville Road, there was a good sized hill (about 100' elevation gain).  Trying to push up it, really took a toll on my body, and also was my slowest mile(6:29).  This was followed by a gradual downhill to Alton (6:10), and then I just cruised through to the finish (uphill on the bottom of my road).  The GPS course was a little longer than the online one, and I couldn't wait to stop sprinting uphill.  Total time: 1:22:32.  I was pretty stoked.  I definitely think slightly sub 1:20 is a possibility, especially in a real race situation.  The only thing that dampened my spirits, was having to run a one mile "cool down" all up hill back to my house. 

Weekly Total: 64 miles
Last Week: 68 miles
Year to Date: 2227 miles

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Weekly Log 9-17-12 to 9-23-12

Monday: 8 miles - Rome Point beach and trails alone.  Woke up feeling good after yesterday's trail race.  The weather was nice, so I headed down to Rome Point for any easy run in the September sun on the beach.  I ran about 2 miles of trails to the point, and then hopped onto the rocky beach and headed south.  The tide was super low.  I ran under the bridge and continued until the beach ends at some ledges.  I turned around and repeated my beach journey to the point, and then ran different trails back to my car.  Total time: 1:06:55. 

Tuesday: 6AM - 6 miles - CCMS track workout with Galoob.  Again, my legs were in decent enough shape to head out to the track to try some speedwork.  I wasn't sure how I'd feel, but I did fine.  I awoke before my alarm at 4:45AM.  I was out the door shortly after 5AM, and I was impressed with the starry dark sky and the cool temps (I thought it would be overcast or raining and muggy).  I ran a mile before a glowing Mike showed up in full reflective gear.  We ran a few more laps and discussed the workout.  We wanted to get back to short fast intervals after working up to the track 5K last week.  First we began with 4x200 with 200 rest.  My first one was 32 (my fastest ever), and then I struggled to maintain that time - next three: 32, 33, 33.  According to my watch, all four were within .6 seconds of eachother.  Then we attempted 4x300 with 100 rest.  These were outrageously hard, and we stopped at 2 reps: 53, 53.  I would blame my legs (still recovering from Sunday's race) if Mike wasn't tired as well.  It was just a hard workout.  We finished with 2x400 (200 rest) at 1 mile pace.  Despite feeling slow, these still hurt - 78, 78.  We then did a cooldown on the track.  I have to admit I really enjoyed doing the short speedy intervals. 

               1PM - 6 miles - Ryan Park trails alone.  The rain held off, but it did get really muggy out and windy.  I opted to head out for a recovery run, as my body seems to bounce back better if I do one.  Nothing too exciting to report, other than no trees or branches fell on me.  Total time: 50:01. 

Wednesday: 13.5 miles - unplanned road half marathon (w/ .5 cooldown) alone.  Oops!  I have a running problem.  This was going to be a zero, then a short run with a coworker, then a solo easy 6-8 on relatively flat roads.  When I reached the bike path parking area, there was heavy construction going on at Calf Pasture Point, so I headed down the bike path to Fletcher Road.  My legs felt terrible (finally), but the weather was pleasant.  I decided to just explore and make up a loop.  At the one mile mark, despite a very slow start, I ran 7:33.  Then a 7:01.  Man, flat roads make running seem easy.  I wasn't feeling great, but after a slightly slower 3rd mile (7:10), I began a run of negative splits.  I also decided to run 10 miles.  The next few miles were 7:01, 6:53, 6:50, 6:38, 6:34, 6:27. I realized that my run was going to be over 10 miles (6:23 mile 10 split), so I decided to keep going for an 11th (6:19).  What's two more?  I kept running.  I had to make an awkward turn near Allen's Harbor due to construction and had to climb a hill into the wind which slowed me down slightly for mile 12 (6:27).  The last mile was torture because of the wind and construction road blocks, so I finished up running away from my car on the bike path (6:19).  My GPS half marathon time was 1:28:20 (6:44 pace).  Not bad on crummy legs.  I stopped and jogged slowly back to my car. 

Thursday:  9.5 miles - Big River trails alone.  I had trouble coming up with a run today, but knew I had to be out there in the fantastic weather.  I decided to go to Big River on a quest to find the mythical "Overlook".  I had a general idea of how to find it, and it seemed like a fun adventure on an easy running day.  I parked at the Hopkins Hill Rd lot, and then headed west.  I crossed the paved road and then looked for a trail heading south.  I found one that was a dead end (I checked twice to see if I missed something).  I then found a faint narrow side trail.  I followed it to a No Tresspassing sign.  I turned around and then found yet another small side trail, that had fresh looking mtn bike tracks on it.  It seemed to be heading in the right direction, and was climbing steadily.  Soon I could tell I was close to an overlook and hoped it was the one I was looking for.  Sure enough, I rounded a corner to a spectacular view, but got spooked when I noticed a guy sitting in a chair possibly smoking something.  He had a mtn bike with him, and pleasantly said to me, "what a beautiful day".  Far out dude.  I kept going, not wanting to linger.  I also had no idea where I was going.  I thought maybe the trail would reach Henry Brown Rd, but it was a twisty mtn bike trail that kept doubling back on itself.  I ran on and on.  All of a sudden I see a pickup truck and a few guys loading wood into it.  Was I still in Big River?  I quickly turned around and ran back to the Overlook.  I passed the mtn biking dude going the other way.  I reached the Overlook and took a break.  It is an impressive view.  If I can find my way back, it would be nice to visit after the leaves are down.  I then headed back to where I began, but got confused.  Eventually, I made it back out to the paved road.  I decided to run some of the single track here that I was familiar with, since I wasn't too far from my car.  Somehow, I wasn't exactly where I thought and I began to make poor decisions.  At one point, I found a dead end, not a big deal if it wasn't on a steep hill.  I did finally make it out of there after 1:15:27. 

Friday: 8.5 miles - South Kingstown trail fartlek alone.  It took me a long time to figure out what to do today.  I eventually settled on the idea of running around the TriPond Trails and getting my name on a few KOM leaderboards.  I figured I could make it into a mini-workout.  I parked at the usual place on 108 and immediately had to run fast through the most technical trail (roots, rocks, and bridges).  I reached the bike path in 3:50 - not a record, but way better than the 4:56 posted on Strava.  I then ran briefly on the bike path and then entered the south side trails of the park.  I reached California Jim's Pond and then searched for the overgrown entrance to the trail I was going to sprint next.  I found it and then took off.  I felt kind of slow and the trail was hard to negotiate/follow.  Still, it was a rather fun activity.  I then jogged around some trails for a half mile before attempting the same trail I just did, but in the opposite direction.  This way was much easier, and felt much faster.  I emerged from the trail, and then headed west towards the Spring Forward course (2 miles), for one more trail interval.  The side trails are overgrown here as well, but I've run them enough to know where I'm going.  I felt like I was moving pretty well, but not all out.  I was happy to be done.  Back on the bike path, I now had to deal with middle school kids just out of school.  Not wanting to deal with them, I ran back through the woods to get to my car.  Total time: 1:03:29. 

Saturday: 0 - my only chance to run was before sunrise, and I wasn't motivated to get out of bed.  Busy day with lot's of out-of-town visitors. 

Sunday: 16.5 miles - Burlingame trails alone.  I was able to run later in the morning.  I was debating a long road run, but it's hard to give up a chance to run my local trails.  I was out the door and ran a mile on the road before reaching the trails (7 min flat).  Soon after, I was feeling tight and slow, but I was still moving well.  I ran Sammy C's, crossing paths with a couple of friendly mtn bikers.  I then reached the Vin Gormley Trail, and followed it clockwise to the campground.  I then left that trail for the singletrack on the southside of the campground.  I had to stop for an unleashed growling dog.  By the time I rejoined VG, I was already at an hour and twenty minutes.  Oops, I told my wife I would be gone an hour and a half.  I continued running clockwise, checking out the new bridges.  I had to stop again for more unleashed growling dogs.  I reached the road and couldn't imagine running up the hill back to my house (shortest distance), so I hopped back into the woods and popped out at the top of Buckeye Brook Road.  I hobbled the road back to my house.  Total time: 2:04:40.  Solid run.  I'm a bit frustrated that my legs were so tight, despite feeling fresh at the start. 

Overall: nice week with plenty of variety.  I couldn't ask for better running weather. 

Weekly Total: 68 miles
Last Week: 58 miles
Year to Date: 2163 miles

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

2012 Pisgah Mountain 23K Trail Race

This weekend I was up in New Hampshire for my fourth consecutive Pisgah race.  I was originally registered for the 50K, but a lack of long runs (3 to 4+ hours) had me switching to the 23K a few weeks back.  I was excited to see what sort of time I could get in the "short" race.  I ran 1:58 in 2010 training 30 miles a week, and now I'm at about 60 miles a week, so I was hoping for a big PR.  My goal was 1:45, but I was hoping for even faster.  The 23K was going to be a family affair with both my brothers, father (ended up not running due to injury), and sister-in-law racing.  We all met up on Saturday night for dinner and backyard football with special guest Boj (running the 50K) joining us. 

I drove down to Chesterfield in the morning with my dad and Boj, stopping for breakfast at D&D in Keene.   There was a big crowd at registration.  I picked up my bib and shirt (purple this year!), and chatted with Chris the race director.  I then met up with my brothers and also Fyffe and Ferenc (both just watching today).  Lot's of other familiar faces as well.  The weather was spectacular, and the trails were dry, so it was a good day for a fast time. 

Finally it was time to line up.  I found a spot up front next to Greg and Eric MacKnight (who would be battling for 1st and 2nd), and at the gun, I found myself only trailing those two.  Right before the first climb on the road, I was passed by a guy I didn't recognize.  I passed him briefly on the hill, but he got ahead of me again and pulled away.  Sitting in 4th place, I got some words of encouragement from Fyffe and Ferenc, before I reached the trail head.  My dad was taking pictures here, and I opted to drop my shirt with him.  I let it fly down the long hill and then began climbing Reservoir Trail.  I thought that this is where I might catch 3rd place.  I tried to restrain myself from pushing too hard up the hill.  I found a lower gear and stuck with it.  I reached the clearing and tried to catch a look at Monadnock as I pressed ahead. 

Once the trail descends, the woods get really dark here, but at least it was dry.  I felt like I was making good time, but I still feel too cautious on these screaming descents.  About the time I reached the low point near a pond, I could hear someone gaining on me from behind.  Ugh.  Obviously, this person was faster at downhills than me, and I was debating getting caught up in a cat-and-mouse chase the next couple of miles (which happened in the same place to me two years ago).  The next uphill is rather steep and sneaky long.  I again made sure not to go too fast, and take my time, despite having someone on my heels.  By the time I reached the top, I was comfortably ahead again.  It didn't take long to hear him though.  I blasted by the first aid station, hoping that whoever was behind me might stop.  No such luck, and I navigated the single track here waiting for the impending Pisgah Ridge climb - probably the hardest on the course.  I was able to hold on to my position and began climbing.  The never ending hill is a combination of 75% steep, 25% not as steep.  Before I reached the first clearing (and false summit) I looked back.  I had put a lot of distance on 5th place.  It was hard to pick up my pace on the flats and short descents as my body was still recovering.  Then the trail continues to go up, and even more steeply.  Eventually, I reached the true summit clearing and let out a short Elijah tribute yell.  Besides bringing back memories of him, it inspired me to pick it up. 

My breathing recovered on the long downhill, and soon enough, I was on the dirt road heading out towards Rte 63.  I had been running really hard the entire time, and hoped I could keep it up for the duration.  The end seemed closer.  I had resisted looking at my watch up to this point.  I almost peeked, but had the willpower to stop myself.  I passed by the 2nd aid station, again not stopping.  I didn't feel thirsty.  I began the climb up the dirt road and near the top, I caught a glimpse of third place for the first time since mile one.  This was enough incentive to hammer the downhill to the Rte 63 parking lot.  I didn't see him, but my dad (who was taking pictures from the parking area) told me he was only 100 yards ahead of me.  I was excited to begin the Davis Hill climb, hoping to catch him.  This was not to be.  I never saw him again. 

Soon, I was in no man's land, battling my thoughts and my tiring feet.  The trail goes from wide to narrow once you begin descending.  It's also very technical.  My feet were taking a beating in my thin-soled shoes.  For the first time all day, I was wasn't running as hard as I could.  Despite being my fourth time here, I didn't remember the trail between the mountains (Davis and Hubbard) being so long.  More negative thoughts crossed my mind. 

At last, I reached the climb up Hubbard Hill.  I still didn't feel like I was at my best, but once I summitted, I got back to running hard.  The steep descents on tired legs are tricky.  At one point, I fell (I'm not sure I even tripped over anything).  Good thing I picked the softest rock and root free dirt to fall on.  I quickly jumped to my feet and resumed.  I finally gave in and looked at my watch - 1:32.  I knew I was close to reaching the road, and that I had somewhere between 10 and 15 minutes left.  I was happy with this time, so I worked as hard as I could to get to the finish line.  This included a painful screaming descent on the gravel road.  Once the road levels off and becomes paved, I knew there was a soul-crushing hill to run up.  I looked back to see if anyone was closing on me, and then ran up the hill.  I peeked again at my watch, and my pace was right about 6 minutes flat.  I tried to maintain that pace until the last turn onto Rte 63.  As I made the turn I could hear people cheering at the finish line, but I could hear my kids' cheers above all others.  This gave me a burst of energy, and I sprinted as hard as possible through the finishing shoot.  Final time: 1:44:xx (waiting for results to be posted). 

Post race, I was greeted by my wife and kids, and my parents.  Greg came over, and I found out he had won and set the course record!  The top three finishers were 1:28, 1:34, 1:42.  I sat in the sun drinking plenty of water, gatorade, and coke (not hungry for food), chatting, and watching the rest of the 23K finishers, including Glenn and Jen.  Eventually, it was time to go.  We stopped in Keene for lunch at the brewery (and a much deserved chromium replacement beverage - Pothole Porter). 

Overall, I was extremely pleased with my race.  I was able to run really hard for almost the entire time.  I didn't overdue it on the first hills, so I was able to run each one consistently.  Next year, I will make sure to schedule in the long runs I'll need to give the 50K a good effort. 

Pictures to follow. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Weekly Log 9-10-12 to 9-16-12

Monday: 10 miles - Big River trails alone.  I was looking for easy miles today, but the weather was so incredible I decided to take it up a notch and drive out to Big River.  Sunny, dry, and 70 degrees - I actually felt chilly at times and didn't sweat that much.  I ran around Carr Pond and then began exploring once I was north of Tarbox Pond.  I thought I was on a new trail when I realized it was the same one I ran last week.  Luckily, I noticed a faint side trail off to the left, so I took that.  It looked sort of new (recently raked), but it was narrow and didn't show much use.  After a couple of minutes I passed a sign.  I stopped and double backed to see what it said - "Foster's Folly".  Okay, must be a pretty cool mtn bike trail.  I kept going, passing a rake, and then I reached a giant teeter totter with a sign stating "You need to go much faster than you think".  I debated trying it, but figured I didn't want to get hurt in the middle of nowhere, so I continued on.  There were a bunch more bike playthings like narrow bridges and rock drops.  Finally I reached the New London Turnpike (4x4 dirt road).  I turned left, and ran until I recognized where I was.  My plan was to find the really fun single track I did last time.  I tried finding a better entrance, and then thought I missed it, but eventually stumbled upon it.  Reaching Hopkins Hill Rd, I figured I better take the most direct route back, so I opted for the pavement until I could run the parallel trails on the west side of the road.  Total time: 1:15.  A really fun loop! 

Tuesday: 8 miles - CCMS track workout with Galoob and Gunshow.  I was excited and nervous for the workout today.  We sort have been gearing up for a 5000 meter time trial on the track, and we decided today was the day.  It was a very chilly start - 46 degrees near my house.  I got to the track a little early, and began warming up.  My legs were a little stiff.  Mike and Ben arrived and we ran a few more laps.  No one was ready to start, but finally we got around to it.  My hope was to be in the 17:30's, but after the first mile of 5:46, I realized it wasn't my day.  I still kept going.  I couldn't figure out my mile 2 split because of the spacewatch display, so I was sort of running blind.  Mike lapped me on lap 9.  I felt like the end was near, and I knew I could finish.  I watched Mike hammer his last 200 to finish in 15:58 and then he cheered me on.  The last lap hurt.  I did manage to find another gear for the last 200 and finished in 17:48.  I'm very happy with the result, especially not feeling my best.  A new 5K PR.  Ben finished up soon after, and then we had a nice cooldown on the track.  We'll get back to shorter intervals, but the 5000 was a blast.  Now I need to take it easy the rest of the week. 

Wednesday: 7+ miles - Goddard Park trails alone.  I've had it in my mind to explore the trails here, and decided this day was the perfect day to do it.  The weather was gorgeous, and I was looking for easy footing for a recovery jog.  I parked my car and then began following a wide bridle path.  I stayed along the water until I reached another parking area and then followed XC signs until I ended up back near where I began.  I then found a side trail down to the bay and ran the water's edge.  I then explored the wide trails at the north end of the park, looping and zigzagging, before finding my way back to my car.  Definitely nothing too exciting in here.  I might use this place for easy trail recovery runs, and also to stay out of the hot sun in the summer (very shady).  The park was actually bigger than I expected, so that was a plus as well.  Total time: 61 minutes. 

Thursday: 10(+?) miles - Big River trails alone.  I basically ran Monday's loop in reverse.  My plan was to not run today, but I can't resist running this time of year.  My legs were feeling fresher so why not?  Total time: 1:17:48.  I took some pictures along the way. 

Amusing Sidebar:  I checked the blog stats this morning and found the following internet searches reached my blog: 

hopkins hill road creepy as shit

pachaug bigfoot

south county bike trail 8 miles

Friday: 8 miles - Ryan Park trails with Dan.  The plan today was to do a short run to work out my nerves - easy pace with a mile or two at perceived race pace.  It turned out Dan was planning to run at the same location for the same amount of miles, so we joined forces.  As usual, he took it out stronger than I wanted.  I followed a couple of seconds behind until we reached the railbed.  He began pulling away, despite it feeling like I was putting in a decent effort.  My spacewatch was useless (mid 8's really?), and I was questioning my fitness.  Eventually, he slowed down after three miles and admitted he was pushing hard.  We pushed again on the railbed back, but this time I was out in front by a wide margin (my watch still showing over 8 minute pace).  We regrouped along the Rte 4 trail, but I let it fly on the hills.  The 7 mile course was going to be long, so I tacked on another few minutes to make it 8.  Great shakeout/fartlek run.  Pisgah in two days.  Total time: 59:33. 

Saturday: 0 - brush clearing and soccer in the morning followed by driving up to NH in the afternoon.  Fun evening with full Hammett crew plus that guy Boj. 

Sunday: 15 miles - Pisgah Mountain 23K Trail Race - 1:44:xx, 4th overall, 14 minute PR.  Separate write up to follow. 

Overall: A nervous and tense week culminating in an awesome race. 

Weekly Total: 58 miles
Last Week: 59 miles
Year to Date: 2095 miles

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Weekly Log 9-3-12 to 9-9-12

Monday: 0 - I'm finally feeling Saturday's epic run in my legs.  I spent this Labor Day outside from 8AM to 6PM.  Yard work early then a hike in Burlingame with my son on some *secret* mtn bike trails.  He was really excited about these trails, and ran portions of it.  He kept saying how much fun it is to run on trails like this (despite falling once).  The afternoon was spent with the family on the boat and on the beach at Napatree.  Awesome non-running day! 

This green snake knows about the trail

somewhere in Burlingame

Tuesday: 9 miles - Rome Point trails and beach with Dan.  Yuck, what a terrible day.  My body feels sluggish, my legs are junk, and tropical downpours all day.  I was thinking about taking a second zero, but my coworker talked me into running.  Checking the radar, we headed out thinking we had a nice window to run.  We met at Rome Point, knowing that the trails drain really well.  Wrong!  The trails held water.  I tried dodging the nonstop puddles for a while.  I also was having trouble seeing since it was too wet to wear my glasses.  I talked Dan into running the beach, as it was brighter and less wet.  For some reason the sand was softer than normal and there's always plenty of rocks.  We made it out to the bridge and turned around.  It began raining again - no big deal.  The rain got steadier and then turned into a deluge.  It's always funny to get caught in a storm like this.  What can you do?  You're already wet.  We pressed on, now splashing through the stream-like trails.  We finished up just as the downpour came to an end.  Total time: 1:10:24. 

Wednesday: PM #1 - 6.5 miles - Ryan Park trails alone.  My legs still don't feel fully recovered from last week's 80 miles.  I waited out the rain and then parked at the far lot on Oak Hill Rd.  I stayed on the wide main trail through the fields and then ran the railbed to the single track around the pond.  I continued around the athletic fields and jumped on the road to avoid the really wet field.  I then rejoined the pond and retraced my steps.  I had to get wet in two spots.  Not bad.  Total time: 53:10. 

                    PM #2 - 4 miles - Charlie Stavros Memorial "On the Beach" Run 3 mile race.  This was a great event put on by my club, the WTAC.  Registration (free!) was at the town beach pavilion.  The weather had cleared up, and the surf was pounding.  I ran a short warm up with my Merrill Trail Gloves, but took them off half way when I realized how firm the sand was.  Also, with the big surf, the water would push up very far (and quickly) at times.  Running around it would add a lot of distance and slow you down.  With barefeet I could just plow through.  There was as slight headwind on the way back, but nothing terrible.  I could feel the humidity the moment I stopped.  I lined up next to Riyan (2nd at last year's Pumpkins Run) and Jeff (aka the sand gazelle).  I figured these were the two guys to beat, but I was worried about how excited Jeff was pre-race.  The gazelle was in his element.  At the gun, I took off in first and laid down a fast quarter mile.  I was hoping this was the move to make, but Jeff was soon going by me.  I debated staying with him, but a glance at my watch showed a very ambitious pace, so I decided to run my own race.  Next I was passed by a young guy in sneakers.  He looked like he wasn't working hard.  I sat back in 3rd place watching Jeff and this kid run side by side for the duration of the race.  Their lead increased to almost 10 seconds at the turnaround point (Weekapaug Breachway).  Running through the wind, I hoped my trackwork would carry me to a strong finish.  I was slowly gaining on the leaders, but with a half mile left, the kid turned on the jets and pulled away.  I finished in 3rd with a time of 17:48 (winner 17:36, Jeff 17:42).  I congratulated both, and then limped (both big toes hurt - feared open blisters, but that wasn't the case luckily) back to the pavilion to take off my watch so I could begin the best cool down ever - bodysurfing!  The salt water felt tremendous and I spent probably a half hour riding waves.  I returned to the post race festivities - nice food spread including pizza! - and chatted with fellow WTAC members.  I'll definitely put this on my must do list every year. 


Pictures from the Westerly Sun

Thursday: 10.5 miles - Saunderstown hilly roads alone.  I couldn't drive anywhere fun to run this afternoon, so I stayed close and ran some roads I hadn't run in almost two years.  I began at the park and ride on 1A feeling decent the day after the beach race.  I taped up my big toes in an attempt to not get blisters.  This seemed to work, or at least was a placebo, as my toes were fine.  My legs felt sluggish, but I'm beginning to forget what it's like to run on fresh legs.  After a running through the Plum Beach neighborhood I began to get into a better groove.  The wind was in my face on 1A, but I knew the way back would be faster.  I dipped down Ferry Rd and ran the neighborhood in there.  I pushed the hill back to 1A and then took Old Boston Neck Road.  I ran the "y" instead of "i" roads and then I ran down South Ferry Road to the beach.  The road is ridiculously steep here, and at the bottom two guys said to me "good luck on the way back up".  I just smiled and gave them the thumbs up.  I then hammered the hill.  It felt awesome - must of been the adrenaline.  After cresting the hill at the church, I began to fatigue on Old Boston Neck Road.  I passed an unfriendly runner on the wrong side of the road.  Don't understand that (both).  Back on 1A, I knew I was nearing the end.  I was feeling hot with the wind at my back, but at least my pace was increasing.  I ran back into the Plum Beach neighborhood, dreading the long climb at the end.  It was particularly challenging, but I was under 7 minute pace.  I finally reached my car in 1:10:23.  My GPS watch measured it at 10.16 miles, but mapping it online it came to 10.42 miles.  Approx. 6:45 pace. 

Friday: 6AM - 7 miles - CCMS track workout with Galoob.  I woke up in the pitch black and drove over to SK.  Warm and muggy (70 degrees!).  After a 2.5 mile warm up we were ready to roll.  The plan: 2 mile/3x600.  Results:  11:17/1:59/2:01/2:01.  Happy about this workout.  The 2 mile was hard, but I had a negative mile split.  My lower legs/feet are tight and sore, so the overall time is fine.  Ideally, I would like to get this down to 11 flat.  Mentally, it's hard to run this alone.  At least Mike didn't lap me.  The 600's were faster than I figured, and I definitely wasn't overdoing it, so that's a good sign.  Short cool down after. 

            2PM - 7 miles - Calf Pasture Point & Mount View roads with some trails and beach mixed in alone.  This was a hot, uncomfortable, recovery run.  My legs aren't really sore, just tight and lifeless.  The beach was blazing hot with the wind at my back.  It took a while to get into some sort of groove on the subsequent roads.  Total time: 55:50. 

Saturday: 0 - busy day sun up to sun down. 

Sunday: 15 miles - Burlingame trails with Mike G.  Fun single track at a good pace.  The cooler morning was refreshing to run in.  Mike showed me a couple of new spots I'd never seen.  We finished up by running the Shumunkawall.  We timed this just right to see the 1st bike go by my house in the FirmMan half ironman.  My family joined us to cheer on the cyclists grinding up the hill.  Exhausting hand clapping crosstraining for 1.5 hours.  The riders seem to appreciate the support.  We need to make an event of this.  Total time: 1:54. 

Overall:  Okay week.  I was hoping for more miles, but even with less, my legs were tired most of the time.  The weather looks fantastic coming up, but I need to be smart for Sunday's Pisgah Mtn 23K.  Planning on a Tuesday morning track session followed by easy runs. 

Weekly Total: 59 miles
Last Week: 80 miles
Year to Date: 2037 miles (already over 2000 miles for the year!!)