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.
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