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!!)