Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Charlestown FOP 5K

This past Sunday I ran the Charlestown FOP 5K.  I was looking forward to this race for awhile, as it is a very flat PR course.  I wanted to see what sort of time I could put up.  Things looked a little bleaker on race day, when I was still battling a head cold, and the winds were already blowing from distant Hurricane Sandy.  I considered not even racing, but I knew my WTAC teammates would be there, and I had already told my neighbors (including the race director) that I was going.  I sucked it up, and got ready. 

Familiar faces galore at registration, and after getting my bib number, I headed out to run the course with Justin and Jeff.  The warm up revealed the following:  the wind was very strong and going to be a big factor, the course was different - only one lap on the bike loop, and my body didn't feel that great running.  We were running slowly (8 minute pace) and it still felt terrible.  I wasn't sure what I could expect when it was time to race. 

I lined up front next to perennial winner Will Sanders and some of my teammates.  I heard a guy in a Whirlaway singlet saying he was planning to run low 17's.  I decided to keep my eye on him.  Soon we were off.  Will went flying off the line and I settled into 2nd place initially, before the Whirlaway guy inched ahead of me.  I stayed with him for the first half mile, before making a move before a corner that he didn't match.  I could hear his loud breathing behind me for awhile.  I felt surprisingly good.  I didn't dare look at my watch, afraid I would see a way too ambitious pace that I couldn't keep up.  My watch beeped at 1 mile, but I still hadn't passed the course marker.  I still didn't look.  Eventually I passed the marked 1 mile and I heard the woman say either 5:15 or 5:50 - big range!  I assumed it was the lower number, considering I was in 2nd place, and ahead of Justin.  I really thought I might have gone out too fast, and was going to burn out.  Right before the turn back into Ninigret Park, I heard footsteps and quiet breathing.  Soon enough, Justin caught up to me.  I latched onto his shoulder briefly, but felt like I was working too hard, so I let him go.  He steadily increased his lead to a few seconds by the 2nd mile marker.  We then entered the bike loop and some of the strongest headwinds.  Justin was still pulling away and I looked back to see Jeff closing in.  I felt like I was giving it my all, and thought that it just wasn't my day.  I still tried to keep it up, and fight the winds.  Nearing the end of the loop, the wind was at its strongest.  I seemed to be closing Justin's gap a bit, and Jeff was still about the same distance behind me.  I looked at my watch and it was in the 16:20's with not much left to go.  Could I really break 17 today?  I began sprinting.  I passed the 3 mile mark.  Justin was getting closer and I sprinted as fast as I could through the shoot.  Official time: 17:21.  A big PR for sure, and a surprise time on a windy day.  Justin finished in 17:12.  Jeff was 4th in 17:38, followed by Jay S (18:05), and the Whirlaway guy in 18:17.  Mike B and Rhody Seth hustled in with PR's next.  Official Results here

Finishing up.  Photo courtesy of Jeff Walker. 

I joined the group of WTAC'ers headed out on a cool down.  It was nice to finally meet Mike C in person and chat about his trail 50K last week.  We headed up to the trails and ran out to Grassy Point and back.  Then it was awards time (cash prize!), before it was finally time to go. 

I finally got around to uploading my GPS data.  Here were my splits (more consistent than I thought):  5:33/5:42/5:39 and final .1 in 27 seconds! 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Weekly Log 10-22-12 to 10-28-12

Monday:  10 miles - Ryan Park trails alone.  I was feeling good the day after the Pumpkins 5K.  I headed out to Ryan for the usual 10 miler, but in a different order to keep it somewhat fresh.  It was much warmer than I thought, since I was cold in my office with a strong wind coming off the water.  The warm air made the wind tolerable.  There are so many leaves on the ground it's amazing there still plenty of leaves on the trees.  My pace was decent throughout, although I was getting a little tired near the end.  A few pleasant humans out on the trails today.  Total time: 1:12:18. 

Tuesday: 14 miles - Narrow River/Bonnet Shore roads solo.  I was looking to mix up the normal hilly roads routine.  I wanted less hills, and a change of scenery.  I opted to start from the park off of 1A in Bonnet and run a loop around the Narrow River.  I decided to explore Walmsley Avenue, since I had never been down there.  I thought it would be fun to run out to the URI Boathouse and then run up the dirt road hill to Rte 138.  The road was really nice - half paved, lot's of colors in the woods, and incredible houses.  After the climb up the road from the boathouse, I backtracked to Middlebridge Road, and then ran south along the west side of the river.  This section of road is flat, and has more car traffic than you might think.  I eventually reached the intersection with Torry Road - a planned detour to run the steep hill up to Rte 138.  The hill is really steep for a while, and then continues to gradually climb for longer than it appears.  I've thought about running this hill for a long time (I know that sounds crazy, but true), so I was glad to finally do it.  I turned around, descended the hill, and continued south on Middlebridge Road.  I crossed the river taking in the fine views at about the half way point.  The next few miles were not fun.  Running north on Rte 1A was a drag - a ton of traffic, avoiding turning vehicles, just blah.  Right after the 10 mile mark, I turned right to run around Bonnet Shores.  I haven't run here in a long time.  I did this loop a few times when I lived nearby right after college.  It was quiet for the most part, and I was enjoying my run again.  I purposely avoided checking my watch, but I was wondering if I was going at a good clip because of how tired my legs were feeling.  I flushed an unidentifiable sandpiper twice along the marsh.  Great views of Dutch Island from the bluffs.  I had thought about running the coastline up to the URI Bay Campus, but the tide was high, and it didn't look runnable.  Mike G probably would disagree with me!  I stayed on the main road back out to Rte 1A.  I then turned right, ran north, and then turned left into the park, waiting to hit 14 miles on the button.  Total time: 1:40:00.  Average pace 7:08.  Another nice fall run. 

Wednesday: 9.5 miles - Quonset roads w/ 1xmile/4x400 workout.  A repeat of last week's workout, except that I changed up the warm up route a little bit.  My warm up pace wasn't as snappy, but I was happy that my legs didn't feel that bad after the longer road run yesterday.  The intervals all felt relatively smooth and fast.  My cool down was uneventful.  The weather was a typical late fall day: overcast, coolish (55 degrees), with a light NE wind.  Very pleasant running weather.  As usual, I had no idea of my interval times until I uploaded the data on my computer.  My 400's were not as consistent this week, although they all felt about the same.  Results: 5:26/77/75/78/76.  Total time: 1:04:29. 

Thursday: 9.5 miles - Big River trails at night with Bob J and Scott M.  I originally thought this day would be a zero becuase I needed to be at a conference all day for work, and I wasn't motivated to get out before sunrise for a run.  I then got an email regarding a run in Big River at 5:30PM, and I decided to join.  I met up with Bob and Scott at the Hopkins Hill parking lot and we headed out on the trails at a good pace.  For the first half hour there was adequate light, but eventually we had to turn on our headlamps.  We ran mostly familiar trails to me, but they all seemed strange in the dark.  We opted to cross the beaver dam which was a little interesting.  We reached the parking lot after 50 minutes, and decided to head out for more.  We ran the main trail out to the Cardi road/New London Turnpike.  We stopped briefly when we scared up a beaver at the beaver pond along the road.  We watched it swim around with our headlamps, as more headlamps approached us from down the road.  We began running again and were complimented on our pace by the mtn bikers who eventually caught up to us.   We then hopped back into the woods back to the parking lot.  No falls for anyone.  This was my first headlamp run and I really liked it.  Also, Big River was full of mtn bikers riding in the dark.  A group of 15-20 emerged in the parking lot when we were leaving.  Total time: 1:12:36. 

Friday: 9 miles - Big River trails alone.  I intended on parking at the Cuttyhunk Preserve and then wandering around some trails and dirt roads, but everytime I drive by that parking lot there are always sketchy people hanging out in cars.  Not sure what the deal is.  I continued on and parked at Big River feeling rather uninspired after a fun run last night.  My body felt great, and I was just looking for some easy interesting miles.  Right away, however, my body felt blah, and I lacked energy.  I ran through the blahs for a few miles, feeling really sluggish.  It felt oddly warm and muggy, so that might have been part of the issue.  I eventually stumbled upon a fun new singletrack trail that led me to "The Overlook" territory.  I ran down a wide path looking for a side trail that might bring me to the summit.  I never found one, and I eventually realized I was on a trail I had found a few months back - Sawmill Trail.  I turned around, and again looked for side trails up the hill.  I made it out to the Cardi road, and then went south and picked up the singletrack I know will definitely get me to the top.  I reached the overlook and took a break, taking in the fine views.  I then tried a different way down (toy elephant on a tree) that led me back to the singletrack I took up.  I wandered a little bit getting back to my car before finishing up in 1:14:44. 

Saturday: 0 - planned.  Busy day with the kids.  Also dealt with an annoying head cold all day. 

Sunday: 8 miles - Charlestown FOP 5K - 17:21 (PR!!), 3rd Overall.  Fun day with WTAC crew despite the wind.  Separate write to follow eventually. 

Weekly Total: 60 miles
Last Week: 57 miles
Year to Date: 2462 miles

Monday, October 22, 2012

Westerly Run for the Pumpkins Race

Yesterday was my second time running the pumpkin (less) race in Westerly.  I was rather nervous leading up to the race, as I won it last year (my first and only road race win), and I knew that the field was going to be bigger, and include some of my fast WTAC teammates.  This 5K is very hilly, including a steep 98' climb about halfway through: 

Last year, I ran 19:00 flat, and this year I was thinking I would be low 18's, but my goal was sub 18.  It also would be nice to finish first again.  The pressure was on! 

I arrived early with my dad, and picked up my bib and shirt.  In the parking lot, I noticed an unfamiliar fit-looking guy.  I also saw fellow teammates Jeff (directing and running) and Mike B.  My body was tight, and I decided to head out and run the entire course as a warm up.  The weather was spectacular (about 60 degrees and sunny, some wind).  Running really helped me relax and focus.  I glanced at my watch and I was going a little too fast during the first mile (mid 6's).  Oops.  I slowed down and continued to the big hill.  I tried not to storm up it.  I was impressed with its steepness and length, thinking that I had been exaggerating it in my mind from last year's race.  It made me think that it definitely was going to be an advantage to me place-wise (I love hills!), but not time-wise (goodbye 17's?).  On the third mile, the stranger from the parking lot jumped onto the road ahead of me.  He looked smooth and fast.  I checked my watch - I was running about 7 flat and he was pulling away from me on a warm up!  Yikes.  I finished up around the fields at the registration area and found my wife and kids.  Next thing I knew, it was almost time to start.  I ran some more and then waited at the line. 

At the gun, I sprinted to the front.  I tried to dial down my enthusiasm and stay under control.  By the time we were exiting the park, I was passed by the fast stranger.  He steadily increased his lead over the first mile.  After the fast start, I settled into my goal pace for the first mile (5:30).  I could hear footsteps behind me, but they weren't too close.  I reached the first mile in 5:32.  I continued on to the long downhill section until the course turns left onto the big hill.  I figured it was a good sign that Jeff hadn't run me down by now.  I began the ascent, watching first place ahead of me to see how he handled the hill.  I was gaining some ground, but he was still 15-20 seconds ahead of me.  Then the course turns left, but continues to gain in elevation.  I was really feeling the burn here.  As I crested the hill, it took a while to recover, but luckily it was downhill (briefly).  One more small climb, and I saw first place glance back at me.  I took this as a sign that he was tiring, so I tried to pick up my pace.  This was right about at the 2nd mile mark (6:01 split).  I felt like I had narrowed the gap to about 10 seconds before the course reaches its highest point, and then he descended speedily towards the finish in the park, and increasing his lead.  I got my pace back in to the 5:30's, and picked it up to low 5's as I finished through the park.  I was surprised that the clock was still under 18 when it came into view, and I sprinted to finish in the 17's, which I thought I had in 17:59.  SNERRO strikes again, just like last year when I thought I finished in 18:58, the official time was 19:00, my time this year was 18:00.  Oh well.  The winning time was 17:45.  Jeff came in 18:30.  My dad finished in the 24's.  I chatted with the winner, and then was greeted by my wife and kids.  After more mingling with fellow WTAC runners and watching the awards/raffle it was time to go. 

Finishing up.  Photo courtesy of Jeff Walker. 

Overall, I was super pleased with this race.  Last year I ran 19:00, and then 18:08 a couple of weeks later on a flat course.  I'd love to duplicate that 52 second improvement when I race that same flat course next week.  Kudos to the WTAC for putting on a great event! 



Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Weekly Log 10-15-12 to 10-21-12

Monday:  10 miles - Ryan Park trails alone.  My legs felt fine after the long trail run the day before, but I was experiencing some soreness on the inside of my left foot.  It loosened up enough after a few miles.  I parked off of Lafayette Rd, and ran the "woods" 5 miles.  I then ran the "fields" trails.  Despite the planned easy day, I did decide to run the Rte 4/power line segment hard, and I was able to lower my best time.  I ran the last mile + really easy back to my car.  Total time: 1:09:21. 

Tuesday: 11 miles - Saunderstown hilly roads with Nokewa trails mixed in alone.  A very windy day.  If work wasn' t so busy, I would have run at Big River today.  Instead, I ran some hills at a good clip (all about 6:50 pace) and spent some time roaming around trails.  The first 4 miles I ran negative splits (even with 2 good climbs) - 6:50/6:40/6:31/6:18, before running 6:47 (includes Gilbert Stuart Rd climb).  I had one more fastish mile in 6:28, before GPS lost me in the woods.  I was able to find some obscure, thorny side trails, and also ran into a woman on a horse with a loose pony following behind.  I was having a lot of fun exploring.  Unfortunately, it was all uphill back to my car.  Total time: 1:17:48. 

Wednesday: 9 miles - Quonset speedwork solo.  I had two goals for today's intervals: get in a nice tune up for 2 upcoming road 5K's and run on a straight, flat, wide open section of road for more accurate GPS times.  Mission accomplished.  I programmed in the workout onto my watch: 1 mile (@ ambitious 5K goal pace (800 recovery) then 4x400 at 10-15 seconds faster pace (200 recovery).  My three mile warm up around Allen's Harbor was snappy (7:01 pace).  I then began the mile on Davisville Road.  My watch was showing low 5:30 pace throughout, and the mile passed rather easily.  I then backtracked half a mile to begin the 400's.  These felt really smooth and fast - way better than last week.  My watch was showing about 5:10 pace for all four, even the one I ran into the wind (rather light).  I then cooled down by running out to Rte 1 and then hopping onto the bike path.  After my body recovered, I was again running sub 7 miles (overall 3 mile cool down pace was 7:08).  Total time: 1:01:26 (6:47 pace).  The interval results had to wait until I uploaded the data onto my computer: 5:30/76/76/77/76 (the 400's were within .7 seconds of eachother and were run between 5:05 - 5:08 pace).  I am very happy.  I hope this bodes well for the fast approaching races. 

Thursday: 14 miles - Big River trails alone.  A nice planned long run in the beautiful weather.  My legs were tired today, but I still enjoyed myself.  I wanted to do a big loop of trails I've figured out so far.  Once I began, it became obvious that with all the fallen leaves and pine needles I was going to have trouble navigating the unmarked trails.  I made my way around Carr Pond to the ridge, before missing the turn for Foster's Folly, despite trying my best to find it.  I reached the New London Turnpike and then ran west to the creepy trails.  I eventually crossed the turnpike again and headed south on Dead Shed, falling at the exact spot of the dead shed.  I wasn't hurt, but worried about body fatigue.  I pressed on across Hopkins Hill Rd at Tarbox Pond and ran some trails on the west side of the road.  I forgot how hilly it is, which was not what my legs wanted to do.  I gutted it out, and even extended my run by a few minutes to get to a more reasonable time for 14 miles (based on my effort).  Total time: 1:47:14. 

Friday: 6+ miles - Old Mountain Trail 5K course x 2 alone.  Nothing was sounding appealing today, but I wanted to do something.  I finally settled on running the Old Mtn course since I hadn't run it since the spring and the race is coming up in December.  My legs were extremely tight when I began.  I felt terribly slow on the technical stuff, but it was meant to be an easy day, so I was okay with it.  I nimbly followed the course, fighting through a couple of overgrown spots, but mostly the trails were in good shape.  Despite my slow pace, I was sweating like a pig on this muggy gray day.  By the end of the first lap, my body loosened up, and I enjoyed the second lap much more.  My pace was better, and I didn't hesitate on the tricky parts.  26:39 for the first lap and 23:13 on the second.  Last year's race  I ran in 20:36.  Total time: 49:20. 

Saturday: 0 - 8AM soccer, corn maze, dinner and bonfire with friends cross training. 

Sunday: 7 miles - Westerly Run for the Pumpkins 5K - 2nd overall, 18:00.  Super happy about this race (hilly course).  Separate write up to follow. 

Overall:  Fun week with a great race.  I just wish I could have done a group run on Saturday early.  This coming week may be shorter on miles due to work, but I'm hoping for a really fast 5K PR at the Charlestown FOP race on Sunday (completely flat course). 

Weekly Total: 57 miles
Last Week: 65 miles
Year to Date: 2402 miles

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Weekly Log 10-8-12 to 10-14-12

Monday:  11 miles - Lil' Rhody Runaround tempo with 1.5 mile warm up/cool down from my house.  Instead of running in the frigid, drizzly NH morning, I opted to run at home in the early afternoon sun.  My plan was to run the Lil' Rhody loop hard, to test my fitness for the race next month.  In previous years, I've found my training times to be very disappointing.  No matter how hard I think I've run them, I always have a slow time.  It usually leaves me wondering how I could race it as fast as I end up doing it.  Well, I had a completely different experience this time.  I jumped onto the course near the old camp trail (east of the old camp road) and glanced at my watch: 10:40.  After the snappy warm up, I took off, and ran really hard.  This first section is the most technical.  Even with my glasses, I felt like my vision was sketchy at best, but I did my best to blast through it.  At the road, I passed some people getting on their mtn bikes, and I must have looked like an idiot sprinting out of the woods.  The next two miles were on paved and unpaved roads.  My watch had my pace in the low to mid 6's, and by the time I reached the campground, I wondered if I was physically able to keep it up for 4.5 more miles.  Once I reached the technical stuff near Klondike, mentally I felt like I didn't have that much farther to go.  At the covered bridge, there was a family taking a break, when I came barreling around the corner.  The father told everyone to sit tight and then one of the kids told me to keep after it.  On a bridge close to Buckeye Brook Rd, I had to jump off to make room for an oncoming mtn biker, who clearly looked sorry for messing up my momentum.  Once on the road, I knew the end was near, but my thoughts wavered, and I had a bit of a let down.  I reached the end of the loop and checked my watch again: 1:02:18 - 51:38 for the course!  This was faster than my racing time last year, and clearly a good sign for the race next month.  Can I go sub 50?  I was pumped on my cooldown back to my house.  Total time: 1:13:39. 

Tuesday: 10 miles - Saunderstown hilly roads with Camp Nokewa trails mixed in.  I wasn't sure what to do today as I was really busy at work and the weather was overcast and windy.  I decided to park at Rome Point, and run roads.  I would mix in a couple of hills, but not seek them out.  The first mile on 1A into the cold wind was miserable enough.  The side roads felt better.  My pace was mostly in the 7:20's.  At the bottom of Snuff Mill Road, I decided to climb Gilbert Stuart.  This went pretty well, as I didn't kill myself, but my time was good.  On the way back down, I jumped onto the trails of Camp Nokewa.  My watch slowly lost me in the woods, as my effort was still the same.  Though the trails aren't too exciting, it was a nice change up.  I continued on Gilbert Stuart Road, back to 1A and my car.  Total time: 1:15:02. 

Wednesday: 10 miles - Ryan Park trails alone.  Another busy day at work, and another crappy weather day (on and off rain).  I parked at the athletic fields and willed myself to begin running.  I realized I left my watch in the car, but I was too lazy go back for it.  It was kind of nice not to have it.  I was running easy, my legs felt good, and my pace seemed decent.  About 4 miles in, it began raining, but once I'm wet, I don't mind pressing on.  The nice part was seeing zero humans.  Time: 1:14?? 

Thursday: 9 miles - Quonset bike path workout alone.  I fixed my watch to do the workout I had planned last week: 8x400 4x200 all with 200 rest.  Work was very busy again, so I didn't have much time to think about running today.  When it was time to go, I went.  I ran west on the bike path for a 2.5 mile warm up into the wind.  The weather was awesome (60 and sunny).  My legs feel great.  My warm up pace was in the low 7's.  I began the workout.  I tried to not overdue the 400's, as I had 8 of them to do and I wanted to be consistent.  My watch is not able to display the interval times, so I couldn't tell how I was doing.  It turns out that I wasn't running them hard enough.  The 200's I ran back and forth on a straight flat section of the bike path.  These felt fast.  My times were disappointing.  I'm wondering if it was too shady, because my effort was definitely more than 10 seconds per mile faster than the 400's (my space watch said they were in the 5 teens versus the 5 twenties for the 400's).  I should try doing this on a more wide open stretch of road.  Whatever.  Here are the results: 80,80,81,81,80,79,75,80 37,38,38,37.  Total time: 1:02:28. 

Friday: 8 miles - Burlingame trails alone.  Strange day.  I had to stay home to wait for a technician to come and fix my furnace, but I didn't have any idea when they would show up.  Finally, at 1:45PM, the guy arrived, and 45 minutes later left me with a functioning furnace and $500 bill.  At this point, I decided to stay at home and get my kids off the bus, so I had a narrow window to run.  I bolted out the door and headed down Burdickville Rd to the trailhead.  A quick peek at my watch showed sub 7 pace.  Maybe because of the falling leaves, my watch showed a decent pace in the woods as well.  I ran down to the canoe camp and then ran up Ledge Trail.  I motored on the wide double track until I took the Governor's Trail to the slower Sammy C's/Secret trails.  I then pushed the road back to my house, with a few minutes to spare.  I ran a couple of loops on my home trails before the bus arrived.  Total time: 58:32.

Saturday: 0 - busy day with the kids.  I would have loved to get a short run in on this crisp sunny day. 

Sunday: 17 miles - Pachaug trails around Geen Fall Pond and Beach Pond with Muddy and Jeff.  I skipped road racing today, and instead I went with a group trail run.  Excellent decision.  We ran a loop from the ravine south of Green Fall Pond, beginning at first light (6:45AM).  We then ran the left side of the pond to the Nehantic Trail.  Despite our best effort to stay on trail, we still lost it at the same place the last time I ran it.  Back on trail, we ran north until the Nehantic Pachaug Crossover.  This glorified deer trail was really tough to follow.  We managed to reach the Pachaug Trail, and then headed north.  I have never been on this stretch of trail, and it was a treat - technical, hilly, but easy to follow (fresh blazes).  We crossed Rte 138 and the trail widened.  We then reached Rte 165 at Beach Pond, and crossed into the Ocean State.  We then followed Tippecansett Trail south.  Another fun trail that I hadn't been on in ages.  There was a really nice big hill mixed in, before the trail followed easy dirt roads to Rte 138.  Whenever we were on dirt roads, the GPS pace would drop down to the low 7's.  Tippecansett south of Rte 138 was nice as well, and we followed it over dinosaur rock and down to the camp road (dirt) and back to our cars.  Total running time about 2 hours 10 minutes.  A really fun loop: a lot of challenging single track with dirt road breaks mixed in. 

Weekly Total: 65 miles
Last Week: 53 miles
Year to Date: 2345 miles

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Weekly Log 10-1-12 to 10-7-12

Monday: 8 miles - Rome Point trails and beach alone.  Wow am I sore from yesterday's road run.  I got out for a midday run in the nice weather.  I took it slow and tried to enjoy myself, which I was able to accomplish.  After zigzagging to the point, I ran the two miles out and back along the shoreline.  I thought the wind might be a factor, but it was mostly side shore.  Total time: 64 minutes. 

Tuesday: 11.5 miles - Big River trails alone.  I connected some of the trails I was lost on last week with trails I know to make a pretty decent loop.  The only problem was I got turned around and lost trying to find the familiar ridge trails I know with Foster's Folly (which I took a nice digger on).  I began at Hopkins Hill and ran north to Dead Shed, crossed the New London Turnpike, and was on the trails I found last week with the vacuum cleaner and mannequin.  I stopped to take a couple of pictures, and got a good look at a barred owl (it didn't cooperate for the camera).  I reconnected with the turnpike and headed west to Foster's Folly.  I was temped to explore the trails north of the turnpike some more, but I'll save that for another day.  I realized that I was going to run longer than planned when I finally got on a trail I recognized on the ridge.  It also began raining lightly at this point.  I continued on around Carr Pond and finished up in 1:25:30.  Good pace throughout, except the first mile. 

Wednesday: 8 miles - Ryan Park trails alone.  Completely lacked motivation today.  It was a combination of the dreary weather, not having anything specific planned (workout or location), being fulfilled with a great run the day before, and being busy at work.  I sucked it up, and drove to Ryan Park.  I parked at the fields, and headed out for the powerline.  I immediately ran into a small buck that just stared at me.  I then had a red tailed hawk screech at me.  Being here was perking me up.  Not wanting to repeat the same routine, I decided to hop across the street and run around the few trails of Feuer Park.  Nothing too exciting to report, but the variety was good.  I then jumped onto the railroad bed and ran to the pond, and circled it.  I stopped briefly on Bon Jovi Bridge to take in the scenery.  I stayed on the railbed and the wide field trail back to my car.  I was glad I could make the best of my chance to run.  Total time: 1:00:51. 

Thursday: 9.5 miles - Quonset Bike Path workout alone.  I was excited to run today and do some intervals.  I spent some time entering a custom workout onto my space watch.  I was able to get the display to show my pace (not interval time unfortunately), so I at least had an idea of how I was running.  I programmed in 8x400 with 200 rest with a goal pace of 5:00 - 5:15 (75-78 seconds) and then 4x200 with 200 rest at a goal pace of 4:30 - 4:50 (34-36 seconds).  I did a two mile warm up on the bike path and then did the first interval.  All was good until I realized my rests weren't programmed in after each 400, but after all 8 400's.  Chaos ensued.  I decided to just do a recovery jog of my liking (less than 200) and did every other programmed 400.  I did the same for the 200's.  I then reset my watch and ran the workout again.  The end result was a 2x(4x400,2x200) workout.  I felt like I worked hard, so I guess I'll take it.  The track is so flat and consistent, unlike the bike path, so fluctuations in interval times are pretty normal.  Results: 77/78/77/80/34/34 78/76/79/78/36/34.  I then did a nice cool down around Calf Pasture Point (3.5 miles).  Later I was able to figure out how to customize the workout correctly, so it will be smoother next time. 

Friday: 10 miles - Ryan Park trails alone.  Today, I opted to run the 10 mile course beginning from the athletic fields, and run at a good pace throughout.  The weather was awesome,  even a bit hot.  I alternated between feeling strong and feeling fatigued.  I had no idea if I was running fast or not.  When I finished I was pleased to see my time: 1:06:06.  Definitely my best time on this course. 

Saturday: 0.  Hiked 6.8 miles with my wife on our anniversary getaway weekend today up Mt. Monadnock via the Birchcroft, Red Spot, and Pumpelly trails.  We began at 9AM in the warm sun, hoping to beat the impending rain.  We kept a nice steady pace and reached the summit in 2 hours.  It took 2 hr 15 minutes on the way back down (includes lunch break).  We passed lot's of people going up who definitely got hit with rain.  The colors were spectacular and the Red Spot trail was a real treat.  The summit was crowded and very windy. 
beginning of Red Spot

more Red Spot

very steep section of Red Spot

view from Red Spot/Pumpelly junction

the view to the north from windy summit

cabin view of rain moving in over Monadnock

post hike fire in cabin

Sunday: 6 miles - Woodbound Inn XC ski trails alone.  I awoke early to the sun (expecting clouds and rain), so I snuck out for a exploratory run on the inn's XC ski trails.  I had a map, but I found the trails confusing at first.  Eventually,  I figured out where I was, and I made the trek out to the cathederal of the pines.  I was enjoying the good footing on the wide paths, dirt at times, and my legs felt fresh.  It was mostly uphill on the way out and downhill on the way back.  Total time: 43:43. 
Overall: low mileage, but would have been over 60 if I counted the Monadnock hike on Saturday and another hike on Sunday.  Awesome weekend in New Hampshire.  

Weekly Total: 53 miles
Last Week: 64 miles
Year to Date: 2280 miles