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