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