Big week with the much anticipated Christmas 10K on Sunday. After two normal runs on Monday and Tuesday, and a track workout planned on Wednesday morning, my plan is to keep it short and easy Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Looks like WTAC will have a huge contigent racing in Newport. Looking forward to challenging TNT for the team title.
Monday: 10 miles - Ryan Park trails alone. One of those runs where you have no idea how fast you're going - felt hard at times, but on the slow side, but maybe I'm going faster than I think? Warm and sunny. I saw a couple of other runners out there. One guy in jeans jogging with a walking stick who stuck his hand out just as we crossed paths for a high five and I left him hanging. This wasn't on purpose - I appreciate his stoke. I didn't see his hand in time and felt like a tool. Soon after I crossed paths with a fit looking guy in flashy running attire on a twisty side trail. Looked familiar. It took me twenty minutes to figure out it may have been Keven O. The NK raker has been out and about the last week or two. It's nice to not have all the slipping and sliding on leaves. Once I reached the powerline, I decided to pick up my pace somewhat and do the Rte 4 Strava segment. I wasn't going super hard, but felt fast by the end. I was way off my PR pace though. I then ran the two other Strava segments: the railbed and the roots trail. Again I was significantly off my PR pace for both, but I enjoyed picking up the pace. I finished up in a relatively snappy 1:12:03.
Tuesday: 10 miles - Rome Point beach, trails, and road alone. Mild but overcast. I was thinking I'd only run 8 miles today, but it's hard to break routine. I zigzagged down to the point - well almost, I felt bad passing the same guy and dog from behind a third time, so I turned around before I reached the end of the trail. I then ran the beach south. It was a mid tide. I was curious to see if I would still be able to run south of the PBYC. Yup. A little trickier, but I still made it as far as last week. On the return, I decided to skip the trail on the point, and I kept to the shoreline (very rocky here). Eventually it smoothed out, and I was able to run along the water's edge all the way to the stream near Terre Mar Drive. I then ran the roads back to my car. Total time: 1:19:27. Fun run!
Wednesday: 7+ miles - CCMS track workout with Galoob at 6AM. Our plan was to be running at 6:15, so I pulled into the parking lot at 5:55 (with the temperature reading 55 degrees). It was damp, rainy at times, and extremely dark until the end. I ran a few laps alone until I saw Mike's headlamp in the distance. We ran a few more laps and talked about the plan. We are both racing the Christmas 10K on Sunday, so we weren't going to be doing anything too crazy. The idea was to start with one or two miles at 10K pace, or so I thought, until Mike almost lapped me (okay half-lapped me). He was going 5K or faster pace on his miles. Mine felt really smooth, despite still having some lingering soreness in my upper legs from last week's runs. It was so dark that I couldn't see my splits. We did 2x1 mile: 5:45/5:49. A tad slow, but I would have pushed just a tiny bit harder if I could've seen my watch. We then did 4x400 with a normal pace 400 in between reps (low 7's). We both ran these at 10K pace - it took two laps after the miles to figure it out. Results: 86/88/84/87. My target was 86 - we talked too much during the 2nd one. No time for a cooldown again this week with Mike. I drove to the bike path for a potential easy recovery run, but the rain was steadier, and the perfect excuse to call it a day. Overall, I didn't feel like I really ran hard today, but I got in 3 miles at 10K pace. I think that's a good sign. Total time: 51:33.
PM - trail work on the Old Mtn Trail 5K course with Mike G.
Thursday: 7+ miles - Calf Pasture Point beach, trail, and bike path alone. Gorgeous chilly clear day. I ran the bike path out to the beach and then ran two clockwise loops (to have the wind at my back). The beach has definitely changed since Sandy. High up it looks eroded, but at the water's edge it seems like there is more sand than before. The running was a slow go out there. I was lacking energy at times, but that happens to me on the days leading up to a big race. Nothing out of the ordinary to report wildlife-wise. They are dredging the entrance to Allen's Harbor and there is a lot less beach. Total time: 56:06.
Friday: 0. Drove to Beavertail and walked the trails and shoreline. I brought my binoculars, and was hoping to at least see some Harlequin Ducks. Luck had it that some interesting birds were seen there earlier in the morning, so I kept my eyes peeled. I didn't see anything of note on the trails, but I enjoyed the solitude. There might even be enough trails to run? Along the water I did get to see plenty on Harlequins plus eiders, gannets, black ducks, and mergansers. A car pulled up and a guy asked if I had seen anything good. I said no. He then asked if I had seen any swallows(cave). How about razorbills? No. Then he drove off. He didn't ever get out of his car! Anyway, it was a nice way to spend some time outside not running.
Saturday: 8 miles - Carter Preserve trails with Jeff, Mike B, and Muddy. I was a bit nervous listening to the rain all night. I had organized the 7AM run and wondered if anyone would show in the dreary weather. The rain stopped before the start and everyone was in. We executed the plan to keep the pace easy and the conversation light. Total time: 1:06:30.
Sunday: 13 miles - Christmas 10K in Newport. 35:54 - 1:30 PR!
Overall: light week culminating in an awesome race.
Weekly Total: 55 miles
Last Week: 62 miles
Year to Date: 2828 miles