Tuesday: 9 miles - Rome Point trails and beach solo. I was sort of just going through the motions today, feeling lackluster, but enjoying the great weather. Total time: 1:08:57.
Wednesday: 6 miles - Ryan Park trails alone. I almost took a zero today, but willed myself to change into my running clothes and get out of my car in the rain. I figured that if I was going to run in the miserable elements (mid 30's and rain with some snow), I was going to run fun trails. I also didn't wear a watch or check the time before beginning. My vision was an issue at times since I didn't wear my glasses either. I explored some new side trails that have recently popped up between the pond and the fields. I can't tell who or for whom these trails were made - not 4 wheelers/dirtbikes, no mtn bike tracks, and the trails seemed raked like in Rome Point. Interesting. Very fun, and now I need to figure out how to incorporate them into my routes. My legs felt fresher than yesterday. I was wet by the time I finished, but never got cold.
Thursday: 11 miles - trail workout with Jeff, Muddy, Mike, and Ben. We met up at TriPond Park in Wakefield and ran the trails of the park at a decent pace for a warm up. We then arrived at the site of the upcoming Spring Forward 1 Hr Trail Race at the SK athletic fields. Mike explained the two mile course, which is in figure 8 shape. We then ran a mile on the course that he had measured earlier in the day. His idea was for us to do mile repeats. He designed the mile to end on a hill. He also had the idea to stagger the start so that we all finished about the same time. We based this on our pace at the Brrr-lingame 15K. Jeff, Ben, and I (we all finished about the same time at the race) went out first, with Justin following about 15 seconds behind us, and then Mike sometime after that. We began on a soggy field and then you pick up a short trail in the woods before entering back onto the field briefly. Jeff, who was gazelling on the downhills immediately, had a GPS, and at the 1/4 mile mark we were going 6:40 pace. The next 1/4 mile is on a wide trail and flat with one short and steep descent. I felt a little out of control on it the first time. Right after the 1/2 mile mark, besides hearing Muddy sloshing behind us, the trail gets really muddy with a couple of slippery bridge crossings. The last 1/4 mile is all uphill, somewhat steep at times. The first mile I completed in about 6:47. It was hard! I think that this course might be a little slower than the 15K. We would then do a recovery jog for about 3 minutes before beginning the next mile (with the same staggered starts). The second mile was my fastest in 6:42. I was feeling good on the hills at the end. Mile 3 was my slowest in 6:48. Mile 4 I began in front of Jeff and Ben as I was just looking to get it over with. I didn't hear anybody near me until after I finished (6:45), but apparently Jeff slipped off a bridge and was rescued by the rest of them. He seemed fine afterwards. We then ran the side streets and bike path back to our cars. Total time: 1:18:30. This was a super fun way to do a speed workout. The combination of running out of control through the woods on a wet muddy day with a group of like-minded runners was awesome.
Friday: AM - became Uncle Jonny at 6:26AM! Congrats to Eliza and Chris on their baby boy. PM - 7 miles Calf Pasture Point roads, trails, and beach alone. I alternated between feeling good and terrible. My legs are fine from yesterday's workout - gotta love trails! I got wet twice trying to jump the tidal stream today. It looked so easy, but the sand I landed in was like quicksand. Lot's of singing red-winged blackbirds and grackles plus a kingfisher sighting. Total time: 57 minutes.
Saturday: 16 miles - Pawcatuck roads and Barn Island trails with Jeff, Muddy, and Tom. I met up with the group at the Westerly Y parking lot at 6AM. We were all relieved that it was not pouring rain with gusty winds as forecasted. I nervously kept waking in the middle of the night listening to the rain. I snuck out of my house early and headed to D&D in Ashaway to fuel up before the run (and to avoid making noise in my kitchen). I was horrified that the D&D wasn't open yet, although it was supposed to open at 5AM. Yikes! I was hungry. I ate my gronala bar and hoped to find something else open. Right near the Y I stopped at the Bess Eaton there. I was extremely happy with the quality of the product, although I had to shovel it in mere minutes before the 2 hour run. We followed the same course that Jeff had designed back in January. This time there was a lot more light as we made our way through Pawcatuck. Muddy and I were a little nervous about the pace Jeff and Tom might have in store for us, but we kept it to a comfortable, yet fast pace (7:15-7:20). We then spent a few miles wandering around the woods and marshes of Barn Island. No duck hunters this time, which lead to more birds for us to see, including an early great egret. The pace on the trails was a little slower and I was enjoying it. Finally, we looped around the roads on the Pawcatuck River. I was chatting away, not paying attention, and before I knew it, we were entering downtown Westerly. Jeff and Tom picked it up noticeably in the park, but Muddy and I kept it steady behind them. Total time: 1:56:56. This was almost 5 minutes faster than last time. A great run with a great group!
Sunday: 0 - family hike around Browning Mill Pond from my in-law's house.
Overall: A really fun week of running. I thoroughly enjoyed both group runs. Two months in and I'm already almost at 500 miles. Makes me think of this:
Weekly Total: 60 miles
Last Week: 51 miles
Year to Date: 498 miles