Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Weekly Log 11-26-12 to 12-2-12

Less than two weeks away from my next big race - the Christmas 10K in Newport, and I constantly have running on the brain.  I'm beginning this week with sore legs since I did an extra track workout last week and I was back on the track this morning (Tuesday).  I'll need to take it easy mid-week and then I hope to hit the hills of Saunderstown to get my KOM's back from Galoob and then get in a long trail run on the weekend.  Next week I'll will try my best to taper for the 10K.  We'll see how that goes.  Anyway, here's the picture of the bulletin board at DuVal trail I took last Friday: 

Monday: 10+ miles - Rome Point trails and beach alone.  Decent weather today.  I wandered 3+ miles down to the point and then ran the coastline south.  At the usual turnaround point (southern end of Plum Beach) I was surprised by more beach!  The tide was low, but I've seen it lower, and I have never been able to go any further due to wet rocks and cliffs.  Thanks to Sandy, sand has piled up over the rocks and made for an easily traversed beach to run on.  I continued south for another quarter mile or so until I reached a rocky/ledgy roadblock.  Pretty amazing.  I ran the coastline back to Rome Point, this time with the wind in my face.  I ran less trails back to my car.  Great run.  Total time: 1:19:48. 

Tuesday: 10 miles - CCMS track with Galoob followed by long cooldown on the SC bike path alone.  I wasn't sure how smart of an idea it was to do more speedwork, but my legs told me it was okay.  I met up with Mike at 6:15AM.  He usually has a plan and I'm happy to follow along.  Currently he is training for a fast indoor 800, and I'm just looking to get faster in general.  Today's workout was 2 sets of 4 200's with the goal of descending splits.  This was followed by 3 fly 50's and 1 fly 100 just for fun at the end.  After warming up, we did one 200 "stride" just to get the legs ready.  I definitely wasn't feeling fresh out there, and even needed to catch my breath after the last couple of 200's.  Overall, I was pleased with my times and had a lot of fun on the really short stuff.  Results: 36.3/35.9/34.9/34.6 33.3/33.6/33.2/32.5 7.2/7.6/7.3/14.6

One note: the 50's and 100 were hard to time for me.  I had to slow down to reach over and stop my watch  and felt like I stopped it late.  Mike was holding his watch in one hand which seems much more convenient.  No cool down with Mike as he needed to rush home so I decided to park in Peace Dale and run the bike path east to check out the newer section I've yet to run.  It took a few minutes to warm my body back up (thanks to the cold windy mist).  I crossed 108 and ran the bike path under Rte 1 and out to the end and back.  My legs weren't happy with me, but I enjoyed myself for the most part.  Total time: 1:16. 

Wednesday: 0 - met Mike G and his daughter to help clear a new trail for the upcoming Old Mtn Trail 5K.  As I've stated here before, I love brush clearing cross training!  I'm really excited about what the new course will look like - lot's of single track, most of it technical, and less fields.  The day off was probably smart since it's been a while, but my legs feel pretty good.  Back at it tomorrow. 

Thursday: 15 miles - Ryan Park trails (10M) with Wickford roads (5M) alone.  I was planning to run from my office to Ryan, but I couldn't make that work politically, so I started at Ryan, ran 6.5 miles, and then explored some side streets.  Despite needing a few minutes to warm up, I really enjoyed the chilly, but sunny weather.  My pace felt good through the woods.  Once I hit the roads, I could feel the lingering fatigue in my legs.  At first I was going to run 2 miles on the roads, then 3, then 4.  I hit 4 miles before reaching the trails again, so I figured I would just continue on the roads and get 5.  My legs were now tight in addition to being tired.  Luckily the trails kept me focused and I didn't dwell on how I was feeling.  Total time: 1:48:55. 

Friday: 10 miles - Saunderstown hilly roads alone.  My plans to meet in SK for hill repeats and trail intervals fell through, so I went out alone in the afternoon to attempt to retake my KOM's in Saunderstown.  Mike G beat my times on four climbs.  Two seemed out of reach, but two were definitely within striking distance.  I began on this cold blustery day by parking at the Rte 1A lot and heading north to run Plum Point Rd.  I consider this the 2nd hardest hill in the area, and my best time was just a few seconds behind Mike's (from a run we both did before I had a GPS watch).  Usually I do this hill at the end of a hill workout, so I thought I could run it faster at the beginning of one.  My legs felt numb from the cold and my form seemed off, but I could tell from my pace that I was making good time.  I then recovered by heading south to Plum Beach Rd.  I ran to the end of the road and then ran the Champlin Rd climb (actually is on 4 different roads).  My pace was fast again (as well as my awkwardness).  I then decided to head over to Gilbert Stuart - the climb of all climbs around here.  My lungs were already taxed from the first two hills, and even though I had a mile and a half to recover, I still wasn't sure how much I had in the tank.  As I was making my way to the hill I was passed by a bike, and I wondered if he was going to go up the hill too.  I had forgotten about him as I suffered on the steepest part of the climb, until I saw him barely moving on the bike up ahead of me.  Although I never caught up to him, this motivated me to finish the hill strong.  I felt good about my effort, but this was one of the KOM's Mike's time was really strong.  I recovered running to Rte 1 and turning around and then heading back down the hill.  I was trying to keep my overall pace peppy.  After crossing the stream, I had the long 1.2 mile climb up Snuff Mill Road.  I increased my intensity and hoped for the best.  Mike's pace was 6:16, and even though I was happy with my effort, the speed just wasn't there.  It was still my fastest ascent.  I ran down Rte 1A to Cottrell Road and then swung around the roads of Plum Beach to the yacht club.  I turned around and ran the last hill of the day up Plum Beach Road.  I gave it a good effort, but my GPS pace wasn't speedy.  I finished by running up and down 1A until I reached 10 miles for the day.  Total time: 1:07:37 and total elevation gain of 1,015' according to my watch.  I ended up as KOM on Plum Point Rd, Champlin Rd, and Plum Beach Rd climbs.  2nd place on Gilbert Stuart and Snuff Mill.  Oh well.  It felt good to run hard on a cold day. 

Saturday: 16 miles - Westerly/North Stonington/Ashaway run with Jeff, Muddy, Tom, and Mike B. This was plan B to avoid opening day of shotgun season. We met up in the dark and intermittent snow at 6AM. We ran roads north, taking up most of the pavement unless a car came by. I knew I was in for a long day. My legs were toast and Jeff, Tom, and Mike B are notorious for their up tempo long runs. My legs were protesting right away, and I joked (or maybe I wasn't) about trying to stay with the lead pack. I only felt good climbing. We crossed the closed Boom Bridge and then ran by Lewis Farm. We made are way east to Ashaway and then ran south along the river. At Potter Hill we briefly slowed down and ran a couple of loops through the Whitley Preserve. My trail vision was horrendous since I left my glasses in the car (thinking it was going to snow/rain). Back on the road, the group began doing some short 2 telephone pole length sprints. I must have been in rough shape because I made the good decision to not partake. Wouldn't have been smart. I was more or less keeping up by maintaining the normal pace over their sprints then recoveries. Did I mention the normal pace was 6:48? Mike B eventually ran with me as he did intervals the previous day. We sat back and chatted. We then had the long climb up to the Westerly town Forest. Again I resisted my competitive urge, and ascended at a controlled pace. We then ran trails for the next few miles, and luckily at an easy pace. Basically the trails are either up or down. I was falling behind on the downs, mostly because of my vision. I would catch back up on the climbs ( is it easier to see going uphill?). We realized that the run was running longer than anticipated so we high tailed it back to our cars. I was able to move pretty well, but that may be attributed to my fear of arriving home late. To quote Muddy quoting Ferenc, we were rollin'. Total time: 1:57ish (I need to upload my GPS data). Good workout. My legs are dead, but not injured. 

1 mile - 3xhome trail loops with my son when I got home. We talked about working his way up to a 3K distance. This will be a gradual long term project. He steadily ran these tricky trails without stopping. Total time: 12:49. I'm proud he stuck with it for 3 laps and he seemed pleased with himself. It even worked as a nice cool down for me.

Sunday: 0 - plans for short easy AM run fell through before the day got busy.

Overall: Another high quality week with two rest days mixed in. One week to the Christmas 10K.

Weekly Total: 62 miles
Last Week: 65 miles
Year to Date: 2773 miles

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Weekly Log 11-19-12 to 11-25-12

Monday:  7 miles - Ryan Park trails alone.  Immediately following the race on Sunday, my body felt terrible, and I thought that it would need extra time to recuperate.  Wrong.  I felt fine today, so I headed out for an easy run on the classic 7 mile Ryan course.  The run was good, but  I definitely didn't need too many miles.  Total time: 52:04. 

Tuesday: 10 miles - Wickford Harbor roads alone.  I was without a car during the day at work, so I needed to run from the office.  Usually I would run the roads to Ryan Park, but I just ran there yesterday.  So instead, I wandered around side roads of Wickford, some I had run in the past, and others were new.  The flat terrain felt good on my still recovering legs.  I again didn't look at my watch while I ran for fear of pushing myself too hard.  The weather was really nice, but I can't help but notice how weak the November afternoon sun is.  I did get to mix in a short trail section in Wilson Park which led to a slower mile.  My legs felt tired at the end.  Total time: 1:11:59.  A pretty good pace for running easy. 

Wednesday: 6:30AM - 6+ miles - CCMS track workout with Mike and Ben.  I knew Mike's plan going in to the workout and it sounded really fun - 3 or 4 sets of 400,300,200,100 with 100 rest, 600 between sets run at fast 800 pace.  I wasn't sure what my target pace would be, so I checked online.  I decided to target 5:00/mile pace, but I would mostly just see how I felt on the track.  The weather wasn't nearly as cold as I thought, and the 38 degrees with no wind seemed almost perfect.  I felt a little tight on the first 400, but then was fine for the rest of the intervals.  It became apparent the 300's were the hardest, as I felt rested for the 400's and the 200's and 100's are so short it doesn't matter.  I was super pleased that my sets got faster.  Mike ran the last set with me which definitely helped.  My pace was way lower than my target.  Here are the results: (73.0/56.9/36.1/17.3) (71.8/54.3/34.7/16.6) (71.0/51.7/33.0/14.9).  Planning on a PM trail run. 

1:30PM - 8 miles - Carter Preserve trails alone. I was thinking of running in Perryville, but since I'll be running there on Friday, I drove past and parked at Carter off of Rte 112. I ran red to blue to yellow to the field loop, back via the power line to yellow to blue to split rock. Total time: 1:03:xx. I felt terrible the first three miles. My legs were sore and stiff, and I lacked energy thanks to the morning workout. The weather was so awesome I pressed on, and I finally perked up on the field loop.

Thursday: 0 - nice long hike with the family in Arcadia. We did the boardwalk around the roaring brook ponds and then hiked a section of the Arcadia Trail that is very scenic. I had to carry my daughter for a mile plus that was quite the workout.

Friday: 16 miles - Perryville trails with two miles of connecting roads mixed in with Muddy, Mike G, and Jeff. We met up late (7AM) at the Quaker Burial Ground. We ran the trails on the western side of DuVal before crossing Gravelly Hill Rd and running the eastern side. Love these trails - so hilly and twisty, but good footing. Our pace was on the easy side, but not slow. We ran a loop of dirt roads before heading back. We jumped onto Gravelly Hill Rd and ran north to the Browning Trail. Mike began pushing the pace halfway through, and we were really moving by the end. Fun stuff. I had to slow it down on the road and trails back. My legs were toast! Total time: 2:00:00. At the trailhead we noticed a new bulletin board. There was a new handwritten note about a mountain lion sighting. It seemed legit, especially with the two other notices about a missing dog (pug) and cat. I'll upload the photo later.

Saturday: 8 miles - Burlingame trails alone. I parked on Buckeye Brook Rd and ran south to the campground, and then continued on the North South Trail until I had been running for 31 minutes. 30:30 on the way back. Chillier than I expected. Glad I overdressed! Spent some time in the afternoon splitting wood. Fun but exhausting cross training.

Sunday: 10 miles - CHS track workout with Muddy. After Friday's run we talked about a possible longer interval workout today since none of us had weekend races. I spent some time researching 10K workouts and found a few fun options. They all seemed challenging. We decided on the one with the most variety and not as daunting: 3x1 mile at 10K goal pace/3x800 at 5K pace/3x300 at 1 mile pace. 400 rest except full rest for 300's. It was chilly with a frustrating wind at times. My legs were carrying some miles in them and I hoped to complete the workout on target. Results: 5:48/5:41/5:36 2:47/2:44/2:43 54/54/54. I was happy to beat the targets and to have negative splits. The miles were harder than I thought. I feared the 800's, but they went well. 300's were hard, but short. Pumped for the Christmas 10K in two weeks! Total time: 1:08.

Weekly Total: 65 miles
Last Week: 59 miles
Year to Date: 2711 miles

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Li'l Rhody Runaround 2012

Yesterday was the latest installment of my favorite race of the year.  As usual, the Li'l Rhody Runaround served as my family's Thanksgiving get together.   I awoke the day of the race feeling nervous and a little foggy from the previous night's dinner.  My goal for this race was to attempt to break 50 minutes.  I wasn't really sure if this was possible as my PR (from last year) was 52:38.  I knew I would be faster than that, but how much faster could I reasonably expect?  I ran the course as a tempo run a few weeks ago in 51:40.  I ran that very hard and hoped that the excitement of the race would make me even faster. 

I arrived at the race with Greg and Jen about an hour early.  I chatted with fellow WTAC members and other familiar runners.  Greg, Muddy, and I eventually headed out for the standard Li'l Rhody warm up down Sanctuary Rd to the campground and back.  The weather was spectacular - sunny, not much wind, and the temperature pushing 50 degrees.  The trail was leaf covered but dry.  Upon returning to the parking area, I found my wife (running her 3rd Runaround) and before we knew it, we had to line up at the starting line. I tucked into the front and waited for the gun. 

I attempted to not go out too fast at the start.   I was still running closer to the front than ever before, but the pace seemed controlled, and I was surrounded by the people I expected to be near.  I could see Greg side by side an unknown runner up front and there were just a few runners behind them and ahead of me.  As we moved along Sanctuary Road, Tom Gruczka passed me (last year's #3 but he said he wasn't in great running shape this year) and I believe Jeff came up along side of me.  Just as we were about to hit the Kimball single track I surged ahead of them to see how everyone was feeling on the trails.  Apparently everyone was doing just fine as they stuck right to me.  As we emerged from the woods and entered the campground, Tom went ahead of me again, but I kept him close.  I knew Jeff was on my heels and Muddy was lurking as well.  I was already questioning my speed at this point - I didn't feel fast and I had a lot more to go.  We entered the woods again and I maintained my position a second behind Tom, but now I had someone itching to pass behind me.  I kept waiting for a pass and I even thought about moving to the side, but decided to stay on my line and let nature run its course.  Just after the GPS 2 mile mark I was passed by Muddy (I thought I recognized his breathing).  Just like in years past, I initially wanted to stick with him, but I would have to work too hard, and he looked really smooth.  He made another move around Tom before the technical rock gardens and bridges.  I didn't mind being behind Tom watching his crazy jumps and maneuvers through these sections.  Impressive stuff, but this was a race, and when he slowed just a bit on the first little climb after Klondike, I decided to surge up the hill and go for the pass.  My move worked well and I surged again on the next climb and really put some distance between us.  I could see Muddy up ahead and a couple of other guys.  I had a few daring jumps and one pommel horse move of my own through this stretch of trail leading to Buckeye Brook Road.  These diversions kept me smiling and on my toes rather than focusing on how much I was hurting.  At the road, I could see Muddy and the others again, and I was happy that Tom and Jeff weren't that close behind me.  As I re-entered the woods, I listened for cheering behind me to see how far back they might be.  Soon I was passing Glenn and Gina watching from the ledges above the trail.  I tried to work harder as they encouraged me on.  I felt a little sloppy through this technical section, and my feet were slipping on the leaves.  I ran up the rocks and then noticed someone was gaining on me.  It was Jeff!  This is the area of trails that he typically slows down on, so I was panicked he was either feeling much better than me or I was really slowing down.  I didn't like the feeling of being chased.  I motored up the long hill.  I temporarily forgot about Jeff when I got a glimpse of someone new ahead of me.  I was bummed when I saw this person open it back up once on the other side, and my fear of Jeff again was my main focus.  I pushed on through the technical single track.  I felt like I made good work of the rock gardens, but was slipping a lot on leaves.  My steps felt inefficient.  I tried to run the uphill section to the road hard, hoping to separate from Jeff.  I hit the road and just let my body go as fast as it liked.  I didn't push it at first.  This is where track workouts make a difference.  My pace was good and controlled.  As I pushed the uphill section I could see that I had a comfortable lead on Jeff now.  I was actually gaining on the group ahead of me, but there wasn't enough race left to catch them.  I began sprinting the downhill and as I entered the picnic area, Greg and Glenn were screaming at me to run harder.  I knew this was a sign that I was very close to my goal time (I never looked at my watch the entire race) so I dug down and sprinted faster than anytime in recent memory.  I could hear my mom and kids cheer for me as I rounded the last curve and saw the clock turn to 50:00.  I crossed the line in 50:04, feeling great about my run.  Two and a half minutes faster than last year! 

I watched and chatted with everyone as they finished their races.  My wife looked good finishing 5 minutes faster than last year.  We walked down to registration to get some refreshments/warm up near the fire.  What a great event.  Thanks WTAC!! 


Below was the data from my GPS watch.  The splits in the woods are off (high), but I was happy to see my first mile (on gravel road) was not too fast and that the last section of road I ran at 5:20 pace. 

Mile 1 -29ft  
Mile 2 -22ft  
Mile 3 29ft  
Mile 4 -10ft  
Mile 5 -1ft  
Mile 6 33ft  
Mile 7 30ft  
0.71 mi -47ft  

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Weekly Log 11-12-12 to 11-18-12

Monday: 6 miles - hilly road tempo run from my house alone.  I wasn't sure if I would be able to run today as my family was heading up to Boston for the day.  Somehow a short window opened up after breakfast/before getting ready to go.  I've had a feeling of missing hill work in my routine, so I opted for the rollercoaster 3 mile out-and-back from my house I've done many times, but not recently.  A day after a 5K, I wasn't planning to run so hard, but run hard is what I did, and it felt good (in a bad way).  After a first mile of 6:52 (up and down), I then coasted down Buckeye Brook Rd in 6:10.  The third mile is all up hill and was a challenge, so I was thrilled with the 6:29 split (faster than I thought).  Mile 4 is all down hill (6:11), before I begin the long climb up Buckeye Brook Rd.  I was again surprised to see a 6:26 (definitely my fastest ascent ever).  Mile 6 is up and down back to my house (6:04).  Total time: 38:16.  Feeling good! 

We spent the rest of the day up in Boston/Cambridge.  This was a good chance for the kids to hang out with their first first cousin and for us to walk some of the Freedom Trail. 

Tuesday: AM 3 miles - 9 loops of home trails before work.  I had a poor night sleep and was feeling rather anxious when I awoke, so I did this impromptu trail workout to help relax my mind.  Works like a charm.  The trails are relentlessly twisty and not flat, requiring a lot of concentration.  The last loop I climbed the infamous Shumankawall.  My legs were toast, but I managed to fake run up it.  Total time: 23:40. 
               PM 10 miles - Ryan Park trails alone.  I ran later in the afternoon doing the usual 10 miles.  At first I was only going to do 7, but my body was feeling fine and the pace was easy, so I kept going.  I avoided the rain for the most part, but the temperature was 20 degrees cooler than in the morning.  Total time: 1:13:46. 
Wednesday: 10 miles - Quonset speedwork: 8x400.  I should probably call this 2x(4x400) since I backtracked 1.5 miles after 4 intervals to avoid running into the cold NE wind.  I stole my workout this week from Galoob's blog.  Again, with my GPS watch I'm able to program in the workout, but I don't know the results until I upload the data.  This usually leads to a tad more inconsistency than I'd like.  Results:  71/76/76/76 74/77/76/75.  Pleased with the times.  I was running comfortably hard and they match my VDOT.   The cooldown into the wind (and 46 degrees) was annoying.  Total time: 1:08:21.  The plan for the rest of the week is to run long and slow in Burlingame tomorrow (day off from work) and then maybe 2 days off before Li'l Rhody Runaround on Sunday.  Does that make sense? 
Thursday: 15 miles - Burlingame trails alone.  What better use of a day off from work than a long run in the woods?  After everyone left the house I grabbed my running gear and headed out the door.  I ran the 1.5 miles of road and trail to the Vin Gormley Trail.  I was trying to keep the pace conservative, and I wanted to check out the condition of the Li'l Rhody Runaround race course.  The trail was in great shape out to Kings Factory Road.  There was a double-trunked tree that you need to sneak through (easy enough for a someone short like me) right after the intersection with Schoolhouse Pond Trail and then a reroute to the right around a big fallen oak about a mile further down.  The mass destruction near the road has been completely cleared.  I ran the roads to the campground and then detoured to the single track of the Brrr-lingame 15K course.  I was amazed at first by how there were no fallen trees anywhere, but near the camp road crossing there was a lot of scrambling to do.  I really enjoyed being out in the woods with no humans around and the nice crisp (mid 30's) air.  My legs were definitely tired from all the recent speedwork.  I weaved my way back to the VG trail and continued my course recon.  The trail was in great shape to Klondike Road and I could see all the work the guys did along this stretch - thanks!!  With the new bridges, this section should actually be faster than in past years.  That will be helpfull considering the next stretch of trail between Klondike and Buckeye Brook Rd.  My dad told me that there were 27 trees that fell across the trail here, including a 90' pitch pine (yes, he measured it).  There were other giant oaks that fell on the trail as well.  In total there are 4 (I think) reroutes to the right around some of the behemoths.  This will add a bit of distance to the course, but there is a nice flow on the reroutes that should allow you to maintain your speed for the most part.  The last section to check out was the mile or so from Buckeye Brook Rd to my side trail after the old camp road.  I don't remember anything out of the ordinary here, but I was also tired and losing focus.  I then had to run mostly uphill back to my house.  Total time: 1:56:31.  See everyone on Sunday! 

 Friday: 5 miles - Rome Point trails with Tom.  A nice late fall run.  Despite his concern about me going too fast (I said I wanted to go very easy), Tom kept the pace brisk out there.  My legs feel good.  Total time: 35:05. 
Saturday: 0 - Hammett Thanksgiving at night. 
Sunday: 10 miles - Li'l Rhody Runaround 50:04, 7th overall.  See separate write up. 
Weekly Total: 59 miles
Last Week: 59 miles
Year to Date: 2646 miles

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Setting the Pace for Conservation 5K

Well I made it onto the front page of the local newspaper.  The caption sums up the race nicely.  I led the first half mile (maybe less) and then Tommy 5K took over and did what he does best.  Congrats to him.  It seems that he is now fully recovered from his injury this summer.  There was a big WTAC presence at the race, and it was a really fun event for a good cause - conservation of local land.  I missed a PR by 2 seconds.  I did not run a smart race, and the data backs it up as I set time PR's at different distances  (see chart below) for all my GPS recorded runs: 

400m2ft04:45/mi-00:01:10 PR

1/2 mile-0ft04:58/mi-00:02:29 PR

1k-1ft05:02/mi-00:03:07 PR

1 mile5ft05:18/mi-00:05:18 2nd Fastest

2 miles3ft05:29/mi-00:10:59 2nd Fastest

5k1ft05:34/mi-00:17:17 2nd Fastest

No wonder I felt tired by 1 mile.  I then was in survival/suffer mode the rest of the race.  I couldn't get my pace below the 5:40's the rest of the way.  I had a big cheering section at the half point which helped.  My mother-in-law was there with her camera: 

The turnaround on Champlin Rd was kind of fun.  Mike B slapped me 5, and Mike C cheered me on.  Those guys are full of positive vibes.  I ran alone for the rest of the race.  The start/finish area was in the Avondale Preserve which is a coastal grassland.  There was a section at the start that was into a strong headwind, and I knew I had to finish into it as well.  It was really hard to get any sort of final push.  I looked back to see if Jeff was within striking distance, but it looked like my position was settled.  When the clock came into view, I realized I was close to my PR, so I did pick up my pace the last few strides through the chute, but my final time of 17:22 was 1 second off my PR.  No problem.  I didn't run smart in the beginning.  Lesson learned (maybe!).  Results here
 After I finished I caught up with teammates and then ran a cool down with Jeff and the Mikes.  Tom and Kelsey won awesome gift baskets and I was happy to bring home a tree. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Weekly Log 11-5-12 to 11-11-12

Quick note:  I am hopelessly obsessed with running right now.  Can't get it out of my head.  Please help! 

Monday: 10 miles - NK roads with Calf Pasture Point beach and trails mixed in alone.  Tis the season to run on the beach, so I headed out to the bike path today.  I made it a point to ignore my watch and just enjoy the run, which I did, except when I was running into the cold wind (low 40's), and when a collie ran after me (I had to go into loud deep voice mode and repeatedly tell it to go back to it's home).  Low 7's for the roads and a little slower on the beach.  Total time: 1:13:12. 

Tuesday: AM 8 miles - Election Day workout with the original track crew: Galoob, Muddy, Jeff, and Ben.  We got the band back together for this chilly 6:30AM workout - 24 degrees.  We met at CCMS, and caught up on a slow warm up.  We didn't communicate our intentions, but I knew we were all there to get some serious speedwork in.  Mike talked us into 4x200 followed by 3x300 and then some more 200's.  The plan was to run all at "speed glide" pace, except for the last 200 (1st set) and 300.  These were to be all out as a baseline for our current fitness.  I was a little nervous going in as my lungs felt taxed in the cold air (clearly not acclimated yet) and I had the least fresh legs of the bunch.  I didn't need to worry, and running as a group really helped.  Mike would be ahead, but the rest of us all stuck together for the most part.  The all out 200 and 300 had a bit of a race feel to them.  Mike tricked us into running a 4th 300 which really hurt.  We finished with two smooth 200's.  Results:  4x200: 37/36/36/31 4x300: 52/52/50/52 4x200: 36/33.  Jeff then talked us into running a cool down through the nearby trails which was fun.  Total time: 70 minutes. 

              PM 9 miles - Rome Point trails and beach recovery run.  I slipped out in the afternoon for a nice run in the chilly, but sunny weather (42 degrees).  I zigzagged to the point (about 2.5 miles) and then ran the shoreline south for 2 miles to Plum Beach.  It was a little colder with the wind on the way back, but a nice run.  I finished the way I started.  Total time: 1:12:41.  It was good to double today since the weather looks iffy the next two days. 

Wednesday:  0

Thursday: 12 miles - SK trails and bike path at night with Aaron, Mike G, and Brian M.  The weather during the day was terrible again with the nor'easter, and I wasn't feeling a daytime run.  I was hoping to meet up for the 5:30PM Big River run, but I needed to go right home after work.  Strike 2.  Then I received an email from Aaron regarding one of his famous Squatch Runs beginning at 8PM.  Perfect!  By the time we started the wind had really died down and the temperature had actually climbed up to 40.  We met at Old Mtn Field, and began running the new trails there.  It became apparent that Brian and I had crappy headlamps, Mike's was good, and Aaron's was obnoxiously strong.  I had a different one in my car, so I swapped it out after a loop, but although a little brighter, the strap broke, so I had to hold it in my hand the rest of the night.  Rookie mistake.  I need a good headlamp!  After a mile or two Brian fell pretty badly and decided to head back.  The three of us continued on through the twisty trails until we had to run roads to the bike path.  I could relax on the pavement as I didn't have to watch out for obstacles.  We then did the trails on the south side of Tri-Pond Park.  This took a ton of concentration, but was really fun.  We returned to the bike path and then cut through some of the Spring Forward trails to more roads that led to Potter Woods.  We looped around the trails in the park and then ran mostly bike path back to Old Mtn Field.  My legs were defintely tiring the last couple of miles, but that's probably normal since I ran for an hour and 45 minutes two days after a hard workout.  Bring on more night runs! 

Friday: 10 miles - Ryan Park trails alone.  The plan today was to run easy most of the time, but then push a couple of new Strava segments that popped up recently.  I figured this would fit in with my running schedule (probably running a 5K on Sunday).  I parked at the athletic fields and felt slow for the first few miles.  It was nice to be out in the sun and decent temperature.  I spooked a great blue heron in an overgrown creek which was strange.  The trails have held up well here after the two big storms, but there is a lot of hurdling to do.  One exception is a short trail section near the powerline that I don't run very often.  I tried it out today and it was littered with snapped oaks.  Just a mess.  This trail will probably never be used by humans again.  Anyway, I could tell that my pace was picking up and soon it was time for the first interval - .9 miles on the old railbed.  I felt like I was running at 5K or faster effort, but my watch was showing 7:40 then 7:12 pace.  About 3/4 of the way through, my watch suddenly showed 5:50's pace.  That seemed better.  I took it slow and recovered before embarking on the second interval - .3 miles on a rooty single track.  I pushed the pace, but the technicality was keeping it slower.  I completed the segment and jogged it back to my car.  Total time: 1:11:44.  After uploading the data, my railbed pace was 5:51 and the roots pace was 6:41. 

Saturday: 0

Sunday: 10 miles - Setting the Pace for Conservation 5K - 17:22, 2nd overall.  See separate write up. 

Overall:  Two days off, but still almost got 60 miles in.  Great variety.  Highlights were the track workout, night run, and 5K. 

Weekly Total: 59 miles
Last Week: 66 miles
Year to Date: 2,587 miles

Friday, November 2, 2012

Weekly Log 10-29-12 to 11-4-12

Monday: 0 - home with the family watching the storm.  Incredible gusts of wind between 3PM and 4PM.  Many trees (mostly oaks) fell on/near the roads around our house.  Looks like a war zone.  Power went out before 3PM.  Fun evening in the dark.  Cooked up (gas stove) food we needed to use from our freezer. 

Tuesday: 8 miles - trails/roads around my house in the morning.  I ran from my house south.  Lots of oaks down, but wire were all intact until I reached a road block on Buckeye Brook Road.  I backtracked and entered the woods at the bottom of Shumankanuc Hill Road.  My plan was to run down to the Vin Gormley Trail and then run back up Kings Factory Road.  Numerous large trees blocking the trail, but I guess it could have been worse.  I reached the road and headed north.  I should note how terrible I felt running.  I just didn't have any energy for parts of the run.  Anyway, I reached a point where trees had fallen on wires and blocked the road.  I bushwacked around them and returned to the road.  Immediately there was another tree down with wires across the road.  Okay, time to turn around.  I bushwacked my way through the woods until I found Schoolhouse Pond Trail.  I then ran Sammy C's back to the bottom of my road.  I stopped along the way to chat with my neighbors.  Total time: 1:02:23. 

Wednesday: 9 miles - Quonset roads speedwork alone.  I wasn't feeling any sort of run.  I've been dealing with no power at home, and it's been very busy at work.  Running doesn't feel like a priority.  Anyway, I eventually mustered up enough desire to run intervals.  I then spent too much time trying to get my custom workout on garminconnect to transfer to my watch.  It never worked.  So, instead of 8x200/4x400, I programmed 12x200 into my watch.  I drove out to Quonset, and because of the wind direction, I did my cool down course as my warm up and vice versa.  My warm up was peppy - 3 miles at 7:01 pace.  Good sign.  I then ran 5 200's with the wind, 4 into the wind (hard - thought about cutting the workout short), and 3 with the wind again.  As usual, I have no idea of my splits while I'm working out.  Results: 34/37/35/36/35 34/35/37/37 36/37/35.  Total time: 1:03:26. 

Thursday:  11 miles - Rome Point trails and beach alone.  First day of November, and it felt right to get back to my usual cold weather running spot.  I haven't run my 11 mile course here since last winter or spring.  My legs felt good with only a little soreness from yesterday's speedwork.  My pace felt easy, and my splits were good.  The beach was in decent shape - more rocks/less sand.  I saw the first brant of the year.  There wasn't much tree damage in the woods, but somehow I managed to rip open my leg on briars bushwacking around one fallen tree.  It didn't hurt, but looked disgusting.  Total time: 1:17:17. 

Friday: 15 miles - Ryan Park trails (10M) and Wickford roads to/from alone.  I've been thinking about doing this run for a couple of weeks, and I finally had the opportunity to do it.  My legs were a little tired, but I was able to push them pretty hard for the duration.  I was running in the low 6:50's on the roads to the park and was in the 6:30's on the roads back.  I was just under 70 minutes for the trail portion.  It felt good to run this hard for this long, as I was feeling like I was only running hard on shorter stuff recently.  Total time: 1:42:17. 

Saturday: 7 miles - roads from my house to Carter Preserve trails and back.  I got to spend this entire spectacular autumn day outside starting at 8:30AM.  Lots of yardwork followed by burning brush in the fire pit for the rest of the day.  My wife talked me out of running in Burlingame, as she ran into a ton of hunters out on opening day of deer black powder season.  So, at 2 in the afternoon I ran the roads out to the powerline trail at Carter Preserve.  My pace was in the high 6's, and probably too fast, as my legs were tired.  I powered up the powerline hill.  I then ran down the wide trail to the field.  Something about this place that is so enjoyable, even though I didn't like maintaining my pace on the thick grass.  I came back down the powerline trail and ran up the hill back to my house.  A decent little hill workout.  Total time about 49 minutes flat - having watch issues.  Fun chromium replacing with Muddy's family at night. 

Sunday: 16 miles - Burlingame trails with Muddy, Aaron, Jay S, and John.  I had a rather restless night sleep worrying about the time change since I was "hosting" a trail run beginning at my house at 6AM (yesterday's 7AM).  Everything worked out with the timing and we were off.  We ran to the Burdickville Rd entrance and headed south to the River Trail.  There were minimal down tree obstructions and only a few hunters still at their trucks, not out shooting anything yet.  The pace was easy on this chilly (37 degrees) morning.  We continued on to the Ledge Trail and then worked our way up to the top of Buckeye Brook Road, where John headed back to his car.  The four of us then followed Sammy C's the full length down to Vin Gormley.  We ran up VG to Schoolhouse Pond to Secret.  The trails were in decent shape for the most part.  A couple of trees to bushwhack around, but nothing major (except for the pines right off of Buckeye Brook Rd).  We prolonged the run by continuing on VG and then running up the hill on the road back to the red gate.  Then it was just a couple of nice hills on the trails back to my house.  Total time: 2:04.  I miss my space watch.  Really fun family outing later in the day - hiked the Green Fall Pond loop and then went to Clyde's for hot cider and donuts. 

Overall:  A great week after some Sandy uncertainty in the beginning.  I hope to get an Election Day track workout in and maybe a race on Sunday if things pan out.  I'm doing a software update for the watch, so I'm thinking that'll do the trick. 

Weekly Total: 66 miles
Last Week: 60 miles
Year to Date: 2528 miles