I began this week a little worn out from Sunday's Pachaug adventure with Mike. I still was motivated to run on the holiday, excited to easily scamper around the Carter Preserve. With Monday night's snow (about 3" here), and forecasted cold, I guess the trails will be snow covered all week. It should make for an interesting race on Sunday - the Belleville Pond Trail 10K. My plan is to run the course today (Wednesday). Yaktrax might be the way to go for this race. I decided against intervals this week. I want to let my legs continue to freshen up to 100% for Sunday. This doesn't mean I won't be running! I still hope to get out there everyday, no matter how cold.
Monday: 8 miles - Carter Preserve trails alone. I parked at the Rte 112 lot, and did my normal course, hitting up all the trails. The frozen ground didn't feel good on my tired and sore feet. Wasn't it just 52 degrees yesterday? 24 today on my run. No animal or human encounters out there. My time ended up being much faster than the 1:05 - 1:08 I projected - 1:00:56.
Afternoon hike/trail run with my kids in the Champlin Glacier Park. There were no gazelle sightings, but my son learned the thrill of "gazelling" down hills (on the Green Dot trail).
Tuesday: 10+ miles - Great Swamp snowy trails with Galoob and Gunshow. I had a planned half day at work, and was anticipating a solo run maybe on the beach, but Mike contacted me about running in the snow. We met up with Ben at the Kingston station and ran briefly on the bike path before darting into the woods. We were on trails I had never been on, and eventually we linked up with the powerline trails. The gusty wind and low 20 degree temperature made things chilly at times, but the bright sun also made it feel warm sometimes too. It was fun running on new trails, and the pace felt snappy in the snow (and still tired feet). We then ran around the pond on trails that I was familiar with. We reached the far side and began running up the hill. I began feeling really good here, and I ran the next sections well. Was it the motivation of Strava segments? Soon enough, as we made our way back through the powerlines, I found myself dragging a bit behind the other two. They were moving well through the snow. Total time: 1:22:16. I wanted to call this run 11 miles.
Wednesday: 9 miles - Ryan Park trails alone. 16 degrees and windy. At least the sun was out? I parked at the athletic fields with the plan of running the upcoming 10K course. I began at the basketball court and headed out. I felt cold right away, and remained cold until about the 2 mile mark. The trails have about 1or 2 inches of fluffy snow on them, a little less where there are more tracks. I ran with my lightweight New Balance MT10's with Yaktrax. This was a good combination, but the snow still made things slipperier (sp?) and slower overall. I was pushing myself fairly hard. I was the first human to break the trail near Rte 4. Any hill (all small) felt particulary grueling with the snow. I made my way to the new single track along the pond. It was fun to run this stretch at a faster pace than usual. I returned to rail bed and then had a fast finish on the last trail section. Total time for the course: 43:49. I'm not sure if Mike will use the same start/finish line after he measures it on his bike. I then had a nice easy cool down on the trails around the pond and fields to get 9 for the day.
Thursday: 9 miles - Lafayette and Slocum roads alone. Although the temperature was a little higher than yesterday (20), the screaming winds made things a bit chillier on today's run. This is partly because I was more exposed on roads. I parked at Ryan Park off Lafayette Road. I thought about experimenting with trail shoes without Yaktrax on the 10K course, but the shoes I wanted to use were frozen with ice in my trunk. Okay, now what? I decided against the trails, and thought I would run on the nearby roads. At first, I was running into the wind and uphill. I wasn't looking at my watch, so I couldn't tell if I was running fast or slow. I was on the cold side until I reached Dry Bridge Road and had the wind at my back. The vehicle traffic picked up in intensity as I continued to Exeter Road and then Lafayette Road. I was getting closer to my car, so I opted to explore the Audobon Road neighborhood before returning to Lafayette. I told myself that if my watch beeped 8 miles before I reached my car then I would keep running until 9 miles. That's what happened. I ended up running 9.1 miles in 1:01:56 (6:50 pace).
Friday: 8 miles - Rome Point trails and beach with Galoob. Easy run on the snow packed trails and frozen shoreline. Much warmer today - 25 degrees and light winds. I was happy that the tide was low enough to show Mike the new exposed beach south of Plum Beach. I was tempted to make this run longer, but I need to be smart about the race on Sunday. Total time: 1:05:04.
Saturday: 1.5+ miles - Burlingame trail run with my son. This was his longest run ever (1.6 on GPS) and almost 26 minutes. We did a lollipop course from Buckeye Brook Rd heading south on Vin Gormley and then looping back on a couple of unmarked old doubletrack. The trails were snow covered, and my son would continually reach down and grab some to eat along the way. This course was rather hilly, and I'm not sure he had as much fun as last week. But he still seems to look forward to these trail runs and I'm happy to run with him!
Sunday: 12.5 miles - Belleville Pond Trail 10K - 3rd overall! 38:56 - well over 2 minute PR. Separate write up to follow.
Overall: I began the week with lingering fatigue from lots of miles and workouts. By lowering the miles and intensity, I felt strong leading into Sunday's race. I also felt rather calm on race day. Confident too. I need to remember this week and carry it forward on future race weeks, starting with the next two!
Weekly Total: 58 miles
Last Week: 70 miles
Year to Date: 243 miles