I'm hoping for a bigger week mileage-wise (65ish). The weather should be more pleasant, even mild. The trails will probably be a mess with melting snow and ground thawing. I'll probably choose to spend more time on pavement then I'd typically like.
Monday: 10 miles - North Kingstown roads (7+M) with Calf Pasture Point beach and trails (2+M) alone. I'm not sure why I felt so good today. The race on Sunday left my upper hamstrings tight (from sliding on the ice probably), but everything else was fine. So instead of running an easy recovery run of 6 to 8 miles, I opted to stretch it out to 10, at a moderate pace (but I wasn't checking my watch). I began on the bike path, which was a mess of hard packed snow and ice, with the occasional clear spots. I left the path for the open roads: Potter to Essex to Potowamut to Old Forge to Quidnesset. It's a mix of woodsy neighborhoods with too many cars and not a wide enough shoulder. Not unpleasant, but not my cup of tea either. I made my way to Mount View, and ran a few roads until my watch beeped 7 miles. Then I jumped onto the beach and ran around the point. I was sweating with the wind at my back and the sun in my eyes. Once the beach ended, I had to run on the wide trail back to the bike path. The trail was a mess! It looked like mud season in NH. I slogged through it and then finished up the last mile on the bike path at a good clip. Total time: 1:12:22.
Tuesday: 7+ miles - Cuttyhunk trails and surrounding dirt roads alone. This day was incredibly close to being a zero. My body was feeling tired from the race finally, and I couldn't think of where to run. I took it as a sign to not run for the first time since December 7th. But something made me get outside and figure something out. I didn't need to run physically, but mentally I was demanding it. I thought of Rhody Seth's recent run in Cuttyhunk and decided to go run there, even though the place creeps me out. I figured I could run a loop of trails a couple of times or run some of the adjacent unimproved dirt roads, depending on the footing. I wore my trusty old Inov-8's and at the last second, decided against Yaktrax. The trails had some traffic on them, but the snow was still soft. My footing was okay. As I got further away from my car, I began noticing some huge paw prints on the trail. I was hoping it was a large dog, but why didn't I see them before and I'm not sure dogs are even allowed in here. I tried not to think they were mountain lions, but that didn't work. I was now running scared and couldn't wait to get to the sketchy dirt road. I reached the road and ran east until I was getting close to pavement, and then turned around and headed west. The road was still snow covered, but packed down by truck tires. Despite the easy pace, I decided to press on to Pardon Joslin road (unimproved dirt most of the way). This meant some big hills would now be included into the run. The hills ended up feeling rather easy at the slow pace (low to mid 8's). I was surprised to see I had the fastest time on one Strava segment and 2nd Place (to myself) on another. I returned to the trail with the large paw prints (still there!) and relaxed when I stopped seeing them as I got closer to my car. Total time: 1:00.40.
Wednesday: 8 miles - Yawgoo hill workout with Mike, Muddy, and Gunshow. The plan was to meet up at the ski lodge and run hill repeats on the road (steeper than the ski slopes?). I showed up a few minutes early, only to see the three others out running a warm up warm up. We exchanged insults and then I was able to join them for a real warm up. We ran around the block, 3.25 miles and hilly (250+ elevation gain). This was a good time to gossip like school girls, but the fun soon ended, and the intervals began. Despite the darkness and the nonstop traffic, the conditions were excellent for suffering hillwork (cool and damp). I was happy with my effort overall - high intensity but I didn't explode. My legs felt great today, it was purely an aerobic grind. This hill is legit. Mike talked about doing 6 intervals, but time was short for me, and everyone else had no problem quitting at 4. I was able to squeeze in a mile or so cool down. Total time about an hour. Strava had the longest segment at .3 miles with 149' elevation gain at 10.8% average grade. My splits (not sure of the order) were: 1:53, 1:57, 1:59, 2:01.
Thursday: 10 miles - Rome Point beach and trails alone. Awesome run today. I noticed that the tide was really low in Wickford harbor, so I thought I would head down to Rome Point and run the shoreline. Maybe this is only entertaining to me, but I couldn't wait to see where and how far I could go. I put on my trusty old Inov-8's (Roclite 295's - I finally looked to see what model they were), and opted for shorts, a long sleeve under shirt and a short sleeve on top (orange). No hat or gloves in the 47 degree weather. Sunglasses for the snow and sun glare. The trails were in okay shape - most of the snow has melted, but the trail has lots of ice. In fact I slipped twice, but avoided going down or injuring myself. I reached the point and then hopped onto the beach (well rocks here). I ran south with the wind at my back. The tide seemed wicked low. I was clearly running where the ocean should be. I was able to run around jetties instead of over them. At the bridge, I was able to run over mussel beds I've never seen exposed before. Then I was able to go alot further south then ever before. I felt like I might end up in Saunderstown, but I did eventually hit a road block (rock cliffs). I turned around and faced the wind. I was too excited about my travels on the shoreline to care about it. I returned to the woods and retraced my steps until I realized my run was getting really long. I stopped at 1:19.
Friday: 10 miles - 3 x 1 mile road loop workout with Galoob and Gunshow. After exhausting research, we found a mile loop of roads in North Kingstown to use for intervals. Mike was looking for road race conditions, and we found a loop that did just the trick. I met the guys at the Rome Point parking lot, and then we ran 2 miles to get to the loop, and then ran it once to get a feel for it. It has a couple of small hills and curves. The weather was colder than forecasted (high 30's and raw), but this was perfect for running hard. The target pace was goal 5K - I was shooting for 5:30. My legs felt good, and the intervals went well. Recovery was about 3 minutes for each. Results: 5:21, 5:25, 5:25. Super pleased with these, and just think what I could have done if Muddy brought his angel of suffering to watch. We then did a nice 3.5 mile cooldown for a fast 10 on the day - 1:11:22.
Saturday: 4 miles - 12 home trail loops "with" my kids. I needed some fresh air after spending 14 hours sleeping over at the aquarium with my son. My daughter ran the first lap with me and then I ran the rest alone, but my kids were running around cheering me on in different spots on the trail. Total time: 31:53. Much needed chromium replacing with friends and family at night.
Sunday: 16 miles - Burlingame trails alone in the afternoon. I ran the mile plus down the road to Burlingame and then jumped onto the Vin Gormley trail heading CCW. I felt a little off energywise the first few miles. My legs were in decent shape, but rather tired. The trails were in great shape, with only a little mud in spots, and not a trace of snow anywhere. At the campground, I headed south on the North South Trail, and then followed the Brr-lingame course in reverse, adding on the NWR trails to completely avoid actually running in the campground. My feet were tight, but I was in a good groove - full of energy. I was back on VG and made my way around Watchaug Pond (still ice covered surprisingly). My plan was to return home the way I began, but I hadn't been running for as long as I wanted. So, I continued on VG and then took the NST north across Buckeye Brook Rd. This added some hills to my rather flat run. I finished up in 2:05:00, still full of energy. I feel good about the TARC Trail 50K in April. Plenty of time for long runs in the woods in the next three months.
Weekly Total: 65 miles
Last Week: 56 miles
Year to Date: 115 miles