Racing 5 miles with snowshoes in deep snow has completely trashed my legs. I haven't felt this sore in a long time, and usually bounce back from any race pretty quickly. In one way, it lets me know what an incredible workout it was. One drawback is that I have had no interest in running in snow again this week. And it is still everywhere. Where to run?
Monday: 0 - rest day. This was my first day off since December 7th I believe. This was our fourth day without power (it came back at night) and school was canceled. It was raining most of the day and I was really sore from the snowshoe race. Taking the day off was an easy call, although I kept thinking I should go out and do something. The streak ends.
Tuesday: 10 miles - Saunderstown hilly roads alone. My legs were still very sore, but I needed to run. The best place to go for clear roads was in Saunderstown - I've had good luck there in the past. Of course, this would mean hills. I began from the park and ride lot and headed north to the Plum Point hill. I felt good climbing, but terrible descending. I made a point to not look at my watch and turn this into a race. I didn't need that today. I then continued north on 1A, which with the limited shoulder and wet conditions, was pretty miserable. I turned onto Gilbert Stuart Road and the conditions improved. My legs were still sore - it wasn't a matter of being tight and then loosening up. I reluctantly ran up the biggest hill in South County. It went well, but it was probably due to a slower than usual pace. The next hill to tackle was the long slog up Snuff Mill Road - it's not that steep, but over a mile. I got into a better groove here, and then carried that momentum through the end of the run through Plum Beach. I didn't set any records today, but I was happy with what I could do. Total time: 1:10:32 (962' elevation gain).
Wednesday: 10 miles - NK roads (7M) with Calf Pasture Point snowy death romp and beach (3M) alone. No great places to run again with melting snow and shoulderless roads. I parked at the Quonset bike path and decided to gut it out on the snow and then hit up some roads. The snow covered bike path was terrible, and I hated every second of it. My lower legs were still sore from the snowshoe race, and the awkward steps were infuriating. I decided to run out to the beach. The wind was at my back and I felt warm in the sun. I amused myself by counting the brant (geese) on the bay - 135. I was happy to reach the roads. My legs felt like junk and the miles were going by slowly. Once I hit the halfway point, my attitude improved, and my pace quickened. By the end, I was moving pretty fast, finishing up with a 6:15 mile. Total time: 1:12:58. When I uploaded my data, I saw that I had negative splits for every mile - not planned, but kind of cool.
Thursday: 10 miles - Wickford roads solo. My legs were finally feeling better and I decided to do another time trial on the 10 mile course from my office. I'd like to get under 60 minutes either in a race or a workout - I don't really care which. The weather was nice again today (mid 40's and sunny), and the roads were in okay shape after waiting for the 3 inches of new snow overnight to melt. I wasn't sure how fast I could do it today. Two weeks ago I was in the 62's. I wanted to ignore my watch, but I couldn't resist at the five mile mark (31:13), and then I checked it often after that. The run felt hard, but not as hard as two weeks ago during the early middle miles (2-6). My pace seemed pretty quick during miles 6 and 7 (according to the watch), but mile 8 was slow. This could just be a GPS thing, but mentally it bothered me, and I thought I was slowing down and tiring. My last two miles were decent, but not the super fast finish I'm used to. Total time for 10 miles: 1:00:45. Sweet! When I map it on mapmyrun.com, the run comes out to 10.25 miles. My time at the 10 mile mark according to that map was 59:36. Stupid space watch. Whatever. I'm sure I'll be doing this again in two weeks trying to knock off 45 seconds....
Friday: 8.5 miles - Bonnet Shores roads with Mike. The original plan was to run around Middlebridge and then Bonnet Shores, but we weren't going to have time for that. We missed out on running by the 12' snow phallus in the news unfortunately. The weather was nice - upper 40's and sunny, but a stiff south wind. The pace felt super slow and my body felt tired, however when we checked the pace we were going high 6's! After looping around Bonnet, we headed down Ferry Road to the URI Bay Campus. There was a huge octagon cage on the beach, much more interesting than the snow "sculpture" we missed out on. We then had the pleasure of running up the very steep hill back out to 1A. We had a few minutes to spare, so we extended our run another mile or so. Total time: 59:17.
Mike has set up the final race of his winter trail race series - Big River Half Marathon!! Sunday March 3rd and 11AM. I really can't wait for this one. Awesome single track on the east side of the park. I hope some Keeneyans can make it down for this....
Saturday: 20 miles - Westerly roads with Jeff, Muddy, and Mike. I was going to bail on this run the night before because of tired legs and lack of motivation. I decided to just wake up early and see what happened. We met up at 6AM, with a little bit of light beginning to emerge. I thought it would feel warm since the temperature was 35 degrees, but the damp wind made things chilly for me in my shorts. My legs felt tired from the start, but I was really pleased that I never felt worse as the miles clicked away. The first few miles were rolling through the moraine north of Winnapaug Pond. Jeff set the pace, and the conversation was excellent. We then worked our way south to Weekapaug, and then ran along the ocean roads heading west towards Watch Hill. I checked my watch at the 10 mile mark (1:15), and the pace was in the low 7's at that point. I still couldn't imagine another 10 miles. At mile 12, Jeff had stashed water and snacks for us, so we stopped for a quick break. It was awesome not to have to carry my handheld the entire time as I planned. We then weaved through Watch Hill, and taking a quick diversion out to the lighthouse. It began to flurry here. Mike, who was suffering in the back, perked up, and was now out front. Jeff and Muddy tagged along, and I felt myself falling behind. I checked my watch - pace was in the 6:50's. Rather than giving in, I picked it up knowing that there were only a few miles left. My legs began to feel happy at this pace once we made it through Avondale. We now had about 2 miles left, with plenty of hill action. I was feeling really good on the climbs, and then would fall back on the descents. The last mile was a very quick 6:10! Total time: 2:24:05. This was a confidence boost, knowing that I can run 20 miles on tired legs at a good clip.
Sunday: 1.5 miles - home trails snowshoe run alone. More snow overnight, and it was windy and cold. We have a long day of traveling ahead, so I just wanted to get something short in. I ran 5 loops on my home trails. The snow conditions were fair. Total time: 17:00.
Weekly Total: 60 miles
Last Week: 57 miles
Year to Date: 421 miles