Monday: 6 miles - Burlington, VT roads and bike path alone. The plan was to spend the day snowshoeing, but the lack of snow, and proximity to downtown, led to a day walking around town, and a short run in the morning. I wish I brought road shoes, as the trail ones I brought were not comfortable on the paved surface. I ran down Main Street, with clear views of Lake Champlain and the mountains beyond. I tried to avoid stopping at intersections, a running in a city pet peeve of mine. Instead of finding the bike path, I found a decent hill to climb on a sidewalk that led to a park overlooking the lake. I looped back down the hill, and found the bike path along the shore. It was mostly clear - ice and snow in some places. I ran north into the wind until I reached a large sandy beach. The water was wavy and super clear. I turned around and made my way back down the bike path, and then up the long hill on Main Street. A fun little run. Total time: 42:18.
Tuesday: double! 6 miles - Burlington, VT roads and bike path alone. I woke up before breakfast and got another short run in. This time I headed down Main Street and went south on the bike path. I was enjoying the early run, although it was cold again. It was nice to see other runners out. The path ended at a road and I went left following a guy on a bike. It turned out to be just a side road, but I didn't have time to explore the other direction. On the way back, I climbed the Battery St hill again, and made a point to run the full length of the pedestrian only shopping road (Church Street). Fun stuff! Total time: 44:12.
3 miles - snowshoe run on my home trails in the late afternoon. I had the day off from work, so why not go out and run again after a long car ride and grocery shopping? It was warm - high 40's with light rain. I thought this might be the last chance to slap on the snowshoes this year. My trails had a couple of bald spots, so I adjusted the course as much as possible. There were still deeper spots though, and I was working pretty hard. I found a good groove and maintained it. Made me wish I tried more snowhoe racing. Total time: 28:22.
Wednesday: 9.5 miles - Exeter/West Greenwich roads alone. This was a completely random run. It was windy all day and I wanted to run somewhere protected. I was too tired for hills in Saunderstown, so I decided to park at Ryan and run some snowy/sloppy trails and then maybe some nearby roads. The lot had never been plowed! Now what? I drove on to see if I could park at the Cuttyhunk Preserve in Exeter. It was plowed, so I parked and got ready to run. Too much snow in here for trails, so I opted for roads. I knew I could potentially make a loop, but I wasn't sure exactly how to do it. I ran north and then headed west on Pardon Joslin Rd, an unimproved dirt road on this section. It was snow covered with a few icy vehicle tracks. I almost fell, so I crunched through the snow. I reached the plowed section of this dirt road, and made the long climb up to Widow Sweets Rd (paved). I decided to attempt the loop, so I head north on roads I've never seen. After climbing for a long time (over a mile), I was beginning to worry about my plan. I did eventually meet up with the New London Turnpike (dirt/paved). I ran on, hoping to find Henry Brown Rd, if not soon, I would then backtrack. At the 5 mile mark, I found it! I was much relieved. I knew I could connect back to my car. I was now guessing how many miles the loop would be, and it ended up being 9.5. I wasn't interested in trying to squeeze another half mile in, so I stopped. Total time: 1:09:12. It was nice to make an adventure out of a road run on a day I wasn't too motivated to run.
Thursday: 7.5 miles - 3 x Gilbert Stuart Rd hill solo. I wasn't sure if today would be a zero as my stomach has been off and on queasy the last two days - not sure if it is a bug or just stress/anxiety. I decided to drive to the Gilbert Stuart Museum and see if the parking lot was plowed. If so, that would be my queue to run. I figured the quiet wooded road would keep me sheltered from the very strong NW wind. The lot was clear. I decided to do an impromptu hill workout. I wasn't looking to set any speed records, but just have three decent climbs up the baddest hill around. My body felt better as soon as I began running - magic! I felt slow on the first climb, but a peek at my watch made me feel good about the pace. I turned around after a mile and headed back down. I repeated this two more times. The second climb felt the fastest and the hardest. I tried to not overdue the last one, but was still able to almost duplicate the second. I tacked on a mile and half of flatter roads at the end. Total time: 52:51.
Friday: 5+ miles - Big River snowy trails alone. I decided to scope out the conditions for tomorrow's run. The parking lot was barely plowed - enough for 3 cars to fit - and still lots of snow on the ground. I ran with just shoes, figuring that's what I would be wearing tomorrow. The main trail down the hill had enough tracks on it to make the footing decent. I decided to take the normal route around Carr Pond, but the trail had only one set of faint snowshoe prints on it. I ran for a few hundred feet and decided to turn around. No sense in killing myself today if I was going to be going long tomorrow. I then took the main trail around the pond until I reached the water tower trail. This trail had a couple of human tracks on it, so I thought I would give it a shot. It wasn't easy, especially climbing. At the top, I stuck with the single track I avoided earlier. There is still a few inches of wet or crunchy snow (depending on sun exposure). I was going slow, but enjoying myself. Snowshoes would have been perfect. I'm hoping for all rain from this storm this weekend and a warm week to follow. Total time: 46:34.
Saturday: 16 miles - Ashaway roads with Muddy, Jeff, and Seth. We skipped the snowy trails of Big River, and opted to run mostly roads today. I met the guys at 6AM in the dark. My body was feeling super tight, and I was curious how the long run would go. We ventured up to Hopkinton City (5 houses) before veering off the road and onto the Tomaquag Trail. You won't find it on a map since the Hopkinton Land Trust does not have a web presence. I don't know how Muddy even knew about it, but it was there and had signs. The snow wasn't too bad to punch through, so we stuck with it. The trail varied betweeen an old farm road (I'm guessing) and woods. It was a nice connector to Collins Road, as it avoided a few miles of pavement. We then did the sneaky long climb to the intersection with Tomaquag Road. The pace felt challenging on my tight legs and lower core, but GPS seemed to be lost in the woods. At different points when we hit open roads, the GPS would correct itself back to around 7 minute pace, but the overall pace of the run on GPS seemed way off. I probably wouldn't have cared if I was having a good day, but since I was struggling, I at least wanted to think that it was because the pace was fast. We reached the new Hopkinton Land Trust parcel at the intersection of Rte 216 and Chase Hill Road. Muddy had stashed water and snacks for us there. I welcomed the break. We then began the climb up Chase Hill. I pushed it here as I remember this being the baddest hill in town back when I was a kid. We were now in my old stomping grounds of Ashaway. We decided to head down Narragansett Way to add mileage since we skipped some trail sections earlier. This narrow road(?) seemed way longer than I remembered when I used to ride it on my bike. We couldn't make it too the end unfortunately as it wasn't plowed and there were a bunch of trees down. We backtracked and then continued on to Old Hopkinton Cemetery Lane. As we approached my old road we then jumped onto the powerline to cross over to River Road. Running through snow again really did everybody's legs in, and we all seemed anxious to finish. I wasn't comfortable at all, but tried my best to maintain the pace through to the end. Total time: 2:02:21.
Sunday: 0 - I ended up taking the day off. Sort of bummed about it, but it made sense as the weather was crappy, it didn't fit into the family plans, and I had no urge to do it anyway. I did manage a two mile hike with the family in TriPond Park (and bike path). It was quite the adventure as the trail was a mess to navigate through and the rain picked back up and soaked us. We all still kind of had fun.
Overall: This turned into a cutback week, although not planned. I didn't do anything that intense and the mileage was low. I know this is okay, but I don't feel great about it.
Weekly Total: 53 miles
Last Week: 60 miles
Year to Date: 474 miles