Big race coming up this Saturday. The excitement has already started to build. The course (technical, hilly, twisty single track) and distance (half marathon) hopefully will be in my favor. The plan is to just run hard and maintain. I'm going to take it easy after Tuesday's workout, so I should be at full strength come Saturday. I will probably have to run at least a few miles each day just to curb my racing enthusiasm. I just get pumped typing about it!
Monday: 7 miles - Ryan Park trails alone. My legs weren't sore, but rather tired from Sunday's long trail run. I thought I might run at Rome Point, but the screaming NE winds made that option sound unappealing. Instead I parked at the high lot on Oak Hill Rd and ran Ryan Park trails from there. I kept the pace easy, and felt pretty good the first 3 miles or so. I then felt tired and a little unmotivated. I was thinking that 8 or 9 miles would be doable, but I ended up only running 7. I think it was the right call, and the run was rather enjoyable overall (despite the predictably gloomy weather). Total time: 55:01.
Tuesday: 10 miles - 4 x Gilbert Stuart hill trains with Nokewa trails warm up/cool down with Galoob, Gunshow, Mark, and Nate. Mike set up a group hill workout at 1PM. We met up at the Gilbert Stuart Museum lot and then ran the Camp Nokewa trails as a warm up. We then did a train up the hill (225' elevation gain over a half mile) - we ran single file at a steady pace, with the guy in back sprinting up to the front. It was a great way to workout together, and make climbing this monster hill more tolerable. This was probably my favorite hill workout I've done. My splits were 3:47/4:02/4:01/3:54. The last one was tough, as the train was down to just three, so the sprints came up faster. I finished up alone by running another loop around the Nokewa trails and then continuing on a bit to get about 10 for the day. Total time: 1:19:38. Total elevation gain: 1,096'.
Wednesday: 10 miles - Arcadia trails alone. I had an uncomfortable dentist appoint in the afternoon in Hope Valley, and I couldn't resist running some trails in Arcadia afterwards since I was in the neighborhood. I parked at the Forestry Headquarters off of Arcadia Road and then jumped onto the Arcadia Trail across the street. My loose plan was to run this yellow blazed trail until I reached the old dirt road up Teft Hill. I then wanted to follow the dirt road and run under Interstate 95 and up the hill to the Rte 3, just because it's something I've never done, and I think about it everytime I drive I-95. The Arcadia Trail is extremely gnarly and technical. I was cruising along at a pleasant pace where I could, and took my time through/over the boulder fields. There is also a decent amount of climbing. Eventually I made it to the intersection with the dirt road, and I then followed it. First it went past an old campground or picnic area. I then saw I-95 and followed the wide dirt road under both overpasses. As I reached the other side and began climbing, I noticed a marked single track to my right. Hmm. I reached the top of the hill and saw where the dirt road intersected Rte 3. I turned around and then checked out the single track trail. It had all sorts of faded blazes, and definitely gets some regular use. Eventually it led to a large dilapidated shelter - same style as other old state campground ones. I was afraid who/what lurked inside, so I high-tailed it out of there. I backtracked to the Arcadia Trail, and then continued to follow it to Roaring Brook Pond. At this point, my legs were beginning to fatigue and I decided to not run trails on Bald Hill, but instead just run the boardwalk down to Browning Mill Pond and run around that. I've hiked this trail many times over the years, but never run it. I then briefly ran on Arcadia Road, before taking an old overgrown lane back into the woods. I detoured to explore an open field area, but turned around when I saw some unleashed dogs (that I first thought were coyotes). Total time: 1:20. This was a really fun run, despite part of my face being numb with novacaine.
Thursday: 5++ miles - Big River trails alone. I was really thinking today would be a zero after finally feeling the pain from Tuesday's hill workout. But when it came down to it, I couldn't resist doing something. So, I decided to run a portion of the half marathon course that I might be marking tomorrow. The course from the Hopkins Hill lot to Tarbox Pond is a bit tricky, and some of it was new to me. I wanted to make sure I could duplicate it. Mission accomplished with no wrong turns. The rocky downhill and stream crossings from the lot are going to be challenging at a fast pace. I then tripped and fell on my hands on a short steep section. I got a cut on each hand - nothing major, but it hurt. I settled down as I ran the ridge trail. I weaved my way through the trails, happy I didn't mess up. I reached Hopkins Hill Rd at Tarbox Pond and wanted to run for a few more minutes, but this meant climbing the good hill back to the parking lot. I didn't need that. Total time: 45:19.
Friday: 9 miles - Big River trails with Galoob and Gunshow. After a half day of work, I met up with the guys who had already been out working on the half marathon course all morning. I parked at Tarbox Pond and then ran the course backwards from there to find them. We met up on the ridge trail. Mike went ahead on his mtn bike to measure the rest of the course, while Ben (also on mtn bike) and I flagged the course until we met back up with Mike. I planned on running about 5 miles or so at an easy pace. I did keep the pace easy, but Ben and I ended up marking 5+ miles of trails. At Mile 11, I took the dirt roads back to Hopkins Hill Rd and returned to my car. Total time about 1:25 - a little longer than I planned, but I was happy to help out.
Saturday: 15 miles - Big River Trail Half Marathon - 2nd overall, 1:32:25(?). Separate write up to follow.
Sunday: 0 - did keep the legs loose by chasing my kids around the house/woods in the morning and a family hike around Browning Mill Pond in the afternoon.
Weekly Total: 56 miles
Last Week: 76 miles
Year to Date: 734 miles