I'm pleased to be doing another Friday night race in Connecticut this week - the Niantic Bay 10K. Muddy emailed the WTAC crew about it a few weeks back, and after not thinking I'd be able to do it, I was able to make it work. It's funny not having a race on your radar and then jumping into it. Honestly, I've only been thinking about medium distance trail races lately, so a road 10K should be interesting. I guess I'll shoot for sub 36 (35:54 PR). We'll see. The race was canceled last year, but here are the two most recent results: 2011 and 2010. Who knows who will show up this year.
I aggravated something in my hip/glute after the National Running Day triple. It went away after two days, but returned after my run on Sunday. It feels tight/sore, but not strained or anything. I might need to rest it before Friday's race. Hopefully the weather will be crappy enough to make not running palatable.
Monday: 10 miles - 4 x Pardon Joslin Rd Hill workout alone. I decided that this would be the only day I would do anything challenging before the race on Friday night. I don't remember how I settled on hill repeats, but that's what I did. I parked at the Cuttyhunk Preserve and ran the trails there, before navigating the messy Stony Lane (unimproved dirt road) to get to Pardon Joslin Road (also unimproved dirt road). I ran down the long hill until the road leveled off. I collected my thoughts and then began the workout. The Strava segment starts from the Fisherville Brook parking area and measures .4 miles with 7.8% grade and 183' elevation gain. I was starting below the parking area, so my climbs ended up being about 215' each. Each climb felt strong. I wasn't sprinting, but I was moving quickly and efficiently. The road is in bad shape, so I had to pick my lines. It felt alot like some of the double track climbs in Pisgah (but not as long). My side/glute was pretty tight. It didn't bother me going up, but was annoying me on the descents and flats. According to Strava, my climbs all ended up between 3:28 and 3:31. Consistent! I finished up taking Sunderland Road (paved) back to my car, not wanting to deal with Stonly Lane again. Total time: 1:18:06. Total elevation gain: 1,148!
Tuesday: 8 miles - Big River trails alone. I was looking for dry trails with no hills and I thought that running an out and back on Lego would do the trick. The weather was clearing and turned out rather steamy. My hip/glute felt fine the first mile or so, but began biting after that. The trail was remarkably dry for the amount of rain we've had recently, but still slippery in places. The nonstop twists keeps up your guard and passes the time more quickly than open roads. Total time: 1:09:59
Wednesday: 10 miles - Quonset bike path solo. I debated taking a zero, but I'll leave that to tomorrow rather than run in miserable rain. Instead, I was rather anxious about testing my hip tightness and 10K fitness. I figured I could do both in the same run if all was going well. I kept it short as to not tax my legs. I ran west on the bike path and with the NW wind in my face, I felt slow. My legs are still heavy from Monday, but at least my hip did not bite today. After a 7:02 mile, my legs loosened up, and with the same intensity I knocked out 6:37 and 6:39 miles. Mile 4 was planned to be at 10K pace (5:47). I nailed the time, but it did feel like a challenging pace to keep up for 6.2 miles. I dialed down the effort on the last mile, and was very pleased to see that it came in at 6:20. I stopped and stretched briefly, happy knowing that my body should hold up well on Friday. I then ran a mile cooldown.
After work I met up with my dad and kids at the first Westerly Fun Run of the summer. I wasn't sure what to expect, but both kids did the kids race (my son mentioned possibly doing the mile instead). He was pumped about his PR. Before the mile/5k start, I decided to go for the 5K if someone didn't mind keeping an eye on the kids for me. Thanks to Mike C, I was able to run. The race started when I was still at the finish line, so I had about 10 seconds to make up. The first mile was faster than I thought, but I was not overdoing it. It was fun catching people as I went along. After getting by 4th place at the 1.5 mile mark, I now had Jeff in my sights. I thought I might catch him on the short steep hill. I got close, but then he created space soon after. I was going fast enough, so I finished up at more or less the same pace (10K race-ish). Official time: 18:22. Besides being a fun time, this gave me further confidence that I can run a good 10K on Friday night. No tightness issues and my legs feel great.
Thursday: 0 - planned rest day.
Friday: 11 miles - Niantic Bay 10K - 36:25 1st overall! Separate write up to follow.
Saturday: 15 miles - Burlingame trails with Jeff. We planned to meet up at 6AM after our 10K 12 hours beforehand. The morning was gorgeous - sunny and dry. The trails however were still wet. My legs felt tired (as they should), but our pace was honest for the first hour and a half. We began at the picnic area and headed west, jumping on the trails around the campground. The bog bridges area was a wet mess. We then followed Vin Gormley up to Buckeye Brook Road. More water in the low lying areas, but not too bad. Once we reentered the woods on the north side of the pond, there was no more avoiding the puddles, streams, and mud. We splashed around down to the old north camp, and stopped briefly at the beach (not much exposed with the high water). My legs were really tired by this point, but we pressed on. Instead of heading straight back on VG, we detoured up to Sammy C's, Secret, and Schoolhouse Pond trails. We were extremely muddy by the time we hit a small, almost knee-deep pond back on VG trail. Jeff laughed when I decided to just jump into it, and wade across. It cleaned off my legs and my shoes though! Total time: 2:03. Great morning run! No way I would have been motivated to do this run on my own the day after a race.
Sunday: 6+ miles - local roads to complete Strava 10K challenge. This run wasn't going to happen, as I was enjoying a quiet, lazy father's day with my family. I knew I could probably run during the afternoon, but my body was not into it, and I took a nap. Finally, as the window of opportunity was closing, my wife talked me into running (sounds funny). My plan was to run the 4 mile loop of roads from my house. It's hilly, but if I go clockwise, I start with a mile down hill. I opted for that. I felt fine, but soon was struggling with going uphill. I also was getting annoyed at the traffic on Kings Factory Rd - I didn't want to get smushed on father's day. Anyway, after climbing up Shumankanuc Hill Rd, I began feeling good, and next thing I knew I was convincing myself to run 10K to complete a Strava challenge (even though I ran one on Friday night and did a long run yesterday that should have done the trick). I passed my house and then ran an out and back on Burdickville Road. It's pretty hilly as well, and by the time I finished (6.3 miles), I was a sweaty mess. Total time: 47:01.
Overall: A really fun week. It felt good to race hard on Friday, and to get the win. Thanks to my family for an awesome father's day.
Weekly Total: 60 miles
Last Week: 71 miles
Year to Date: 1399 miles