Monday - 14 miles on two runs. My morning run was an out and back from my house to the Carter Preserve parking lot on Mill Rd via the power line. My legs were feeling dead today, not from the heat, but rather from the Beaver race.
In the afternoon I decided to run in the complete shade of Big River, mostly around Carr & Tarbox Ponds. It was about 90 degrees, but okay in the woods. I began slow, but felt pretty good the rest of the way. Fun loop.
Tuesday: 10 miles on two runs. I again got up early and ran 6 miles from my house. This time I headed down Kings Factory Rd and then ran the dirt road to Schoolhouse Pond. I stopped to take in the sights, but was ferociously attacked by deer flies. I quickly got moving again and put my shirt on my head for the rest of the run. I crossed into Burlingame briefly and ran portions of Schoolhouse Pond, Secret, and Sammy C's trails before finishing up on the last hilly road mile back to my house.
At night was the annual Nick Bottone Track Mile hosted by my club (WTAC) and professionally timed by SNERRO. I skipped the race last year due to excessive heat, and sure enough it was hot again this year - 91 in Westerly at 6PM. I've been looking forward to going sub 5 minutes in the mile, and recent workouts have given me plenty of confidence that I can. This night, however, I was not feeling it. The heat was a factor, but my legs still felt tired from the race four days before. I got in a segmented, distracted warm up (had to watch my kids at the same time). It was fun watching the other heats before mine. The "Elite" heat was a mixed bag of former WHS track stars, former college runners (Ryan from NZ and Chris G), regular 30 somethings (like me, Muddy, Nate, Josh), fast middle school/high school kids (the Walkers and Burrs), and the ageless Gazelle. I was more excited to see how Ryan and Chris fared against the two WHS grads (who were talking a good game at the start line) than my four pending laps around the track. I carried my bad attitude throughout the race. At the gun I settled into a comfortable pace (in 5th place), slightly ahead of Justin and Jackie. I was surprised to see the clock at the end of lap 1 (70? - can't be right, maybe 72 or 73). Lap 2 felt terrible, but mostly my mind was weak, and I was not racing - more just going through the motions. I thought about dropping out, but stuck it out. I was at 2:30 at the end of the lap, now trailing Justin by a second or two with Jackie still on my heels (her coach was shouting at her to stay with those two guys - me and Justin). Lap 3 was a repeat of emotions as lap 2. I still wanted to quit, but with my time, there was still the possibility of breaking 5 minutes. I was trailing Justin by a wider margin and finished lap 3 in 3:48 - now officially off pace. I had a better attitude on lap 4, figuring that I could maintain my current pace and then at least kick the last straightaway. My kick was not what I hoped. I got closer to Justin but not fast enough to break 5 minutes. My official time was 5:02. I was actually rather pleased that I could muster up that time despite my bad attitude and tired legs. I'm pretty sure I can take about 10 seconds off this time, and might try to prove it on a track some upcoming morning. I was excited to hear about everyone else's races: Ryan won in 4:41, Chris ran a final 62 and virtually tied for 2nd in 4:47, Nate's 5:27, among others. I got a short cool down before a true cool down with my kids in the sprinkler. Results here.
End of First Lap
End of 2nd Lap
End of 4th Lap
Wednesday: 14 miles in two runs. Another 6 mile out and back from my house early, this time down Burdickville Rd to Rte 91 towards Bradford and back. This was a pretty hilly route, especially on the way back. I ended up doing a progression: 8:00/7:34/7:17/7:14/7:05/6:48.
In the afternoon I dragged myself around Rome Point in the heat for an hour.
Thursday: 7 miles. I only ran once since it was 94 degrees in the afternoon when I took my break. I ran from my house down Buckeye Brook Rd and back. This is another hilly course. The air was thick, but I motored up the hills fairly well.
Friday: 7 miles AM. I did a workout at the CHS track alone in the early morning. I kind of decided late that I would do this, and I'm happy I was able to finish. I did the Aussie Quarters workout of 8x400 at slightly faster than goal 5K race pace (low 5:20's) with fast recoveries (around 6:30). I was a tad inconsistent at the start - first 400 was way too slow (84) and then my second was too fast (78), but then I ran 80's or 81's the rest of the way. My recoveries were mostly 49's and 50's. I talked to myself a few times into not quitting. This workout is way easier with a partner or two. I nailed my targets overall and feel pretty fit right now. Total 5K time was 18:05. Two mile warm up (15:08) and cool down (15:16). No PM run as it was 97 degrees when I took my break.
Saturday: 15 miles. Early morning group run in Burlingame. I met up with Seth, Gunshow, Ryan D, and his friend at the picnic area at 6AM. It was another hot morning, already in the 70's, and muggy as can be. The plan was for 2 hours, but we split up after an hour as some of the group decided 90 minutes was going to be enough. We ran CW on Vin Gormley before taking the 4+ mile campground detour on fun single track. The deer flies were not yet an issue. The pace was snappy, especially the stretch back on Vin Gormley to Klondike Road. The deer flies were out in force in this low lying section, and I put my shirt (only reason I was wearing one) on my head to keep them off me. We regrouped at Klondike and kept the pace a little more reasonable out to Buckeye Brook Road. I was absolutely drenched in sweat, but still feeling good. Ryan was fine too, so the two of us marched on as the other three took Vin Gormley back to their cars. We did the north camp loop and then did the full length of Sammy C's. We both sort of hit a wall at about 90 minutes. I was feeling tired and thirsty. I was not enjoying my favorite trail, as I was having trouble negotiating the rocks and roots. We both almost fell a couple of times. Finally we reached the end of the trail and ran the roads back to the parking lot. This was a super fun run, but tough with the weather conditions.
Sunday: 13 miles in two runs. In the morning my son wanted to run, so we came up with a flatish 1- 1.5 mile course on a trail off of Burdickville Road that heads down to the river (where Wood & Pawcatuck rivers meet). It was raining on and off, but it seemed like we would be okay. The run out to the river was super fun and not as long as I thought (about .6 miles). We stopped at the river for a few minutes when finally the rain came again. We got on our way, but it began to pour. My son thought it was pretty cool. I was glad it didn't thunder.
My plan for later in the day was to run to my in-law's house where we were going to hang out in the afternoon and swim in their new pool. My legs were pretty beat, so I was just looking for a casual run. Well things changed, as I got inspired by other people's runs on Strava. I left my house a little after noontime. The weather was changing. After being cool and wet, the sun was coming out and it felt humid. Ugh. My route (all roads) had a lot of exposure. My pace felt good, but it didn't feel good. I checked the first two mile splits, and then tried to maintain over the duration of the twelve mile run. It was hot. I was sweaty. The roads were terrible. I did finish the run and was super pleased with the result (and consistency). Total time: 1:18:15 - 6:29 pace. Swimming, chromium replacing, and even napping followed.
Overall: Huge week of running and it was the hottest week of the year. Not sure if I will be motivated to keep pulling off all the doubles.
Weekly Total: 80 miles
Last Week: 54 miles
Year to Date: 1734 miles