I spent most of last week on vacation and forgot my Garmin stick at work so I couldn't upload my runs. Anyway, here's a recap of the week's events.
Monday: 8 miles - Big River trails. Hot and buggy in places. Good pace despite what GPS says.
Tuesday: 14 miles in two runs. In the early AM I met up with Muddy at the CHS track for some speedwork. He was racing on Thursday, so we figured out a way to mostly run together despite our different intensity levels. I had researched workouts for one mile races (Nick Bottone Track Mile on 7/16/13), and found one that sounded interesting. The crux was 3x800 at goal mile pace with 3 minutes rest. This was then followed by a 10 minute jog and then 6x200. My goal is to run sub 5 minutes, so I was shooting for 2:30 800's. Again, my watch refuses to show my lap time, so I can't judge how I'm doing during the interval, I just get to see the result. Because of this I was thrilled to see 2:31, 2:32, 2:33. The air was extremely thick, and I was having trouble with breathing, not with maintaining the leg speed. I then jogged 2.5 laps and then ran 4x200 at my usual hard effort. Again I was pleased with the results: 34, 34, 34, 33. I rejoined Muddy for a mile or so cooldown. Fun stuff and feeling confident about the mile. In the afternoon I ran in Ryan Park, excited for an easy recovery run. I ended up "racing" deer flies, finding the speed required to keep them from landing on me. Luckily my legs weren't feeling too trashed and this wasn't as uncomfortable as it could be.
Wednesday: 3.5 miles - Westerly Fun Run - 18:15, 2nd overall. I took the day off from work to hang out with the wife and kids for the day, and to start the long holiday weekend even earlier. I wasn't motivated to sneak in a short run in the morning or afternoon (napped instead). We went to Salty Brine State Beach for a couple of hours in the late morning/early afternoon. No waves to ride, but the kids had fun in the water. We stopped for ice cream at Brickley's in Wakefield on the way home. At night I took my kids to the Westerly Fun Run. My son decided to finally run the mile. I ran the kid's race with my daughter and then did the 5K. My plan was to start conservatively, and then pick it up, but my legs didn't have the strength (I'm blaming the 800's). Most of my fast WTAC friends were taking it easy as they were racing on the 4th, so I found myself chasing Nick C with nobody around me. Tonight's run felt hard and I had my slowest time yet. My splits: 5:37/5:50/5:40/5:13 5:41 overall GPS pace. No cool down. Pumped about my son running 10:31!
Thursday: 15.5 miles in two runs. I made the effort to wake up early and run before packing and driving to New Hampshire. My plan was to stick to roads to avoid the deer flies, but I ended up running about two miles of trails in order to make a loop. The flies didn't appear, but the humidity was oppressive. I ran down Shumankanuc to Kings Factory to Prosser and then ran Sanctuary to Vin Gormley to Klondike. Most of the first half was downhill or flat, but the second half was very hill going up Klondike, Buckeye Brook, and Shumankanuc again. My pace felt peppy, although GPS wasn't as fast as I thought it should be. Whatever.
After reaching the Stoddard NH house and two trips to the pool and two beers with my family, my brother Greg asked if I wanted to go out for a short run. Of course I did, but I wasn't sure if I was in the right frame of mind and it was hot out. And also it's hilly. Well we ran, mostly uphill for two miles, steeply at times. This made me feel better and the downhill/flat miles at the end felt good. We soaked in the cold stream behind the house after, and rehydrated with more chromium.
Friday: 10 miles in two runs. I ran on the early side before breakfast. I tried to find a non-hilly route, but it's sort of impossible. I still enjoyed the solitude and the well-groomed dirt roads.
After breakfast, a few of us headed down to Mount Monadnock for a hike that my 7 year old son had mapped out. He planned a 3.25 mile loop that used the Half Way House, Hello Rock, Cliff Walk, and Parker trails as well as the Old Toll Road. The route was really fun and perfect for his ability.
At night, my wife and I headed down to Hinsdale for my brother Glenn's fun run he organizes there. Mostly it is for his cross country teams, but his local running friends show up as well. Despite the 7PM start, it was really hot and humid. The turnout was small, but Boj was there which was cool. I didn't warm up and jumped right into the mile run. This was a mistake as I felt terrible and slow. I was trailing a young guy most of the way. The final 200 meters I decided to push the pace, but he countered, I pushed some more, and so did he. We ended up sprinting pretty hard to the finish. He was 5:31 and I was 5:32 - not bad in thick grass and thick air. I then ran the mile again as a cooldown with Boj and the kid. Then it was time for the 2.3 mile race. I went out at a slower pace and felt much better. I was leading and wasn't sure if anybody was that close behind. Glenn told me to try to get sub 14 minutes after I crossed the 1.3 mile mark. I wasn't sure what my time was, but I tried to pick up the pace a bit, and finished the last quarter mile strong. My final time was 13:48. I ran a short cooldown to get an even 5 miles for the evening. We cleaned up at Glenn's and then went out to A-1 Pizza after. Fun night!
Saturday: 0. I slept in and then we were busy the rest of the day with the Stoddard parade/festival, swimming at the pool, and a trip into Hillsborough. After dinner, we did a family hike up Pitcher Mountain and spent a long time taking in the sights, enjoying the cool breeze, and finding the first ripe blueberries of the year. I knew that I would need to come back in the morning.
Sunday: 9 miles - Pitcher Mountain via roads (some dirt/short steep trail to the summit). I dreamed up this run a couple of months ago, and got up early this morning to see it through. I snuck out of the house at 5:30AM, and ran up the steep dirt roads out of the neighborhood and out onto the paved and up and down Kings Highway. As I rounded a corner I saw a large dark thing slowly wander onto the road about 100 yards ahead. I stopped and realized it was a large black bear. It stopped and looked at me. I debated what my move should be when I heard a car coming. The bear slowly walked off the road and into the woods. I then passed by, hoping not to catch another glimpse of it. Once on Rte 123, I then began a slow, nonstop climb to the Pitcher Mountain parking lot - exactly two miles. The grade wasn't bad, and I felt great, clocking 7:30's for each mile (457' gain). I then ran the steep center trail to the summit. This was way harder than I thought it would be, and I struggled to keep moving and not stop or hike. Is this redlining I thought to myself? I made it to the top (fire tower) and stopped for a minute to catch my breath. I then returned down a less steep rocky fire road. The views from Rte 123 near the farm were spectacular and I enjoyed the long descent. I had to work on the couple of short climbs back on Kings Highway, before handling the steeper drop back to the house. This was a really fun run and I feel really fit.
Overall: A great week of running and family vacation time. Bring on the Beaver race next Saturday!
Weekly Total: 60 miles
Last Week: 72 miles
Year to Date: 1600 miles