Monday: 9+ miles - Ryan Park trails alone. I really mixed up the routine by running around the athletic fields and surrounding woods before heading up the road to the west side trails. It didn't seem that hot out, but the humidity really was pretty bad judging by how wet and heavy my shorts got during the run. I can feel the seasonal transition in the fields and powerlines now. The best running weather is around the corner. Total time - 1:14:18.
Tuesday: 15 miles in two runs. I met Muddy at the CHS track at 5:45AM. He's in marathon training mode and I ran his workout with him. The plan was 800's at goal marathon finish time (marathon hours/minutes equals 800 minutes/seconds. Eventually this workout will get up to 10 reps, but today we did 6. My legs seemed a little heavy from Sunday's long run/workout, but the weather was incredibly awesome - 59/60 degrees, calm wind, not humid. After the normal two mile warm up we got to work. The target was 2:47. We both had space watches so it wasn't obvious how each rep was going until we finished it. We nailed the first 3, somehow ran the 4th five seconds too fast, and nailed the 5th. I was feeling really good today. Better than I can remember for a workout in a very long time. I asked Muddy if he wanted to go for 8 reps, but he was satisfied with 6. I decided to stick with 6 and just push the last one. I increased my pace as I went along and finished with a 2:32. I still felt like I had more to give after. Just a great day. Results: 2:47/2:47/2:46/2:42/2:47/2:32
In the afternoon I drove up to Big River for my usual post workout double (one hour). I decided to run a loop that some of the TNT guys do (Scott M and Bob J) and that they had recently created as a Strava segment. They run in it in the mid 50's so it seemed perfect. As I began, I was not experiencing the usual post workout dead legs. I was feeling pretty good and the weather was still spectacular (high 70's, no humidity). I began on the twisty Lego trail and was moving a good pace. I then got it in my head to keep it up and go for the course record. The idea didn't seem so great by the time I was 20 minutes in, but I was committed to it, so I saw it through. I finished up Lego (not as fast as I thought) and continued onto Dead Shed. I regained confidence by the end of that trail and pushed the easier terrain on Pump House and the wide New London Turnpike back to my car. I ended up with the course record and two workouts on the day.
Wednesday: 14 miles on two runs. I woke up really early and thought about running, but my legs felt like junk after yesterday's big day. The weather was perfect again, so I needed to go out on my lunch break. I opted for some quiet dirt and paved roads in the Exeter and South Kingstown. I parked at the Queens River Preserve on School Land Woods Rd, and made a loop out of Mail, Glen Rock, Dugway Bridge, Jingle Valley, and Kingston roads. The roads were almost completely shaded and very scenic. A few speeding cars to deal with on Mail Rd and the short Rte 138 section, otherwise no cars. My pace felt good, but I was surprised with my finishing time (1:14:22). I guess that's what a good effort on tired legs feels like. Still, it was a very pleasant run that I definitely would repeat.
I finished the first run at 3PM and then ran the Westerly Fun Run at 6PM. My legs and body were exhausted driving down, and I had no intention of running until after I consumed some caffeine. Magically I was then up for the challenge. It was fun catching up with my WTAC teammates before/during/after the run. I ran the kids race with my daughter and my son ran the mile with my dad. I did the 5K. My effort was there, but the speed wasn't. I ran with Chris the first mile and was able to chat with him running in the high 5's. Then he moved ahead and I tried to maintain my pace, which wasn't easy. I had fun chasing down a young guy on the hilly second mile and then ran alone the rest of the way. Nearing the finish I noticed I still had a shot at going sub 19 minutes so I turned on the jets. I finished at 19:00. Chris had a very strong last two miles and ran 17:19.
Thursday: 7 miles - Big River trails alone. I ran Tuesday's loop in reverse and much slower. Trying to let my legs recover before Sunday. A nice day out in the woods.
Friday: 8 miles - Ryan Park trails alone. I debated a zero, but with work being slow and the weather so nice, I just had to run. I kept it slow again, mostly sticking to the flat wide open paths. I'm really enjoying the fields and powerline these days.
Saturday: 4+ miles - Carter Preserve trails with my wife. The kids had a sleepover with their grandparents so my wife and I were again able to do a morning trail run together. We did the same loop as last week - Red to Blue to Yellow. The weather was cool and there were no deer flies. I think the season for them is officially over. We returned to the car and noticed someone had left a GU wrapper on the windshield. Quite the mystery until I saw Muddy's route on Strava!
Family hike (with trail running by the kids) in the Glacier Park. Fun day.
Sunday: 10 miles - Run4Kerri race in Matunuck, RI. Stacked field. Nice weather, but still felt hot in the sun. I'm happy with my effort throughout, although my middle miles were a little slow. The course felt mostly uphill from mile 2 marker on, except for the last quarter mile. I lined up about 3-4 rows back, but should have been higher up, as there was a logjam in front of me. My first mile felt under control, but rather quick. I latched into a group of runners that included teammate Chris Garvin, Keenyan Jeff Goupil, and first female Diana Davis. We went by Dave Principe near the one mile mark (5:25 announced split). I began falling off the group during the second mile. The new female leader went by. My pace was slower, but I was happy with my 2 mile split of 11:05. I knew mile 3 was mostly uphill, which hurts when you're running as hard as you can. The course twisted through a neighborhood. I was feeling slower (confirmed by GPS), but everyone ahead of me looked slower too. We then had a steep wall to climb at the mile 3 marker. I first ran through a hose and then dug in. I missed the mile 3 split (high 16's), but was now passing people. At the top of the hill, the road continued to climb gradually, and I was having a little trouble recovering. But people around me looked defeated and I surged passed a few more runners included Jeff Goupil. I tried to challenge myself mentally, knowing that I could have a good last mile, especially since the hard part was over. I then heard someone say my name and it was David Holgate, who I had met at last year's Run for the Pumpkins race (a hilly 5K that he beat me in). I tried to keep him behind me, but he eventually motored by on the downhill section before the flat finish. No one else caught me, and I did sprint the final straightaway, crossing the line in 22:41. 5:40 pace! I was pretty stoked with my race. Chris G (sub 22) and I chatted and cheered on finishers (the Walkers,Crutchley) before embarking on a cool down.
Photo by Jana Walker
Weekly Total: 67 miles
Last Week: 73 miles
Year to Date: 1874 miles