Big week! My favorite race of the year is on Sunday, but will be outdone by the arrival of my new nephew and niece on Friday. The Hammett family will be getting bigger, but there will be less of us running the race this year.
I've been thinking a lot about the race recently. I'd love to finish in the 48's. I just don't know if I can pull it off. I was 50:04 last year and feel that I'm faster now. There should be extra competition this year as pre-registration was way up (215) and this race now part of the new RI Trail Racing Triple Crown. This should help my overall time and not let me slack off at any point.
Monday: 11 miles - Li'l Rhody Recon Run alone. This run just sort of happened out of the blue. I was feeling a little anxious and/or a little foggy in the morning. I had the day off and we didn't have anything major planned. I needed to get out and run, and decided I would head down to the Vin Gormley Trail to check out the trail conditions. Maybe I would run the course hard as my last workout pre-race. My legs were pretty beat up from the 5K Saturday and long technical/hilly trail run Sunday. As I ran the roads to the trail head I wasn't sure if I would bother pushing the pace. I reached the VGT (near the north camp road), noted the time on my watch, and began the loop. I picked up my pace and was not feeling fast or good. The trail appeared to have been raked or leaf blown (probably the latter), which for some reason annoyed me. I couldn't believe how rocky the trail was as I've never seen it "naked" before. It felt like a new trail and I was running different lines. I stuck to my moderate/fast pace until I reached Kings Factory Road. I told myself that if I could muster up a sub 6 mile on this road section (including some woods) then I would fight for a good pace for the duration. My Nike Terra Kiger trail shoes feel decent on roads and despite my tired legs, my next mile was 5:56. Game on. I ran the rest of the loop as hard as I could go on this day. To me it was good practice for keeping the pedal to the metal - fighting off the natural instinct to settle into an easier pace. I was quite surprised when I finished up in 51:45. This was faster than I thought considering the slowish first mile and a half. I know during the race I will be at least a minute faster there, and also I will be faster on the roads (with fresh legs). I need to be faster on the rest of the trails too. Hopefully racing others will put me over the top.
Tuesday: 5 miles - Ryan Park trails alone. Really blah weather day and if I didn't love running so much, I would have taken a zero. Damp, 34 degrees, and windy.
Wednesday: 8 miles - Rome Point trails and beach with Dan. Another cold day (high 30's), but sunny. Dan asked if I was interested in running with him today and I took him up on his offer. On these taper weeks and with lousy weather it's hard to be motivated to run alone. We wandered around the park for an hour. The pace was okay and the conversation made the time pass quickly.
Thursday: 8 miles - Ryan Park trails and some roads alone. This was an odd route on mostly the easier trails in the park, plus a detour on local roads for a LRR feel. Warmer today, looks even warmer for Sunday's race.
Friday: 0 - my lunch run got nixed as I needed to go help my wife set up her library for tomorrow's book sale. I'll try to take it easy tonight at Launch (trampoline park) - father/son school activity.
Saturday: 0 - insignificant chest cold the last 10 days has invaded my head now and gotten worse. Hoping it won't effect the race tomorrow, but I'd be lying if I didn't admit being bummed out. Total LRR buzzkill.
Sunday: 13 miles - Li'l Rhody Runaround 8M trail race - 48:59!!
Weekly Total: 45miles
Last Week: 65 miles
Year to Date: 2848 miles