Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas Break Week: 12-23-13 to 12-29-13

I have the week off from work, but will be busy with Christmas festivities throughout making running a bit of a challenge. 

Monday: 7 miles - CHS track workout alone in the early morning.  I arrived at the track at 6:30AM.  It was still dark and empty.  I wanted to work on my one mile game so I decided to run 2 x 800 at mile pace followed by 4 x 200 hard.  I know from my last outing on the track that my short interval times aren't where they could be and also I've seemed to forget how to run them.  I knew the 800's would be hard.  I was very pleased to run 2:34 then 2:32 (with 800 rest).  A couple of seconds off my 2:30 target, but close enough for now.  My laps were not consistent (74/80 on 1st, 78/74 on 2nd).  I then did the 200's.  These felt pretty good too.  I was going really hard, but able to stay consistent: 33/33/33/33 (200 rest).  I had to deal with a little light rain during the workout, but dodged the steady rain that moved in for most of the rest of the day. 

Tuesday: 10 miles - Grills Preserve group trail run with Muddy, Jeff, Nate, Mike B, and Garvin.  We met up at 6:30AM in the dark for this Christmas Eve run.  It was hard to see the trails for the first couple of miles.  Somehow I was leading the group during this time.  Luckily the trails are not technical.  Then we reached the Tomaquag Brook bridge and ran the gnarly single track to the Polly Coon Bridge - can't get enough of this trail - just awesome.  After detouring to the overlook, we then ran on the Westerly side of the preserve - along the Pawcatuck River and then pushed the climb up Big Hill.  After a break at the top we made our way back, taking the most direct route.  Fun way to start a busy day. 

Wednesday: 5 miles - local hilly roads Christmas tempo.  I was planning on a casual run in the middle of the day, but there was a lot to do after presents to get our house ready to host 14 people for dinner.  I was given a 30 minute window to run.  I decided to try for 5 miles.  I put on my new warm tights and other winter running gear for this 20 degree run.  I headed south from my house down Shumankanuc Hill Rd and continuing down Kings Factory Rd.  The cold dry air made things a little uncomfortable on the first climb.  I could tell I was moving pretty well, despite my tired legs.  At 2.5 miles, I turned around and headed back.  Now I was running into the wind, and had to do a lot of climbing.  I gave it a good effort, not going all out on the hills.  I was happy to see I hit five miles in 30:08.  One thing that is interesting to see on Strava is the Grade Adjusted Pace.  I was talking to Muddy about it the other day.  Could this be the sabermetrics of running?  New school versus old school?  For example, the last two miles (both with net gains in elevation) had 6:05 and 5:56 splits.  But this doesn't capture the extra effort I was putting in on the climbs.  My GAP for these two miles accounts for this and records them as 5:47 and 5:40 miles.  The overall all GAP for the run was 5:56. 

Thursday: 12 miles - roads from my house to my in-laws house alone in the early afternoon.  I was feeling rather anxious this morning and really needed to run.  Once the houseguests headed out, my wife told me to go run.  I was to meet her and my kids at her parents house, 12 miles away.  I've done this run a couple of times before.  This is not my favorite kind of run - busy straight roads - but I couldn't wait to do this today.  My plan was to go slow.  My body is beat up after workouts Monday and Wednesday.  I didn't wear my watch, but rather used the Strava app on my phone and strapped it to my arm.  I couldn't see my progress or my pace.  The run went pretty well.  My body is definitely creaky, and I did manage to keep my pace in a comfortable zone.  When I finished up I was surprised at the total time - 1:23.  I thought I would be a little over 1:30.  Turns out I averaged 6:57 pace for the run on an easy day.  Also, this run (after the initial downhill mile) is mostly all uphill.  I even search out a steeper road (Nichols Lane in Hope Valley) to run just for "fun".  I'm pretty stoked about my conditioning at this point. 

Friday: 11 miles - Westerly Town Forest trails and surrounding roads with Jeff and Mike B.  Typical dark start at 6:30AM.  It was very chilly (20 degrees) and I was glad I donned my new North Face tights.  We made a loop of roads including Boom Bridge, Anthony, Laurel, and Potter Hill.  Big climb at the end felt good.  We then jumped onto the frozen trails which included a little sliding and two more good climbs.  Fun morning run! 

Saturday: 5 miles - Pitcher Mountain road/dirt/trail climb with my brothers.  This was an impromptu run after a big meal and beers celebrating Hammett Christmas.  Glenn, Greg, and I headed out to run and meet everyone else (driving then hiking) hopefully at the summit.  That part worked well, but the huge heavy meal was weighing down my brothers and the pace was pretty slow.  It got cold in the wind near the farm at the top of the hill.  The trail up to the summit had snow hiding a lot of ice.  Cold again at the summit in the wind.  Mostly hiked back down with my family, with some more running mixed in. 

Heading back on the Pitcher Mtn fire road

Sunday: 10 miles - Stoddard snow covered dirt roads (some with my wife) and snowmobile trails (solo).  My wife and I headed out for a run along the lake and then made one good climb to get higher up in the neighborhood.  After about 30 minutes, I headed up Kings Highway and she ran back to the house.  I wish I had Yaktrax as the footing was not good.  I hit the 4x4 section and continued on to the Good Sheppard house (scary dog place).  Here I began running up then down (for a long time) on a snowmobile trail that I hoped would take me to another hill (Jackson) and also lead to the Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway trail.  No dice.  I was very alone in the deep woods sharing a trail with many coyotes from the tracks.  A couple of snowmobiles had been through so the footing was pretty good.  I never reached an intersection I was hoping to based on maps, but it was time to turn around.  I then made the long (but not too hard) climb back to Kings Highway.  Then I weaved my way back to my parents house.  Good quality run with a second straight day of 1000' of climbing. 

Awkward Selfie from the Good Sheppard

Overall:  A very fun week of running and the most miles I've been able to put together at this busy time of year. 

Weekly Total: 60 miles
Last Week: 62 miles
Year to Date: 3219 miles

Monday, December 23, 2013

Week in Review: 12-16-13 to 12-22-13

Another busy week and another late blog post.  New Year's resolution?  I didn't log a lot of miles, but I got plenty of quality miles in.  This was mostly a product of the snow/ice on the trails.  The pace may be slow, but the effort is intense.  Also I got in a hard hilly tempo run of 8 miles.  This finished off my legs for a few days! 

Monday: 8 miles - Ryan Park snow/ice covered trails alone.  This was the day after the Christmas 10K.  My legs weren't feeling very jolly and work was busy.  I headed out for the closest trail option (Ryan) and hoped for okay conditions.  The parking lot was mostly ice.  The weekend storm of snow to rain was now frozen solid thanks to the chilly temperature.  I donned Yaktrax and took my chances.  The main trails were in bad shape due to uneven ice (boot holes), but the side trails, although slippery, had a thin layer of snow on top to grip.  I wandered around the east side (thanks to the new mtn bike trails) and then ventured west.  I was enjoying myself (at least I warmed up fast) until I saw the ATV destruction.  Someone tore up some of my favorite trails.  The damn things are so wide and heavy.  I finished by running a mile back on the roads. 

Tuesday: 8 miles - Narragansett trails and beach with the lunch crew.  I met Mike and Nate at the Black Point parking lot during a break in the day's light snow.  We ran the Resolution 5K course.  The wind was very strong.  We then veered into the woods on the other side of the road for a while before returning to our cars to drop off Nate.  Mike and I added another fifteen minutes on the trails along the ocean. 

Wednesday: 9 miles - Rome Point snow/ice covered trails with 3 x 1 mile workout solo.  After a couple of easy days,  I was looking to do something a little more challenging.  I decided to run the Rome Pt yellow dot loop (hilly single track that measures just under a mile on GPS).  I again donned Yaktrax.  The trails had a half inch or so of snow covering ice.  Not ideal for running fast, but these are conditions I may face in the upcoming trail race series.  I warmed up for 27 minutes and then did the loop 3 times with a few minutes of rest between.  I was able to run them well.  I had to be very careful about my balance.  I didn't encounter anyone on the trails during the intervals.  Results: 5:48/5:43/5:52.  Really pleased.  I've only done the loop faster once and that was during a workout back in May.  Even with the slippery conditions, I made good time up the longish hill climb on the second half of the mile.  I was pretty pumped about this and feeling good about racing trails again soon. 

Thursday: 8 miles - Big River trails alone.  I wasn't sure where to run today, but ended up at the Hopkins Hill Rd lot.  I put on my trusty old Inov 8 Roclite 295's instead of Yaktrax.  Today was rather warm (low 40's) and I figured the snow here would be wet, but I would get good traction with just my shoes.  Being further north, there was more snow on the ground (about 2 inches), but still hiding ice in many places.  I took my time getting down the steep hill, as I began my CCW loop around the ponds.  I picked up one human track - someone running with Yaktrax.  It was cool to see that we followed the same course for 3+ miles.  Lots of other tracks on the trails.  Nothing alarming other than coyote.  I was surprised when I was the first person to pass by the large chimney and parts of the ridge trail.  I was slipping out there and missed my Yaktrax.  Coming off the ridge I crossed some ice over a wet spot.  Sure enough I punched through, cutting my ankle and dunking my foot in the cold water.  The bleeding wasn't too bad, but it was pretty swollen by the time I finished.  I made my way to the beaver dam and gingerly crossed, trying not to repeat falling in water.  I decided I had the time/ambition to run up to the Blue Arrow Trail and run that in reverse.  This twisty trail was not easy in the snow.  I kept sliding around the corners and into the small trees.  Not easy!  I was happy to reach my car after climbing the hill. 

Friday: 12 miles - Saunderstown hilly roads 8 mile tempo alone.  After finishing up work for the year at about 1PM it was time for a good run.  Needing a break from the messy trails, I opted for roads.  I got the idea to try breaking the course record for the Gilbert Stuart Rd climb one last time this year (this was one of my running goals this year).  I parked at Rome Point and ran the rather flat way to the hill.  My pace was already perky as I anticipated a strong climb.  At the museum I picked it up even more.  Time to bear down and do this.  I ended up going too hard too fast, but still managed a good time (my PR but 9 seconds short of Galoob's CR).  I had trouble recovering my breathing, but eventually it evened out on the long Snuff Mill Rd climb.  I was moving pretty fast, but not working nearly as hard.  This climb actually felt good.  I kept pushing the pace as I crossed Rte 1A and dropped down into the Plum Beach neighborhood.  I pressed up the shorter but steep Cottrell Rd climb (GPS didn't match segment).  I was toast after this.  I decided to push on down 1A back to my car rather than attempt any more hills (or return via the tricky coastline as I first thought).  There was too much traffic on the road and it made me want to finish faster.  I knocked out a 5:39 last mile and averaged 6:21 pace for the full eight miles.  666 feet of climbing! 

I followed the tempo up with an extended cool down run on roads and trails. 

Saturday: 14+ miles - Sunrise Solstice group run with Muddy, Jeff, Seth, Nate, Mike B, and Chris G.  We met at the graveyard in Perryville at 6:30AM.  I mapped out a course of mostly roads for the first hour.  We ran through Green Hill and then hit the beach running east toward the soon to be rising sun.  The waves were pounding on this foggy warm morning.  Just as we reached Moonstone Beach Rd, the sun was coming up and we stopped for a couple of pictures. 

We then ran back up Moonstone Beach Rd to Perryville.  We stopped again at our cars and saw Muddy off before entering the DuVal trails.  Nate led us down to the new trail out to Bull Head Pond.  The valleys still held snow and were 10-15 degrees cooler.  It was interesting to keep feeling these pockets of warm and cold air.  We dropped Nate, Mike, and Chris off at the graveyard, and Seth, Jeff, and I continued running the slippery hilly trails for another half an hour.  Good fun and almost 2 hours of running.  Later in the afternoon my family took a nice hike around Browning Mill Pond in Arcadia where we were able to enjoy the setting sun.  Happy Solstice! 

Sunday: 3 miles - home trail loops "with" my kids.  I awoke early in the morning, excited to get another good run in, but then fell back to sleep and woke up late (7AM).  By then I noticed how sore my body was from the hard week of running.  I didn't have much interest in doing much of anything, nor the time.  I did get outside with my kids and ran 3 miles of loops on my trails.  Each kid ran a loop or two with me, beforing just running around playing in the woods.  I decided to try Shumunkawall.  The wet leaves and snow made it almost impossible to run as you needed to use your hands in many places.  Total time running was 28 minutes. 

not a great shot of Shumunkawall

Weekly Total: 62 miles
Last Week: 53 miles
Year to Date: 3159 miles

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Christmas 10K 2013

I feel like a lot has already been written about this race:  the weather was a big question mark, the race time was delayed, the weather ended up being decent, the turn out was poor, the WTAC vs. TNT battle didn't materialize.  I ended up running 35:37 this year, good for a 17 second PR and 4th place overall.  I should be relatively happy about this.  The event itself was great fun with many running friends in attendance.  The problem is that I didn't perform well and I'm probably going to focus on it until I get to race again.  And my problem is completely mental, it is not physical - that part I train well.  Here's a lowdown of where I fell short and how I need to improve: 

1.  Pre-Race - Despite nailing the final workout in the training plan I was doing (3x2 miles @ goal 10K pace) I have been feeling slow.  This happens when I haven't been doing as many hard runs, or most of my runs are on trails.  Actually, I'm doing the right thing by tapering for a race, but mentally I feel like I've gotten slower.  Doubt about hitting my goal pace (5:40/mile) set in. 

Once it appeared the weather would be an issue, it seemed like that would automatically mean a slower time. 

Rather than getting excited/nervous about the race as the day approached, I was more preoccupied with work, Christmas, and travel logistics.  This can be a good thing, but this goal race was becoming an afterthought. 

2. The Race - Basically, due to the small crowd this year, the race was a time trial for me.  What I've enjoyed about this race in the past is the level of competition.  This helps a weak minded competitor like me thrive.  I run better when I'm chasing or being chased and not concerned with how I'm feeling at the moment.  At the race start, I latched onto Bob Jackman's shoulder briefly, but when he pushed ahead, I "knew" I couldn't keep up with him today.  This is not based on recent experience, rather his results in this race.  So after a half mile or so, I was alone.  I could watch Mike Galoob (in first) followed by Bob and Chris Garvin (2nd and 3rd) for a while.  I heard no one behind me.  Begin time trial. 

My first mile was a little fast, but it is mostly downhill and I wasn't working hard at all.  Then I had to work harder to maintain a slower pace, but I didn't have the drive to push hard enough to at least keep my goal pace.  I had my watch set to display my lap pace, but never hit the lap button, so I could see my average pace for the entire race (or where I was at a certain point).  I just watched as the average pace slowly ticked up the further I got.  The course is beautiful and possibly a nice distraction, but it didn't help me.  My mind was made up that I was not going to hit my target time, and I had no runners around me.  I wasn't running hard enough not because I wasn't capable, but rather because I was settling. 

 I perked up a bit during miles 4 and 5 as there were a couple of small hills to contend with, and I attacked them hard enough so my overall pace wouldn't slow down.  In fact, my average pace dropped a second or two.  I was passing walkers, which was a welcomed distraction. 

I hit the Mile 5 mark and the negative thoughts rushed back.  I thought I might start bonking.  This never happened, it was just in my head.  I always muster up a fast last mile plus.  I could have made up some time here, despite the slower terrain.  Instead I slowed down.  I mostly bagged it the rest of the way.  My splits on Strava confirm this: 

Mile 1     5:31     -25ft
Mile 2     5:47      10ft
Mile 3     5:47     -12ft
Mile 4     5:44      -4ft
Mile 5     5:45      -8ft
Mile 6     5:58      44ft
Last .2    6:04      10ft

3. Post-Race - My lackluster performance was outshined by the races my WTAC teammates put together.  Mike won with a fast PR, Chris outkicked Bob, I got to watch 5th, 6th, and 7th places come in close together - Jeff, Nate, and Seth.  Some of us headed out on a cool down and I got to see more teammates including my dad (who won his age division).  The delayed race start made me late for a family gathering on my wife's side, so I had to leave before the awards and the team lunch.  I'm happy to be a part of such a great bunch of people. 

So now what?  I would say I learned a lesson, but it is one I already was taught.  I have the ability thanks to my relentless training.  I need to work on the mental aspects, but this is a struggle for me in not just running.  I am looking forward to the 4th Season Trail Series.  I can't wait to redeem myself. 

Friday, December 13, 2013

Slacker Blog Week of 12-9-13 to 12-15-13

I didn't mean to not post anything until Friday.  I had Monday and Tuesday off from work and stayed home with the kids (who had those two days off for conferences).  Wednesday and Thursday were really busy at work.  So here we are....

Monday:  9 miles - Burlingame trails out and back alone.  I was able to get out before dark for a run.  I'm loving the contacts especially on a day like this - drizzly and misty.  My glasses would have been annoying.  I parked at Buckeye Brook Rd and headed south in the non-hunting section of the park.  I ran the NST to the ridge single track loop and then back.  I'm not used to running this time of day and forgot how quickly it gets dark, even more so when it's rainy.  I was happy to be on familiar trails.  I did not fall. 

Tuesday: 7 miles - CHS track workout alone.  I ran after breakfast but before the snow.  My plan was to run a couple time trials and then mix in some short repeats after.  The track was frozen when I arrived.  Yesterday's rain was this morning's ice.  I began warming up, sliding away, trying to think of what to do instead.  After two miles, I noticed I wasn't really slipping anymore, and after a couple more laps, the traction seemed back to normal.  I really took my time warming up/recovering for each interval.  I did the 400 first.  I felt really fast the first 200 meters and then I kind of blew up.  I ended up with a 68.  I probably could be closer to 65 running smarter.  I wish I was faster, and I'll work on it, but I wasn't very satisfied.  Next was the 200.  This one felt great.  Strong throughout.  The result was a 31 which is fine, but again a bit disappointing.  I thought it was faster.  Finally, I did a 100.  This is a fun distance.  I remembered doing a 100 for track and field week in gym class as a senior on the exact same spot on this track.  The result was about 14.5.  I did 4x50 flies after.  I look forward to more of this short speedwork. 

Wednesday: 7 miles - Rome Point trails/beach/roads with Dan.  This began as just a normal winter run in the park.  Then we heard a series of close gunshots.  I thought it wasn't from the park, but land nearby.  A minute later we heard another round of gunshots this time very close.  We crossed the main path and headed up and over the hill.  Another very close burst of fire.  I told Dan I was going to take a long detour to get back to the car.  My guess it was a kid(s?) out joy shooting, but you never know.  We ran to the beach and headed south.  At Plum Beach we jumped onto the roads and ran back to our cars.  Nothing seemed strange at the lot when we got there. 

Thursday: 10.5 miles - Narragansett exploration with Galoob and Nate.  We ran a loop of various random trails and roads that connected to places we wanted to go.  There is a new Nature Conservancy property that has a trail connecting to the shoreline north of Camp Varnum.  Awesome place. 

Friday: 9.5 miles - Ryan Park trails solo.  Everything was feeling good today and I enjoyed my time in the cold weather with the light coating of snow.  I ran a little longer than planned. 

Saturday: 0 - mostly planned zero.  Stacked wood. 

Sunday: 10 miles - Christmas 10K - 4th overall, 35:37.  PR but not a great race.  Ran alone with no one to chase and no one pushing me (much smaller field this year due to the weather).  Slowed down last 1.2 miles instead of picking it up (no Muddy to chase).  Still a 17 second PR.  Separate write up to follow.  Team WTAC dominance - 6 out of top 7 finishers, top two men's teams, top female team, numerous age group wins (including my dad!). 

Weekly Total: 53 miles
Last Week: 64 miles
Year to Date: 3097 miles

Thursday, December 5, 2013

World's Best 10K Workout Week: 12-2-13 to 12-8-13

For the past couple of months my partners on the track (Nate, Galoob, and Garvin) and I have been following the MacMillan 10K workout plan found here.  The key workouts include a lot longer intervals and total speedwork than I'm (and I assume most are) accustomed to.  With the Christmas 10K in Newport looming next Sunday, this is the week for the final 10K workout:

WORLD'S BEST 10K WORKOUTAfter this buildup of workouts, you're ready to attack the ultimate 10K workout. I suggest you perform this workout nine to 12 days before your race to allow enough time to recover before the event. Start with your usual warm-up (which you should perform for each workout described in this article), then run three 2-mile repeats at your goal 10K pace. Take a 5-minute recovery jog between each repeat. Prepare for this intense workout like you will your race -- be well-recovered, properly hydrated and fueled, use the equipment you'll use in the race, run at the time of day that you'll be racing.

Thursday is the day.  I'll be taking it relatively easy before to be "well-recovered".  My confidence has waned since I nailed the previous key workout.  I'm sure the speed is still there, but I just haven't used it in a while. Definitely pretty nervous about it. 

Monday: 9 miles - Quonset bike path and Calf Pasture Point beach solo.  What seems to happen this time of year is that I start my runs faster than normal to heat up.  If I'm on a flat road, my pace is pretty quick, and then I like to make my entire run rather peppy.  I was also feeling pressed for time.  I did the 3.5 miles of bike path in 6:30 pace.  I then ran out and back on the beach, falling once in thick sand (2.1 miles @ 7:24 pace).  The final 3.5 miles on the bike path I dropped my pace down to 6:08.  I wasn't working hard, but I was pushing the pace a bit. 

Tuesday: 8 miles - SK combo run with Nate and Galoob.  We met at Mike's and then wandered down to Curtis Corner to scout a 2 mile loop we planned to use for Thursday's workout.  The loop is rather challenging (not flat) and ended up being 2 GPS miles on the nose.  This course is more intimidating than the track and bike path, but a better approximation of the Christmas 10K course conditions.  We hit up some of the fun connecting trails to and from. 

Wednesday: 7 miles - Ryan Park trails alone.  Insert easy hour lunch run here. 

Thursday: 10.5 miles - 3 x 2 miles workout with Nate and Galoob.  I wasn't sure I could join them at the predetermined time, so I was more focused on that then the actual workout.  Luckily I didn't have to do the workout alone and was able to run with them.  We did a 2+ mile warm up with 4 strides at the end.  Then we began the intervals.  My target was 11:20.  My pace would always start fast for the first half mile as it was mostly downhill or flat.  Then I would hit the hill and my pace would slow quite a bit.  The last mile is a gradual uphill on South Road and then a gradual downhill on Curtis Corner Rd.  These roads had too much traffic today and it also seemed to rain only when I was on them.  The workout ended up going really well.  I was able to nail my target even on the challenging course and dealing with the rain.  Results: 11:15/11:26/11:20 with 5 minute recoveries.  The first one felt okay, but was too fast.  My second one felt smooth, but it was a little too slow.  Third one was just right.  So according to MacMillan I will run 5:40 pace at the race.  We'll see! 

Friday: 6.5 miles - Ryan Park trails alone.  I was surprisingly not sore from yesterday's workout.  The weather was dreary, but I still got out for an easy run.  The mtn bikers have been busy again making even more little single track trails on the east side.  Some seem silly, but I ran a couple of new ones that I really like. 

Saturday: 11 miles in two runs.  First, I got up early (well not that early, but still dark).  My window to run was before 8AM or bust.  I drove over to the Hopkinton Grills Preserve for an hour trail run.  Someone from CT had just taken the hilly twisty Tomaquag Trail Strava segment on Thursday.  I didn't like this, so I thought I would take it back and keep the CR local.  The ground was very soggy, but the trails were puddle-free.  I ran the easy wide paths near the river for 20+ minutes and then hit the single track segment pretty hard.  It's really fun going fast on a roller coaster of a trail like this.  I finished up at the Polly Coon Bridge and then decided to jog for a few minutes on the Bradford side.  I was weary of deer hunters (allowed on that side and it was the first day of shotgun season), but didn't see any.  I ran longer than I planned, but had enough time to not have to hustle back. 

Later in the afternoon, after a busy day taking the kids to the (quiet) aquarium and putting up lights outside, I had the chance to log a few laps on my home trails while the kids did screen time.  After a lap I noticed that my phone app was stating "GPS signal lost".  It eventually was found near the end of my runs.  9 laps for 3 miles: 7:23/7:32/7:27. 

Sunday: 12 miles - Carter Preserve trails with local roads to/from alone.  Another early run with a 8AM deadline.  I couldn't decide on what exactly I felt like running.  It was 21 degrees.  I settled on running to Carter Preserve from my house and then run a loop in there and back.  There was plently of light by the time I reached the single track.  I promptly startled an animal I thought was a deer, but it was something else.  It looked coyote-sized (big one) and had the color of a yellow lab.  Hmm.  I rounded a corner and I flushed it again.  It disappeared in some rocks.  I was getting a little nervous.  The coloring made me wonder if it was a cougar, but the movement made me think canine.  I continued on at a brisk pace.  I decided to run the Red Trail hard since I had made a Strava segment out of it a while ago, and never given it a good effort.  This was fun.  A treacherous at times trail with frozen leaves making things even more interesting.  I recovered on the Blue Trail before heading down to the Grassland Mile.  I decided to push a fast mile.  I felt like I was moving well for the entire lap.  I was a little bummed with the time (5:42), but whatever.  I then ran back home, not loving the mile uphill on Shumankanuc Hill Road. 

Weekly Total: 64 miles
Last Week: 60 miles
Year to Date: 3044 miles

Monday, December 2, 2013

Week in Review: 11-25-13 to 12-1-13

Another busy week and another late blog post.  I knew going into Thanksgiving week that  I would have trouble packing on the miles.  I was able to compensate by doing some good workouts in various settings. 

Monday: 10 miles - Ryan Park with Dan.  Normal run that was nice to have some company on. 

Tuesday: 8.5 miles - SK bike path and trails with Galoob.  We met up at TriPond park and ran the trails on both sides of the bike path before heading up to the Curtis Corner ball fields and further on to Potter Woods.  On the way back we did 6 strides with walking recoveries using the width of a lacrosse (?) field.  Time to prep for short distance speed. 

Wednesday: 12 miles - South County Bike Path longish tempo-type run alone.  I was bummed out that today was the only day I had the time to run long, but the weather was terrible.  Windy and 3 inches of rain.  I decided that the bike path would be better to run on then soaked trails and puddled streets.  The wind wasn't too bad and the rain was mostly on the light side when I ran.  My goal was to run the 6 miles out towards the Kingston train station at a good pace and then run even faster on the way back.  My first three miles were in the 6:50's and didn't feel that great.  I had to stop at intersections.  I was feeling slow and tired.  Finally I saw improvement in mile 4 (6:28) and then kept it there until the turnaround point.  I then tried to pick up my pace and ran low 6's the rest of the way back.  The miles passed rather quickly.  I was soaked, but not cold.  I really hate stopping at intersections.  Overall average pace was 6:27. 

Thursday: 7+ miles - Carter Preserve with Nate in the early morning.  We met up for an easy hour on the fun trails at Carter.  We even kept the grassland mile easy.  Good stuff. 

Friday: 9 miles - Cambridge parks alone in the early morning.  The kids woke everybody up early at my sister-in-law's apartment so I decided to head out for an early run.  My plan was to run in two nearby parks, and sure enough there were Strava segmens to hunt.  I was excited to get some speed work in.  The first one was an almost 1 mile loop in Danehy Park.  The first thing I noticed was that it was cold, and my lungs were not acclimated to the cold air yet.  I ran a smaller loop hard.  This wasn't on purpose, but served as a good first interval of about a half mile.  I then jogged the full loop to make sure I understood where to go.  Then it was go time.  I ran pretty hard, scaring dog walkers along the way.  I ran the loop in 5:21 and a Strava CR.  Now to head over to Fresh Pond Park.  After playing Frogger trying to find the entrance I was ready to begin this long segment of about 2.5 miles.  This is a popular running loop and there were 108 people on the Strava leaderboard, including a CR that was too fast for me.  Anyway, I ran the loop at 10K pace feel.  My phone app was showing 5:40's pace most of the time.  I finished up in 14:35, good for 2nd place overall.  Turns out the top guy did a shorter version of the loop, so I wasn't as far back as I thought.  I then had to figure out how to get back.  Good workout! 

Saturday: 9.5 miles - Pitcher Mountain dirt/paved roads and short trail alone.  I ran on this cold morning (10 degrees when I began, 4 degrees when I woke up).  I did this run this past summer.  It's 4.7 miles uphill from Highland Lake to the summit of Pitcher Mountain.  The total elevation gain is a little over a 1000 feet.  It seems daunting before and during.  The run went well as I was warm enough and kept a good pace until the steep trail at the end.  I was slowly grinding up the hill, but the trail became icy.  I had to walk one section and slipped once. 

I stopped at the top to upload my data (no service down below) and take a couple of photos.  Then it was time to head back down.  The other trail down was easier, but still treacherous in spots.  It felt good to let the legs loose on the roads.  Tough run. 

view of Pitcher Mtn fire tower from Rte 123
view to the north (towards Sunapee)
view to the south (Monadnock)

Sunday: 4+ miles - NH dirt roads with my wife.  This was an easy recovery run (except for the hills) through the neighborhood.  Roads icy in spots. 

Weekly Total: 60 miles
Last Week: 72 miles
Year to Date: 2980 miles