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