Thursday, July 25, 2013

Weekly Log 7-22-13 to 7-28-13

Sort of an uneventful week of running.  My legs were heavy due to the high mileage without rest.  No Fun Run on Wednesday to celebrate my mom's birthday.  No Blessing of the Fleet race on Friday to celebrate my wife's birthday (not that I wanted to run it anyway).  No interesting runs planned for the weekend (just playing it by ear).  Ho hum. 

Monday:  8 miles - Ryan Park trails alone.  This was just an easy recovery run on the normal trails.  Originally, it was going to be cooler and drier today, but instead it was the same old same old.  Total time: 1:015:22. 

Tuesday: 15 miles in two runs.  In the morning, I met up at the CCMS track for the weekly group workout.  It ended up just being me and Nate today.  The weather was overcast (with some light rain) and about 75 degrees.  We did a two mile warm up and then decided to do a few longer intervals at goal 5K race pace - 3x1000.  My legs were feeling a bit sleepy, but I was happy with my times and consistency: 3:26/3:25/3:25 (a tad faster than goal 5K pace).  We talked about throwing in some shorter intervals at the end, but we both were satisfied with just the 1000's.  Two mile cool down. 

In the afternoon I headed out for a recovery run.  For some reason I settled on running roads in Saunderstown, thinking it wasn't too hot out, and I was sort of sick of Ryan Park and Rome Point.  I did park at Rome Point and then headed up the hill on 1A.  My legs felt pretty terrible and by the time I was one mile in, I was a sweaty mess.  It was really muggy and the sun was hot when I wasn't in the shade.  I trudged along, climbing the Cottrell Rd hill and then finally feeling better on the long gradual descent down Snuff Mill Road.  No deer flies today - thanks Seth for taking care of them for me last week.  I then detoured down Gilbert Stuart Rd to Camp Nokewa and ran a couple of miles of trails.  A dog playfully began chasing me near the pond, so I threw in a hill sprint to lose it.  I liked this "loop", but it's not for the summer. 

Wednesday: 9 miles - Quonset Bike Path and Calf Pasture Point alone.  I set my alarm so that I could do a double today, but I wasn't interested when it went off.  Instead I just ran on my break.  I decided to do the bike path and beach since it was drier today and cloudy.  I was a little shocked to find out that the temperature was 88 degrees when I ran.  My legs felt pretty terrible the first two miles, and I didn't dare look at my watch.  I enjoyed the scenery and quietness though. 

Thursday: 9 miles - hilly road loop from my house at 5:45AM.  I was able to wake up early for a run this morning and was greeted by 60 degrees and low humidity.  I was actually chilly the first half mile!  My course was down Burdickville Rd to Rte 91 to Rte 216 and back up Buckeye Brook Rd.  It began sprinkling a couple of miles in, and then it turned into a steady rain near the end.  My legs had more life in them today and the miles went by easily.  I tried not to look at my watch, but I was curious how much a difference the cool temperature was having on my pace.  I pushed it pretty hard up the mile plus climb near the end and the final up and down mile to my house. 

Friday: 9 miles - Ryan Park trails alone.  I was all over the map on ideas for running today.  First off, I wasn't sure I would even be able to (busy day before/after work).  Then I mapped out some options for a 10 mile time trial run in honor of my friends running the Blessing of the Fleet at night.  I wasn't feeling like I had that in me, so then I thought I would do a few fast trail segments in Ryan Park.  What I ended up doing was just keeping the effort mellow for nine miles.  I did mix up my course enough to make it feel fresh.  You probably can't tell from the map. 

Saturday: 4+ miles - Carter Preserve trails with my wife.  It was her birthday today and I got her a bunch of new running gear.  Instead of a nice breakfast out (no kids), she opted for a trail run.  We parked at the Rte 112 lot and ran a loop of the the red/blue/yellow trails.  We then picked up breakfast in our smelly running clothes at the Charlestown Bakery. 

Sunday: 19+ miles - Burlingame long trail run/workout solo.  My legs were feeling rejuvenated after a couple of easy days in a row.  I came up with my idea for this run late on Saturday night.  I have been having a dilemma about which Pisgah Mountain Trail Race to do this September - 23K or 50K.  I was going to give the 50K a go again after running a fast 23K last year, but then I had an epiphany after dropping out of the TARC 50K - I didn't want to run 50K's anymore.  Not too long after, I began thinking that I would give the Pisgah 50K one more shot.  But I've recently realized that despite all of my training, I'm not getting in the long runs that I need for this type of race.  So I've been thinking about the 23K again, and if it is possible to finish in under 1:40.  Last year I ran super hard and was thrilled to get 1:44 (previous best was 1:58 in 2010).  Is it even possible to clip off another 4+ minutes?  Anyway, so this is what I was thinking about Saturday night when I came up with my plan for today's run.  I wanted to run 2.5 hours (I've been running 2 on recent long runs) and incorporate a long tempo somewhere in the middle.  I ended up running in Burlingame from my house for about an hour.  I briefly stopped to drink water and eat half of a granola bar, and then ditched my pack and ran the Li'l Rhody Runaround course (8 miles) hard.  I was hoping to be around 55 minutes (a pace I would need to maintain at Pisgah 23K for my goal time).  My pace felt fast throughout the 8 miles and I wondered if I might finish in the low 50's.  I ended up running 53:45.  My effort probably was at  51/52 minutes, but the muggy conditions slowed me down.  I stopped to drink water and then headed home the scenic way (Schoolhouse Pond/Sammy C's trails).  My pace was very slow on the way back and my body was pretty beat, but I've felt a lot worse.  I was really happy with this run and it was good training for the 23K (and leaves the door open for the 50K). 

Weekly Total: 73 miles
Last Week: 80 miles
Year to Date: 1807 miles

Friday, July 19, 2013

Doubles and Bottone Track Mile: Weekly Log 7-15-13 to 7-21-13

This week I have been able to get up earlier than normal every day and run.  I knew going in that this was going to be a hot week, so my normal midday runs would be shorter or possibly non-existent.  By doubling most days, I'm able to get the miles I'm looking for during this long heat wave. 

Monday - 14 miles on two runs.  My morning run was an out and back from my house to the Carter Preserve parking lot on Mill Rd via the power line.  My legs were feeling dead today, not from the heat, but rather from the Beaver race. 

In the afternoon I decided to run in the complete shade of Big River, mostly around Carr & Tarbox Ponds.  It was about 90 degrees, but okay in the woods.  I began slow, but felt pretty good the rest of the way.  Fun loop. 

Tuesday: 10 miles on two runs.  I again got up early and ran 6 miles from my house.  This time I headed down Kings Factory Rd and then ran the dirt road to Schoolhouse Pond.  I stopped to take in the sights, but was ferociously attacked by deer flies.  I quickly got moving again and put my shirt on my head for the rest of the run.  I crossed into Burlingame briefly and ran portions of Schoolhouse Pond, Secret, and Sammy C's trails before finishing up on the last hilly road mile back to my house. 

At night was the annual Nick Bottone Track Mile hosted by my club (WTAC) and professionally timed by SNERRO.  I skipped the race last year due to excessive heat, and sure enough it was hot again this year - 91 in Westerly at 6PM.  I've been looking forward to going sub 5 minutes in the mile, and recent workouts have given me plenty of confidence that I can.  This night, however, I was not feeling it.  The heat was a factor, but my legs still felt tired from the race four days before.  I got in a segmented, distracted warm up (had to watch my kids at the same time).  It was fun watching the other heats before mine.  The "Elite" heat was a mixed bag of former WHS track stars, former college runners (Ryan from NZ and Chris G), regular 30 somethings (like me, Muddy, Nate, Josh), fast middle school/high school kids (the Walkers and Burrs), and the ageless Gazelle.  I was more excited to see how Ryan and Chris fared against the two WHS grads (who were talking a good game at the start line) than my four pending laps around the track.  I carried my bad attitude throughout the race.  At the gun I settled into a comfortable pace (in 5th place), slightly ahead of Justin and Jackie.  I was surprised to see the clock at the end of lap 1 (70? - can't be right, maybe 72 or 73).  Lap 2 felt terrible, but mostly my mind was weak, and I was not racing - more just going through the motions.  I thought about dropping out, but stuck it out.  I was at 2:30 at the end of the lap, now trailing Justin by a second or two with Jackie still on my heels (her coach was shouting at her to stay with those two guys - me and Justin).  Lap 3 was a repeat of emotions as lap 2.  I still wanted to quit, but with my time, there was still the possibility of breaking 5 minutes.  I was trailing Justin by a wider margin and finished lap 3 in 3:48 - now officially off pace.  I had a better attitude on lap 4, figuring that I could maintain my current pace and then at least kick the last straightaway.  My kick was not what I hoped.  I got closer to Justin but not fast enough to break 5 minutes.  My official time was 5:02.  I was actually rather pleased that I could muster up that time despite my bad attitude and tired legs.  I'm pretty sure I can take about 10 seconds off this time, and might try to prove it on a track some upcoming morning.  I was excited to hear about everyone else's races: Ryan won in 4:41, Chris ran a final 62 and virtually tied for 2nd in 4:47, Nate's 5:27, among others.  I got a short cool down before a true cool down with my kids in the sprinkler.  Results here

The Start

First Lap

End of First Lap

End of 2nd Lap
End of 4th Lap

Wednesday: 14 miles in two runs.  Another 6 mile out and back from my house early, this time down Burdickville Rd to Rte 91 towards Bradford and back.  This was a pretty hilly route, especially on the way back.  I ended up doing a progression: 8:00/7:34/7:17/7:14/7:05/6:48. 

In the afternoon I dragged myself around Rome Point in the heat for an hour. 

Thursday: 7 miles.  I only ran once since it was 94 degrees in the afternoon when I took my break.  I ran from my house down Buckeye Brook Rd and back.  This is another hilly course.  The air was thick, but I motored up the hills fairly well. 

Friday: 7 miles AM.  I did a workout at the CHS track alone in the early morning.  I kind of decided late that I would do this, and I'm happy I was able to finish.  I did the Aussie Quarters workout of 8x400 at slightly faster than goal 5K race pace (low 5:20's) with fast recoveries (around 6:30).  I was a tad inconsistent at the start - first 400 was way too slow (84) and then my second was too fast (78), but then I ran 80's or 81's the rest of the way.  My recoveries were mostly 49's and 50's.  I talked to myself a few times into not quitting.  This workout is way easier with a partner or two.  I nailed my targets overall and feel pretty fit right now.  Total 5K time was 18:05.  Two mile warm up (15:08) and cool down (15:16).  No PM run as it was 97 degrees when I took my break. 

Saturday: 15 miles.  Early morning group run in Burlingame.  I met up with Seth, Gunshow, Ryan D, and his friend at the picnic area at 6AM.  It was another hot morning, already in the 70's, and muggy as can be.  The plan was for 2 hours, but we split up after an hour as some of the group decided 90 minutes was going to be enough.  We ran CW on Vin Gormley before taking the 4+ mile campground detour on fun single track.  The deer flies were not yet an issue.  The pace was snappy, especially the stretch back on Vin Gormley to Klondike Road.  The deer flies were out in force in this low lying section, and I put my shirt (only reason I was wearing one) on my head to keep them off me.  We regrouped at Klondike and kept the pace a little more reasonable out to Buckeye Brook Road.  I was absolutely drenched in sweat, but still feeling good.  Ryan was fine too, so the two of us marched on as the other three took Vin Gormley back to their cars.  We did the north camp loop and then did the full length of Sammy C's.  We both sort of hit a wall at about 90 minutes.  I was feeling tired and thirsty.  I was not enjoying my favorite trail, as I was having trouble negotiating the rocks and roots.  We both almost fell a couple of times.  Finally we reached the end of the trail and ran the roads back to the parking lot.  This was a super fun run, but tough with the weather conditions. 

Sunday: 13 miles in two runs.  In the morning my son wanted to run, so we came up with a flatish 1- 1.5 mile course on a trail off of Burdickville Road that heads down to the river (where Wood & Pawcatuck rivers meet).  It was raining on and off, but it seemed like we would be okay.  The run out to the river was super fun and not as long as I thought (about .6 miles).  We stopped at the river for a few minutes when finally the rain came again.  We got on our way, but it began to pour.  My son thought it was pretty cool.  I was glad it didn't thunder. 

My plan for later in the day was to run to my in-law's house where we were going to hang out in the afternoon and swim in their new pool.  My legs were pretty beat, so I was just looking for a casual run.  Well things changed, as I got inspired by other people's runs on Strava.  I left my house a little after noontime.  The weather was changing.  After being cool and wet, the sun was coming out and it felt humid.  Ugh.  My route (all roads) had a lot of exposure.  My pace felt good, but it didn't feel good.  I checked the first two mile splits, and then tried to maintain over the duration of the twelve mile run.  It was hot. I was sweaty.  The roads were terrible.  I did finish the run and was super pleased with the result (and consistency).  Total time: 1:18:15 - 6:29 pace.  Swimming, chromium replacing, and even napping followed. 

Overall: Huge week of running and it was the hottest week of the year.  Not sure if I will be motivated to keep pulling off all the doubles. 

Weekly Total: 80 miles
Last Week: 54 miles
Year to Date: 1734 miles

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Run with the Beavers Trail Race 2013

Last Saturday was the 2nd annual Run with the Beavers 10 Mile Trail Race.  I again signed my family up and we ran as Team Hammett.  Since Bob Jackman RD used for registration, I was able to size up the field ahead of time (as the site lists all entrants who pre-register and ranks them based on previous trail/ultra races results in their system).  It looked like I had a shot of improving my position from last year (fourth) and our team might be able to take the team title (after losing to the NRA last year - not that NRA - Narragansett Running Assoc).  I knew my brother Greg would be ahead of me, but I thought I might be able to be next to finish, depending on who registered at the day of the race. 

The days leading up to the race were busy with family activities (as my brothers and their wives were in town from New Hampshire), and I was distracted from the usual pre-race nervousness.  I also had a gig later in the afternoon to play with my band, and logistically, my day was very complicated.  I drove up with my brother Glenn feeling really relaxed.  I finally got excited when I pulled into the already busy parking lot an hour before the race.  Greg and Jen (sister-in-law) were also there, and we grabbed our bibs.  Greg, with bib #1, was able to fold it into the tiniest square I've ever seen.  We chatted with a few other familiar faces (Seth and Mike C from my club WTAC, and local runner/photographer Scott Mason). 

Greg, Seth, and I headed out for a warm up, running the course backwards.  The weather seemed pretty good.  It was noticeably cooler than recent mornings with the temperature in the high 60's.  Of course it was humid, as it always is this time of year, and there was a chance of light rain at any time.  The course was in good shape - just wet.  I was a little concerned with shoe choice, as most shoes I like to wear are super light and not good on wet rocks.  I ultimately chose my old friends the Nike Frees, and just would deal with the consequences.  I didn't want to wear my clunkier sticky trail shoes.  The other thing to note was that it was not buggy out.  Very surprising, but welcomed.  We ran out to the dirt road above the pond and then turned around and headed back with 10 minutes to spare. 

I changed shoes, chatted some more, found the "fourth" Hammett brother - Boj, and then headed to the starting line.  I toed the line next to Greg and Seth.  There was a fit looking guy also up front that I thought might have been the 3rd place finisher from last year.  I was very curious to see what would happen at the start.  Next thing I knew, we were off! 

I tried to stay under control as I followed closely behind Greg the first quarter mile.  No one sounded close behind me.  Greg found another gear and powered ahead as I decided the smart thing was to not overdo it on a longish race.  The first half mile is open and I still didn't hear any footsteps behind me when I entered the single track in the woods.  Without seeing or hearing any runners, I was trying to push myself as hard as I could on this tricky section.  The footing alternated between okay and messy.  I slipped a bit on one rock and made the mental note to keep my footsteps short and quick for balance. 

The course was feeling familiar from last year until it crossed a dirt lane.  I knew there was a dicey downhill on wet rocks, but I didn't remember it being so long to the water stop.  I was super focused on my footing, which was made more difficult by my glasses fogging up (and it was dark in the thick woods).  There were a few water/mud bog crossings that were not easy to navigate through like last year.  I found myself just plowing through trying to stay upright and not worrying about getting wet shoes.  The mud tried to tug my shoes off a couple of times too.  The biggest bog was right before the water stop.  I followed the flags (shortest distance), but paid for it by slipping into the mud/water.  I regrouped, let out a short shout/laugh, and tried to get back up to speed. 

I then reached the open dirt road near the water stop.  I continued to run as hard as I could, which here meant a pretty fast pace.  I did glance back before re-entering the woods to see if there was anyone close, which there was not.  My breathing was a bit labored, and I wondered if I was going to be able to maintain for another entire lap.  I finished up the slower section along the pond and stream.  The footing is very awkward - roots and rocks along the side of a hill on a twisty trail.  Then there is a long hill (steep at first) with a fast descent to the start/finish area.  Bob greeted me with water and told me I was only 2 minutes behind my brother.  The clock read 34:32 (one minute faster than last year's first lap). 

Along the stream during lap 1 - photo by Scott Mason

I began the second lap with a bit of an adrenaline surge.  My breathing seemed to relax, but my pace felt peppy.  Was I really only two minutes behind Greg?  I assumed Bob was embellishing, but it made me run faster.  I was also worried I would slow down on this lap as I did last year.  I was on pace for 1:09 (my goal was sub 1:10), and I didn't want to screw it up.  The long single track section seemed easier the second time around (despite tripping and almost falling when I kicked a root).  I really felt like I was running harder than the first lap.  I still got water in my shoes and more mud on my legs in the bogs.  I passed the water stop and the people said I looked stronger than the first lap.  I tried to keep it up on the dirt roads and pine tree trail sections.  I was subdued again by the stretch along the pond and stream.  I climbed pretty well and then finally peaked at my watch at the top - 1:08:05.  Yikes!  I wasn't sure I could descend to the finish in under two minutes.  I gave it everything I had.  I was out of control and my turnover was as fast as I ever have remembered.  The terrain levels out right when you get a visual on the clock, and I was dangerously close to 1:10.  I sprinted through the chute to finish at 1:09:54! 

Official Results here

It felt good to finish second in this race behind my brother and get the time I was hoping for.  I'm glad I checked my watch otherwise I probably would have missed my goal.  I was surprised how close third place was behind me.  The guy had a fast finish as well.  Greg and I watched the next few finishers (Seth in 1:14!), before jogging the course backwards to look for Glenn and Boj (who Bob said had gotten off course on the first lap).  On our way we saw two more Shenipsit Striders finish (3rd overall was also on their team) and I began to worry about the team title.  Glenn was not that far beyond that however.  We jogged back to the finish and feasted on the spread of food and drink.  Boj soon finished up (tacked on two additional miles getting lost).  The post-trail race vibe was excellent as always - everyone has there own adventure story to tell.  Team Hammboj (as dubbed by Bob) did get the win and we were rewarded with Berkshire Brewery growlers and a free entry into the RI 6 Hr Relay later this year!  I love this challenging course and can't wait to do it again next year. 

Team Hammboj (minus Glenn) - photo by Mike Crutchley

Friday, July 12, 2013

Weekly Log 7-8-13 to 7-14-13

Very busy week ahead which includes the much anticipated Run with the Beavers trail race on Saturday.  Here's the breakdown. 

Monday: 10 miles - Ryan Park trails alone.  I was super busy at work and was only looking for a few miles, but as usual I kept adding on as I went along.  I didn't know it was so hot out and did not carry water (or have any in my car).  Turns out it was 90 degrees and sunny.  Oops.  I felt fine on the run, but was getting thirsty at the end.  I decided to buy Gatorade on the way back to the office.  Not great planning, but the run was the mental relief I needed.  Total time: 1:16:33. 

Tuesday: 14 miles in two runs.  I met up with Muddy, Nate, and Chris G at the CHS track for an early workout (5:45AM).  It was muggy, but not hot.  We all warmed up together for two miles on the track and then all did the same workout: 2x800/6x200.  The goal for me was mile race pace on the 800's and then crank the 200's.  400 recovery between the 800's, 800 recovery before the 200's, 200 recovery for 200's.  Results: 2:30/2:29/33/32/32/32/32/32.  Really satisfied with the workout today.  Chris helped pace the 800's with his non-GPS watch.  I feel that a sub-5 mile is doable next week.  The 200's felt good too.  I didn't like finishing on the curve - should have started on one instead.  Everyone had a good day out there.  Two mile group cooldown on the track.  7 miles in 54 minutes.  In the afternoon, I ran another 7 miles in Rome Point nice and easy.  It was rather hot and muggy again, but cooler in the shade.  Total time: 59:34. 

Wednesday: 8 miles - Big River trails alone.  I was feeling rather beat the day after the track workout.  My plan was a mellow hour on trails.  Nothing in NK sounded appealing, so I snuck off to Big River for an out and back on the Lego Trail.  After the initial shock of waking my legs up, I began to feel rather good, and I needed to go fast enough to allude deer flies.  My pace quickened, and was running on the hardish side.  I finished Lego Trail and kept running for a few minutes slowly to recover.  I knew from my time that I had set the CR if GPS lined up correctly (it did not 6 weeks ago when I ran it even harder).  I ran the trail in reverse at a slower pace.  Luckily I had killed most of the deer flies on the way out, so I wasn't getting harrassed.  Total time: 1:04:02.  When I uploaded the data the GPS didn't match again!  Stupid space watch. 

Thursday: 0.  4th annual charter fishing trip with my dad, brothers, brother-in-law, and Muddy.  We dodged the heavy rain and thunderstorms and caught our limit of stripers and fluke.  No time to nap or run in the afternoon as we hosted a dinner for everyone (20 people) at night. 

Friday: 7 miles - Ryan Park trails alone.  This was just an easy cruise on the classic 7 mile course.  Much drier air today and breezy.  I hope tomorrow is like this for the race.  Total time: 55 minutes. 

Saturday: 15 miles - Run with the Beavers 10M Trail Race - 2nd overall, 1:09:54.  Awesomely challenging race with my family.  Team Hammboj for the win.  Separate write up to follow. 

Sunday: 0 - nada

Weekly Total: 54 miles
Last Week: 60 miles
Year to Date: 1654 miles

Monday, July 8, 2013

Recap of 7-1-13 to 7-7-13

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