Thursday, September 26, 2013

Weekly Log: 9-23-13 to 9-29-13

I'm already in nervous/anxious mode less than two weeks away from the Nipmuck Trail Marathon.  I'm not really sure what to expect.  How will my legs hold up?  What time to shoot for?  I've thought of a couple of goals, but they seem rather arbitrary: my 40K time at the TARC Spring Classic, comparing results of other runners, calculating average pace, etc.  I'm also not sure how to run the race: stay with certain runners with known track records at Nipmuck, go conservative, go relatively hard and try to maintain?  We'll see what happens soon enough. 

Monday: 10 miles - Big River trails alone.  The weather was really nice and it was very quiet in the office.  I decided to try my luck on a few Strava segments and get a decent trail workout in.  I made up my course as I went along, continually changing my mind.  I began at Greasy Joe's and worked my way down Foster's Folly and Spider at a decent clip.  I then had the urge to run the ridge trails so I took the double track back up to the chimney and ran south from there.  I ended up following a faint trail off the ridge and eventually met up with a wider trail that I recognized.  I stayed on it until I reached the beaver dam, and carefully made my way across.  I was now near where I wanted to be: the blue arrow trail.  This new trail is a mile plus of ups and downs and hairpin turns.  It's also narrow and overgrown with small pines so it's hard to anticipate what is coming.  I ran it on a steamy hot day a couple of weeks ago and put up a pedestrian time I wasn't happy with.  I first ran the trail in reverse and completed it in 8:19, which was as a CR.  But the faster times are posted in the other direction.  After a 2/3 mile recovery, I ran it again in the more popular direction.  I felt winded and slower, but ended up posting a 7:30 and another CR.  I recovered and ran very slowly until reaching one more segment - the very flat and straight Pump Trail.  I think of it as a trail 600 meters.  I sprinted this section and beat my CR by quite a bit, finishing in 1:45 (since bested by Bob Jackman later in the week).  I finished off the run on the New London Turnpike which included a not so graceful fall (stepped in a small hole).  A nice afternoon run in the woods. 

At night I ran alot with my kids around the house and yard.  Lots of short sprints that added to my soreness the next day. 

Tuesday: 8 miles - Big River trails alone.  I was in a funk and didn't feel like running.  I ended up driving to the Hopkins Hill Rd lot and thought I would give it a go.  I didn't enjoy this run until I was a few miles in.  The weather was perfect otherwise I wouldn't have done it.  I took a familiar route around Carr Pond and then connected over to Tarbox Pond.  I even gave the beaver dam segment a go.  I had some awkward steps, got my feet wet, and didn't run my best time.  I'm not sure how Bob and Scott run it 10 seconds faster. 

More sprinting with my kids around the house at night.  My legs are toast. 

Wednesday: 10 miles - half Ryan Park trails, half NK roads alone.  Another low motivation day, but I need to be outside in this weather.  I ran the techy stuff on the west side of Ryan, trying to enjoy the cool air and fall colors in the fields, and ignoring my dead legs.  Once I finished zigzagging, I decided to run up Hatchery Road to Rte 2 and turn around.  The roads felt very easy on my legs.  I finished by running another mile through Ryan back to my car. 

Thursday: 15 miles on two runs.  9 miles - CCMS track with Nate, Chris, and Mike.  It was very dark at the track when I began warming up at 5:45AM.  Slowly other shadowy figures would emerge and join me.  The plan was to do a workout I saw on Strava yesterday.  Ryan D had done a 2x800/2xmile/2x800 workout (400 recoveries) that looked challenging, but fun.  I wasn't sure if it was too much distance for the other guys, but we agreed to at least make an attempt.  My plan was to run goal 5K pace or slightly faster.  That meant using a tidy 80 seconds per lap as my guide.  Chris stuck with me on the first 800's before getting antsy to join Mike on the miles.  We ended up finishing the complete workout.  After completing the miles, 2 more 800's seemed easy.  Results: 2:37/2:38/5:21/5:24/2:37/2:35.  Boom!  Felt good even with beat up legs.  I wish I ran the miles a tad faster, but really can't complain.  The final 800's felt good.  Great day with a great group at the track.

6 miles - Quonset roads and bike path alone in the afternoon.  It wasn't as warm as forecasted (overcast and breezy from the NE).  I decided to run a loop or two at Calf Pasture Point, but when I reached the beach the tide was high and the tidal stream was unjumpable.  I was too lazy to take off my shoes to wade through so I turned around and ran a loop of roads.  The route is pleasant enough if you can ignore the cars. 

Friday: 7+ miles - Big River trails alone.  I couldn't help getting sucked into a Strava battle over the Blue Arrow trail segment.  Bob Jackman took the CR from me on Thursday night and despite everything telling me to take it easy today, I ended up trying to get my record back.  I ran very conservatively for 30 or so minutes, mixing up the normal routine by exploring different trails at times.  I then reached the open area before the segment.  I briefly stopped, shook out my legs and made one last attempt to talk myself into not doing it.  I had to at least try.  I ditched my shirt and took off.  After 30 seconds I was winded and thought about quitting.  I already had fatigued legs and now my breathing was off.  I continued on not sure how I was doing.  When I finished, it appeared that I was 10 seconds faster than earlier in the week, which would mean a 5 second CR, but you never know with GPS.  I jogged back to my car, exploring a fun side trail that parallels the New London Turnpike.  I will definitely add it to my routine.  I uploaded my data and Strava announced that I had set a new CR.  However, my time was exactly the same as Bob's, so we are now tied.  I would like to call a truce, but somehow I know this will be continued. 

Saturday: 9 miles - Carter Preserve trails with Jeff, Mike B, Nate, Seth, and Muddy.  Good sized morning trail crew on a rather chilly morning.  The plan was just a fun run on fun trails and maybe a fast lap around the field.  Everyone was game, so that's what we did.  Somehow I set my PR on this mile (5:24), despite very heavy legs.  It was great to get these group runs started again. 

Sunday: 5+ miles - Burlingame loop solo in the mid afternoon.  A lazy day for the most part.  My son and I did an easy hike in the Hopkinton Grills Preserve looking to connect to the silver blazed hilly trail, but there still is no unnamed bridge crossing Tomaquag Brook yet and it looked too muddy and overgrown to try and cross on our own.  We made the best of our hike though.  After a nap and a cup of coffee, I had time for a short run.  The weather was perfect, and if I had the time, I would have run forever.  I kept to my planned route though.  At one point I could hear mtn bikers approaching.  They were talking about the Secret Trail and quickly hushed up when they saw me.  The first rule of the secret trail.... 

Overall: Is this tapering?  A fun week of running.  I pushed quite a few trail segments and also had a good workout on the track.  The plan is all easy short runs leading up to Sunday's Nipmuck Trail Marathon. 

Weekly Total: 64 miles
Last Week: 72 miles
Year to Date: 2413 miles

Friday, September 20, 2013

Weekly Log 9-16-13 to 9-22-13

So my body felt pretty beat up from the Pisgah race, mostly in my lower core/upper legs.  I'm assuming it was the aggressive descending that did me in.  Lower legs are fine.  I really want to get a long trail run in before Nipmuck, but time is running out and my schedule is/has been filled with early Saturday soccer for the kids and traveling.  Instead, I seem to be compensating by doing more medium length runs.  I have no idea how this will translate, but I feel pretty fit from it!  I also ordered a new pair of trail shoes after consulting with my brother at Pisgah.  I hope to get them on Friday and test them out over the weekend.  To be continued....

Monday: 8 miles - Ryan Park trails alone.  I was feeling exhausted and sore, and after an epic trail race, the desire to run is low.  But I willed myself to go to Ryan and test things out.  What was interesting is that it felt better to run than it did walking and sitting.  I stuck to the wider easier trails and my pace wasn't terrible.  I stretched the run at the end to make it longer. 

Tuesday: 7 miles - Calf Pasture Point (bike path, beach, and trail) alone.  I still was lacking motivation to run and again debated a zero.  The weather was so awesome though I needed to run.  I ran the bike path out to the beach and then did two loops (2.2 miles each).  I love running the beach with the wind at my back and decent footing.  It felt good to run here again. 

Wednesday: 20 miles on two runs.  First, I woke up at 5AM on this dark chilly morning and drove to the CCMS track to meet up with Nate and Chris.  It was about 42 degrees at the track, but I saw the temperature as low as 38 near my house.  I wore a few layers and also gloves and a hat.  After a two plus mile warm up we did another college workout from Chris's past.  5x400 at 5K pace with descending rest and then 5x400 starting at 5K pace and dropping 1 sec each rep with consistent 45 sec rest.  Chris ran my pace today, so I got to just follow him.  We were a little inconsistent on the splits, including the rests, but it was a good workout.  The target was 80 for 5K pace.  Results: 77/80/81/77/80 79/78/76/73/75.  Two mile cooldown in the opposite direction on the track.  8 miles total.  Later in the day I headed over to Rome Point for a recovery double.  The weather was perfect yet again, and I found myself tacking on miles before I hit the beach portion of my run.  My legs were holding up okay.  Could I get 20 miles on the day?  I stretched out the non-beach portion of my run for as long as I could and then hit the sand (and rocks and shells).  The tide was low, so I was able to reach the bridge, and then continue south quite a way.  What a day!  Really enjoyed this run and a big mileage day. 

Thursday:  10 miles - Quonset bike path and roads alone.  My legs were feeling tired and I didn't have much motivation today.  I thought I would just do 5-6 miles on the bike path.  My first mile felt slow, but I was surprised it was sub 8.  I felt slow on the next mile, and it was 7:28.  I was nearing the end of the bike path and decided to run on the mostly flat Quonset roads rather than repeat the bike path.  My mile splits were getting faster and my effort still felt easy.  I found myself increasing the intensity near Allen's Harbor as I was running into the wind and had to climb a small hill. This resulted in a 6:40 mile 6.  So easy compared to trails!  I then wanted to continue the progression theme and ran another 3 fast miles (6:31/6:12/5:42).  I did one more mile at a slower pace to get 10 for the day. 

Friday: 16 miles - Perryville trails solo.  I got my chance to run on the long side so I took advantage of it despite feeling tired and sore.  The weather was really nice, if not a bit warm (77 degrees and sunny).  My plan was to get in about 2.5 hours on the trails.  I ended up cutting the run short because I was thirsty (didn't carry anything) and I missed the entrance to Sand Plains Rd (dirt).  Well I saw it, but it was posted as a private road from the Gravelly Hill Rd side.  The plan was to run DuVal trails for a while, run up to Browning and run all the trails in both directions up there, and then connect via dirt roads back to DuVal.  My legs were tired from the start and never felt great, but never felt terrible either.  I really enjoyed my time in Browning, figuring out a way to run every trail in both directions without ever repeating the same direction.  By the time I finished and hit the road again, I was thirsty and at 1 hr 40 minutes.  I ran to DuVal and headed east to the ocean overlook.  I decided to just head back from there.  My watch kept warning me I had low battery, and finally died on me with about a mile to go.  Total time was about 2 hrs 10 mins.  My hope is that this longer run on tired legs was good marathon prep. 

Saturday: 3 miles - home trail loops alone in the morning.  Another busy weekend on tap.  I wanted to try out my new trail shoes - Nike Zoom Terra Kiger.  They felt a little weird at first, but I got used to them.  They definitely have the sturdiness I need, and are relatively light (8 oz.).  4mm heel drop, but still seems more than I am accustomed to.  My body and mind were tired from a heavy load of running the last few days.  I didn't feel like getting up in the dark to get 8-10 miles and we had to get the kids to the soccer field at 8:45 and then drove up to NH.  I had a small window for 3 miles on the home trail loop.  Mile splits: 8:14/7:50/7:37. 

Sunday: 8 miles.  In the morning I ran the dirt roads around my parents' Stoddard, NH house.  I decided to face my fear and run up Kings Highway (messy 4x4 road) alone.  It measures as a 5K climb on GPS (feels longer), that is steep early and more gradual for the duration.  I got to test my new trail shoes again on the loose rocks and was happy with the results.  I decided to head back through the neighborhood a different way and ran into Joel.  After a 10 minute chat, I hammered the downhills and flats for the final two miles. 

In the afternoon, my son and I had a plan to hike while my wife and daughter were at a baby shower.  We picked up Greg and his dog Griffin and drove to the Madam Sherrie Forest in Chesterfield NH.  We hiked the Ann Stokes Loop trail to Indian Pond and then took the Mine Ledge Trail to the summit of Wantastiquet Mountain.  This was a really nice hike with over 700' of elevation gain.  We had to pick up the pace on the way down, including running some early sections and then length of the Ann Stokes Loop trail. 

Indian Pond with Wantastiquet Mtn in background

scramble up Mine Ledges

view from summit - Brattleboro and Ct River below

Overall:  A great week of training, especially right after the Pisgah race.  Nipmuck here I come.  I'm not super confident about a trail marathon.  No long runs. No fueling practice.  Hopefully I'm ready. 

Weekly Total: 72 miles
Last Week: 67 miles
Year to Date: 2349 miles

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

2013 Pisgah Mountain 23K Trail Race

Another Pisgah race is in the books.  This was my fifth year in a row and my fourth attempt at the 23K.  Last year I put up a time (1:44) in the short race that I was very pleased with, and my intention was to tackle the 50K again.  Yet after a summer of great training, but with no long runs (more than 2.5 hours), I opted for the 23K and set my sights on a lofty goal of sub 1:40.  I had improved two and a half minutes earlier this summer in a ten mile trail race, so my goal seemed within reach.  I knew I was going to have to push myself extremely hard and have a good day.  I had done the work. 

The excitement of the race really built up the days leading to Sunday morning.  I knew that the 23K field might not have any super fast guys this year (according to reports from my brother), but there would be a few familiar faces to contend with including fellow Rhode Islander Bob Jackman and CT's Todd Bennett.  On raceday I met up with Clint Joslyn who was doing the 23K, and then my brother introduced me to Stanislav Trufanov who is currently leading this year's Grant Tree Trail Race Series.  Plus I was sure there would be others.  It seemed like there would be people around me to chase or push me. 

The weather was spectacular.  The early morning temperature was in the low 40's and probably was just below 50 at the start.  There was some fog that lifted and it was sunny during the race.  I debated my wardrobe as I was bundled up pre-race, but at the last minute I decided to ditch my shirt, knowing that I would warm up quickly thanks to the early hills.  I carried a gel, just in case I needed some energy for the end of the race, but that was it.  I've gotten used to not carrying water and I didn't plan to stop at the aid stations.  I was wearing my usual Nike Free 3.0's.  I was a little nervous about the footing since the area received 5" of rain on Thursday, but those are the shoes I am most comfortable in. 

After a great meal the night before, decent sleep, and a hearty breakfast sandwich (all thanks to my brother Greg and sister-in-law Jen), I was ready to race Sunday morning.  Greg (doing the 50K) and I picked up our bibs and long-sleeved shirts at registration.  We ran into Clint, and then my other brother Glenn (also doing the 50K) and his wife Gina.  George Adams and Josh Ferenc were also there (both doing the 50K).  Outside I chatted with Bob Jackman and Patrick Quinn.  I mustered up about a mile total of warm up just before the start.  The body felt good.  I made my way up to the starting line and found a spot next to Greg and Josh.  There were a couple of other really fast looking dudes up front, but their bibs let me know they were doing the 50K.  Runners ready. Go! 

I take off at a comfortable pace, but snappy, knowing that I need to run the runnable sections fast.  The road dips then evens before two steep, rather long climbs.  I had the very odd experience of being out front.  I should be running faster than even the top 50K guys, but it just didn't feel right to be in front of Greg and Josh.  I kept to my plan, and hoped I wasn't overdoing it.  I was in the lead for over a mile and by the first hill.  Josh moved up along side of me on the 2nd hill and told me not to worry that he wasn't in the same race as me.  We climbed side by side and then he pushed on ahead once at the top.  Someone else was nipping at my heels as I entered the woods. 

The first trail section is wide double track and declines rather steeply.  A runner went by me and I could tell from his bib that he was in the 23K.  I didn't recognize him and had no idea about his ability.  I figured that the long climb up the Reservoir Trail would determine if I had a chance to stick with him or not.  My breathing was taking some time to normalize after the road climbs.  Did I go out too hard? 

It doesn't take long to reach the Reservoir Trail climb.  It's about 300' of elevation gain over the course of a mile, and has a few steep spots.  After catching a glimpse of the leader at the start of the hill, I never got another look at him.  I was trying to climb smartly - not pushing too hard - just chug along at a decent clip.  My breathing was a little erratic and I was again nervous about my day.  Still, no one appeared to be that close behind me (I didn't look, but didn't hear anyone).  It was apparent that the trails were going to be rather messy.  There was plenty of water and mud to contend with and I was altering my line on this climb to avoid falling/getting super wet.  When I reached the Monadnock overlook, I picked up the pace knowing I was just about at the top. 

Thus began a long tricky descent through dark and wet woods.  I felt like I was going fast, almost too fast, as I was having a hard time negotiating obstacles - namely rocks and water/mud.  I couldn't stick to a straight line and kept weaving.  I knew that there were faster runners behind me and this is where I could get caught.  The next two miles are on the "flat" side, with one sneaky steep climb and many sketchy bridge crossings.  I felt like the technicality of the trail was holding back my pace and I wondered if I could be working harder.  These negative thoughts were tempered by the fact that I still was not hearing anyone behind me.  Even if I couldn't make my goal time, I might finish in front of some fast guys. 

I blew through the aid station and confirmed my bib number.  The Pisgah ridge was on my mind.  This killer hill is the hardest on the course.  In total it gains over 400' in about 3/4 of a mile, with outrageously steep grades and very few flat spots that are too short to catch your breath.  I settled into a low gear and did not stop running.  I thought if I did well,  I might see the leader again.  I was pretty confident that no one would catch me from behind here.  Man this hill is tough.  I kept encouraging myself to not give up, which seems so easy to do.  Everytime it levels off or briefly descends, there is another steep section around the next corner.  Finally I reached the open ledges and was able to let out my Elijah tribute. 

The views east are stunning, but I couldn't linger.  I now had to make the technical descent as best I could while still recovering from the endless climbing.  The mile and a half to the Kilburn aid station are brutal.  The trail is technical and it was made worse by the wet conditions.  Again I knew that I could be running faster and kept telling myself to push harder.  I finally reached the dirt road and quicky picked it up to 5K pace feel.  I needed to make up time on these fast sections.  I ran by the aid station and was told that I was about 30 seconds behind the leader.  This was encouraging, but I then had to contend with a short climb before letting it fly out to Rte 63. 

Boj was in the parking lot and told me I was 40 seconds behind the leader.  Because he's Boj, I knew he was accurate.  He told me to go get the guy and I obliged with a sprint up the first section of Davis Hill.  I still wasn't making any visual contact, but I felt like I climbed this hill better than ever.  I continued on, knowing this section of trail always feels long and defeating.  My attitude was good and I tried not to let the technicality slow me down too much.  I eventually reached the turn and headed up Hubbard Hill, the last climb of the day.  I again climbed well and the hill seemed shorter than I remembered.  I then reached the point in the race where I allow myself to check my time - at the intersection with the Hubbard Hill overlook.  Was I on pace for 1:40?  Was I going to at least beat my time from last year? 

My watch showed 1:26.  I knew it would take me 16 minutes to finish from here, which meant 1:42.  But then I wasn't sure if that was based on last year or previous year's when I was much slower?  Whichever one didn't matter at the moment, it was now the time to not hold anything back.  I hammered the trails now and didn't bother with avoiding water and mud hazards.  I felt out of control on some of the steeper descents, but never lost my balance or fell.  The trail is alot more runnable than most sections in the race.  My legs still felt good (somewhat tired).  I finally was coming to the end, almost crossing through a very muddy, recently logged section, when my sister-in-law Jen yelled at me to stay right.  She said I was about a minute behind the leader.  I then hit the road (dirt at first) to the finish.  My turnover was as fast as I had ever run in my life.  It didn't feel good on the legs, but momentum was doing all the work.  Finally at the bottom of the hill (next to Greg and Jen's house) the road becomes paved, and there is one last hill to contend with.  It was hard motivating myself to blast up it knowing I wasn't going sub 1:40, but safely under last year's PR.  Once at the top, I picked up the pace again, and even had a nice sprint through the finishing chute. 

My final time was 1:42:xx.  Not quite what I had hoped, but I was pleased, especially considering the trail conditions today.  I congratulated the winner - Jerimy Arnold and then met up with Boj.  As we chatted a wave of runners finished - all the guys I was worried about pre-race plus others I didn't know.  I grabbed a couple of cookies, an apple, a Coke, and a raffle prize.  I talked with fellow RI guys Bob, Patrick, and Eric W.  Then before I knew it, I was driving down to Kilburn with Boj to see the top 50K guys and run a couple of miles.  We never saw the racers, and we ended up going 6 miles!  I felt okay, so I was happy to race hard and get 21 miles for the day.  We went back to the finish area to see the dramatic conclusion of the 50K and finally Greg come in.  I chatted there and at Greg's house before I needed to hit the road back home.  Another great day in Pisgah and an awesome race hosted by Gary and Chris.  Thank you! 

After having some time to reflect on the race, I still feel great about my day.  I do think the trails were slower than in previous years, but mostly if I want to go sub 1:40, I need to be able to descend better, and run the technical trails faster.  These are two things that I can practice.  But who knows, maybe I'll try the 50K again next year....

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Pisgah Week: 9-9-13 to 9-15-13

So the Pisgah Mtn Trail 23K is on Sunday.  I've got the usual pre-race nerves going this week, which manifests itself in tight/sore legs despite keeping the runs easier and shorter.  I was still debating the 50K as recently as last week, but I've decided to stick with the plan of running the 23K as hard as I can.  Hopefully I can get sub 1:40 (1:44 last year).  The weather looks awesome - clear and cool.  The woods should be dry too.  Bob Jackman (my winter trail race nemesis and getting back into good shape) will be there and probably Todd Bennett (who I met at the Bluff Point trail race), so I will have guys to chase or push me.  I was planning on getting a pair of trail shoes for this fall's races, but never got around to it.  Nike Frees it will be.  Throw in the family (both brothers are doing the 50K) and NH running friends afare that this race is and I can't wait to head north this weekend. 

Monday: 9 miles - Rome Point trails alone.  I wanted 10 miles, but it became apparent that my motivation was lacking.  The tidal stream was raging, so I wasn't going to get 10 without alot of repeating.  This somehow soothed my mind, and I was able to have a nice run for the duration.  I kept the pace easy as my legs were tired from the big miles last week. 

Tuesday: 7 miles - Ryan Park trails alone.  Another easy day.  The course was very similar to my original 7 miler I would do years ago here.  I kept it easy again in anticipation of running the Stavros Beach Run at night. 

The beach race didn't happen.  There were a number of contributing factors that I won't get into here.  I felt bad missing it, knowing my running friends would be attending, some bringing their kids along.  It looks like it was a fast night on the beach - congrats to Mike, Chris, 5K, and Nate on their speedy times! 

Wednesday: 9 miles - Big River trails solo.  Since I missed the beach race last night I wanted to do some sort of workout this week, before tapering for Sunday.  My plan was to do a Strava segment fartlek.  I was gunning for KOM's, but the weather derailed me.  It was 92 degrees with a 78 degree dew point in West Greenwich where I was running.  I actually opted to carry some water with me and I stopped a couple of times to splash water from a brook over me.  This first segment began right away.  I felt like I was moving fast despite the heat.  At the 10 minute mark I developed a stitch which never happens to me.  I tried to fight through it, but gave in and slowed way down until it went away.  I ended up running this long segment in 14:09 - a PR but a minute off Chris Garvin's CR.  I took a long time to recover.  Twenty minutes later I went for the next segment - an outrageously twisty and tight new trail I hadn't run much of before (only the beginning).  This trail was a blast.  It just constantly switches back on itself and changes elevation.  I was trying to keep a good pace (always changing speeds), but heat fatigue set in and I couldn't wait for the end.  8:38 was my time, well off Bob Jackman's CR of 7:42.  I trudged along trying to recover.  I came upon the beaver dam crossing and thought I could better my time from last week, knowing the fastest line now.  It was a lot of fun - really short and dangerous (I didn't fall).  I cut my time down 20 seconds to 26 seconds.  I then jogged to the final planned interval - a straight, rather even trail that would take about 2 minutes.  I pushed it, surprised at how many more obstacles I had to navigate than I thought.  I finished at the brook and cooled off.  I finished 13 seconds off my own CR.  Oh well.  My times were slow, but the effort was there in the extreme weather conditions.  Good enough on this day. 

Thursday: 10 miles on two runs.  In the afternoon I ran with my boss in Rome Point.  It was very muggy again, but not as hot.  Good lunch run meeting.  5.5 miles in 45:33.  A few hours later I was running again.  I needed to meet my family at my son's soccer practice at 6PM, which happened to be across the street from the Carter Preserve.  Hmm.  I got there early and ran 4.5 miles in 33:31.  I was pushing the pace, despite feeling like I was bonking.  I couldn't believe how short this run was measuring on GPS.  It was a good workout. 

Friday: 8+ miles - Cuttyhunk trails and nearby dirt roads alone.  Wasn't sure where to run today, but finally gave into the desire to take back my KOM's on the Pardon Joslin Rd climbs that Chris Garvin took from me yesterday.  It's a long hill (almost 200' climb) on an unimproved dirt road.  My plan was to run easy and give the hill a good effort.  I didn't think a couple of minutes of hard running would effect my race on Sunday.  I began running the trails of the Cuttyhunk Preserve and didn't feel as creeped out as I usually do here.  I eventually made my way over to Pardon Joslin Rd by taking the mess of an unimproved dirt road Stony Lane.  There is a good, extremely rocky climb that I used to practice my low climbing gear.  I ran the full length of Pardon Joslin, which includes a long downhill and then a good climb up the other side which I again used my low gear.  I came back down and increased my pace on the flat section before the big climb of the day.  I wasn't sure if I was working hard enough because I didn't feel terrible until the very end.  I ended up getting both KOM's here (different length segments).  I was pleased with the results, but mostly happy that I feel ready to rock the climbs in Pisgah in a couple of days. 

Saturday: 3+ miles - local roads with some trails in the morning.  Just a quick shakeout of nerves before morning soccer games and then afternoon drive up to NH. 

Sunday: 21 miles - Pisgah Mountain Trail 23K - 2nd overall, 1:42:xx.  First place was 1:41 but I never saw the guy after the 2 mile mark, although people kept telling me I was close.  Led the entire field for over a mile until Ferenc passed me right before the woods which was a very strange feeling.  Trail conditions were more challenging than normal since they received 5" of rain on Thursday.  I just wasn't as fast as I hoped on the tricky stuff.  Absolutely hammered the last 2+ miles from the summit of Hubbard Hill.  Boj tricked me into running another 6 miles with him post race.  Full write up to follow. 

Overall: Really fun day at Pisgah and besides running a race I was proud of, I ended up with a lot of mileage (which I need for Nipmuck) thanks to Boj.  I'd like to get another long trail run in (2.5-3 hours) this upcoming week. 

Weekly Total: 67 miles
Last Week: 81 miles
Year to Date: 2277 miles

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Weekly Log 9-2-13 to 9-8-13

The plan this week is just to log a bunch of miles (mostly trails) as I continue to prepare for Pisgah 23K and Nipmuck.  I hope to get a 2.5 hour run in on the weekend, but again my schedule is tight. 

Monday: 12+ miles - Burlingame trails alone.  I messed up my alarm (set the wrong one) so I missed my opportunity to run 2.5 hours.  Instead I was able to go out for a shorter run of 1.5 hours.  I did an out and back of the North South Trail through Burlingame from my house.  I kept a nice steady pace on the way out.  It was dark in the woods with overcast and misty conditions.  This made my glasses a mess, so I struggled with vision out there, but no falls or missteps.  I was going to turn around at the perceived 6 mile mark (covered bridge), but decided to press on through the technical rock gardens and streams for Nipmuck practice.  I picked up the pace on the way back.  I had to take my glasses off the last couple of miles as I couldn't keep them clear anymore.  GPS was not doing my pace justice, as I felt like I was going sub 7 mile pace near the end.  Great run. 

Tuesday: 5 miles - Quonset bike path alone.  Weird weather day and I didn't have a great window to run.  I went after the first steady rain, but before the thunderstorms.  I could tell that the sky was ominous when I began my run, and there was thunder in the distance.  I decided to run a two mile tempo, hopefully in 11 minutes flat.  My legs didn't feel great and it was muggy.  My warm up miles were slow.  I still did the tempo (out of necessity) and managed a 11:08.  I think that this might be a tad off since I was in the trees near the end, pushing the pace harder, but with a slower GPS reading.  Doesn't really matter.  I beat the storm. 

Wednesday: 13 miles on two runs.  In the morning I awoke at 6 and quickly got my act together to do some home trail loops.  It took a while to get my legs moving.  I still think this is a good workout, even though it is monotonous. Splits: 8:28/8:23/8:00 - 24:51 for 3 miles.  In the afternoon I went up to Big River and parked at the Hopkins Hill Rd lot.  I wasn't sure which trails to hit, and ended up exploring for awhile.  I ran trails on the west side of the road and then crossed the Cardi Rd and began my adventure.  I was happy that I was able to do a long loop without really knowing where I was, but used the sun as my guide.  The trails weren't very exciting - relatively smooth, straight, and not-technical.  Not sure if I will go back anytime soon as the Carr Pond side is much more fun.  But I had a slight adrenaline rush and it made the time pass quickly.  I then connected over to Tarbox Pond and then ran a meandering route back to my car so I could get 10 miles for the run.  Even mixed in an awkward beaver dam crossing. 

Thursday: 15 miles on two runs.  This morning I got up really early to meet the crew at the track.  We had planned a fun workout that Chris had done in college:  1200@5k, 800 float, 1200@5k, 800 float, 400@5k, 400@3k, 200 kick for a total of 5K.  I was having anxiety dreams about it and woke up before my alarm at 5AM.  I got to the track at 5:45 and began my warmup, impressed that some other guy was already doing a workout in the pitch black.  I was then joined by Mike, Nate, and finally Ben.  No Chris (alarm issues).  After two miles we agreed to stick with the plan.  I targeted 5:20 pace for 5K (ambitious), 6:30 pace for the floats, 77 for 3K pace, and whatever I could muster for the final 200.  As usual, my legs were feeling a bit heavy and not in tip top shape, but the workout went rather well. Results: 4:05/3:03/4:07/3:07/81/79/34=17:42 5K.  Basically I ran the 5K pace stuff closer to my true 5K pace and the floats too fast.  I loved this workout.  Not as hard as I feared.  I thought I might not get lapped by Mike, but he clipped me right at the end (he ran 16:26).  Nate set a 5K PR and Ben gutted out a strong effort.  Two mile cooldown.  In the afternoon, I ran at Ryan Park for a recovery.  Funny thing was that my legs didn't feel that bad at all.  I ran all the fun west side trails and then stuck to the main paths on the east side.  I finished up on Oak Hill Rd.  Can't remember feeling this good on a workout double. 

Friday: 14+ miles - Big River trail half marathon course plus alone.  My legs still felt fine after the track work yesterday.  I parked at Greasy Joe's and followed the half marathon course, except taking the full length of Lego back to my car.  The weather was awesome - about 70 degrees, dry, and sunny.  I took my time, but still felt like I was putting in a good effort.  Picked up the pace the last few miles.  It was fun to playback the race with Jackman - still can remember it vividly.  I was getting frustrated with my watch which was doing a poor job of keeping track of me. 

Saturday: 12 miles - hilly local roads early in the AM alone.  Another busy weekend meant early runs for me.  I left the house at 6AM and it was still pretty dark.  I decided to stay on roads to just guage my fitness since I was getting slow readings on the trails.  Despite logging a lot of recent miles, I was able to run well, especially after the first two miles.  I ran down and up Buckeye Brook Rd and then down the length of Klondike Rd.  I turned around at the end (almost 6 miles) and headed back.  I wanted to increase my pace and was able to run in the lower 6's, even uphill (except the mile up Buckeye Brook Rd which was 6:36 and I was working very hard).  Felt happy about this run. 

Sunday: 10 miles - Burlingame trails with Nate and Seth from my house.  We met up at 7AM and ran into Burlingame from Burdickville Rd.  We made our way down to VG and then back up Sammy C's.  The pace was casual and the conversation was excellent.  We finished up taking the overgrown Governor's trail and the switchback up from the beaver pond.  After the run we cheered on the triathletes in the FirmMan race.  This is an annual tradition.  Jeff looked strong on the bike! 

Finished off the week with a short run/hike with my son in Burlingame.  We were just going to hike, but he couldn't resist running sections of Sammy C's and Secret trails.  Can't blame him. 

Weekly Total: 81 miles
Last Week: 65 miles
Year to Date: 2210 miles