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