After some soul searching post indoor mile, I've decided to go ahead and give the Super 5K a good shot. I had thoughts of just not running it and concentrating on the next trail race (Belleville Pond 10K) coming up February 9th. I don't feel prepared for any sort of road race, and I'm not really sure what sort of time to expect. I don't even really like the course, but it will be a fun team event. Training this week should be interesting with more winter weather and managing mile recovery with 5K taper. Or I'll just train through both!
Monday: 10 miles - Quonset Bike Path and Mount View roads alone. My legs were a tad sore from the mile yesterday, but overall I was feeling decent. My plan was easy miles on pavement to get ready for this Sunday. It was rather windy, but warm. I ran the bike path out to the beach and then hopped onto the road. I decided to not complete a loop via roads as planned. I just didn't feel like dealing with traffic. Instead, I ran the grid of roads in the Mount View neighborhood before returning on the bike path. I didn't check my watch until near the end of the run. I'm happy with the snappy pace without much effort.
Tuesday: 8 miles - URI indoor track workout alone. The cold settled back over the region and it seemed like a good day to head indoors. I wasn't sure if I would actually do a workout or not. I ran with music again and set off on a two mile warm up (14:20). The track was nice and quiet. Somehow I decided I would try running a couple mile repeats at 5K pace. In the past I would overestimate my 5K pace and go for 5:20 (which corresponds to Daniels I-pace for me). Today I figured that I could run 41 sec 200's for a 5:28 mile. This is more representative of my 5K pace (that's the plan anyway). Using my useless space watch, I somehow nailed this time: 5:28/5:28/5:28. I did 800 recoveries. My body did feel a bit tired running fast, but I didn't have trouble maintaining the pace evenly over each interval. Do I think I can run 5:28 pace for 5K on Sunday? Not confident, but with rested legs I could possibly do it I guess. Total time: 54 minutes.
Wednesday: 7 miles - Ryan Park trails alone. I had a short window to run so I snuck over to Ryan Park and ran the Belleville Pond Trail 10K course. The temperature was in the low 20's, but the full sun felt good. There was about an inch of new fluffy snow on the ground. I experimented using my Nike Terra Kiger's with Yaktrax. Today's conditions reminded of the race conditions last year. My footwear combination worked well. Not perfect, but I would do it again. I set off at a controlled hardish pace. I passed a guy early on who asked me how I liked the trails. Could this be the trail maker? Probably assumed (correctly) that I was the one whose footprints he would see on his creations soon after making them. I continued on, noticing a couple of hidden icy spots on the railbed. It was then time to hit the more undulating Rte 4 trail which definitely slowed me down. I can't let this happen in the race, but it was fine for today. I spent a lot of time thinking about racing on this run. Last year's race went so well, I'm not sure I can duplicate my time. Of course I want to beat my time, but it will be a challenge! After pushing through the single track near the pond, I increased my effort even more on the railbed and the remaining single track. I finished the 10K in 41:32. Decent, but I need to be 3 minutes faster in 10 days.
Thursday: 11.5 miles - Wakefield roads and snowy trails with Galoob. I decided to meet up with Mike today and run with him even though he was planning on a workout: 4 x 1 mile @ T-pace with 1 minute rests. I figured I could warm up/cool down with him, and decide if I felt like doing the workout. My legs seemed pretty good. We ran Tri-Pond trails to a neighborhood road loop Mike had mapped out. Then we pushed on further to check out a new place Nate was considering. By the time we got back to the mile loop we had already run over 5 miles. I decided to give the workout a shot. The loop was a long gradual downhill and then flat and slightly uphill back. There were a couple of snow covered spots, but mostly it was dry pavement. My first mile was 5:41 (the loop was a few seconds short of a true mile). I then ran 5:40, 5:43, and 5:42. This translated to roughly 5:50 pace, a little faster than what I should have been running. Fun workout. We began running back and Mike reminded me that the workout called for 4 400's at the end. Yuck. I was done. Instead we did 2 "200"'s. Overall it was a good day.
Friday: 8.5 miles - Ryan Park trails alone. I couldn't meet up with the Wakefield crew for a group lunch run, so I ran solo near the office. I realized both pairs of my trail shoes were left home, so instead I wore an old pair of Nike Frees. The temperature was in the low 40's and it felt warm in the sun. The snow was melting fast, and the trails had just a narrow coating of wet snow in most places. As I looped around the trails on the east side of the park, I noticed a couple of ice fishermen. Hmm. I've never run on a pond before. I decided to give it a shot. I ran across the eastern side to a trail on the other side. There were always footprints nearby, so it seemed safe. The ice had a layer of wet snow that was good for traction. My only issue was the glare - I should have worn sunglasses. I then ran out on the pond again in a different location, one that didn't have much use. The ice seemed fine, but I was nervous being all alone in this area. I ran trails around to the west side of the park, and then checked the pond in one more location. I didn't see any tracks here, so I didn't go out. I returned via the road and then decided to make the eastern side of the pond crossing one more time.
Saturday: 7+ miles - Misquamicut roads and trails with Jeff and Mike B. The usual 6:30AM winter start time. Enjoyable route that included a snowy Mastuxet trail and a loop around the Glacier Park.
Sunday: 11 miles - Super 5K - Narragansett, RI - 17:29. Slow time, but a PR for me on this course (17:35 last year). Slow 2nd mile did me in. I tried hard though. Good finish. Separate write up to follow.
Weekly Total: 63 miles
Last Week: 58 miles
Year to Date: 277 miles
January Total: 259 miles