Monday, February 24, 2014

All Over the Map: Week of 2-17-14 to 2-23-14

Last week was a bit of a roller coaster.  It began in Burlington, VT on a short getaway with my wife.  Then the we returned home to sick kids and I got sick myself.  Late in the work week I got in two local quality runs.  Finally, I spent the weekend in NH with my family. 

Monday: 7 miles - Burlington VT roads and icy bike path alone.  I ran at daybreak.  My phone showed that it was just barely over zero degrees, which didn't scare me.  I began my run and noticed how cold it was.  I had decided to try out a few Strava segments in town.  The first was a downhill one along Main Street.  After a mile or so "warm up", I began flying down the road.  I was surprised with how much traffic there already was on the road (by 7AM) and I knew I would have trouble crossing a couple of intersections.  This proved true, but I still did a decent job.  However, the GPS didn't match, so I don't know how I did.  I continued to the bottom of the hill and then ran a hill segment (actually three).  I began farther down the road to match the longest one.  I didn't give it my all right away, because the grade gets tough the last quarter mile.  I went too hard too early on the steep part, and had trouble finishing strong.  I ended up getting the KOM over a 106 people for the long segment.  The shortest segment I missed by a few seconds.  I then ventured down to frigid Lake Champlain and ran north along the shore, mostly on the bike path.  I kept hoping I had been running long enough to turn around and go back.  I could tell it was really cold out, but my body still seemed okay.  Finally I made the decision to go back.  I tried running hard up Main Street for a segment that I still owned from last year, but I had to stop at a light and there was snow and ice on the side of the street I was running.  The GPS didn't match either.  Still a good long hill climb.  When I returned to the inn where we were staying my wife looked a little concerned.  Apparently it was now -5 degrees in Burlington.  Definitely the coldest I've ever run! 

After some morning wandering around town, including walking out on the ice and snow covered Lake Champlain and an awesome lunch, my wife and I headed to a nearby state park to snowshoe.  The snow was deep and we tried to find the Hill Top Trail that had open views to no avail.  Still it was fun being out in the snow and sun. 

Tuesday: 7 miles - Burlington VT roads alone.  I planned out a loop that incorporated quite a few hill climb segments.  It was much warmer this morning - in the low teens.  First, I headed down Main Street and did the short hill climb I missed by a few seconds yesterday.  I guessed that the leaders ran the sidewalk on the opposite side of the road, as the one I ran yesterday veers away from the road and is longer.  I hammered this steep incline, and felt exhausted when I finished.  It turns out I missed the record by 1 second!  I then went back down the hill and did an even steeper short hill segment on Depot Road.  I had no dilusions of getting the KOM here, as it looked like this was the hill segment that people went nuts on.  I managed 11th out of 111.  I could do much better if this was my sole focus of the run.  I then headed south and worked my way over to some more hill climbs.  First an easy-ish segment on Locust Street (KOM by 1 second).  Then a popular couple of segments on Prospect Street.  I have to admit I was getting tired and a bit confused on where the segments began and ended, but I got the KOM on one and missed the other by 2 seconds.  This road was filled with fit looking runners (part of UVM campus) and it felt good to get my name on top of the leaderboards. 

Wednesday: 0 - sick day.  I took the day off from work to stay with my kids, home from break and getting over a stomach virus at my in-law's while we were up in Burlington.  My stomach had been feeling off as well, and I had body aches and chills on Tuesday night.  I was feeling better today, but tired and weak.  Easy decision to zero. 

Thursday: 10 miles - Quonset roads workout solo.  I was back to work and feeling close to normal.  I was excited to run in the warm weather, but clear roads would be an issue with so much snow still around.  I decided I could run the open roads in Quonset I did quite a few workouts on last year.  I hoped I felt well enough to do a threshold workout - hopefully 5 miles at adjusted T-pace.  I ran a two mile warm up and then dialed up the pace for the workout.  My target pace was 6:01.  I glanced at my watch early on and saw 5:48.  I then relaxed and by the time I checked again, my pace had climbed to 6:15's.  Oops!  I tried to push just a little harder the rest of the way and my average pace slowly dropped to 6:04 by the end of five miles (30:21 total time).  Any other day I might be bummed, but my body definitely was not 100%, so I was pleased I could still almost nail it.  I'm excited to keep making these runs longer and doing them outside rather than a 200M track.  I was able to extend my cool down to 3 miles. 

Friday: 14 miles - Saunderstown hilly roads alone.  Wow, I was really unmotivated today.  My body felt tired and I blew off going to the track for short intervals.  I finally drove over to the Rte 1A park and ride and got myself out in the dreary weather.  It was above freezing (high 30's), but not the forecasted 50 degrees, and it was overcast and very foggy.  Since I would be traveling up to NH early on Saturday, I knew I wasn't going to be able to get a long run in this weekend.  This was my chance.  I just began running.  I stayed mostly on the east side of Rte 1A.  I kept the pace casual, but hit up many hills (about 10).  These I would run at a harder effort, but not my normal attacking pace.  After a few miles I got in a good groove.  Sure the weather was crappy, my feet were wet, my legs tired, but I was putting together a pretty awesome run.  I went as far south as the end of South Ferry Road at the Bay Campus.  I finally glanced at my watch and figured I could get to 14 miles.  This was a little harder than anticipated, because I had to run more hills in Plum Beach to get the full mileage in. 

Saturday: 6 miles - Stoddard NH slushy dirt roads alone.  I was hoping that my brothers would want to run after a big midday meal, but Glenn already had run and Greg is injured.  At 4PM, after they had left, I willed myself outside to run on the messy dirt roads.  I tried to stick to the flatter parts, but I ended up getting another 500' of climbing in for the week. 

Sunday: 6 miles - Stoddard NH icy dirt roads with my wife.  We ran most of the same roads as I ran yesterday, but at a nice easy pace.  My legs are toast, so this was welcomed.  After almost 5 miles together, I tacked on some more (including a big hill) to get 50 miles for the week. 

Overall: I'm happy to get to 50 miles again.  Someday I'll be back into the 60's, but this winter and my schedule are just not cooperating.  Oh well.  Feeling relatively fit.  I was happy to get the T-pace run in and get to 3,400' of hill climbing for the week. 

Weekly Total: 50 miles
Last Week: 50 miles
Year to Date: 424 miles
February Total: 165 miles


  1. Looks like a fun week with lots of exploring. Glad you were able to get over your illness so quickly!

  2. Great job capturing CRs in VT. You put the cold in perspective when you commented that a morning with temps in the low teens was "much warmer"!