Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Chasing Miles: Week of 2-24-14 to 3-2-14

I'm hoping that this will be the week to get back to normal miles.  Last winter I was able to power through and have big weeks right out of the gate.  This year resembles two years ago - tough winter conditions, average weekly mileage in the low 50's.  Although the trails are still unrunnable (without traction devices and at a much slower pace), the retreating snow has left the streets as a viable option.  This is not my favorite surface, but at least I can run fast on them when I choose, and pick hilly routes.  I debated shaving off the winter running beard, but with another round of the polar vortex, I'm keeping it.  At this point I should keep it on until the Brrr-lingame 10 Mile Trail Race for intimidation purposes....

Monday: 9 miles - Wakefield roads (mostly) lunch run with Galoob, Nate, and Mark.  After a dubious start, where we all had the start time and location messed up, we converged and headed up Broad Rock Rd.  We then ran some neighborhoods roads that I never knew existed.  The pace was relatively easy, although my legs didn't feel energetic. 

Tuesday: 10 miles - Saunderstown hilly roads 6 miles threshold pace workout with Rome Point icy trail warm up and cool down alone.  The rather drab, chilly, windy weather inspired me to run fast today.  I've been loving the threshold workouts and decided to map out a hilly four mile loop that could easily be extended.  I opted to begin with the hill climb on Rte 1A so that the wind wouldn't be in my face on this exposed road.  I figured that my pace might be around 6:20 by the time I finished the climb and began the long descent down Snuff Mill Rd.  I should be able to knock out a mid to high 5:40 mile to balance things out.  The rest of the miles would be relatively flatter.  The goal pace depended on how long I ran, but I used the 30 minute target pace of 6:01.  After a 2 mile warm up that included 4 strides at the end I began my workout as soon as my watch clicked 2.00 miles.  I would occasionally check my watch (tracking my average pace) and by the time I got over the steep part of the hill and was about a mile in, I was faster than I predicted.  The next mile continued to climb at an easy grade, but it was wearing me out.  By the time I began descending down Snuff Mill my average pace was 6:09.  It felt good going downhill and recovering my breathe.  I checked my watch again when I was at the bottom (almost three miles in) and my overall pace only dropped to 6:04.  Hmm.  I totally didn't go as fast as I predicted.  I guess it all evened out.  At the end of four miles I kept heading north on Rte 1A to get five miles in.  My overall pace was now 6:03.  After another half mile or so, I decided to go for 6 miles.  My last mile felt longer than the rest, and cruelly was all uphill.  I was tiring and was happy to finish up in 36:18 (6:03 average pace).  This was actually a little bit faster than the adjusted threshold pace for this amount of time.  And it was hilly.  In fact, on Strava, my grade adjusted pace for the 6 miles was 5:47!  Here were my mile times, GAP, and net elevation: 
                Pace    GAP    Elev
Mile 1     6:05     5:23     126'
Mile 2     6:05     5:48       14'
Mile 3     5:59     6:23    -135'
Mile 4     6:00     5:42         1'
Mile 5     6:06     5:48         6'
Mile 6     6:04     5:47       30'

Wednesday: 10 miles - new NK/EG road lollipop alone.  I was looking to find roads that would be out of the wind.  I mapped out a run that would mostly be on quiet wooded side roads.  The parts I was familiar with, I knew were hilly.  This proved true.  The first few miles were all uphill.  I didn't bother checking my watch and just ran however fast my body cared to go today.  I was tiring at the end, but finished up in 70 minutes.  Pretty fun course. 

Thursday: 10 miles - NK roads (8M) and Ryan Park snow over ice trails (2M) alone.  I'm lacking motivation to go to the indoor track.  Instead I ran during a snow squall outside.  I parked at the upper lot at Ryan Park and ran the field trail over to Lafayette Road.  The trail was a mess.  A coating of fresh snow on top of ice.  I had miserable footing with just my Nike Frees.  I then ran neighborhood roads, some familiar, some new to me.  The terrain was quite rolling and my legs felt tired. 

Friday: 10 miles - NK roads with Dan.  I now have run most of the neighborhoods in NK this week!  I met Dan at his house and ran his 8 mile loop.  We took a detour and made one wrong turn.  Big houses.  I overdressed because of the brisk conditions.  My legs felt fine today, but the pace was slower than what I thought. 

Saturday: 16 miles - Richmond roads early long run with the WTAC crew.  8 of us began on this chilly morning (5 degrees according to my car).  We ran through Shannock, Kenyon, up to Rte 138 and back around Shannock Hill.  The pace was peppy, and I was happy I could keep up with all the mileage on my legs this week.  FiveK and I made a good push up Shannock Hill.  Fueling issues at mile 13 - should have taken a GU sooner - I was feeling weak and the pace was getting faster.  Finished up with a fast 6:21 mile that included a good hill at the start. 

Sunday: 9 miles - local hilly road loop in the early morning alone.  With a planned trip up to Boston, and my wife wanting to run in the morning, my chance to run was going to be early.  I left my house at 5:55AM and ran in the darkness.  I headed down Shumankanuc Hill Rd, and then ran the length of Buckeye Brook Rd.  I passed another runner here - scaring them in the process - sorry!  I then ran Rte 216 (not my favorite) through Bradford and then into Ashaway.  I was pushing myself today, but knew my overall pace probably wasn't going to be that fast (since my legs had a lot of recent miles on them).  I had a hilly finish up Burdickville Road, but was happy that I got a good hard run in by 7AM. 

Overall: 74 miles!  Feels good.  My body seems healthy and strong.  More roads this upcoming week waiting for the trails to clear up. 

Weekly Total: 74 miles
Last Week: 50 miles
Year to Date: 498 miles
February Total: 214 miles

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