Thursday, April 3, 2014

Big River Half Week: 3-31-14 to 4-6-14

Saturday is the big day.  I think I've got myself ready for the Big River Half.  I'm hoping that I can finish higher than I did at Brrr-lingame two weeks ago. 

Monday: 10 miles - Rome Point trails and beach alone.  Sleet!  The weather was absolutely miserable, but so was my day at work, and I needed to get outside.  I timed it perfectly to get stuck in a sleet squall.  The temperature was in the mid 30's to boot.  I wore an old pair of shoes anticipating water, but happily I was able to avoid it for the most part.  The start felt horrible, but I warmed up, and found the stinging sleet in my face amusing.  I zigzagged in a different way to avoid one very wet section of trail.  I then hopped onto the beach expecting not to make it past the first stream crossing.  The wind was at my back, and the tide was low.  I was able to go way further south than the bridge.  Turning around, the run back was not good - a frigid NE wind in the damp air (the sleet had temporarily stopped then, but kicked back in later).  I ran trails for another 20 minutes before finishing up, happy to get out. 

Tuesday: 10 miles - NK hilly roads with Galoob.  The weather was fantastic today.  Mike had come up with an interesting out and back course that included familiar and unfamiliar roads to me.  Besides the dicey Rte 1 crossing, I really enjoyed the run.  Running on roads felt so easy after so many days of tough trails, despite the hills.  It was nice to have company on the familiar grinds, and we even managed to maintain conversation up most of them.   I was pleased to see the overall pace was sub 7:10 after cresting the last big climb (GSR) and I wanted to pick up the pace a bit and make the run sub 7:00 pace if possible.  We ended up with 950' of elevation gain. 

Wednesday - 5++ miles - Ryan Park trails alone.  Taper time.  I ran the railbed over to the east side, and looped around the new and old trails there.  I decided to run the railbed back rather hard, just for fun.  And it was.  I probably would have set the Strava CR if I didn't let up too early. 

Thursday: 5 miles - Big River course marking with Galoob.  Heavily flagged the tricky section between the Hopkins Hill lot and Tarbox Pond.  Total time: 1 hr 22 min. 

Friday: 6 miles - Big River course marking with Galoob.  Flagged the section from the start to Hopkins Hill lot.  Faster going, with less intersections to deal with.  Mike had already done Dead Shed and Lego by the time I met him and then was going back out to finish the 10K course.  Total time: 1 hr 16 min. 

Saturday: 15 miles - Big River Half Marathon - 1:29:46, 3rd overall.  Great race, write up soon. 

Sunday: 7 miles - Chariho 5K - 18:09, 1st overall.  Our family always comes out to this event to support our friends' relay for life team.  Last year this race also fell the day after Big River.  Unlike last year, when I was too beat up to run (so my wife did), I felt okay enough to give it a shot.  My legs felt fine, but my hips and groins (is that plurable?)  were tight and sore.  The day was sunny and nice.  After a big lunch we headed over to Chariho.  I did a two mile warm up on the track where I ran into Mike B.  It felt terrible to run 8 minute miles.  I threw in 4 straightaway strides on the 2nd mile to see how that would go.  Still terrible.  Muddy was running too, and by the time I saw him, he had already run 7 miles and said he was feeling decent.  Wow.  I was impressed.  He said he was just going to shoot for a T-pace workout for the race.  My plan was to run as hard as my body would allow without injury.  I've had similar experiences at the summer WTAC fun runs, where I've done track workouts in the morning and then run the 5K at night.  Usually I would end up around 18 minutes flat.  Maybe that would be a goal, but my warm up was so terrible, I just wanted to get sub 19 (or if that was too hard, sub 20).  After watching my kids do the kids' race, it was time for my race.  I went out slow.  After a 1/4 mile, Muddy went by me.  It was too fast for me.  Then the headwind kicked in at the turf fields.  It was so miserable I decided I would sprint up to Muddy and share in the misery with him.  We then ran together, joking about the wind, how hard running 5:55 pace was, etc.  After a mile, I could tell we were slowly increasing our pace.  I wasn't feeling horrible anymore.  I was surprised at how fast the race was going by.  As we rounded the campus getting near the track finish, I wasn't sure what was going to happen.  I joked about waiting for his sprint to the finish, but he said there would be no sprint today.  I was feeling good and picked up the pace, first getting to the track, and then even more as I ran around it.  Even on my dead legs, sprinting felt wonderful.  What a fun way to run a race!  Anyway, I finished first overall, which my family liked, but  I wasn't sure it really counted, since Muddy probably would have beat me if he didn't stick to his T-pace plan.  Still a fun day overall, and a really great event.  Strava splits: 5:51/5:54/5:39/last .15 4:44 pace (course measured 3.15 on GPS). 

Weekly Total: 58 miles
Last Week: 70 miles
Year to Date: 824 miles
March Total: 303 miles
April Total: 48 miles


  1. Jonny, I love the fortune you got last week. Nice words to motivate and give you perspective! Go get 'em at Big River!