It's weird not having any immediate focus races on the horizon. I know that I want to be in top shape for the Beaver trail race in July, but surely I'll find other races to do before then. I've already begun the internal dialogue about Pisgah 50K vs. 23K in September. I'm leaning towards another sub 1:40 attempt in the 23K and switch to the 50K in future years. I can be easily persuaded though. I'm planning on the Nipmuck marathon a couple of weeks later. I hope to tag along with some local guys to a mountain race and also do a new Grand Tree race. And then Muddy has me thinking about the Traprock 50K next April!
Monday: 9+ miles - Burlingame loop in the fading light. Late start for me (6:30PM) on this day off from work. I spent the morning following the marathon and then hiking/lunching with Muddy and our kids. After a late meal I ran out the door for a trail run before it was too late. Thanks to Hop Notch, I was having a little trouble focusing on my footing, but never fell. I kept up a good effort the entire run. I entered Burlingame at the beaver pond and took Sarah's Trail up to Buckeye Brook Rd. I then did the north camp/pond loop, getting my feet completely muddy in the process. I decided to head down Vin Gormley to Sammy C's. I was surprised I didn't see anyone out on the trails, but I guess it was too late. It never got too dark on Sammy C's and I returned back on the roads. Total time: 1:08:48 with 556' of climbing.
Tuesday: 9+ miles - north Burlingame hill workout alone. Another day off from work, but this time a morning run. I decided to stay on the north side of Burlingame and run all the hills at a good effort. I began with a snappy pace and tried to maintain it to the end. Five good climbs with other easier ones mixed in. I was surprised to again see no humans, not that I'm complaining. Total time: 1:07:46 with 798' of climbing.
Wednesday: 11 miles - CCMS track workout with Galoob and Gunshow. Finally back to the track after a long break. After yesterday's hill workout, my body wasn't feeling particularly fast. Also it was pouring rain at work when I left. Luckily in Wakefield it had stopped when I arrived. I began warming up alone to loosen up. There was a lone Canada goose on the soccer field the track circles. As I ran by, it lowered its head, began hissing, and charged at me. I screamed like a girl, but it stopped. I then avoided that thing until the big guys showed up. That thing wasn't so tough anymore and flew away. Anyway, I didn't know what Daniels workout Mike had planned for us other than something that included T, I, and R pace. At the track he revealed the full plan: 4 x 1 mile at T-pace with 1 minute recoveries, then 3 minutes rest until 2 x 1000 at I-pace with 1 minute recovery between, 3 minutes rest then 4 x 200 at R-pace with 200m recoveries. Yikes! I was debating doing my own thing, but I love a good challenge. Since the 1 minute recoveries would make it impossible for us to stay together during the workout, I jumped right into the first mile (I really just did 1600's). The wind was strong, so I had to work harder into the wind and then try not to relax too much with the wind at my back. Despite not feeling fast, I fell into a good rhythm on these. The one minute recovery seemed really short. My goal was 5:52 but I was under that: 5:43/5:45/5:46/5:46. Next were the 1000's at I-pace (3:23 target for me). These sucked, but I got through them: 3:20/3:24. Although feeling like I was sprinting in slow motion, the 200's went well: 35/36/35/36. It felt good to nail this workout. Huge volume.
Thursday: 10 miles - Big River trails alone. My legs felt pretty good as I wandered around. I parked at Greasy Joe's, but wanted to run the single track up the road that began from the park and ride lot. Good call as I really enjoyed this twisty trail very close to I95 at times. I crossed Division Street, and ended up running down Foster's Folly and Spider until I connected with the new switchback trail I really like up the ridge. I thought about running the blue arrow trail for fun, but it took way too long to connect over, so when I reached pump house trail, I took it up to the NLT. I wasn't ready to be done yet, so I ran through the pines to the middle section of Lego. I was impressed with the mtn bikers speed as they talked to each other through this twisty section. Fun run. Total time: 1:17:36.
Friday: 8.5 miles - Arcadia Trail run alone. My wife and I commuted to work today and on the way back to get the kids at her parents' house, I had her drop me off on Rte 165 at Appie's Crossing. I then ran the entire length of the Arcadia Trail (and then a short road section to the in-law's house). Despite running this trail on a few occasions, I still forgot how hard it was. It's one long obstacle course with hills and very few breaks. Certainly good prep for technical trail races. Total time: 1:05:33.
Saturday: 15.5 miles - Arcadia trail loop in the early AM with Muddy, Jackman, and Martin T. I was happy that it wasn't raining yet for the 6:00AM start. We met at the Midway parking area and then headed over to the Mt Tom Trail. Flat and easy at first, until you reach the ledges. I was having a blast, but realized that this type of terrain may not have been comfortable for all - especially with wet rocks. Unfortunately I had planned out a challenging loop. After crossing Rte 165, we ran some mtn bike trails around Old Ten Rod Rd. We then ran back up the hill and jumped on the Escoheag Trail heading west. This trail is really gnarly and fun. We made our way up to the top of the hill and then took a break by running Austin Farm Rd (dirt) back down to the start of the Breakhart Trail. It was beginning to rain at a steadier rate. I wanted to run up Penny Hill hard to take back a Strava segment from Seth. I didn't realize the segment started before crossing Plain Rd, so I just ran the last steep section hard. Good fun, but exhausting. We continued on towards Breakheart Pond. The worst part is a sneaky mile plus uphill after Acid Factory Brook. It is relentless. We finished the run by taking dirt roads back to our cars, as time was short for me, and we were all drenched anyway. Total time: 2:05:09 with 1,371' of climbing. Awesome long run!
Sunday: 12 miles - threshold run on local roads solo. I made up this workout at the last second. My wife was running at 9AM, and then we were meeting her parents for an Earth Day cleanup of the Wyoming Dam (our assigned spot from the WPWA). I had 70 minutes to run. I began on roads at a good pace and then opted to just stick with roads for the duration. I was more concerned with my time running than my pace, and didn't check my watch until I reached Rte 1 from my house. I then knew I could easily get 10 miles in, and I was pretty close to my adjusted for time 1 hour T-pace. I was having fun and working pretty hard. I had to take some side streets to get in the full ten miles (and avoid bigger hills near my house to make up the difference). I figured my run was rather flat (except for my house being on top of a hill), but I was surprised with how much rolling it involved. Finally, I approached the long climb up Shumunkanuc Hill. I dug in and ran as hard as I could run this tough hill on this day. It was rewarding to summit, but the road then plummets and climbs one more time to my house. I finished up the ten miles in 1:03:16, good for a 6:20 average pace. But when you factor in the 544' of climbing, the grade adjusted pace was 6:14. Not bad the morning after a long run. I then ran two miles (6 loops) of my home trails as a cool down.
Overall: Another big week of running. Seventy miles is feeling routine to me. I need to race soon!
Weekly Total: 75 miles
Last Week: 75 miles
Year to Date: 1042 miles
April Total: 266 miles