Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Slacker Blog Post: Week of 5-19-14 to 5-25-14

The combination of busy at work, Memorial Day weekend, and too much running has me writing this a little late.  Last week was an awesome week of running: a brutal hill workout, a solo track session, and a long hilly exploratory run.  I even helped direct and time a "race".  Good stuff.  I'm itching to race again and tone down the volume of training, but when the weather is nice, I can't help myself. 

Monday: 12.5 miles on two runs.  First, I ran an uninspired easy run in Ryan Park.  I was busy at work and this was my best option, although I am getting sick of this place.  It's time for a break.  9 miles in 1:14.  After dinner, my son and I headed to Ninigret Park so that I could measure the upcoming Charlestown Run/Walk-athon while my son biked.  I was super pleased to see the bikers had already marked the .9 mile loop with half mile markers and a 5K finish line.  After 4 laps we called it quits.  26:31.  Legs felt exhausted. 

Tuesday: 11 miles - Gilbert Stuart Rd hill workout with Galoob.  Warm day and sunny.  I convinced Mike to meet me here for a hill workout as I didn't have time to travel further for hills.  My idea was 5 repeats (over 200' gain).  Mike made it more interesting by making it 6 repeats and running the steepest section of the hill hard and then again sprinting a gradual uphill section on the backside.  Essentially it was a 12 x 1 minute hard workout.  I sort of followed suit, running the backside hard, and running the entire steep side rather hard too.  This was a blast, but very challenging.  I had a good day climbing.  Total time 1 hr 21 min with 1,497' of elevation gain. 

Wednesday: 8.5 miles - Rome Point trails alone.  Recovery run.  I gave this place a shot since the parking lot didn't look busy.  Legs felt tired - mostly my quads from descending yesterday.  The tide was really high and I couldn't make it far on the beach.  Total time: 69 minutes. 

Thursday: 9 miles - Cuttyhunk trails, dirt and paved roads, and Queen's Fort trails alone.  I timed this run completely wrong and ran during the only period of steady/heavy rain for the day.  My plan was for another recovery run as my quads were still quite sore (I had already ruled out a planned workout).  I parked at Cuttyhunk and then the light rain intensified.  I ran a mix of terrain before heading east on Stony Lane towards Queen's Fort (a place I read about somewhere and noticed that there may be trails, or at least an old lane to run).  It's funny running down a road in the pouring rain.  I was completely drenched and there was no use trying to avoid puddles or the streams on the sides of the road.  Every time a car passed, I could only imagine what the people inside thought of me.  I found the Queen's Fort entrance and entered.  I stayed on the main path and followed it for quite some time.  I then reached the end (?) and then backtracked and explored the other side trails.  I saved the best for last (the stone fort remains), but it was raining so hard that visibility was an issue, and I don't think I ever found the actual fort.  Still a cool place, and worth checking out again in better weather.  Plus, you can tack on a couple of trail miles while out on the roads.  Total time: 69 minutes.

Friday: 22+ miles - Wickaboxet/Tillinghast Pond trails plus 2 x Plain Meetinghouse Rd hill climbs with Galoob.  Day off from work and I couldn't wait to run long today.  After exploring this area with my family the previous week, I knew I had to come back and run.  We began by running up the biggest road climb possibly in the state - 344' in .8 miles.  We ran up it very well and then Mike showed me a cool unimproved dirt road with a more gradual hill to head back down.  We then connected with the newly blazed blue trail in Wickaboxet.  This new trail connects to the Tillinghast Pond trails for a great 10 mile loop of easy single track.  We kept the pace snappy the entire time.  I thought the day was cool, but running I noticed that it was very muggy.  After an hour and a half we stopped at our cars for a quick break.  We rejoined the loop and soon found Rattlesnake Ledge which was pretty cool.  At the far eastern end of the loop, there is a white blazed trail that leads up a good hill through a West Greenwich Land Trust property.  We were now at the top of the hill on Plain Meetinghouse Rd again.  We ran down, turned around, and climbed back up (Mike's idea).  This time,  I was struggling mentally, but still managed a good push to the top.  We again took the dirt road back down and then ran the part of the trail loop we missed in Wickaboxet, before continuing back to our cars in the opposite direction past Rattlesnake Ledge.  Total time: 2 hrs 53 min.  Good overall pace and 1,707' of elevation gain.  Great run! 

Saturday: 4 miles - north Burlingame trail loop in the afternoon.  This was just a recovery run from my house after timing the race in the morning and two hours of brush removal around the yard.  My legs felt pretty darn good.  33 minutes with 417' of climbing. 

Sunday: 9 miles - CHS solo track session in the morning.  I decided to try the workout Mike suggested earlier in the week: 4 x (400/600 @ R pace, 200 Fast) with 200 recoveries and 400 between sets.  This proved to be too much for me, at least for now since I haven't been doing R paced intervals (roughly mile race pace).  The first 400 was too fast and then reality set in on the 600.  Even my "fast" 200's weren't very fast.  After two sets, I switched the 600 to a second 400.  Results: 72/1:55/34/74/1:55/34/76/74/34/76/76/34.  Overall, I was pleased.  My targets were 75-76 and1:52-1:53 (no target for the 200's although I thought they would be faster).  Total time: 63 minutes. 

Weekly Total: 76 miles
Last Week: 79 miles
Year to Date: 1339 miles
May Total: 263 miles

Friday, May 16, 2014

Weekly Log: 5-12-14 to 5-18-14

The main goal coming into this week was to feel good again.  Luckily, this happened on Tuesday, and then I got a good, long, hard workout on trails in on Wednesday.  Questionable weather and running windows late in the week.  I'd like to get in a track workout and a long run.  We'll see. 

Monday: 10 miles - Ryan Park trails alone.  Warm day - 80 degrees - and I ran shirtless in the park for the first time this year which always feels strange, especially when encountering other people.  Anyway, I kept it easy as I weaved my creaky body around the trails.  Total time: 1:20:31. 

Evening Lady Slipper Walk with my Daughter

Bonus Find - Luna Moth

Tuesday: 11.5 miles - mix of roads and trails with Galoob in SK/Exeter.  I woke up and my body was feeling much better.  I was excited to run today and met Mike at the Kingston train station (where I think I saw Jeff's car parked?).  We ran north along Fairgrounds Rd which turns into Hundred Acre Pond Rd.  At the end of that road there is a wide trail that connects over to Wolf Rocks Rd.  There was a very strong headwind in this direction, but it was muggy otherwise and warmer than forecasted.  The pace was advertised as peppy and that's what we kept it.  After going up and over Wolf Rocks, we crossed Rte 2 and jumped into the Yawgoo Pond SKLT property.  I had never been in here, but we noticed a new to Mike trail and explored that.  The woods here are awesome and include my favorite plant life - giant rhododendron.  The path skirted the eastern shore of the pond and got very narrow - didn't we just cross over a new bridge?  Eventually the trail widened and it was clear we were on a dirt driveway, but there was nothing posted anywhere.  We emptied out onto a road and were completely turned around.  After a few minutes of running we realized where we were.  We ran the flat roads back to Rte 2 and then decided to climb the Pleasant View Dr hill and take the powerline and trails back down to Hundred Acre Pond Rd.  Fast finish back to the train station (last couple of miles in the low 6's).  Total time: 1:20:53. 

Wednesday: 10 miles - Big River trail workout solo.  Back to feeling strong, I was excited to head up to Big River for a trail threshold run on the Turtle Loop (Lego-Dead Shed-Pump House-NLT).  I ran this Strava segment hard in late October last year as a tune up before Li'l Rhody.  I remember working hard, but putting up a really fast time - 43:47 (for approx. 7 miles).  I was hoping to be close to that today, but more importantly, I wanted to put up a consistent effort throughout.  I ran a 12 minute warm up and then got to work.  It was warm again, but since it was technically turkey season, I kept on my orange shirt.  I was thirsty throughout.  I felt like I was giving a true threshold pace effort - hard but not all out and maintainable.  The woods are very dry now and my choice of wearing Nike Frees over my trail shoes didn't seem ideal as my feet would slightly slip on the dry pine needles and leaves at times.  Anyway, I checked my overall time at a few spots to guage how I was doing - halfway through Lego - about 12 minutes! - at the end of Lego -  just over 24 minutes!!  I was right on pace to match last October's time.  I continued on Dead Shed, trying to keep pushing myself when I felt like I was letting up.  I was feeling a bit tired.  Finally, at the end of that trail, I knew the end was near.  I picked it up on the straight Pump House Trail section and then carried a hard effort back up the New London Turnpike (although the thick sand was annoying).  I was super excited to finish up in 43:20 - a new PR by 27 seconds!  I also set a PR on the Lego Trail and I now think the CR may be within reach if I ran just that segment.  Also surprising, I set my PR for Dead Shed.  This was a great workout and a huge confidence boost.  I was in great shape last October but faster now.  I ran a two mile cooldown very slowly.  Total time: 1:12:42. 

Thursday: 11+ miles - Wakefield/Narragansett mix of roads and trails with Galoob.  We originally planned to meet at the track early this morning, but neither of us felt up to it when it came time.  Instead we met up for an easy 8-10 miles.  Ha!  The pace wasn't bad, but not slow.  We ran the bike path through town and then took some side roads and trails to reach Ocean Road.  We then ran along the seawall (both wearing WTAC singlets in NRA territory) and then on the beach itself before hopping on the Canonchet Farm Trail.  We kept the pace civilized this week and then connected with the bike path again.  Total time: 1:21:59. 

Friday: 13.5 miles - Ryan Park and Wickford by dirt (except for a couple of miles of pavement.  This was a tweener run - not long, not short, not hard, not easy.  I parked at the high lot at Ryan Park and took the wider paths out to Oak Hill Rd and then connected to downtown Wickford via some roads, trails, and the old trestle.  I ran the Bush Hill trails and on grass paths in Wilson Park before returning back to Ryan Park, where I tacked on a little more mileage.  I made the best of my longish running window, but with no desire to travel, run hills, or run hard.  Total time: 1:40:53. 

Saturday: 10.5 miles - Carter Preserve trails and local roads workout alone.  It was pouring rain early in the morning, and I had to be home by 8AM anyway, so I ran later in the afternoon after my wife returned home from work.  I was feeling lazy after spending the day mostly outside with my kids, but I got ready to run at 4PM.  My plan was to get in some sort of workout, and I thought I would do 3 x grassland mile.  It was 70 degrees with bright sun.  I ran down the road and connected to Carter via the powerline.  I threw in 4 strides before I reached the large field.  I wasn't feel particularly fast or motivated, but it was time to begin.  I decided to alternate directions.  There was a gusty west wind, and I couldn't decide which way would be better.  The footing on this mostly grassy trail was ok - a little thick and slow.  I was aiming for I pace, which translates to 5:29 miles, but how much slower would I pace feel on this surface?  Results: 5:45/5:41/5:36.  At least I improved each time.  The first lap I was interrupted by a loose dog that jumped all over me.  I probably lost a couple of seconds there.  The next two I did CCW (CW on the first one).  I liked that direction better.  I did a five minute recovery jog through the woods after each mile.  On my way home I was picking up the pace on the road.  I decided to charge up the mile long hill on my road as an added workout mile.  It felt pretty damn good and my GAP was about I pace.  Mission accomplished on getting a workout in. 

Sunday: 12.5 miles - Burlingame trails alone.  I couldn't get out the door early enough for a long run.  I was not motivated especially after running hard 14 hours beforehand, and a week full of miles.  I parked at the red gate (didn't want to start on a hill) and ran Vin Gormley CCW.  My legs didn't feel horrible and the morning was beautiful (a bit cool and sunny).  I had about 1 hour and 45 minutes to run.  At the campground, I bypassed it by doing the Brrr-lingame trails in reverse and finishing on the NWR trails.  I reconnected with Vinny G on Sanctuary Road.  I followed back to my car, slowing on the more technical terrain.  When I reached my car, I still had a few minutes to spare, so I ran back and forth down the trail and road until I got in 1 hour and 40 minutes of running. 

I spent the afternoon with my family at the Tillinghast Pond Management Area.  We put the canoe on the car, packed a lunch, and ventured out to the wilds of West Greenwich, RI.  We picnicked on the shore of the pond and then did a really awesome hike on the Coney Brook Loop.  I really need to come back and run here.  Loved this trail.  After the 3 mile hike we put the canoe in the water and paddled around the shoreline.  Fun day.  I'll be back. 

Overall:  Lots of miles!  Almost a PR.  Almost 80.  No hills to speak of, so I'll be looking for them next week. 

Weekly Total: 79 miles
Last Week: 70 miles
Year to Date: 1263 miles
May Total: 187 miles

Friday, May 9, 2014

Weekly Log: 5-5-14 to 5-11-14

I'm excited to add a new mountain trail race to my calendar - the Mount Greylock Trail Half Marathon.  I did the short race (there's a 5K Pard will be doing this year) back in 2005.  I wasn't running too much then and I was afraid of the long race, especially after seeing how much the course climbs to the summit! 

I'm ready for it this time.  Three miles straight up and then the rest all down.  Should be a blast! 

I entered this week a little fatigued after the epic adventure on Saturday.  My body doesn't seem interested in doing any climbing, which is fine.  I'll do what it says, unless Mike Galoob talks me into something different. 

Monday: 10.5 miles - Wakefield mix of bike path, roads, and trails with Galoob.  A fun run on a warm day.  We hit up most of the Tri-Pond trails, a little Potter Woods, and Teft Hill.  Ran by middle schoolers on the bike path who just HAVE to comment when you run by.  So annoying.  The pace was a little faster than easy for me today.  Total time: 1:18:51. 

Tuesday: 9 miles - Ryan Park trails alone.  Mindless zigzagging on the west side.  Warm but windy.  Total time: 1:12:41. 

Wednesday: 15 miles in two runs.  First, I met Galoob at the CCMS track for an early morning workout.  I didn't know what to expect, other than it would be something from Daniels.  Well, I was wrong.  Mike had scoured the internet and found an interesting article from Nate Jenkins about workouts.  So we did one of those: 8x600 @ goal 5K pace with 200m recoveries at a decent pace, followed by 1 x 200 all out.  This gives you 5K of goal 5K effort.  I figured I would use my I-pace for this, so still using Daniels principles I guess.  My target was 2:03 for the 600's and 60s recoveries.  Results: 2:01/2:01/2:01/2:00/2:01/2:01/2:01/1:59 with 56/57 average recoveries.  I then did a 32s 200 for a total 5K effort time of 16:37.  Boom!  2.5 mile warm up and 1.5 mile cool down for a total of 8 miles. 

In the afternoon, I did a recovery double at Calf Pasture Point.  .9 miles of bike path to the point loop.  The loop is about .75 miles of wide double track, 1.25 miles of soft sand (today anyway), and .3 miles of bike path.  I did two loops.  My legs felt way better than I thought, and my pace was faster as well.  Fun easy run in the sun.  7 miles in 54:39. 

Thursday: 10.5 miles - Narragansett roads and trails mix with Galoob.  After many random texts trying to figure out if we could meet up for a run somewhere, I decided to pick up the phone and CALL Mike.  It was weird.  Anyway, we met down in Wakefield at the Wakefield Mall.  We ran roads over to the Canonchet Farm Trail.  We followed that down to 1A, and then ran up to the new Nature Conservancy trail down to the ocean near Camp Varnum.  The camp was full of local law enforcement vehicles wondering what two guys in bright orange were doing running outside the fencing.  We then dropped down to the trickier rocks and ran back to the trailhead.  Mike picked up the pace, and I was working a bit to stay with him.  We then ran around some fields near the Narrow River before making our way back on roads to the CFT.  This time, the pace was brisk on the trail.  We were moving fast.  Surely I would set a PR for this trail.  Hopefully Mike would let up when we reached the road.  Nope.  We cruised up Mumford Hill in 6:30 pace before finally reaching our cars.  This run turned into some sort of workout.  The last four miles were in the 6:40's, even though it included the CFT and the long hill.  Total time: 1:12:51. 

Friday: 0 - first zero since February 19th.  This was not planned as I was at Ryan Park ready to run when I received a text from my wife that she had to stay late at work and I needed to get the kids off the bus.  I still had things to do at work (Hi Mike B), so I went back there first to finish up.  No big deal since my body feels fatigued. 

Saturday: 15.5 miles - Burlingame long run with Jeff, Muddy, Seth, and Mikes B & G.  It was humid!  We ran from the picnic area up Sammy C's, around the north camp loop, back down to Schoolhouse Pond and then the full length of Secret.  I had stashed water at the red gate, so we all stopped there before deciding which way to head next.  Galoob talked the guys who wanted to run "short" into a loop of north Burlingame.  I was talked out of a 3 hour run when my body wasn't feeling strong.  My feet and lower core were tight and fatigued.  Oh well.  I need to listen to my body to stay healthy.  We ended up returning on Sammy C's and got in a little over 2 hours of quality trail running.  Thanks to everyone who joined me.  Total climbing - 941'. 

Sunday: 9.5 miles - Burlingame loop after dinner alone.  It was an action packed Mother's Day spent mostly outside in Tiverton.  I figured that I would zero today, but a window of opportunity opened after the Mom activities had concluded.  Off I went, donning just shorts on this warm evening.  My lower core felt tight, as did my feet.  I just pushed on at a controlled pace running mostly on the north side of the park, hitting up the River loop, Ledge hill, a little VG, the north camp loop, and my favorite portion of Sammy C's.  One funny moment was when on a very remote double track trail a large black mammal emerged from the woods.  I stopped and froze, and then relaxed when I realized it was a black lab, and there were some humans around the corner.  I'm not used to seeing anyone here, especially on a Sunday night.  Total time: 1:17 with 660' of climbing. 

Overall: Interesting week.  My body is now feeling tired.  I'm not surprised by this, but it is weird that it felt so good for the previous heavy mileage weeks.  I'll just train appropriately. 

Weekly Total: 70 miles
Last Week: 72 miles
Year to Date: 1184 miles
May Total: 108 miles

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Narragansett Trail (E-W) Run

I've been hoping to do this run the last couple of years.  I've done all stretches of this trail on various runs, and I knew doing the entire thing would be quite the adventure.  Since the trail is relatively close to my house, logistics wouldn't be too hard or prohibitive to figure out.  It was just a matter of when? 

The trail itself is very challenging.  I figured going east to west would work the best since the most tiring terrain lies on the eastern side.  The sections around Ashville/Long/Ell/Yawgoog/ and Green Fall Ponds are extremely technical and slow.  Not that finishing going up and over Lantern Hill was going to be a fun way to end a long run though.  Based on data from pieces of other runs I've done, I figured the trail could be run in about 3.5 hours.  Certainly a trail marathon feel, if not short on distance because of how hard it would be.  I've seen the distance listed as about 22 miles. 

On Saturday, May 3rd, I was able to complete this run with Muddy Puddin and Seth Acton.  We put together the details very quickly a few days beforehand.  We would begin early (5:30AM) at Ashville Pond in RI.  We would carry what we needed.  Muddy's wife would pick us up around 9:15AM at Lantern Hill.  Adding to the excitement of the run was the possibility that this was a FKT - Fastest Known Time.  We couldn't find any evidence of anyone completing the full length of the trail in either direction.  I knew that Ben Nephew had recently been in the area, and I was told he did an out-and-back on the Connecticut portion of the trail.  This tempered my enthusiasm some, knowing that if he did do the full trail, he clearly would be faster than us.  But like Seth wrote on his blog, Ben's was a different sort of adventure than ours. 

I awoke after a rather restless night's sleep at 4:30AM.  I already had my gear packed, but I was a tad concerned that the temperature was only in the high 30's.  I wasn't planning on that.  I got my act together and headed off to D&D for my pre-long run routine breakfast of an egg & cheese bagel sandwich with hash browns.  I then made my way to Ashville Pond, arriving early, but Muddy was already there.  Seth soon arrived as well, and before we knew it, our adventure was beginning. 

Double Blaze at the start

Right away my legs didn't feel that great.  I knew this was going to be a struggle physically for me.  I thought about my training this week, and how I should have done less.  Mentally I had no reservations about this run - I'd get it done no matter what.  The trail immediately was wet and littered with slippery rocks.  I love this stretch of trail, but it is unforgiving.  Muddy took the point and he was not messing around with the pace.  He kept it snappy through Long Pond/Ell Pond.  The ups and downs are very steep and basically non-runnable.  I tried my best to quick step my way up. 

Between Long and Ell Ponds

After snapping this picture I found myself working hard trying to catch back up.  This section of trail is amazing - giant rhododendrons, mountain laurel, and plenty of rocks and ledges to maneuver around.  We got a short break once we reached the dirt road, and then I took the lead for the trail around Yawgoog Pond.  More runnable, but there are many confusing intersections.  Again, beautiful scenery if you get the chance to look up, and lots of water crossings.  We reached the CT/RI border in about 43 minutes.  Now we were following blue blazes.  We made our way over Dinosaur Rocks and onward to Green Fall Pond.  So many rocks everywhere.  We reached the dam and then made our way into the ravine.  The trail was very precarious - a narrow wet trail at times high above the raging rocky stream.  We then reached the water crossing and there was no way not to get wet.  We took turns wading through the knee deep stream. 

Blurry Seth makes his way across
I had projected that we would reach Green Fall Pond in about an hour and fifteen minutes (worse case).  We were quite a bit faster which was nice, especially with how slow the trail seemed to be so far.  I was carrying a pack with water and couldn't wait for a good place to drop it.  I figured I would just continue on with GU's and my phone.  But I had to wait.  We reached the road and climbed up back to more singletrack.  This was a section of trail I had run with Jeff two years ago.  More rocks as you make your way below an impressive ridge, and finally climbing over it where it is the easiest. 
Hey guys, wait up! 
We reached another paved road and I hoped that the gun club property we now needed to cross was open (it is closed during winter hunting season, but what about spring turkey season?).  Luckily, it wasn't posted for this time of year, so we made our way through the wide lanes and trails.  This is probably the most boring part of the entire trail, but it did offer easier footing for us.  I was happy to see the Narragansett Trail was more clearly blazed through here now as opposed to two years ago when Jeff and I got lost.  They also added interesting archery targets in various spots. 
I know it's rocky, but not this rocky
We slopped through some wet spots and got torn up on briars as we made our way up to Rte 49.  It was now time to suck down some water and drop the pack. 
Seth and Muddy on Rte 49
After a few minutes of pavement, we dropped back down into the woods.  This was another poorly marked section two years ago, but this time we stayed on course.  The trail is less rocky here.  The woods are open, hilly, and the single track along the little brook is awesome.  Seth was rocketing through this section until an incredibly long climb.  It was steep, leveled off, and then got steep again.  I actually was enjoying the hills more than the flats and downs.  My legs respond well to this type of running.  The trail opens up, and Muddy now was feeling good and disappearing ahead of us.  We passed up and over Bullet Ledge and then High Ledges.  I was getting antsy just to reach Wyassup Lake. 
Bullet Ledge
We reached Wyassup Lake at 2 hours and 21 minutes.  I had figured about 2.5 hours, so we were still doing well on time.  Now it was just a matter of doing the last 6 or 7 miles to Lantern Hill.  This is the section maintained by fellow WTACer Mike Crutchley.  No breaks, here we go.  As soon as we entered the woods (slight hill), my legs did not have any speed left in them.  Muddy and Seth looked so spry, pulling away from me.  Ugh.  I wasn't worried about finishing, I just knew I would suffer.  I would occasionally catch up at water crossings (we got plenty wet in a few spots here), or if there was a confusing intersection, but they would quickly pull away again.  When we reached the beaver dam, I took over the lead again, as a storm (hurricane Sandy?) has made the trail tricky to follow, and I knew the way.  This also pushed me to run faster, until we reached a long climb up Cossaduck Hill, which again I felt rather good doing.  We briefly stopped at the overlook, as Seth and I took off our shirts here.  The sun was warming the day up nicely, and it felt plain hot on the climbs. 
Cossaduck Hill Overlook
We were all moaning and groaning at this point.  We were at about three hours.  Not too much longer to go, but plenty of climbing ahead.  We made our way down to Ryder Road, crossed Rte 2, and then got back in the woods on Wintechog Hill.  Our pace was diminishing, I was thirsty, and the terrain kept climbing.  I was managing to keep quick stepping, and finding some sort of pleasure in this pain.  As we began the long gradual downhill we saw Crutchley in the woods.  Sweet!  He was out looking for us on the trail and then ran us back to the finish. 
Are you sure this is the way to Lantern Hill?
We popped out at the town dump and made our way through this industrial zone.  We then reached the final single track section of the day.  We ran over rocks on the side of Lantern Hill, before the trail goes up.  I was feeling good again on the climb and made my way up.  The top came sooner than I expected and soon I was joined by the group for one more quick picture break. 
Top of Lantern Hill.  Almost done.  Photo by Crutchley
We made our way down the tricky steep hill and then ran fast on the double track to the parking lot.  We finished up in 3 hours and 27 minutes.  FKT?  We think so, but definitely a great adventure, and  something I can cross off the running bucket list. 
Thanks to Muddy's wife for picking us up and feeding us.  Thanks to Crutchley for running the end with us and providing us water. 
The Finish. Photo by Crutchley

Friday, May 2, 2014

Weekly Log: 4-28-14 to 5-4-14

I'm looking forward to a long trail adventure on Saturday morning.  Separate write up will follow. 

Monday: 11 miles - hilly mix of dirt roads, trails, and paved roads with Galoob.  This was a fun one.  We met at the intersection of Rte 102 and the New London Turnpike (yes, it is everywhere!).  We ran the long dirt climb and then back down the other side (unimproved dirt).  The weather was nice and we had plenty of weekend running news to catch up on.  We then reached pavement before exploring an old overgrown road through Dawley State Park.  Back on blacktop until then heading through Arcadia on old roads and then a fun part of the Arcadia Trail.  Because of time, we needed to begin heading back, which we first ran up Bates Schoolhouse Rd (dirt), before making the long climb up Rte 165, which was in the process of being repaved, and a messy, smelly construction zone.  It was a good distraction from the tough hill.  We then ran the unpaved section of Ten Rod Road (one more climb that was the toughest of the day) before taking the New London Turnpike back down to our cars.  Total time: 1:19:33 with 880' of climbing (felt like more!). 

Tuesday: 12 miles - hilly mix of dirt and paved roads alone.  I set out for an easy run, but decided I should mix in some hills to keep me honest.  I parked at the Cuttyhunk Preserve and then ran the trail up to the messy Stony Lane.  I made my way over to Pardon Joslin Rd (my favorite dirt hill) and ran down then right back up.  I turned around and headed west up the other side to Widow Sweets Rd (paved).  Here I just wandered, trying out hilly side streets, getting further from my car in the process.  Looks like I was going to run much longer than anticipated.  Oops!  I made my way back, returning up the big hill on Pardon Joslin Rd and then the trails of Cuttyhunk.  Total time: 1:32:35 with 1,272' of climbing!  Didn't feel like that much since my pace was easier. 

Wednesday: 11 miles - Ryan Park trail workout alone.  Instead of meeting Mike at URI for R-paced intervals, I gouged on a big lunch and then headed out to Ryan for a rainy run.  He did successfully guilt me into making a workout of it, which I was not intending.  The rain was light when I began, and I ran loops of all the east side trails, while I debated if I should make another attempt at the Strava segment Garvin took from me a couple of weeks back.  After over 35 minutes of easy running, I decided to give it a shot.  I began the interval earlier than last time, and ran my heart out for the duration (3/4 mile or more of smooth trail).  My watch was showing a good pace, and I felt terrible when I finished.  I regrouped on the other side of Lafayette Rd.  What next?  The rain was steadier, but not terrible, and I had managed to keep my feet dry so far.  I decided to push another couple of segments (powerline and middle trail, both a little over a half mile).  I felt fast on the powerline and my watch confirmed it.  There was a huge puddle I had to plow through near the end.  The middle trail, which is much more technical - twisty, short hills - felt slow.  Ok.  Almost done, but what about the rail bed segment the other way?  I decided to go for it.  It measures almost a mile.  I was not confident I was holding a good enough pace for the course record (which I own).  I then had about a mile back to reach my car, now soaked to the bone.  Total time: 1:21:13.  I was pumped when I uploaded the run to see that I had set the CR for the first three segments I did, and missed the CR on the last one by one second.  5:15 pace on the first one!  It felt good to put in 3 miles of hard trail running intervals on a day I was feeling lazy. 

Thursday: 8.5 miles - Big River trails with Galoob.  Really muggy out.  I was sweating profusely right away even though we were keeping the pace easy.  We ran west from the Hopkins Hill lot and quickly found a newly groomed trail.  We had to explore it.  Eventually we spilled out onto the Cardi Rd, nowhere near I thought we would.  We then ran further west on New London Turnpike (there it is again).  I was in unfamiliar territory.  We made our way to a fun single track called "I See Dead People".  I don't want to know the story of how it got named that.  It's a great trail I probably won't be able to find again, and frankly, I shouldn't run alone.  Then we hit more familiar territory - the single track surrounding the Overlook.  You never exactly know where you are, but you aren't lost.  After 55 minutes, it was time to make our way back.  Total time: 1:08:34 with 636' of climbing. 

Friday: 2 miles - home trails loops.  Running around today not in the running way.  No big deal since I'm doing a really hard run tomorrow, but the weather was too nice not to do any actual running. 

Saturday: 22 miles - Narragansett Trail East to West with Muddy and Seth.  Total time: 3:27:38 (running time 3:21:31).  Really tough trail.  Fun adventure.  Separate write up to follow. 

Sunday: 5.5 miles - Cambridge roads with Chris.  This was just an easy run with my brother-in-law up in the city.  My legs didn't feel horrible, but they didn't have much life in them when running.  Red Sox game with the family followed. 

Overall: Really fun week of running, capped by Saturday's adventure.  Body still feeling good.  Strava had me at 5,271' of climbing for the week.  Not bad for a flatlander. 

Weekly Total: 72 miles
Last Week: 75 miles
Year to Date: 1114 miles
April Total: 300 miles
May Total: 38 miles