Finally my body is feeling recovered from the marathon and biking. I decided to celebrate by beating it back into submission last week.
Monday: 11 miles - long hilly road tempo solo. Unplanned workout. I was feeling so good at the start, and my pace was peppy without too much exertion. I began from the park and ride on Rte 2 in East Greenwich. My plan was to run roads today and mix in some long hills. I mapped a course that included 3 miles up, 1 mile down, 1.5 miles up and then turnaround. The weather was cool, but perfect for running. By the time I crested the first hill at three miles, I had a good pace going, and decided to keep it up. The second hill (on Bates Trail) was new to me, and seemed way longer than I remembered from the map. I was really pushing myself up this hill, knowing that it was mostly down hill once I finished it. The way back was fun. I didn't settle for easy descents, instead I worked them. My last two miles dropped to the 5:40's and 5:30's. I put a good amount of effort into this run, but certainly there was more in the tank. This definitely put the idea of running a road half marathon in my head. Total time: 1:08:46 with 726' of climbing. Average pace: 6:14. GAP: 6:06.
Tuesday: 10 miles - middle Big River trails alone. Fun run with some exploration. I was feeling tired from yesterday's workout and decided the mellow trails in the middle of Big River would be perfect. There are some hills, but the trails are mostly smooth, and definitely not technical. After getting confused for a bit between Hopkins Hill Rd and the Cardi Rd, I popped out of the woods and reentered on the Sizzler single track. I made my way north and then remembered seeing a faint trail off to the north after Sizzler peters out to the west. I took it and hoped I could figure it out. I thought there was a loop segment somewhere, but was worried I was wrong, or there would be other trails to get confused on. Well I found it - the mtn bikers call it Archie Says. There was no evidence of any recent use, and with all the fallen leaves, the trail was barely still visible. It's a fun loop, and one I will probably incorporate into my routine. I returned via the more straight wide trail to the Cardi Rd. I then ran some more trails, finally returning up the hill via the new single track. Total time: 1:20:13.
Wednesday: 8 miles - Ryan Park trails alone. Workout Wednesday? Sort of. It was a crappy weather day and I needed some inspiration to get out the door. I decided to head over to Ryan, a favorite rainy running spot, and try my luck at two new segments in the park: one I tried before NipMuck that is .8 miles on the wide dirt/gravel lane through the fields (no GPS match) and the other is a 3.3 mile loop of the main trails around the pond including Oak Hill Road (paved). I've never done this loop. I figured I would warm up for a mile or two on single track, then run this long loop at a CR pace (I needed to be in the low 7's), then run the field segment hard back to my car. I ended up running a 20 minute warm up before beginning the long loop segment. I tried to just run smart, taking advantage of the road section (which has a steep descent). I ran the loop in 21:40, good for a 6:40 average pace, and the CR. I then recovered for a few minutes before embarking on the field segment. I ran this fast, not as fast as my attempt a few weeks ago, but ended up averaging 5:41 pace and grabbed the CR. I ran a mile cool down before calling it a day. Total time: 56:31.
Thursday: 11 miles - SK road/trail mix with Galoob. I knew I may be in for some trouble based on how my legs were feeling and the fact that I was meeting Mike for a run. We kept the pace peppy throughout this fun jaunt through trails, the bike path, and neighborhood roads. We even ran a short powerline section that had just been cut. Literally we were running on top of brier stubs. It was fun talking about XC racing (I was assuming at this point I was racing the Mayor's Cup on Sunday). The miles on pavement were in the 6:40's with a 6:20 finish. Total time: 1:12:54.
Friday: 8.5 miles - Carter Preserve trails alone. This was just the spot to keep the pace easy, but the fun high. I had the place to myself. Total time: 1:07:28. In other news, it looks like Sunday's race will be a no go for me.
Saturday: 16.5 miles - Tillinghast Pond - Wickaboxet trails with Muddy and Matty P. I quickly made a plan to run with Muddy in the morning and I've been hoping to show him these trails for a while. I then decided to reach out to Matty P, who lives nearby these trails, to see if he wanted to join us. He was in too, except that he only was looking for 45 minutes or so as he continues his Hartford Marathon victory recovery. We met up at 7AM and ran a fun loop on these relatively easy trails with lively conversation. We dropped off Matty P after 48 minutes and then headed back out towards Wickaboxet. We detoured off the well marked trail system to check out Rattlesnake Ledge. After briefly getting off track coming back down, we re-followed the blazed trail. We then took the white trail into the Pratt Preserve which had a good sized hill, and at the end, followed it back down. We then ran the north segment of the trail system, finishing up on the scenic Logging Trail. Total running time of 2:15:09 with 783' of climbing. No fuel either, which meant a stop at D&D on the way home for donuts and more coffee.
Sunday: 5 miles - local roads to Schoolhouse Pond and back alone. I had a short window to run before we met up with family for the rest of the day and after my wife's morning run with a friend. My goal was just to grab some easy miles to get 70 for the week. I ran roads to Schoolhouse Pond, which includes almost 2 miles on dirt, and back. Total time: 36:36.
Overall: Great week. I needed Monday's run to feel fast again. Sometimes the roads are good for that. You just can't tell your fitness using GPS data on the trails. My new plan is to possibly run a longer road race this fall. I'm feeling confident about Li'l Rhody Runaround on 11/16.
Weekly Total: 70 miles
Last Week: 64 miles
Year to Date: 2737 miles
October Total: 225 miles