My focus is still going to be on trails and hills with some speedwork sprinkled in to keep me honest. My next race will be Run with the Beavers on July 12th. It seems far away, but I guess it's sooner than I think. I hope to improve my time from last year, but I'm not sure how much faster I can go. Maybe 1:08? I will give it my all. I was planning on the WTAC Bottone Track Mile later this week, but our family schedule is ridiculously busy. There's a chance it might work out, but I'm not counting on it at this point.
Monday: 6 miles - Calf Pasture Point recovery run alone. This run went better than I thought, as my pace and total miles exceeded expectations. Total time: 46:41.
Tuesday: 11.5 miles - Big River trail loop alone. My legs felt lethargic, but the weather was sunny and the trails were dry. I committed to a loop after a few miles in that there was no turning back from. I was happy to finish. I began at Pickle Park and ran the I95 trail down to the Carr Pond side of the park. I approached the ridge from a different direction and then ran around the west side of Carr Pond and back up Foster's Folly. Total time: 1:37:17.
Wednesday: 10.5 miles - Rome Point trails and beach alone. I had the urge to run the coastline in the hot sun (mid 80's). I zigzagged on trails before jumping on the rocky shoreline at the point and headed south. I couldn't make it very far as the tide was super high. I would have had to wade across the tidal stream. I was able to keep things interesting enough to last a few more miles. I included one yellow dot loop (approx. 1 mile with one good hill) at a decent clip (6:47) near the end. Overall, my legs were feeling better and my pace was borderline peppy. Total time: 1:21:34.
Thursday: 12 miles - Exeter(?) hilly roads (paved and dirt) solo workout. It was cooler today (high 70's), but very muggy. I parked at the ballfield on the New London Turnpike right off of Rte 102. My plan was hills at a good pace. There happened to be a bunch of Strava segments I could attempt from here. I ran up the dirt hill and down Gardiner Rd. I turned around after I finally reached the bottom of the meandering hill. I pushed myself back up the .9 mile hill at 6:50 pace (KOM). I then dropped down a short steep hill on Ten Rod Rd. This climb was tough, but didn't last long (KOM). I was now hot and thirsty, but I pressed on to New London Turnpike (unimproved dirt road section). This feels like an endless downhill. You just want to get it over with since the woods are sketchy (full of random garbage like half a hot tub, and numerous ATV trails). I finally popped out onto Dawley Park Rd (paved) and began another Strava climb. This one was rather long and had a couple of steeper sections. I was fatiguing, but I got the KOM at 6:52 pace. I turned around and ran back down, ready to end this run. But I had two more climbs on the agenda. First, the long dirt climb up New London Turnpike (felt endless - KOM) and then the dirt climb up Ten Rod Road I had done before with Galoob a few weeks ago. This one was interesting. As I began the climb (with a bad attitude) I could hear a car coming in the opposite direction. I moved all the way over to the edge of the shoulder. Then I saw this car going way too fast coming down the hill. The driver panicked, hit the breaks, and then began fishtailing out of control. I jumped off the road and into the woods for safety. The guy did regain control, but I thought he was going to crash. I now had a good adrenaline rush to carry me the rest of the way on this tough steep climb. I didn't get the KOM (already have it, but missed my record by 2 seconds). I let my legs go on the descent back to my car finishing up the 12 miles in 1:24:27. 1019' of climbing.
Friday: 10 miles - DuVal trails alone. Slow run. My legs felt sluggish. It was a nice afternoon however, and the mountain laurel was blooming. Total time: 1:24:36.
Saturday: 16 miles - Solo Sunrise Summer Solstice trail run in Arcadia. The plans for a group run petered out, and I wondered if I would still wake up early enough to run by myself. My alarm went off and I ignored it, but after trying to fall back to sleep without success, I headed out the door. I wasn't on the trail by the time of the official sunrise of 5:13AM (I was still in my car), but I was off running by 5:29AM. My plan was to run the proposed course for a friend's wedding next month. I'm the designer and director. The wedding will be at Alton Jones. My idea is to make a loop of Breakheart/Hudson/Mt Tom/Escoheag trails and then connect to Alton Jones somehow. It looks very close on a map, but figuring it out in the woods was another thing. I parked at the John B Hudson Trail and ran the loop CCW. It was chilly (49 degrees!), but it felt exhilarating to be out in this great wilderness alone. I kept the pace peppy. When I reached the possible Alton Jones connecting spots, I explored the possibilities (not obvious) and then backtracked to the one definite one (more out of the way though). I found an old mtn bike trail that hugs the border which was fun. I continued on to Penny Hill where I detoured (bushwhacked) to a secret overlook I had be shown 20 years ago. Soon after this, I began to feel tired. I was about an hour and a half into the run. My pace slowed and the climb up Escoheag Trail and continuing on Mt Tom Trail was a real challenge. Coming down the ledges of Mt Tom might have been harder. At last I hit the soft pine trails near the Wood River and reached my car after 2:12:56 of running. Total elevation gain of 1246'.
View from Penny Hill Overlook
Sunday: 2 miles - Kettle Pond trails with my kids. My daughter suggested I take her and my son on a trail run while my wife was out running with a friend in the morning. Awesome! We drove down to the Kettle Pond Preserve and ran the trail system there. We kept it fun by stopping every few minutes at something interesting. Usual a giant boulder to climb. We also made it out to the lookout tower. 24:21 running time. I decided to not go out for any more miles the rest of the day.
Looking out towards Ninigret Pond and Block Island Sound
Weekly Total: 68 miles
Last Week: 55 miles
Year to Date: 1585 miles
June Total: 187 miles