This year has started out strong thanks to a bout of free time and pleasant weather. The last few days have been a bit more challenging (back to work, frigid temps), but I'm managing to keep up the daily runs. 1st race of the year and 2nd race in the 4th Season Trail Race Series is on Sunday (Resolution Beach & Trail 5K). I haven't had a great race at this venue yet, but I think I may be due. We'll see.
Thursday 1/1: 11 miles - Stroudwater Trail in Westbrook Maine with roads (4M total) to/from alone. Happy New Year! After a fun night with a full house of old friends and kids I was able to get out the door around 9AM for my first run of the year. I thought my head might feel a little fuzzy, but it didn't. Chilly (20 degrees), but very little wind. I dressed appropriately and cruised on my favorite out and back trail. The only drawback was the frozen uneven ground. I've run into feet/ankle problems in previous winters in these conditions. No issues today. 6:20's and 6:30's on the roads felt smooth. Total time: 1:16:12.
Friday 1/2: 13 miles on two runs. Back home in RI and my wife had to work for part of the day. The kids and I went outside to play in the morning. I ran 12 home trail loops (4 miles) in about 30 minutes while they fooled around on their new bikes, ran around in the woods, and fought over which swing was better. Later in the afternoon I was able to get out for another run. I ran from my house to the Carter Preserve. I made it an out and back: up the power line, briefly on yellow to blue to the new field trail. I then ran 3/4 around the field and then retraced my steps. It was getting a bit dark and I pushed the roads back up to my house (my 3rd fastest ascent). 9 miles in 1:03:02.
Saturday 1/3: 14 miles - T pace workout alone on a local flat road. Muddy had emailed earlier in the week about doing some marathon workouts together (with Jeff too). Both seemed to be temporarily sidelined (illness/shin splints), and I made the decision to try the prescribed 1st workout on my own in the morning chill (25 degrees). The workout was 3-5 easy, 3 miles @ T pace, 3 min rest, 2 miles @ T pace, 2 min rest, 1 mile @ T pace, 1 min rest, then 3-5 easy. I was nervous about completing this. If it was 6 miles at Marathon pace then I thought it would be no trouble at all, but my lack of recent T pace work made me worried. I ran 4 miles at an easy pace (averaged 7:11). I really had to make myself slow down and stay within Easy range (7:05-7:30). I did the T pace stuff on Rte 91 from Alton to Carolina. The 3 miles went better than I expected. It was challenging and felt like it took forever (not knowing where the stopping point would be). I looked at my pace after a half mile and was at 5:50. My T pace according to VDOT is 5:52. I then never looked at my pace again, just gauging my effort as good enough. I was surprised when I finished to see my time of 17:36 - exactly 5:52 average pace! I then jogged slowly for 3 minutes and heading back towards Alton. 2 miles felt very manageable and I ended up being a little too quick in 11:37 (5:48 pace). I backtracked for 2 minutes and then continued on for 1 more mile to Alton. I either got a little careless or I had a GPS issue with pine tree cover, because when I checked my pace after 2/3 of a mile, it was at 5:58. I felt like I was running too fast, but now I was picking it up trying to reach 5:52 by the time the mile was up. I finished at 5:53. I was super pumped to nail this workout. I then jogged slowly for 1 minute and then picked it back up to Easy pace (not easy!!) for 3.25 miles back home. Total time: 1:33:43.
Sunday 1/4: 7 miles - recovery trail run around Burlingame Campground. 56 minutes.
Weekly Total: 81 miles BOOM!
Year to Date: 45 miles
January Total: 45 miles
Monday 1/5: 9.5 miles - Ryan Park trails with Galoob. Back to work and busy. Mike met me for a lunch run in Ryan. It was fun catching up on our breaks while we twisted our way around the park. Total time: 1:14:43.
Tuesday 1/6: 10.5 miles - Rome Point trails and coastline alone. There were flurries most of the day, and I had the urge to go run in the snow. I decided to hit up Rome for a short run (it was cold - 19 degrees). I enjoyed tracking around in the coating of snow for a few miles before jumping on the shoreline. What I didn't factor into my run was that there was a lunar low tide happening at that exact time. Further, the lack of wind and waves made the bay flat as a pancake and the tide seemed even lower than other lunar low tides I had seeked out. Rocks near Greene Point (halfway between Rome Pt and the bridge) were exposed that had harbor seals lying on them. The bay was filled with birds (mostly gulls and brant geese). I was excited to see how far south I could trek. Well, I ended up make it about a 1/4 mile further south then ever before. This was extremely exciting. I could see my goal of Casey Point, but I would have to run/wade through water to get by a particular section of cliffs. Maybe on another day this will be exposed too. I then turned around and made my way back. Surprisingly fantastic run! Total time: 1:23:22.
Wednesday 1/7: 8 miles - URI indoor track workout alone. It was time for some more R pace work. I thought it might be fun to do a bunch of 300's today. My thinking was that it would be easier to stay on pace at this distance rather than 200's (I run too fast) or 400's (I sometimes work too hard). My target time was 56 seconds. Results: 54/52/53/54/53/54/55/55/55/55/56. This was a fun workout. They did feel pretty smooth, especially when I got the timing down. I did 300 rest for each (bathroom break after 5 reps). 2 mile warm up with strides and 2 mile cool down. My body feels much better on the short track this season since I've been running my WU/CD mostly in the opposite direction. Body feels good. Total time about 57 minutes.
Thursday 1/8: 6 miles - Carter Preserve trails alone. I ran later in the afternoon to enjoy the warming temperature (20 degrees, was 1 degree in the morning). My throat is a bit scratchy, but my body feels good. Nice smooth recovery run around the preserve. Total time: 45 minutes.
Friday 1/9: 10 miles - snow covered trails in Ryan Park alone. I got a little carried away on this one, but had an enjoyable time winding myself around all the trails in the park in the newly fallen snow (less than 1"). Encouraging that I never really felt sore from Wednesday's workout. Total time: 1:20.
Saturday 1/10: 5+ miles - local trails and roads alone. Another snow run. I was able to sneak in a quick run while my kids were doing a horse riding lesson up the road. The plows earlier in the morning finally cleared the snow and slush from my road (more snow up on the hill than elsewhere in South County) so I didn't don my Yaktrax. I ran down to the yellow gate and then was the first human to run down and around the old camp trails. There were plenty of coyote and fox tracks however. I took the old trail up to the bottom of Shumankanuc Hill Rd to complete the lollipop course. I do have a mild chest cold, mostly my voice sounds terrible. Body feels good though. Total time: 39:33 with a decent amount of climbing involved.
Sunday 1/11: 8 miles - Resolution 5K Trail & Beach Race. 18:15 - about a 40 second PR! Felt good about that part. The bad news was that the field was stacked again and I finished 9th! Oh well. It was a super fun event. I even got to ride a fat bike. Separate write up to follow.
Weekly Total: 57 miles
Last Week: 81 miles
Year to Date: 102 miles
January Total: 102 miles