Friday, January 30, 2015

Winter Weather Week: 1-26-15 to 2-1-15

Well running conditions got messy rather quickly.  We were spoiled in southern RI until now.  Miles are difficult to come by with the big storm on Monday/Tuesday.  More snow is scheduled for Friday and Sunday.  It's also been frigidly cold.  The trails are unrunnable until someone or something lays down tracks first.  Not it!  The roads are shoulderless, sloppy, and drifts block sight lines at intersections.  Oh, and there is the Super 5K on Sunday at high noon.  It looks like I will be around, so no excuse not to do this fun team event (even though I have no interest in a road 5K at this moment). 

Monday: 13 miles on two runs.  First, due to the impending storm due in the afternoon, I got out early and headed to the URI indoor track.  My legs were tired and sore in places from my long tough trail run the day before, but if I go to the track, I need to do something to keep it interesting.  I decided to do cruise intervals - T paced miles with 1 minute recoveries.  Here's what I wrote on Strava:

1.5 mile warm up w/ strides then 5 x 1 mile @ T (5:52 target) with 1 minute recoveries. Results: 5:51/5:50/5:48/5:46/5:48. Legs were tired after long run yesterday, but the mile repeats got easier as I went along. 1 mile cool down w/ strides.

Total time was 52 minutes.  Then in the early afternoon, as the office was closing up, I headed over for a quick recovery run in Ryan Park.  I donned Yaktrax and ran on the snow covered icy trails for 41 minutes as the storm was moving in.  My legs were absolute toast and this was a hard run for me.  The snow picked up in intensity as I ran and my drive home took longer than I'd like since the snow was already sticking to the roads. 

goodbye trails, comeback soon
Tuesday: 0.  The state was closed down.  We fared well during the storm.  It was very windy all night, but thanks to the dry snow, the power remained on.  It was cold and still snowing all morning.  I did about 2 hours of shoveling.  There was about a foot and a half on our driveway, but the wind was blowing snow all over the place so who knows how much we really got.  I enjoyed the cross training.  In the early afternoon I was going to head out on a snowshoe expedition, but somehow ended up napping for an hour!  When I did get ready to go outside our neighbors had hiked down to our yard.  I snowshoed for 2 minutes and it was terrible.  Too exhausting.  We then opted to make a sketchy sled hill down our slope for the kids.  It turned out pretty awesome.  Everyone eventually got cold and we went inside for hot chocolate (the adults got to have Bailey's added - delicious).  Fun snow day! 
Wednesday: 8 miles - hilly local roads in the morning.  The kids had the day off again.  The roads up on the hill were in terrible shape so I decided to work from home in the morning and then go into the office in the afternoon.  I ran at 8am from my house with Yaktrax.  It was chilly and I worried about getting too cold (debated wearing the balaclava but didn't).  It was 14 degrees at my house, colder in the valleys, and windy.  Anyway, the frozen snow on the roads were perfect for Yaktrax.  I got a few comments from people shoveling out, but the run went rather well.  I just kept a steady pace doing the out and back on Buckeye Brook Rd to White Tail Circle and then taking the long way home (down Kings Factory and back up the other side of Shumankanuc Hill Rd).  I was cold at times, but I was fine overall.  Total time: 59:44 with 567' of climbing. 
Winter Wonderland
Thursday: 7 miles - URI indoor track workout alone.  I was going to have a weird day at work so I needed to run early.  I went to the track with a few different ideas of workouts - not sure if I should do I paced stuff with the possible race on Sunday, more T miles, or short R paced intervals.  It was 7 degrees at my house, but as I drove down into the valley (Wood River Junction) it got down to -7!  It was only 0 at URI - both when I arrived and left.  I got inside and was ready to go when I realized I left my watch in my car.  Hmm.  I didn't care to go back outside so I just did a workout watchless.  This was very liberating.  I opted for R paced 200's with 200 rest.  I usually run 200's too fast (R pace should be 37).  I tried to tone it down a little and just focus on form and consistency.  I did a 2 mile warm up with strides and then 16 x 200.  The full rest was good.  I never got tired or out of whack form-wise.  One mile cooldown as time was getting short.  Funny moment - I finally got nailed by a tennis ball (the women's tennis team practices inside early on weekday mornings).  I was warming up and got hit in the side pretty good.  The player was very apologetic, but I just laughed it off.  I did have to have my guard up since they were practicing serving.  Total time 54 minutes. 
Friday: 10 miles - Saunderstown hilly roads alone.  I had no idea where to run today.  It snowed again (with some rain mixed in) in the early morning (more coming at night?), but the temperature was in the mid 30's.  Trails were out of the question, so it was going to be roads somewhere.  I haven't run in Saunderstown in a while and remember many snowy runs here in the past few years.  I went to the park and ride on 1A and then wandered around the hilly side streets.  I wore shorts, but my feet and legs got soaked from all the slush.  Also, my legs were lifeless.  I felt really slow, but I did manage to get in my prescribed 10 miles and ended up with over a thousand feet of elevation gain.  Total time: 1:13:29.  I felt better about this run when a coworker told me he saw me running and I looked like I was cruising.  Thanks! 
Saturday: 10 miles - frigid roads with Muddy.  The long run that wasn't meant to be.  The plan was a two hour run on roads, but the weather continues to be an issue.  This morning it was 11 degrees with 20-30 mph sustained winds with gusts to 40+.  I dressed as smartly as I could.  Muddy and I agreed to nix our planned route and just do a shorter loop and come back to the cars to warm up and re-evaluate.  We ran north on Switch Rd through the turf fields and the full effect of the dangerously cold winds were realized.  Once we turned around however, we felt fine.  We stopped after about 5 miles and then went back out and did the same basic loop again.  Total time:1:12:10. 
Sunday: 12 miles - Super 5K in Narragansett.  17:25, 9th overall.  Extremely close team competition with TNT, but WTAC for the win!  I didn't have any expectations for this road 5K, but accomplished what I wanted: have fun.  Separate write up to follow. 
Overall:  This was a tough week to run.  I'm happy to somehow eek out 60 miles.  My legs actually felt more tired, probably because of the two track workouts, the race, and running in snow/slop outside.  Trail 10K next Saturday in my home park (Ryan).  If I want to have a good race, I need to go track out the course during the week so that it is runnable.  The thought of snowshoeing on all this snow seems daunting.  Maybe Galoob can organize a fat bike ride to pack it down instead. 
Weekly Total: 60 miles
Last Week: 80 miles
Year to Date: 315 miles
January Total: 303 miles
February Total: 12 miles

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