Monday, March 23, 2015

Week in Review: 3-16-15 to 3-22-15

Starting to get more serious about the Wapack 21.5 Mile Trail Race coming up in early May.  The race filled up right away, and I'm glad I got in.  No pressure: 

My mileage has been great during this miserable winter, but it's time to focus on climbing and descending.  Unfortunately, I can't do this yet on trails (still too much snow), but I can certainly make sure to mix in good hills in any type of run. 

Monday: 10 miles - Exeter/West Greenwich road loop.  I parked at Cuttyhunk Preserve and then headed north on Hopkins Hill Rd.  I then went left on Henry Brown Rd.  I needed to tack on a bit extra to make the loop exactly 10 miles, so I took a short detour on a road called Orion View.  I've been curious about the view and love the name.  The road is high up, but I couldn't see over the tree line.  I continued on New London Turnpike (paved and dirt) to Falcon Drive.  I headed south to Widow Sweets Rd (curious about this name too).  I was feeling pretty good as I dropped down the dirt hill on Pardon Joslin Rd (the improved section).  When I reached the far end with the big unimproved dirt road climb I was in for a treat.  First there was a snow bank to scale and then I had to "run" on 8" of wet untracked snow.  I stopped numerous times and was huffing and puffing.  According to GPS, my pace dropped to 15 minutes per mile.  I made it up, recovered, and then hustled back to my car.  Total time: 1:13:57 with 578' of elevation gain. 

Tuesday: 11 miles - West/East Greenwich road loop.  I parked at the tennis courts on Frenchtown Rd and then headed up Bates Rd to Hopkins Hill Rd.  Lots of climbing here.  I then continued north to Division Street.  I now had the wind at my back and cruised along to Carrs Pond Rd.  After a good climb the road evened out and then dropped quickly down Middle Road.  I cruised back up the other side to Tillinghast and then returned to my car on Frenchtown.  Good peppy run with most miles in the 6:30's and 6:40's except the first uphill 3.  Total time: 1:15:46 with 626' of elevation gain. 

Wednesday: 10 miles - workout on roads solo.  Yesterday afternoon Garvin took a hill segment from me on South Rd in East Greenwich (a long 1.5 mile hill climb).  I debated all morning if it made any sense to try and get the record back.  First off, I wasn't sure I could.  Secondly, even if I did, was it smart to start a Strava battle with Chris?  I actually ended up texting him right before I left for my lunch run.  He gave me his blessing.  Anyway, the plan was to copy his run, but perhaps make it my standard 10 miles (he ran 7).  Besides beginning with the roughly 10 minute hill sprint, he then did a 20 minute tempo on a gradual downhill section of roads.  I liked the idea of feeling fast again, and doing the same thing, pushing myself hard for 3 miles, taking advantage of the downhill terrain (and the wind at my back).  I began from the park and ride on Rte 2 and reached the bottom of the hill climb after a 1/3 of a mile.  I pushed hard.  I was killing myself effortwise, but I felt like I was running in slow motion.  I kept an eye on my watch and it kept showing a faster average pace than Garvin's record.  I made it to the top and stopped.  It took a few minutes to compose myself.  I got the CR by 14 seconds, averaging 6:33 pace.  I then recovered for a mile (uphill) before reaching the plateau on Shippee Rd.  I then began my three miles hard.  It was rewarding to be pushing myself and seeing a fast average pace on the watch.  Through two miles I was averaging 5:38 pace before the steeper drop down Frenchtown Rd to Rte 2.  I finished up in 16:38 (5:33 pace).  That felt good.  I debated returning down the busy Rte 2 to my car (about a mile), but decided to take the longer, more scenic way.  That meant running back up Frenchtown to Tillinghast.  After a mile and a half, there was a roadblock - emergency vehicles turning away traffic.  I think there was a tree down on the telephone lines.  Ugh.  I turned around and retraced my steps back to Rte 2, then headed down the busy road.  Total time: 1:06:17 with 448' of elevation gain. 

Thursday: 10 miles - NK roads with some snowy Ryan Park trails mixed in.  Recovery day.  I wanted to see if some of the trails in the fields and powerline were clear of snow.  It was a mixed bag, but promising.  I then ran a road loop on tired legs.  I finished up on more trails which was fun.  Total time: 1:17:39. 

Friday: 19 miles - local roads to/from the campground and snowy campground trails.  Happy Spring!  I took the day off for my son's science fair in the early afternoon.  Going for a long run all morning seemed like the thing to do.  Unfortunately it was overcast and cold (mid 20's).  I ran from my house, down Buckeye Brook Rd, to Klondike Rd, to the campground entrance.  I averaged 7:05 pace, but it was mostly downhill and didn't feel that easy today.  After exactly 6 miles to the Brrr-lingame course loop, I began the trails portion.  I would say that the course was about 25% clear of snow, but I was optimistic that a lot more will open up in the next few days.  Some parts were still rather deep with lots of postholes.  The bog bridge section was actually in the best shape of any on the course.  I got lost in the campground, never finding the cut throughs and having to back track and bushwack at times.  I finished the loop in about 45 minutes (not terrible at an easyish pace with old road shoes with no traction).  I did slip twice on icy snow and fell down, but if I had Yaktrax I would have been fine.  I continued on the trails following the NST to the campground entrance.  53 minutes of trail running.  I then took roads back to my house, tacking on a little extra to get to 19 miles for the day.  Lots of uphills, but I managed to get the average pace to 7:06 for the return trip.  I really pushed myself up Buckeye Brook Road.  Total time about 2:23 with about 900' of climbing. 

A good section near the ridge

tough double track

bog bridges almost completely clear

starting area looking good

Saturday: 7 miles - Yaktrax run in the snow on the South County Bike Path.  Not much snow at night, but then surprise snow showers all morning.  My son had a birthday party in the morning in Kingston.  After a crappy drive there, I parked at Curtis Corner Middle School.  I donned tights (I thought I was done with them) and Yaktrax.  The snow was tough as it was in my eyes for the whole way out to the train station.  There was an inch plus of fresh snow to run on which was perfect for the Yaktrax.  My legs were tired and I just wanted to get this run over with.  It was beautiful out though.  The run back was a little easier, but I was still tired.  Total time: 56:15.  As soon as I got home the snow stopped, the sun came out, warmed up quickly, and all the new snow (and then some) melted away by nightfall. 

Sunday: 11 miles - Richmond road loop with 2+ miles of snowy trails with Muddy.  We met up at 8AM at the Richmond Town Hall.  I had a fun loop planned out (more fun if the trails didn't have snow on them).  We ran down to Wilbur Hill Rd and then stayed on the TNC/RI DEM main trails over to Beaver River Rd.  The trails were very snow covered at first, but became less so as we kept climbing.  It still wasn't easy with road shoes.  We then ran roads to Punch Bowl Trail.  Instead of going up the steep hill, we turned left on the old dirt road here.  This of course was mostly covered in snow and felt longer than I remembered.  Finally we reached Hillsdale Rd and headed north.  I'm excited to explore the new state trail system here.  We ran up a good long hill before reaching the intersection with Mountain Rd.  It seems silly to have a road named that around here until you run it.  Long drop down to the river and then a really tough climb back out.  We finished up on Carolina Nooseneck back to our cars.  I had to get home immediately so that my wife could run.  I was jealous that Muddy went back out for more miles.  This loop will be really fun in a month or so when there is no snow and we can explore more trails, but still incorporate the road hills.  Total time: 1:26:54 with 707' of elevation gain. 

Overall: This was a good week.  The road workout was fun and a confidence booster, and the solo long run was good too.  I ended up with a good amount of climbing for the week also.  I'm really itching for clear trails and the weather next week should do the trick for most spots.  I'm excited to race the rescheduled Brrr-lingame 10M Trail Race on Sunday the 29th. 

Weekly Total: 78 miles
Last Week: 56 miles
Year to Date: 789 miles
March Total: 201 miles

Monday, March 16, 2015

Week in Review: 3-9-15 to 3-15-15

This was a strange week.  My son and daughter began the week still sick and I ended up catching a version of it on Monday night.  Despite feeling not 100%, after a day off, I felt okay running again.  We had three straight days of 50+ degree weather to begin the week.  Lots of rain at the end.  The snow is still sticking around.  So much so that the Brrr-lingame race on Saturday was postponed.  The weather was so miserable on Saturday that I took a second zero for the week.  I rallied on Sunday for a long run. 

Monday: 5 miles - local roads after work, but before dinner.  Both kids home sick and my wife had to go into work for the morning.  My turn was in the afternoon so no run during the day.  I snuck in a quick run when I got home.  My GPS was off until the last mile.  This is somewhat disturbing to me since I was on roads.  I was moving well up and down the hills.  Total time: 33:50.  Began getting sick at night. 

Tuesday: 0 - sick day with my sick kids.  Beautiful weather unfortunately. 

Wednesday: 10 miles - Quonset roads alone.  My whole family was back to school and work today.  I wasn't feeling that peppy, but the weather was sunny and reached 60 degrees.  I decided to try running, knowing that if my body felt terrible, then it was okay to call it quits.  Running felt good which was really encouraging.  I explored the Quonset area roads since the bike path was still buried under snow.  Despite the lack of shelter from the wind, I found some quieter streets that were somewhat enjoyable.  A good place to do some longer tempo runs for sure.  Total time: 1:10:07. 

Thursday: 10 miles - Exeter paved and dirt roads alone.  I mapped out a potential new 10 mile route.  I wasn't sure if one of the roads was really a road, so  I knew I might have to go to plan B.  That's what happened.  I parked at the Queens River Preserve and ran back towards Rte 2.  I then looped around South Rd to Williams Reynolds Rd to Mail Rd.  Since my plan of taking Hog House Hill Rd wasn't going to work (dead end dirt road at a gun club), I decided to go out and back on the dirt Kingstown Road.  I ran 1.5 miles down and then turned around.  Again my watch failed me as the back was a tenth of a mile shorter than the out.  Also my watch was showing a slower pace.  I was running steady throughout the run and I was again frustrated with technology.  I returned to my car on School Land Rd (dirt).  Total time 1:08:02.  Peppy run. 

Friday: 11 miles - Saunderstown hill workout alone.  I made this one up as I went along, first thinking I would do a mix of some hilly roads, shoreline, and mushy trails.  I ended up parking at Rome Point, running up the hill on Rte 1A, and then doing out and backs on the hilly bay side roads.  I was feeling pretty good today, and decided to push really hard on the first steep hill (Plum Point Rd).  I was happy to improve my CR by a couple of seconds.  This sprint took a lot out of me.  I then did the hills on Fleetwood Drive, Plum Beach Road, Champlin Road, and Cottrell Road.  I pushed the ups and tried to keep a steady pace on the flats and descents.  I repeated Plum Beach, Fleetwood, and Plum Point hills on the way back to my car, throwing in a hard last mile just to complete the torture.  Total time: 1:16:37 with 1,332' of climbing. 

Saturday: 0 - it was raining when I awoke and the early morning was my window to run.  I stayed in bed, made French toast for the family, and had a lazy day with the kids. 

Sunday: 20 miles - long run in the Weekapaug area.  I met 7 other guys at FiveK's house for an hour group run.  My plan was then to keep running with whomever was interested.  I had checked out a 3 mile segment in the Shelter Harbor neighborhood that was labeled as a race in Strava (looked like the Davenport's and friends had done it together on July 6th).  I had the idea of running this race segment hard after 10 easy miles.  The group run was fun, although it took quite some time for my legs to warm up.  We finished up 8 miles in exactly an hour and then I headed back out with Muddy.  He joined me for two miles to Shelter Harbor and then I was alone for the rest of the way.  I began running hard.  It was a long straight down hill to the water.  About halfway through I had the thought that I already started the segment wrong.  Doh!  I messed up again and ended up having to turn around at the community dock dead end.  I then did my best to capture the spirit of the segment running up down and back up to the top of the hill.  I was again getting frustrated with my GPS.  Surely I was running much faster than what it was saying.  I was trying so hard.  Anyway, I reached the end and took a moment to catch my breath.  My watch only had me running 2.8 miles.  I totally messed up the segment so I don't really know how I did.  At least the effort was there and I guess that is what counts.  I was feeling energetic after this, but my legs definitely were slowing down.  I made decisions to make my run longer and headed back down to the Weekapaug shoreline.  I decided to throw in another mile plus hard effort (I wasn't sure how long, but I thought there was a segment for the length of Noyes Neck Rd).  I wandered around, watching some big waves being surfed at Point Panic.  I then began my hard push up Noyes Neck Rd after 17 miles of running.  The road ended up being just a little longer than a mile, and I was happy to have my watch show my pace just under 6 minutes.  I regrouped again, and then ran another couple of circuitous miles back to FiveK's house.  Total time: 2:26:06. 

Overall: I was happy with the long run and the hill workout.  I'm glad everyone in my house is back to normal.  I'm impatiently waiting for the snow to melt off the trails. 

Weekly Total: 56 miles
Last Week: 63 miles
Year to Date: 711 miles
March Total:  123 miles

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Weekly Snow Log: 3-2-15 to 3-8-15

I began this week with the idea I needed to take things down a notch.  I wasn't happy with how trashed my legs felt last week, and also how slow I was feeling on speed work.  But, for some reason or other (staying off the snowshoes for a few days, no hills on the long run with Muddy, very short easy day Sunday), I began this week feeling much fresher.  Still, my band is playing a show on Saturday night and most of the local guys are running a half marathon on Sunday.  This likely means no long run for me.  I may just head down to the Brrr-lingame course and work on that. 

Even the kids are sick of the snow

Monday: 10 miles - URI indoor track alone.  I didn't have my snowshoes with me (6" of new snow overnight) and the roads were very sloppy (sunny and melting).  Off to the track it would be.  After working out the tightness in my lower legs, I began feeling really good on this run, and ended up doing my longest run ever inside.  I was cranking out sub 7's with little effort.  This was very encouraging.  2 miles in 13:43, reverse 2 miles in 13:54, reverse 2 miles in 13:20, reverse 2 miles in 12:59, reverse 2 miles in 13:15.  Total time: 1:07:16. 

Tuesday: 15 miles on two runs.  In the AM, I did a workout at the indoor track since I my legs were still feeling good.  I wanted some redemption, but mostly just practice tempo pace.  My plan was 5 x 1 mile with 1 minute recoveries.  The first one did not feel great and I had my doubts.  I rallied, and like the last time I did this workout, the reps got easier as I went along.  Target: 5:52. Results: 5:50/5:49/5:51/5:51/5:48 with 1 minute recoveries. 1 mile WU, .5 mile CD. Total time: 45:15.  In the afternoon, I headed out for some road miles.  I wanted to keep things easy, but still mix in some elevation.  I ended up doing an out and back that incorporated two roughly 250' climbs.  8 miles in 58:09.  Good day! 

Wednesday: 6 miles - URI indoor track in the AM.  My legs are feeling tired, but not trashed.  I kept the pace very easy.  It felt better going in the "wrong" direction on the track, so I did most of the running that way.  Total time: 44:36. 

Thursday: 11 miles - snowshoe run from work on ridiculously snowy roads to/from snowy trails in Ryan Park.  I wasn't driving anywhere in my car as it was buried in 6" of new snow and it was still puking snow out.  I'm not sure what puking snow means, but I think that is what was going on.  I just through my snowshoes on in the parking lot and began running down the road.  I took the trestle connector through town (luckily just tracked by a cross country skier).  I got out to Rte 1, and waited for no cars to cross over to more snowy neighborhood roads.  I then trudged through the hopelessly deep snow into Ryan Park.  Again I followed cross country skies, and eventually found the guy responsible.  The railbed was okay.  I then took side trails on the west side (frustrating), crossed the field (over knee deep) and then ran back along the railbed.  This time I circled the pond and eventually made my way out.  I retraced my tracks on the roads and trestle.  I then stopped to chat with the cross country skier I had been following.  He was interested in how far I had run and what running snowshoes were all about.  It was here I accidentally saved my run.  I then began a new one, this time heading to the snowy coastline of the NK town beach.  Bad idea.  I had to resort to hiking.  I finished up in about 1hr and 34m of snowshoe running.  A new record for me.  I hope I can drive home. 

the old Wickford village trestle - following the xc ski tracks

Friday: 0 - I originally thought this would be a day to double, but things turned out much differently.  First off, my son was home sick for the second day in a row and it was my turn to stay home with him.  Lazy day.  I did some snow shoveling cross training as we ended up getting a total of ten new inches of snow in Charlestown yesterday.  At night I planned to meet early at the Mews (for the WTAC team celebration of our Super 5K victory) for a run, but I needed to pick up band equipment at a friend's house, and then got stuck in URI traffic.  I missed the start of the run.  I debated going out solo, but the temperature was in the low 20's, the sidewalks were a mess, and I opted to sit in my car and wait for my teammates to finish.  Fun time with the crew at dinner. 

my back deck on March 6th!

This is getting ridiculous!

Saturday: 10 miles - snowshoe run in the Burlingame campground with Garvin and Galoob.  We had a plan to meet up in the late morning at 8AM, and I arrived at 7:30 to bag a few early miles.  The camp roads were nicely plowed, so I stuck to them for 3+ miles before meeting up with the guys.  We then headed out on the Brrr-lingame course to pack it down.  Some spots already had snowshoe tracks, and some didn't.  It was exhausting.  Mike left us to go get his bigger snowshoes.  We made it to Vin Gormley Trail, and then bailed to the camp roads.  I had a time deadline, but we were able to run another nice stretch of snowy trail on the way back, running into Mike again.  Total time: 92 minutes. 

I then spent the afternoon prepping for our band's show at the Crown Plaza.  Set up went well, I enjoyed seeing old friends, and had a blast playing with the guys - our first performance since August 2013.  We ended up playing 50 songs non-stop for close to three hours. 

Sunday: 11 miles - Burlingame campground snowshoe with Galoob.  I was able to meet Mike in the late afternoon on this warm sunny day.  The trails were in much better shape today.  Really fun snowshoe running conditions, but still tough.  I did a 32 minute out and back before meeting up with Mike.  We then did the entire loop, except for the single track parts in the campground itself.  We ran snowy camp roads instead.  I let Mike lead which was probably a mistake.  He set an aggressive pace that I "enjoyed" trying to keep up with.  What a great workout.  Total time: 88 minutes. 

Overall: Decent week.  I enjoyed snowshoeing again.  I need to take it easy next week for Saturday's Brrr-lingame race. 

Weekly Total: 63 miles
Last Week: 75 miles
Year to Date: 655 miles
March Total: 67 miles