Thursday, July 16, 2015

Beaver Week: 7-13-15 to 7-19-15 UPDATED w/ Race Report

I'm looking forward to Saturday's trail race - the 4th annual Run with the Beavers (10M).  This year's field looks super competitive and should have a fun team battle component as well.  The first year I was on a team with my brothers, since no one from the WTAC was running the race.  The last two we included Boj on our team and modified our team name in the process to Hammboj.  Last year was a narrow loss to WTAC (now well represented at the race).  This year, we have added again to our roster (based on a discussion at the Ragnar Trail Relay a few weeks ago).  We are now team Hammbojaloob - adding Mike Galoob to the roster.  This should make for a very interesting showdown with WTAC, which includes super Kiwi Ryan Woolley (3 fastest splits at Ragnar), Chris Garvin, Muddy, and Seth (among others).  I have no idea how this will turn out, but hopefully the friendly competition will lead to an epic race and PR's. 

Monday: 12 miles - mix of paved and dirt roads in the Exeter/Richmond area.  I guess I got the idea to run here after reading Jeff's post about Old Mountain Trail.  I parked on the NLT near the Wawaloam School and ran a loop from there.  It was hot and humid, but I carried nothing.  The run went well.  I was using my phone (RidewithGPS app), so I didn't know how long, fast, or far I was going.  I just ran on feel - trying not to overdo it in the heat.  I ended up with just over 1,000' of climbing according to the app and finished in 1:32:20. 

Tuesday: 10 miles - morning group track workout at CCMS with Galoob and Woolley.  It was great to have Woolley join us this morning.  It was extremely muggy - 70 degrees with 70 degree dew point.  During a longish warm up with strides, the workout plan was hashed out.  Those two guys were going to do 6-8 1K repeats at roughly my R pace (74s quarters).  I would do 10-12 400's with them.  This worked really well.  Every two 1000's, I ran the first lap with them, did a second 400 alone during their recovery, and a third 400 on their last lap of the 2nd 1000, then we would recover together and start again.  I felt much stronger than last week's 10x400 workout, but I was having trouble nailing my target of 74.  I'm guessing it was the heat.  My body felt under control the entire time today and I ended up doing 12 repeats: 76/74/74/75/76/74/75/75/75/74/74/75.  1 mile cool down.  I planned to go back out for a short double later that day, but ended up bagging it. 

Wednesday: 7 miles - late afternoon 5K tempo alone.  There was talk at the track yesterday about following up with a tempo block today.  I was a little apprehensive about doing too much the week of a race, but I also want to put up a good time at Blessing next Friday night.  I was stuck in the office all day until late in the afternoon.  I decided to run in East Matunuck.  The roads are relatively flat, I could swim or bodysurf in the ocean post run, and I could reminisce about the place I lived for a few years after college.  I parked at the end of Succotash Rd in the village of Jerusalem.  It was another very muggy day with a foreboding sky.  I checked the radar and it looked like any thunderstorms were far enough away that I wouldn't be in danger.  I jogged north up the road.  The air was extremely thick.  I was still oddly looking forward to this.  The loose plan was 20 minutes at T pace (5:52), but I was going to be satisfied with 5K.  After two miles warming up, I was happy to see there was still a bathroom at the tennis courts.  I then ran another 1.5 miles through the South County Hills (good name for a blog) neighborhood, mixing in some strides.  I stopped at Jerry Brown Farm Rd to stretch and collect my thoughts.  The amount of sweat on me was amazing.  I jogged a few more meters and then began my tempo.  My GPS watch pace always bounces around so much the first half mile, so I tried to not look at it.  I got a little turned around in the neighborhood, which wasn't a big deal, but still equated to a cone turnaround event.  What I hoped would be a downhill then flat course, turned out to have a couple of uphill bumps in it the first mile.  My watch pace settle on 5:51 after a mile, and I kept it right there most of the rest of the way.  Despite the workout yesterday, I was happy that the pace felt decent on my legs.  I was uncomfortable though thanks to the weather.  I pushed on, even through a slight annoying headwind near the ocean.  I made the decision after two miles to just do 5K, rewarding myself for nailing the pace so far.  As I got closer and closer to the finish, my body seemed to get hotter and hotter.  Finally I reached 3.1 miles and stopped.  18:07! (5:51 average pace).  I was elated.  I quickly got in my car and drove down to the state beach lot (now not charging).  I couldn't wait to ride some waves - they looked good during my run.  I parked at the far west end.  The storms looked pretty close.  I decided to jog .4 miles to get an even 7 for the day and then bodysurf.  I kept my watch on and the playback on Strava is kind of fun.  Waves were chest high and occasionally bigger.  I need to keep my bodyboard and fins in the car just in case for times like this. 

Fantasic conditions at East Matunuck

Take out dinner, watching storms from my deck

Thursday: 5 miles - Rome Point trails alone.  Just a very easy run.  Total time: 42:43. 

Friday: 7 miles - deCoppet Preserve scouting.  I needed to find some way to spruce up another easy running day and quiet day at work.  I decided to park at the Crawley Preserve on Glen Rock Rd in Usquepaug and run a loop of roads and trails.  I headed down the road and then up and over the big hill on Punchbowl Trail.  I continued west on Punchbowl, now an old dirt road.  Once I reached Hillsdale Rd, I veered north.  It was kind of hot and I just tried to keep the running easy.  I then reached a gate I planned to run trails in.  Although there are no maps online, the state has posted maps at all marked gaits for the relatively new deCoppet Preserve.  I planned to connect to James Trail (paved road) and then return to my car.  Instead I just cruised on the ridge carriage road heading south through the preserve.  I stirred up a large deer and then a fox a few minutes later.  Eventually I connected back on the dirt Punchbowl Trail.  I then went up and over the paved hill and returned to my car.  This was a really fun place to run.  The carriage roads are great for fast trail running and the paved roads have some super hills.  I hope to do a long group run in here soon.  Total time: 55:33 with 618' of climbing.  I drove down the road to a small parking area near the Dugway Bridge and took a quick swim to cool off. 

view of Dugway Bridge from my swimming spot

Saturday: 14 miles - Run with the Beavers 10M Trail Race - 1:10:03, 7th overall, team Hammbojaloob 2nd place.  This is always a great race put on by the Jackmans.  The 5 mile loop is legit.  So fun for a trail race.  This was my fourth time running it (check my races page for the other write ups).  I knew that the race was going to be stacked with fast friends, and this might have tempered my enthusiasm for racing the day of.  It was more just a great excuse to hang out and run with my peers.  Don't mistake me, the effort was going to be there, I just wasn't nervous at all.  At bib pickup, Bob handed me the reward for our team win at the Ragnar NE Trail Relay last month - a giant belt buckle/bottle opener.  Pretty cool.  I spent a lot of time chatting with WTAC and Hammbojaloob team members and eventually most of us headed out for a warm up.  It was relatively cool this morning and overcast.  I knew it was going to be muggy, but at least the other two 'H's were under control.  I did a bunch of strides to wake up my legs at the start line.  Finally it was time to race. 

For so many fast guys up front, no one wanted to lead.  After the initial hill, things began to shake out the way I thought.  A lead pack of Greg, Woolley, Galoob, Garvin, and Brightman developed.  I wasn't planning on hanging with them.  I did however want to be in front of the other WTAC guys Muddy and Seth.  Things were going pretty well the first couple of miles.  I was trying to work the technical single track hard, knowing I had some nearby lurkers.  After the sketchy steep downhill I was now trying my best to negotiate the wet and muddy spots.  I ended up planting my left foot in some mud and the mud ate my shoe.  My foot popped out and I took a couple of steps with only one shoe on.  Now what!?  There was a fleeting thought of just keep going, but that would be crazy.  I turned around and grabbed my shoe out of the mud.  I then had to decide to either untie it or just try to jam my foot back in.  I tried the latter, but it was stuck on my heel.  At this point 5 guys had passed me.  I didn't panic, but wasn't sure how to proceed.  I decided that for the team battle, I needed to get back as many places as possible and also try to run as fast as possible for the duration (I wasn't sure which team scoring method was being used).  Just staying pat was not going to cut it.  It's really weird trying to start right back up racing.  It felt awkward.  I caught one guy (who I believe was doing the 5 miler?), but catching anyone else quickly was not going to be easy.  Finally on the dirt road section I passed a Crutchley lookalike and then before the next trail section,  I caught Seth.  Seth was not going away quietly however.  Despite my pushing hard, Seth seemed to be right on my tail.  I could hear him close by until the long climb in the last mile.  I flew down the other side and completed my first lap.  I didn't bother to look at my watch.  It didn't matter.  I just needed to catch the next guy who was in my sights - Chris Fox.  On the dirt road beginning of lap 2, he seemed like he was within striking distance.  Surely he would slow down on the impending technical single track.  I was motivated, but tried to just keep plugging along.  After a while in the woods, it became apparent I wasn't going to catch him.  There was no sign of him or anyone.  To make things more depressing, I saw Galoob walking down a dirt road which meant he had dropped out of the race.  There would be no team win for us this year.  I tried to keep going as fast as possible, but I'm sure there was a natural let down in my pace.  I continued to run in no man's land to the finish. 

Post race was festive, chatting with the same group of guys as earlier.  We did a very slow cool down and then left after awards.  Results here 

the first climb

mile 4

mile 9
 Photos courtesy of James Lastowski.  More here

Scott Mason photos here

Me playing catch up on lap one - pic

Me trying to keep my shoes on lap two - pic

Sunday: 0 - decided to give my body a break from running.  I managed to keep myself busy doing other things on this HHH day including 1.5 hrs of swimming in a pool and 2 hrs of bass slapping at band practice. 

Weekly Total: 56 miles
Last Week: 73 miles
Year to Date: 1,978 miles
July Total: 166 miles


  1. Is that a lobster roll for takeout? Have fun at the beaver race.