It's time for the race I love to hate - The Blessing of the Fleet 10 Mile Road Race. The event itself is super fun with so many friends, past and present, in attendance. I have real expectations this year, and hope to be ready to rock on Friday night. I need to go sub 1 hour. I want to go sub 59. Because of my training this year (very limited road tempo's or races), I'm not sure what sort of shape I'm in. However, after a strong race at the Keene 4 on the 4th, I hope that I'm capable of doing very well. Weather is always a factor. We'll see.
Monday: 10 miles - Rome Point trails and coastline alone. Very hot day (low 90's), so I was just looking to grab some miles and then swim in the cool bay waters. I was feeling pretty good however, and grabbed a bunch of miles before I stopped on the north side of the point to cool off. The tide was strongly running out of Bissel Cove, which created a 'lazy river' situation. Fun stuff. I then ran for another 15 minutes or so as the skies darkened and then briefly rained on me as I finished. Total time: 1:20:08.
Tuesday: 10 miles - Snake Den trails alone. I was trying to spice up my lackluster day with a new spot to run. Somehow I ended up scoping out Snake Den State Park. It actually wasn't that far from the office. I had printed out the state map, but also ran with my phone in my hand to watch my GPS position. The place was really fun. Most of the trails are double track and fast. But there are some interesting hills to run and the connector trail was an overgrown single track that was hard to follow and hard to stay clean on. There are also Strava segments. I do love them, especially on hills. I wasn't looking for a workout, so I didn't kill myself on any this time around. Besides, Seth has set the bar pretty high on a couple I found out. Well done Seth. I mostly stayed on my anticipated course, beginning on the south side and winding my way over to the north. I really liked the south to north climb that cuts across a powerline. It was long and challenging. There was a nice view at the top and I stopped to snap a picture. Despite it being cooler than yesterday, it was still very hot, especially with the sun out and climbing hills. I was sweating buckets! I continued on, finding a creepy area that looked like a dump and had a recent forest fire in it. I ended up missing the segment back up to the lookout named 'Seth' and instead ended up on a much flatter double track. That was the only bummer of my trip. I refound the connector and picked up my pace since it was a segment in this direction. What a disaster! I kept losing the trail, I fell once, and was hammered by deer flies. Once that was over, I detoured to check out a segment called 'Lost Trail Climb'. This trail was awesome. A hilly switchback that ended (or began) in a field overlooking a farm. I stopped to check my map and let a woman and her dog pass before I ran the segment. Fun stuff. I then had another mile of double track to get back to my car. I really enjoyed this place and hope to come back soon. Total time: 1:17:10 with 715' of elevation gain.
Wednesday: 7+ miles - bike path/Canonchet Farm Trail, and beach roads. I had to stop at Wakefield Music to pick up some supplies for the band. I then ran from the Belmont parking lot via the bike path to the Canonchet Farm Trail. I was surprised at how hot it felt, since it was supposedly much nicer weather today (it still got up to the mid to high 80's). I tried to ignore the many deer flies bouncing off my head and back on the trail. I then ran about 2 miles of roads in the beach area. What a zoo. I returned on the trail and bike path to my car. Total time: 55:43.
Thursday: 0 - Whale Rock hike by myself at lunch. This place is awesome. The half mile trail empties out onto rugged coastline. Today I went north about 3/4 of a mile. It was just me and the birds out there.
Friday: 16 miles - Blessing of the Fleet - 58:39, huge PR!! See separate write up.
Saturday: 0 - dog walk in the Glacier Park while the kids were at karate. Legs feel decent. Still very excited about the race.
Sunday: 8 miles - Burlingame trails with Garvin and Gazelle. We did a loop from my house in the morning. Despite racing the last two days, Jeff was pushing the pace, and especially out of control on the down hills. Deer fly city on this muggy late July morning, which is to be expected I guess. Fun showing the guys around. Total time: 1:05:06 with 580' of climbing.
Overall: I'm just super pleased with my Blessing race. I ran smart, but hard. Light week overall, but it paid off. I hope to ramp up the miles again the next two weeks, before slowing down during vacation time. I hope to possibly race another of the big local races, but most likely my next race will be the St. Peter's 4 Miler in Portland, ME on 8/15. My first as a master! I do plan on getting back to lots of hill work and trails, gearing up for Pisgah 23K and Nipmuck Trail Marathon in the early fall.
Weekly Total: 51 miles
Last Week: 56 miles
Year to Date: 2,029 miles
July Total: 217 miles