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! 
 
video
 
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


Thursday, January 22, 2015

Weekly Log: 1-19-15 to 1-25-15

So far this year I've been able to keep the mileage high as the winter in southern RI has been rather uneventful.  I'm sure we'll eventually get snow that sticks around for a while, making a mess of everything, but until then I will keep the pedal to the metal.  I'm hoping to get in another long/workout run with Muddy on Saturday, however the weather ironically is not looking so hot.  I'm sure we'll still get it in. 

Monday: 12.5 miles - WTAC group run on MLK Day.  There were 8 of us today: 2 Gazelles, Mr. & Mrs. FiveK, 2 Mikes, Janky Knee, and myself.  It was warm for our late morning start of 8am, except that the roads were very icy.  We ran from Jeff's house out to the wall in Watch Hill.  We then ran along the shore back to Misquamicut.  The group split up for this portion and regrouped at the end.  I was hanging back with Crutch until he ordered me to go catch up with the other guys.  Thus began a sub 6, 6 minute sprint.  Fun stuff.  We stopped for a quick photo: 

Crutch, FiveK, Gazelle Jr., Mike B, Seth, Me, Gazelle Sr.
Photo courtesy of Mike Crutchley
 

We then took roads back to Jeff's road where we split up.  I continued on with the Gazelles, while everyone else returned to their cars.  The three of us jumped into the Glacier Park for some trail fun.  I love these trails and have been wanting to run them as it's been quite some time since I was here.  We entered near the overlook and then we ran north via the green trail, making sure to hammer the Moraine Coaster Up segment I created a year ago or so.  I was happy to lower my CR by quite a bit (now 3:50), but Jeff was only one second back.  We then ran south through the "guts" of the park before heading north again on the west side.  We finished up on local roads.  A really fun Monday mix with excellent company.  Total time: 1:36:21. 

Later in the afternoon I took the kids down to the Burlingame Campground.  We brought bikes (I used my wife's - I didn't feel like running anymore today).  We road mostly paved camp roads.  We did ride on some dirt, but it was really soft and mushy.  Whining ensued.  Took a break at the playground that was muddy and gross, but they didn't complain.  3 miles of easy riding total. 

But wait, there's more!  I had band practice at night, as we are playing our first show in a year and a half.  We'll again be performing at the Relay for Life Dinner Dance on March 7th at the Crown Plaza in Warwick.  Good two hour practice session.  Busy day! 

Band practice photo by Jim Avizinis
 
 
Tuesday: 11 miles - East Greenwich hilly road loop alone.  I feel like I've gotten away from hills unless I'm running local in Burlingame.  I wanted an easy day today and decided to run a rather hilly road loop.  It ended up not being as much elevation gain as I was looking for, but it does rise from 60' to 400' in the first three miles and then has smaller ups after that.  My pace was much quicker than I thought for an easy day.  I don't know if that means my easy pace is faster than it should be or what.  Total time: 1:15:46.  637' of climbing. 
 

Wednesday: 16 miles on two runs.  First, I decided to stop at the URI indoor track on my way to work.  My hope was that the track would be quiet and this might prove to be a good option for me.  Plus it can give me the opportunity to run doubles.  My plan was to run R pace (5:00/mile).  I ended up running 400's.  As usual, after a couple of intervals, I doubted that I could finish my plan of 8 repeats, but I stuck with it, and got through it without issues.  Results: 75/75/74/75/75/74/75/75 with 400m recoveries.  I was super pleased for a couple of reasons.  First, I was running blind - I didn't monitor my progress during the interval.  I ended up right on my target and was extremely consistent.  Second, I didn't overexert myself.  They felt smooth.  Third, I ran them on lap 4 rather than lap 1.  The women's tennis team was practicing at the time, and they had parts of lane 1 blocked.  Plus, tennis balls were continually flying or rolling across the track.  I ended up never getting hit by one.  Lane 4 gave me more room to maneuver.  The 400 start was marked in the lane too, so it made sense to use it.  More gradual turns and less tight turns was a plus too.  7 miles total in 52:56. 

Later in the afternoon I ran 9 miles on the Quonset Bike Path and around Calf Pasture Point.  My legs felt okay.  Total time: 1:05:51. 

Thursday: 11.5 miles - Ryan Park trails alone.  I was not motivated to run at all today.  I finally left work to go run and just went to Ryan Park.  My goal was just an easy recovery run for an hour or so.  My attitude improved quickly, mostly as I thought about trying this race (the short version).  It seems like a good challenge that would be in (or slightly outside of) my wheelhouse.  Based on the finish times, it seems like it is the time equivalent to Nipmuck.  If I can fit it into my schedule, then it should keep me motivated with my training this winter/spring.  Back to the run, I ended up running way longer than I thought, and just kept tacking on more trails.  Total time: 1:27:32. 

Friday: 11 miles - hilly trails and dirt roads alone.  This was sort of a slow paced workout.  My plan was to grab elevation on trails.  I parked at Cuttyhunk and ran the trails there and then did repeats on unimproved dirt roads (Stony Ln and Pardon Joslin Rd).  I ran up and down a rugged rocky climb 3 times on Stony Lane and then did the long dirt (but frozen) climb on Pardon Joslin 3 times.  I finished up with more climbing on techy trails in Cuttyhunk.  My legs were tired and I took it relatively easy.  Total time: 1:25:48 with 1,304' of elevation gain. 

After discussing with my manager (wife), I've gone ahead and registered for the Wapack 21.5 Mile Trail Race.  I can't wait!  To say I'm excited is an understatement. 



Saturday: 0 - I didn't meet the guys for the long run in the morning.  It was snowing with snow already sticking to the roads and my wife needed to go into work early to clear the walkways.  Lazy day with the kids at home. 

Sunday: 18 miles - Burlingame long trail run with Yaktrax.  Awesome run!!  It was sunny and 40 degrees when I left after an early lunch.  The trails had a coating of either snow/ice or snow/slush/mud.  Perfect Yaktrax conditions.  GPS wasn't showing it, but I was pushing myself the entire time.  I spent an hour on the north side, going up and down all the hills.  I then crossed over and ran down Sammy C's to VG to Schoolhouse Pond trail.  Here I caught and passed 4 different mountain bikers who thought I was crazy.  I loved it!  I continued on to Secret, surprised to see mtn bike tracks in the snow.  This trail is incredibly technical.  I can't believe anyone can ride it on a normal day, forget about snow.  I rejoined the VG trail ready to make the north camp loop when a large animal came charging at me.  I froze and the adrenaline pumped through my body.  It was a large dark dog - black lab with a large round head (pitbull mix?).  I shouted it down.  It was acting "friendly" but I was so angry that it scared me that I yelled at the owner to "control your dog".  He or she was way back down the trail and did not say anything or react to their dog running away and harassing someone.  Immature, but I got caught up in the moment.  Anyway, I did not take the camp loop and instead made the loop on the new mtn bike trail and back up VG.  I crossed back into north Burlingame and ran more hills before reaching my house.  Total time: 2:17:36 with 1,357' of climbing. 



Overall: Big week of quality miles, even with a day off.  Next week looks challenging with plenty of snow coming. 

Weekly Total: 80 miles
Last Week: 73 miles
Year to Date: 255 miles
January Total: 255 miles


Monday, January 19, 2015

Weekly Log: 1-12-15 to 1-18-15

This was another good week of running.  I got in two long/workout combo days plus fun trail runs mixed in.  I feel like I'm working my body pretty hard, but it is handling it well.  I'm looking forward to racing in Ryan Park on February 7th. 

Monday: 8 miles - URI Indoor Track easy miles alone but ran into Derek J.  We arrived at the same time and I would have done his workout with him, but I knew I shouldn't the day after a race.  I alternated directions (and lanes) every two miles to keep things from being too stale.  Total time: 55:57. 

Tuesday: 0.  I had to stay in the office all day dealing with an audit.  One of the perks of my line of work. 

Wednesday: 17 miles total.  I went back to the indoor track for a workout this time: 3 x 2 miles with 2 minute rest @ T pace (5:52).  First I ran a 3 mile warm up outside which was cold and miserable.  Then I ran 4 laps inside mixing in some strides.  I then began the workout, keeping an eye on my watch every 100m to make sure I was staying on pace (22 seconds).  Doing the math (I also had to remember which lap I was on) kept me distracted.  The first one began a little too fast, but then I settled into the perfect pace.  The second and third repeats went well too, and I never felt like I was working hard.  My shins were sore immediately from all the pounding and turning.  I finished and then went back outside for three more cold miles.  Results: 11:31/11:39/11:38 (Target: 11:44). 
After work I had some time to kill before I went to see an author speak at my wife's library (RI mushroom hunting).  I ran in the fading light on the Quonset Bike Path for 4 miles.  I think it helped keep my tight legs stay loose.  Total time: 27:40.  Rather peppy.  Good day. 

Thursday: 10 miles - Ryan Park trails alone.  The auditors were back, but things were going well so I felt comfortable leaving for my lunch run.  I did the usual Ryan Park routine of trying to hit up most of the fun trails, but in a different way.  About halfway through the light drizzle turned to a light snow.  It looked cool, but was annoying when the snowflakes were in your face.  Total time: 1:18. 

Friday: 11 miles - DuVal trails alone.  I left work early and did some running related shopping in Wakefield (socks and balaclava).  I then parked at the graveyard and ran in DuVal.  My legs were a bit tired and I worried about my motivation.  It was warm to start (41), but the cold front was blowing in and I felt a bit underdressed (it was 34 when I finished).  At some point on the other side of Gravelly Hill Rd I realized I was cranking along pretty well without paying attention.  I jogged down the dirt road at the far end and decided to run the long segment back at a good clip.  My plan was not to go all out on the ascents, but really work the descents and flats.  This was working rather well until I was running out of steam near the end.  I still finished with a 12:02 - good for a PR on this segment.  On a fresher day I should be even faster.  I cooled down on the other side and eventually made it back to my car in 1:23:34. 

Saturday: 20 miles - long trail run with 8 miles of marathon pace on roads mixed in with Muddy.  I was worried more about the weather than my fatigue going into this run.  I did opt for my new balaclava and was able to stay warm the entire time.  It was cold (11 degrees at the start, 16 at the finish).  We met at Meadowbrook Pond and then ran north through Carolina Mgmt Area.  My legs didn't feel that tired which I was happy about.  I still was dealing with a runny nose/hacking cough occasionally which was frustrating with the balaclava on.  We reached Kenyon Hill Rd and then began the MP work.  Our target was 6:12 pace, but given the conditions and our dress, Muddy said anywhere around 6:15 - 6:20 would be fine with him.  He is the one with the upcoming marathon, I just like doing the workouts.  We made our way down Rte 112 all the way to the Carter Preserve.  I didn't get into the right rhythm until after a mile or so.  Then it felt good, until the half mile hill near the elementary school.  At least we got to bomb down the other side to the finish.  We did the 5 miles in 31:15 (6:15 average pace, but the GAP was 6:11).  Perfect!  We then rambled around the trails of Carter.  Muddy was in the lead and moving faster than I would have chosen.  Still my legs were not feeling bad at all.  Finally, after 16 miles it was time for another 3 at MP.  I don't know what happened here, except that I guess I was fatigued.  At first I was going a little too fast, and then next thing I know, Muddy is pulling away from me and my pace and slowed down to 6:22.  I tried to push harder, but I couldn't shake my pace.  The three miles took forever.  Still no pain, I just couldn't go any faster.  I finished in 19:12 (6:23 pace) which I hope partly was a GPS error and it was really longer (wishful thinking).  We then hopped back into the frozen fields of Carolina and returned to our cars.  Total time: 2:19:48. 

Sunday: 7+ miles - Burlingame trails alone.  The ground was still frozen, but it was lightly raining and warming quickly (34 at the start, 46 at my finish less than an hour later!).  I ran around the north camp, mixed in some Sammy C's, and the new mtn bike trail.  I then ran a short loop further west.  My legs and endurance felt way better than anticipated based on the recent mileage I put in.  Total time: 56:29. 

Weekly Total: 73 miles
Last Week: 57 miles
Year to Date: 175 miles
January Total: 175 miles

Friday, January 9, 2015

Weekly Log (Plus a few days): 1-1-15 to 1-11-15

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

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

End of 2014, Beginning of 2015

I'm beginning 2015 highly motivated.  There was definitely a lull after Li'l Rhody Runaround in November.  I'm finding time to update the blog a little challenging, but I am still running everyday.  Here were my goals entering 2014 and how I did:

Goals for 2014: 

I'm afraid that I won't achieve my potential at various road race distances because frankly I can't race all the time, and I love trail racing way too much when I can.  I'm pretty sure I could go sub 17 minutes in a 5K, but I need to run more of them.  I feel the same way about the sub 5 mile.  I'd love to put up a fast time at the 10 mile, half marathon, and marathon distances too.  Don't know if I will ever race these distances on roads though.  That's the reality for me.  Here are my specific goals:

Sub 5 minute mile - SUCCESS!  4:56 track time trial paced my Mike Galoob
Sub 17 minute 5K - NO - not really a fail since I only raced one - Super 5K in February.  I wanted to run a track 5K time trial after Li'l Rhody, but never did. 
PR at every repeat trail race - SUCCESS! (except for the snow races).  Happy with my Big River Half, Beavers 10M, Pisgah 23K, Nipmuck Maration, and LRR times. 
3:30 Nipmuck Trail Marathon - FAIL - I ended up 3:34, still a 4 minute PR.  I was on pace for 3:30, but my body was failing the second half. 
Run a spring marathon/50K in any format - FAIL
Win the Big River Half Marathon (unless my brother Greg races) - FAIL - but had a lot of fun trying!
WTAC team wins for 4th Season Series, Super 5K, Christmas 10K, etc. - SUCCESS! - WTAC is unstoppable on the local running scene.  Time to step it up to the NE scene? 
Run the full length of the Narragansett Trail - SUCCESS! - FKT with Muddy and Seth.  Awesome adventure I'd love to do again someday. 
Run a long RI adventure run (southern half NST, Sea to Summit, Rte 1, ??) - FAIL - I did a few longer southern RI trail runs, but nothing epic. 
Run at least one new Grand Tree or Mountain series race - SUCCESS - Mount Greylock Half Marathon.  This was a blast. 
Run 3000 miles - SUCCESS - completed by Thanksgiving, and a new PR of 3,285. 
Continue early morning group runs with my friends - SUCCESS! - lots of memorable ones. 
Keep having fun and stay healthy - SUCCESS!! 

Goals for 2015:

I'm approaching this year a bit zen-like.  I don't have any concrete goals in my mind for running.  I just love it and hope I continue to.  I'm not worried about chasing specific times for certain distances (at least at the moment).  However, writing this and seeing my goals from last year, has me thinking about a few:

Trails, Trails, Trails - I love racing on trails.  This is what I will continue to focus on.  Road races will be sprinkled in as they pop up.  Specific trail races will be my focus.  I hope to run Greylock again and try to incorporate at least one other Grand Tree or Mountain series race into my schedule.  I hope to keep PR'ing on the trail races I repeat, but I'm not counting on it, especially at Li'l Rhody.  I do want to cross the 1:40 threshold at Pisgah 23K and 3:30 at Nipmuck. 

Speed - I want to continue to push my aging body to its full potential, especially as I will be turning 40 this August.  I hope to continue speed training using Jack Daniels as my guide: R and I pace on the track and T pace on roads.  I also want to continue to mix in hills on easy days and for specific workouts.  Trail intervals will also be sprinkled in. 

Fun - continue to enjoy my daily runs. Occasionally, weather or life might temporarily dull my enthusiasm, but overall I should be having fun.  Keep finding new places, routes, and people to run with.  Continue to run with my friends and family.  Stay healthy!! 









Friday, January 2, 2015

December

What a crazy, busy month!  I was swamped at work (yes, I work).  The kids had lots of after school activities.  I took on some volunteer side positions.  It was Christmas season.  My anxiety was getting out of control early in the month.  Running is always a challenge in December.  This one was no different.  It's not the weather.  It's just finding the time and motivation with so much other stuff going on.  I've learned to accept this.  I did rejoin the URI gym so that I can use the indoor track this winter.  I even did a lot of running the last two weeks while on Christmas break.  The month ended up being pretty decent running-wise.  I feel healthy, motivated, and confident heading into the new year. 

Week of December 1st:

12/1 Monday: 10 miles - Ryan Park trails alone.  Total time 1:16:12. 
12/2 Tuesday: 10 miles - Rome Point trails, coastline, and some roads alone.  1:18:26. 
12/3 Wednesday: 11 miles - Pardon Joslin Rd hill workout (5 up and down repeats) alone in the rain.  Trail warm and cool down.  Total time 1:20:13 with 1377' of elevation gain. 
12/4 Thursday: 0 - crappy weather, feeling stressed
12/5 Friday: 9 miles - Calf Pasture Point and Pojac Point low tide coastline exploration.  1:12:11. 
12/6 Saturday: 0 - busy day
12/7 Sunday: 3 miles - home trail loops alone in fading light.  22:59. 
Weekly Total: 43 miles

Week of December 8th:

12/8 Monday: 4 miles - OMF trails recon alone.  Stomach issues cut this run short.  30 minutes. 
12/9 Tuesday: 8 miles - URI indoor track with Galoob and Keven O.  Reality check.  Tried to do their 3 x mile @ 5:20, but it became apparent that was too much for me.  Did a cut down and tried to keep it near I pace.  1600/1200/800: 5:22/4:08/2:45.  Total time 53 minutes. 
12/10 Wednesday: 3 miles - home trail loops in the dark with a headlamp.  23:02. 
12/11 Thursday: 8 miles - URI indoor track alone.  Planned T pace run turned into 2 miles in 11:36 then 6x200: 33/34/34/34/35/34.  Legs felt tired from Tuesday, but happy with this workout. 
12/12 Friday: 5.5 miles - Carter Preserve trails alone.  Late afternoon run in fading light.  43 minutes. 
12/13 Saturday: 12+ miles - DuVal/Browning trail loop with Gazelle and Garvin.  Fun early morning run on great trails.  Excellent company.  Total time 1:32:38 with 615' of elevation gain. 
12/14 Sunday: 10.5 miles - Watchaug Pond bang alone in the early AM.  Good mix of roads and trails.  Peppy.  1:10:38 with 467' of climbing. 
Weekly Total: 51 miles

Week of December 15th:

12/15 Monday: 10 miles - Ryan Park trails alone.  1:18:32. 
12/16 Tuesday: 8 miles - OMF trails alone and then some trail clearing with Galoob.  1:02:56. 
12/17 Wednesday: 9 miles - Quonset Bike Path workout alone.  2 mile/1 mile: 11:22/5:34.  Good workout.  I didn't look at my watch on the 2 mile and was happy with how the overall pace felt.  Total time 1:02:56.  Cool down around Calf Pasture Point. 
12/18 Thursday: 10 miles - Ryan Park trails alone.  1:19:00. 
12/19 Friday: 4 miles - Calf Pasture Point short run.  Watch fail.  28:26. 
12/20 Saturday: 4 miles - Burlingame campground paved & dirt roads, and trails with my son (on his bike).  Fun father/son day while my daughter was doing a horse camp.  40 minutes. 
12/21 Sunday: 10 miles - OMF Trail 5K.  19:27, 7th overall.  See separate write up. 
Weekly Total: 55 miles

Week of December 22nd:

12/22 Monday: 6.5 miles -  Burlingame trails in the dark (headlamp on way back).  Super fun and cruising the entire time.  44:37. 
12/23 Tuesday: 10.5 miles - Burlingame trails alone.  Another awesome outing on some of the best singletrack around.  1:20:18 with 600' of climbing. 
12/24 Wednesday: 9 miles - CHS track workout alone.  6x400 @ R pace with 200 recoveries then 4x200 fast with 200 recoveries.  This was a tough workout.  Afterward, I realized that I should be resting more for R pace.  I'll be smarter next time.  Results: 73/74/73/74/74/74 34/33/34/34.  Very pleased with the results.  I worked for them.  Trail warm up and cool down. 
12/25 Thursday: 8.5 miles - Burlingame trails alone.  Merry Christmas.  Stuck with my favorites spots.  1:03:47 with 457' of climbing. 
12/26 Friday: 16 miles - Nooseneck 18K.  Hilly free road race I did with Muddy.  I went out hard and maintained a hard effort throughout until mile 9.  "Stomach issues" made me slow down a bit the last two miles and I almost jumped into the woods at one point.  I stayed the course and then pushed the end of the final hill to not get caught by Jackman from behind.  My final time was 1:09:12 - 4th place overall.  I think I was going to catch Brian McNiece on the final climb if my issues didn't pop up.  He finished just under 1:09.  Fun cooldown with Muddy and Matty P.  I may do a separate write up for this.  Stay tuned. 
12/27 Saturday: 9.5 miles - Burlingame trails with Muddy in the early AM.  Thanks to our wives for concocting this plan for us to run together for the second day in a row.  1:10:48 with 620' of gain. 
12/28 Sunday: 7 miles - Burlingame trails alone.  Shorter run after my wife's run and before Hammett Christmas.  56:04. 
Weekly Total: 67 miles

Week of December 29th:

12/29 Monday: 16 miles in two runs.  First, met up with Greg for a nice run in Burlingame (again!).  We hit up all the best single track.  11 miles in 1:19:20 with 544' of climbing.  Then a surprise double with Muddy in Ninigret Park in the afternoon.  5 miles in 37:52. 
12/30 Tuesday: CHS track workout alone.  My plan was 5x1000 at I pace and I was able to stick to it.  Cold morning - 26 degrees.  After a trail warm up and then 2 laps of strides I got to work.  My target was 3:20 (5:20 pace).  Results: 3:17/3:19/3:18/3:19/3:19.  Recovery was 3 minutes (600 meters).  Not easy, but felt pretty darn good.  Cool down on the trails. 
12/31 Wednesday: 10+ miles - Westbrook ME trails with Brett (first 3 miles).  Especially cold run with the temp in the low 20's and a biting wind.  We explored the new Stroudwater Trail extension that leads to the Smiling Hill XC Ski trails.  After 27 minutes I bid him adieu and continued south on the Stroudwater Trail.  I know I've mentioned it before, but I just love this trail.  I did an out-and-back (not all the way south) and then had to run two miles of roads back to Brett's house which I cruised along at 6:30 pace.  Great way to end the year.  Total time 1:17:58 with 444' of climbing. 
Weekly (3 days only) Total: 36 miles

December Total: 252 miles
2014 Total: 3,285 miles (PR!!)