Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Winter Weather Week: 1-18-16 to 1-24-16

Heading into this week I was planning for it to be a bit lighter in miles.  I had the Charlestown Chili 5K to set up and run on Saturday, a holiday home with the family on Monday, and plus I needed a break from the last two weeks of heavy mileage.  What I wasn't ready for was a change from seasonable cold but dry conditions to snow on the ground.  Not thrilled about it, but trying to have as much fun with it as possible. 

Monday: 9 miles - Burlingame snowy trails alone.  The surprise storm from last evening left 1-2" of fluffy snow on the ground.  I left mid-morning donning my Yaktrax for the first time of the season.  I ran into Burlingame from Burdickville Rd and then made my way down to the canoe camps (empty) and around the River Trail.  The snow wasn't right for Yaktrax and they were fairly useless.  My traction wasn't great.  Still, it was fun to be the only human for miles alone in the woods.  The single coyote tracks weren't enough to sketch me out.  I crossed Buckeye Brook Rd and ran Lenny's Lane and back on VG.  I was surprised to still see no other human tracks.  I made my way up to the middle portion of Secret and part of Sammy C's.  The last mile home was on the road.  Total time: 1:12:37 with 568' of climbing. 

One of my favorite Burlingame secret spots. 

Ledges near Buckeye Brook Road. 

Before darkness, I headed down to Ninigret with my dad's bike for one last OCD trip around the race course.  I wanted to settle on the finish line and mile markers.  Not pretty but got it done. 

Final Charlestown Chili 5K course

Tuesday: 9 miles - Ryan Park snow trails with Galoob.  We met up for an "uptempo" run with short hill repeats mixed in.  We ran the Belleville Pond 10K course for the most part, which was holding just an inch at most of snow.  I opted to just stick with trail shoes today.  The run went pretty well.  The pace was spicy for me, especially without optimal grip.  The time for the course was about 44 minutes.  We then tacked on another 2+ miles cool down for a total running time of 1:03:05. 

Wednesday: 0 - unplanned zero due to unplanned car problems. 

Thursday: 16.5 mile double.  First run was a first light hill fartlek workout from my house.  5 miles in 34:05 with 456' of climbing.  I hammered some small climbs and did the longer Burdickville Rd climb twice at a good effort.  Nice little workout.  In the afternoon, I parked at Rome Point and decided to do a mix run of trails, beach, and roads.  I began on roads and wandered around the Waldron Ave area for the first time in more than a year.  Finally I returned to Rome Point and ran trails and beach.  My legs/feet are exhausted.  I'm blaming the snow running more than the morning workout.  Total time: 1:27:49.  11.5 miles. 

Morning Hill Fartlek - look at that Grade Adjusted Pace!

Friday: 8.5 miles - Saunderstown snowy trails with Sandals.  I met Aaron at his house and we ran trails on his property and the new TNC over to the Gilbert Stuart Birthplace.  We then entered Camp Nokewa and ran in there, managing two decent hill climbs in slightly slippery conditions.  We returned the same way.  Good run!  Total time: 1:07:48 with 524' of climbing.  Sounds like TNC will be cutting new trails soon as well as putting in a place to park up on Rte 1A! 

Saturday: 12 mile double. My Name is Jonas! 

Fun video - I saw them at an outside venue in Atlanta the same year (1994).  

So the Charlestown Chili 5K was postponed on Friday night due to the impending storm.  The race director was pretty bummed, which I understood because she put together what seemed to be an awesome event.  The weather today was terrible so it was the right call.  In the morning I headed out at 9AM for a trail run as the snow began to fall.  It was so windy at my house (faces NE, on top of a hill) that I debated even running.  I decided to test out the conditions in a wooded valley (parked at Buckeye Brook Rd and ran south on VGT).  The weather was okay, and I seemed safe.  It was snowing the entire time, but only beginning to collect on the trail (Monday's snow was mostly gone by now here).  I ran into quite a few hardy humans which was surprising.  Before the campground, I followed the NST south over the bog bridges and then jumped off to run the ridge trail spur before heading back the way I came.  Good effort throughout on tired legs.  Total time: 1:08:20.  Later in the afternoon, the whole family bundled up to get outside before dark.  The storm was in full swing.  Already 4-6" of snow on the ground and still coming down hard with crazy wind.  I donned my snowshoes for my maiden run this winter.  I ran (where I could) around my sloping property before exploring the wild spaces beyond.  Fun stuff except slow and exhausting.  Total time 35 minutes with 331' of climbing. 

Snowshoe running dork. 

Droopy trees somewhere behind my house. 

I found this holly with berries somewhere. 

Sunday: 12 miles - Burlingame snowshoe run alone.  This was tough!  We ended up with probably 8-10" of snow.  After my wife's snowshoe with a friend and then a trip to town, I had a limited window to run before the Patriots game.  I thought about running roads, but it didn't seem appealing or like a good idea (limited shoulder because of snow).  Snowshoe running in the woods would be beautiful but demanding.  I began by running from my property back into the woods and up through state land to the beaver pond gate.  This was all bushwhacking in deep snow.  I then was in north Burlingame on double track, but the going was still tough.  At least there was one xc ski track to try and run in.  I crossed Buckeye Brook Rd at the red gate and jumped onto the VGT.  Luckily there was a set of snowshoe tracks on it, but unfortunately I immediately caught up to and passed the person making them.  At the north camp road, there were the xc ski tracks again so I decided to do the loop and let the snowshoer get ahead of me again on the VGT to break trail.  I briefly stopped at the pond, but then had to lay the first tracks back up via the single track to VGT.  This was terrible.  Back on VGT heading toward Kings Factory Rd, there were 3 sets of snowshoes!  This made conditions decent.  I ended up catching up to all 3 people snowshoeing though.  I briefly chatted with them, and one couple had tracked Sammy C's.  Hmm.  I decided to go that way at the intersection.  This was another struggle for a couple of miles before reaching the bottom of Shumankanuc Hill Rd.  I took off my snowshoes at this point and ran the mile home on the road.  My legs were so trashed at this point I felt like I was running 10 minute mile pace.  Total time was 1:33:21 with 491' of climbing.  I'm calling it 12 miles because of effort although it felt like double that. 

Snowshoe run - check out those paces. 

Overall:  I made the best out of the week.  Not much speedy stuff, but hopefully the snow slogging is making me stronger.  The race got postponed until next Saturday (1/30).  I'm planning to race that hard and see where I am. 

Weekly Total:  67 miles
Last Week: 77 miles
Year to Date: 241 miles
January To Date: 241 miles