Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Cold Week: 2-8-16 to 2-14-16

This week was a mixed bag.  I got in two track workouts, slogged around in snow, braved frigid cold, and dealt with a nuisance head cold.  Ideally, I'd like to be in the low 70's for mileage every week except race weeks, but with winter, you can't be too picky. 

Monday: 8 miles - Burlingame snowshoe run.  Another day home with snow.  This time it was much colder and the snow was light and fluffy.  After a lazy day inside working on a puzzle and checking work emails, I headed out in the late afternoon for a run.  I donned my trusty snowshoes and ran down the road (not plowed at this point) to Burlingame off of Burdickville Rd.  I was breaking trail and the going was slow.  At the intersection with the main loop, there were very fresh 4x4 truck tracks (the gates are open during hunting season).  They were wide enough for me to run in which was a surprise bonus.  I followed them all the way down to the canoe camps where I saw the pickup truck parked on the trail.  I just kept my head down and motored past, not wanting to know what they were up to.  I was now breaking trail again, this time on the hard to follow white dot single track.  Very tough going for a while until I reached the main loop again.  I quickly was passed by the pickup truck (the people were friendly and told me that I was moving fast).  It was nice to climb the hill in the wide tracks again.  At the top of the hill, I encountered a family out sledding (this is the middle of nowhere!).  I was quite impressed.  I pushed on to Buckeye Brook Rd.  I crossed over and ran single track (mostly untouched) to the bottom of my road.  I then ran the road back (now plowed).  I stuck to the sides since I still had my snowshoes on.  I decided to bushwhack the rest of the way to my house.  There isn't a trail yet, but I'm beginning to take the same route every time.  Soon enough, I'll have a trail.  Fun, tough run.  Total time: 1:10:09 with 464' of climbing. 

Look at the pacing!  Slog city up Shumankawall at the end. 

Tuesday: 9 miles - snowy Exeter trails/dirt roads with Galoob.  We met at Cuttyhunk Preserve.  I waited down the road for him to drive into the snowed in lot first, since my car may have gotten stuck.  We decided to just wear trail shoes, even though the conditions looked snowshoe-able.  We ran the trails to Stony Lane, which was snow covered and extremely wet.  We crossed over to Pardon Joslin Rd and then did the very snowy north Fisherville loop.  There was an unbelievable amount of animal tracks here.  No humans.  We then did 3 repeats of Pardon Joslin hill.  Luckily there were 4x4 tracks on it, or the conditions may have been unbearable.  Mike had to shoot home, so I took the long way back down Stony Lane and Cuttyhunk.  I ended up with 1,009' of elevation gain.  Total time: 1:15:51. 

Wednesday: 10 miles - URI indoor track workout with Galoob.  Mike had 3 possible workouts to do, and we agreed to do this one: 2 sets of 6x500 @ 5K pace with a 300 float.  4 minutes rest between sets.  My target was 1:42 (5:28 5K pace), but got into a groove of 1:39's in the first set and 1:38's in the 2nd.  This equated more to my 3K pace (5:15).  The floats were kept to a peppy pace in the low 7's.  This made the workout challenging.  In the beginning, I thought there was no way I could complete 2 sets of this, but my body acclimated and the second set felt way easier.  Confidence booster!  Total time: 1:06:01. 

Thursday: 8 mile double (sort of).  Cold day with a chilly breeze.  First I parked at the RI Desert (part of Big River) to look for my daughter's gloves she left here over the weekend when we went sledding here with friends (best place to sled ever BTW).  I couldn't find them.  I ended up just slogging around in the snow on the dunes on both side of Division Street.  Felt like the arctic.  I should have worn my snowshoes.  Many, many climbs up steep dunes were exhausting.  GPS only gave me 200' of elevation gain however.  Stupid technology.  I stopped after 45 minutes.  I then decided to bag a few more miles, this time doing an out-and-back on the roads.  I began into the wind which was mind numbing.  Very cold.  Way back wasn't much better. 3 miles in 21:11. 

RI Desert map
The snowy desert. 

Friday: 10 miles - URI indoor track workout alone.  A really cold and windy day that was perfect for running circles inside.  My goal was a 5 mile block of T pace, but I knew that 40 nonstop speedy laps might be way too much for me to handle physically (legs tired from Wed workout and snow slogging) or mentally.  After a 2 mile warm up, I began the T block (5:52 pace - 44 sec laps).  My legs were feeling heavy and the laps were not going by fast enough.  I willed my way to 3 miles in 17:35 and then jogged for 800.  I decided to shoot for a T workout that I've done in the past (3T, 2T, 1T).  The 2 mile block was much better (11:42).  I was fatiguing the last mile (5:51), but got it done.  1 mile cool down.  Total time: 1:04:29. 

Saturday: 10 miles - local roads in the morning.  Forecasted to be wicked cold all day, I was happy to have a temperature in the high teens when I ran at 8:30AM.  I decided to do an out-and-back on roads from my house, first heading into the wind to get the worst of the cold over with.  I went out Burdickville Rd, down Rte 91 to Rte 216, then up Tomaquag Rd to Tomaquag Valley Rd (snow and ice covered dirt).  The cold wasn't that bad as the sun was out and I was dressed appropriately.  I thought this route was hilly, but it didn't feel like it as I ran.  I was pleased to see that GPS had it at 802' elevation gain when I uploaded it.  Total time: 1:12:24. 

Sunday: 8 miles - mixed road/snow trails run from my house.  I waited for it to warm up to single digits before heading out.  I have to say that my North Face balaclava was a smart purchase last year.  The thing keeps me warm no matter what.  I ran down Buckeye Brook Road before veering off to test trail conditions.  Most places had packed down crunchy snow which made running in just trail shoes nice.  Total time: 1:03:13 with 472' of climbing. 

Weekly Total: 63 miles
Last Week: 61 miles
Year to Date: 437 miles
February to Date: 124 miles

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